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Dune 2’s Biggest Book Change Happened For A Good Reason

In the “Dune” book, two years lapse between Paul and Jessica’s escape into the deserts of Arrakis and the former’s reemergence as the Lisan al Gaib. During that time, Jessica gives birth to her daughter, the eerie Alia Atreides (briefly played by Anya Taylor-Joy in “Dune: Part Two”). In book and movie alike, the child is accidentally impacted by Jessica’s imbibition of the Water of Life.

In the book, we see the child born and toddling around in what can only be described as a terrifyingly creepy form. She is briefly involved in the first “Dune” story — and in some really wild ways. For instance, she’s the one who kills Baron Vladimir Harkonnen (Stellan Skarsgård) with a Gom Jabbar needle. She also earns the name “St. Alia of the Knife” as she runs around slaughtering dying soldiers on the battlefield.

Alia continues to factor into the story as it progresses from there to “Dune: Messiah” and beyond. In Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation, though, she only makes a brief, grown-up appearance in a vision and is otherwise only shown disturbingly chatting with her mother in utero.

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