Leto Atreides II/DE

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Leto atreides ii

Leto Atreides II from the Sci-Fi miniseries Children of Dune, portrayed by James McAvoy.

Leto Atreides II, (10205 AG - 13724 AG) also known as the God-Emperor, was the second son of Paul Atreides and his Fremen concubine Chani Kynes, daughter of Liet Kynes. He born a little time after his twin sister Ghanima. After the death of his aunt, the regent Alia Atreides, Leto II proclaimed himself Emperor of the Atreides Empire, and ruled for approximately 3,500 standard years, guiding humankind with his iron fist towards survival. He was named after the Duke Leto Atreides, his paternal grandfather.



Leto II and his twin sister Ghanima were born on Arrakis during the reign of Emperor Paul Atreides. Their mother Chani died shortly after giving birth to the two children, due in large part to complications arising from large amounts of contraceptives that were surreptitiously given to her by Paul's legal wife Irulan Corrino. Paul had anticipated Ghanima due to his prescient visions. However, Leto's arrival came as a surprise to the Emperor.

Following Chani's death, and the apparent death of their father in the desert of Arrakis, Leto and his sister became the legal responsibility of Paul's younger sister, the regent Alia. Though they were granted a fine upbringing, little attention was bestowed upon them by their aunt, who was possessed by Abomination and enthralled by her own power and the mysticism developed around the Atreides name by Paul.

Evolution on ArrakisEdit


Leto II as a worm

When they were nine years old, Leto and Ghanima gained the attention of their paternal grandmother, the Lady Jessica, who returned to Arrakis from planet Caladan to inspect them as part of her obligations to the Bene Gesserit. While visiting, Jessica sensed the latent power present in the twins, and upon the realization that they could be a threat to the psychologically unstable Alia, pressed her Fremen allies to help protect them.

At this same time, Leto's prescient powers began to emerge. Through visions and intuition he discovered the Golden Path that his father had earlier uncovered and begun to follow. However, unlike Paul, Leto developed a greater understanding of the Golden Path's implications. He sensed not only its dangers but also the painful steps that had to be taken to avoid it unraveling, which would be to the peril of humankind.

After Leto and Ghanima escaped a failed assassination attempt by House Corrino, the two split up, with Ghanima conditioned to believe her brother was dead, so that if she were to be interrogated on his whereabouts, she would not be able to tell the truth.

Leto then slipped into almost total anonymity, using the time and relative seclusion to build a foundation of power and knowledge through which the full impact of the Golden Path could be realized. To enact such steps required a strong (almost brutal) grip on power, and a longevity that would override the shortsightedness and impatience of Man.

Thus, after spending time amongst a variety of fringe Fremen elements, including The Preacher, Leto accepted sand trout upon his body and began the conversion into a human-sandworm hybrid. This transformation (which, at the beginning, was essentially a form of exoskeleton), boosted Leto's strength, reflexes and speed immensely, and he was able to move across large distances on foot.

Ascendancy to EmperorEdit

After his transformation had progressed to a sufficient stage, Leto emerged from the desert and returned to the city of Arrakeen to confront the possessed Alia and claim the throne of the empire. After Alia managed to briefly overcome her possession and take her own life, Leto claimed the title of Emperor and promptly married his sister, to consolidate his hegemony. The marriage was purely legal, however, and Ghanima accepted Farad'n Corrino, who had been taught Bene Gesserit ways by the Lady Jessica, as her exclusive concubine.

Reign of Leto IIEdit

Leto (Stribling)

Concept Art by Michael Stribling

{C}Through the evolution of Leto's body and powers (both prescience and access to possibly every dead ancestor in history), he was rendered infertile and slowly evolved into what appeared to be a sandworm with a human face and appendages of limited strength and range. In return, his lifespan, speed and reflexes were significantly increased, and during a reign of some 3,500 years Leto II successfully guided humanity through a period of vulnerability and potential danger.

During his rule, Leto II outlawed the order of Mentats and began shutting down any renegade schools wherever found. The art of being a Mentat had not yet been eliminated, however, surviving through underground schools. Moreover, Leto took control of the Bene Gesserit breeding program, outlawed interstellar travel without his permission, and forced populations to be planet-bound through garrisons of Fish Speakers on all planets of the Imperium.

Idaho-11099, the consummate Atreidean supporter, rebelled against Leto's increasing {C}authoritarianism and questioned his abuse of that same loyalty. He initiated the last, sad Sardaukar campaign, a move that resulted in Idaho's death, the final {C}destruction of the Imperial Legions, and the founding of the Fish Speakers.

The very notion of any Duncan Idaho leading the hated Sardaukar in an ill-fated yet {C}grandiose, campaign battle against an Atreides is the stuff of which a latterday {C}Harq al-Harba could have made great tragedy.

Last DaysEdit

Toward the end of his reign Leto sensed the need for the next step on the Golden Path, and knew that his rule must end for further progress to occur. Thus using Siona - a distant descendant of Ghanima and her concubine Farad'n - and a Duncan Idaho ghola created by the scheming Tleilaxu, he sowed the seed of the Atreides genes for future generations. Additionally, he began the reversal of the terraforming on Arrakis, and witnessed the planet begin to revert into a desert world from the realised Fremen dream of a lush paradise.

Ultimately Leto lost his own life when Siona ordered the bridge he was crossing to be cut by a lasgun and he fell into the Idaho River. Following Leto's death, a chain of dramatic events took place over a span of 1500 years, that included the Famine Times, the Scattering, and the recreation of the sandworms on Arrakis, which emerged from the sandtrout that escaped from Leto's body when he fell into the water.

When Leto toppled from the bridge to be dissolved in the water below, who or what is it that died? It is {C}House Atreides that died, and House {C}Harkonnen, and the Fremen, and Shai- {C}Hulud, and that being that was the {C}synthesis of them all, the Kwisatz {C}Haderach. Each died singly and as a {C}unified entity because that is how Leto {C}lived. He was warrior, pleasure-seeker, {C}teacher, and God. No one thing he did {C}was for a single reason, for each_ {C}action was done to please each {C}personality that lived within him. No {C}human will ever know Leto Atreides II, {C}the God Emperor of Dune. The very {C}best that can be hoped for is that {C}mankind will understand why such {C}knowing is impossible.

{C}Of the God Emperor, several {C}things are certain. His voluminous {C}dictatel recordings are largely selfserving {C}and completely lacking in {C}objectivity. Consider his famous {C}statement, one he reiterated again and {C}again, before any audience: "Only fools prefer the past!" Yet has there been any {C}person — if one may refer to Leto as a {C}person — in the thousands of years of {C}recorded history who was so totally {C}dominated by the past as Leto himself? {C}Did not his conversation continually {C}concern the knowledge he had derived {C}from his thousands of ancestral voices? {C}Did he not refer, again and again, to {C}legendary, perhaps mythic Terran {C}figures such as Chaucer or Alexander? {C}Have we forgotten the wisdom — for {C}such it was, no matter our final {C}assessment of Leto — contained in The {C}Stolen Journals: "If you know all of your ancestors, you were a personal witness to the events which created the myths and religions of our past, Recognizing this, you must think of me as a mythmaker."

What then did Leto {C}mythologize? First of all, himself. He {C}created more legends concerning his {C}immutability, his omniscience, his {C}omnipotence, indeed, his eternal {C}nature, than anything else. Yet, in {C}reality, it was the brute physical {C}strength of the biologic adaptation of {C}the sandworm that he had become that {C}was me original source of his imperial {C}power. He capitalized on that strength {C}— and how many legends he created of {C}his inhuman abilities! — to cement his {C}position as emperor and to terrify entire {C}populations. From that moment on, {C}religious awe and blind superstition, {C}combined with the longevity of the {C}sandworm he was becoming, made his {C}rule inevitable.

Leto, then, was false to himself {C}and to the ancient Atreides line and its {C}sense of truth, honor, and devotion. It is {C}imperative to remember that he was but {C}an adolescent when he assumed both {C}the throne and the sand-worm skin. He {C}never had the opportunity to grow up, {C}to mature. He had never enjoyed a {C}normal life. He was forced to overcome {C}temptation, test after test. Struggles for {C}his very life were for him simple rites {C}of passage even before he was a {C}teenager. And as an early teen, he {C}exhibited all of the outlandish, {C}ridiculous activity we have associated {C}with both adolescence and adolescents {C}for centuries. In fact, one psychologist, {C}Professor Istrafan Koye of the University of Ix, has maintained quite {C}cogently in his monumental [[The Last of {C}the God Emperors]]

How then can we explain the {C}eccentricities, the foibles, the genuine {C}accomplishments of the {C}famous/infamous God Emperor? {C}Because he was worm, he no longer {C}seems human. Because he was human, {C}we tend to forget he was worm. {C}However, we must never forget that he {C}was also, in the grand mythic sense of a {C}long-abused word, King. He ruled over {C}his desert kingdom for nearly four {C}millennia, attempting to birth a {C}civilization, a people, and a culture that {C}did not need to fear itself. {C}One persistent myth, perhaps {C}dozens of centuries old, from legendary {C}Terra, may help explain him. It is the {C}myth of the Fisher King who ruled over {C}a Waste Land, a land so desolate that {C}crops did not grow, humans did not {C}reproduce, and despair was endemic. {C}Wounded in the genitals, the Fisher {C}King's kingdom was sterile, with both {C}ruler and subjects awaiting a {C}Redeemer, a pure Knight who would {C}heal the King and return fertility to the {C}land.

Leto Atreides II was that Fisher {C}King. His Arrakeen desert made any {C}historic or mythic Waste Land seem {C}fertile by comparison. Yet his vision of {C}Arrakis was inevitably limited, perhaps {C}because of his youth, perhaps because {C}of incarnate nature, perhaps because of {C}his very perversity, perhaps because of {C}his essential lack of humanity as {C}evidenced by his lack of genital {C}activity. If his vision for his home {C}planet was limited, so was it also for {C}the Imperium. Because he fancied {C}himself as the Redeemer of his planet {C}and the Imperium, he attempted to {C}become the Knight of particular purity {C}who would heal himself. {C}He failed in one sense. {C}He triumphed in another. {C}He was the once and future {C}King. His vision for his planet and his {C}kingdom failed because, as Leto {C}himself was more than once forced to {C}admit, he was not God in any ultimate {C}sense.

Yet he succeeded because he {C}died, and Redeemers must die for their {C}people. When he died, his limited {C}vision of the Golden Path also died. {C}Thus after the Starvation and the {C}Scattering, we are now free — free {C}from Leto, free from the Golden Path, {C}and free from the threat of ourselves. {C}Who knows what waits beyond {C}the stars?

{C}Leto would have taken extreme {C}pleasure in the idea of future {C}generations attempting to write {C}encyclopedia articles concerning him. {C}Certainly he held such writers in {C}contempt during his lifetime, boasting {C}to many that he had burned alive many {C}a historian upon pyres made of their {C}own works. No historian could dare to {C}claim equal knowledge of the past with {C}Leto, for, after all, Leto was directly {C}responsible for over 3,500 years of the {C}past. Moreover, given his claim that he {C}had within him the memories of every {C}single one of his ancestors, one could {C}reasonably suggest that the words Leto {C}and history are one and the same. {C}Leto's contempt for history and {C}historians supplies a clue to the nature {C}of this ultimately unknowable man and {C}god. Leto in The Stolen Journals wrote {C}of history:

"You cannot understand history unless you understand its flowings, its currents and the ways leaders move within such forces. A leader tries to perpetuate the conditions which demand his leadership. Thus, the leader requires the outsider. I caution you to examine my career with care. I am both leader and outsider. Do not make the mistake of assuming that I only created the Church which was the State. That was my function as leader and I had many historical models to use as pattern. For a clue to my role as outsider, look at the arts of my time. The arts are barbaric. The favorite poetry? The Epic. The popular dramatic ideal? Heroism. Dances? Wildly abandoned. From Moneo's viewpoint, he is correct in describing this as dangerous. It stimulates the imagination. It makes people feel the lack of that which I have taken from them. What did I take from them? The right to participate in history."

Leto damned the one dung that {C}he believed was essential to the {C}freedom of his subjects. He usurped {C}their right to create their own past by {C}living in a free present. The worlds ran {C}strictly according to the whims of the {C}God Emperor, and he made clear to all {C}thinking creatures that to live apart {C}from him was unthinkable. Leto was {C}God and, as God, all was created in his {C}image. With such a view of the {C}universe, he would not allow anyone to {C}interpret the past or even to describe it. {C}Only Leto knew the one and only path, {C}the Golden Path, and his sole {C}ownership of the path demanded that {C}he possess all the maps as well. The {C}past, or beginning of the Golden Path, {C}had to remain in his hands because it {C}was a key to what he intended for the {C}future.

Thus, Leto's attitude toward {C}historians was a mixture of ironic jest {C}and tyrannic policy. On the one hand, {C}Leto knew that those who worshiped {C}the past could understand so little of it {C}that they were laughable in what they {C}took for truth. On the other, he had no {C}wish that anyone, even by accident, {C}appear to so interpret the past that the {C}key to the future be even briefly {C}touched by another. As the above {C}quotation indicates, his answer to the {C}necessity of historical movement was {C}to usurp all the roles. By becoming the {C}historical dialectic, he became history {C}itself, and, therefore, the future as well. {C}What kind of a being would have {C}such an ego that he would even dare {C}conceive of such a plan? What kind of {C}a being would have such power that he {C}could actually carry that plan out? The {C}answer is clear: only the true Kwisatz {C}Haderach, the Bene Gesserit male {C}whose organic power could bridge {C}space and time. Leto Atreides was the {C}true God Emperor of Dune because he {C}had been bred to the role.

By calling Leto II the true {C}Kwisatz Haderach, it should not be {C}understood that the Bene Gesserit {C}intended to create Leto or that they had {C}a hand in guiding him to the path he {C}took. While his grandmother, the {C}Reverend Mother Lady Jessica {C}Harkonnen, the concubine of Leto {C}Atreides I, must have played some role {C}in Leto's early life, she did so against {C}the desires of the Sisterhood. To the {C}Bene Gesserit, Leto and his twin sister, {C}Ghanima, were both Abominations. {C}Both were fully conscious in the womb {C}of their mother, Chani Liet-Kynes, the {C}Fremen concubine of Paul Atreides, {C}Muad'Dib, and both awoke to {C}consciousness filled with the {C}personalities and memories of all their {C}ancestors. The Bene Gesserit would {C}have preferred Leto dead and were {C}responsible for a large number of the {C}plots against his life during the more {C}than 3,500 years he lived.

However, Leto was not {C}Abomination. Unlike Alia Atreides, {C}accurately called Abomination, Leto {C}learned to control all of the {C}personalities living within him and to {C}make use of them. As a boy he {C}overthrew Alia and then created an {C}empire that cast that of his father, {C}Muad'Dib, into shadow. {C}As incredible as any of these {C}facts might appear even to those who {C}have every reason to believe their truth, {C}they pale when compared to the {C}biological transformation that Leto {C}allowed himself to undergo. {C}Immediately before his overthrow of {C}Alia, he took a child's game of the {C}Fremen to the extreme. Fremen {C}children once amused themselves by {C}placing sandtrout on their hands and {C}watching them mold themselves to the {C}shape; they would then shake the trout {C}off and admire the "gloves" thus {C}formed. Leto, however, placed {C}sandtrout over his entire body allowing {C}open space only for his mouth and {C}nose. The result was strength beyond {C}imagining and a life that lasted {C}inconceivable centuries. With the {C}transformation of Arrakis, moreover, {C}Leto became the last Shai-Hulud or, at {C}least, the last potential Shai-Hulud. {C}Consider then the combination {C}that Leto represented: he contained {C}within himself the complete history of {C}the worlds, his father's memories and {C}knowledge, and the strength of Shai- {C}Hulud, the great sandworm of Arrakis. {C}How it is possible to believe that Leto {C}was anything but a god?


{C}Anarchy followed his death, the {C}Starvation and the Scattering that {C}eventuated in our present civilization. {C}The Rakis Finds, have been immensely {C}helpful in our quest for knowledge of {C}his era. We had long since studied and {C}restudied the invaluable, priceless {C}Stolen Journals, but they pale to virtual {C}insignificance beside the richness of {C}the materials in the Dar-es-Balat {C}diggings. So voluminous are they that {C}several decades will elapse before even {C}their cataloging is completed, to say {C}nothing of their analysis.

has proved more {C}mercurial, more difficult of {C}understanding, even in the centuries {C}since his timely/untimely death than {C}any other figure in the entire history of {C}humanity on hundreds of star systems {C}or thousands of planets. He is a myth {C}enshrouded in legend, and it may be {C}that he himself created both myth and {C}legend. It may be, in fact, that we will {C}never know the truth about this erratic {C}genius, this predator of the galaxy, this {C}wormlike, wormy god... the epithets {C}could be multiplied exponentially and {C}we will never come near the final truth.

Legacy During the Scattering and LaterEdit

During and after his reign, Leto II was viewed as an extremely controversial figure. Many of the established power brokers who existed at the start of his rule were either destroyed or significantly weakened, due to his draconian tactics and a monopoly on the Melange. To his admirers, Leto II was known as the God-Emperor, but to his enemies (including the Bene Gesserit) he was labeled the Tyrant of the known universe.

It was also said that within each sandworm that grew on Arrakis after his death, a pearl of his consciousness existed. This theory was supported when, approximately 1500 years after his death, an Arrakeen girl named Sheeana, who was a direct descendant of Siona and Duncan Idaho, had the power to control the worms.

The religion of the God-Emperor continued on Dune, until the attack on the planet by the Honored Matres, and also with those returned to the Old Empire from the Scattering, who called Leto II Dur or Guldur.

the Church of the Divided God claims that the stunted sandworms that still may be found in one small spare desert on Rakis are embodiments of Him — they use the capital letter — and that He will return as the fully grown, terrifying, majestic Shai-Hulud, Old Father Eternity, to restore Arrakis, His home world, and the Fremen, His faithful disciples, to greatness.


The collection of 2,126 ridulian {C}crystal volumes, secreted in a primitive {C}Ixian no-room, contains the preserved {C}writings of Leto II, the God Emperor; {C}this is the central find of the library {C}discovered at Dar-es-Balat and known {C}as the Rakis Hoard. Each of the {C}Journals consists of one thousand 50 x {C}30 cm sheets of ridulian crystal paper {C}imprinted by an Ixian dictatel and {C}bound between covers of ridulianbased {C}hardboard. Owing to the extreme {C}thinness of the paper (ridulian crystal {C}can be processed into sheets only {C}several molecules thick) the volumes {C}are only 1.5 cm thick from cover to {C}cover. Static charges prevent the pages {C}from touching each other and aid the {C}automatic page turner embedded in the {C}spine. In sheer size — each of the {C}ridulian crystal originals requires forty {C}paper volumes of ordinary size to {C}reprint — such a single-author {C}collection is awe-inspiring; given the {C}nature of that author, however, it {C}becomes historically overwhelming. {C}First to last, these books record 3,500 {C}years of history and autobiographic {C}ruminations set down by the one being {C}who has survived such a period of time. {C}Their importance cannot be overstated, {C}as is evident from their frequent citing {C}as source material throughout this {C}encyclopedia.

It is impossible to summarize, no {C}matter how briefly, the contents of {C}even a fraction of the Journal volumes. {C}Until such time as it becomes possible {C}to issue a full translation (and a {C}hundred-volume set of excerpts will {C}not be ready for publications for a {C}minimum of three years) overviews {C}such as this one will have to suffice. {C}ATREIDES, LETO II, Journals of 106 {C}Regrettably, only the most significant {C}items can be discussed in so short a {C}space; deeper analyses are certain to {C}come later.

Perhaps the most fascinating {C}revelations contained in the Rakis {C}Hoard are those pertaining to the God {C}Emperor himself. Because of the Oral {C}History and the teachings of the Church {C}of the Divided God, humanity has {C}already been given two views of Leto {C}II: inhuman tyrant and omnipotent {C}God. Now his Journals offer a third {C}view, one that will undoubtedly be {C}difficult to reconcile with those {C}proceeding it. The Lord Leto, it {C}appears, did not possess infallible {C}prescience; he could suffer distortions {C}of his future vision not only when {C}dealing with the "missing" persons his {C}breeding program produced, but also {C}when attempting to view the extreme {C}future as well.

He also feared that time would {C}distort his reputation. Many references {C}show his anxiety to explain himself and {C}his reign, as we read in a soliloquy {C}from Rakis Reference Catalog 1-A42: {C}

"You, encountering my chronicles after

thousands of years, beware. Do not feel honored in reading the revelations of my Ixian storehouse. You will find much pain in it.... I am not sun what the events in my journals may signify to your times. I only know that my journals have suffered oblivion and that the events which recount have undoubtedly been subjected to historical distortion for eons...."

―{{{2}}} {C}Much of the material making up {C}the Journals was composed in the same {C}introspective mode, and by studying {C}samples taken at random from the {C}collection, we can observe a trend in {C}the Lord Leto's writings. While the {C}earliest writings noted even the most {C}trivial events — minor rebellions {C}quelled for example, in cities whose {C}names became meaningless within the {C}God Emperor's lifetime — later {C}volumes contained more {C}autobiographical material and {C}anecdotes concerning the "inner

voices," or ancestral memories with {C}whom Leto often shared consciousness. {C}Another shift- can be observed {C}when such excerpts are carefully read. {C}For several centuries after his {C}acceptance of the sandtrout skin which {C}changed his form, the God Emperor {C}avoided writing much about the {C}transformation itself, or about his own {C}reaction to it. Self-descriptions become {C}more frequent in those writings {C}covering the second and third millennia {C}of his rule, and remain clinical until {C}well into the third. Not until the {C}volumes written during the last two {C}hundred years of Leto's reign does the {C}reader discover the God Emperor's own {C}feelings about his changed body. One {C}of the best examples also comes from {C}RRC 1-A42:

"I have ordered all mirrors removed from the

Citadel. My servitors wonder at this, but say nothing; they know the foolishness of questioning God. How much greater their wonder would be if had followed my initial impulse after catching glimpse of myself in the great entry hall mirrors yesterday, and smashed them to sliver with a single blow from this many-segmented body which traps me. But this grotesquery has its purpose, as surely as do the centuries I have spent this way. They prevent a greater smashing an irreparable smashing. I must remember that."


As more evidence of the God {C}Emperor's slipping humanity comes to {C}light, his reference to his Journals {C}causing pain for their reader may well {C}be proven right. It is difficult to avoid {C}sympathizing with one who could fear {C}his own reflection although he {C}controlled the known universe. {C}Information concerning other {C}members of House Atreides — in {C}particular, the God Emperor's father, {C}Paul Muad'Dib, and his aunt, the Lady {C}Alia — has also surfaced during the {C}Journals' translation. Leto reveals, for {C}example, that he was not the first to be {C}shown the Golden Path or to be offered {C}the transformation he accepted. His {C}father, he states, faced the same choice {C}several years before Leto's birth but {C}picked a different way. (The effects on {C}humanity of Muad'Dib's Jihad and {C}Leto's Peace may have to; be evaluated {C}before an informed opinion of the {C}better choice can be offered.)

He also delivers one of the -few {C}sympathetic opinions of Lady Alia {C}Atreides. He was in a better position {C}than any other historian to do so; not {C}only had he escaped the possession that {C}befell his aunt by forging an internal {C}alliance in which he was the controlling {C}force (a method which differed from {C}hers less than might be supposed), bat {C}he had access to the same ancestral {C}personality that had ruined Alia. In {C}Leto's community of voices, the Baron {C}Harkonnen was kept firmly under {C}control, but Leto could appreciate how {C}his aunt had been taken over.

As a treasure trove of historical {C}data the Journals are completely {C}unparalleled. For example, the Oral {C}History abounds with descriptions of {C}the Atreides descendants" extreme sensitivity to melange and its effect on their ancestral memories. The reason for this sensitivity had been shrouded in mystery since the earliest centuries of the Lord Leto's reign (at least from {C}the general public; the Bene Gesserit {C}Sisterhood, it was said, never forgot it) {C}and not until the Journals were {C}discovered was it relearned. A full {C}description can be found in the entries {C}pertaining to the God Emperor and to {C}his mother, the Lady Chani, but tile {C}phenomenon known as pre-birth was {C}brought about by a combination of {C}genetic factors and maternal addiction {C}to melange. Because they were {C}descended from one who had been preborn, {C}all of the later generations of {C}Atreides possessed the ability to {C}achieve contact with their "inner {C}voices" when under the influence of the {C}spice. Records found in the Journals {C}indicate that this forced awareness was {C}part of the testing Leto conducted when {C}choosing his Atreides administrators, {C}and that nearly a third of those who {C}underwent the spice test died or went {C}mad when the new awareness was {C}thrust upon them. (This percentage {C}dropped only slightly through millennia {C}of careful breeding, and Leto therefore {C}kept a number of second-choice {C}candidates in reserve whenever testing {C}one of the breeding lines.) {C}The eventual publication of all {C}the Journals, and the influx of new {C}findings, will not only affect the {C}scholarly world but also the Oral {C}History, which has served in {C}conjunction with the Stolen Journals as {C}a basis for law and custom on all of the {C}known worlds, will undergo probing {C}reconsideration. The Church of the {C}Divided God, and by extension its {C}billions of followers, has already been {C}profoundly affected by the information {C}unearthed at Dar-es-Balat, as witnessed {C}by its new directives concerning the {C}status of Holy Sister Quintinius Violet {C}Chenoeh and Nayla the Betrayer. {C}The full effects of the Rakis {C}Hoard on society as we have known it {C}will not be seen in our lifetimes — and {C}possibly not in the lifetimes of many {C}generations of our posterity. As regards {C}their continuing effect, a still- popular {C}Bene Gesserit expression comes most {C}readily to mind: "Each day, sometimes {C}each hour, brings change."


Within Leto was both Atreides and Harkonnen blood that had been reared in one of the last of the Fremen sietches of Arrakis. Indeed, many of the personalities that inhabited Leto's body were Fremen personalities received from his mother, Chani.

  • Such a being would possess such an ego that he would even dare to conceive of becoming all of history: An Atreides who shared with his ancestors an unquenched blood-lust, even if individual Atreides were not as cruel or as violent as the general type. Paul was one of the gentler Atreides, who walked blinded in the Arrakeen desert.
  • Another such being with ego strong enough might be a Harkonnen, bloody and powermongers as the Atreides. It was the Harkonnen talent to gain and exercise power by diplomatic intrigue, frequently involving assassinations. Leto's great-grandfather was a diplomatic genius, able to manipulate a number of business ventures into a rapid restoration of his family's power after several occasions his House was downgraded. Given the constant power struggles during the rule of the Padishah Shaddam IV, such a feat is remarkable. Leto as well knew how to apply the velvet glove of diplomacy where it was needed.
  • A third being capable of such an ego might be a Fremen who was convinced that what was at stake was the tau of his sietch. Fremen and the Fedaykin, were known for the devotion to oneness, such as Leto's singlemindedness. Leto not only invented the Golden Path, he believed in it as well. To him it was the one true way to preserve the worlds from vast, overwhelming destruction. A Fremen, faced with the potential destruction of the sietch, would act to preserve the tau by any means within his grasp. Leto acted to preserve the tau of humanity, but not as a Fremen but with the means of a God-emperor.
  • Finally, a fourth being capable of such an ego is Shai-Hulud as the personification of the very elemental forces of the planet, so great, so overpowering that they stood for all time. Shai-Hulud was, to the Fremen, the only true eternal force. Vast, incredible beyond reason, it lived only for itself, uninterested in and incapable of understanding the petty creatures that shared Dune. Leto was equally capable of such monumental indifference. Moneo Atreides, the last steward of the God Emperor, frequently saw Leto in such moods and called them "the stirrings of the worm."

Atreides, Harkonnen, Fremen, Shai-Hulud — any of these might be a being with ego powerful enough to dare become the history and future of the universe. But Leto was all four; he had to dare because it was an essential part of his nature. Leto had no choice. Because of what he was, he was destined to pick up where his fattier failed and become the true Kwisatz Haderach. And because he was destined to be the Kwisatz Haderach, he perforce must become the God Emperor, for they are one and the same.

A second quotation from The Stolen Journals will serve well as an illustration of this point:

"When I set out to lead humanity along my Golden Path, I promised them a lesson their bones would remember. I know a profound pattern which humans deny with their words even while their actions affirm it. They say they seek security and quiet, the condition they call peace. Even as they speak, they create the seeds of turmoil and violence. If they find their quiet security, they squirm in it. How boring they find it. Look at them now. Look at what they do while I record these words. Hah! I give them enduring eons of enforced tranquility which plods on and on despite their every effort to escape into chaos. Believe me, the memory of Leto's peace shall abide with them forever. They will seek their quiet security thereafter only with extreme caution and steadfast preparation."

Within this passage are all four personages. Here can be seen the cynicism of the Atreides, the delight in gamesmanship of the Harkonnens, the harsh world view of the Fremen, and the laughter of Shai-Hulud. No wonder then that so many scholars propose so many different versions of Leto Atreides II. Some would see him as a blood-thirsty tyrant who loved to toy with his Duncan Idaho gholas through a perverted sense of "the good old {C}days." Others would see him as a corrupted politician whiling away his time in obscene pleasure with Hwi Noree. Yet others would see Leto as the compassionate but harsh teacher of mankind, instructing Siona Atreides to take on his mantle and lead mankind further on to the Golden Path. And still others would see him as God laughing at all his creation simply because he wanted to.

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