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I've been reading [in God Emperor of Dune], and there's been something that was bothering me

When Duncan went to Tuono Village A large part of the book was about How much un-fremen like the museum fremen were. He seemed to be genuinely offended by it.

One particular passage comes to mind

Stilgar, Idaho's Naib of the ancient days on Dune, would have looked on that room with scorn. "Shameful!" he would have said. "Decadent! Weak!" Stilgar would have used many scornful words about this entire village which dared to compare itself with a true Fremen sietch.

The problem is, that in DUNE, Idaho died before Stilgar was even introduced to the story. He was never actually part of Stilgar's Sietch.

How was the Idaho ghola So familiar with Fremen custom and Stilgar when he went to Tuono village?

26

Duncan went to live with the Fremen in Stilgar's sietch before the Atreides first arrived on Arrakis. When the Harkonnen attacked, Idaho had already spent some time with the Fremen and came to know and respect them.

I don't have my book handy, but I don't think Herbert gives any dates for how long the Atreides are on Arrakis before the Harkonnen attack. We can only assume it was long enough for Idaho to have formed enough of an opinion about them to be so scornful about the museum Fremen.

Relevant passages from the book, courtesy of user KHW:

“Where’s Duncan Idaho?” Paul asked. “Isn’t he supposed to be teaching me weaponry?”

“Duncan’s gone to lead the second wave onto Arrakis,” Halleck said.

And, slightly later

“We’re negotiating with the Fremen right now,” Paul said.

“I sent a mission headed by Duncan Idaho,” the Duke said. “A proud and ruthless man, Duncan, but fond of the truth. I think the Fremen will admire him. If we’re lucky, they may judge us by him: Duncan, the moral.”

And, again, showing Stilgar knows him pretty well, just after the famous spitting scene

The Fremen looked at Idaho, said: “You measured well in my sietch, Duncan Idaho. Is there a bond on your allegiance to your Duke?”

“He’s asking me to enlist with him, Sire,” Idaho said.

“Would he accept a dual allegiance?” Leto asked.

“You wish me to go with him, Sire?”

“I wish you to make your own decision in the matter,” Leto said, and he could not keep the urgency out of his voice.

Idaho studied the Fremen. "Would you have me under these conditions, Stilgar? There'd be times when I'd have to return to serve my Duke."

"You fight well and you did your best for our friend," Stilgar said.

  • 2
    Some backup for ya: “Where’s Duncan Idaho?” Paul asked. “Isn’t he supposed to be teaching me weaponry?” “Duncan’s gone to lead the second wave onto Arrakis,” Halleck said. “All you have left is poor Gurney who’s fresh out of fight and spoiling for music.” ** And, slightly later** “We’re negotiating with the Fremen right now,” Paul said. “I sent a mission headed by Duncan Idaho,” the Duke said. “A proud and ruthless man, Duncan, but fond of the truth. I think the Fremen will admire him. If we’re lucky, they may judge us by him: Duncan, the moral.” – K-H-W May 18 '13 at 20:15
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    And, again, showing Stilgar knows him pretty well, just after the famous spitting scene -- The Fremen looked at Idaho, said: “You measured well in my sietch, Duncan Idaho. Is there a bond on your allegiance to your Duke?” “He’s asking me to enlist with him, Sire,” Idaho said. “Would he accept a dual allegiance?” Leto asked. “You wish me to go with him, Sire?” “I wish you to make your own decision in the matter,” Leto said, and he could not keep the urgency out of his voice. Idaho studied the Fremen. – K-H-W May 18 '13 at 20:17
  • @KHW Thanks, added to the answer :) – jono May 19 '13 at 10:49
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It's not true that Duncan died before Stilgar was introduced. Stilgar first comes into the story well before the Harkonnen attack, when Duncan - who had spent some time with him previously - brings him into the Duke's staff meeting. Remember the memorable scene where Stilgar spits on the table, where the aides all assume he is insulting Leto, but Duncan correctly interprets it as a precious gift of water.

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