Not to mention the "Executioner" thing comes from one Wolf. Not Russ. Not the Emperor. Just Space Wolf #2456. But it's taken as gosphel.
Meanwhile, we've got Sahaal of the Night Lords thinking the Emperor OKed every horrible thing the VIII ever did, Argel Tal (pre Khur) thinks the Emperor is pleased with the way the XVII reshape the worlds they conquer, if these guys can be so wrong about the role of their Legions and the Emperor's opinion of them, why does Wolf Priest Can't Remember His Name get his belief treated as infallible writ of "Wolves is executioners. Wolves is bestest".
I've said it a few times, but Space Wolf fandom is pretty much the biggest, therefore it gets a larger amount of the most, uh, 'ferocious' fans. Some of the arguments online here and on Heresy-Online have been almost disgustingly biased; and that's the problem with some fans and their favourites. It's by no means universal, but a vocal minority object to the very notion that, somehow, it's a crime that their favourite Legion are really just as good and just as flawed as all the others.
They get it into their heads that their Legionaries are plain "better/stronger" than other Legionaries; they believe unreliable narration and in-universe dialogue as objective fact and insist the Wolves did destroy the Lost Legions (when all evidence points to the contrary); and they rail against any presentation of their Legion that doesn't show them winning/dominating their opposition. That's dangerous bias. Yet you're left with people literally angry that they're being screwed over. I've had it argued at me that I'm doing "everything I can to stop the Wolves being Executioners", when I'm the one doing the most to reinforce it, with Betrayer's opening quote, and the events of the Night of the Wolf. I just can't pretend they killed the Lost Legions, because... they didn't. It's an in-universe possibility, but as readers, we know they didn't, both because it doesn't really make much sense (why the Wolves? Really?) and because if the fate of the Lost Legions is never going to be revealed, no one would've said "The Wolves killed them"... as that's revealing it.
One day - one day
- someone will write about the Space Wolves losing a major fight. Not winning through heavy losses, or losing a battle but winning the war. Not even losing heroically and looking great as they die. I mean they'll die horribly. The Wolves will lose something major, the way every other Legion is shown to lose at least one major thing where their redeeming features don't really show through much.
I pity that brave man or woman. I really do. Because as brave as it is, they'll be eviscerated on forums. I showed the Wolves revealing the key weakness at the heart of the World Eaters; showing Angron that his Legion was broken and worthless compared to the others; that he was the one primarch who couldn't trust his own warriors, and that they didn't care if he lived or died
; showing that loyalty to brothers and sons is the heart of success for the Legiones Astartes, to the point even Lorgar makes a big deal out of saying the World Eaters and their primarch were massively outclassed by Russ, and Angron was too stupid to see the lesson Russ had sacrificed time, sweat, and blood, to teach. We're talking about a battle the Wolves won, by isolating the enemy general through pack tactics, and threatening to kill him, without a hope of defending himself. It was a balance, 50/50 - Angron overpowered Russ, and the Wolves were losing ground to the World Eaters; but Russ and his warriors had Angron by the balls, and barely broke a sweat. They won, no question. Lorgar even says: "The Wolves won, meathead."
And I still see the occasional post saying "ADB hates Space Wolves" (...I play
Space Wolves), or that "ADB made Angron beat Russ because it's a Chaos book." As if it's that shallow. Or that wholly devoid of integrity.
Part of it is that these books are read by people of all ages, and younger readers will often steer towards what's just on the surface, or show greater bias to their favourite armies. Part of it is that some people prefer things explained in textbook detail, like a codex, while inference or narration isn't their preferred way of seeing the setting. I don't judge either negatively. But even so, one day that moment will come, and I'll pray to various pantheons for that author's soul.
A lot of this comes down to so much being revealed in prose (and reviews... and therefore, in hearsay) rather than traditional codex blurbs. People take a single character's in-universe perspective as "The author thinks X" and "This means [Legion Name Here] is really Y."
Edited by A D-B, 04 March 2013 - 04:03 PM.