Brian Herbert wrote:We also found more pages of general notes about the Dune universe, but were only able to use them minimally, for an epigraph here and there, for example. Those notes did include one chapter, in which Lady Jessica and Duke Leto meet—and we included that in one of our new novels.
https://www.goodreads.com/questions/494 ... utline-for
Brian Herbert wrote:We also have other notes of Frank Herbert’s that were found in storage, but they are bits and pieces of information that we can only adapt for a short epigraph here and there, or – as we did in only one case – as a portion of a chapter.
https://www.goodreads.com/questions/226 ... g-universe
I know some of you don't believe a word Brian or Kevin say about the notes, but I tend to credit their claims. Of course, what he's saying here is that the new books (apart from Hunters and Sandworms) only draw on notes by Frank Herbert to a minimal extent, which I think we all find easy to believe.
With one exception: He's claiming that Frank Herbert wrote a chapter where Jessica and Leto meet, that they included in one of their books. (Though the second comment is less expansive, only saying there was "bits and pieces of information" that they adapted as a portion of a chapter.) If this is true, it would be interesting to try to identify which part is by Frank Herbert.
This event takes place in House Harkonnen. However, it's a little bit complicated because they actually "meet" twice: first seeing each other from a distance when Jessica is twelve and Leto is accompanying his friend Rhombur Vernius to buy a BG concubine, and then five years later with Jessica presented as a gift to the Duke by Reverend Mother Mohiam. In this scene, Leto holds a knife to Jessica's throat, threatening to kill her (for no very clear reason).
So which scene is Brian referring to? Nothing stands out to me as Frank Herbert's writing. The only halfway plausible candidate I can find (assuming some tampering by Brian and Kevin) is this passage from the first scene:
Dune: House Harkonnen wrote:At that moment Duke Leto glanced up at Jessica, as if sensing her presence in the balcony shadows—and their gazes met. She saw a fire in his gray eyes, a strength and wisdom beyond his years, the result of bearing difficult burdens. She felt herself drawn to him.
But she resisted. Instincts … automatic reactions, responses … I am not an animal. She rejected other emotions, as Mohiam had taught her for years.
Jessica’s previous questions vanished, and for the moment she formed no new ones. A deep, calming breath brought her to a state of serenity. For whatever reasons, she liked the look of this Duke …
… But I am far from convinced. (I'd quote the whole thing, but the second scene in particular is too long. The first scene is about one sixth of the way through, in a chapter with the epigraph “What is this Love that so many speak of with such apparent familiarity? Do they truly comprehend how unattainable it is? Are there not as many definitions of Love as there are stars in the universe? —The Bene Gesserit Question Book” The second is about halfway through the book, in a chapter with the epigraph “The Bene Gesserit tell no casual lies. Truth serves us better. —Bene Gesserit Coda”)
It's also hard to see why Frank would write either of these scenes: there's no place in Dune or any of the sequels for a chapter about the meeting between Jessica and Leto. And the first scene is all wrapped up in House Vernius plotting that obviously has nothing to do with Frank, while the second flatly contradicts Dune (where we learn that Leto sent buyers to pick a concubine, who reported back to him about Jessica before he met her) and also ties into the even-more-obviously-unrelated-to-anything-that-ever-passed-through-Frank's-mind subplot about the Harkonnen no-ship as well as Leto's first concubine and son.
The best explanations I can think of would be:
(1) What Brian at one point calls a "chapter" they found is really something much less than that suggests, more in line with the "bits and pieces of information" he talks about. Either some brief notes (e.g., "When J and L met 1st time, L threatened life"), or a flashback by Leto or Jessica that was cut from Dune (or reworked into one of the flashbacks we see). Such a flashback would probably be very short, a paragraph or two at the very most. A small authentic nucleus by Frank Herbert (for the basic concept, if not the actual writing) could conceivably exist in either of the two scenes.
(2) In some earlier draft, proto-Jessica ("Dorothy Mapes" in their Spice Planet novella) joins the household of proto-Leto ("Jesse Linkam") within the timeframe of the book. In that case, this must pre-date the introduction of Paul's character ("Barri") into the story—at least as anything other than a baby. This hypothesis can only really work for the second scene; however, the idea of the Bene Gesserit doesn't seem to have come until later in the writing process, so it would mean that very little of Frank's original version survives in the published version.
(3) Brian is misinterpreting what they found, and it was not actually meant to be the first meeting between Jessica and Leto. I'm struck by the superficial similarity between the second meeting and the scene found in Dune where Gurney holds a knife to Jessica's throat. Could it be an early version of that scene, with Leto holding the knife? We know from papers at Fullerton that in earlier drafts, Leto really did suspect Jessica of being a traitor.
I guess I tend to lean towards some combination of the first and third idea: that it's based on something quite brief (because the writing doesn't seem to be by Frank), likely for a scene not intended to be the first meeting between Leto and Jessica.