Idle Fenring Question

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A Little Galach
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Idle Fenring Question

Postby A Little Galach » 05 May 2010 09:44

I was wondering about the Count. He is described a Shaddam's buddy and as the most deadly man in the Empire or something to that effect. FH goes to some trouble to build the character and his abilities, as well as put him in a situation where he can affect the outcome of the Battle of Arakeen and the path of the Empire. However in the end he declines to help his cousin (right?) out and fight (and presumably kill) Paul in the end.

A: Why did he refuse?

B: Why did FH go through the trouble of creating this character and his fearsome abilities if he was going to inexplicably decline to impact the plotline in the end?

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lotek
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Re: Idle Fenring Question

Postby lotek » 05 May 2010 10:27

A: he refused because he is a failed Kwizatz Haderach and probably the only person alive who can understand Paul(at that time)
QUOTE NEEDED ;)
B: first reason would be Frank was not a lazy bastard and even someone who might appear to be a secondary character had the right to have decent background(even more for one whom you don't see that much)
second i believe your answer is in your question
"if he was going to inexplicably decline to impact the plotline"
trust Frank not to fall for the obvious and easy traps. I think that it is exactly why he chose for that to happen(or not), so that his reader would start questioning himself, a bit like having Paul reveal his shortcomings in Dune.
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Apjak
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Re: Idle Fenring Question

Postby Apjak » 05 May 2010 10:37

A Little Galach wrote:A: Why did he refuse?

I think because he was a failed KH and he saw in Paul either:

a. somebody he could relate to, being so bloody similar to him

b. somebody who was more fit to rule than Shaddam (he was VERY pragmatic, just pay attention to how he talks and acts with his BG wife)

c. his doom (maybe not prescient, but he was probably as close to KH as the BG had gotten before Paul)

A Little Galach wrote:B: Why did FH go through the trouble of creating this character and his fearsome abilities if he was going to inexplicably decline to impact the plotline in the end?

I think if it needs to have a reason (I believe that even FH thought mystery and imagination were best) that it is that we are given the one person who really, really has the chance to stop Paul and the Jihad (Paul more or less saw his own death at his hand) and he gets the go ahead, but once he looks at the situation he says "no". I think it's kind of an appeal to authority. Fenring acting as adviser to Shaddam one last time saying in the words of Kanye, "Shaddam, you had a good reign and I'ma let you finish, but Muad'dib will be one one of the greatest Emperors of all time. OF ALL TIME."
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Freakzilla
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Re: Idle Fenring Question

Postby Freakzilla » 05 May 2010 10:44

lotek wrote:A: he refused because he is a failed Kwizatz Haderach and probably the only person alive who can understand Paul(at that time)
QUOTE NEEDED ;)


I could kill him, Fenring thought -- and he knew this for a truth.
Something in his own secretive depths stayed the Count then, and he glimpsed
briefly, inadequately, the advantage he held over Paul -- a way of hiding from
the youth, a furtiveness of person and motives that no eye could penetrate.
Paul, aware of some of this from the way the time nexus boiled, understood
at last why he had never seen Fenring along the webs of prescience. Fenring was
one of the might-have-beens, an almost Kwisatz Haderach, crippled by a flaw in
the genetic pattern -- a eunuch, his talent concentrated into furtiveness and
inner seclusion. A deep compassion for the Count flowed through Paul, the first
sense of brotherhood he'd ever experienced.
Fenring, reading Paul's emotion, said, "Majesty, I must refuse."
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lotek
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Re: Idle Fenring Question

Postby lotek » 05 May 2010 10:48

cheers
I knew i could count(lol)on you!
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Freakzilla
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Re: Idle Fenring Question

Postby Freakzilla » 05 May 2010 10:59

Fenring served other purposes other than "not killing Paul". He showed that the BG had alternate breeding lines, he ruled planets like Arrakis and Caladan while they were between leaders and he was the emperor's errand boy.
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merkin muffley
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Re: Idle Fenring Question

Postby merkin muffley » 05 May 2010 13:51

Thank you for posting this. I think Fenring is a great character ("killer with the manners of a rabbit"), and I've always been interested in Fenring's refusal to kill Paul. I think it's very important for us to understand that Paul is still human, even though he's the Kwisatz Haderach (most of what I'm thinking has already been posted).

lotek wrote:so that his reader would start questioning himself, a bit like having Paul reveal his shortcomings in Dune.
No flawless superhero or bad guy to save the day, or if there is it is just an illusion that cannot last, failure is human!


It's also my understanding (correct me if I'm wrong) that Dune Messiah was written, and intended to be published, as one book with Dune. If Dune Messiah is the conclusion of Dune, Paul's humanity couldn't be more important. The problems Paul has with Fremen cult-worship, and the Qizarate in Dune Messiah, are well on their way in that last scene:

"I remember your gom jabbar," Paul said, "You remember mine. I can kill you with a word."
The Fremen around the hall glanced knowlingly at each other. Did the legend not say: "And his word shall carry death eternal to those who stand against righteousness."


Fenring is also a near-Kwisatz Haderach, which reminds us that Paul is one of a group of men who've been genetically engineered by other humans, not the product of divine conception. Paul has seen his death in many possible futures, further evidence that he's not all-powerful, and makes the last scene dramatic. Add to that the fact that Paul hasn't been able to see Fenring with his prescience, precisely because he is a near-Kwisatz Haderach, and we have a lot of good reasons to think it's possible that Paul might not survive:

And the thought was a shock crashing across his consciousness because he had seen the Emperor in uncounted associations spread through the possible futures-- but never once had Count Fenring appeared within those prescient visions.
It occurred to Paul then that he had seen his own dead body along countless reaches of the time web, but never once had he seen his moment death.

Have I been denied a glimpse of this man because he is the one who kills me? Paul wondered.

For that scene to work, Paul has to be vulnerable, even though he's the KH.

I also really like the moment when Fenring refuses to kill Paul because he sees that Paul is the only person in the universe that truly understands him.

A deep compassion for the Count flowed through Paul, the first sense of brotherhood he'd ever experienced.
Fenring, reading Paul's emotion, said, "Majesty, I must refuse."


Trust Frank to make a climactic fight scene with rich layers of psychology, and to make compassion a major driving force in the outcome.

Yeah, it's a pretty good book, Dune is. :D
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Re: Idle Fenring Question

Postby Onasander » 05 May 2010 14:11

No- you guys kinda got it, but missed the most obvious point- Frank was channeling his days hanging out with the Jungians here- Fenring was a introspective- a Introvert. Paul was his extroverted shadow- the very thing Fenring wanted to be, but couldn't see. That's what you Shadow in Jungian Psychology does. Paul wasn't killed because Fenring knew as much as he wanted it- he couldn't.... but was able to link up in the collective unconscious of the Golden Path that had not even yet fully dawned upon Paul nor Fenring.


His acceptance of his BG wife cuckolding him (not psychologically demeaning, just physically for the service of the BG) echoes Duncan and Alia- and this is a avenue that's never discussed in light of Paul, imperial authority in terms of Libido. Frank was masterful in this presentation, showing a series of chained parallels that gives much depth to it..... each time accumulating in disaster in sorrow when it was realized the libido and the shadow didn't mix as we would like in terms of generitc memory. Hence the need for a product of sexuality that rebelled against it- Leto II, and a ghola who's existence was independent of death and sexuality- who's consciousness was forced to expand anew over countless births.

This whole chain of sequencing begins with Paul and Fenring. It's plain as daylight to me- but it's because I am a Jungian myself. Each of Franks main characters hold to this pattern- it's the most obvious and blantant pattern in the books.

Shadow-Typeology-Archetype-Libido-Collective Unconscious-Royal Authority-Conscious Realization.......... this is what Frank's writing was about. It fits very exacting to Jung's overall system. There isn't much mystery in what was trying to be said, if you read into Jung a bit.... as Frank did.

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Re: Idle Fenring Question

Postby Freakzilla » 05 May 2010 14:14

Parts of DM and CoD were written at the same time as Dune but to my knowledge DM was NOT intended to be included with Dune. If anything, FH was pressured into writing the sequel by his publisher and brought Paul down out of spite for the publishers desire for him to continue the superman mystique.

There's lots of letters concerning this in Road to Dune.
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lotek
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Re: Idle Fenring Question

Postby lotek » 05 May 2010 15:24

that is just so perfect, to destroy one's hero as a way of showing disapproval in cashing in(on the franchise)and still making an awesome book!

As for Fenring; like all other side characters in Dune, he still has a measure of depth even if he doesn't appear that often

But the fact that he was a failed KH does make him very special indeed.
Aside from Paul, there is the KH bred by the BT who killed himself and the Count.
Considering KHs don't just pop out of thin air and that it took the BG countless manipulations of bloodlines to get close to it, it is true that just for that fact the Fenring character does stand out.

What of the excessive paranoia of the BG regarding people with "talent"?
Did that just originate with Paul? I'd find it strange they would not keep an eye on him, just in case(maybe through his wife?)
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Re: Idle Fenring Question

Postby Freakzilla » 05 May 2010 18:14

lotek wrote:What of the excessive paranoia of the BG regarding people with "talent"?
Did that just originate with Paul? I'd find it strange they would not keep an eye on him, just in case(maybe through his wife?)


I suspect past abominations did that, the chance of that scared the piss out of them.
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merkin muffley
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Re: Idle Fenring Question

Postby merkin muffley » 05 May 2010 22:58

Freakzilla wrote:Parts of DM and CoD were written at the same time as Dune but to my knowledge DM was NOT intended to be included with Dune.


Oh, woops. I don't know where I got the idea they were supposed to be one book. :oops:

(Actually, that was intended to be a joke from the beginning :wink: )
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Re: Idle Fenring Question

Postby merkin muffley » 06 May 2010 10:21

And I might also be wrong about this but, to me, there's also a story being told here, not just a Jungian subtext?
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Re: Idle Fenring Question

Postby SandChigger » 06 May 2010 10:38

;) :lol:

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A Thing of Eternity
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Re: Idle Fenring Question

Postby A Thing of Eternity » 08 May 2010 00:33

Arnoldo. This guy is Arnoloco, as soon as someone starts rambling about Jung shit that makes no sense my spidy senses go off. :wink:
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