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Obscure Questions Regarding Dune


DoMoNiC_HuNtEr
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1. Why exactly did the Emperor want to place House Atreides in power on Arrakis?  Why did he work with the Harkonnens? Because of their wealth and/or of their voilent and fuedal history with the Atreides? Did the Emperor use the Harkonnens simply as cover?

2. I want to confirm if or if not the Duke Leto Atreides had any brothers, sisiters, or cousins. Will the online Dune encyclopedia have all the info I need?

3. What was House Harkonnen's impact on Leto & Jessica's time of power over Caladan, and during Paul's early life?

4. What is the length of time filling the gap inbetween House Harkonnen's departure from and House Atreides' arrival to Arrakis? 

5. How many of the Atreides people leave Caladan for Arrakis? All or some; alot, or alittle; half, or what?

6. Based on House Atreides' technology during before and after the fief on Dune, was there ever a chance of them actually developing sonic based weaponry? Or is the only reasonable way for them to aquire such weaponry is to buy them from House Ix?

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Needless to say, there are spoilers here. does anyone care?

1) House Atreides was placed in power as part of a trap by the Baron, who hated the Atreides, and the Emperor, who felt threatened by Duke Leto's growing popularity and power. It was a mutually beneficial bargain: the Emperor removed a threat, but as his sardaukar were dressed as Harkonnen soldiers he himself would not be implicated. House Harkonnen of course removed a long hated enemy.

2) I had a quick look at the Encyclopaedia. It doesn't mention any siblings, though we know that the Emperor Shaddam was his cousin. As to other relations, I'm not sure.

3) According to canon, none that I can recall, save the ever-present emnity between the two houses.

4) You know, I really don't recall. It would say in Dune, surely?

5) House Atreides, their retainers, household staff, a part of their military, I would presume. Civilians would not leave the planet. When you take over a business you don't move all of your employees into it, just enough to keep both running smoothly.

6) Sonic weapons weren't in the books, so is a bit outside my area of interest. Given that House Atreides has no technological expertise that we know of, and that House Ix were not only the smartest, they were the only ones allowed to produce such technology, it's doubtful that the Atreides would have developed anything like that on their own.

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1. Why exactly did the Emperor want to place House Atreides in power on Arrakis?  Why did he work with the Harkonnens? Because of their wealth and/or of their voilent and fuedal history with the Atreides? Did the Emperor use the Harkonnens simply as cover?

To quote Dune:

Hawat snarled. "You think I don't know why the Emperor turned against House Atreides?"

"This is not a realm open to your speculation," the Baron warned.

Is it possible that even he doesn't know what motivated the Emperor in this? Hawat asked himself.

"Any area is open to my speculation if it does what you've hired me to do," Hawat said. "I am a Mentat. You do not withhold information or computation lines from a Mentat."

For a long minute, the Baron stared at him, then: "Say what you must say. Mentat."

"The Padishah Emperor turned against House Atreides because the Duke's Warmasters Gurney Halleck and Duncan Idaho had trained a fighting force -- a small fighting force -- to within a hair as good as the Sardaukar. Some of them were even better. And the Duke was in a position to enlarge his force, to make it every bit as strong as the Emperor's."

The Baron weighed this disclosure, then: "What has Arrakis to do with this?"

"It provides a pool of recruits already conditioned to the bitterest survival training."

The Baron shook his head. "You cannot mean the Fremen?"

"I mean the Fremen."

BTW, the Atreides did not have any significant wealth. They were one of the less rich Houses, but Leto had a great influence in the Landsraad.

3. What was House Harkonnen's impact on Leto & Jessica's time of power over Caladan, and during Paul's early life?

It is mentioned on one of the epigraphs in Dune that in his childhood Paul did not have any friends his age on Caladan, because the danger was too great. I suppose there was a constant looming threat of attempts on the Duke's or his family members' lives.

4. What is the length of time filling the gap inbetween House Harkonnen's departure from and House Atreides' arrival to Arrakis?

I'm not sure the exact time is mentioned, but probably no more than half year Standard. Maybe even less. I don't think anyone involved would allow a longer time of instability in spice production.

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  • 1 year later...

Sonic tanks were, if we take the Dune II RTS games as canon (and the Encyclopedia, obviously), in common usage about 2400 years before the first Book. They gave up that sort of industrial capacity in the interval for some reason. Remember, tanks would be more expensive in a computerless, neo-feudal Dune future than in the 20th Century: Design problems, only rudimentary automated production, costly transport footprint for any materials or parts that need to come from off-planet, poorly-educated labour pool.

Maybe they had them on Caladan still, but couldn't take them with them either for cost or because it would leave Fenring (who took over whilst the Areides served their 50? 80? year term governing Arrakis) defenceless. When the term was over they'd get Caladan back. That's how it was on paper anyway, but that was of course never the real intention.

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Sonic tanks were, if we take the Dune II RTS games as canon

Now this is an interesting development. I think no one before explicitly proposed this. Why would you want to do that, anyway? The games were never intended to be anything even on par with the Encyclopaedia, which is not canon, but a "companion" to the original books, as FH put it himself. And the games are just... games.

BTW, where'd you get that "2400 years before the books" figure? I can't find the exact passage right now, but I'm pretty sure that spice was discovered some 200 years standard before the events of the first book (correct me if I'm wrong here).

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  • 3 months later...

I have wondered if Goire wasn't a bastard child of Paulus, considering it hints at the fact the old Duke had many affairs and probably had illegitimate offspring. The facts that Leto and Swaine had looked so much alike and the closeness of age reveals much...

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Who, what?

As for the games, I believe they were set a few hundred years before the books. Supposedly. And the Imperium had existed for thousands of years prior to the arrival of Muad'dib. I forget exactly which passages mention this, but there's one in the Encyclopaedia which says that its longevity was due largely to the calibre of the people who administrated it (i.e. Duke Leto and his ilk) rather than through any inherent stability in the tripod system.

I've always ascribed that to one of McNelly's students doing a bit of soapboxing.

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As for the games, I believe they were set a few hundred years before the books. Supposedly.

I'm not sure, but I think that the guys at Westwood never attempted to tie their games in with the canon storyline (Cryo's Dune and Frank Herbert's Dune being obviously set in the timeline of the original book). In any case, whichever ending of Dune II, Dune 2000 or Emperor you might consider canonical involves the Corrino Emperor being dethroned in one way or another, except maybe the Ordos ending in Emperor (and, possibly, also the Ordos ending in Dune II, although it can be debated), which contradicts established canon (with the Corrino dynasty having ruled uninterrupted until the Arrakis Revolt).

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I have wondered if Goire wasn't a bastard child of Paulus, considering it hints at the fact the old Duke had many affairs and probably had illegitimate offspring. The facts that Leto and Swaine had looked so much alike and the closeness of age reveals much...

I suppose it's possible. . . considering the indirect role Goire played in the death of Leto's firstborn son, Victor, it was fitting that he sacrificed himself to help save Paul during the War of Assassins.

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I suppose it's possible. . . considering the indirect role Goire played in the death of Leto's firstborn son, Victor, it was fitting that he sacrificed himself to help save Paul during the War of Assassins.

Fitting and quite like something an "Atreides" would do.

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. . 6. Based on House Atreides' technology during before and after the fief on Dune, was there ever a chance of them actually developing sonic based weaponry? Or is the only reasonable way for them to aquire such weaponry is to buy them from House Ix?

Jessica's renegade Bene Gesserit teaching of Voice for Paul could be classified as sonic weapon of sorts.

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What's that called when someone posts with disdain, adding nothing to the discussion, while slandering people based on them not agreeing with what they consider to be good or bad?

I don't know. Why don't you enlighten us.

(You're certainly at no loss for words when you visit my blog. :) )

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