Does Hober Mallow Die In ‘Foundation’ Season 2? How Did The Mule Know Him?


Hari Seldon might have said this a million times, but we are going to say it again: It is nearly impossible to predict the actions of one individual through psychohistory. It is a collective model based on the patterns of a large population. In short, Hari never knew that Gaal Dornick wouldn’t end up on Terminus and that her daughter, Salvor Hardin, would leave the planet in search of her mother.

The actions of these two individuals had changed Hari’s predictive future, and it was a big enough reason why he was so afraid of a special tribe called the mentalics. Things were fine until a third mentalic came into play. In the second episode of Foundation Season 2, Gaal had a vision of the future where she saw her worst enemy, the Mule, the Conqueror. During this encounter, The Mule mentioned the Age of Empire, which meant that in The Mule’s timeline, the Imperium had perished. He later mentions a man named Hober Mallow who attacked the Empire in his own stronghold, which suggests that Hober Mallow became a legendary hero after the fall of the Empire.

We are not sure if The Mule gave this information to Gaal intentionally or not. But this piece of information did have an effect on the events of the present. In the ninth episode of Foundation Season 2, Salvor visited The Vault and told Hari Seldon how Hober Mallow struck the Empire. Hari’s second digital consciousness didn’t waste a moment to put a large banner (not literally) of Mallow on The Vault, urging his followers to seek out and bring the man to him as soon as possible. At this point, we just have one question in mind: Would Hober Mallow still play an important role if Salvor had never told Hari about it? The digital consciousness had no means to know an insignificant criminal or the heroism he was capable of.

The entire interaction between Salvor and Hari inside The Vault made one thing obvious: both of these characters belonged to different timelines, or maybe that was what the second season of Foundation wanted us to be convinced of. Or maybe the entire scene was a means to tie up the loose ends on why Hari called for Hober Mallow out of the blue.

Just like the heroes of our story, Hober Mallow was an outcast who never fit in. He had trained for the priesthood to promote the doctrines of Hari Seldon’s church, but quickly realized it was not his cup of tea. He wanted to shorten the darkness, but in his own ways and religion was definitely not one of them. The master trader yearned for wealth and luxuries, or maybe everything that was against the principles of the church. The authorities found him selling fake relics to believers and revoked his trade license, after which he turned into a full-time fraudster. Nevertheless, Polly Verisof and Brother Constant saved Hober from getting executed and brought him safely to Terminus so that the prophet could meet the man he had asked for.

A man needs two things to get himself started: love and purpose. In Constant, Hober found one, and Hari gave him the second. He was tasked with striking a deal with the Spacers, whose kind the Empire had enslaved for a long time. The minds of the Spacers were needed to operate the Imperium’s jump ship, but the scientists at the Foundation had developed better space navigators that didn’t have such requirements. It is suggested in the series that the Spacers needed a micronutrient called Opalesk to survive, and the Empire would only trade it with the Spacers on the condition that they would give away ten percent of their offering to the Empire for the jump ships. But Hari’s Foundation found a means to synthesize Opalesk without the Empire’s involvement, and he sent the Master Trader to trade the goods in exchange for an ally against the Empire.

In the end, Hober designed a ruse with the Spacers. After the fall of the Terminus, everyone on the Imperial Fleet quickly realized that the Empire’s tyranny has no limits, and therefore, Hari Seldon’s plan to destroy Empire’s Imperial Fleet was set in motion. The Spacers on the Imperial Fleet received their instructions from She-Is-Center, after which each ship started to jump into the space occupied by its neighbor, triggering the chain reaction that destroyed the Imperial Fleet.

It was only Bel Riose who was able to understand Hober and Hari’s intricate plan of action, but Brother Day was too egoistic to see that. In the end, he lost his control and tried to kill Hober. However, the legendary hero, through his calm and wit, had been able to convince an enemy to side with him. Finally, Riose decided to give up his loyalty to the Empire and do the right thing. Yes, Salvor said this first. Bel Riose tricked the Empire. He used Hober’s casting device to switch places with Brother Day, who had thrown Riose into the open space. And there he was Brother Day, as cold as his heart was and as dead as his conscience.

But alas, Hober Mallow and Bel Riose knew that their end was near. In order to curb the tyranny, they had to sacrifice themselves. But that’s what martyrs do. The two legendary heroes shared the last bottle of wine before meeting their inevitable fate. Hober died that day, as did Riose. The two men were on opposite sides of the coin but had a similar purpose in their hearts: To shorten the darkness in the best possible way they could. If The Mule was right, then this might be the greatest strike on the Imperium in the ages to come, and therefore, it will definitely make Hober and Riose the legendary heroes in the history of the universe. Brother Contant is very much alive to sing the songs of the fallen ones. Meanwhile, Riose’s lover, Glawen Curr, will definitely be proud of him, and maybe his heroic deeds will fill the screen in the upcoming seasons. The fall of the Empire has just begun, and it will take time before it crumbles to its own ruins.

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Shikhar Agrawal
Shikhar Agrawal
I am an Onstage Dramatist and a Screenwriter. I have been working in the Indian Film Industry for the past 12 years, writing dialogues for various films and television shows.

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