Could a space marine father a child? I haven't been able to find any canonical answer either way. I've found hints that it may be possible, but a lot of people seem convinced it's not.

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    Could they father a child? Maybe. I'm not aware of any castration process in the change from human to Space Marine. That said, they are warrior monks so I don't know that they would father a child. I recall a bit of fluff in one of the books (from 3rd ed?) that detailed the average Space Marine's schedule when he wasn't out on a mission. IIRC, between the praying and the training they had all of about one hour of "personal time" - and no nearby women to speak of.
    – Steve-O
    Commented Feb 23, 2017 at 16:27
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    @Steve-O: you're thinking of the Space Marine's recommended schedule as dictated by the Codex Astartes which is held to by the Ultramarines and many (possibly a majority) of other SM chapters but is by no means a universal truth. Most of the other significant chapters are not Codex-compliant in many ways. The Space Wolves for instance are known for throwing great feasts and such in the manner of stereotypical norsemen rather than cloistered monks. It's also not necessarily a given that the multitude of serfs who support SM chapters will be male.
    – Carcer
    Commented Feb 23, 2017 at 17:56

3 Answers 3


We just don't know

This is never directly addressed by Games Workshop or the Black Library.

Space Marines probably could, but loyalist marines almost defintley wouldn't.

Chaos chapters would be a different story though, especially those who worship Slaanesh. The Emperor's Children for example, really do enjoy sex.

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    One more reason why the Emperor's Children are the only legion worth endorsing.
    – Warpstone
    Commented Feb 24, 2017 at 4:34
  • Canonically, only the Space Wolves aren't virgins.
    – OrangeDog
    Commented Jun 13, 2023 at 14:10

They (probably) can't reproduce with humans

Space Marine DNA is just too different to normal human DNA, so there is no chance to reproduce the natural way with human woman.

Regarding sex - Marines CAN have sex and almost all of them are simply beyond that need - I remember in one book marine was taking regular showers with female warrior and completely couldn't understand her advances (he later mentions that he was simply conditioned to not feel desire), but was still finding her attractive "like you find dangerous animal or weapon attractive". The only loyalist marines that DO have occasional boink are Space Wolves, who drunk with their mead sometimes take Fenrisian women (because women form any other world would be too fragile).

Regarding Chaos Sp ace Marines - yes, Slaneeshi do enjoy sex (and thousands other pleasures), but again the purpose of it is not reproduction.

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    Out of curiosity: is there any source that says that Space Marines' DNA is so different that they cannot breed with humans? It is clearly stated that Space Marines are no longer humans, but we have been knowing for some times that interbreeding between Homo Sapiens and Denisovans and Neanderthals was a thing. On the other hand, contrary to many other space operas (Star Wars, Star Trek, Stargate,...), they seems to be no hybrid race in W40k.
    – Taladris
    Commented Feb 6, 2020 at 8:20
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    @Taladris In "Ultramarines omnibus" a two-headed psychic mutant girl tells Captain Uriel Ventris that "genetically, she is far closer to a human than he is". The same series also mentions a Chaos leader, who is supposed to be part-xeno. But in general, neither Warhammer Fantasy nor WH40k doesn't have have hybrids (half-eldars, half-elves etc).
    – Yasskier
    Commented Feb 6, 2020 at 18:39

I seem to remember that the Salamanders chapter had wives and adopted children.

I think they must mean they can surely enjoy a woman's company. Perhaps there is no real sexual desire since energies and hormones are sublimated and redirected to maintain other astartes physiology.

But it's probably closer to when you make a Liger from a Tiger and Lion. Ligers are usually sterile. It's probably not impossible for Astartes to reproduce the traditional way, since life can find a way, just very unlikely.

An Astartes's only real children are the next aspirants who receive his gene-seed. And I doubt an apothecary would be sharing who receives whos gene-seed with the general chapter population.

  • Hi, welcome to SF&F! You're talking about wives and sex, but not providing evidence about whether or not the Astartes themselves are sterile. Please make sure you're addressing the question that was asked, and please provide evidence for your claims.
    – DavidW
    Commented Jun 7, 2023 at 22:39

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