John Locke was never the leader they thought he was

John Locke has been built up as this super christ like figure, who was supposed to become the leader of the others (until MIB found his ‘loophole’) but some things just don’t add up. These are things i just pieced together, and i’d never really clicked with me until now.

A few of Lockes pivotal leadership moments, and tests he had to go through to prove his worth have actually proved the opposite, these are a few that come to mind, theres probably more that i’m forgetting, please refresh my memory.

One ‘test’ Locke had to pass to prove his potential to take the role as leader of the others was to kill his father who was brought to the island, as we all know, Sawyer was the one who killed him.

As Locke lay in a mass grave about to shoot his brains out, ‘ghost Walt’ told him he had work to do. He needed to stop his fellow 815ers from making contact with the freighter, as we remember he failed, and then wondered off into the jungle with his tail between his legs.

So, Locke was told he had to move the island, but he didn’t (not the first time anyway) Ben did.

Now Locke is told he has to move the island and get the Oceanic 6 to return, and to do so he has to die. We saw Locke visit everyone off island, as he tried to convince them to come back, yet again he failed to gain any following, and just as hes about to hang himself hes interrupted by who else but sneaky old Ben. It was Ben who killed Locke and managed to get everyone to come back.

We even saw Richard visit five year old Locke as a child in 1956, posing as a recruiter for a special school. Alpert tests John, he then leaves in a huff, and says Locke was not ready for his school. Once again, locke had failed another one of his trials. Note there as drawing by John of smokie.

Locke failed every test he’d gone through, but was somehow still seen by Richard and the Richardites as the chosen one.
So now it would seem the John Locke we know is dead. Could it be possible that John was never the right person for the job, whatever that may be? Could it be possible that one of the other people who arrived on Oceanic flight 815, is actually the ‘great one’ the others have been seeking? Or maybe everything the others stand for and believe in is a load of nonsense? Apart from Locke being able to walk again after the crash (which granted is amazing), what else made him so special? his connection with the island.

But his connection with the island really came to fruition when he first met ‘the monster’. Knowing what we now know about the monsters ‘character’, Could it be that ever since that moment, MIB knew Lockes miraculous healing would interest the others, so he inspired John to believe he was there for a reason, and guided John to appear to be the saviour the others had been looking for for a long time, to build him up until he gets the position, then have him die and assume his form. MIB knew he could use Locke to his advantage and did.

Okay so the stuff i’ve written about Smokies involvement i don’t necessarily believe, i’m just brainstorming. I found it interesting that when Locke was tested for this oh so great position, he fell at every hurdle, yet he still got the job. This leads me to believe the others have been fooled.

Share with fellow Losties

Written by


I'm a hiphop producer from London, and obviously a huge fan of Lost. Its a bit of a love/hate thing as its made me cynical of all other TV shows (Heroes being one of the most overrated poorly written shows i've seen). Never been into much big american TV drama or Sci-fi, more into british comedy, but Lost has been amazing, and i really hope it continues that awesomeness in its final season. I'm usually pretty good at predicting the end of a story which can annoy people around me, but this show is so intricately constructed, even in its 2nd to last season, i still don't have a clue. I'm trying my best though.

70 thoughts on “John Locke was never the leader they thought he was

  1. The Locke we have seen through seasons 1-5 was a bit of a failed leader and I agree – was he really the man for the job? BUT the new Locke that we are seeing may be different enough in the ways it counts to stand up and be the leader. So many people are counting Locke down and out, the one from the original timeline is- but they introduced a new timeline and new lives for the losties, how they are going to bring these timeline together remains to be seen. Could all of these events, time travel and timeline splinters have been necessary to bring a better Locke to the island to save them all? The first Locke was well intentioned but couldn’t quite follow through, maybe the new Locke has both characteristics?

  2. I think Sawyer may actually be the chosen one. I’ve thought it since last week’s episode, but just haven’t had a chance 2 write a theory up… :0)

    I totally agree about Locke, I believe something was off w/ him from the beginning.

  3. One thing to keep in mind is the people that asked him to do each thing and what they’re intentions were. Christian told him to move the island and Flocke is the one who told richard to tell john he was going to have to die, which christian rightly agreed with. If you think that christian is actually MIB then that would say one thing. Myself, i think christian and walt and those types of ‘people’ are the island itself making what needs to happen, happen.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that ben possibly asked these things of locke because it was what HE had to go through.
    And also that it is entirely likely that he killed locke because it was what he knew he was ‘supposed to do’ once hawking came into the picture.

  4. Yes, I had thought of that too: I once thought that since Jacob and MIB arew in some sort of war/struggle/game or whatever (but I mostly think it’s a game), that maybe Ben killed Locke cuz Jacob told him to do so when Hawking came into the picture (as you said). But one may think that this is all MIB plan, cuz why would Jacob want the supposed leader (Locke) to die? Because then MIB would find his loophole and kill him. But then why would he want to die? Maybe he figured it out (MIB plan to kill him, the loophole I mean), and started to plan WHAT TO DO AFTER HE WOULD DIE. So I bealieve it was then when he aproached Illiana for that favor. The rest is history in process…
    I ultimately think that Jacob is smarter than MIB, and that he tolod Ben to kill Locke, cuz that is the only way to prevent MIB to win the chess game. Sometimes in chess you have to lose the queen to win the game; maybe Jacob had to die in order to stop MIB…and Ben was supposed to do many things in his life that afterwards he would not understand, and also regret.

  5. You have to rememeber a few things.

    There was a bit of a loop because of the time traveling. Locke being in 1954 and telling Richard that he was their leader and then suggesting that Richard visit him after he is born is the reason that Alpert goes and visits him as a kid. Its also why he gets excited when he see the picture of the smoke monster on the wall, and then so disappointed when he doesnt pass his test.

    Everyone always points to the “test” of John having to kill his father. That was just something Ben did to John cause he knew he wouldnt be able to do it, and he wanted to discredit Locke and make him look weak.

    Locke only thought he had to die because Alpert told him that, and then we found out he told him that because Flocke put those words in his mouth. He knew that he needed Locke’s dead body to be able to take his place.

    When you combine Alpert being told Locke was going to be their leader, then Richard asking Jack about Locke in 1977 and he telling him not to give up on him, and then the fact that he was healed from paralysis (which Alpert says could only happen to someone very special) are the reason why the Others though Locke would be there new leader. Two of those things were happenstance, and then what if Smokey actually healed Locke? I know for a fact that he manipulated almost 100% of the things that we see Locke go thru during this story. And I think the healing of him might be one of those things.

    So all in all I DO agree that Locke was never the leader that the Others thought he would be, but NOT because he failed any tests, but because he was never meant to be their leader in the first place.

  6. Tas,

    I agree with you that maybe the Locke in the new timeline is going to be the Locke that will save them all.

    After last weeks episode, where we saw Lockes various interactions with alot of the losties off island, i began to think that maybe the main point of this next timeline, is all about Locke.

    We have Locke alive again in another timeline, and its all about getting him back to the island somehow. There is still three years of story to fill in before this timeline gets to the point our original one is at, so alot cold happen in the next few episodes.

    There was talk of Lockes dead body coming alive somehow after some clever hints were mentioned by some people, i was fully on board with it, then we saw Locke get buried last week which is a shame.

  7. i always feel compelled to defend locke, i don’t know why since you may be right, but here it goes.

    His test as a child: we don’t really know if he “failed”. he at least got two out of three items right, and richard said he wasn’t ready “yet”.

    we don’t know how widmore or hawking became leader, but it would seem that ben conned and manipulated his way to the leadership role (referencing his convo with widmore when he is being exiled)

    not killing his father isn’t a big deal. if it was then why would richard help him out and let him get sawyer to do it? richard even told him: don’t worry about it, ben is just threatened by you (or something to that effect). richard also told locke how special he was since he was no longer paralyzed and even ben noted he started feeling better when locke was around.

    also, it seems on the crash-timeline that whatever happened, happened. he was always the leader. one can chicken and egg-argue whether he told richard he was the leader because he was, or if he became the leader because he told richard that in the past. it doesn’t matter.

  8. I’ve held the belief throughout the series that John Locke was the savior/key in the whole thing. Even when I saw him in the coffin, I believed. Even as it came to be known about Nemesis’ loophole and so on, somehow I still believe that John Locke was not simply a patsy in all of this.

    He was manipulated, but then again, everyone on the island has been manipulated somehow at some time by someone else.

    I feel like Jack.. I’m a man of science and reason, but somewhere inside of me, I still believe in John Locke.

  9. @greatforsaken

    I just read some of things you wrote you remembered about Locke, and it caused me to ask myself a question…

    I have always thought John Locke has displayed odd behavior the ‘entire’ time he was on the island. What if Locke was ‘infected’ when he was healed of his paralysis??

  10. I think him being infected makes sense in some way, when you think that Sayid’s wound was damn near healed shortly after they thought he was dead. Would also explain why he was willing to kill so easily when before in his life, he wasnt. Does sound like there was a darkness in his heart, but wouldnt it have spread?

  11. Sinster,

    What if Locke has been ‘infected’ ever since his first encounter with the smoke monster and he saw a ‘beautiful bright light’ just like Danielles crew were? These crew members when ‘infected’ seem to have been given knowledge of the purpose of the monster and the island through unknown means, sounds VERY similar to Lockes behaviour through the whole show.


    You make some great points, which i also agree with the more i think about this.
    It would seem that Locke was appointed leader through time travelling manipulation by Locke himself, the first time Richard learns about Jacob appointing John as the new leader, is from John, which set the ball in motion.
    I just thought, what if Jacob has never said anything about John being given this position!! Whatever was in that cabin was not Jacob, and i’m now thinking Christian wasn’t speaking on the behalf of Jacob as he said he was.

    When you combine what you’ve said with the thought that Locke has had some link with smokie and Smokies purpose since their first encounter, it would seem to me that MIB has been playing Locke and the others since the beginning.

    Maybe when Flocke tells the others ‘i’m very disappointed in all of you’, its because hes bamboozled them so easily and used everything they believed in against them to get the position he has now. The others are a bunch of sheep who follow the supposed word of Jacob, even if those words have actually come from someone else.

    This is all starting to add up.

  12. Ekolocation

    I’m now thinking, the whole point of that scene in 1954 where Locke tells Richard that hes going to be leader, was to show that this is why he was appointed leader.
    I think that scene was quite important.

  13. Just to add, i think what sparks Richards interest in that scene is that Locke mentions Jacob, but i’m firmly in the belief that Locke had never been in contact with Jacob, and more likely MIB or something else.

    This has got me thinking…

  14. people constantly use jacobs name without being in contact with him. but what im saying, is that locke never would have gone back and told richard he was the leader, if he wasn’t. richard told him he was the leader right before the time travel. you can say that he became leader because he told richard he was the leader. i can say he told richard he was the leader because he became the leader. they cause each other, and neither is the “real” original cause. they are both causes and effects of eachother.

    time travel does that.

  15. You could be right with the chicken and egg deal, and they are both causes and effects of eachother, but whether he became the leader because he told Richard he was, or he was the leader because he became the leader, Jacob doesn’t come into that equation anywhere, only Locke.

    The main reason Locke was given this position, was because like most of the things the others do, Jacob said so.

    Locke has been acting on what he thought were the instructions of Jacob (which in turn so has Richard), which i believe were not. So, who appointed Locke leader? It sure wasn’t Jacob.

  16. and you say ‘locke never would have gone back and told richard he was the leader, if he wasn’t’,
    i say Locke never would have gone back and told Richard he was the leader if he wasn’t told he was.

  17. Ekolocation,

    thats exactly what i’m thinking.

    I think the others have been unknowigly following the words of someone under the guise of Jacob for a long time.

    Tell them anything and say ‘Jacob told me’, and it becomes gospel

  18. well not exactly. saying jacob’s name gets you an audience, but thats it. locke mentions jacobs name but doesnt get the “priviledged info” from richard to get off the island.

    the losties mention jacob at the temple, but they were still going to be shot without proof.

    about your #19 comment- yes.ive stated both before. it doesn’t matter. neither happens first. to richard- locke telling him hes the leader happens first. but to locke-him becoming the leader happens first. it always happened this way. in this time travel, you can’t change the past. if you are in the past, you always were. thats how it happens.

    (but apparently you can create an alt time line…)

  19. i agree with you about the whole time frame, and that it always happened that way, i never said anything about changing the past. But you say ‘to Locke-him becoming leader happens first’ but he was appointed leader by Richard who believed it was Jacobs wishes.

    Now if the others knew it wasn’t the word of Jacob, he wouldn’t have got that status. I wrote a theory before about MIB being ‘the man behind the curtain the whole time’ and it seems to ring true.

    Think about it, how did Richard know Locke was to be the leader? I don’t think Richard speaks to or sees Jacob, only the current leader does. At one point it was Ben who introduced John to Jacob in a cabin. I’m 100% sure that wasn’t Jacob in there.

  20. well richard knows where jacob is, and has talked to him. he told flocke to “say hello for me”. jacob also seems to be given instructions on lists, probably often through the ankh like hurley had. i think MIB was more of a behind the scenes guy, working with individuals instead of impersonating jacob. but that is just my opinion.

    it is definitely possible that mib was tricking people. but i doubt it was richard being tricked.

    i agree it probably wasnt jacob in the cabin, but thats just because ben didn’t know squat.

  21. I’m sorry to interrupt here ekolocation and shephards_flocke, but it seems that not anyone of you seems to remember that it was Ben who appointed Locke as the leader of the Others. It was on season 4 that he told Locke that he would have to asume power and replace him, just after Cristian told Locke to move the island, and since Ben carried the task himself, he told John that he would never be able to come back (Ben), thus the new leader wqould be Locke afterwards.
    To me it is THIS that makes Locke aware of his future Leadership, not the Richard/Jacob thing you are talking about.

  22. out of interest, what do you make of Christian? Do you think he was speaking on behalf of Jacob as all of Lockes instructions and communication with Jacob came through him?

    and on Richard, i get the feeling that he hadn’t seen or spoken directly to Jacob for a very long time.

  23. Also, for those who think that when Ben told Locke that once one moves the island, he can never come back (and we later come to know that he was lying), it was a lie, but he did meant that he would never be able to come back, not by normal means anyways (since he needed Hawkings to return, and a window of opportunity to enter the magnetic bubble of the island, which is VERY DIFFICULT TO FIND). The thing was thatit was not a rule that you could not return to the islands once you moved it, it was that once one goes off island in the CONDITIONS THE ISLAND WAS, which are that it moves in time and space, but the beaccon on the station Throught the looking glass does not work anymore thanx to the Implosion in the Hatch since season 2, therefore the island is INVISIBLE to the outside world since season 2. That is why Ben told Locke that he would never be able to come back anymore, cuz the island is moving in time/space and is invisible or not detectable.
    He told the truth partially correct.

  24. Mamey,
    I might be wrong, but wasn’t Locke already in the frame to be the next leader before Ben did this?
    And Ben was already aware that Locke would be taking his position.

  25. Yes, I have thought of that too before saying what I said, but if we are to asume what you say to be true (which coudl be wrong as you say), then WHO TOLD BEN THAT LOCKE WOULD BECOME THE LEADER?

  26. About Critian, I think it is MIB impersonating another dead body, just like Locke now (the body could be somewhere else on the island).
    Richard could have and could have not spoken to Jacob, we can’t know for sure, but yes, it could be that he hasn’t talked to him in a very long time…

  27. Ekolocation,

    I think Richard was tricked, but indirectly.

    When Locke and Ben visit Jacob to kill him, Jacob seems content in a way that lead me to believe he had some knowledge that this would happen. He didn’t seem suprised to see MIB in the form of Locke, and again seemed to be aware of it already.

    If Richard spoke to Jacob, why wouldn’t he mention any of this to Richard?

  28. And personally, I bealive that Locke was not in the frame to be the next leader before Ben told him that. Unless you bring the whole time travel stuff in which one could argue that it was Richard that told Ben, which told Locke that he would become leader (and the reason of Richard knowing is cuz Locke time traveled to thew past WITH THE KNOWLEDGE of him becoming in the future the leader).

  29. Mamey,

    what you just said is what i think happened.

    I think whatever happened, happened.
    it started with Locke (who said Jacob had told him) telling Richard in 1954, then Richard telling Ben, and Richard/Ben telling Locke.

  30. Yes, it could be, let me doulbe check with a transcript…this is form season 5, last episode:

    LOCKE: All right, Ben, let’s go.

    RICHARD: W–what are you doing?

    BEN: John wants me to join him.

    RICHARD: You can’t bring him in.

    LOCKE: Why not?

    RICHARD: Because only our leader can request an audience with Jacob, and there can only be one leader on the Island at a time, John.


    So, it seems to me that Richard it telling Locke and Ben that they are both leaders on the present day…thefore they cannot go in together. Richard is an advisor, not a leader, I do not think that he hasn’t spoken to Jacob, and if he hasn’t heard of every detail of Jacbo’s deeds and predictiong of future events, it is Jacob’s problem if he choses no to share them with the advisor.

  31. Are you agreeing or disagreeing with me about Richard?
    I do think that Richard has spoken to Jacob in the past, maybe when he was possibly a leader to the others.

    Like he says “Because only our leader can request an audience with Jacob, and there can only be one leader on the Island at a time, John”
    Richard isn’t a leader, hence he doesn’t speak to Jacob directly, note he also says ‘our leader’ which would indicate that the leader status is above himself.

  32. Sorry, yes, I do agree with you on the Speaking with Jacob issue.

    I always had seen Richard as a advisor, not a leader. As you say, he could have been the leader in the past, and now he is not, totally agree with that. But I have to say that in that rquest of audience, I bealive that the leader can bring the advisor with him…the problem there was that Ben and Locke were going inside to talk with Jacob TOGETHER…Richard was not included there…that is another issue…

  33. only a reader can “request” and audience with jacob. jacob can summon richard, and probably has. they have definitely spoken before, there are multiple references. (richard says: say hello to jacob for me as if they are old friends, MIB being surprised that Jacob didn’t tell him EVERYTHING. MIB knowd jacob and richard have spoken. etc. etc.)

    Ben doesn’t cause locke to be leader. richard says there is a LONG process (starting at a young age with the test) in which they select the leader. ben knew before the donkey wheel that locke was the next leader, thats why he tried to off him.

    use evidence, not just speculation.

  34. ekolocation:

    It is not speculation, just theorizing (just as you). If you say that I should use evidence, then what is your evidence that supports youre idea that Ben knew before the FDW? You missed to say your evidene too…

  35. was the comment about Ben causing Locke to become leader for me because i didn’t say that.

    If you look at the timeline from the start to where we are now, the first mention of Locke being appointed leader was when John told Richard in 1954.

  36. What do you mean that you 2 have written I would undertand better the time travel argument? There is no begining, it is the clasic Egg/Chicken theory in time travel…

  37. Ekolocation,

    the realtime timeframe is still important even if time travel is involved, otherwise it wouldn’t make sense. It may not be the first event that we see storywise, or the first event to the time traveller, but it is the first event in realtime.

  38. We can, because Richard had no knowledge of Locke being the next leader until Locke and Richard first met in 1954, setting the ball in motion. Thats my proof.

    I agree the chicken/egg scenario is applicable to something like the compass, because its difficult to discern where it came from. But in this case, i think the whole chain of events started when the others first experienced the losties in 1954.

  39. I’m actually not a Destiny kind of guy, but then what else would you call it?
    Picture this example:

    Imagine in real life there is time travel. Now imagine that one has lived a life were you won the lottery at some point, let’s say september 22nd 2004. A fiend of yours have you the lucky numbers (somehow), and you won. It ALWAYS HAPPENED THAT WAY.

    Now, imagine that a friend of yours time travels back in time before september 22, brings the lucky numbers to you (gives them to the other riend who actually gave them to you), adn you win the lottery!

    It is the same thing here. Which comes first? Is it that the first time around you won the lottery without cheating (you did not get the lucky numbers from that friend of yours, it was luck 100%), or is it that it always happened that way? (that your 2 fiends plotted against the lottery in order to make you win, they cheated and you won always).

    I believe that Destiny is the answer, it was meant to be. I personally do not bealive in destiny, but what else would you call this?

  40. Ok, i’m getting out of this arguement, we gotta agree to disagree, BUT i still think Locke being in the high position hes in now is partly down to MIBs sneaky handywork, and possibly had nothing to do with Jacob at all.

    I think Locke has had some link with smokie way before he died and got replaced, and it probably happened the first time he encountered the monster, just like what happened to Danielles crew.

    Most of John instructions came through Christian, who i believe was not speaking on behalf of Jacob.

  41. Man, i gotta write this all up in a new theory because i think i’ve got something here anyway and this has turned into a discussion about time travel which i never intended.

    s’all good though.

  42. in your lottery discussion, you always won the lottery by getting the numbers from the future. there is not “first time” without time travel. it always occurred the same way.

  43. and in my example, you cannot know if the lucky numbers were given by someone from the future, or if they were just numbers that your friend came up with…that is why I stated that a friend from the future comes to the past and gives the lucky numbers to your other friend, whom gives them to you. It is not the time traveler that gives you the lucky numbers and tells you to play them cuz they are lucky numbers from the future.
    We should continue this discussion on another theory.

  44. Just wanted to post here, last night episodes was further proof of my theory.

    We got a confirmation that Christian, the man who gave Locke instructions on behalf of Jacob, was infact on the side of MIB as i thought.

  45. Okay we got ABSOLUTELY NO confirmation of Christian getting directions from MIB. What are you talking about?

    Claire said she’s not alone has 2 people her dad, and her friend. She said her dad told her they took Aaron, he could have been referring to the losties. We were then showed Christians coffin a second time 2 remind us that is was empty. The producers have said Christian is NOT an apparition of the Smoke Monster. So please explain what your talking about?

  46. I don’t think Christian is an apparition of the smoke monster, i think he is something else, but i think along with many other ‘apparitions’ has something to do with MIB.
    When Jin asks her ‘have you been out here alone’ she mentions shes been there with her dad and a friend, Flocke, this to me seemed to me the writers hinting that Christian is on the same side as MIB. If he wasn’t, why would he be letting her hang out with the big evil guy, and not warn her.

    And if he was really working for Jacob, why would he mislead Claire to believe the other have Aaron, causing her to kill many of them.
    My question to you is do you think Christian was really speaking on behalf of Jacob in that cabin?

  47. christian is surpisingly the one person we havent seen or talked to at all. its weird. its probably more likely that he is in league with flocke, and it perhaps infected (i think infected is different than being inhabited by the monster).

    however since we haven’t even seen him, he seems like a big deal. so perhaps he was never dead, and thats why he left his coffin. he might be in league with MIB, or he could be one of jacob’s undercover agents whom he left a mission for before coming to the island.

    i guess its hard taking things for granted in lost, but we will see.

  48. Ekolocation,

    I like that idea actually, i’ve never bought into the idea that Christian is Smokie, and he seemed to be important before even coming to the island. He also interacted with a lot of the losties before the flight much like Jacob did. And theres definitely something odd going on in the alt with Christians body.
    But i still think its wierd that he would take Claire away from Aaron, and then tell her the others have him, turning her against them.

  49. Hi-
    I agree w/ you ShepardsFlocke… I think Christian is a different then both MIB, and Jacob. I think he may be aligned w/ MIB, but I’m not 100% w/ that. Christian may have told his daughter that they took Aaron referring to the losties, but she is obviously nuts so… who knows..

Leave a Reply