Why Duncan Idaho Is The Real Hero Of Dune, Not Paul

Dune primarily followed the narrative of Timothée Chalamet’s Paul Atreides coming to grasp with himself and the various prophecies surrounding him. We saw the House Atreides and we were given a clear glance at what beholds the House now that Oscar Isaac’s Leto Atreides was killed off. There were various things at play and one can clearly take into consideration the fact that the other characters were also properly established in the movie. While the story of Paul Atreides was of primary concern in the movie, the same cannot be said about the books. The character of Jason Momoa, Duncan Idaho is the real hero of the entirety of the Dune Saga. It’s not Paul, and here’s why we believe that.


Paul Atreides was clearly the protagonist in Denis Villeneuve’s Dune and it told us his story as he comes to terms with his responsibilities. The character goes through various changes throughout the movie and one is the way we are introduced to various characters who play an essential role around him. One of the major roles has to be that of Duncan Idaho who actually plays a rather interesting persona as he helps Paul and Lady Jessica escape. The character dies in the hands of the Sardaukar soldiers and this has a significant impact on Paul too. But that’s not all for the character considering there is still a lot of this character we might get to see based on the original books.


Duncan Idaho

Duncan Idaho Is The Real Hero

Dune is based on Frank Herbert’s masterpiece of the same name and the movie is a depiction of only the first half of the book and the upcoming sequel that will deal with the second half. The books give a lot of chance for Denis Villeneuve to bring back Jason Momoa’s character if he decides to continue with his plans for the trilogy. Fans of the books would know that Duncan Idaho is the only character who appears in all the six books of the Dune Saga. 


While he is killed in the first book, we see him return as a ghola (clone) in Dune: Messiah. This clone is created by the Bene Tleilax who are serving Paul Atreides, as the latter has now become the Emperor. Considering a third project based on the books was in consideration by Denis Villeneuve we can clearly see this as an opportunity for Jason Momoa to make a proper comeback.



The character foils a major plan that was intended at assassinating Paul by the Bene Tleilax because this was in direct contradiction to his loyalty to Paul. This causes him to recover all the memories of Duncan’s life. That’s not all as Paul’s son Emperor Leto II creates thousands of Duncan Idaho gholas along with the help of the Bene Gesserit and the Bene Tleilax. This leads to them uncovering not only Duncan’s memories but also the memories of past gholas. Amongst them, the final Duncan ghola actually ends up reaching a level of prescience and devotion that was not witnessed before.


Duncan Idaho Is The Real Hero

This is a clear indication of the absolute genius of Frank Herbert as he keeps this character present throughout the narrative. Other characters might have been given major importance in the stories but Duncan’s presence gives us a fair idea of how much things have changed over the years. It is absolutely brilliant that a story spanning over five thousand years features a character who acts as a link between all the individual stories and yet doesn’t behave like a protagonist.


In the final book of the series, Chapterhouse: Dune we get to see Duncan’s true potential as he claims the memory of all his incarnations but that also marks the end of the series. Frank Herbert had some major plans for the character before he died and intended to have a seventh book that would have shown him in major light. While the movies might not navigate with the character in the same manner we can only expect to see some amount of it and finally give Duncan Idaho the heroic treatment he deserves.

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