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Shai-Hulud

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Original Dune
This article or section refers to elements from Original Dune.


Shai-Hulud (شيء خلود) is the Fremen term for the sandworm of Arrakis.

As with many Fremen terms and words, Shai-Hulud is more than a mere descriptive term for a physical entity. Specifically, it often alludes to the Fremen belief that the sandworm is a physical embodiment of the One God that created and governs the universe. Thus to the Fremen Shai-Hulud is a sacred term that is usually spoken with a tone of awe, fear or respect.

Linguistically, Shai-Hulud has many literal translations, all of which speak of the size, age, and power of the sandworm. Among the noted translations are:

  • "Old Man of the Desert"
  • "Old Father Eternity"
  • "Grandfather of the Desert"

In Arabic, the name can be split into "Shai" ("Thing") and "Hulud" ("Immortality" or "eternity").

Shai-Hulud is not to be mistaken with Shaitan, a similar sounding Fremen term that carries a very different meaning.

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