The Landsraad is an organization in Frank Herbert’s ‘Dune’ responsible for being the umbrella body representative of all the Noble Houses of the Imperium.

The Definitive Glossary for Dune

Due to the emperor being the center of power in the universe, the Great Houses, Minor Houses, and siridar fiefs needed a system to represent the power the emperor stood for; this led to the formation of the Landsraad, an organization that held the Great Houses together in unison.

Houses of Landsraad in Dune

The Landsraad of Dune Definition

The Landsraad is a body that represents all the Great Houses of the Imperium.

After the Faufreluche system got created, the Landsraad got created to serve as a shield for the Great Houses. With the Landsraad, the Great House leaders could pull together their power to out-power even the emperor. Though the Landsraad allowed the Great Houses to unite and become a unified power, this was never possible because the Great Houses were hellbent on having the highest voting shares in the Imperium.

The Landsraad of the Padishah Empire

Governed by the High Council and overseen by the emperor, the Landsraad was the unification effort by the Great Houses of the old empire. After the Padishah empire got created, the Landsraad got put into place to serve as a governing body that controlled the state of affairs in the Great and Minor Houses. The system of the Landsraad’s formation gave the highest voting shares to the most powerful Great House. Though the emperor had the singular highest voting shares in the Imperium, the Landsraad combined were more powerful than him. Sometimes, the emperor had to answer to the council before making decisions.

Overseeing Affairs such as the act of Kanly and enforcing the Great Convention, the Landsraad served as a judge that prevented a single Great House from going rogue. The Landsraad also protected each Great House under it from being destroyed by the Imperium as it gave a shield of military protection. However, it did not shield the Great Houses from each other; this made it possible for the House of Harkonnen to lead an attack on the House of Atreides.

The Landsraad High Council employed the Judge of Change, whose duty was to oversee Noble House matters like Kanly negotiations, change of fiefs, and a War of Assassins. With the Judge of Change serving as a non-partial individual regulator, Great Houses could settle grievances against each other under the laws of the Great convention.

Structure of the Landsraad

The Landsraad uses a democratic system of lot casting to vote on political and economic issues. The organization had an allocation of 1000 votes. The votes got shared with the Imperium House getting 100 votes, the Spacing Guild getting 100 votes, the Great Houses getting 400 votes, and the Minor Houses getting 400 votes. The head of the Imperium, the emperor, received an additional 100 votes to the votes he got from the House of Corrino. The 400 votes got allocated to the Great Houses by the Spacing Guild based on their ranking among each other. For the Minor Houses, every representative of each spacial region got a vote share.

History of the Landsraad

The Landsraad is an organization that predates the Butlerian Jihad. The organization had a history that predated the Butlerian Jihad by 2000 years. With the organization’s predecessor called the League of Nobles, the Landsraad ruled and governed the affairs of humans. After the destruction of the Thinking Machines, the Landsraad gained control over more than 13,000 worlds; this gave the organization enough power to govern the affairs of the majority of humanity. With its control, the Landsraad began its part in controlling the economy and politics of the empire. 

The Landsraad shared power with the emperor and secretive orders like the Bene Gesserit and Spacing Guild. However, it remained at the forefront of deciding matters regarding the economy of the empire. Though the Landsraad had more power in unison than the emperor, the emperor had the Sardaukar, the most powerful military, and controlled planet Arrakis, the home planet of the sandworms and Melange. The emperor’s hold over Melange, the most crucial commodity in the known universe, made him the single most powerful member of the Landsraad. Though the emperor was the most powerful individual in the universe, the Landsraad had more strength when their power got collectively combined.

Glossary Terms Associated with the Landsraad

Here is a list of words associated with the Landsraad:

  1. League of Nobles: The League of Nobles was a union of 10,000 free human systems that survived the Titans and the rise of the Thinking Machine leader Omnius.
  2. Judge of Change: The Judge of Change is an Imperial Officer in charge of Landsraad matters. The Judge of Change authority was only challengeable before the High Council.


What is the Landsraad in Dune?

The Landsraad was the body that represented all the Great Houses in the Imperium. The Landsraad, in unison, held more power than the Padishah emperor. With their combined might, the Landsraad shielded each of the Great Houses from being destroyed by the Imperium.

How many houses are in the Landsraad in Dune?

Though there was no definite number of Great houses in the Landsraad, some Houses stood out among the crowd. The key players in the Landsraad included House Alman, Atreides, Corrino, Delambre, Ezharian, Fenring, Harkonnen, Kenric, Moritani, Ophelion, Ordos, Tiopait, Wallach, and Wikkheiser. Though other Great Houses existed, they did not have the hold exerted on the empire by the few top Great Houses. The number of Great Houses in the Landsraad is in a range of 35 to 160.

Which house becomes the strongest in Dune?

After Paul defeated the Sardaukar and Harkonnen, he ascended the throne as the emperor. After Paul’s ascension, the House of Atreides becomes the most powerful Great House in the known universe.

Which House was the strongest before the House of Atreides took over in Dune?

Before the House of Atreides took over, House Corrino was the strongest in the empire; this was because it was the House the emperor came from, and it also had control over the Sardaukar, the strongest army of any Great House.

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