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Dune: How Old Every Major Character Is | Screen Rant

Denis Villenueve's Dune features a large cast of characters that vary in many different aspects, including their ages. The adaptation of Frank Herbert’s eponymous sci-fi epic novel follows Paul Atreides’ (Timothee Chalamet) family to the desert planet of Arrakis, where the young man finds himself surrounded by both politics and prophecy. His parents each have high hopes for him, as Duke Leto (Oscar Isaac) grooms him to one day take his place, and Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson) tries to find out if she has given birth to the prophesied Kwisatz Haderach.

Several allies come with House Atreides to Arrakis, including Thufir Hawat (Stephen McKinley Henderson), Gurney Halleck (Josh Brolin), and Duncan Idaho (Jason Momoa). Each of these men serves as a mentor to Paul and appears to be in different stages of life. Paul also has dreams in Dune of a young woman, Chani (Zendaya), who is the only person in Dune who seems close to his age. These ages are somewhat mirrored by those in House Harkonnen, the enemy of the Atreides, led by an older patriarch with lackeys of middling ages and a young heir poised to take the place of the elder.

Related: What "Dreams Are Messages From The Deep" Means

The vast age ranges of the characters are accurate to the source material, as Herbert’s novel portrays characters of old, young, and middle ages. In both the book and the film, this serves to add to the story by showing the many conflicts of the universe from the perspectives of those with more or less life experience. But exactly how old are each of the main characters in Villenueve's Dune?

The powerful and gifted Paul Atreides falls on the younger side of the age spectrum, although the movie never reveals his exact age. The youngest Atreides is a mere fifteen years old in Herbert’s book and is just beginning to understand the complications of the universe and his father’s position. While Dune also portrays this aspect of Paul’s growing knowledge, Chalamet does not quite appear young enough to be fifteen. He still looks very youthful but likely played the role with a mindset closer to an age between 18-21. Since the movie doesn’t pinpoint his age, he could be younger but a slight upwards aging from book to movie wouldn’t have a significant impact on the story.

Neither the book nor the movie adaptation of Dune reveals the true age of Paul’s Bene Gesserit (one of several important factions from the series) mother. The book describes her as a beautiful and regal bronze-haired woman, not yet indicating any signs of old age. Considering that Paul is supposed to be fifteen in the book, it could be guessed that she is in her mid to late 30s. The beautiful Ferguson was an excellent casting choice for the role and as the actress is in her late 30s, it seems Villenueve wanted to cast someone who was of similar maturity to that described of the Lady Jessica.

Herbert seemed to have been reluctant to pinpoint the ages of his characters, instead giving more importance to descriptions of the demeanors and physical attributes. The patriarch of House Atreides as portrayed by Oscar Isaac in Dune is graying on the edges but appears to be in very good health. Perhaps mid-to-late 40s in the film, he seems a few years older than the Lady Jessica, whom he won’t marry although he loves her very much. The age difference between the two is fairly accurate to the book although the book seems to describe him as even older, perhaps between 50 and 60 years old.

Related: Every Major Character Death In Dune, Explained

Thufir Hawat is the resident Mentat of House Atreides and the oldest of the Duke Leto’s loyal men, having served several generations of Atreides. Again, the character is not assigned an exact age in either book or film version of Dune, but in the book, he seems to be worrying about his usually keen eye slipping, which indicates an older age. Henderson is 72, and his character in the film seems near to the same age, give or take 5 years.

Although the story of Brolin’s Halleck is not yet completed in the first film, the character is in the middle of Leto’s three most loyal servants, seeming of a similar age to the Duke. A gifted musician, Halleck is still in good enough shape to help with Paul’s battle training at the beginning of Dune and to fight in a major battle later in the movie. He appears no older than 55, but could also be in his mid-to late 40s.

Swordmaster and another of Leto’s close companions, Idaho is younger than both Thufir and Halleck. Already a popular character from the book, Jason Momoa’s performance turned the role into an audience favorite and portrays Idaho as an older brother figure to Paul. Taking on the physical challenge of surviving in the desert as an ambassador to the Fremen, Idaho appears to be in his 30s in Villenueve’s Dune.

The age of Baron Harkonnen (the grotesquely overweight patriarch of the Atreides’ enemies) is unrevealed in both novel and film versions of Dune. However, it is known from the books that he took his place over House Harkonnen prior to Duke Leto taking the same position over his own house. This implies that the Baron is a bit older than the Duke, probably by 10-20 years, making him around 70 years old.

Related: Dune: How Powerful Baron Harkonnen Really Is

The Baron’s merciless nephew, Rabban was the ruler of Arrakis prior to the Atreides’ arrival. Dave Bautista’s version of the character was painted with a gray pallor, which makes it more difficult to discern an exact age. The book also gives no physical description that indicates how old the character might be, but given that Bautista is portraying the character in Dune, it seems safe to believe that Rabban may be somewhere between 40-50 years old.

The surly Fremen who spits on the Duke’s table, Stilgar has a brief but notable role in the first part of Villenueve’s Dune adaptation, bringing Paul and his mother into Fremen life at the end of the film. Portrayed by Javier Bardem, the character seems to be in middle age but kept in good shape by the necessity of survival on Arrakis. Bardem is 52, and the character also seems to be pretty close to that age.

Dr. Kynes is the Imperial planetologist of Arrakis and knows everything there is to know about the planet’s ecosystem. Played in the film by Sharon Ducan-Brewster, Kynes is a man in the novel but is unchanged in demeanor in the translation to film. In the book, the character is revealed to be Chani’s father; this is not mentioned in part one of Dune but Dr. Kynes still appears to be old enough for parenthood, placing her around her late 30s or early 40s.

Although some consider Zendaya to have been wasted as Chani, in the first part of Villenueve’s Dune, she was around long enough to make an impression and will be very important in the next part. The character in the book is described as young in appearance, seeming to be close to Paul in age. The movie sticks to the similarity in age between the characters, though she also may be aged up 3-4 years based on Zendaya’s portrayal.

Next: Dune 2: The Biggest Questions About Villeneuve's Sequel

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