Children Of Dune Questions

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Vislor Turlough
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Children Of Dune Questions

Postby Vislor Turlough » 26 Apr 2016 02:38

Fortune passes everywhere! It's been a while since I posted here . . .
Having just watched the TV miniseries of Children Of Dune for the first time, I was struck by the way in which it clarified some of that novels' plot points through necessary compression whilst making others very opaque (or more opaque, YMMV). Even though I re-read the book for the umpteenth time a couple of months ago, in between re-reading Gene Wolfe's Book Of The New Sun volumes (shameless plug), I find that the miniseries has made me seriously ponder a couple of points which I wonder if you guys can maybe clarify for me:
1. Is Alia actually prescient or not?
2. What exactly is the plan of the Cast-Out? What is their goal, who are they allied with & against, what do they hope to gain? I recall that Paul's guide's father (Namri?), as killed by Halleck, seems to be working for Alia, and that Javid is somehow connected to Jacurutu/Shuloch, but I recall there are also points in the narrative at which the Cast-Out are bitterly opposed to House Atreides. Are they playing both ends against the middle? For why?
It was quite nice to see Messiah & Children on the screen, but I'm sure we're all well aware of the shortcomings of the miniseries . . . though I thought that the actress who played the possessed Alia did a good job in context. The main achievement of the miniseries was to reinforce for me just how impressive a novel Children is (I've waxed lyrical about Messiah on this board before!), but also to underline that, for me, it is also the densest & the most opaque of the canonical six . . .
Cynicism is an idealists' word for realism

georgiedenbro
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Re: Children Of Dune Questions

Postby georgiedenbro » 26 Apr 2016 03:19

1) Alia is prescient just like Paul. In Dune she even seems to possess some kind of ability Paul doesn't have where she appears in Mohiam's OM. However she isn't a mentat which means she can't handle the raw data or even recollect most of her visions. She is essentially a KH minus the mentat/super-mentat aspect.

2) No idea. When I finished CoD again last year right after completing it I simply didn't know what the details were with Jacurutu's allegiance. Supposedly the testing of Leto II is to determine if he's abomination and possibly if he's 'human.' But there are other motives at work both with Gurney and with Namri and I've never sorted it out to my satisfaction, to say nothing of how they're using Paul. I suspect that after I finish CH:D again and then read a few other books after I'll have to come back specifically to CoD to figure out what the hell it's about.
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Vislor Turlough
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Re: Children Of Dune Questions

Postby Vislor Turlough » 26 Apr 2016 04:32

Interesting, thanks. Re: Alia, I recall some talk in Messiah about the Dune Tarot complicating the prescient kaleidoscope (as it were) for Alia, which seems to confirm her scrying powers; also the scene in which she OD's on the spice in attempt to cut through the fog backs this up. Yet in CoD I think, from memory, there is no reference whatsoever to her having any ability to see the future, to shape it, or to be shaped by it in the act of seeing it. I can see why FH wanted to avoid having another key character with the same prescient ability, and therefore the same plot-arc, as Paul; it'd mean writing a very different book altogether (possibly with Alia filling Leto's role instead? Who knows); but the net result for me is the perception of some low-level flip-flopping about her abilities, and the minor irritation that if she is prescient, why isn't this ability a factor in her narrative journey in CoD? It feels like a deliberate hand-wave.
As for the Cast-Out - I'll have to undertake some close reading to try & figure it out. I think the answers are probably in the midst of the somewhat interminable passages wherein Leto is deep in the force-fed spice OD at Jacurutu, which can be a little bit of a slog . . . I also recall the issue of "Jacurutu" being a subconsciously primed kill-word for some of the captives taken after the arrival of Jessica at the landing field; there is some kind of conspiracy involving the Cast-Out, but as to what they hope to gain or what their motives are, I do struggle to make it clear in my mind.
Cynicism is an idealists' word for realism

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Freakzilla
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Re: Children Of Dune Questions

Postby Freakzilla » 26 Apr 2016 04:50

Alia is prescient but as georgie pointed out not as powerful as Paul. She was in Paul's shadow and her sphere of influence was much smaller. Not only was everyone's prescience clouded by the tarot but she also had to deal with possession. By the time of CoD she could barely think her own thoughts, much less shape the future.

Jacurutu (and their cast outs) seems to be pawns of Jessica and Alia merely grabbing at whatever scraps of wealth/power they could to survive. I don't think they had any real goal.
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