Dune: People: Chani

Chani is Paul’s Muad’Dib Atreides’s true love and the mother to his three children. To say that Chani loves Paul is an understatement. She would give or do anything for him, as a matter of fact it’s how she died!Chani was born in the desert of Dune as a Fremen. Her father was the famed planetologist and Fremen prophet Dr. Leit Kynes.

Unlike other fremen, Chani was born with red hair, showing her non-dune lineage of her father’s side. But that dind’t make her any less fremen. Chani learned and mastered the ways of her culture at an early age, and before she met Paul, was in line to become her sietch’s new Reverend Mother, after Romallo died. It was a good plan.But for every good idea, there’s an even better monkey wrench. After the downfall of House Atreides, the Atreides heir, Paul and his mother Jessica sought refuge with her people.

Chani and Paul quickly feel in love with each other, and she with her uncle Stilgar, taught Paul, now Muad’Dib the ways of the Fremen. Also during this time Muad’Dib and Chani had their first child Leto (III), only to lose him when Paul attacked Emperor Shadam. After Paul ascended to the throne, Chani was offered a noble title, but refused it, because all she wanted was his love. She got it, despite Paul marrying Irulan Corrino.

Chani knew the marriage was false, and that she was the one Paul called wife. During Muad’Dib’s reign, Chani was always there for emotional support. She constantly gave him… the relief he needed from his stressful life. It was Chani that often iniated their retreats into the desert as a was of refreshing her mate and emperor. All during this time, Paul vastly ignored his name wife.

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Irulan resented Chani’s status and what ensued was a major catfight! Irulan poisoned Chani’s food with a chemical to make her sterile. This was Paul would be forced to have a child with his name wife, and not his chosen mate. Irulan was determined to bear the royal heir. It almost worked, in the book “Dune Messiah” Chani pleaded with Muad’Dib to have a child with Irulan so that the Atreides line would continue.

Paul refused her and told her that she would bear his heir. Thus her love was so great, that she was willing to give him up.After nine years of trying to conceive, Chani discovered Irulan’s betrayal, and changed her diet. This new diet relied heavily on traditional Fremen foods, read: spice! Four months later Leto II and Ghanima were born. But because of her high spice diet, the children were preborn, much like their Au nt Alia.

Furthermore the speed of the pregnancy drained Chani entirely, and she died shortly after childbirth.Chani lived on through the memories within her son Leto II and Ghanima. At the end of “Chapterhouse: Dune” Scytale carried a nullentropy tube with Ghola cells for Chani (amongst others), so its possible Chani may be reborn 5000 after her death. We’ll have to wait a couple years for “Dune 7” to be printed.

Barbora Kodetova IS Chani

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Dune reviews are © 2003 Ryan Bechtel and Greg Frantz.
Not for reproduction without the authors express permission.

Dune names, characters and everything else associated with the series are the property of Sci-Fi Channel, New Amsterdam Entertainment, and the assorted publishing companies who own the rights to the various Dune novels.

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