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Bayta Darell

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Bayta Darell is a fictional character in Isaac Asimov's Foundation Series. She appears in Part 2 of Foundation and Empire. In his autobiography In Memory Yet Green, Asimov says that he based Bayta on his then-wife, Gertrude Asimov.


Bayta Darell was the wife of Toran Darell, the mother of Toran Darell II and the grandmother of Arkady Darell. Bayta Darell was born in the First Foundation in 286 F.E. and could trace her ancestry to Hober Mallow. At age 24 Bayta was 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighed 120 lbs (although she claimed 110 lbs), with brunette hair and a round face. Before marriage, Bayta was a member of the First Foundation's democratic underground.


Shortly after their marriage in 310 F.E., Bayta and Toran were sent by Toran's father Franssart Darell and uncle Randu Darell, to the planet Kalgan to spy for the Association of Independent Traders. Posing as a honeymooning couple, they met the Mule for the first time, who at the time was disguised as the Clown of the Mule, Magnifico Giganticus. Soon after they met Captain Han Pritcher who wanted to meet the Clown to gain information about the Mule. The three later went to Terminus where they were imprisoned upon arrival. They were met there by the psychologist Ebling Mis, who wanted to study the Clown. When the Mule's fleet conquered Terminus, Bayta, Toran, the Clown, and Ebling Mis fled to search for the Second Foundation. After reaching Trantor, Bayta realized that the Clown was actually the Mule, and killed Ebling Mis to prevent him from telling the Mule where the Second Foundation was located.

The Mule regretted a critical mistake that had denied him knowledge of the whereabouts of the Second Foundation: failing to condition Bayta to prevent her from realizing that she was serving her enemy's needs. Bayta was the only person whom the Mule had ever met who had befriended him out of genuine affection rather than emotional manipulation on the Mule's part, and the Mule greatly cherished this natural friendship, a sensation hitherto unknown to him. For this friendship's sake, he killed Prince Dagobert on Neotrantor when the prince attempted to rape Bayta. He killed young Dagobert by imposing upon the prince a lethal, overwhelming terror closely akin to that he had imposed on the leadership of the Foundation prior to his fleet's attack on Terminus. In order to make this terror reach the point of deadliness, he had to use his Visi-sonor, and his ability to use the instrument to such ends aroused Bayta's suspicions against him.

The Mule left Bayta and her husband on Trantor after they discovered him, and continued his search for the Second Foundation alone. For friendship's sake he promised not to harm them. Nonetheless, Bayta and Toran remained on Trantor in exile for the rest of the Mule's life. It was during this time that their son, Toran Darell II, was born. The three returned to the First Foundation after the Mule's death.

In recognition for her contributions to the war against the Mule, Bayta was celebrated as a heroine by the Foundation's government. They paid her a substantial yearly stipend, and even continued to pay this money to her son after her death. Young Toran accepted this money but tried to avoid trading on the Darell name for his own aggrandizement, and tried to teach his daughter the same lesson. However, Arkady was fond of reminding people of her heritage, and frequently made Bayta's life the subject of her writings.

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