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Dune character
Max von Sydow as Dr. Kynes in Dune (1984)
First appearance Dune (1965)
Created by Frank Herbert
Portrayed by
Occupation Planetary ecologist
Affiliation Fremen
Spouse(s) Faroula
Children Chani

Liet-Kynes is a fictional character in the Dune universe created by Frank Herbert.[1] He is primarily featured in the 1965 novel Dune, but also appears 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).

In the 1984 film Dune, Liet-Kynes is played by Max von Sydow. In the 2000 Dune miniseries, Liet-Kynes is played by Karel Dobrý, who also plays treacherous priest Korba in the 2003 Children of Dune miniseries.

Character biography[edit]

Liet-Kynes is the son of Pardot Kynes, the original imperial planetologist/ecologist of planet Arrakis; and nominal leader of the Fremen at the start of the novel Dune.

Liet-Kynes was born in the year 10,154.[citation needed] Kynes was technically only half Fremen, since his father, Pardot, was from Salusa Secundus. Liet's mother, Frieth, was a sister to Stilgar, a future naib of Sietch Tabr. Liet took upon him the traditions of the Fremen society, and became a sandrider already as a youth. When Pardot Kynes died at a cave-in, Liet inherited his father's mantle and served as both the planetary ecologist of Dune and leader of the Fremen in their path towards a green Dune. He continued his father's vision of gradually transforming the planet's climate from a harsh desert into a temperate one.

He died shortly after the Harkonnen/Sardaukar assault on House Atreides. The Harkonnens abandoned him in the desert without a stillsuit, water or supplies, where he was killed by an explosion of the pre-spice mass beneath the desert surface. When he was close to death he began hallucinating and heard his father lecturing him over and over again on his plans for Arrakis. His last words were: "I am a desert creature!"[2]

Liet-Kynes is notable in that he makes critical thematic contributions to the novel of ecology and economy.

Liet-Kynes' wife was Faroula, "a noted herbalist among the Fremen."[citation needed]

Liet-Kynes is also the father of Chani (concubine of Paul Atreides) and the grandfather of the God Emperor Leto Atreides II.


  1. ^ Herbert, Frank (1965). Dune (2005 ed.). New York: Ace Books. ISBN 978-0-441-01359-3. 
  2. ^ Herbert, Frank (1965). Dune (2005 ed.). New York: Ace Books. p. 270. ISBN 978-0-441-01359-3.