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God Emperor of Dune, written by Frank Herbert, is the fourth novel in the original Dune series of novels. 3,500 years have passed since Paul Atreides became the messiah of the Fremen and the Emperor of the universe. His son, Leto II, sees the path his father Muad'dib saw, a future that avoided the extinction of human life.
That future, however, required the ultimate and monstrous act of selflessness of becoming a metamorphic vector between primate and worm. Leto II accepts the mantle of godhood from the Fremen and begins to transform himself into a monster of the desert, a sandworm, that has dominated the ecology of Arrakis for millennia. Leto, now confident that his Golden Path — a course into the future in which humanity's survival is guaranteed — is now secure, wants an opportunity to remove himself from the Golden Path, i.e. to die.
Etymology[edit | edit source]
The title of the novel quite simply refers to Leto II, because he is both the Emperor of the galaxy (inheriting his father's authority) as well as a self-styled God of the Fremen who spread their religion across the empire. God Emperor is a combined title referring to both of these roles, and he makes his home on Dune.