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Main Article Theories about
Candidates
Main Discussion
 Theories may be removed if ... 
  1. Stated as questions or possibilities (avoid question marks, "Maybe", "I think", etc).
  2. More appropriate for another article.
  3. Illogical or previously disproven.
  4. Proven by canon source, and moved to main article.
  5. Speculative and lacking any evidence to support arguments.
  6. Responding to another theory (use discussion page instead).
  • This does not include responses that can stand alone as its own theory.
  • Usage of an indented bullet does not imply the statement is a response.

See the Lostpedia theory policy for more details.

Implications of Being a Candidate

There are two physical lists of candidates; Jacob's Lighthouse and the cave walls. We know that both are looking for a candidate to take their place, because MIB was asking Ben to take his place, assuming the balance of power has shifted and he now gets to name is a successor. It also appears from this exchange, that MIB can not leave the Island without a successor to take HIS place as well. We also know from Ilana that there are "only" 6 candidates left. Confirmed in the Lighthouse that is Reyes, Shephard, Kate Austin. Ilana says one or both of the Kwons leaving Jarrah, Wallace, Sawyer and Littleton (Aaron) in question for the remaining 3 spots.

CandidatesPortal

Candidates on the cave wall

Locke only tells Ben that he can be in charge of the Island (nothing about taking his place directly) to get him to cooperate. Flocke is notorious for being persuasive and readily promises things to people in order to make them cooperate (Claire-Aaron, Sayid-Nadia, Ben-The Island). In the end, there is no ceremony for passing the smoke monster abilities on to anyone. The plug is pulled, and Locke makes for his boat in order to leave the island. It appears that pulling the plug cancels out all rules, because Flocke was planning to leave the island despite the fact that multiple Candidates were still alive, including Jack who was the islands current protector. Regardless of this, it is much more likely that he was dangling a carrot for Ben, as his (MiB's) goal the entire time was to destroy the island. It also appears that you are trying to suggest that the cave was MiB's list for HIS candidates. This is incorrect because he tells Sawyer that "Jacob has a thing for numbers", pointing out that Jacob is the one labeling and crossing out the Candidates. The lighthouse is just a tool for Jacob to observe the Candidates (whether he uses it to locate them, or uses it to watch them after they are chosen). Also, when Jacob says "It's just a line of chalk", it is assumed that he is the one who crossed her out, but she could still have the job (the job being protector of the island, not smoke monster) if she wanted. Sidenote: every time I type MiB I think Men in Black.--Kìng Samolas Stormhold 08:20, February 6, 2012 (UTC)

  • Candidates are the people who weren't on Jacobs list. They are the people who are flawed in some way or have had issues in their lives they have been unable to resolve. All the people who were on The Lists are good people who do not need to be tested and for this reason cannot be candidates. The MIB and Jacob are playing a kind of game with the candidate, both of them seeking the recruit the most of The Candidates to their "side" Jacob tries to save them or steer them in the right direction where as the MIB will either kill or recruit them depending which side they fall on, good or evil, and because each candidate is flawed they are the ones most easily swayed to either side.
    • Candidates are clearly the people who are on Jacob's list. They get crossed off the list when they are no longer candidates.
  • Candidates cannot be killed for as long as they maintain Candidate status
Michaelcloseup

Michael

** Michael was a Candidate when he was off-island and informed by Mr Friendly that he couldn't kill himself
    • This is why Locke survived the impossible fall from the building in the first place, and was only paralyzed, also why he was healed when he arrived, when the blast doors closed on his legs, when he was shot by Ben, etc.
    • This implies that candidates literally cannot be killed until they reach an allotted event. Dawson was unable to die, until the bomb explosion where the apparition of Christian Shephard told him he can go. Coincidentally Locke was killed only when Christian led him to turn the frozen wheel which led to his sacrifice by being killed by Ben (though whether these were entities of the Island or the monster remains unknown)
    • Dogen's test involved checking to see if Sayid would "miraculously" heal, indicating that he was still a Candidate - not to mention that he shouldn't have actually drowned in the first place
    • This would explain why other injuries that happened to candidates (while they were still considered to be candidates) that could have easily and most likely resulted in death, miraculously resulted in recovery - specifically thinking of Sawyer's gunshot wound.
      • Jack got appendicitis while on island and he is still a candidate.
      • He was stricken with appendicitis while in the act of "betraying" the island, but recovered nearly miraculously from the surgery once he got "back on the path of Jacob."

A note with respect to the killing of candidates: many of the stated examples of candidates appearing to be unable to be killed, such as Locke's fall from the window and Michael's inability to commit suicide, can also be explained by means of time travel and the rule of "whatever happened happened."

  • Locke time travelled to 1954, two years before his birth. That cannot be changed, whatever happened happened. If Locke had died from his fall, he never would have crashed on the island and never would have time travelled and therefore never would have been on the island in 1954. Since the past can't be changed Locke couldn't die until after he'd gone to the island and time travelled.
  • While Michael didn't time travel, Jin did, just after being with Michael on the freighter. Had Michael succeeded in committing suicide, or had Keamy succeeded in killing Michael on the freighter, that meeting would have never taken place. However, in the 1970s, and presumably points earlier, Jin was on the island having already experienced this meeting with Michael. Whatever happened happened indicates that Michael was destined to be with Jin on the freighter and could not die until that meeting occurred. Thus, moments after Jin leaves Michael, Christian appears, telling Michael he can go now, and the freighter explodes.

Iberian Names

  • There were at least thirteen Iberian (Portuguese/Spanish) names listed: Reyes, Torres, Martinez, Bargas, Chavez, Almeida, Rodriguez, Mora, Costa, Amistad, Aguila, Domingo and Fernandez.
    • Those may be related to the Black Rock and we may get to know them via Richard Alpert at some point.
    • One of them may also be Paulo's surname, as those are also used in Brazil.
    • Reyes is known to be Hurley's surname.
    • Caesar and Bram, not to mention the 3 other guys that charged into the Temple and were killed by MIB/Smokey were all passengers on the Ajira flight.
  • Fernandez could refer to Nikki Fernandez
    • As Alpert is not a Spanish surname and Richard came from the Canary Islands during a time when it was primarily Spanish; one of these could be his original surname.

Kwon

Jin and Sun

2x16 sun jin

Sun and Jin

  • Kwon may actually be referring to both Jin and Sun. After all, Jacob did appear at their wedding giving them a blessing and telling them that their love is special.
    • He touched both of them. Neither is more important than the other. Their importance lies in their being a couple/team. If one died the other would be invalidated as a candidate not because the true candidate died but because their candidacy only works as a pair. Break the pair and you invalidate their candidacy.

Jin

  • Jack, Sayid, and Hurley were transported to 1977 where Sawyer and Jin were. This means Jin is the Candidate. Maybe Jacob selected both of them but there has to be a reason why Sun stayed in the present.
  • Jin survived the explosion of the Kahana because he has the "unkillability" of a candidate.
  • Along with the Kate theory listed above stating that Kate is not a candidate, it may also be that Sun is not a candidate because she broke Jacob's rule when he touched them. Jacob told Sun and Jin that their love was special, yet Sun cheated on him and was going to leave him, much like Kate was told by Jacob never to steal again but did.
  • It refers to Jin - this is what Justin meant when he said to Aldo "He's one of them".
    • But Aldo replies by saying "he may be one of them" implying that they too are unsure.
    • Even Richard didn't know about the candidates! (Okay, he might have simply lied to MIB, but it would be a silly thing to lie about). "One of them" in this case referred only to being on the list inside Hugo's ankh. "He may be" wasn't uncertainty; it had the implied "but I'm going to kill him anyhow."
  • On the Mural at the Swan Station, only two numbers appear - 108 and 42. 108 is the sum of the numbers, while 42 was listed next to KWON in the cave.
    • This alludes to the fact that the number 42 is also a 'sum' figure; a sum of both Jin and Sun, meaning that they are meant to be a candidate as a couple. This also accounts for the fact that Jacob pays them equal attention at their wedding.
    • The numbers only represent what the Lighthouse must be set to in order to observe a specific candidate. Because Jacob originally recruited the Kwon's at their wedding, he would have only needed one number to represent both of them because they now lived in the same place. Also, because of how awful their relationship was right before the crash, he may have also wanted both of them to come to the island together because "they needed the island as much as the island needed them". Going more on this, Sun had a feeling she was pregnant and was cheating on Jin, while Jin was distant and calloused because of his job. Sun had someone in her life and was going to leave Jin, and if you factor in her pregnancy (and the reason Kate was crossed out), it is most likely that Jin was the major Candidate.
      • If 108 is a reference to the sum of all the numbers, then 42 must also be a reference to a sum.
  • It is Jin. Kate was revealed to have been crossed off due to becoming a mother. At the same hand, Sun would've been crossed off by Jacob shortly afterward, due to Sun having Ji Yeon. Thus, confirming Jin was the candidate all along, as he was still alone on the island. When he saw pictures of Ji Yeon, KWON would've been crossed out, thus allowing both of them to die in the submarine.

Rules Regarding Killing Candidates

Proven or Heavily Implied Rules Regarding Killing Candidates

(Rules 1 and 5 are supported by Jack's assumptions in this episode; Jack's explanation is supported by how the events played out and by an interview with Darlton and CC where they say that the season has been a long con by MiB to get the candidates in that specific situation where they would kill themselves podcast

  1. MiB cannot directly kill candidates (as suggested by the Jacob, and Jack).
  2. MiB could not kill Jacob (he needed a loophole).
  3. Richard cannot kill himself (because of the "not aging" gift Jacob bestowed upon just him).
  4. No one can be killed if the island isn't done with them yet (this rule applies to candidates and non-candidates alike, and has nothing to do with candidacy status; this specific rule was referenced by Tom regarding Michael and Ben regarding Ilana).
  5. Candidates can be killed by anyone (non-candidates, other candidates, or even themselves) - the only exception being that MiB cannot kill candidates, or if the island isn't done with them yet(but not because they are candidates).
  • Jack, Richard, and the dynamite - The dynamite didn't explode because Jack couldn't die yet. He couldn't die yet only because the island wasn't done with him yet, not because he is a candidate - there is nothing to suggest his candidacy status is what stopped the dynamite fuse because candidates do die.
    • Perhaps they were crossed off of the list slightly before dying, so they still couldn't be killed as candidates, perhaps all the ones killed by MiB as the monster were killed after being crossed off.


Cases of Candidates Killing Candidates:

  • Sayid (a candidate) died either because of the actions of another candidate (Sawyer) or his own actions by choosing to run with the bomb.
  • Ben (presumably a candidate) killed Locke (another candidate).
    • Both Ben and Locke ceased to be candidates when they turned the Donkey Wheel
      • This is based on what exactly? What evidence on the show indicated when they ceased to be candidates. For all we know, Jacob alone decides when someone is no longer a candidate, and who knows what criteria he uses.

Cases of Candidates Killing Themselves:

  • Michael (a candidate) died at his own hands once the island was done with him (he volunteered to stay with the freighter bomb, assuming the bomb would not have killed him regardless).
    • Michael was explicitly told by Christian that the Island was done with him
      • Yes, Michael was told the island no longer needed him, not that he was no longer a candidate. There's been nothing to indicate the island needing you and being a candidate are synonymous. In fact, quite the opposite. It has been suggested that the island needing you has nothing to do with candidacy status (Ilana).
  • Charlie (a candidate) chose to stay and close the door in the Looking Glass station, knowing he would drown, when he could have easily escape the room, and closed the door behind him, or even evacuated the station in plenty of time.
  • Sayid (a candidate) died either because of the actions of another candidate (Sawyer) or his own actions by choosing to run with the bomb.
    • Sayid chose Locke, which would presumably result in his being crossed off the list (assuming that list maintenance is active post-Jacob)


Cases of Non-Candidates Killing Candidates:

Alernative to Death: The Sickness

    • The MIB might not be able to actively kill a Candidate, but it's possible that exposing them to the sickness cancels their Candidate status. Ben, Claire, and Sayid have all been "healed" at the Temple. All were names on the Candidate list.
      • The names Littleton (probably referencing Claire) and Linus have been crossed off, but 16 - Jarrah remains on the cave wall.
        • True. The above was written with the assumption that Jarrah can now be crossed off. In the words of Jack, "there is no Sayid."

Candidates are part Jacob

JacobNEW

Jacob

Jacob's touch transferred some of his life force to the candidate This is why the MiB cannot kill candidates directly, they are protected by mom's original rules. This is why they need to travel to and from the Island together, a critical density of Jacob needs to be around to allow the transition. This is why they disappeared from the plane the second time instead of crashing, they rejoined their counter-parts in another timeline. They can lose this status in various ways, the protections of this force go away when they are no longer candidates. This is why MiB needs to kill all the candidates to leave.

Candidate cannot directly commit suicide

A candidate has never been successful in committing willful suicide, although not through lack of attempts.

  • Locke: After being shot by Ben and left for dead in the pit, Locke finds a pistol and attempts to pull the trigger, but is interrupted by 'Walt'. After visiting all of the Oceanic Six, Locke attempts to kill himself by hanging, but is interrupted by Ben.
  • Michael: after falling into a deep depression, he attempted suicide by ramming his car into a storage unit. While badly injured, Michael survived and quickly healed. He attempted to shoot himself, but the gun did not fire several times before being interrupted by Tom. Upon returning home, Michael was still unable to shoot himself.
  • Jack: Deeply depressed after hearing of Locke's death, Jack pulled over by the side of a bridge and prepares to jump off, but is interrupted by a car crash behind him.
  • Hurley: Hurley was going to kill himself because of Dave (who was most probably MiB) but Libby came and interrupted him and then convinced him not to do it.
  • If he is a candidate then also Desmond. He contemplated suicide in the hatch after drinking heavily, and started reading Our Mutual Friend; but was interrupted by Locke banging on the hatch door.

Candidates' numbers rank them

Numbers show the order of moves

John Locke (#4) was the highest living person in the "ranking" when MIB used him as loophole in order to kill Jacob. Responding to MIB's move, Jacob took control of Hurley's (No. #8), by appearing to him. Again, numerically, Hurley is the first one on the list to be still alive. MIB next move (as MIB) is taking control of FORD (No. #15), second one on the list to not be crossed out. It seems that Jacob and his nemesis give special significance to numerical order of candidates. Numbers had increasing importance.

Numbers rank the candidates' importance to the Island

John Locke (#4) was the first one ever seeking to protect the island. He claimed to Jack he was "a man of faith". Hurley (#8) was the first of all the Oceanic 6 to realize they belonged to the island. Ford (#15) was the first one to explore the woods and he's showed ever more confident in wandering alone on the island than being in company of other survivors.

Numbers rank Jacob's preference

Names Cave

The numbers were like a voting ballot. 1 was the most worthy and the final number being the last resort. Jacob clearly had insight into what the future held and by visiting every Candidate during their respective lives, he tallied them up against each other. This could make sense as to why Locke was 4; because Locke would have been able to fulfil Jacob's job, he would have been committed and he would have appreciated being given the position. There was clearly a 'last man standing' game at play for Jacob's job; he brought them to the island at different times but they all died (as he told Richard) because Jacob didn't step in. Only the Candidate that rose above the challenges of the Island would find themselves appointed to Jacob's post.

  • Instead of all of these, it could very well be that the number merely represents a significant number to them, or that the number is just the setting the Lighthouse has to be turned to in order to observe them. Jacob nonchalantly offers the job to Kate, even though she is crossed out. Chances are the numbers don't have too much to do with his preference.

Straume and Littleton

These are the only crossed out names of people who we know are still alive.

  • Miles (and possibly Lapidus) was crossed off the list of candidates because he chose the "wrong side" (as stated by Bram) and "sided" with Widmore (who is thought to be on the same side as The Man in Black).
    • Miles chose the wrong side by going with the money promised by Widmore; Widmore and The Man in Black seem to be enemies.
  • Claire has been claimed presumably by MIB. This may be why she is crossed out.
    • Claire was crossed out after becoming a mother, Jacob gave the same reason for crossing out Kate and that happened before she joined MiB.
  • Miles and Claire may have a special role. In the two versions of the last supper photo, Miles and Claire are the only people who switch sides. (See The Lost Supper)
  • And then what about Ben, Hurley and Sun? They too have different places (but they didn't changed the sides like Claire and Miles)...
    • Sun is moved to be with Jin in the second version, so it could be assumed that they will finally be reunited.


Lastsupper Lost supper 2

The Lighthouse list was not created by Jacob

Lost lighthouse numbers

Lighthouse List

It was never stated that Jacob created the list of candidates, just implied that he marks off those who leave it. The lighthouse list predated even Jacob. The cave list was a list he transcribed over. Jacob used the lighthouse list and the mirrors as a pre-existing candidate list and tool from which to select his replacement.
  • It is talked about multiple times through flashbacks that Jacob brings people to the island as HIS Candidates. It is not even hinted at momentarily that the Lighthouse pre-dates Jacob. It is flatly stated multiple times that JACOB has the list of Candidates, that JACOB has a thing for numbers, etc. Jacob created the list.

The Lighthouse list is Jacob's actual list, and the other is MIB's copy

Jacob showed Jack the Lighthouse, so it is his list. MIB copied Jacob's list because he was keeping track of what Jacob was doing. Any mistakes are in his list.

  • Kate's name is crossed out in the cave, with Jacob not only knowing about it, but describing when it occurred and why. He also says that it's just a line of chalk, and that she can have the job if she'd like. If I remember correctly, her name is NOT yet crossed out at the lighthouse. Chances are the cave is Jacob's list as well, but that doesn't mean that MiB and Jacob don't hang out in the cave together. They are shown talking many times throughout history, and they are intimately linked by the Island. Also, why would a smoke monster bother with dangerous and tiring ladders to get to a secret lair? Either it's Jacob's cave, or they shared it.

A candidate can only be killed by a candidate

We got this spelled out when Richard's fuse failed to go off and when Sawyer activated MiB's bomb in the submarine, but looking back, this has been true for the entire duration of the series, if you notice how many near-death experiences, arrays of bullets and enemies intent in killing them they survived:

  • Boone died accidentally when the Beechcraft fell, but almost all of the Losties agreed to think it had been Locke's fault.
  • Shannon was killed by Ana Lucia.
  • Ana Lucia and Libby were killed by Michael.
  • Artz killed himself mishandling dynamite.
  • Paulo and Nikki were accidentally killed by Hurley and Sawyer when they buried them alive thinking they were dead.
  • Charlie sacrificed his life to save Desmond, which was necessary as Desmond wasn't a Candidate. (Note how he miracleously survived being hanged by Ethan or several other random deaths.)
  • Michael sacrificed himself by staying behind stalling the bomb until the rest left the Kahana, saving Desmond again and perhaps Kate and Aaron, neither of which were a candidate at that point.
  • Sayid apparently died after being drowned by Dogen, but he woke up again. Then he sacrificed himself to save the others.
  • The most puzzling one is Eko as he was definitely killed by the Man in Black. Perhaps when he came to terms with his past and stopped being "flawed" and "purposeless," he stopped being a candidate. This unfortunately meant that he became vulnerable to the Man in Black, who got enraged as Eko was then useless to him.
    • The Eko on the list is not Mr. Eko. It is either the case that Yemi is the Eko on the wall, or that Eko is Mr. Eko's first name. Only surnames appear on the walls. Therefore, Eko is another undisovered land. The Monster hesitated in killing Eko because it had not yet determined if he was the candidate.
      • Yemi died either before the plane crash, or after. It wasn't Yemi. Chances are Eko is Mr. Eko, as he fits candidacy almost perfectly. The list is basically all surnames, but it is never stated that it has to be. I really don't think the writers put Eko on the cave as some strange and meaningless reference to an unnamed person with the same name as Mr. Eko.
  • Desmond is able to kill Kelvin due to his special nature as the Variable referred to by Faraday. His status as the Variable means that he can alter events. He is a living loophole that can bypass Jacob's rules.

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