Josh Brolin is an immensely talented thespian with a remarkably diverse filmography. He seems to have seamlessly leaped from one franchise to another, leaving behind the gauntlet and the stones of Thanos and embracing the poetry and the sword of Gurney Halleck, Warmaster of House Atreides. Gurney is fiercely loyal to Duke Leto and his family, and along with Swordmaster Duncan Idaho and Mentat Thufir Hawat, he is one of the teachers of Leto’s heir, Paul.
When the Emperor asks Leto to take over the stewardship of Arrakis from House Harkonnen, Gurney knows that there will be an inevitable response from the brutal and wealthy Harkonnens and warns Paul about it. If you are wondering whether he survives the joint raid of the Imperial Sardaukar troops and Harkonnen soldiers, this is what you need to know. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Does Gurney Halleck Die in Dune?.
No, Gurney Halleck doesn’t die in ‘Dune.’ In Frank Herbert’s original books, Gurney is an interesting mix of characteristics. Like the samurai of medieval Japan, he is equally proficient in waging wars and singing songs. Duncan even says of Gurney at one point, “He could be killing you while he was singing and never miss a note.” The film does allude to his musical talents. When Gurney enters Paul’s room to train him, the latter is reluctant and asks for a song instead. However, diligent as always, Gurney disregards his pupil’s complaints and proceeds to give him a lesson. He also makes Paul understand the gravity of the situation.
For the past few decades, the Harkonnens have harvested Melange or Spice from Arrakis, where it is found in abundance. Arguably the most precious substance in the known universe, it gives humans long lives and special powers, is a potent narcotic, and makes space travel possible. The Harkonnens, known for their savagery, mined the Spice with brutal efficiency and became richer than the Emperor. Gurney helps Paul realize that by giving House Atreides the fiefdom of Arrakis, the Emperor has made an all-out war between the two great houses inevitable.
Gurney joins the rest of Leto’s household and travels to Arrakis, where they make the stronghold Arrakeen their base. Gurney’s fears prove to be almost prophetic. One night, while Gurney is sleeping, the attack comes. The Suk doctor Wellington Yueh betrays House Atreides by jamming their communication channels and taking down their shields. The last time the audience sees Gurney, he is charging towards the enemy with his men.
In the books, Gurney survives the apparent fall of House Atreides and eventually becomes involved in Spice smuggling. About two years after Leto’s death, he gets captured by the Fremens and eventually reunites with Paul and Jessica. However, after seeing the latter, he nearly kills her, as Gurney, like many others, believes that Jessica was the one who betrayed Leto. After Paul becomes Emperor, Gurney apparently enters a secret relationship with Jessica. So, if there is a part 2 of ‘Dune,’ as director Denis Villeneuve has planned, the audience can expect Gurney’s return in it.
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