Paul threatens Shaddam IV and the Spacing Guild that he'll destroy the spice unless the Guild moves the armada of his enemies away from Dune and Shaddam abdicates the throne. Somehow they decide he can really do it. How was he going to do this?


1 Answer 1


By killing the sandworms that make the spice; he did this by placing the Water of Life above a pre-spice mass. Specifically,

from Book III (just after Chani wakes Paul from his water-of-life-induced coma):

Paul took a deep breath, said: “Mother, you must change a quantity of the Water for us. We need the catalyst. Chani, have a scout force sent out … to find a pre-spice mass. If we plant a quantity of the Water of Life above a pre-spice mass, do you know what will happen?”

Jessica weighed his words, suddenly saw through to his meaning. “Paul!” she gasped.

“The Water of Death,” he said. “It’d be a chain reaction.” He pointed to the floor. “Spreading death among the little makers [immature/larval sandworms], killing a vector of the life cycle that includes the spice and the makers [mature sandworms]. Arrakis will become a true desolation—without spice or maker.”

Chani put a hand to her mouth, shocked to numb silence by the blasphemy pouring from Paul’s lips.

“He who can destroy a thing has the real control of it,” Paul said. “We can destroy the spice.”

Incidentally, since everyone who lives on Arrakis is addicted to the spice, Paul would also be condemning the whole resident population to at best, serious sickness, at worst, death from spice withdrawal.

  • 4
    BAH! Beat me by seconds! Ah, well.. Deleting my answer in favor of yours. +1 to you :)
    – K-H-W
    Commented Oct 7, 2014 at 3:02
  • 1
    Great minds think alike. Sorry!
    – Joe L.
    Commented Oct 7, 2014 at 3:03
  • 1
    @James Sheridan: Gracias.
    – Joe L.
    Commented Oct 7, 2014 at 3:47
  • 3
    They'd also run out of oxygen eventually, since sandworms make that too - but that's of small importance on the galactic stage. Commented Oct 7, 2014 at 8:59
  • 5
    @MatthewWalton - Without the worms to prevent the water cycle, the plant cycle would take over again. All the humans might die, but the ecosystem would survive
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 7, 2014 at 18:16

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