Denis Villeneuve's adaptation of Dune is unquestionably fantastic, and shows deep respect to the source material. With the necessary changes to transform even half of that beast of a tome into a movie, it takes care to hit all the important points.

However, there is one change from the book that I found surprising:

In the books, after killing Jamis during the amtal, Paul cries. This shocks the Fremen, who see this as "giving water to the dead", the greatest of sacrifices in that arid land. This inspires such respect that he is welcomed into the tribe.
However, in the film this doesn't happen. Paul kills Jamis and is clearly really upset about it. All the Fremen put their hands on his shoulder as he walks away, but no precious water is spilled. Stilgar then says he's now one of them.

The scene still works well, but it seems an odd omission: it wouldn't have been expensive or complicated, nor required much airtime to convey, and (in my personal opinion, at least) the scene would've been stronger with it.

Has Villeneuve explained why the scene was made this way? I only ask because I've seen many interviews of his explaining all the care that was taken with the Gom Jabbar, the ornithopters, etc, so wonder if he ever mentioned this change.

1 Answer 1


In the books, he didn't cry immediately after the event.

It happens a bit later, in a scene that does not take place in the movie.

In the book, the fight with Jamis actually takes place after the Fremen have taken Paul and Jessica away from where they are captured. After the fight with Jamis, his body is taken to a deathstill for his water to be reclaimed and a funeral is held. It is at this funeral that Paul sheds tears for the dead.

Given other cuts, it is likely that the sequence was simply cut for pacing. It may also come up in the second movie, along with some other missing elements or it may not (Feyd-Rautha, the intrigue around Jessica, a couple of other characters).

  • 4
    Ah, I misremembered. Well, I hope they add it in somehow in Part 2. I found it to be one of the book's most memorable scenes, would be a pity not to see it through Villeneuve's eyes.
    – Wasabi
    Feb 28, 2022 at 16:39
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    @Wasabi : I just wanted to say I liked the irony of "Ah, I misremembered [...] I found it to be one of the book's most memorable scenes". ;-) (not meaning to be criticize, I get what you're saying, I just wanted to share the humour).
    – Chris
    Feb 28, 2022 at 17:11
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    "It may also come up in the second movie" which better be the last half of the original first movie, that they know we'll all come see now that we're emotionally invested.
    – Mazura
    Feb 28, 2022 at 19:48
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    "it is likely that the sequence was simply cut for pacing" That's not true though - the film simply hadn't reached that point in time yet. "Cutting" very specifically means removing material from the film. It doesn't ever mean choosing where to divide multiple films.
    – Graham
    Mar 1, 2022 at 13:05
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    @Graham the scene in question would have happened before the end of this movie, based on when it happens in the books.
    – HorusKol
    Mar 1, 2022 at 22:13

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