Mother, the first known protector of the Island. ("Across the Sea")

A Protector guards the Heart of the Island to prevent outsiders from extinguishing or mishandling the Light. Only the Protector can find the Heart of the Island, but they also have other abilities, including agelessness, the ability to confer agelessness, and healing. The Protector also defines rules that others must follow.

Protectorship transfer ritual

6X09 Jacob bottle
Jacob, the second known protector. ("Ab Aeterno")

Incumbents induct successors through a specific ceremony. In all known cases, this involves three actions:

  • The incumbent gives the successor a liquid, which the successor drinks.
  • The incumbent touches the successor.
  • The incumbent acknowledges the transition with a phrase. Mother told Jacob, "Now we are the same." Jacob and Jack told their successors, "Now you're like me."
Jack passes protection of the Island to Hurley.. ("The End")

Details vary, as Mother gave Jacob wine from a glass bottle poured into a silver cup, Jacob gave Jack water taken from a river in a silver cup similar to the one Mother used for Jacob, and Jack gave Hurley water from the stream leading to the Source in an Oceanic Airlines water bottle. Both Mother and Jacob uttered an incantation over the liquid before giving it to their successors, but Jack did not. It is unknown which of these actions are simply symbolic, and which actually transfer the protectorship. ("Across the Sea")  ("What They Died For")  ("The End")


Picture Name Started protectorship Ended protectorship Manner of death
Mother Ancient times Ancient times ("Across the Sea") Stabbed and killed by the Man in Black
Jacob Ancient times ("Across the Sea") Late 2007 ("The Incident, Parts 1 & 2") Stabbed and killed by Ben
Jack Late 2007 ("What They Died For") Late 2007 ("The End") Died one day into his job, after the Man in Black stabbed him and he visited the Heart of the Island.
Hurley Late 2007 ("The End") Unknown, possibly Incumbent Unknown

Advisor to the Protector

Picture Name Assisted Started assistance Ended assistance Reason for stopping assistance
Richard Jacob 1867 ("Ab Aeterno") 2007 ("The Incident, Parts 1 & 2")  ("LA X, Parts 1 & 2") Jacob was stabbed and killed by Ben
Ben Hurley 2007 ("The End") Unknown, possibly Incumbent Unknown


  • It appears that only one person may be the Protector at any given time, as Mother stated that her successor would have to be either Jacob or his brother.
  • Three years after becoming protector, Hurley recruited Walt for a "job" on the Island. ("The New Man in Charge")
  • All three of the deceased Protectors' deaths involved being stabbed.
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