Page 2 of 2

Re: Chapter 48

Posted: 03 May 2018 09:58
by georgiedenbro
Freakzilla wrote:
distrans wrote:you know

I didn't expect to be surprised by this reading of the first book


I am, every damned time I read it.


Yes, there's never been a reading when I didn't pick up on new things and realize stuff I didn't before.

Re: Chapter 48

Posted: 08 May 2018 10:05
by distrans
georgiedenbro wrote:

The mumbling is a code language the Fenrings use to communicate with each other while simultaneously carrying on a surface conversation. Hasimir wouldn't need to use them outside of her presence, and certainly not when his overt message is the same thing that's really on his mind.


that had never occurred to me at all
is that discussed else where that I'm forgetting?

when I was a kid I liked the third book the best
the movie ruined the first on for me I guess
have never liked that actor

15 years later it was god emperor
five and six are very good
but four is what did it for me

i wish children would up at the book store

i just finished messiah a couple months ago
and god emperor just before that

im stuck with the used stores selection
i hate seeming so many of his kids books on the self

im tempted at time to buy them all and throw them away just so i dont have to look at them anymore

Re: Chapter 48

Posted: 11 Jun 2018 23:20
by pcqypcqy
A couple of thoughts in response to some of the discussion above. No real points to be made, these just sprang to mind.

1. The Baron's plan didn't consider the Fremen I don't think. No one knew how many Fremen there were, nor their fighting qualities. This is evident in Hawat's and the Baron's discussion when Hawat advises him to cut Rabban off from support. I think the Baron's plan was a more general replication of the conditions of Salusa Secundus, and using the any imported prisoners and the non-fremen population as his soliders.

2. Not sure how many people made up House Artreides. It's an interesting question. It could be that a 'house' is simply the ruling elite and an army, and that they have a subservient population that just happens to live within their fief.

I also wonder how many people/soliders made up House Sardaukar as well? Presumably Shaddam didn't bring all of his soliders to Arrakis to sort this mess out, and presumably Paul mobilised quite a lot of the available fighting Fremen for the final battle. I always took the conclusion of this battle to be more of a strategic political victory, rather than an outright military one. The relative numbers are never mentioned, but obviously the Fremen conclusively won that battle. However, Paul only becomes Emperor because of the threat he can hold over the Guild.

I won't go into the intervening years between Dune and Messiah due to spoilers, but if they'd gone on to a protracted war against the Sardaukar WITHOUT the political win, I wonder what would have happened?

Back to how many made up House Artreides, certainly Hawat's interior monologue just before he's captured suggests they had expected, and could handle, the full attack by 1 legion / 10 brigades. In the end, there were 10 times this many Harkkonen and Sardaukar sent to Arrakis.


3. If the Fenrings only hum when together, wouldn't this raise suspicions that it is a secret code they use? Plenty of references to secret codes, languages, hand signals in the book, so this is clearly a thing people know about and take advantage of. As to why he didn't do it in this scene, I figure it's just something he does when he's being smarmy/smug to equals/underlings, and not to the emperor. From memory, this is the only direct bit of dialogue between the two.

Re: Chapter 48

Posted: 12 Jun 2018 12:29
by georgiedenbro
pcqypcqy wrote:3. If the Fenrings only hum when together, wouldn't this raise suspicions that it is a secret code they use?


And? If it's a BG code no one's going to crack it. And anyhow it's not clear from the text how overt this mumbling really is. It might be innocuous enough to a bystander (without BG training) that they wouldn't notice it that much, but to the reader it's being made clear something's going on.

Re: Chapter 48

Posted: 12 Jun 2018 18:09
by pcqypcqy
Well it's not much of a secret code if people know you're doing it in the first place? It may be unintelligible, but if people know you're communicating secretly, that would raise suspicions immediately. The way for the Fenrings to cover this up would be to hum all the time and pass it off as a stutter, which is what I thought they did (i.e. when they're discussing Feyd being a precise young man when they meet him and the Baron on Geidi Prime).

The point raised above by someone else was that the Count didn't do this in the final scene with the emperor, and noted it as a difference. I figured he just toned it down around the emperor, but we don't have any other direct dialogue between the two to really say for sure.

Re: Chapter 48

Posted: 13 Jun 2018 10:15
by georgiedenbro
Upon reflection I think you're right. It seems like they would always mumble so as to mask the fact that when they're with each other the mumbling is a code. When speaking alone with the Baron Fenring continues the mumble, which suggests that it's a regular speech pattern for all observers. The lack of it in the final scene would indeed imply that he has no need for deception since he's making his true intentions clear for all for once.

Re: Chapter 48

Posted: 13 Jun 2018 20:13
by pcqypcqy
georgiedenbro wrote:Upon reflection I think you're right. It seems like they would always mumble so as to mask the fact that when they're with each other the mumbling is a code. When speaking alone with the Baron Fenring continues the mumble, which suggests that it's a regular speech pattern for all observers. The lack of it in the final scene would indeed imply that he has no need for deception since he's making his true intentions clear for all for once.


Or that at some stage, the emperor told him to stop mumbling like a muppet :D

Re: Chapter 48

Posted: 15 Jun 2018 19:55
by Freakzilla
Georgie, I'd like a reference to where the mumbling was a secret code from the text please.

Re: Chapter 48

Posted: 18 Jun 2018 09:38
by georgiedenbro
Freakzilla wrote:Georgie, I'd like a reference to where the mumbling was a secret code from the text please.


The first clue is this:

"The pressure's on," the Count hummed to his lady in their secret language. "The Baron is just beginning to see the price he really paid to rid himself of
the Duke Leto."


You may note that in that passage there's no hint of the mumbling that we see elsewhere in Fenring's speech. Arguably we might suppose this is because either he intentionally mumbles around others but that it doesn't mean anything, OR that this text that we see written clearly *is* the mumbling, which FH is calling "hummed". You may also note that the "mumbling" consists of sounds such as "ummm" and "ahhh" but also "hmmm" and that latter would certainly be a 'humming sound'. But the others could be humming sounds as well as long as you define humming as 'creating music without words'.

And then there's this little clue, from an exchange that's always made me chuckle:

"White for poison, black for purity," the Lady Fenring said. "A curious custom, isn't it, my love?"
"Um-m-m-m," the Count said.


It would be seem odd for the author to write "the Count said" after he had merely mumbled and not said anything. My conclusion is that the "Um-m-m-m" was indeed him saying something, in their code.

At the end of the scene of Giedi Prime we again have:

Count Fenring faced his lady, spoke again in their personal humming-code tongue: "You saw it, of course?"


Again we see that resuming the humming code results in a lack of apparent ums and hms in the conversation that follows, because what we're seeing is the translation of that code into English.

Hopefully that was convincing to you. The final point regarding this was made above, which is that at the very end Fenring dispenses with the mumbling and speaks plainly. It's never written out in plain black and white that this is what's happening but I'm pretty sure this is what the author meant.

Re: Chapter 48

Posted: 18 Jun 2018 21:11
by pcqypcqy
+1 - the way they talk was clearly a secret code. A lot was made of it in parts of the book, and then less so in other parts. I wonder if FH had some plot point in mind with it, but then toned it down in edits.