Reading Dune by Frank Herbert: Chapter 16 -22

What what what, for the first 30% almost nothing happens and then everything all at once! I didn’t expect it to go down so suddenly, but I am not mad. It creates an interesting situation.

First we jump into an awkward evening dinner hosted by Leto. Invited are the VIP’s of Arrakis and the conversations are very tense. Everyone is politicking and following their own agenda. Trying not to give away too much information while gaining more knowledge. Everyone is very secretive on the topic of water, something that Jessica is mainly interested in. But no one really wants to tell her whether there’s enough or how they can try to get more and turn this planet around. Should talk to Mark Watney 🙂

In Chapter 17 there is a stand off between Hawat and Jessica. He accuses her of being a Harkonnen spy and she thinks that he’s not trustworthy any more. I don’t really see why Hawat wants to suspect Jessica. There’s no evidence. The only reason I can see is him being the traitor. Jessica uses her powers to intimidate him.

So let’s go to Chapter 18. Leto feels bad about being mean to Jessica and not letting her in on what he’s doing. He feels like he should tell her the truth right now. It is NEVER a good sign if a characters plans to open up to another character xD SOMETHING might happen before. It’s no different in this case. The Harkonnens get to him, but not before killing the smuggler Tuek and Mapes. What a shame, I liked the smuggler.. Yueh finally outs himself as the traitor but is still struggling with his decision and finds a way for Leto to try and kill the Duke with the help of a fake tooth that’s filled with poison gas. Clever man. And a double traitor. He also plans on saving Jessica & Paul.

Oooh, Jessica and Paul got caught as well! And they are in the hands of Vladimir Harkonnen who lets his people bring them to the desert in order to let them die there. But because Yueh prepared their thopter and because Paul & Jessica are clever and powerful, they get away by using the Voice and hide in the desert.

Chapter 20 shows us Yueh again and his plan to save Jessica and Paul. Somehow Duncan Idaho is involved in this as well, but I am not sure how. Last we seen of him, he was drunk. Yueh makes sure that Paul gets his dad’s signet ring by hiding it in their thopter.

In Chapter 21 we finally see Baron Harkonnen again. He has arrived on Arrakis all happy and is now looking forward to meeting Duke Leto. While he promised the power over Arrakis to his Mentat Piter de Vries earlier, he still plans on getting rid of him soon so he can groom his nephew(?) Feyd-Rautha for the job. Oh yes. And of course, he kills Yueh. What else. Stupid Yueh, you could have just tried to resist…

Anyways, Baron Harkonnen does a lot of talking and gloating and then wants Leto to get tortured because he won’t tell him where his ring is. He doesn’t even know! Gladly, Leto remembers his poison-tooth and bites on it. He kills himself, Piter, a few guards, but the Baron gets away! Noooo! He is very upset, wants something to eat and a drugged up boy who looks like Paul, for his entertainment. Ugh. Not cool.

In Chapter 22, Paul turns into an annoying teenage boy. ‘Leave me alone, Mom!’ He’s scared by the fact that he can see so many possible futures, gets all the connections and just knows things. He drops some truth on poor Jessica and tells her that she’s Baron Harkonnen’s daughter (oh please…) and that he knows she’s pregnant with his sister. He also blames her for making him ‘a freak’ although she says she only wanted the best for him. That’s what all moms say. He doesn’t refer to himself as the Dragon Reborn the Kwisatz Haderach, but as a seed. For now the 2 want to team up with the Fremen.

Okayy, I think it was time the big betrayal happened, seeing that I am almost half done with the book. I like that Paul wants to team up with the Fremen now, that should be fun to read. I don’t think I like how he developed. That was all a bit too quickly. We knew he was a clever & gifted kid and that he got Mentat & Bene Gesserit training. But all of a sudden he’s aware of everything and gets everything and thinks his mom, who is a powerful Bene Gesserit, is just stupid.. Hm. I hope he doesn’t get too smug!

Aaaand we had an ‘I am your father’-moment. Baron Harkonnen is Paul’s granddad. Oh no 😀 I am glad he didn’t inherit his physique.

One comment

  1. While I never liked Paul’s moody teenager moments, I had to remind myself that, despite all the training he had, he still was a 16 year old boy facing harrowing events and shattering revelations. On hindsight, I think that the sudden awareness of the “big picture” is by-product of the shock of finding himself on the run and hunted, and of course his father’s death.
    And yes, the closer look at Fremen society will be fun indeed – one of my favorite parts of the book 🙂


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