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Leto Atreides II aka the God-Emperor (10205 AG - 13724 AG), born on the planet Arrakis, was the second son of Paul Atreides and his Fremen concubine Chani Kynes. He born a little time after his twin sister Ghanima. After the death of his aunt, the regent Alia Atreides, Leto II proclaimed himself God-Emperor of the Atreides Empire, and ruled for approximately 3,500 standard years, guiding humankind towards survival with his iron fist. He was named after the Duke Leto Atreides, his paternal grandfather.



Leto II and his twin sister Ghanima were born on planet Arrakis during the reign of Emperor Paul Atreides. Their mother Chani died shortly after giving birth to the two children, due in large part to complications arising from large amounts of contraceptives that were surreptitiously given to her by Paul's legal wife Irulan Corrino. Paul had anticipated the birth of a daughter, Ghanima, due to his prescient visions. However, Leto's arrival came as a surprise to the Emperor. Both children were pre-born.

Following Chani's death, and the apparent death of their father in the desert of Arrakis, Leto and his sister became the legal responsibility of Paul's younger sister, the regent Alia. Though they were granted a fine upbringing, little attention was bestowed upon them by their aunt, who was possessed by Abomination and enthralled by her own power and the mysticism developed around the Atreides name by Paul.

Evolution on Arrakis[]

Leto II as a worm

When they were nine years old, Leto and Ghanima gained the attention of their paternal grandmother, Lady Jessica, who returned to Arrakis from Caladan to inspect them as part of her obligations to the Bene Gesserit. While visiting, Jessica sensed the latent power present in the twins, and upon the realization that they could be a threat to the psychologically unstable Alia, pressed her Fremen allies to help protect them.

At this same time, Leto's prescient powers began to emerge. Through visions and intuition he discovered the Golden Path that his father had earlier uncovered and begun to follow. However, unlike Paul, Leto developed a greater understanding of the Golden Path's implications. He sensed not only its dangers but also the painful steps that had to be taken to avoid it unraveling, which would be to the peril of humankind.

After Leto and Ghanima escaped a failed assassination attempt by House Corrino, the two split up, with Ghanima conditioned to believe her brother was dead, so that if she were to be interrogated on his whereabouts, she would not be able to tell the truth.

Leto then slipped into almost total anonymity, using the time and relative seclusion to build a foundation of power and knowledge through which the full impact of the Golden Path could be realized. To enact such steps required a strong (almost brutal) grip on power, and a longevity that would override the shortsightedness and impatience of Man.

Thus, after spending time amongst a variety of fringe Fremen elements, including The Preacher, Leto accepted sand trout upon his body and began the conversion into a human-sandworm hybrid. This transformation (which, at the beginning, was essentially a form of exoskeleton), boosted Leto's strength, reflexes and speed immensely, and he was able to move across large distances on foot.

Ascendancy to Emperor[]

After his transformation had progressed to a sufficient stage, Leto emerged from the desert and returned to the city of Arrakeen to confront the possessed Alia and claim the throne of the empire. After Alia managed to briefly overcome her possession and take her own life, Leto claimed the title of Emperor and promptly married his sister to consolidate his hegemony. The marriage was purely legal, however, and Ghanima accepted Farad'n Corrino as her mate, however their descendants would be known as Atreides.

Reign of Leto II[]

Concept Art by Michael Stribling

Through the evolution of Leto's body and powers (both prescience and access to possibly every dead ancestor in history), he was rendered infertile and slowly evolved into what appeared to be a sandworm with a human face and appendages of limited strength and range. In return, his lifespan, speed and reflexes were significantly increased, and during a reign of some 3,500 years Leto II successfully guided humanity through a period of vulnerability and potential danger.

During his rule, Leto II outlawed the order of Mentats and began shutting down any renegade schools wherever found. The art of being a Mentat had not yet been eliminated, however, surviving through underground schools. Moreover, Leto took control of the Bene Gesserit breeding program, outlawed interstellar travel without his permission, and forced populations to be planet-bound through garrisons of Fish Speakers and loyal planetry guards which were composed entirely of females on all planets of the Imperium.

Hwi & Leto

Last Days[]

Toward the end of his reign Leto sensed the need for the next step on the Golden Path, and knew that his rule must end for further progress to occur. Thus using Siona Atreides - a distant descendant of Ghanima and her concubine Farad'n - and a Duncan Idaho ghola created by the scheming Tleilaxu, he sowed the seed of the Atreides genes for future generations. Additionally, he began the reversal of the terraforming on Arrakis, and witnessed the planet begin to revert into a desert world from the realised Fremen dream of a lush paradise.

Concurrently, Leto fell in love with Hwi Noree, a direct gender-opposite clone of Leto's former friend and advisor Malky, who was created by the Tleilaxu in an Ixian no-chamber. Since Hwi was conceived and raised outside of his prescience abilities, Leto was unaware of her until she was presented to him as an ambassador. Leto was instantly smitten with Noree, and within a few months proposed marriage to her, and set the date of betrothal.

A few weeks later; Leto, Hwi, and his chief minister Moneo Atreides lost their lives when Siona ordered the bridge they were crossing, to be cut by a lasgun by her assistant, Nayla, and they all fell into the Idaho River.

Legacy During the Scattering and Later[]

During and after his reign, Leto II was viewed as an extremely controversial figure. Following Leto's death, a chain of dramatic events took place over a span of 1500 years, that included the Famine Times, the Scattering, and the recreation of the sandworms on Arrakis, which emerged from the sandtrout that escaped from Leto's body when he fell into the water

Many of the established power brokers who existed at the start of his rule were either destroyed or significantly weakened, due to his draconian tactics and a monopoly on the Spice Melange. To his admirers, Leto II was known as the God-Emperor, but to his enemies (including the Bene Gesserit) he was labeled the Tyrant of the known universe.

It was also said that within each sandworm that grew on Arrakis after his death, a pearl of his consciousness existed. This theory was supported when, approximately 1500 years after his death, an Arrakeen girl named Sheeana, who was a direct descendant of Siona and Duncan Idaho, had the power to control the worms.

The religion of the God-Emperor continued on Dune, until the attack on the planet by the Honored Matres, and also with those returned to the Old Empire from the Scattering, who called Leto II Dur or Guldur.

Ghola - 1500 Years Later[]

On the Ithaca[]

1500 years after the death of the God-Emperor, aboard the no-ship the Ithaca, Duncan Idaho, and Sheeana decided to create a ghola with the cells of Leto II from the Tleilaxu Master Scytale's nullentropy tube. As he grew towards his teenage years, Leto II's ghola was a quiet, mysterious child, due in some part to not being raised with the ghola of his twin Ghanima. As Leto matured, he was explicably drawn to the hold of the ship, where a kilometer of sand held the last remaining sandworms from Dune.

As Leto reached the age of maturity, Leto was almost assassinated in an algae-food processing plant on the ship. One of the two Enhanced Face Dancers aboard the vessel decided that Leto being allowed to continue living was in direct conflict to the Outside Enemy's desire. As Leto visited the sandworms in the hold of the ship, the Face Dancer of Thufir Hawat actually tried to save Leto's life, as the Face Dancer thought himself to be Hawat. Days later, it was revealed that it was the Enhanced Face Dancer who was impersonating the Jewish Rabbi, who desired Leto's death before he became a teen.

On the Day of Kralizec[]

The Ithaca is Captured[]

A week later, the Ithaca was captured by the Enemy, who were revealed to the crew and passengers of the ship to be Omnius/Daniel and Erasmus/Marty, reborn leaders of the new Thinking Machine empire. The ship and select passengers were then brought to Synchrony, capital of the Machine Empire, so that Omnius and Erasmus could capture the Ultimate Kwisatz Haderach, whom Erasmus predicted was most likely aboard the ship.

Worms Released onto Synchrony[]

Most of the passengers associated directly with the ghola of Paul Atreides were led to the Cathedral by the machines in the heart of Synchrony; but Sheeana and Leto were left behind and stayed on the ship, with ideas of their own. As Leto communicated with the sandworms in the ship's hold, he told Sheeana that they desired to be released out into the semi-arid world. Leto and Sheeana then released the sandworms into the Machine capital, and the worms destroyed much of the city as they burrowed deep into the planet's crust, and as they came up they shattered many of the flow-metal buildings.

Meanwhile, galaxy altering events occurred in the Cathedral: The two gholas of Paul Atreides and Paolo battled and dueled to Paolo ending up in a coma, and Omnius was banished permanently to another plane of existence by Norma Cenva/Oracle of Time.

The loss of the Omnius Evermind contributed even more greatly to Leto's guidance of the worms destruction, as the robotic machines were near paralyzed in dealing with the worms as they coursed through their main city. Knowing that the machines were distracted by the melee enabled Khrone, leader of the Enhanced Face Dancers, to declare that the time of Face Dancer hegemony over the Known Universe had arrived. To counter this threat, Erasmus then activated his long before-placed "kill switch" he had put into their genetic make up hundreds of years before, and using the galaxy-wide tachyon net, all of Khrone's Face Dancers throughout the Known Universe were instantly killed.

Before the sandworms could reduce all of Synchrony to rubble, the Ultimate Kwisatz Haderach, Duncan Idaho, was revealed. He shared throughout flow-metal memory with Erasmus, creating a man/machine super-being who would guide the galaxies in a future of peace and prosperity.

Permanently One with the Sandworms[]

No longer needing to guide the sandworms on a course of destruction, Leto realized that he was happiest when embonded as one with the giant creatures, and placed his body as a type of genetic material inside on the worms ring casings. Leto merged with the worm, and became this time, a non-conscious human/sandworm genetic entity.

Legacy in the Sequels[]

Before the Scattering, the God Emperor had thought he was to be the last Kwisatz Haderach, but in Sandworms of Dune, the authors postulate that Leto had made an error. Leto did not realize that he was not the final and ultimate Kwisatz. That legacy was left to a final ghola of Duncan Idaho.