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Foundation boss admits writers were “violently opposed” to shock death

David S. Goyer doesn't pull punches when it comes to killing off the best Foundation characters. But one huge Foundation season 2 death was too much for some.

Foundation season 2 featured a shock death scene, among many

The season finale of Foundation certainly gave us plenty of surprises. We think Foundation is one of the best TV series around right now and certainly the most impressive of the best sci-fi series available as part of your Apple TV Plus subscription. And the show isn’t afraid to axe major characters. There are spoilers ahead!

That was certainly true in this week’s season two finale, with the list of everyone who dies in Foundation season 2 episode 10 running through some really big names. One of the most surprising casualties was the demise of Salvor Hardin at the hands of a possessed Mentalic.

Salvor, played brilliantly by Leah Harvey, gave her life to protect Gaal Dornick (Lou Llobell) and, in the process, showed that her mother’s predictions for the future are not infallible. We’ll be exploring that a little more when the Foundation season 3 release date arrives.

In an interview with The Wrap, showrunner David S. Goyer revealed that Salvor was originally due to die in season 3 at the hands of The Mule, as shown in Gaal’s vision back in Foundation season 2 episode 2. And when Goyer floated the idea of changing that plan in the writers’ room, the reaction wasn’t positive.

He said: “In the middle of the season, I had this notion and I proposed it to the other writers and everyone was violently opposed to it. I said: ‘Well let me write it, let me try’. So I wrote it and I said we’ll take a vote, and everyone said: ‘No, it works’.”

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Goyer explained that he deliberately positioned the shocking scene at the end of Foundation season 2 episode 10, when audiences would be primed for all of the major events to have already happened. He said Game of Thrones has convinced audiences to expect penultimate episodes to feature the biggest swings.

The masterful Foundation season 2 episode 9 certainly did that, but they also kept Salvor’s death in reserve as a major rug-pull. Those devilish, brilliant folks.

Goyer said: “It works on a character reason because it lets Gaal know that the future is not written in stone, and that’s going to be really important as we introduce The Mule, who is this horrible existential threat, because it’s not just written in stone for her, but it’s not written in stone for humanity. I thought it’s also heartbreaking that they’re distant at the beginning of the season and they build this bridge and then she dies. But sometimes that’s life.”

We’ve really enjoyed the approach to death in this show and how Foundation has made meaningless deaths meaningful. Our farewell to Salvor is the latest brilliant jab to the ribs from a show that knows how to mangle our emotions while also scrambling our brain.

For more from Trantor, find out why Foundation’s biggest Asimov change is for the best and answer big questions like: ‘Is Demerzel from Earth?‘ and ‘How did the Foundation survive the destruction of Terminus?‘. Elsewhere, find out more about the best Apple TV shows, including the For All Mankind season 4 release date.