Book I: First Section: From the beginning through Paul’s meeting with Dr. Yueh
Paul Atreides, the son of Duke Leto, learns that something terrible will soon happen to the House of Atreides and that his father will die after they move to Arrakis, a planet ruled by their enemies, the Harkonnens. Baron Harkonnen reveals his plot to his nephew Feyd-Rautha. Paul has a dream in which he meets a girl who calls him Usul. Paul meets with Thufir Hawat, the duke’s strategist, Gurney Halleck, the war master, and finally, Dr. Yueh.
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Book I: Second Section: From Paul’s meeting with the duke to Paul’s concern over Mohiam’s warnings
Leto tells Paul that the Harkonnens have been stockpiling melange, a spice drug, and that the destruction of the spice supply would drive the price of melange so high that the Harkonnens would gain control of the trade, while the Atreides will shoulder the blame. While in Arrakis, Dr. Yueh tries to conceal his traitorous plans from Jessica, Paul’s mother. An attempt on Paul’s life is made, which rattles Leto. He assigns Halleck to convince the spice miners to continue working for the Atreides.
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Book I: Third Section: From Hawat’s interception of the baron’s note to Kynes’s discussion of Arrakis’s ecology
After Thufir Hawat intercepts a note allegedly from the baron to Jessica, Leto tells Paul about the Harkonnen plot to turn him against Jessica and his counter-plan to secure the loyalty of the Arrakis people. While on a visit to a spice-mining operation, the factory is attacked by a giant sandworm, and Leto saves the miners. This heroism, plus Paul’s mysterious skills, impress Dr. Kynes, an Arrakis ecologist.
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Book I: Fourth Section: From Duncan’s drunk visit to the end of Book I
Dr. Yueh attacks Leto and puts a false tooth in his mouth that will release poisonous gas when Leto bites down, but because he feels guilty for his betrayal, Yueh tells Leto to bite when he’s brought to the baron to kill him. Jessica and Paul are kidnapped by the Harkonnens but manage to overtake them. When brought before the baron, Leto bites the tooth, but the baron escapes. Duncan Idaho saves Paul and Jessica. Paul becomes more powerful and is struck by a prophetic dream. After, he reveals that Jessica will give birth to a daughter and that the baron was Jessica’s father.
Read a full Summary & Analysis of Book I: Fourth Section
Book II: First Section: From the beginning of Book II to Rabban’s arrival as the ruler of Arrakis
The Harkonnens capture Hawat. Paul and Jessica are rescued by Duncan and Kynes, whom Paul pledges allegiance to. Kynes’s facility is attacked, and Duncan is killed in the battle, forcing Paul and Jessica to flee into a sandstorm. The baron is livid to discover that there is no proof of Paul and Jessica’s deaths.
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Book II: Second Section: From Paul and Jessica’s ride through the sandstorm to Paul’s meeting with Chani
Paul and Jessica struggle as they make their way through the desert, until they encounter a group of Fremen who accost them. Elsewhere, Kynes dies after having visions of his father berating him for helping Paul. Paul and Jessica are interrogated by Stilgar, the leader of the Fremen who makes a deal with Jessica in which he will allow her to accompany them if she teaches them a specific form of combat.
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Book II: Third Section: From Stilgar leading Jessica and Paul to the Fremen stronghold to Lady Fenring’s plans to seduce Feyd-Rautha
Jamis challenges Paul to a duel to the death and loses. At Jamis’s funeral, Paul plays a love song for Chani, Kynes’s daughter. Count and Lady Fenring visit the baron and watch as Feyd-Rautha wins a gladiatorial match against a former Atreides soldier. Count and Lady Fenring discuss plans for Lady Fenring to seduce Feyd-Rautha.
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Book II: Fourth Section: From Paul and Jessica going to Sietch Tabr to the end of Book II
The Fremen hold a ceremony to welcome Jessica as their new reverend mother. Chani leads Paul away, presumably to make love.
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Book III: First Section: From the beginning of Book III to Paul teaching the smugglers a lesson
Feyd-Rautha realizes that Hawat has been playing Feyd-Rautha and the baron against each other. Jessica has given birth to a daughter named Alia, and Chani has given birth to Paul’s son, Leto. The Fremen fear Alia, who can speak in complete sentences at only two years old. A messenger tells Jessica that the men plan to push Paul into challenging Stilgar for leadership of the tribe.
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Book III: Second Section: From the Fremen’s discovery of smugglers to Paul’s vision of a fleet of Harkonnen ships
The Fremen intercept a smuggling operation and find that Halleck, Paul’s old teacher, is leading it. Halleck reaffirms his allegiance to Paul. Paul gets the Fremen to accept him as duke and affirm they are ready to fight a fierce battle. After falling into a spice-induced coma, Paul awakens and speaks about the two ancient forces that only he can balance.
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Book III: Third Section: From several ships landing on Arrakis to the end of the novel
Stilgar and Paul wait for a sandstorm to strike against the baron and his legion, but when the storm hits, Paul receives a message that his son has been killed and Alia captured. Just as the emperor is threatening Paul, the Fremen strike, and Alia kills the baron. Paul tries to negotiate with the emperor and kills Feyd-Rautha in a duel. Paul asks for the throne through a marriage to Princess Irulan, the emperor’s daughter, which the emperor reluctantly agrees to. Paul assures Chani that even though Princess Irulan will be the “royal concubine,” it is Chani who will be his true wife.
Read a full Summary & Analysis of Book III: Third Section