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There are separate pages for this subject as it appears in the other canons such as Liet-Kynes in Expanded Dune and Liet-Kynes in the Dune Encyclopedia

Dr. Liet-Kynes (10156 AG - 10191 AG) was the son of Pardot Kynes and the father of Chani (who became the concubine of Emperor Paul Atreides). Liet was a prominent imperial planetologist/ecologist of Arrakis, the Judge of the Change, and the secret leader of the Fremen at the time House Atreides took control of Arrakis in 10191 AG.

Despite his loyalty to the Imperium, it was no secret on Arrakis that Kynes was the de-facto leader of the Fremen. Kynes would later become conflicted in his opinion of the Atreides, but found himself allying himself with them. Kynes later aided Paul and Jessica in their escape from the Sardaukar and Harkonnen troops, a feat which would cost him his life.


Early life (10156-10191)[]

Liet Kynes inherited his father's mantle and served as both the planetary ecologist of Dune and leader of the Fremen. He continued his father's vision of gradually terraforming the planet from a harsh desert world into a temperate world with precipitation, greenery, and open water. Compared to his father who almost entirely focused on the ecologic reformation of Dune and at times appeared to be tactless (though he was kind nonetheless), he paid more attention to the Fremen and was overall significantly more Fremen and less singleminded than Pardot.

Desert War (10191)[]

Involvement with House Atreides[]

Upon the arrival of House Atreides on Arrakis, Kynes acted as arbiter of succession in regard to the change of fief, as ordered by the Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV. Kynes' role was to report to the Landsraad and the Emperor regarding the legality of the processes used by the Atreides in taking control of the planet, after House Harkonnen was ordered to leave.

Through his intelligence network, Duke Leto Atreides quickly came to realise that, as well as maintaining official imperial duties, Kynes also possessed some authority with the Fremen. Reports indicated that Kynes had "gone native". As a result, Duke Leto attempted to show Kynes as much as possible that he was taking control of the planet in an honourable fashion. Moreover, Leto realised that if he could get Kynes on his side, it could possibly go a long way in winning over the Fremen, who had long-standing suspicion and distrust for the Faufreluches due to their lack of concern for the welfare of the native inhabitants of Arrakis.

Loyalty and Death[]

Kynes died in the desert, over a pre-spice mass that had reached the critical point. Before dying, he had heard his father (a hallucination) repeat to him all of his teachings on ecology. Kynes' act of saving the Atreides served to illustrate a point: the Atreides, through their honourable ways, could instill fanatical loyalty in people, to the point where they would give their life for them. In the case of Liet Kynes, this is indeed what happened. Upon the return of House Harkonnen to Arrakis, Kynes was captured as an accomplice to the Atreides, the Fremen, and witness of the dishonourable ways of the Harkonnens. He was abandoned in the desert without water or a stillsuit, and ultimately killed when heat exhaustion, dehydration and delirium prevented him from escaping a massive spice blow.

Legacy (Post 10191)[]

Kynes' line was continued by his daughter, Chani, who later became concubine of Paul. As a result, he was grandfather to the God-Emperor, Leto Atreides II, and his twin sister, Ghanima Atreides. Kynes' descendants continued the terraforming of Arrakis, until it became a lush and fertile world.


Kynes was a tall, thin man with long, sandy hair, a sparse but mussed mustache and beard and under heavy brows, eyes that were fathomless blue-within-blue.


Behind the Scenes[]

  • Kynes was portrayed by Max von Sydow in the 1984 Dune film, Karel Dobrý in the 2000 Dune miniseries, and Sharon Duncan-Brewster as a gender-swapped female Kynes in the 2021 Dune film.
Preceded by
Pardot Kynes
Judge of the Change
10175 AG - 10191 AG
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Leader of the Fremen
? - 10191 AG
Succeeded by
Paul Atreides