About the Book

Book Protagonist: Paul Atreides, Alia Atreides, Jessica
Publication Date: 1965
Genre: Action and Adventure, Science Fiction

Character List


By Frank Herbert

Frank Herbert designed 'Dune's' story with a wide-character list. Though the number of characters gives the story more depth, it also dilutes some plots that need the reader to understand some minor characters intensively.

Even with numerous characters, Frank Herbert designed Dune to make every character relevant.

Dune Character List

Paul Atreides

Paul Atreides is the son of Leto, Duke of the House Atreides, who gets ordered by the emperor to govern the desert planet Arrakis and gets killed after Harkonnen and Sardaukar troops raided Arrakeen. Paul’s character follows the basic storyline of a heroic personality who has a tragic beginning but acquired superhuman powers and defeated his enemies.

Paul was supposed to be a girl by order of the Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam, who ordered Jessica, the concubine of Leto and votary of the Bene Gesserit, to conceive a daughter in the hopes of birthing the Kwisatz Haderach, a powerful clairvoyant being. In appearance, Paul was a small boy with coal-colored hair and green eyes.

Paul was able to face and defeat the hardships he met along his journey to becoming emperor, which was one of the themes in ‘Dune’. First, he proved his manhood and got the name Usal Paul Muad’Dib. He also took the water of life, which sent him into a coma for weeks, but he eventually survived coming out with telepathy powers. Paul finally defeated the emperor by destroying the Sardaukar and Harkonnen troops, forcing the emperor to abdicate his throne.

Leto Atreides

Leto is Paul’s father and duke of the House Atreides, rulers of planet Caladan, a water planet. Obeying an order from the emperor, Leto moves to Arrakis to govern the planet’s spice production. Fearing a conspiracy by his enemies to overthrow him, Leto decides to work with the Fremen, the native inhabitants of the Arrakis, to try and fight any insurrection that may occur. However, in a twist of events, Yueh betrays Leto by poisoning him. Leto eventually dies after a failed attempt to kill the Baron of Harkonnen by using the fake tooth Yueh put in his mouth.

Lady Jessica

Lady Jessica is Paul’s mother and Leto’s concubine. She has an oval face with bronze-colored hair, and her character was from Frank Herbert’s wife, Beverly Herbert. Being an acolyte of the Bene Gesserit, Jessica gets tasked by the reverend mother to conceive a daughter. However, she goes against the reverend mother’s directive and births a boy out of love for Leto.

After the fall of House Atreides, Jessica and Paul flee into the desert, where she later finds out that her father is Baron Harkonnen. Jessica and Paul get accepted into the Fremen community, Sietch Tabr, where Jessica drinks the water of life, making herself a reverend mother and granting her unborn baby, Alia, powers.

Alia Atreides

Alia Atreides is the daughter of Duke Leto and lady Jessica, Paul’s sister. After the fall of House Atreides at the hands of the emperor and Baron Harkonnen, Jessica and Paul fled into the desert, where they became members of the Sietch Tabr. Jessica, unknowingly pregnant with Alia, took the water of life, granting herself powers and, in the process, gave Alia those same powers too. Alia kills Baron Harkonnen by poisoning him. Before he dies, Alia tells Baron Harkonnen of her blood ties with him.

Wellington Yueh

Yueh is a Suk doctor who served as Leto’s physician. Yueh causes the fall of the House of Atreides after conspiring with the Baron of Harkonnen to deliver Leto into his hands. Yueh has black hair, a squarish blockhead, purple lips, a narrow chin, and a mustache.

Yueh betrayed Leto because his wife, Wanna, was held prisoner by Baron Harkonnen, who promised to set her free if he handed Leto to him. However, though Yueh delivers Leto to the Baron, he tries to make things right by allowing Jessica and Paul to escape and also puts a fake tooth in Leto, telling him he could kill the Baron with it. Yueh gets killed by de Vries, Baron Harkonnen’s mentat.

Baron Vladimir Harkonnen

Baron Harkonnen is the Baron of the House of Harkonnen, the noble house that formerly controlled Melange production on Arrakis. After withdrawing from the planet, Baron Vladimir conspires with the emperor to destroy the House Atreides. After capturing Yueh Wellington’s wife, Baron Vladimir and the emperor’s troops attack Arrakeen, and with the help of Yueh, destroy House Atreides, killing Leto. Believing Paul and Jessica to be dead, Vladimir takes control of Arrakis, putting his nephew, Feyd-Rautha, in charge.

However, Paul gains telepathy powers, and the Fremen begin destroying Melange miners, and with the drop in spice production, the emperor sends spies doubting Vladimir’s loyalty. On reaching Arrakis, the emperor seizes a Fremen outpost capturing Alia, Paul’s sister. However, Paul leads an attack on Arrakeen, and Alia poisons Baron Vladimir, killing him. Before dying, she tells him of their blood relationship.


Feyd-Rautha is Baron Vladimir’s nephew, who takes control of Arrakeen. After the fall of House Atreides, Baron Vladimir favors Feyd over his older brother and gives him the title, “Na-Baron,” making him the heir to the House of Harkonnen. Feyd gets killed by Paul after he challenges him to fight in the act of kanly.

Shaddam IV

Shaddam Corrino IV is the 81st Padishah Emperor of the known universe. Described as a slim man with an elegant persona, red hair, a thin face, and cold eyes, Shaddam was the last emperor of the Padishah empire. Feeling threatened by his adoptive cousin, Leto, Shaddam conspired with Baron Harkonnen, who used Yueh to kill Leto and destroy the House of Atreides.

However, due to his actions, Paul and his mother escape into the desert, where Paul gains superhuman powers and leads a resistance against the Padishah empire. Paul dethrones Shaddam, forcing him to give his first daughter, princess Irulan, as a wife, sealing Paul’s place as emperor.

Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam

Reverend Mother Gaius is the leader of the Bene Gesserit, a pseudo-religious group of women working in the shadows to control the flow of power through selective breeding with noble houses. Reverend Mother Gaius orders Jessica to bring Paul to her on suspicion that he could be the Kwisatz Haderach. Upon delivering Paul, she subjects him to the Gom Jabbar, a tool that brings untold pain to whoever puts their hands in it. Upon passing the test, the reverend mother’s suspicion of Paul being the Kwisatz Haderach increases.


Chani is a Fremen woman from the Sietch Tabr community. After getting absolved into the community, Paul falls in love with Chani, and she bears him a son, who they name Leto II. However, after the emperor’s troops seize a Fremen’s outpost, Leto II gets killed. Chani later becomes Paul’s concubine after he marries princess Irulan for the sake of becoming emperor. Paul reassures his love to Chani, with Jessica telling her that though she was called a concubine, Paul’s heart was with her.

Other characters crucial to the story of dune include Thufir Hawat, Gurney Halleck, Duncan Idaho, Piter de Vries, Glossu Rabban, Princess Irulan, Count Fenring, Margot Fenring, Stilgar, Liet-Kynes, the Shadeout Mapes, Jamis, Harah, Reverend Mother Ramallo, Esmar Tuek, and Staban Tuek.


Is Lady Jessica a Harkonnen?

Due to the breeding program of the Bene Gesserit, Lady Jessica is the illegitimate daughter of the Baron and an unknown mother.

Is Paul Atreides a Harkonnen?

Yes, Paul Atreides is partly a Harkonnen because Lady Jessica, his mother, is Baron Harkonnen’s daughter.

Why do Harkonnens have heart plugs?

The Harkonnens have heart plugs because it is a device they use to torture slaves or their enemies.

Why does Baron Harkonnen float?

Baron Harkonnen floats because he is unable to walk without a suspension belt due to his weight.

Who is the villain in Dune?

Baron Harkonnen is the villain in ‘Dune.’

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.
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap
Share to...