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Position in the Hierarchy of the Others
- Dogen is the Temple Master. This answers why there hasn't been a reference to him before, because we haven't seen the Temple before, and everything about it has been kept a mystery. The fact that he hasn't been mentioned before is strange because he seems to be someone who a) commands respect from the Others and is somewhat of a leader, b) has an understanding of key elements like the spring and Jacob which again suggests he is somebody in a position of authority within the Others' group, c) seems to be quite a big/key/important character, not just in LOST but also in the Others' group.
- Dogen is third in power next to the Leader and Richard.
- Dogen was a "fail safe" leader, intended as a replacement if all the other leaders should fail/die.
- Dogen's surname is Yamada, implying that he may have been #114 on Jacob's list of Candidates.
Dogen's relation to the ash
- Dogen was tasked by Jacob to protect him and the Others and was given the power to keep the MiB out of certain areas by means of the ash circles, so long as he stayed alive. Once he died, this power died with him and the ash circles ceased to work. The invasion of the Temple occurred immediately after his death, so there is obviously some link between his life force and the protection he is responsible for.
- The ash circles may only work when inside them there is a special person, "heart" of the circled place. Usually it just needs a good person, when the circle is small (Bram's case). If the circle is bigger then the very specific person is needed. For the Temple it was Dogen ("he was the only thing keeping it out"). For the Island it was Jacob ("for years, he [MiB] has been trapped, but now Jacob is gone, he's free"). After the death of the both the MiB is free to enter the Temple and leave the Island.
Dogen's story was a lie
- Dogen tells Sayid that Jacob promised him he could see his son again, however in Ab Aeterno, Jacob tells Richard that he can't bring the dead back to life. It wouldn't make sense for him to tell Richard one thing and Dogen another.
- He brought Locke back to life when he fell out of the window. I think he couldn't bring Richard's wife back, because her body wasn't there.
- Additionally, perhaps Jacob can only revive someone within a specific window of time. If Richard was sailing from the Canary Islands, it would have taken weeks to reach the South Pacific Ocean.
- Dogen never says that his son died in the crash. Watch the scene again, I took it to be that Dogen survived but his son was severely injured and would surely die.
Dogen says "I survived, he did not." (he as in his son)