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Berek Thunderfist

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Berek Thunderfist was a Wolf Lord of the Space Wolves Chapter, the previous leader of the Great Company currently led by Ragnar Blackmane.[1a][1b]

His name, "Thunderfist," came from his bionic arm, equipped with a built-in Power Fist. The loss of the arm is claimed to be the work of Kharn the Betrayer.[4a]


Berek was one of the first Wolf Lords to take an interest in the young Blood Claw Ragnar, who distinguished himself early on with his heroic actions on Fenris, uncovering a secret unit of the Thousand Sons in hiding on the planet and slaying their leader, the sorcerer Madox[2], and on Aerius, defeating the Great Unclean One Botchulaz.[3] Berek later inducted Ragnar, along with his comrades Sven Dragonfire and Strybjorn Grimskull, into Berek's Great Company.[4a]

During the Space Wolves' assault on a traitor stronghold on Garm, Berek was one of several Wolf Lords who asked Logan Grimnar for the honor of leading the assault, which he was granted.[4b]

When Ragnar was forced to cast The Spear of Russ into a warp portal, to stop Magnus the Red from being resurrected, he became a pariah among the Wolves. Other Wolf Lords might have rushed to disavow Ragnar from their Companies, but Berek supported the young Blood Claw. Although Ragnar was symbolically punished by assignment to the Wolfblade, he later returned to Fenris, and was told that he would always be considered one of Berek's Great Company.[5]

During a mass Chaos uprising in the Fenrisian sector, Berek's Great Company was dispatched to Charys, where Berek personally led a deep strike at the traitor's headquarters, which turned out to be a trap laid by the Thousand Sons. Most of Berek's Wolf Guard was killed, and Berek himself was gravely wounded by a resurrected Madox, wielding the Spear of Russ.[6a]

During the ensuing weeks, Berek lay in "The Red Dream," a coma-like state from which he could not be healed or revived, despite the best efforts of the Wolf Priests. Command fell to his senior Wolf Guard, Mikal Sternmark, who, by his own admission, was a great warrior but had no aptitude for command. As Berek himself later explained, Madox's attack had somehow trapped his soul in a place where he could not return to his body.[6b]

As the Chaos forces steadily gained ground, the surviving Space Wolves planted melta bomb charges under Berek's bier, to be detonated in the event of total defeat, to prevent his body from becoming a trophy for the Thousand Sons.[6c]

With the help of Navigator Lady Gabriella Belisarius, Ragnar led a small contingent of Space Wolves to the shadow-copy of Charys created by the Thousand Sons, to retrieve the Spear and stop the ritual Madox was conducting. During the desperate fight, Gabriella managed to hold the Spear, and use her psyker abilities to contact Berek's soul and guide him back to his body.[6d]

Berek regained consciousness in the nick of time, after Mikal Sternmark had succumbed to the Wulfen-curse caused by Madox's ritual and gone berserk inside the Imperial command center. Despite the curse, Berek told his Wolf Guard to stand down and remember his oaths to his Lord, and Mikal obeyed. Berek then contacted Strike Cruisers in orbit which were preparing to launch Cyclonic torpedoes and likewise told them to hold their fire, preventing an Exterminatus of the entire planet. Then, despite his wounds, he strode outside to take command of the embattled Imperial forces. Combined with Ragnar's slaying of Madox and interruption of the ritual, Berek's influence allowed the Imperial forces to turn the tide and rout the Chaos forces.[6d]

Death and Succession

Berek elevated Ragnar to his Wolf Guard after Ragnar slew an Ork Warboss and his entire bodyguard in close combat.[1b] Later, when Berek was slain in mortal combat with the Chaos Champion Ghorox Bloodfist[1a] on Hadsrubal[6e], Ragnar led the hunt that tracked down and slew Berek's killer in 983.M41[1a][6e]

Afterwards Ragnar was hailed as Berek's successor.[1b]


While Ragnar and Berek have shared the surname "Thunderfist," this is coincidental. Ragnar was originally a member of the Thunderfist tribe of Fenris, and subsequently adopted the name "Blackmane" during his Test of Morkai. Berek's last name is derived from his bionic attachment[4a].