Study Guide

Dune Book III, Chapter 45

By Frank Herbert

Book III, Chapter 45

  • Chani is summoned by Jessica.
  • When Chani meets her mother-in-law, the two have some small talk. All the while, Jessica wonders how she is going to tell Chani what has happened to Paul. At the same time, Chani wonders why Jessica won't tell her what's up.
  • Finally Jessica just says it. She needs Chani's help reviving Paul. He's been poisoned by a subtle chemical. He's still alive, but his life signs are so subtle that even Jessica could barely register them.
  • Oh, and it wasn't Gurney. Don't worry—he's cool.
  • Chani is taken to Paul. He's lying on a slab and, yeah, he looks pretty deadish. He's been that way for three weeks.
  • Jessica recounts the events leading to this predicament. Chani has an epiphany and has Jessica fetch the Water of Life.
  • True to its name, a tiny whiff of the Water of Life brings breath into Paul's body.
  • Chani asks Jessica to convert some of the water for consumption, but Paul goes all Frankenstein and just sits right up on the slab. No need to convert the water. He's all good.
  • Paul informs the ladies that he drank one drop of the sacred water. He has gone to the Other Memory.
  • Paul grabs his mother's arm, and the two establish a telepathic rapport. Paul has his mother take him to the dark place the Reverend Mothers fear to enter. This takes strength from Jessica.
  • Jessica realizes the truth. Her son is the true Kwisatz Haderach, "the one who could be many places at once" (45.123).
  • Jessica wonders if Paul has seen the future, but Paul says he's seen the now. Using his shiny new Kwisatz powers, he's seen the Guild space ships encircling the planet. The Baron Harkonnen is with them, and so is the Emperor. It's an invasion force.
  • No worries, though, because Paul has a plan. Jessica will change some of the Water of Life for them. Then they'll put that water above a pre-spice mass. If they combine the two, it'll create the Water of Death, killing all the little makers and destroying the spice forever.
  • The Space Guild will play right into their hands if there's even the threat of the spice being destroyed.
  • The chapter ends with Paul saying something ominous about "all paths lead into darkness" (45.155).