Dune is a science fiction franchise which originated with the 1965 novel Dune by Frank Herbert. Considered by many to be the greatest science fiction novel of all time, Dune is frequently cited as the best-selling science fiction novel in history.

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In Dune, why do noblemen keep marrying Bene Gesserits even though they are suspicious of their ways?

I found it perplexing that the overall attitudes towards the BG were negative, yet they found themselves in the highest echelons of power through marriage.
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1answer
135 views

Does the Juice of Sapho do anything other than stain?

Mentat Masters regularly consume the Juice of Sapho, causing their lips to stain. According to the Dune Wiki, Sapho, or more commonly the Juice of Sapho, was a high-energy liquid extracted ...
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1answer
150 views

The Atreides Manifesto

In HOD, Odrade writes The Atreides Manifesto under Taraza's direction and guidance. What was this manifesto? Why is it so important? Herbert never clearly describes it or its purpose. Or, does he? It ...
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163 views

Dune: Explain the subtext here?

I quote a whole lot here because I don't know what to leave out. The banker says something boastful to Jessica and it moves Paul to confront (?) him. Then the banker counters, but Paul stands firm. ...
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4answers
181 views

Which books are considered canon when talking about Dune?

It seems logical that the six books written by Frank Herbert are considered canon, but what other works of his are part of the Dune canon? Are the works done by his son considered part of the ...
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2answers
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Where does the Emperor in Dune rule from?

I know that in Dune his throne is referred to as the Golden Lion Throne, and is the symbol of his house, Corrino, but I have never found any indication of where he rules from. Does the Emperor rule ...
18
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1answer
790 views

In Dune, was there any danger from Feyd-Rautha's poison needle?

In Paul's duel with Feyd-Rautha, he is worried when Feyd-Rautha attempts to cheat with a hidden poison needle. But isn't Paul immune to poison? Furthermore, why didn't the snoopers detect the poison?
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4answers
3k views

In Dune, Are the Guild Navigators non-humanoid?

I finished the first book recently, and am watching the movie. It threw me that the navigators look like they do in the movie. I don't remember them being non-humanoid, and if they were I missed it. ...
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2answers
1k views

How much spice was in the Atreides' lost harvester?

Duke Leto Atreides commanded fierce loyalty from his subjects, a large part of which comes from his reciprocal loyalty to them, and this is neatly portrayed in the book: Leto, Paul, Liet-Kynes and ...
7
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2answers
213 views

What was the wordplay in the name Irulan?

Frank Herbert is well known for playing word games with character names in all of his works. ("Irulan" and "Noah Arkwright" are two of my favorite examples (from this Q) Noah Arkwright is kind of ...
17
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2answers
385 views

Why did Thufir Hawat seriously underestimate the number of Sardaukar?

Thufir had a strong reputation as a cunning and one of the best mentats in the universe, but in the first half of the novel it might be hard to see, as he was tested and failed. His biggest blunder ...
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10answers
4k views

Why no automated warfare in Herbert’s Dune?

Frank Herbert created the weaponry in Dune to build a deadlock: If a lasgun is fired upon a Holtzmann shield, both will be destroyed. Unpredictably, there might be even larger damage up until to what ...
6
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2answers
172 views

The “imperialism of consciousness” in God Emperor of Dune

In the SciFi book The God Emperor of Dune, near the end of the book Leto tells Moneo he knows what he fears. “Lord, if I lie … then I do not know it.” “That has the ring of truth. But I ...
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3answers
2k views

Why was Duncan Idaho repeatedly reborn?

Note: this is about out-of-universe reasons Throughout the Dune novels, the character of Duncan Idaho stands out as having the most appearances, but being reborn again and again as a ghola, for ...
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1answer
195 views

Why did it take so long for Alia to succumb to the Other Memory of the Baron?

I would have expected that she would have succumbed at an early age, not lasting into adulthood before she lost control to the others who would control her.
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3answers
3k views

What exactly is an “abomination” in Frank Herbert's Dune Universe?

I'm reading Children of Dune, and I'm getting confused exactly what is meant by "an abomination" according to the Bene Gesserit. At this point in the story, Jessica is convinced Alia is abomination, ...
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3answers
976 views

Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam ((great)grand)mother of people with other/genetic memories and nobody remembers?

In Frank Herbert's "Children of Dune" Leto (the later God-emperor) tells Jessica¹: They know you’re a Harkonnen! It’ll be in their breeding records: Jessica out of Tanidia Nerus by the Baron ...
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2answers
293 views

What is the origin of the Bene Gesserit's powers?

Where did the Bene Gesserit's powers come from?
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3answers
395 views

The Atreides/Harkonnen wedding

The Bene Gesserit were planning to have Leto's daughter marry Feyd Rautha Harkonnen, resulting in the birth of the Kwisatz Haderach, and the end of the feud. How were they going to convince Duke ...
6
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1answer
154 views

Which book in the Dune series has Paul describing his prescience like standing amongst dunes?

Which Dune book has Paul explain how he sees the future with the metaphor of looking from peak to peak across a series of dunes, with the implication that he cannot see into the wells of the dunes?
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6answers
496 views

Dune: Are Bene Gesserit abilities “magical/supernatural”, or natural in-universe?

Specifically, I’m wondering if Bene Gesserit have actual “magic” (supernatural) abilities with their words, or if it’s simply psychological tricks using inflection, tone, and specific words. Gesserit ...
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2answers
348 views

How do Projectile and Las weapons work on shields in Dune?

I'm reading through Dune right now and I'm a bit confused on the specifics of the weaponry in the book. It never seems to go into great detail and it makes some of the action scenes a bit hard to ...
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3answers
1k views

Is there a relation between the spice which is described in Dune to the real drug DMT?

DMT is a drug which expands consciousness. In the Dune books, there's a drug which is called Spice which also expands consciousness. The funny thing is that the street name of DMT is Spice, so I was ...
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2answers
404 views

What does Paul mean when he asks whether the Kwisatz-Haderach is a human Gom-Jabbar?

Right after his test in the Book "Dune", Paul asks whether the Kwisatz-Haderach was meant to be a human Gom-Jabbar. I can't make sense of this. Is it intended to mean "Can tell humans and animals ...
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4answers
3k views

Does spice cause blue lips in Frank Herbert's Dune?

I saw a comment here that implied that consumption of the spice (in Dune by Frank Herbert) caused blue lips. Is there any evidence of that? I only remember the blue within blue eyes. Spice giving ...
6
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1answer
215 views

How long can Fremen live?

The average lifespan of Fremen probably isn't terribly long due to the dangers of life on Arrakis. However, outside of that, what is the lifespan of Fremen? They do ingest a lot of spice over the ...
4
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1answer
535 views

Why does spice turn people's eyes blue?

Throughout the Dune series, 'blue within blue with blue' eyes (indicating both the pupils and whites of the eyes) are the mark of someone who consumes large quantities of spice. This cause and effect ...
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3answers
1k views

Is it ever explained how people first got to Arrakis, before they had spice?

The Dune prequels say that people had used computers to navigate before the Bulterian Jihad. They only became dependent on the spice when they outlawed computers. But what about the original series? ...
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2answers
744 views

How could the Fremen do what they did to the empire in Dune Messiah?

How could, and why would, the Fremen's jihad kill 61-Billion people and conquer the known universe? Their leader Paul was already emperor. What was left to conquer? And how could they force this ...
4
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3answers
312 views

What were the motives and intentions of The Preacher in Children of Dune?

Paul Atreides decided he'd rather not be prescient anymore even though he was physically blind and needed prescience to know anything about physical things he couldn't see. Being literally blind, he ...
11
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1answer
309 views

How deep are the sands on Arrakis?

From reading the novels, the impression is that Dune is like a vast ocean of sand, with the sandworms akin to gigantic sea-monsters, only in sand. I can't remember any specific mention of how deep the ...
17
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1answer
3k views

In the first Dune Book, how was Paul Atreides going to follow through on his threat?

Paul threatens Shaddam IV and the Spacing Guild that he'll destroy the spice unless the Guild moves the armada of his enemies away from Dune and Shaddam abdicates the throne. Somehow they decide he ...
17
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3answers
2k views

Was Dune originally a trilogy?

Was Dune meant to be a trilogy, which Children of Dune finished, before Frank Herbert decided to write more? The first three books are often grouped together, and have a similar time-frame and subject ...
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2answers
432 views

What does the Reverend Mother in Dune mean when she asks “And be damned to me?”

In fact, could someone explain to me what this passage is saying? "Don't you want to hear what the Reverend Mother can tell you about the Kwisatz Haderach?" Jessica asked. "She said those who ...
9
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2answers
853 views

Is “prophecy” a major theme throughout the entire original Dune series?

I really like the first Dune novel, but I can't decide if I should read the rest of Frank Herbert's series. Having a main character who knows exactly what's going to happen really took some of the fun ...
2
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1answer
184 views

Did Serena Butler have living descendents?

I ask because in the first half of Hunters of Dune (p204 paperback ed.) Sheeana is consulting her Other Memory and she's addressed by someone claiming to be Serena Butler. A few chapters later, this ...
2
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1answer
496 views

Why did the movie version(s) of Dune have Paul Atreides making it rain?

I've watched David Lynch's Dune, the 3-hour cut (complete with expository animation sequence) and overall I think it holds up pretty well aside from the strong homophobic bent. However, one of the ...
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5answers
738 views

Why is water not imported to Arrakis?

Why is water not imported in guild highliners to Arrakis? I can understand a reluctance to import water because it would upset the ecology, and endanger the spice production somehow, but surely they ...
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1answer
144 views

Beam of light at the end of “Battle of Corrin”

At the end of the last battle described in Battle of Corrin when people are destroying last version of Omnius there is 'beam of light' fired by machines. Is this explained in other chapters or ...
8
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2answers
533 views

The place where the Bene Gesserit dare not look

What is this place that the Bene Gesserit are not able to look and why? Also why is it so terrifying?
11
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2answers
536 views

Is this the correct etymology of “Arrakis”?

I recently learned about the term arak, which refers to a type of Middle Eastern liquor infused with aniseed. According to the Wikipedia article, the drink is named after the Arabic word araq, ...
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2answers
243 views

Why doesn't the duke marry Jessica?

I remember in the book of Dune, the duke won't marry Jessica. Why doesn't Duke Leto marry Lady Jessica?
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1answer
193 views

What happens to the sandworm after its riders release it?

We know that sandworms are territorial and control an area up to 400 km2. Paul leaned forward, touched Kynes’ shoulder. “How big an area does each worm stake out?” Kynes frowned. The ...
6
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2answers
516 views

What does the word “thumper” mean when used to measure distance?

There are several places in Dune where the word "Thumper" is used as a measure of distance: On the north polar map of Dune, there's an arrow pointing to the left with the caption: 20 Thumpers to ...
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3answers
608 views

Why is the Atreides family so small? And why did noone on Caladan avenge their deaths?

I am reading Dune at the moment and can't work out why the Atreides line at the beginning of the book seemingly contains only three people, the Duke, his Bene Gesserit consort and son (later it turns ...
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1answer
2k views

Did Paul Atreides as the Kwisatz Haderach possess truly supernatural power?

For example, super strength, jedi-like abilities, etc? Or was he just really in tune with the spice melange? (Regarding the books, not the movies.)
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3answers
2k views

Why is melange called “spice”?

Is it because before it was used as a drug, it was used for flavoring food? Both in- and out- of universe answers are welcome!
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1answer
241 views

What is the connection between the science of testing, and Dune's idea of unlimited testing scales? [closed]

Dune presents the idea that testing scales should never have a maximum level - it should always be possible to get a higher score or go to a more difficult level. There's one memorable scene where ...
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5answers
3k views

Why was it such a big deal when Jessica decided to have a male child? Surely she could get pregnant again?

I read Dune several years ago, and this has always bothered me. Jessica's decision to bear a male child was such a big deal amongst the Bene Gesserit that they call it 'The Jessica Crime'. However I ...
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3answers
365 views

Did the Bene Gesserit support the destruction of House Atreides, and how?

I've read comments here and there that the BG were not only complicit, but may have had a hand in the Harkonnen/Sardaukar attack that (nearly) wiped out House Atreides on Dune. However I don't ...