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King of Pain: Paul Atreides

Paul - kind of
(it was not, but it might be...
Picture modified from a portrait of Daryun by Sachiko Kamimura)

Raven dark hair, eyes once green but as you see they're now Ibad,
that means that the membrane is colored in blue by the Spice Mélange.

It was the good old days... When I could still be interested by heroes despite of their high moral beliefs. Though this one has more blood on his hands than any other member of the Soulcatcher. But he was the hero of the first books of Dune, master piece of Frank Herbert. I've even read that he was the type of the romantic hero, tortured, fighting against his destiny... Fighting for others. So of course his life was filled with tragedies.

Born the heir of a noble House of the Imperium, a galactic empire, he's seen his House ruined and destroyed soon after their arrival on Dune. This disloyal manoeuvre had been instructed by the Emperor himself and the Spacing Guild, and executed by their ancestral enemies the Harkonnen. His father, Duke Leto Atreides, died of a treachery. At the age of 15, he could only escape and join the rebels of Dune, the Fremen, with his mother Jessica and his sister Alia still to be born. He became one of them, with the name of Muad'Dib (a desert mouse), while the Fremen, recognizing his warfare and moral strength, called him Usul, 'base of the pillar'. Very stable basis indeed.

He quickly became their leader, the Messiah they had been waiting for since the Bene Gesserit had proclaimed his coming, centuries ago. Something there was no danger to say, since the feminine order of the Bene Gesserit was secretly manipulating the lineages of the Houses in intend to reach the genetic scheme of a man who could take the control they, as women, couldn't have on the power of the Spice Melange. The spice extends life, consciousness, and is vital to space travel. It was the treasure of Dune, existing only on this planet. Who controls the Spice, controls the Space Travels, the Houses and then the Imperium.

And so did Muad'Dib with his hords of devoted Fremen, the best warriors of the Imperium. Because he was the man who could go where the Bene Gesserit couldn't, the Kwisath Haderak. And though his mother herself was a Bene Gesserit, he wasn't under their control. They didn't expect one of his generation to be the K.H, and they had asked to Jessica to give birth to a girl to end the lineage plan by marrying this girl with a member of the Harkonnens. But the Duke Leto Atreides wanted a boy for heir, and being in love with him Jessica had disobeyed to her sisters and given him this son Paul. The result has been that the B.G. hadn't taken enough time to make him their toy as they would have for the expected Kwisath Haderak. The destruction of his House and the death of his father didn't make a lot to make him trust the B.G. after that.

Never trust the girl with her eyes too blue


So he took his revenge, obtaining the throne of the Emperor by marrying his daughter Irulan, and destroying the last remains of the House Harkonnen (... a little detail being that in fact, the lineage is not destroyed, since he himself is the grand-son of the awful and perverted Baron Harkonnen, Jessica being the daughter of this monster and a Bene Gesserit. These women were ready to a lot of sacrifices to produce their Kwisath Haderak, without a doubt).

That was the storyline of the first book only. The following ones are telling his reign, how his young twins Leto and Ghanima succeeded him, his son Leto remaining alone on the throne after... 3000 years, and the story still goes on with other descendants and clones of the original Atreides attendants.

I discovered this because of the movie of David Lynch, which I found very incomplete when I read the book afterward. I was 15 so this book has taught me a lot about religion, manipulation, psychology, politics... But I wonder if the morals I drew from the story were the one that the author Frank Herbert was trying to give... I don't think so. I'm on the Dark Side too much. *shrug*

Anyway, though it's becoming a bit far, I'm still thinking of Paul Muad'Dib each time I hear "King of Pain" by Police. It's fun that I've really discovered Sting because of the short part he played in the movie. Hey, someone who's written a song inspired by "Interview with a vampire" ("Moon over Bourbon Street") can't be really bad!

Cover art by Siudmak
(the pic is nice, but in case you wonder,
Paul does *not* get green in the books...
neither has he whores at his service)

Some links about Dune

Links checked / revised in December 2002

Quote :

Ready comprehension is often a knee-jerk response and the most dangerous form of understanding. It blinks an opaque screen over your ability to learn. The judgmental precedents of law function that way, littering your path with dead ends. Be warned. Understanding nothing. All comprehension is temporary.
Mentat Fixe (adacto)
From "Chapter House: Dune" 178

Don't forget it if you cross the other pages of the Soulcatcher...

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