Events of ‘Dune Messiah’ begin 12 years after Paul became emperor. As emperor, Paul uses his influence on the Fremen as Muad’Dib to lead a jihad that subdues all his enemies. With billions dead, Paul realized that power and religion, when combined, made a recipe for disaster.
The story of ‘Dune Messiah’ concludes the tale of the great Paul Atreides. After destroying his enemies and becoming emperor, Paul unleashes a jihad that kills 61 billion people. With the jihad making him unstoppable, he becomes the sole controller of Spice production, making him the most powerful emperor to have ever lived. Being the Kwisatz Haderach, Paul sees into the future and discovers that the jihad will be nothing compared to the doom that awaited humanity’s future. Now equipped with this information, Paul begins planning a golden path for humanity.
With Paul’s increasing control, he begins to sense several plots against his leadership partly due to the tension of Chani not conceiving a child. Even with Paul’s knowledge of Princess Irulan’s deeds, he refuses to act because he saw the future of Chani dying if she gave birth to his heir.
Soon, Paul’s enemies begin acting out their plan, and after a Stone Burner gets detonated, Paul becomes blind. Though blind, Paul uses his prescience to see perfectly. Paul’s powers begin to fade as he cannot see the birth of his son. Now blind both prophetically and physically, Paul faces Scytale, a Tleilaxu face dancer who threatens to kill his children. With an assisted vision from his infant son, Paul kills Scytale and finally walks into the desert a blind man in line with the Fremen tradition.
Scytale connives with Edric, Reverend Mother Helen, and Princess Irulan to force Paul out of the emperor’s throne. He presents Paul with Hayt, a ghola of Duncan Idaho, who was Paul’s teacher. As a Tleilaxu face dancer, Scytale is neither a male nor female. After killing Lichna, Scytale assumes her appearance and enters the Atreides’ keep on Arrakeen.
An atomic weapon called a Stone Burner gets detonated, blinding Paul. In a desperate attempt to form an allegiance with Paul, Scytale offers to resurrect Chani as a ghola. After Paul refuses, he gets desperate and threatens Paul’s infant twins with a knife. However, Paul uses the vision of his infant son and kills Scytale for good.
Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam
Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam is the leader of the matriarchal order, Bene Gesserit. After Paul becomes emperor and unleashes the jihad on humanity, Reverend Mother Helen joins forces with Scytale and Edric to remove Paul from the emperor’s throne.
Recruiting Princess Irulan, Paul’s embittered wife, Reverend Mother Helen, and her cohorts begin the plan to kill Paul. After Paul learns of Chani’s pregnancy, he meets with her and tries negotiating Chani’s life for artificially inseminating Princess Irulan. The Reverend Mother refuses Paul’s proposal. After Scytale gets killed, Reverend Mother Helen gets exposed as one of the conspirators against Paul. After Paul walks into the desert, Alia orders the execution of Reverend Mother Helen.
Edric is a Spacing Guild navigator and one of the conspirators against Paul. Edric’s role in the plot to dethrone Paul is crucial as he uses his prescience to hide the group from Paul’s prescience. However, the plan against Paul fails as Otheym reveals the plot against him. After a failed plan to dethrone Paul, Stilgar kills Edric.
Princess Irulan is the daughter of Shaddam IV, Padishah Emperor of the known universe. After Paul defeated the Sardaukar and Harkonnen troops, Princess Irulan became his wife, with Chani as his concubine. However, Paul refuses to father a child with Irulan; this makes her embittered, and she joins forces with Reverend Mother Helen, Edric, and Scytale. With her training as a Bene Gesserit, Princess Irulan continues adding contraceptives into Chani’s food, preventing her from conceiving for Paul.
Though the plan to dethrone Paul fails, Princess Irulan’s life gets spared as Paul expresses gratitude to her for prolonging Chani’s life as he foresaw the cause of Chani’s death to be giving birth to his heir. After Paul walks into the desert, Princess Irulan defects and sides with the Atreides line, swearing to serve as a teacher to Paul’s children.
Chani is Paul’s Fremen lover. After Paul becomes emperor, Chani stays by his side as his concubine. Scared that Chani’s genes may affect Paul’s bloodline, Princess Irulan begins adding contraceptives into Chani’s food to prevent her from getting pregnant. However, Chani switches to a Fremen fertility diet and becomes pregnant. Discovering that Princess Irulan was responsible for her inability to conceive, Chani tries to kill Princess Irulan but, Paul stops her. Chani dies in childbirth giving birth to Paul’s children, Leto II and Ghanima.
Hayt is a ghola of Duncan Idaho given to Paul by Scytale. Scytale gifts Paul a ghola of his master, Duncan Idaho. Soon, Hayt becomes romantically involved with Alia, who struggled with the genetic remnants of Baron Vladimir Harkonnen. With Scytale’s plans to kill Paul, he places a hidden command in Hayt. After Chani dies, Hayt’s trigger to kill Paul sets off but, he fights his programming and recovers his memories as Duncan Idaho.
Alia is Paul’s sister. She gets romantically involved with Hayt, a ghola of Duncan Idaho, and they work together to uncover the conspiracy against the Atreides. After Paul walks into the desert, Alia is named Regent and becomes the guardian of Paul’s children. She orders the execution of everyone linked to the conspiracy against Paul except Princess Irulan.
Otheym was a renowned fighter and follower of Paul. He was crucial in training the Fremen fighters in the Weirding Way. As a devote follower of the Muad’Dib, Otheym became one of the first Fedaykin, a group of Fremen serving as death commandos for Paul. He reveals the plot against Paul and the Atreides empire to him.
Other characters mentioned in ‘Dune Messiah’ include Leto II, Ghanima, Farok, Stilgar, Lichna, and Bijaz.
What happens to Chani in Dune Messiah?
After several attempts at conceiving a child for Paul, Chani goes on a Fremen fertility diet; she becomes pregnant. However, Chani dies after giving birth to twins, a boy, and a girl.
Who is Scytale in Dune Messiah?
Scytale is a member of the Tleilaxu, a patriarchal order renowned for its genetic tampering capabilities. Being a face dancer, Scytale identifies as both a man and a woman.
Who dies at the ending of Dune Messiah?
At the ending of ‘Dune Messiah,’ Alia orders the execution of Reverend Mother Helen and Edric the Guild Navigator for the roles in the conspiracy against Paul. Chani dies, giving birth to Leto II and Ghanima, and Paul kills Scytale.
Who is the hero in Dune Messiah?
While most people agreed Paul Atreides was the hero of ‘Dune Messiah,’ others argue that he was more of an anti-hero than a hero largely due to the jihad in his name that caused the death of billions.