Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Fact or Fiction: Belial

Welcome to a new segment of the blog, where we shall be analyzing different personal from the 40k universe and comparing them to their real life counter parts.
Todays special guest is : Belial
As we all know Belial is a member of the Dark Angel chapter, or even legion as one might say. He is currently the Grand Master of the Deathwing, which is the equivalent of 1st company captain in any other codex.
Belial was promoted to the Master during the Black crusade of Furion, a Khorne chaos lord. Belial was able to defeat the lord in single combat and for that was awarded the sword of silence by none other than Azrael himself. This was to be his first step on rising through the ranks.
The final challenge to Belial came in the shape of the green tide on the world of Piscina. It is here that Belials greatest triumph shone through the darkness. With only a handful of forces, Belial was able to hold Piscina from an ork Waaaagh! However this was no ordinary Waaaaagh! as it was led by 2 insidious orks : Ghazghul and Nazdreg.
Belial managed to beat back Ghazghul in single combat after sustaining tremendous injuries, and outsmarted the warboss at all turns after that. If not for Belials stubborn and tactical nature , Piscina would have fallen long before, any aid would have arrived. It is said that Ghazghuls hatred for Belial burns as much as it does for Yarrick, and that Ghzaghul is plotting his revenge for the humiliating defeat at Piscina at the hands of Belial.
In Reality
Belial is one of the 4 Princes of Hell and a Demon in many different religious cultures. The name itself has a negative connotation as it would roughly translate into "worthless" or "without price". This would seem to coincide with the belief that Belial is the weakest of all the 1st company captains out there (game wise).
In one of the dead sea scrolls, the name of Belial is mentioned.
"But for corruption thou hast made Belial, an angel of hostility. All his dominions are in darkness, and his purpose is to bring about wickedness and guilt. All the spirits that are associated with him are but angels of destruction."
This would seem to indicate that there is a connection between the religious aspect and that of the 40k universe. As seen above all his dominions are darkness , one could say that this refers to the mission of the Deathwing, and the fact that none beside the inner circle are aware of it, it is not an evil darkness of malice, but that of secrecy.
Next we see mention of Guilt, yet another theme that is no newcomer to the Unforgiven. As the Dark Angels feel guilty for what happened on Caliban 10000 years ago they still seek absolution, and Belial as the leader of the company whose sole purpose is to absolve, is shown in the Dead Sea Scrolls as the persona whose job it is to instill Guilt.
"Also in The Dead Sea Scrolls is a recounting of a dream of Amram, the father of Moses, who finds two 'watchers' contesting over him. One is Belial who is described as the King of Evil and Prince of Darkness."
Its interesting how there is mention of watchers in this religious work, and how there is comparison to the actual "Watchers in the Dark" from the Dark Angel fluff.
Finally there is mention of angels of Destruction, another ironic coincidence as in most Black Library novels, that include space marines, this term is use to describe them
In the testament of twelve patriarchs , Belial is shown as an anarchic force, so potent that it is compared to that of God. In this work humans are given a choice to either follow the Laws of God of the Works of Belial, it may perhaps be another form of representing the contrast between Good and Evil, Guilt and Absolution, Law and Chaos.
In another work "Ascension of Isiah" we see that Belial is mentioned as the Angel of lawlessness. This once again is portrayed in the concept of the Dark Angels, and the Grand Master of their first company. It is no secret that the Dark Angels will tolerate any cost to retrieve the fallen, and so on many occasions have broken ethical and moral conducts of imperial law. Once again we see similarity in the character of Belial and his supposedly patriarchal figure of the real world.
Finally after a relatively long time of digging up, i was surprised to find that Belial also appears in some of the current frowned upon religions of today. In the Satanic bible Belial is prince of the north crown of hell. In this interpretation his name translates to "Without a master" and as we know the Deathwing are a fully self sufficient unit that has been known to operate without any commands of the inner circle. Belial is supposedly the champion of Humanity and represents true self individualization and base urges of humans as shown to us by his will to be absolved of sin as an unforgiven. As with all Angels and Demons, Belial seems to have his own agendas, but always these are coinciding with the self’s of men.
Verdict: Fact
Reason: There are many Elements of scripture and multiple religions found within the concept of Belial, however they all point to either an Angelic beeing, or a beeing that has fallen. It is no doubt that belial was based on this concept


  1. Change the text to white so we can read it!!!

  2. There, I fixed it. Although I am pretty sure Alex did it on purpose. He realises that DA are a cryptic and mysterious chapters so their doings shouldn't be read by the weak minded!

  3. Interesting theme for posts, I look forward to the rest.

  4. Yes, this is going to be an epic series. I am waiting for Gargamel's cat now!

  5. Good post! Look forward to your interpretation of the Minotaurs from Badab War.

  6. Very interesting take on the character.

  7. I'll second the request for Gargamel's cat; he was always my favorite DA.

    (Cute joke there, Anti-pope).

  8. I thought to make that reference since Smurfs are all the rage these days with the horrible, horrible movie and everything. By the way, what kind of sick person name a cartoon cat after the angel of death?

  9. So that means that the name of the Angel of Death in Greek is Ψιψινέλ?

  10. Looks like you had your 'Sunday Best' on when you wrote this post. I hope you don't mind me giving you a shout out in a my top 3 series called Sunday Best over at my blog. Cheers and thanks for sharing.

  11. thank you very much Panda. It is an Honor