Chani Kynes, also known as Chanisihayah, (10,178-10,209) was the Fremen bound concubine of Paul Atreides, and the mother of his three children: Leto Atreides II the Elder, and the twins Leto II and Ghanima Atreides.
Chani was born on Arrakis, the daughter of the half-Fremen planetologist Liet Kynes and his full-Fremen wife Faroula. She gradually developed into a formidable fighter, and by the time of her father's death was serving under naib Stilgar.
Introduction to Paul Edit
When Paul and his mother Jessica escaped from Arrakeen after the invasion of House Harkonnen they quickly found themselves in the deep desert of Arrakis. There, while running from a sandworm they took refuge in a hidden basin in the rocks, and were intercepted by a group of traveling Fremen, which included Chani.
Her introduction to Paul came during a tense stand-off. Chani was familiar to the Atreides heir because of her appearance in his prescient visions prior to his arrival on Arrakis. But to her Paul was initially a stranger.
Life with Paul Edit
After the integration of Paul and Jessica into the Fremen by Stilgar, Chani began her long-lasting love affair with the young Duke, and eventually bore him a son, Leto. However, their first born was murdered by an Imperial raiding party while Paul was leading the attack on the Imperial landing party.
After the defeat of House Harkonnen and House Corrino on Arrakis, and Paul's subsequent ascent to Emperor and marriage to Irulan Corrino, Chani became his official concubine and remained his exclusive partner.
Life with Muad'Dib Edit
Chani remained Paul's emotional rock during the establishment of his rule, and during the first two assassination attempts on his life. She applauded Paul's quick giving over of Swordmaster Whitmore Bludd to the blood-thirsty Fremen mob, after Bludd's failed attempt on the Emperor's life during the Great Surrender Ceremony. Later, Chani marveled at Paul's sparing of both Count Hasimir Fenring and Lady Margot Fenring's life, after Hasimir had stabbed Paul deeply with the Emperor's Blade.
Pregnancy and Death Edit
Seven years later, when Chani became pregnant once again, Irulan sought to usurp her and become the bearer of Paul's children. She found support with the Bene Gesserit, who feared the impact of Chani's largely-unknown bloodline on their breeding program.
However, Irulan's attempts to terminate Chani's pregnancy through drugs failed. After a traumatic pregnancy (as it was accelerated by Spice, taking only five months instead of nine) Chani gave birth to twins, who Paul named Leto and Ghanima.
Irulan's treachery did, however, bring a secondary result. Chani died shortly after giving birth to the twins, due to complications stemming from the drugs Paul's titular wife had been surreptitiously feeding her.
As a Ghola Re-Born Edit
Chani made a re-appearance over 5000 years later, during the time of Kralizec—the great struggle at the end of the age. Chani was reborn as a ghola aboard the no-ship Ithaca, as the Bene Gesserit Reverend Mother Sheeana desired to have as many possible strong characters from human-kind's past, in the great fight against the unknown Enemy that was pursuing them.
Chani was resurrected, as well as her husband Paul Atreides, her mother-in-law Jessica Atreides, her father Liet Kynes, and her son Leto Atreides II. As she and Paul matured, she served primarily as a helper and strengthener, as it believed that Paul would face an upcoming great challenge when the ship would be inevitably captured. This belief was reinforced as Paul kept having the same prescient vision over and over—of him bleeding from a deep knife wound, as he himself looked down upon his bleeding body.
Kralizec on Synchrony Edit
When Chani was in her late teens aboard the ship, the Ithaca was ensnared by the Enemy, who was revealed to be Omnius and Erasmus, of the reborn Thinking Machine Empire. The ship was brought to Synchrony, and the leaders of the crew, including Chani, were brought to heart of the flow-metal machine world, the Cathedral.
Omnius and Erasmus then arranged a forced duel between Paul versus a Vladimir Harkonnen-raised clone of himself, named Paolo. Omnius strongly believed that the victor would emerge as the Ultimate Kwisatz Haderach. Paul lost the duel, and his vision was fulfilled, as he slowly bled to near death.
As Paolo, after over-dosing on the enhanced melange ultraspice, starved and thirsted to death on one side of Cathedral, Paul fought for his life on the other. As Chani cried over the body of Paul, and encouraged her loved one to stay alive, Jessica was able to tell Paul to mend his body on the cellular level, as he was akin to a full Reverend Mother. Paul succeeded in mending his body and bringing his life fluids back into his vital organs.
The events of Kralizec played themselves out over the next few hours—the banishment of Omnius by the Oracle of Time; the galaxy wide killing of the Enhanced Face Dancers by Erasmus; the releasing of the Ithaca's sandworms onto Synchrony and their subsequent destruction of the city; the ending of the war between mankind and the machines; and the revelation of Duncan Idaho as the ultimate super-being, with Erasmus dying and making Idaho the new Evermind.
As Chani and Paul both had their full memories back, both were relieved that Paul was not the ultimate Kwisatz, and that the great burden of being such, would fall upon Duncan. They would be allowed to live lives of near obscurity. As the years passed, Chani and Paul decided to round out their relationship as husband and wife in happiness, and re-explored the now reborn planet Arrakis, and the galaxy, together.
Behind the ScenesEdit
- In the original Dune novels, Chani's birth year was 10,178. However, in the Prelude to Dune prequel novels, her birth year was given as 10,174, making her older than Paul.
- Chani was played by Sean Young in the 1984 movie and by Barbora Kodetová in both the 2000 Dune miniseries and the 2003 Children of Dune miniseries.