Dune: Duncan Idaho

Duncan Idaho was one of Paul Atreides weapon masters that thought him fighting. He died in a battle against the Harkonnes savegarding Paul by helping him to escape.
After that he has been brought to life again many times in the form of gholas made by the Bene Tleilaxu. Leto II has used this ghola type for about 3500 years, through uncounted lifetimes. (HoD, p 18)

In the last two books he appears again as a ghola. We will refer to this ghola when we talk about Duncan Idaho in these pages (unless stated otherwise).

Origin of the `last' Duncan Idaho ghola

He was 12th ghola the Bene Tleilax made for the Bene Gesserit. All the other 11 gholas had been killed, probably by the Bene Tleilaxu themselves.

He is made from the cells of original Duncan Idaho, and some (but not all) previous Duncan Idaho gholas (). Not all his cells do have the Siona marker (C:D p 57).

At the order of the Bene Gesserit his prana-bindu inheritance had been altered by the Tleilaxu, so that his speed would match those of his time (HoD, p 47,82).

The Bene Tleilaxu also have made other modifications. Waff calls him a tool that was worth all the waiting (HoD, p 82). Revelations from the returned Tleilaxu had been incorporated in the Duncan Idaho gholas (HoD, p 84)

Even the Honoured Matres knew about this modification, and that it is such that he will be able to remember his original memories. They ask Waff: "Why do you sell these gholas to the witches and then kill the gholas". (HoD, p 87).

The Duncan Idaho ghola was transfered to the Bene Gesserit when he was 9 months old (HoD, p 108).

Upbringing of Duncan Idaho

The Duncan Idaho ghola was raised at Gammu, the native planet of (the original) Duncan Idaho.

Luran Geasa

She was the first teacher brought to Gammu for the ghola project (HoD, p 18). Duncan's first memories were of her picking him up from the cradle. (HoD, p 40) She was a failed Reverend Mother (Hod, p 36) and more than 100 years old.

She thought that he was an endearing child (HoD, p 42) and developed a real affection for him (HoD, p 18).

First assault

Before Duncan was 6 years old, four intrudes died. They were loaded with shere, but probed in other ways as well (HoD, p 104?).

The library

When Duncan was 8 year he discovered that the library was useless, and that essential information was not given to him. At this time Geasa was still his chief instructor (Hod, p 36).

Hating Schwangyu

When Duncan was 9 years old he escaped the inner guards (HoD, p 34). Schwangyu punished the guards, which was explained by Tamalane. Tamalane had become his chief instructor (Hod, p 34). From that time on he started to hate Schwangyu, and also all other Reverend Mothers.

Discovers that he is a ghola

When he was 10 years Duncan discovered that he was a ghola, and understood the implications of that. (HoD, p 39)
Teg Miles told him that he was prepared to live at Rakis (Hod, p 37).

He found out too early! Lucilla acknowledged that Geasa was a mistake (HoD, p 41). She was astonished that Schwangyu let her make this mistake and believed she did it on purpose to harm the ghola project(HoD, p 18). Schwangyu said that Gease may have been a mistake (Hod, p 41).

After Duncan discovered it, Geasa was removed from him (HoD, p41) and Tamalane replaced her (HoD, p 42). Geasa cried and said she would miss him, when she was send away (HoD, p 41).


At the age of 13 Lucilla came to the keep (HoD, p 34). Duncan immediately remarked that she was younger than all the others, and for this reason different.

15 years (HoD, p 102)

"Someone else is in my mind, not just in his mind, - in his body" Duncan concludes (HoD, p 103). He learned Bene Gesserit techniques from Teg and Lucilla (HoD, p 103). He remembers an hallucination of woman calling him: "My sweet Duncan" (HoD, p 104).

Duncan images himself as triumphant over the sisterhood (HoD, p 106).

Lucilla and Teg were imparting highly volatile abilities to the ghola. Dangerous in the extreme Schwangyu thinks. (HoD, p 106).

There were depths in him which could only be matched by a potential Reverend Mother. And that was the problem. (HoD, p 107).

``He wants our powers only to escape us'' Lucilla said. Lucilla tries to bond him to her. (Hod, p 107).

Schwangyu fears that he is a Kwisatz Haderach, because of what the Tleilaxu have interfered with his generic inheritance (HoD, p 108).

Lucilla feeds him much melange (HoD, p 108).

He takes the more intense training quite well, reports Lucilla to Odrade. Duncan was not allowed to see Odrade (possibly because she looks too much like Lucilla).

He was almost sixteen SY and already coming on to the platform of his prana-bindu endowment (HoD, p 172). The initial step of Lucilla's instruction from Taraza had been accomplished. The ghola loved her. No doubt of it! (without weakening him.) What the sisterhood demanded of her next was an explicit thing spelled out precisely by Taraza: the Sexual Imprint (HoD, p 173).

The speed of the reaction shocked Lucilla. She had not known any human could move that fast! (HoD, p 177)

"Smell him". Duncan inhaled. "Yes, I have it. But he wasn't a very good copy. I saw what he was as soon as you did" (HoD, 178).

The prana-bindu accelerations in this ghola went beyond anything Lucilla had expected (HoD, 179).

The escape

Teg, Duncan an Lucilla escape when Schwangyu is gone to check her quarters. Patrin stays behind. (HoD, p 183)

Waff affirms that BT joined with Schwangyu. "We sought only yo teach her a lesson." (HoD, 187)

Ghola's killed by B.T. Waff: meets every requirement imposed by the contract. Waff: Tleilaxu returned from the Scattering and the Honoured Matres, he maligned so bitterly, had provided the Tleilaxu with a sexually-loaded weapon, which would not be shared, no matter the promises made here. (HoD, 190)

Outrageous suggestion: The Tleilaxu ambition is to produce a complete prana-bindu mimic. It implied a form of mental copy going beyond memory print about which they already knew. We already know what an Ixian probe does mechanically, the Tleilaxu do with nerve and flesh. The next step is obvious. (HoD, p 191).

Teg: Was the ghola a latent Truthsayer? what additional powers had been bred into this ghola by the sly Tleilaxu. (HoD, p 212).

Teg: An imprint on Lucilla would be an imprint on Odrade. Would Lucilla teach the techniques of seduction to her imprinted pupil, arm him to ensnare the one who commanded worms? (Not enough data yet for a Prime Computation.) (HoD, p 215).