*Warning: Spoilers ahead for Dune: Part Two.*


As Dune: Part Two hits screens, we've finally been introduced to Austin Butler's Feyd-Rautha, the terrifying new member of the Harkonnen clan.

It's a very different role for Butler, who is best known for his performance as Elvis, but it's safe to say he's crushed it as he joins the cast alongside Timothée Chalamet (Paul), Zendaya (Chani), Rebecca Ferguson (Lady Jessica Atreides), Florence Pugh (Princess Irulan) and Christopher Walken (Emperor Shaddam).

The actor is chilling as the psychotic Na-Baron clawing for power, going up against his on-screen brother, Glossu Rabban Harkonnen (Dave Bautista), and his unhinged uncle, Baron Harkonnen (Stellan Skarsgard).

Here's everything you need to know about Butler's terrifying na-Baron Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen.

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Who is Feyd-Rautha in Dune: Part Two? Austin Butler character explained

na-Baron Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen is the youngest nephew and the heir of Baron Vladimir Harkonnen.

He's a merciless fighter and a charismatic figure in the Harkonnen household. However, it's clear he only cares about his interests rather than the Baron.

Feyd-Rautha and his brother are the legal sons of Abulurd Rabban, who renounced the Harkonnen name.

Stellan Skarsgard as Baron Vladimir Harkonnen looms over Austin Butler as a hairless Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen who places his hand on his uncle's neck in a dark room in Dune: Part Two.
Stellan Skarsgard as Baron Vladimir Harkonnen looms over Austin Butler as Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen in Dune: Part Two. Courtesy of Warner Bros

Despite not being the offspring of the Baron, it is clear that Feyd-Rautha's uncle has great plans for him.

In the novel, Herbert writes: "The Baron could see the path ahead of him. One day, a Harkonnen would be Emperor. Not himself, and no spawn of his loins. But a Harkonnen. Not this Rabban he'd summoned, of course.

"But Rabban's younger brother, young Feyd-Rautha. There was a sharpness to the boy that the Baron enjoyed ... a ferocity ... A year or two more — say, by the time he's seventeen, I'll know for certain whether he's the tool that House Harkonnen requires to gain the throne."

Throughout the film, we see his violence and his merciless nature - particularly when it comes to his treatment of his older brother.

Austin Butler as Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen standing with a dagger in a black-and-white arena in Dune Part Two.
Austin Butler as Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen standing with a dagger in a black-and-white arena in Dune Part Two. Courtesy of Warner Bros

In Villeneuve's adaptation, Feyd-Rautha is more animalistic and violent than in the book, with Butler and director Denis Villeneuve working together on that portrayal.

Despite this, Feyd-Rautha keeps a charisma and desire that draws in some female acolytes but also opens him up to manipulation, including by the Bene Gesserit agent Lady Margot Fenring (Léa Seydoux).

Austin Butler as the hairless Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen and Léa Seydoux as Lady Margot Fenring dressed in a blue headscarf and dress
Austin Butler as Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen and Léa Seydoux as Lady Margot Fenring in Dune: Part Two Warner Bros/Niko Tavernise

The final scenes of the film see Feyd-Rautha finally coming face to face with Paul in a mesmerising stand-off.

When it came to casting the villain, the nephew and heir to Baron Vladimir Harkonnen (Skarsgård), director Villeneuve knew the type of person he wanted to step into the role.

In an exclusive interview with RadioTimes.com, Villeneuve explained he "needed a fearless actor" to portray Feyd-Rautha.

"Someone that will be willing to go just close to… not too far but just close to it," he explained.

"Someone that will not be judging himself; someone that will love to take risks. And someone that, of course, will have the necessary charisma - I needed an actor with a lot of sex appeal.

"I needed a playboy, I needed someone that… I needed a rockstar, and we've seen Austin has done that in his previous role."

Timothee Chalamet as Paul Atreides duels with Austin Butler as Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen in armour in front of an audience including Josh Brolin as Gurney Halleck, Javier Bardem as Stilgar, and Rebecca Ferguson as Lady Jessica in Dune: Part Two.
Timothee Chalamet as Paul Atreides and Austin Butler as Feyd-Rautha in Dune: Part Two. Warner Bros

During the course of the film, it's revealed that Lady Jessica, Paul's mother, is a secret daughter of Baron Harkonnen, meaning that he's actually a part of the clan he hates so much.

It means that Paul's mother and Feyd-Rautha are cousins – and Paul refers to him as such when they come face to face.

However, Paul uses this revelation to his advantage, telling his mother that in order to win, they must think like Harkonnens.

What Dune novels does Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen appear in?

Austin Butler as Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen in Dune Part Two.
Austin Butler as the hairless Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen in armour in Dune Part Two. Courtesy of Warner Bros

In Frank Herbert's original Dune novels, Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen only appears in the first novel, Dune.

However, in the expanded novels by Herbert's son Brian and co-author Kevin J Anderson, Feyd-Rautha appears in the Prelude to Dune series instalments Dune: House Harkonnen and Dune: House Corrino.

These prequel novels establish the family background of Feyd-Rautha and how he was kidnapped and raised by his uncle, The Baron, after the murder of his father at the hands of his older brother Count Glossu Rabban.

Who is Feyd-Rautha actor Austin Butler?

Austin Butler in a red tuxedo posing in front of a white and gold background. He has light stubble and slicked back hair
Actor Austin Butler. Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Butler first rose to fame in various Disney Channel movies and series, before appearing in the film Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood and receiving worldwide acclaim for his portrayal of Elvis Presley in Baz Luhrmann's Elvis.

Since then, Butler has starred in Masters of the Air on Apple TV+.

Speaking about his casting as Feyd-Rautha, Butler told the LA Times: "It was about finding the brutality and making him as vicious as possible. I spent a lot of time daydreaming about what it would be like to grow up in that environment, with the Baron as your father figure.

"Learning about cultures throughout time that have had this brutality brought it to a human place where I realised: I’m not just playing someone you can write off as psychotic and evil. I had to see through his eyes."

When did Sting play Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen in Dune?

Sting in a portrait for Dune: 1984. He's wearing a codpiece and has his hands on his hips
Universal/Getty Images

Butler is stepping into the role after Sting played Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen in the 1984 film Dune, directed by David Lynch.

It might seem like an off-piste choice for the music legend, who had no real ambitions at the time of acting in a sci-fi blockbuster. He previously told Rolling Stone: "I'm doing Dune because of David Lynch and for no other reason."

He added: "I didn’t really want to do the movie, because I didn’t think it was wise for me to be in an enormous movie. I’d rather keep a groundswell building up in my movie career.

"So, I sort of went along dragging my heels. Then I met David and I loved him. He’s a madman in sheep’s clothing, and I just felt I had to do the movie because I know he’s going to do something extraordinary.”

While Sting's performance wasn't exactly widely well-received, it is well-remembered - and likely paved the way for Butler's casting.

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Dune: Part Two is in cinemas now. Check out more of our Sci-Fi coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.


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