Do Paul & Chani Really Love Each Other In Dune 2? It’s Complicated

Warning: Contains SPOILERS for Dune: Part Two!


Summary

  • Paul loves Chani in Dune: Part 2, but chooses power over her in the end, marrying Princess Irulan for political gain.
  • Chani loves Paul too, but his pursuit of power drives a wedge between them, causing her to question and resist his actions.
  • Dune: Part 2 complicates Paul and Chani’s love story, adding depth to their relationship beyond what is seen in the original novel.


Paul and Chani’s relationship is one of the key storylines in Dune: Part 2, and when it comes to answering the question of whether the two actually love each other, it’s pretty complicated. Denis Villeneuve’s Dune movies initially present Paul and Chani’s relationship as a loving and positive one, reflecting the romantic subplots often seen in other chosen one narratives. However, Dune: Part 2 seriously complicates the duo’s dynamic, leaving many audiences confused as to if the love that Paul and Chani felt for each other was real at the end of the film.

Dune: Part 2 is the exciting continuation of Denis Villeneuve’s beloved adaptation of Frank Herbert’s classic Dune sci-fi novel, with it continuing the story of Paul Atreides. 2021’s Dune ended with Paul and Lady Jessica finding themselves among the Fremen, the native people of Arrakis, after the destruction of House Atreides at the hands of House Harkonnen. Dune: Part 2 picks up where the original left off, continuing Paul’s rise as a Messianic figure among the Fremen while plotting his revenge against those who killed his father and destroyed his empire.



Paul Does Love Chani – But He Won’t Give Up Power For Her

Answering the questions surrounding Paul and Chani’s relationship is a pretty complicated task, as the answer differs between the two. Dune: Part 2 sees the true start of Paul’s relationship with Chani, and when it comes to Paul, he undoubtedly loves Chani. He repeatedly says this throughout Dune: Part2, with the relationship seeming real to him throughout the film. Paul actually loves her, and will seemingly do anything for her, with him even promoting her to one of the captains when rebelling against House Harkonnen.


Although Paul does not have feelings for Irulan, marrying her is a strategic decision, one that he makes at the expense of his relationship with Chani.

However, while Paul does love Chani, he doesn’t love her enough to give up power for her. Dune: Part 2 ends with Paul making the dark choice to marry Princess Irulan rather than be with Chani, with him making this decision in order to secure a spot as the future Emperor. Although Paul does not have feelings for Irulan, marrying her is a strategic decision, one that he makes at the expense of his relationship with Chani. While Paul does love Chani, drinking the Water of Life makes him love power more, something that he will pursue over a relationship.


Related

Where Chani Goes At The End Of Dune 2 & What It Means For Dune 3

Chani’s decision to leave at the end of Dune: Part Two was shrouded in mystery, and it has massive implications for the future of the story.

Chani Loves Paul Too – But She Doesn’t Follow Him Blindly

Chani grips Paul's face in Dune 2

Chani does love Paul, and while she disagrees with the prophecy, she doesn’t hold that against him.


From Chani’s perspective, her love for Paul is real too, although this changes throughout the course of the film. When Paul first starts living among the Fremen, Chani is hesitant to accept him, with her disagreeing with the Bene Gesserit’s Messianic prophecy that Stilgar has espoused to the rest of the Fremen. Chani does love Paul, and while she disagrees with the prophecy, she doesn’t hold that against him. This is mostly because Paul doesn’t initially accept his role as a Messiah, with him pushing back against the beliefs of the fundamentalist Fremen.

Chani quickly turns against Paul, refusing to follow him blindly.

However, Paul’s decision to accept his role as the Messiah of the Fremen changes Chani’s perspective on him. Chani quickly turns against Paul, refusing to follow him blindly. Chani disrupts sacred Fremen ceremonies and even refuses to bow to Paul against the advice of her fellow Fremen. Chani becomes more and more hesitant to accept Paul’s plan as he sets up the Holy Way at the end of Dune: Part 2, further creating friction between the duo. Although she is hurt by Paul’s decision to be with Irulan, she realizes that Paul has gone mad with power by this point.


Dune 2 Makes Paul & Chani’s Love More Complicated Than The Book

Dune: Part 2‘s handling of Paul and Chani’s love story is very interesting, as the film makes it a lot more complicated than the book. Many characters in the movie were expanded upon when adapting Frank Herbert’s novel, with Chani’s role in the Dune books being greatly expanded upon in Dune: Part 2.

In the original Dune book, Chani stays by Paul’s side without much hesitation, even though he chooses Irulan over her. Denis Villeneuve’s Dune movies, however, create a lot of friction between Paul and Chani, complicating their relationship beyond its development in the source material. This is incredibly interesting, as it fleshes out the actual humans in the world of Dune while continuing to build on the themes of the dangers of prophecy. It will be interesting to see where Paul and Chani’s relationship goes in the future, with Dune: Part 2 setting Paul down a dark path.