Having features that enable them to survive the harsh conditions of the desert, the Fremen evolve from a primitive culture to become one of the cultures that change the universe.
The Fremen of Arrakis – Definition
The Fremen are a group of natives who inhabit planet Arrakis, home to the sandworms that produce the psychedelic substance known as Spice Melange. Worshipping the sandworms as an agent of God, the Fremen have a rich culture that centers around the desert.
With the rise of Paul Atreides, the Fremen became a powerful military force, whose strength forces a jihad on the Padishah empire, causing the death of tens of billions of people.
The Crucial Role Played by the Fremen in Dune Series
The Fremen make their first appearance in ‘Dune.’ After the order by Emperor Shaddam IV, Leto Atreides leaves with his family from Caladan to Arrakis, the desert planet known for Melange production. On reaching Arrakis, Baron Harkonnen and Shaddam IV plot against Leto and the House of Atreides. The Shadeout Mapes warns Paul of a traitor within the Atreides House after Paul saves her from a Hunter Seeker. Wellington Yueh betrays the House of Atreides, leading to Leto’s death.
Paul and his mother escape into the desert, where they find the Sietch Tabr, a Fremen clan. Jamis, a Fremen Warrior, challenges Paul to a ritualistic fight to the death, which he wins. Now part of the Fremen Sietch Tabr, Paul rises as a leader, and after his mother takes The Water of Life, she becomes a Reverend Mother. Paul meets and falls for a Fremen woman named Chani, and after teaching the Fremen how to fight, he leads a rebellion against the emperor.
In ‘Dune Messiah,’ Paul has ascended the throne as emperor. Now revered as a Messiah, he launches a Jihad, which causes the death of more than 61 billion people. With his prescience, Paul monopolizes the production of Melange, making him the most powerful emperor in history. Korba, a Fedaykin death commando, becomes a chief priest for the religion of the Muad’Dib. Tension begins to rise as Paul notices a conspiracy against him.
Farok, a Fedaykin, joins the plot against Paul and works with Scytale to detonate a Stone Burner. The plan to kill Paul fails but, he gets blinded by the radiation from the blast. Though blind, Paul uses his prescience to see his environment, and after Scytale kills Otheym’s daughter and threatens to harm Paul’s infant children, Paul sees through his son’s eyes and kills Scytale. Paul walks into the desert a blind man, leaving his children in Alia’s care.
In ‘Children of Dune,’ Alia begins succumbing to the Abomination. Stilgar, Harah, and Princess Irulan flee with Paul’s children to escape her tyranny. In the Sietch Fondak, Jessica employs Namri to test Leto II for signs of Abomination. Then a blind preacher emerges from the desert, and after he dies, it gets revealed that he is Paul Atreides.
Arrakis becomes a green world 3500 years later in ‘God Emperor of Dune.’ However, this change causes the Fremen tradition to be lost, and after 1500 years, Arrakis gets destroyed by the Honored Matres.
The History and Physical Description of the Fremen
The Fremen are migrant Zensunni Wanderers whose mistake leads them to Arrakis. On reaching the desert planet, they adapt with features enabling them to battle the harsh weather and lack of water.
The Fremen are people who have adapted to the desert. They have tough-tanned skin that is leathery to touch and blue eyes due to an excessive intake of Melange.
Glossary Terms Associated With the Fremen
Here is a list of words associated with the Fremen:
- Sietch: A Sietch is a cave warren inhabited by a Fremen community with a leader.
- Sayyadina: A Sayyadina is a Fremen woman who acts as a spiritual leader and a wise woman in each Sietch.
- Stillsuit: A Stillsuit is a bodysuit that conserves body moisture by turning it into drinkable water.
- Fedaykin: A Fedaykin is a Fremen death commando. They are a group of fighters who were trained personally by Paul Atreides.
- Crysknife: A Crysknife is a blade made from the tooth of a dead sandworm.
- The Water of Life: The Water of Life is a poisonous blue liquid gotten from the bile of a young Sandworm and bused by the Bene Gesserit to create a Reverend Mother.
Are the Fremen humans?
Yes, the Fremen are humans who adapted to the harsh weather conditions on planet Arrakis. With the Missionaria Protectiva reaching the planet during its early days, the Bene Gesserit spreads the word of a Messiah who will lead them to paradise; this makes them worship Paul when they find out he had super-human abilities.
Who is the God of the Fremen?
The Fremen worship sandworms. Believing the creatures to be agents of God, the Fremen create a culture that revolves around the sandworms on Arrakis.
Why did the Fremen start a Jihad?
After Paul landed on Arrakis, he and his mother get imbibed into a Fremen community. On noticing Paul was the Messiah they had been waiting for, the Fremen launched a Jihad in Paul’s name. The purpose of the Jihad started by the Fremen was to gain religious dominance over the known universe.
What do the Fremen call evil?
The Fremen believed that Shaitan was an entity of evil, calling the name with disgust. The Fremen also sometimes referred to the sandworm as Shaitan because of how terrifying they looked.