At the end of the last book of the Foundation trilogy, we discover

that the Second Foundation is in Trantor.

This is said to be "Star's End".

Was there any previous mention of the place in a way that associated it with "Star's End"? Or was the mention only in the end of the third book?

  • I haven't read the trilogy in a long while, but isn't Star's End supposed to be another planet? Not saying which to avoid spoilers.
    – Sava
    Dec 11, 2018 at 14:17
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    I think the question you're getting at is if it's a "fair" mystery that the reader could be expected to guess before the end of the book? Dec 11, 2018 at 23:19
  • Yes, that is the "meta" question behind it
    – josinalvo
    Dec 14, 2018 at 21:27
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    It's not a fair mystery as far as I know. But it is a bit of a homage to "All roads lead to Rome." All star travel ends at Trantor. Aug 2, 2021 at 21:25

2 Answers 2


What "actually" happened is that the First Foundation concluded that the Second Foundation was located on Terminus. One of the main bits of evidence leading to this conclusion is an enigmatic comment by Hari Seldon that he founded another Foundation (other than "Encyclopedia Galactica Publishing Foundation #1") at "Star's End". No one knows what "Star's End" is (in the book there's a visit to a planet named "Tazenda" on the theory it's a corrupted form of "Star's End"), but Arkady Darrell realizes that the Galaxy's rim (where Terminus is located) is a circle and "circles have no end." So "Star's End" is right at the start.

This deductive leap is proven correct when a nest of Second Foundationers is discovered on Terminus.

Except that it isn't correct. Hari Seldon was speaking as a sociologist, not a geometer and "Star's End" is the opposite social end of the Galaxy from Terminus: Trantor. And Preem Palver, a farmer from Trantor, is revealed as the First Speaker of the Second Foundation having sacrificed fifty members of the Second Foundation to fool the First that it had found and destroyed the Second.

"Star's End" as the location of the Second Foundation is first mentioned at the end of the very first Foundation story which later appeared as Part 1 "The Phychohistorians" in //Foundation//, the fix-up novel.

Seldon said, "...a scientific refuge will be established on Terminus. And another will be established at the other end of the Galaxy, let us say," and he smiled, "at Star's End."

Later at the end of Foundation and Empire, Part 1 there's a conversation:

"Then," said Forell, "there are no more enemies."

Barr was thoughtful. "There's a Second Foundation."

"At the other end of the Galaxy? Not for centuries."

Then in "Part 2: The Mule" a character says:

"I know that. Toran and Bayta are leaving with you for that very reason. And, Ebling, there's another, greater purpose. Hari Seldon founded two Foundations three centuries ago; one at each end of the Galaxy. You must find that Second Foundation."

There's a lot more discussion about the Second Foundation's location, but it all seems to be elaborations of this basic information.

  • 1
    sorry, i wrote the name of the planet wrong. I mean to ask, was there some poem, some text, some hint of the fact, that trantor was usually called stars end, before the very last chapter?
    – josinalvo
    Dec 11, 2018 at 17:33
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    I don't think it was usually called "Stars end". I seem to recall them looking pretty hard for something called "star's end" (and as this answer says they "considered "Tazenda" on the theory it's a corrupted form of "Star's End""). The name and location was pretty much a riddle by Hari Seldon that I suspect was never intended to be answered (or possibly only answered by somebody of the right mindset). I think Mark has pretty much given all the relevant references to "Star's end" by the end of Second foundation (though I think later books had some different ways of looking at it).
    – Chris
    Dec 11, 2018 at 18:09
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    To clarify: the sentence "circles have no end" is really about the phrase "the other end of the Galaxy", not about the name "Star's End". (I think you probably realize this already, but this answer makes it sound otherwise.)
    – ruakh
    Dec 11, 2018 at 18:37
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    @josinalvo Nope, it wasa total Shaggy Dog ending.
    – Spencer
    Aug 2, 2021 at 22:32

There was no previous reference to "Stars End" - but Palver refers to an old saying at the end of "Second Foundation" - a saying that was probably common throughout the empire when Seldon was alive (but was never mentioned in the books):

"All roads lead to Trantor, and that is where all stars end"

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