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On the Black Rock
Considering that the Black Rock may have been a British prison ship en route to Australia, and the dynamite it found in it was patented in 1867 Sweden, Magnus may have been on the Black Rock. However, as the last convict ship destined for Australia left Britain in 1867, arriving in 1868, this only allows a small and unlikely window of time for the dynamite to travel from Sweden to England and then aboard a convict ship.
Role in the discovery of the Island
Alvar may have stumbled on the island while searching for his grandfather's remains, and found that its seclusion and resources made it the perfect base for DHARMA research.
The name Magnus may be a deliberate play on the word magnet, given the island's apparent electromagnetic properties.
Relation to John Locke
- Locke is the reincarnation of Magnus Hanso. In the episode Cabin Fever, Richard Alpert asks John to identify items that already belong to him. This is similar to a process that is used to determine who has been reincarnated as the new Dalai Lama. He chose a compass and a vial of sand. He recognized the Book of Laws, but took the knife because that is what he wanted. This disappointed Alpert who knew that he was lying.
- This process was more likely to test Locke's apparent time travel from Richard's perspective. The items that Locke "already owns" refer to his future self.
- If Magnus Hanso were from Denmark, why did he control a British ship? Maybe one of his "friends" was a Widmore?
- He could have merely been born or raised in Denmark, but then spent considerable amounts of time in Britain. Perhaps it was required by his job as a slave trader.