Jacob's tapestry/Theories

< Jacob's tapestry

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Jacob's tapestry
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Fate of the Survivors of Oceanic 815

Many of the characters seem to demonstrate qualities of the survivors of Oceanic 815. There is one character playing a harp for instance that could be Charlie.

The fact that there is an eye at the top of the tapestry that is outreaching to a few characters, may be interpreted as an outreach to the Oceanic 6 or to any number of people who's fate leads them to the island.

The mere fact that a tapestry is "woven" could be an allusion to the theory of fate being strung or woven out for people.

Fate of the Universe

Jacob is weaving the course of events in the universe, particularly the island. Clearly this is an allusion to the Fates of Greek mythology - they weave the tapestries of life, and each vertical thread represents a human life - snip a thread and that life is over.

Ilana's Piece

The picture of the Statue that Ilana finds pinned to the wall of the cabin is clearly cut from the lower left corner of the tapestry.


Promotional Picture of tapestry (notice the square missing in the lower left corner)

  • This is a major hint as to the purpose of the Island. It appears to show a chronology: people arrive via ship, live on the island ("may the gods grant thee happiness") and ultimately be granted all they desire. Similar to the idea of "heaven on Earth."

There are nine lines to humans. The Oceanic Six are Jack, Kate, Hurley, Sawyer, Sun and Aaron. The next three most present characters are Sawyer, Locke (also "Survivors") and Ben Linus.

    • The piece of tapestry Ilana found also gave her the necessary hint that FLocke's appearance was now in "Lockdown-mode" and would not change anymore. However, it did not tell her what the "locked down" form would look like. That particular bit of information was already known to her since Hydra Island because of the real Locke's body they were dragging along in the box.


The Wedjat (Eye of Horus, later the Eye of Ra) with the wings flanking it demonstrate its relation directly to Horus. The figures seem to be grasping for the outstretched arms in worship or protection. Horus served as a protector from chaos. Tying into the statue above, representing Sobek, another deity tied to Ra, reinforces this image of Jacob as Ra/light/protector.


The sun with elongated hands radiating from it as seen on Jacobs tapestry is used to depict Aten the one true god. Akhenaten started the worship of a one true god and monotheism based on worshipping Aten a son of Ra. It is also interesting to note that Akhenaten is also known as "The Lost Pharaoh". He moved his people to a new city (which wasnt rediscovered for a long while along with his tomb) and banned the worship of the old gods.

What it represents

  • An ongoing theme in LOST has been how peoples lives are connected, on and off the island. The threads represent the life of people that Jacob woven together, many by his own hand ("The Incident, Part 1"), as well as outside forces.
  • Jacob's weaving of the tapestry is reminescent of Ovid's character Philomela who is kidnapped, raped, and held captive for years by Tereus. When she finally finishes the tapestry, she has it sent to her sister, Procne, who "reads" her story and comes to her rescue.
  • The way Jacob refers to the tapestry also fits into the motif of patience for Ben's character arc. The first words he says to Ben are that it took him a long time to make it, but that that is probably the point. Several moments later, Ben rants to Jacob how he waited for him patiently, but was never allowed an audience, and ultimately kills him. One of the first things Richard Alpert, Jacob's representative, says to young Ben when they first meet, is how he's going to have to be patient.
    • Jacob was weaving the cloth that Ilana and Bram eventually find a fragment of in the cabin. Weaving all the threads together in an elaborate cloth symbolizes how Jacob has weaved the lives of the Losties and all related people together for a long, long time.
  • The tapestry is a representation of Jacob's life. At the beginning of The Incident, Part 1, Jacob has only recently begun weaving his tapestries. When he speaks to his enemy, his enemy states he will kill Jacob when he finds his loophole. When Jacob's nemesis returns as Locke with Ben at the end of Part 2 (the two scenes thematically 'bookending' the finale), Ben is at first drawn to Jacob's tapestries, which are now complete. This is an allusion to Jacob having already completed his own 'work' in making contact with the various Oceanic survivors.
  • There are 9 people below the elongated hands of the Eye of Horus. It's interesting that Jacob visited 9 characters - Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Hurley, Sayid, Locke, Ilana, Sun and Jin - and touched them all.It all happened in times of trouble for all of them, so it's some kind of blessing.
    • We don't see Jacob touching Ilana (he was wearing black gloves). But he does touch Ben after being stabbed (which makes Ben the ninth person on the tapestry) and finally says "They're coming"
    • The number nine is a most remarkable number in many respects. It is held in great reverence by all who study the occult sciences; and in mathematical science it possesses properties and powers which are found in no other number. (i.e.: Among others may be mentioned (1) that the sum of the digits which form its multiples are themselves always a multiple of nine; e.g., 2 x 9 = 18 (and 1+8=9); 3 x 9 = 27 (and 2+7=9); 4 x 9 = 36 (and 3+6=9); 5 x 9 = 45 (and 4+5=9), etc., etc.; and so with the larger numbers: 52843 x 9 = 475587 (and 4+7+5+5+8+7=36, and 3+6=9). (2) The sum of its multiples through the nine digits = 405, or 9 times 45.).
      • It is the last of the digits, and thus marks the end; and is significant of the conclusion of a matter. It is akin to the number six, six being the sum of its factors (3x3=9, and 3+3=6), and is thus significant of the end of man, and the summation of all man's works. Nine is, therefore, the number of finality or judgment. The number of finality or judgment is committed unto Jesus as "the Son of man" (John 5:27; Acts 17:31). It marks the completeness, the end and issue of all things as to man—the judgment of man and all his works. It is a factor of 666, which is 9 times 74. The gematria of the word "Dan," which means a judge, is 54 (9x6). "th orgh mou" (tee orgee mou), my wrath, = 999 (Hebrews 3:11). The solemn amhn (ameen), amen, or "verily," of our Lord, amounts also to 99, summing up and ending His words. The sum of the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet is 4995 (5x999). It is stamped, therefore, with the numbers of grace and finality. Genesis 19, recording the judgment of Sodom, is marked by multiples of nine. Verses 4-29 amount to 89550 (9x9950, or 9x50x199). The same is seen if we divide it into sections:— Verses 4-18. From the riot in Sodom to Lot's plea for Zoar is 50733 (9x3x1879). Verses 19-25. From Lot's plea to the overthrow is 24543 (9x9x303). Verses 26-29. From "Lot's wife" to the end of the history is 14274 (9x2x13x61). There are many more occurrences of the number 9 in the bible all of which refer to JUDGEMENT. (soarce: --Hotwaxcat 14:16, February 4, 2010 (UTC)
      • Also, dividing any non-multiple of nine by 9 results in an infinitely continuing fraction, usually with the same repeating number: 1/9 = 0.1111111... 89/9 = 9.8888888888...etc.
  • By weaving the tapestry, Jacob has defined a set of events and expected destiny of those he brings to the island. Since Jacob believes that it doesn’t ‘always have to end the same,’ his tapestry incorporates individuals who will be given choices that can alter the tapestry; these are the nine human figures in the tapestry. The seven human figures who ‘dance to the music of a lone harpist’ are characters manipulated by the harpist. Ben is a good candidate for the harpist since he has been influenced by both Jacob and Jacob's nemesis, is a master manipulator, and is alone.
  • What about the two characters on the throne beside the nine? The eye represents Ra, who was seen as the highest power, essentially God. The two throne people could be Jacob and the MiB and perhaps Ra represents the fact that both of them know they are not the ultimate power. Not saying it's God, perhaps Jacob sees it as fate. On the next line we see people dancing around a bunch of jugs, possibly wine. They're celebrating the water in them perhaps, the water of life. The next line, with people harvesting wheat represents the cycle, maybe "they come, they fight, they destroy, they corrupt" or the fact that Jacob keeps bringing people here to prove the MiB wrong. The final line shows boats either coming or going from the Island, showing that the cycle can either repeat or end.

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