Leto's reign was humanity's crucible

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Leto's reign was humanity's crucible

Post by Juke »

A crucible, a means to shape people to be tenacious and endlessly adaptive, is exemplified twice early on. Salusa Secundus shaped the Sardaukar, Arrakis shaped the Fremen. With the Fremen ultimately superseding the Sardaukar, they represent the by-gone tenacity and adaptive nature of humanity.

Leto II, having Atreides and Fremen OM, saw that humanity overall had lost these characteristics and how to re-introduce such characteristics. By completely dominating human society, he places the entire race into his prison: his despotic reign & his Golden Path. As Arrakis shaped the Fremen, Leto shaped the future of humanity, and he did it both through nature and nurture. Nurture through his Empirical Crucible; Nature through his breeding program. "Siona is my breeding program." The aspect of Siona is plainly explained: her invisibility to prescience & the Atreides strengths including the hyper-physical abilities shown in GEoD. But this is also done through Idaho. Leto said he loved Duncan for his loyalty and obedience but also his gut, his instinct. That instinct is what connected Idaho to the Fremen in D1. Idaho didn't have the hyper-reflexes and super-physical abilities of the Atreides breeding program, but he did have the tenacity and adaptability that Leto revered in humanity. (Miles Teg ends up being an ideal result of the Siona-Idaho bloodline.)

There's a lot of discussion as to what the key-log was holding back and what it released and I believe there are many right answers. The most important I think is that singular grip. Leto made sure that he would be the last singular power that guided humanity. His double-edged solution to combat the Kralizec was:
1. The Scattering: the infinite disbursal of humanity
2. The return to the tenacious and adaptive nature of humanity through the Siona-Idaho bloodlines and his Empirical Crucible.

I don't believe BH & KJA's version in any way reflects FH's vision, but I do think the Kralizec could have referred to what the Honored Matre were fleeing from. I don't think FH was setting up some simple conflict for his finale, I think it was meant to represent the final step of the Kralizec, the ultimate test for humanity to prove that they could overcome any threat. Let me reiterate that I do not think the BH sequels did this idea justice in any way.

Many default to the belief that Leto did not peer intensely into the future beyond his death (as Leto himself stated), but that he merely saw the continuation of the Golden Path out of the corner of his prescient eye. I think this idea of humanity's crucible leaves room for that to be true. Leto spends a lot of time in GEoD glorifying the feeling-human, as opposed to the calculating-human. He used very little micro-prescience to govern and maneuver the complex dynamics present in his empire and instead used his instinctual feeling to know and predict the movements and actions of his subjects. He was 3500+ years old so he was pretty spot-on most of the time but was still met with surprises (like the face-dancer fremen ambush) which he delighted in. I think it possible that he used this instinct to feel those tests that humanity would meet after his death and used those to guide his breeding program and his Empirical Crucible.

The idea of The Scattering being the only solution to humanity's destruction seems a bit weak and cowardly and antithetical to what Leto (and FH) spent so much time revering. I find it much more believable that The Scattering was more of a pre-emptive Plan B with the Crucible as Plan A, that humanity would return to its tenacious and endlessly adaptive nature to meet and overcome any threat. I also think Odrade's conclusions in Chapterhouse about how people should live in the present speak to these notions of Leto shaping humanity the way Arrakis shaped the Fremen.

Tl;DR Arrakis shaped the Fremen to be badasses who lived well and in-the-now, and Leto's reign shaped humanity to be the same. . .eventually.
"The mystery of life is not a problem to solve, but a reality to experience."
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Re: Leto's reign was humanity's crucible

Post by georgiedenbro »


Some interesting thoughts.

Since you refer to the typhoon storm a few times, it's worth mentioning that this is something Leto II and Ghanima were aware of, so whatever limitations Leto II placed on himself after becoming Emperor, young Leto II would have known even less than that. So if 3500 year old Leto II didn't peer into the details of the far future, young Leto II would have likely known little to nothing about it. So I think the typhoon storm is probably something that would occur during his very long lifetime had he not done something about it. It's honestly not clear to me whether Kralizec in fact refers to a specific future event (like the adaptive hunter-seekers) or is more a reference to the Fremen legend akin to Ragnarok, essentially. I tend to think of it as the latter, because in GEoD it doesn't seem to be a focus anymore. I get the idea it's more "the bad things that could happen" rather than any specific bad thing.

The idea of humanity constantly having to adapt is central to the Dune series. But nowhere in the series does it specify, as far as I can tell, that humanity always will successfully adapt. That's what the Golden Path is for - it's a failsafe, as you sort of alluded to. You can't adapt to something that wipes you out wholesale, so it was necessary to first make that impossible before even considering how humanity might adapt to various new individual tides of fate. And I think the Siona bloodline was part of the solution, along with the Scattering, to prevent humanity being tracked down completely. They would be spreading faster than anyone could follow, even if they did have some means to track distant human settlements.

That being said, of course I agree that the fanfic books don't relate to any of this.
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Re: Leto's reign was humanity's crucible

Post by distrans »

georgiedenbro wrote: 09 Aug 2023 14:21 it's worth mentioning that this is something Leto II and Ghanima were aware of
we have only a few reports of said and nothing that can characterize them

the most staggering rent i note in the work that herbert was...
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