Has the third of the Foundation Trilogy left you with questions?


New Member
Nov 7, 2013
Dear users,

I have some questions and do please help me to a better understanding. I recently finished the trilogy and it is one of the best books I have ever read.

Right, now then. Is anyone skeptical about some holes in the trilogy? I just want to focus on the final book.

First, [second foundationer] Anthor Pelleas vehemently accuses Homir Munn of being converted after Munn claims, at the end, that there is no Second Foundation. Why did Pelleas furiously dismiss this? Why did he order Munn to be scanned? Had Pelleas not said anything, it would have been left at that, the group would have perhaps believed Munn, and Pelleas would have accomplished his goal.

Second, why is there no mention of Bail Channis after the Mule is converted? Not a single word is mentioned after that. Channis is an important figure. My guess is that he returned to the Second Foundation.

Third, Han Pritcher is only mentioned once after the Mule is defeated, but, he is a key figure. What happened to him? In the single citation, it reads that he ruled Kalgan for a time after the Mule passed on. Was he freed from conversion? Nothing is clear.

Fourth, I am skeptical about the Second Foundation's success via Arcadia Darell's conversion as a baby. I don't want to grind this to sand, but, from what little I have read in cognitive science, the human mind develops nonlinearly, which Asimov would have known. An implanted idea into a baby would not retain its print through human development. Synapses change.

I really would like to be educated on these points. Thank you and take care.


Well-Known Member
Dec 21, 2006
I just finished Second Foundation, the third book of the original trilogy, today. :) Here's my interpretation:

1. I don't think Pelleus would have accomplished his goal just for allowing Munn to convince the others that the Second Foundation didn't exist. That group was the core of the resistance of the First Foundation against the Second, but they weren't the only ones who mistrusted the Second Foundation. Would the entire First Foundation be convinced that the Second didn't exist simply from taking Munn's word for it? The sacrifice of the 50 Second Foundation members on Terminus via the Mind Static device was much more concrete evidence, more dramatic and memorable, and more obviously witnessed by many people. It was far more likely to put to rest any doubts the First Foundation had about ensuring their ideas of the "non-involvement" of the Second Foundation.

2 and 3. Yes, these are definitely ends left open. But the whole trilogy lacks much character development since we are supposed to concentrate more on the big picture of historical development. It leaves questions, but it's at least consistent with the writing style.

4. I'm not really sure how that works either, but it does explain why Second Foundation members can't be detected through the encephalographic pattern detectors. It makes the story internally consistant.

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