Are the Alpha Legion Loyal to the Emperor?

Are the Alpha Legion loyal? The Alpha Legion are, at least on the surface, are Traitor Astartes. They openly sided with Horus in the Heresy, and even took part in the drop site massacre.

There is no denying that they betrayed their brothers in the other Legions. However the Alpha Legion are a duplicitous bunch and some of their actions before, during and since the Heresy have proven to be contrary to this commonly held view.

Alpha Legion loyalist?
Are Alpha Legion loyal? Alpha Legion Faceless Lord

What does loyalty look like to the Alpha Legion?

The first thing we need to discuss, is what does loyalty look like to the Alpha Legion, much like the Legion itself, its complex.

I believe it can be summed up in three different types:


There is no arguing, these guys hate the Emperor, the Imperium and all it stands for. They resent it and work to weaken it at every opportunity. They are probably on the verge of turning to Chaos if they haven't already. Warbands that fit into this:

Loyal to the Imperial Truth

Warbands under this category hate what the Imperium has become. It sickens them that the Emperors vision for a secular Imperium, with no superstition or gods. They trust in progress, progress and the right of Humanity to rule the Galaxy. They actively oppose the current day Imperium, believing it has become corrupted and lost.

Some might be loyal to the Emperor and others might even actively try kill the Emperor given a decent chance.

As they believe he, himself, has lost his way and stands as a beacon to everything the Imperium represents.

They also don't trust the Chaos gods, and others who so easily turn to their sway. However, if times get desperate, the warp is a weapon like any other.

Loyal to the Emperor and the Imperial Cult

These guys worship the Emperor as a god, they consider themselves loyalists to the Imperium, though in a weird twisted logic. They may act against the Imperium in ways that will strengthen it in the long term

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Other things to consider are their appearance, for the most part. Are often depicted with little to no physical corruption. This chaos markings are minimal if none existent on their armour. Though all types of Alpha Legion may resort to using the warp to survive or in critical situations.

They also treat their human counterparts with respect. While not to the extent of the Salamanders, they, for the most part, don't appear to wan to enslave humanity to chaos like many other legions and renegade chapters. They may see humans as tools, and may dispose of a human without hesitation if they think they have been compromised. But they also don't appear to be cruel to their human assets.

This to me, is an indication that the Alpha Legion understand humanity's role in the galaxy.

Are the Alpha Legion loyal?
Alpha Legionaries fighting alongside traitor guard. But are the Alpha Legion loyal to the Emperor secretly.

So are the Alpha Legion Loyal?

Where do the Alpha Legion stand? Well, in typical Alpha Legion style, across the full spectrum.

While on a per warband basis the Alpha Legion can be a mix of loyalties. It appears most of them, when united in cause and guided by a capable leader, appear to be loyal to the the ideals of the Imperium pre-heresy.


Why the Legion sided with Horus in the Heresy we might never know. However there are some running theories.

In Legion, the Alpha Legion are approached by the Cabal to aid them in destroying Chaos. The Cabal offered the Alpha Legion two possible futures:

  • One in which the Alpha Legion aid them in destroying humanity so that Chaos Wins the heresy. But in its victory would consume humanity rapidly and become starved, destroying itself within a few hundred years. Leaving humanity destroyed but the Galaxy and all other species, free from Chaos.
  • Another where the Alpha Legion remain loyal to the Emperor and, would lead to the destruction of everything as the war becomes dragged out and Chaos consumes reality.

But what if there was a third option, where the Alpha Legion side with both Horus and the Emperor, working both sides to pull the necessary strings. To orchestrate a future where neither chaos, nor the Imperium achieve total victory. This, I believe is the route they took. Where Chaos isn't destroyed totally. The Emperor 'survives', but is no longer capable of destroying Chaos outright and humanity persists.


There are a number of moments during the Heresy that could back these claims up.

At the outset of the Heresy, the White Scars, then undecided as to their loyalties meet the Alpha Legion head on in a fleet engagement. While at first the Alpha Legion appear to be hostile, through their actions the White Scars are delayed just long enough that they receive a critical message that leads Jaghatai khan to side with the Emperor.

In the last moments of Alpharius life, he is duelling Rogal Dorn and moments before he is struck down, Alpharius tries to say something to his brother. Dorn unfortunately is not willing to listen and strikes him down, what he had to say we may never know. It could be to gloat, to taunt, or perhaps to impart some vital information to Dorn.

During the final stages of the siege of Terra, an Alpha Legion operative aids John Grammaticus, even against other Alpha Legionaries, which leads to John eventually assisting the Emperor in the final battle on the vengeful spirit.

During the same moments with John, the Legionary is sent to activate a hidden stash of Legionaries hidden under the Imperial palace to aid the Emperor and fight the traitors. Unfortunately a counter operation is also in progress to use those same operatives in favour of Horus, so here it seems the Legion is operating agains't itself. Which leads to our next option.

Simply Split

But what if the Alpha Legion were simply divided, one of the Twin Primarchs siding with Chaos and the other with the Emperor.

In Alpharius: Head of the Hydra, it is stated that not only was Alpharius the first found primarch (another important point in the cabals prophesy). It also states that Alpharius was raised by Malcador. The spymaster of the Imperium and the right hand of the Emperor.

Omegon, the last found primarch and the twin of Alpharius, on the other hand spent most of his time in the crusade under the tutelage of Horus and became close allies. Perhaps when the Heresy started the Primarchs picked their sides based on their upbringing.


So are the Alpha Legion loyal? Perhaps not. But they do believe in the right of humans to rule the Galaxy. And, That humanity needs to shed the delusions of gods and superstition. They will stand against the Corpse Emperor. And what the Imperium has become in order to strengthen humanity against Chaos. They see the warp as a tool and will use it if necessary, but usually as a last resort. This I believe, makes them loyal to the original stated goal of the Emperor and the Imperium pre-heresy.

Whatever the Alpha Legion loyalties are, they will always be traitors in the eyes of the Imperium.