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It's been a while since I've read the Dune series. Something I was never quite clear on was why did the Bene Gesserit (BG) want to breed the Kwisatz Haderach (KH) at all?

I understand that the BG were only able to access matrilineal memories; but what did they seek to achieve by having access to patrilineal memories (through KH)? I.e. what in-universe purpose would that have served them? While on the subject, what in-universe purpose was served by having access to matrilineal memories?


(I hope this is not a dupe: I looked through SF&F's five pages of hits for "Kwisatz Haderach" and did not find a question that was quite what I'm asking here)

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    I'm not going to answer because I'm too unsure of my observation, but if I remember the books, there's a mental "place we cannot go" that the BG believed the KG could "go to" (look into). That the KH could look back along both paternal and maternal ancestry/time-lines, not just maternal. Such a person would represent the ultimate potential of BG training and capabilities. (That what they got was someone who could see all the threads of time and thanks to the fact that you can't observe something without disturbing it was a wonderfully interesting side effect.) – JBH Mar 29 at 20:14
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    They wanted a superhuman that they could control. His lineage would give them enduring control of the known universe. – Valorum Mar 29 at 20:20
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    The Dune Encyclopedia strongly implies that they were originally looking for a mythical "saviour" to guide them and lead them, but lost track of their ultimate goal millennia ago, content to simply guide the Empire and work on perfecting the human race. – Valorum Mar 29 at 23:40
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    I think this is explored in Heretics of Dune. In Heretics the Bene Gesserits bred a mentat warrior named Miles Teg (who was also Bene Gesserit trained by his mother) who was a terrifyingly effective leader. The BG used him to essentially end conflicts in their part of space and maintain control. – just_happen_to_know Apr 1 at 18:12
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    To try and put it clearer: the BG wanted a KH so they could control the universe. The patrilineal memories were probably a cool side effect (they could access that huge untapped well of knowledge) but the real advantage was having an undefeatable prescient warrior/diplomat doing whatever they commanded. – just_happen_to_know Apr 1 at 18:25
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The BG wanted a KH so they could control the universe. The patrilineal memories were probably a cool side effect (they could access that huge untapped well of knowledge) but the real advantage was having an undefeatable prescient warrior/diplomat doing whatever they commanded.

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