The Land of the Dead…

Alright, this is the first theory I’ve posted on here and I haven’t been scouring the theory boards since the 5th season ended, so I apologize if this has come up before and been debunked or anything. 

I’m sure everyone has noticed the Egyptian mythology tied in with the story (the statue, the hieroglyphs in the hatch, and in the place that Ben talks to Dead Alex and the smoke monster in season five, as well as the tapestry that Jacob was weaving).  I’ve noticed some people are theorizing that the original inhabitants of the island were ancient Egyptians that found out just how special the island was and used it to their advantage, etc.  I want to take this a step further and say that I think the island is actually the Egyptian land of the dead known as “Duat”. 

Duat in Egyptian mythology (and in layman’s terms) as I understand it was traditionally viewed as the underworld where the sun god Ra would travel from West to East every night and then rise in the East again at dawn.  It was in certain parts of this underworld that the god Anubis would weigh the dead’s hearts in a balance against a feather from the wing of the god of truth, Ma’at.  If the heart was heavier than the feather then there was a demi-god that would devour the heart and soul of the dead, sending them to oblivion.  But if their heart balanced the feather, the dead person was lead to Osiris, the king of the dead, who admitted the dead soul to his kingdom where it would exist in a beautiful land of plenty for all eternity.  To sum up a few other aspects of Duat, the dead would also have to go through trials and tests before they got to the scales and Anubis.  Duat was also the dwelling place of the evil serpent, Apep; who fought Ra just before every dawn in an effort to swallow the sun god and plunge the world into darkness.  Ra would fight and win with the help of the souls of heroes and other more minor gods including Tawaret and Horus.  Also, there was a very specific entrance and exit to the land of Duat that very few could get through. 

Now I’ll just list hints that perhaps this is what the writers are doing with the island:


1.      In season four, in one of the first episodes in which he appears, Dan seems fascinated with how the light falls and scatters on the island.

2.      Every main character is put through repeated tests and trails throughout the story.  

3.      An entry/exit point from the island is in Tunisia, which is directly west of Egypt, and could possibly have been believed that Ra went into the underworld there.

4.      “The Temple” that we have yet to see is supposedly a safe place that only pure people are able to go to, and where they can live. 

5.      Richard is ageless, and attributes this to Jacob.  Perhaps Jacob is Osiris and Richard is a lesser god like Anubis, or he is an Egyptian hero or pharaoh that made a deal with Osiris for eternal life as long as he helped Osiris.

6.      Osiris was killed by his brother Set who wanted his throne.  Perhaps MIB is Set.  Since the island travels in time, who’s to say when they were when fake Locke and Ben killed Jacob.  However, in the mythology, Osiris rose from the dead and still ruled the underworld even though he was technically dead (coincidentally very similar to the story of Jesus). 

7.      Smoke monster could be the devourer of souls, or Apep.

8.      Possibly Ra is reincarnated into a human body regularly, and the reincarnation is the person that is chosen to be the leader of the others, i.e. Widmore, Locke, maybe Walt in the future.  I think that the current troubles between Ben and Widmore come from the possibility that Ben was not the proper reincarnation of Ra, but took leadership anyway. 

9.      Another possibility is that Jacob is Ra, and MIB is Apep, seeking a way to kill Ra/Jacob.  In the mythology, on nights that Apep won the fight between himself and Ra, there would be an eclipse the next day, and Ra’s followers would have to cut him free from Apep’s body, thus the end of the eclipse. 

10.  The statue on the island it seems most people agree is a statue of Tawaret, the Egyptian goddess and protector of pregnancies.  But in the mythology, Tawaret is also one of the primary gods that help protect Ra in Duat, and she is heavily involved in the mythology of the land of the dead. 

11.  The whispers.  Usually as one of the characters hears the whispers, they see or hear from someone (or sometimes animals) that are dead or represent the dead. 

12.  Also, I have a feeling that Christian is more than just another dead person like Yemi or Ben’s mom.  I have a feeling that Christian may fill the space of one of the gods like Anubis, or Ma’at.  But I can’t right now think of any examples or reasons to back this up.


Now, I’m at work as I write this (it’s a slow day), and I left my notes that I had

written down about this theory at home, so I’m relatively certain I’ve forgotten a couple of points… also, I’m in the process of re-watching the whole series to date and I’m only halfway through the fourth season.  So maybe I’ll find more hints soon. 

            I’ll expand on this through comments, and I’ll probably post it on my blog eventually, once I finalize my theory. 

            Still, I’d appreciate any comments or input any of you have… Thanks.

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I'm a 22 year old that just graduated with a Bachelor's in English(Writing) with a minor in Religious Studies. I'm a huge fan of Lost, Flashforward, Battlestar Galactica, and a few other shows.

4 thoughts on “The Land of the Dead…

  1. Nice first theory and you put alot of thought into this. You may be interested in a post I did entitled “Nehebkau” and it has to do with the Smoke Monster and the way Egyptians viewed the soul. Just click on my screen name and you’ll get a list of the posts. It’s on e of the older ones.

    Although it appears that their is a heavy Egyptian influence, I feel that the Island is quite possibly the place that spawned the many myths found all around the world. I think you’re on the right track with some of your thoughts.

  2. It does appear that Egyptian mythology is yet another source that the writers of Lost have used in the show.
    I don’t believe it goes any further than that though.
    I don’t think any of the shows characters are going to actually be any characters of Egyptian mythology or actual Biblical characters, etc.

  3. thanks for the comments. i actually agree that it’s more likely that the island is the place that spawned the myths around the world, but this is a fun theory that i had in the back of my mind for a long time, so i just finally wrote it down.
    and, achalli, your theory on the smoke monster is interesting.
    thank you both for the nice welcome, and i look forward to posting some more theories and such.

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