Template:In-universe Template:Proposed deletion/dated The Fish Speakers are a fictional organization from Frank Herbert's Dune universe, as depicted in the Dune series of science fiction novels. Emperor Leto Atreides II founded this organization between the Children of Dune and God Emperor of Dune novels. They were named Fish Speakers because "The first priestesses spoke to fish in their dreams." [1]

Leto II founded the Fish Speakers to enforce his rule over the known universe. He found the existing military organizations, the Fremen and the Sardaukar, unsuitable to his needs. Leto believed that male dominated military organizations were essentially predatory and would turn on the civilian population in the absence of an external enemy. He also needed a reliable religious organization to enforce what came to be known as Leto's Peace to ensure the unfolding of the Golden Path. In addition to their military role, the Fish Speakers fulfilled the function of Leto's Imperial bureaucracy.

As Leto remarks in God Emperor of Dune, the notion of an entirely-female army springs from the notion that a male army is ultimately self-destructive in peacetime, turning the violence normally directed towards an enemy on the civilian population through rape, murder and a tendency towards political anarchy moderated only by military force. Women, however, serve society in the role of wife and mother, and serve to nurture that society - as such, when turned to war, they would serve because doing so serves that society (or, in acts of zealotry, the God Emperor), while in peace, they returned to their natural roles as wives and mothers.

The Fish Speaker army was entirely composed of women, many with Sardaukar and Fremen blood, with men playing no role in the lives of the Fish Speakers other than that of husband. Men were totally shut out of the Fish Speaker combat forces. Leto trained them to be fanatical, disciplined, and extremely effective soldiers and police. Leto used the Fish Speakers in his breeding program, taking advantage of their speed and strength.

The Fish Speakers were in a sense not foreign people on Dune, as their ancestors included the Sardaukar, Fremen and others. They were rather a new organization, especially as all were women.

After Leto died, control of the Fish Speakers passed to Duncan Idaho and Siona Atreides. By the time of Heretics of Dune, their influence had significantly waned in comparison to the Bene Tleilax, Ixians and Bene Gesserit. A Fish Speaker council controlled some areas of space that used to fall under Leto's rule.

Some of the Fish Speakers escaped in The Scattering. They were thought to be the ancestors of the Honored Matres in Chapterhouse: Dune.


  1. Herbert, Frank. God Emperor of Dune.

See also


es:Habladoras Pez fr:Truitesses hu:Halszólítók pl:Mówiące-do-Ryb ru:Говорящие рыбы

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