This has been bothering me for 20 years. I even owned the DVD and watched it a lot. During the sparring scene on Caladan, Paul says that he's not in the mood for the fight. Gurney says:

"Not in the mood? Mood is a thing for [something] young pup. Mood is not for fighting"

What is that [something]? The best I've got is "Cattle and Women", but that...really doesn't sound right.

  • The quote from the book is: "What has mood to do with it? You fight when the neccesity arises - no matter the mood. Mood's a thing for cattle or making love or playing the baliset. It's not for fighting." - so you're probably pretty close
    – NKCampbell
    Dec 10, 2021 at 18:17
  • 1
    Honestly I've never turned them on and now I don't have the DVD anymore :-P Dec 10, 2021 at 18:18

1 Answer 1


Per the DVD subtitles

"Mood is a thing for cattle and women, young pup. Mood is not for fighting,"

This well reflects the line from the source novel

“Mood?” Halleck’s voice betrayed his outrage even through the shield’s filtering. “What has mood to do with it? You fight when the necessity arises — no matter the mood! Mood’s a thing for cattle or making love or playing the baliset. It’s not for fighting.”

Gurney is simply suggesting that 'being in the mood' is something that's more appropriate for people (or cows) with ample time to spare. It's what you have the liberty to exercise when your life isn't on the line.

  • You mean I was right!? That was unexpected...I always thought it was something a lot more profound Dec 10, 2021 at 18:25
  • in the context of the scene (especially in the novel) - I think it is fairly profound @MichaelStachowsky - It's a great lesson Halleck gives Paul
    – NKCampbell
    Dec 10, 2021 at 18:42
  • How did the cattle on planet Caladan communicate? Dec 10, 2021 at 23:20
  • @IanThompson - By taking off their snorkels and mooing
    – Valorum
    Dec 11, 2021 at 5:39
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    Indeed. "Mood" is a thing for cattle, after all. I'll get my stillsuit. Dec 12, 2021 at 12:44

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