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This article relates to the character also known as Muad'dib. For the animal, see Muad'dib (animal).
Paul-Muad'Dib Orestes Atreides (born on Caladan 10,176 - died on Arrakis 10,214 A.G.) also known as The Mahdi of the Fremen, the Umma Regent, and Padishah Emperor, first of the line of House Atreides to occupy the Golden Lion Throne, is perhaps the most revered figure in the entire history of the Imperium.
Paul was the son of Duke Leto Atreides and the Lady Jessica, the heir of House Atreides, a atomic-armed aristocratic family that ruled the planet of Caladan. Jessica was a Bene Gesserit and an important key in the Bene Gesserit breeding program. According to the breeding program, she was to produce a daughter, who should mate with Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen, a nephew of Baron Vladimir Harkonnen. However, she fell in love with Leto and grants him a son.
After the betrayal of his family by House Harkonnen, he and his mother, the only surviving members of House Atreides, were taken in by the Fremen, where he rose to a position of prophet-leader. His private tribe name was Usul, while his public tribe name was Paul-Muad'Dib. Muad'Dib is the kangaroo-mouse of Arrakis (or star constellation pointing north, depending on which book you are reading), but in Arabic was a word for teacher. Uniting and harnessing the power of the Fremen, he toppled the power of House Corrino, and installed himself as the new Padishah Emperor of the Known Universe.
Detailed History (by source)
Paul is born in the last stages of the book, and is almost assassinated by Piter de Vries
Dune covers the life of Paul Atreides from his fifteenth year until his eighteenth. His mother, Jessica Atreides, concubine and consort of Leto I Atreides, disobeyed her Bene Gesserit superiors both in giving birth to a son and in training him in the prana and bindu ways of her order. Paul is also trained by several of his father's bondsmen, including Gurney Halleck, Thufir Hawatt and Duncan Idaho. His medical care, as with all members of the Atreides household, is overseen by Imperial-conditioned Suk Doctor Yueh. He moves to Arrakis, or Dune, when the Padishah Emperor orders his father to administer that planet as part of a conspiracy with the Baron Vladimir Harkonnen. During their brief stay at Arrakeen, their chosen capital for the planet, Paul first meets Liet Kynes. Shortly after they have settled on the planet, the Harkonnen attack along with Sardaukar forces supplied by the Padishah Emperor himself. Paul and his mother Jessica escape and eventually join Stilgar and his Fremen, in Sietch Tabr. Stillgar gives him the name Usul; yet Paul must also chose a name to which he'll be known to outsiders. He choses "Muad'dib", after a desert mouse he had seen while fleeing from the Harkonnen. He eventually marries Chani, the daughter from the now murdered Liet Kynes. Gradually he is accepted by Fremen worldwide as the Mahdi, a messianic figure in Fremen legend of wich the seeds were once planted by the Bene Gesserit. Using his messianic position, he eventually manages to wrestle control of the desert from the Harkonnen. Before the final stroke, he drinks the Water of Life, a substance that is used as a rite of passage for Reverend Mothers of the tribe, and which until then has always been fatal to any man. He survives, proving him to be the Kwisatz Haderach, and his prescient sight is enhanced. Meanwhile the Padishah Emperor himself has arrived on the planet, on one of the last patches of land controlled by the Harkonnen. In Paul's final offensive he captures him and forces him to abdicate; while more troops from various Houses are in orbit Paul threatens the Guild that if these troops would land, he would use his knowledge of the spice cycle to destroy it. Thus the Emperor is forced to abdicate in favour of Paul. To this end Paul takes the Emperor's daughter, Irulan, as his wife with Chani as a mere concubine, though she's the only one he loves.
Lisan Al Gaib
Emperor of a Million Worlds
Duke of House Atreides
Paul was portrayed by Kyle MacLachlan in David Lynch's 1984 film adaptation, and by Alec Newman in the 2000 Dune miniseries and its 2003 sequel. In both films, he appears much older and taller than Herbert describes him to be; in the beginning of the novel, he is fifteen and short for his age.