Origins of House Atreides
The legend stated that the Atreides family came from a noble family that originated in Greece on Earth, and that they rose to prominence during the Butlerian Jihad. House Atreides specifically claimed descent from King Agamemnon, a son of Atreus, in Greek mythology. The descendants of Atreus are called "Atreides" (plural "Atreidai", Latinized as "Atreidae") in the Greek language. This Royal House included many significant figures in Greek myth.
Geographic Center of House Atreides
Up until the latter days of Duke Leto Atreides I, House Atreides maintained the planetary fief of Caladan and had their center of operation on the planet, which they had also ruled for twenty generations. House Atreides had perfected a form of government that resulted in a well-organized society and a spiritually satisfied people. Furthermore, House Atreides kept Caladan a lush, prosperous paradise with relatively low industrial levels, in stark contrast to House Harkonnen's capital, Giedi Prime. However, the House was also proficient in war; it maintained Swordmasters, Warmasters and Mentats to train and lead their army, and had even developed its own Battle Language.
At the request of Padishah Emperor Shaddam Corrino IV, Leto I moved the House to planet Arrakis, to take over mining operations of the Spice Melange from House Harkonnen. However, Leto I was walking into a trap set up by a newly formed alliance between House Harkonnen and House Corrino.
Arrakis remained the home of House Atreides until its official end.
Leto Atreides II's lack of a direct heir, coupled with his decision to dissolve the Atreides Empire after his 3,500 year-long life came to an end, saw House Atreides cease to exist as a tangible political power. However, the Atreides bloodline continued through Leto II's twin sister (and legal wife) Ghanima Atreides and her concubine Farad'n Corrino.
One such group of descendants of Ghanima were Leto II's, majo-domo, Moneo Atreides, and his daughter Siona Atreides. After the bonding of Siona and a ghola of Duncan Idaho, the Atriedes families continued onward. Because of the Prescience invisibility conferred to the genetic line through Siona, the line flourished for over 1500 years till the time of the Return of the Honored Matres.
During this time, Supreme Bashar Miles Teg was a descendant Atreides, as was his daughter, the Reverend Mother Darwi Odrade, [O dray' dee], who even bore a time-worn version of the last name. Teg and his daughter were closely watched by the Bene Gesserit, for any sign of the "wildness" of the Atreides line. This wildness included any sign of them arising to be another super-being, a Kwisatz Haderach.
Teg was killed at the destruction of Rakis when the Honored Matres attacked and reduced Dune to a charred ball, and Odrade was killed some time later at Junction when the Bene Gesserit attempted to liberate Junction from the Matres.
Living on as Gholas
Soon after Miles Teg was killed on Rakis, the Bene Gesserit had a ghola of Teg created to oversee the liberation of Junction. When Murbella took over the reigns of the combined Honored Matres and Gesserit group, the New Sisterhood; she set Teg free, and enabled him to escape on the no-ship, with Sheeana and another ghola of Duncan Idaho.
Known Rulers of House Atreides
- "The Old Duke", nineteenth Duke (Father of Leto I)
- Leto Atreides I, twentieth Duke
- Paul Atreides, twenty-first Duke and Emperor
- Leto Atreides II, twenty-second (and last) Duke and God-Emperor
Behind the Scenes
Frank Herbert elaborates only briefly on the origins of House Atreides in his original novels. Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson outline the origins of House Atreides in more detail in their Legends of Dune trilogy.