‘Dune’: Here’s Why Chani Is Leaving Paul (& Why He Betrayed Her)

Dune Heres Why Chani is Leaving Paul Why He Betrayed Her

‘Dune: Part Two’ has seen Paul rising to his rightful place as the messiah of the Fremen people, something that was prophesized to happen. Despite him having the unconditional almost fanatical support of the desert people, one person that was a massive part of his journey – Chani, seemingly cannot believe that this is happening, in the worst possible sense. By the end of the movie Chani can be seen severely disappointed in Paul, and angry at her people due to Paul’s betrayal first and foremost. So what happened between the two of them why did Paul betray Chani and why did she decide to leave him?

  • Article Breakdown:
  • Chani left people because he promised to marry Princess Irulan and left her on the sidelines despite confessing his love seconds prior to this. She was also highly worried that her people were becoming fanatical regarding Paul and saw pure madness in it.
  • Paul had to betray Chani because it was the path that he had to take, he had to marry Princess Irulan to secure his place on the throne as the Emperor but was aware that Chani would be mad at him but also that she would eventually make peace with it.
  • Paul became aware that as Kwisatz Haderach he needed to make some difficult choices for the good of mankind.

Paul doesn’t really want to marry Princess Irulan, but he has to

Over the course of the two movies so far, we’ve seen that the relationship between Chani and Paul developed slowly. At first, she was highly suspicious of him but started to warm up to him as he was rising to the challenges of the desert. In the second movie, the two became romantically involved despite Chani seeing major red flags in the cult that was forming around him. She wasn’t as superstitious as the rest of her people, so she thought that the messiah stuff was largely overblown and was willing to stand up for what she thought was right.

She promised to love Paul as long as he stays himself, but he started changing as soon as he realized his full potential by drinking the Waters of Life. Waking up his full Kwisatz Haderach potential meant that it was clear which path he had to take to ensure the victory for Fremen, and humanity as a whole.

By the end of the movie, Paul has taken over Arrakis by leading the Fremen up against the combined forces of Harkonnen house and Sardaukar, he killed Vladimir Harkonnen and his nephew Feyd-Rautha, before deposing Emperor Shaddam Corrino IV, a noble whose family has held the throne for generations.

Paul turns toward Chani and tells her that he will basically love her forever and then turns toward Princess Irulan, Shaddam’s daughter, and tells her that he will take her hand in marriage.


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Chani is shocked, but Paul isn’t as shocked because he predicted Chani’s reaction. Just like he predicted that he had to marry Princess Irulan. You see as Kwisatz Haderach Paul has access to the events that happened in the past, that are happening in the present, and that will happen in the future. He has the sacred duty of putting humanity on the Golden Path, a path that will ensure their survival and avoid extinction. Despite Paul now having tremendous powers, his visions showed him that the best course of action was to marry Princess Irulan to ensure the current stability of the empire.

Yes, he was the prophesized messiah, but there are plenty of noble families in the galaxy and plenty of armed forces that are unfamiliar with the concept and don’t care about the concept. Paul knew that by marrying Irulan he will ensure that his ascend to the throne is as legitimate as possible without using “I am the prophesized one” as an excuse.

Chani left because she was hurt and because she could see how dangerous the cult around Paul is

Right after all of this took place, we can see Chani refusing to bow and going away. Paul knew that this was going to happen but he also knew that Chani would eventually come to terms with who he is, as of right now, Chani is not buying it. She is both hurt on a personal level due to Paul marrying Irulan instead of her and worried on a more general level because she can see her people devolving into the fanatical worship of Paul – there is a cult forming around him and this is something extremely dangerous as far as Chani knows, Paul can lead them into utter death and destruction and they would never question – because he is the Messiah.

I mean she was right in a sense because after Paul had ascended the throne numerous fanatical cults formed around the Galaxy which cost millions in lives, but Paul knew that this had to be done, it was what the Golden Path asked from him.

What happened between Paul and Chani in the books?

Chani’s character was quite changed for the movies, she didn’t really have her own storyline in the books as she was mostly on the sidelines. But we can confirm that in the books she also had a romantic relationship with Paul and served as his concubine after he married Princess Irulan.

Irulan and Paul had married but the princess was his wife in name only, Paul insisted that Chani be the one to carry Paul’s heirs. Irulan with time became extremely jealous of that and since she was Bene Gesserit she knew that it was of utmost importance to control with whom Paul was going to reproduce. To ensure that Paul eventually has heirs with her, Irulan started poisoning Chani’s food with contraceptives which weakened her and stopped her from having children with Paul.


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Paul was aware of this but did nothing to stop it since it was part of the Golden Path and he shouldn’t intervene with the path. Chani eventually started eating the Fremen traditional fertility food which removed Irulan’s opportunities to tamper with her food. After 12 long years of trying Chani became pregnant with Paul but due to her general weakness and due to spice, the pregnancy was accelerated lasting only 6 months instead of 9. Chani gave birth to twins, Leto II and Ghanima which was quite a surprise to Paul since he only anticipated Ghanima.

Paul also saw that Chani would die in childbirth, and he was offered that Chani be brought back as Ghola but he refused, unwilling to tamper with the natural order of things no matter how tempting it was. Both Leto II and Ghanima were “pre-born.”

Paul did not outlive Chani for long, soon after that he was ousted from his throne and exiled himself to wander around the desert like a blind prophet. Paul’s sister Alia took over the care of the twins, alongside Irulan who came to love Paul truly. After Paul exiled himself to the desert she was so regretful she spent her whole life teaching the twins and trying to make up for what she did to their mother and their father.

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