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Death has been a recurring theme throughout Lost. The series began with a plane crash that killed hundreds, and the show has since featured numerous deaths, some casual, some tragic, some humorous.
Lists of deaths
Several articles catalog the show's deaths:
- List of deaths – all deaths on the show
- Deceased islanders – list of every death on the Island
- Body count – list of the dwindling numbers of those on the Island as the series progresses
- Main character kill count – list of direct kills main characters commit
- Ironic deaths
- Locations by Deaths
Many characters have attempted suicide, but the success of these attempts has varied from person-to-person. The cause of suicide is generally depression, but in the case of some, to simply escape, or even because of a mental illness.
The purge of the DHARMA Initiative. ("The Man Behind the Curtain")
Another recurring death motif on Lost have been the deaths of a large number of people at the same time. Although Jacob mentions people dying on the Island earlier, the first chronological occurrence of this is in 1867, when the Man in Black slaughters all the passengers of the Black Rock, save for Richard Alpert, in his smoke form. Later on, this has happened to the 18 US soldiers who came to the Island in the 1950s, whom the indigenous Hostiles killed in what they saw as an act of self-defense. Shortly after, the Hostiles attacked the time-traveling survivors of the flight 815 with flaming arrows, killing them all except the Nadler couple and a small group led by James Ford.
In the early nineties, after two decades of a rocky relationship with the DHARMA Initiative, the Hostiles joined up with an unknown number of defectors from the organization, most prominently Benjamin Linus, and orchestrated a mass purge of the remaining members by using toxic gas from their own station, The Tempest, killing over forty people. The combined group took over the infrastructure that the Dharma Initiative left behind and became, what other inhabitants of the Island would call, "The Others", leaving the remains of their victims in a mass grave. It is unknown whether the attack was planned for a long time, or whether the circumstances on The Island forced them to act this way.
The mid-air break up of Oceanic Flight 815 as seen from The Barracks. ("A Tale of Two Cities")
In 2004, The Others witnessed the mid-air break-up and the subsequent crash of Oceanic Flight 815 on its way from Sydney to LA, which claimed over 200 of its passengers' lives. Although seemingly caused by an electromagnetic discharge from the Swan which its long time resident Desmond Hume failed to prevent, recent events have shown that the crash was not as accidental. The mysterious entity, followed by The Others, known as Jacob, was shown observing and meddling with the lives of many of the passengers, and is assumed to have been the actual cause of the crash, via Desmond, because a large number of Candidates are on that flight, who Jacob wished to bring to the Island.
In 2007, the day following the death of Jacob at the hands of Ben and the return of the time-traveling survivors, The Others congregated at the Temple, where they assumed to be safe from Jacob's nemesis, the Man in Black. Through Sayid Jarrah, he warned them all to leave the Temple by sundown and follow him, or stay and die. He came true on his threats and came to the Temple that night, in his smoke monster form, murdering all of the remaining Temple residents who couldn't escape him, sparing his followers. Kate Austen survived by dangling into a pit as the Man in black in smoke monster form charged overhead. At some point during this time, the remaining passengers of Ajira 316 were murdered and dumped by an unknown assailant on the Hydra Island.
Redemption and death
Michael sees Christian before he dies. ("There's No Place Like Home, Part 3")
Many deaths, especially those of main characters, come soon after the characters overcome their issues. While this could be seen as a way of progressing the story, it eventually appeared a property of the Island, which killed those with whom it had finished.
Soon after Boone overcame his feelings for his sister, he suffered the Beechcraft accident that killed him, and Shannon died at Ana-Lucia's hand soon after she managed to get others to believe her. Ana-Lucia, in turn, died at Michael's hands seconds after she told him she sought redemption. Michael himself died after redeeming himself for this betrayal through his actions on the Kahana.
Dying with eyes open is a common occurrence with many of the characters. Characters who have died with their eyes open are Locke, Matthew Abaddon, Daniel Faraday, Keamy, Minkowski, Boone, Nikki, Naomi, Ana Lucia, Libby, Jae Lee and Charlotte. In some cultures, dying with eyes open is interpreted as dying in a state of unrest or mission in life unfulfilled.
Appearances after death
Several characters have reappeared after death. Some were ghosts. Some were the Man in Black.
Death on the Island
Michael imagines a dead Libby as his nurse. ("Meet Kevin Johnson")
- Horace Goodspeed is discovered by Locke while chopping down a tree and they have a conversation about Locke's destiny.
- Charlie Pace appears to Hurley at Santa Rosa Mental Institute. Charlie is also seen by another patient and slaps Hurley in the face during their conversation.
- Libby Smith appears to Michael Dawson in his hospital room dressed as a nurse and again on the Kahana.
- Mr. Eko appears to Hurley at Santa Rosa (although he is not seen by the audience, nor Sayid, who is also present) and plays a game of chess with him.
- Ana Lucia Cortez appears to Hurley in Los Angeles. She is driving a police car and pulls him, then delivers a message to him.
- Alex appears to Ben in the Temple, pins him to a column and demands that he follow Locke's leadership. This was a manifestation of Man in Black.
- Jacob appears to Hurley several times the day following his death, each time with certain instructions working towards an unknown goal.
- Michael Dawson appears to Hurley on the island.
Dead body known to arrive on Island
- Christian Shephard's coffin was on Oceanic 815. He appears soon after the crash to Jack. He also later appears to Jack in Los Angeles. He appears on the island to daughter Claire, holding his grandson Aaron, and convinces Claire to come with him and leave Aaron behind. He has subsequently appeared to Locke, Sun and Frank.
- John Locke's coffin was on Ajira 316. He appears on the beach with the other survivors, talking to Ilana, his form having been taken by the Man in Black.
- Yemi's body was placed on the smuggler's plane that crashed on the island. He appears to Eko.
- Emily Linus died giving birth to Ben, but later appears to him in the jungle and speaks to him.
- Isabella died on her deathbed at Tenerife in the Canary Islands, then later appeared to both Richard and Hurley on the island during separate occasions.
It is unclear if Boone's appearance to Locke in the sweat lodge is truly an appearance, or occurred while Locke was having an induced hallucination.
- One of the original 14 main characters has died each season until season 6:
- At the end of the series only 5 of the original 14 main characters are alive: Hurley, Kate, Claire, Sawyer and Walt.
- Body count
- Car accidents
- Crimes of the Islanders
- Fights and attacks
- Ironic deaths
- Locations by Deaths
- Last words
- YouTube – Lost cast members talk about their characters' deaths