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    Chapter 07

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    Chapter 07

    Postby Freakzilla » 12 Feb 2008 21:27

    Truth suffers from too much analysis.
    -Ancient Fremen Saying

    Irulan is visiting Reverend Mother Mohiam in her cell below Paul's Keep where she is meditating and reading tarot cards to restore her calm. Irulan has sent word to Jessica but Mohiam doesn't think she would act against Paul. Mohaim laments that here oracular powers are weak but muddy water is muddy water and she falls back on the Litany Against Fear. She contemplates the implications of her imprisonment and wonders if the Guild has betrayed her.

    A Qizara had intercepted her on the Heighliner and reminded her that she was forbidden to step on Arrakis, she had relpied that she was in free space, to which he replied there was no such thing, Muad'dib rules all, and despite her protests, Arrakis is everyone's destination. He orders her to accompany him with her bags to Arrakis. She starts to doubt the effectiveness of Edric's concealment from Paul and Alia.

    She makes small talk with Irulan while communicating through hand signs, she sighs at the realization that Irulan will never be able to preserve Paul's genes. She orders Irulan to explore the possibility of a Paul-Alia mating and Irulan begs for more time but she's had her chance. She is also ordered to explore the possibility of killing Chani. Irulan protest that she would be the immediate suspect and that Chani is on a Fremen fertility diet and lifting the contraceptives would make her even more fertile. Mohiam is outraged, there's no telling what gene combinations this mixture of contraceptives and fertility diet might yield, they must have a pure line. An heir would be a huge setback to the conspiracy. Mohiam orders that if Chani conceives she must be given an abortifact or killed. Both ideas terrify Irulan which draws Mohiam's scorn. Irulan becomes angry and argues her value to the conspiracy and that she shouldn't be thrown away in an attack on Chani. Mohiam counters that if the Ateides secure the throne it would mean centuries of disruption for the Sisterhood.

    Irulan asks for more information about the ghola which Mohiam takes as an insult.

    Mohiam orders Irulan to kill Chani before she conceives. Irulan realized that she is being spent and decides to take it like a Bene Gesserit and a Princess. She recites the Litany to herself and decides to give the Sisterhood more than they barganed for.

    Mohiam returns to the cards and wonders if Irulan will destroy them.
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    Re: Chapter 07

    Postby Freakzilla » 05 Apr 2012 12:13

    Fixed.
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    Re: Chapter 07

    Postby Freakzilla » 05 Apr 2012 12:52

    Here is another reference to Mohiam's week prescience.
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    Re: Chapter 07

    Postby georgiedenbro » 27 Aug 2014 00:54

    I wonder if Scytale was the one who revealed Mohiam's location. It would achieve a few ends: 1) To force Mohiam to the surface, thereby enabling Irulan to conference with her where this would otherwise have been impossible. 2) To give the BG cause to suspect the Guild of treachery, clouding Scytale's actions. 3) To create doubt that Edric could really shield the conspiracy.

    I'm not 100% sure why Scytale would want each of these three outcomes, but in any case I can't say more until later.

    Another thing I find interesting in this chapter is Mohiam thinking of Irulan as a whining shrew. I assume this assessment is based on the fact that Irulan is vain enough to desire to be mother to the royal heir almost to a greater degree than any of her other concerns. We might expect that Irulan is more upset at Mohiam's commands because it means she'll have failed as a royal progenitor, more so than by the fact that it means she'll likely die. This reminds me of Chapter 2, the meeting of the conspirators, where Irulan was finally drawn into the conspiracy with the allure of 'fathering a dynasty'. Even knowing that she was trapped, knowing that she was being used, she still allowed herself to believe that she'd somehow end up at the next Emperor's mother. Now, it seems, Mohiam reviles her for this vanity, just as Paul rejected her as a breeding partner earlier for being so mercenary for her own ends.

    Just as Jessica betrayed the Sisterhood in caring about something (love for Leto) more than she should, so now, I think, Mohiam is concerned that Irulan has private motives that she may value more than the BG plans.
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    Re: Chapter 07

    Postby Naïve mind » 27 Aug 2014 12:38

    georgiedenbro wrote:just as Paul rejected her as a breeding partner earlier for being so mercenary for her own ends.


    Any child of Irulan, whether by Paul or by someone else, would be a potent pretender to the throne.

    Paul would have to disavow the child, which would've embarassed the Qizarate. For Irulan, there would be predictable consequences.

    As long as Paul is Emperor, Irulan is destined to remain childless for the rest of her life. Like most women in her situation would, she resents that.
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    Re: Chapter 07

    Postby georgiedenbro » 27 Aug 2014 12:50

    Naïve mind wrote:
    georgiedenbro wrote:just as Paul rejected her as a breeding partner earlier for being so mercenary for her own ends.


    Any child of Irulan, whether by Paul or by someone else, would be a potent pretender to the throne.

    Paul would have to disavow the child, which would've embarassed the Qizarate. For Irulan, there would be predictable consequences.

    As long as Paul is Emperor, Irulan is destined to remain childless for the rest of her life. Like most women in her situation would, she resents that.


    Dune Messiah wrote:"Irulan proposes herself as mother of the Imperial heir," Paul said. He
    glanced at Chani, back to Irulan, who refused to meet his gaze. "We all know she
    holds no love for me."
    Irulan went very still.
    "I know the political arguments," Paul said. "It's the human arguments which
    concern me. I think if the Princess Consort were not bound by the commands of
    the Bene Gesserit, if she did not seek this out of desires for personal power,
    my reaction might be very different.
    As matters stand, though, I reject this
    proposal."
    Irulan took a deep, shaky breath.
    Paul, resuming his seat, thought he had never seen her under such poor
    control. Leaning toward her, he said: "Irulan, I am truly sorry."
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    Re: Chapter 07

    Postby Naïve mind » 27 Aug 2014 23:43

    I admit I didn't remember that passage, but I don't think it implies that he would be willing to father Irulan's child. At the end of Dune, I believe Paul promises Chani that Irulan would get nothing from him but his name.

    I obviously also don't recall the context of this quote, but it looks more like a public humiliation than like a discrete conversation between the three people in this marriage. And it basically confirms that Paul is sympathetic to Irulan's human needs; her desire to be a mother.
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    Re: Chapter 07

    Postby georgiedenbro » 28 Aug 2014 10:18

    Any male child of Irulan had with Paul wouldn't be a pretender, he'd be the heir apparent; that's the point. Paul wants an heir apparent, so Irulan having his son would be no threat to him, it would be what he wants. His problem with Irulan isn't that her son would be the heir apparent, his problem with Irulan is Irulan.

    I don't think Paul would publicly humiliate someone unless there's a direct purpose to it. Do you see one here? I don't think he's humiliating her; I believe he is honest in both in his comments and in his apology. Paul may be a masterful tactician, but I don't recall an example of him blatantly lying to a group of people just to produce an effect. He wins people by telling the truth with calculated timing, as his father did. That Paul is a man of honor and a man of his word is, I think, exactly why this passage is so interesting and surprising. And no, it's not a discreet conversation, but as it pertains to the future of the empire I think it would have been appropriate to discuss such matters with the advisory council.

    As for his comments to Chani at the end of Dune, I'm sure he meant them, but that was then. Even Chani herself tells him she won't hold him to it, because the need for a royal heir is too great to be put aside in favor of a well-meant promise that has long since been proven to have been kept in good faith:

    Dune Messiah wrote:"Then why ask about her desire for a child?"
    "I think it'd disconcert our enemies and put Irulan in a vulnerable position
    should you make her pregnant."
    He read by the movements of her hands on his legs what that statement had
    cost her. A lump rose in his throat. Softly, he said: "Chani, beloved, I swore
    an oath never to take her into my bed.
    A child would give her too much power.
    Would you have her displace you?"
    "I have no place."
    "Not so, Sihaya, my desert springtime. What is this sudden concern for
    Irulan?"
    "It's concern for you, not for her! If she carried an Atreides child, her
    friends would question her loyalties. The less trust our enemies place in her,
    the less use she is to them."
    "A child for her could mean your death," Paul said. "You know the plotting
    in this place." A movement of his arm encompassed the Keep.
    "You must have an heir!" she husked.
    "Ahhh," he said.
    So that was it: Chani had not produced a child for him. Someone else, then,
    must do it. Why not Irulan? That was the way Chani's mind worked. And it must be
    done in an act of love
    because all the Empire avowed strong taboos against
    artificial ways. Chani had come to a Fremen decision.


    The bolded and underlined passage is connected to Paul's comment in the council chamber where he says that Irulan has no love for him. Chani and Paul are both mature enough to be able to re-evaluate Paul's promise to her under the circumstances. It doesn't mean Paul would be made out to be a liar, even though I'm sure he'd feel bad about it.
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