Is there a definitive description of which nation/region each of the founding legions supposedly most closely resembles?

A few I think I know:

  • White Scars: Eurasia (East Asian European)
  • Space Wolves: Nordic/Scandinavia
  • Ultramarines: they match the Roman Empire culturally so Mediterranean Europe (Italy, Greece etc)
  • Thousand Sons: Persian/Egyptian
  • Death Guard: British
  • Imperial Fists: German
  • Iron Hands: Britain/Northern Europe

Are there any definitive definitions anywhere? Note I am talking about the majority of original Terran members of each legion, not the planets the primaries landed on that may or may not have matched an Earth culture.

  • 1
    I don't think the different legions/chapters are supposed to represent different regions specifically. I think they are more meant to represent cultures that are both real and fiction. Can you think of regions for Imperial Fists or Dark Angels specifically? There may be something, but I can only think of the warrior culture associated with each of them. Dark Angels are the secretive robed type, Space Wolves are the barbaric rule breakers, Ultramarines are the dogmatic rule followers, blood angels are the vampiric bunch, Imperial Fists are the siege masters, Iron hands = cyborgs, etc.
    – Odin1806
    May 7, 2019 at 20:19
  • It probably is more a conversation of homeworlds rather than the legions really.
    – NinoM
    May 7, 2019 at 20:28
  • I know that certain legions too from specific regions of earth, the dark angels are another they came from the Native American tribesmen of North America. Some may not have come from a specific region but I remember reading in a couple of hours heresy books that certain legions tended to attract a certain ethnicity of volunteer. One of the white scars books indicates the Eurasian look of most volunteers.
    – Richard C
    May 7, 2019 at 22:53
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    Hmm, this is more visible in Chapters - there are ones that are visibly taking from certain current cultures, Like Carcharodons Astra taking from Maori/Pacific Islanders
    – Yasskier
    May 8, 2019 at 20:29
  • @Yasskier the OP is asking about the founding legions, not every chapter in existence.
    – Daft
    May 9, 2019 at 8:01

1 Answer 1


There are a few threads on reddit discussing this:

What are the influences of the Space Marine Chapters?

What culture is every space marine chapter based on?

As far as I know, there has never really been any definitive list published by GW declaring the culture each Founding Legion was based on, but the general consensus seems to be:

  • Dark Angels - Medieval European knights

  • Emperor's Children - Late Roman Empire

  • Iron Warriors - Greeks

  • White Scars - Mongol Khanates

  • Space Wolves - Vikings

  • Imperial Fists - Germanic

  • Night Lords - Transylvanian

  • Blood Angels - Renaissance Italy

  • Iron Hands - Celts

  • World Eaters - Roman Gladiators

  • Ultramarines - Ancient Rome

  • Death Guard - World War 1 era German soldiers

  • Thousand Sons - Egyptian

  • Sons of Horus - Egyptian / Hebrew

  • Word Bearers - Sumerian / Armenian

  • Salamanders - African

  • Raven Guard - Native American

  • Alpha Legion - ?

Most of these correlations with real people or cultures are usually based on the naming convention for the Legion or the aesthetic of their armor.

  • Need to make a correction to this. Death guard was originally called the dusk raiders and their legion was from terra. They originated from Albania. They would be Albanian. Jul 15, 2022 at 15:33
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    The Salamanders are presumably inspired by some sort of African culture.
    – OrangeDog
    Jul 15, 2022 at 16:56

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