Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Shipping Confessions: Vorian Atredies/Xavier Harkonnen (Dune)

My trip into the Dune Universe, started by the late Frank Herbert, started when I watched Dune (1984) in my childhood. That movie isn't accurate to the source material, but it's a beloved film of mine and I was more than happy to get it on blu-ray.

Frank Herbert wrote the original Dune books and then died before completing them. After his passing, his son and another writer, Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson respectfully, wrote some prequels before completing the original Dune series.

I will be getting back to the Dune prequels later, finishing up a Stephen King novel at the time of starting this post, and found myself shipping Xavier Harkonnen and Vorian "Vor" Atreides. I decided that I should share my love of this ship with you.

I googled Vorian Atreides and this is what I got. If this isn't actually him, tell me and I'll replace the pic.
Vorian "Vor" Atreides is the son of the Titan Agamemnon. Before Agamemnon had become a machine, long before the first Dune prequel, he had saved some of his sperm to be implanted into women to see if he could ever produce a good heir.

Vor was unaware of the fact that there had been previous sons before him that had been murdered by their father. He grew up thinking highly of his father and of the way Omnius ruled the galaxy. He earned a high position as a human trustee and his duty was accompanying Seurat on an update ship that he jokingly called the Dream Voyager.

After the events involving Serena Butler and her child, he changed sides to the humans. He was a great asset during the Bulterian Jihad, named after the initial event that started the rebellion against Omnius, and went away on his own after the long war.
Xavier Harkonnen was  always a noble man. He put the needs of the many over himself. He was engaged to Serena Butler until she was thought to be dead. During the time she was thought dead she had birthed their child that was later murdered and he had married her sister. That made it impossible for them to ever have what they once did. Serena herself putting all her energy into the Jihad and so had no time to pursue any romances.

During the Jihad he worked alongside Vorian, whom he didn't trust due to the man's past, and died when murdering Iblis Ginjo. Gingjo had achieved the rank of basically running the Jihad after escaping from Omnius' clutches and he was written down as a martyr.

Why did Xavier kill Ginjo?

Xavier learned that Ginjo was supplying the Tlulaxa with innocent victims for the 'organ farms' the people were famous for. Deciding that stopping the madman was more important than how history remembered the name Harkonnen: he killed both himself and Ginjo so that the Jihad would not last forever. Thus tarnishing the Harkonnen name forever.
Xavier and Vorian are both noble and good leaders. They are able to win the hearts of their men and decide what the best outcome is. At the start, Xavier and Vorian had entirely different tactics. The former was willing to do things at all costs while the latter wanted to keep all casualties down. By the end of the Jihad, Vorian had switched to how Xavier fought. The son of a Titan had grown jaded or become smarter or both.

At first Xavier did not trust Vorain due to being the son of Agamemnon. But the man proved himself to the Harkonnen and the two became great friends. Both were there for the other and, for a time, Vorian planned to clear Xavier's name.

There was no doubt in his mind. No doubt at all.

How each man played off the other seemed to indicate something deeper going on. Fighting with someone tends to bring out extremely deep bonds. And what could create deeper bonds than fighting for the freedom of humanity? Both men risking their lives and their legacy for the good of all?

Why did Vorian not immediately start to clear Xavier's name? He believed humanity needed to focus on the machines before anything else. His love was not to the point of risking the freedom of all.

What will I talk about next Shipping Confessions? I go to a galaxy far, far away to look at the best pilot in the galaxy and a reneged storm trooper.
Shipping Confessions Table of Contents



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