What is Lady Margot’s plan in Dune 2 with Léa Seydoux?

Léa Seydoux plays Margot Fenring in Dune 2 : a mysterious character who speaks little, but who has a big impact on the story, and potentially, its sequel.

It is with her slight French accent that Léa Seydoux appears in Dune 2, after a good hour of film, mysterious and hooded. A little surprise, for French spectators who would not have been aware of the presence of the French actress on the poster of the blockbuster of the moment, screened in cinemas since February 28, 2024.

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Léa Seydoux plays Margot Fenringprotagonist invented by Frank Herbert in Dune (1965), but also at the heart of the series of novels Legends of Dune written by Herbert's son, at the end of the 90s.

Léa Seydoux and her little twins in Dune (in black and white)
Léa Seydoux and her little twins in Dune (in black and white)

Who are the Bene Gesserit in Dune?

In Dune 2Margot Fenring or Lady Margot is a character who is one of the Bene Gesserit, a very powerful matriarchal order. Officially, these women serve the Empire; but it is they who pull the strings in the shadows of a large part of the geopolitical intrigues of the universe of Dune.

One of the ultimate goals of this order is to manipulate the bloodlines of the great families, through a well-planned genetic program, to bring about a supreme leader (the Kwisatz Haderach). The surprise advent of Paul Atréides (Timothée Chalamet), who becomes the so-called Kwisatz Haderach, undermines their plans.

Léa Seydoux first appears surrounded by the Bene Gesserit: her superiors ask her to seduce the terrifying Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen (played by Austin Butler), one of Paul's enemies. She has to sleep with him to get pregnant and so “ to recover » his genetic heritage — always with the idea of ​​genetically planning the future.

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But first, we have to see if the Harkonnen is worth the effort. Can the Bene Gesserit bank on his genes and manipulate him for their purposes, even if he is a “sociopath”? Lady Margot leaves as an emissary, to observe him fighting in a giant arena to find out for sure.

Léa Seydoux in Dune, next to Austin ButlerLéa Seydoux in Dune, next to Austin Butler
Léa Seydoux in Dune, next to Austin Butler

The box test

He emerges victorious from this unbalanced fight: Margot Fenring follows him behind the scenes and seduces him, thanks to her charms and her power of persuasion. She half-hypnotizes him and forces him to “ put (one's) hand in the box »: this is a box (Gom Jabbar) used to gauge a person's fear and resistance. Once a hand is inserted, immense pain grips its owner.

In the first Dune, it was Paul who was forced to plunge his upper limb into it. Meanwhile, the Bene Gesserit wields a needle called Gom Jabbar, which can kill all ” non-humans “, that is to say those who have not succeeded in fighting against their animal instinct. Here, resisting your animal instinct corresponds to accepting pain for a short time, so as not to die (like in this first Dune).

Lady Margot then returns to the Bene Gesserit to report: Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen has passed the test, because he does not feel the fear of suffering. He is violent, and incapable of feeling emotions, but clearly manipulatable, particularly through sexual favors. She ends up confirming having succeeded in “ to secure » her heritage and announces to her sisters that she is pregnant with a girl.

If there ends up being a Dune 3, as director Denis Villeneuve wishes, Lady Margot could remain important. It is also Villeneuve's choice to leave so much space to this character, relatively minor in the books and who had never been brought to the screen during previous adaptations.

For further
Florence Pugh, in the role of Irulan, in Dune: Part 2. // Source: WarnerFlorence Pugh, in the role of Irulan, in Dune: Part 2. // Source: Warner

Paul and Lady Jessica carrying the distillate into the Arrakis Desert. // Source: WarnerPaul and Lady Jessica carrying the distillate into the Arrakis Desert. // Source: Warner

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