A title for the character Paul Atreides, from Frank Herbert's Dune.

The result of the Bene Gesserit Mating Index. Paul Atreides did not rise to this status by drinking the Water of Life, per se.

The Kwisatz Haderach is the person who could be many places at once, the universe's super-being. The Bene Gesserit had been searching for the Kwisatz Haderach for ninety generations, and knew (believed) that if they gave this man the Water of Life, he would be able to see down both the feminine and masculine parts of his past, and be something of a super-mentat as well.

Paul came one generation too early (according to the BG Mating Index, which called for 90 generations of breeding, Paul was 89th in line), and set off the events of the first three of the Dune Chronicles. He was not the right man. He was right, according to the book. He was a freak.

I see the Kwisatz Haderach as the combination of all the mental disciplines used throughout the Imperium. Muad'Dib had the prana-bindu training of the Bene Gesserit. He was also a Truthsayer. He had the prescience of a Guild Navigator and the intellectual capabilities of a Mentat. He also had the Other Memory of a Reverend Mother, and was the Fremen lisan al-Gaib (the "Voice From the Outer World"). Muad'Dib was the culmination of all these disciplines.

There are a few other characters in the Dune novels I think either actual Kwisatz Haderachs, or at least, good candidates:

In Frank Herbert's Dune books, the Kwisatz Haderach was a foretold male individual or prophesied messiah with extraordinary abilities. Creating this man was a major goal of the Bene Geserit breeding program.

The name means "The shortening of the way". The Kwisatz Haderach would have abilities similar to a Bene Geserit Reverend Mother. The Reverent Mothers, after taking the spice, were able to look within and access ancestral memories, but only in the female line. Thus they tried to breed a man who would have access to both male and female lines. Because of this, he would also have many other abilities learned from his ancestors - in the Dune universe, these are considerable. He would also be able to see the future.

Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohaim: Thinks: Could he be the one? Maybe, but will he be ours to control?
Aloud: Do you know of the water of life? The bile from the new-born worms of Arrakis?
Paul Atreides: I have heard of it.
RM: It is very dangerous. The Bene Gesserit Sisterhood use it to see within. There is a place terrifying to us. To women. It is said, a man will come, the Kwisatz Haderach. He will go where we can not. Many men have tried.
Paul: They tried and failed?
RM: They tried and died.
  - Exposition from the film Dune, the flawed but brilliant adaptation by David Lynch/Dino de Laurentiis of Frank Herbert's book.

Paul Atreides/ Muad'Dib was of course the Kwisatz Haderach. He became so by being the first man to drink the water of life and live through the resulting spice agony. He was not under Bene Geserit control, and indeed ended up controlling them. The Bene Geserit commanded Paul's Mother Jessica to bear only daughters to Duke Leto Atreides, but she disobeyed them out of love, and fulfilled the breeding program one generation earlier than expected. The daughter was to have been bred with a Harkonnen.

Paul's son, Leto II also had the abilities of the Kwisatz Haderach, and in fact deals with them better - instead of vanishing into the desert, he ruled for thousands of years as the God Emperor of Dune.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.