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    Didn't anybody know about worm-riding?

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    Didn't anybody know about worm-riding?

    Postby cmsahe » 03 Apr 2009 00:49

    I remember that when Paul discovers the maker hooks in the fremkit pack he does not have a clear idea of what they are used for. And when Jessica and Stilgar observe a mirage across the basin, Jessica thinks of the significance of what she saw: Fremen riding a sandworm:

    "It took heavy control not to betray her shock at the implications".
    Dune, Ace Mass market paperback ed. p.291
    Last edited by cmsahe on 03 Apr 2009 15:01, edited 2 times in total.
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    Postby Redstar » 03 Apr 2009 01:05

    What are you asking here?
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    Postby SandChigger » 03 Apr 2009 02:46

    No, Carlos, I don't think that anyone besides the Fremen knew that the Fremen could ride worms.

    (If that's what you're really asking.... :?: )
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    Postby SwordMaster » 03 Apr 2009 09:59

    I think he pointing out yet another PHAIL by the KJA/BH team power, I would imagine something they wrote not matching up to what Frank wrote. Yet again
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    Postby Drunken Idaho » 03 Apr 2009 10:28

    There were a number of things about the Fremen that the rest of the universe did not know prior to the events in Dune:

    - They could ride worms
    - Their population was massive
    - They understood the worm-spice cycle
    - They were well-trained in spice knowledge, acquiring water of life, etc. (although the BG would have been aware of this, since Reverend Mothers traditionally dilute the stuff for them)
    - They had a sort of group consciousness, due to frequent spice orgies
    - They bribed the guild to keep quiet about them


    The list goes on.
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    Postby Ampoliros » 03 Apr 2009 12:34

    Their population was massive?!?!? then how come Paul of Dune clearly states that Paul only had 2 million Fremen warriors with which to conquer the galaxy!

    If the population of fremen was roughly equal to 1/10th the population of the US, they would still have around 5 million military-age fremen to draw from (by our standards, not fremen standards which would be much broader)

    (Again, this is an homage to Karen Traviss, who coined the term Talifan when the Star Wars EU forums called her on claiming that the Clone Trooper army was only 3-Million strong and that the Clone Wars was basically just a border dispute.)
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    Postby cmsahe » 03 Apr 2009 14:56

    SwordMaster wrote:I think he pointing out yet another PHAIL by the KJA/BH team power, I would imagine something they wrote not matching up to what Frank wrote. Yet again
    My question has nothing to do with the new BH/KJA novels. But I got the impression that neither Paul nor Jessica knew about worm-riding.
    Last edited by cmsahe on 03 Apr 2009 15:37, edited 1 time in total.
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    Postby A Thing of Eternity » 03 Apr 2009 15:14

    cmsahe wrote:
    SwordMaster wrote:I think he pointing out yet another PHAIL by the KJA/BH team power, I would imagine something they wrote not matching up to what Frank wrote. Yet again
    My question has nothing to do with the new BH/KJA novels. But I got the impression that neither Paul nor Jessica knew aboutut worm-riding.


    Nobody knew about it other than the fremen.
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    Postby GamePlayer » 03 Apr 2009 15:58

    I thought there were some rumors mentioned early in the original Dune about fremen seen on the back of worms. They were told in the same manner that we would relate ghost stories and urban legends. Or am I remembering it wrong?

    Regardless, it's clear no one knew jack about the true fremen population or worm riding before Paul and Jessica came along. And assuming the fremen are planet-wide, I'd assume we're talking hundreds of millions of fremen. Perhaps the nature of Arrakis prevents the population from growing beyond a certain point at which a population can be sustained, but when you factor in technology and the vast water caches of the fremen (and their description of massive numbers), we gotta be talking a planet-wide population in the hundreds of millions at least.
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    Postby A Thing of Eternity » 03 Apr 2009 16:10

    GamePlayer wrote:I thought there were some rumors mentioned early in the original Dune about fremen seen on the back of worms. They were told in the same manner that we would relate ghost stories and urban legends. Or am I remembering it wrong?

    Regardless, it's clear no one knew jack about the true fremen population or worm riding before Paul and Jessica came along. And assuming the fremen are planet-wide, I'd assume we're talking hundreds of millions of fremen. Perhaps the nature of Arrakis prevents the population from growing beyond a certain point at which a population can be sustained, but when you factor in technology and the vast water caches of the fremen (and their description of massive numbers), we gotta be talking a planet-wide population in the hundreds of millions at least.


    I don't remember that but you could be right. I think the guild probably knew, but were bribed out of telling anyone along with the bribes the fremen paid to have them keep quiet about the terraforming operations IIRC.
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    Postby Redstar » 03 Apr 2009 17:43

    GamePlayer wrote:I thought there were some rumors mentioned early in the original Dune about fremen seen on the back of worms. They were told in the same manner that we would relate ghost stories and urban legends. Or am I remembering it wrong?

    I remember something like that myself.

    Most people thought the Fremen were stupid little people, too. It was like how most countries thought the Japanese were "yellow little men with slanted eyes" that could never perform an air attack on a naval base before WWII.
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    Postby Freakzilla » 03 Apr 2009 17:47

    I'm sure there were legends but I don't remember any specific instance of an outfreyn possessing knowledge of wormriding.
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    Postby SwordMaster » 03 Apr 2009 19:48

    Freakzilla wrote:I'm sure there were legends but I don't remember any specific instance of an outfreyn possessing knowledge of wormriding.


    I do not either and had Leto known about it he might have mentioned it to Paul when speaking about desert power? Leto was very interested about the desert folk, as shown by sending Duncan. Duncan would maybe had told Leto of the worm riding but no mention of it in the first book... Duncan did not really have time to do so as he was now water of Stilgar's tribe

    I assumed JKA fuct up something else in some gay nudune about Paul's teenage acne and his cyborg best friend.
    Last edited by SwordMaster on 03 Apr 2009 19:54, edited 1 time in total.
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    Postby SwordMaster » 03 Apr 2009 19:52

    GamePlayer wrote:I thought there were some rumors mentioned early in the original Dune about fremen seen on the back of worms. They were told in the same manner that we would relate ghost stories and urban legends. Or am I remembering it wrong?

    Regardless, it's clear no one knew jack about the true fremen population or worm riding before Paul and Jessica came along. And assuming the fremen are planet-wide, I'd assume we're talking hundreds of millions of fremen. Perhaps the nature of Arrakis prevents the population from growing beyond a certain point at which a population can be sustained, but when you factor in technology and the vast water caches of the fremen (and their description of massive numbers), we gotta be talking a planet-wide population in the hundreds of millions at least.


    Yeah I agree, I think at least 500 Mill considering size of the desert and thousands of small sietchs, spread out, a very much nomad lifestyle where by any 1 person or single family could survive alone in the desert for some time, always on the move.
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    Postby SandChigger » 03 Apr 2009 20:32

    Drunken Idaho wrote:- acquiring water of life, etc. (although the BG would have been aware of this, since Reverend Mothers traditionally dilute the stuff for them)

    I don't think the BG were aware of the Water of Life before Jessica. Those RMs were Fremen wild RMs, no? (The MP had sent RMs to Arrakis and the Fremen, but that doesn't necessarily mean any communications were ever sent back to the BG.)

    SwordMaster wrote:I think at least 500 Mill considering size of the desert and thousands of small sietchs, spread out, a very much nomad lifestyle where by any 1 person or single family could survive alone in the desert for some time, always on the move.

    500 million? What the fuck?

    And what's this 1 person or a single family surviving alone bullshit?

    They lived in sietches for a reason: they'd have died otherwise.

    FH in Dune wrote: "I gave you Duncan Idaho's head count on the sietch he visited," Hawat said. "It all fits. If they had just two hundred and fifty such sietch communities, their population would be about five million. My best estimate is that they had at least twice that many communities. You scatter your population on such a planet."

    "Ten million?" The Baron's jowls quivered with amazement.

    "At least."
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    Postby GamePlayer » 03 Apr 2009 22:21

    Yes, I remember the 10 million quote, but those were all just guesses and largely uniformed at that. Or more correct to say, as informed as an off-worlder could possibly be (aside from Paul, of course). They were also clearly stated in context as a lower limit ("at least"). The true number of fremen was likely more than this figure. Now whether we'd be right to say 20 million or 100 million, who knows. We're just guessing here and using vague terms like "massive numbers" as context.

    If Arrakis is Earth sized (assumption) and had a few hundred million people living on the whole of Dune, the planet would still be considered extremely depopulated. Earth currently has 6.74 billion people, so 200 million people would be a mere 2.96% the Earth's current population.

    Just as a comparison, Canada is one of the largest countries in the world, yet we are considered greatly depopulated for a country of such size. That's 32 million people spread over roughly 10 million square kilometers. If Arrakis is populated in a manner similar to Canada (and assuming Earth's size), that would place the population of Arrakis at 1.6 billion people. If we assumed Arrakis was only one one-hundredth the population density of Canada, we'd get 16 million people on Arrakis.

    If I recall, there are some parts of Dune that describe the pole zones as more comfortable for human habitation. So even if the fremen are spread out, they may not be planet wide. Perhaps the fremen are only found in the northern polar areas. That might explain a population in the tens of millions rather than hundreds of millions.

    In either case, I've no idea where that 2 million figure came from.
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    Postby SandChigger » 04 Apr 2009 00:36

    All true, of course.

    And your 16 million is closer to 10 million than 500 million. ;)

    The problems with a massive population in the hundreds of millions are (1) where would they live and (2) what would they eat (and drink).

    Sietches were limited to rock outcroppings, which seem to have been limited mostly to the northern (and southern?) latitudes. It was undoubtably much hotter in the equatorial regions as well ... maybe too hot to live there? There probably wasn't enough cultivation going on to feed a massive population (they couldn't eat just spice after all ;) ), and buying or importing enough food would eventually draw attention. (Although that probably depends on how much they could bribe the Guild to ignore smuggling, etc.)

    Another one of those interesting bits FH didn't answer for us.... ;)
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    Postby GamePlayer » 04 Apr 2009 12:22

    I suppose the extent of habitation within the mountains of Arrakis depends upon the mountain ranges of Arrakis. If they have anything like the Rocky Mountains that we have here in Canada, such massive ranges could easily shelter hundreds of millions. If Arrakis has mountains like the Himalayan ranges in Asia, there's no telling how many people could live is such massive formations. Frank Herbert describes Mt. Idaho and Observatory Mt. as 7,400 meters and 8,110 meters respectively, which means the mountains of Arrakis are at least as tall as the largest mountains of the Earth.

    As for food, I mentioned earlier the nature of Arrakis itself may place limits upon a maximum sustainable population. However, given that a population of "at least" 10 million fremen was able to be sustained upon Arrakis without anyone knowing suggests Arrakis can be fruitful enough to sustain a rather significant population.

    It all depends upon the extent of civilization on Arrakis.

    If the fremen are planet-wide, it makes perfect sense their population is in the hundreds of millions. Perhaps not half a billion, but 200 million on an Earth sized globe living just within mountainous areas is perfectly reasonable.

    If the fremen are limited to specific zones of Arrakis, it's more likely the fremen population is in the tens of millions and not outside an order of magnitude (10+ million low end, 99- million high end).
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    Postby Drunken Idaho » 04 Apr 2009 21:32

    SandChigger wrote:
    Drunken Idaho wrote:- acquiring water of life, etc. (although the BG would have been aware of this, since Reverend Mothers traditionally dilute the stuff for them)

    I don't think the BG were aware of the Water of Life before Jessica. Those RMs were Fremen wild RMs, no? (The MP had sent RMs to Arrakis and the Fremen, but that doesn't necessarily mean any communications were ever sent back to the BG.)


    Hmm, yeah you're very likely right. That makes a lot more sense, since the BG, along with the Emperor and pretty much the rest of the universe, were Epic Fail at the end of Dune, mainly due to ignorance of such things as Fremen population, Spice knowledge, Atreides badassedness etc... But you gotta wonder how the BG went about making their own Spice essence. Did they drown worms? Or could they manipulate their enzymes and hormones, and piss the stuff right out after having a few Melange biscuits for supper?

    And about the mountains and population dispersion... I'm pretty sure the Fremen inhabited the southern hemisphere at the time of Dune. Only the northern hemisphere had consistent mountain ranges everywhere, but I guess in the south there must have been the occasional ridge, escarpment, or mountain. Didn't Jessica and Alia chill way down south for a while towards the end of the book? And they returned when they heard Paul had been dead for two weeks?

    And for food, let's not forget that by that at that time there were already many secret Fremen plantings and biological stations. Besides that, there would have been birds, bats, muad'dibs, etc. Remember Chani giving Paul little balls of bird meat, grain, and melange, wrapped in a leaf? Not too appetizing, but I imagine that's about as good as it gets for Fremen cuisine.
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    Postby moreh_yeladim » 05 Apr 2009 12:39

    Redstar wrote:
    GamePlayer wrote:I thought there were some rumors mentioned early in the original Dune about fremen seen on the back of worms. They were told in the same manner that we would relate ghost stories and urban legends. Or am I remembering it wrong?

    I remember something like that myself.

    Most people thought the Fremen were stupid little people, too. It was like how most countries thought the Japanese were "yellow little men with slanted eyes" that could never perform an air attack on a naval base before WWII.

    Or, with more relevance to the present day, how everyone thought Arabs were a bunch of retarded, fanatically religious Bedouin wanderers until 9/11.

    And now the kefiyyeh is a multicolored hipster fashion item.

    And for food, let's not forget that by that at that time there were already many secret Fremen plantings and biological stations. Besides that, there would have been birds, bats, muad'dibs, etc. Remember Chani giving Paul little balls of bird meat, grain, and melange, wrapped in a leaf? Not too appetizing, but I imagine that's about as good as it gets for Fremen cuisine.

    Yeah, I've had what're called grape leaves. They're leaves of grape vines wrapped around bits of ground meat with some grain or something. They actually kind of suck. Maybe the spice makes bad food tolerable?
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    Postby Drunken Idaho » 05 Apr 2009 15:02

    moreh_yeladim wrote:
    And for food, let's not forget that by that at that time there were already many secret Fremen plantings and biological stations. Besides that, there would have been birds, bats, muad'dibs, etc. Remember Chani giving Paul little balls of bird meat, grain, and melange, wrapped in a leaf? Not too appetizing, but I imagine that's about as good as it gets for Fremen cuisine.

    Yeah, I've had what're called grape leaves. They're leaves of grape vines wrapped around bits of ground meat with some grain or something. They actually kind of suck. Maybe the spice makes bad food tolerable?


    Yes, I've had those too. Bite-sized rolls of ground lamb meat mixed with rice, wrapped in a grape leaf, and served cold for some stupid reason? Lebanese dish, yes? I never even made the connection to Dune until you posted this, Yeladim. But you're right, they weren't that good. Maybe if they were warm...
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    Postby inhuien » 06 Apr 2009 05:23

    I've had them in both Vine leaf and Cabbage leaf but thankfully never cold, they're a tasty treat.
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    Re: Didn't anybody know about worm-riding?

    Postby cmsahe » 25 Apr 2009 22:34

    Well it seems that, even though we read Dune regularly, we forget about important details: Dune Ace paperback edition page 414: "The worm came on like some great sandfish, cresting the surface, it's rings rippling and twisting. In a moment, from his vantage point above the desert, Gurney saw the taking of a worm-the daring leap of the first hookman, the turning of the creature, the way an entire band of men went up the scaly, glistening curve of the worm's side."

    "There's one of the things you shouldn't have seen," Paul said.
    "There's been stories and rumors," Gurney said.
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    Re: Didn't anybody know about worm-riding?

    Postby GamePlayer » 26 Apr 2009 00:54

    That's the statement I was recalling in my first reply to this thread.
    But I mixed up the chronology of those "rumors and stories" with where the statement actually appeared in the book.
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    Re: Didn't anybody know about worm-riding?

    Postby SandChigger » 26 Apr 2009 01:18

    Stories and rumors among smugglers. Not exactly mainstream society.
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