Warhammer 40K’s angriest big boy is back and he’s going to fight you
Warhammer 40,000 doesn’t have a subtle atmosphere. The Imperium of Man can smash giant church-tanks together during a massive melee. This galaxy is where you could go from being pretty okay to seeing a daemon Lord casually explode in your face. Angron, also known as the Red Angel is a new way to enjoy these non-sequiturs.
The guy basically has two goals in life: be mad and beat ass, and he’s been very, very mad for going on 10,000 years at this point. Now he’s returning to the setting in a big way, along with his World Eaters clan of Chaos Space Marines, and he certainly Looks very scary and impressive, but what’s his deal, and why is he suddenly back and more violent than ever?
An uh-oh origin
Angron is one the 20 sons the Emperor of Mankind. The Emperor created 20 boys known as primarchs in order to aid him in his great mission to unify humanity. This was before the year 300.000. In fear of the Emperor, Chaos decided to set a trap and scatter his children across the galaxy on a number of planets.
Angron was raised in Nuceria, an advanced technology world where gladiatorial fighting is a common pastime. Angron didn’t get to roll with the leaders of the planet; he was one of the gladiators, and they put a powerful piece of technology in his head called the Butcher’s Nails. Angron was an empathetic, caring protector… but the Butcher’s Nails overrode his better nature and turned him into a murder machine.
Angron eventually managed to gather his fellow gladiators against their brutal masters. Finally, the Emperor appeared. Angron was then presented with the pitch by the Emperor (join me, your brothers, unify the galaxy). Angron ordered him to kick rocks. He was fully prepared to die during his rebellion. The Emperor yeeted Angron out of there, refusing to waste one of his sons’ excellent genetic material on what he saw as a failed reboot of Spartacus.
The Emperor gave Angron his own chapter of Space Marines, the World Eaters, who are built off Angron’s geneseed — initially his own cloned sons, in a sense. Angron never forgave his dad, and he went on to repeat the cycle of abuse by installing the Butcher’s Nails into each one of the World Eaters. Angron boarded the train to Daemon Station when Horus (another primarch) started the Horus Heresy that would overthrow his Emperor.
Final failure of the Horus Heresy left Emperor a broken body on the Golden Throne, and the Imperium permanently shattered. There was never peace. Angron maintained a strategy of ramming his face — or the World Eaters’ faces — into the target repeatedly. It’s not the most sophisticated strategy, but it earned Angron the favor of Khorne.
Khorne is one of the four Chaos gods, and if you’re wondering what his sales pitch is, it’s: “BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD, SKULLS FOR THE SKULL THRONE!” Khorne loves blood, war, murder, and slaughter. Khorne raised Angron up to become a frightening Daemon primarch, making them a perfect match.
Current timeline takes place in 41st Millennium. The Imperium of Man enjoys some relief after Space Marines who are daemon hunters managed to send Angron back into the Chaos realm of Warp. But with the Arks of Omen event, Angron’s back, and he’s beefier than ever. One hand is his chain-ax. His other hand? To beat the evil daemon of sin and excess, he used an iron rod. After a lot of thrashing the two became one, a sword. It’s both metal as hell and very good — in short, classic Warhammer 40K.
In the Arks of Omen event, Abaddon the Despoiler — Horus’ lackey and the Warmaster of every Chaos-corrupted Space Marine chapter — is starting yet another crusade across the stars with the Balefleet ships, accompanied by a Chaos demigod called Vashtorr the Arkifane. While Abaddon and Vashtorr are working together to overthrow the Emperor (who’s still on that throne 10,000 years later), Angron’s just kind of causing trouble. He’s stronger than ever; if you banish him, he’ll return in eight weeks, eight days, and eight hours. (That’s nine weeks total, I guess, but Chaos beings love to lay on the drama.)
Angron is an engaging character due to the fact that he began as a little boy on an alien planet and was forced to fight for survival. This is, incidentally enough, the origin story for most Space Marines. When salvation finally came for Angron, however, it wasn’t in the form of a loving, noble primarch like Roboute Guilliman. The father was cruel and abusive, and he scorned slaves that were his relatives, friends. The Butcher’s Nails still haunt him even when he’s been reshaped into a powerful, brutal Daemon primarch; he’s transcended his physical form, but the psychological effects of the Nails are so strong they’re still embedded in his mind.
The novel, the World Eaters Army Codex and the future World Eaters military codex Angron: the Red Angel will likely shed more light on Angron and his boys, but one thing’s for certain: They’re back, they’re mad, and they want to turn your skull into a chair.
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