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Of the many documents dealing with Ghanima Atreides/DE, The Book of Ghanima (RRC 13-A-700) reveals the most intimate record of her daily life, in 3 volumes.


Recent linguistic and philological analyses indicate that Volume One of the memoirs is in Ghanima's voice while Volume Two is of her daughter, Elaine Atreides. Volume Three contains Leto II/DE's recordings.

Vol. IEdit

"I finally had to speak to Farad'n about Irulan. She must be getting senile! She has just gone through one of her violent rejuvenation periods and she seems determined, at her age, to finally lose her virginity. Well she is not going to contaminate poor Trebor! And I won't have my first grandchild produced by my father's wife. Even she should see how ridiculous she is (and she certainly can't blame this folly on her bitchy sisterhood).
Farad'n and I have arranged for a new suite of crams for her — on the other side of Leto's apartments (she certainly won't bother him). Farad'n, who seems to be getting soft in his maturity, has also made her Director of the Atreides Archives — that should satisfy her desires for creativity. She can churn out some more stories for idiots about her "beloved" Muad'Dib — who wouldn't stay in a private room with her for more than five minutes. She seems determined that every child in the Imperium will know the tales of poor Paul. And her wonderful "lectures on Muad'Dib's jihad strategy" have old Tyek helpless with laughter. I am usually more understanding of her frustrations and her fantasies, and I will probably be compassionate again once I calm down. She simply has to leave the children alone!

Ghanima remembers the hours they spent as children, trying to come to terms with their overwhelming abilities and their awesome fate:

"Never once have I envied Leto's position of power. With that power comes so much agony, so much pain, and the complete annihilation of his basic human body. As we talked, night after night, I realized that he would have to make the sacrifice. I felt so weak, such a coward, but the thought of that grossness overpowered me, and I had to volunteer to breed rather than to lead. Leto loved me and never wanted to hurt me, but I think I saw the pity in his eyes.
The Golden Path is the way to preserve humanity, to eliminate "abomination" and "possession" but the choice was so difficult, and he still suffers from it. I worry about his growing attachment to that old Harum of his. Chani says he's one of the benign, but Leto is becoming more dependent on him than on Father. Only Farad'n seems to understand why I worry so about Leto.

Later she felt tired of life:

"Farad'n has been gone so long, and the children's children are having children of their own. Leto still wants me with him, but we seem to have less and less to speak of. I still believe in his Golden Path — it is the only right way — but he has grown so cold about it all. At times it's almost as though my Leto had gone, replaced by an entity I don't really know. He speaks to me of troth, bat sometimes all I hear is his ambition. So much death seems to be the center of his plans — being a living god must change one.
Now I know what my dear Farad'n meant when he said he was tired. The world around me has become Leto's creation, and I am no longer a necessary part of it. I now will discover what my mother already knows, what it feels like to be submerged in someone else's consciousness. That part is a bit frightening, but it will be better than my present life.

Vol. IIEdit

Recent evidence supports the theory that Volume Two is in Elaine's voice, and from her we get a portrait of the middle-aged Ghanima:

"Mother was always slender and wiry, never becoming, as the Fremen used to say, water-fat. Her crinkly red hair curled around her forehead, always a bit adrift and never sleekly in place like the rolls and tendrils of beautiful Aunt Irulan. But Mother's steady blue, reasonable gaze brought instant trust and respect, and her dignity was warm, unlike Irulan's cold green eyes and remote aristocratic manners. Uncle Leto says that Mother was more Liet-Kynes than Atreides, but I'm not sure what that means. He seemed to mean it as a compliment, though. To me she will always be the most beautiful woman in the world — her loveliness coming as much from her kindness and wisdom as from her pretty freckled face."

Of seeing her mother and Leto:

"The two of them would sit like statues in the darkness, quietly talking in their secret languages. In the morning mother would be emotionally exhausted. She tried to make me understand what it is like to be Leto, now unable to touch her or to be touched because his skin is so sensitive. Touching is so important. That must be why she and father still sit together for hours like young lovers."

Vol. IIIEdit

Leto's his final words at the end of Volume Three show his love and his longing for Ghanima:

"My sister/wife Ghani — my other soul — the freshness I have always been too old to have — how I will miss your daily visits. Without you here beside me, I have little to remind me of our youth when I was truly human. As this new body tightens around me, the piercing emotions you kept alive in me are beginning to fade. You will be a part of me always — we will live together in a closeness no other two can ever feel — but I do long for one more glimpse of those steady blue eyes in your sweet, tender face. Sleep well, my beloved."

References and notesEdit