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Lady Jessica of the Atreides is a character in the 2021 film Dune. She is the official concubine of Duke Leto and the mother of their son Paul. Lady Jessica is portrayed by Rebecca Ferguson.

Character description[]

Lady Jessica shares the burden of House Atreides’ leadership with her beloved Duke Leto and an unbreakable bond to their son Paul Atreides. As a member of the mysterious Sisterhood known as the Bene Gesserit, she is a master of body and mind, able to weaponize her words through a power known as ‘the Voice’ to bend the will of those who dare to threaten her family. Burdened by the knowledge of what Paul must become to survive his destiny, she must prepare her son to lead humanity into a better future.[1]

History[]

Training Paul[]

As a member of the Bene Gesserit, Jessica is skilled in numerous arts, most notably, the Voice. Believing that the century-old prophecy of the Lisan al Gaib to be resting on the shoulders of her son, Paul, Jessica began teaching him the ways of the Bene Gesserit and how to command people using the Voice. This training proved to be difficult, however, and Paul struggled with mastering his abilities. Things became more intense for Jessica when she was forced to allow the Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam to test Paul under the gom jabbar. Jessica warns Paul that what happens will be difficult, but that he must follow closely what Mohiam says. Jessica is forced to guard the door and prevent anyone from interrupting the test.

After the test, Jessica is congratulated on her raising of Paul by the Reverend Mother, and a brief conversation about the One ensues. Mohiam tells Jessica that she should be careful of assuming Paul to be the One, and that there are numerous other candidates should he fail. Unbeknownst to Jessica and Mohiam, Paul witnesses the conversation from afar and questions Jessica on it. Jessica tells Paul that the Bene Gesserit have been manipulating bloodlines for centuries and believe they have finally brought around the One. Indirectly, Jessica confirms that she believes Paul to be the One.

Atreides usurpation in Arrakeen[]

Arriving in Arrakis, Jessica feels that her family is safe within the shield wall of Arrakeen. Jessica begins to pick a maiden to live in the household during their stay, but quickly becomes vigilant when she senses that she is about to be attacked. It turns out, moments later, that a Fremen woman is holding a large dagger, and explains that her family is in danger on Arrakis. Jessica dismisses the notion, however, and carries on as normal.

When House Harkonnen attack Arrakeen — along with a hoard of Sardaukar troops — Jessica is taken hostage along with Paul; the two are taken onto an ornithopter, where Harkonnen troops plan to drop them into the desert. They are able to escape, however, when Jessica uses the Voice, commanding them to kill one another.

That night, Jessica and Paul sleep in the desert using a survival kit left to them by their usurper, Wellington Yueh. Tensions arise between Jessica and Paul when the two find Leto's ring in the kit, realising that he has fallen to House Harkonnen. An argument erupts between the two when Paul blames Jessica for the death and the meddling of the Bene Gesserit.

Meeting with the Fremen[]

Eventually, Jessica and Paul are reunited with Duncan Idaho, who takes them to an abandoned research facility where they are once again greeted by Liet Kynes — the judge of the change. She explains that the role of Arrakis changed when Spice was discovered and the research facility has been abandoned ever since.

Following this, Jessica and Paul are given sanctuary at the research facility among the Fremen, but peace is futile and they are soon discovered by a hoard of Sardaukar troops. The troops attack the facility and Idaho is killed defending Jessica and Paul. Kynes helps the two escape using a nearby ornithopter, and the two are able to escape the facility into the desert nearby. It is in the desert where Jessica and Paul come face-to-face with a Fremen group led by Stilgar. Stilgar is reluctant to take them in initially, but after Jessica shows them that she is a fighter, he tells the group that they can stay.

After Stilgar's announcement, tensions rise when a member of the group, Jamis, protests agains their companionship. He challenges Jessica to a duel but given her status as a Bene Gesserit (a sayyadina, in Fremen), she is unable to fight and Paul is forced to fight in her place. Paul is victorious, despite Jessica's worries that he has never killed a man. Given his success, the two are welcomed into the Fremen group despite Jessica's reluctance and wish to get Paul off Arrakis.

Physical appearance[]

Jessica Atreides is noted to be beautiful, tall, with an oval-shaped face, hair the colour of shaded bronze and green eyes.

Personality[]

Differences from the original character[]

Jessica Atreides is adapted from the character of the same name from the original Dune novel.

Trivia[]

Gallery[]

Navigation[]

Characters from Dune (2021)

References[]

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