Gaius Helen Mohiam

Gaius Helen Mohiam
Name: Gaius Helen Mohiam
AKA: Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam, Tanidia Nerus
Lifespan: ???? - 10,207 A.G
Homeworld: Wallach IX
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An old woman in a black aba robe with hood drawn down over her forehead detached herself from the Emperor's suite, took up station behind the throne, one scrawny hand resting on the quartz back. Her face peered out of the hood like a witch caricature — sunken cheeks and eyes, an overlong nose, skin mottled and with protruding veins.
The Baron stilled his trembling at sight of her. The presence of the Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam, the Emperor's Truthsayer, betrayed the importance of this audience.

Biographical Information

A Reverend Mother of the Bene Gesserit, Gaius Helen Mohiam was the overseer (and secretive mother) of the Lady Jessica, and the one who was most
Gom Jabbar Test
The Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam, The Emperor's Truthsayer.
enraged when she betrayed the sisterhood. She possessed powers of the Voice, mental manipulation, as well as a keen allegiance to her sacred order. She was regarded as a figure of intrigue by most, and acted as royal Truthsayer to Shaddam Corrino IV, whilst using her position to increase the prestige of the Bene Gesserit. She was also the one who tested Paul Atreides, holding a Gom-Jabbar at his throat for the duration of the test. Besides being the Emperor's Truthsayer, she also taught his daughter Princess Irulan Corrino. After Paul Atreides' take over of the Imperium, she was banished from Arrakis forever. She broke this banning, and was held captive by the Emperor Paul Atreides, later to be killed by the Fremen Stilgar while Paul was "settling old accounts." She was also the one who instructed Irulan to give contraceptives to Chani, so that she could not introduce a Fremen Bloodtie to the Atreides line. This attempt failed, as Chani used an ancient Fremen Spice Diet, and was able to give birth to the twins, Leto Atreides II and Ghanima Atreides.


Spoilers AheadWarning: Spoilers Follow For Dune Universe, Caution Advised!

The Conception of Jessica and Her Betrayal of the Bene Gesserit

Gaius Helen Mohiam is first heard of around the year 10,154 A.G., when she is ordered by the Bene Gesserit to secure the genetic material of Vladimir Harkonnen for the purposes of the breeding program, through means of conception. Mohiam blackmailed Vladimir into having sex with her, and she conceived a daughter. This daughter later became genetically undesirable for the Breeding Program's purposes, and thus, Mohiam killed her. She then returned to the Baron for another child, but he drugged and then raped her. Though Mohiam is impregnated again in the process, she exacts her revenge on Vladimir by injecting him with a drug that causes, after some time, his obesity.
Mohiam as of 10,191 A.G.
The new child, Jessica, was not killed, but instead trained in the ways of the Bene Gesserit, and later given as a concubine to Duke Leto Atreides I, who loved her as his own wife. Jessica was instructed by the Bene Gesserit to bear only daughters to the Duke, in the hopes that an Atreides daughter could be wed to a Harkonnen heir, not only ending the long fued between the Houses Great, but spawning the Kwisatz Haderach as well. Jessica, in her love for the duke, disobeyed, and bore him a son, Paul Atreides, in 10,175 A.G.
With the Bene Gesserit enraged at Jessica's defiance, Mohiam arrived on Caladan in 10,191 A.G., when Paul was fifteen years of age, and tested him with the Gom Jabbar. Paul was able to pass the test, much to the relief of his mother, who loved him dearly. This inducts the interest of the Bene Gesserit in the boy, and Mohiam returns to Kaitain to serve again as the Emperor's truthsayer.

Mohiam's Fall

Several years later, after Shaddam IV travelled to Arrakis to oversee spice production, Mohiam was met by her grand daughter, Alia Atreides, and was disgusted and terrified at having been the creator of the mother of an abomination. She was also shocked to see the duel between Paul and Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen, to whom (had Paul been female) he would have been married to.

She had seen something of what Paul had seen here, that Feyd-Rautha might kill but not be victorious. Another thought, though, almost overwhelmed her. Two end products of this long and costly program faced each other in a fight to the death that might easily claim both of them. If both died here that would leave only Feyd-Rautha's bastard daughter, still a baby, an unknown, an unmeasured factor, and Alia, the abomination.

Seeing that Paul has been victorious, Mohaim urges Shaddam to accept his demands, lest they be imposed upon him by force. Paul then took control of the Imperium, and Mohiam was banished from Arrakis.

Conspiracy and Death

By the year 10,207 A.G., Mohiam had become involved in a conspiratorial plot to kill Paul Atreides, along with Irulan Corrino, Paul's embittered wife, Edric, a Guild Navigator and Scytale, a Tlielaxu Face Dancer. Defying her banishment, she was discovered by Paul to be aboard a Heighliner above the planet Arrakis, and was therefore brought into his custody. As Paul is aware of the Bene Gesserit's desire to possess his genetic material, he does not simply kill Mohiam, but negotiates with her. In exchange for the safety of his Chani, and his decision to father no heir with Irulan, Paul offers his sperm to be used in artificial insemination with Irulan, thus producing the next link in the breeding program.
Mohaim, despite the power the Bene Gesserit would gain, is forced to refuse, as this process became a great taboo after the Butlerian Jihad. She was later executed, along with Scytale and Edric, by Paul's servant Stilgar.

Out of-Universe Information

Gaius Helen Mohiam was portrayed by Sian Phillips in David Lynch's Dune film, and by Zuzana Geislerová in the Dune and Children of Dune miniseries. In the prequel novels, it is revealed that Mohiam used the alias Tanidia Nerus, presumably to hide her parentage of Jessica from official records.

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