Ethan Rom/Theories

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Ethan Rom
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  1. Stated as questions or possibilities (avoid question marks, "Maybe", "I think", etc).
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  • Ethan was Sabine's husband.
    • He would have reacted much more emotionally when she died if they were married.
  • Ethan's real name is Ethan Goodspeed; he used Ethan Rom as an alias when he first met up with 815 crash survivors to hide his real name, much like Ben did when he assumed Henry Gale's name.
    • Ethan Rom is indeed an alias, thought up by Ethan on the basis that it's an anagram of 'other man'; his sense of humour overcame the idea that he shouldn't allude to his not having been on the plane, even though the joke required he have a suspiciously odd surname.
    • This theory of Ethan Rom as Ethan Godspeed seems to be confirmed by Ethan introducing himself as Dr. Godspeed in the flash-sideways where he appears as the doctor attending to Claire when she begins to go into labor.
    • Juliet seemed quite shocked to hear Amy name her child Ethan. Considering she lived there for three years, in both time periods, if he went by 'Ethan Goodspeed' one would assume that's the name she knew him as, but apparently did not. Perhaps Paul's last name was Rom, or he merely adopted the last name after joining the Others.
      3X01 BenSendingEthan

      Ethan Rom

      • As to Juliet's suprise, who wouldn't be shocked to realize that they had just witnessed the birth of their adult friend?
    • 'Rom' is either Amy's maiden name, or has no significance whatsoever. When Ethan joined the others, he dropped the name 'Goodspeed' to symbolize his conversion and replaced it with Rom.
    • Why would Ethan want to conceal that his surname was Goodspeed, when none of the survivors would have heard it before?
      • If Ethan had been away from the Island during the Purge and had joined the Others following it, it is likely that he did not want to be identified as the son of the DI's leader whom the Others had killed. Changing his name from Goodspeed would have been a way for him to distance himself from his parentage, if only psychologically, and to indicate to the Others that he was turning his back on it to become more truly one of Them. In fact, it might have also been a way for him to hide his lineage outright from the Others, with the exception of Ben and Richard. Assuming he had been away from the Island for a number of years, most of the Others might not have known him as Horace's son.
        • Name was originally Ethan Goodspeed but used the alias of Ethan Rom among the Losties and possibly Juliet because he recognized them from his child hood with the d.i.
        • The Others might always use aliases when dealing with the outside world (e.g.- Henry Gale/Ben Linus) because of Charles Widmore's attempts to return. Widmore might know their real names, and thus they use aliases.
          • For him to remember them, they would have to remain in the DHARMA Initiative for at least six more years, roughly. Not that this necessarily won't happen, but it's highly unlikely.
            • Amy's last name could have been Rom and so Ethan adopted that name.
            • Ethan was still young when he was an Other - it's possible he was adopted or looked after by an adult Other, or possibly a family and so took their name.
            • If he was kidnapped or taken in by the Others when he was too young to remember, they might have lied to him about his surname. He might not even know who his real parents are.

Horace Goodspeed

  • In 1977 Horace was drunk because of a fight him and Amy had. When Locke has a dream of Horace building the cabin, he says it's a cabin for the ladies. Maybe somewhere between then, him and Amy got a divorce, and Ethan decided to change his name to Amy's maiden name.
    • Horace actually says that he is building the cabin for him and the misses, not the ladies.
      • I'm thinking that the argument happened before Ethan was born because Sawyer bunks Horace on Amy's couch and I'm sure they were still together then.

His last name wouldn't have been Goodspeed because Horace wasn't his father. So either Rom is Paul's last name or Amys maiden name.

  • Horace was his father, Ethan was born 3 years after Paul died, there is no way Paul is the father.
  • Ethan used the surname "Rom" because "Goodspeed" would carry a negative connotation among the Others, being surname of their enemy's leader and all.

Medical training and practice

3x16 DoctorEthan


  • Was educated as a medical scientist.
  • If Charlie hadn't killed Ethan, Ben wouldn't have needed to have Jack captured - Ethan would have performed the surgery immediately.
    • However Ben said that he found out about his tumor on September 20, two days before Flight 815 crashed. It's possible Ethan was not capable of doing spinal surgery, or else he would not have been sent to the beach when the plane crashed two days later.
    • OR because Ethan wasn't a spinal surgeon. He probably couldnt take the tumor out himself as he is not well trained in that field.
      • Ben might have known from the start that Ethan was meant to be the initial sacrifice the Others had to endure, and that Jack was destined to operate on his spine. Therefore he knowingly sent Ethan to his doom, playing in to the inevitability of the island's timeline.
  • Was sent to infiltrate the castaways by Ben because of his medical expertise. He was the only one with the proper knowledge to administer the vaccine Claire receives while sleeping in the cave.
    • Ben didn't know that there would be a pregnant girl on the plane when he sent Ethan to the Losties. Also, Ben could have sent Juliet, who would have been the most capable person to look after Claire and also administer the vaccine.
      • Ben assumed there'd be pregnant women on the flight as he suggested "there may be one on the plane" to Juliet in ("One of Us"). Ben sent Ethan & Goodwin the day of the crash because he felt he needed to take Juliet to The Flame and show her Rachel's "proof of life".
  • Was sent because he has shown himself in the past to be extremely capable and was one of Ben's most trusted agents.

The 'Vaccine'

    • Was sent not because he was one of Ben's most trusted agents but because he posed a (future) threat to Ben's leadership position among the Others due to his capability - similar to the threat Goodwin posed in his relationship with Juliet. This is mirrored with the conflictual nature of Ethan and Ben's early interaction in "Dead is Dead"
  • Ben did not send Juliet because she is "his" and he would never let her out of his sight, he wants her where he can keep an eye on her.

Physical State

  • Had military training of some sort. He was an expert in hand to hand combat.
    • The fight choreographers made sure to not suggest any particular fighting style.
      • Several viewers have pointed out that Ethan's fighting style, although not reminiscent of any particular "traditional," older style of fighting, seems quite similar to several fighting styles used by various military organizations throughout the world, particularly the style of hand-to-hand combat used by Navy SEALs.
  • Seemed to be very strong for his size, he lifted Charlie with one arm.


Ethan Water

Ethan & Claire

  • Was close with Juliet. In "A Tale of Two Cities", Ethan is seen fixing the plumbing outside her house.
    • Given their close knit community it would seem all the Others are on fairly close terms with each other.
    • Ethan and Juliet were especially close, (friends) they work together in the medical station trying to save pregnant women; they would inevitably grow closer as a result of their work and the struggle they are in to save lives. Perhaps this is why Ben sent them both (Goodwin and Ethan) because they were Juliet's confidants; her lover and her best friend.
      • Presumably Ethan's mother Amy is Amelia the Other. Juliet and Amelia were good friends. Amelia probably asked her son to do a favor for Juliet. Or Ethan decided to do it on his own because he's a good neighbor.
        • It is unlikely (though not impossible) that Amelia and Amy are the same person. Juliet would have recognized the younger Amelia when she and Sawyer saved Amy from the Hostiles. Also, Locke's vision of Horace while searching for the "Jacob cabin" suggests that both Horace and Amy died in the Purge.
  • Ethan remembered John Locke from their encounter near the crashed beechcraft where John told Ethan that Benjamin Linus appointed him the new leader of The Others ("Because You Left"). To his surprise, 3 years later he sees John Locke is one of the survivors of 815. He then goes hunting with John to learn more about him. He possibly reports back to Ben telling him the entire story which spooks Ben enough to try infiltrating the survivors himself to learn more about Locke. Although the length of time from Ethan's death to Ben being captured is long enough to suggest Ethan kept the disturbing facts to himself.
    • Juliet changed the subject when Sawyer asked Locke who shot his leg, this shows that Juliet may know about it.
    • Ethan did not tell anyone that he knew Locke was a time traveller, though it did give him a sense of respect for Locke.
      • If he had told Ben that Locke said Ben appointed him leader, Ben would have known all along Locke was to be their new leader and wouldn't have treated him badly and put him through the various tests.
        • Ben put him through various tests because Locke still needed to prove he was the leader. Just because he said in the past that he was the leader in the future, doesn't mean it will just be so. Locke needed to go through that.
          • Plus I think Ben was reluctant to relinquish his title as 'leader' and was possibly trying to prove Locke wrong.
    • Ethan did tell Ben that Locke is a time traveler. That is why when Hurley asks Ben about shooting Locke, Ben says "I should've realized at the time that it[shooting Locke] was pointless", because Ben knew (Ethan told him) about Locke having to travel to the past sometime in the future (and therefore he couldn't die then).
      • Ben says that because the island wouldn't let John die. That was what he was referring too. It's pointless because the island isn't done with Locke and there's no way he would die.
        • The Island not being done with him could mean the time traveling.

Motives and Crimes

2x15 EthanIsNiceToClaire

Ethan & Claire

  • He really was a good person. He just acted the way he did toward the end of his life because he was so desperate to find Claire and extract her baby so he keep her (Claire) from dying since so many other pregnant women were not so lucky. He also did it to save the baby.
    • Taking Claire wasn't his 'mission', but because he was grief-stricken about his wife dying in childbirth he acted impulsively.
  • Was responsible for the death of Edmund Burke, aware that his 'getting hit by a bus' would ensure Juliet's interest in joining his research team.
    • May have known that Edmund was going to be hit by a bus that day, due to the whole time-travel whizzbang. It was mentioned to Juliet before-hand to blow her mind and make it easier to convince her to join them.
    • Also may have abducted Anthony Cooper; we already know Ethan can leave the island and has spent time in Florida. This isn't the best evidence since he was with the 815's after the crash; it may have been Richard (who was presumably in Miami filming Rachel) who picked up Cooper before he returned to the island.

Charlie after Ethan hangs him

  • When Charlie sent him away to get Jack because Claire seemed to be going into labor, Ethan instead went to get help from the Others, most likely Tom (Mr. Friendly). He had Tom with him when he came back for Claire and Charlie, which is how he incapacitated them so quickly, carried them both away, and was able to temporarily abandon them while he attacked Jack.
  • Was sent by Ben to infiltrate the crash survivors because he had been in the outside world.
  • Going by revelations after his death: Ethan was once a good man and a doctor. His wife died in childbirth presumably on the island. Ethan was desperate to save the Others pregnant women and was willing to go to whatever lengths he had to capture Claire so they could experiment on her and find a solution to the pregnancy problem. Ethan's soft spot for Claire may be a result of Claire about to give birth and his anguish over his wife dying during her pregnancy.
  • Was sucked into a Cerberus Vent by the Smoke Monster like Rousseau's team and really did go rogue against his orders.
  • Knew that he could hang Charlie, nearly killing him, but that the Island would heal him quickly enough that he wouldn't be in any real danger. The main purpose was to stop Jack and Kate from following him and Claire, or at least to slow them down.
    • Unlikely; Charlie would have died if Jack wasn't so stubborn.
  • Before kidnapping Claire and Charlie, was "infected" much the same way Sayid and Claire were in season 6. This is evidenced by his animalistic tendencies and lack of emotion when committing terrible acts (hanging Charlie, pummeling Jack, presumably killing Scott by breaking every bone in his body, etc.)

Name References

  • A reference to Ethan Frome, a novel by Edith Wharton about a man who is unhappily married and desires an affair with their housekeeper.
    • There is no evidence to suggest that Ethan Rom/Ethan Goodspeed was unhappily married. Nor that he had a housekeeper.
      • The comparison need not be literal. His unhappy marriage may have been to the Dharma Initiative (or to the Others). If we decide to make a comparison to the housekeeper, that may be harder. He could be considered Ben's figurative housekeeper (or one of them) through the ways he has to "clean up" after others' mistakes, "look after" the pregnant women on the island, or infiltrate the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 in order to make sure they won't threaten his home and the Others.

The Seating Chart

  • His name could be an intentional anagram for "more than."
    • His name is an anagram of "Other Man." This is on the website, when you try to pre-board check in.
      • The seating chart doesn't have to eliminate the "more than" meaning. They could both be intentional.
  • The surname Ethan gives to the survivors, Rom, may be a reference to the Royal Ontario Museum, located in Toronto, Ontario. When Hugo "Hurley" Reyes asks where he is from, Ethan says Ontario. The museum is also affectionately called the ROM.
    • It's interesting that the ROM is Canada's largest museum, so it's the closest thing Canada has to the Smithsonian or the British Museum. Its most notable collection is the Burgess Shale, a huge collection of fossils found in Canada that for decades attracted little interest from paleontologists and other biologists because its discoverer placed everything he had time to classify into known taxonomic categories. Only later investigation showed that he should have seen many of them for what they were: completely new creatures that often didn't fit into any known categories, thus radically changing the picture of life on this planet. These qualities of the ROM have a surprising resonance with the world/s of Lost and the characters who inhabit it/them.

The Purge


The Purge

  • We now know Ethan survives the purge in some fashion. But he must either leave the Island or betray the Dharma Initiative. It is possible Amy and Ethan will leave the Island (and Horace Goodspeed behind). Because he has no father Ethan will adopt his mother's last name, which may be Rom. The other option is he joins the hostiles and Ben sometime before the purge.
    • Thanks to the episode "Dead Is Dead", We now know Ethan was working with the Others in 1989 a few years before his father Horace was murdered in the Purge in 1992. Presumably child Ethan betrayed DHARMA years before the purge.
    • The Hostiles don't seem to kill children. It's likely that they took all the children before the Purge so as to spare their lives. Given Ethan's age relative to Ben's, Ethan was probably a teenager at the time of the Purge.


  • Taken from DHARMA in an incursion by the Hostiles years before The Purge and was raised by them in a similar fashion to Zack and Emma. Must have been lied to about his origins.
  • When he shot Locke during the time skip, it was the first time he met Locke but didn't reveal it to Locke when they first met as he was instructed not to by Ben Linus. It works with Faraday's rule of "whatever happened, happened".

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