The implications of the Tleilaxu having *everything*

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The implications of the Tleilaxu having *everything*

Postby lukecash12 » 22 Aug 2011 21:32

Spoiler alert: Those of you who haven't read Dune Messiah should take caution with this thread.

Scytale, a face dancer in the book Dune Messiah, mentions to his fellow conspirators that the Tleilaxu had made a KH of their own; Apparently this was done through genetics.

Giving them in the order that they appear in the book, I will provide a couple of quotes and ruminate on them.

Despite the murderous nature of the plot he hoped to devise, the thoughts of Scytale, the Tleilaxu Face Dancer, returned again and again to rueful compassion.
I shall regret causing death and misery to Muad'dib, he told himself.
He kept this benignity carefully hidden from his fellow conspirators. Such feelings told him, though, that he found it easier to identify with the victim than with the attackers- a thing characteristic of the Tleilaxu.


So, how is it that Scytale identifies with Muad'dib? Did he know someone like him or experience something like him? Well, if the Tleilaxu had made a KH of their own, Scytale may have heard of the event(s) or may have even met the person. Scytale's sympatico is also of particular interest to me here. Herbert senior mentions it a couple of pages later and says this about the sympatico: "a mimic's insight with which he could put on the psyche of another as well as the other's appearance."

Irulan then makes an important observation later on in the chapter:

"Scytale," Irulan said presently, "it is said that you Tleilaxu have on odd system of honor: your victims must always have a means of escape."


I'll leave that one up to you to bounce around in your head, for now. Now, while discussing the Idaho Ghola Scytale reveals something very interesting:

"How has Idaho been conditioned?" Irulan asked.
"Idaho?" Edric asked, looking at the Tleilaxu. "Do you know of an Idaho, Scytale?"
"We sold you a creature called Hayt," Scytale said.
"Ah, yes-Hayt," Edric said. "Why did you sell him to us?"
"Because we once bred a kwisatz haderach of our own," Scytale said.
With a quick movement of her old head, the Reverend Mother looked up at him. "You didn't tell us that!" she accused.
"You didn't ask," Scytale said.
"How did you overcome your kwisatz haderach?" Irulan asked.
"A creature who has spend his life creating one particular representation of his selfdom will die rather than become the antithesis of that representation,' Scytale said.
"I do not understand," Edric ventured.
"He killed himself," the Reverend Mother growled.


And some other quotes that might lend themselves to the discussion ( still in chronological order):

"You are devious, Scytale," Irulan said.
How devious she must not guess, Scytale thought. When this is done, we will possess a kwisatz haderach we can control. These others will possess nothing.
"What was the origin of your kwisatz haderach?" the Reverend Mother asked.
"We've dabbled in various pure essences," Scytale said. "Pure good and pure evil. A pure villain who delights only in creating pain and terror can be quite educational."


Here lies a toppled god-
His fall was not a small one.
We did but build his pedestal,
A narrow and a tall one.
-Tleilaxu Epigram


I entreat ye, Link: discuss!
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JustSomeGuy
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Re: The implications of the Tleilaxu having *everything*

Postby JustSomeGuy » 23 Aug 2011 02:43

Such feelings told him, though, that he found it easier to identify with the victim than with the attackers- a thing characteristic of the Tleilaxu.

lukecash12 wrote:So, how is it that Scytale identifies with Muad'dib?


Have the Tleilaxu ever been persecuted? They're so different... I'm thinking it has something to do with them being so very different from the rest of humanity. :think:
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Re: The implications of the Tleilaxu having *everything*

Postby SadisticCynic » 23 Aug 2011 06:43

They always feel persecuted, and indeed deliberately encourage that behaviour with their choice of appearance and the types of services they offer e.g. sligmeat.
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Re: The implications of the Tleilaxu having *everything*

Postby Freakzilla » 23 Aug 2011 17:24

I think "The Tleilaxu Kwizats Haderach" would have been a better topic title.
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Re: The implications of the Tleilaxu having *everything*

Postby lukecash12 » 23 Aug 2011 17:52

Freakzilla wrote:I think "The Tleilaxu Kwizats Haderach" would have been a better topic title.


The Tleilaxu could also have bred a whole host of other savants.
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Re: The implications of the Tleilaxu having *everything*

Postby JustSomeGuy » 23 Aug 2011 17:53

Well, what are the implications of the Tleilaxu having *everything*?
Here are some thoughts that come to mind. It seems to me that the Tleilaxu did have everything, or close enough. It seems to me they lived like gods on their home planets, or close enough. Their word was law, they had pimp harems- the whole nine yards.
It wasn't enough, and it seems to me that nothing would ever be enough.
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Re: The implications of the Tleilaxu having *everything*

Postby A Thing of Eternity » 23 Aug 2011 17:57

Well, I don't know if "harem" is the right word, but I get the point! :lol:

And yeah, they did breed all kinds of crazy shit, look at Bijaz - look at what they did to Duncan. They were the BT, sneaky, very intelligent, and very dangerous. Really f-n dangerous.
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Re: The implications of the Tleilaxu having *everything*

Postby Freakzilla » 23 Aug 2011 18:00

Well, it seems to me that's what we ended up with out in The Scattering.
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Re: The implications of the Tleilaxu having *everything*

Postby A Thing of Eternity » 23 Aug 2011 18:22

Freakzilla wrote:Well, it seems to me that's what we ended up with out in The Scattering.


What's what we ended up with out in the Scattering? Bijaz, Duncan, crazy shit in general?! :wink:

Those FaceDancers definitely became something impressive out there!
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Re: The implications of the Tleilaxu having *everything*

Postby Freakzilla » 23 Aug 2011 18:27

A Thing of Eternity wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:Well, it seems to me that's what we ended up with out in The Scattering.


What's what we ended up with out in the Scattering? Bijaz, Duncan, crazy shit in general?! :wink:

Those FaceDancers definitely became something impressive out there!


Reverend Mentat Face Dancers
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Re: The implications of the Tleilaxu having *everything*

Postby Freakzilla » 23 Aug 2011 20:16

I think the inherent danger is the same as abomination. The knowledge isn't earned, it's just taken/given.
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Re: The implications of the Tleilaxu having *everything*

Postby lukecash12 » 24 Aug 2011 03:21

Bouncing off some of the things said in this thread, here are a few thoughts:

1. How exactly did they "make" their KH commit suicide. I get the idea that it was pretty similar to what happened to Paul.
2. Has much real consideration been given here to the intellectual, mnemonic, and prana bindu prowess of a face dancer? They could have become something totally nuts out in the Scattering.
3. What are your opinions on the Tleilaxu, when it comes to their antagonist/protagonist roles? Of course, Frank Herbert makes it clear through what he's said and what he's written that a whole lot of the characters in the series are meant to be "bad examples". But let's do some exploration of our own; What was wrong with their religious exclusivism? Of course they get toyed with and made fun of by BG Reverend Mothers like Odrade for their lesser abilities in mnemonics, but what manner of intellectual reservations can we really level at them? It doesn't seem so clear cut to me that a Tleilaxu is just a sneaky butt-hole.
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Re: The implications of the Tleilaxu having *everything*

Postby Freakzilla » 24 Aug 2011 08:33

lukecash12 wrote:Bouncing off some of the things said in this thread, here are a few thoughts:

1. How exactly did they "make" their KH commit suicide. I get the idea that it was pretty similar to what happened to Paul.


They tried to force him to become his own opposite, he chose suicide.

2. Has much real consideration been given here to the intellectual, mnemonic, and prana bindu prowess of a face dancer? They could have become something totally nuts out in the Scattering.


I believe that's what happened.

3. What are your opinions on the Tleilaxu, when it comes to their antagonist/protagonist roles? Of course, Frank Herbert makes it clear through what he's said and what he's written that a whole lot of the characters in the series are meant to be "bad examples". But let's do some exploration of our own; What was wrong with their religious exclusivism? Of course they get toyed with and made fun of by BG Reverend Mothers like Odrade for their lesser abilities in mnemonics, but what manner of intellectual reservations can we really level at them? It doesn't seem so clear cut to me that a Tleilaxu is just a sneaky butt-hole.


How about their enslavement of their females for reproduction and axlotl tanks? Enslavement of their Dommel race?

Just off the top of my head.
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Re: The implications of the Tleilaxu having *everything*

Postby lotek » 24 Aug 2011 09:13

"Because we once bred a kwisatz haderach of our own," Scytale said.
With a quick movement of her old head, the Reverend Mother looked up at him.
"You didn't tell us that!" she accused.
"You didn't ask," Scytale said.
"How did you overcome your kwisatz haderach?" Irulan asked.
"A creature who has spent his life creating one particular representation of
his selfdom will die rather than become the antithesis of that representation,"
Scytale said.
"I do not understand," Edric ventured.
"He killed himself," the Reverend Mother growled.


stupid teenagers ;)
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Re: The implications of the Tleilaxu having *everything*

Postby Lundse » 24 Aug 2011 10:48

A thought that popped up - the Tleilaxu of Dune Messiah are more... shall we say complex and sympathetic. Still villains, granted, but Scytale makes a more sympathetic villain than does Waff. Their religious fanaticism has been played up in Heretics/Chapterhouse, I think.

I think something happened to them. Like the Fremen, they were changed when they met Paul and Leto II, and interestingly enough more changed than they seem to have been by meeting their own KH. So I guess Paul and/or Leto were something else and more...

PS: I still think, by the way, that they only became a full caste society with immortal masters after the events of Dune Messiah.

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Re: The implications of the Tleilaxu having *everything*

Postby Freakzilla » 24 Aug 2011 11:03

Lundse wrote:PS: I still think, by the way, that they only became a full caste society with immortal masters after the events of Dune Messiah.


Probably, but that's over 5000 years from DM to CH:D.
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Re: The implications of the Tleilaxu having *everything*

Postby inhuien » 25 Aug 2011 10:05

Freakzilla wrote:
Lundse wrote:PS: I still think, by the way, that they only became a full caste society with immortal masters after the events of Dune Messiah.


Probably, but that's over 5000 years from DM to CH:D.
Serially immortal rather than continuous, that was one of the goals of their last Ghola project.
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Re: The implications of the Tleilaxu having *everything*

Postby lotek » 25 Aug 2011 10:26

well considering Scytale's reaction to the awakening of the Duncan ghola it is a safe assumption that they hadn't done it before

which btw, goes to show how "special" Duncan is/was. He allowed the success of what the BT with all their knowledge never managed to achieve.
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Re: The implications of the Tleilaxu having *everything*

Postby Freakzilla » 25 Aug 2011 10:33

But we know they HAD BEEN working on it, who knows for how long.
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Re: The implications of the Tleilaxu having *everything*

Postby lotek » 25 Aug 2011 11:05

They had been working on it(that'll always remind me of "they want me to work on Scytale" but I digress) and they were the only ones to suspect the possibility, but they had failed to find the lever.

Probably something to do with their emotional differences with the rest of the Imperium, they could not comprehend the strength and potential of fidelity and love to the level attained by Duncan.

So they did not have everything :)
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Re: The implications of the Tleilaxu having *everything*

Postby Freakzilla » 25 Aug 2011 11:17

Love is overated, anyway.
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Re: The implications of the Tleilaxu having *everything*

Postby lotek » 25 Aug 2011 11:53

that's what I've heard...

but Duncan's love for the Atreides is of a different sort I guess.
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Re: The implications of the Tleilaxu having *everything*

Postby A Thing of Eternity » 25 Aug 2011 13:31

I also think it's quite possible that the whole "master" caste didn't exist (or at least not in the form we see later) until some decent amount of time after the events of DM. They certainly weren't immortal before that point, whether they looked like the masters of later books is anyone's guess, or whether they were even referred to as such - the FD of DM seem to be much more autonomous than those seen later on in the series, so it may have been a little more egalitarian. That said, I think the whole "tank" situation had potentially been going on since long before the time the first book takes place.
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Re: The implications of the Tleilaxu having *everything*

Postby lukecash12 » 25 Aug 2011 14:10

A Thing of Eternity wrote:I also think it's quite possible that the whole "master" caste didn't exist (or at least not in the form we see later) until some decent amount of time after the events of DM. They certainly weren't immortal before that point, whether they looked like the masters of later books is anyone's guess, or whether they were even referred to as such - the FD of DM seem to be much more autonomous than those seen later on in the series, so it may have been a little more egalitarian. That said, I think the whole "tank" situation had potentially been going on since long before the time the first book takes place.


I agree, their religion changed in so much time, so why not suppose that the caste system did as well? Scytale certainly didn't behave and think like a face dancer from one of the last two books of the six. Plus, I've been giving the second book a read, and Hayt said to Paul during a conversation between him, Paul, and Chani, that the Tleilaxu informed him that a ghola had never been restored by then. While whatever the Tleilaxu told Hayt may be suspect, this one seems to check out.
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Re: The implications of the Tleilaxu having *everything*

Postby A Thing of Eternity » 25 Aug 2011 14:31

No, it's common knowledge that the BT had never restored memories before Hayt, they make a giant deal out of it in the book, it's pretty massive - so yeah, you can treat that statement as non-suspect.
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