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The villains from Warhammer 40000 are much worse than the villains from ASOIAF. Change my mind about this.


boltons are sick
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I have been in the ASOIAf community for a long time now and everyone is talking how GRRM creates some really repulsive and over the top villains. However, the villains from Westeros are much less evil than the villains from the 40k universe. Below, I will copy and paste all the entries of the Warhammer 40000 villains who were approved as Complete Monsters by TV Tropes (you can read the criteria for the trope here).

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Main setting (may include characters from the Expanded Universe)

 Forces of Chaos:
  • Ezekyle Abaddon, known as the Despoiler, is the heir of the fallen Primarch Horus. Abaddon is consumed with hatred for all that lives, even his former master, and seeks nothing less than the extermination of all he can manage while uniting humanity under the dark banners of Chaos. As the only man with the support of all the Gods of Chaos, Abaddon, the Warmaster of Chaos, has united the forces of Chaos under his banner no fewer than thirteen times in the Black Crusades. During these ventures, each of which has killed millions if not billions, Abaddon storms the galaxy itself, burning and destroying all he can until the forces of the Imperium inevitably defeat him. Abaddon hardly minds as he is able to destroy and kill in great number, something he loves more than anything else. In the 13th Black Crusade alone, Abaddon launches a successful assault on Cadia, finally exterminating the planet and carving a bloody swath through space in his quest to Holy Terra, killing trillions in order to overthrow the Emperor. Willing to send countless numbers of his own to their doom—if not killing them himself—and living only to destroy everything he can to the point he rejects Daemonhood to continue the slaughter on the material plane, Abaddon is the champion of Chaos and is one of the most evil and brutal beings in all of the dark world of Warhammer 40,000.
  • Be'lakor the First Damned was the first of the Daemon Princes, a man responsible for unfathomable atrocities and bloodshed to receive the universal acclimation of the Ruinous Powers. Be'lakor spread through the galaxy, conquering and then corrupting entire civilizations before letting them fall to extinction or wiping them out while also guiding the bloody rise of Ezekyle Abaddon to further atrocities until he tried to upstage his supposed pupil during the final Black Crusade, leading an attack on Holy Terra to destroy it and all humanity to elevate himself.
  • Erebus, First Chaplain of the Word Bearers, was the first ever Chaos Space Marine. After his fall, Erebus set up the slaughter of the Interex civilization to prevent them from warning the Imperium about Chaos and arranged for the corruption of Lorgar and Horus Lupercal, setting up the Horus Heresy that would turn the galaxy and Imperium into hellholes and cost countless lives. Erebus helped to arrange the Istvan V Drop Site massacre where he had countless Marines loyal to the Emperor slaughtered and purged an entire planetary system of life to empower daemons with the intention of corrupting the Blood Raven chapter. In the present, Erebus continues to serve Lorgar, and was involved in the 13th Black Crusade where he sacrificed millions to summon Daemons to assist Abaddon's forces. Responsible more than almost anyone else for the horrific state of the galaxy, Erebus repeatedly shows why he is one of the most vile servants of Chaos around.
  • Kor Phaeron, the Black Cardinal of the Word Bearers Legion, was Erebus's co-conspirator in the Horus Heresy. Formerly a priest on the feudal world of Colchis, Kor Phaeron had been banished from the Covenant of Colchis for his radical, violent religious views. Kidnapping the young Primarch Lorgar Aurelian and exterminating the desert nomads who had been raising him, Kor Phaeron horrifically abused him as he groomed him into his agent of revenge against the Covenant, leading to a devastating civil war. Years later, when Kor Phaeron was serving under Lorgar as the Word Bearers' First Captain, he began conspiring with Erebus to overthrow the Imperium and sell the galaxy out to Chaos for their own benefit. Corrupting Lorgar to Chaos and seeding cults on the worlds they attacked, Kor Phaeron and Erebus's machinations led to the Horus Heresy, which shattered the Imperium and killed trillions of people. During the attack on Calth, Kor Phaeron stabbed Roboute Guilliman with the Athame blade, hoping to corrupt the Primarch to the Dark Gods. When the Horus Heresy failed and the Word Bearers fled to the Daemon World Sicarus, Kor Phaeron found a prophecy that told of Chaos's ultimate victory at the cost of his life; in response, he slew the prophet Jepeth and destroyed his prophecies, undermining the Word Bearers and the Chaos Gods he claimed to serve to save his own skin.
  • Fabius Bile, the self-styled "Primogenitor", is an unspeakably vile force feared and hated across the galaxy to those who know his name and actions, even among the Traitor Legions of Chaos. A Mad Scientist extraordinaire longing to exceed the scientific accomplishments of the Emperor, Bile refuses to pledge himself to any one Chaos God and instead sells his services to whomever can take him, stringing behind him a legacy of depraved experiments, genocides, and horrors with entire sectors of lives reduced longing for death from what Bile has brought upon them. Among Bile's many atrocities are forcing those he has flayed to carry a cloak made of the skin of dozens behind him, earning him the epiphet Manflayer; forcing the population of Dimmamar to take in his own mutative serums or suffocate by changing the composition of the very air they breathed; squashing down over a million prisoners into amplifying drugs for his followers, whom he also treats as test fodder; engaging in degenerate experiments with clones, earning him fear and respect from the world of Palamar V; and his proudest accomplishment, the "New Men", with the populations of entire worlds transformed into powerful but blindly murderous specimens of his own image. Reviled by even the Traitor Legions he is ostensibly a part of, Fabius Bile is a man who has dedicated his life to immortality through infamy by means of the destruction and perversion of billions of lives in his never-ending quest to permanently etch the foul memory of his name on the universe.
  • Typhus the Traveler, once known as Calas Typhon, is the Chaos Lord responsible for the creation of the Plague Marines. Treacherous since the days of the Horus Heresy, Calas Typhon truly came into the forces of Chaos by betraying all his companions in the Death Guard to the diseases of Nurgle, causing them agony which only ended when they pledged themselves utterly to Nurgle. Since then, Typhus has traveled across the galaxy spreading hundreds of thousands of diseases, consuming countless worlds and killing billions. Among Typhus's greatest achievements is the zombie plague, which once condemned 23 billion lives to a horrible death when they accidentally barricaded themselves in with Typhus's reanimating victims. In another instance Typhus condemned an entire planet to forever rot away, unable to do anything but sing eternal hymns to Nurgle. Taking a vile pleasure from the reaping of lives himself, Typhus once single-handedly obliterated the holy planet of Annunciation and every life upon it with nothing short of sadistic glee. Responsible for the worst depths of his old friend Mortarion, who became Nurgle's Daemon Primarch through Typhus's manipulation, and with one of the highest body counts a follower of Chaos can boast, Typhus is perhaps the vilest of Nurgle's noxious armies.
  • Honsou of the Iron Warriors is the eventual Warsmith of his band once he assists in the theft of Imperial Fist geneseeds. A cold, practical, and cruel Chaos Marine, Honsou establishes the Daemonculaba; taking human women to use as agonized "wombs" to insert humans into and mutate them into Chaos Marines, with the "unfleshed" failures discarded. When the process is disrupted by the Ultramarines, a spiteful Honsou uses a virus bomb to annihilate one of their worlds and leads an attempt to annihilate the entire sector of Ultramar in retribution.
  • The Imperium of Man is fraught with corruption, incompetence and Knight Templar ruthlessness, but these two embody all the worst qualities of Man:
    • High Lord Goge Vandire, the instigator of the Age of Apostasy, made himself the head of the Imperium in all but name. Launching a brutal wave of repression and torture that spanned across countless worlds, with endless billions and more tortured for his pleasure, Vandire demanded tithing and planned for his own worship to supplant that of the Emperor himself, wiping out entire worlds should they fail to meet his standards. Nearly tearing the Imperium apart, Vandire's depredations continued for seven full decades with a reign of terror and brutal tyranny such as the Imperium had never known.
    • Herman von Strab is known as the worst waste of flesh in Imperial history. A petty noble who murdered his brothers and father to rise to power, von Strab combined incompetence and malice with extreme cowardice. Upon the invasion of Armageddon, von Strab was happy to sacrifice his own to kill political rivals, getting millions of soldiers and civilians killed before deploying planet-killing bombs to slaughter millions of humans and Orks in an attempt to catch Commissar Yarrick in the blast, even sacrificing an entire colony in the war. Later allying with the Orks in the Third Armageddon War to let them rampage, thus having the blood of many millions on his hands, von Strab tried to inspire a bloody civil war through the Imperium and happily participated in Human Sacrifice by throwing victims into a volcano.
  • Drukhari (aka Dark Eldar):
    • Asdrubael Vect, Archon of the Black Heart Kabal and Supreme Overlord of Commorragh, is one of the eldest beings in the galaxy and one of the most unspeakably vile. The lord of the Dark Eldar who keeps the horrific culture of torture and depravity going, Vect masterminds the slaughter and torture of countless innocents on a constant basis while also engaging in mentally tormenting a luckless slave, even revealingexternal_link.gif a drink they were sharing will give him agonizing stomach cramps for days. What sets Vect apart is his willingness to cross even the few lines other Dark Eldar have, having captured an Imperial Salamander to lure the Imperium to Comorragh and allow them to kill off his own people just to eliminate his rivals. Being a master torturer who feeds off the agony of others, Vect once faked his own death to allow the Dark Eldar to lapse into a terrible civil war, and once the battle lines had been drawn, Vect dropped a sun on the rebels, wiping them out along with all the innocents and civilians in that section of the city, damning all their souls to be devoured by Slaanesh. Unspeakably devious, hiding behind a mask of civility and refinement, Vect is almost unmatched in cruelty and evil even in this grim dark future.
    • Urien Rakarth is the Master Haemonculus of the Prophets of Flesh. An eons-old experimenter, Rakarth has spent millennia cutting apart countless victims and restitching them into mindless, pain-stricken monstrosities as attack dogs or attractions for his Carnivals of Pain: spectacles put on for high-ranking Drukhari to behold slaves being devoured, payment for attendance of which frequently involves Rakarth demanding pieces of the viewers' minds or bodies. Spreading his depravity, Rakarth teaches his twisted followers with pride, and even educated Fabius Bile himself in the ways of torturous experimentation.
    • Kruellagh the Vile is the Archon of the Kabal of the Flayed Skull. Reaping life energy from her victims to empower herself with her Soul Flayer, Kruellagh has spent centuries raiding and taking countless prisoners. Her entire Kabal are forced to pay tribute to her in souls, with Kruellagh having the Kabal's slaves brought to the Haemonculi, subjecting planets worth of people to an unspeakable fate.
  • Necrons: These are the worst of the godlike C'tan that enslaved the Necrontyr themselves:
    • Aza'gorod, the Nightbringer, first of the C'tan, is the most fearsome and evil of the Stargods who first learned that the agony of other races could sustain it. Delighting in annihilating countless civilizations and torturing untold billions of innocent beings so their pain might feed it, the Nightbringer brought countless others into depravity to satisfy its twisted need for worship before ending them as well. The Nightbringer was the first to discover cannibalism among the C'tan, setting them against one another until only a few were left. Sealed away, the Nightbringer later manages to escape and plots a return when it might end everything in the galaxy for its own glory.
    • Mephet'ran, the Deceiver, is the weakest yet most intelligent of the C'tan. Orchestrating regular massive and genocidal conflicts as its preferred method to achieve its goals, the Deceiver masterminds the corruption of the Necrontyr, tricking or in some cases violently forcing the entire race into giving up their bodies and being enslaved under its and other C'tan's control before using them to cause a galactic war. Saturating the conflict by Playing Both Sides and even tricking other C'tan to their deaths for him to consume, the Deceiver is known for its deceptions being the single most deadly weapon in the war, while ultimately seeking to devour all that lives just to cleanse its inferiority complex.
    • Llandu'gor, the Flayer, cursed its Necron killers for revenge after abusing them as their former master. Becoming the Flayer Virus, the C'tan now plagues the Necrons, turning them into mindless beings with an insatiable and infinite appetite for flesh and causing them to seek out and gruesomely kill any and all organic life they encounter.

Expanded Universe only

  • Dawn of War series: Chapter Master Azariah Kyras, through Chaos Rising and Retribution, steadily reveals himself to have long fallen from his noble roots while authoring all the conflict and death in the series. Kyras, centuries ago, pledged himself to Khorne and dedicated himself to "freedom" by means of mindless bloodshed and the slaughter of countless billions, achieved by his manipulation of all the chaotic events plaguing the sub-sector of Aurelia in order to provoke Exterminatus on the entire sector and offer the resulting annihilation as tribute to Khorne. All throughout, Kyras manipulates and betrays everyone within his own Chapter, corrupting his own battle-brothers and flagging those who resist as heretics, before finally revealing his true nature to even his own devout follower Apollo Diomedes and proclaiming billions shall scream and burn as the ultimate culmination of his service to Khorne. Kyras stands unique even among the servants of Chaos through his sheer unchecked fanaticism and madness, willing to shed blood on scales unprecedented even for Khornates and musing over the beauty of the senseless death he's wrought as he watches an entire inhabited planet engulfed by the Exterminatus—a gift he eventually plans on sharing with every living soul in the galaxy once he ascends into a Greater Daemon.

 

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Warhammer 40k's entire raison d'etre is just to be as edgy and grimdark as possible, so that's not really a surprise. But Martin's books are far better written than anything related to Warhammer 40k, so to me it doesn't really matter. I don't judge the quality of something based on how cartoonishly evil the villains are.

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4 minutes ago, WhatAnArtist! said:

Warhammer 40k's entire raison d'etre is just to be as edgy and grimdark as possible, so that's not really a surprise. But Martin's books are far better written than anything related to Warhammer 40k, so to me it doesn't really matter. I don't judge the quality of something based on how cartoonishly evil the villains are.

Yeah, I agree with that. Just wanted to point out that the 40k villains are more vile even though a lot of people think that the ASOIAF villains are the most evil.

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1 minute ago, boltons are sick said:

Yeah, I agree with that. Just wanted to point out that the 40k villains are more vile.

I don't think anybody has claimed that ASOIAF's villains are the most evil that have ever existed anywhere, so I suppose I'm just not sure what you're trying to prove here. 

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Warhammer 40000 actually has complex villains. Warmaster Horus is the first one to come to mind. His actions are just as bad as the abovementioned examples but he was driven by his own insecurities that his father, the Emperor, would cast him aside as soon as the galaxy is conquered and his accomplishments would be forgotten in time. Erebus and the Chaos Gods used this to manipulate him and turn him against the Imperium and he commited many atrocities like destroying and commiting genocide on the Interix civilization (which spans for over 30 solar systems), arranging a huge massacre where he killed hundreds of thousands of his brethren Space Marines, corrupted many of his followers to Chaos, started a civil war which tore the galaxy apart and claimed the lives of trillions of people, sacrificed the inhabitants of an entire solar system and sent their souls to be tortured forever, so that he can empower powerful Daemons, attempted to kill his own father, etc.

 

 However, before the manipulations of Erebus he was a noble person who wanted to serve the Imperium and help humanity prosper. Also, in his dying moments Horus displays deep remorse for his many atrocities and even asks his father to kill him because he can't live with himself after what he has done. So, I would say that Horus is a complex villain (though not on the same level as some of the ASOIAF examples).

 

 Lorgar is another example of a complex villain. At first he wanted only to worship the Emperor as a god and upon conquering a planet, he would convert the local population to his newly created faith. However, worshipping someone as a god in the world of 40k unintentionally empowers the Chaos Gods as well and the Emperor was forced to stop this by massacring millions of worshippers in front of Lorgar and destroying an entire city. This caused Lorgar to lose his faith in the Emperor and he wanted something else to worship. For that reason, he was easily manipulated by Erebus and he started worshipping the Chaos Gods. He also commited many atrocities to appease the Chaos Gods (like massacring the population of 27 planets to perform a ritual which requires a gigantic human sacrifice) but he does these things because he suffers from deep insecurities and wants his efforts at worshipping to be appreciated.

 The Emperor is not exactly a villain and he is the closest thing this universe has to a hero but he is also a xenophobe who wants to slaughter all alien life in the entire galaxy and has destroyed countless civilizations and has killed trillions of innocent beings. He also regularly kills billions of his own subjects if he suspects that they are breaking his rules not to communicate with aliens and has created the Inqusition who have the authority to torture many people to death and destroy entire planets. However, his ultimate goal is to make humanity the strongest fraction in the galaxy and he genuinely cares about protecting humanity (in fact, his desire to exterminate all aliens stems from his belief that this would make humans the superior species and that all aliens are potential threat) and he also loves his sons so much to the point where when Horus tries to kill him, the Emperor refuses to defend himself because he doesn't want to harm his beloved son.

 So, there are complex villains in the world of 40k even though most of them are cartoonishly evil.

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On 10/29/2021 at 2:51 PM, WhatAnArtist! said:

Warhammer 40k's entire raison d'etre is just to be as edgy and grimdark as possible, so that's not really a surprise. But Martin's books are far better written than anything related to Warhammer 40k, so to me it doesn't really matter. I don't judge the quality of something based on how cartoonishly evil the villains are.

I would disagree. They may be much deeper than most Warhammer 40k novels, but there are quite a few series - Ciaphais Cain, in particular - that come close to Martin in terms of writing, though not necessarily in other aspects such as worldbuilding.

Also, guys who first created Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40k were history majors. Which led, ironically, to both of these being politically far more realistic than basically anything else in fantasy. Cartoonish villiany and corruption aside, Imperium of Man is actually a very good example of how a feudal society functioned - a far better example, I would say, than Westeros. Empire of Man from Warhammer Fantasy is an even better example than IoM, because it didn't go all cartoonish-evil-grimdark-derp-derp so it is even closer to historical Holy Roman Empire.

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1 hour ago, Jaenara Belarys said:

I'm not sure what you're trying to prove here......it's not a matter of how evil a villain is or is not when compared to other universes. Plus, I'm sure that if Cersei or Ramsay or Tywin had power in Warhamm 40k, they'd be right up there.

 I really doubt that Tywin or Cersei would reach the level of the abovementioned villains. They will surely be oppresive to their people but they would not commit atrocities to the same extent as the servants of Chaos, the Dark Eldar or Goge Vandire. Also, Cersei already has a lot of power in Westeros (she is literally the ruler of the entire kingdom) and despite this she doesn't really commit any gigantic massacres. She just hurts a limited amount of people that are close to her.

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5 minutes ago, boltons are sick said:

 I really doubt that Tywin or Cersei would reach the level of the abovementioned villains. They will surely be oppresive to their people but they would not commit atrocities to the same extent as the servant of Chaos, the Dark Eldar or Goge Vandire. Also, Cersei already has a lot of power in Westeros (she is literally the ruler of the entire kingdom) and despite this she doesn't really commit any gigantic massacres. She just hurts a limited amount of people that are close to her.

Do you think Cersei wouldn't sacrifice people by the millions if it gave her power?

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2 minutes ago, The Hoare said:

Do you think Cersei wouldn't sacrifice people by the millions if it gave her power?

Do be honest, probably yeah. However, the only plausible situation where sacrifing millions of people would give her power is if she starts serving the Chaos Gods (the servants of Chaos have the reputation for being the worst fraction in 40k after the Dark Eldar for a reason). Otherwise, she would just be a ruthless, scheming noble who commits political assassinations on her rivals and tortures people when she needs information but that's hardly anything special for Warhammer 40000. 

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