I want to prefix this by saying I don't know a whole lot about the Warhammer 40k universe. The following post may contain significant heresy.

The Emperor of Mankind has sat on his Golden Throne for 10,000 years and continues to show more and more signs of physical decay. While the sacrifice of 1,000 psykers each day helps keep his mind alive it does little for his physical condition. The Golden Throne helps maintain the Emperor's body, but it is now beginning to break down and the specialized knowledge of how to maintain it has long been lost. All of this makes for a bleak disposition regarding his health.

Still there are brief signs of life. One of the Emporer's Primarch's, Guilliman, once had an audience with the Emperor behind closed doors. While no-one can actually verify what was spoken of the fact that there was communication suggests the Emperor's may yet be healed.

Heresy or not, if there anything that can be done to heal the Emperor of Mankind? Is there any evidence that the Emperor would benefit from more sacrificed psykers? Has there been any signs the Tech-Priests of the Mechanicus could fix the Golden Throne? I'm looking for hard evidence of even minor successes or, in 40k fashion, is the Emperor's prospects 100% doom and gloom?

Lastly, if the Emperor were to die is there any evidence he could be reincarnated in a similar way he was brought into existence millennia ago?

  • 11
    I think that if you're looking for any hope that things can get better you're probably reading the wrong books. :D
    – DavidW
    Commented Aug 29, 2022 at 21:48
  • 6
    @DavidW - Who says that things would get better? The God-Emperor is basically space Hitler.
    – Adamant
    Commented Aug 29, 2022 at 21:49
  • 4
    Do you think that anyone has tried CPR yet?
    – Daishozen
    Commented Aug 29, 2022 at 22:03
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    I dont think this question can be answered, in universe or out of universe, because GW changes the lore so much when needed - for example, we know that mankind has lost the ability to invent new stuff (big part of the current lore, the need to hunt down STC templates to re-introduce old tech rather than come up with something new) but also we know that a single Tech Priest in Mars can come up with new Space Marines and new equipment for all those Space Marines without anyone ever knowing... So the Golden Throne might fail or it might be fixed, as might the Emperor. Depends on what GW wants.
    – Moo
    Commented Aug 29, 2022 at 22:22
  • 3
    I like the lore that suggests the Orks psychic gestalt is what's keeping the golden throne going so that the emperor stays alive so the Orks can have a big fight with him one day. So, to answer your question: more Orks! Commented Aug 30, 2022 at 19:38

4 Answers 4


Disclaimer: This is my personal opinion. To the extend of my knowledge, GW never officially stated any way to revive the Emperor. Until they do (and with that basically bring back the Emperor), it can only be an opinion.

It has not been that anything has been discussed between Guilliman and the Emperer, I personally have my doubts that any conversation took place. The reason for that being that the Eldar tried to talk to him psychically, with no success.

From the book Throneworld:

They were so close to their goal. Lhaerial could feel the lessening of the Palace’s psychic defences. They were nearing the centre of the wards. She called out with her mind to the Lord of Man. There came no reply, but lines of Adeptus Custodes running at them. The great gates were far away. For a moment her heart faltered. She could not succeed. But she must try.

Copied from this reddit article

Could be that the Emperor did not want to answer but the question arises why he did not communicate during 10000 years to any of his most loyal servants he likes most (Custodes) and then suddenly talks to Guilliman.

As for your question if he can be healed, look at different ways:

  1. Current human technology
  2. Other sources of human technology
  3. Xenos technology

Current human technology

With the current human technology, it is probably not possible to bring back the Emperor. Even worse, they currently have problems keeping the Golden Throne running.

By late M36, the Golden Throne began to require more and more sacrifice of Psykers to remain functional. By early M41, four times the amount of Psykers were required to maintain optimal power levels of the Throne. In the last year of M41, Techpriests discovered failures in the mechanisms of the Golden Throne that are far beyond their ability to repair.

From the Lexicanum article on the Golden Throne

So, humans are currently not able to revive the Emperor. He'd probably not be sitting on the Golden Throne otherwise (duh).

So, let's look at

Other sources of human technology

The first coming to mind is an STC. Given that STCs are artificial intelligences with the whole mankind's knowledge at their peak, it could be argued that if human technology were to be able to save the Emperor, it should be contained within an STC. To the question if a full STC is still available, I'd argue yes.

It is AFAIK rumoured that the Speranza has a, dormant, AI and not only an advanced Machine Spirit. But more importantly, I think the Emperor has (and used) an STC. The reason for this is from the book Deliverance Lost. Corvus Corax walks into a room with hundreds if not thousands of ancient relics. It is, in my opinion, logical to assume that if the Emperor could salvage parts from the first warp capable space ship, he'd have an STC.

Given the name of the place, Corax had expected to see lines of battle honours and banners, displays of armour and weapons lining the walls. Instead there were many glass cabinets varying from those small enough to fit in Corax’s palm to some the size of battle tanks, arranged in rows across the hall, each containing an object from across the galaxy and dating back centuries, millennia, tens of millennia. Stepping up the nearest cabinet, Corax stooped to examine the contents. He felt a tingle of static and heard the faint buzz of a stasis field generator. Enclosed within was a small circuit board, its function unknown. On the stand below, a small steel plate etched with plain text revealed its importance: Navigational Circuit from the first warp-capable starship Corax stepped back in surprise. Intrigued, he turned around and found himself looking at the skeletal form of a wheeled vehicle, barely large enough for a normal man to sit inside. Its balloon tyres made up the greater part of its bulk. Corax stepped up to examine the title plate. Titan Rover The primarch was not sure what to make of it. It certainly looked like no Titan ever produced by the Mechanicum, which were towering war machines tens of metres high. He looked more closely at the vehicle, but could not see anything that might be a weapon mount. With a grunt of confusion, he moved on, eyes passing over various technological artefacts and coming to rest on a glass tube filled with a pulsating liquid coloured a deep blue, located about a dozen metres further down the hall. The words beneath, though written in Imperial Gothic, might well have been an alien or lost language, for all the sense Corax could make of them. Mendelian Eukaryotic Genesis Formula Raking his fingers through his hair, which had slipped across his face, Corax straightened, bringing something else into his eyeline. It was a small cabinet, less than half a metre to each face, but its positioning on the central aisle seemed to mark it out as of particular importance. Within was a broken piece of pottery. It was utterly unremarkable, shattered into eight curved shards of crude unpainted clay, marked with fingerprints and dents. Piercing the parts together in his mind, Corax worked out that it was a bowl of some kind. He heard the whisper of the doors opening and turned back to see Malcador entering the hall, striding with purpose. His face was flushed with blood, his eyes bright and alert. ‘What is this place?’Corax asked. ‘What manner of victories are celebrated?’‘The most important kind,’said the Sigillite, joining Corax beside the shattered bowl. He pointed with a skeletal finger at the contents of the cabinet. ‘One of the first pieces of pottery ever made by human hand.

He probably did not have it on Earth and hid it very well, thus it has not been found. But I think it should be around and he used it when he armoured the Space Marines. The reason for this comes from a book where Horus meets other humans and they had an STC (or only part of it) and it created similar armour as the Space Marine have.

As for the Xenos

There are currently two xenos factions that could maybe bring back the Emperor: Eldar and Dark Eldar.

The followers of Ynnead brought back Roboute Guilliman and, should Ynnead want it, could maybe bring back the Emperor. It certainly would be the best chance to revive the Emperor. Not only heal his body but also his soul from millennias of torture on the Golden Throne.

On the other hand, Dark Eldar Haemonculi should have the knowledge to heal the Emperors body. In "Path of the Archon" (if I remember correctly), a Haemonculi revives an Archon after centuries. It should therefore probably be possible for a gifted Haemonculi to heal the Emperor.

I see no other xenos faction that would have the knoweldge or psychic power to revive the Emperor (probably the Old Ones, but they're extinct).

  • An excellent and comprehensive answer. Thank you. I did not realize that the Imperium of Man was already sacrificing more psykers to fuel the throne, and it the idea that there are yet-undiscovered STCs provides a sliver of hope for his recovery
    – PausePause
    Commented Aug 30, 2022 at 19:49
  • @PausePause No idea whether it's still canon, but Charles Stross' "Monastery of Death" (available in the "Deathwing" anthology) has a functioning STC library as yet undiscovered by the Empire.
    – G_B
    Commented Dec 1, 2023 at 6:16

There is a heretical part of the Imperium that believes, should the Emperor be allowed to die, that he will be resurrected again. Some believe the Throne is stopping him from ascending to god hood and that the belief of the imperium would make him the 5th chaos god.

So there are certainly, within the 40K universe, those who believe he can be healed but to do so he must first of all die.

In fact there are some who believe the Dark Angel Cypher is destined to complete this very act.


To the extent of my knowledge, there is no hard evidence about Emperor's of Mankind short term health. It's been obvious that he's decaying and that's a problem that no one knows still how to solve (if it's possible to solve it).

The fact is that GW novels are written by numerous different authors, and that can guide to lots of non-canon information. I mean... obviously there are people behind the main decissions on the narrative arcs, and I'm quite sure that a couple of ppl at GW know for sure what is going to happen on the long term. However, while we reach that far(?) future, different authors with different knowledge and involvement in the canon definition are writting new tittles. On those tittles any character could bring a new clue, rumor or idea about what could happen to the Emperor, but this doesn't mean that in the end, that is what is going to happen.

The future of the Emperor is a big question on GW lore, and talking about a company whose canon can (and definitively does) create new games or make important changes to those already existing, being those games the main income source of the company, I'm quite confident we'll not know anything for sure until the last iteration of the W40k game rules completes it's natural life expectance (or until a serious game changer enters the market).

There's surely a roadmap written on a chalkboard in a GW office deep down their HQ, probably with several different possibilities about this situation, and probably very few people knows nowadays what is written on that chalkboard and which option would become on the end.

  • I do know that GW issues (among others) one limitation to their authors for lore and books - "do not change the status quo on the Emperor". As far as Im aware, its not even discussed internally - the Emperor "is" and will "remain as is" with no change. When GW needs a massive change in the universe, then it will probably be discussed - but even then, they managed that with Guillimans return and the introduction of Primaris, and we have another loyalist Primarch returning later this year as well. More than enough to drive major universe changes without affecting the Emperors situation.
    – Moo
    Commented Aug 30, 2022 at 23:48
  • Also remember that the lore has massively changed over the past 35 years - what is lore today often contradicts what was lore when I was a kid into it, so Im not quite sold on the "a couple of ppl at GW know for sure what is going to happen on the long term" aspect.
    – Moo
    Commented Aug 30, 2022 at 23:49
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    Until such a time as GW decides to do to the 40K universe what they did to warhammer :)
    – Richard C
    Commented Oct 11, 2022 at 16:17

Barring the technological psychic ability to resurrect the emperor, there are still two roadblocks to reviving him. The first of these is that, with the emperor off the golden throne, there will be no one to power the Astronomicon, and no will to direct it through the warp. The second is a bit more challenging to deal with. Through the past 10000 years, while the emperor has sat on the golden throne, his mind has splintered into many pieces, some great and some small. In order to restore the emperor to his former glory, the imperium would need to restore his fractured mind first.

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    Hi, welcome to the site. You could improve this answer by adding relevant quotes and citations from the source material. Commented Nov 30, 2023 at 18:36

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