In Dune (2021), Jamis didn't approve Paul and Lady Jessica joining with Stilgar's group:

Jamis: I will not have them.

Stilgar: Jamis, I have spoken. Be still.

Jamis: You talk like a leader. But the strongest leads. She bested you. I invoke the amtal.

What "strongest leads" is Jamis referring to?

  • 1
    I think possibly you've misparsed the sentence: "leads" isn't a noun, it's a verb. It's not "the leads which are strongest", it's "the person who is strongest it's the person who leads".
    – IMSoP
    Jul 10, 2022 at 18:16

2 Answers 2


This is explained in a little more detail in the source novel. The strongest warrior is declared the fittest to lead the tribe. Jessica bested Stilgar him in combat and hence there's some question over whether she could demand leadership and whether he's is still fit to lead.

“Your people show good discipline,” Jessica said. She lowered the binoculars, saw that Stilgar was looking at them.

“They obey the preservation of the tribe,” he said. “It is the way we choose among us for a leader. The leader is the one who is strongest, the one who brings water and security.” He lifted his attention to her face.

She returned his stare, noted the whiteless eyes, the stained eyepits, the dust-rimmed beard and mustache, the line of the catchtube curving down from his nostrils into his stillsuit.

“Have I compromised your leadership by besting you, Stilgar?” she asked.

“You did not call me out,” he said.

In this instance Jamis, who strongly opposes the idea of Paul and his mother being accepted into the sietch is using the confusion over Stilgar's (previously undisputed) status to gain support amongst the Fremen present for his declaration of a duel with Paul, who humiliated him a few minutes ago.


Whoever is best in tribal combat gets to lead the tribe. So Jamis is challenging Stilgar since he was beaten by an outsider woman.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.