'Warhammer 40,000' Players Are up in Arms Over the "Woke" Controversy of Women Existing

Female characters are still a baffling concept, as the new "woke" controversy in the 'Warhammer 40,000' fandom will tell you.

Callie (Carlos) Cadorniga - Author

Apr. 19 2024, Published 12:38 p.m. ET

Majorkill video screenshot
Source: Majorkill

A 'Warhammer' YouTuber shares his thoughts on female Custodes

No matter what kind of game you're playing, gamers still seem to have immense difficulty wrapping their heads around the concept of ... women. In recent years, video game studios have received some backlash for perceived "wokeism" being injected into narratives. However, this apparently controversial agenda always seems to boil down to women, people of color, or LGBTQ+ folks simply existing in fictionalized universes even when they have little to no bearing on the overall lore.

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Despite some of the existing narrative issues, The Last of Us Part II was lambasted before its release by homophobic, transphobic, and misogynistic critics for its non-intrusive themes and inclusion. God of War: Ragnarok received backlash for its inclusion of Black characters in Norse mythology even though Kratos's presence already alters it entirely.

Unfortunately, this controversy has extended to tabletop games like Warhammer 40,000. Keep reading as we try to break down the "woke" controversy.

Warhammer tweet about controversy
Source: X/@warhammer

The official Warhammer Twitter responds to controversy

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The 'Warhammer 40K' woke controversy and female Custodes explained: Women in a game is apparently too complicated for some 'Warhammer 40K' players.

In 2024, the team of Warhammer creators at Games Workshop is releasing several new codexes for in-game factions, including the Adeptus Custodes, genetically enhanced guardians of the Imperial Palace in 40K's lore. Reportedly, their codex includes a passage that very explicitly states that there are women among the Adeptus Custodes.

However, the inclusion of women in this particular faction has caused controversy among players who have long believed that the Custodes were composed entirely of men.

The conversation over including women in the Custodes exploded on X (formerly Twitter), with fans becoming vocal over the earth-shattering revelation of women being included. When asked by angry fans why women were put into the faction, the official Warhammer Twitter replied, "Since the first of the Ten Thousand were created, there have always been female Custodians."

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Fans have not taken kindly to either the news or Warhammer's response, with many believing that this new fact supposedly retcons existing Warhammer lore entirely. Some have even taken the pre-existing lore behind women in other Warhammer factions as a talking point against their inclusion in the Custodes. On X, many have accused the developers of "wokeism" by including women in another established faction.

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However, many argue that the revelation of women in the Custodes doesn't actually have any meaningful impact on the existing lore. This isn't to say that their inclusion doesn't matter, but simply that women can be worked into the Custodes without disrupting any existing storylines and lore aside from fanmade notions and headcanons. Others don't necessarily have a problem with women in the Custodes, but instead took umbrage with how Games Workshop responded to the ensuing controversy.

Naturally, this argument includes plenty of back and forth with folks attempting to tout established lore for either side of the conflict. Of course, with issues like this, there's always a non-zero percent chance that male gamers are once again finding roundabout ways to put up "No Girls Allowed" signs over their favorite games.

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