It has been a while since we were last able to do an episode of “Unsolved Mysteries,” our series wherein we ask creators to take us on a journey into the deeper and more mysterious aspects of their created universes (our most recent episode was about the unsolved mysteries of Mortal Kombat). But we had an opportunity fall into our laps that was just too good to pass up, though unlike our past couple of episodes, this one isn’t (entirely) about video games.
This time, we’re sitting down with author Dan Abnett to discuss some unsolved mysteries of the dark far-future Warhammer universe—and man, did he deliver.
Questions for the question god
We fielded our questions from a variety of places, including the /r/Warhammer40k and /r/40kLore subreddits, which resulted in what might generously be described as a lot of material. We were a little nervous about asking Dan to go through almost a dozen pages of far-out 40k geekery, but Dan—whose blessed pen is clearly guided by the will of the Emperor himself—laughed at our giant list and then more or less tore through all of them.
No topic was too esoteric and no reference was too obscure. As the author of literally dozens of 40k novels and comics, Dan is a walking encyclopedia of technical and character knowledge about all things grimdark—from which legions are best, to the mystery of the missing Primarchs, all the way to the true nature of the Golden Throne and the Emperor’s physical form. We just kept asking stuff, and he just kept answering. The resulting video is almost a half-hour long!
Along the way, Dan also had a lot of thoughts about how storytelling works in a setting as complex as 40k, and we hope to have Dan back again in the future for a more general discussion and workshop on large-scale writing and character development—because he’s just so damn good at both. (If you need something 40k-related to chew on in the meanwhile, you could always go watch some Astartes!)
On our next episode…
But what if Warhammer isn’t really your speed? What if you’re looking for something a little more down to Earth—a little more human? Our next episode of “Unsolved Mysteries” is in the can and being edited even as you read these words, and it’s pretty ambitious. You might say it’s a quantum leap over our previous episodes. We’ll have it ready to go in a couple of weeks.