I just finished reading Chapterhouse: Dune, so I read the whole original series. I can't remember the quote "The spice must flow." that appears in the Lynch's Dune. Is it the books? If so, in which book/chapter? I only have paper books, so I cannot easily search for it.

I only found this quote in the introduction by Kevin J. Anderson and Brian Herbert to The Road to Dune (2005), but it's much newer than the Lynch's Dune (1984).

  • 2
    This is not an answer to the question of whether it appeared in the original series, but since you mention appearance in the intro by K. J. Anderson and Brian Herbert in the The Road to Dune (2005), it seems relevant to note that searching shows they also included it in the book's actual dialogue at the end of ch. 17 ("The grand emperor has sent me here to inform you that the spice must flow. If you do not show dramatic progress soon... hmm, he is not a patient man."). I see they also included it in Paul of Dune (2008) ("'The spice must flow,' Chani said.' 'So it must,' Dayef agreed.").
    – Jacob C.
    Commented May 31, 2018 at 19:16

2 Answers 2


No. The words ...

"The spice must flow"

... don't appear in any of the original series novels. The expression appears to come from the 1984 film.

LISTEN TO ME!! The spice must flow... the spice has given me accelerated evolution for four thousand years... it has enabled you to live two hundred years... the spice helps make the sapho juice, which gives the red-lipped mentats the ability to be living computers... the secret side of spice... the water of life.

Possibly the closest we get in the book series is in Dune

“A certain amount of killing has always been an arm of business,” the Baron said, “but a line has to be drawn somewhere. Someone must be left to work the spice.”


Paul turned back to look at the Emperor, said: “When they permitted you to mount your father’s throne, it was only on the assurance that you’d keep the spice flowing. You’ve failed them, Majesty. Do you know the consequences?”


“Stop playing the fool,” Paul barked. “The Guild is like a village beside a river. They need the water, but can only dip out what they require. They cannot dam the river and control it, because that focuses attention on what they take, it brings down eventual destruction. The spice flow, that’s their river, and I have built a dam. But my dam is such that you cannot destroy it without destroying the river.”

  • I vaguely seem to remember a sentiment of this nature uttered in God Emperor, but I don't seem to have access to an online version to check. Plus I wouldn't know which exact words to look for.
    – Mr Lister
    Commented Feb 25, 2017 at 22:17
  • In God Emperor, Leto has cut off the flow of spice; everyone is relying on their stockpiles and whatever Leto choose to dole out.
    – Shamshiel
    Commented Feb 25, 2017 at 23:57

I thought in the original book dune the Baron Harkonnen was explaining to the Beast Rabban how much the invasion of Arrakis had cost. It was to be Rabbans job to keep the spice flowing. He could "Squeeze" much as he wanted, do what he wanted as long as the spice flowed.

In the book he spoke of squeezing income out of Arrakis for 60 years to pay for the invasion but no keep the spice flowing quote.

"Income then," Rabban said.

The Baron lowered his arm, made a fist. "You must squeeze."

"And I may do anything I wish as long as I squeeze?"


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