"Earl" Gurney

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Freakzilla
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Re: "Earl" Gurney

Postby Freakzilla » 12 Oct 2009 17:42

Kind of ambiguous...
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Re: "Earl" Gurney

Postby SandChigger » 12 Oct 2009 18:10

Not so much, really. Let's PARSE! :D

Or at least clear up the pronoun references. ;)

HoD wrote:When the Harkonnens were forced to abandon it [=Giedi Prime], colonists left behind by the Scattering came from the Danian group, calling it [=GP] by the Halleck name [=Gammu] given to it [=GP] in the great remapping. The colonists had been known as Caladanian in those days but millennia tended to shorten some labels.

Nothing to indicate that the name of Caladan was changed except by natural (linguistic) process.

GOT THAT KJA? THERE WAS NO INTENTIONAL CHANGING OF CALADAN'S NAME! Moron.

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Re: "Earl" Gurney

Postby Slugger » 12 Oct 2009 18:47

SandChigger wrote:GOT THAT KJA? THERE WAS NO INTENTIONAL CHANGING OF CALADAN'S NAME! Moron.

That's how I see it; Caladan morphed into Dan by age.

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Re: "Earl" Gurney

Postby Freakzilla » 12 Oct 2009 18:56

Why call the changing of the name of one planet, "the great remapping'?
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Re: "Earl" Gurney

Postby Seraphan » 12 Oct 2009 19:52

Freakzilla wrote:Why call the changing of the name of one planet, "the great remapping'?

A lot of planets were probably renamed, like Kaitan or Salusa Secundus, no doubt.
The quote chig posted refers to the name Gammu as the name it was given to Geidi Prime in that "Great Remapping".
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Re: "Earl" Gurney

Postby SandChigger » 12 Oct 2009 21:02

Yeah, it only makes sense that more than one planet was renamed (or it wouldn't have been "great"), but it's pretty clearly saying that Caladan-to-Dan wasn't part of it.

(Also, this is the only mention FH makes of it in the books, FWIW.)

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Re: "Earl" Gurney

Postby Harq al Ada » 13 Oct 2009 01:26

redbugpest wrote:
rain_maker wrote:
redbugpest wrote:2. Again - you assume that everyone has seen it. Fail.


You've never seen the Big Lebowski? :shock:


There's this book series by Frank Herbert ever heard of him?
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Re: "Earl" Gurney

Postby SandChigger » 13 Oct 2009 02:14

(Let's see how you're doing so far... Funny avatar with Jean-Luc, check. Clever sig line, check. Bitch-slapping the pet preeq troll, check. Yeah, you're OK. :D )

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Re: "Earl" Gurney

Postby Raveem » 25 Oct 2009 22:33

Four pages, mostly filled with attention to he-who-shouldn't-be-attended-to.

The earldom is actually of some interest and I remember scratching my head over it. Not about what Gurney did with it later on in the series since loyal retainers of royal households were often ennobled (and given estates) and... continued to do exactly what they did before. But the fact that it was an earldom. You see, since Dune nobility is obviously based on the European peerage, that implies:

[Emperor] -> Duke -> Marquess -> Count -> Viscount -> Baron.

All that makes sense, especially in light of the fact that it was *Baron* Harkonnen, intensely jealous of *Duke* Atreides: a barony is the lowest rung of the ladder whilst a dukedom is the highest, often implying descent from royalty (i.e., a title given out to younger sons or daughters' husbands to prevent them and their lines lapsing into commonality). As Hawat mentions, the Harkonnens "bought" their title, something looked down upon (but nonetheless not able to be denied) by the "nobility of the sword" (what Gurney, or indeed, the Corrinos have) or the nobility of the blood (what the Atreides have).

All well and good, but what has this to do with Gurney's earldom? Earldom isn't listed above since it is an English oddity: heritage from Scandinavian incursions into the British Isles. It is actually the equivalent of count. And that's what made me scratch my head: the Europeans have the list above. We have the same list in England, but with earl instead of count. But no national nobility has both. Yet in Dune we have Count Fenring and Earl Halleck. So either Frank Herbert made a slip, or he simply used earl and count interchangeably.

I suspect whilst FH knew about European nobility, he was looking more at British titles since, along with the earldom, that is in line with the fact (as mentioned previously in this thread) that Fenring obviously wasn't of the same Great House calibre as the Baron or the Atreides, but was a count. I.e., that the title is divorced from any ancestral lineal estate (i.e., noble status is not tied to vastness of estates held, but dependent on a grant by the "fount of honour", in this case, the Emperor).

Raveem.

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Re: "Earl" Gurney

Postby SandChigger » 26 Oct 2009 01:27

(Marhaba, traveller! You have been too long far from the sietch. :) )

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Re: "Earl" Gurney

Postby Hunchback Jack » 27 Oct 2009 13:20

Could different Houses have used different versions of the titles, much as different countries do?

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Re: "Earl" Gurney

Postby Raveem » 27 Oct 2009 14:04

Not really. All Houses were still dependent on the Emperor/Landsraad for their social position (remember, Paul had to invoke his "hatchetmanship" of the Imperium as the source of his authority), so there was no fragmenting of the nobility; it really was one empire spanning the then known universe.

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Re: "Earl" Gurney

Postby Molluskapod » 28 Oct 2009 11:11

<EnglishMajor>
Their are some interesting issues involved with the titles in Dune. For example the observation that the rank of Count=Earl. Earl Gurney was the right-hand man and friend to Paul much like Count Fenring was to Shaddam. Or perhaps "errand boy." Was the difference in title a subtle message that the Atredies would rule differently than the Corrinos?

Edit: Also both Gurney and Fenring were given nominal rule over Caladan by their respective emperors.
</EnglishMajor>

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Re: "Earl" Gurney

Postby Redstar » 28 Oct 2009 18:24

I always felt that the titles were equal in position, but differed in action. Earls and counts had the same level of power and influence, just earls also had their own fief.

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Re: "Earl" Gurney

Postby A Little Galach » 03 May 2010 09:42

So I'm in Heretics, and the Gammu/Geidi Prime issue was discussed, as well as the Non-KJA origin of the No-Chamber being Harkonnen but post-Baron.

Gammu was changed from Geidi Prime to Gammu by Gurney. The No-Chamber was built by Harkonnens during the reign of the Tyrant before they were economically crushed and disbanded or diluted or whatever.

I have two questions:

Does this mean that the Harkonnen's ruled over their planet's renaming? I find this as intolerable.
Don't the Tyrant and Moneo refer to "Geidi Prime" in GEoD, and a Harkonnen melange stash there? Does this conflict with the above, and if so am I a bad person for pointing it out?

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Re: "Earl" Gurney

Postby SandChigger » 03 May 2010 10:48

I don't think it's clear whether the Harkonnens ever ruled again on Giedi Prime/Gammu, but they were obviously not a small family and so would have remained there in numbers even after the deaths of the Baron and the two Rabban/Harkonnen nephews.

Leto would have longer memories of knowing the planet as Giedi Prime. Moneo would have followed his lead in how to refer to the planet.

You're never a "bad person" for pointing out places where FH made mistakes or was lazy, because he was only human and we don't worship him as some infallible being. He apparently never did any of the hard math concerning Arrakis and its size, gravity, orbit, etc. (There's NO WAY IN HELL you could have a midday sun directly overhead in Arrakeen, for instance.) And while language and linguistic matters, like this naming issue, were important in the books, FH was no Tolkien and he never really worked out a fully described new language for any of the peoples in the books.

But I'm not sure yet that this really is a mistake. ;)

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Re: "Earl" Gurney

Postby MrFlibble » 03 May 2010 11:57

It was mentioned in Messiah (IIRC, that is) that during the Jihad, many Great Houses dropped to House Minor status. Perhaps this is what happened to House Harkonnen. It is also true that the Harkonnens were quite a large family, other members are mentioned but not named in Dune during the gladiator fight scene and also in Rabban's thoughts, and when Paul reveals to Jessica that she's a Harkonnen descendant she speculates whether she's a daughter of some distant cousin of the Baron who fell out of grace with the rest of the family (although it's obvious her thoughts are a kind of defensive mechanism since the slightest hint of being a Harkonnen must have been unbearable to her).
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Re: "Earl" Gurney

Postby Apjak » 03 May 2010 13:32

Redstar wrote:I always felt that the titles were equal in position, but differed in action. Earls and counts had the same level of power and influence, just earls also had their own fief.


"Counts" are called "Earls" in English Royalty. They are the same thing, a noble who reigns over a county. Earl's wives (or females with equal title) are "Countesses". An amusing etymological story I've heard for the English difference has to do with how "Count" would have sounded similar to the popular Middle English word cunte.
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Re: "Earl" Gurney

Postby Superdog » 03 May 2010 17:54

A Little Galach wrote:So I'm in Heretics, and the Gammu/Geidi Prime issue was discussed, as well as the Non-KJA origin of the No-Chamber being Harkonnen but post-Baron.

Gammu was changed from Geidi Prime to Gammu by Gurney. The No-Chamber was built by Harkonnens during the reign of the Tyrant before they were economically crushed and disbanded or diluted or whatever.

I have two questions:

Does this mean that the Harkonnen's ruled over their planet's renaming? I find this as intolerable.
Don't the Tyrant and Moneo refer to "Geidi Prime" in GEoD, and a Harkonnen melange stash there? Does this conflict with the above, and if so am I a bad person for pointing it out?


I always assumed that by Gurney renaming the planet and it being swarmed by Caladanians that that represented the fall of geidi Prime and House Harkonnen, presumably in Gurney's lifetime. Gurney must have then been in charge of Geidi Prime or have some kind of authority to re-organize the Landsraad.

After an Atreides becomes Emperor and the Fremen are free to roam the galaxy in angry armies, the Harkonnens, who hunted Fremen for sport for 80 years, are pretty well done for.

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Re: "Earl" Gurney

Postby Freakzilla » 03 May 2010 22:44

Real power in the Landsraad lies in CHOAM contracts and directorships, ruling a planet does you no good if that planet doesn't have a product.

The Atreides Emperors probably just pulled the Harkonnen fangs by stripping them of their CHOAM holdings like Paul did to Shaddam, and left them on their poor homeworlds.

I don't recall any exports from Geidi Prime being mentioned.
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Re: "Earl" Gurney

Postby Superdog » 03 May 2010 23:00

Freakzilla wrote:Real power in the Landsraad lies in CHOAM contracts and directorships, ruling a planet does you no good if that planet doesn't have a product.

The Atreides Emperors probably just pulled the Harkonnen fangs by stripping them of their CHOAM holdings like Paul did to Shaddam, and left them on their poor homeworlds.

I don't recall any exports from Geidi Prime being mentioned.


I have a hard time believing that Geidi Prime, the home world of the Beast Rabban, wouldn't be one of the first stops on the jihad. Just kinda the way I always saw it.

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Re: "Earl" Gurney

Postby Freakzilla » 03 May 2010 23:10

Superdog wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:Real power in the Landsraad lies in CHOAM contracts and directorships, ruling a planet does you no good if that planet doesn't have a product.

The Atreides Emperors probably just pulled the Harkonnen fangs by stripping them of their CHOAM holdings like Paul did to Shaddam, and left them on their poor homeworlds.

I don't recall any exports from Geidi Prime being mentioned.


I have a hard time believing that Geidi Prime, the home world of the Beast Rabban, wouldn't be one of the first stops on the jihad. Just kinda the way I always saw it.


Muad'dib's Jihad was religious, not political. Someone still has to rule the planet.
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Re: "Earl" Gurney

Postby Aquila ka-Hecate » 04 May 2010 07:05

Freakzilla wrote:I don't recall any exports from Geidi Prime being mentioned.

Pillingitam? I may have spelled it wrong but, you know, the sodding enormous trees preferred by the very wealthy?

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Re: "Earl" Gurney

Postby inhuien » 04 May 2010 08:05

Heretics wrote:Harkonnens had grown some of the finest pilingitam, a wood of steady currency,
always valued by the supremely rich. From the most ancient times, the
knowledgeable had preferred to surround themselves with fine woods rather than
with the mass-produced artificial materials known then as polastine, polaz, and
pormabat latterly: tine, laz, and bat). As far back as the Old Empire there
had been a pejorative label for the small rich and Families Minor arising from
the knowledge of a rare wood's value.

"He's a three P-O," they said, meaning that such a person surrounded himself
with cheap copies made from declasse substances. Even when the supremely rich
were forced to employ one of the distressful three P-Os, they disguised it where
possible behind O-P (the Only P), pilingitam.

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Re: "Earl" Gurney

Postby lotek » 04 May 2010 08:15

gotta love the 3 PO joke :mrgreen:
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