dune questions

Why was Arrakis destroyed in the later Dune books? Yes, I want it to be spoiled.
Are humans the only sentient species in the whole galaxy or is the galaxy just that huge that they have not come across any non-human intelligences? Are there only humans like in the Red Dwarf universe?
Do you think that the menace that frightens the Honored Matres are the remnants of the machines from 10,000 of their years ago?

Thanks for posting spoilers in the title of the thread.

I assumed your question was about the first book.

422 posts? I think you should know better.

it has been many years since I read the last two Dune books that Frank Herbert wrote. So I’m going from memory, and personal opinion. I’m sure someone who will come around who will correct me. You can always count on it. Especialy my bad spelling. I hope you understand my rambilng thoughs.

The hint of something worse out there is brought out when the HM’s arrived.

I believe it was hinted at with the discussions of ‘House Atomics’ being ultimatly preserved for the purpose of defence because of this. (good bit of plannin’ No?)
There were a few hints at the horror the Matres refer to is related to the Xalatol (spelling?) tanks the Bene Thalieu (spelling?) used to create Gholas. Hint may lie in no one has seen a Theliaux female.
I myself never got the impression Frank Herbert was leading up to the Jhiad coming back and biting mankind on the butt, but more as an explaination as to why no advanced computers.

As to why 'Rakkis was destroyed?

More political/religious than practical. I believe it was because of the exsistance of the worm symbioant alive in the sands. No more spice, no more Tyrant, no more monopoly that was non exsistant because of the subsitutes created latter. (Ixian machine and H.M.'s orange eye drug)

Again. MHO is, whatever the HM’s feared was more religious/political that a bunch of machines or Herberts equivialant of Klingons.

It’s spelled “Tlielaxu” and Bene “Tlielax”. (I think.) The tanks are pronounced “axle-ottle” and so are probably spelled axalotl.

Regarding the fact that no one has seen a Tlielaxu female, something is said about this in the Brian Herbert / Kevin J. “Star Wars Hack” Anderson Dune prequel novels. (These novels are hardly considered canonical by the hardcore Dune fans, they were based (somewhat) on notes left behind by Frank Herbert.) They say:

An axalotl tank is nothing more than a human woman who has been turned into a living support systems for her own (now oversized) uterus. The reason you nevel see any Tlielaxu females is because they have all been turned into axalotl tanks.

“Only” humans in the Red Dwarf universe?!
What about Cat? What about Kryton? What about Holly and Hilly? What about that emotion-eating monster?!

Erm… I meant humans as a catch-all for life forms originating from Earth. Yeah, that’s it. That’s the ticket.
There’s a decided lack of extraterrestrials in Dune and Red Dwarf.

It’s been a long time since I read the whole thing, but I’ll give this a shot (I am also drawing on my husband’s remembered knowledge because he read them, too.

The Honored Matres destoyed Dune in order to destroy the Bene Gesserit sisterhood. The Bene Gesserit had, as of yet, been unable to manufacture a synthetic spice. The Honored Matres knew that the key to ‘making’ a reverend mother was the spice, so no more Dune= no more spice = no more Bene Gesserit.

This could be complete malarkey, but it seems to be the concensus of what my husband and I remember.


The Tyrant (Leto II) was killed/assassinated at the end of God-Emperor of Dune (4th book). If I remember the timeline correctly, it should have been about 5000 years, give or take, between the death of The Tyrant and the destruction of Dune. Things were in a state of near chaos, due to a lack of any supreme leadership.

Sorry, this was supposed to go in that first post, but I was talking and typing at the same time, so I thought I had said it. My lessons for walking and chewing gum at the same time don’t start until next week.


But wait a minute … no more spice also = no more Navigators in the Spacing Guild = no more faster-than-light travel!

Unless the Honored Matres are willing to install those accursed Thinking Machines in their highliners, in flagrant disregard for the Butlerian Jihad.

i believe that the Ixians were developing the navigation machine at the end of the Tyrant’s reign, and it would have been in use by then. Remember that the Tyrant had a stranglehold on spice for a LONG time, and they were always trying to circumvent him (and the Butlerian prosciptions). Even after his death, spice production was very limited.

Besides, we can never overstate the fact that the HM were totally insane, as well as on the run from their enemies in the Scattering.

I think that FaerieBeth is right, to a point. There were navigation machines that had been developed so space travel wasn’t in any danger. In fact the Tyrant had drastically limited space travel during his rein in order to foster the development of such machines after his death.

I think that the Bene Gesserit enticed the HM to destroy dune, and they wanted it to happen. In HoD, the Tleilax have already figured out how to get melange out of their axlotl tanks. At the end of HoD one worm is brought into the no-ship that then moves to Chapterhouse (the sisterhood was hedging its bets). There is one part in the book when the Mother Superior realizes that Leto is still influencing events via the pearl of his awareness that remained in all sandworms after his death. One saved worm wouldn’t be able to exert any degree of influence.

As far as what the HM were running from, the theory that many people had, based on Daniel and Martha (the couple that Idaho sees) is that they are face dancers who became independant of their masters, and for some reason this idea causes everybody (in the Duniverse) some discomfort. There is a mention of something called ‘Arafal’ in GEoD, which is refered to as the gathering storm at the end of the universe, and LetoII knows what it is but never elaborates. In Dune:Butlerian Jihad, the most recent prequel, there is a pretty good indication of what exactly Arafal is and what the HM are running from.

How many books are there and are they all worth reading?

There are six books in Frank Herbert’s Dune series

Dune: Messiah
Children of Dune
God-Emperor of Dune
Heretics of Dune
Chapterhouse: Dune

In that order. They are good, if a little weird towards the end. Books 1 - 3 are VERY good.

Herbert’s son, with the dubious help of Kevin J Anderson have expanded on this series supposedly taking cues from Herbert’s notes left behind after his death.
They are:
House Atreides
House Harkonnen
House Carino
The Butlerian Jihad (which always gives me a giggle because my maiden name was Butler)
I have read all except the newest (The Butlerian Jihad).
I …hm, enjoyed is too strong a word…liked? tolerated? the Brian Herbert expansions on the Dune universe. Especially the backstory on the Baron Harkonnen!

All worth the read if you are a fan of fantasy/sci fi literature. Herbert’s work is considered classic by many.


That depends on whether you include the posthumous prequel novels among the books or not.

Thank you for the information on this series. I enjoyed Dune immensely but was daunted by the rest which I new nothing about.

Just for the record:

Before Frank Herbert’s death, another guy (whose name escapes me right now) wrote The Dune Encyclopedia. Frank Herbert blessed this book as Dune canon.

The Brian Herbert/Kevin J. Anderson prequel novels all contradict The Dune Encyclopedia substantially. The Butlerian Jihad is especially grievous in its deviation from the established canon of The Dune Encyclopedia, changing everything from the name and identity/history of Holtzman to the triggering event of the Butlerian Jihad itself. Many Dune fans are rightfully upset at the treatment Frank Herbert’s son and his Star-Wars-hack writing buddy have subjected the Dune universe to.

I’d always assumed that Herbert planned on finishing with a seventh novel, because

having Duncan Idaho leave the universe while the painting “American Gothic” looks on in wonder is just a bit too esoteric a cliffhanger to NOT do something else with.

Is it just me, or does it seem like (in the later books), Frank Herbert just discovered what sex was, and decided to have everyone do it all the time?

No wonder the characters in the early books were so uptight and mean and paranoid all the time! :wink:

The structure of the series seems to indicate one was in the offing: it’s really two trilogies (the first three books, which take place in Paul’s lifetime; and the two Honored Matres-era books + mystery #7) bridged by God Emperor’s enormous interlude.

Ok, this seems like an appropriate thread to hijack with more Dune questions. :smiley:

I’ve only read the original book, Dune, and none of the sequels (I probably will soon). However, for some reason I’m much more fascinated with the history and pre-history of the Dune universe, particularly about anything Frank Herbert had to say about “Earth-as-we-know-it.” I’ve seen some references online to the timeline presented in the Dune Encyclopedia, where it’s suggested that in Herbert’s world the Roman Empire never went away, and persisted into space.

What I want to know is: is there any canonical documentation to the prehistory of the Dune universe? Is it just the Dune Encyclopedia and the dubious Kevin J Anderson books? Are there any online summaries of how the galaxy as presented in Dune came to be from a historical standpoint (Googling hasn’t turned up much relevant info)? What’s this Holtzmann guy, and can I read about him?

Inquiring minds, and all that.