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    duncan Idaho in GOD

    Postby ziez » 28 Oct 2010 23:37

    I am rereading the Dune series and am through GOD. I was bothered by the Duncan Idaho from GOD. Why is he such a petulant child. I take his main motivation for the assassination of Leto as jealousy over a women. Hwi seems to be his real motivation. This Duncan seem to be such a contrast with the original from Dune who is , granted more of an archetype character or Hayt/Duncan from Messiah and Children who is such a noble and selfless character . I was appalled by his killing of Nala at the end, it was a most un-Duncan/Atreides thing to do. I could see him not understanding Leto' Golden Path and questioning the necessity of Let's empire and methods as reasons for a Nobel Duncan for taking part in the assassination but his actions ant the end do not make him noble-he is tainted to me. Why would Herbert have done this rather than having a Noble Duncan doing what he believed was truly right?
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    Re: duncan Idaho in GOD

    Postby A Thing of Eternity » 29 Oct 2010 00:35

    Because that (doing the right thing for humanity) was part of his motivation, and you're right, his behaviour was a departure from his earlier character - but look at what he'd been through in GEoD - more than enough to change anyone. If I had to go through everything he had to in that story I might have been reduced to a bit of a "child" myself.

    Frank Herbert had no interest in leaving heroes as heroes, one of his main points was not to trust these types of people because though they seem to be above normal human behaviour, they are in fact not. They are flawed as everyone else, and FH enjoyed showing people this by tarnishing characters that they had started to think of as idealic.
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    Re: duncan Idaho in GOD

    Postby Superdog » 29 Oct 2010 02:21

    Hwi is part of it, but ultimately he does view Leto II as a Tyrant. Remember when he first meets him he says something to the effect of: "If I find out you're just as bad as the Harkonnens I'll try and destroy you." I think the implication is that all the Duncans eventually realize they need to kill Leto II, just not that quickly. (Leto II also mentions this, repeatedly asking how soon they can get the next Duncan)
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    Re: duncan Idaho in GOD

    Postby A Thing of Eternity » 29 Oct 2010 13:05

    Also, we should probably ask for this thread to be moved to general Dune discussion, as the reading group is more for discussing specific chapters.
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    Re: duncan Idaho in GOD

    Postby Freakzilla » 29 Oct 2010 14:37

    A Thing of Eternity wrote:Also, we should probably ask for this thread to be moved to general Dune discussion, as the reading group is more for discussing specific chapters.


    :shock: I'm glad YOU noticed.
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    Re: duncan Idaho in GOD

    Postby Shaitan » 29 Oct 2010 17:03

    Actually, if you look back at the original novel, Duncan shows a bit of his childish, petulant side when he gets drunk on spice beer early on.
    "When the going gets weird, the Weird turn Pro." -Hunter S. Thompson
    "Man, a guy gets drunk *once* and it's all anyone remembers..." -HBJ
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    Re: duncan Idaho in GOD

    Postby merkin muffley » 29 Oct 2010 18:18

    Shaitan wrote:Actually, if you look back at the original novel, Duncan shows a bit of his childish, petulant side when he gets drunk on spice beer early on.


    Yeah. It's actually very consistent with his character in the first three books.
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    Re: duncan Idaho in GOD

    Postby Freakzilla » 29 Oct 2010 20:44

    Duncan is barely a character in Dune, that drunk scene is his big scene, besides dying.
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    Re: duncan Idaho in GOD

    Postby Dravition » 10 Sep 2011 12:20

    I'm still working out my feelings regarding the Duncan in GEoD, but I'd like to point to a couple of passages.

    p299
    She moved a step closer. He smelled the milky warmth of her breath.
    “They made me too well,” she said. “I was designed to please an Atreides. Leto says his Duncan is more an Atreides than many born to the name.”


    p334
    Idaho swallowed. When he thought of Hwi, the emptiness in his breast became full. The message of that could not be ignored. Something of terrible power bound him to Hwi.


    p383
    He tried not to think about Hwi. Rage threatened to engulf him when he did. He remembered the Fremen word for that intense emotion: kanawa, the iron ring of jealousy. Where is Hwi? What is she doing at this moment?


    This Idaho has clearly fallen victim to Hwi's charms -- and we know that the Ixians created her for just this purpose. Even Moneo becomes enchanted with her after being exposed to her more.

    p388
    How calm she is, Moneo thought... Hwi was exactly what she appeared to be--an ultimately sweet and sensible human being. Would she really have mated with me? Moneo wondered.


    A page later, Hwi and Leto are discussing Moneo's recent behaviour.

    p389
    "He has been very moody and distracted since you returned from the Little Citadel. He's not the same at all."
    "He is an Atreides, my love, and you were designed to please an Atreides."
    "It's not that. I would know if it were that."


    Anyway, my first point is that Duncan seems bound to Hwi similar to the way Leto is (though, Leto's bond and need is much stronger). I don't think they can really control these feelings of love for her, and I think they both know this. They are, in a sense, powerless and vulnerable with her. Luckily, she is as pure as she seems, and therefore does not wish to exploit this fact.

    My second point is that Duncan shows signs of real maturation, and is not, in fact, as childish and petulant as he seems. I draw attention to the scene in Moneo's office, where he summons Hwi and Duncan for a discussion. Duncan comes off looking pretty nasty in this scene. He doesn't even try to conceal his contempt, and even displays anger towards Hwi.
    First, note that at the beginning of the dialogue, Moneo completes one of Idaho's sentences, leading to the following exchange:
    p336
    Idaho shook his head. "Does everyone here know what I'm going to say before I say it, what I'm going to feel before I feel it?
    "One of your admirable qualities," Moneo said. "You do not conceal your feelings. We--" he shrugged--"are necessarily more circumspect."

    This is important because, as we see at the end of the chapter, Duncan is behaving exactly opposite to this.

    Anyway, over the course of the conversation, Duncan gets worked up and eventually storms off.

    p340
    "Damn you all!" Idaho snarled. He turned and dashed from the room.


    And finally, the proof.

    p341
    He strode the few paces to his door and into his quarters.
    Once inside, Idaho stood a moment with clenched fists at his sides.
    I have no more ties to any time, he though. And how odd that this was not a liberating thought. He knew, though, that he had done the thing which would begin freeing Hwi from her love for him. He was diminished. She would think of him soon as a small, petulant fool, a subject only of his own emotions. He could feel himself fading from her immediate concerns.
    And the poor Moneo!
    Idaho sensed the shape of the things which had formed the pliant majordomo. Duty and responsibility. What a safe haven those were in a time of difficult decisions.
    I was like that once, Idaho thought. But that was in another life, another time.
    Leto smiled. "Duncan, have I not told you that when you think you know something, that is a most perfect barrier against learning?"
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    Re: duncan Idaho in GOD

    Postby ziez » 11 Sep 2011 10:08

    Excellent points. You are right Duncan has changed. I think Leto maybe expected a Duncan would be be part of his end. I guess what bothers me the most is not that Duncan was part of the assassination, that was not out of character, but after when he takes Nala's lasgun and murders her for following his orders. Not taking responsibility for his actions. That act kind of taints the character for me.
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    Re: duncan Idaho in GOD

    Postby inhuien » 12 Sep 2011 07:19

    merkin muffley wrote:
    Shaitan wrote:Actually, if you look back at the original novel, Duncan shows a bit of his childish, petulant side when he gets drunk on spice beer early on.


    Yeah. It's actually very consistent with his character in the first three books.
    Can't say I recall Hayt being petulant, what examples are you thinking of?
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    Re: duncan Idaho in GOD

    Postby merkin muffley » 12 Sep 2011 22:58

    inhuien wrote:
    merkin muffley wrote:
    Shaitan wrote:Actually, if you look back at the original novel, Duncan shows a bit of his childish, petulant side when he gets drunk on spice beer early on.


    Yeah. It's actually very consistent with his character in the first three books.
    Can't say I recall Hayt being petulant, what examples are you thinking of?


    As far as Hayt is concerned... maybe it's not exactly petulant, but I think one of the things I was thinking about was when he kisses Alia in the ornithopter in DM.

    Alia leaped out, ran to match his stride. "I'll tell him everything you've said and everything
    you did," she said.
    "Good." He held the door for her.
    "He will order you executed," she said, slipping into the dome.
    "Why? Because I took the kiss I wanted?" He followed her, his movement forcing her back. The
    door slid closed behind him.
    "The kiss you wanted!" Outrage filled her.
    "All right, Alia. The kiss you wanted, then." He started to move around her toward the drop
    field.


    I guess that's not petulant, but maybe it's brash, or blunt in a way that's similar to when he calls Jessica a Harkonnen spy to her face?

    That's not a great answer, let me get back to this... I know that scene was one of the things I was thinking of at the time. :?
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    Re: duncan Idaho in GOD

    Postby Dravition » 14 Sep 2011 00:52

    I guess what bothers me the most is ... when he takes Na[y]la's lasgun and murders her for following his orders. Not taking responsibility for his actions. That act kind of taints the character for me.


    I now see where you're coming from. I think, as it often does with FH, the answer falls back on "love".

    1. "Love" is a theme of primary importance through [imo] all of the Dune books -- but specifically in the last three. A part of it has to do with the power of love to bind people together (individuals and social groups). It is an ancient mystery that, while experienced sometimes as a physical force, is intangible and often indescribable. It is a wordless phenomenon that can ignite the soul's passion. The nature of both Leto's and Duncan's bond to Hwi is as such. I would argue that in both cases, the very fact of her existence renews their commitment to life and humanity.
    That said, Hwi's death was collateral damage from Leto's assassination. Think of what she symbolizes to Duncan. The intensity of his rage is an equivalent reflection of his love for her.
    A third figure dropped off the rope: Idaho. He moved with frantic rage, hurling himself at Nayla, screaming: "Why did you kill her! You weren't supposed to kill Hwi!?


    2. A secondary explanation has more to do with poetic justice. The primary Duncan Idaho in GEoD (and presumably all the others, as well) could not quite shake the feelings of powerlessness and alienation in this 'new universe' he had been revived to. And actually, these feelings were compounded through the book. One of the most basic aspects of the Idaho-ghola characters is their struggle in the face of a fundamental lack of control.
    "Tell me, Leto: How many times must I pay the debt of loyalty?"
    (no say regarding his repeated revivals)

    Idaho levered himself to one knee, put a foot flat on the floor, but remained there still clutching his knife. Moneo had moved so quickly and with such grace so . . . so casually! Idaho cleared his throat. "How did you. . ."
    "He has been breeding us for a long time, Duncan, strengthening many things in us. He has bred us for speed, for intelligence, for self-restraint, for sensitivity. You're. . . you're just an older model."
    (physical inferiority; sense of uselessness)

    "There's a time, Leto, a time when you're alive. A time when you're supposed to be alive. It can have a magic, that time, while you're living it. You know you're never going to see a time like that again."
    Leto blinked, touched by the Duncan's distress. The words were evocative. Idaho raised both hands, palms up, to chest-height, a beggar Asking for something he knew he could not receive.
    "Then . . . one day you wake up and you remember dying . . . and you remember the axlotl tank . . . and the Tleilaxu nastiness which awakened you . . . and it's supposed to start all over again. But it doesn't. It never does, Leto.
    (alienation; spiritual turmoil)

    This Imperium had wandered too far from the old Atreides morality, had become an impersonal juggernaut which crushed the innocent in its path.
    (up-is-down; no control in an empire dominated by the will of an all-powerful tyrant)

    Anyway, my point is that all of these stressors accumulate over the course of the book, and the Duncan character needed/deserved a release. Nayla was a target upon which he could direct all of the above tensions.
    Leto smiled. "Duncan, have I not told you that when you think you know something, that is a most perfect barrier against learning?"
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    Re: duncan Idaho in GOD

    Postby Freakzilla » 14 Sep 2011 09:17

    I think it was mainly rage from Hwi as collateral damage.

    Hwi was designed to attract an Atreides, Duncan is as Atreides as it gets (besides Leto).
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    Re: duncan Idaho in GOD

    Postby distrans » 08 Jan 2013 21:03

    in dune, we only see duncan at deep in the thick of work.
    with some stories tossed in, mostly about his achievement at work [ and once drinking ]

    hyat was brought back into his own time.
    a house that needed his talents and one where his physical skills were still of superior ability
    he also had his eyes taken away from him, traded for obvious artificial ones
    that would steel anybody

    the duncan we see in god emperor shows up and is abused by leto's whores without hours
    and he is informed of this fact the next day
    hes thousands of years out of his time
    with rediculously retarded fighting reactions and speed
    and in all honesty
    not only does leto not have any honest work for him to do
    he wont level with him about the incomprehensible manipulations he subjects him to while hes asked to basically stand around

    either of the first two would have acted the same given the same circumstance
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