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Dune Wiki

Baron Vladimir Harkonnen is the primary antagonist of the 2021 film Dune. He is the head of House Harkonnen and the nemesis of House Atreides. Vladimir Harkonnen is portrayed by Stellan Skarsgård.

Character description[]

Greed and tyranny personified, Baron Vladimir Harkonnen is a force of malevolence, determined to feed his addiction to brutality. A gravity-defying monster of a man, gliding through the air like a phantom, the imposing figurehead of House Harkonnen ensures his family stands in stark opposition to House Atreides, ruling through fear, and determined to exploit the natural resources of Dune no matter the cost to its people.[1]


Early History[]

Little is known at this moment about Vladimir's early history or how he — and House Harkonnen — came to reside over Arrakis. It is known, however, that during his reign Vladimir made an enemy of the Fremen through his violent tendencies and activities surrounding the spice harvesting upon Arrakis.

Removal from Arrakis[]

Some years after their instillation upon Arrakis, Vladimir and House Harkonnen are removed from the planet by royal decree of the Emperor. Vladimir wilfully removes his troops from the planet, but unbeknownst to the rest of the Landsraad, Vladimir had made a deal with the Emperor that would see him usurp Atreides from Arrakis with the aid of the Sardaukar.

After House Atreides leaves for Arrakis, the Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam visits Vladimir and confirms the Emperor's support for the removal of Leto and his forces. The Reverend Mother does, however, explain that Jessica Atreides is under the protection of the Bene Gesserit and by extension, Paul too; she explicity states that they should not be harmed, a condition to with the Baron agrees to, but has no intention in keeping.

Attack on Arrakeen[]

Only days after their arrival on Arrakis and their settling in Arrakeen, Vladimir executes his attack after the walls around Arrakeen are lowered by Wellington Yeuh. Hundreds of Atreides soldiers are killed and Arrakeen is destroyed. When Leto is brought before Vladimir by Yueh — who believes he will be reunited with his wife for his actions — Vladimir decapitates him, citing that he is reuniting him with his wife in death.

Gloating about his victory and taunting Leto about the downfall of the Atreides empire, Vladimir is surprised when Leto crushes an implant within his tooth, emitting a poisonous gas that severely cripples Vladimir and kills the majority of his court; Vladimir survives with only thanks to his shield.

Orders for Arrakis[]

Back on Giedi Prime and recovering, Vladimir is alerted by Rabban of the death of Jessica and Paul, thereby bringing an end to the Atreides house. Vladimir is ecstatic, and orders that spice harvesting resume upon Arrakis once more. With this, he also orders that stores of spice be sold from Giedi Prime, but not too fast as to lower the value.

Physical appearance[]


Differences from the original character[]

Vladimir Harkonnen is adapted from the character of the same name from the original Dune novel. Unlike in the book and prior adaptations, he is not killed by Alia Atreides but is instead killed by Paul Atreides.



Promotional images[]


Characters from Dune: Part One and Dune: Part Two