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Half-a-Dozen Harbas

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The Dune Encyclopedia
This article or section refers to elements that appear exclusively in The Dune Encyclopedia.


Half-a-Dozen Harbas (RRC 42-BL65) was a skeptical book by J.T. Duub (10665 AG) which claimed that Hasimir Fenring feigned his death and headed a team which wrote plays underground under the fictitious name of 'Harq al-Harba' so that he would write safely unorthodox political opinions.

As Duub notes, Shaddam IV, with its famous deposition scene, was performed in Arrakeen on the morning of al-Ataud's rebellion to stir the populace to revolutionary fervor, early in Leto II Atreides's reign. Until then, al-Ataud had been Chief of Customs for Arrakis, a post awarded him by Leto II.

Duub relies his theories on chamberlain Shishkali's reminiscences about a conversation with Leto shortly after the rebellion in the early years of his reign. Fenring came close here to losing his life, and only Leto's remembrance of Fenring sparing the life of his father saved the Count from imprisonment or worse.

The Emperor opened with a pensive remark, "Dear Shishkali! I am Shaddam IV; do you not know that?" To which the Chamberlain replied, "Such a wicked imagination was determined and attempted by a most ungrateful man, the most adorned creature that your Majesty ever made." He might have meant al-Ataud but the Emperor in his reply seems to have meant "al-Harba" (Fenring), by saying darkly, "He that will forget God will also forget his benefactors; this tragedy was played openly forty times." Al-Ataud, of course, had nothing to do with those forty productions. Fenring came close here to losing his life, and only the Emperor's remembrance of Fenring sparing the life of Leto's father, Paul Atreides, saved the Count from imprisonment or worse.
(Pp. 80-81)

However Duub contradicted himself: either Fenring's pseudonym is a secret to protect him from Leto (pp. 35-47), or it is no secret and Leto's knowledge protects Fenring during political tight spots (the passage quoted). If the secret is not intended to protect Fenring from Leto (as Duub has already claimed), who does it protect him from? This unappreciated contradiction is typical of Duub's reasoning.

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