Warhammer Wednesday(ish) – Sisters Bulletin MusingsFebruary 27, 2019
The very first Battle Sister Bulletin arrived a few days ago. Intended to keep us in the loop on the progress of their triumphant return. This first installment gave us insight into the symbology which means it’s time to over analyse and interpret…
On one hand (lol) the tool of tools that protects and over powers. Common Dark Angels symbology shows the hand holding the sword, a show of strength. Here we see the hand holding the rose or vine. Is this the dual role of the Sororitas as both protector and care giver? It’s a combination we never see in the Astartes who are purely instruments of war. Imperial Fists, Ferrus Manus, Iron Hands… always a symbol of power but never one of generosity. The Sisters of Battle protect the physical and nurture the spiritual, well, nurture isn’t quite right, violently encourage perhaps? Ultimately they are far more developed and narratively interesting than the Space Marines in this regard.
Sporting more Yonic symbology than a company of Blood Angels (no easy feat) we have our next concept sketch. It’s hard to tell with games workshop what their subconscious intent is sometimes. Do we have a symbol of reproductive power and femininity? Is this just ‘how do we represent the Ebon Chalice?’. The fiery chalice is an old one, the skulls and fleur d’lys emerging from within is… interesting. Are we seeing a manifestation of the dudebro gamer’s fear of female sexuality and empowerment?
Banner and Brazier
Just look at those banners! I guard my original Sisters of Battle sticker banners jealously because they are so good. Looks like this is a theme that will continue. That beautiful depiction of a warrior holding draped cloth in her hands screams ‘Ardent Shroud’. We also see the halo common to Imperial heroes. Then burning yonic symbols with emerging devotional icons, the birth of faith and the rise of the Ecclesiary made manifest? The braziers themselves classic the ‘Catholicism with the serial numbers filed off’ approach to Imperial faith. As to the hanging head? Who knows? I am loving the resurgence of tropes used in the Death Guard line. Gothic to the max.
Another returning classic. Being basically identical to the Lancaster Rose the ‘Order of the Bloody Rose’ borrows heavily from British history. I say history, centuries of propoganda and fiction blur the lines of truth and legend. The marrying of Rose and Sword evokes periods of conflict and upheaval in English rule. The Tudor rose then showing a reconciliation of sorts. This image alone holds the story of Goge Vandire and Sebastian Thor in its simplest form. Dragging up Shakespearean tales of twisted tyrants and valiant heroes.
There is a lot to read into in these images. On the surface it seems the themes of the past are returning with a new spin. Deeper it appears the Adepta Sororitas are unlikely to see much in the way of re-framing or modernising, old and sometimes uncomfortable tropes may remain unchallenged. We await the next installment.