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Chapter 01

Posted: 13 Feb 2008 17:40
by Freakzilla
Muad'Dib's teachings have become the playground of scholastics, of the superstitious and the corrupt. He taught a balanced way of life, a philosophy with which a human can meet problems arising from an ever-changing universe. He said humankind is still evolving, in a process which will never end. He said this evolution moves on changing principles which are known only to eternity.
How can corrupted reasoning play with such an essence?

-Words of the Mentat Duncan Idaho


Stilgar is checking in on the royal twins, Leto II and Ghanima, while they sleep in Sietch Tabr. Stilgar, in typical style is in awe of them but thinking troubled thoughts, he even contemplates killing them. How simple things were when our Messiah was only a dream, he thought. By finding our Mahdi we loosed upon the universe countless messianic dreams. Every people subjugated by the jihad now dreams of a leader to come. Would they make a messiah of him if he killed them? The desert of Arrakis is half it's former size, giving way to greenery, it's even rained.The Fremen are becoming careless in their water discipline. Stilgar himself has become more "subtle" having learned statecraft and longs for the old days. Jessica has been on Caladan all this time, returned to the Bene Gesserit fold and is returning, which also troubles Stilgar. He thinks of the twins, how they are children but have ancient experience through total ancestral memory, like Alia. The Bene Gesserit calls Alia abomination, and so must be the twins, yet they still covet the twins' genes. Maybe this is why Jessica returns. She is rumored to have gone back to the Sisterhood. Stilgar is also upset that Paul has been deified and calls the religion created around him a "bureaucratic monster" that was one with Paul's government. To break a law is not just a crime, it's a sin. Even challenging his policies is blasphemy. Stilgar decides not to kill the twins out of loyalty.

Posted: 20 Feb 2008 15:12
by GamePlayer
Well, as a beginning I have to say this was a bit of a downer. My reading of Dune Messiah two weeks ago marked my first attempt to read the Dune sequels in more than a decade. I was happily surprised by the writing of Dune Messiah and found it interesting almost throughout. In comparison, this first chapter of Children of Dune is plodding exposition filled with not much besides Stilgar's muttering and the "state of Dune" as a method to bring the reader up to speed.

On a positive note, it does say much about Stilgar and the state of the Imperium. There are hints of far more interesting things to come and likely quite soon.

Anyone else want to chime in?

Re: Chapter 01

Posted: 10 Dec 2009 02:48
by Hunchback Jack
I agree, GP. The contrast with the writing in the first chapter of DM is marked. But I think the way Stilgar's thoughts connect one area to another was quite well done, covering a lot of background without it being too forced.

Interesting that it says that Stilgar "never knew" Leto's grandfather, whereas of course they had met in that critical scene in Dune where Stilgar spits on the table. Presumably the meaning here is that Stilgar didn't know him *well*.

Also interesting that Alia and the twins' OM is said to be caused by Jessica's and Chani's "spice addiction", whereas it was Jessica's taking of the Water of Life and Chani's massive intake of spice during her pregnancy that was said to cause it in previous books. I wonder whether FH was changing his thoughts about this (trying to come up with a single cause for such similar powers in all three), or whether it's just poetic license.

HBJ

Re: Chapter 01

Posted: 10 Dec 2009 07:31
by inhuien
It would have to poetic license as none of their OM is caused by Spice addiction. otherwise the entire Freman culture would have OM rather than merely a sensitivity during Spice Orgy.

Re: Chapter 01

Posted: 16 Mar 2010 09:16
by nampigai
inhuien wrote:It would have to poetic license as none of their OM is caused by Spice addiction. otherwise the entire Freman culture would have OM rather than merely a sensitivity during Spice Orgy.


couldn't it be the "wild genes" in the atreides? I can't recall Chani having OM in DM - but I must say, it's been years since I read it - and I can't find the damn book. Would Paul eventually have had OM if he'd just gotten a large enough quantity of Spice?

Re: Chapter 01

Posted: 16 Mar 2010 09:28
by lotek
I reckon you could argue that "spice addiction" both in Jessica and Chani means higher exposure to spice than even Fremen can face.
Jessica: Water of Life
Chani: super rich in spice diet to balance the abnormal birth strain from the twins(and the effects of Irulan's contraceptive)

I'll recheck the exact wording in DM for Chani.

To me the poetic license is just in the term used than the actual reality of the thing, replace it with "highly unusual spice exposure" and it makes more sense.

Isn't there something about the strength of the addiction being proportionate to the amount of mélange consumed?
Up to a level whre spice addiction becomes more than that, in the people that have the genetic potential to turn it into more than mere addiction?

Re: Chapter 01

Posted: 16 Mar 2010 09:34
by nampigai
I'm gonna have to owe you an answer on that one :-/

Re: Chapter 01

Posted: 21 Sep 2011 15:46
by Demerzel
The chapter surely built up Stilgar's character, for all its other flaws.

Re: Chapter 01

Posted: 21 Sep 2011 16:01
by Freakzilla
Demerzel wrote:The chapter surely built up Stilgar's character,...


Stilgar has a pretty big role in CoD.

...for all its other flaws.


Such as?

Re: Chapter 01

Posted: 21 Sep 2011 18:53
by merkin muffley
Freakzilla wrote:
Demerzel wrote:The chapter surely built up Stilgar's character,...


Stilgar has a pretty big role in CoD.

...for all its other flaws.


Such as?


Yeah, what are your issues with this chapter? I think it's really good. :think: Just asking...

Re: Chapter 01

Posted: 21 Sep 2011 20:56
by Freakzilla
I think it's one of the best "recap" chapters ever.

Re: Chapter 01

Posted: 21 Sep 2011 22:16
by merkin muffley
Freakzilla wrote:I think it's one of the best "recap" chapters ever.


Yeah, I agree. I like Dune Messiah, but this beginning of CoD is SO much more subtle and effective than the interview in DM. Stilgar contemplating killing the twins is a great way to start the story, and immediately make you realize how far things have come.

Re: Chapter 01

Posted: 25 Sep 2011 03:52
by Demerzel
What GamePlayer said, basically.

Re: Chapter 01

Posted: 25 Sep 2011 13:42
by Freakzilla
Demerzel wrote:What GamePlayer said, basically.


What, that it was "a downer"? I don't see that as a flaw but intentional.

Re: Chapter 01

Posted: 25 Sep 2011 13:56
by merkin muffley
Freakzilla wrote:
Demerzel wrote:What GamePlayer said, basically.


What, that it was "a downer"? I don't see that as a flaw but intentional.


I don't think it's a flaw either, and I think the opening of DM is much more guilty of "plodding, forced exposition." I, personally, like DM even more than CoD, and it's because I've always like downers. :angry-chillpill: :obscene-drinkingfaded:

Re: Chapter 01

Posted: 26 Sep 2011 10:15
by Demerzel
:lol: That's true. I even use wikipedia at times to spoil my own reads.

Re: Chapter 01

Posted: 20 Feb 2012 19:47
by JustSomeGuy
The epigraph was a great start to a great chapter. Awesome.
So many thoughts to explore in this chapter... :D

Re: Chapter 01

Posted: 21 Feb 2012 19:33
by Nekhrun
JustSomeGuy wrote:So many thoughts to explore in this chapter...

Yeah? Let's hear them. This isn't for posts like this. This is the place to explore what those thoughts might be.

Re: Chapter 01

Posted: 22 Feb 2012 01:00
by JustSomeGuy
Nekhrun wrote:
JustSomeGuy wrote:So many thoughts to explore in this chapter...

Yeah? Let's hear them. This isn't for posts like this. This is the place to explore what those thoughts might be.

Nekhrun! :P
So many thoughts, so little time...
Well, the twins lives are still in danger- it's been nine years! How sure of their safety was Paul when he walked off into the desert? It may be that they're not in immediate danger- they're being well taken care of. Still, just how sure of their safety could Paul have been? At this point, is everyone still “locked” into his vision?

Re: Chapter 01

Posted: 22 Feb 2012 11:01
by Freakzilla
JustSomeGuy wrote:
Nekhrun wrote:
JustSomeGuy wrote:So many thoughts to explore in this chapter...

Yeah? Let's hear them. This isn't for posts like this. This is the place to explore what those thoughts might be.

Nekhrun! :P
So many thoughts, so little time...
Well, the twins lives are still in danger- it's been nine years! How sure of their safety was Paul when he walked off into the desert? It may be that they're not in immediate danger- they're being well taken care of. Still, just how sure of their safety could Paul have been?


He left them with Stilgar, I'd say pretty sure.

At this point, is everyone still “locked” into his vision?


That's discussed in later chapters.

Re: Chapter 01

Posted: 23 May 2012 11:09
by Freakzilla
Revised, cleaned.

Re: Chapter 01

Posted: 17 Sep 2014 10:56
by georgiedenbro
lotek wrote:I reckon you could argue that "spice addiction" both in Jessica and Chani means higher exposure to spice than even Fremen can face.
Jessica: Water of Life
Chani: super rich in spice diet to balance the abnormal birth strain from the twins(and the effects of Irulan's contraceptive)

I'll recheck the exact wording in DM for Chani.

To me the poetic license is just in the term used than the actual reality of the thing, replace it with "highly unusual spice exposure" and it makes more sense.

Isn't there something about the strength of the addiction being proportionate to the amount of mélange consumed?
Up to a level whre spice addiction becomes more than that, in the people that have the genetic potential to turn it into more than mere addiction?


This passage sheds some light:

CoD wrote:And if they said Alia was an Abomination, then that
must apply equally to the twins, because Chani, too, had been addicted, her body
saturated with spice, and her genes had somehow complemented those of Muad'Dib.


This seems to suggest that not just anyone with a spice-addicted mother would become pre-born, but that Muad'dib's genes, complimented by Chani's, had helped to allow this to happen in the twins, just as it happened to Alia.

For what it's worth, I've always gotten the sense that the only mechanical difference between consuming spice and consuming changed water of life is in the power of its effect. Changed WoL would be like taking a huge amount of spice all at once, but maybe with a lesser negative effect on the user. The sietch tau orgies, after all, produce a kind of TP among the participants, but we're also told in Dune that the spice diet itself is conducive to a small amount of group-sensitivity among the Fremen, even a touch of prescience (which allows them to employ the Dune Tarot in DM). If I'm right it would mean that Stilgar is content to allow the meaning of 'spice addiction' to include taking spice overdoses, and even the occasional drinking of the changed WoL.

This point about the twins aside, I really like the opening image in this chapter, of the light shining on Leto. We see the light on Leto, and not Ghanima, even thought we're told that Ghanima had it on her first; but it always ends on Leto. I also like the the light begins as a very thin beam, so that it almost makes us think of a laser sight or target. Then as the beam widens it almost takes on the aspect of a spotlight, showing us that Leto may at once be seen to both be targeted as well as prominent. The use of this image in the hands of Stilgar further indicates that the difference between Leto being a target versus being "the star of the show" will be largely up to Stilgar, which shows how huge a role Stilgar feels he may have in the future of the Empire.

Amazing writing, just for this image alone. Stilgar goes on to 'mentally vocalize' the equivalent of what the image of the light already showed, in case the point was missed. I like that Stilgar's choice, in the absence of prescient knowledge, falls back on honor rather than tactics. This is the trait that made him suitable to be close with Paul, but also put him in danger of becoming Paul's sycophant (i.e. being too honorable and loyal).

Re: Chapter 01

Posted: 17 Sep 2014 11:16
by Freakzilla
georgiedenbro wrote:This passage sheds some light:

CoD wrote:And if they said Alia was an Abomination, then that
must apply equally to the twins, because Chani, too, had been addicted, her body
saturated with spice, and her genes had somehow complemented those of Muad'Dib.


This seems to suggest that not just anyone with a spice-addicted mother would become pre-born, but that Muad'dib's genes, complimented by Chani's, had helped to allow this to happen in the twins, just as it happened to Alia.


I think Chani's genes may have given them the Fremen tolerance for spice while at the same time, the KH genes from Paul made them sensitive to it.

Amazing writing...


I love this book.

Re: Chapter 01

Posted: 07 Oct 2014 18:15
by ConreezyDos
Re-reading this, I noticed that Leto and Ghanima have participated in the sietch orgies.

Surely not sexually, though, right? Maybe they just hung around and drank some of the Water of Life?

Re: Chapter 01

Posted: 08 Oct 2014 02:29
by georgiedenbro
ConreezyDos wrote:Re-reading this, I noticed that Leto and Ghanima have participated in the sietch orgies.

Surely not sexually, though, right? Maybe they just hung around and drank some of the Water of Life?


To be honest I'm not sure the orgies are necessarily sexual in content, although they may include that. I think the main element in them is the sharing that goes on where the Fremen minds join together and they become aware of each other's thoughts. The changed WoL allows the Fremen to briefly gain better access to their innate prescience and to their OM too, to join in that as a unison, and then when it ends to suppress it all through catharsis and go back to normal life cleansed. Alia, in CoD, mentions how the Fremen have the advantage of being able to use the sietch orgy to deny/suppress their racial memories, but that she can't do that because they're too close to the surface.

I assume that Leto and Ghanima would have partaken fully in the spiritual union of the orgy with the sietch, which I think is a large part of what makes them Fremen. "For the good of the tribe" isn't just a maxim, but is also to do with the fact that the tribe periodically shares thoughts and are literally united at those times.