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Emperor Shaddam IV (10134 AG - 10202 AG) was the son of Elrood IX and Fasrille Corrino. He became the 81st Padishah Emperor of House Corrino, the last of the Corrino Emperors


Early lifeEdit

He enjoyed and endured his place in Elrood's court and its luxuries, the greatest available in the Imperium together with the most rigorous training and testing imaginable.

Shaddam was befriended by his distaff cousin na-Count Hasiir Fenring of agile mind. He kept the na-Emperor alive out of intrigue and violence, advised him and also taught him abilities such as manipulating those in power .

When Fenring became a Count, Shaddam was removed to the Corrino's testing grounds in the company of three other aspirants. Shaddam survived the training-and-intrigue ritual administered to him there and after (only) nince months he returned to Kaitain to become the leader of the Sardaukar according to the cutom.

With the SardaukarEdit

The Hegemon of the Sardaukar and other officers set to observe him, record that Shaddam was a brilliant leader and the Sardaukar approved of serving under him.

Because of his duties, the following years Shaddam traveled far from court, but kept contact with his family and Count Fenring with official reports and unofficial communiqués.

In 10154 AG Anuril Corrino, a Bene Gesserit of Hidden Rank was sent to House Corrino as a concubine for young Shaddam and a purely platonic relationship grew between them. Shaddam was interested in her music and poetry, and Anuril was intrigued by his gem collection and knowledge of historical architecture and costuming.

Because his father was intrigued by her Gamont background and insisted on tests and refresher lessons for himself, he took her as his wife in 10155 AG, primarily to protect her from his father's growing obsession.[1]

On the same year, Shaddam returned to Kaitain on a leave and was told by Count Fenring of an assassination plot against him, and Elrood was perhaps involved, perhaps because of Anuril.

On Fenring's counsel, he read the report before the entire making impossible any secondary intrigue to be set into motion against him without its source becoming immediately obvious: it also made public the existence of the hunter-seeker and gave subtle notice to Elrood IX that his son was aware of his own involvement in the scheme.

A scapegoat, an unimportant member of the royal House, was executed and Shaddam returned to his troops. Soon after his father was killed by chaumurky.


Shaddam & Anirul

Shaddam and Anirul

Shaddam was angered by the limitations imposed to the Emperorship by the Landsraad and CHOAM and preferred that greater control be available to him.

He also discovered that during his father's reign, House Corrino and the B.G. had mingled their breeding plans and Shaddam had to accept an arranged marriage to Anuril Corrino (a Bene Gesserit of Hidden Rank) in a ceremony three months after his coronation.[2] The terms of the marriage were that only those children born by Anuril could be considered to succeed him instead of those mothered by the Imperial concubines.

He chose to lose himself in the intricacies of court functions and in the pleasures of his harem, perhaps inspired by his matrimonial situation. In the first 16 years, the number of Bursegs (Sardaukar officers of command rank) and the population of the royal harem was doubled.

While his predecessors insisted on detailed reports concerning every action of the Imperial troops, as well as those of the soldiers of each of the Great Houses, Shaddam preferred to busy himself with Landsraad intrigues, leaving much of the actual running of his empire to his advisors and to the higher-ranking Sardaukar officers. Thanks to this the Imperium ran smoothly after the Arrakis Revolt.

Over the 20 years of his marriage his melancholia was more pronounced. Anuril permitted him only female children to wrest control from him and bore five daughters — Irulan, Chalice, Wensicia, Josifa and Rugi; no sons. The future husband of his heiress, would be the next Corrino emperor.


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Shaddam IV in Dune (video game).

Anuril died in 10176 AG and Shaddam spent increasingly more time and energy in intrigue, much of it skirting the dictates of the Great Convention. His wariness concerning Duke Leto I Atreides and his house was a great aid to House Moritani in their War of Assassins against House Ginaz, an ally of the Atreides. Eventually the Ginaz were defeated.

In 10182 AG, he was said to interfere in a War of Assassins between Houses Harkonnen and Kalifi, preventing the assassination of Baron Vladimir Harkonnen.

Three years later, an Imperial minion kidnapped the twin daughters of one of the Houses Minor of Yorba, delivering them to Shaddam as a gift. They succeeded in sneaking a message to a visiting diplomat from their homeworld and were freed in 10189 AG; the Emperor's claimed ignorance of their true identities which was not widely countenanced, particularly in private, but the House was unimportant enough and Shaddam had not any disastrous consequences.

Shaddam was a devotee of the Corrida and had taken a mild interest in Leto I Atreides ever since his ascension to the throne on Caladan. At the Duke's victory in the Battle of Thar system (10167 AG) Shaddam granted him the title Chevalier of the Imperium. After the mutiny on Pinskau, Leto was summoned to a private audience where they discussed about the battle with El Muerte. When he dismissed Leto (after repeated urgings of his social secretary because his schedules were being thrown off) the emperor told his personal secretary that "if they were all simply as correct and as sure of their place as the Duke, the Empire would be a paradise,"

The emperor's acknowledgement of Leto as an exemplar of correct Noble behavior very likely led to his death: no wise emperor allowed any Great House to grow too powerful and he became concerned with House Atreides which exercised much influence in the Landsraad. An alliance might coalesce around a powerful Great House, altering the balance of power at the expense of the Imperium, against his own ambitions, in whose way House Atreides stood in.

The Red Duke had trained a small military force which, man-for-man, equaled file Sardaukar. Thus Shaddam's mind was decided in the course he and Harkonnen would take with his royal cousin.


In 10191 AG, Shaddam embarked on his most serious departure from the role permitted him by the Great Convention: he sent Imperial Sardaukar to fight in Harkonnen livery against the forces of House Atreides.

The Harkonnens provided Shaddam with the huge amounts of melange he demanded in payment for his aid, would not dare to admit the reason for that payment) and a rumor-based surge in respect from the Landsraad, the Arrakis gambit ultimately cost Shaddam his throne, his eldest daughter, and his much cherished comforts.

Not even the patient and determined efforts of Count Fenring, whose billions of solaris in spice bribes helped maintain order and allay suspicion in the months following the defeat of House Atreides, could save Shaddam. Paul Atreides and his Fremen pitted themselves against him and his Sardaukar.


Bitter and defeated, Shaddam IV was exiled on Salusa Secundus in 10196 AG, accompanied by his three remaining daughters, Count and Lady Fenring, and the majority of his courtiers from Kaitain including the last Corrino Court Poet, Imelda Vizhyarad.

Despite Paul's directives, enormous prices were exacted by the Spacing Guild for transporting them there, and Shaddam incurred continued debts with the Bene Tleilax and the Ixians in covert attempts to reestablish himself. Lady Fenring have assisted her husband in his unsuccessful attempts to plot Shaddam IV's return to the throne. and her valuable three-year-old daughter may have sufficed as payment to the Bene Tleilax.

He exhibited such an aversion for the name of Paul Atreides that even his letters from Princess Irulan were screened on arrival by Count Fenring and all references to the new Emperor carefully deleted. His health had declined steadily since his arrival there and his death came in 10202 AG.


Harq al-Harba wrote the play Shaddam IV, in which Feyd Rautha is a major character, has a famous deposition scene. It also offers a valid historical and psychological revelations concerning the life and personality of Feyd Rautha.

The play was performed in Arrakeen on the morning of the rebellion to stir the populace to revolutionary fervor.


According to the Prelude to Dune novels, Shaddam was delivered by Elrood's wife, Habla, however impregnated with the egg cells of Elrood's former wife, Barbara Mutelli.


  1. The entry CORRINO, SHADDAM IV mentions that they married after his coronation because of an arranged marriage.
  2. The entry CORRINO, ANURIL mentions that they married before his coronation because of his father's courting her.


  • Almanak en-Ashraf


Preceded by
Elrood IX
Padishah Emperor of the Known Universe
10156 AG - 10196 AG
Succeeded by
Irulan III (regent) with husband Paul Atreides/DE
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