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Gom Jabbar Dune 2021

Gaius Helen Mohiam tests Paul under the Gom Jabbar[1]

The Gom Jabbar, also known as "the high handed enemy", was a handheld needle tipped with meta-cyanide poison. When driven into a victim, it brought almost instantaneous death.


All the noble houses kept a gom jabbar of some sort,[2] and used it to dispose of rivals and enemies under certain circumstances.

Alia Atreides claimed that the Baron Harkonnen had "met the Atreides gom jabbar" when she ended his life in the Emperor's makeshift throne room on Arrakis.

The Gom Jabbar Test of Humanity[]

Gom Jabbbar (Dune board game 1979 Avalon Hill)

Gom Jabbar - Dune Boardgame illustration

"It kills only animals, Let us say I suggest you may be human. Steady! I warn you not to try jerking away. I am old, but my hand can drive this needle into your neck before you can escape me."
―Reverend Mother Gaius Mohiam while testing Paul Atreides with a Gom Jabbar[src]

The Bene Gesserit also made extensive use of the Gom Jabbar, especially when they tested the humanity of certain individuals. In such circumstances, the device was placed against the subject's neck and acted as a deterrent for them backing out of the test. Such a method was used by Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam against Paul Atreides before his arrival on Arrakis.

The gom jabbar test would be to determine whether an individual's awareness was stronger than their instincts. If their awareness of the gom jabbar's presence was strong enough, it would override their instincts to withdraw from the test, which usually involved great physical pain.


  • Size: 3 - 4 centimeters
  • Mass: Negligible
  • Origin of Name: Arabic “Jabbar” or “compeller”


  1. Dune
  2. Citation needed