1. Specifically, what had Irulan's Bene Gesserit mother, Kwisatz mother Anirul Sadow-Tonkin Corrino, intended for her all daughter imperial Heiresses?

  2. If her plan was to marry the imperial heiress Princess Irulan to the Kwisatz Haderach, wouldn't Irulan have been born a generation too early?

Considering she is older than both Paul Atreides and Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen; yet, would have been expected to marry their offspring. This would make Irulan an old woman by the time the intended Kwisatz Haderach comes of marriageable age.

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    Based on the original dune novels, she had zero part to play in the breeding plan. She was simply the daughter of the Emperor and happened to be a Bene Gesserit acolyte (and not even a very good one).
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 1, 2016 at 20:30
  • yeah i dont remember her being important either. She might have been meant to marry one of those 2 to then birth the quizat haderach herself. but its all foggy up there
    – Himarm
    Commented Sep 1, 2016 at 20:40
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    true, the books don't provide evidence that she participated in the plan as her mother did. Perhaps it would have been better phrased as: "what would her role have been after the culmination of the Quizat Haderach program?" is it just a coincidence that, in over 10,000 years, the Bene Gesserit chose that time to manipulate the emperor out of any male heirs? or was it a plan within the plan?
    – RedOculus
    Commented Sep 1, 2016 at 20:55

1 Answer 1


Irulan had no (direct) part to play in the Kwisatz Haderach breeding plan.

The Plan

The aim was for Jessica to have a girl-child that could be wedded to the Baron's nephew, Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen. Since their offspring stood a very good chance of being the Kwisatz, having him be the son of a Bene Gesserit would give them a strong element of control over him.

“You were told to bear only daughters to the Atreides.”
“It meant so much to him,” Jessica pleaded.
“And you in your pride thought you could produce the Kwisatz Haderach!”
Jessica lifted her chin. “I sensed the possibility.”
“You thought only of your Duke’s desire for a son,” the old woman snapped. “And his desires don’t figure in this. An Atreides daughter could’ve been wed to a Harkonnen heir and sealed the breach. You’ve hopelessly complicated matters. We may lose both bloodlines now.”


Irulan's role

Given that the birth of the Kwisatz is the ultimate goal of the program, Irulan's usefulness would only be that she could have been subsequently married to the Atreides/Harkonnen heir, uniting three of the the great houses and placing all three royal bloodlines (and coincidentally control of entire Empire) under direct Bene Gesserit control for the first time in generations, with the Kwisatz Haderach as Emperor.

I think we can also safely assume that Irulan's own bloodline has been sufficiently mapped that in the event that Jessica's daughter and Feyd didn't bear a Kwisatz, adding a Corrino into the mix wouldn't push their plans back, especially given that we learn in later novels that the Bene Gesserit are capable of remaining fertile well beyond normal human limits.

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    I'm not so sure would she would be suitable to marry Artredis/Harkonnen heir - simply speaking she would be too old: If everything went according to Bene Gesserit plan, Paul would be a girl and he would marry Harkonnen heir. Irulana seems to be of similar age as Paul (20-ish?), so by the time the planned Kwizatz Haderach would be of marriageable age she would be in her 40s. While she would still look young, I doubt that Emperor would be willing to wait another 20 years to wed his daughter.
    – Yasskier
    Commented Sep 1, 2016 at 21:33
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    Irulan is in her late 20's, at least according to the dune encyclopedia. She'd be at least 40(ish) by the time an heir was of age. That's not to say that she couldn't have married them though. Shaddam (in the expanded universe) went on to have more daughters after Irulan. Either way, her part in the Bene Gesserit plan is minimal.
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 1, 2016 at 22:48

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