Leto Atreides II

Leto Atreides II
Name: Leto Atreides II
AKA: God Emperor Leto Atreides II
Lifespan: 10,207 A.G. - 13,725 A.G.
Homeworld: Arrakis
Featured ArticleFeatured Image

This article concerns the second son of Paul Atreides. You may be looking for others of the same name.

I hear the wind blowing across the desert and I see the moons of a winter night rising like great ships in the void. To them I make my vow: I will be resolute and make an art of government; I will balance my inherited past and become a perfect storehouse of my relic memories. And I will be known for kindliness more than for knowledge. My face will shine down the corridors of time for as long as humans exist.

-Leto Atreides II

Biographical Information

The second son of Paul Atreides and Chani, Leto Atreides II, named after his grandfather, Leto Atreides I, was the brother to Ghanima, and possessed the same mental powers and difficulties that his sister, and his aunt Alia, shared. The primary of these was the constant rabble of their ancestor's memory spirits, dating back thousands of years, that constantly threatened to take control of them, and make them not their own. Like his father, Leto was immensely mature, despite his young age, and was able to access the knowledge of his ancestral memory spirits. He was also a skilled swordsman, tactician, and problem solver. At nine years of age, Leto, who was at the time under the care of Irulan Corrino, began to formulate the plan for the future of mankind, the plan he called "The Golden Path". To put the plan into action, he was forced to convince his family, and thereby the rest of the Imperium, that he was dead, and travelled to the legendary Sietch of Jacurutu, where he began training in the Bene Gesserit ways, under instruction from Gurney Halleck. Eventually, he underwent a bodily mutation, merging his skin with that of the sandtrout. The skin acted as a living stillsuit, and enhanced his physical abilities no end. Eventually, the sandtrout skin became sandworm skin.


Spoilers AheadWarning: Spoilers Follow For Dune Universe, Caution Advised!

Early Life

Leto and Ghanima
Leto and Ghanima on Arrakis.
Born on Arrakis in the year 10,207 A.G., Leto Atreides was the son of Paul Atreides and Chani, the brother of Ghanima, the grandson of Jessica and Leto Atreides I (dead by his timeof birth), and the nephew of Alia Atreides. He was, however, cared for maternally by Irulan Corrino, wife of his father in all but name. His mother died during his birth, and so he andhis sister were taken to Arrakeen, where they were first seen by their father, who had forseen the death of his beloved. Their first moments with their father, however, were not the loving spectacle expected, as they were instantly set upon by Scytale, infiltrator of Paul's palace, who held a knife to them, and demanded of Paul to abdicate. Hope had faded in that moment, when Paul, blinded earlier by a Stone Burner explosion, was suddenly able to see, through the eyes of young Leto. In doing so, he realised that his son and daughter were both already self-aware, a product of their Kwisatz Haderach heritage, and used the new perspective to sneak up on Scytale, and kill him quickly. In doing this, Paul saved his children, but, being now truly blind, he accorded to Fremen law, and vanished in the desert.

The Golden Path

Nine years passed after the death of Paul, and his children, while still bearing the guise of young ones, were realised by the Atreides and the Imperium to be adults in all but appearance. Leto and Ghanima tended to remain in each others company, helping each other to overcome the difficulties that their lives presented. Seeing the universe as it began to erode around them, Leto formulated, using the combinedknowledge of his ancestors, a plan for the future of humanity, which he called the Golden Path. The path, according to him, was the only hope for the future of mankind.
In 10,216 A.G., the mother of Paul, Jessica, left her home on Caladan, and came to Arrakis. Rumors persisted that she had returned to the Bene Gesserit, and intended to imprint their ways into her grandchildren, and destroy her daughter, Alia, who had become possessed by the same memory spirits that existed in Leto and Ghanima. Jessica arrived on Arrakis with Gurney Halleck, whom she had also been suspected of being lover to. Speaking with his grandmother, Leto was able to delve deeper into the guise of Leto Atreides I, her deceased husband. Alia, in the meantime, kept a close eye on the Preacher, a mysterious man who appeared occasion
ally and spoke of blasphemy in the Atreides, and how they had taken the true words of Paul and twisted them.
Soon after, Leto would be forced to make the most difficult decision of his life, and run away from his family and the Imperium.


In recent times, the former Imperial house, House Corrino, which was currently in the rule of Wensicia Corrino, had been plotting to assasinate the leaders of the Atreides, and seize power for themselves once more. To instigate this plot, Wensicia ordered the training of two tigers, intended to be used to kill Leto and Ghanima. Her son, Farad'n Corrino, was unsure as to whether or not he wanted them killed, or even if power was something he wanted to seize (as Wensicia intended for him to take the throne and not her). Partially against his will, the tigers were dispatched however, hidden on board a freighter en route to Arrakis.
Meanwhile, Leto and Ghanima continued to discuss the Golden Path, and Leto told her of the dreams he had been having of late. In these dreams, he saw through his own eyes, as he ran through the desert, but with a sort of armoured skin. Skin that was not his own. He could not explain the visions, but felt that his problems could be answered if he travelled to the legendary Sietch of Jacurutu (also known as Fondak or Schuloch), which was steeped in ancient Fremen conspiracy, and considered a place of ill omen, as none who ventured there ventured back again. Yet Leto was adamant that, if he could but find Jacurutu, and seek answers there, he would receive them.
Knowing that tigers had been dispatched to kill them, the twins ventured out into the desert one night, and here encountered the tigers. Hiding in a rock cranny, they were able to kill
the tigers with crysknives, escaping with only minor injuries. But then they faced a greater injury, one of the spirit, as they knew that Leto had to leave his sister, and travel on worm back to Jacurutu. As he left, Ghanima forced her mind to omit the memory of Leto's leaving, making herself believe she had been killed, and his body devoured by a passing worm (the worm that, in actuality, Leto had ridden away from the place on). By refusing to remember Leto's escape, Ghanima prevented herself from being interrogated, as she truly did not know that he yet lived.
Leto continued to journey across the desert, riding several worms until each was near exhaustion, and then finally arriving at a rock outcropping, which he believed to be the entrance to Jacurutu. However, after close observation of the outcropping, he was unable to find any entrance, and began to believe that Jacurutu may not even exist. The implications of this would mean his death, as he could not survive the journey home with th
e fluids he had left.
Closely studying a groove in the rock, Leto was suddenly entwined in a trap, which bound him tightly. All of a sudden he heard voices, and saw people coming to take him away.
Regaining his consciousness, Leto found that he was in Jacurutu, and in the company of Gurney Halleck, under orders from Jessica (who was currently imprisoned with Duncan Idaho on Salusa Secundus, the Corrino homeworld), to forc
e feed Leto Melange, and make him realise his potential, the possession of powers like his father's. At least this is what Gurney had been told, for in truth, it was Alia who had concocted the plan.
Leto and Ghanima had always vowed they would never take Spice, as they feared it might lead them to Abomination, the possession of a memory spirit. Alia had fallen to this fate, and was partially controlled by Vladimir Harkonnen. And yet, each day, Leto was driven into a Spice induced trance, so deep, that often he saw to his very core, and into the fathoms of the universe. Whilst in these deep trances, Leto saw himself "entwined in love" with Sabiha, a girl who had been watching over him during his trances.
Telling her this, he then incapacitated her, and made a daring escape. He fled into the desert, riding on the back of a worm until he reached a hidden Sietch, Shuloch. Here he met Muriz, and convinced him to let him stay, albeit, in a sort of prison like-manner. Sabiha was also incarcerated, as she had failed to prevent Leto's escape.

The Skin That Was Not His Own

The Skin That Was Not His Own
The Skin That Was Not His Own.
Sabiha continued to care for Leto, though she inwardly despised him for putting her in the awkward situation she was now in, and she gave him spice to induce the spice trance as she had before. During one of these trances, Leto left the unguarded hut he was being kept in, and ventured to a nearby quanat. Here he sat down, and felt a surge of sandtrout beneath the sands. They were heading for the quanat, and attempting to encyst the water there, as was theircalling. But the quanat was full of the purposefully placed predator fish, which killed the trout as they entered the water. Looking upon this, Leto picked up one of the trout. The creature felt the vast amount of spice in his blood, and began to attach itself to Leto's skin. Leto picked up another, and another, and another, until his entire body was covered in a membranous skin. He carefully adjusted his biology in the Bene Gesserit manner, which prevented the skin from coming off. It formed a symbiotic layer over him, and he found that he could jump many metres into the air, run faster than any human, and when a sandworm appeared at the quanat's edge, it did not attack him, but rather saw him as the sandtrout, it's allies. Leto astounded and shocked Sabiha with his powers, and then ran across the desert flat, leaping and bounding up rocky outcroppings. He realised, despite the thrill of his new skin, that he had made a major sacrifice, one that was necessary to the Golden Path. When the story of his transformation was told to future generations, he could only imagine the exaggerations, the varying interpretations on the tale, and the legends and myths that would be spawned from it.
He then ran away from his prison, and hid in the sand a little way off. It was here that he decided what must be done. If the precious spice were to survive, then Arrakis would have to be purged of water, the quanats spilt into the sand, and the water gathering stopped.

The Desert Demon

Leto spent much of his destroying quanats. He travelled across the desert, using his new powers, and attacked all water storage facilities that he came across. This lead many to believe that some dark spirit, or else a rouge sandworm or band of warriors, was trying to spill all of Arrakis' hard fought-for water into the sands. The problem escalated so much that the Imperial Regent Alia was informed of it. Fremen began to call Leto "the Desert Demon", as he was mysterious, agile, and uncatchable, striking unseen and causing tremendous damage when he did so. Leto later encountered the mysterious Preacher in the desert. Conversing with him, he discovered the man to be his father, and made a pact with him. Though Paul was indeed concerned by what Leto had done to his humanity, and both knew and feared his son's final fate, he agreed to assist Leto in the reclaiming of the Empire under his name.
The Preacher returned to Arrakis, and stood before Alia's palace, preaching his so called "blasphemy". Alia observed his speech from her palace, as she awaited the arrival of Farad'n Corrino, who was to wed Ghanima. When he arrived, Alia made a sh
ow of the Preacher, inviting him and his entourage to see the spectacle. However, she then ordered her men to seize the Preacher, a tactic that went drastically wrong, and resulted in Paul's death.
Leto then infiltrated the palace with ease and took over, unmasking Alia for the monster she had become and subsequently causing her to leap to her death from the palace. Leto then took over as Emperor, and release Ghanima from the mental hold she had
put on herself. Ghanima was to wed Farad'n after all, and create a lineage for Leto, since he was no longer capable of reproduction. At last, Leto had begun his work of turning the universe towards the Golden Path. Leto would spend many thousands of years on the throne, reorganising his corrupted empire as he intended it to be. He realised his ambitions of the Golden Path, keeping mankind under lock and key, prohibiting expansion and exploration so that the human race would survive. He would become known as the God Emperor.

The God Emperor

An early transformation of Leto
The Early Transformation of Leto.

I am the most ardent people-watcher who ever lived. I watch them inside me and outside. Past and present can mingle with odd impositions in me. And as the metamorphosis continues in my flesh wonderful things happen to my senses. It's as though I sensed everything close-up. I have extremely acute hearing and vision, plus a sense of smell extraordinarily discriminating. I can detect and identify pheromones at three parts per million. I know. I have tested it. You cannot hide very much from my senses. I think it would horrify you what I can detect by smell alone. Your pheromones tell me what you are doing or are prepared to do. And gesture and posture! I stared for half a day once at an old man sitting on a bench in Arrakeen. He was a fifth-generation descendant of Stilgar the Naib and did not even know it.
-The Stolen Journals.

As the years passed, Leto's body became more and more sandworm-like. His senses became acute to the point of being able to sense emotion and fear through smell. His body eventually became to large to move under his own strength, and so he ordered the construction of a specialised Ixian Royal Cart, which functioned in both ground and suspensor mode. The Ixians, with Leto's secret permission, also began to construct computers again, defying the laws against their creation that had been established after the Butlerian Jihad. Leto also held the tradition of creating clones of Duncan Idaho, only one ever in existence at a time, to serve as the commander of his Fish Speaker legions. By the year 13,720 A.G., Leto's Empire had become multi-galactic, the largest empire in history. He surrounded himself with people he trusted and befriended, such as his majordomo, Moneo.
Leto Atreides II
Leto as the God Emperor.
Arrakis itself, the planet at the center of Leto' Empire, was also changed. The sandworms that once roamed it's sands were now all extinct, as were the sandtrout. As a result Arrakis became green and plentiful again, the only area of desert being Leto's Sareer, where he dwelt. Leto intended to recreate the sandworms and the spice again however, as he knew that he would become a sandworm himself, and restart the spice cycle by making Arrakis a desert again.
Leto maintained his Imperial power because he held the largest and only reserve of the now even more precious spice close to him. He rationed this melange out among the various factions that were loyal to him, such as the Spacing Guild and the Bene Gesserit, provided that they remained as such. Those who became traitorous would be restricted to minimal spice income, or even have all spice income ended. Overall, Leto was an unquestionable god-like being, and as such, was in complete control of his subjects, whose only desire was to appease their god.
Leto kept a journal of his life and his experiences, which, since his pre-worm body prevented him writing by and, he recorded using a new Ixian device that could be activated by thought alone. These journals, or at least a copy of them, were eventually stolen by one of Farad'n and Ghanima's descendants, Siona, who was part of a resistance movement against Leto's rule. Leto intended for Siona to breed with one of his Duncans, but an unexpected event, which took the usually prepared God Emperor totally by surprise, occurred. The Ixians had created a woman named Hwi Noree in a no-chamber. She was breed to be everything that the human Leto would have looked for in a woman, gentle, beautiful and intelligent. When Hwi Noree was sent to Leto to become the new Ambassador for Ix, Leto was saddened by her existence, as it reminded him of his human self, and what might have been. Leto fell in love with Noree, despite his inability to engage in any form of physical love. Leto told Noree about the final fate that was to become of him. She was shocked to hear of how he would still be conscious after death, a tiny fragment of his being existing in every one of his sandworm and sandtrout descendants.
Much to Leto's displeasure, Duncan Idaho exhibited strong feelings for Noree as well, and Leto demanded that the two be kept away from each other.


Leto later made plans to wed Noree, and, after some deliberation, decided that it would be held in Tuono, the small village where Leto had earlier sent both Duncan Idaho and Siona to, in the hope that they would breed in the place. Idaho and Siona, however, have no intention of doing this, and plan an assasination attempt against Leto. When Leto and his Royal Peregrination approached the bridge that spanned the Idaho River, Nayla, Leto's loyal Fish Speaker, tricked into believing that Leto was about to perform a miracle by Siona, fired her lasgun at the bridge, and destroyed it. Leto's entourage, including Moneo and Noree, fell the their deaths in the river below. As he hit the water, Leto's sandworm body was dissolved, and he was washed onto an embankment. Here, the sandtrout in his skin escaped, and Duncan and Siona watched nearby as he died. After his death, Idaho killed Nayla as penance for murdering Noree.


After Leto's death, as a result of years of their three thousand year imprisonment, the human race exploded outward into the universe, in an event known as the Scattering. Leto was forever remebered, and refered to as "The Tyrant", even unto the time when the human race returned from the Scattering. On Arrakis, which became a desert again, thanks to Leto's sandtrout, Leto would be remebered as the messenger of God by a religious sect glorifying the name of Atreides.

Out of-Universe Information

Leto Atreides II was portrayed by The Last King of Scotland star James McAvoy in the Children of Dune miniseries produced by the Sci-Fi Channel. He does not appear in his final form during the series. Leto's acctions during his life cause him to be the most pivotal character in the entire Dune series, surpassing even the exploits of his father, Paul Atreides. In Heretics of Dune, Leto II is refered to as Leto III by Stiros, one of the priests on Arrakis glorifying his name, due to the fact that the true second Leto was killed by Sardaukar on Arrakis. Stiros is hushed by his superior, Tuek, for speaking such blasphemey, suggesting that the existence of Leto's sibling has been removed from record.

Ruler of the Known Universe

Followed by:


Person in question:

Leto Atreides II

Preceded by:

Alia Atreides

Featured Article BannerThis Article is Featured on Dunepedia.

In accordance with the Rules of Dunepedia, this article is proclaimed as featured, and is an exemplary piece.

God Emperor Leto Atreides IIThis Article contains a Featured Image

In accordance with the Rules of , this article is proclaimed as containing a Featured Image. The image is:
God Emperor Leto Atreides II

Leto Atreides IIThis Article contains a Featured Image

In accordance with the Rules of Dunepedia, this article is proclaimed as containing a Featured Image. The image is:
Leto Atreides II

Leto Atreides IIThis Article contains a Featured Image

In accordance with the Rules of Dunepedia, this article is proclaimed as containing a Featured Image. The image is:
The Skin That Was Not His Own

More pages