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Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen (10174 AG - 10193 AG) is one of the antagonists of Dune. Feyd was the younger nephew of Baron Vladimir Harkonnen of House Harkonnen. He figured heavily in the Baron's plans to gain power. He was nominated by Baron Vladimir as the "Na-Baron" - heir to House Harkonnen.
The Baron favored the young Feyd-Rautha over Feyd's older brother "The Beast" Glossu Rabban, Count of Lankiveil. Feyd was both intelligent and charismatic, and was dedicated to the Harkonnen culture of sadism and cruelty, though potentially only due to his upbringing. Feyd was killed in act of kanly by Paul Atreides shortly after the Battle of Arrakeen.
Born Feyd-Rautha Rabban on Lankiveil as the son of Abulurd Rabban and his wife Emmi, Feyd was his father's hope for a son who would not have to inherit the dishonour of the name of Harkonnen, and a worthy heir, instead of his older, more brutal son, Glossu.
Feyd was named in honour after his maternal grandfather, Rautha Rabban, who had been killed at Glossu's orders. When the Baron heard of this he decided to take the Feyd from his father to raise him on Giedi Prime as a possible heir of his own. This was when his surname was changed to Harkonnen. Over time, the Baron came to favour Feyd more than his older brother.
Role in the Breeding ProgramEdit
Feyd, like Paul Atreides, was also the product of a centuries-long breeding program organized by the Bene Gesserit; who planned their own marital alliance, joining a Harkonnen son to an Atreides daughter, uniting the powerful houses, ending their feud, and assuring their offspring would have a high probability of becoming the Kwisatz Haderach.
For this reason, Jessica Atreides' decision to defy the sisterhood and to produce an Atreides son, Paul, established an irreconcilable tension between Feyd and Paul as the scions of their bitterly opposed noble houses. The risk of one or both of these young men being killed, destroying thousands of years of genetic engineering, was so great that the Bene Gesserit sent an envoy, Margot Fenring to seduce Feyd and conceive a child, salvaging his genetic material. During the seduction, she used a form of hypnotic suggestion (Voice) to make Feyd vulnerable to a command which, upon a specific word (most commonly 'Uroshnor') would cause complete muscle paralysis, a technique sometimes used on individuals who were considered highly dangerous.
Role in House Harkonnen Edit
The Baron planned a strategic marital alliance, hoping to marry Feyd to Princess Irulan Corrino, the eldest daughter of the Emperor Shaddam IV, and giving the Harkonnens influence or control over the throne. To promote Feyd's power, he was to be installed as ruler of Arrakis after a period of tyrannical misrule by Glossu Rabban, making Feyd appear to be the savior of the people.
Feyd's ambition and impatience to inherit the Baron's title and power allowed him to be manipulated by Thufir Hawat, a counselor to the Atreides who was captured by the Baron. Both the Baron and Feyd were nearly assassinated as a result of Hawat's machinations.
Feyd was famed for his prowess in single combat, and his willingness to break the formal rules of kanly that governed this type of challenge, by using a hidden poison spur in his fighting outfit. He nearly succeeded in killing Paul in ritualized single combat, while Paul was deciding whether to try the paralysis command and owe the Bene Gesserit his victory or whether to risk his life against Feyd in a "fair" fight.
Daughter, Marie Fenring Edit
In Paul of Dune (novel), by Brian Herbert and Kevin J Anderson, it is learned that the offspring created by Fenring and Feyd resulted in a daughter, named Marie Fenring, who was raised by Count Hasimir Fenring and Margot. Marie had many of the aspects of the Kwisatz, and was also raised to be an assassin. When she was six, she tried to kill Emperor Paul Atreides, but instead was killed by Alia Atreides before the attempt could succeed.