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House Atreides and supporters

Duke Leto Atreides

Lady Jessica Atreides

Paul Atreides

God-Emperor Leto Atreides II

Thufir Hawat

Dr Yueh

Gurney Halleck

An Atreides retainer and one of Paul's teachers.

Duncan Idaho

Another Atreides Retainer.



A half-fremen Planetologist continuing his hope of bringing water to Arrakis. Temporarily appointed Judge of the Change.


Fremen Chief who Mentored Paul

Harkonnens and Supporters

Baron Harkonnen

Piter de Vries

Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen

  • Badass Normal: Holds his own against the Kwisatz Haderach. Questionable how normal he is though.
  • Bastard Understudy
  • The Dragon
  • Evil Counterpart
  • The Sociopath: "On his seventeenth birthday, Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen killed his one hundredth slave-gladiator"


Count Fenring

A councellor and friend of The Emperor; an assassin. Was one of the Bene Gesserit's recent failures.

Princess Irulan

Emperor's daughter who is forced to nominally marry Paul to secure him the throne. Also provides commentary at chapter headings.

The Sardaukar, the Army of The Emperor

  • Always Someone Better: The Sardaukar are so good because they are trained on the Death World of Salusa Secundus. Leto (and Paul) correctly figure out that Arrakis is an even worse Death World and so its inhabitants, the Fremen, will be able to beat the Sardaukar.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: In close combat and when outnumbered, Sardaukar are trained to fight in formations of three so they never show their backs to the enemy.
  • Badass Army
  • Badass Decay: By the time of the first Dune book, the Sardaukar, though still considered formidable can't hold a candle to their glory days (considered to be on the tenth Ginaz level and matching the abilities of a Bene Gesserit adept), which might explain their comparatively poor performance against the Fremen. Farad'n's Sardaukar avert this, however.
  • Common Ranks: Their ranks are a combination of traditional Western ones and Arabic titles to go with Dune's cultural mix theme, such as "Colonel Bashar".
  • Crazy Prepared: To the point of equipping themselves with fake toes (with stabbing implements!) and garrottes in their hair in the form of shigawire.
  • Cultured Warrior : Well, Tiekanik and other higher ups are definitely an example.
  • Death World: All the Sardies get a Training From Hell upbringing on Salusa Secundus, the devastated former seat of House Corrino (a wasteland planet similarly harsh and inhospitable as Arrakis).
  • Evil Army : At least from the Atreides and Fremen point of view. But make no mistake - they can be cruel and thorough.
  • False-Flag Operation: See Paper-Thin Disguise below.
  • Our Master Right Or Wrong
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Shaddam Corrino IV sends two full legions of Sardaukar in the guise of Harkonnen soldiers to bolster their assault on the Atreides after Yueh's bertayal. The Atreides pick up on this almost immediately, recognizing the incredibly distinct and vicious fighting style of the Sardaukar. The Sardaukar even attempt disguising themselves as Atreides soldiers during the assault.
  • Penal Colony: Where they are trained
  • Praetorian Guard
  • The Spartan Way
  • The Stoic: Captain Otto Aramsham, who refuses to submit under capture by Paul and the Fremen until he uses The Voice.
  • Training From Hell : How they become as skilled as they are.
  • Villainous Valour
  • Weaponized Exhaust: The Sardaukar used this to barely eke out a victory/capture of some Fremen.
  • We Have Become Complacent: For many years, the Sardukar were able to coast on their reputation as being unbeatable in combat, and thus their skills atrophied, though they were still a force to be reckoned with by the time of the first book.
  • Worthy Opponent: To the Fremen, at least in comparison to Harkonnen Soldiers.
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