List of Foundation series characters
Arcadia "Arkady" Darell is the daughter of Toran Darell II and the granddaughter of Toran and Bayta Darell (and through Bayta is a direct descendant of Hober Mallow), and becomes famous for writing historical novels and a biography of her grandmother Bayta. At the age of fourteen, she spies on her father and his co-conspirators who are hunting down the Second Foundation. She stows away on Homir Munn’s spaceship when he travels to Kalgan to study the palace of the Mule. Lord Stettin, who is the ruler of Kalgan, initially refuses Munn’s request to study the Mule’s palace, but soon takes an interest in Arkady as a potential wife. Stettin’s mistress Lady Callia helps Arkady to escape, accidentally revealing herself to be an agent of the Second Foundation and leading Arkady to the location of the Second Foundation.
During her escape, Arkady decides to go to Trantor rather than Terminus. She has the good luck of running into Preem Palver and his wife, who live on Trantor. They help her in her journey, and when they arrive on Trantor, Arkady persuades Palver that he could profitably supply food to Terminus. Palver takes Arkady's clue to the Second Foundation's location; however, the Second Foundation has been carefully supervising the entire process, and they remain undiscovered on Trantor.
Arkady Darell was born in 362 FE (12428 GE) on Trantor near the Imperial Library. The nature of Darell's birth indicates that her mind was tampered with in order to run to completion the Seldon plan.:p. 222 Darell's birth was contrived to be on Trantor for an intervention; she was the recipient of a control by the Second Foundation as a new-born infant as the emotional bias could remain undetected by brainwave pattern analysis in her blank slate of mind.
Darell's mother died on Trantor three years after her birth in 365.
Ammel Brodrig is an influential courtier and Privy Secretary at the court of Cleon II. He is sent to observe the general, Bel Riose; being anxious of Riose's abilities. However, he forms a partnership with Riose instead. Their military successes breed suspicion and jealousy in the court which, ultimately, causes their arrest and execution. He is depicted as a particularly corrupt character, lacking even the elementary honesty of honourable corruption. He is loosely based on the ancient Roman Sejanus.
Anselm haut Rodric
Anselm haut Rodric is the sub-prefect of Pleuma and Envoy Extraordinary of his highness of Anacreon. He visits the foundation to offer it protection in exchange for other services. A veteran of several conflicts with the kingdom of Smyrno, he is an image of the beginnings of barbarism within the periphery of the galaxy during the fall of the 1st Galactic Empire. Haut Rodric was tasked with informing the rulers of the Foundation with the true intentions of the Kingdom of Anacreaon, and to determine the scope and nature of the Foundation's control of Terminus.
Bail Channis is described as a handsome and popular character, very self-confident and intelligent. The Mule chooses Channis to accompany General Han Pritcher on a search for the Second Foundation. The Mule tells Pritcher that he has chosen Channis for the task because he, the Mule, has chosen not to tamper with Channis's mind, thus leaving Channis more capable of making intuitive leaps which might lead him to his goal. In fact, the Mule has already determined that Channis is a member of the Second Foundation, and that he is attempting to lead the Mule into a trap. The Mule intends to use this knowledge to set a trap of his own. He secretly places a hyper tracer on Channis's ship, allowing him and his fleet to follow their progress.
Channis leads the search to Tazenda, which is a plausible place for the Second Foundation to be located. Channis and Pritcher visit a world controlled by Tazenda, Rossem, where the local elders, members of the Second Foundation, have been expecting them. When they return to their ship, Pritcher also comes to the conclusion that Channis is a member of the Second Foundation, and draws his atomic blaster on him, saying that the Mule would shortly be coming (both men had found the hyper tracer). Channis, however, uses his mental powers to convince Pritcher that he is not a member of the Second Foundation and that he (Pritcher) was being manipulated into killing him by the Second Foundation, who Channis says had planted the hyper tracer. Pritcher, convinced, decides to hand his blaster over to Channis.
At that moment, the Mule enters, takes Pritcher's firearm, and reveals that he had followed them and taken the core of his fleet with him to destroy the Second Foundation. In an act of desperation, Channis removes Pritcher's conversion by the Mule, but restrains him so he cannot harm the Mule. Channis then states that if the Mule kills him, Pritcher's bonds will be broken and he will kill the Mule. Defeated, the Mule then proceeds to forcing the location of the Second Foundation out of Channis through mental torture. Broken, Channis reveals its location: Rossem.
However, the Second Foundation springs its trap in a manner which proves a complete surprise to both Channis and the Mule: The Second Foundation has altered Channis' mind so that he honestly believes that Rossem is the Second Foundation, while the rest of the Second Foundation have left their real home world for Kalgan, where they will start an insurrection against the Mule. When the First Speaker of the Second Foundation informs the Mule of this, the Mule is shocked, and lets his defenses down momentarily. The First Speaker takes advantage of this, and mentally alters the Mule so that he no longer seeks to expand his empire. The Mule returns to Kalgan, taking Pritcher with him and leaving Channis with the First Speaker.
The First Speaker brings Channis "home", where his "original" mind is restored to him. Channis realizes that he does know the real location of the Second Foundation—to his great surprise.
Bel Arvardan was born in the year 792 of the Galactic Era (792 G.E.) on the planet Baronn, located in the Sirius sector. At age 23, Arvardan became the youngest person to graduate as Senior Archaeologist at the University of Arcturus. He was also the first person to have his senior dissertation, entitled "On the Antiquity of Artifacts in the Sirius Sector with Considerations of the Application There of to the Radiation Hypothesis of Human Origin," rejected for print by the Journal of the Galactic Archaeological Society.
Later, Arvardan became a senior research associate at the Imperial Archaeological Institute. As a member of the institute, he led an archaeological expedition to Earth in the year 827 G.E. Whilst there, Arvardan helped Joseph Schwartz (himself a temporally displaced Earthman from the year 1949 AD), Affret Shekt, and daughter Pola Shekt discover and foil a plot to destroy the galaxy by Earthling zealots.
As a result of the heroic actions of Bel Arvardan and Joseph Schwartz, the Empire benevolently agreed to revitalize Earth's radioactive ecology in the hopes of one day making it a fully productive world once more, and begins transporting soil to help repair the damaged zones. Arvardan subsequently became a naturalized citizen of Earth and married Pola Shekt, both volunteering to spend the rest of their lives working to clean up Earth's radioactive wastelands. In Foundation's Edge, Munn Li Compor tells Golan Trevize that Bel Arvardan is remembered as "a folk-hero on Comporellon". The events of Pebble in the Sky are vaguely recalled as well.
Bel Riose was the last strong General of the Galactic Empire, Commander of the legendary Twentieth Fleet, who eventually came to be known as "the Last of the Imperials", and earned this title well. His tactical genius was compared with that of Admiral Peurifoy, and his skill at handling men to be far greater. A man of great military genius, he was also brave, competent, good looking, neither too young nor too old, a taker of calculated risks, and good to his men—in short, he was a popular general. He was born at a late point during the slow fall of the Empire. Riose yearned for the days when generals proved their worth through the addition of new territory to the empire.
Riose got his chance when he heard rumors of the "magicians" from Ducem Barr and others, in reference to the scientists of the Foundation. At this time, the Foundation held a large portion of the periphery in economic control and word of the Foundation was beginning to reach the Empire at the Galactic Core. As a stalwart and patriotic defender of the original Galactic Empire, Riose was shocked by the legend of Hari Seldon's plan to create a new Empire which would take over from his own; the Foundation was a real threat. With several of the last great "ships of the line", pinnacles of Imperial technological and military prowess (of which few remained in those degenerate times), Riose set out into the barbarian Galactic Periphery to claim the Foundation in the name of Empire and Emperor. Seldon had predicted that the Foundation would survive all trials, and Bel Riose knew this, but he bet his living will against the "dead hand" of Seldon's psychohistory. In combat, Riose repeatedly defeated the Foundation through brilliant tactical and strategic planning. Eventually, Riose's fleet came within a day's travel of Terminus. Before he could complete his conquest, however, he was recalled by Emperor Cleon II, tried for treason, and executed.
All had gone as Seldon predicted. A weak General could clearly never threaten the Foundation due to a lack of adaptability and innovation (the Galactic Empire had begun to stagnate in all things, including military strategy, and could have easily had its pre-planned and often repeated attacks thwarted). A strong General under a weak Emperor would overthrow the Emperor rather than make new conquests since control of the Galactic Empire is obviously more enticing than control over the so-called "barbarian hinterland". Riose, however, served under Cleon II, the last strong Emperor. When both General and Emperor are strong, the General can only keep his attention on outward conquest: that is why Riose was the only Imperial in many years to pose a threat to the Foundation. However, this situation also meant that the strong Emperor would never let the strong general become strong enough to dethrone him. Paranoia ran high in the Galactic Empire due to the staggering number of revolutions and political assassinations. Emperor Cleon II had Riose executed out of fear of his popularity and success. Ironically, General Riose never had any designs upon the throne and never did anything except to serve his Emperor faithfully. According to Golan Trevize, in later years Riose was largely forgotten by the people of the Foundation, as their national mythology required that the Mule be made the sole central threat to the rise of the Foundation.
Asimov loosely based Bel Riose on Flavius Belisarius, a great general of the Roman Empire during the 6th century AD. Like Riose, Belisarius served a strong emperor, Justinian the Great, in an empire that had declined from its peak (Belisarius was one of the people, along with Justinian, known as "the last of the Romans", i.e., imperials); helped it to recapture much of its lost territory, including Rome itself; and was called back on baseless suspicion that he was angling for the Imperial throne. Unlike Riose, Belisarius was not executed but retired (and, according to unsubstantiated legend, was blinded and cast out of Constantinople as a beggar).
Blissenobiarella, known informally as Bliss, is one of the inhabitants of Gaia. She was first introduced in Foundation's Edge to escort two Foundation men, Golan Trevize and Janov Pelorat, to their reception on planet Gaia. Bliss, like all Gaians, has an enormous affinity for life and can't bear to see life destroyed. She is long distrusted by Trevize while his partner, Pelorat, is quickly fascinated and they become lovers.
Particularly in Foundation and Earth, Bliss serves partly as a way of exploring the narrative, as she and Trevize engage in frequent debates. Bliss acts as an advocate for Gaia/Galaxia while Trevize, still somewhat uncomfortable with the decision he makes in Foundation's Edge, argues for individuality. As both an individual and an extension of the Gaia group-mind, Bliss is extremely intelligent and easily able to debate with Trevize, despite his skills as a politician.
In Foundation and Earth, Bliss leaves Gaia with the two men, helping them in their search for Earth. Because Bliss is a Gaian, she possesses considerable mentallic powers, which are often used as a plot device in Foundation and Earth to help her companions escape from dangers that they encounter during their quest. She commonly uses her empathic and telepathic powers to help deal with dangerous people and creatures. In addition, she also exhibits psychokinetic abilities as well as the power to help purge others of disease-causing organisms. At the climax of Foundation and Earth she, as an avatar of Gaia, bears witness to Trevize's explanation of why he decided in favor of Galaxia as humanity's best option for future survival.
Bor Alurin is the sole member of the Second Foundation to be present amongst the initial members of the First Foundation. He taught Salvor Hardin the basics of psychology, but neglected to instruct his pupil further out of fears that a properly-trained Psychohistorian would catch on to the Seldon Plan. This resulted in Hardin's entry into politics and establishment as the first Mayor of Terminus.
Cinda Monay is a physicist working on the Seldon Project. She builds the 'Electroclarifier' based on the design of Tamwile Elar, and also an intense Electroclarifier that is stronger than the first type. She considers Elar to be a suitable candidate to lead the Psychohistory Project, should Seldon retire. Questioned by Dors Venabili, she maintains this view that Elar could take precedence over Yugo Amaryl, despite the fact that the latter had been working on psychohistory the longest after Hari Seldon.
Cleon I was the last Emperor of the Entun dynasty (11,988 GE – 12,038 GE in the timeline of the novels). He was Emperor of the Galactic Empire when Hari Seldon first arrived on Trantor. He succeeded to the Imperial throne in 12,010 GE at the age of twenty-two following the death of his father, Stanel VI, who was fortunate enough to escape the roughly one-in-two chances of assassination faced by the last century of Galactic Emperors.
Asimov portrays Cleon as an amiable man, no longer enthusiastic about the trappings of office, eager to treat others as his equals and yet not capable of conversing comfortably—or even understanding their motivations. In his genial but misguided well-wishing, he is similar to the portrayal of Austrian emperor Joseph II in Amadeus (a film which Asimov admired), although he is not very similar to the historical Joseph II.
Arguably, the most significant event of Cleon's rule occurred in 12,020 GE, when the young mathematician Hari Seldon came to Trantor and revealed that psychohistory was a theoretical possibility. Cleon I’s reign represented a curious interval of quiet between troubled times. This is undoubtedly due to the skills of his Chief of Staff, Eto Demerzel. Cleon would never have learned of this development by his own efforts; insulated from the Galaxy and confined to the Imperial Palace's grounds, he relied upon Demerzel to conduct the Machiavellian maneuvers required to keep the Empire functioning. Demerzel became aware that Seldon could possibly develop a mathematical method for predicting future history, and he (indirectly) informed the Emperor, who took an immediate interest in the matter. While Cleon was content to use Seldon as a source of self-fulfilling prophecies—a tool to prevent unrest—Demerzel had come to believe that the Empire itself was dying, and that only an honest investigation could prevent its fall or at least minimize that fall's effects. Therefore, Demerzel took steps to promote Seldon's development of his infant science.
After Demerzel's retirement, Cleon appointed Seldon to be his new Chief of Staff, a position now termed First Minister. (Prelude to Foundation states that Demerzel had no formal title, while its sequel, Forward the Foundation, makes him the First Minister) Seldon exerted himself to the fullest, employing pragmatic measures to halt anti-Imperial conspiracies while simultaneously developing psychohistory into a system capable of making solid predictions.
Cleon's personal ineptitude became his downfall. Wishing to thank a gardener, Mandel Gruber, for his part in thwarting an assassination attempt on Dr. Seldon, he promoted Gruber to Chief Gardener over the Imperial Palace grounds. Gruber, not wishing to abandon his lifestyle of being out in the open for the Head Gardener's administrative role, had a mental breakdown and shot the Emperor. The chaotic upset which followed Cleon's assassination saw the rise of a military junta and Hari Seldon's retirement from overt politics.
Cleon II is the last strong monarch of the Galactic Empire, and reigned during the time when Bel Riose, the last great Imperial general, was engaging in a successful campaign against the early Foundation. Cleon becomes wary of Riose's success and his popularity with both the Imperial armed forces and the general population, and has him recalled and executed. Following Cleon's death, the Empire falls into a civil war. As the Galactic Empire is based on the Roman Empire, and Bel Riose is based on Belisarius, Cleon II is clearly based on the Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian I. His name however derives from Cleon, an Athenian politician of the Peloponnesian War.
Emperor Dagobert IX is one of the last emperors of the Galactic Empire (it is unlikely he was the last, since that would have required him to live to the age of approximately 120).
When visited upon by Ebling Mis, Toran and Bayta Darell, and the Mule, Dagobert IX was described as old and detached from reality, still reminiscing about imperial times long gone. Nevertheless, after he gave permission to Elbling Mis to use the Great Library of Trantor, he made a dignified impression as befits a Galactic emperor.
His son, the crown prince Dagobert, tried to conspire under the influence of the corrupt governor Jord Commason. The crown prince was killed by the Mule with the help of a Visi-sonor.
Dors Venabili is a good friend, protector and later wife of Hari Seldon, the primary character of Prelude to Foundation and Forward the Foundation. At face value, Venabili is a woman two years younger than Seldon, in her own words not very good-looking. She tells Seldon that she is a historian from Cinna, and, before her involvement in The Flight, Venabili taught history classes at Streeling University on Trantor.
Venabili has been assigned the task of protecting Hari Seldon by Chetter Hummin (one of several aliases used by R. Daneel Olivaw) who takes an initial interest in Hari Seldon's psychohistory research. Over the course of Prelude to Foundation and Forward the Foundation she shows an obsessive concern for his safety and earns the nickname "The Tiger Woman" for the ferocity with which she is willing to defend him, and her accuracy, reflexes, and skill (all thought to be superhuman to the point of feline). Despite that, throughout her lifetime protecting Seldon, she was always reluctant to harm opponents in the course of protecting her husband. This is a result of her being bound by the Laws of Robotics.
Toward the end of Prelude to Foundation, Seldon reveals his suspicion that Venabili is a human-appearing robot working with R. Daneel Olivaw on his mission to protect mankind. (Clues that reveal Venabili's true nature include her learning to master a weapon skillfully and immediately after watching a gangster use it just once.) A talk with Venabili pretty obviously confirms his supposition, even though the word "robot" is not spoken here. Still, the issue has no apparent effect on Seldon's love for Venabili, and even though she concludes the talk "So you see, Hari. I'm not really what you want." Seldon is unperturbed, thinking about his protectress and future wife in love.
Venabili tries to help Seldon also as a historian. Their talks on the former Kingdom of Trantor make Seldon consider the planet as a provisional model for the then still very immature science of psychohistory. Together with Seldon, Venabili raises Raych, whom they encounter as a 12-year-old boy while in the Dahl sector of Trantor.
Venabili dies in Seldon's arms after being his spouse for 28 years, apparently as a result of both the electromagnetic damage inflicted during the attempt on her life by a traitor in Seldon's ranks, Tamwile Elar, and a violation of the First Law of Robotics as Venabili kills Elar in defense of the Psychohistorical Project, thus essentially choosing to follow the Zeroth Law and suffering a fate similar to that of R. Giskard Reventlov. When dying, Venabili confesses to Seldon that thanks to him she felt like a human being.
In the original Asimov books, it is unknown if Venabili has been repaired after the damage. In the epilogue of Forward the Foundation, Seldon's last word was "Dors!", yet it is not specified, if he met her, or if it is only an exclamation of a man longing for his dead spouse. Venabili reappears only in The Second Foundation Trilogy, after her apparent death, having been repaired by Daneel. She is originally assigned new duties, but has difficulty adapting to them. Having been built for the specific purpose of caring for Hari Seldon, her absence from his life and her knowledge of his impending death give her new perspective on Daneel's orders. Eventually, she leaves his service entirely, and it is implied that she takes up with the robot Lodovik Trema, but only after one final visit to her husband, whose last recorded word was her name.
Dr Elvett Semic
Dr. Elvett Semic is a physicist who works with Toran Darell II to make a mind static device.
Dr Lewis Pirenne
Lewis Pirenne is Chairman of the board of trustees of the Foundation of the Encyclopedia Galactica on Terminus, about fifty years after its establishment. Salvor Hardin eventually takes over when it is clear that the Foundation needs to be led by a politician rather than a scientist. Doubtless his name refers to the famous historian Henri Pirenne.
Ducem Barr is the sixth son of Onum Barr, and enlisted in the fleet as a gunner under an assumed name in order to avoid being killed. Later, he takes revenge by killing the man responsible for the harm to his family. Forty years after this, he becomes an unwilling advisor to Bel Riose who blackmails him with the secret knowledge of Ducem's revenge. He forms a partnership with the Trader Lathan Devers, and they escape Riose after an attempt to frame him as a traitor.
Ebling Mis is the Foundation's greatest psychologist and a very prominent scientist. He is described in the book as being "The Scientist—with capital letters and no smile." Because of this, he is allowed a certain lenience in formality when dealing with the government; no disrespect or broken taboo was worth losing his contribution to science. For instance, Mis disregards the usual protocol involved with requesting an audience with the Mayor, and instead, he barges into the palace unannounced.
Mis is important to the Mule's goal of galactic conquest. He is sought out by the Mule and brought along on with Toran and Bayta Darrell on their journey, still unaware of the Mule's presence. While on Haven, Mis speculates about the nature of the Mule. He and Randu discuss the probability that the Mule is a mutant and if so, what sort of abilities he might have. As they are debating the explanations to the peculiarities that have recently occurred, they come very close to the truth, but they do not realise that even as they speak, Haven is under the influence of the Mule's power. Mis and his companions leave for Trantor to find the location of the Second Foundation and a way to defeat the Mule. As they travel, Mis becomes more and more withdrawn. In fact, in the pages leading up to their arrival on Trantor, he is only barely mentioned in the plot. When he is described, it is typically as being in a pensive mood and oblivious to events happening around him. After landing on Trantor his condition worsens considerably.
He spends the last few chapters locked in the catalogue rooms of the University, poring over old documents, and frantically trying to uncover the secret location of the Second Foundation. It is later discovered that the Mule was manipulating him into this state of arousal in order to achieve the great insights that would emulate Hari Seldon's work. Unfortunately for Mis, this heightened state is fatal, and when he did discover the secret, he was on his deathbed. Bayta Darrell sees through the Mule's plan, and she kills Mis with a blaster before he could reveal the location of the other Foundation. Ebling Mis is possibly the only one since Seldon's time to have discovered the secret, but the information died with him, and the truth about the Second Foundation would not be revealed until many years later.
In later times, a spaceship is named in his honour.
Eskel Gorov is Master Trader of the Foundation, sentenced to death on Askone.
Dr. Gaal Dornick
He is a young mathematician, newly awarded his Doctorate, and originates from Synnax. He has been invited to Trantor by Hari Seldon to join the psychohistory project. He meets Seldon shortly after arrival on Trantor, but is already under surveillance by agents of the Committee of Public Safety. Seldon reveals to him that psychohistory has predicted the fall of the Imperium to be unavoidable, and that exile to the remote planet of Terminus is in fact Seldon's real goal. Gaal is arrested, interrogated and eventually moves to Terminus to continue Seldon's legacy.
Further details of Gaal's life are given in Forward the Foundation. After the exile, he carried the crises tapes recorded by Hari Seldon there. He also oversaw the construction and installation of the Time Vault. Gaal Dornick became one of the key workers with Stettin Palver on Seldon's Plan, reporting directly to Seldon on its progress as they refined it. After Seldon's death, he moved to Terminus. Seldon's own version of the Prime Radiant was bequeathed to him and shipped after Seldon's death. Wanda Seldon had Hugo's Prime Radiant. Since Bor Alurin is stated to be the only social scientist present in the First Foundation, and the Prime Radiant appears later in possession of the Second Foundation, it's likely that he didn't stay permanently in Terminus.
Gambol Deen Namarti
Namarti, an associate of Joranum, builds a covert movement after the latter's death, with the aim of destabilising the empire and overthrowing Seldon as First Minister. He is financed and assisted by Gleb Andorin, nephew of Rachelle of Wye. His attempt to kill Seldon, via a drugged Raych Seldon, is foiled at the last moment by an undercover security officer, Manella Dubanqua, but leads to the killing of Emperor Cleon 1.
Trevize was a citizen of the First Foundation. He is a former officer of the military forces and later elected to Council. He is self-confident, almost to the point of rudeness, and arrogant, but also intelligent and with a sense of judgement. He is entrusted upon by Gaia to decide whether the future history and evolution of the Galaxy and the human species will be shaped by the First or the Second Foundation or by Gaia, and which of the three courses of action represented by the three parties is the best choice for humanity. According to Gaia, Trevize has the ability to reach correct conclusions even using incomplete information.
At the climax to Foundation's Edge, he chooses Gaia, using his particular intuition. In the sequel, Foundation and Earth, he debates with himself why — and if — he made the right decision. He searches for Earth and meets R. Daneel Olivaw, on Earth's moon. Olivaw discusses with him the Zeroth Law of Robotics, and Trevize suddenly realises the most basic postulate of Psychohistory: the species the predictions were being made for must be humans, under the assumption that they are alone in the Universe.
Han Pritcher is an important character in the second part of Foundation and Empire and the first part of Second Foundation. Pritcher was born in 267 F.E. He studied at the Academy of Sciences, majoring in hyper-engineering. He became a Captain in the Foundation Navy, focusing on intelligence and espionage, and he was twice decorated for bravery; being given the Order of Merit for bravery beyond the call of duty. He had a problem with authority, which limited his career somewhat, and was marked as insubordinate, and as not maintaining a correct attitude to superior officers. He was a member of the Democratic Underground on Terminus, planning to overthrow Mayor Indbur III.
In the months prior to the Mule's assault on the Foundation, Pritcher was ordered by Mayor Indbur III to investigate the Independent Traders of Haven, which Pritcher described as "a rat hole in space that, it seems, does not pay its taxes." Instead, he chose to investigate what was happening on Kalgan, contrary to orders.
He helped Toran and Bayta Darrell abduct Magnifico Giganticus, the clown of the Mule, from Kalgan; ignorant of Magnifico's true identity as the Mule himself. Pritcher initially opposed the Mule and his attempts to conquer the Foundation, attempting to assassinate the Mule in a suicide attack, but the Mule used emotional control to convert Pritcher into one of his most loyal followers, following which Pritcher was promoted to Colonel and eventually rose to the rank of Lieutenant General.
Subsequent to his conversion, he led six unsuccessful searches for the Second Foundation; on the final one, he was accompanied by Bail Channis, whom the Mule suspected of being an agent of the Second Foundation.
His later history is alluded to briefly in the second part of Second Foundation. He succeeded the Mule as First Citizen of the Union of Worlds, and he besieged Terminus, the resurgent capital of the Foundation, for a time. However, his attempt to hold the Union of Worlds together did not succeed, and eventually it separated into several distinct national bodies.
Hari Seldon is the founder of the two Foundations. He is a psycho-historian who, through the calculations of psycho-history, predicts the downfall of 'The Empire' and a potential 30,000 year interregnum. He sets up the First and Second Foundations to reduce this huge gap from 30,000 years down to 1000 years. Following a trial, Hari Seldon and his 100,000 followers are exiled to the planet Terminus where the First Foundation is set up. Unknown to many, a Second Foundation is set up at a separate location. Clues to its existence come from a statement by Hari Seldon of it being at 'Star's End'. Many searches are made for this and several of the characters have their own theories about where this is.
Harla Branno is Mayor of Terminus during the Eighth Seldon Crisis. Known informally as 'Branno the Bronze' or disparagingly as the "Old Lady". A quiet and calm administrator, she harbors secret sorrow at feeling she will not be remembered in history. For this reason her natural inclination to expand the Foundation Federation prematurely is able to be played upon by Gaia.
Hober Mallow is the central protagonist of "The Merchant Princes", the final short story of Foundation. Mallow is a Master Trader in the Foundation and captain of the Far Star. Originally from Smyrno, one of the Four Kingdoms which borders Terminus, Mallow is a freelance trader and considered among the best of his class. He is sent to Korell on a mission to discover the fates of three Foundation ships lost in that sector, as well as to investigate the possibility that Korell has developed nuclear technology.
Mallow avoids a trap (a member of the Korellian secret police disguised as a Foundation priest) set by the Commdor of Korell, and arranges for a profitable trade between Korell and the Foundation. When he returns to Terminus, he is accused of being a traitor for not spreading the Foundation's science-based pseudo-religion and for allowing a Foundation missionary to be killed. He defends himself successfully at trial, exposing the "missionary" as a member of the Korellian Secret Police. On the back of the resultant publicity, he then wins the mayoral election, becoming the leader of Terminus.
As Mayor, Mallow leads the Foundation through its third Seldon Crisis. In this instance, the crisis involved an impending war with Korell and those remnants of the Empire which back them. Mallow's solution, reminiscent of Salvor Hardin's years before, is to make the Korellian economy (as well as the livelihood of its population) dependent on Foundation merchandise. The “war” ends three years later as one of "the least fought wars in Galactic History", as quoted in the Encyclopedia Galactica, and Mallow transforms the power and influence of the Foundation from chiefly religious to primarily economic, turning Terminus into a successful plutocracy.
Mallow is implied to be something of a playboy; no wife is mentioned, but he had a number of mistresses throughout his life, none of them named. He fathered at least one illegitimate child, Sennett Forell, who was involved in the war against Bel Riose. Bayta Darell from Foundation and Empire, and her granddaughter Arkady Darell from Second Foundation were also descended from him.
In the centuries after, Mallow is remembered as the first of the Merchant Princes, and as a culture hero of Terminus legend. A Foundation battle-cruiser named for him is destroyed by the Kalganian fleet at the start of the Stettinian War in Second Foundation, and Golan Trevize is given a ship named Far Star at the beginning of Foundation's Edge. He is also remembered during Foundation and Empire due to the fact that his movement toward plutocratic government helped lead to a potential conflict within the Foundation, however the Mule disrupted that occurrence.
Munn is one of a group of conspirators who plan to find the location of the Second Foundation. Together with Toran Darell II, Pelleas Anthor, Jole Turbor, Dr. Elvett Semic they set about piecing together the evidence.
He agrees to go on a mission to Kalgan to find information about the second foundation from the Mule's palace. Arkady Darell, then 14, decides to be a stowaway on the flight, to take part in the adventure. Munn discovers her presence mid-trip. However she quickly persuades him that it is a good idea to have her along, and likewise persuades her father too, that her presence makes the whole trip appear more natural.
When at Kalgan, Munn, with Arkady's help, manages to persuade Lord Stettin to allow him access to the Mules palace for research purposes. Subsequently, he unwittingly causes a war with the Foundation at Terminus, although the real cause is a combination of Arkady's machinations reinforced by Lady Callia.
He discovers the magnitude of the Mule's search for the Second Foundation and after the war finishes, returns to Terminus, convinced that the Second Foundation never existed. A mental analysis reveals that he has been manipulated by Callia into believing so.
Jaim Twer is one of the first outlanders to receive a Foundation education. Twer journeys with Hober Mallow, and campaigned for trader recognition on the Foundation council. However, during Hober Mallow's trial for leaving Jord Parma in the hands of the Korellians, it is revealed that Twer is in reality a priest and was sent to spy on Hober Mallow and perhaps frame him. (Mallow realises this when Twer demonstrates ignorance about the Seldon Crisis.)
Janov Pelorat is a professor of ancient history who has spent his entire life on his obsession of finding Earth, the mythical planet of human origin. He has a particular interest in myths and folklore. Janov's interest in Earth began when, at age fifteen during some indisposition, he was given a book of legends about the origin of humanity. On Terminus, Janov has collected a massive amount of data regarding the Origin Question, and is Terminus' foremost expert regarding Earth.
Janov Pelorat first appears in Foundation's Edge. He is described as white-haired, of average height and weight, and moves without haste and speaks with deliberation. He is 52 years of age but appears considerably older. He has been married in the past, and has a housekeeper named Kloda.
Unusual for a historian of the futuristic society he belongs to, at the time he is first mentioned, he has never left the planet Terminus. Therefore, in addition to the resources available to him from the Terminus University Library, he makes use of interlibrary loans. Such loans can make use of "hyper-radiational signals", which are not described in the stories but appear to refer to a method of transmitting information over vast distances at speeds faster than light.
When he is first described, he is beginning his first sabbatical and hoping to travel off planet for the first time. His goal is the planet Trantor, which was capital of the First Galactic Empire and the home of the Galactic Library (also known as the Library of Trantor, the Imperial Library, and the University of Trantor Library), which during the heights of the First Galactic Empire was the largest repository of reference material in the galaxy. No member of the Foundation has been to Trantor in 120 years.
In the beginning of Foundation's Edge the Mayor of the Foundation notices Pelorat's existence for the first time and promises him that she will arrange for him to travel to Trantor. The Mayor informs him that he will travel to Trantor with the exiled councilman Golan Trevize.
Upon leaving Terminus on the small space ship Far Star, he and Golan Trevize begin their search for Earth. With only the two of them on board, Golan Trevize informs Pelorat that, as pilot and the person in control of the ship, he has decided they will not to go to Trantor but instead to seek out Earth directly with the information they already have.
Instead of finding Earth, by way of the planet Sayshell, they find Gaia, a world which has developed a group consciousness, and is rumored to have destroyed any ships that have been sent to it. While on Gaia, Janov falls in love with a member of Gaia, Bliss. It is these three characters, Golan, Janov, and Bliss, with the addition of Fallom that continue the search for Earth in Foundation and Earth.
Jenarr Leggen is originally introduced as a meteorologist at Streeling University. His contributions to meteorology pale before what has ever since been known as the Leggen Controversy. That his actions helped to place Hari Seldon in jeopardy is indisputable, but argument rages -– and has always raged –- as to whether those actions were the result of unintentional circumstance or were part of a deliberate conspiracy. The suspicions that were raised helped poison Leggen’s career and private life in the years that followed.
Jole Turbor is journalist and one of the conspirators with Toran Darell II, Semic and Munn.
Jorane Sutt is Secretary to the Mayor of the Foundation in Hober Mallow's time.
Jord Fara is a member of the board of trustees of the Foundation of the Encyclopedia Galactica in its early years.
Jord Parma appears to be a priest, but is really a member of the Korellian Secret Police sent to entrap Hober Mallow.
King Lepold I
Lepold I is King of the Anacreonian Empire. He is described as young, not yet of age, and more interested in hunting than in ruling the planet. His uncle Prince Regent Wienis is the current Regent. The story takes place when Lepold is coming of age and about to be crowned. Wienis convinces him to attack the Foundation, in order to become ruler of the whole Galaxy. Lepold, although not blindly trusting Wienis, agrees. When Wienis' plan is defeated by the Foundation, he is forced to accept the actual rule of the Foundation's Priesthood.
Lady Callia is the consort of Lord Stettin, ruler of the planet Kalgan. Arkady Darell uses her to persuade Lord Stettin to allow Homir Munn access to the Mule's palace for research purposes. She does this by dropping hints to Lady Callia that Lord Stettin may be in line to rule the galaxy. Lady Callia helps Arkady escape Lord Stettin, who keeps Homir hostage while he sets his plans in motion. Arkady initially thinks (rightly), based on Lady Callia's information, that Lord Stettin may be interested in her as a new consort. Despite Arkady being only 14 at the time, a relationship with an established Foundation family might help Lord Stettin. So it appears that Lady Callia is just removing her as a rival. However, in the last seconds of their parting, Arkady realises there is a lot more to Lady Callia than meets the eye, and that she is in fact a member of the Second Foundation, and is subtly manipulating the power on Kalgan.
Laskin "Jo Jo" Joranum is a rising politician and demagogue on Trantor. He campaigns on a platform of sector equality, but is actually aiming ultimately at the imperial throne. He tries and fails to persuade Hari Seldon to join his organisation and later tries to destabilise the Imperial government. Hari deduces that he is a renegade from the Mycogen sector, not from the distant planet of Nishaya as per his claim. Seldon is able to unmask Joranum and have him disgraced and exiled.
Lathan Devers is a Trader sent by the Foundation to spy on Bel Riose and determine his military intents. He and Ducem Barr steal a message sent by Brodrig to Riose, attempting to use it to make it seem like Riose is betraying the emperor. However, this proves both futile and unnecessary, since socio-politic forces work to prevent Riose from defeating the Foundation. In the next story, he is described as having died in the slave mines, presumably a political prisoner under the tyrannical rule of the first Mayor Indbur.
Limmar Ponyets is Master Trader of the Foundation who obtains Eskel Gorov's release by supplying the Askonians with a transmuter capable of converting iron into gold.
Linge Chen is Chief commissioner of Public Safety, and judge of Seldon's trial. He is described as the "real" ruler of the Galaxy while the child that actually bears the title of Emperor is merely a puppet in his hands. In Foundation he is described by Hari Seldon's word as a shrewd politician: although he publicly disputes Seldon's prediction of the incoming fall of the Empire. As a politician, he is aware of the value of public sentiment.
Lord Dorwin is a nobleman of the Galactic Empire who arrives on Terminus as a representative of the Emperor in response to its appeal for military support. He presents himself as an effete aristocrat, proud of his studied non-rhotic accent (which drops away when he is emotional). For example, he pronounces Sirius as "Siwius."
Lord Dorwin is interested in the origins of the human species, trying to determine whether it began on a single planet and, if so, which one. He mentions Sol, Sirius, Alpha Centauri, 61 Cygni and Arcturus. The name Dorwin might be a reference to Darwin, reflecting their common interest in the origins of humanity.
Although he has an interest in science, Lord Dorwin does not want to conduct original research (as indicated when Salvor Hardin asks if he plans to visit any of the possible originating planets) but rather bases his studies on the work of scholars dead centuries before. Asimov marks this as a sign of stagnation of science outside the Foundation.
Despite appearing to be an effete aristocrat, Lord Dorwin possesses genuine diplomatic skill. He is responsible for negotiating the treaties that grant autonomy to Anacreon and the other three entities collectively known as the Four Kingdoms. Dorwin denies that these territories are (newly) independent of the Empire, and his comments are taken by optimistic members of the Encyclopedia Board as proof that the Empire will protect Terminus from threats made by the neighboring Kingdom of Anacreon. However, Hardin's analysis shows that all of Dorwin's statements cancel out, meaning that he has spoken for five days without actually saying anything.
Lors Avakim is Lawyer to Gaal Dornick when the Commission of Public Safety arrested Gaal Dornick. Used a static field to block out the Commission of Public Safety by using a pocket recorder.
Lundin Crast is Member of the Board of Trustees of the Encyclopedia Committee.
Gruber is a dedicated gardener on the grounds of the Imperial palaces on Trantor. Gruber displays his courage when there is an assassination attempt on Seldon, and as a reward, Cleon appoints Gruber Chief Gardener. Gruber panics, afraid of the more demanding task, which would entail administrative work, and flees from his promotion ceremony, which is marred by an unsuccessful assassination attempt on Seldon by political enemies. Gruber attacks Emperor Cleon I at the base of the grand staircase of one of the Imperial palaces, killing the Emperor with a nuclear handgun. He is subsequently executed.
Mayor Indbur III
Mayor Indbur III was a one time ruler of the Foundation. His grandfather, Indbur I, seized power and was described as brutal and capable. He removed the last remnants of free elections, and his father Indbur II, was described as only half of Indbur I: he was merely brutal. Mayor Indbur III was described as having neither trait, and as 'a bookkeeper in the wrong job'. He was obsessed by order and detail, and lacked the ability to see the bigger picture.
Mother Rittah is an elderly woman living in the Dahl sector of Trantor, who briefly meets Hari Seldon. She tells him of the ancient semi-mythical tales of Earth, and of a robot who has never died, known as 'Da-nee, friend of Ba-lee'.
The Mule is a central character in Foundation and Empire and Second Foundation. Foundation's Edge reveals that he originally came from the planet Gaia, but was regarded as an aberration on a world where mental powers were being developed for benevolent ends. His childhood was one of torment and alienation. The Mule becomes aware of his great mental powers in his twenties and develops a desire to compensate for his earlier life by dominating humanity. No indication is ever given of any other names for him besides "The Mule", a name he apparently gave himself, 'Magnifico Giganticus', an alias he takes up to travel among Foundationers, and his statement as Magnifico that his name used to be Bobo.
The Mule is one of the greatest conquerors the galaxy has ever seen. He is a mentalic and partial telepath, who has the ability to reach into the minds of others and "adjust" their emotions, individually or en masse, using this ability to conscript people to his cause. Not direct mind-control per se, it is a subtle influence of the subconscious; persons under the Mule's influence behave otherwise normally - logic, memories, and personality intact. This gives the Mule the capacity to disrupt Seldon's plan by invalidating Seldon's assumption that no single individual could have a measurable effect on galactic socio-historical trends on their own, due to the plan relying on the predictability of the actions of very large numbers of people. He sometimes uses the musical Visi-Sonor to amplify these abilities.
The Mule establishes his empire incrementally, using past conquests to aid new ones: first by mentally converting a pirate band to his allegiance, then a whole planet, then the militarily powerful kingdom of Kalgan, which he obtains by mentally converting the warlord of the planet, and then defeats the Foundation. The Mule sets up his own short-lived Galactic Empire, the "Union of Worlds", styling himself "First Citizen of the Union" and making Kalgan its capital planet. By design, almost no one ever actually sees the Mule or knows what he looks like until a good time after the Mule's conquest of the Foundation and its trade confederacy.
The Foundation, after the death of the Empire, is the sole supplier of nuclear weaponry in the galaxy, and using this asset the Mule begins rapidly conquering surrounding territories, all of which lack nuclear power, sweeping aside the remnants of the Galactic Empire centered on Neotrantor.
The Mule's conquest is amazingly fast: he defeats the Foundation and establishes the Union of Worlds after only five years. Then, just as suddenly, and seemingly randomly, he stops his advance and settles into a five-year period of consolidation. This is actually because the Mule fears the mysterious Second Foundation, which is rumoured to be capable of defeating a mentalic person like himself. According to a hint given by Hari Seldon, the Second Foundation was founded at "the opposite end of the galaxy" from the First Foundation, which was itself founded on the distant galactic rim planet Terminus. However, the true location of the Second Foundation is a mystery and popular sentiment is that it does not exist. Nevertheless, in anxiety the Mule launches repeated expeditions in search of the Second Foundation during this period of consolidation.
These expeditions, particularly the last, led by Han Pritcher and Bail Channis, are very nearly successful. Ultimately, however, the Second Foundation succeeds in defeating the Mule's invasions, adjusting his personality to transform him into a relatively harmless person, lacking ambition. Thus his threat to the Seldon Plan is ended. In Second Foundation, it is revealed that the Mule dies in his thirties as a result of poor health.
The Mule's name is a reference to the sterility of mules, since he too is genetically sterile. Without a child, the Mule's empire ends soon after his death.
According to his autobiography In Memory Yet Green, Asimov modeled the Mule's physical appearance on Leonard Meisel, a friend at the World War II-era Navy Yard in Philadelphia. In keeping with the Foundation series being based on the Roman Empire, the Mule has historical parallels with Attila the Hun, Tamerlane, and Charlemagne; he has also been compared to the Roman Emperor Augustus, Adolf Hitler, Stalin and several other absolute tyrants of recent history.
Munn Li Compor
Compor betrays Trevize to the Mayor, and also follows him in his search for the Second Foundation. He is also an agent of the Second Foundation, an Observer, with limited powers, but able to report back on new developments. This is a new category of Second Foundationer, created after the near-disaster involving the Mule, whose importance was missed until it was almost too late.
Onum Barr is a patrician of the old Galactic Empire of Trantor, and a senator of Siwenna. He had six sons, five of whom died after being betrayed in a rebellion; his only daughter committed suicide as well. Whilst living quietly and in poverty in exile, Onum meets with Hober Mallow, who thinks that Siwenna is still the provincial capital; that position has been taken by Orsha II. Onum helps Mallow obtain information on the atomic power of the planet, and is repaid with a box of provisions.
Pelleas Anthor was originally introduced as a researcher in electroencephalographic analysis. Together with Toran Darell II, Jole Turbor, Dr. Elvett Semic and Homir Munn, he sets about using information obtained from brain scans to find the Second Foundation, and to eventually destroy it. However, it turns out that he is in fact a Second Foundation agent who had infiltrated the group to monitor, and if possible control, the direction of the dangerous actions being taken. In a twist within a twist, he was actually part of a Second Foundation deception led by Preem Palver.
Preem Palver is portrayed as a rather loud and jolly simple farmer. However, in reality he is the mastermind behind the plot to restore Hari Seldon's plan to its original course after the disruption by the Mule. This required meticulous planning, giving the Foundation a believable solution to the enigma of the Second Foundation. Preem Palver is the nineteenth First Speaker of the Second Foundation and direct descendant of Stettin Palver, another character in the Foundation universe. (In fact, Palver's name seems to mean "First Speaker"; Preem sounds like prime and Palver sounds like palaver. This is probably meant as a foreshadowing hint to the reader, since his identity as First Speaker is not revealed until the last sentence of Second Foundation.)
He and his wife were leaving Kalgan where they had negotiated a trade agreement. They met up with Arkady Darell who was fleeing from Lord Stettin, the ruler of Kalgan, at the spaceport. They helped her evade capture and took her to Trantor, his homeworld. Arkady then solved the riddle of the Second Foundation's location in a believable answer, and used Palver to pass it on to her father Toran Darell II in a coded message: "A circle has no end". This implied that the Second Foundation was on Terminus, because Hari Seldon had said that the Foundations were at "opposite ends of the Galaxy", and the Galaxy is a flat disc.
Preem Palver arranged for Kalgan to declare war on the Foundation through his agent Lady Callia, who was mentally manipulating Kalgan's ruler, Lord Stettin. Kalgan lost the war, and so restored the Foundation's confidence in its purpose. In his guise as a farmer/trader, he also negotiated to supply the Foundation with needed supplies at the close of the war, at which time he passed on Arkady's message. Dr. Darell, in the meantime, had pioneered an electronic "Mind Static" device that emitted a strong mental field using the brain's radio-wave composition. Successfully finding an undercover agent of the Second Foundation among them, Dr. Darell and his associates interrogate him and find the Second Foundation on Terminus. The Second Foundation is then "eradicated" by the First Foundation, which now believes itself to be the only Foundation left, and can establish the second galactic empire without interference.
It is later revealed by Preem Palver, in the last chapter, that Terminus, the homeworld of the Foundation, is not, in fact, the real location of the Second Foundation. The physical scientists of the First Foundation were fooled by Seldon's phrasing, "opposite end of the Galaxy" and "Stars End". They believed that Seldon's meaning was the physical opposite end, but Seldon was a social scientist. The social opposite end of the Galaxy from Terminus was Trantor, because Trantor was where the entire First Empire was governed from, while Terminus was an impoverished, abandoned planet on the Outer Rim. As a quote from the novel reads "All roads lead to Trantor, and that is where all stars end". A small group of Second Foundationers was dispatched to Terminus from Trantor in order to fool the physical scientists into thinking that the real Second Foundation was there, and has been defeated. This ensures a return to the original Seldon Plan, where the Second Foundation is not a force to be feared by the First Foundation.
One of Preem Palver's most noted accomplishments is his exemplary guiding of the Second Foundation through the crisis. Seldon's psychohistory was useful only when dealing with large groups, so Palver had to rely on manipulation of individuals, whose behavior cannot be predicted statistically with such high confidence.
Prince Regent Wienis
Prince Regent Wienis is the power behind the regency of Lepold I, King of Anacreon. Prince Regent Wienis attempted a military conquest of the Foundation, but is thwarted by the religion of Scientism, which gives the Foundation control of Anacreon's technology, including its military. Frustrated by Salvor Hardin, he despairs and commits suicide.
Publis Manlio is Foreign Secretary to the Mayor and Primate of the Church, Purveyor of the Holy Food, and Master of the Temples.
Rashelle of Wye
Rashelle is the daughter of Mannix IV, the Mayor of Wye (a Trantorian sector) and effective ruler of the sector. She has Hari Seldon kidnapped and tries unsuccessfully to persuade him to work for her. She engineers a military coup, hoping to become ruler of the planet Trantor. The plot is foiled at the last moment by Eto Demerzel. The subsequent fate of Rashelle is not revealed.
Raych Seldon is the adopted son of Hari Seldon and Dors Venabili. He lived in the slums of Billibotton, part of Dahl, on the world of Trantor. He married Manella Dubanqua, an undercover security officer who helped prevent an assassination attempt on Hari Seldon. They had two daughters, Wanda and Bellis.
When Raych (no known surname) was aged twelve, Hari Seldon and Dors Venabili, while fleeing from Eto Demerzel, came to Dahl, where Raych lived. Hari Seldon has learned of the existence of Mother Rittah, an elderly woman who tells tales of the planet known as Earth. Seldon meets Raych and convinces him to show him the way to her home in the infamous Billibotton district. He proves a trustworthy guide and maintains his new-found loyalty when he and Hari and Dors are captured and taken to Wye sector to meet Rashelle, Mayor of Wye. Out of gratitude for his loyalty, Seldon and Venabili adopt Raych. He gets an education, which he has thus far been denied, and later enters Streeling University. It is implied, but not explicitly stated, that Raych possesses latent mentalic powers, which re-appear with greater force in his daughter Wanda.
Eight years after his adoption by Hari and Dors, rising politician Laskin Joranum threatens to overthrow the Empire. Seldon recognises the danger and persuades Raych to join his organisation and become a follower of Joranum. Raych's plan is to persuade Joranum that Eto Demerzel is actually a robot and Joranum believes this story, using it in his publicity campaign. When the Emperor learns of the claim, and Demerzel publicly denies it, Joranum is exposed. On Seldon's advice, he is exiled to where he claimed to come from, the backwater planet of Nishaya. At this point, Demerzel leaves his post as First Minister, and invites Seldon to replace him.
Ten years later, Joranum's former follower, Gambol Deen Namarti, has restarted the conspiracy under the leadership of Gleb Andorin, planning that he will become First Minister with Andorin as Emperor. Seldon sends Raych to join the Joranumite movement under an alias. But he is recognised and drugged with 'desperance', a drug which induces depression and reduces his willpower. He is forced to obey orders. He is infiltrated into a group of newly recruited gardeners for the grounds of the Imperial palace, and forced to use a blaster on his father, Hari Seldon. Manella Dubanqua, an undercover security officer working within the Joranumite organisation, saves Raych by killing Andorin; Raych is saved from having to kill his father.
Raych marries Manella; they have two children, Wanda and Bellis. As Hari Seldon starts losing funding for the Seldon Project at Streeling University, Raych moves to Santanni University. But when Santanni rebels against the empire, Raych is killed in the fighting. Bellis and Manella, who were on a ship to Anacreon, are never heard from again, believed killed.
Salvor Hardin is the first mayor of Terminus City, the sole inhabited location on the planet Terminus. In the novel, Terminus is settled by a colony of scientists and professionals, the Encyclopedia Foundation, working on compiling human knowledge into a compendium called the Encyclopedia Galactica, a project that hides the true meaning of the colony, which is meant by its founder Hari Seldon to outlast the inevitable fall of the Galactic Empire and preserve the sciences through the dark age that must follow. Seldon is noted to have been aware of this future due to the tenets of psychohistory, a science originally formulated by Seldon himself.
The colony is, in its first decades, managed by the Foundation's Board of Trustees, whose members are prominent scientists but poor administrators. Hardin, born on Terminus, is elected mayor and is given the responsibility of managing the city's day-to-day affairs. Finding that his role in the city government is undermined by elements of the Board, Hardin launches a popular campaign that demands city representation at Board meetings, and is reluctantly granted the privilege of attending.
Portrayed as a shrewd, manipulating politician, Hardin eventually realizes Hari Seldon's true intention in forming the Foundation, but his beliefs and subsequent claims are derided by the members of the Board of Trustees, who attempt to remove him from his new position of power. Outmaneuvering them through, among other means, his control of the Terminus City Journal, Hardin simultaneously manages to defuse a crisis arising between the Foundation and the neighboring kingdom of Anacreon, which has seceded from the crumbling Galactic Empire. His beliefs are proven correct after a recording of Hari Seldon is played after the passing of the "First Seldon Crisis"; he then is able to assume the role of the Foundation's de facto head of state.
After the crisis, Hardin and his chief advisor, Yohan Lee, devise a method of subjugating the neighboring interplanetary kingdoms, who have neglected the sciences and are regressing into a state reminiscent of feudalism. Creating a religion, called Scientism, which treats scientific occurrences as sacred events, Hardin and Lee send priests—truly, technicians—to the "Four Kingdoms" adjacent to the Foundation's territory in the Terminus system. This plan is successful, and, as the Foundation's power grows, Hardin is returned to office numerous times.
The second Seldon Crisis also arises during Hardin's mayoralty but three decades later, when Anacreon, under Prince Regent Wienis, expands the Anacreonian fleet using a spaceship remodeled by Foundation "priests". Using the masses’ belief in the Foundation’s “religion” against Wienis, Hardin defeats the prince regent, who commits suicide, and the young King of Anacreon signs a treaty with clauses favorable to the Foundation. Hardin demonstrates significant advances in Foundation technology when he wears a personal force field to deflect the fire emitted from a nuclear handgun; force fields small enough to be mobile, such as this one, had not yet been seen in the history of the Galactic Empire.
Sef Sermak is a young "Actionist" politician who tries to convince Salvor Hardin to change his policies; it is implied that he later becomes Mayor. His name may be an allusion to Anton Cermak, who was the mayor of Chicago and (briefly) one of the most powerful local politicians in America.
Sennett Forell is a leader of the Merchant Princes at the time of the conflict with Bel Riose. His exact status is slightly unclear, but he may be the effective leader of the Foundation behind the scenes, although if so he is a less able leader than Salvor Hardin or Hober Mallow. He is Mallow's illegitimate son, but publicly he is only acknowledged as his distant cousin.
Stettin Palver studied history at the University of Langano but worked at a menial job on Trantor. He was an accomplished student of a Heliconian martial art known as "Twisting," and was initially employed by Hari Seldon as his bodyguard because of this. He was later found to share mentalic powers with Wanda Seldon, and became a member of the early Second Foundation. After this discovery, he worked on the Seldon Plan along with Gaal Dornick, reporting directly to Seldon on its refinement. As Stettin worked with Wanda in finding other people with mentalic powers, improving and discovering their own, and continuing work on the Seldon Plan, Seldon observed that the two "seemed to be inseparable" and looked at each other "with an intensity born not only of intellectual stimulation but emotional motivation as well."
Gendibal is a Speaker of the Second Foundation; the youngest but privately acknowledged by the First Speaker as his probable successor. He is the only Speaker to realise that both Foundations are being controlled by another more powerful external force, which is eventually revealed to be Gaia.
Sura Novi is an agent of Gaia (Foundation's Edge) who lives on the planet Trantor (Hame) in the guise of an unmarried Hamish woman. Her full name is Suranoviremblastiran. Foundation Speaker Stor Gendibal detects inconsistencies in her brain that cannot be accounted for, making him aware of the existence of a powerful mentallic agent interfering with the Second Foundation. She goes with him to the Gaia system, and then reveals that she has been part of a large plan to make him go there. After the final confrontation in Foundation's Edge, she erases Gendibal's memories of her being an agent of Gaia, and returns to Trantor with him, again (and permanently) disguised as a Hamish.
Tamwile Elar is a senior mathematician working on the Seldon Project. The creator of 'the achaotic equations' that make it more possible to get around the problem of chaos and aid in developing psychohistory, Seldon thinks of him as a brilliant man, though is sometimes a bit begrudging or annoyed internally because he thinks of himself as no longer as good as he used to be, as he ages, and dislikes Elar's loud laugh and habit of calling Seldon 'the Maestro.' Elar designs an 'Electro-Clarifier' device to allow more information to be stored in 'Prime Radiants' that hold psychohistorical equations. However, whilst collaborating with the military junta that rules Trantor, he kills Dors Venabili with an intense Electro-Clarifier through its side effect of creating an electromagnetic field that damages the electromagnetic machinery of robots without harming humans. It seems Elar wants to become the head of the Psychohistory Project, and the junta wants Seldon out of the picture so he cannot decry their government as failing, but feels Dors would be difficult to get past. However, Elar does not appear to especially dislike Seldon, and perhaps is even glad that Seldon might drift away with Dors' death without having to be killed by the junta. Dors nevertheless manages to kill Elar and tell Seldon what has happened before dying.
Tomaz Sutt is Member of the Board of Trustees of the Encyclopedia Committee.
Toran and Bayta Darell
Toran and Bayta Darell are husband and wife. Toran is a Trader and was born on Haven and married Bayta, of Terminus and a descendant of Hober Mallow. They are sent by the government of the Independent Trading Worlds to Kalgan to seek possible support from the Mule. There they rescue a small man who calls himself “Magnifico” and return to Terminus. It falls to the Mule, and they then flee to Haven with Ebling Mis, and then to Trantor. There, Mis attempts to find the Second Foundation, being driven by the Mule’s psychological control. Bayta realizes that Magnifico is the Mule and kills Mis before he can reveal the location, for which she becomes a Foundation hero. Their son is Toran Darell II, and his daughter is Arkady Darell.
Toran Darell II
Toran Darell II is the son of Toran and Bayta Darell and the father of Arkady Darell, and was known for his advances in electroencephalographic analysis. He was able to quit his job as he receives a stipend from the Foundation due to his mother's services in thwarting the Mule. The stipend is sufficient for a comfortable home in a pleasant suburb, and allows the presence of a servant named Poli to take care of him and his daughter. His abrupt resignation was due to fear that the Second Foundation might learn of his activities and adjust him.
He discovered that the mental manipulations by the Second Foundation left a detectable pattern in brain wave activity, and called it a “Tamper Plateau.” Using this, he could determine who had been directly affected by the Second Foundation. With Semic, he developed a mind static device capable of protecting against this, and further refined it into a weapon against Second Foundationers. With the use of this, he and the First Foundation seemingly destroy the Second Foundation; the small group that is revealed is a decoy, though, and the Second Foundation survives on Trantor.
Wanda Seldon is the daughter of Raych Seldon and Manella Dubanqua, At 8 years old, she is a small woman with serious manners and light brown hair. Her eyes were blue.
By the age of 18, her hair had turned blond with a slightly broad face but still prone to smile. Wanda plays a key role in creating the two Foundations. As Seldon's sixtieth birthday is being celebrated by his colleagues, Wanda overhears mathematician Tamwile Elar talking to the military junta that serves as a government. She tells Dors Venabili something she thought she heard: the phrase "lemonade death". Venabili investigates, worrying that it may be a garbled version of "layman-aided death", targeting Hari Seldon. She discovers, almost too late, that it actually refers to the "Elar-Monay" device (unsuspecting technician Cinda Monay having designed it for Elar).
When Wanda is 14, she asks Yugo Amaryl about how psychohistory is developing. Amaryl shows her the Prime Radiant, a device that displays all the psychohistory equations. Wanda points to a certain set of equations and says it does not look right. Yugo finds it was indeed wrong, and Hari Seldon deduces that Wanda had somehow read Amaryl's mind. He conceives the idea of a Second Foundation, whose power would lie in its telepathic power and anonymity.
Wanda Seldon continues to develop her "mentalic" abilities during her life. She is able to influence a witness when Seldon was put on trial for attacking someone "without provocation". Seldon persuades her to find other people with similar mental powers; the first is Stettin Palver and the second is psychologist Bor Alurin. Seldon eventually sends them away to establish the Second Foundation in secret.
Yate Fulham is Member of the Board of Trustees of the Encyclopedia Committee.
Yohan Lee is one of Salvor Hardin's advisors and friends.
Yugo Amaryl, along with Hari Seldon, worked on psychohistory until his death at age 52. Asimov fleshes-out the character's origins in Prelude to Foundation (1988). Amaryl was born on Trantor in the Dahl sector. He worked as a "heatsinker", one of many people tending the vast subterranean operations that generate energy from heat in the deep recesses of the planet. The work was hard, hot and did not require great intelligence. These menial workers tended to be ostracized by those not forced to work underground.
Amaryl managed to discover and study mathematics with the help of a friendly librarian. He met Seldon when the latter visited the heatsink complex out of curiosity whilst fleeing from Eto Demerzel and living in Dahl. Seldon immediately recognized and fostered Amaryl's innate mathematical abilities and was able to get him into University. He eventually gained a doctorate and became Seldon's closest and most trusted co-worker. Amaryl's devotion to his work would be his undoing, giving him an early death from overwork.
In Forward the Foundation, Amaryl is the one to discover Wanda Seldon's mentalic powers, when Wanda reads his mind. On his deathbed, Amaryl is reminded by Hari Seldon of an idea, previously proposed by Amaryl, of developing two foundations that would serve as the kernels of a new Galactic Empire. They then discuss an idea of Seldon's to develop a group of mentalics, acting as guardians of the psychohistorical track by "introducing fine adjustments," influencing historical events. This group of guardians, would be in addition to another group of psychohistorians, which would develop and preserve a knowledge base, would hopefully decrease the recovery time to form a second Galactic Empire. The group of mentalic psychohistorians would come to fruition as the Second Foundation.
- Asimov, Isaac (1953). Second Foundation. Doubleday & Company, Inc. p. 182.
- Isaac Asimov's FOUNDATION Novels: Historical Materialism Distorted into Cyclical Psycho-History Charles Elkins, Science Fiction Studies, # 8 (Volume 3, Part 1, March 1976)
- "Sample of Foundation's Triumph". Archived from the original on 2007-03-10. Retrieved 2019-06-18.
- Asimov, Isaac (2004). Foundation and Empire. New York, New York: Bantam Dell. p. 124.
- Asimov, Isaac (1982). "Chapter Three, Historian". Foundation's Edge. Foundation Series. United States: Doubleday & Company. p. 33. ISBN 0-385-17725-9.
- Asimov, Isaac (1982). "Chapter Three, Historian". Foundation's Edge. Foundation Series. United States: Doubleday & Company. pp. 33–35. ISBN 0-385-17725-9.
- Asimov, Isaac (1982). "Chapter Three, Historian". Foundation's Edge. Foundation Series. United States: Doubleday & Company. p. 35. ISBN 0-385-17725-9.
- Asimov, Isaac (1982). "Chapter Six, Earth". Foundation's Edge. Foundation Series. United States: Doubleday & Company. p. 95. ISBN 0-385-17725-9.
- Asimov, Isaac. "Foundation". Gnome Press. 1951.
- Asimov, Isaac. Forward the Foundation. New York: Doubleday, 1993. pg. 405
- Asimov, Isaac. Foundation. Gnome Press. 1951.
- Asimov, Isaac. Foundation and Empire. Gnome Press. 1952.
- Asimov, Isaac. Second Foundation. Gnome Press. 1953
- Asimov, Isaac. Foundation's Edge. Doubleday. June 1982. ISBN 0-385-17725-9
- Asimov, Isaac. Foundation and Earth. Doubleday. 1986. ISBN 0-553-58757-9