Who is Gav Thorpe and why should I care?


I am a professional writer and games developer, best known for my fourteen years with Games Workshop and (so far) for my Black Library novels and short stories. In March 2008 I departed GW to concentrate on my freeelance writing. So far, so good.

You can find a list of my Black Library books here. I have also written many Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 short stories, most of which can be found one way or another in the various collections and anthologies available.

In other work, I wrote the script and voice-overs for the Mark of Chaos computer game, contributed to the Hobby Games: 100 Best book and designed the fun game of Goblin feasts, Gobbos Banquet.


Work in Progress – List of Works

Published on March 17, 2008 at 11:21 am  Comments (36)  

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36 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Kurgan Ironbeard saying dung-head?
    I’ll never forgive you.


  2. You will be missed at games-workshop

    you where an idol to all us eldar/dark eldar/harlequin/exodite players out there 🙂

    and are now an idol to all the new Dark Elf players too 😉


  3. it’s brilliant to hear your coming to derby store again for malekith.

    it’s also brilliant to find fellow flashman fans around.

    I doubt you’ll remember me from the last time you were in derby, my time with you was cut short as i had to visit my dad.

    i was the one with long blonde hair, a hang over and had to go early.

    Gav – Be sure to say hi!

    i’ll love to see you again in january, i’ve a couple of ideas i’d like to pick you brains about

    Gav – Sounds ominous! Nah, just kidding. I’ll be happy to chat.


  4. Over the many year I have been involved in the Games Workshop hobby I have managed to meet you a few times (at Gamesday) and even have an Autograph or two to boot 🙂

    I was going to compose a long comment/post but decided that the last thing you needed to read was a great wall of text so I will some it up in one question.

    How do you deal with people who seem to (and I have met a few) unfairly critic your work more based on you being Gav Thorpe and not on the content on the book/codex?.


  5. … you sir… ruined this game for me


  6. I like Codex:Chaos Space Marines, I miss my alpha Legion Cultists but what the heck, they’ve merged in the new Imperial Guard Codex with the odd tentacle still present. The book/codex works nicely enough, I can put troops (I do like having lots of troops, not elites etc.) on the table and get them slaughtered for a unknown (the Chaos gods know why) reasons. You’ve succeeded there and well done. Any criticisms, NO. I’ll stick to being upset when a Rhino kills my Khorne Lord with a storm bolter, cheers Bob


  7. Thank you for posting your thoughts on the recent Chaos Space Marines Codex. While not a Chaos player myself, I particularly enjoyed your comments on being creative and playing the game for fun. Tournament play is all well and good, but sometimes it takes away from the story behind the game. I applaud your thoughts and hope new 40k players develop a similar attitude. Good luck with your new career.



    • John has got it right, the playing for fun is missing all to often. Bob


  8. G’day Gavin,

    I would like help for something. I couldn’t see a way of PMing you. Would you contact me via email.

    Either way, thank you for your time.

    Sincerely, William.


    • Hi William,

      You can contact me via dennishamster[no spam]@btinternet.com

      (delete the no spam bit!)


  9. Gav,
    It has been said many times before but once again thank you for all the hard work you and the other guys at the games dev team did on the Dark Elf book. Whilst I do still look on in envy at the Speed of Asuryan rule, (especially with my Executioner heavy Har Ganeth army) is that not what all Dark Elves do, plot and jealously want all the High Elves have? I see it as a way of more getting into the character of the army your using.

    A quick question on back ground though. Does Har Ganeth have a specific symbol or sign to represent the city? The army book shows the Kraken for Blessed Dread, Iron Talon for Clar Karond but nothing on Har Ganeth, for now I am just using the skull for my warriors, characters and cold ones.


    • Hi Brodie,

      As the City of Executioners, I would imagine Har Ganeth woud have iconography connected to symbols of Khaine. The skull you have chosen is a good one, I don’t see any problem with that at all. Blades, daggers, beating hearts, cauldrons and such would all be possible alternatives.


      • Gav,
        Cheers for the speedy reply. Thankfully the skulls from the plastic shields can stay then, save me replacing them.

        Just finished painting a brass and bone cauldron of blood too to fit the rest of my army which is brass, bone and black, hopefully no specific colours are tied to Har Ganeth as I am a sucker for doing fluffy armies.

        Also just finished reading Malekith…ridiculously awesome.

        Wondering if it would be possible to actually send you the army list at all for any thoughts?

        All the best.


  10. You ruined codex chaos by taking so much of the fluff out. I hope you lament this fact


    • Khorne get over it.

      The dex opened up more customisation towards armies, my Iron Warriors are no less powerful without looted basilisks and Warsmiths…as for fluff make your own around the army your building.

      Read Gav’s piece on his thoughts around the Codex: Chaos Space Marines and you will see why.



  11. Hey Gav, just reading through the old Harlequins codex you did a good few years ago. Have you ever thought of doing anything else in this field? Possibly another “experimental” codex?


    • I don’t have any plans for any GW-related games dev, official or otherwise. Have been tinkering around with other things in my (limited!) spare time though.


  12. Hi Gav,

    I just quickly read your note on Mechanical Hamster. Unhappy to hear you have parted ways from GW, but glad to hear your own freelance is going well.

    Just wanted to say that being a Dark Angels fan, I loved Angels of Darkness. I’m from Australia and about 5 years ago I bought my very first Black Library book whilst visiting Ireland and England at the GW store in Dublin on the river (that’s how much your book imprinted in my head! 😛 )

    Anyway, I loved the book and now own several BL novels and continue to buy more. Although you have parted ways with GW, is there any way you would freelance write another Dark Angels novel (either linked or stand alone from Angels of Darkness) in the future? I really hope you would at least consider this as I would definitely pre-order it! Please at the very least consider it. It would mean alot.

    Thanks. And if your travels ever land you in Australia, shoot me back an e-mail as I would love to come and see you at a book release of what have you.




  13. Mr. Thorpe I just wanted to write and tell you that I love your work. I discovered the 40k universe for the first time a year ago and since then have collected and read literally everything outthere and continue to grab the new stuff the instant it appears on the shelves. I’m halfway through Annihilation Squad right now, right at the part where they’re traveling through thegiant pipe toward Acheron, and I love it! From a team of incredible authors, you stand out bigtime man! Even your Old World stuff is good and I’m not a particularly huge fan of the Warhammer Old World. I read Grudgebearer and loved it! Just picked up the Purging of Kadillus this morning and I’m looking forward to enjoying it. Anyway, thank you so very much for bringing excitement and adventure into my boring, humdrum, drudgery-filled existence! Keep it coming sir and I shall continue singing your praises to all my fellow 40k nerds! (Well ok, I’m not actually going to SING them but I digress)! Take care Mr, Thorpe. You are an awesome writer!!!!!!


    • Aww, shucks… Thanks for the praise, it is appreciated. I hope you like ‘Purging’, and if you want cool Dwarfs stuff, there is a forthcoming omnibus called… ‘Dwarfs’! It features Grudgebearer, Nick Kyme’s novels, plus all the very best bits from our collaborative Grudgelore book. Plenty of 40K stuff to come too, so thank you for your continued support.



  14. Hi Gav

    Sorry to hear you’ve left GW. I was looking through some old rule books and journals the other day and couldn’t believe how much you’ve written over the years.

    but the reason why I’m writing to you is to say thank you, thank you, thank you for path of the warrior. since i started playing 40,000 back in 95 I’ve always been an Eldar fan and i think i speak for us all when i say that this book has been a long time coming. I really like to think you’ve captured the essence of the Eldar and given us a much truer insight in to there culture and back ground and not just a graceful, sleek, set of miniatures placed on the table top.

    It is a shame your not going to have any more influence on the Eldar race on the table top but i do wish you all the bast and look forward to your future Eldar works.

    Your devoted reader Brad 🙂


    • Thank you Brad. I’ve been hooked by the Eldar since WD127, and it was my privilege to be able to write a Codex on them (even though it was one of those silly, skinny ones). Being able continue in novel form is something I have wanted to do for some time and have enjoyed it a lot. Path of the Warrior has been well received, so hopefully there might be scope for even more books after this trilogy has ended.




      • That skinny silly codex was awsome. I had the chance to play a 1500pt harliquin army useing the rules you wrote in the two journals in a tournament at lenton. I Converting a vyper in to the venom (thats now in codex dark Eldar by the way) and the harliquin wraith lord! And it just annialated every thing lol. I think i only had some thing like 30ish minitures on the table and just wipped the flour with a guard army that was troop heavy. Needless to say my apponent wasn’t pleased with the giant pile of dead he fount him self with.

        Thank you once again sir keep up the great work your devoted reader

        Brad 🙂


  15. Gav Thorpe i am wanting to write a book and was wondering if you could give me some advice so if you can can you email me.


  16. In case the facebook thingie don’t work… I’ll be the translator for the ‘Crown of the blood” trilogy for French publisher Eclipse, and as I always do when working with a new writer (for me at last), I’m trying to get in touch with M. Thorpe in case I have a few questions regarding some terms.
    I’m close to 100 books/short stories collections/films making-of/whatever, having worked on novels by Robert Rankin, Clive Barker, Joolz Denby, Graham Masterton, Steven Savile, D.J. MacHale, John Jakes and Graham Joyce, amongst others, so you are in good hands. I hope. I gather. Sort of. Most indeedy. Yes, trust me. Ho-hum…


  17. Hey Gav, huge fan, really wish I had a chance to meet you in person, but I live in Scandinavia so doubt that will happen any time soon.
    Was just wondering if there was any way to get a hold of your email or any contact detail? Really interested in expressing some ideas to you, you’re a huge inspiration to me 🙂


    • Hi,

      The best way to get in touch would be via mechanicalhamster [at] gmail [dot] com


  18. I do know that the book has been out for a while, the “Angels of Darkness” I mean. I actually stumbled upon it. A chance occurrence.

    I just finished it after reading during my spare hours the last few days. Most unusual and awesome, for a black library book that is. Given the usual bolter-porn style of the many space marine novels this was unusually refreshing (the imperial guard stuff tends to be more deep and psycological). I just had to thank you in person (as personal as it can get via the internet). You made my 40k book shelf an experience richer. For the book is an experience.

    So, Thank you for the experience and Thank you for re-igniting my interrest with the Angels of Darkness!


    • happy to oblige. You’ll be pleased to hear that the story of the Dark Angels continues in Ravenwing, released next January.


  19. Hello Mr. Thorpe.

    I would like to say that I am a very big fan of Purging of Kadillus. The Ork orientated prelude was pure genius, and you did a very good job with the whole book. It had great action and was great to read.
    It even inspired me to collect Orks which is mad seeing as I am a devout Dark Eldar player!

    Anyhow, I do have a question:
    I only realised on the eleventh of August that the Black Library had a window where people could send in excerpts from short stories. Unfortunately it seems like they may not be doing this for a while, but do you know if they have any intentions to do something similar any time in the future?

    Good luck with your awesome writing and I am very eagerly awaiting Ravenwing.



    • Hi Dominic,

      Although I don’t have any exact dates, Black Library usually run an open submissions window each year, starting in the spring. Although the specifics may change, I would take the opportunity to look at the submissions guidelines for the last window and start making your plans for the next one – the format probably won’t change. You can find quite a bit of discussion on the BL submissions and competitions over at the Black Library Bolthole: http://www.thebolthole.org/forum/

      Glad you liked Purging of Kadillus, I am really pleased with Ravenwing and hope you enjoy that too.




      • Thanks Gav,

        It seems that I may have misunderstood the Black Library website. I misinterpreted them asking people not to submit ideas after the deadline as ‘we will never be doing this again.’

        I didn’t know of The Bolthole before, so that may be very interesting and useful for me.



  20. Hey Gav I just finished you novel Path of the Warrior, It was an amazing story, but the ending seems alittle abrupt, was this due trying to drive home a point that I did not catch or was it due to page limitations?


    • Not so much page limitations, although Kolandril’s story is somewhat dramatically quick due to the length of the novel. The ending is written in such a way so that the story could be continued and expanded in the later books.


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