The world of Dune is complex and interconnected, so for a newbie who has just been introduced to such a universe, it might feel a little overwhelming. But don’t worry, that’s why we’re here!
In today’s episode of a conclusive guide to the Dune universe, we will be discussing the Voice. Remember the first scene with Paul and Lady Jessica, where he practices trying to say things in a certain way?
It is also this particular tone that the Reverend Mother uses on Paul when she comes to test him. I guess now it rings a bell.
It is a pretty big deal for the Bene Gesserict, btw. The voice is a special skill practiced by members of the pseudo-religious cult Bene Gesserict to control others and make them obey without question.
It is one of their most fascinating skills and unique to the members of the Bene Gesserict.
How does the Voice work in Dune?
The voice is a special skill used by the Bene Gesserict which works in a similar way as mind control. The movie does not reveal too much about it, but we see it in action a few times.
This skill is one of many special powers that members of the Bene Gesserict has the privilege of using.
The voice works if you speak in a specific tone, which will control the mind of the one you are speaking to and compel them to do what you say. It is similar to the Jedi mind control or the way vampires can compel humans in the TVD universe.
But members are not born with this skill. They have to master it with practice which might take days, months or even years.
As per the book, the voice works by enabling the user to use certain vocal tones to make others do as they command. It works with the help of subtle sonic waves to bend the one being spoken to.
The film more or less demonstrates it correctly. We see Paul trying to master the use of the Voice towards the beginning of the film. The Reverend Mother uses it on Paul and it works as well. The truthsayer calling Paul is another instance.
Frank Herbert does try to explain this phenomena a little better in the books. Using the Voice is not an easy task, because it works with the help of three factors: the tone, timbre and pitch.
Depending on the person on whom it is being used, these have to be altered. Otherwise, it will most likely not work on them.
Who can use the Voice in Dune?
The Voice is supposed to be an exclusive skill which can only be learnt by the members of the Bene Gesserict. This also means and it is mentioned that only girls can learn the use of the Voice and not boys.
But Paul Atreides is neither a girl nor a member of the Bene Gesserict. How does he know the skill then?
The reason is that Paul’s mother, Lady Jessica is a partial member of the Bene Gesserict. She already violated the rules of the cult by giving birth to Paul instead of a girl child as commanded by the Mother. She also taught Paul skills used by the Bene Gesserict, such as the voice.
This is why we see Paul trying to master this skill towards the beginning of the film.
The Bene Gesserict members use the Voice pretty rarely, only in instances where they need to protect themselves or others. One of the biggest cons of the power is that it cannot be used by those who are deaf or cannot hear clearly.
This is the loophole that even the enemies of the Bene Gesserict can use and have used against them. Also, in the books, there are methods to become immune to the Voice as well. Maybe we can see some in part 2.
Nevertheless, the skill is extremely useful for the members of the Bene Gesserict because it does not require any other object or help except their own vocal cords. But again, it is not easy to master. Paul himself has been struggling to be able to use it correctly.
It all depends on your pitch, tone and timbre. Basically, members have to practice it all a hell of a lot before they can use it effectively.
Dune (also known as Dune: Part One) is an American sci-fi film based on Frank Herbert’s novel of the same name, directed by Denis Villeneuve.
Part One introduced the planet of Dune/Arrakis, the only place where the enhancer drug “Melange” is found and sought out by many. The Atreides House is sent to the planet as the ruling Duke, as part of their adversaries’ trap. However, the Atreides are aware of the same and aim to defend Dune and their house.
The ensemble cast is made up of Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Zendaya, David Dastmalchian, Chang Chen, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Charlotte Rampling, Jason Momoa, and Javier Bardem.