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    Chapter 03

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    Chapter 03

    Postby Freakzilla » 12 Feb 2008 17:29

    Thus spoke St. Alia-of-the-Knife: "The Reverend Mother must combine the
    seductive wiles of a courtesan with the untouchable majesty of a virgin goddess,
    holding these attributes in tension so long as the powers of her youth endure.
    For when youth and beauty have gone, she will find that the place-between, once
    occupied by tension, has become a wellspring of cunning and resourcefulness."

    -from "Muad'Dib, Family Commentaries" by the Princess Irulan

    Jessica is berated by Reverend Mother Mohiam for having a son, but she is destracted by remembering the pain, terror and anger of her first meeting with the RM Mohiam, who was then Proctor Superior at the Bene Gesserit School on Wallach IX. Jessica claims she dissobeyed her orders to bear only daughters to the Atreides out of her love for the Duke and his desire for a son and that she also thought there was a chance he could be the Kwisatz Haderach. RM Mohiam laments that the chance for peace between the two Great Houses is lost and warns that both bloodlines could be lost now due to this complication. Jessica says she vows not to regret her decision but Mohiam thinks she might changer her mind when she and Paul become fugitives on the run with a price on their heads.

    It is hinted at that RM Mohiam has some prescient ability and Jessica asks her about the future. Mohiam prophesizes about the human race sensing it's own stagnation and it's urge to randomly mingle it's genes.

    Mohiam explains the political tripod in place in the Dune universe: the emperor balanced against the Federated Great Houses of the Landsraad, and between them, the Guild with its monopoly on interstellar transport and how fragile the balance is, complicated by the feudal trade culture that rejects most science. Mohiam hope that a major conflict might be avoided an that they will be able to salvage what they can from the key bloodlines. Jessica admits that she will pay for her own mistakes and Mohiam adds that Paul will pay with her and warns not to shield him to much lest he not grow strong enough to fufil his destiny. Mohiam advises her that the Missionaria Protectiva has been to Arrakis and softened it up some. She warns Jessica that there is little chance Paul is the Bene Gesserit totality.

    She asks Paul about his prescient dreams and senses the possibility that he may actually be the KH. She tells jessica that their only chance for survival is to ingnore the rules and give Paul the deep Bene Gesserit Training.

    Jessica sees Rm Mohiam shed an uncharacteristic tear for them as she leaves.
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    Postby halcyo » 20 Feb 2008 13:18

    Mohiam explaining the state of the human race as an unstoppable force driven by genetics is interesting, because it hints at what the Bene Gesserit are truly about, underneath all of the sneaking and suspicion, they are out to improve the human stock. This also ties into what Mohiam pleads of Paul in the final chapter of the book: not to loose the Fremen onto the universe to interfere with the natural (so far) progression of genetic mingling. Both Paul, through his early attempts to find a way around the jihad, and the BG know that this path also has BAD consequences.

    Also, note that Jessica is well aware of the futility of taking over Arrakis. She has a feeling that it will turn out badly for her family. I think the Duke knows this as well, but it underscores the fact that the Atreides KNOW that this is a trap, but can think of no way to avoid it except to fight it head on.

    We also learn of the Missionaria Protectiva:

    Jessica turned away, looked out the window at the gathering darkness. "Is it really that terrible, this planet of Arrakis?"
    "Bad enough, but not all bad. The Missionaria Protectiva has been in there and softened it up somewhat".


    Mohiam also states that she cares for Jessica like a daughter, but cannot let this feeling interfere with BG business.

    And yes, Mohiam's tears are VERY interesting indeed...
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    Postby JabbaMustDie » 06 Jun 2008 08:29

    Those tears certainly seem out of character for a BG witch. But then again, up to this point many of her responses seem out of character for the BG.

    Speaking gruffly, taunting Jessica to anger, mocking her at one point, "what do you want me to say? what do you want me to say?"---perhaps it's the behavior of the post-Tyrant witches that sticks in my mind. Unemotional, masking their feelings. But then again, these are two witches together, and they can drop those masks in each others presence. They fall back into place automatically, as shown in the later books, so maybe the tears are a sign of just how upset Mohaim really is with Jessica.

    For me, if someone isn't used to expressing their feelings openly, then does let loose at one point, for a prolonged time, it would seem as though the floodgates were opened and who knows what feelings may come out? The extreme ends of the spectrum I imagine, from rage to love, from anger to sadness, as if the old crone was an emotional wreck! Of course she isn't so messed up, but with all that went on, you could say that she had a strenuous time.

    Testing Paul to such limits, and hearing sarcasm from him ("you take alot on yourselves"), seeing a long-lost Sister whom she cares for but must be angry with, hearing the desperation from Paul for his father, having to deal with the damnable Guild, and as we later learn, having a longer talk with Paul than what is initially shown---he is the KH afterall, or will be, and just being in his presence had to be challenging to some extent or another no matter how developed he was----the old crone certainly didn't have it easy. Seems plausible that she would get emotionally upset, be a little off-kilter, feeling a bit topsy-turvy.

    (or maybe since she did care for Jesse, she didn't get to express all of her anger, and had some left-over pent-up energy. Thus the tears. You know them witches: they gots powers. She could've melted her face off...! :D )
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    Postby Simon » 27 Aug 2008 01:51

    JabbaMustDie wrote:Those tears certainly seem out of character for a BG witch. But then again, up to this point many of her responses seem out of character for the BG.


    It was so early on in the series. I'm sure it was one of those things FH ended up fleshing out, sort of like the BT, they and the BG definitly evolved during the course of the novels.


    On Chapter 3:

    This chapter is really a prime example of what makes FH's style so great.
    These characters are just standing in a room talking, just laying out more exposition, yet it's utterly engrossing!

    I know all this goes without saying but I really came to appreciate it when I started doing the fan comic thing. Before that, because the books were so damn good, I never noticed that these early chapters consisted of so much "standing around". It stands up so well. While the legacy of the Expanded books is clearly up for debate I have little doubt that if there are still humans in five hundred years they will be reading this book. It's Shakespearean in it's quality.
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    Postby orald » 27 Aug 2008 03:50

    Simon wrote:
    JabbaMustDie wrote:Those tears certainly seem out of character for a BG witch. But then again, up to this point many of her responses seem out of character for the BG.


    It was so early on in the series. I'm sure it was one of those things FH ended up fleshing out, sort of like the BT, they and the BG definitly evolved during the course of the novels.

    What?! No! Jabba's right, the later BG are much more reserved(as observed and set on a course for correction by Odrade[maybe Taraza too?] and Murbella), Mohiam and Jessica are two BG speaking privately and thus can lower their defences, and Mohiam was truly upset by Jessica fucking up the order's plans like that, and maybe concerned about her as well.

    It was probably during the Atreides reign that the BG started locking their emotions even further, trying to block Paul, Alia, and later, God Leto from from reading them like an open book(and obviously failing).
    Or it could be a continuation of their tendencies, as you know, they say about the BT(in HoD or Ch:D) that once you pretend for millenia, you truly become what you pretend to be.

    So there's no need for this "FH changed his opinions" method when it's in the books- which is to say it's mostly because they're alone.
    In memory of Perach, who suffered and died needlessly.

    I wish I could have been with you that one last time.
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    Postby Schu » 28 Jan 2009 07:21

    I find it interesting that Mohiam must have known who her daughters were, and that they were dear to her. Maybe it's a luxury of being high-up?
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    Postby Freakzilla » 28 Jan 2009 08:27

    Schu wrote:I find it interesting that Mohiam must have known who her daughters were, and that they were dear to her. Maybe it's a luxury of being high-up?


    The tears I think are for her best pupil, not her daughter. Also, later in the book and the series Mohiam certainly isn't treated like family.
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    Postby Schu » 28 Jan 2009 16:58

    I meant that as idle talk, not to suggest that Jessica was her daughter. I never liked that idea. It's too obvious.
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    Postby Schu » 29 Jan 2009 09:43

    She had freaky shit powers, she could do stuff even Paul couldn't.
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    Re: Chapter 03

    Postby Freakzilla » 27 Jan 2011 13:03

    Updated.
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    Re: Chapter 03

    Postby Enno » 12 Feb 2011 16:03

    Freakzilla wrote:It is hinted at that RM Mohiam has some prescient ability and Jessica asks her about the future. Mohiam prophesizes about the human race sensing it's own stagnation and it's urge to randomly mingle it's genes
    .

    Do you think that its prescience?
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    Re: Chapter 03

    Postby Alpha Carinae » 12 Feb 2011 17:59

    Mohiam does seem to have some prescience throughout her appearances in the books. She doesn't seem to be as prescient as a guild navigator/steersman, but from my interpretation, she does seem to have some powers in that area.

    Edit: Removed spoilers :oops: This is quite a difficult topic to approach without discussing later events.
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    Re: Chapter 03

    Postby SadisticCynic » 12 Feb 2011 18:57

    Enno wrote:
    Freakzilla wrote:It is hinted at that RM Mohiam has some prescient ability and Jessica asks her about the future. Mohiam prophesizes about the human race sensing it's own stagnation and it's urge to randomly mingle it's genes
    .

    Do you think that its prescience?


    Could be, but also history repeats itself, and with BG knowledge and memory she is likely making a very educated guess. On the other hand there is alot of the bolded part throughout the book from Muad'dib's (a prescient) point of view so...

    (You know I nearly spelt that Mu'addib; Chigger's a bad influence. :) )
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    Re: Chapter 03

    Postby SandChigger » 12 Feb 2011 21:00

    ("Muad'Dib" in English, Muaddib in Fremen. ;) )
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    Re: Chapter 03

    Postby Enno » 13 Feb 2011 02:04

    Yeah im thinking its more of an educated guess from someone who knows what shes talking about. Not that im shutting the door on prescience. when I get there be sure to make with the spoilers!
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    Re: Chapter 03

    Postby Alpha Carinae » 13 Feb 2011 05:54

    Enno wrote:Yeah im thinking its more of an educated guess from someone who knows what shes talking about. Not that im shutting the door on prescience. when I get there be sure to make with the spoilers!


    Quite possibly/probably. It's also quite difficult to get into without a deep discussion of what prescience actually is in Dune. It's easy to get the impression that it's a mystical power that only a few people have in the universe. But from what I, personally, understand about it is that it's an extension of anyone's ability to work things out about the future by knowing how things work and how they started off. It comes from very deep training, a lot of knowledge and more-than-healthy amounts of "awareness spectrum narcotics".

    So maybe saying "She made an educated guess" and "She's prescient" are two sides of the same coin. Considering the amount of training she has had, the knowledge she has access to and the drugs she uses, it's possibly a moot point.
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    Re: Chapter 03

    Postby Enno » 13 Feb 2011 12:37

    Moot or not its still cool to think about.
    The only issue I have with that description of prescience is that it sounds like what you desribe is a mentat projection.
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    Re: Chapter 03

    Postby Alpha Carinae » 13 Feb 2011 13:48

    Enno wrote:Moot or not its still cool to think about.
    The only issue I have with that description of prescience is that it sounds like what you desribe is a mentat projection.


    Absolutely it's cool to think about...

    Then again that discussion is riddled with spoilers! :|

    Mentat projection is a way of 'seeing' possible futures, but the oracles in Dune go a little bit further thanks to umm... things they have which mentats don't. :wink:

    But hey this is all just my interpretation. :)
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    Re: Chapter 03

    Postby Freakzilla » 13 Feb 2011 14:43

    Alpha Carinae wrote:
    Enno wrote:Moot or not its still cool to think about.
    The only issue I have with that description of prescience is that it sounds like what you desribe is a mentat projection.


    Absolutely it's cool to think about...

    Then again that discussion is riddled with spoilers! :|

    Mentat projection is a way of 'seeing' possible futures, but the oracles in Dune go a little bit further thanks to umm... things they have which mentats don't. :wink:

    But hey this is all just my interpretation. :)


    ...add to that intimate knowledge of the past through other memory...
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    Re: Chapter 03

    Postby Alpha Carinae » 13 Feb 2011 16:45

    Freakzilla wrote:...add to that intimate knowledge of the past through other memory...


    This is kind of the main thing I was trying to avoid saying. heheh. I guess in the context of Mohiam, this isn't a spoiler. :)

    But yeah, while mentats get ridiculous amounts of training to compute data and make predictions, RMs get crazy training in obtaining data, the massive wealth of OM, and the added bonus of breeding and lots of drugs. Whether you call that prescience or educated guessing... *shrug*.

    For me at least, I like the more down-to-earth scientific approach rather than a more mystical interpretation: Prescience is just making predictions about possible futures; some people are better at it than others, some people are lots better at it than others. :)
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    Re: Chapter 03

    Postby A Thing of Eternity » 13 Feb 2011 17:36

    Nice to see discussion rolling on about the original books. Carry on good folks!
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    Re: Chapter 03

    Postby SandChigger » 13 Feb 2011 18:20

    We really can't go into it here without spoiling, but I will again voice my objection to Prescient = Mentat + OM. ;)
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    Re: Chapter 03

    Postby Alpha Carinae » 13 Feb 2011 18:56

    SandChigger wrote:We really can't go into it here without spoiling, but I will again voice my objection to Prescient = Mentat + OM. ;)


    Yeah, I keep having to retype everything I post here 3 or 4 times, heh. Ah well. But without getting into it too much, I'd agree with you there - assuming 'prescience' means A/SG style oracular vision, then breeding is important as well as lots and lots of nice drugs. :D
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    Re: Chapter 03

    Postby inhuien » 14 Feb 2011 06:18

    Alpha Carinae wrote: A/SG style oracular vision
    a/sg??
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    Re: Chapter 03

    Postby Alpha Carinae » 14 Feb 2011 07:51

    Uhh yeah. :D That's me failing to be subtle around potential spoilers.

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