12 days of winter [day 3]: Who is Hadrios?

welcome back to 12 days of winter, a daily calendar countdown towards Christmas. Each day, I’ll be posting different subjects, ranging from my own artwork, to model collection.

Today, I want to base this post on a character called Hadrios, from ‘Slaughter at Giants Coffin’ by L J Goulding. The character in question is quite mysterious, having only appear from time to time with subtle clues about him.

I hope you’ll enjoy this detective theory post on Hadrios, and who he is. Enjoy!

Warning!: this post will contain major spoilers for the Novella Space Marine Battles: Scythes of the Emperor!

What we know about Hadrios?

In the Space Marine battles novella ‘Slaughter at Giants Coffin’, there’s a character who, in my opinion, is probably one of the books most fascinating and questioning character in the story (although his side plot is a bit sketchy, but I’ll explain why in an upcoming post). Hadrios’s motives are vague, as he never fully reveals who he is and how he came to have the knowledge he has on the real fate of Sothas fall.

Below I’ve gathered some facts on Hadrios in the book, which might be worth using as evidence for theory crafting.

  1. During the beginning of the story, we see Hadrios covered in blood laughing, shaken by what he saw onboard one of the Frigates of the Scythes of the Emperor. He was the only survivor onboard. He says, as I quote the book ‘ I had to be sure’. The book then says that he had to move quickly as ‘they’ are coming for him.
  2. We later see Hadrios on Miral Prime, coming to the Veterans in the bastion, with news for Chapter Master Thorcyra. Having been denied to see the Chapter Master with news about ‘Sothas fall’ (as he was told to inform his superiors, although he had none to report to) he left. However, not before he saw a Apothecarion who he noted as being one. The Apothacarion noted on Hadrio’s name, company and squad on his notes.
  3. A massive bomb shell drops when Hadrios speaks to Captain Thracian about the fall of Sotha, and how it might not have been entirely unavoidable….. What’s more intriguing however, is his evidence to support his allegation, although we never see or know what this might be. But from what we do know in the aftermath, Thoracian was completely dismayed by what he saw.
  4. In the last few pages, Hadrios assassinates a certain members of his legion who knew him too much, having known that the marine had been gathering information on him. It’s also mentioned that he was with the chapters psyker long periods (the Psyker himself had been at one point been maddened after using his gifts to warp travel away from Kraken, after trying to help the survivors of the Scythes warp jump away with severe problems) who might, as Hadrios notes as ‘being compromised’ which he killed the marine, along with others and their cargo of geneseed . We later see Hadrios and Thoracian, Hadrios now being ranked as Lieutenant, he now has authority to rout out members of the legion suspected of working against the Chapter in secret.

Theories

First theory- He’s the traitor

Whilst he may be a major part of the revaluation of Sothas true downfall, he isn’t exactly noble or entirely trustful. He seems too clean and his actions are more complex than simply working for the greater good.

The Apothecary marine who knew too much about Hadrios was innocent, having not been revealed as a traitor nor infected by chaos and so on . He was killed on the fact that he had gathered much information on Hadrios, and soon those around that marine will be killed for assurance.

Could Hadrios be part of the Kraken, mind controlled to do as they commanded, or is he actually a double agent, working against his own chapter to rise to the top for his own agenda? Since Thoracian is a young captain, he could easily be manipulated by Hadrios to betray the chapter and risk having innocent people be killed for Hadrios’s agenda.

Why else would he be the only survivor of his Frigate, and be unscathed? And finally, who was following him? Was it the Kraken fleet coming to Mirial Prime, or was he becoming a mad man by Krakens influences?

I believe for this theory could hold some truths, we don’t entirely know what Hadrios agenda is since he’s trying to cover up his past from the chapter. Could he have caused the downfall of Sotha?

Second theory- He was truthful

What redeems Hadrios despite his actions in the novella is that he might be entirely right about Sothas betrayal. Even Thoracian believed in what Hadrios had shown as evidence to the captain, something we don’t see in novella.

Whilst his actions on the murdered Apothecary marine is tragic, it might actually have been the right course of action due to a few reasons. The Psyker was affected by the Shadow in the warp by Hive Fleet Kraken, making him hear millions of alien voices in his head. He even started to act out of character and babble on about the incoming fleet. The Psyker may have infected his allies, including the Apothecary, which could, as Hadrios pointed out as being ‘compromised’ by the Tyranids. Or compromised as in his knowledge on the betrayal of Sotha could leak out from the Psyker, which could alert the traitors that they have been routed out?

Another point is the fact that he was the last survivor on the Frigate that was rolling in the void. His reaction is a stark contrast to his controlled manner throughout the book. The fact that he knew ‘they’ were coming suggests that he knew the Hive Fleet was coming after the Scythes of the Emperor sooner or later. Why was he the only survivor? Did the spores of the Kraken kill off the crew…….or did the crew get compromised by the Shadow in the warp? Did Hadrios survive because he killed his own brothers to survive?

There are many questions left unanswered to use, and likely we won’t know about Hadrios until the next book in the series comes out. Hopefully, we’ll get some answers soon now that the universe of 40k is moving on, we may get some progression on the Scythes of the Emperor, and how the Primaris will be involved into future stories.

If you guys need sources from where I’ve gathered my evidence and information, I have a list below on what used to back up my theories:

  • Space Marine Battles: Scythes of the Emperor, by L J Goulding, published by Black Library publications.
  • Warhammer 40k 8th Edition rule book, on the Tyranids section.

If you see anything on this post that you disagree with, or any new information on Hadrios, please let me know in the comments section (I will need citations for any new information on Hadrios to prove it’s valid).

______________________________

Thank you for reading this post, if you have any questions, post a comment below and I’ll reply back as soon as I can. Thanks!

-Bjorn

Note: Scythes of the Emperor is a novella written by L J Goulding, and property of Black Library publication under Games Workshop. I’m not affiliated with said owners, and I do not own names, location, characters and fiction mentioned in this post. This post is only theory based post for fun and speculation.

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