I don't get some of the things Paul did

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Seroc99
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I don't get some of the things Paul did

Postby Seroc99 » 27 Jan 2012 00:03

Its been a while, but in my early 20s I did read all the books up to Chapterhouse Dune. I've thought about continuing because I know there are other books but i'm might have to go back and read the series again to remember a lot of stuff. I'm watching the Syfy version of Dune and Children of Dune (which I guess incorporates Dune Messiah) and I don't understand a few things. I know the Golden Path has something to do with saving humanity because they had gone stagnant, but....

I don't get Paul's actions. He defeats the Emperor, finishes off his enemies with the Jihad and then rules for a number of years. He goes off to the desert to die, but apparently doesn't and becomes a....I guess a voice for something. Why did he come out against his own religion? Did Alia stray from what he had intended after he left?

And the other thing I don't understand is about his destiny. Was he physically unable to take the next steps that his son ended up taking or did he just not want to? Was it his role to play like some kind of forerunner to his son or just that he didn't want to do it and his son had to finish it.

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Re: I don't get some of the things Paul did

Postby Lundse » 27 Jan 2012 05:30

Hi there - welcome.

From watching the miniseries, I can see why you would be confused. They stay pretty close to the books, but fail to explain a lot of stuff properly. Frank Herbert's writing does not do well with simplification...

Which leads me to the other point - the prequels (sequels, interquels, etc. etc.). The general attitude on this forum is... let us say hostile towards the project :-)


I can guarantee you this, however - the answers you get from Frank's Dune books will differ from the answers you would get from KJA. So I would highly recommend rereading Frank's books before anything else - here is my little list of pet peeves, stuff which I have seen KJA-fans seriously believe about Frank Herbert's Dune universe:
  • Paul went offplanet before going to Dune (and learned hypno-techniques from a guild of space clowns), despite him and his father talking about how he never went off planet. (When asked whether Duke Leto was retarded or an amnesiac, no answers were forthcoming).
  • Satelittes are considered "islands". (Or we cannot explain a meeting held on a post-nuclear holocaust earth - and yeah, Earth was nuked, presumably because nukes are kewl).
  • Become good enough at prescience, and you become a godlike being, who can whisk away all the baddies to another universe because we need to put our faith in a hero/god to save and that is the basic lesson we should take from Dune.
  • The Butlerian Jihad started because machines tried wiping us out - Alia, with memories from back then and all the knowledge of the universe at her fingertips as regent in Dune Messiah, still believed that machines can be trusted implicitly. (Again, no word on her retardation).
  • The Bene Gesserit can become invisible, "throw guilt" at people and blow stuff up telekinetically. Unfortunately, they forgot how later on - despite having Other Memories.

If this is how you remember Dune, I suggest you reread it :-) If it is not, I suggest you reread it too, because it is awesome!


Now, I won't answer all your questions, and some have no clearcut answers. Paul's actions in Messiah are the flip side of what he did in Dune - prescience is a trap, he hates what his empire has become, etc. Alia was not ready to become regent, and she followed the Baron more than anyone else in her short time on the throne. Paul came back as the Preacher to say the things he could not say as emperor.
What Paul knew, how far he saw, and what he could have done to prevent it is a tough one - personally, I think he did not quite dare to look beyond the current need for upheaval, change, a way out of the current stagnation. Leto II saw that such stagnation, gathering up people around heroes, structures and symbols of power would eventually be fatal - if one person (or structure, organisation, etc.) has power over everyone, then everyone can share the same fate - all the eggs are in one basket. The Golden Path was a way to make sure there would be no one center of power - spread everyone out, make sure no prescience can find everyone ever again.

Of course, if you believe KJA, then Leto II was all wrong. When the evil robot army returns, we will need to gather everyone up under one religious banner and stand together under one powerful figure - except a goddess will appear too and fix everything by wishing the bad stuff away.


I hope you do reread Dune - I have never been disappointed when I have done so, and keep finding new stuff and interesting ideas. See ya back here for more questions and discussion afterwards - because great literature makes you question and think ;-)

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Re: I don't get some of the things Paul did

Postby Freakzilla » 27 Jan 2012 09:39

Seroc99 wrote:Its been a while, but in my early 20s I did read all the books up to Chapterhouse Dune. I've thought about continuing because I know there are other books but i'm might have to go back and read the series again to remember a lot of stuff. I'm watching the Syfy version of Dune and Children of Dune (which I guess incorporates Dune Messiah) and I don't understand a few things. I know the Golden Path has something to do with saving humanity because they had gone stagnant, but....

I don't get Paul's actions. He defeats the Emperor, finishes off his enemies with the Jihad and then rules for a number of years. He goes off to the desert to die, but apparently doesn't and becomes a....I guess a voice for something. Why did he come out against his own religion?


He never wanted to be a god, he only accepted the mahdinate for personal reasons.

Did Alia stray from what he had intended after he left?


She was possessed by the Baron, so that would be a "yes".

And the other thing I don't understand is about his destiny. Was he physically unable to take the next steps that his son ended up taking or did he just not want to? Was it his role to play like some kind of forerunner to his son or just that he didn't want to do it and his son had to finish it.


Paul did not see the future extinction that Leto did so to him the Golden Path would just be cruel.


All of these questions are answered in Children of Dune, mostly in one chapter.
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Re: I don't get some of the things Paul did

Postby SandChigger » 27 Jan 2012 11:18

Lundse wrote:
  • Satelittes are considered "islands". (Or we cannot explain a meeting held on a post-nuclear holocaust earth - and yeah, Earth was nuked, presumably because nukes are kewl).

That shit that TAZ floated over on DuneNovels (and maybe Wikipedia) years ago evidently lacked the fat content needed to keep it afloat: In Shitterhood, KJA perfunctorily sets the C.E.T. underneath a protective dome on the nuke blasted Earth. (And he also denied us our vindication by not mentioning where on Earth that dome was located. Like, on a Hawaiian island. :evil: )
I have heard of only one mistake that doesn’t have an explanation for a careful reader...with an open mind. (And, no, I’m not going to tell you what it is!) —KJA

I don't like every writer's style; for instance, I have never been able to get through Ursula LeGuin, China Mieville, or Iain Banks, all of whom are critical darlings. —KJA

I...had written a bunch of Star Wars and X-Files books...that proved not just that I'm a hack, but that I could write in somebody else's universe... —KJA

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Re: I don't get some of the things Paul did

Postby Lawliet » 02 Feb 2012 12:57

One thing i don't understand is when at the end of Dune Messiah he goes to the desert (he was no longer prescient) and finds Jacurutu. How did he find it if he wasn't prescient?
Also...i can kill you with my brain. - River Tam

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Re: I don't get some of the things Paul did

Postby D Pope » 02 Feb 2012 13:04

They were waiting for him.
Leto II is gone for good, except for OM. The "pearl" was just that; a miniscule portion of what Leto was, and not a compressed version of the whole. The pearl that the worms have do not make them Leto, or in any way similar to him.
-Omphalos

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Re: I don't get some of the things Paul did

Postby Freakzilla » 02 Feb 2012 13:14

Lawliet wrote:One thing i don't understand is when at the end of Dune Messiah he goes to the desert (he was no longer prescient) and finds Jacurutu. How did he find it if he wasn't prescient?


They found him, and he wasn't completely Visionless.

This too is answered in CoD:

"I choose not to go back."
How old his voice sounds, Leto thought, and the thought was a wrenching
pain. He said: "I've the hawk ring of the Atreides concealed in my dishdasha. Do
you wish me to return it to you?"
"If I'd only died," Paul whispered. "I truly wanted to die when I went into
the desert that night, but I knew I could not leave this world. I had to come
back and --"
"Restore the legend," Leto said. "I know. And the jackals of Jacurutu were
waiting for you that night as you knew they would be. They wanted your visions!
You knew that."
"I refused. I never gave them one vision."


...in the same chapter mentioned above, no less.
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JustSomeGuy
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Re: I don't get some of the things Paul did

Postby JustSomeGuy » 02 Feb 2012 21:52

Lawliet wrote:
One thing i don't understand is when at the end of Dune Messiah he goes to the desert (he was no longer prescient) and finds Jacurutu. How did he find it if he wasn't prescient?


They found him, and he wasn't completely Visionless.

This too is answered in CoD:

"I choose not to go back."
How old his voice sounds, Leto thought, and the thought was a wrenching
pain. He said: "I've the hawk ring of the Atreides concealed in my dishdasha. Do
you wish me to return it to you?"
"If I'd only died," Paul whispered. "I truly wanted to die when I went into
the desert that night, but I knew I could not leave this world. I had to come
back and --"
"Restore the legend," Leto said. "I know. And the jackals of Jacurutu were
waiting for you that night as you knew they would be. They wanted your visions!
You knew that."
"I refused. I never gave them one vision."

...in the same chapter mentioned above, no less.


Beautiful.
I've heard something about a cross-dressing robot in the new books...
Never mind...
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Re: I don't get some of the things Paul did

Postby Freakzilla » 02 Feb 2012 22:01

Are you trying to offend me?
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JustSomeGuy
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Re: I don't get some of the things Paul did

Postby JustSomeGuy » 02 Feb 2012 22:14

Freakzilla wrote:Are you trying to offend me?

No, man, really. You're one of my favorite people here. I liked that post, and I really like Frank Herbert's Dune, the only Dune.
All I was saying was: I like Dune; McDune, not so much. I'm not sure if that was the proper use of a semicolon. Forgive me if it wasn't. I would try to be a really huge mega-fucking asshole if I were trying to offend you. I really would. I mean, you'd pretty much know *for sure*.
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Re: I don't get some of the things Paul did

Postby Freakzilla » 02 Feb 2012 22:22

WTF does semicolons have to do with this?

WTF does Erasmus have to do with this?

Fuck, man! Make some sense!
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Paul of Dune was so bad it gave me a seizure that dislocated both of my shoulders and prolapsed my anus.
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Freakzilla
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Re: I don't get some of the things Paul did

Postby Freakzilla » 02 Feb 2012 22:23

You know, I put up with a lot of shit here.

A LOT.

Eventually even MY patience wears thin.
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Re: I don't get some of the things Paul did

Postby JustSomeGuy » 02 Feb 2012 22:40

I meant no offense, really.
I bring nothing to the table.

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Re: I don't get some of the things Paul did

Postby Freakzilla » 02 Feb 2012 22:43

JustSomeGuy wrote:I meant no offense, really.


Ask me a rational question about FH's Dune before I loose it...

Or make a valid point.
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Re: I don't get some of the things Paul did

Postby Freakzilla » 02 Feb 2012 22:47

I'm like THIS close to losing it... :crazy:
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Re: I don't get some of the things Paul did

Postby JustSomeGuy » 02 Feb 2012 23:01

Freakzilla wrote:Ask me a rational question about FH's Dune before I loose it...


What if Paul had stuck around instead of "wandering" off into the desert? Any thoughts on that?

Freakzilla wrote:Or make a valid point.


One thing i don't understand is when at the end of Dune Messiah he goes to the desert (he was no longer prescient) and finds Jacurutu. How did he find it if he wasn't prescient?
I'm not sure Paul lost his prescience. I got the impression that he just didn't want to envision a future without Chani. Paul may have walked out into that desert, but he chose life, and I can totally understand that. I could be wrong. Please, Freak, don't hit me!
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Re: I don't get some of the things Paul did

Postby Freakzilla » 02 Feb 2012 23:12

JustSomeGuy wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:Ask me a rational question about FH's Dune before I loose it...


What if Paul had stuck around instead of "wandering" off into the desert? Any thoughts on that?


The cabal wins

Freakzilla wrote:Or make a valid point.


One thing i don't understand is when at the end of Dune Messiah he goes to the desert (he was no longer prescient) and finds Jacurutu. How did he find it if he wasn't prescient?
I'm not sure Paul lost his prescience. I got the impression that he just didn't want to envision a future without Chani. Paul may have walked out into that desert, but he chose life, and I can totally understand that. I could be wrong. Please, Freak, don't hit me!


His whole goal was a a life with Chani. He sacrifices everything for this. However it's a terrible price he has to pay just for those few more fleeting moments with her.
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Paul of Dune was so bad it gave me a seizure that dislocated both of my shoulders and prolapsed my anus.
~Pink Snowman

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Re: I don't get some of the things Paul did

Postby D Pope » 02 Feb 2012 23:30

Guy wrote:I'm not sure Paul lost his prescience. I got the impression that he just didn't want to envision a future without Chani. Paul may have walked out into that desert, but he chose life, and I can totally understand that. I could be wrong. Please, Freak, don't hit me!

Shut up Donnie- no, wait, that's a pretty insightful observation! :D
Leto II is gone for good, except for OM. The "pearl" was just that; a miniscule portion of what Leto was, and not a compressed version of the whole. The pearl that the worms have do not make them Leto, or in any way similar to him.
-Omphalos

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Re: I don't get some of the things Paul did

Postby Freakzilla » 03 Feb 2012 00:01

D Pope wrote:
Guy wrote:I'm not sure Paul lost his prescience. I got the impression that he just didn't want to envision a future without Chani. Paul may have walked out into that desert, but he chose life, and I can totally understand that. I could be wrong. Please, Freak, don't hit me!

Shut up Donnie- no, wait, that's a pretty insightful observation! :D


MAN, new information has come to light. Many ins, many outs. This case has many facets, man.
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Paul of Dune was so bad it gave me a seizure that dislocated both of my shoulders and prolapsed my anus.
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