What does it mean to be “special”?

From the very first season we are introduced to “special” people. The other’s kidnap Walt because they believe that he is special. John Locke believes that he himself is special. Jacob’s “mother” tells him that he is special. So what exactly does it mean to be “special”.

I believe that being “special” means that you are a likely candidate to be Jacob’s successor. People that are on Jacob’s list are considered special for this reason. Perhaps, special people also have some sort of supernatural powers. We are told (in S2 or 3) that “Jack wasn’t even on Jacob’s list”. I believe that Jacob never wanted Jack to be his successor. He just wanted Jack to believe that he was special so that he would replace the cork in the Source (therefore saving the world) and then pass on protectorship to Hurley (who truly is special).

But I would love to hear your ideas!… What exactly made Walt so “special”? Was Locke actually special, or was he just conned into thinking he was special by the Man in Black? Who else was special? Were all the candidate’s special?

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6 thoughts on “What does it mean to be “special”?

  1. Walt had an entire episode in season 1 giving examples why he’s special. It was called ‘Special’. The bird deaths are examples, and leads many to believe he had the ability to influence magnetic fields (which pigeons and some other birds use for navigation). *I* believe he was going to fill the part Desmond did once Walt got too tall. Regardless, Ben gave him back cuz with him the Others got more than they could handle.

    John. Maybe he ‘always’ thought he was special because some guy that never ages kept coming by and staring at him or telling him he heard he was special and later was so special he could go to that cool science place in Portland. John was very smart, so he actually was special.

    Jacob. I think he was *special* in opposite way John was. The guy was dim and dead behind the eyes.

  2. i also believe walt to be in the desmond role, but i dont understand why they didnt use him that way. yes he grew taller off island but they had a 3 year off island part for all the characters, and the growth spurt is easily attributed to puberty. and in all tv shows and movies teenagers are played by slightly older actors. oh well.

  3. @waycurious,
    it is a confusing term I agree..
    I think being “special” the majority of time meant seeing or performing things supernaturally, such as Walt, Hurley, and Miles.. MIB was special, according to his mother, because of his ability to lie..but also when MIB was explaining to her that he knows how to “channel” the water and the light, he told her he knows it will work because he’s special; so I’m thinking the lying and understanding physics were just linked to his overall intelligence.. Then Ben told Locke he was special, but that he was never special, and that’s why he was jealous of him..So it is a vague term, and it probably has more to do with the person identifying somebody else as special..

    But I think you are confusing two terms; being “special” and being a “candidate”. To be a candidate, it is not necessary to be special, or to have other people think you are special. You have to be chosen. That’s it. And for Jacob, it really had more to do with being “flawed” then “special”.

    So I disagree with you saying that Jacob never wanted Jack to take his place. Actually, he would have been pleased with any of the candidates taking his place, that’s why they were his candidates. But Jack fit the perfect role of stepping in to take on an adversary and dying for a cause. Jack was always about sacrificing for others..matter of fact, I think if he would have defeated MIB and surived, he would have been looking for some other Island to “fix”! So in my view, Jack was the perfect ruler in “war” time, and now Hurley is the perfect king in “peace” time…

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