The best Easter Eggs in Dune 2

Jess Bacon
Lady Margot Fenring in a dark shawl, as played by Léa Seydoux in Dune 2.

With so much spice to digest after Dune: 2, it’s time to reflect on the biggest Easter eggs that hint at the future direction of the Dune franchise. 

The long-awaited return to Arrakis is finally over, as Dune: Part Two debuts in cinemas today. The outstanding second part of Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s novel sees Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) grapple with his “terrible purpose” and attempt to fight against his destructive destiny to bring about a Holy War. 

The action picks up straight after Dune: Part One where Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson) and Paul join with Stilgar’s (Javier Bardem) Fremen tribe, after the fall of the House of Atreides. Narrowly avoiding Baron Harkonnen’s (Stellan Skarsgård) soldiers, Paul undertakes a string of challenges to be treated as an equal amongst his fremen brothers and sisters.

However, Stilgar and a small group of Fremen believe that the exiled Duke is their foretold messiah, the Lisan al Gain, which Lady Jessica only reinforces. At its core, Dune: Part Two is about the inescapable draw of destiny that comes above even the ones we love most (read more in our 4-star review).

The best Easter eggs in Dune 2

The following are our favorite Easter eggs in Dune 2, including details of a host of new characters who appear ahead of their timeline in the book series.

We’re going into detail however, so BEWARE OF MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD

The Water of Life

The Water of Life in Dune 2

After Lady Jessica drinks from the Water of Life (which is actually sandworm bile), the Fremen sisters are horrified to discover that she is pregnant. This brutal test is only given to the strongest females amongst the Fremen, as they’re the only ones able to withstand the poison. 

However, this potent power that now runs through Lady Jessica, which keeps her connected to the centuries of women’s pain who came before her, is a burden her unborn child, Alia, now has too. It’s ironic that this substance is “lethal to men” and only one man is able to drink it (their messiah), but that even a female foetus is able to stomach it. 

Though Jessica does not give birth in Dune: Part Two, it’s already clear that Alia will be a powerful presence in the future. She has inherited unique knowledge and awareness from the water of life, and already speaks to and guides her mother on how she should influence the fremen non-believers to follow Paul. Jessica functions as the eyes and ears for the unborn child, as we hear Anya Taylor-Joy’s voice say: “Mother, what is happening?” 

The vision of Alia 

Lady Jessica and Alia in Dune vision

It was surprising when Taylor-Joy revealed she was Alia in Dune: Part Two for several reasons, but mainly as Alia does not appear in the first book. She’s born in the following book, Dune Messiah, and play a significant role in the second and third novel, Children of Dune. However, Dune: Part Two deviates slightly from the book to offer a vision of a grown-up Alia in Paul’s vision. 

But who is Alia? As sister to the Lisan al Gaib and daughter of the Reverend Mother, Alia (in the book) possesses otherworldly gifts. When she’s born, she’s already able to talk and holds knowledge beyond her years, as she holds all the memories of her ancestors like her mother, Lady Jessica. 

Even from the womb, Alia’s abilities are evident as she knows that Paul should drink from the water of life and tells her mother to make sure he does. 

The Sacred Water 

Javier Bardem in Dune 2 as Stilgar.

Water holds immense value in Dune. Along with the water of life, there is another form of sacred water which is harvested from the bodies of dead Fremen and drained into one pool. Lady Jessica looks on and sheds a tear at the vast size of the body of water, which represents “so many souls” that have been lost. There’s something both tragic and bleak about this process, in comparison to the piles of bodies which are burned after the attack on Arrakeen.  

Though Stiglar warns that no one can drink this holy water – even when some of the company are dying from thirst – it seems like an essential resource to overlook. Could it be the secret to the green paradise that the fremen believe their messiah will bring to Arrakis? A war would certainly provide enough bodies to increase the amount of water. 

Desert Spring Tears 

Paul and Chani in Dune 2 movie.

As expected, Chani (Zendaya) took on a much bigger role in the second instalment, after her brief appearances in Part One, mainly in Paul’s visions. In Part Two, it becomes evident how intertwined her fate is with Paul’s own, as she becomes the embodiment of the novel’s main theme, which is to critique charismatic leaders.

Chani knows Paul and doesn’t believe that he is the prophesised messiah, but instead that his Bene Gesserit mother has spread lies to manipulate the fremen as a means to control them. She represents the side of Paul’s identity that wants to renounce his “terrible purpose” and the burden of leadership to live amongst the people of Arrakis as an equal. 

This sequel takes place over nine months (in the same year as Dune: Part One, which we know from Princess Irulan’s verbal log), as opposed to a two-year long battle in the book, which involves a major time jump. 

Instead, Villeneuve grounds the epic fantasy in intimate human scenes of Chani and Paul’s evolving love story to flesh out some of their early bonding years which are missed in the novel. It adds more depth and sincerity to their relationship and provides a striking contrast when Paul betrays his promise to Chani and embraces his destiny as a doomed leader. 

Though, Paul is set to marry Princess Irulan, it’s clear that Chani remains an integral part of Paul’s destiny as she was written into the prophecy, as it was foretold that her tears would revive Paul after he drifted into a coma after drinking the water of life. It’s Chani’s tears (desert spring tears, as her fremen name translates to) that seal his destiny and sway the non-believers that Paul is the prophet they’ve been waiting for.  

Mentat abilities 

In Dune: Part One, it is never mentioned that Paul has been trained as a Mentat. Instead, Thufir Hawat (Stephen McKinley Henderson) is the only Mentat in the house of Atreides and he demonstrates his AI, computer-like abilities when he calculates the speed of space travel in his head for Duke Leto.  

From the beginning of Herbert’s novel, it’s outlined that Paul has been taught the ways of the Bene Gesserit from his mother, has the potential to be this foretold messiah, and has had rigorous Mentat training. 

In the second part, it’s hinted that Paul might have other abilities. When Paul awakes in the middle of the night after another nightmare, Chani is surprised that he has had such a violent vision after being exposed to the potent spice for so long. It’s clear that the spice might enhance his abilities, but that Paul possesses a knowledge beyond his Bene Gesserit training, and prior to his drink from the water of life.  

The details of Paul’s vision 

Paul Atreides walks through the sands of dune.

In Part Two, Paul admits that he sees multiple versions of the future and isn’t sure which one will come into fruition. Later, when Paul and Stilgar storm Arrakeen on sandworms, the Fremen are holding a different flag to the original one Paul saw in his vision. 

This subtle difference is another sign that Paul’s visions aren’t entirely correct, which bodes well for Chani considering he saw her die when atomic bombs land on Arrakis… 

The Baron’s death

Baron Harkonnen in Dune 2 in a bath.

The final act of Dune: Part Two holds a host of twists and revelations including that Paul’s maternal grandfather is Baron Harkonnen, which he reveals to the Baron as he kills him. Fans of the book would have known that the Baron’s demise was inevitable, but the way that it happens is entirely different. 

In the book, as a child, Alia slays the Baron and become known as ‘Alia of the Knife’. This bloodthirsty act is only the beginning of her downfall, as she begins to reconnect the power of her grandfather and descend on a darker path. This major plot alteration suggests that there could be a darker future ahead for Paul, who might be the one to associate with his ancestors’ darker abilities instead. 

Lady Jessica’s rise to power

Lady Jessica in Dune 2 as Reverend Mother.

Lady Jessica gains enormous power in Part Two as she becomes the Reverend Mother of the Fremen and uses her new-found influence to sway the non-believers to have faith that Paul is the Lisan al Gaib. 

As she ascends into this all-knowing figure, inevitably she gains new enemies. Chani frequently challenges the narrative that Jessica tries to preach to the Fremen and ultimately leaves, as she can’t listen to her “lies” about Paul’s destiny. Jessica also distances herself from the Bene Gesserit including the Reverend Mother, who Paul even uses the voice on to bring her into submission to him as a new Duke. There’s a sense that Jessica’s toxic influence is only making her a bigger target amongst the people who used to trust her most.   


Paul and Feyd-Rautha in Dune 2 duel.

Dune is not short of ultimatums. Usually, this involves undertaking a test which will either increase your status or lead to your death. In Dune: Part One, the Reverend Mother subjects Paul to the Gom jabbar test to assess his impulse control. Thankfully, Paul passes. 

In Dune: Part Two, Paul has to prove himself, but this time to become a Fremen by riding a sand worm. If he isn’t able to get a grip on the giant creature, then, you guessed it, he dies. Later, Paul even delivers his own ultimatum to the emperor, who is told he can kiss Paul’s ring and accept him as the new Duke of Arrakis or die at his hand.  

Similar to the fight to the death challenges that frequent the film, it seems more ultimatums are inevitable and that Paul is destined to put his life in danger again to prove himself to the people of Arrakis. 

The Black and White section 

From the trailer, it was evident that the main scenes on the Harkonnen home world – Giedi Prime – would be shot in black and white. Despite no mention of this in the book, it appears to represent the brutality and violence of the family and their heavily industrialised planet, plagued with dust and pollution and a black sun. It also serves as a striking contrast to Arrakis that basks in eternal soft, warm hues mirroring the desert dunes. 

Villeneuve has also used monochrome in previous films such as the critically acclaimed Polytechnique, so it might simply be a stylistic choice to enhance the drama ahead of the long-awaited introduction of Feyd-Rautha (Austin Butler). 

Josh Brolin’s space guitar 

Josh Brolin Dune 2 as Gurney.

As fans of the book know, alongside his impressive combat prowess, Gurney Halleck (Josh Brolin) is a skilled musician. In Dune: Part Two, there is a brief clip of Brolin’s character playing his Baliset (a nine stringed guitar) before he conducts a raid on one of the spice harvesters. 

Brolin had teased that this side to his character might appear in the film in behind-the-scenes on-set photos. It’s another nice inclusion from the book that brings out more of the characters’ personal lives to ground us in the mundane humanity of the epic sci-fi story in amongst the large-scale battle sequences. 

Lady Margot is pregnant 

Lady Margot Fenring (Léa Seydoux) in a dark shawl in Dune 2.

The Bene Gesserit are nothing if not manipulative. They might not hold the positions of power, but there’s no doubt that these women wield the true influence over the leaders of Arrakis.

The Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam (Charlotte Rampling) admits to Princess Irulan that she instructed the Emperor to destroy the House of Atreides. Later, she sends the Lady Margot Fenring (Léa Seydoux) to seduce Feyd-Rautha to become pregnant with his child. 

As Paul and Feyd-Rautha are the only heirs to Arrakis and they both could die in battle, the Bene Gesserit set out to future-proof themselves and protect the bloodline by bearing another child from the house of Harkonnen. Now that Feyd-Rautha, his brother and his uncle are dead, all that remains of the House of Harkonnen is Margot’s unborn child. 

Holy War 

Paul Atreides (Timothee Chalamet) leads the Fremen to war in Dune 2

Right at the end of the film Jessica tells her unborn baby that her brother has brought about the “holy war” as foretold in all of Paul’s visions. This battle sets up the third film, which will most likely be the focal point for this final part.  

The Holy War has begun as Paul used the House of Atreides atomic weapons and in the book, it’s written that if one house uses their bombs to attack human life, then the remaining houses can combine their atomic stockpiles to destroy the offending house together.

Technically, Paul strikes the desert as opposed to the Harkonnen stronghold or the emperor’s ship, but countless lives are still lost as a result.  When Paul learns the other houses have refused to support his position as the rightful Duke of Arrakis, the war begins, and it suggests that the other houses will join forces and strike back by firing bombs onto Arrakis.  

Dune 2: Release date, cast, plot, trailer, & more | Dune: Part Two review – A reality you must experience | When does Dune take place? | How long is Dune 2? Runtime explained | How to watch Dune 2 – is it streaming? | Dune 2 debuts with near-perfect Rotten Tomatoes score | Is Dune 2 the end? | How to read the Dune books in order

Related Topics

About The Author

Jess Bacon is a freelance culture journalist and editor who loves to over-analyze her favorite TV shows and films. She's also a major Marvel nerd and is writing a YA novel.