Vladimir Harkonnen

Vladimir Harkonnen
Name: Vladimir Harkonnen
AKA: The Siridar Baron Vladimir Harkonnen. Planetary Governor of Arrakis. Titular Head of House Harkonnen and Overlord of Giedi Prime, Lankiveil and Allied Planets.
Lifespan: 10,110 A.G. - 10,193 A.G.
Homeworld: Giedi Prime
Afilliation: House Harkonnen
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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.
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The Almanak en-Ashraf

Biographical Information

The son of Dmitri and Victoria Harkonnen, Vladimir Harkonnen (his full title being Siridar Baron Vladimir Harkonnen. Planetary Governor of Arrakis. Titular Head of House Harkonnen and Overlord of Giedi Prime, Lankiveil and Allied Planets) was the brother of Abulurd Harkonnen, the father of Jessica, and the uncle of Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen, and Glossu "Beast" Rabban,sons of his brother, Abulurd. The Baron was a cruel and uncaring creature, with bizarre homosexual and necrophiliac tendancies. In his healthier youth the Baron indulged an overwhelming sense of narcissism, demanding pampering of his "perfect" body. He also had a violent temper, able to murder intimates with a "single blow to the larnyx". The Bene Gesserit Kwisatz Haderach breeding program required a female descendant from Baron Harkonnen. They were forced to use blackmail due to the fact that the Baron "detested the female form", preferring younger boys for his pleasures. The first coupling resulted in a "defective" female child unsuitable for what the Bene Gesserit desired. They were forced to bring Gaius Helen Mohiam (under BG records her name was "Tenidia Nerus") to Geidi Prime for a second session with the Baron. Suitably prepared for this encounter the Baron raped Gaius Helen Mohiam (conceiving Jessica in the process). In retaliation Mohiam infected him with an incurable neurological disease that bloated his body and gave him the appearance of obesity. Unable to use his legs to lift his heaving torso, he resorted to using an antigravity suit to hold him
Vladimir Harkonnen
The Siridar Baron Vladimir Harkonnen. Planetary Governor of Arrakis. Titular Head of House Harkonnen and Overlord of Giedi Prime, Lankiveil and Allied Planets.
aloft. The Baron devoted incredible effort to regaining his health. He murdered many of his own Physicians. Finally he was forced to recruit a Suk Physician named Wellington Yueh. Yuehidentified the pathogen but could not cure the Baron. Nobody could cure the Baron as it was a permanent Bene Gesserit punishment, one that would plague the Baron for the remainder of his days. Baron Harkonnen was described as having red hair, spider black eyes and a deep rumbling basso of a voice, whilst he tended to dress more extravagantly than might have been appropriate. He continued his tendency to arbitrarily murder intimates who "failed" him by using various concealed weapons or by having subordinates do the deed while he watched. In contrast to his personal habits the Baron had an intense sense of loyalty to his House, to the extent that most of his efforts were focused upon gaining power and political potency for the benefit of his family. The Baron even deigned to take his younger nephew, Feyd Rautha, at gunpoint from his brother Abulard and made a considerable effort to raise him "properly" in order to continue the affairs of House Harkonnen after his own time. This included raising the infant Feyd in his own keep, an incredible act for a man whose personal affairs were geared towards total self indulgence. The Baron devoted great time and effort into teaching both of his nephews to be subtle, Machiavellian and thorough. The failures of "Beast" Rabban to learn subtlety caused the Baron no small pain. When Feyd Rautha attempted to kill him by using a concealed dart on a slave boy "meant for play" the Baron was more angry with the "crude nature" of the assassination attempt (and the implication that Feyd considered himself ready to be Baron) than he was at the attempt to murder him. As punishment Feyd was forced to strangle every female in the "pleasure area" while the Baron watched, hopefully to reinforce the lesson. In addition Feyd was forced to pledge allegiance to the Baron. In addition the Baron promised to elevate Feyd to the Padishah Throne. Feyd kept his vow of loyalty accompanying the Baron as a loyal heir apparent until the day of their deaths. The Baron's greatest assets were his ability to transcend "ordinary" social boundaries, to think out of the box and to make his plans work. His musings are recorded for history, he considered lesser beings "rabbits" but considered hard working people "busy bees" who worked "all day long". He placed an enormous emphasis upon Machiavellian thinking, upon "deviousness" and upon knowing your enemy and friends. For all of his lack of empathy the Baron was first and foremost a people person, skilled at inducing terror and in recruiting like minded persons who would help him pursue his goals. The Baron enjoyed keeping people "off balance" and "wary", "hungry and sharp". He felt that these virtues made people efficient and loyal to their own interests, which would coincide with his interests if he was sufficiently devious. In this sense the Baron's attidudes were the antitheses of the Atreides credo of service to the ruled. Service in order to strengthen the fortunes of the House. The Baron instead manipulated situations and created pressures that coerced loyalty to his family. He especially prized functional drug addicts since their "pleasures" "bound them to him". One of the Baron's greatest allies was his "twisted Mentat", Piter de Vries.

Biography

As Baron

Vladimir Harkonnen was born in 10,110 A.G. to Dmitri and Victoria Harkonnen. His younger brother, Abulurd had far more empathy for his subjects and other people than his elder brother. Victoria Harkonnen instilled in her son a strong sense of destiny, a sense of ruthlessness and an overwhelming lust for power. A son of his Father's second marriage, Abulard was more gentle than Vladimir. He was given the siridar fief on Arrakis in his Father's will. Abulard was unable to sufficiently manage the Arrakis operations, causing shortfalls in production. Vladimir was eventually forced to take the holdings from his brother Abulard who gratefully retired to Lankiveil where he would live a peaceful life with his subjects. Abulard Harkonnen's role in the family was to sire successors for House Harkonnen. In most every respect Abulard disgusted the Baronwho found his "bleeding heart" and "weak mindedness" a source of embarassment and shame to his House and the memory of their Father. Abulard's wife, Emmi, was to be his source of joy and strength. Together they achieved a level of peace and contentment unknown for most Harkonnens. Abulard would "give" his brother two heirs apparent. Glossu Rabban and much later Feyd Rautha. Glossu in many ways tried to emulate his Uncle's lesser habits while doing little or nothing to emulate his Uncle's greater strengths. Glossu enjoyed killing for the pleasure of inflicting pain and suffering. This included hunting young children for sport. Eventually Glossu would murder his own grandfather for failing to collect sufficient taxes, an act that caused his parents to disown him. Abulard had stolen one of the Harkonen spice stockpiles secreted on Lankiveil (for the benefit of ordinary subjects). In retaliation Rabban murdered his own Father, an act that caused him to title himself "Beast Rabban". This murder would earn him his uncle's wrath for refusing to obtain permission first. In contrast Feyd Rautha made an attempt to master subtlety. He learned subtlety in the arena where he pitted himself against trained gladiators. Feyd also made an earnest effort to learn his Uncle's devious ways. Feyd and Rabban often attended strategy sessions with their Uncle and his Mentat, Piter De Vries. Rabban would eject whatever crossed his mind, most of the time the suggestions were juvenile and direct. In contrast Feyd took a more Socratic view of these proceedings, absorbing information while asking an occaisional question meant for clarification or making a remark of admiration. Ever since the Butlerian Jihad the Houses of Harkonnen and Atreides had been feuding. The dispute was ancient and through the centuries had been amplified beyond reason. Vladimir wanted desperately to do away with his enemies while ensuring that his House might one day supplant the Corrinos on the Imperial Throne. House Atriedes might challenge his claim to the throne and if they could be defeated and humiliated in the eyes of history so much the better in the process. The Emperor Shaddam Corrino IV also wanted the Atreides destroyed since they presented a credible challenge to his own power. There was also a suspicion that the Atreides were attempting to make common cause with the Fremen on Arrakis, in essence creating a force to rival the Emperor's Sardaukar. The Atreides were also very popular with many of the larger Houses, in part due to their values and training and in part due to Leto's own leadership and good works. In contrast House Corrino was seen as distant and at times corrupt. Therefore a plan was devised between the Imperium and Harkonnens that would lead to the destruction of the Atreides. The Atreides would be given control of Arrakis, one of the most valuable worlds in the universe, and one currently under the control of the Harkonnens. This plot benefited the Baron since his nephew Rabban had not been sufficiently better than his Father in running the operation. The Baron tired of constantly having to clean up after the "Beast". Feyd Rautha was close to becoming old enough to assume control of Arrakis but he was not quite old enough. By surrendering the Siridar Fief on Arrakis for a brief time only to claim it back in the future from a grateful Emperor the Baron hoped to clean up many problems. It was hoped that the siridar fief on Arrakis might cause the Atreides to become too popular politically and might cause them to be despised by many major Houses because of their increased potency. The Baron counted on this effect to prevent any military support from would be allies andto discourage anyoneto closely investigate the circumstances of the Atreides's downfall. The Baron was able to recruit a traitor from amongst the Atreides; the Suk Physician Yueh who had diagnosed his condition long before. The Doctor was now the Atreides's personal Physician. By capturing Yueh's wife and letting Piter de Vries torture her the Baron was able to extract the Suk Doctor's cooperation in betraying House Atreides at a critical moment. Since Suk Conditioning forbid any such trained Physician from harming their patient no one would suspect Dr. Yueh. The Baron would get the Doctor to betray his patron without directly harming him. The House Shields on Arrakis would be disabled at a critical moment allowing a joint Harkonnen-Sardaukar force to overwhelm the Atriedes forces. The Doctor would also tranquilize Leto Atreides and present him to the Baron. Doctor Yueh made his peace with his treachery by placing a hollow tooth filled with a nerve agent into Leto's mouth. Upon presenting the tranquilized Duke to the Baron Harkonnen Dr. Yueh was killed by Piter De Vries. Vladimir personally ordered his daughter, Jessica, and her son, Paul, to be left to die in the open desert, hoping to avoid having to confess to a Bene Gesserit Truthsayer that he had murdered them. Leto Atreides died without killing the Baron but did kill Piter de Vries, denying the Baron an important ally. The Harkonnens took control of Arrakis again. As the Baron had foreseen nobody questioned the ouster of Leto Atreides. Beast Rabban returned to ravage the people. Feyd Rautha was being groomed to take his brother's place at the appropriate time. However, after a few years, they became unable to succefully mine any Spice, as their mining equipment was being destroyed by the Fremen. In an attempt to retaliate, the Baron used the Sardaukar forces that the Emperor had given him control of to fight back against the Fremen, whilst trying to hide his suspicions that one of the Atreides must have survived and amassed the Fremen against him. The Baron's own intelligence sources did not reveal the presence of the Mahdi (voice from the outer world) nor did they believe that Paul had survived in the desert. Most of all, the Harkonnens did not believe that "Fremen rabble" were capable of mounting a rebellion.

Death

The Baron's Master Plan
The Baron explains his master plan to his Doctor (left) and Feyd (right), who both listen intently.
Unable to stem the ever-rising torrent of Fremen, the Baron was informed that the Emperor was to inspect his work on Arrakis. The Baron told the Emperor that none of the Atreides had survived the Harkonnen Putsch. The Emperor produced a survivor, the young pre-born Alia, younger sister of Paul Atreides. She revealed that her brother, Paul Atreides, had survived, and had lead the Fremen resistance. Just then a huge explosion blew a hole in the Shield Wall, and thousands of Fremen rushed in on wormback. They overwhelmed their enemies, and in the commotion, the Baron attempted to grab Alia. When he did so, she pricked him with a poison gom jabbar, and he died. By threatening to destroy the spice with the "Water of Death" Paul was able to leverage the throne away from the corrupt Padishah Emperor. Paultook over as Emperor from Shaddam Corrino IV.

As a Memory

After Paul Atreides accepted the Fremen judgement against the Blind (caused by a Stone Burner which was ignited by Qizarate Treachery) he wandered into the desert. His sister Alia of the Knife assumed the regency for his infant twins. She began to use Spice risking possession since she was "pre-born". Eventually some of her more dominant ancestors began to assert control over her personality. One of them, Baron Harkonnen, was able to suppress the others in exchange for a "little time alive". Eventually he would begin to dominate his grand daughter. He influenced many of her decisions, but died with her death.

Vladimir HarkonnenThis Article contains a Featured Image

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Vladimir Harkonnen

Ruler of Arrakis

Head of House Harkonnen

Overlord of Giedi Prime, Lankiviel, and Allied Planets

Followed by:

Leto Atreides I


Followed by:

Unknown


Followed by:

Unknown


Person in question:

Vladimir Harkonnen


Person in question:

Vladimir Harkonnen


Person in question:

Vladimir Harkonnen


Preceded by:

Unknown


Preceded by:

Dmitri Harkonnen


Preceded by:

Unknown


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