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    Question about the Atredies "fief" of Arrakis.

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    Question about the Atredies "fief" of Arrakis.

    Postby El Keith » 27 May 2016 07:37

    Hi everyone.....new member here, with a question regarding the passing of Arrakis to the Atredies:

    By accepting the fiefdom of Arrakis, House Atredies has to give up their control of Caladan. House Harkonenn, however, retains control of their planetary base (Geidi Prime) even while they are in control of Arrakis.

    The text shows that Leto was agonized over losing his ancestral home, but it's a bit vague as to whether this was a choice on their part (maybe because House Atredies was only powerful enough to defend one planet at a time?) or commanded of them. If it was commanded, why did the Harkonenns get to keep their homeworld but the Atredies could not?

    I'm not sure if this is an inconsistency/error on the part of Frank Herbert, or there's a legitimate explanation that I'm not grasping.
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    Re: Question about the Atredies "fief" of Arrakis.

    Postby Freakzilla » 27 May 2016 12:15

    According to the appendix, Count Fenring governed Caladan as "Siridar-Absentia" after the Atreides were given Arrakis. I assumed this meant that he was just holding it in their absence and it would be returned to them.

    COUNT HASIMIR FENRING (10,133-10,225)
    A distaff cousin of House Corrino, he was a childhood companion of Shaddam IV.
    (The frequently discredited Pirate History of Corrino related the curious story
    that Fenring was responsible for the chaumurky which disposed of Elrood IX.) All
    accounts agree that Fenring was the closest friend Shaddam IV possessed. The
    Imperial chores carried out by Count Fenring included that of Imperial Agent on
    Arrakis during the Harkonnen regime there and later Siridar-Absentia of Caladan.
    He joined Shaddam IV in retirement on Salusa Secundus.
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    Re: Question about the Atredies "fief" of Arrakis.

    Postby georgiedenbro » 27 May 2016 15:16

    It always seemed to me there was a difference between a fiefdom and a power base. The Atreides drew income from trade on Caladan and no doubt has majority business stakes in the largest industries there, and this economic base had ancestral basis and likely had little to do with the notion of fiefdom. If we're to take the feudal analogy literally I would suppose that a fiefdom was more a militarily designated area where a Great House was responsible for security and for rallying the forces in the area to the Emperor or the Landsraad should the need arise. The fief-responsibility, then, would primarily be to do with the relationship between the governed region and the rest of the Empire rather than ownership of the planets. Caladan would therefore still be under Atreides control to whatever extent they had controlling interests there, but their official responsibility was now to coordinate Arrakis with the rest of the Imperium and leave the larger logistics of Caladan to someone else.

    The Harkonnens may also have been different since they were not a Great House and had no noble blood. Giedi Prime may have been their stronghold but it's not clear that it was any kind of designated fiefdom that anyone else took control of when the Harkonnens were given Arrakis.
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    Re: Question about the Atredies "fief" of Arrakis.

    Postby Serkanner » 27 May 2016 16:56

    georgiedenbro wrote:It always seemed to me there was a difference between a fiefdom and a power base. The Atreides drew income from trade on Caladan and no doubt has majority business stakes in the largest industries there, and this economic base had ancestral basis and likely had little to do with the notion of fiefdom. If we're to take the feudal analogy literally I would suppose that a fiefdom was more a militarily designated area where a Great House was responsible for security and for rallying the forces in the area to the Emperor or the Landsraad should the need arise. The fief-responsibility, then, would primarily be to do with the relationship between the governed region and the rest of the Empire rather than ownership of the planets. Caladan would therefore still be under Atreides control to whatever extent they had controlling interests there, but their official responsibility was now to coordinate Arrakis with the rest of the Imperium and leave the larger logistics of Caladan to someone else.

    The Harkonnens may also have been different since they were not a Great House and had no noble blood. Giedi Prime may have been their stronghold but it's not clear that it was any kind of designated fiefdom that anyone else took control of when the Harkonnens were given Arrakis.


    I really like your elaboration. But what you say is exactly what frank put in his appendix ...and used a lot less words.
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    Re: Question about the Atredies "fief" of Arrakis.

    Postby D Pope » 27 May 2016 21:47

    I've always wondered about the 'quazi-fief' governed by the Baron and the 'fief complete' that was an apparent victory for the Duke.
    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.
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    Re: Question about the Atredies "fief" of Arrakis.

    Postby georgiedenbro » 27 May 2016 23:29

    Serkanner wrote:But what you say is exactly what frank put in his appendix ...and used a lot less words.


    :shifty:
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    Re: Question about the Atredies "fief" of Arrakis.

    Postby Serkanner » 28 May 2016 04:40

    georgiedenbro wrote:
    Serkanner wrote:But what you say is exactly what frank put in his appendix ...and used a lot less words.


    :shifty:


    :lol: ... I forgot to mention that I am a fan of your posting. I do read them.
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    Re: Question about the Atredies "fief" of Arrakis.

    Postby Freakzilla » 31 May 2016 06:28

    georgiedenbro wrote:The Harkonnens may also have been different since they were not a Great House and had no noble blood. Giedi Prime may have been their stronghold but it's not clear that it was any kind of designated fiefdom that anyone else took control of when the Harkonnens were given Arrakis.


    The Harkonnens were certainly a Great House. You're right that they didn't have any royal blood but they did have the title of Baron.
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    Re: Question about the Atredies "fief" of Arrakis.

    Postby georgiedenbro » 31 May 2016 10:59

    Freakzilla wrote:
    georgiedenbro wrote:The Harkonnens may also have been different since they were not a Great House and had no noble blood. Giedi Prime may have been their stronghold but it's not clear that it was any kind of designated fiefdom that anyone else took control of when the Harkonnens were given Arrakis.


    The Harkonnens were certainly a Great House. You're right that they didn't have any royal blood but they did have the title of Baron.


    My bad. Confirmed:

    I've sat across from many rulers of Great Houses, but never seen a more gross and dangerous pig than this one, Thufir Hawat told himself.


    For some reason I had it in my head the Harkonnens were a major power but not technically a Great House. I guess there is no distinction between powerful economic force and Great House in any noble sense.
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    Re: Question about the Atredies "fief" of Arrakis.

    Postby Freakzilla » 01 Jun 2016 05:43

    "There'll be much bloodshed soon," she said. "The Harkonnens won't rest
    until they're dead or my Duke destroyed. The Baron cannot forget that Leto is a
    cousin of the royal blood--no matter what the distance--while the Harkonnen
    titles came out of the CHOAM pocketbook.
    But the poison in him, deep in his
    mind, is the knowledge that an Atreides had a Harkonnen banished for cowardice
    after, the Battle of Corrin."


    In our own feudal societies, Baron was usually the lowest rank of nobility and the title could even be bought in some. I think that may be the case here.
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