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11 of the Spiciest Dune Quotes That Will Transport You to Arrakis

“It tasted like cinnamon.”

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  • Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

The Dune film will release October 22nd, 2021. While that might feel far away, it also gives us all time to read or reread the book! 

If you’re looking to relive iconic moments from the history of House Atreides and Arrakis, we’ve rounded up some of the spiciest Dune quotes from Frank Herbert's iconic book

“Beginnings are such delicate times.”

After grappling with Stilgar and his men, Paul hesitates to speak as Lady Jessica bargains with the Fremen. 

Paul watches, and recalls his mother’s sage teaching about beginnings, rather than diving into an ill-advised argument.

“Hope clouds observation.” 

The Bene Gesserit Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam reminds herself of this fact after Paul passes the Test of Humanity. She hopes that he may be the Kwisatz Haderach, the man destined to join Bene Gesserit, a mysterious society composed entirely of women. 

But the Reverend Mother recognizes that hope can be a dangerous thing. 

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"It is shocking to find how many people do not believe they can learn, and how many more believe learning to be difficult."

This quote is part of Irulan Corrino 's Attributed Book Workings, written by the Imperial Crown Princess Irulan Corrino III. One of the youngest members of the Bene Gesserit, as well as the firstborn Imperial Crown Princess, Irulan was trained in the subtleties of command, as well as the craft of observation and self-control. 

This quote follows Irulan’s observation of how quickly Paul learned to survive on Arrakis—because his first trainings taught him the importance of education and effort. 

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  • Still from the 2021 Dune movie. 

    Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

“The willow submits to the wind and prospers until one day it is many willows—a wall against the wind. This is the willow’s purpose.” 

Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam tries to offer Paul hints at the reasons past men who have attempted to be the Kwisatz Haderach have failed. 

Paul is not interested in her platitudes; rather than taking this clue, he argues with the Reverend Mother, hoping to help his father, Duke Leto Atreides, in his conquest of Arrakis.

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 “Give as few orders as possible," his father had told him once long ago. "Once you've given orders on a subject, you must always give orders on that subject.”

Paul listens to the troop’s watermaster begin the morning chanty as his men move about their camp in the morning.

Paul remembers his father’s words, while his men do as they must without requiring directions.  

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  • Still from the 2021 Dune movie. 

    Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

“Knowing where the trap is—that's the first step in evading it.” 

Just before their departure to Arrakis, Duke Leto Atreides advises Paul in the hardships and realities that may be waiting for them on the harsh desert planet. 

Knowing that the Harkonnens—a family that has no love for the House of Atreides—have been stockpiling spice, Paul questions why they are bothering to go to Arrakis at all. The duke cautions and advises his son against ignoring the advantages of being aware of your enemy’s next move. 

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“If you rely only on your eyes, your other senses weaken.” 

As they flee from the Harkonnens with Kynes’ help, Paul considers this old Bene Gesserit saying. Paul and Lady Jessica have a plan to blackmail the Emperor as they prepare to venture over blind ground, leaving Kynes to Harkonnen hands. 

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  • Still from the 2021 Dune movie. 

    Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

“But the test of a man isn’t what you think he’ll do. It’s what he actually does.”

Paul, Stilgar, and Gurney Halleck observe the Harkonnen frigates and positions within Arrakeen, a stronghold on Arrakis.  

Paul asserts, to Stilgar's disbelief, that the city people of the Arrakeen are trustworthy, and have the blood of Fremen in them. 

“A stone is heavy and the sand is weighty; but a fool's wrath is heavier than them both.” 

This is a judgement about those that act before they think. Tuek intends to uphold his contract with the Guild, rather than strike out against the Harkonnens or Lady Jessica without proper evidence of who murdered his father.

“You were not born to the spice as we were.” 

After Paul has taken ill, Lady Jessica suspects that the Harkonnens have sent an agent to poison him. Chani questions whether his illness is a reaction to spice—and issues a sage warning about the effects of the Arrakis’ unique crop on those that are not accustomed to its effects. 

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“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

This iconic quote is the Litany Against Fear, which Paul uses to calm himself before being put to a painful test by Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam.

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