Piter De Vries

Piter De Vries
Name: Piter De Vries
Lifespan: ???? - 10,191 A.G.
Homeworld: Giedi Prime
Affiliation: House Harkonnen
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But you see, Baron, I know as a Mentat when you will send the executioner. You will hold back just so long as I am useful. To move sooner would be wasteful and I'm yet of much use.

-Piter De Vries

Biographical Information

Piter De Vries was the shady mentat of House Harkonnen. Like the rest of the members of the House, Piter had a tendency towards liking the sycophantic, morbid and bloody. His early life, as well as his heritage, remain unknown, but what has been established is that there were two Piter De Vries, one being a clone of the other, after the first was killed. Both Piters were fanatically loyal to the Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, despite their knowledge that he secretly planned to kill his loyal servant eventually. Piter De Vries was also the developer of the "residual poison", a highly effective toxin that spent years in the body, causing death unless an antidote was applied regularly. Piter used his poison on Thufir Hawat, the Atreides mentat, to ensure the man's loyalty to the Baron, in return for which he was slipped antidote each morning. The first Piter De Vries met his end when he discovered a secret that he was not supposed to, and the second met his when he was poisoned by Leto Atreides I.
Piter De Vries
Piter De Vries, Mentat to House Harkonnen, during his second incarnation.


First Life

For as far back as is known, Piter De Vries served the Baron Vladimir Harkonnen as the House Harkonnen mentat. This arrangment changed after he discovered that his master had borne a daughter, Jessica, with Gaius Helen Mohiam. In later years, Jessica had borne a son, Paul Atreides, then an infant whom Piter intended to kidnap and hold ransom to the Bene Gesserit for a considerable sum. As the boy was so important to the Bene Gesserit breeding program, they would have no alternative but to accept Piter's demands. Mohiam effectively stopped Piter's plot by killing him, and also ensuring that the secret of her daughter's existence was not revealed. Piter's corpse was then returned to the Baron, who was outraged, but had to make due with a Bene Tleilax copy of his mentat.

Second Life

Piter's second incarnation served his master as well as the first had done. It is suspected that Piter was the concocter of the plan to destroy House Atreides, which the Baron obviously adopted with great interest. De Vries did not anticipate that the plan would be his undoing, as, whilst he and his master stood before the unconscious body of Leto Atreides I, their captive bit down hard on a concealed capsule in his mouth, releasing a toxic vapour into the air that ended Piter's life, but was not enough to kill the Baron, who escaped from the room.

Out of-Universe Information

The Mentat Piter De Vries was portrayed by Brad Dourif in David Lynch's Dune film, and by Jan Unger in the Sci Fi Channel Television Miniseries. In the film series, Piter is seen as having a muscular twitch or nervous disorder (he flicks his chin as the Baron becomes angered, when he discovers the prone form of Leto is not wearing his Ducal signet ring), and also that he tends to move in an exagerated and theatrical way. This is not canonical.

Harkonnen Mentat

Followed by:

Thufir Hawat

Person in question:

Piter De Vries

Preceded by:


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