Dune Messiah by Frank Herbert

The basics

Title: Dune Messiah


Series: Dune #2

- Dune (1965)
- Dune Messiah (1969)
- Children of Dune (1976)
- God Emperor of Dune (1981)
- Heretics of Dune (1984)
- Chapterhouse: Dune (1985)

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Goodreads Summary:

Dune Messiah continues the story of Paul Atreides, better known--and feared--as the man christened Muad'Dib. As Emperor of the Known Universe, he possesses more power than a single man was ever meant to wield. Worshipped as a religious icon by the fanatical Fremens, Paul faces the enmity of the political houses he displaced when he assumed the throne--and a conspiracy conducted within his own sphere of influence.

And even as House Atreides begins to crumble around him from the machinations of his enemies, the true threat to Paul comes to his lover, Chani, and the unborn heir to his family's dynasty...

Read a full summary of Dune Messiah by Frank Herbert below. If you can’t remember what happened in Dune Messiah and you need a refresher, then you’re in the right place.

What happened in Dune?

  • Dune Messiah starts off 12 years after the first book ended. Paul is currently Emperor – the most powerful one ever.
  • Humans are currently struggling. Paul puts a plan in place to save the human race, which is called the Golden Path.
  • Paul doesn’t have an heir yet. Princess Irulan has been giving Chani contraceptives. Chani doesn’t know this and starts following a Fremen fertility diet. She and Paul manage to conceive.
  • Paul is given a gift in the form of a ghola. It’s Hayt, the ghola of Duncan Idaho. The Fremen don’t like that Paul accepted this gift from the Bene Tleilax.
  • Alia develops a crush on Hayt while she’s helping Hayt investigate a dead body.
  • Hayt thinks the corpse has been planted by the Tleilaxu as part of their plot.
  • Hayt and Alia kiss.
  • Paul wants to see Mohiam in order to offer up a bargain. He wants to conceive a child artificially, so that Chani and their unborn child will live.
  • Mohiam thinks about it and goes to consult with the Bene Gesserit. The artificially conceived child probably wouldn’t be able to take the throne.
  • Chani is told there are complications with her pregnancy. She realises that Irulan has been giving her contraceptives without her knowledge.
  • Chani goes to kill Irulan but Paul stops her.
  • The Tleilaxu plan to restore Hayt as Idaho, so they can prove they can clone Chani after she dies in childbirth. Grim.
  • Chani questions whether Paul should be sparring with Hayt so much.
  • The daughter of one of Paul’s commandos is replaced by a face dancer. Paul puts her under guard and goes to visit her father, Otheym.
  • Otheym and Paul talk. It’s revealed there is a conspiracy going on amongst the Fremen.
  • Otheym gives Bijaz to Paul as a servant.
  • The Tleilaxu manage to blind Paul in an attack. Paul is able to use his abilities in order to “see”.
  • The high priest, Korba, is revealed to be an enemy. Paul questions him and he denies it but he’s taken into custody as the evidence is too great.
  • Bijaz is revealed to be a Tleilaxu Master. Hayt questions him, but is taken over by Bijaz. Bijaz makes Hayt offer up a bargain – they can make Chani return in exchange for Paul’s exile.
  • Alia overdoses on spice. Hayt finds her and saves her, and they talk about loving one another.
  • Chani dies in childbirth. She gave birth to twins, Leto and Ghanima. Paul is shocked because he saw Ghanima in his visions, but not Leto.
  • Hayt tries to kill Paul due to his compulsion, but Hayt is able to stop himself and break free of the conditioning.
  • Scytale threatens Paul’s children. He says he will revive Chani if Paul abdicates and goes into exile.
  • Baby Leto projects into Paul’s mind, and using Leto’s sight Paul is able to kill Scytale.
  • Paul no longer has visions and decides to go into the desert. This wins over the Fremen, and Leto II (or III, at this point) will later become Emperor.
  • Before leaving, Paul puts Alia in charge.
  • Duncan hears about everything that went on and is impressed.
  • Stilgar tells Alia that he did what she told him and executed a bunch of conspirators. Paul and his children should be safe-ish.

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