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Best Characters From The Dune Sequel Books

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Highlights

  • Characters in the
    Dune
    sequels take surprising turns, evolving over thousands of years into major players or villains with complex backstories.
  • Powerful figures like Alia Atreides and Leto 2 have shaped the universe for millennia, facing internal struggles and costly decisions in their reigns.
  • Unique characters like Siona Atreides rebel against tyrannical rulers, while figures like Murbella bridge conflicting factions to save humanity.

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Dune: Part Two has been called an instant classic and a masterpiece by many, prompting a lot of fans of the new movie adaptations to look to the book series for further material. While there are many books set in the universe of Dune, most of them were written more recently, after the death of the original author, Frank Herbert.

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Dune: The Great Houses, Explained

One of the most substantial power structures in Dune’s universe is handed down a few notable bloodlines.

The sequel novels take a wild turn, jumping many thousands of years into the future past Paul Atreides eventually. As such, characters that fans of the movies have never even heard of become major players, while some that they know stick around or return in surprising ways. With more of the Dune franchise being explored soon, these characters may be more deeply explored.

8 Alia Atreides

A Terrifying Example

dune-alia-atreides Cropped

  • Appears In:
    Dune, Dune: Messiah
    &
    Children Of Dune

One of the most fascinating and terrifying characters in the Dune sequel novels appeared (sort of) in Dune: Part Two. Alia Atreides, the sister of Paul, was pre-born inside Jessica, meaning she became aware and sentient far earlier than a child is supposed to because Jessica became a Reverend Mother while pregnant with her.

In the second and third books, Alia grows up (very quickly) and becomes a villainous character. Having the knowledge of many previous generations is difficult and can create what is known in the Dune Universe as an Abomination, which is what Alia becomes. She is completely possessed by an ancestor, in this case, Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, her grandfather. Alia would eventually die in Children of Dune, but not after causing much damage to the Atreides’ name.

7 Leto Atreides 2

The God Emperor

Leto II Atreides In Children of Dune

  • Appears In:
    Children Of Dune
    &
    God Emperor Of Dune

Another major figure, one who defined the Universe of Dune for literal millennia, is the son of Paul Atreides and Chani. Leto 2 and his sister Ghanima were the only direct descendants of Muad’Dib and Leto 2 became the Emperor of the known universe, but only after merging with sandworms, and eventually becoming a huge human-sandworm hybrid.

Leto 2 became known as the Tyrant, ruling over the entire universe like a terrible dictator for 3,500 years. Although he intended to tread the “golden path”, leading to the continuation of the human race, it came with the terrible cost of ruling over humanity with an iron fist. He was considered a true villain by most of the people in the universe both during and after his reign. He died at the conclusion of God Emperor of Dune after being drenched in water and turned into sandworms, re-populating Arrakis with the creatures, but now each one had a marble of his sentience, making him somewhat immortal.

6 Siona Atreides

Rebel & Unwilling Kwisatz Haderach

Lady Jessica looks in Duke Leto's direction and Paul Atreides stands nearby in Dune.

  • Appears In:
    God Emperor Of Dune

One of the last true members of the Atreides family, Siona was a fascinating culmination of the careful bloodline breeding done by Leto 2 over thousands of years. He wanted those of his bloodline to be able to hide from the prescient searching abilities of Guild Navigators, and he found this gene in Siona, which she would then spread throughout humanity.

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Dune: Fremen Society, Explained

The denizens of Arrakis struggle for every drop of water. That lifestyle will naturally create strict rules and a fascinatingly unique way of life.

Siona somewhat hated Leto 2 and tried to rebel against him. Once she saw the Golden Path he was attempting to tread, and understood why he had done everything he had, she only somewhat seemed to come around. Siona, mating with one of the Duncan Idaho Ghola clones, transformed the human race at the behest of Leto 2.

5 Darwi Odrade

Bene Gesserit Leader

Lady Jessica in Dune.

  • Appears In:
    Heretics Of Dun
    e &
    Chapterhouse: Dune

Reverend Mother Odrade was one of the major faces of the final two Dune novels written by Frank Herbert. She began as a Reverend Mother helping guide a young ghola of Duncan Idaho, and attempting to uncover the realities behind a young girl who could speak to the sandworms of Arrakis, but as the Bene Gesserit conflict with the Honoured Matres grew in nature, she became the Mother Superior of the whole Bene Gesserit order.

In the final Dune book written by Frank Herbert, this very human character attempts to reconcile her Atreides heritage with what she has become, as she leads the Bene Gesserit into a Scattering so that some of them will survive the Honoured Matres. A fascinating, fan favorite character, Odrade is hailed by many as Herbert’s best female character.

4 Murbella

Bene Gesserit & Honored Matre

Bene Gesserit

  • Appears In: Heretics Of Dune & Chapterhouse: Dune

The final two books in Frank Herbert’s Dune Saga focus much more on the Bene Gesserit organization, which Denis Villeneuve chose to highlight quite significantly in Dune: Part Two. This is because the ancient order comes into conflict with a group that returns from the Scattering, called Honored Matres, who abuse their gifts to tyrannize everyone they come into contact with.

Murbella is the first Honored Matre that the Bene Gesserit capture alive, and they keep her in captivity for years before finally teaching her about their ways. This leads to Murbella becoming a Reverend Mother, and being a bridge between the two orders, eventually leading both of them when the entire human race comes close to danger of extinction. A fantastic and complex character, Murbella was a rare example of someone who changes allegiances in the Dune world, instead of being completely trapped in their own beliefs.

3 Sheeana

The Worm Whisperer

Sandworms In Dune

  • Appears In:
    Heretics Of Dune
    &
    Chapterhouse: Dune

One of the major descendants of the Atreides bloodline who gains the ability to communicate with the sandworms of Rakis (previously Arrakis) is Sheeana. A young child, when her small village was wiped out, she was the only survivor but was brought to a city by a sandworm she was able to talk to, and she proved this ability many more times with the other worms.

Related

Dune: The History Of House Harkonnen, Explained

The antagonistic half of the war for Arrakis is known for its long history of brutality, underhandedness, and cruelty.

Sheeana is taken from Rakis by the Bene Gesserit and trained in their ways, becoming one of the youngest Reverend Mothers ever. Additionally, after the Honored Matres destroy Rakis, she takes charge of attempting to turn the Bene Gesserit’s Chapterhouse planet into a new Dune. Using young sandworms, they were able to successfully get off the planet before it was destroyed.

2 Miles Teg

The Supreme Bashar

Miles Teg From Dune Book Art

  • Appears In:
    Heretics Of Dune
    &
    Chapterhouse: Dune

Miles Teg is another fascinating character from the final novels, one whose strange powers go relatively unexplained except as being another shift in later Atreides bloodlines through more Bene Gesserit breeding. The Supreme Bashar of the Bene Gesserit was the head of their fighting force, as well as a Mentat, and his Bene Gesserit mother had instilled him with much of the knowledge and training that Reverend Mothers go through.

Teg had many Atreides traits, even being compared to Duke Leto the First in many ways. In Heretics of Dune, he is called back from retirement to help train a new Duncan Idaho ghola, and unlocks powers of speed and prescience that allow him to kill many Honored Matres. He was killed in a subsequent battle on Rakis, due to the Honoured Matres destroying the entire surface of the planet, but was brought back by the Bene Gesserit as a ghola later and joined the scattering at the end of the final book.

1 Duncan Idaho

The Man Of Many Lives

duncan-idaho-dune

  • Appears In:
    Dune, Dune: Messiah, Children Of Dune, God Emperor Of Dune, Heretics Of Dune
    &
    Chapterhouse: Dune

Duncan Idaho is a name that will be familiar to fans of the Dune movies, due to Jason Momoa taking on the role, and being unfortunately killed by Sardaukar while helping Paul and Jessica escape. This also happens in the books, but the Tleilaxu know how to bring people back from death, although Duncan was the first one to ever return and regain his memories.

Returned as a ghola in every Dune book, Duncan Idaho has lived hundreds of lives. He married Alia Atreides and had to watch her downfall, turning against her eventually. He served and was killed many times by Leto 2, and was brought back to help lead the Bene Gesserit forces in their confrontation with the Honored Matres, falling in love with Murbella while they were held in Chapterhouse. Duncan is a man out of time and a useful perspective for readers who are moving as quickly through time as he feels like he is.

More

Dune: The History Of House Atreides, Explained

The central figures of this classic science fiction story have a fascinating background before the war for Arrakis.

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