Gaius Helen Mohiam
Frank Herbert's Dune

Gaius Helen Mohiam is the ruler of the Bene Gesserit through most of the first few books. She is also Emperor Shaddam's court truthsayer.

Gaius is the one that tests Paul to ensure he is really human and not an abomination. The very first person to speak in the book is Gaius, as she looks in at the sleeping Paul. Paul observes: "The old woman was a witch shadow - hair like matted spiderwebs, hooded 'round darkness of features, eyes like glittering jewels".

Later, when the Baron sees her on Arrakis, she has scrawny / clawlike hands and a black aba robe with drawn hood. "Her face peered out of the hood like a witch caricature - sunken cheeks and eyes, an overlong nose, skin mottled and with protruding veins." She cackles when she laughs.

Gaius is slain by Alia's command when she is viewed as a threat on Arrakis.

Note that the only glaring error in the famous book "The Dune Encyclopedia" regards Gaius. The book indicates she is Jessica's mother. Frank Herbert was very upset by this and asked for it to be removed, as it was untrue. However, the book went out with this error in it.

They do a reasonably good job of showing Gaius as an important, intelligent woman who is frustrated with Jessica's disobedience and very upset by what Paul does with his powers.

I understand their desire to make the BG stand out, but the baldness is the opposite of the book. The book talks about spiderwebby hair. The black robe is fine, but she should have been mottled, veiny, old with sunken cheeks. Instead she was young and attractive looking.

As a side note the Fremen "Sayyadina" were not in fact real BG and should have been dressed Fremen-style, not in those long black robes.

Jessica and Helena look in on Paul

Much of my frustration with the first Gaius scene is not with her but with the INSANELY PETULANT PAUL. Paul is supposed to be under her control. Instead he resists her use of the voice and uses the voice on her! Then he runs off from her at the end, while yelling at his mom! This is the complete opposite of the maturity and training Paul is supposed to have received. All Gaius can do is look after the boy and "admire his teenager strength". Because the whole mini-series is about stupid adults and the way the smart kids manipulate them. *sigh*.

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