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    The Grand Plan in Dune

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    The Grand Plan in Dune

    Postby georgiedenbro » 26 Apr 2016 15:47

    Alright let's do this. I was lazy and never got around to this thread a couple of years ago but here we go.

    By “grand plan” I mean the conspiracy of which we only see glimpses in Dune, and which is referred to either in passing or in the epigraphs. I’ll try to detail who was involved in the conspiracy and why, but first I must mention that there was not just one conspiracy but two. The first was arranged prior to Paul’s birth, and the second was made upon Jessica bearing a male child and the first plan being scrapped. I’ll try to be as specific as I can but I’m going to avoid finding the quotes to save time and space. If they’re needed later on I’ll hunt them down. I’m trying to gather my thoughts here so if I make a mistake let’s talk about that.

    The initial plan was made many years prior to the start of Dune, and I believe it was conceived around the time of the death of Elrood, Shaddam’s father. The plan involved the BG ‘allowing’ Shaddam to succeed the throne, and in exchange he would agree to have only daughters and to allow another bloodline to combine with the Corrino to continue the dynasty. The BG were to breed Jessica with Leto, and the Baron with a once-mentioned BG, and their children (Feyd and Paulette) would marry and breed the KH. The KH, in turn, would marry Shaddam’s eldest daughter, Irulan, and take the throne as the new Emperor, thereby joining the Harkonnen and Atreides bloodlines to the Corrino dynasty. It’s unclear whether the KH would legally take the name of Corrino or would keep an Atreides or Harkonnen title, but from the BG perspective that probably didn’t matter. They likely told Shaddam he'd be called Corrino. At this point in time the Guild probably didn’t need to be included in the conspiracy since it was an entirely political plan and would involve the ending of kanly between the Atreides and Harkonnens. The benefit to Shaddam was that he got to become Emperor with BG support, and that his bloodline would be retained at least in part. Since the Atreides were already his cousins it wouldn’t have been a problem in that regard, although mixing in Harkonnen blood was likely a sticking point at first. The Atreides and Harkonnens may or may not have been in on it at this point. If they were, then Leto requesting Jessica to bear a son would have been a deliberate scuttling of the plan, which might mean he was against it. The Baron also might have had designs to scuttle it, since he would have preferred Feyd to become Emperor rather than Feyd’s child under BG control. Another thing I’ll just throw in there is that Fenring was certainly a BG asset, and him paired with Margot would make a good set of double agents working both for Shaddam on the surface as well as for the BG in reality. I kind of want to believe that Fenring was the BG insurance policy against Shaddam going against their plan, which goes into my belief that Fenring was by no means Shaddam’s subordinate in real terms. I suspect that Fenring would have been the one to enforce the BG plan if Shaddam strayed from it. As a failed KH Fenring would surely have been brought up with BG teaching, and he is the only person in the entire series as far as I can recall that had an active alliance as equals with his BG spouse.

    From the BG perspective the plan wasn’t, of course, to merely end the feud and combine the warring Houses with the Corrinos to establish a new peace, but rather was to “put a BG on the throne” who would be under the control of the BG and would lead the Fremen in a jihad to establish a new order in the Universe. They would also completely control spice production and have complete leverage over the Landsraad, the Imperium and the Guild. It seems to me this was going to be the ‘unveiling’ of the BG breeding program and the culmination of thousands of years of quietly gaining power, where once the KH was in control it would be all too apparent that he was allied with them. In this sense the BG may have been quite similar to what we see of the BT in books 4-6, where they, too, planned in secret so that they could reveal themselves at the correct time. In fact, Scytale in DM tells Paul that the BT religious engineering people learned a lot from Paul’s rule, which in a sense means they learned it from the BG.

    Should they have known about it the Guild would have been accepting of the apparent plan since on its face it looked like it was going to usher in a time of peace and stability.

    Once Jessica bore a son the plan was killed, and a new plan was made, this time involving the BG, Shaddam, the Harkonnens and the Guild. We see it play out over the course of Dune, but each side has its own take on how they want it to turn out.

    The BG no doubt decided to invoke one of their famous “punishments” on the Atreides for defying them, and they also may have wanted to eliminate Paul since they couldn’t afford a rogue KH existing. Their new plan was to have the Harkonnens eliminate the Atreides wholesale and to have Margot Fenring mate with Feyd to salvage as much genetic material from the bloodline as they could. It would no doubt take some time but they’d rework the genetic path again to find the KH several generations down the line. Irulan would likely have to be paired with someone else for the time being, possibly the child of Feyd and Margot as the next-best available option.

    Shaddam no doubt wanted to get out of his deal with the BG any way possible so that his own bloodline could keep the throne. He apparently promised the Baron CHOAM directorships for going along with the plan to destroy the Atreides, as well as the fiefdom of Arrakis, but no Imperial prospects. He was also disposing of Leto, who was becoming a threat to his power in popularity and with his new fighting force that was better than the Sardaukar.

    The Baron agreed to the deal for obvious reasons and was even willing to front the entire transport cost for the Sardaukar legions, but his aim as we know was the insert Feyd as ruler of Arrakis and do the same thing that Paul eventually did by blackmailing the Guild and taking the throne. I have a side theory that Piter was personally grooming Feyd to trust him more than the Baron and once Feyd was inserted Piter was going to eliminate the Baron and control the Empire from behind the throne. I rather think that Piter was behind Feyd’s assassination attempts on the Baron, and the Baron even thought that Piter would kill him eventually.

    The Guild had to be brought in to the conspiracy at this point because they were needed to break the Great Convention and deliver Sardaukar troops against a Great House in secret. The moment Paul was born the Navigators no doubt became immediately aware of the nexus in time they couldn’t see past, and their objective would have been to eliminate Paul at any cost (as seen in the Lynch movie). In destroying the Atreides they would also be putting the nail in the coffin of the BG’s original scheme, and even if they didn’t quite know what it was they were no doubt always happy to set the BG back a few steps. Likewise, by agreeing to transport Sardaukar in secret the Guild would have blackmail material against both the Corrinos and the Harkonnens which they could leverage in the future. Neither party could afford to be exposed since according to the Great Convention the Great Houses would have to unite against them in response. The blackmail wouldn’t go both ways, though, since there was effectively no way for anyone to retaliate against the Guild no matter what it did. Who knows, maybe the Guild had designs to marry one of their members to Irulan after the affair was over as part of the terms of their blackmail.

    Just a small detail about the plan, but I believe that the BG set up Yueh with his wife in order to compromise the Atreides should the need ever arise; a contingency plan of sorts. Once Jessica bore a son it was needed. I expect that Wanna may have been an imprinter, since an imprint may have been the most likely possibility to break a Suk conditioning. Piter took credit for breaking the conditioning, and indeed he was the one who conducted the task, but he may have received instructions from the BG on how to do it. I like Piter as a character, but if any old clever mentat could just break Suk conditioning then it wouldn’t be worth much. But the BG – that’s a different story. I could see them finding a way to break it. Once Yueh was imprinted it would be easy to use that to break him since he’d be willing to do anything at all to save Wanna. She was also a truthsayer, which is no mean feat, so it would seem that they paired him with someone quite talented for a reason. I somehow doubt they would match a random Suk doctor with a truthsayer unless it was for a serious purpose.

    On a side note, I believe that Mohiam was acting alone and not under BG direction when she visited Caladan to test Paul. I think she did this out of caring for Jessica and frankly out of curiosity, but the BG had no intention at that point of keeping Paul alive.

    For his part, Leto obviously knew the whole Dune thing was a trap, but his plan was to rally the Fremen more quickly than his enemies could move against him and to do exactly what the Harkonnens were planning: to use the Fremen and the spice mining to secretly blackmail the Guild and Shaddam into placing Paul on the throne with Irulan, while in public it would be described as a great alliance which the other Great Houses would favor since they liked Leto. I’m not sure whether Leto actually had designs on the throne prior to being given Dune, but Shaddam thought he did and may have been right about that. Thufir no doubt had a plan of some kind going forward which was interrupted by the Atreides being given Arrakis so suddenly.

    That’s all I can think of for now. If I’ve left something out or gotten anything wrong go shoot. :)

    ETA: I'll add in one more objective the Guild may have had in the conspiracy. The Fremen had been bribing them to avoid surveillance on Dune, but the Guild was no doubt aware that they were altering the ecology of Dune subtly. Since this would jeopardize spice production they would want the Fremen dealt with, but they knew the Harkonnens had been failing to succeed at this. Part of why the Harkonnens couldn't afford to spend much in the way of resources controlling the Fremen was, I suspect, due to their costly feud with the Atreides, and with the Atreides eliminated the Baron could focus fully on maximizing spice production and stopping whatever it was the Fremen were up to.
    Last edited by georgiedenbro on 27 Apr 2016 16:04, edited 3 times in total.
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    Re: The Grand Plan in Dune

    Postby georgiedenbro » 27 Apr 2016 10:38

    Just a small quibble with one thing I wrote. The overt attempts on the Baron's life by Feyd that we did see were under Thufir, not Piter. I guess it's possible that Piter never had him do something similar, but from the way the Baron speaks it sounded like Feyd had tried this before. I always sort of assumed Piter had been whispering in his ear in just the same way, and I guess I'll go on believing that for now.
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    Re: The Grand Plan in Dune

    Postby PTB3001 » 18 May 2016 21:38

    LOOKING At that time period in the DUNE timeline I wonder if because of the MACHINATIONS of Corrino and their Designated "death troop". If the role of renegade reverand mother..directing the seeds of protection within the fremens interpretation of what BG relationship with DUNE worm life cycle..GRAND PLAN??...IMHO ONE stream of the golden path "the guttering" invisaged by ALIA. STILL if we didn't know THE READER WHO the face dancers in chapterhouse GARDEN...we may actually find the seeds to alia TWICE TOLD defeat...ABOMINATION and the new series. I personally blame the Twins for not just showing ALIA how to close that gatebut i digress GOLDEN PATH in GEoD "the ORACLE". AT THAT time of that publishing I personnally didn't work out the ORACLE as NORMA..

    As for PITER..A FETISH is the TWISTING PART but what was his fixation? THE MOTHER GODDESS MADONNA in utero..a mentat exam that was past as a assessment Distinction but somejhow came back to thufir as a some twisted C- for..A FOE?
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    Re: The Grand Plan in Dune

    Postby Serkanner » 19 May 2016 13:32

    PTB3001 wrote: GOLDEN PATH in GEoD "the ORACLE". AT THAT time of that publishing I personnally didn't work out the ORACLE as NORMA..



    Dude. What are you talking about here?
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    Re: The Grand Plan in Dune

    Postby georgiedenbro » 19 May 2016 15:11

    Serkanner wrote:
    PTB3001 wrote: GOLDEN PATH in GEoD "the ORACLE". AT THAT time of that publishing I personnally didn't work out the ORACLE as NORMA..



    Dude. What are you talking about here?


    I like how in an entire paragraph of madness a reference to the prequels is still the most objectionable content. I approve :D
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    Re: The Grand Plan in Dune

    Postby Freakzilla » 20 May 2016 05:39

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    Re: The Grand Plan in Dune

    Postby Serkanner » 20 May 2016 12:21

    georgiedenbro wrote:
    Serkanner wrote:
    PTB3001 wrote: GOLDEN PATH in GEoD "the ORACLE". AT THAT time of that publishing I personnally didn't work out the ORACLE as NORMA..



    Dude. What are you talking about here?


    I like how in an entire paragraph of madness a reference to the prequels is still the most objectionable content. I approve :D


    Haterz gonna hate :mrgreen:
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    Re: The Grand Plan in Dune

    Postby Omphalos » 23 May 2016 12:47

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    Re: The Grand Plan in Dune

    Postby SandRider » 24 May 2016 09:46

    Serkanner wrote:
    georgiedenbro wrote:
    Serkanner wrote:
    PTB3001 wrote: GOLDEN PATH in GEoD "the ORACLE". AT THAT time of that publishing I personnally didn't work out the ORACLE as NORMA..



    Dude. What are you talking about here?


    I like how in an entire paragraph of madness a reference to the prequels is still the most objectionable content. I approve :D


    Haterz gonna hate :mrgreen:



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    Re: The Grand Plan in Dune

    Postby D Pope » 27 May 2016 22:23

    From the BG perspective the plan wasn’t, of course, to merely end the feud and combine the warring Houses with the Corrinos to establish a new peace, but rather was to “put a BG on the throne” who would be under the control of the BG and would lead the Fremen in a jihad to establish a new order in the Universe

    I doubt there was a plan for Fremen involvement, at this point I don't think the Fremen were on anyones radar.

    The moment Paul was born the Navigators no doubt became immediately aware of the nexus in time they couldn’t see past, and their objective would have been to eliminate Paul at any cost (as seen in the Lynch movie).

    I didn't think it worked that way. First, there's all that talk about a navigators limited perception- why wouldn't they have known before Paul was born? Second, if they had, and less direct methods failed, they'd simply have isolated Caladan- tell the imperium that their sun went nova or an asteroid hit it or there was plague... or, since they they hold the monopoly, simply say the Duke pissed them off and the buses no longer go there.

    On a side note, I believe that Mohiam was acting alone and not under BG direction when she visited Caladan to test Paul.I think she did this out of caring for Jessica and frankly out of curiosity,

    I could buy that, hadn't really thought about it that way, thanks!

    but the BG had no intention at that point of keeping Paul alive.

    Not so sure, he was just one generation early. Despite the disappointment of his being male, wouldn't you be curious to see if he showed at least some talent?
    Leto II is gone for good, except for OM. The "pearl" was just that; a miniscule portion of what Leto was, and not a compressed version of the whole. The pearl that the worms have do not make them Leto, or in any way similar to him.
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    Re: The Grand Plan in Dune

    Postby georgiedenbro » 30 May 2016 13:26

    D Pope wrote:
    From the BG perspective the plan wasn’t, of course, to merely end the feud and combine the warring Houses with the Corrinos to establish a new peace, but rather was to “put a BG on the throne” who would be under the control of the BG and would lead the Fremen in a jihad to establish a new order in the Universe

    I doubt there was a plan for Fremen involvement, at this point I don't think the Fremen were on anyones radar.


    Although though the Baron, for instance, underestimated the power of the desert sietches, even he had plans for Feyd to come and become the savior of the Fremen (at the very least the city Fremen). He knew that in order to control spice production he'd need actual support of the local population rather than merely oppressive force. Any other faction would have known this as well regardless of whether they knew of the Fremen armies or not. The BG surely knew it as well, although it's debatable whether the RM's on Arrakis had any connection to the BG or were wild RM's. Since the mahdi mythos was implanted among the Fremen in standard Missionaria style I imagine that at least some of the RM's were pure BG. If *any* of them were BG then the BG would have full knowledge of Fremen numbers. And the Guild definitely knew all about them since not just anyone could afford spice bribes of that magnitude.

    It's possible the BG would have used some other people as their army, I guess. But why use some local people and import them to Arrakis when Arrakis already had a viable population to use? The idea of the BG using the Fremen is, of course, speculation on my part, but it seems like the most efficient thing they could have done. Even Fenring was deeply concerned that the Baron was wise to how to utilize a population made hard by the desert.

    The moment Paul was born the Navigators no doubt became immediately aware of the nexus in time they couldn’t see past, and their objective would have been to eliminate Paul at any cost (as seen in the Lynch movie).

    I didn't think it worked that way. First, there's all that talk about a navigators limited perception- why wouldn't they have known before Paul was born? Second, if they had, and less direct methods failed, they'd simply have isolated Caladan- tell the imperium that their sun went nova or an asteroid hit it or there was plague... or, since they they hold the monopoly, simply say the Duke pissed them off and the buses no longer go there.


    Based on what we learn at the end of DM it seems that an oracle's influence does not predate his birth. Paul couldn't see Leto II's existence until the moment he was born, and at that moment Paul lost all prescient powers and became blind. This could, of course, have been a somewhat symbolic blindness, or self-inflicted, but my reading on it was that Leto II now controlled the future and Paul's influence receded.

    So let's say the Navigators did know about Paul since his birth. Cutting off Caladan would not merely raise concerns but would be a violation of the Great Convention, and if there's one thing we know about the Guild it's that they are pathologically unwilling to adopt a risky course regardless of whether necessity suggests that course or not. Their limited, linear prescience was geared towards yes/no binary decision-making, and their only criterion was to take the safest path. In the event of the safest path also being a risky path I would imagine this would reduce them to paralyzed inaction. Scytale points out that having a power makes a person or a people dependent on that power, which is as true of the Guild as it was of the KH. Their prescience rendered them unable to take dynamic action for millennia.

    but the BG had no intention at that point of keeping Paul alive.

    Not so sure, he was just one generation early. Despite the disappointment of his being male, wouldn't you be curious to see if he showed at least some talent?


    I think Mohiam was curious, to be sure. But if anything there was no upside and only a downside to the Sisterhood at large to verify that Paul was a KH, since he was not theirs and never would be. If the Atreides were to become aware of his potential it would only harm BG interests, and so from their perspective I could see it being much better for no one to know if he was a KH rather than everyone knowing. Plus there's the issue of temptation, and I'm sure even RM's are not immune to the allure of seeing the results of generations of work. It might be hard for them to eliminate Paul knowing he was their KH, but much easier if he was just a Duke's son. But yes, I think they would never choose to allow such a powerful person to roam free when it had been their intention to control him. Although Mohiam and even Lady Fenring give some indication they'll help Paul if they can, Mohiam never seems to do anything, and Lady Fenring does tell them there's a traitor but that knowledge only hurts rather than helps the Atreides. Other than that the BG don't do anything, and rather it's Yueh who single-handedly saved the Atreides.
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    Re: The Grand Plan in Dune

    Postby AnEhforanEh » 25 Sep 2016 12:03

    Based on what we learn at the end of DM it seems that an oracle's influence does not predate his birth. Paul couldn't see Leto II's existence until the moment he was born,

    Almost the complete opposite is true. Paul couldnt see Leto at all. Not in any prescient vision at least. "I didn't see twins." IOW, he only saw Ghanima.
    You are partially right, I suppose, in that the oracle of Leto didnt extend beyond the womb; Paul could still "see" Chani while see was pregnant; she wasnt obscured by Leto's proximity until after his birth.
    and at that moment Paul lost all prescient powers and became blind. This could, of course, have been a somewhat symbolic blindness, or self-inflicted, but my reading on it was that Leto II now controlled the future and Paul's influence receded.

    I read it as Leto's greater prescience shielding the area under his oracle. At the time, Paul was "seeing" by simply playing out a vision. As Alia remarked (and I'm paraphrasing a bit), it was with delicate precision that Paul was able to do this. As soon as Paul's vision collided with Leto's oracle, he became blind. That was the "pit" he forsaw; after his moon fell. As you recall, Paul's "sight" returned in CoD after he was no longer under Leto's influence.

    As a sidenote:
    Every oracle has some influence over the future. Think of how the Dune Tarot was "muddying" the waters. In small ways, people were obscuring bits and pieces of their lives from any prescient observer.
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    Re: The Grand Plan in Dune

    Postby georgiedenbro » 25 Sep 2016 12:43

    AnEhforanEh wrote:
    Based on what we learn at the end of DM it seems that an oracle's influence does not predate his birth. Paul couldn't see Leto II's existence until the moment he was born,

    Almost the complete opposite is true. Paul couldnt see Leto at all. Not in any prescient vision at least. "I didn't see twins." IOW, he only saw Ghanima.
    You are partially right, I suppose, in that the oracle of Leto didnt extend beyond the womb; Paul could still "see" Chani while see was pregnant; she wasnt obscured by Leto's proximity until after his birth.


    My point here was more that Paul was unaware of Leto II until he was born. Once he literally saw him be born he knew something about him prevented him being seen through prescience. But you're right in the sense that the invisibility of the oracle does seem to predate conception/birth, since Paul couldn't see Leto II even prior to that.
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    Re: The Grand Plan in Dune

    Postby AnEhforanEh » 25 Sep 2016 17:55

    georgiedenbro wrote:My point here was more that Paul was unaware of Leto II until he was born. Once he literally saw him be born he knew something about him prevented him being seen through prescience.

    Paul was well aware of the shielding effect of oracles. I say it was more of a realization once Paul is told he has twins.
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    Re: The Grand Plan in Dune

    Postby pcqypcqy » 01 Jul 2017 06:18

    The bit I'm not buying is Mohiam helping them out if the BG wanted Paul dead. From what we learn later about BG discipline, even Jessica should have been capable of killing Paul for the BG if ordered to do so.
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    Re: The Grand Plan in Dune

    Postby georgiedenbro » 24 Jul 2017 14:04

    pcqypcqy wrote:The bit I'm not buying is Mohiam helping them out if the BG wanted Paul dead. From what we learn later about BG discipline, even Jessica should have been capable of killing Paul for the BG if ordered to do so.


    I agree. The way I see it right now, anyhow, is that Margot was assisting in neutralizing Atreides efficiency by giving Jessica that message. Once Paul was born it seems the BG were willing to rethink their long-term goals. Margot's new assignment in Dune was to harvest Feyd's genes since he would no longer be able to function as the father of the KH, and presumably the breeding line would be reworked using Feyd's line and someone else to breed the KH. It seems clear enough to me that by deciding to harvest Feyd's genes they had given up on breeding him directly with an Atreides and they therefore no longer had any use for the Atreides.
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    Re: The Grand Plan in Dune

    Postby Freakzilla » 25 Jul 2017 07:37

    georgiedenbro wrote:
    pcqypcqy wrote:The bit I'm not buying is Mohiam helping them out if the BG wanted Paul dead. From what we learn later about BG discipline, even Jessica should have been capable of killing Paul for the BG if ordered to do so.


    I agree. The way I see it right now, anyhow, is that Margot was assisting in neutralizing Atreides efficiency by giving Jessica that message. Once Paul was born it seems the BG were willing to rethink their long-term goals. Margot's new assignment in Dune was to harvest Feyd's genes since he would no longer be able to function as the father of the KH, and presumably the breeding line would be reworked using Feyd's line and someone else to breed the KH. It seems clear enough to me that by deciding to harvest Feyd's genes they had given up on breeding him directly with an Atreides and they therefore no longer had any use for the Atreides.


    There was the possibility of losing Feyd's bloodline too, they may have just been trying to salvage whatever they could.
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