The Thorn is a light BattleMech that was designed for front line use. When the Mech first debuted it was with a great deal of hype that unfortunately the Mech could never truly live up to. Critics who look at the 'Mech generally see it in one of two ways. As a light 'Mech that isn’t fast enough for its own good or a light ‘Mech that tries to do a job that only a heavier 'Mech should.
Looking at the Thorn with neither bias it is easy to see where these two viewpoints come from. As far as being able to intercept or hunt down recon 'Mechs of it's era it is far too slow, and as far as front line combat the Thorn doesn’t have the armor or staying power of most front line machines. The only real unique and advanced aspect of the Thorn is that it was the first 'Mech to utilize an Endo Steel chassis and CASE which paved the way for much heavier 'Mechs in later eras to utilize the technology and make themselves far deadlier with a greater degree of survivability.
The Thorn caries a weapons array that is not usually seen on light Mechs. The reason for this is the use of the Zeus-5 LRM launcher, paired with two Hellion Spitfire Medium Lasers. These weapons allow the Thorn some flexibility on the battlefield but with its slow speed and its lackluster armor the Thorn is best suited as a light fire support unit for recon lances.
- THE-S - The THE-S Thorn is a downgraded version of the Thorn that is very much similar to the original THE-N Thorn and while losing some of it's survivability is changed very little by losing its Star League technologies. The primary changes are the loss of the Endo Steel structure and the CASE equipment. The extra tone of space needed for the standard structure is made up for with the removal of the CASE and by reducing the already meager armor protection by half of a ton.
- THE-N1 - The THE-N1 Thorn is the newest variant of this venerable old BattleMech. All of the weapons have been stripped from the chassis and the standard engine has been replaced with an XL engine while retaining the same speed. The increased weight savings have allowed for the addition of an ER PPC and a small laser. This new weapons load out adds a level of lethality not seen before on the Thorn at the cost of reduced survivability.