How the Bene Gesserit ultimately achieved their goal in Dune, only for it to go all so wrong... or did it?

12 March 2023
To win is lose and to lose is to win...

Did you ever see the Five Doctors?

The winner won immortality but at a price - they would never have paid had they known the cost.

That could be the actual fate of the Bene Gesserit in Dune.

They may have lost when Jessica produced a boy who became the Kwisatz Haderach but in the longer term, they may have won... 

lady jessica dune bene gesserit

In the last three novels of Frank Herbert's Dune series, the Bene Gesserit Sisterhood continued to pursue their long-term goals despite numerous obstacles and setbacks. "God Emperor of Dune," "Heretics of Dune," and "Chapterhouse: Dune" all demonstrate the Sisterhood's persistence and adaptability in the face of changing circumstances. 

Their efforts are particularly remarkable considering the many challenges they faced, including the rise of new and powerful factions, the emergence of unexpected leaders, and the limitations imposed on their political influence.

At the end of the first Dune novel, Jessica Atreides disrupted the Bene Gesserit's plans by giving birth to a male child, Paul Atreides, instead of the female child they had intended. This change in plans ultimately led to the collapse of the Padishah Empire and the rise of the Atreides family. However, the Bene Gesserit continued to exert their influence, working to manipulate Paul and his descendants to serve their long-term goals. 

Despite facing setbacks, the Sisterhood remained committed to their objectives, which included preserving their genetic line, acquiring knowledge and power, and shaping the destiny of humanity.

bene gesserit

In "God Emperor of Dune," the Bene Gesserit finally achieved their centuries-long goal of creating a Kwisatz Haderach, a male Bene Gesserit with prescient abilities, through the birth of Leto Atreides II, the God Emperor. 

However, Leto's transformation into a giant sandworm and his subsequent rule over humanity for 3,500 years posed significant challenges to the Sisterhood's plans. Leto's Golden Path, which aimed to ensure the survival of humanity in the face of a potential extinction event, ultimately undermined the Bene Gesserit's long-term goal of creating a male Bene Gesserit ruler.

Despite these setbacks, the Sisterhood continued to pursue their goals by working behind the scenes and exploiting opportunities as they arose.

In "Heretics of Dune" and "Chapterhouse: Dune," the Bene Gesserit faced new challenges in the form of the Honored Matres, a violent and powerful female-dominated society. However, the Bene Gesserit were able to manipulate the Honored Matres by providing them with a weapon capable of destroying all life in the universe. In doing so, the Sisterhood was able to assimilate the Honored Matres into their society, gaining access to their genetic knowledge and technology. 

This allowed the Bene Gesserit to continue pursuing their goals, even as the universe faced new and unpredictable threats.

bene gesserit concept art dune
Concept art of Bene Gesserit

Despite their many successes, the Bene Gesserit faced a major setback when Emperor Leto Atreides II strangled them as a political entity. However, the Sisterhood continued to exert their influence through their breeding programs, economic power, and dissemination of knowledge and teachings. By manipulating the control of the spice trade, the Bene Gesserit retained significant economic power and influence over the galaxy. 

Additionally, they continued to work behind the scenes, manipulating individuals and factions to serve their interests. In this way, the Sisterhood demonstrated their remarkable resilience and adaptability, even in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges.

bene gesserit dune themes

In conclusion, the last three novels of the Dune series demonstrate the Bene Gesserit Sisterhood's persistence and adaptability as they pursued their long-term goals. Despite facing numerous obstacles and setbacks, the Sisterhood remained committed to their objectives, which included preserving their genetic line, acquiring knowledge and power, and shaping the destiny of humanity

Through their manipulation of individuals and factions, control of the spice trade, and dissemination of knowledge and teachings, the Sisterhood continued to exert their influence even after being strangled as a political entity.

Concept art of Lady Jessica with a Bene Gesserit discussing the Missionaria Protectiva


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About the author Jimmy Jangles

My name is Jimmy Jangles, the founder of The Astromech. I have always been fascinated by the world of science fiction, especially the Star Wars universe, and I created this website to share my love for it with fellow fans.

At The Astromech, you can expect to find a variety of articles, reviews, and analysis related to science fiction, including books, movies, TV, and games.
From exploring the latest news and theories to discussing the classics, I aim to provide entertaining and informative content for all fans of the genre.

Whether you are a die-hard Star Trek fan or simply curious about the world of science fiction, The Astromech has something for everyone. So, sit back, relax, and join me on this journey through the stars!
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