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"Bless the Maker and His water. Bless the coming and going of Him. May His passage cleanse the world. May He keep the world for His people. ~ Liet-Kynes

Liet-Kynes (sometimes written as Liet Kynes) (10156-10191 AG) was the second planetary ecologist of Arrakis in the pre-Muad'Dib era.

Early Life[]

Born in Sietch Tabr to Pardot Kynes and his Fremen wife, Mitha, Liet-Kynes' life served as a focal point for many of the historic disturbances of his time. It was not a role he deliberately sought, but one continually chosen for him. Even his name — "Liet" — tied him to events over which he had no control. For instance, Uliet, or "Older Liet," had once been ordered to dispatch his father, Pardot Kynes, and had chosen suicide instead. This death set the course followed by generations of Fremen thereafter, a fact acknowledged by Liet-Kynes' parents in their choice of name for their son.

Pardot Kynes desired a son chiefly to consolidate his position among the Fremen. He was shrewd enough to realize that even his leadership of the desert people did not make him one of them. Thus, he married one of their women and fathered a son who could continue his work. The elder Kynes became a widower shortly after his son's birth and, although he survived Mitha by some nineteen years, he never remarried. His duty had been done and he was freed, as he saw it, of further domestic responsibilities.

Liet-Kynes saw little of his father during his earliest childhood. Many of the duties that would ordinarily have been filled by his father had been taken over by Stilgar, a Fremen fifteen years Liet-Kynes' senior, whom Pardot Kynes had seen joined to his son in blood-brotherhood in 10158. Raised with the rest of the sietch children, he was taught the ways of bled and sietch, palmary and desert. He learned Fremen history as related by the Sayyadina; water discipline and customs; and the fanatic hatred the Fremen had possessed for all those of House Harkonnen since the day Beast Rabban had been given jurisdiction over Arrakis in 10162. To anyone not knowing his parentage, the boy would have seemed like any other Fremen youngster, the product of generations of life on the desert planet.

This situation suited his father perfectly. Pardot Kynes had been forced to take dramatic, risky action in order to make a place for himself among the desert folk; it was essential that his heir be recognized as such. Whatever paternal feelings he might have felt for his son paled before his desire to hasten the effects of the palmaries on the Arrakeen ecology.

His upbringing suited Liet-Kynes as well. By the age of five, he was accompanying his mates to the outlying planting zones, and while not yet demonstrating the sort of brilliance which characterized his father's work, the younger Kynes acquitted himself well and was respected by the other young Fremen.

This respect was not earned simply by his grasp of the workings of the ecological transformation; like other boys his age, Liet-Kynes spent a good deal of time learning and polishing other skills for which the Fremen were known: tracking, hunting, and combat in many forms. He proved especially talented in knife-fighting, and, by the time he essayed his first sandride, he had nothing to fear from any of his comrades in-sietch, nor, by extension, from any but the most skilled out-of-sietch fighters.


In 10168, after his successful initiation into the sandriders' ranks, Liet-Kynes found his father offering him more specialized training. Over the next seven years, Liet-Kynes served as go-between for the older man, journeying to the palmaries and carrying reports on their progress back to his father. Afraid of drawing unwanted attention to the existence of these areas, Pardot Kynes rarely visited them himself. Liet-Kynes' position as lieutenant for Kynes-the-Umma did not exempt him from his duties as a member of Sietch Tabr, however, and Forad — Tabr's Naib at the time — saw to it that his leader's heir-apparent did not forget it.

He was so much a part of Sietch Tabr that it was assumed he would try for Stilgar's burda after his bloodbrother bested Forad in 10175. Stilgar's challenge had been one of many made throughout the Fremen sietches following Pardot Kynes' demise at Plaster Basin, and Liet-Kynes had been absent from Tabr at the time Stilgar took Forad's place as Naib. But when young Kynes returned, it was to convey his intentions to continue his father's work with the palmaries. Pardot Kynes had simplified this task for him by petitioning for, and receiving, permission from Emperor Shaddam Corrino IV to have his son succeed him in the Imperial service.

A year after his father's death, Liet-Kynes returned to Sietch Tabr for a more extended visit. During the months of his stay, he married Falra, a Tabr woman with whom he had been raised. Liet-Kynes’ men carried on another of his late father's practices by leaving Tabr a few weeks after the wedding, not to return for more than three months.

Birth of Chani[]

Chani, the couple's daughter, was born the following year. Stilgar and his wife, Misra, stood as godparents to the child, and the girl's father made one of his infrequent visits to see the ceremony. Liet-Kynes spent more time with the child than his own father had with him, but he approached her upbringing in quite a different way. Whereas Pardot Kynes had seen him as an heir, a person who could lead the Fremen tribes and see that the ecological transformation went on as scheduled, Liet-Kynes envisioned no such future for Chani, as influential as she might well become, in the way that Fremen women often were — particularly those in the Sayyadina. But she would not be accepted as Naib or as leader of all the tribes. Under Falra's tutelage, and under that of Stilgar and Misra following Falra's accidental death in 10180, Chani was raised solely as Fremen with no interference from Imperial appointments or from outfreyn ways.

Atreides Stewardship[]

Liet-Kynes continued his father's practice of aiding the Fremen and gulling the Harkonnens wherever possible, and his life and work continued with relative smoothness until the Arrakeen change-of-fief in 10190. Like the people he led, the Imperial servant greeted the departure of House Harkonnen and the arrival of House Atreides with guarded optimism. Unlike them, however, he knew enough of the Atreides-Harkonnen conflict to realize that the changeover would not go easily. He also had the advantage of his court-appointed position as Judge of the Change, in charge of overseeing the shift in power, to provide him with more information. When he received a secret communication from the Emperor, advising him that all but the grossest violations on the part of the Harkonnens were to be ignored, he decided that his only option was to do as his father might have done: to ride out the transition and the eventual destruction of House Atreides without involving or endangering himself or the Fremen.

This resolve was shattered, and Liet-Kynes was again made a pawn of the greater forces surrounding him when he was drawn into the aftermath of the combined Harkonnen-Sardaukar attack against the Atreides. With Duke Leto already dead, Paul Atreides and the Lady Jessica were in desperate need of some refuge from the forces that had killed him. Liet-Kynes provided that refuge, and sent the pair to shelter with the Fremen, because he had sensed that the boy was sympathetic to the Fremen dream and capable of helping it to come true. Against all his training, and very nearly against his will, Liet-Kynes found himself unable to refuse help to the potential leader he saw in Paul.

Death and Legacy[]

Liet-Kynes' impulse to help Paul Atreides and Lady Jessica cost him his life. Captured by the Harkonnens who cared little for his standing as an Imperial servant, Liet-Kynes was severely beaten and left in the desert to die. His captors had deprived him of water, equipment, and a stillsuit — seemingly much amused by the idea that the desert he knew so well would be the cause of his death. The ecologist is believed to have perished in a pre-spice mass, caught in the explosive sand exchange which occurred when such masses reached their critical point.

Neither his life nor his death, however, had been in vain. By serving as an interim leader between his father and Paul Muad'Dib Atreides, Liet-Kynes ensured that the Fremen would survive this period. By fathering Chani, who would become the mother of Leto II, he had contributed to the continuation of the Atreides line; and by seeing that the new Atreides Duke and his mother found a place among the desert folk, he changed the course of history for millennia to come.

See also[]