Vladimir Harkonnen

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The Baron Vladimir Harkonnen is a fictional character from the Dune universe created by Frank Herbert. He is primarily featured in the 1965 novel Dune, in which he is the main antagonist, and is also a major character in the Prelude to Dune prequel trilogy (1999-2001) by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson. The character is brought back as a ghola in the Herbert/Anderson sequels which conclude the original series, Hunters of Dune (2006) and Sandworms of Dune (2007).

"Appendix IV: The Almanak en-Ashraf (Selected Excerpts of the Noble Houses)" in Dune says of him (in part):

VLADIMIR HARKONNEN (10,110-10,193) Commonly referred to as Baron Harkonnen, his title is officially Siridar (planetary governor) Baron. Vladimir Harkonnen is the direct-line male descendant of the Bashar Abulurd Harkonnen who was banished for cowardice after the Battle of Corrin. The return of House Harkonnen to power generally is ascribed to adroit manipulation of the whale fur market and later consolidation with melange wealth from Arrakis.[1]

Contents

Characteristics

In Dune, Herbert notes that the Baron possesses a "basso voice" and is so "grossly and immensely fat" that he requires anti-gravity devices known as suspensors to support his weight. [4] It is implied by Margot Fenring that the Baron has allowed himself to become obese. [5]

As ruthless and cruel as he is intelligent and cunning, the Baron's greatest skill is his talent for the subtle and clever manipulation of others through their weaknesses or his understanding of human nature. His sexual preference for young men is implied in Dune and Children of Dune.[6][7][8] It is noted, however, that he "once permitted himself to be seduced" in the liaison which produced his secret daughter. [9]

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