"You came here hoping to save your world. I’m asking you to dream bigger. Why stop at one world? Why not save the galaxy?"Hari Seldon to Gaal Dornick, The Emperor's Peace
Hari Seldon is one of the main characters of the Apple TV+ series Foundation. An eccentric mathematical genius, Hari Seldon develops Psychohistory, an entirely new science that allows him to calculate the future with stunning accuracy. His predictions foresee the fall of the Galactic Empire within five hundred years, followed by a period of barbarism that would plunge the galaxy into darkness for thirty thousand years. Hari sets out to create a Foundation to soften the fall and preserve science and civilization for future generations. He is portrayed by Jared Harris, first appearing in the episode "The Emperor's Peace".
Hari Seldon, born on the planet Helicon, is one of the foremost mathematicians in the galaxy. He is the Professor of Probability Theory at Streeling University on Trantor, and the creator of the science known as Psychohistory. With Psychohistory's ability to predict the behaviour of large populations, Hari reaches the conclusion that the Galactic Empire is doomed and will fall within five hundred years. Following that event, a period of thirty thousand years of war and barbarism would follow. Knowing that the fall is inevitable, Hari sets out to soften the fall by creating a Foundation, an organization that would seek to safeguard civilization and science by creating the Encyclopedia Galactica to preserve human knowledge and experiences. He hopes that his actions will reduce the dark ages to a mere one thousand years before a new Empire can arise. Hari's predictions come to the attention of the Cleon Emperors, who worry that Hari is a revolutionary and seeking to undermine faith in the Empire.
Knowing the Empire is watching, Hari begins planning with his associate, Raych Foss. A mathematics contest is held to solve the Abraxas Conjecture to find someone with the same level of mathematical understanding as himself. The contest is won by Gaal Dornick from Synnax, who travels to Trantor to work with Hari. Hari welcomes her to Trantor and then reveals they are due to be arrested the following day. At the Tribunal, the Empire does exactly what Hari hopes; they try to debunk his findings by letting Gaal—the only other person in the galaxy capable of understanding his equations—examine the Prime Radiant. However, she agrees with Hari's findings. As the Emperors decide Hari's fate, careful not to make him a martyr, a terrorist attack on Trantor's Star Bridge brings attention to the notion that the Empire is begin to crack. Brother Day exiles Hari and his Foundation to the planet Terminus; if the predictions are wrong, the Foundation would be left to wither. But if the predictions prove correct, then the Empire would be seen to be supportive and use the success to uphold their regime. Hari reveals to Gaal that this was his plan all along, and bringing her to Trantor was the key to it succeeding.
A slow ship takes Hari and over seventeen hundred colonists to Terminus, a trip that would take several years without a jumpdrive. On the voyage, Hari oversees the training of the colonists and admits that while he planned for this exile, he never imagined himself among the crew of the ship heading to Terminus. He begins to rely more on Gaal, pushing her into a role of leadership. Several months into the voyage, following a heated exchange with Raych at dinner, Hari is murdered by his aide.
From the Foundation Books
Hari Seldon is the hero of of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series. Born on the planet Helicon, Seldon showed a prodigious talent for mathematics at an early age, leading him to become a mathematics professor teaching at Streeling University on the planet Trantor. He develops a new science known as Psychohistory combining history, psychology and mathematical probabilities and statistics to predict the future behaviour of societies.
Seldon’s use of Psychohistory predicted the collapse of the Galactic Empire, and an ensuing period of barbarism that would last for thirty thousand years before a new empire would arise. Using his new science, Seldon knows the collapse of the Empire can not be stopped, but events can be deflected just enough to limit the intervening dark age to only a thousand years. Seldon establishes the Foundations, two groups of scientists and engineers tasked with preserving science and civilization to become the basis of the new empire.