In Dune (the book), Liet-Kynes is a kind of spiritual leader of the Fremen. The Fremen call him Liet, and the imperials (including Harkonnen and Atreides) call him Dr Kynes. Only the Fremen know that Liet is the same person as Dr Kynes.

The appendix tells about how Liet's imperial role as planetologist was essentially inherited from his father Pardot Kynes. The father's name was Pardot Kynes: but what was the son's name? Apparently he does not use "Liet" as his name among the imperials. So is his name just "Dr Kynes" with no first name? Seems odd since his father did use a first name.

Herbert often writes the name as "Liet-Kynes" rather than "Liet Kynes", which to me also suggests that Liet is not supposed to be a first name in the traditional sense.

(I'm hoping for an answer in Frank Herbert's books- I'm not sure if this is addressed in Brian Herbert's books also, but I'm interested in that too.)

1 Answer 1


It appears to be Weichih, according to Dune: House Harkonnen. Certainly that's the name that he's introduced to visiting nobility as.

“Thank you for inviting us, Lady Fenring,” Kynes’s son said, looking at Margot. The Planetologist had introduced the young man as Weichih, a name that meant “beloved.” She could see a resemblance to the father, but while the older Kynes had a dreaminess in his eyes, this Weichih bore a hardness caused by growing up on Arrakis.


Luxury is for the noble-born, Liet,” Pardot Kynes said as the groundcar trundled across the uneven ground. Here, in privacy, he could use his son’s secret sietch name, rather than Weichih, the name reserved for outsiders. “On this planet you must instantly become aware of your own surroundings, and remain alert at all times. If you fail to learn this lesson, you won’t live long.”


“The Emperor is not aware of any ecological plans.” Liet withheld his true Fremen identity, said nothing about his father, and introduced himself by his other appellation, “My name is . . . Weichih.”

  • 8
    Note that this book (and none others in the series, nor the Dune Encyclopedia or games) contains the sole references to this name.
    – Valorum
    Nov 1, 2021 at 12:42
  • 2
    It's not you I hate Dune prequels...I hate what I became because of you
    – NKCampbell
    Nov 1, 2021 at 22:13

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