LOST Theories - DarkUFO

If you have never read The Dark Tower series and plan to, I recommend you don't read this theory. I'll be spoiling the ending of DT for the purposes of theorizing about LOST. Regardless, I think these hypotheses have some serious explanatory power, and bring a lot of the ideas of the show together.

The creators of LOST have stated that the work of Stephen King--specifically the Dark Tower series--is a big mythological influence. There are many superficial similarities, references to King books, etc. in LOST. But I'll argue that some of the core mythology of LOST we know to be similar to DT, and I'll suggest that we can infer that some of the underlying mysteries of the two works are similar as well.

One of the moments this season that brought this immediately forward in my mind was when Hurley referred to Flocke/The Dark Man as "The Man in Black." Of course, looking back at the credits for each episode, when we were first introduced to this entity as oppositional to Jacob in "The Incident", Titus Welliver's credit was for The Man in Black. So perhaps if I had been a more savvy LOST fan at the time, and had read the credits more closely, I would have been spurred to post this theory sooner. Needless to say, having a character as crucial as Hurley use the name out loud to refer to the Flocke/Smoke Monster/Welliver-played entity was huge for me and got my mind working.

Because, you see, The Man in Black is a MASSIVE character in The Dark Tower. He appears in the first (and last) sentence of the entire series: "The man in black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed." But notice I said "the first (and last) sentence." Why? Because the events of Roland Deschain (the gunslinger)'s existence form a loop. At the end of the series, when he reaches the Dark Tower (at the nexus of all universes and *timelines*), he finds that he has not done things quite right, and he is forced to relive his life from when the series started. But he is equipped with something new (a horn, incidentally) which suggests that next time he may be able to break the cycle.

In the Dark Tower series, The Man in Black is an agent of the Crimson King, really the highest evil entity in the series' mythology. The Crimson King lives in a balcony of the Dark Tower, and his ultimate goal is to bring the Tower down and thus destroy the universe; he believes that he will rule the darkness that will follow ("It'll help you deal with what's comin'"). While Roland is stuck in this loop, the universe is constantly under threat of destruction by the forces of the Crimson King, including the Man in Black.

Many LOST fans, most prominently Vozzek, have space in their theories for some sort of loop--that the struggle between Jacob and The Man in Black has been looping over and over for eternity. Isn't it possible that Jacob wants to end the cycle and The Man in Black wants to start it over again? Flocke wants to "go home"; perhaps Jacob trapped him on the Island so that he couldn't reset things again to zero. Perhaps the Island is the only thing keeping The Man in Black from resetting things, and that's why it's so important. Jacob, on the other hand, wants to end the cycle that he and all of the pieces in LOST's game are stuck in. It seems to me that each time things recycle in LOST, events and people are slightly different, and this leaves the chance of them being massively different (according to chaos theory, etc). This is what justifies Widmore in saying that if Locke leaves, "everyone we know and love will simply cease to be." Because we will start again, and maybe we will! find our loved ones again, or maybe not. Who could take the chance?

So isn't it possible that the Flash Sideways timeline is another loop? Perhaps the final loop, when the Losties at last wake up and help Jacob break the cycle? If so, that suggests that despite Widmore's fears, certain people, namely our closest friends from 815, are destined to be together. Their lives are destined to intersect, even when the Man in Black resets things to zero--perhaps due to the guiding touch of Jacob.

I think we have to consider the importance of looping in what the final reveals of LOST are going to be. I believe we'll find out that the Flash Sideways timeline is a different loop from the main timeline. I also believe we'll find that we've seen the influence and artifacts of many past loops in earlier episodes of the show. This can explain the "bleeding" universes aspect that Vozzek pointed out; different loops and trials have been bleeding into one another. And definitely certain characters have been more in tune to this looping cosmology than others, hence the importance of Desmond as things wind down.

To review, I'm proposing that The Man in Black wants to perpetuate the cycle and Jacob wants to end it. MIB wants to start things over to when he was not a prisoner of the Island, when he was a man with a body, a mother, and people he loved. Perhaps at some point early in each trial MIB becomes corrupted, perhaps by his fucked up crazy mother, and this forces Jacob to imprison him on the Island. Then MIB finds a way to escape, and he starts things over again from zero. This would align very closely with Hindu cosmology, which envisions the course of the Universe as cyclical; in very basic terms, things start out nice and then decay and decay until destruction, and a new trial, occurs. *Dharma* is a Hindu term; it means "the righteous path." Perhaps Hanso somehow discovered the Island as this massively important cosmological entity--perhaps through his great-grandfather's slave ship, the Black Rock, making contact with it--and he started the Dharma Initiative in hopes of brin! ging an end to the cycle: a "righteous" initiative indeed.

Picking up this DI thread, maybe there was conflict between the Others and DI because the Others felt Western-style science was ill-suited to Jacob's goals. Hence the truces, lines, Hostile territories, etc. Thus Widmore's arrival to the Island with advanced technology and geophysicists like Zoe in tow seems to suggest a reconciliation of Western science and Eastern wisdom, keeping in mind that Widmore is a former member of the Others.

That last bit was just kind of a stray observation, perhaps getting at what makes Widmore's latest arrival so important. Ultimately this theory rests on Jacob as seeking an end to the eternal loop and MIB seeking its perpetuity. It could be there is a lot of data refuting this, and I'm anxious to hear people attack and debate it. The remaining mythological questions for this theory are thus: what corrupted MIB early in his life (and corrupts him each loop)? How will the Flash Sideways characters stop this event and bring an end to the cycle? I have some ideas, but I'm just going to leave things there and allow people to tear me to pieces. Thanks for reading.

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