Warhammer 40K Fans Conflicted Over Introduction of Female Adeptus Custodes

Warhammer 40K fans have mixed opinions regarding the addition of female members of the Imperium of Man’s elite Adeptus Custodes faction.

Warhammer 40K Fans Conflicted Over Introduction of Female Adeptus Custodes


  • The introduction of a female Adeptus Custodes has caused an uproar in the Warhammer 40K fandom over the retcon of the once all-male force.
  • Games Workshop has confirmed female custodes have always existed, sparking mixed reactions from the community.
  • While some celebrate the change, others criticize the arbitrary way it was made and suggest other factions that are better suited for expansion.

The introduction of the first female Adeptus Custodes to the Warhammer 40K canon caused a heated debate to break out among fandom members. The elite faction of gene-edited soldiers has primarily been regarded as an all-male force in previous tidbits of lore, but a recently revamped codex has since confirmed the existence of female custodes. While this wasn't the first time Warhammer 40K developer Games Workshop retconned the franchise's canon, this specific change was not entirely welcomed by all members of the community.

For context, the Adeptus Custodes are regarded as one of the most powerful factions in the Warhammer 40K universe. Acting as the personal guards of the God Emperor, they have been described as the pinnacle of humanity's soldiers, overshadowing even the various Space Marine chapters in terms of military might. Previous pieces of lore notably stated that custodes from the 41st millennium were conscripted from a pool of noble-born infants, with one entry in particular specifically claiming they were sons of aristocratic families. However, the 10th edition of the Codex: Adeptus Custodes revealed the Imperium did not limit its recruitment to just sons.

A post from the official Twitter account for the Warhammer 40K tabletop game has since confirmed that there have always been female members of the Adeptus Custodes since the organization's conception. The post was met with mixed reactions. Some members criticized Games Workshop for how it introduced the female custodes and claimed there were better or more innovative ways to implement such a drastic change in the established canon. Some fans also questioned why, if there were always female custodes, were there never any mentions of them in previous stories or lore.

In contrast, others celebrated the retcon and believed it was an admirable change by Games Workshop. Several commenters additionally defended the franchise, stating that Warhammer 40K's grimdark lore was previously vague regarding whether biologically female humans could be recruited into the ranks of the Adeptus Custodes, while pointing out that the Warhammer franchise frequently changed the established lore.

Warhammer 40K's Latest Retcon

Retcons have always been one of the tools of the Warhammer 40K franchise, but the introduction of female Adeptus is notable for the heated reactions it provoked in such a short amount of time. It could also be argued – as many fans have – that the change was too arbitrary, and that several other neglected factions such as the Adepta Sororitas and the Sisters of Silence would have provided better material for an expansion.

Created by Rick Priestley Video Game(s) Warhammer 40,000: Boltgun , Warhammer 40,000: Darktide , Warhammer 40000 Mechanicus , Warhammer 40,000: Tacticus , Warhammer 40,000 Space Marine , Warhammer 40,000: Dawn Of War , Warhammer 40000: Inquisitor — Martyr , Warhammer 40,000: Deathwatch , Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader , Warhammer 40,000: Battlesector , Warhammer 40,000: Shootas, Blood & Teef , Warhammer 40,000: Gladius — Relics of War , Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate — Daemonhunters Creation Year 1987

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