Otheym: Friend or Foe?

Science Fiction TV Show Guides Forums Cult Sci Fi Series Dune Otheym: Friend or Foe?

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    After first watching and reading Dune Messiah, I believed that Otheym was in on the conspiracy against Muad’Dib. But after reading the novel a second time, and doing some reference in the Dune Encyclopedia*, I’m not so sure.

    I now belive that Otheym has been faithful to Paul since the moment he pledged himself to Muad’Dib’s fedaykin. Here’s my reasoning:

    Otheym claims that he moved into the section of Arrakeen, near all the fremen conspirators, so that he could spy on them. He claims he knew of their treachery from the start, and decided to keep tabs on them, should they try anything. After all, Otheym used Bijaz as a tool to tell Muad’Dib the names of he traitors.

    Bijaz, is of course evidence against him. The dwarf was used to encode Hayt to kill Paul, and was create by the Tleilaxu conspirators. But after reading some of the midgets back story we learn that he was taken as a spoil of war on a distant planet. This treasure could have been placed for Otheym to discover. The Bene Gesserit have been arranging coincidences like that for millennia, why couldn’t someone else do it? Besides, the Bene Gesserit were also involved in the conspiracy.

    Finally it was Otheym’s house that the stone burner went off in. This is very incriminating. But I believe that the Fremen conspirators knew of Otheym’s loyalties and decided to eliminate him. All of the other Fremen conspirators were far from the blast when it occured.

    One could argue that Chani was supposed to have been murdered on the way back from Otheym’s house. (certainly this didn’t happen since Paul knew that it was a face dancer that was impersonating Lichna, and as such, Paul thwarted that plan.) But certainly the Tleilaxu had some operatives waiting in the shadows, waiting to strike. It would be foolish to attack the emperor in Otheym’s well lit and open house.

    What’s your thoughts on Otheym?

    *The Dune Encylopedia prepresents an alternate, most fan fic Dune universe. But it does have some factual information.


    Great topic. I havent read Dune Messiah in a few years though, will start again tonite maybe.

    The Ency(if I could spell it I would)paedia is dang cool if it’s the one I’m thinking of.

    It came out a loong time ago, before Herbert decided to write the last 2-3 books. But it contains some really great stories, and ironically mentions things that later DID become part of the greater Universe. Like House Ordos is mentioned as a minor house and later became an integral part of the video game series.

    I always hate their explainations of the BT and Scytale, glad Herbert fixed that =) But it is a must read if it’s still circulated.

    As for Otheym, he’s kinda the Jack Falstaff of Dune Messiah. In some ways I think like Falstaff, he was loyal to the person but not the office.

    Otheym was not a part of the conspiricy I think. He probably thought he was, but like many conspiricies there’s only 1-2 people who know the truth, and everyone else THINKS they are a part of it, but they are told different things entirely, and are really tools for the real masterminds. Think JFK and Ruby/Oswald.

    If you havent read Heretics of Dune, it explains pretty clearly that the Bene Tlielax like the Bene Gesserit have LONG reaching plans. The only flaw of this, is that this is the first generation of BT Immortals. And it’s clear to me in Heretics of Dune the BT never wanted to “publicly” be in charge, they wanted to run things from behind the scenes.

    I personally believe that the Bene Gesserit, the Guild, and Irulan were manipulated from the start. Their conspiricy had no chance of suceeding, and the BT knew this. So they put several contingincies in from extortion, to outright cloning of the Royals.

    The key is in the beginning. The Conspiricy (Irulan, Mohium, Edric) are told that Hayt is a gift to soften Paul. This is an outright lie. Scytale told them that, and manipulated them to think that, I believe he even is the narrator of that chapter, and says in his head that there will be nothing for any of them, just the Bene Tlielaxu.

    The true purpose was twofold. The grand plan was to use Hayt, with a different name, even inhuman eyes to instill in Paul over time that once Chani died (Remember Scytale knew Chani would die, Irulan told him in the first chapter about the poison contraceptive) Paul would realize Chani could be reborn just like Duncan had. But only the BT control this knowledge and he would’ve forever become a slave. This is clearly laid out at the end of the book.

    The backup plan which Bijaz was doubly used for, was to condition Duncan to kill Paul after Chanis death. If he succeeded the BT could’ve cloned them both and no one would be the wiser. If he failed, they could still fall back on extortion. Of course the BT sort of forgot that Duncan was still around after his use, and became the foil of their plan. But in the long run it still succeeded, they retrieved Chani and Pauls cells, they found the secret to clinical immortality, etc….

    But my question is how did they do this? They couldent of reawakened Scytales Ghola back on Bandalong, without the method.

    ๐Ÿ˜ˆ (Wrote this in a rush, out to a BBQ, will edit later) ๐Ÿ˜ˆ


    I’ve split up this topic into other threads, to preserve continuity, and start other larger discussions

    ”LexxLurker” wrote:

    Otheym was not a part of the conspiracy I think. He probably thought he was, but like many conspiracies there’s only 1-2 people who know the truth, and everyone else THINKS they are a part of it, but they are told different things entirely, and are really tools for the real masterminds. Think JFK and Ruby/Oswald.

    He most likely thought he was part of the fremen conspiracy, on the side of Muad’Dib. I doubt he ever realized that he was part of the larger imperium coalition. In the end, he was little more then a tool, and he never realized it.

    You do bring up a good point about him not liking the office. I believe that Otheym knew what was happening to the Fremen as a whole. He saw the corruption and perversion of their old ways. But out of his faith to his muadi, he remained silent.

    This brings up a larger point. In Messiah, we hear for the first time “that every empire carries within it the seeds of its own destruction. The Oracle, Paul with Alia, saw what would destroy his empire, the Fremen. He owed his dynasty’s creation to his Fremen armies, and more importantly the Fedaykin. Not longer after his jihad ended, the Fremen began to notice the destruction of their culture and the degeneration of the latest generation. But by the time the first realized it, it was too late. Paul tamed his Fedaykin and Fremen armies under the disguise of rewards for a good military campaign. In doing so, he destroyed the force most capable of dethroning the Atreides. But at the same time, the castrated Fremen armies were still a strong enough force to protect them from outside threats.

    The Fedaykin exemplifies Paul’s destruction of the Fremen culture. He took the strongest, bravest, and smartest individuals from Dune, thus depriving an entire generation their top genetic material. The regular fremen armies took most everyone else from the culture. All that was left was the weaker of the sub-species. either way, Paul succeeded in destroying the force with the largest potential to destroy the Atreides within a generation.
    After Muad’Dib’s death*, Alia dispended the Fedaykin. This immediately forced the elite troops to joint he rest of the civilian population. Almost all of them went to live in Arrakeen, instead of returning to their seitches in the desert.

    *When Muad’Dib walked out into the desert, under the laws of Fremen culture, he cemented the loyalties of the Fremen for the next generation. He knew this would have been the last true time of the Fremen. By securing their loyalties, he allowed the opportunity for his children to mature without Fremen interference. This, of course so that they could begin the golden path of humanity. Note: having the twins born in Tabr, also added to this.


    Yeah, great points. I still have a lot to say on the subject, but need to read a bit more (I confuse Otheym with other chars) and this weekend has been hectic!

    It’s a great topic. In many ways Messiah is the best book, or the most diverse might be a better word to use.

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