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    Chapter 00 (Prologue)

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    Chapter 00 (Prologue)

    Postby Freakzilla » 12 Feb 2008 20:57

    Excerpts from the Death Cell Interview with Bronso of IX

    Q: What led you to take your particular approach to a history of Muad'dib?
    A: Why should I answer your questions?
    Q: Because I will preserve your words.
    A: Ahhh! The ultimate appeal to a historian!
    Q: Will you cooperate then?
    A: Why not? But you'll never understand what inspired my Analysis of History. Never. You Priests have too much at stake to . . .
    Q: Try me.
    A: Try you? Well, Again . . . why not? I was caught by the shallowness of the common view of this planet which arises from its popular name: Dune. Not Arrakis, notice, but Dune. History is obsessed by Dune as desert, as birthplace of the Fremen. Such history concentrates on the customs which grew out of water scarcity and the fact that Fremen led semi-nomadic lives in stillsuits which recovered most of their body's moisture.
    Q: Are these things not true, then?
    A: They are surface truth. As well ignore what lies beneath that surface as . . . as try to understand my birthplanet, Ix, without exploring how we derived our name from the fact that we are the ninth planet of our sun. No . . . no. It is not enough to see Dune as a place of savage storms. It is not enough to talk about the threat posed by the gigantic sandworms.
    Q: But such things are crucial to the Arrakeen character!
    A: Crucial? Of course. But they produce a one-view planet in the same way that Dune is a one-crop planet because it is the sole and exclusive source of the spice, melange.
    Q: Yes. Let us hear you expand on the sacred spice.
    A: Sacred! As with all things sacred, it gives with one hand and takes with the other. It extends life and allows the adept to foresee his future, but it ties him to a cruel addiction and marks his eyes as yours are marked: total blue without any white. Your eyes, your organs of sight, become one thing without contrast, a single view.
    Q: Such heresy brought you to this cell!
    A: I was brought to this cell by your Priests. As with all priests, you learned early to call the truth heresy.
    Q: You are here because you dared to say that Paul Atreides lost something essential to his humanity before he could become Muad'dib.
    A: Not to speak of his losing his father here in the Harkonnen war. Nor the death of Duncan Idaho, who sacrificed himself that Paul and the Lady Jessica could escape.
    Q: Your cynicism is duly noted.
    A: Cynicism! That, no doubt is a greater crime than heresy. But, you see, I'm not really a cynic. I'm just an observer and commentator. I saw true nobility in Paul as he fled into the desert with his pregnant mother. Of course, she was a great asset as well as a burden.
    Q: The flaw in your historians is that you'll never leave well enough alone. You see true nobility in the Holy Muad'dib, but you must append a cynical footnote. It's no wonder that the Bene Gesserit also denounce you.
    A: You Priests do well to make common cause with the Bene Gesserit Sisterhood. They, too, survive by concealing what they do. But they cannot conceal the fact that the Lady Jessica was a Bene Gesserit-trained adept. You know she trained her son in the sisterhood's ways. My crime was to discuss this as a phenomenon, to expound upon their mental arts and their genetic program. You don't want attention called to the fact that Muad'dib was the Sisterhood's hoped for captive messiah, that he was their kwisatz haderach before he was your prophet.
    Q: If I had any doubts about your death sentence, you have dispelled them.
    A: I can only die once.
    Q: There are deaths and there are deaths.
    A: Beware lest you make a martyr of me. I do not think Muad'dib . . . Tell me, does Muad'dib know what you do in these dungeons?
    Q: We do not trouble the Holy Family with trivia.
    A: (Laughter) And for this Paul Atreides fought his way to a niche among the Fremen! For this he learned to control and ride the sandworm! It was a mistake to answer your questions.
    Q: But I will keep my promise to preserve your words.
    A: Will you really? Then listen to me carefully, you Fremen degenerate, you Priest with no god except yourself! You have much to answer for. It was a Fremen ritual which gave Paul his first massive dose of melange, thereby opening him to visions of his futures. It was a Fremen ritual by which that same melange awakened the unborn Alia in the Lady Jessica's womb. Have you considered what it meant for Alia to be born into this universe fully cognitive, possessed of all her mother's memories and knowledge? No rape could be more terrifying.
    Q: Without the sacred melange Muad'dib would not have become leader of all Fremen. Without her holy experience Alia would not be Alia.
    A: Without your blind Fremen cruelty you would not be a priest. Ahhh, I know you Fremen. You think Muad'dib is yours because he mated with Chani, because he adopted Fremen customs. But he was an Atreides first and he was trained by a Bene Gesserit adept. He possessed disciplines totally unknown to you. You thought he brought you new organization and a new mission. He promised to transform your desert planet into a water-rich paradise. And while he dazzled you with such visions, he took your virginity!
    Q: Such heresy does not change the fact that the Ecological Transformation of Dune proceeds apace.
    A: And I committed the heresy of tracing the roots of that transformation, of exploring the consequences. That battle out there on the Plains of Arrakeen may have taught the universe that Fremen could defeat Imperial Sardaukar, but what else did it teach? When the stellar empire of the Corrino Family became a Fremen empire under Muad'dib, what else did the Empire become? Your Jihad only took twelve years, but what a lesson it taught. Now, the Empire understands the sham of Muad'dib's marriage to the Princess Irulan!
    Q: You dare accuse Muad'dib of sham!
    A: Though you kill me for it, it's not heresy. The Princess became his consort, not his mate. Chani, his little Fremen darling -- she's his mate. Everyone knows this. Irulan was the key to a throne, nothing more.
    Q: It's easy to see why those who conspire against Muad'dib use your Analysis of History as their rallying argument!
    A: I'll not persuade you; I know that. But the argument of the conspiracy came before my Analysis. Twelve years of Muad'dib's Jihad created the argument. That's what united the ancient power groups and ignited the conspiracy against Muad'dib.



    This is an interview by a priest of Maud'dib with an Ixian historian who has been sentanced to death for heresy, specifically for saying Paul lost some of his humanity when he became Maud'dib. At the same time he recognizes Paul's nobility. Bronso basically recaps for us what happened in the previous book, Dune. The only new information is that the Jihad is over after twelve years.

    Alternately, the following appeared in the US editions 1969 to 1974:

    THE WEIRD OF DUNE

    Dune is the planet Arrakis, an arid world of great deserts where life survives against terrifying odds. The semi-nomadic Fremen of Dune base all their customs on water scarcity and face the deserts in stillsuits which recover all moisture. Gigantic sand worms and savage storms are a constant menace to them. Dune's only resource is the melange, an addictive drug produced by the worms. This 'spice' aids longevity and gives an adept some ability to foresee the future.

    PAUL ATREIDES was the son of Dune's ruler. When his father was killed in a war with the rival Harkonnen nobility, Paul fled into the desert with his pregnant mother, the LADY JESSICA. She was an adept, trained by the Bene Gesserit - a female order devoted the mental arts and the control of genetic lines. According to them, Paul was of a line that was to produce a kwisatz haderach, the messiah of the future.

    Duncan Idaho was killed in saving them. Paul fought his way to acceptance by the Fremen, and learned to control and ride the sand worms. In one of their rituals, he took a massive dose of drugs which produced a permanent change in him, giving him full vision of the future – or futures. His mother also took the drug, trying to control it by Bene Gesserit methods. As a result, Paul’s sister ALIA was made aware of all her mother’s knowledge while still in the womb, and was fully cognitive at birth.

    In time, Paul became the accepted leader of the Fremen. He mated with a Fremen girl, CHANI, and adopted most of their customs. But his Atreides mind had been trained to disciplines unknown to Fremen, and he gave them an organisation and mission they had not know before. He also planned to change the climate of Dune to bring water to the planet.

    Before his plans were fully developed, the Harkonnens again struck at Dune and its capital Arrakeen. In spite of the supposedly invincible Sardaukar soldiers, Paul’s Fremen forces overcame the enemy in a great battle.

    In the treaty Paul imposed, he gained a power base that would enable him to begin carving out a star empire. He also took the Imperial heir, PRINCESS IRULAN, as his consort, though he refused to consummate the marriage, he remained true to Chani.

    In the ensuing twelve years, he created his empire. But now all the ancient power groups are beginning to unite and conspire against him and against the legend of Muad’Dib, as he is called.
    Last edited by Freakzilla on 06 Apr 2009 14:19, edited 1 time in total.
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    Re: Chapter 00 (Prologue)

    Postby Freakzilla » 16 Jan 2012 12:24

    Cleaned up the evidence of my screw up. :D
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    Re: Chapter 00 (Prologue)

    Postby ᴶᵛᵀᴬ » 22 Mar 2012 19:20

    Freakzilla wrote:
    Alternately, the following appeared in the UK edition:

    THE WEIRD OF DUNE


    Not the UK edition : the former US editions (1969 to 1974).


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        Re: Chapter 00 (Prologue)

        Postby Freakzilla » 22 Mar 2012 20:46

        J-V.T. Askaris wrote:
        Freakzilla wrote:
        Alternately, the following appeared in the UK edition:

        THE WEIRD OF DUNE


        Not the UK edition : the former US editions (1969 to 1974).


        Thanks, corrected!
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        Re: Chapter 00 (Prologue)

        Postby georgiedenbro » 17 Aug 2014 02:18

        I wonder two things, having just begun a read-through of DM and finished this intro section:

        1) What is the significance of Bronso being Ixian? He speaks of the origin of the name of his planet as being relevant to discussing his planet. The origin is Latin; might this be a reference to the Roman Empire, and might he be comparing the Roman Empire to Paul's empire? If so I'm not 100% sure what the comparison is supposed to mean, unless the conspiracy against Muad'dib is being likened to the conspiracy against Julius Caesar. Could that be it? If so, other than this allusion, might there be any other significance to Frank making an Ixian be a truth-seeker not blinded by fanaticism, and persecuted? Maybe this is being used as an example of how progress in the universe had always been opposed by fanaticism, including the BJ and then Paul's Jihad. Ix, I suppose, would then stand for a beacon of 'progress' (if one was a technologist/scholar), one of the last bastions of pure reason relatively unaffected by the BJ (from the perspective of an Ixian).

        2) How does Bronso know about any conspiracy against Muad'dib? If it's a conspiracy then wouldn't it be secret, except for long after the fact when it's no longer a secret? But if, as the interview suggests, Muad'dib is still alive, and the conspiracy is still going on, I'm not sure how everyone here would know about it!
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        Re: Chapter 00 (Prologue)

        Postby Freakzilla » 17 Aug 2014 07:08

        Good questions...

        1. I'm not sure if there's is a significance, considering that as a reader we know next to nothing about IX. Maybe FH just wanted to talk more about it?
        2. My first thought was that this interview was after the events in DM but Paul walked into the desert immediately, so... :think:
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        Re: Chapter 00 (Prologue)

        Postby Naib » 18 Aug 2014 09:47

        I think the importance of Bronso being from Ix is an allusion to the beginning of Dune when Irulan tells us that we cannot understand Maud'dib without understanding his place, Dune.

        As for Bronso knowing about the conspiracy against Maud'dib, perhaps Bronso was a mentat and made a first line approximation based on historical evidence that all rulers create conspiracies just by existing. Therefore a conspiracy against Paul is not only probably, but inevitable.
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        Re: Chapter 00 (Prologue)

        Postby D Pope » 18 Aug 2014 13:06

        As for Ix

        I always thought the 'secret' about the meaning of Ix was supposed to say something about
        it's people/culture/mindset in that they were now so removed from their origins as to be
        something entirely different. I mean, you can't understand the culture without acknowledging
        the change. Whatever the word Ix means to them now has nothing to do with the roman
        numeral 9 and that's significant. It's simply never meant enough to me to look any deeper.
        :oops:
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        Re: Chapter 00 (Prologue)

        Postby ConreezyDos » 15 Oct 2014 09:58

        georgiedenbro wrote:I wonder two things, having just begun a read-through of DM and finished this intro section:

        1) What is the significance of Bronso being Ixian? He speaks of the origin of the name of his planet as being relevant to discussing his planet. The origin is Latin; might this be a reference to the Roman Empire, and might he be comparing the Roman Empire to Paul's empire? If so I'm not 100% sure what the comparison is supposed to mean, unless the conspiracy against Muad'dib is being likened to the conspiracy against Julius Caesar. Could that be it? If so, other than this allusion, might there be any other significance to Frank making an Ixian be a truth-seeker not blinded by fanaticism, and persecuted? Maybe this is being used as an example of how progress in the universe had always been opposed by fanaticism, including the BJ and then Paul's Jihad. Ix, I suppose, would then stand for a beacon of 'progress' (if one was a technologist/scholar), one of the last bastions of pure reason relatively unaffected by the BJ (from the perspective of an Ixian).!


        I think this is pretty spot on, but I would add that Bronso might have meant that his planet's name was a symbol for his peoples' ability/desire to learn about and describe the natural universe as it is, without needless superstition and omens. IX is the Roman numeral for 9, and I think Ix was the 9th planet of its system--it's not creative, but it's accurate, and maybe indicative of how his culture views the universe? That would explain Ixian science and Bronso's desire to cut through the mystique of Muad'Dib
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        Re: Chapter 00 (Prologue)

        Postby Freakzilla » 15 Oct 2014 11:34

        ConreezyDos wrote:...I think Ix was the 9th planet of its system--it's not creative, but it's accurate, and maybe indicative of how his culture views the universe? That would explain Ixian science and Bronso's desire to cut through the mystique of Muad'Dib


        This isn't revealed until the next book but it's also revealed that they don't know the language their planet's name came from, so...
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        Re: Chapter 00 (Prologue)

        Postby ConreezyDos » 15 Oct 2014 20:14

        Ah, good catch.
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        Re: Chapter 00 (Prologue)

        Postby pcqypcqy » 25 Jul 2017 06:01

        I think it's possible to interpret the Bronso of IX interview as occurring at any point between the end of DM and the start of CoD. It's a linguistic stretch, but possible.

        First, you have to consider that any reference to Paul Atreiedes or Muad'dib is to a dead man, but due to the mythos surrounding their emperor/god they still talk about him as if he were alive (similar to how Christians refer to Jesus).

        Second, with this in mind, take note of this passage:


        Q: There are deaths and there are deaths.
        A: Beware lest you make a martyr of me. I do not think Muad'dib . . . Tell me, does Muad'dib know what you do in these dungeons?
        Q: We do not trouble the Holy Family with trivia.
        A: (Laughter) And for this Paul Atreides fought his way to a niche among the Fremen! For this he learned to control and ride the sandworm! It was a mistake to answer your questions.



        Note that the priest only referred to the Holy Family. If the Jesus comparison above is taken into account, this passage makes sense.

        Lastly, and this is the hardest inconsistency to rationalise, we have the following passage:


        Your Jihad only took twelve years, but what a lesson it taught. Now, the Empire understands the sham of Muad'dib's marriage to the Princess Irulan!
        Q: You dare accuse Muad'dib of sham!
        A: Though you kill me for it, it's not heresy. The Princess became his consort, not his mate. Chani, his little Fremen darling -- she's his mate. Everyone knows this. Irulan was the key to a throne, nothing more.
        Q: It's easy to see why those who conspire against Muad'dib use your Analysis of History as their rallying argument!



        It's the "she's his mate" that's difficult. If we are generous, we could say this contraction should read "she was his mate" rather than "she is his mate". However, even if it is "is" rather than "was", using the Jesus comparison above and considering that Chani must have a special role in their religion, this could still work. Consider how Catholics revere Mary.
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        Re: Chapter 00 (Prologue)

        Postby georgiedenbro » 25 Jul 2017 08:51

        I don't know why this didn't occur to me before, but after reading the intro again it doesn't sound like the conspiracy being mentioned has anything to do with the conspiracy I assumed it did. It sounds like there is some underground movement that opposes the mythos of Muad'dib, almost like a religious underground, except that it's a secular underground. If this historian's writings are the rallying cry of the 'conspirators', and if the BG denounce them as well, then I guess we can assume that (a) it's widely known that such a group of dissenters exists, and (b) that they are being called a 'conspiracy' in this interview simply because the priests would call anyone doubting Muad'dib's religion a bunch of conspirators against him. Once we assume this I think it's fair to place the interview as taking place either during the book's events or else even before them.
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        Re: Chapter 00 (Prologue)

        Postby pcqypcqy » 25 Jul 2017 19:46

        This also makes sense.
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