About the Book

Book Protagonist: Paul Atreides, Chani, Alia
Publication Date: 1969
Genre: Action and Adventure, Science Fiction

Plot Summary

Dune Messiah

By Frank Herbert

'Dune Messiah' is a crucial novel that concludes the adventurous story of Paul Atreides, opening a new chapter in the tale of 'Dune.'

The story of ‘Dune Messiah’ concludes the story of Paul Atreides. With ‘Dune Messiah,’ Frank Herbert craftily twisted Paul’s character, from a hero who ended the tyranny of the Padishah empire to a messiah figure championing a jihad that causes the death of billions of people.

Dune Messiah Plot Summary

‘Spoiler-Free’ Summary of Dune Messiah

The story of ‘Dune Messiah begins 12 years after Paul Atreides championed the defeat of the Sardaukar and Harkonnen troops. With his prescience, Paul becomes emperor while being a messiah to the Fremen.

The Fremen champion a jihad that causes the deaths of billions across the known universe. Meanwhile, Paul gets complete control of Melange’s supply, a feat never achieved by any emperor before him. With his powers as the Kwisatz Haderach and emperor, Paul tries to set humanity on a path that prevents its destruction.

Meanwhile, conspirators begin plotting against Paul in the shadows. The Bene Gesserit, Spacing Guild, and Tleilaxu, through a combined effort, create a plan hidden from the prescience of Paul. With the plan to kill Paul, Reverend Mother Mohiam employs Princess Irulan, daughter of Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV.

Though her father got removed by Paul Atreides, Princess Irulan held the position as Paul’s consort because it was the only way he could become emperor. However, Paul refuses to give Princess Irulan a child but tries to conceive with his Fremen lover, Chani. After many unsuccessful attempts at having children, Chani takes matters into her hands and begins a Fremen fertility diet; this leads to her getting pregnant.

Paul soon learns of his conspirators’ plots, and in the process of fighting a resistance against them, he gets blinded. Now unable to see, Paul uses his prescient abilities to discern time and space, making him move freely with prescience. Soon, Paul faces his worst fear as his visions for Chani come true. With Chani gone and Paul blind, his conspirators try to lead a final rebellion against him but are unsuccessful and finally defeated. With most of his enemies dead, Paul walks into the desert a blind man as the Fremen tradition requires.

Dune Messiah Plot Summary

After the death of Baron Harkonnen and the defeat of the Sardaukar troops, Paul Atreides, heir of House Atreides, assumes the throne as the emperor of the known universe with Princess Irulan as his consort and his Fremen lover, Chani as his concubine. Twelve years later, Paul Atreides holds total control over the supply of Melange; this gives him immense power over the entire universe. With the Fremen using his name as a messiah figure, a brutal jihad gets unleashed on humanity, killing billions of people.

Unable to stop the jihad started in his name, Paul uses his prescience powers to see a doomed fate for humanity which is one of the themes in ‘Dune Messiah’. Trying to avert the future he saw, Paul begins a plan to set humanity on a golden path. Meanwhile, the Bene Gesserit, Spacing Guild, and Tleilaxu, unable to stand Paul’s immense control on Melange, begin plotting against him. Edric, the guild navigator, uses his prescience to prevent Paul from discovering their plans.

Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam recruits Princess Irulan, Paul’s consort, to work with her. With Princess Irulan on their side, the group consisting of Scytale, the face dancer from the Tleilaxu, Reverend Mother Mohiam from the Bene Gesserit, and Edric from the Spacing Guild begin a plan to kill Paul Atreides.

Scytale offers an irresistible gift to Paul, Hayt, a ghola of Duncan Idaho, Paul’s childhood friend and teacher. With Paul accepting Hayt, his support among the Fremen wanes as the Fremen believed gholas to be unclean. With the conspirators’ plan in motion, Princess Irulan begins adding contraceptives to Chani’s food, making her unable to conceive a child for Paul. Though Paul knew of Princess Irulan’s deeds, he does nothing to stop her as with his prescience he saw Chani die after giving birth to his heir. However, Chani begins a Fremen fertility diet and soon becomes pregnant with Paul’s children. She also notices her unborn children’s abnormal development rate; this leads to strain on her body.

With Paul’s enemies planning against him, Otheym, one of his former Fedaykin death commandos, reveals proof of a Fremen conspiracy. Paul sends his soldiers to attack the Fremen conspirators. While leaving Otheym’s house, an atomic weapon known as a stone burner gets detonated, blinding Paul in the process.

Now blind, Paul uses his prescient powers against the Fremen tradition of the blind walking into the desert to determine everything occurring around him. Bijaz implants a command into Hayt to make him kill Paul, and when Chani dies during childbirth, Hayt gets triggered but reacts against his programming and recovers his memories as Duncan Idaho. Paul’s twin children are born with Kwisatz Haderach-like powers giving them prescience. Scytale meets Paul with a proposal to make Chani a ghola but, when Paul refuses, he threatens to kill his children. Scytale gets killed after Paul sees through the eyes of his son.

With his Prescient powers gone, Paul walks into the desert as with the Fremen tradition, leaving behind his children in the care of his sister, Alia, now romantically involved with Duncan Idaho. Alia orders the execution of all the conspirators but spares Princess Irulan.


What happens at the end of Dune Messiah?

At the end of ‘Dune Messiah,’ Paul loses his powers, and Chani dies during childbirth. Scytale threatens to kill Paul’s children if he did not accept an offer to resurrect Chani as a ghola but using his son’s eyes, Paul lands an accurate blow on Scytale, killing him. Paul then walks into the desert as the Fremen tradition required, leaving Leto II and Ghanima in Alia’s hands.

Who is the real messiah in Dune?

Paul Atreides is the messiah of ‘Dune.’ Because he freed the Fremen from the captivity of the Padishah empire.

What was the conspiracy in Dune Messiah?

The conspiracy in ‘Dune Messiah’ was to present Paul with a gift he could not resist, a ghola of Duncan Idaho. The conspirators planned to use the ghola to sow seeds of doubt in Paul’s mind about his empire and rule.

What is Paul Atreides’s prophecy?

Paul’s interpreted his prescient visions and saw that he needed to turn Arrakis into a lush and fertile world except for a small desert for the sandworms.

Joshua Ehiosun
About Joshua Ehiosun
Joshua is an undying lover of literary works. With a keen sense of humor and passion for coining vague ideas into state-of-the-art worded content, he ensures he puts everything he's got into making his work stand out. With his expertise in writing, Joshua works to scrutinize pieces of literature.
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