- Paul is tested by the Reverend Mother, the leader of the Bene Gesserits.
- We meet the Atreides and their enemies, Harkonnens. 10, 000s of years ago, Harkonnens were stripped of their titles for showing cowardice in a war. That is just one of the reasons they hate the Atreides who took over and won the war.
- Atreides are being sent to the brutal desert planet, Arrakis, where the precious spice is mined.
- That the Emperor wants to see the house fall and Duke Leto has plans of his own to counter that.
- The Harkonnens have plotted the downfall of Atreides and they will be betrayed by Paul’s doctor, Yueh.
- The blame is to fall on Lady Jessica (Paul’s mother) who is a Bene Gesserit (BG).
- The BGs perform myth-seeding to keep their operatives safe and they have created a legend about Paul in Arrakis.
You can read the rest of the post here. Onward with the next installment:
This time, we started with:
My father, the Padishah Emperor, took me by the hand one day and I sensed in the ways my mother had taught me that he was disturbed. He led me down the Hall of Portraits to the ego-likeness of the Duke Leto Atreides. I marked the strong resemblance between them—my father and this man in the portrait—bothwith thin, elegant faces and sharp features dominated by cold eyes. “Princess daughter,” my father said, “I would that you’d been older when it came time for this man to choose a woman.” My father was 71 at the time and looking no older than the man in the portrait, and I was but 14, yet I remember deducing in that instant that my father secretly wished the Duke had been his son, and disliked the political necessities that made them enemies.—“In my Father’s House” by Princess Irulan
and read all the way until the end of the first book, which was:
O Seas of Caladan,
O people of Duke Leto—
Citadel of Leto fallen,
Fallen forever…—from“Songs of Muad’Dib” by the Princess Irulan
A summary of what has happened until now:
- We meet Kynes, the Emperor appointed ecologist on Arrakis who is also a whole lot more but not letting on. People are scared of him and by people, I mean Harkonnen spies! He plans on hating the Atreides but they are just too cute and cuddly for him to loathe. Oh, and he is beginning to link Paul with the Messiah myth in his head, even when he doesn’t want to.
- The Duke saves some men harvesting spice from a worm attack, even though they have to abandon the harvested product. Who can guess the party behind the almost-accident? That’s right; the Harkonnens! Two Fremen are spotted riding the worm by Paul, which Kynes denies vehemently.
- It is hinted that the Emperor doesn’t really hate the Atreides but is scared about how popular and loved the Duke is, making the latter a threat that must be dealt with.
- Jessica and Hawat have a psychic showdown, which Jessica wins (duh) but causes Hawat to be more attentive towards her (not that it did any good)
- Harkonnens’ plan comes to fruition and the Duke dies while Yueh is not a complete bastard and gives Jessica and Paul a fighting (and since they succeed, escaping) chance.
- It is revealed by Paul who turns into a computer-ish freak that Atreides and Harkonnens are genetically related.
- Oh, and the evil Duke is a pedophile who has the hots for Paul!
The scene at the dinner table was a good one but it seems mild when compared to the complicated political games that Robert Jordan had his characters play with the Dragon Reborn in the series, WoT. I also liked how Paul handled himself in that scene due to his mother’s BG lessons and I loved how he slipped at the end because after all, he is just a boy!
His inexperience is put into stark contrast a few scenes later when his mentat (and god knows what else) abilities kick in, making him into a human supercomputer hybrid.
I want to take a moment and be sad for Mape who was killed just like so much cannon fodder and Yueh, who knew that henceforth history would remember him simply as the Traitor and that his wife was probably already dead hence the evil Duke had no plans of fulfilling his end of the bargain, yet he did what he had to!
I also want to casually remember the Atreides allies:
On a lighter note, I came across National Lampoon’s Doon . On Wikipedia,the plot of the parody is described in the following words:
Dune is set on the dangerous, sandworm-ridden desert planet Arrakis, sole source of the spice melange, the most valuable substance in the universe. The parody follows a similar storyline, wherein rival restaurant-owning families battle for control of Arruckus, which is overrun by giant pretzels and the source of valuable beer.
Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? I might give it a read, if Weird Enough shows some interest in it too!
Remember the Orange Catholic Bible that Yueh gifted Paul (and then remorselessly betrayed him afterwards but nobody mentions that, do they?). Well, it and the religion based on it show up in this blog, Top 10 Made-Up Religions for Nerds and Geeks. Check it out, if you want to see what else is on that list.
I will leave you with this postcard that you can send to your friends while vacationing on Arrakis