By 'The End' of Lost, Jacob's near two-thousand year tenure as the Protector of the Island came to an end, then Jack's near half-a-day tenure done the same, and then Hurley took over the role. In the final Flash-Sideways, Ben says to Hurley, "You were a great number one". Of course, we never really got to see what their protection of the Island actually entailed, until the epilogue 'The New Mand in Charge' leaked onto the web.

Jacob's protection of the Island was very much about keeping 'The Source' (EM Energy) from ever going out, keeping the Smoke Monster on the Island, and disproving his brother's theory on humankind. One of the essential plot devices in any narrative is conflict. Without a conflict between characters, ideas and/or themes, a narrative is rarely ever interesting. Essentially, that's why we were shown a point in the Island's history where many conflicts took place, but all could be traced back to the one between these two ancient brothers. Conflicts: MIB vs Jacob, black vs white, fate vs free-will, Hostiles vs US Army, Hostiles vs Dharma, Ben vs Charles, John vs Jack, etc.

Hypothetically, Darlton could have made the show about any one of these conflicts, but they chose John vs Jack - we were shown their conflicts from when they first met, whereas MIB vs Jacob, although central to the overall plot, was only shown to us in snippets. Jack's role as the Protector was very much a transitional one. He had to finish off Jacob's work, and then pass the torch to Hurley. Now, this gets me onto Hurley's (and Ben's) time as Protector, and their lack of conflict.

- SPOILERS - If you haven't seen 'The New Man in Charge', and don't wanna be spoiled, avert your eyes! - SPOILERS -

Essentially, I think that Hurley and Ben's tenure was similar to the clean-up in Faraday's Oxford lab. Jacob and MIB's experimenting with humankind had left an almighty mess, and Hurley wanted to clean it up. In the epilogue, Ben is busy shutting down outside-world Dharma stations and operations; the one that we are shown is the one that is responsible for the food-drops. I would assume that all on-Island stations were dealt with the same. Hurley is someone who was never down for all the antics that the Losties were always up to - he preferred to just "chill, dude..." and always wanted as little as conflict as possible. If Hurley were Leader of the World, there would be no war! Point being, though, is that there wouldn't be much interesting in a spin-off, or whatever, that centered around Hurley's time as protector; which is why I thought the epilogue was enough.

However, at the end of the epilogue, Ben and Hurley visit Walt and intend on taking him back to the Island. One reason, which is pointed out anyway, is to help his father. Last time we saw Michael, he said that he was unable to "move on". I think that Walt's powers - which were never quite explained - will somehow help him to help his father, and all the other 'whisperers' who cannot move on. This is part of Hurley's clean-up of the Island. Finally, the second reason, is for Walt to become the successor of Hurley. I was thinking that without any conflict, how would Hurley eventually die, and end up in the Flash-Sideways? I think that a free-will sacrifice, handing over to Walt, would fit best, rather than him having a really long tenure.

Anyhow, those were just some thoughts I was having upon seeing the epilogue, and I thought that 'The Egyptian Lost Fan' had a good point in saying there weren't too many Lost-related posts on this Lost wiki, so I thought I'd contribute at least one.

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