Paul Atreides

Paul is not, like, a great person in Dune. He has a reasonably acceptable sense of honor, which, frankly, puts him in rare company in the books, but he’s not a “Do the most good you can for the most people” kind of hero. He believes he’s God after a while, but all that’s happened to him with his prescience is that he’s discovered how much he’s a product of his circumstance.

But he hasn’t realized that yet at this point. Right now, he’s super excited that he’s not only the Kwizatz Haderach, but also has a hot girlfriend whose dad likes him because he’s, what, like 17 when he starts leading the Fremen in terrorist attacks.

Staring moodily and hotly into the future

Around his neck, you can see a water coin. It’s inspired by the cover of Herbert’s short story collection Eye, which was painted by Jim Burns. In it, a Fremen woman’s hair and scarf are woven with water tokens to show her family’s wealth, and I really like that imagery.

What are heroes like in The Fifth World? Absent sedentary, agrarian life, how do their culture heroes demonstrate the values of their society?
Flying machines are probably not unknown in The Fifth World. They know about textiles, of course, and there’s abundant bamboo. And, thanks to the Libarrian tribes, they can study the abstract aspects of flight, which is important because some of them are pretty counterintuitive.

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