Children of Dune – book club notes

I totally forgot to add this! As we trudge on through the desert, walking without rhythm, something peculiar happened. The content and storyline grew so increasingly philosophical, so mind-blowingly bizarre, that it has become more challenging to organize the layers upon layers of plot. Sometimes we don’t even know where to begin in our weekly discussions. We are about to finish up God Emperor, and never quite completed the Children of Dune book club notes. But below you can find what we discussed up until we resorted to the Oral Histories 🙂

CHILDREN. OF. DUNE. THOUGH.

THE PLAYERS

House Atreides:

  • Leto & Ghanima – Osiris & Isis, on a path to one of 3 possible futures. 
    • In one of them Leto must kill Lady Jess to somehow keep them from losing the spice monopoly. In #2 the twins are married for the sake of the Atreides bloodline (BG wishes). In #3, Leto works to “undeify” Pauly-Dib
    • To Stilgar, Leto says rulers must be sensitive and not dictatorial 
  • Duncan Idaho – Mentat bae who STILL CRIES from emotional pain via Tleilaxu eyes. Loves Preachy man lowkey and has to accept the loss of his wife’s sanity. 
  • Alia the Abominable Sandwoman (possessed by the Baron) – plots to kidnap her mother before her reign is compromised
    • Javid – one of her guards who is seemingly involved in some plot against her, as noted by both Jessica & Baron. Now being seduced for info by Alia.
  • Lady Jessica – shady mom who literally ditched her fam for Caladan until just now. Everyone is trying to read her actions. She only gets vulnerable w/ Ghani.
  • Gurney Halleck – doing his very best. Still hates Harkonnens. This will probably be important, knowing the bloodline of the folks he serves. Jessica has sent him out to collect info on Jacurutu from his ex-smuggling crew.

House Corrino:

  • Irulan (DAUGHTER O’ SHADDAM IV) – still loves Paul? Was shamed by Alia when she announced at Council that the Atreides empire hit rock bottom
    • Can’t really tell where she stands. Sounds just as nuts as Alia, but perhaps egging her on? She says her Corrino confidantes report nothing to her but….
  • Wensicia (DAUGHTER O’ SHADDAM IV) – wants to avenge her papi
  • [Low key Prince] Farad’n – would be inheriting the Empire, but has almost zero interest in ruling a govt. Wensicia’s son. He has a dream that the Preacher comes to interpret but not share, lol. Receives advice about ruling instead. DEAD DADDY WAS RELATED TO COUNT FENRING, PEOPLE! The failed Kwisatz Haderach!
    • Teykanik – their Sardaukar Bashar, who is involved in their plan to murder the Atreides twins via Lazan cat attack and kidnap Lady Jessica

House Harkonnen:

  • The Baron – Yeah, we thought he was dead AF too. Comes back to haunt Alia via possessed visions.

Fremen

  • The Preacher – WHOMST?! “If I beckon Duncan Idaho”; Arakeen on a large scale assume this is Pauly Dib back from Shai Hulud’s desert hell 
    • Assan Hariq – a lad, but also his paraprofessional
  • Muritz – Assan’s father, mentions being part of the “Cast Out” group out on some deep desert sietch. They pay homage to the Typhoon Struggle. He has his son kill Fremen who arrived via guide at their holy site as his passage into manhood.
  • Stilgar – extremely disillusioned and now disturbed by Paul’s twins. Distrusts tradition and now his own choices.
    • Harah – wifu of Stilgar and protects kids 

THE CONFLICTS

  1. Leto’s Golden Path – spun from a dream in which he was the sun (RA?!) and steps away to look at himself as a stick figure w/ a scepter. There is green armor involved (OSIRIS AF).
    1. His quest to Jacurutu is something he has to do on his own, forcing him and Ghani to stage his murder. Ghani goes back to figure out who betrayed them.
  2. Jessica is still a BG – if this is factual, she will prioritize the twins’ incest for the sake of Kwisatz Haderach geneology.
    1. Leto vs. Jessica is not the same as Ghani vs. Jessica 
  3. Alia’s possession – taken over by the man she took down, fully succumbing to being the Abomination the BG feared she’d become. She lost prescience and had been repressing the multitudes of lives and memories. She has no identity and is now being evilly steered by the Baron. 
  4. Fremen unrest – based in the different sects of Muad’Dib worship, with some greatly missing the desert ocean and not caring about water. Even Stilgar is prompted to question modernity vs. tradition thanks to Yung Leto’s “teachings”
  5. Ecology of Arrakis – suddenly so rich, that the Fremen stillsuits are being poorly manufactured and they take pills to retain water. Society has changed as the planet has become more inhabitable. Old Vladdie the Baddie is out here plotting to destroy Arrakis by controlling Alia’s actions.
  6. Assassination attempt on the twins – House Corrino’s Laza tigers under command of Winescia 
  7. Alia’s plan to subdue Jessica and retain the Regency – yes, the poor woman is possessed by the uncle she slew. She seduces Javid for information against herself, propagating her own paranoia, then arranges with Duncan to have Lady Jessica escorted to Corrino in a staged kidnapping, but only after trying to have her assassinated during morning court rulings. Jessica then leaves in a flurry w/ Fedaykin.
  8. Winescia’s plan to place Farad’n Corrino on the throne – this would restore House Corrino as the Imperial fam, many years after Shaddamn was dethroned. The son is not exactly thrilled, especially because he was left out of most of the developments; now he is now awaiting Jessica to train him as BG… what?!
  9. The damn Preacher’s agenda – Duncan has sided with him to take Jessica to Salusa Secundus. Also, many Fremen heed his words. He had already issued warnings to Alia, Duncan, Stilgar, and Jessica before a crowd.

THEMES/MOTIFS

  1. Disfigurement of the soul vs. “richness” of the soul (p 89)
  2. Animal behavior vs. human behavior 
  3. Religious fanaticism is truly mind control by the actual people in power
  4. Separation of church and state (theocracy is trash)
  5. Loyalty, even after death
  6. Errors of our parents/breaking cycles 
  7. Identity/self (Leto mostly)
  8. Love vs. duty 
  9. Giving and taking 

ALL OF THE FREAKING PLACES

We got very interplanetary in this book, so here are the basics.

  • ARRAKIS/DUNE desert planet
    • Capital: Arakeen
    • Sietches all over the desert with Fremen tribes:
      • Tabr
    • Jacurutu (MYSTERY)
  • SALUSA SECUNDUS
    • Where the Corrinos were exiled by Pauly Dib because it was poetic justice (Former penal colony for Shaddam IV)
    • Big history of enslavement of Fremen
  • TLEILAXU
    • Home of the Bene Tleilax genetic engineers 
    • Produced the likes of Piter de Vries, ghola!Duncan Idaho, and Peter Dinklage 
  • GIEDI PRIME
    • Home planet of Harkonnens
  • CALADAN
    • Lush, water planet
    • Home planet of Atreides
    • Where Jessica hid out w/ Gurney for SOME TIME

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