Hari Seldon’s death was one of the major turning points in Foundation Season 1. Raych Foss had stabbed his father figure, and soon, the variants of Hari’s digital consciousness flooded the screen. For the time being, we believed that he wouldn’t be making an appearance in flesh and blood again because that’s what death means in a literal sense. Even Hari had suggested that he needed to die for the success of the Foundation, but in Season 2, the Apple Series made a drastic change when it somehow revived Hari Seldon’s body. He, later, justified the turn of events by saying that everyone loves a great resurrection arc. It is no hidden fact that Hari’s revival can be compared to the second coming of Christ, as Hari’s followers saw him as some sort of god or eternal being. But such faith and magic have little space in a universe that talks about psychohistory and jumpships. So, the question here is: How did Hari return?
In the third episode of Foundation Season 2, Hari, Gaal, and Salvor arrive on an abandoned planet called Oona’s World, which was an exhausted imperial mining site. Earlier, Kalle had appeared inside the Prime Radiant, where she directed Hari’s digital consciousness to come to Oona’s world as a great mystery awaited him there. With Gaal’s help, Hari visited the secret cave, where Kalle’s digital lifeform welcomed him and asked him to come along. The audience were kept in the dark about what happened next, but in the end, we saw Hari Seldon in the flesh. Even though he didn’t remember how it all happened, we can theorize that maybe Kalle or someone inside the cave had the technology to accomplish the task.
Considering the Foundation universe isn’t a stranger to cloning, it won’t be wrong to entertain the possibility that Hari’s current avatar too was a clone that had been generated through his DNA. Earlier, in Season 1, we had been told about an insurgent group that had stolen Cleon 1’s DNA in order to create a perfect copy of the Empire. Maybe Kalle or the people inside the cave had similar technology, but we are not sure how they acquired Hari’s DNA. In Season 1, his body was sent into space after his death, which later transformed into the Vault that we saw on Terminus. Hence, this could only be possible if they had Hari’s DNA; otherwise, Hari’s current body is a robot like Demerzel with Hari’s digital consciousness operating the vessel.
The second possibility is that the current body of the master is just a vessel that was created after his image. In the fourth episode of Foundation Season 2, Hari told his visitors in the Vault that everything around them was made of molecules, except for the soul. In this scenario, the current body of Hari Seldon can be labeled as a vehicle that needed a driver, i.e., his digital consciousness, so that it could make him whole again. As far as we know from the books, Hari was just a guiding force who had been helping his followers through verbal advice, but in the series, Kalle or the Prime Radiant had some bigger plan for Hari Seldon, for which she or it needed him to have a tangible form. And his first major task, if you cannot guess, was to smash Tellem’s head to delay the inevitable for the time being. Yes, it won’t be wrong to theorize that Tellem is The Mule, and with Salvor out of the picture, Gaal might need an ally to fight against her greatest adversary.
Moving forward, one can find a really smart reference to Hindu mythology in the second season of Foundation if one remembers the scene on planet Siwenna, where Bel Riose and Glawen Curr came across a man named Ducem. Inside Ducem’s house, Curr found an old relic that probably belonged to planet Earth. It was a copy of the Bhagavad Gita, which narrates the story of a great war called the Mahabharata. In this epic myth, Lord Krishna guides a fierce warrior named Arjun in the battle against evil. Hari’s rebirth can be compared to the reincarnation of Vishnu as Krishna, who arrived on Earth to help Arjun (Gaal, in Foundation’s case) fight against the evil Imperium. Adding to that note, like Hari Seldon, Krishna too knew the outcome of the war but never really shared the details with Arjun.
Considering the way the second season of Foundation ended with Hari and Gaal going into Cryosleep, we are certain that Hari is indeed going to become Gaal’s guide and ally in the war against The Mule and the Empire at large. However, the only itch in the entire second season was Hari’s bitterness towards Gaal during the initial episodes. Maybe Jared Harris lost the character in those moments because if the creators really wanted to portray him as some sort of messiah, then there shouldn’t have been any space for him to lose his cool like that. However, the second digital lifeform of Hari, the one on Terminus, had been maintaining this aura, and maybe it was a conscious choice made by the creator to make a distinction between these two digital consciousnesses.
Speaking of the second Hari Seldon, at the end of Foundation Season 2, the Vault on Terminus acted like a portal between two worlds. The first Foundation was meant to fail, but like all prophecies, it had a hidden meaning attached to it. Perhaps Hari wanted the universe, especially the allies of the Foundation, to know the extent of tyranny the Empire is capable of. Yet he didn’t want his disciples to die a futile death, so he teleported the entire population to the second Foundation on Helicon. In Season 1, we found out about a spaceship traveling to Helicon that was meant to take Raych to the planet where he would make preparations for the second Foundation, but things didn’t work out as planned. Raych died and Gaal replaced him on the spaceship, but she refused to go to Helicon. The idea only started taking a substantial form in Season 2, when Hari and Gaal arrived at Ignis, the planet of mentalics, and decided to make it the base for the second Foundation. So, by the end of Season 1, the first Foundation shifted to Star’s End, i.e., Hari’s home planet, Helicon, while Ignis became the second Foundation, thereby fulfilling Hari’s prophecy so far. The third step from here on is probably to deal with the fall of the Cleon Dynasty and fight The Mule: the conflict that we will most likely come across in the third season of Foundation. Until then, it’s a deep sleep for Gaal, Hari, and the viewers.