I’ve had an idea that has been kicking around my head for awhile about what Smokey (in any of his forms) may actually be. I’ve held off on posting this idea because until recently, I hadn’t seen anything in Lost that would suggest this idea. After the scene in ‘Dr. Linus’ where Smokey unlocks Ben’s shackles with the snap of the fingers and after Jacob’s description of the Island being like a cork in a bottle this idea may be relevant to Lost after all. Maybe Smokey is a Jinn (the Western term is Genie ).
I found an interesting article on www.touregypt.net called “God’s Other People, the Jinn” by Jimmy Dunn. The information that follows is taken from this article and I believe it fits with what we know about Smokey.
When you say the word ‘genie’ to most people they think of either the television show “I Dream of Jeannine” or the tale of “Alladin and the Magic Lamp.” The genies of these stories are based on the Jinn known throughout the Arabic world, including Egypt. According to the Quarantine the Jinn were made of fire by Allay but it is thought that the Jinn predate Adam. Once brought to Egypt, the belief in the Jinn took hold and the Egyptians even attributed the building of the pyramids and temples to the Jinn.
The belief in the Jinn in Egypt is relatively new compared to Egypt’s Pantheon of gods and came into Egypt after the Arabic invasion. The Jinn once covered the entire world but offended God because the Jinn caused much wickedness to spread upon the world so He sent the angels to cause the Jinn to flee the regions where they lived (perhaps this is how Smokey came to be on the Island). It was also thought that the Jinn protected the tombs of the dead and temples (remember Robert telling Rousseau that the Smoke Monster was a security system guarding the temple).
In “The Thousand and One Nights” the movement of Jinns are described as a whirlwind of sand and dust (think of the look of the picture that Locked drew and the general look of Smokey). Upon seeing a whirlwind some Egyptians utter, “Iron, thou unlucky”, because apparently jinn greatly dread iron (think of Smokey’s reaction to the ash).
There were several classes of Jinn. The Si’la were treacherous spirits that could assume many forms. The Ghul could also take many forms and haunted burial grounds. They were also thought to kill and devour humans that fell into their path. And finally there are the Efreets, the most powerful, evil, and malicious of the Jinn. The Efreets were the Jinn thought to reside in tombs and temples. Another type of Jinn was the Agathodaemon. Each city was thought to have one of these Jinn as a guardian of the city and usually took the form of a serpent.
Jimmy Dunno presents a very interesting article about the Jinn. I believe that the description of the Jinn that he provides parallels closely to what we know about Smokey, particularly after the most recent episodes. So now the question is will the Jinn escape from the bottle?