goddamnemperor: (Power must always meet)
[personal profile] goddamnemperor
Ghanima: He runs and runs and runs. And when he's exhausted himself, he returns to me, puts his head in my lap and asks me to help him find a way to die.
Farad'n Corrino: But why does he want to die?
Ghanima: To save himself from the sacrifices he must make, sacrifices for the future of us all

Okay, so this is an essay on Leto. I will try to sum up
-the state he is in after the events of Children of Dune
-Leto and family
-his interaction with normal people and why he is slightly stunted in that department

This essay will have spoilers for the entire miniseries.

Leto: The Worm [post series]

What the mini-series does not do that the books very clearly cover is what exactly the Golden Path ordains and what is Leto's role in it. As I am playing primarily from the mini-series, let's cover what the Golden Path is! It's basically Leto controlling the future so that when he finally dies, mankind will be able to create their own future from moment to moment without prescience having any influence over them. It's also his way of saving Arrakis from the environmental changes that the Atreides have forced on it. When Leto put on the worm-skin, he did it for three reasons.

-He did it for himself. Leto is constantly trying to make himself unique, to be his own person where nothing in the universe can control him. That is what he longed for.
-He did it for humanity. Leto loves people. He loves their flaws, he loves the way they think, he is pretty much like humanity's father and he keeps a strict but loving hand when he deals with them. To him, everything, every action humanity does is adorable and amazing to him. Oh, he can comprehend it despite his often skewered understanding, but he just outrightly loves them a lot.
-He did it for his father and his family. In the miniseries, Leto truly longed for his father to be there. He wanted to know more about him, he wanted a real family, not just the memories he was born with. That's why he constantly tried to imitate his father right now to flying low, or wandering into the desert. He wanted his father to reassure him, to love him. Which is why he took up the mantle to shatter his father's myth. Because that was what his father longed for the most.

So, after Children of Dune, what kind of person was Leto? For one, he's zen. He has accomplished what he wanted to do! He didn't doubt his choice. But he's also starting to be painfully aware of the consequences. Which is why he sought refuge with his sister whenever he had any doubts. He's still only fifteen and he doesn't have anyone in the world who would understand his choice like his sister. So Leto balances his godly zen and then tucks his doubts and fears with his sister. This means that Leto (as I currently apped him from) is at his crossroads and now trying to live with his choice to the best of his ability.

Leto and Family

Ghanima: Leto isn't kidding when he says Ghanima is his other half. She's pretty much his opposite and complete compliment. He relies on her common sense, her understanding and most of all, her love. Ghanima is the only person he will allow to love him and Ghanima is the only person Leto loves utterly and unconditionally. It is with Ghani that Leto confides that he regrets taking up the worm-skin, that he apologizes to. And it is with Ghani that he curls up with and wishes for death. You could even argue that one of the reasons he took the Golden Path was for Ghani and all her descendants. There is a strong element of incest (in the books, they get married), but again, Leto concedes Ghanima to Farad'n because of the worm-skin and because he could never deprive her of anything.

Paul "Muad'dib" Atreides: For me, one of the most outstanding scenes in Children of Dune that deviated from the books is Leto's first physical meeting with his father. Which I will link as well as transcribe here.
Muad'dib meets his Son
: How many nights... I have sat on Dune, just like this, imagining a night, just like this, with... with my father. Just the two of us... talking and laughing. And how many nights I have gone to sleep on the cold floor of the sietch, dreaming of his arms around me, sheltering me from everything I was afraid of, everything I could not understand!
The Preacher: [pause] Are you still a good Fremen?
Leto: Yes.
The Preacher: Then will you permit a blind man to go out into the desert, and find peace on his own terms?
Leto: Not yet.

Leto really, really wanted a father figure in his life. Sure, he possessed all his father's memories and thoughts, but that wasn't enough for him. He needed to know everything about his father right down to how other people viewed him, how they loved them so that he too could understand and love his father in the same way. I think that's where his dislike for the Muad'dib started, even though he knew it was a necessity to accomodate it. But he loved his father and craved any kind of recognition from him, a sign of acknowledgement which he only got when Paul died in his arms and said, "It's up to you now, my son."

(This is also where the novels deviate from the miniseries. In the miniseries, Paul attempts to kill Leto to destroy the Golden Path and fails and there is no real warmth between them)

St. Alia of the Knife: Alia, like Leto and Ghanima are also pre-born and the only person who doesn't treat them like children. Leto has a deep fondness for her and extreme pity for her circumstances. For that, he will defend her memory vehemently from anyone who would denounce her, because he knows how Alia was trapped by the "other" memories and how everyone treated her with disdain and fear drove her into possession. He also knew that she had no hope of surviving possession, but he held onto the hope that she could save herself. She did, but not in the way anyone expected. Alia is the only person that Leto has cried for (crying is a big thing in Fremen culture. Fremen generally do not cry at all since they consider it a waste of moisture. And considering that Leto is part worm, crying is not something he could do very easily).

Leto and Character Interaction

Leto sucks at communication.

There's a very nice chapter in Children of Dune that sums it up very neatly why Leto is very different from normal people. For one, he knew about sex when he was one, he knew how to walk, to talk. He knew how to debate and every single history of mankind all the way up to the Greek age (House of Atreus, according to Wiki). He can speak probably every known language known to mankind, even the truly ancient ones. Ghanima said once that the "The human experience is so rich in him". Leto as a character thrives on knowledge and understanding. Just because he was born with all this information, does not mean he will stop learning. In fact, he's more than aware of how lacking he is when it comes to the basic human courtesies. "I'm sorry." "Nice to meet you" etc etc are the little things that Leto often stumps himself with due to his larger than life understanding. He struggles with seeing things the way people do. Often that's why he retaliates in a dickish manner, questioning the nature of the greetings themselves and twisting them (in order to see how people react. Leto, as I said, thrives on learning new things). Again, this is another reason why he relies on his sister. She is the only person who truly understands what he is trying to do and also the only person who is best at explaning both points of view; Leto's and normal people.

Another new aspect to Leto (post-series) is that he is a lot more reserved with his feelings than what he was before he assumed the godly mantle. The problem being Leto cannot fall in love. He loves in a general sense, very deeply but not in a whole heartedly manner. Leto cannot let himself get too attached to people otherwise he'll derail himself from the Golden Path and try to find a way for him to enjoy his life, something he cannot actually have. To him, the consequences are too dire for him to ever be able to have a really close and meaningful relationship with any one at all. It's a temptation that he has to continue resisting for the rest of his life. This was why he "freaked" out a little at Ash when Ash could detect his feeling. He knows that receiving empathic feelings of concern, of caring would destroy him because he would try to reach out for it, to take comfort! So, despite his own warm demeanor, he knows better than to truly love and care for one person in his life. He has to divide his affections, to care for the human race as a whole.

State of the Union in Camp

So, what is Leto like in camp?

As I covered earlier, Leto is basically going to go around camp poking people at his leisure to broaden his learning and understanding but withdrawing before anyone else so much as perceives the kind of person he is. Think of him as a fifteen year old troll with people issues. Right now, he really misses Ghanima a lot and really requires her comfort to keep him stable, but since she's not here (ps app ghani), he's adapting in his own way (I imagine he's probably spending a lot more time meditating and consulting the host of people within, primarily his father). Is this state likely to change? That entirely depends! There were a few people (Ash, Stein) who came somewhat close (I stretch somewhat because Leto is the world's greatest pretender. He can disguise and control every muscle and emotion at will) to realizing what kind of person he was, something he cannot allow under any circumstances. It's only been a month for him, so we'll have to see.
Thoughts, Comments? Why are you writing ridiculous essays, Oz?
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Leto Atreides the II

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