Dune: The Butlerian Jihad

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Part of the series on the
New Dune novels
of Brian Herbert and
Kevin J. Anderson

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Prelude to Dune trilogy

Dune: House Atreides
Dune: House Harkonnen
Dune: House Corrino

Legends of Dune trilogy

Dune: The Butlerian Jihad
Dune: The Machine Crusade
Dune: The Battle of Corrin

Sequels to the originals

Hunters of Dune
Sandworms of Dune

Heroes of Dune

Paul of Dune
The Winds of Dune
The Throne of Dune
The Golden Path of Dune

This is the first of the three books that make up the Legends of Dune series written by Kevin J. Anderson and Brian Herbert. The book brings to light the plight of humans and the way they are being hunted by the vile and evil duo of Omnius Primes' Thinking Machines and the Cymeks, collectively known as the Titans and how they came to rise up against their enemies to embark on what would become the Butlerian Jihad.

Main Characters

The Butlers

The most important character of the early Dune books. The daughter of the Viceroy and Abbess, she would go on to lead the revolt against the thinking machines after she inadvertently sparked the full scale war against the thinking machines that would eventually be name for her and her murdered child, Manion. It would become the Butlerian Jihad.
Leader of the League of Nobles and patriarch of the known Butler family.
The mother of Serena, Octa and Fredo Butler. Abbess of the City of Introspection.
Twin to Fredo. Would end up married to Xavier Harkonnen after Serena is captured and believed dead.
Twin to Octa. Died while still young of a blood disease that caused a progressive wasting of his body. After his death, Livia Butler withdrew to the City of Introspection. His death also greatly affected Octa, who became more quiet and introverted.
Son to Serena Butler and Xavier Harkonnen. He would be tragically killed by the thinking machine Erasmus by being dropped off a balcony, this would cause Serena to fire back against a sentinel robot and would help to rally the slaves on Earth to rebel against their captors.

The Harkonnens

Raised by an adoptive family after his parents were killed, he would go on to be one of the most decorated members of the Army of the Jihad. Nearly dieing at the battle of Zimia against a thinking machine incursion led by neo-cymeks on Salusa Secundus, he received Tlulax replacement parts to keep him alive. He would go on to father Manion Butler with Serena and eventually marry Serena's sister Octa. He would lead the final assault on Earth and help to turn it into a massive black ball with atomics.

The Atreides

The son of Cymek General Agamemnon. He would go on to partner the robot Seurat on Omnius update missions on the Dream Voyager. After falling for the enslaved Serena Butler, he began to learn of the plight that humanity faced and returned to Salusa Secundus with Serena Butler after turning on his father and the thinking machines.

Thinking Machines

The main machine, this machine is the leader of all other thinking machines and ruler over of the original Cymek Titans.
The only thinking machine to show true emotions and having a mind of his own, which he obtained through his own misfortunes of falling into a crevasse and pondering his "thoughts" for hundreds of years. He would go on to own Serena Butler as his own personal slave and in the end was the robot responsible for dropping Manion Butler off the balcony of his earth mansion and sparking the Jihad that would become The Butlerian Jihad.
The thinking machine that flies the Omnius update ship known as the Dream Voyager and companion of young Vorian Atreides. Also shows small signs of being able to think on his own.


The leader of the Titans or what is left of them. He was the original conqueror of Earth and of humanity. He would go on to father many children from sperm stored after his transformation into cymek form, but would only father one son he believed in, Vorian Atreides. Vorian would go on to turn on his father and join humanity. Agamemnon has sworn revenge on his son.
The lover of General Agamemnon. She is the one who learned from Cogitor Eklo the possible advantages of becoming a Cymek.
He was the main financier of the original takeover by the Titan's. He would later be blamed for allowing the Omnius program to take over the known universe and the Titans.
  • Ajax - The blood thirsty Titan, he conquered through might rather than tactic. He would be the first killed by the uprising of humans on Earth, the killer would be Iblis Ginjo.
  • Dante
  • Barbarossa


This cogitor lives on a remote mountain on Earth with his secondaries. The cogitor would help to cause Juno to come to the conclusion that the Titan's could take over the old empire. This same cogitor would later plant the seeds in the mind of Iblis Ginjo that it was possible with the right spark for the captive slaves of Earth to revolt against the machines.
These are the other disembodied brains who do nothing but ponder. They refused to be a part of either the machine or human part of the war and ran away to stay in peace and neutrality.


A slave boss on Earth, was a trustee of the machines. He would oversee the production of the Ajax statue as well as hidden weapons systems that would help start his revolt against the machines. He was given the idea that humans could revolt if given a spark by the Cogitor Eklo. he would go on to become the Grand Patriarch of the Jihad, a master of deception and politics.


Before Capture

Serena Butler started as a young and naive parliament member of the League of Nobles. She was the daughter of their Viceroy Manion Butler. Serena Butler was a strong opponent of the League Worlds keeping slaves at the start of the storyline. She didn't find it correct that the League could damn the machines for keeping enslaved humans when they were in fact doing the same thing to members of their own species.

All this was brought to a stop as the capital city of Salusa Secondus came under attack by the thinking machines; this attack was led by Cymek warriors due to the Holtzman field that protected the cities that would fry the circuits of the thinking machine fleets. During this event, the human forces managed to turn back their enemy after many losses to their city and ranks of members. One brave Tercero Xavier Harkonnen managed to turn the tide to make the Salusan Guard win the battle having made the terrible decision to leave the citizens to fend for themselves with the invading fleet and protect the generators that produced the Holtzmann field over their city to keep the full attack force from coming in and taking the League of Nobles home planet. During this battle, Xavier Harkonnen wound up injured almost beyond repair needing Tlulaxu grown replacement organs to survive this attack by the thinking machines.

Afterwards Xavier would be promoted and sent on a mission to oversee that all Holtzmann Shield Generators were up to date and functional giving the League of Nobles a chance if the thinking machines were to attack again. Xavier having been away from Serena Butler for so long, hastily finished his duty on Geidi Prime and returned home quickly.

After the attack on Salusa he turned his attentions to Serena Butler who he loved with a passion and lust like no other. The two would eventually become betrothed and held a party at the Butler Estate. During this grand event, news would come from the recently inspected and approved Giedi Prime with the news of an invasion and complete takeover of Giedi Prime by the thinking machines.

Xavier Harkonnen and Serena Butler would have a final rendezvous together before Serena would secretly slip off and run away to Geidi Prime to help the humans there with a rag tag team of mercenaries to restore the secret secondary Holtzmann Field Transmitter Tower.

After her departure, Serena's sister Octa showed up and gave Xavier a necklace with a message in it telling him what she had done and to please bring the League Armada to help her cause. He would immediately begin to set up for departure.

After arriving and secretly making it to the hidden transmitter on Geidi Prime right under the noses of the thinking machine force, Serena and her team immediately began to bring the transmitter back online. After getting it up to almost operational status, Serena and her retired and sickly pilot tried to get off the planet to try and reach Xavier in transit, during their attempt, the machine forces surrounded them and managed to kill her pilot and take Serena captive. She would be transported to the planet Earth from here.

The group at the transmitter tower activated the mechanism. Which led the machine forces to them, with the League Armada making it to the planet in time to attack the machine forces before they could take over the transmitter tower and deactivite it, this left Giedi Prime to be taken back by the League forces, but Xavier finding no sign of his beloved Serena except for her blood in the destroyed Kindjal Fighter she had been on when captured.

During Capture

After being caught by the thinking machines and being transported to Earth, Serena Butler tried to hide who she was from them. But during scans, her true identity could not be hidden from the machines, and the independent robot Erasmus would request her as his slave. This request was granted. Also upon arrival to Earth, Serena would find out about her pregnancy.

During her capture, Serena was able to stimulate the "mind" of Erasmus and thus gained many many freedoms not granted to other slaves. Though she was never allowed into the labs of Erasmus, in which he conducted experiments on the human slaves from the slave pits.

Before he left for his journey on the update ships for Omnius, Vorian Atreides would become smitten with this slave, as she provoked him. He would go on after her prodding to learn the truth about his father the Titan General Agamemnon and know of the horrors he had committed against the human race, causing Vorian to turn on the machines in the end.

Serena would strive to make these slaves lives better in her time on Earth in captivity of Erasmus, and many slaves would grow to respect her. She would go on to tend her garden and have debates with Erasmus up until she gives birth to Manion Butler.

After her pregnancy, Serena Butler's child Manion Butler became a problem to Erasmus as the child routinely went places it shouldn't, as well as took up his valuable time debating with Serena. This would lead to Erasmus removing the reproductive organs from Serena Butler, causing her hate for him and all machines to become even more livid. Eventually Erasmus would begin to hate the child and would eventually end up sparking the human revolt and invariably the Butlerian Jihad by dropping the young child off the balcony of his mansion. This would cause Serena to attack a sentinel robot and attack it causing it to fall from the balcon as well. This caused Iblis Ginjo, a trustee to the machines, and the slaves to turn violent against their machine slave masters.

Iblis Ginjo had been a trustee the slaves looked up to for his ability to get them things that normally they could not have and he always followed through on promises for them. This in turn helped to lead to his work on the statue to the Titan Ajax. Iblis Ginjo would eventually begin receiving strange cylinders about a revolt against the machines and began to ponder if it was probable it could happen. Little did he know that the machine Erasmus and Omnius had set this little scheme up to see if it was possible for even the most trusted of human slaves to turn on their captors. During this time, Ginjo would make frequent visits to the cogitor Eklo who helped to make him believe that the revolt against the machine masters was possible. When the time came, Ginjo secretly had missiles installed in the work area of the Ajax monument as well as other places. After witnessing the child of Serena be murdered and seeing Serena fight back taking out a machine, Ginjo and his followers started to revolt against their masters. Before all was said and done Ginjo and his followers would end up killing the Titan Ajax. The group would then go on to try and enter the mansion of the robot Erasmus to find Serena Butler.

Vorian Atreides was co-pilot on the Omnius update ship which went from world to world to keep all the everminds up to date. Upon arriving at the Giedi Prime site, he would find that it had been taken back by the human scum, hrethgir, and would have to trick them in order to escape the system. Upon arriving back at Earth, Vorian would be "attacked" by his father. But after it was all over, Vorian had actually been honored by his father with a life extension treatment that could allow him to live for hundreds and hundreds of years with high immunities. Vorian would go on to accept believing the next step would be the ultimate honor, that of becoming a neocymek.

Vorian would be asked to the villa of Erasmus in order for Erasmus to see how he reacted with the often smart mouthed and hostile Serena Butler, who didn't understand Vorian and his willingness to serve the thinking machines after what they had done to the humans. She would provoke him enough to make him ponder why she hated him and the machines so much. This bothered him to the point that he would look up his father and the Titan's history on his next update run and find the ugly truth.

He would return to Earth with a new understanding of his father and the Titans and wanted to desperately go and see Serena Butler to discuss this new found knowledge. He would return in the thick of things and would think of nothing more than to find Serena before she could be harmed. Upon entering the mansion of Erasmus he would go on to search until finding her half dazed and drugged in a lab, where Erasmus had left her upon fleeing Earth.

Vorian Atreides would end up turning on his longtime partner and friend, Seurat (Old Metalmind to Vorian) and taking his ship. Serena and Iblis Ginjo would be his passengers and they would set a path for Salusa Secondus, the capital of the League of Nobles. Even if it meant that Vorian would lose her back to her lover Xavier Harkonnen.

During Serena's time on Earth, Xavier Harkonnen would believe her dead, as would the rest of the League. This was due to the testing on the blood in the Kindjal fighter belonging to her. In their time of hurt and pain, Xavier Harkonnen would turn to Octa, the sister of Serena. The two were married in order to help heal the two families as well as the League itself. Xavier would move out of the Tantor Estate and into the Butler Estate during this time.