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Synopsis of Paul of Dune

“The best thing Brian and KJA have written. Amazing!”

Paul of Dune ... the book about which reviewer Byron Merritt has inexplicably written, “the best thing Brian and KJA have written. Amazing!” (source; image record) This piece of crap contains 99 textual divisions which it seems almost a crime to call “chapters”. For now, here are the page numbers and a brief description of the main events in each.

Paul of Dune cover, © Stephen Youll. Used without permission.

Part I - Emperor Muad’Dib - 10,194 AG - One Year After The Fall of Shaddam (17 “chapters”)

  1. (13) Construction of gaudy Harg Pass shrine for Duke Leto I
  2. (19) Gurney at Fremen pool party. One Fremen, Enno, nearly drowns, is revived.
  3. (24) Stilgar sacks Kaitain
  4. (28) Jessica and Paul on Caladan
  5. (36) Alia presiding over mayhem in audience chamber with shocked Irulan as witness
  6. (42) Paul and Irulan on Kaitain. Shaddam’s palace burned.
  7. (48) Shaddam on Salusa; sends Bashar Garon after Fenring
  8. (53) Fenrings on Tleilax. Answer to burning question of what happened to all those de Vries gholas the Baron ordered.
  9. (58) Emo Paul on Kaitain meets the Landsraad. Earl Thorvald storms out.
  10. (64) Paul and Stilgar on Arrakis. Swordmaster Bludd* comes to pledge Ecazi loyalty.
  11. (69) Gurney on Galacia. Fremen kill Lord Colus despite Gurney’s promise of safety. Gurney kills Enno, ringleader of those who disobeyed him.*
  12. (76) Garon finds Fenring on Tleilax, conveys Shaddam’s message and gives him Shaddam’s knife*
  13. (81) Paul and Chani inspect plans/models of new citadel/palace designed by Bludd*
  14. (86) Bludd drunk on wine duels with Fremen (no real bloodshed)
  15. (91) Margot Fenring and daughter Marie being naughty on Tleilax
  16. (95) Painfully pointless business meeting with Korba, Chani, Alia and Irulan, with everybody hyped up on testosterone or something. Yawn.
  17. (100) Irulan and Paul discuss her writings and myth-making. Kaitain birth BS brought up again. Paul says, “If you write it, they will believe it.”*

Part II - Young Paul Atreides - Age 12 - 10,187 AG (13 “chapters”)

  1. (107) Caladan: Atreides head for Heighliner for Ecaz
  2. (111) On Kaitain for Shaddam’s wedding to Firenza Thorvald, Baron Harkonnen meets with Viscount Moritani of Grumman. Plods within plods within plods....
  3. (117) Atreides meet Archduke Ecaz on Ecaz. Some testosterone BS with Duncan, Bludd, and Rivvy Dinari*
  4. (121) Paul wanders around the Ecazi Palace, talks to Jessica. Leto confers with Ecaz. Duncan, Bludd and Dinari engage in “swordplay”.*
  5. (124) On the way home to Grumman with Moritani and his swordmaster Hiih Resser.* Moritani reveals that his family are actually House Tantor (not to be confused with the galactic capital in Asimov’s Foundation), the renegade/supposedly extinct family that tried to do in the Corrinos by nuking Salusa Secundus.*
  6. (128) Leto & Jessica angst-filled emo BS; discussion with Ecaz of hate/feud with Grumman/Moritanis
  7. (132) Baron H on Grumman; seals deal with Moritani.
  8. (137) Paul moping back on Caladan. (He’s SO sensitive.)
  9. (141) On Grumman, Moritani’s ailing son Wolfram dies, deprived by Ecazi embargo of the drug he needed, esoit-poay.* Moritani kills doctor and Ecazi smugglers.*
  10. (144) Wedding preparations on Ecaz. Leto and Ilesa have heart-to-heart while floating about in a boat.
  11. (148) Baron H and Piter on Arrakis, plodding plods within plods....
  12. (151) More Leto-Jessica shtuff on Caladan. Ixian frigate arrives bearing ... Robo-Rhombur, the Highly Improbable Cyborg!*
  13. (156) Leto-Ilesa wedding massacre! Blenderiscious! Love them flying sawblades! Ecaz loses an arm, Dinari bcomes hamburger, Ilesa gets her throat ripped out. (At 6.5 pp of real text, this is one of the longer “chapters” in the book. They do love their gore, huh?) Rhombur SMASH!

Part III - Emperor Muad’Dib - 10,197 AG - Four Years After The Beginning of the Jihad (14 “chapters”)

  1. (165) Paul fighting incognito on Ehknot. Oh, the horrors of war!
  2. (170) Fenrings on Wallach IX; meet with Mohiam and essentially enlist her and the Bene Gesserit in their plot against Muad’Dib
  3. (175) Gurney returns to Caladan, only to receive orders from Paul to take over the Barony of Giedi Prime. Once there, Gurney closes down the slave pits. It’s poignant.*
  4. (181) New Years on Arrakis! Paul slaps down Korba for interrupting a special moment with Chani. Later, in bed, Paul and Chani wax philosophical and Paul teaches her about Alexander the Great.
  5. (187) Stilgar fighting Lord Basque and his “swamp rats” on Bela Tegeuse. Gun barge he’s on gets scuttled and he goes into the water, emerges covered with leeches and “yell[s] like a woman”.*
  6. (193) Farad’n born on Salusa Secundus. Shaddam and Wensicia abusing Dalak, the father.*
  7. (196) Dr Ereboam explains the Tleilaxu Mentat Twisting Process to the Fenrings, tells them of existence of a BT Kwisatz Haderach.
  8. (201) Back on Arrakis, Alia is playing with her scorpions, bandying pleasantries with Irulan (and also taunting her).
  9. (205) Paul and Chani visit a spice harvesting operation* near Sietch Tabr. A sandstorm approaches, requiring an emergency evacuation.*
  10. (211) Fenring and Margot have sex while Marie secretly watches. We learn that Fenring’s first kill was a teenager who attempted to molest him, when he was 4. He remembers this as he and Margot are going at it. The two climax “simultaneously and thunderously,” then discover Marie has been watching.*
  11. (215) Korba and Bludd spar verbally.*
  12. (220) Painful audience chamber scene with Paul judging a group of “priests of Dur” charged with attempting to desecrate Duke Leto’s shrine.* Paul receives Jessica and Gurney, gets scolded by Jessica for sending Gurney to Giedi Prime.
  13. (227) Fenrings meet Thallo, the BT KH.
  14. (231) Irulan writing and getting all emo in her boudoir.

Part IV - Young Paul Atreides - 10,187 AG (13 “chapters”)

  1. (239) Wedding massacre aftermath on Caladan. Archduke Ecaz vows revenge in war room meeting.
  2. (245) Baron H and Piter back in Harko City. Silliness surrounding statue of Baron and pigeon poo.
  3. (248) Night attack by Grumman assassins in Castle Caladan.
  4. (255) Leto and Gurney head off to Ecaz with Archduke. Arrive to find revolt led by Duke Prad Vidal of Elacca.*
  5. (261) Duncan and Paul head into Caladan jungles to nunnery of the “Sisters in Isolation”, where Paul’s grandmother Helena, who he has never met, is living in exile. Swain Goire* also there.
  6. (266) Thufir Hawat & Ecazi ambassador present grievances to Landsraad.
  7. (272) Some snitty and pointless back-and-forth between Paul and his grandmother at the nunnery.
  8. (275) Atreides reinforcements arrive on Ecaz. Leto and Gurney hatch plan to sneak in and assassinate Vidal themselves.
  9. (279) Grumman ships attack and destroy nunnery. Duncan & Paul escape into jungle while Goire holds off assassins.
  10. (284) Moritani & Resser in ’thopter on Grumman. Moritani reveals plan to take out Ecaz, Atreides and even Harkonnen with suicide detonation of House atomics.
  11. (288) Duncan & Paul fleeing and killing Grumman assassins in jungle. Meet up with Caladan primitives, who take care of the remaining assassins.
  12. (294) Leto & Gurney slip into Elacca camp, turn Vidal’s fogtree mansion into a prison of cages* and take Vidal’s head.
  13. (300) Grummans attack Caladan primitive camp. Duncan & Paul & prims fight them off. Duncan & Paul decide to join Leto and others for attack on Grumman.

Part V - Emperor Muad’Dib - 10,198 AG (15 “chapters”)

  1. (307) Bludd suggests festival to celebrate initial completion of Keep. Paul has Irulan draft the invitations.
  2. (312) On Salusa Secundus, Shaddam accuses Dalak of theft. His own wife, Wensicia, shoots him with a dart gun when Garon hesitates to kill him. Shaddam decides to send daughter Rugi to “Great Surrender” ceremony.
  3. (319) On Tleilax, Fenrings and Ereboam decide to train Thallo & Marie together. Thallo reveals his thoughts about his own imperfection. Marie slips him a futuristic Swiss army knife so he can cut himself.*
  4. (324) Irulan greets Rugi at Arrakeen spaceport, which is crowded and busy with ships arriving bearing those attending the “Great Surrender” and bringing their water tributes.
  5. (328) Stilgar on Jericha with Burbage and Caladanian troops fighting Thorvald. Stilgar nearly drowns during mountain river crossing, vows to return and stay on Arrakis.
  6. (334) Little Marie and Thallo cavorting in a park in Thalidei, kicking each others shins.*
  7. (339) Irulan getting her journalist-historian thang on at the ceremony.* Then...ATTACK OF THE BOOTLEG NEEDLE-NOSE HUNTER-SEEKERS!!!*
  8. (343) Paul gets his Neo-in-the-Matrix thang going and grabs and smashes hunter-seekers right and left. Takes quite a few in the ole bod though and has to switch over into BG pharma mode to counteract the different poisons contained in each. He collapses by the throne when it’s all over and Chani comes to sit beside him. Bludd, hit by a hunter-seeker, rushes them away just as a bomb goes off.*
  9. (348) Thallo leads Marie off to a control room and seals the doors. He kills the other candidate Bene Tleilaxu Kwisatz Haderachs (all clones identical to himself) and prepares to release a toxic gas throughout Thalidei.
  10. (353) Irulan finds Rugi amid the victims of the mayhem and rails at Paul for not protecting her sister as promised.
  11. (357) Marie kills Thallo by executing an exquisite ballet step (pied-à-cou?) on his neck and prevents the release of the poison gas.
  12. (362) Korba investigates the ceremony attack with Gestapo tactics and thoroughness. Bludd finally revealed to be main culprit. Although he freely confesses and avows that he acted alone, he is tortured for names of other conspirators. After his trial, Paul orders Korba to continue searching for other guilty parties.*
  13. (369) Bludd and ten others thrown to crowds outside the Keep and ripped limb from limb by them. Paul and Chani watch from above in shadows.
  14. (373) Garon on Tleilax; informs Fenring of Corrino murder of his cousin Dalak. More plods within plods within plods. Marie fights and kills 15 BT Sardaukar gholas single-handedly. In the dark. Fenring deems her ready for use.
  15. (378) Paul arrives in Irulan’s private writing garden* with a detail of his guards and confiscates the next “chapter” of her story of his life, to be given to Korba for inspection for “correctness”.

Part VI - Young Paul Atreides - 10,187 AG (11 “chapters”)

  1. (385) Paul & Duncan reunited with Atreides forces on Ecaz for transport to Grumman. Chit-chat with Guild “legates”. New sword found for Duncan by Bludd in the Ecazi armory.
  2. (389) Baron sends Rabban to lead Harkonnen forces on Grumman. Moritani assigns one Brom as Rabban’s lieutenant.
  3. (393) Shaddam & Fenring chatting on Kaitain. Mostly Shaddam working himself into a lather; decides to go to Grumman himself to intervene in the conflict. Fenring not overjoyed with the idea.
  4. (396) Commencement of the battle for Ritka, a boring little fortress city on Grumman on the shore of a dried up sea.
  5. (400) Grummans release war horses into the shielded Ecazi/Atreides ranks. Some casualties in the resulting confusion until Gurney restores order. Paul almost impaled on war spike despite his shield. Rabban thinks he sees an advantage and, ignoring Brom’s objections, orders the Grumman/Harkonnen troops to attack without waiting for Moritani’s signal. Detonation of explosives in old mine tunnels results in a massive collapse of the seabed, killing many soldiers on both sides.
  6. (406) Paul evacuated to Leto’s command ship. Rabban flees from Brom and the Grummans, who want to kill him for having ordered them into a trap. Duncan and Gurney go after him and finally corner him on a cliff high about a raging river. They fight a bit, Rabban falls and is carried off in the torrent of bad writing.
  7. (413) Grumman and Harkonnen forces begin fighting among themselves. Ecazi/Atreides allies press their advantage. A Guild Heighliner appears over the planet and releases an armada of reinforcement ships ... under the command of Rhombur Vernius, Ironman of Ix!* Shaddam also arrives and orders an end to the hostilities.
  8. (417) Moritani threatens to blow everyone up at the surrender treaty signing. Tells everyone he is really a Tantor and that this is revenge. Universal reaction: “House Tantor? ... Who?!”
  9. (422) Turns out Moritani Swordmaster Resser had sabotaged bombs. Judgement of Moritani by Shaddam. Moritani sentenced to term in Kaitain prison.
  10. (426) Rabban faces Baron’s anger. Baron informs him and Feyd of a depressurization “accident” in space that has sealed the lips of Moritani forever.
  11. (430) Atreides forces return to Caladan. Jessica comes to the spaceport through a pouring rain to greet Leto and Paul. Leto swears his undying devotion to her — and his intention to reject any future marriage proposals — in front of Paul, several spaceport personnel, a local vagrant named Jorj and a pile of slightly off halibut awaiting shipment to Hagal.

Part VII - Emperor Muad’Dib - 10,198 AG (16 “chapters”)

  1. (435) Paul receives request from Margot Fenring to take Marie and raise and school her at the Imperial court.
  2. (439) Paul decides to go walkies in the desert. His departure is turned into a big event by Korba and Paul almost fails to call a worm, but finally attracts a medium-sized one.*
  3. (443) Alia holding court during Paul’s absence; hears tedious case of cheating gamblers, dispenses justice. Margot and Marie arrive.
  4. (449) Paul in the desert, tripping.* Foresees attack on Caladan by Thorvald & rebels.
  5. (453) Alia getting to know Marie. Harah comes to tell Stilgar the two girls are missing. They start a search, finally find them playing in the desert.
  6. (458) Paul returns to Keep from desert. After seeing Chani, he summons the Guild ambassador and demands an audience with Navigator on the Heighliner orbiting above. Paul orders the Guild to maroon Thorvald and his rebels in deep space and sends Stilgar to sterilize Thorvald’s home planet.
  7. (464) Alia and Marie playing with pet scorpions in Alia’s room.*
  8. (466) Guild representative brings evidence of deaths of Thorvald and his allies. Paul sends word of the plot and its prevention to Jessica on Caladan. Atreides bombardment of Ipyr, Thorvald’s homeworld. Jessica relays Paul’s message of goodwill to people of Caladan. More on destruction of Ipyr.*
  9. (471) Three Reverend Mothers* arrive on Arrakis to begin schooling of Alia and Marie. Irulan receives them in her labyrinth garden, learns of why they have come, and rebuffs them. Paul arrives and tells them not to let the garden gate hit their scrawny behinds on the way out.*
  10. (477) Fenrings learn of RM visit, leave for Arrakis, beat up on a soldier when they arrive. Taken to meet Irulan, they are reunited with Marie.
  11. (483) Paul takes Count Fenring on a tour of tunnels beneath the Keep, shows him a newly discovered Muadru chamber. They end up in a wine cellar, for the love of God, Montressor.
  12. (488) Truly painful dinner scene. During stunning repartee, Marie drops some food and ducks under table to retrieve it. When she doesn’t reappear, Alia ducks under to see what she’s doing and Marie attacks. Fenrings release various toxic powders and gasses and attack. Alia eventually kills Marie by stabbing her in the back with the Shaddam dagger, which the Count had brought to table. Korba christens her “Saint Alia of the Knife”.*
  13. (497) Paul approaches the fallen girlchild and lowers his guard, sympathizing with the grieving Count. Taken aback when Margot reveals the identity of Marie’s father, he leaves himself open to attack by Fenring, who plunges the dagger into his chest.
  14. (499) Paul collapses, Chani and Alia rush to his side, call for Suks. Chani hits on idea of giving him Water of Life to stop time (or at least his heart) and give the Suks time to repair the damage. Eventually his heart starts beating again and Irulan wonders, as she sheds tears of joy, if she ... loves him?! Paul recovers and Irulan sees Korba make off with the knife.
  15. (505) Paul judges Fenrings and sentences them to exile with Shaddam on Salusa Secundus.
  16. (511) Book ends with Irulan in her chambers, musing over how she will continue to write the story of Muad’Dib....