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Stilgar - by John Schoenherr

Stilgar, full name Stilgar Ben Fifrawi, was the Naib, or leader of Sietch Tabr, a Fremen tribe of Arrakis during the Atreides Fiefdom.

Role with House Atreides[]

Upon the change of the Arrakis fief in 10,191 AG from House Harkonnen to House Atreides, Stilgar was befriended by Atreides Swordmaster Duncan Idaho, who had been sent in advance by Duke Leto Atreides to gauge and study the Fremen. In Idaho's reports to Leto, Idaho had judged Stilgar to be a 'good example' of the Fremen of Arrakis. Indeed, through Idaho's relationship with Stilgar and his tribe, he became so impressed with the Fremen and their ways that Idaho accepted dual loyalties to the Atreides and to Stilgar.

After the House Harkonnen's attacked Arrakis and House Atreides went renegade, the remaining members of the Atreides family, namely the Ducal heir Paul Atreides and his mother, the Lady Jessica, sought refuge with Stilgar and his tribe. Eventually, through Paul's leadership and the development of his prescient powers, Stilgar became the general of one who was to become Emperor of the Known Universe.

It was through Paul Atreides that Stilgar and the other Fremen Naibs realized their collective dream of turning Arrakis into a lush and green paradise.

During the regency of Alia Atreides, Stilgar was instrumental in allying the Fremen tribes with the Lady Jessica and her grandchildren, Leto II and Ghanima against Alia, who had become possessed by the ego-memory of Baron Vladimir Harkonnen.


Stilgar lived a long and prestigious life, thanks in no small part to his diet of Spice Melange, a pervasive ingredient in all Fremen food and drink. Stilgar's descendants flourished well into the reign of Leto II the God-Emperor, and probably beyond.

He wrote a preface for the book "Muad'Dib, The Man" for the Princess Irulan.


Stilgar was a thin man, with darkly veined hands a thin nose and a full-lipped mouth in a glistening black beard.


In the original novel Stilgar calls Liet his brother (p. 283) and Chani his niece (p. 293), in the Dune Encyclopedia this is elaborated as Stilgar and Liet being "blood-brothers".According to the Dune Prequels Stilgar was the brother of Liet's wife Frieth, so the two actually were brothers in law.

In the original novel, Stilgar had two wives, one of whom was Tharthar. He also later married Harah after Paul Muad'Dib set her free. It is possible that Stilgar had children, however they are not explicitly mentioned. Stilgar's full name, Stilgar Ben Fifrawi, seems to imply that "Fifrawi" was the name of Stilgar's father.

In God Emperor of Dune, Leto II observed a fifth-generation descendant of Stilgar for half a day, who was not aware of his ancestry, sitting on a bench in Arrakeen, waiting for someone. He did not notice Leto watching him, and Leto noted that Stilgar would have known it in a second or two. Eventually, the man got up and walked off.

Images of Stilgar[]

Behind the Scenes[]

Stilgar was played by Everett McGill in the 1984 Dune movie, Uwe Ochsenknecht in the Dune (2000 miniseries)|2000 Dune miniseries, Steven Berkoff in the Children of Dune (2003 miniseries)|2003 Children of Dune miniseries, and by Javier Bardem in the 2021 Dune movie.


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