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  • Complete Monster: Lijah Cuu, who is just as bad as the people the Ghosts fight.
    • Basically every Chaos warlord who appears in the books. If invading Chaos forces just kill you, you're positively lucky, and even being enslaved and worked to death in abysmal conditions, isn't that bad compared to some of the alternatives.
    • Meryn is beginning to shape up as one as well.
  • Crowning Moment of Heartwarming: Any scene with Daur and Elodie.
    • In 'Guns of Tanith,' Rawne has a male-equivalent moment for Defrosting the Ice Queen with Banda. Not only did he first order her not to die while he had already taken a gutshot himself, but later, he's pushing her wheelchair into the comparatively fresh outside air, which is a massive change for Rawne, considering that his usual most defining trait is being The Starscream with a dash of Jerkass.
  • Fan Nickname: Liijah Cuu is, quite accurately, referred to as Teamkill McBackstab von FethingBastard.
  • High Octane Nightmare Fuel: In Only In Death... Soric. When Hark finds him, his eyes have been sewn shut, he's laying in a pile of his own waste, and, oh yes, he's visibly rotting. While still alive. Hark helps him in the end.
    • The rest of Hinzerhaus can also get to you.
    • In Ghostmaker, Larkin stumbles across an apartment building ransacked by Chaos forces. He discovers a wall with children's dolls nailed on it, only to find upon closer inspection that not all of them are dolls.
    • Chaos' corruptive powers are downplayed for the most part in the series, but that does not make the sheer otherworldly power and horror of Chaos any less. Those humans who have fallen to the Ruinous Powers, and the worlds that they live on, are utterly horrifying.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: Like you really would kill Corbec... OH SHI-
    • Fortunately played straight with Gaunt.
  • Magnificent Bastard It may turn out that Mabbon is a quadruple agent. First he leaves the Blood Pact to join the Sons of Sek so that he could get vital inside information on Sek's holdings. Then he defects to Imperium and gives them the information necessary to perform a raid on one of Sek's research facilities and steal tons of valuable data and research. However, it's implied that Mabbon has been loyal to the Blood Pact the entire time, and the entire operation was just a ploy to get that valuable data into the hands of the Blood Pact.
  • Moral Event Horizon Lijah "That Damn Bastard" Cuu crosses it when he rapes and murders a civilian woman in The Guns of Tanith.
    • Lets face it, he leaps gleefully over it in every book since his introduction, sometimes twice.
    • There's also Meryn's pension fraud racket, taking advantage of dead Ghosts and relatives for financial gain. Not to mention leaving Costin to die in order to keep him quiet.
  • Tear Jerker: Bragg and Caffran's deaths are probably the hardest hitting.
  • Values Dissonance: The morality and attitudes of the main characters owe more to 21st century "Western society" than that of the 41st Millenium Imperium of Man, likely in order to avoid making them all completely unsympathetic. Gaunt puts up with minor heresy, rarely executes soldiers, and isn't a religious fanatic - not the kind of behaviour that is encouraged in an Imperial Commissar. More representative attitudes can be seen in Commissar Kowle from Necropolis, a Trigger Happy psycho.
    • That's only possible because not only Ghosts and numerous other regiments often display totally unbreakable morale, but the novels also downplay the threat of Chaos taint compared with a lot of other works in the setting - soldiers don't seem to be actually driven dangerously insane by seeing one Warp-horror too many, and it takes concentrated efforts on the parts of Chaos forces to corrupt large numbers of humans. So, there is no need for usual Imperial ways of keeping troops in fighting shape. That said, the Ruinous Powers are still quite potent, and the threat of Chaos corruption is brought up during and after the events of Traitor General.
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