Unified Theory

An open invitation to post unified theories!

I've given up on having a page for this, as it was, eh, balked at by the masses (well, two of them, anyway). So I've given in to the request to piddle off, and will drop my post here in a likely vain hope that at least someone will interact with me. Woe 'as me ;)

Here was my original article, now infamously listed amongst a mere handful of other deleted pages (was it really that bad?):

Ahem, unified theories wanted.

Unified Theories


Unified theories are coherent, over-arching impressions of the story theme and plot of Lost. Theories should be concise, cite examples or clips when possible, and avoid excessive repetition. Only add an entry to a particular section if it applies to your complete theory - not all sections have to be included, and are only present for simplifying comprehension. Additions to individual sections should support the general theory synopsis in an obvious fashion, to avoid unnecessary transcription or pontification.

Add A Complete Theory

To add a unified theory, tag entries under each section with an alphanumerical ID. IDs should be sequential, eg. A, B, C, [...] A2, B2, [...] A100, B100 etc., and bold. IDs will maintain clarity between theories. Use square brackets for readability, eg.

[A] My theory is that the island is a thermonuclear reactor travelling through space and time, funded by space pirates from Xenon.
[B] The island is one of Jack's dreams, and he'll wake up to find himself buried under an avalanche of snow in the Nevada desert.

General Synopsis

One to two paragraph summary of the theory. Minimally, an entry should be added here, with supporting entries under other sections.

[A] The island is a physical manifestation of the struggle between existence (state of definition outside infinity), and non-existence (state of rest, all things undefined from all other things). The main characters struggle with the concept of the self-state, and the all-state, and the conflicts represent the proponents of each, with an undecided contingent caught in the middle.

Story Conflicts

Story conflicts encompass any character, group, or general thematic conflict.

[A] Jacob vs. Nemesis: This conflict is the central representation of the struggle between existing and not existing. As classical infinity is considered, a state of 'all' would be without exclusion, a limit set of zero. To exist, to be defined from other things or states, is to be less than 'all'. Therefore, existence - the state of being defined, having limitations - is to be excluded from the state of all. Jacob struggles to maintain definition, boundaries, rules, borders, while his brother fights to escape all those things, to be without limitation.

Example: Jacob is described by his adopted mother in ("Across the Sea") as being incapable of lying. He is bound by the restriction of 'truth' versus 'untruths' - a state only capable in a finite, defined world. MiB/Nemesis is described by his adopted mother as being without those restrictions.

Story Theme

Story themes should describe the underlying idea, moral, or meaning to any character, group, event, or the entire story of Lost.

[A] Good vs. Evil: Typical good and evil themes are intermingled in individual characters, suggesting a deeper intent thematically. Often the writers create a sense of moral direction within one character arch, and subsequently perform an about-face with the character shortly after that maintains a sense of uncertainty, even after key characters are designated as candidates. This implies no standard division of good and evil in Jacob's choices, and therefore likely none in the Man in Black's, either.

Key Characters

Character traits, events, or other facts linked to the general theory.


6X09 Jacob bottle

[A] Jacob represents the state of definition outside infinity. He is restricted, boundaried, imposed on by rule and law, and he represents the drive to maintain individualism outside the 'all'. He is not explicitly good, or evil, but abides by the faith in rules and definites he naturally gravitates to.

Man in Black/Nemesis

5x16 IWantYouDead

[A] Jacob's brother represents limitlessness. He has no boundaries, no need for rules or restrictions - he doesn't even have the restriction of a name. He can assume many forms [cited: smoke monster, multiple human forms], and has even transcended the definiteness of the living and the dead. The only consistent motive he appears to have is to escape the boundaries the island has restricted him within.



[A] The candidates represent the typical internal conflict of any human, and the path between accepting reality as the natural confine of existence, or rejecting reality and the apparent confine of existence within it. Each passes through tests which guide them towards one direction or the other.

Example: Jack has accepted by the final season that he must accept in faith the dynamics of the island [cited: multiple scenes, including the dynamite scene with Richard, and the explosion on the sub], and Jacob's agenda. He accepts the rules and restrictions presented to him, and is in harmony mentally (by the latter half of the final season) with the role he has been placed in.

Dharma Initiative


Jacob's Followers


Widmore's Team

6x08 PutYourHandUp

Key Locations

The Island

Rousseau map2

[A] The island is the central hub for existence, representing the radial 'source' of definition that flows from the undefined 'all' (represented as the Source, and visualized as a form of glow that is commonly sought after and is the target of attempts to harness it). Destruction of the radial source of definition would, in effect, shut off the flow of existence, as suggested by the adopted mother of Jacob and his twin brother in her statement on what would happen if the Source was not protected - "if the light goes out here... it goes out everywhere." ("Across the Sea") - and mirrored in Jacob's statements in multiple episodes on what would happen if his brother were allowed to leave the Island (later his brother states he wishes to destroy the Island ("What They Died For")).

The Source

6x15 The Source

[A] The source represents the point of delimitation between an all-state, and the state of definition/existence. It is the radiation of defined-state particles from undefined or essentially superpositioned 'particles'.

The Orchid Station


The Swan Station


The Hydra Station


The Lighthouse

6x05 The Lighthouse Exterior

The Temple


Key Events

The First Crash

Lost pilot a244

The Swan Discharge


Archetype References

Aande stones

Archetype references are symbolic events, characteristics, items, or other lesser references that support a theory by suggestive influence on the more overt references or facts.

[A] Jacob's Ladder: Multiple references to Biblical concepts are made in Lost, and the concept of a radial source of existence is in line with the classic story of Jacob's Ladder. In the Biblical story, Jacob dreams of a multi-colored ladder (or pyramid) leading to and from the heavens, with angels ascending and descending. As infinity, with a limit set of zero, is divided into smaller and smaller sets of defined portions, the total 'radial area' of each lower set decreases, and while the number of potential paths increase, the possible outcomes within each set decreases.

Jacob's Ladder Ascending states of existence

Example: In ("The Substitute"), MiB and James climbed down a ladder to the sea cave where Jacob searches for candidates to reside on the Island in his stead and protect the Source.

Balance Between Existence and Non-existence: Many allusions are made to the balanced struggle between existence and non-existence. The struggle between the well-defined, well-behaved Jacob and his nameless, unrestricted (even by death) twin brother is mirrored in multiple scenes.

Example: In ("The Substitute"), a scale is shown with a black and white rock on either scale. The MiB takes the white rock and throws it away, claiming it to be an 'inside joke'.

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