I think one more rule is why Michael could not kill himself and even when kimy tried to shoot him when on the freighter. The Tom Friendly told michael "the island won't let you". Should we mention this another rule??Paris171 00:10, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

I believe Linus and Widmore are engaged in a "lifelong game" for control of the island's powers. Rule #1. They cannot kill anyone themselves but must use others to do the dirty work. This is why Ben smiles when he succeeds in getting other people to do what he wants. --Habutom 03:42, 30 April 2008 (PDT)

I think these rules extend somehow to the Others (not necessarily DHARMA). So I think the first rule would be something more like:

  • They can't kill innocent ("good") people.

There may be something about directly interacting with the Lostees (explaining why Bea told Michael that the Others couldn't rescue Ben), and not allowing "Bad People" into the DHARMA compound (explaining why Bea told Mikhail to shoot her). --Doc 11:07, 26 June 2008 (PDT)

References to "The Rules"

I did a cursory search of the Wiki for any more references to "the rules". Anyone know a good way to parse all the transcripts for this phrase? I'm betting there's got to be more instances of people using that phrase. Dharmacakra Kevrock   talk  contribs   14:33, 8 September 2008 (PDT)

  • So I've found up-to a dozen references so far, but I'm sure there's more out there I've missed. Feel free to add any other references as they are found. Please stick to the current definitive/possible/coincidental organization. Thanks. Dharmacakra Kevrock   talk  contribs   11:46, 9 September 2008 (PDT)

Season 5 update

Most definitely these are the Rules about being not possible to change the future/past/whatever happened, as refered to by both Chang and Faraday. Can comebody make an update? Mauser 14:02, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

Also,Some Like it Hoth makes clear that baby Miles and time traveling Miles can at least look at each other, which blows my theory. I thought it was no coincidence that Charlotte disappeared before we see the young Charlotte in the DI. We don't know yet in how close of proximity they can come. Chang said not to bring the rabbits close together in the Orchid video. If Miles holds baby Miles, I'll be beside myself (pun intended). Annarboral 05:30, 16 April 2009 (UTC)


I propose a split to two different pages, as this article's content is about two clearly different sets of rules under a specific-sounding title. I tentatively suggested Ben and Widmore's rules and Time travel rules as possible names. There is no reason to assume the rules referenced by Ben and Widmore in several episodes are the same as the rules referenced by Daniel and Pierre. Ben and Widmore's rules are more unclear in their content and seem to be general rules for behavior on the island, while the rules referenced by Daniel and Pierre are literal scientific rules regarding time travel. ShadowUltra 04:13, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

I disagree, because we don't really know if the Ben and Widmore's Rules and the Time Travel Rules are different. Assumption 19:01, 12 April 2009 (UTC)

  • I used to think these two sets of rules were referring to the same thing, but given recent episodes (Dead Is Dead) it now seems more likely that Ben and Widmore's "rules" have to do with appropriate behavior for the Others/the Island and apparently don't relate to time travel. So I'd support a split at this time.--Cornprone 04:04, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
  • We don't have enough evidence yet that there are 2 sets. What if killing Alex does effect time travel.Annarboral 04:34, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
    • Agree. There's nothing to suggest that any time travel whatsoever has ever occurred in the show's history before Ben turned the wheel. Michael Lucero * Talk * Contributions
      • We do have Mrs. Hawking saying that the Island was moving in time and that DHARMA figured out how to predict where it was going to be. Though now that I think about it, that movement that she's talking about could be the flashes that resulted from Ben turning the wheel. My point about the time travel rules and Widmore's rules possibly being the same is this: it is possible that Ben and Widmore know something of what will happen in the future, and that they know they can't kill each other because they are both in this future event. I think that the above poster Mauser had the same idea. Assumption 16:08, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
        • The idea that Ben and Widmore cannot kill each other is seperate from "the rules." In other words, the concept that Ben cannot kill Widmore is never stated to be one of their rules and is merely an assumption based on the flow of their conversation. We have no reason to assume the laws of time travel and the informal rules between Ben and Widmore are the same thing. We should assume they are seperate due to the overwhelming evidence supporting this, rather than assume they are the same simply because characters have referred to both as "rules." ShadowUltra 04:47, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
          • We could go back and forth all day, but nobody really has complete information here. In light of the fact that we don't really know if The Rules are different, I think we should leave all examples of The Rules at the same page. That way, when someone looks up The Rules, they get to see that it's an interesting issue, and that the show uses the term in several different contexts. I'm sure it's no accident that the term "The Rules" is used by different people in different contexts. I think they want us to wonder if everyone is talking about the same set of rules. Because of that, I think we should confine discussion of The Rules to one page. If the page gets very long and unwieldy, then we should separate it into the different contexts. Assumption 11:10, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Agree. At this point, they seem to be two entirely seperate concepts. -- Roobydo  talk  contribs  12:44, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Agree! It's like having a page for Dharma Ranch Dressing that links it to polar bears. We have totally different topics sharing one page. Jack Dutton 07:03, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Agree. When I performed the last major rewrite back in Sep, my intention was to correlate instances of Ben/Widmore rules. I think we could very easily have a disambiguation page for "Rules" w/ links to separate pages for Ben/Widmore or Time Travel. Dharmacakra Kevrock   talk  contribs   20:44, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting oppose. Don't rename, because that would be interpretation. However, I agree with removing the Time Travel rules, because that's a seperate subject. They can easily be merged with Time travel (where they belong). --LOST-Hunter61 19:11, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting oppose I agree with LOST-Hunter61, while it may seem obvious to some, it is still an interpretation and not cannon that these are 2 separate sets of rules. A good solution has been given as well by merging the time travel rules with the Time travel page. - NEVERGIVEUP  Contribs  Talk  16:02, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

It seems to me there's consensus to split up the two sets of rules. Shall we proceed? --LOST-Hunter61 09:32, November 29, 2009 (UTC)


  • It seems to me that Jacob's enemy was seeking to find a loophole in the rules in order to kill Jacob, should some mention of this loophole (and the rules existence in the 1800s) be added to this page? Teslacuted 19:33, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Rules Governing Candidates

Sounds like one rule is that Jacob's nemesis can't kill a "Candidate." That's why he had to manipulate Ben into killing Locke; also it is why Jacob's nemesis can't kill Ford/Sawyer (per the blond kid in "The Substitute"). Also, it is possible that Nemesis tried -- while in the guise of Dave -- to get Hurley to jump off the cliff. --Cassandra4815162342 03:42, February 17, 2010 (UTC)

Possibly, but not definitive yet. I'd say that idea, as well as the comments in the most recent change about it in "Killing Candidates" section, should be on the theory page at this point, not in the main article. --Dretzle 17:22, March 3, 2010 (UTC)

Smoke Monster Spares Locke

The page says that the smoke monster did not spare anyone before its encounter with Eko. The monster did, however, seem to spare Locke in the episode "Walkabout." Aristotle1 03:11, March 5, 2010 (UTC)

Distinction between Mother's Rules and Jacob's Rules

A big portion of the confusion with the Rules is conflation with MIB actually BEING the Smoke Monster, rather than the Smoke Monster being a separate entity that happens to take the form of MIB part of the time.

Mother makes the rule that Jacob and MIB cannot die and cannot hurt each other, but as soon as she passes the powers to Jacob, her rules are no longer in place. Jacob is able not only to beat up his brother, but to throw him down the pit into the source and kill him. MIB is dead, and Jacob takes his body to the cave and lays him there where he decomposes and turns into a skeleton.

MIB is dead and Jacob has killed him - Mother's rules no longer applied because Jacob was now in charge (the same way Hurley is supposedly able to make his own rules sans Jacob).

The Smoke Monster "being" MIB is simply a mislabel that we commonly use since that was the form he took when were introduced to him. The Smoke Monster is not human, but it can apparently take the form of others (usually/always things that have bodies on the island), so we tend to think of him this way or speak of the two as though they are one for ease of use in conversation. Smoke monster is no more MIB than it is Locke.

After "Across the Sea", however, we have to accept that when Jacob and Smoke Monster cannot kill each other, it is not because Mother has made rules that the brothers cannot harm one another. It is that we are simply outside the scope of those rules now because Smoke Monster is NOT Jacob's brother at all.

Because of this, I think that the line "These rules appear to be binding, since the Man in Black spends the subsequent centuries searching for a Loophole to kill Jacob and leave the Island," from the main article is incorrect. It is not that Mother's rules are binding and MIB cannot kill his brother, it is that Mother's rules were NOT binding, Jacob killed MIB once Mother's rules lapsed, and now a new/diferent rule prevents Smoke Monster from killing Jacob.

The mistake, which is easy to make, comes from people conflating MIB and the Smoke Monster in an improper way.

It is unclear whether the Smoke Monster being unable to kill Jacob is a function of Jacob's rules or of some overarching Island Rules that dictate what the Smoke Monster can and cannot do, but I think it is clear that the protector's rules lapse when the protector passes on leadership.... --SofaKingdom 10:49, May 27, 2010 (UTC)

Community content is available under CC BY-NC-ND unless otherwise noted.