Ep9: Dune as Nietzschean Fable; Should You Drink the Water of Life?

The Philosophers focus will cover the David Lynch movie, with some bits from the books to flesh it out.

Bruce brings up that Paul Atreides does not fit the part of a Nietzschean hero at the start.

The Philosophers discusses why Paul does not meet the criteria in greater detail.

Ryver compares this story to the Golden Bough.

Sean talks about the Chosen One legends of the various groups in the Dune Universe.

Bruce sets forth the criteria of being a Nietzschean Hero.

Ryver sets us down the path of Paul’s journey, starting with his first Trials on Arrakis.

Sean explains the division of identity between Paul Atreides and Paul Muad’Dib.

Sean explains the Sardaukar guard.

The Philosophers discuss the stripping of all of Paul’s advantages.

Ryver talks about Paul’s introspection in the desert.

Sean talks about Paul’s meeting with the Fremen, and the similarities between the Fremen and the Sardaukar.

Ryver and Sean gives a breakdown of the meeting with the Fremen.

Sean talks about how the Fremen react to Paul’s mother.

Sean explains the Weirding Way.

Ryver compares the Weirding Way to an example of Nietzschean aphorisms.

Sean and Ryver discuss the importance of water to the lives and culture of the Fremen.

Ryver talks about the importance of Spice to the peoples of the Landsraad.

Sean discusses Spice as a luxury good.

Bruce talks about the important of Spice to the Guild Navigators.

Ryver explains the outward signs of constantly being around the Spice.

Sean points out that Paul is discovered early on to seemingly innately possess some of the skills necessary to survive in the desert.

Ryver points out that this may have something to do with his emerging prescience. Sean concedes the possibility.

Ryver explains a Montage in a rather lengthy fashion.

Ryver talks about the rise to power amongst the Fremen,

Bruce points out the connection between this story and elements found in stories like Dances with Wolves or the Last Samurai.

Sean points out that many of these similarities don’t really hold up to Paul’s actual journey.

Ryver explains the difference between the Fremen and the idea of the “Noble Savage”.

Sean explains that the source of hardness amongst the Fremen likely stems from the fact that they live on a planet that is actively trying to kill them, a planet on which these people are not only born, but thrive. Ryver sums this up as Space Australia.

Ryver talks about The Golden Bough again.

Bruce talks about the early signs of Paul being the Chosen One, but that there is a key element that cannot be preordained, but that must be tested.

Sean talks about the tests of the Bene Gesserit, and the prohibition that Paul’s mother not produce male children.

Ryver and Sean talk about these tests as a test of Metal.

Bruce brings up the ritual of the Water of Life.

Sean and Ryver explain the ritual in greater detail, and the horrifying death that is always been the result of males undergoing this ritual.

Ryver and Bruce discuss Paul’s undertaking of the ritual.

Ryver talks about the Golden Bough again, and how it relates to the story of Dune.

Sean discusses the meanings behind the rituals of the Bene Gesserit, and the passing of knowledge of the Reverend Mothers.

Sean talks about the transformation of Paul Muad’Dib into the Übermensch.

Ryver compares a scene from the end of the story to a great Nietzsche quote

Bruce talks about Paul’s desire to tear down the existing social structure, rather than retake his place in it.

Sean brings us to the final battle.

Ryver and Sean talk about Paul’s name becoming “a killing word”.

Bruce includes “riding around a giant sand worm” in Paul’s list of assets.

Ryver explains that there is a difference between the atomics used in the final battle and what we consider nuclear weapons.

The Philosopher discuss this as an indication of Paul casting off the moral restrictions of the society he comes from.

Sean talks about the scene in the throne room at the end of the movie, and the implications of the battle therein. Paul’s enemy is destroyed completely through his Will alone.

Ryver brings up The Golden Bough again, comparing this to the moment of Ascension.

Sean explains the significance of Paul bringing Rain to Arrakis with his Will alone.

Bruce and Sean talk about the importance of Paul’s willingness to battle Fade in the throne room.

The Philosophers give a detailed recap the movie from the point of Nietzschean analysis.

Sean discusses the way in which “That which is done for Love occurs beyond Good and Evil” is the story of Paul from even the moment of his conception.


Ryver takes The Last Word, and discusses The Golden Bough and how it relates to Dune.

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