The Theory

The Theory
(Updated April 27, 2008)
One of the central stories driving the mythology of Lost is like a chess game between Ben and The Universe (the game being played between Ben and Widmore is of secondary importance). Ben is trying to change destiny. The Universe course-corrects him each time. But Ben is smart and determined to win (at any cost). He and the Universe are trying to out-maneuver each other like opponents in a cosmic course-correcting game of chess. Why? Because Ben loves Annie and will not accept it is just “her path” to die.

Ben’s Ability
Ben’s power comes from the island (see the mirror-matter moon theory). The unique electromagnetic nature of the island allows him to “unstick” himself in time and space. For hundreds if not thousands of years, Widmore was the guardian of this power. But Ben has banished Widmore and harnessed the immense power of the island for himself. He uses this power to maneuver his consciousness through time and stay one step ahead of the Universe's course-correcting actions.

Ben’s Motivation
Ben is motivated by love – or, rather, the grief one feels at the loss of love – the fear one has of death. Ben hated life until he met Annie. She was his one bright spot – his true love. They grew up together and promised to be with each other for ever. They even got pregnant and were soon to have a son, but the Universe took Annie away. She died early in her third trimester. Ben is trying to solve the “pregnant women die on the island” problem so his consciousness can take the solution back in time to save her. He believes he can do it, because he’s done it before.

Annie’s Many Deaths
Annie didn’t “only” die in childbirth (just like Charlie didn’t “only” die by being struck by an arrow in his throat). Annie has died many times and Ben has prevented it each time (like Desmond did with Charlie) – and each time the Universe has reacted by killing her a different way – most “recently” by killing Annie her with the pregnancy. That is the move Ben is reacting to now.

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

It seems solid. Good work.

Rich said...

i think this is great...i really dig the idea of Ben having Jacob in his control and being able to stay ahead of everyone due his ability to forsee or see the future

Anonymous said...

you are awesome... that is about all i can say... and you know who this is because you know the shift key is not working when i want to capitalize my i's.

sweet work!

so_cool_ac said...

Excellent theory. You took a lot of time to really work this out. Makes great sense to me. I also love the stupid LOST theories site. Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

Wow, very impressive work and no doubt took hours of study just to summarize key players!!!

I thought Mr.Eko was going to be a pivitol player but was prematurely killed. I think it had something to do with his contract. I also read that Michael wanted out but then recently was lured back to the show. I wonder if those premature exits screw up the master plan?

Have you figured out the significane of the giant foot near the tmeple? Why does it look like a giant monkey foot?

T.

Anonymous said...

First comment is, I think De Lorean is spelled as Dolorian... check it out.

-Tora

Anonymous said...

comment 2

Ahhhh, young love... all of this because Ben loves Annie... that was in his message to Sawyer... it is all for Annie.

Ben, this message is for you... the sun will come out tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar (or bet your 3.2 million).

-tora

Anonymous said...

comment 3 I forgot about that "onl fools are imprisoned by time and space"... yeah, you are right, I think that IS definitely a key factor here. I LOVED that episode... and just looking at the shot of carl with the florescent glasses gives me the creeps...that was so creepy!

3 words: time after time.

Anonymous said...

comment nubmer 4

I like this thought about space and time... people being where they should or should not be... walt, the therapist, the cabin/shack... I had forgotten about the cabin... cool. You may have something here.

-tora

Anonymous said...

comment 5 that was interesting you said jack is like ben... pushing the envelope of his fate... not accepting it like ms. hawkins.... going against what the universe has in store for them... maybe?

you are definitely not a subconscious thinker.

-tora

Anonymous said...

comment 6... in my opinion, Ben is totally a BAD GUY (even if he says differently..."we're the good guys"). I cannot imagine there being this big twist where Ben was actually good all along. However I will say that if there was a big twist that really made me believe that Ben was good afterall, I would say those writers are pure genious (remember I am the one who still has a hard time believing that Sirius Black is good because I believed him to be bad for so long... hmmmm.

-Tora

Juanita's Journal said...

I think you're wrong about Tom switching the gun on Michael. There were other attempts by Michael to kill himself . . . and they all failed.

And if that was Michael in the coffin, I wonder how he managed to get hold of Ben's diary.


And you seem to have those represented by the white chess pieces as "good" and those represented by the black pieces as either "bad" or detrimental to the island.

Why?

Juanita's Journal said...

You also seemed to label Ben as the true "villain" of the story. Why?

"Dennis" said...

I think you're wrong about Tom switching the gun on Michael. There were other attempts by Michael to kill himself . . . and they all failed.

And if that was Michael in the coffin, I wonder how he managed to get hold of Ben's diary.


And you seem to have those represented by the white chess pieces as "good" and those represented by the black pieces as either "bad" or detrimental to the island.

Why?


Maybe I am wrong about Tom switching the gun, but it would be consistent with their role as conmen. And if Ben had the kind of foreknoweldge I am talking about, they would know if Michael half-heartedly drove a car into a wall and failed at his first attempt, and they would use that to suppor their lie.

There's no confirmation that it was Ben's diary on that coffin. It's a nice guess, and it could be right, but Ben hanging himself adn leaving behind a teenage son in new york doesn't seem to fit to me.

Where did you get the "white-good" and "black-bad" from? It's simply free-will (white) vs. fate (black). Some people are working to restore harmony to fate -- others are working to promote free-will and fight against fate. I don't think it is as simple as good vs. bad (and I don't think that people are locked into one side -- Jack, for example, who has fought for free-will all this time will eventually accept his destiny and begin to work for fate when he starts trying to go back tot eh island).

"Dennis" said...

You also seemed to label Ben as the true "villain" of the story. Why?

Because he lies and manipulates and murders. I would call him a "complicated" villain rather than a "true" villain (and he is far more false than true anyway...)

It's not villainous to want to save annie from dying or trying to protect the island (for whatever reasons).

But it is villainous to tell his people that the Looking Glass station was destroyed, send the loyal Bonnie and Gretchen down to guard it and secretly jam transmissions, and then send Patchy to go eliminate them when he no longer needs them and his lie is about to get out. Don't you think? And that's just one of many lie-manipulate-kill examples we have seen from him.

Why do you question whether or not he is a villain?

Anonymous said...

This is anexcellent theory and I think you'r blog is great.

Anonymous said...

I am a long time fan of "Lost is a game" theory and your theory adds a new interesting twist. Ben and the Universe are the 'players' Cool!

I encourage you to check out:
www.lostisagame.com

Anonymous said...

I do not belive that there is only "one bad guy". Obviously, there are at least two or three. And, we all know that each one of us has the capcity of good and bad within simutaneously.

Having said that, BEN IS BAD! He is a spoiled child who will move heaven and hell to get what he wants.

BEeN LyINgtoUS. Get the point?

Jill's Photography said...

This is Jill "Christensen" Thomas. Very, very interesting. I have studied many Lost theories and I have concluded many of the same things. I do LOVE your chess analogy and the game pieces. I am very impressed!!!!

"Dennis" said...

Hey Jill -- thanks for the comment. Say hello to your dad for me. One of my favorite guys ever.

Cooper2085 said...

Anyone else notice that the picture with the monk and hawkins in it is the university where Faraday was at?

so_cool_ac said...

Dennis, after last night's episode do you now think widmore is Ben's opposition in this game? And that it is no longer Ben gainst the Univer but Ben against Widmore?

"Dennis" said...

Well, yes, my theory has changed and come into focus little, but it is still pretty consistent with what I siad before.

I still think that the biggest most important game is being played between Ben vs. The Universe, because Ben is trying to change fate and save annie's life -- that's more important to him than anything else (so that he is willing to sacrifice even alex, who he loved as his replacement child when Annie died in childbirth).

The Ben vs. Widmore game is for possession of the island, and that is the source of the power Ben needs to wage his war against the universe.

What do you think?

Anonymous said...

My only qeus. Why would Kelvin go through all that trouble to manipulate Desmond, when he could just help get other people to the island. He was already there, why not just "time travel" and bring more people with him?

Redheaded Zombie said...

If that's your only question, I'm doing pretty good :)

I don't know what to make of Kelvin. He could just be a regular guy that got caught up in Dharma like he said. Or, he could be like Ms. Hawking, Matthew Abaddon, Richard Alpert -- people who show up at key points in key peoples' lives to assist them on their destined path.

Why would Kelvin go through all that trouble to manipulate Desmond,

Because it was Desmond's path, and Kelvin (if Kelvin really is one of these island-destiny-assisting-guys) was helping him along, giving him key information (how to turn the failsafe key) -- key infomration that another chosen guy named Locke would need (the invisible map on the blast door)-- and ensuring that Desmond's button-pushing-lapse happened at just the right time to bring the other key players onto the island via Oceanic 815.

Why not just "time travel" and bring more people with him?

What is "time travel?" If "time travel" is just your consciousness going forward and backwards to different times in your own life, how do you "bring more people" with you? Being unstuck in time is like that line from Inigo to Vincini in Princess Bride -- "I do not think it means what you think it means."

Life travel, baby. As if I really know :)

Anonymous said...

I'm still caught up in the significance of the numbers- And the way they seem to really only affect Hurley? Also the statue of the foot? Was it damaged in a battle for the island in an earlier cycle? Is Sawyer a white piece, or, black piece? I believe Asimov wrote a series of books that dealt with time travel being more of a 4th dimensional issue rather than a space time cont. issue... In it he postulized that the aliens people encounter now are "us" from a future time. And that we return in order correct mistakes... Anyway, terrific working model for the show, great work!

Anonymous said...

I found a useful link to the work by Asimov-
http://www.zenker.se/Books/asimov.shtml
I seem to recall reading this for an assignment in a college philosophy class. The prof. was intrigued that perhaps key figures from history were influenced by these travelers such as Jesus, Moses, the Pharos, etc. He explained that we may evolve into a species which uses a much higher percentage of the brain thus the larger cranium as sited by contemporary witnesses/abductees of modern times. And, thus having telekinetic ability on a biblical scale. Interesting theory, I wonder if there's a tie in? Sorry to digress, but, also a huge Beatles fan- my mother unintentionally set a soundtrack of my childhood to those sounds...

Redheaded Zombie said...

That sounds like a cracker-jack professor. I hope he was already tenured.

Thanks for the comments. The numbers are interesting. they seemed to go away after the hatch exploded, but now they're back. Cool. So the Beatles comment... is that a referrence to my Paul is Dead thing on youtube? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5F-t8BuGmZ0

It's becoming the soundtrack to my kids' lives, too.

Anonymous said...

is it possible that in the episode where Harper says to Juliet that "of course ben likes you, you look just like her", the instead of referring to annie...he might be referring to his mother (ben's mother)?

Redheaded Zombie said...

definitely possible

Anonymous said...

Yes RHZ,
I was re: to your crafty "Paul is dead" piece. To really make LOST interesting I think it'd be great for Ben, or better yet, Mr. Friendly travel to the Dakota in December of '80, and warn John of M.D.C. Although, as Mrs. Hawking has revealed, it more than likely wouldn't make much difference. When you put it into historical terms, i.e., going to Ford's theatre to save Lincoln, it really drives the point home of how big Linus's ego must be that he actually thinks/believes he can wage a war against the universe! "Epic" pales as an adjutive to describe, Ben's plight.

p.s.
I looked at your movie treatment, and feel that the rule of k.i.s.s. is probably your best bet. It's interesting in it's original form, you lost me when you diverted from the original course. It has potential, and takes a lot of guts to put "art" out in front of the public. The scrutiny can be painful... Best of Luck-H

Anonymous said...

well about claire...maybe she died in the fire? How can someone survive a fire and when u can see dead people on the island, at the time of the fire, no one might have realized she had passed?

PanDMoneum said...

Eloise, I believe, is a neutral character... She's an oracle, defined or·a·cle (ôr-kl, r-)
n.
1.
a. A shrine consecrated to the worship and consultation of a prophetic deity, as that of Apollo at Delphi.
b. A person, such as a priestess, through whom a deity is held to respond when consulted.
c. The response given through such a medium, often in the form of an enigmatic statement or allegory.
2.
a. A person considered to be a source of wise counsel or prophetic opinions.
b. An authoritative or wise statement or prediction.
3. A command or revelation from God.
4. In the Bible, the sanctuary of the Temple.

Her allegiance is to the space/time continuum... and her arbiter/deity is Jacob. After the Bentham episode, I'm having doubts re: the chess game being central to the theme. Being that the basis of your theory is Ben's quest to rejuvenate/revive Annie. Yet, as Ben has been depicted as being incredibly intelligent, I'm inclined to believe he realizes that his efforts in that regard are futile. (that could be a pet project/side job for his own reward, i dunno) I believe there may be a third source threatening the island, and the space/time continuum that may cause the fabric of the entire universe to implode. Thus causing catastrophic damage to all that we know. Much like being ingested by a black hole. The third force may be a paradox created by something being artificially altered during the time travels. I know it's vague, but something is pointing me in that direction. Perhaps "course correcting" can only be applied so far... I am under the impression that Ben may not be the "baddie" we've had him pegged for. And Widmore was banished by Jacob's hand vs. Ben. Ben was only the instrument through which Jacob chose. I think Ben is tiring of the burden of his higher calling, and would gladly hand the reigns to John. But, he first must be assured that John is prepared to handle the magnitude/scope of what he's being called to do. Widmore has had the means and ability to return to the island all along via his connection to Eloise, yet, has seemed to reluctantly accept his fate as "not-welcomed". This leads me to believe he's still an agent for Jacob, just an off island faction. His beef is misguided. Due to the fact that Ben destroyed all he worked for. Yet, Ben was doing what Jacob commanded. I am having a difficult time with, what motivates people. Who or what is their higher power? God? Jacob? Science? A space/time continuum? I'm fascinated by how the greatest minds in science, Einstein (Jewish), Stephen Hawking (Christian), have all cracked major secrets to the laws of the universe, yet still maintain faith in the higher power. Hawking especially, after being bound in a body with a crippling disease still believes in God. Either way, the Bentham episode was awesome! And I hope O'Quinn will be recognized for his performance come emmy time-

PanDMoneum said...

I believe the four toed statue will be revealed to show the full body of John Locke... It has a "Planet of the Apes" statue of liberty in the sand feel to it-

PanDMoneum said...

Another question/point!@#$ If Widmore really wanted Ben dead, why not just post a dozen merc.'s (Keamme's) at the camera in Tunisia and blast him to smithereens when he passes through! I think Jacob has relegated Widmore to off island relative real time, which means a finite existence/destiny and he "resents" the means in which were employed by Ben, meaning, why not just come to my tent and say, "sorry Charlie, Jacob sez you gotta go" rather than gassing his whole crew (whom are loyal to him {widmore} and not asking them to blindly begin following Ben. They're struggle is not enough to build an entire show around. Nor, is Ben's struggle to revive Annie- They're has to be some catacylsmic event in the future that is only revealed to Jacob which is his fight to ensure an acceptable outcome. Perhaps Jacob's struggle to come to terms with the destiny of mankind is the real conflict we're all trying to resolve...

PanDMoneum said...

Please watch this, and then google terence mckenna, I read about this on Doc Artz. I think it may hold water. Either way, this guy, and his life was amazing-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2_yO77Bo9Y&feature=related

PanDMoneum said...

Anubis? Answers a lot of questions... Sorry for the multiple postings- This season has got me very amped up!

RHZ said...

PanDMoneum,

No need for apologies. I enjoy your postings. I haven't gotten around to watching the link you sent, but I will.

PanDMoneum said...

It seems our journey is now officially pre-dating Christ... B.C. territory. And I'm questioning whether Alpert may be from (when) ancient mesopotamia! And Jacob for that matter as well- I think at this point, I'm starting to really question the sig. of "jughead". As I feel that bomb will play a larger than anticipated role in our story... Need your feedback/opinion, please.?!

RHZ said...

Regarding Jughead, I expect that was the purpose of the Swan station. Sayid made the comment in S.2 about the amount of lead casing there in the station, that he hadn't seen anything like it since Chernoble. So my guess is that jughead was buried, encased in lead, and the purpose of the button was to slowly release the atomic leakage so that the bomb wouldn't go off, so in that since they were sort of "saving the world." Not sure how the failsafe key plays into that. Is it possible for an atomic bomb to implode?

Regarding Richard as Mesopotamian all I can say is that six or eight thousand years ago, they layed down the law. Before I talk, I should read a book.

(Meet me behind the third pyramid).

(a B-52's song, for anyone wondering).

But I've wondered if Richard is even "human" at all. I remember hearing about "The Watchers" when I was a kid, and it fascinated me -- this story from the apocrypha, one of the Books of Ether I think -- about these angels who were assigned to watch over the four corners of the earth, and to them was assigned the keeping of the times and the seasons. But they lusted after the beauty of the daughters of men and became "fallen angels" and comingled and produced a race of giants (that last bit actually made it into the cannonized Bible). I have thought -- at times -- that it would be kind of cool if Richard and his people were these fallen angels -- not really human -- but still a lesser-diety where they still look for someone else to lead them.

So there's some feedback/opinion for you.

PanDMoneum said...

May Hurley's numbers be a deactivation code for jughead? Thanx

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