Hammer and Bolter 12


settings scifi warhammer

I've been watching the Hammer and Bolter animated series on Warhammer+, and I'm reviewing each episode as I watch it. There may be very minor spoilers, but ideally no more than you'd get from the episode description.


Another surprise Age of Sigmar episode. I really wasn't ready for so much Sigmar from Hammer and Bolter, and I wish they'd interspersed these seemingly random diversions a little better.

This episode, like the one before it, landed a little flat for in terms of the plot. However, there's a strong element secreted away in this episode that I feel makes it worth watching and probably re-watching.

The episode starts with this quote:

Sigmar is a false god. The Mortal Realms belong to the Dark Gods. So it was, so it will always be. —Jorvak Brand

I thought nothing of it because all episodes start with a "flavour quote".

At some point during the episode, though, two enemies confront one another, and one of them accuses the other of being a demon worshipper.

He responds: "There are no demons. We swear our oaths to proper gods, old man. Always have. Gods that give us strength."

It's a brief conversation, but it says so much about the Warhammer settings. That's the perpectual state of Warhammer: it's a matter of perspective. And it's not a matter of perspective to see the one side that's "right". it's just a matter of perspective to see how both sides are "right". Good is good from one point of view, and people are willing to die for it. And that same thing is the worst thing in the world to somebody else, and they're willing to die to stop it.

Wait, did I only say it's the state of Warhammer?

Good fantasy

This episode is good fantasy. Towering war machines (to say nothing of demons) against the barbarians, clashes of faith, conflict within clans. It's a rousing fantasy battle outwardly, and a raging fantasy battle internally. It's what you want in fantasy, and I'd probably score it "great" if only I understood who these characters and clans were.

Good Warhammer

This episode is good Warhammer. The battles are exciting, the culture runs deep, and the moral conundrum is front and centre.

This might even be a "great" Warhammer story. I'd like to re-watch this episode later (much later) after I've read some actual Sigmar lore.

I recognize that my judgement of the AoS episodes may be different now than they may be after I'm more familiar with the setting. It makes me wonder how the 40K episodes that came before would be received by someone unfamiliar with that setting. I'm perfectly happy with fiction aimed squarely at a specific fan base. In fact, I probably actually prefer it. I've seen too many movies made for "mass appeal" when they'd have been better off playing to their actual core audience.

On the other hand, I've benefitted from that same principle. I've never played or read anything about World of Warcraft, but I loved the Warcraft movie. As I understand it, though, most WoW fans were disappointed in it. I guess sometimes you're the mass, and other times you're the appeal. With the 40K episodes, so far, I've been the right audience. I feel like I'm missing something from the AoS episodes, and I'm really eager to revisit them after doing my homework.

All images in this post copyright Games Workshop.

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