Foundation: Who is Seldon’s Wife Yanna? What Happened to Her?

The second season of Apple TV+’s ‘Foundation’ expands the already vast world of the Galactic Empire. The first episode takes place more than a century after the events of the Season 1 Finale. The main characters have been through a harrowing journey that has changed how they see the world. Their predicament also leads them to reflect on their past and those they loved and lost. One of the revelations of the first episode is Yanna, Hari Seldon’s wife. He sees her when trapped inside the Prime Radiant but immediately realizes that she is not real. Still, this lays the groundwork for exploring Seldon’s past, which went unacknowledged in the previous season. If you want to know more about Yanna Seldon and what happened to her, we’ve got you covered.

Yanna’s Death: Unclear, Possibly Linked to Hari’s Work

‘Foundation’ is based on the book of the same name by Isaac Asimov. In adapting the books for Apple TV+, the show’s creators have made several changes to the story, though they have kept the story mostly in alignment with what takes place in the novels. The character of Hari Seldon’s wife also seems to be one of the things that have received a variation in the TV show.

From what appears in the first episode, Yanna is Hari’s wife, and she died before the events of ‘Foundation.’ She wasn’t mentioned in the first season, even by Raych, who had been with Hari since childhood. This could simply be because the topic never came up or because Yanna died young. The circumstances surrounding her demise haven’t been revealed yet, but it might have had something to do with Hari’s work.

By now, it’s clear that Hari Seldon is never completely truthful to anyone. He keeps his secrets close to his chest and is known to put his loved ones in troubling situations, forcing them to do things they’d never want to do. Hari made Raych kill him, leading to a tragic ending for his adoptive son. Could it be that his wife suffered the same fate? Perhaps, Hari, in another of his genius plans, used his wife’s love for him to make her do something she didn’t survive.

The flashbacks in the first episode hint towards a greater exploration of Hari Seldon’s past in the coming episodes. The truth about what really happened to Yanna Seldon will become clear then, but we can only speculate for now. The fact that the show often strays from the source material also puts us in a bind about what to expect from Yanna’s character. In the book, Hari Seldon is married to Dors Venabili, who is a robot.

The two meet when Seldon starts working at the university and is in the initial stages of developing psychohistory. Dors teaches History and is assigned to protect Seldon. As they spend more time together, Seldon falls in love with her. Even when he suspects she is not human but a robot, it does nothing to change his feelings for her. They build a family together, adopting Raych and raising him as their son.

Eventually, Dors dies protecting Seldon. She is killed by the waves of the electromagnetic machine used to inscribe information in the Prime Radiant. It’s a tragic fate as Seldon sees his wife die in his arms and can’t do anything about it. It’s unclear how much the show will stick to the story from the books, mainly about Yanna being a robot. There is a greater possibility for the show to keep her a human, especially considering that Seldon deduces that the woman in front of her is not his wife but an AI from the way she talks. From this, we can assume that Yanna was human.

Apart from this crucial difference, the creators of ‘Foundation’ might keep the rest of the plot similar to the books. It would make sense for Hari and Yanna to meet at the university, where he has spent most of his life. Her presence around the time Hari started developing psychohistory would shed more light on how he came about the predictions that snowballed into the events that changed the fate of the entire galaxy.

Read More: Where is Hari Seldon? Is He Alive or Dead?