Reading Dune by Frank Herbert: Chapter 1 & 2

I decided to post my thoughts on it while reading. This is the first time ever I do it like that, but it really helps me keep track of this complicated story. I want to give it a proper chance and not just give up because I don’t understand a whole lot yet.

Okay, so in the first chapter we get introduced to Paul Atreides and his mum Jessica. Paul, who is a smug little boy, gets tested by an old witch lady for.. something? Being human? I didn’t get all of that. But he had to put his hand in a box and then wasn’t allowed to take it out although it was causing him a LOT OF PAIN! Because if he does, she’ll kill him. He passed the test, obviously, which made his mum very happy.

A Bene Gesserit, like the old lady, is like a Jedi? I think she was able to influence Paul’s actions with her mind?

Random words thrown around, that are probably important: Kwisatz Haderach, gom jabbar, Bene Gesserit.

Chapter 2 deals with 3 new people – the villains I suppose as the only thing they do is scheme. This Baron Vladimir Harkonnen is the leader and hates the Atreides family with a passion. We don’t know why yet. But he hatched this super complicated plan to take them down on the planet Arrakis (Dune, right?). With him are his nephew Feyd-Rautha as well as his Mentat, Piter. I suppose that means his advisor, bodyguard or something like that. He also isn’t human, but took over a humans body. He’s also addicted to spices which make his eyes go all blue. Like a White Walker. And Baron Harkonnen wants to take him out soon as he’s getting too dangerous.

I can’t remember the whole plan. But it contains a lot of scheming and backstabbing and plots within plots. So I won’t even try to understand it right now. There’s mention of a lot of different companies and people, but in the end it boils down to Lord Harkonnen wanting to take Arrakis and the Spice Trade from the Atreides family. It’s all about power and money.

Also, they want to kill Paul. And Baron Harkonnen is super fat but wears some magical suspenders that only make him carry a quarter of his actual weight 😀 Isn’t that handy. America would love it.

Weird words: Sardaukar unit, Mentat, CHOAM company

I hope I got most of it right so far!

3 comments

  1. Oh, this post is beautiful. It is like watching a flower slowly unfold. I love your honesty about how confusing things are. I’ve read so much of the Dune Universe that I tend to forget how Herbert just throws you into things. I don’t know if you’re reading a paper or ecopy of the book, but there is a glossary of terms in the back of most paper copies. It might be slightly spoiler’y but it will explain some things. I guess it is a balance of knowing either not enough or knowing too much.

    Which you will see, fits the theme of Dune perfectly 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your reply! Unfortunately I am reading the ebook version. It might have been so much easier to get the book.. Because of that glossary and you can go back easier to look up things. Ah well, I will just read very carefully 😉 I actually googled a little (also very carefully, so I don’t read any spoilers) and now I think I am on track! The Bene Gesserit remind me of the Aes Sedai from Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time. Did you ever read it? I only managed to finish the first couple of books but always liked the concept of magic in it.

      Liked by 1 person

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