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GW confirms there are female Warhammer 40k Adeptus Custodes

Female Space Marines are a touchy topic for Warhammer 40k fans, but a new codex reveals their Adeptus Custodes allies always included women.

Warhammer 40k female Adeptus Custodes - Games Workshop artwork showing a huge battleline of gold armored Adeptus Custodes warriors

In a move that’s predictably sparked some fan controversy, Games Workshop has released official Warhammer 40k lore text confirming that female Adeptus Custodes warriors exist – and later affirmed via Twitter responses that “there have always been female Custodians”.

A short story on page 14 of the new, 10th edition Adeptus Custodes codex introduces a character called “Custodian Calladyce Taurovalia Kesh”, and the author refers to her by female pronouns. It’s the first ever definitive confirmation from GW that the gold-clad Warhammer 40k faction – famously favored by celeb fan of 40k Henry Cavill – includes women among its ranks.

Warhammer 40k community members quickly picked up on the news after reviews of the codex began dropping over the weekend, with many questioning GW’s decision via Twitter. It responded on Sunday by tweeting: “Since the first of the Ten Thousand were created, there have always been female Custodians.”

Warhammer 40k female Adeptus Custodes - Twitter screenshot showing Games Workshop confirming there are and have always been female members of the Adeptus Custodes

It isn’t technically a lore ‘retcon’. With regular Space Marines, older GW lore texts explicitly restrict the conversion into super-soldiers to biologically male human children, meaning it’d likely have to make up new story elements if it ever wanted to justify introducing female Space Marines.

But the arcane processes used to craft their even giant-er Custodian cousins – the superlative warriors of the Emperor of Mankind‘s personal guard, first created long before the Horus Heresy – have always been left deliberately mysterious, with no such sex or gender-related rules applied.

Nevertheless, after nearly three decades of Warhammer 40k books and short stories only featuring male-presenting Custodian Guards, fighting alongside their distinctly all-female allies the Sisters of Silence, the introduction of a canonically female member of the Custodes is being seen by fans as a conscious narrative shift on GW’s part.

The change is also somewhat unusual, in that it isn’t tied to any specific changes in the Adeptus Custodes miniatures which the faction’s ‘lore’ exists to sell. Twitter user RatGirlMinis asked GW if it was producing a sprue of female Custodian heads, and the firm merely said “we’ll just have to wait and see”.

GW has traditionally made tweaks to the in-universe narratives of its tabletop armies to support and explain updates in their miniature wargame model ranges – YouTuber ArbitorIan’s recent video about Primaris Space Marines gives a helpful breakdown of that process.

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It remains to be seen whether the introduction of canonically female Adeptus Custodes characters heralds the arrival of new models to bring lady Custodians to life – or indeed whether it makes the ever-controversial idea of allowing female Space Marines any more likely in the future.

In the meantime, if you want to kitbash your own women Custodians, we can recommend the many, many female head options available in Stormcast Eternals kits for Age of Sigmar. They’re closer to the right scale than Astra Militarum equivalents, and there’s a lot of choice of brilliant facial sculpts, hairstyles, and other neat features.

You might be able to get used, unbuilt kits cheap right now, too – because many of the older ones have just been permanently retired from AoS, and Age of Sigmar 4th edition is in the process of replacing them with new kits like the grizzled Reclusians.

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