Study Guide

Dune Book III, Chapter 48

By Frank Herbert

Book III, Chapter 48

  • Paul stands triumphant in the Arrakeen governor's mansion, the previous home of House Atreides. Paul chose this place for its symbolic nature. He's deep like that.
  • Paul commands his troops to do end-of-the-battle mop-up jobs. He has Gurney retrieve Jessica and Chani.
  • A Sardaukar arrives, wishing to hear Paul's assurances of the Emperor's safety should a meeting be arranged. Paul gives such assurances.
  • Jessica arrives and wonders about Alia's safety. Paul says she's out with the other Fremen children, killing the wounded enemies. Go figure, but Jessica's less than thrilled to hear that (though she's happy Alia is safe).
  • Jessica wonders what has made Paul such a hard man. Oh, we don't know, maybe everything that's happened to him since the start of the book?
  • Paul asks his mother to stand by his side as the Emperor brings his future bride to him. Jessica begs Paul not to make the same mistake his father made (read: he should marry Chani). But Paul knows Princess Irulan is the key to ending this whole nightmare.
  • Chani joins Paul and tells him of his son's fate. Paul mourns by telling her there will be other sons. Oh, okay, because that makes everything better.
  • Gurney brings in the Imperial entourage.
  • Feyd-Rautha and Count Fenring are with them. Paul realizes he's never seen either of these men in his visions and wonders how much he should fear them. We're guessing a lot.
  • He also sees Princess Irulan, recognizing his key to victory.
  • Hawat presents himself before Paul. Paul offers his old friend and teacher anything he wants, but all Hawat wants is forgiveness. Hawat gets this forgiveness after he takes his own life. You'd think he'd have just asked for forgiveness first.
  • The Emperor begins negotiations by reminding Paul that his armada still orbits the planet. Oh, yes, Paul had almost forgotten.
  • Paul threatens the Guildsmen in the Emperor's entourage: they can either they tell the fleet to get going home, or he'll destroy all the spice on Arrakis.
  • The Guildsmen argue that Paul can't so such a thing, but Paul says that, actually, he totally can and will.
  • The Guildsmen do it.
  • Okay, what other plot threads need tying up? Right, the Reverend Mother.
  • The Reverend Mother agrees that Paul really is the Kwisatz Haderach and says she'll even forgive Jessica for the abomination that is Alia.
  • But Paul claims that neither she nor the Bene Gesserit shall have power over him.
  • The Reverend Mother demands that Jessica silence her son, but Jessica gets her groove back and tells her to pretty much shove it. You go, girl.
  • Next up, Feyd-Rautha.
  • Paul mentions that Gurney wishes to kill a Harkonnen, but Feyd-Rautha calls out Paul instead. He demands a duel. Paul accepts, though Gurney's a little upset that he doesn't get a shot.
  • Paul and Feyd-Rautha square off. Feyd uses a poison tip blade, and a poisonous needle hidden in his belt, but Paul manages to get the upper hand in the end. He kills Feyd-Rautha.
  • Bloodied and tired, Paul asks the Emperor once more if they can get on with the talk of marriage.
  • The Emperor looks to Count Fenring, and in the look, Fenring understands he wants Paul dead. For a reason we are never let in on, Fenring refuses to do so, even though he knows he could take the young Duke.
  • With the last of the Emperor's trump cards spent, it's time to negotiate.
  • Well, negotiate may be a strong word, as Paul's basically saying what's what.
  • Paul will seize the Imperial throne while the Emperor will receive a throne on Salusa Secundus (read: he'll get his butt banished). There, the planet will be made over into a garden so that the Sardaukar can no longer be trained.
  • As for Arrakis, Paul will fulfill his promise and make the planet a paradise. He will, however, keep the desert as well, so that the spice can flow.
  • The Reverend Mother sees a glimpse of the jihad in the future and begs Paul not to release the Fremen upon the universe. Too late. What's done is done.
  • Finally, Paul reassures Chani. Although Irulan will be his wife legally, Chani will be his one and true love, even if she must take the name of concubine. Um, good deal? What?
  • Jessica also reminds Chani that "history will call us wives" (48.364). And that's where the novel ends.