Space Marine Quotes Wanted (For a T-shirt)

ultramarine_by_omuk-d4p997aAny devoted fan should really be geared up in suitable apparel for the day of the game.  Over the years, I’ve seen various people in photos from white-dwarf that have donned thematic shirts to go along with their army.  It came to a crescendo when I saw a local gamer, Kurt, who had made a custom Space Wolf shirt for his army.  In the past, my nerdshame would’ve prevented me from sporting such attire, but Kurt helped me to “come out of the closet,” and inspired the shirts for Arctic Apocalypse.

That’s fine and dandy for my Tyranids, but I realize that I don’t have a proper shirt to wear with my Ultramarines.  I went about rectifying this, and found a suitable logo, but saw that the price on the shirt is no different if I print on one side or two, so I thought it’d be nifty to have a good Marine quote on the back.

I scoured the internet looking for something that was relatively iconic (and hopefully recognizable), but also pretty Marine-esque.  “For the emperor” and “And they shall know no fear” are iconic, but they’re just not pithy enough for my likes.

I remember that there were some great iconic quotes from the 2nd edition rulebook and codices, but I don’t have them readily available, so I’m emploring for your help.  Quotes like:

“Some may question your right to destroy ten billion people. Those who understand realise that you have no right to let them live.” – Exterminatus Extremis


“Blessed is the mind too small for doubt.”

Though that one doesn’t seem to fit with a Space Marine theme.

So, what are your favorite quotes?  Any suggestions?  Remember, this is going on the back of a Space Marine shirt.

Image Credit: Ultramarine drawing snagged from Omuk’s Deviant Art page.  You can also find more of his work on his blog.


26 comments on “Space Marine Quotes Wanted (For a T-shirt)

  1. I couldn’t resist commenting. How about some Dawn of War quotes?

    “An open mind is like a fortress with its gates unbarred and unguarded” – Librarian
    “Even in death I still serve.” – Dreadnought

    “Heresy grows from idleness.” – Tactical Marine

    “There is no innocence, only degrees of guilt.” – Force Commander

    “Only in death does duty end.” – Menu

    “Blessed is the mind too small for doubt.” – Menu

    “Life is the Emperor’s currency: spend it well” – Menu

    “My armor is contempt.” – Space Marine

    “Hatred is the Emperor’s greatest gift to humanity.” – Menu

    “We are the Emperor’s chosen!” – Tactical Marine

    “Onward, to glory!” – Tactical Marine

    “A moment of laxity spawns a lifetime of heresy” – Terminator

    “Death or healing: I care not which you seek.” – Apothecary

    “It is better to die for the Emperor than live for yourself.” – Dreadnought

    “Today the enemy shall know fear.” – Force Commander

    “I fear no evil, for I am fear incarnate” – Force Commander

    “Venerate the immortal emperor” – LIbarian

    “While the enemies of the Emperor still draw breath, there can be no peace.” – Captain of the Blood Ravens

    “We are the Emperor’s angels of death, not his angels of mercy.” – Blood Ravens Sarge

    There were a bunch of others, but those were my favorite

    • Thanks for commenting. There are a few on the list that might work, particularly:

      “Blessed is the mind too small for doubt.” – Menu “While the enemies of the Emperor still draw breath, there can be no peace.” – Captain of the Blood Ravens

      I’d like it to be something that other 40k players would recognize on site and know immediately.

      On Wed, Feb 26, 2014 at 8:11 AM, Warhammer 39,9999 wrote:


      • Quite a few of those quotes are from 40K books originally. I don’t know the Dawn of War games well, but I recognise some of these from books going back as far as Rogue Trader.

  2. There are some really great ones out there. Here are some of my favorites:

    “Where there is uncertainty, I shall bring light
    Where there is doubt, I shall sow faith
    Where there is shame, I shall point atonement
    Where there is rage, I shall show its course
    My word in the soul shall be as my bolter in the field.”

    “What is your life?
    My honour is my life.
    What is your fate?
    My duty is my fate.
    What is your fear?
    My fear is to fail.
    What is your reward?
    My salvation is my reward.
    What is your craft?
    My craft is death.
    What is your pledge?
    My pledge is eternal service ”

    “We follow in the footsteps of Guilliman. As it is written in the Codex, so shall it be.” (I actually used this one as a lead-in for an army list last fall, where I took a codex half-company, but didn’t put it on a shirt. Just paper.)

    For Ultramar and for duty,
    For past and for future,
    For Terra and the Emperor,
    No brother falls forgotten.

    You can find the sources for the above, as well as a ton of others here:

    • Yeah, I searched all sorts of quote related sites, and there are some great ones. Are the ones you posted suitable for the back of a shirt though? I mean, will anyone ever read them? (based upon the length)

      On Wed, Feb 26, 2014 at 8:22 AM, Warhammer 39,9999 wrote:


      • The second one definitely isn’t, unless you are a giraffe/man mutant hybrid. I think for a quick shirt view, you want to stick to six to eight words.

        I know it’s a Templars quote, but you might go with “No pity, no remorse, no fear.” The challenge with shirts is that you have a block that is tall, but narrow. If you only put two words a line, it looks weird when you enter entire sentences.

        You could always steal the tagline from the Space Marine game: I Am War. 😛

      • “I am war” sounds like an awesome quote–though I’m not sure it’s applicable. That totally belongs in a movie.

        On Wed, Feb 26, 2014 at 10:08 AM, Warhammer 39,9999 wrote:


  3. it’s not that SM’y…but my favorite 40k quote comes from page 1.

    To be alive in the 41st Millennium is to know that the universe is a terrifying and hostile place. It is a place where you are but one amongst billions and, no matter how heroic your death, you will not be missed.

    or how about this

    They shall be my finest warriors, these men who give of themselves to me. Like clay I shall mold them and in the furnace of war forge them. They shall be of iron will and steel sinew. In great armor I shall clad them and with the mightiest weapons they will be armed. They will be untouched by plague or disease; no sickness shall blight them. They shall have such tactics, strategies and machines that no foe can best them in battle. They are my bulwark against the Terror. They are the Defenders of Humanity. They are my Space Marines and they shall know no fear

    • The first might be doable (though a tad long); it does a fantastic job of summarizing “grimdark.” The second is poignant, but entirely too long (I had to force myself to go through the whole thing rather than post a TLDR comment).

      Thanks for the suggestions…

      On Wed, Feb 26, 2014 at 10:51 AM, Warhammer 39,9999 wrote:


  4. I know you’ve decided you’re happy to be outed as a geek, but I think you should make sure that whatever quote passes the ‘does this make me sound like a fascist to someone who’s never heard of 40K’ test.

    Some of the (frankly, rather cool) suggestions here I think fail that test.

    “I fear no evil, for I am fear incarnate” is going to look like some dorky pop-culture reference to a random stranger who knows nothing about 40K.

    “There is no innocence, only degrees of guilt” might make you appear to be some kind of extremist. “No pity, no remorse, no fear” might even be intimidating to some people!

    Maybe you think you’ll only ever be seen wearing this at a geek fest, but if there’s a chance you might be seen wearing this in public, it’s worth thinking about how it might appear to the complete stranger who doesn’t care how much of a nerd you are, but might not like the idea of living in the same street as (someone they perceive to be) a neo-Nazi…

    • A very good point. I’ve tried to keep that in mind when going through these. Superficially, I’m ok with showing my nerd-dom, but nerdshame is a real thing, so I’d prefer something that would ideally demonstrate my nerd-dom to others of my ilk, without necessarily outing myself to the general populous.

      Then again, I don’t really expect to wear this outside of game days though, so how much should one really consider the effect of non-nerds? Hell, I wear some shirts from t-shirt hell’s “horribly insensitive” section…

      I do read into the quotes though, and if it sounds like something that’s supposed to be on the back of a “NO FEAR” shirt, I think I’ll pass.

      On Wed, Feb 26, 2014 at 11:14 AM, Warhammer 39,9999 wrote:


  5. I found some that may be helpful:

    “The enemies of the emperor fear many things. They fear discovery, defeat, despair, and death. Yet there is one thing they fear above all others. They fear the wrath of the space marines”-imperial maxim

    “Salute the great Primarch, salute the Emperor, onward to victory!”-Lord Macragge

    • That first one is too long based upon every comment I’ve made thus far, but I like it. It’s definitely in contention.

      The second has the added bonus of being Ultramarine specific, but it doesn’t have the same ring to it.

      What would you use?

      On Wed, Feb 26, 2014 at 11:29 AM, Warhammer 39,9999 wrote:


  6. I’ve finally been prompted to get out my copy of Rogue Trader, and what a corker of a quote there is on the first page! Too long, and not marine specific, but a short (the capitalised) part of it might work:

    “For more than a hundred centuries the Emperor has sat immobile on the Golden Throne of Earth. He is the Master of Mankind by the will of the gods and master of a million worlds by the might of his inexhaustible armies. He is a rotting carcass writhing invisibly with power from the Dark Age of Technology. He is the Carrion Lord of the Imperium to whom a thousand souls are sacrificed every day, and for whom blood is drunk and flesh eaten. Human blood and human flesh – the stuff of which the Imperium is made.

    To be a man in such times is to be one amongst untold billions. It is to live in the cruellest and most bloody regime imaginable. This is the tale of these times. It is a universe you can live today it you dare – for this is a dark and terrible era where you will find little comfort or hope. If you want to take part in the adventure then prepare yourself now. FORGET THE POWER OF TECHNOLOGY, SCIENCE AND COMMON HUMANITY. FORGET THE PROMISE OF PROGRESS AND UNDERSTANDING, FOR THERE IS NO PEACE AMONGST THE STARS, ONLY AN ETERNITY OF CARNAGE AND SLAUGHTER AND THE LAUGHTER OF THIRSTING GODS.

    But the universe is a big place and, whatever happens, you will not be missed…”

  7. Some shorter ones:

    “For every battle honour, a thousand heroes die alone, unsung, and unremembered.”

    “Today’s thought: Hope is the beginning of unhappiness.”

    ” ‘My will be done’ – Codex Imperialis page 1″

    Okay, so these are probably not what you’re looking for, but I found them so charming, I couldn’t not share them! What a lovely place early 40K was!

  8. My favorite 40k quote has always been “Only the insane have strength enough to prosper, only those who prosper can truly judge what is sane.”

    It was in the Rogue Trader book. I think it has made it into the other main rule books as well but I’m not certain of that.

    • Those older books definitely have the better quotes in them. That particular quote doesn’t seem to have the nobility that I’d expect of Space Marines.

      Of course, that’s really just their Imperial propaganda swaying my judgement, right?

      On Fri, Feb 28, 2014 at 5:44 AM, Warhammer 39,9999 wrote:


  9. You should do an article on Nerdshame.. I think that’s a fantastic term for it. I don’t think kids today (get off my lawn!) can empathize with it. Nerdom is “cool” now. I can get a Spider-Man t-shirt at the mall. That just wasn’t a thing, at least for me, growing up.

    • I stole the word from a guy that came and played last weekend. It seemed a perfect way to describe my feelings. Credit to Chris…

      On Tue, Mar 4, 2014 at 5:47 AM, Warhammer 39,9999 wrote:


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