Imperial citizens and the knowledge about the Emperor

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HEX the Dark
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Imperial citizens and the knowledge about the Emperor

Postby HEX the Dark » Sat Mar 10, 2018 7:24 am

Hello folks,

I have a question regarding how much the average citizen of the empire knows about the state of the Emperor.
I was wondering if they know that he's basically dead but still communicating (kinda) or if they think he's actively ruling humanity or even if he's already transcended and now a god.
Since I know that the Horus Heresy is a (very) well kept secret, I figured they should think he's alive. But on the run I couldn't come up with a source (or remember correctly) how he's seen.
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OGIHR
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Re: Imperial citizens and the knowledge about the Emperor

Postby OGIHR » Thu Mar 22, 2018 11:32 pm

I'm not an expert on the lore, but my understanding is that the Ministorum goes out of their way to insist upon the Emperor's godhood, and exterminate anyone (other than Space Marines) who even suggest that he could have been anything less than a god.

But I could be wrong.
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HEX the Dark
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Re: Imperial citizens and the knowledge about the Emperor

Postby HEX the Dark » Fri Mar 23, 2018 1:36 pm

That's true - everything else would be heresy - but the question is if he is believed to be god incarnate and actively ruling the Imperium, or if he's seen as a transcended god.
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BarnOwl
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Re: Imperial citizens and the knowledge about the Emperor

Postby BarnOwl » Sun Mar 25, 2018 4:40 am

It very much depends on where in the Imperium you are. It also depends on time period, but I’m guessing that you want to know of the “present”, so I’ll focus on that. Disclaimer: I do not know much about the 8th edition lore, but I don’t believe that knowledge on this subject has changed with the new edition.

Beliefs vary greatly from planet to planet, and some don’t even know that such things as Terra and the Golden Throne exist. When converting new worlds, the Ministorum usually tries to make the belief in the Emperor fit into the local, established religion and superstitions.

If the local populace used to revere the sun as a god (or believed that god was within the sun or something similar), then the Ecclesiarchal missionaries will tell the locals that they have actually always been worshipping the Emperor, and that the Emperor is the sun. There are some – especially among feral and death worlders – who believe this. Another example is a world where the populace believes that the Emperor is in the heart of their world, and that they must appease him by sacrificing people into a volcano. (Both are examples from the Blood of Martyrs supplement for Dark Heresy 1st edition)

Now to the Golden Throne. It is interesting to point out that the most common belief – according to my knowledge – is that the Emperor exists both in a physical and metaphysical world. It is believed that he sits upon the Golden Throne, but it is also believed by many that worthy Imperial citizens will sit by his side in the afterlife, which means people must believe that the Emperor – aside from sitting on the Golden Throne – also exists in a “godly realm”. Though some probably believe that the Golden Throne and the Emperor does not exist physically in our world at all, but only in some other, “godly realm”.

But let us continue. On worlds where they know that the Emperor is on the Golden Throne on Terra, things vary greatly, just like on worlds who do not know of those things. I do not know specific examples, but I will put forth some likely scenarios.
- Most probably believe that the Emperor has always been and will always be a god. It is a common belief that the Emperor is eternal. He just chose to walk amongst mortals to unite mankind during the Great Crusade. Then, he re-entered his “godly realm”.
- Others might believe that the Emperor was a phenomenal human who ascended to godhood after the Great Crusade, but as has been mentioned earlier, this seems to border (if not cross into) heresy, so I am not sure if this belief is accepted.
- Some might believe that the Emperor will return in humanity’s hour of need.
- Others might believe that the Emperor – during his existence amongst mankind – was disappointed and therefore left them, and that he will only return when humanity has proven worthy.

The latter part of this reply is mostly speculation, but still grounded in my knowledge of Warhammer 40k lore.
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