‘Dune’: The Family Trees of Every House Explained

DuneThe Family Trees of Every House
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‘Dune’ is one of the biggest masterpieces of sci-fi literature in general, it’s one of the works that defined the genre with its strong philosophical input. Even though the original work wasn’t as extensive as the works that followed after that expanded on the original Universe, there is still a significant amount of world-building present in the original works. One of the most notable features of the Universe is the presence of Great Houses, that consolidated the power over the Galaxy among themselves for eons, and this is what the topic of this article is going to be as we will explain the family trees of every major House in the ‘Dune’ Universe.

Atreides family tree

Atreides family is the most important in the ‘Dune’ universe, as it gave rise to God-Emeperors and Kwisatz Haderach. The Atreides family is said to have roots in Greece and gained power during a historical conflict called the Butlerian Jihad. They traced their lineage back to King Agamemnon, Atreus’ son from Greek mythology.

Led by Duke Leto Atreides I in the past, they had long ruled planet Caladan with an efficient government and satisfied population. They were skilled in both governing and war, maintaining a strong military and keeping track of unique battle techniques. However, they were deceived into relocating to the harsh desert planet Arrakis by Emperor Shaddam Corrino IV, falling into a trap set by an alliance between House Harkonnen and the Emperor. Arrakis became their new home until their eventual downfall.

The most notable members of the house, at least for our interest our the latter parts of the family tree. Leto Atreides I had three children – Victor Atreides with Kailea Vernius from House Vernius, but his most notable offspring came from Lady Jessica, Bene Gesserit concubine. With Lady Jessica Leto I had Paul, and later posthumously, Alia. Paul Himself went on to have two children with his concubine Chani, Leto Atreides II and Ghanima. The God Emperor Leto II did not have children but his sister did, with Farad’n Corrino. She had a son Moneo Atreides, and he went on to have a daughter Siona Atrides, but it’s enough to say that the glory days of House Atreides were behind them.

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After Leto Atreides II’s death and the dissolution of the Atreides Empire, House Atreides lost its political power. However, the bloodline continued through Leto II’s twin sister and legal wife, Ghanima Atreides, and her concubine Farad’n Corrino. Descendants of Ghanima, such as Moneo Atreides and his daughter Siona Atreides, played significant roles. Due to Siona’s genetic ability to evade prescient vision, her descendants were alive for over 1500 years, spreading across the universe. Various people, including Miles Teg and his daughter Darwi Odrade, carried the Atreides lineage. The Bene Gesserit monitored them for signs of the Atreides “wildness,” fearing another Kwisatz Haderach. Despite challenges and losses, descendants like Sheeana came to the spotlight, demonstrating superhuman abilities. Eventually, all surviving members somewhat disappeared, wanting to live a peaceful life.

As you can see by the provided family tree, Lady Jessica, Paul’s mother was a descendant of Vladimir Harkonnen and Tanidia Nerus, meaning that despite their aeons-long rivalry the two houses often mixed.

house atrides family tree
House Atreides Family Tree – Herbert’s Canon + Prequels

House Harkonnen family tree

The Harkonnen family originated from ancient Earth, possibly from Finland, with their name derived from the Finnish word for ox. After starting as a minor house, they gained influence in the Landsraad by manipulating the whale fur market. Their rise to power was marked by exploiting resources and generally being ruthless rulers with Iron Fist. They seized control of Arrakis in 10130 AG, focusing on spice mining and discrimination of Fremen to amass wealth and further increase their good standings with the Emperor.

And while they were counting on their good standings with the emperor, Vladimir Harkonnen, the present patriarch of the family actually planned on overthrowing the Corrino Empire and seizing the throne for himself and his descendants. He schemed against Houses Atreides and Corrino but was thwarted by Paul Atreides. After Vladimir’s death, the title briefly passed to his nephew Feyd-Rautha, who was defeated by Paul. House Harkonnen’s power weakened with the rise of House Atreides, leading to its dissolution and transformation of Giedi Prime under Gurney Halleck’s leadership. Although the house ceased to exist during the Holy War, its bloodline persisted through Bene Gesserit breeding programs, eventually once again mingling with the Atreides bloodline.

The most notable members of House Harkonnen are Abulurd Harkonnen, with whom the conflict with the House Atreides started, Vladimir Harkonnen, under whose leadership the house has effectively fallen, and Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen, who marked the end of the house being defeated by Paul Atreides.

House Harkonnen family tree

House Corrino family tree

House Corrine was actually formed during the Battle of Corrin and they held a firm grip on the rule for a few generations. During their rule, House Corrino commanded the formidable Sardaukar army, renowned as the most powerful in the known universe, capable of overpowering any opposition. The only perceived way to defeat them was through a unified effort of all the Great Houses. While they were considered just rulers, they engaged in underhanded tactics, like supplying Sardaukar forces to other houses to maintain their power without direct involvement.

The Sardaukar forces however weren’t omnipotent. Due to the overall corruption and complacency that fell over the house, and poor decisions by Shaddam Corrino IV. House Atreides eventually gained credibility. To eliminate Atreides as a threat, Corrino orchestrated their takeover of Arrakis, intending to destroy them through House Harkonnen. Initially successful, the plan failed due to a Fremen uprising led by Muad’Dib. After the Battle of Arrakeen, House Corrino lost its long-held power to the Atreides, with Paul Atreides marrying Shaddam’s daughter to legitimize his rule. Shaddam and his family were exiled, while one daughter plotted their return.

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Despite Irulan Corrino being married to Paul Atreides, he was his wife in title only and the union failed to produce any heirs, with Paul having children only with his Arakeen concubine Chani. It was Irulan who poisoned Chani which eventually led to the premature birth of the twins Leto Atreides II and Ghanima.

corrino house

House Fenring family tree

House Fenring was a major noble family during the Faufreluches era, they often had a Count as its leader and maintained a close relationship with the Imperial House. Notable members include Count Hasimir Fenring, known for his skills as an assassin and his close ties to Emperor Shaddam IV, as well as Dalak Fenring and Count Otho Fenring. They never had a stable home planet, and the house was typically located near House Corrino. They briefly ruled Arrakis before Count Fenring became Siridar-Absentia of Caladan. At the start of Emperor Paul Atreides’s reign, House Fenring held two votes in the Landsraad. Not much information was given regarding the house’s ancestors and descendants except for the fact that they were closely tied to House Corrino.

House Ginaz family tree

House Ginaz, a prominent noble house of the Landsraad during the Faufreluches era, allied with House Atreides under Duke Leto I (Paul’s father). However, they were defeated in a War of Assassins by House Moritani of Grumman. The Ginaz Swordmaster School was famous across the Imperium, training superior warriors who were more skilled than even the renowned Imperial Sardaukar. Graduates were titled Swordmasters of Ginaz and often served as more than just soldiers, taking on roles such as tacticians, advisors, and tutors for the houses they served. Unfortunately in the original ‘Dune’ they aren’t as discussed in detail as the rest of the noble houses and the only thing that was really described regarding the house is that their alliance with Atreides eventually led to their downfall due to the aforementioned War of the Assassins. In the latter works that expand the Dune role, the Swordmasters of Ginaz are reworked into a different type of faction.

House Halleck

House Halleck was an important noble family during the New Empire, believed to have been started by Gurney Halleck, a general under Emperor Paul Atreides. Gurney later became governor of Caladan and Giedi Prime, which he renamed Gammu. What happened to House Halleck after Gurney’s death, with no known legitimate heirs, remains unknown. In ‘Dune Encyclopedia’ the house was described as being a minor house.

House Metulli family tree

During Alia’s Regency (sister of Paul Atreides), House Metulli was a major noble family. Gurney Halleck learned that they used 321 liters of spice melange to purchase half of the planet Novebruns. Despite this fun fact, not much is known about the house, the latter works also did not touch upon its origins and ancestors/descendants.

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House Moritani family tree

House Moritani, a major noble family during the Faufreluches era, came from the planet Grumman. They had a longstanding feud with House Ginaz, culminating in a War of Assassins that resulted in Ginaz’s defeat (mentioned above). The emperors of House Corrino, particularly Shaddam IV, supported House Moritani, while House Atreides sided with House Ginaz. Duncan Idaho, a Swordmaster of Ginaz, mentioned his involvement in the feud, he admitted that his first combat experience took place on Grumman, though the timing in relation to his service to House Atreides remains uncertain and cannot be confirmed. Not much is known about their lineage and that fact wasn’t expanded upon in the latter works.

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