12 Biggest Dune 2 Book Changes From Denis Villeneuve’s Sequel
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12 Biggest Dune 2 Book Changes From Denis Villeneuve’s Sequel


  • Villeneuve’s Dune 2 closely follows Herbert’s novel, but major changes like character omissions still occur.
  • Chani’s role, time jumps, and character removals set Dune 2 apart from the original book’s narrative.
  • Key differences in Dune 2 like Chani’s departure and character fates highlight the film’s adaptation liberties.



Denis Villeneuve’s Dune: Part Two is a fairly faithful adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune book, but that did not stop the movie from making several notable changes to the source material. After the various differences that David Lynch’s Dune incorporated in 1984, Villeneuve’s first movie in 2021 provided book readers with confidence that the new adaptation would be much closer to the novel than before. There were still plenty of Dune book scenes missing from the first movie, but Villeneuve still managed to bring the characters and story to life with justice, raising the bar for Dune 2‘s expectations.

The director’s affinity for Herbert’s original novel is well-chronicled, meaning that this adaptation should appease most readers watching Dune 2. Villeneuve once again did the work to adapt the second half of the book as closely as possible while still fitting within the confines of a nearly 3-hour runtime and building on any already established differences. However, this did mean that Dune 2 changed the book on more than one occasion. Whether it is entire characters missing from the story, character arc changes, or other story details differing, these are the biggest book differences in Dune 2.


Dune 2’s Book Changes Create A Problem For Denis Villeneuve’s 3-Movie Story

Dune: Part Two is still hiding some of the beloved sci-fi franchise’s weirdest characters and elements, but this is only delaying the inevitable.

12 Dune 2 Removes The Book’s 2 Year Time Jump

The Dune timeline changes in Dune 2 as Denis Villeneuve’s sequel removes a time jump that occurs in the book. The movie takes place directly after the events of Dune‘s ending and only a few months pass throughout the course of the film, judging by how Jessica’s pregnancy progresses. This differs from the book, as Frank Herbert implemented a two-year time jump shortly after Paul became part of the Fremen. This allows various relationships to develop and slows Paul’s ascent to power. Dune 2 removing the time jump speeds up the entire narrative.

11 The Fallout Of Jamis’ Death Is Forgotten

Jamis standing sullenly with Paul bent over in the background in Dune-1

Paul killing Jamis at the end of Dune is something that still factors into the sequel, but the fallout from the book is not explored. In the source material, Paul becomes responsible for caring for Jamis’ wife and children because he killed him. Jamis’ wife, Harah, becomes Paul’s servant, marking the beginning of an important relationship. Dune 2 does not include Harah in any capacity, as the movie fails to implement this portion of Fremen culture.


Why Paul Killed His Friend From His Visions At The End

At the end of Dune, Paul kills Jamis despite seeing visions of him as a mentor and friend. This has big implications for his future on Arrakis.

10 Count Fenring’s Role Is Removed From Dune 2

Lea Seydoux as Lady Fenring looking mysterious in the shadows in Dune 2

Another character missing from Dune 2 who had a major role to play in the book is Count Fenring. He is part of House Corrino, making the trained assassin and mentat a relative, close friend, and advisor to Emperor Shaddam. While Dune 2 includes his wife, Lady Margot Fenring, he is nowhere to be found. This is despite the fact that the Emperor orders Fenring to kill Paul in the book and the rather sizable presence he has.

Tim Blake Nelson was cast in Dune 2 in an undisclosed role, believed to be Count Fenring, but his scenes were cut.

9 Thufir Hawat Is Completely Missing From Dune 2

Thufir Hawat in uniform in Dune

The biggest Dune character missing from the sequel is Thufir Hawat. The fate of the mentat for House Atreides was not directly confirmed in the first film, paving the way for the sequel to follow the book with Thufir’s story. In the novel, he survived the Harkonnen attack on Arrakis and began working for Baron Harkonnen. He played a vital role in manipulating the Harkonnens behind the scenes and trying to find Maud’Dib, only to learn that it was Paul. This leads to Thufir dying after refusing to kill Paul. This entire story is absent from Dune 2.

8 Alia Atreides’ Dune 2 Role Is Very Different From The Book

Alia Atreides with knife in David Lynch 1984 Dune

One of the biggest ways that Dune 2 changes the book is with Alia Atreides’ role. Instead of Paul’s sister being a two-year-old child with the mental capacity of an adult, she remains in Jessica’s womb for the entire film. Casting Anya Taylor-Joy as Alia Atreides means she still has a small role to play, as she can speak to Jessica subconsciously. Since Alia is an inherently difficult character to adapt properly in live-action, this book change does make some sense. But, it also means Dune 2 had to change other parts of the story too.

7 Dune 2 Leaves Out Chani & Paul’s First Son & His Tragic Fate

Paul and Chani’s romance is a major part of the story that Dune 2 tells, but the movie does leave out the development of their first child. This results from the movie’s compressed timeline and how Villeneuve changes Chani’s perspective on the Lisan al Gaib prophecy. While not mentioned or shown in the sequel, Chani gives birth to Paul’s first child, Leto II, in the book after they’ve spent two years together. However, tragedy strikes the family when Leto II dies as an infant during an attack on a Fremen sietch.

6 Dune 2 Makes Chani Part Of The Lisan Al Gaib Prophecy

Zendaya as Chani scowling with anger in a dramatic scene from Dune 2

Dune 2 changes the book in another significant way by making Chani part of the Lisan al Gaib prophecy. The film properly incorporates Chani’s Fremen name, Sihaya, which means desert spring, but it adds more weight to it. Chani mentions early on that it is tied to some prophecy, and it is only after Paul drinks the Water of Life that her connection is revealed. When Chani cries due to Paul being in a coma, her tears are mixed with the Water of Life to bring him back to full consciousness, fulfilling part of the prophecy not from the book.

5 Gurney Gets His Revenge On Rabban Harkonnen In Dune 2

Josh Brolin as Gurney Halleck in Dune: Part Two

Gurney Halleck’s return in Dune 2 comes with a new story point for the character. Villeneuve followed the books in connecting Gurney’s backstory to Glossu Rabban Harkonnen, who was responsible for giving the warrior a scar on his face and killing his family. Instead of copying the book and having the Fremen people kill Rabban after years of his abusive reign, Gurney is given the pleasure of revenge. This change allows Dune 2 to give Gurney a more satisfying ending, as he avenges his family and fills his desire for Harkonnen blood.

4 Paul Doesn’t Kill Baron Harkonnen In The Book

Baron Harkonnen reclining and looking curious in Dune.

The ending of the movie includes some notable changes to the source material, including other major Dune 2 character deaths, like Baron Harkonnen. The movie has Paul Atreides kill his grandfather after storming the meeting between House Harkonnen and the Emperor. This is a departure from the book, as Alia Atreides is responsible for killing Baron Harkonnen. Paul’s version is more direct, and he adds a layer of disrespect to it by having Baron’s body dropped in the desert to be eaten by bugs.

3 Feyd-Rautha’s Death Is Changed After A Very Different Fight With Paul

Feyd-Rautha’s demise also plays out differently in Dune 2 compared to the book. Paul and Feyd-Rautha’s fight is the climax of both, but Dune 2‘s version is much more brutal. Villeneuve loses the tricks of poisoned blades in the movie adaptation to make it a match of strength and skill. While Paul defeating Feyd-Rautha is accurate to the source material, it happens in the movie after he surprises his cousin with a stab to the gut. In the book, Paul jabs a knife up through Feyd-Rautha’s jaw and into his brain to kill him.

2 The Great Houses Don’t Challenge Paul’s Ascension To Emperor In The Book

Timothée Chalamet as paul atreides walking through the desert in dune 2

The final scenes of Dune 2 include another change as Gurney reveals the Great Houses will not honor Paul’s ascension to become Emperor. In the book, his threat to destroy all spice mines on Arrakis leads the Guild and the Great Houses to sit back and watch the events unfold. Frank Herbert’s novel does not directly say what the Great Houses’ reactions were to Paul becoming Emperor, but the idea that they immediately challenge his rule is new. It seems to be one way the movie sets up Dune 3.

1 Chani Doesn’t Leave At The End Of Dune

Zendaya riding a sandworm as Chani in Dune 2

Where Dune 2 leaves Chani’s story is arguably one of the biggest changes to the book that Denis Villeneuve’s movie makes. After Paul becomes Emperor and proposes to marry Irulan, Chani storms out of the room in anger. Dune 2‘s ending leaves her in the deserts of Arrakis as she calls for a sandworm to come get her. The implication is that she feels betrayed by Paul, is frustrated by who he has become and the prophecy, and might ultimately leave Maud’Dib behind for a simpler life.

This is a dramatically different ending for Chani than Frank Herbert gives her. In the book, Chani is hurt by Paul’s decisions, but she ultimately understands why he is making them and that the marriage to Irulan is purely transactional. She stands by Paul’s side throughout it all, accepting her place as his “concubine” because she will be treated like his wife. Dune: Part Two‘s changes to the book raise questions about Chani’s feelings toward Paul by the conclusion of the film and what future they might have together.

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