Warhammer 40K's Introduction of Female Adeptus Custodes Sends Community Into Disarray


Warhammer 40,000

Warhammer 40K's Introduction of Female Adeptus Custodes Sends Community Into Disarray

Abhimannu Das
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Female Adeptus Custodes are new to Warhammer 40,000 lore, officially confirmed in April 2024's 10th edition codex.
This surprised fans as Custodes were previously all male. Games Workshop says they've always existed.
The addition is debated - some like it for better representation, others see it as a controversial lore change.

The Warhammer 40K community is once again divided over the portrayal of women in the lore, particularly in the new 10th Edition Adeptus Custodes Codex. The controversy centers around a story featuring Custodian Calladayce Taurovalia Kesh attempting to assassinate the Emperor during the Blood Games.

Despite the story's quality, many fans are fixated on Kesh being referred to with she/her pronouns. This has sparked accusations of pandering and breaking lore from some factions within the community. Games Workshop's assertion on social media that female Custodians have always existed has further fueled the debate.

When Were Female Custodes Added to Warhammer 40,000?

Female Adeptus Custodes are a recent addition to the lore of Warhammer 40,000. They were officially confirmed in the 10th edition codex released in April 2024.

This came as a surprise to many fans, as previously the Adeptus Custodes were depicted exclusively as male. However, Games Workshop has since stated that female Custodes have always been a part of the faction, even though they were never portrayed in miniature form or mentioned in the lore before.

The addition of female Custodes has been met with mixed reactions from the Warhammer 40,000 community. Some fans have praised the move as a positive step towards greater representation in the game, while others have criticized it as a retcon that contradicts the established lore.

Only time will tell how female Adeptus Custodes will be received by the Warhammer 40,000 community as a whole. But one thing is for sure: their arrival marks a significant change for one of the game's most elite and secretive factions.

Why It Makes Sense for Warhammer to Have Female Custodes

There is a well-written Reddit post that summarizes all of the discourse around female Custodes. It reveals that those who claim it breaks lore often cite the 8th edition codex's use of "sons" when referring to those given up to become Custodes. Additionally, terms like "Brotherhood" might imply a male-exclusive organization. Author Aaron Dembski-Bowden's comment adds fuel to this fire, revealing his initial desire to include female Custodes but being discouraged due to the release of all-male Custodes models, which would stir controversy.

On the flip side, proponents of the possibility of female Custodes point to gender-neutral language in older Horus Heresy black books, suggesting authors might have resisted GW's male-only mandate. This suggests that while there's no explicit mention of female Custodes, the door was never firmly closed on their existence.

Taking a middle ground, it's conceivable that both arguments hold water. Perhaps the issue lies more in the execution than the concept itself. For instance, introducing female Custodes without acknowledging their absence until now feels disingenuous. A more graceful approach would involve addressing the matter head-on within the lore, providing a plausible explanation for their sudden appearance.

Ultimately, it's about finding a balance between honoring existing lore and embracing new possibilities. While the inclusion of female Custodes might ruffle some feathers initially, handling it with care and respect for the established universe can lead to richer storytelling and a more inclusive Warhammer 40k universe.

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Abhimannu is a PC esports writer at AFK Gaming. With over seven years of experience in esports journalism, he has worked on a myriad of games and their ecosystems including Valorant, Overwatch and Apex Legends.

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