There is obviously so much to talk about with regards to this incredible season finale, but I’m only going to address the story of Jacob in this blog post. Stay tuned for other posts in the days to come. Thanks to my friends Pedro and Bridget, as well as Lostpedia and Wikipedia, for a lot of the information contained below.
When we first see Jacob, he appears in the base of the statue and is combing strands of silk (perhaps the strands of fate) and writing on a piece of tapestry. It turns out that the ancient Greek writing on the tapestry translates to, “May the gods grant thee all that thy heart desires” and “May the gods give you happiness”.
Shortly after, we see Jacob cooking a red herring on a black rock as another unknown man, we’ll call him Esau, approaches him on the beach. We can presume that the year is around 1845, since that is the year when the Black Rock set out on what was to be its final voyage. I’m assuming, of course, that the ship we see Jacob and Esau looking at from the beach is in fact the Black Rock. Before this scene, I had always imagined the island suddenly appearing beneath the Black Rock during one of its “moves”, which would explain how the ship came to be wrecked in the middle of the island’s dark territory.
The discussion between Jacob and the man I’m calling Esau is very interesting and the most significant part would seem to be when Esau asks Jacob if he realizes how much he wants to kill him. Jacob replies that he knows and Esau vows to find a loophole…a way to make it happen.
So, why am I calling the unknown man Esau?
According to the bible, Jacob, son of Isaac, was the twin brother of Esau, who was born only minutes before him. As the oldest son, Esau was given a certain birthright that Jacob tricked him out of when the two boys were about 15 years old. Esau vowed to kill Jacob as a result. However, their father Isaac made Esau promise to never kill Jacob from his death bed. As time went on, Esau found a loophole to the promise he made to their father. He tried to trick Jacob’s own children into wanting to kill their father. It should be noted that Jacob had a total of 12 children, the youngest of which was named Benjamin. Another interesting note is that Benjamin’s mother died at childbirth.
By the way, I first theorized about Jacob, Esau, and Benjamin back in December of 2006 (BLOG LINK).
So, in case you haven’t put the pieces together yourself, I’m now theorizing that the unknown man is Jacob’s older brother (perhaps named Esau) who found a way to kill Jacob via a loophole in a promise he made to his father (maybe the island). By mysteriously disguising himself in the form of the late John Locke (and probably others), Esau was able to play on the emotions of Benjamin Linus, a loyal follower of Jacob akin to one of his children, and trick him into killing Jacob. Keep in mind that Benjamin’s mother also died at childbirth and he has had experience with killing people, even his real father, Roger.
Back to the bible, Jacob’s children eventually avenged their father’s death and it would seem that by using Ilana, Bram, and the other Ajira folks to carry Locke’s body in the Ajira storage container to show Richard Alpert and the other followers of Jacob (his children), Jacob has set things up to cause some real problems for Esau next season.
It was also pointed out to me that there may be some significance to burning Jacob’s body at the end. It turns out that the only true way to kill an Egyptian is by fire. Just killing them isn’t enough because they’ll have an afterlife, but if you destroy the body by fire, you also destroy the soul.
So…what lies in the shadow of the statue? The response Richard gave Ilana was in Latin (“Ile qui nos omnes servabit”) and translates to, “He who will save us all”.
Last thought…I have already detailed my thoughts about which Egyptian goddess the statue represents (BLOG LINK). I personally now think that it is clearly Tawaret, but there still seems to be some debate amongst various LOST fans out there. I have no doubt that other Egyptian gods and goddesses may also be referenced in the show, but stand by the opinion that the statue is Tawaret.
As I mentioned, stay tuned for more blog posts regarding the finale. After all, the H-bomb detonation may have really changed everything we think we now know.