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"I hear them... out there, in the jungle... they whisper!" --Danielle Rousseau
We've heard them too, on several occasions since Season 1... or at least we've been hearing something making whispering noises. But what exactly are the mysterious whispers, and who or what creates them? That's the LOST mystery that I've picked for this week.
For a while, until just the other day, I was fairly convinced that the whispers were somehow produced or controlled by the Others. After all, we've seen some cases in which the whispers are clearly connected to the Others:
- Heard by the tailies right after Cindy's abduction by the Others.
- Danielle heard some whispering voices say they were coming for the boy. Probably the Others talking about Walt.
- Heard by Jack, Kate, Sawyer and Hurley at the capsule dump, just before the Others ambushed them.
- Heard by Young Ben in the jungle just before he met Richard Alpert for the first time.
- Heard by Keamy's team by the helicopter just before the Others ambushed them.
- Ben's comment to Danielle in 1989 as he was kidnapping Alex: "Whenever you hear whispers, you run the other way!"
The thing is, it doesn't really make sense for the Others to deliberately generate the whispers, because in each of the above cases, the whispers seem to provide no tactical advantage to the Others, nor do they hinder the Others' objectives. There's no reason that the others would want to give away their secret plan to kidnap Walt, and they could've just as easily ambushed Keamy's team or abducted Cindy without freaking anybody out with a creepy sound. The whispers seem to be more of a side effect of the Others' presence. Ben probably knows this when he tells Danielle to run the other way at the sound of whispers.
Besides these connections to the Others, the whispers seem way more often connected to unexplained mysterious phenomena:
- Heard by Sayid on the way back from Danielle's camp, for seemingly no reason.
- Heard by Sawyer after chasing the boar, and he hears Frank Duckett's words, "It'll come back around." (Was the boar really a boar?)
- Heard by Shannon while looking for Vincent, just before she saw a vision of Walt.
- Heard by both Shannon and Sayid following Vincent, just before Shannon gets shot -- again, the vision of Walt.
- Heard by Eko while following Charlie to the drug plane, just before his smoke monster encounter.
- During Charlie's dream about needing to save Aaron.
- Heard by Young Ben at the sonic fence just before the vision of his mom.
- Heard by Locke in the mass grave just before he saw Taller Ghost Walt.
- Heard by Hurley at the cabin.
- Heard by Juliet and Jack at the appearance and disappearance of Harper.
- Heard by Michael on the freighter, about to detonate the fake bomb, as he saw a vision of Libby.
- Heard by Michael just before the freighter exploded and he saw Christian Shephard.
- Heard by Sun and Frank approaching the barracks, just before they saw Christian Shephard.
I tried to look for a pattern amongst these mysterious occurrences, looking at what types of events directly resulted from the whispers, and what types of events resulted from the circumstances around the whispers. The problem is that we just don't know enough about the Island's motives at this point, if the Island indeed has some kind of mind of its own, especially after the very vague revelation of Jacob and his nemesis that we got in the Season 5 finale. Anyone can speculate that the whispers might be produced by the smoke monster or Jacob or Jacob's Nemesis or Christian Shephard or electromagnetic energy or time-travelling echos, but I just don't think we know enough about these elements yet to form any arguable conclusions. So after all this, the only conclusion I've been able to form about the whispers is that I don't have any conclusions.