Shaddam Corrino IV

Shaddam Corrino IV
Name: Shaddam Corrino IV
AKA: Padishah Emperor Shaddam Corrino IV
Lifespan: 10,119 A.G.* - 10,202 A.G.
Homeworld: Kaitain (Later Salusa Secunudus)
Affiliation: Imperium
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It shows initiative that you are able to make difficult decisions. But do not be so eager to take the responsibility of an Emperor. I still have many years left in my reign, and you must observe my example. Watch, and learn.
-The Words of Elrood Corrino IX to his son.

Biographical Information

The 80th Padishah Emperor to rule the Imperium under House Corrino, Shaddam Corrino IV was the son of Elrood Corrino IX and Habla of Hassika, though it was the embryo of Barbara Muttelli, the Emperor's previous wife that had created Shaddam. Shaddam took up the mantle of Padishah Emperor in 10,156 A.G., after having his father mudered and poisoned by Hasimir Fenring (Shaddam had also had his older brother, Fafnir Corrino, murdered by the same man). Shaddam was a commanding figure, ruthless and merciless at times, deep and contemplative at others. He bore five daughters later on, Princess Irulan Corrino, who became a great literary chronicler, being the eldest of them.


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

Rise to Power

Golden Lion Throne Room
Shaddam Corrino IV in his throne room.
Shaddam Corrino IV was born in 10,119 A.G. The son of Elrood Corrino IX, he quickly took up his father's cruel and political ways, and later instigated the death of both his father and his father's next in line, Fafnir Corrino. Both of them were killed using chaumurky, a drink administered poison. Shaddam also gave contraceptives to his own mother to stop her producing another heir that might contest him. In 10,156 A.G., he became the 80th Padishah Emperor, and took his ill-begotten place on the throne. His ascension, however, was not without it's difficulties, as he was forced to wed a Bene Gesserit wife, Anirul Corrino, and give vast quantities of Spice Melange to the Spacing Guild to secure their support.
With the Bene Gesserit now in control of the next royal heir, which they ensured would be only female, they would be able to wed the heir to another heir of a noble house, and add a new link to their breeding program chain.
Shaddam Corrino IV and Irulan Corrino, His Eldest Daughter
Shaddam with his eldest daughter, Irulan Corrino.

Shaddam's marriage to Anuril, who died in 10,176 A.G., produced five daughters, Irulan, Chalice, Wensicia, Josifa and Rugi. Irulan would eventually become the wife of the next Emperor, Paul Atreides.

Fall From Power

By the year 10,191 A.G. Shaddam became increasingly paranoid, after he discovered that his cousin, Duke Leto Atreides I, had been training a group of Atreides soldiers to the point when they were powerful enough to contest his Imperial Sardaukar. Shaddam belived that Leto might attempt to overthrow him, and so sought a method by which to destroy the Atreides. The planet Arrakis was currently in the hands of the Harkonnens, sworn enemies to the Atreides. Shaddam therefore intended to use the Harkonnens against the Atreides. He issued orders that the fief on Arrakis would be given from House Harkonnen to House Atreides. Following these orders, the Atreides travelled to Arrakis, and here set up a new mining operation. Soon theybegan to discover that they had been infiltrated by spies of both the Imperium and the Harkonnens, but before any real action could be made on their part, they were attacked by the Harkonnens, with the assistance of Shaddam's Sardaukar terror troops, and utterly devastated.
Shaddam felt certain that the Atreides were destroyed, and so reinstated the Harkonnens as fief owners. Several years later, however, the Harkonnens seemed unable to continue spice production, as the wild Fremen, usually disorganised, had amassed, and were destroying all mining facilities on Arrakis. The Emperor rushed to Arrakis, to see what the cause of this was, and then discovered that one of the Atreides, Paul Atreides, had gathered the Fremen together, acting as a sort of messiah to them, and ordered this destruction. Shaddam was then suddenly attacked by Paul and his Fremen armies, and Shaddam's forces of Sardaukar, among the finest warriors in the known universe, were defeated, and he captured, along with his court. He was forced to give over his title to Paul, as well as his daughter, and live out the remaining years of his life in exile on Salusa Secundus. He died in 10,202 A.G.
Salvador Dali, the world-famous artist that would have portrayed Shaddam.

Out of-Universe Information

A live action cutscene from Emperor: Battle for Dune, depicting Shaddam's death at the hands of Lady Elara.
Shaddam Corrino IV was portrayed by José Ferrer in Frank Herbert's Dune film, and by Giancarlo Giannini in the Dune minseries. When Alejandro Jodorowsky wrote his version of the Dune film, he intended for Shaddam Corrino IV to be portrayed by the world famous surrealist artist, Salvador Dali. Dali would charge $100,000 an hour for his portrayal.
In the video game, Emperor: Battle for Dune, a non-canonical appearance of one of Shaddam's non-canon descendants, Frederick Corrino is made, wherein he is shown to have been poisoned by his Bene Gesserit lover, Lady Elara, causing a war for his now-empty throne. Frederick is clearly based on the Jose Ferrer model of Shaddam. At the end of the game, in the case of a House Ordos victory, a cutscene depicts the reanimated ghola of Frederick being crowned Padishah Emperor. Due to a mistake or typo in the script, the Ordos mentat proclaims "prosperity to House Ordos, and to the ruler of the known universe, the Padishah Emperor, Shaddam IV."

*In the appendix to Dune, Shaddam is said to be born in 10,134 A.G. This date was later re-clarified in the Preludes to Dune, and explanations were given that the original date had been a misprint.


  • Dune

In Visual Interpretations

  • Dune (film)
  • Dune (series)
  • Dune (video game)
  • Emperor: Battle for Dune

Ruler of The Known Universe

Followed by:

Paul Atreides

Person in question:

Shaddam Corrino IV

Preceded by:

Elrood Corrino IX

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