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102 votes
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Roughly how large is the population of Sandworms on Dune?

1.6 Million* The only real information we have to go on is a line by Dr. Kynes about the size of a worm's territory. From Dune: “Big ones may control three or four hundred square kilometers. Small ...
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87 votes
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How does Arrakis maintain a breathable atmosphere without vegetation?

Pardot Kynes, the Imperial Planetologist noticed that too. “Water overshadows the other problems,” Kynes said. “This planet has much oxygen without its usual concomitants—widespread plant life ...
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78 votes
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In Dune, how do people cope with the lack of computers?

Mentats don't replace computers. They replace computers that "are made in the likeness of the human mind" - that is, Artificial Intelligences. So computational devices exist. Just not ...
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68 votes
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In Dune, what were the benefits of becoming a Guild Navigator?

If we take the Dune Encyclopedia as a source of information, then we learn that the reality is that Navigators (and their accompanying Steersmen) are bred by the Spacing Guild solely for the purpose ...
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62 votes
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Why didn't House Atreides stay on Caladan?

In brief, Leto has received a legitimate order from his Emperor. For all that he suspects that this is a trap, he has no good excuse to refuse and his only other option is to declare his House '...
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57 votes
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Why "In politics, the tripod is the most unstable of all structures"?

The tripod is truly the weakest political structure The balance of power in a political tripod is only stable as long as everyone wants to win and all players would rather prefer the status quo to a ...
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  • 1,031
57 votes

Why didn't they notice the invasion in Dune?

There's a few false assumptions there. First are foremost: the Atreides are not capable of space travel, they just have access to it via the Spacing Guild and their heighliners (those mind bogglingly ...
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  • 3,909
53 votes
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Where was the missing spice harvester carryall?

In the source novel, the mystery of the missing carryall was solved later. “You’ll all be delighted to know,” she said, “that our Duke sends his reassurances. The matter which called him away has ...
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53 votes
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How did the Tleilaxu in Dune master the "Language of God"?

In Heretics of Dune (1984), the Tleilaxu leader Waff thinks to himself: No other people have mastered the genetic language as well as have the Bene Tleilax, he reassured himself. We are right to call ...
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51 votes
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Why don't the sandworms attack outworlder cities in Arrakis?

The Shield Wall, a large natural mountain feature, protects Arakeen and Carthag, the two major cities on Arrakis from both worms and the storms that make life much more dangerous on the rest of the ...
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49 votes
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Why didn't the Atreides family extensively watch this character in such a period of tension?

In brief, Yueh is a person who is supposedly above any consideration of malice or duplicity toward his patients, the house Atreides, because of the conditioning that Doctors from the Suk School ...
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49 votes

Why don't stillsuits protect/retain fluid from the wearer's eyes?

From a filmmaking context, it's simple: to allow seeing the actors' faces. A real stillsuit would kill you faster than dehydration, by cooking you -- unless it has some alternative method of dumping ...
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46 votes
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Does spice cause blue lips in Frank Herbert's Dune?

There are literally dozens of mentions of the lips of various spice-using characters in original six books of the Dune series by Frank Herbert, short stories and follow-on books by Brian Herbert. Lips ...
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45 votes
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In the first Dune Book, how was Paul Atreides going to follow through on his threat?

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 ...
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44 votes
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Why was Paul expected to kill/challenge Stilgar?

The incident occurred a few pages earlier. Paul, now officially a man, is riding the worm and says they go south. Stilgar asks what will happen if he says otherwise. Paul insists and Stilgar takes ...
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43 votes

In Dune, how do people cope with the lack of computers?

From the glossary in the original Dune, about the Butlerian Jihad: Its chief commandment remains in the O.C. Bible as "Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a human mind." Now, ...
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41 votes

Why "In politics, the tripod is the most unstable of all structures"?

You actually have the answer in your question. Three legs together are very stable, yes, and two sides will act to balance out the third. In Dune, there are three groupings that keep one side from ...
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41 votes
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Why would the Emperor send his personal troops to help the Harkonnen?

There are schemes within schemes going on here. The Emperor fears Duke Leto and his heirs as possible contenders to the Corrino throne, the Harkonnen want their ancient enemy (the Atreides) dead and ...
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  • 615k
40 votes

Roughly how large is the population of Sandworms on Dune?

To be technically correct, while being not at all helpful, at the time of God Emperor of Dune there was exactly one sandworm on Arrakis. All other time periods, your mileage may vary.
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40 votes
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In Dune, how is the spice mélange used for space travel?

The Dune sequel books expands on how the navigators perform their function. Essentially, the ships have a Holtzmann (the same person behind shields and lasguns) drive which is used to "fold space&...
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38 votes

What did Herbert think of David Lynch's Dune?

This does seem to be the case. Quoting from a 1984 People magazine article (web archive copy): It's rare to find an author who feels that a director hasn't massacred his work, but after seeing a ...
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37 votes
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How could the Fremen do what they did to the empire in Dune Messiah?

Short Answer: He was breaking a few eggs to make an omelet. Long Answer: Once Paul and the Fremen had control of Arrakis, Paul took steps to confirm that he had the universe by the short 'n' curlies ...
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  • 61.9k
37 votes
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Use compact protective field generator to attract sandworms instead of bulky tam-tam device

Thumpers are used to only attract the sandworms, a shield on the other hand attracts the sandworms and drives them into a killing frenzy: "According to Idaho’s report," Hawat said, "...
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36 votes
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Why did the Baron and Piter de Vries fear the Truthsayer?

It's not that the Baron doesn't want to watch them die, it's that he wants plausible deniability as to the reason and manner of their deaths. He wants to be able to stand in the presence of the ...
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  • 615k
36 votes
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Why did House Atreides have to give up Caladan, while the Harkonnens were allowed to stay on Geidi Prime while also controlling Arrakis?

The Harkonnen were simply under contract to supervise the mining of the spice on Arrakis whereas the Atreides family were given the planet entire, including the responsibility for mining the spice. ...
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  • 615k
35 votes
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Why was Duncan Idaho repeatedly reborn?

I can only make an somewhat educated guess about the following, but given the nature of the statement, it’s unlikely that there is anybody who can make a more substantiated claim about this: First of ...
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35 votes
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What do the dune sandworms eat?

The sandworms of Arrakis are much like the whales of Earth, albeit with their own enclosed lifecycle & ecosystem. They "swim" through the sands and swallow entire pockets of spice to get at the ...
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  • 61.9k
34 votes

Why didn't House Atreides stay on Caladan?

His only alternative would have been to have gone renegade, moving the whole familly beyond the reach of the Imperium. Leto suspects a trap, yes, but he doesn't know or suspect its true magnitude. ...
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33 votes
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How did the Bene Gesserit know how to make a Kwisatz Haderach?

They didn't. They're actually pretty clear about that throughout the text, and it comes up again, in different ways, later in the series, when Leto II is enforcing his Golden Path: they are not ...
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31 votes

How many different versions of cover art has Frank Herbert's Dune had since 1965?

P.S This answer does not deserve any upvotes! It is very deficient regarding non-English publications. Namely, in my haste, I only searched under the title "Dune" and neglected to search ...

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