For other uses, see Jacob (disambiguation).

Jacob was the ageless protector of the Island for more than 2,000 years. He was born on the Island with his brother, the Man in Black, and lived there, eventually in the statue of Taweret, until his brother convinced Ben to kill him.

Jacob and his twin brother spent centuries debating the nature of humanity, all the while trying to find a loophole to kill each other. He repeatedly left to visit potential successors whom he drew to the Island. He also served as an unseen leader by proxy for a group of Island people. After his death, Jacob reappeared as a ghost in his youthful bodily form. He finally reappeared in his adult bodily form to his last surviving candidates to pass on the position of protector.

On the Island[]


6x15 BabyJacob

A woman holds the newly-born Jacob. ("Across the Sea")

Jacob was the fraternal twin of The Man in Black and the first-born of Claudia, who survived a shipwreck off the Island. His adoptive mother delivered the brothers and then killed Claudia.

Jacob and his brother led a carefree life on the island, roaming the beaches, hunting, and playing games. They eventually discovered other survivors of Claudia's wreck, and their mother warned against them, calling them evil.

6x15 JacobAndTheLight

Young Jacob and his brother are taken to the Light. ("Across the Sea")

She soon after revealed their alleged objective on the island and her own purpose there - the Heart of the Island, a light in a cave which she'd sworn to protect.

Claudia's ghost visited Jacob's brother and told him the truth about their birth. The news angered Jacob, and he attacked his brother. His brother joined the wreck's survivors, but Jacob stayed with his mother despite his pleas. He lived with her for the next thirty years, though he often met his brother to play their childhood games and talk. ("Across the Sea")

Feud with the Man in Black[]

6x15 OriginOfAdamAndEve

Jacob places his mother and his brother to rest ("Across the Sea")

His brother eventually revealed that he despised his people but worked with them, a "means to an end" he said, to harness the island's power and escape the island. When Jacob told his mother, she took him to the Heart, where she inducted him as protector of the island.

Jacob later discovered his mother murdered at his brother's hands. She'd mystically prevented either from killing the other, so he cast him into the Heart, a fate Mother had called worse than death. His brother now left his body behind and exited the cave as the smoke monster. Jacob laid his body and Mother's in their cave. ("Across the Sea")

6X09 JacobHandsWine

Jacob hands the Man in Black "something to pass the time". ("Ab Aeterno")

The Man in Black could still assume his human form, and they continued to meet. Though his brother had adopted their mother's view of humanity, Jacob did not and began drawing people to the Island to prove him wrong. By 1867, all of them had died. Richard, the last survivor of a ship he drew, tried to kill Jacob at the Man in Black's instruction. Jacob stopped him, talked to him about the Island, and hired him as an intermediary between himself and the people he brought to the Island. He then approached his brother about the attempt on his life and warned him that to escape the Island, he would have to kill not just Jacob, but his successors as well. ("Ab Aeterno")

Off the Island (1976–2007)[]

5x16 JacobGivingBlessing

Jacob congratulates Jin and Sun at their wedding. ("The Incident, Part 1")

Jacob began searching for these candidates, people who could replace him as protector of the island. He searched for people who were in some ways flawed like him, who "needed the island" as much as it needed them, and touched them at times when they felt vulnerable. In 1976, he visited a young James Ford at his parents' funeral, giving him a pen to finish his letter. Sometime in 1987, he visited an Iowa general store and offered to pay for the lunchbox that young Kate had tried to shoplift. He visited Jack at his hospital, freeing a candy bar from a vending machine for him. In 2000, he blessed Jin and Sun at their wedding and touched John Locke right after his accident. In 2005, he visited Sayid during Nadia's fatal accident. In 2007, he visited Hurley upon his release from prison, giving him an ankh in a guitar case containing the candidates' names. Jacob's lighthouse showed 360 candidates, suggesting that he had visited many others as well. ("What They Died For")  ("The Incident, Parts 1 & 2")  ("Lighthouse")

5x16 JacobVistsIlana

Jacob visits Ilana at a Russian hospital. ("The Incident, Part 1")

He didn't just visit candidates; In the early 1990s, he offered to save Dōgen's son, who was near death after a car accident, if Dōgen would come to the island and run the Temple. He later entrusted him with information about the candidates, which even Richard did not know. He became a surrogate father to Ilana, eventually visiting her after an accident and asking her to come and protect his candidates.

On the Island (2007)[]

5x16 HelloBrother

Jacob acknowledges his brother's finding of a loophole. ("The Incident, Part 2")

In 2007, after the crash of Ajira Airways Flight 316, the seemingly resurrected Locke revealed his plans to kill Jacob. The false Locke told Ben this task would not be easy, but after Jacob's death "things will change." With Richard's help, Locke and Ben entered the hidden chamber in the foot of the statue to find Jacob sitting in an old rocking chair. Jacob recognized Locke immediately as his supernatural brother, noting that this man had "found his loophole."

JACOB: Well, you found your loophole.
MAN IN BLACK/LOCKE: Indeed I did. And you have no idea what I've gone through to be here.

5x17 DyingInBen'sArms

Jacob dies in Ben's arms. ("The Incident, Part 2")

In a brief but tense conversation, Jacob told Ben that he had a choice before him: to follow through on "Locke's" instructions or to leave. An emotional Ben confronted Jacob - asking why he had been ignored by Jacob for so many years on the Island. "What about me?" Ben asks. Jacob gravely looked back at Ben, and said quietly: "What about you?" Ben's temper flared and he responded by stabbing Jacob brutally twice in the chest. According to Miles, up until the moment Ben had stabbed him, Jacob was hoping that he was "wrong" about Ben. ("Dr. Linus") Dropping to his knees and coughing up blood, Jacob warned his brother: "They're coming." His brother looked slightly alarmed, then kicked Jacob into the fire pit, which immediately set him completely ablaze. ("The Incident, Part 2") Only a few moments later, there appeared to be no trace of his body other than ashes. ("LA X, Part 1")


6x01 FromJacobToHurley

Jacob gives Hurley further instructions. ("LA X, Part 1")

An hour after his murder, Jacob appeared to Hurley in the jungle. Although Hurley recognized Jacob from their previous encounter off the Island, he was unaware of Jacob's identity. Jacob informed Hurley of his death, attributing it to an "old friend who had grown tired of my company." Seeing Sayid dying nearby, Jacob told Hurley, he must be taken to the Temple if he was to be saved. Jacob further noted, the survivors would be safe there. Although Hurley did not know where the Temple was, Jacob assured him that Jin did. He also told Hurley to mention the science expedition, which was Rousseau's group that had crashed on the island in 1988. He then reminded Hurley to bring the guitar case. Upon Jin's arrival, Hurley could no longer see Jacob. ("LA X, Part 1")

6x04 HelloCreepyBoy

The Man in Black first sees a mysterious blonde boy with bloody arms in the jungle. ("The Substitute")

Later, Hurley informed Dogen and Lennon of Jacob's death, who leaped into action and began fortifying and securing the Temple. Several Others were observed creating ash circles around the periphery, indicating knowledge of the Man in Black and understanding they were under threat. A signal flare was set off alerting the remaining Others at the statue of Taweret. ("LA X, Part 2")

Jacob, in the form of his younger self and with his arms and hands covered in blood, appeared before Richard and the Man in Black (in the form of Locke). Richard said he did not see the boy. Shortly afterward, the Man in Black, accompanied by Sawyer, encountered the boy again. Unlike Richard, Sawyer claimed to see the boy. The boy ran away from the two of them, and the Man in Black gave chase. He tripped, fell, and looked up at the boy, who said to him, "You know the rules. You can't kill him." The Man in Black became agitated, screaming "Don't tell me what I can't do!" Upon the Man in Black's return from his chasing of the boy, Sawyer asked him about the kid, to which he simply replied, "What kid?" ("The Substitute")


Jacob appears to Hurley at the Temple. ("Lighthouse")

Later, Ilana collected some of Jacob's ashes upon entering the statue. ("The Substitute")

On entering the pool room at the Temple, Hurley again encountered Jacob, who instructed him to take Jack to the lighthouse. Hurley did so, and in a mirror, they were both shocked when it showed Jack's home - implying that Jacob had been spying on him and most likely the other survivors. At the lighthouse, after Jack had destroyed the signal mirror, Jacob appeared a third time, informing Hurley he had wanted Jack brought here as there is something important on the Island that he had to do. Jacob also informed Hurley he had wanted the two of them removed from the Temple as something very bad was about to happen there. Hurley wanted to go back to warn the people at the Temple, but Jacob told him it was already too late. ("Lighthouse")

6x12 TheBoyReturns

The boy appears again when the Man in Black and Desmond are walking through the jungle. ("Everybody Loves Hugo")

After Ilana's death at the beach camp, Hurley searched through her belongings and found the pouch containing Jacob's ashes and took them into his possession. ("Everybody Loves Hugo")

Sometime later, Jacob as a boy, though with noticeably darker hair, was seen again by the Man in Black and Desmond. Desmond asked who the boy was, but the Man in Black, seemingly agitated, and this time walking away, told Desmond to ignore him. Desmond turned to look at the boy again, and the boy smiled. ("Everybody Loves Hugo")

He appeared as a boy once more to Hurley, demanding that Hurley give him the ashes. Hurley asked why and the boy replied, "because they're mine." Once Hurley took them out, he snatched them and ran. By the time Hurley caught up, Jacob appeared as an adult, next to a fire, which he had thrown his ashes in. Hurley gathered Jack, Kate and Sawyer and brought them to Jacob.

6x16 ExplainingWhatTheyDiedFor

Jacob explains what Jin, Sun and Sayid died for. ("What They Died For")

The four of them were able to see Jacob this time. He apologized to Kate, who blamed him choosing Candidates for the deaths of their friends on the submarine. Jacob told them that he made a mistake, which made the monster the way he is and explained the reason for the Candidates. Sawyer asked why he should have to suffer for Jacob's mistake when he was doing just fine until Jacob interfered with his life. Jacob pointed out that none of them had happy lives, they were all flawed, which is why he chose them, because they were all like him, alone looking for something that they couldn't find.

Jack understood that he wanted them to kill the monster. Hurley asked how he was going to choose which one of them was to succeed, but Jacob left them the choice. Jack offered to do it, so Jacob took him to a creek and told him the location of the Source, which Jack had to protect. He recited an incantation and got Jack to take a drink of water, which made Jack like him. ("What They Died For")

6x16 NowYou'reLikeMe

Jacob passes his responsibilities to Jack. ("What They Died For")

When Jack made Hurley the Island protector less than a day later, Hurley worried about people being unable to leave the Island - such as Desmond. Ben told him that was how Jacob ran things and suggested there may be a better way. This led Hurley to ask Ben for help as his second in command, to which Ben agreed. ("The End")

Considering the fire eventually did go out, it is unknown what happened to Jacob's soul after his talk with the candidates.


Jacob remained unseen until the end of season 5. The Others occasionally mentioned him, but kept his nature and motives secret.

When he was young (and before being ageless), Jacob followed his Mother's lead and accepted all her orders. He was jealous of his brother whom she preferred, yet proved to like him before (and even after) they became rivals. His high level of emotional attachment to his Mother led him to accidentally turn his twin into the smoke monster following her murder.

Years later, for unrevealed reasons, Jacob’s character changed drastically. He became cool-headed and self-confident. He apparently wants to show his nemesis that men are not as corrupt and bad as Mother said. With the exception of Richard when he met him, Jacob was polite and friendly to the few people he interacted with. He wasn’t emotional anymore, so it's impossible to tell whether he feels true empathy for them.

References to Jacob[]

Before his ultimate appearance, Jacob had a significant behind-the-scenes presence through much of the series, his existence being mentioned as early as "Two for the Road". Further references gave a portrait of Jacob as a leader that commands a great respect among the Others and who is both adored and feared, being described as "great", "brilliant" and "magnificent", as well as "powerful" and "unforgiving", by different people.

Jacob didn't appear to communicate directly with almost any member of the Others. Instead he provided instructions and lists for a few select individuals who then relay his commands to the rest. Richard Alpert implied that Jacob had some way of summoning these select individuals to him, yet insisted that Jacob never tells anyone what to do. Meetings with him were typically conducted alone and only at Jacob's request. With the exception of Alpert, not a single member of the Others knew Jacob's location on the Island, including ex-leaders Ben Linus and Charles Widmore, who only got to see Jacob years after losing their position among the Others. ("The Man Behind the Curtain")  ("Follow the Leader")  ("The Incident, Part 1") ("Everybody Loves Hugo")

Notable references[]


Jacob's name appears in the Room 23 video.

Jacob's cabin[]

Main article: Jacob's cabin
3x20 Jacob portrait

A figure seen in Jacob's cabin ("The Man Behind the Curtain")

In Season 3, Benjamin Linus took John Locke to see Jacob at a cabin deep in the jungle. Before arriving at the cabin, Locke discovers a ring of ash surrounding the perimeter. This ash appears identical to that used by the Others to protect the Temple from the Man in Black in Season 6. ("The Man Behind the Curtain")  ("LA X, Part 2")

On entering, Ben and Locke found the room initially appeared empty, but as Locke prepared to leave the Cabin, he heard a voice whisper, "Help me." Angry and believing Ben was deceiving him, Locke turned on his flashlight. Immediately the cabin began to shake, jars of liquid flew across the room and the lamp was knocked over and set aflame. Ben grabbed an apparently empty rocking chair, telling "Jacob" he had had his fun and needed to stop, before he was thrown against the wall by a mysterious force. In looking back across the room, Locke briefly observed a shadowy figure with shaggy hair and tattered clothing sitting in the chair. ("The Man Behind the Curtain") Ben later confessed that he had never seen Jacob in all his time as leader of the Others. He explained to Locke that he had been putting on an elaborate deception at the cabin but was just as surprised as Locke when the chaos erupted. ("The Incident, Part 1")

A figure appearing to be the deceased Christian Shephard has been observed on several occasions in Jacob's cabin. In "The Beginning of the End" Hurley witnessed Christian in the cabin, along with another unidentified individual. Later, upon returning to the cabin in "Cabin Fever", Locke encountered Christian, who told him his task was to move the Island. On this same occasion Christian claimed he could speak on Jacob's behalf. Moments later, Locke discovered Claire was also present, sitting in a dark corner and seeming unconcerned about Aaron's whereabouts.

In "The Incident, Part 1", Ilana also stated, "he" (presumably Jacob) has not lived in the cabin for a very long time. "Someone else has been using it." Later, in "The Last Recruit", the Man in Black told Jack, he had taken the form of Christian at least once before; this further implies, the Man of Black may have simply been pretending to speak for Jacob in order to manipulate Locke.

Jacob's touch[]


Jacob makes physical contact with a young Kate. ("The Incident, Part 1")

In "Dr. Linus", Richard states, if a person is touched by Jacob, it is considered a gift. In Richard's case, Jacob somehow bestowed upon him the ability to remain ageless and effectively immortal, and unable to die by his own hand. Richard tells Jack he could kill him, however. In "The Substitute" the Man in Black describes an ability of Jacob that can somehow change an individual's destiny or "push" them onto a specific path - in the case of the Candidates a path which brought them to the Island.

The only individuals that have been seen to have been touched by Jacob in the series are: The Man in Black, Kate, Sawyer, Locke, Jack, Sayid, Hurley, Richard, Ben and Sun & Jin, together.

  • Jacob was not observed to touch Ilana when they met at the hospital.
    • In the Lost: On Location special feature on the season 5 DVD, Carlton Cuse notes this fact, while Damon Lindelof questions whether Jacob touched everyone he met.
    • In the flashback presented in "Ab Aeterno", Ilana quickly goes from injured and heavily bandaged to apparently healed and sitting upright in bed, implying Jacob healed her between scenes.
      • It is unknown how much time has passed between these two scenes.

As seen in "Ab Aeterno", Jacob first engages in fisticuffs with Richard before he discusses giving him a gift. After Richard declares he wants to live forever Jacob reaches over and grasps Richard's shoulder. This indicates Jacob's touch bestows a gift only when it is his intent. Richard is also wrapped in a blanket over his clothes, which indicates Jacob's touch is not affected by layers of clothing.


Main article: Candidates
6x04-Jacob's WallShepherd

Some of the names on the cave wall ("The Substitute")

According to the Man in Black, Jacob spent many years selecting and reviewing "candidates" to replace him as guardian of the Island. In the episode "What They Died For" Jacob tells Sawyer that he chose all of them because they were all flawed and possesed traits like his. In "The Substitute," the Man in Black brought Sawyer to the cliffside cave and directed his attention to the surnames of many individuals scrawled across the walls and ceiling. Each surname had been assigned a unique number, and the majority of the surnames had been crossed out. The Man in Black identified these names as a list of Jacob's candidates, both former and remaining. Only six of the names were not crossed out: Ford, Shephard, Reyes, Jarrah, Kwon and Locke. Each of those six names corresponded with one of the numbers. The Man in Black crossed out Locke's name as he spoke to Sawyer ("The Substitute"), as Locke's death likely terminated his candidacy.

In the lighthouse, there is a list of surnames that is almost exactly the same as the list in the cave. The lighthouse list is written in a circle around a compass rose. Though the compass rose was not shown in its entirety, it is likely that a surname was assigned to each of the compass bearings, which would result in a list of 360 individuals overall. The majority of the surnames in the lighthouse were crossed out, just as they were in the cave. The names Ford, Shephard, Reyes, Jarrah, and Kwon were not crossed out in the lighthouse, as was the case in the cave. However, unlike in the cave, the name Austen was not crossed out, and Locke's name was not revealed. ("Lighthouse")

  • In "Dr. Linus," Ilana stated that there were only six candidates remaining.
  • In "The Candidate," Sawyer told Kate that he saw her surname on the cave wall, and that it was crossed out.



  • Jacob was the thirtieth character to ever have a flashback.
  • Jacob is unique in that his first centric episode was his first appearance and the episode in which he died.
  • In the Bible, Jacob is also known as Israel, which can be translated into "he who fights with God".
  • As of "Across the Sea", Jacob has the biggest number of centric episodes among supporting characters. Moreover, he has more episodes centered around him than 20 out of the 35 main characters.
    • Jacob has the highest ratio of appearances to centric episodes: with three of eleven.
  • Jacob is the only non-main character to have received multiple flashbacks.
  • Jacob's episode count is 11 (as of "What They Died For"), although he may also have had an appearance in "The Man Behind the Curtain" and "The Beginning of the End". A mysterious individual, whose identity is now in question, was observed in the latter two episodes. These mysterious appearances were not portrayed by Mark Pellegrino.
  • Jacob has appeared in every single flashback since he was first portrayed by Mark Pellegrino, except for the single flashback of Juliet's in "The Incident, Parts 1 & 2", although that entire episode is generally considered to be Jacob centric.
  • Ben claims in "The Man Behind the Curtain" that Jacob does not like technology, and Jacob has been seen to make use of only simple mechanical devices.
  • Jacob says the words "I'm sorry" to about half the characters he meets off-Island: Sawyer (in reference to his parents' deaths), Ilana (an apology for not arriving sooner), Sayid (introducing a request for help), and John (in sympathy). He does not say these words to Kate, Sun, Jin, Jack, or Hurley.
  • Out of the main characters, Jacob has been shown to have met Richard, Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Sun, Jin, Sayid, Hurley, Ilana, Ben, the Man in Black, and Locke.
  • In the ABC episode recap for "The Incident, Part 1", Jacob is referred to as the "Man in White". [1]
  • In ABC's official recaps he was referred to as "the spiritual guru of the Island" and "a spiritual presence that has been on the island for centuries".
  • The clip show "Lost: Final Chapter" referred to the Island as "His home" and as being "in his command". It further confirmed that the conflict between him the Man in Black had rules preventing them from "harming one another".
  • In an interview Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse gave to Entertainment Weekly's Jeff Jensen and Dan Snierson prior to the Season 5 finale, Lindelof noted that the episode would be very "touching", a reference to Jacob notably touching the Oceanic 815 survivors when he crosses paths with them.
  • In November 2009, executive producer Damon Lindelof stated that, regarding the scene in "Pilot, Part 2" where Locke explains to Walt the premise of backgammon using the concept of light and dark, he and fellow co-creator J.J. Abrams had planned for those two sides to eventually be personified by two individuals (in reference to Jacob and the Man in Black). [2]
  • The Man In Black referred to Jacob as "the Devil", interestingly, Mark Pellegrino (Jacob) currently plays the Devil in the show "Supernatural". One of the current storylines is about the protagonists trying to imprison the Devil again, using rings the Four Horsemen wear, one of which, War, is played by Titus Welliver (The Man In Black). In this show, the Devil is the god of all demon-kind, who's true forms are that of electromagnetic clouds of black smoke emanating light.
  • In the opening scene in which Jacob was spinning thread for his tapestry, it is briefly shown that he is wearing Nomadic brand sandals. ("The Incident, Part 1") [source needed]
  • Jacob is the second of only two characters to have a centric episode on his first appearance, the first being Jack in "Pilot, Part 1".
  • After Jacob's departure, Hurley kept the guitar case, and brought it with him on Ajira Flight 316. The guitar case also traveled with him to 1977. It contained Jacob's ankh, within which was hidden what Dogen implies is a list of the candidates. ("LA X, Part 2")
  • Jacob is a gifted polyglot. He is able to speak and understand Korean, English, Russian, Latin, and Japanese. He probably understands the Greek text and the Egyptian hieroglyphs written on his tapestry as well.
  • Jacob was born about two millenia ago, meaning he was alive at the same time as Jesus Christ. ("Across the Sea")
  • According to Zuleikha Robinson, Ilana was originally going to be Jacob's daughter. However, this was cut from the backstory of Jacob due to a lack of time. [3]
  • Jacob is one of 8 supporting characters to have their name appear in a soundtrack title.
  • Witnesses of death: The Man in Black, Benjamin Linus
  • Last words: "They're coming..."

Production notes[]

  • Jacob was confirmed to be "him" in the 3/20/07 Official Lost Podcast.
  • When Jacob finally was cast for "The Incident, Parts 1 & 2" the casting call described him as "Jason. Any ethnicity, late 30s-60s. Former soldier. A leader of men. Smart but more than that – he is wise. Strong and straightforward. The words he says are always listened to and they carry gravitas. Looking for someone very interesting and very special for this role..."[1]

Additional casting[]

See also[]