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Response regarding Eko's candidacy

Hey, just writing this in response to the comment you sent me.

Basically, a lot of the names on the rather large list we see on Lostpedia's "Candidates" page were taken from analysis of the available screenshots of the lighthouse dial and the cave.

Here's a picture of the full lighthouse dial: [[1]]

If you look at candidate number #76 on that dial, it is assigned to three letter name that appears very much to be Eko's. The first letter is definitely an "E", and the third letter almost certainly seems to be an "o" to me. The middle letter also looks very much like a "k" to me though the strikethrough makes it not entirely clear.

Anyway, I can't image any other name from this show I could interpret that to be except Eko's. I think the basis of Eko's name here is more clear than several of the other names we've taken for granted and added to that list. (Not that I dispute any of the other names, just that Eko's is very distinctive.)

Also, for what it's worth, the official Lost Encyclopedia book also stated that Eko was a candidate. (Although the book's reliability on little details like this is dubious, so I don't take it as authoritative or a primary defense.) MrLockeIsAWarrior (Talk) 15:29, Aug 28, 2018

If you really take issue with use of the lighthouse dial, then I think perhaps it would be better to just leave a notice at the start of the list, advising to the reader that, due to the easter-eggy nature of it, the canonicity of the list is disputed.

Lostpedia is a resource for essentially all things Lost, and there's huge swaths of trivia and information about the show on here, including many things that have disputed canonicity or are outright uncanonical. So even if we concede the candidates list is uncanonical, it still belongs as much as anything else.

To suggest that names from the lighthouse dial should be removed from Lostpedia seems equivalent to suggesting that the Blast door map notations should also be removed just because much of the information on it was never openly uttered by a character.

Additionally, I think there is good reason to be inclined in favor of the names on the dial (or the cave wall, for that matter). The lists in the cave and the dial are how the story established tangible proof of the main characters' candidacy, so it seems to be a natural assumption that the names crossed off would therefore also be valid.

Additionally, these are the only available resources the show has given us as to the identities of the other candidates outside of the main 7 or so named in dialogue, so it is natural to rely on them for such information. So for all intents and purposes, these names are treated by the show itself as official, even if there's a degree of nuance to which one could dispute their canonical value.

Not to mention, if the writers didn't want us to give legitimacy to the additional names, then they could have demonstrated the seven main characters' candidacy via another means, in such a way that didn't involve showing us hundreds of other names that would naturally invite interest and analysis.

Just as well, this is a show known for its easter eggs, hiding information in the show. The writers made this an intentional feature within many episodes. They certainly knew that fans would be screencapping and zooming in on the name cave and lighthouse dial for names of candidates - especially as it is one of the foundational pieces of mythology and revelation in the series' story. At the very least it's more likely the writers supervised which names could belong on the list and which ones couldn't, than to assume that they let the production staff run wild with it.

For me to dismiss the lighthouse dial, I would need to see some confirmation that the writers don't regard it as reliable. I've dug around through some podcasts and interviews to refresh my memory on their comments on it. I've never seen them dispute the reliability of either of the lists. When they are asked by fans about it, I have never seen them say, "Don't read too much into the names, the production staff chose these names arbitrarily", such as when they were asked about candidate 108 being Wallace. Rather they seem to treat the wall/dial as real features of Lost's story, and they even comment discrepancies like the production error of neglecting to show a shot of Kate's name in the cave despite it being there, and suggesting an intentional inconsistency between Kate's name being crossed off or not crossed off between the two locations.

(I also seem to vaguely recall that prior to The Substitute/Lighthouse airing, the writers hinted that there would be a big "screencap easter egg" feature early in Season 6, which if true would further support that they treated the names as something for the fans to invest into and not just arbitrary prop filler. However I can't seem to find this interview{?} for the time being, so I will concede this point moot for now.)

You also suggest that the only names on the dial that should be considered valid for the page are ones clearly visible in screencaps, and that the dial should otherwise be dismissed. However, the dial prop, which features Eko's name on it, was definitely seen in the Lighthouse episode, even if we didn't specifically see a shot of the bit with his name. The dial is apart of the episode.

I watched the scene again to see if his name could be spotted on it. It gets close - in the 60's - but not quite to the 70's where Eko's name lies. It seems very odd to me to suggest that the validity of his name hinges or falls on whether the cameraman or the editor accidentally happened to inch that shot of the 60's segment a sliver down to where Eko's name would have been visible. All the names were there to exist as apart of this piece of world-building to be available to the camera, and it's incidental whether some of the minor names happen to make it into a clear shot or not.

You say that Lostpedia has a rule that there must be photographic evidence of a name. Well, I have looked through the talk pages for Candidates, Cliffside Cave, and the Lighthouse, and I have not seen any rules like this specifically discussed. In fact, it looks like no one really mentioned the dial prop from the auction, and the few who did weren't challenged for referring to it as a source. It seems that people just never got around to viewing it to draw a list from it. (Also, that photo of the dial prop from the auction is technically "photographic evidence" in itself. I think it is superfluous to say that a further photo of the same dial prop from the actual set of the episode is also needed.)

Not to mention, there are also plenty of things considered to be apart of the canon of Lost's mythology that weren't featured on-screen in the actual show. For example, most of what we know about the Hanso Foundation comes from the Lost Experience.

As for your issue that Eko couldn't be a candidate because he was killed by the Monster: this issue would also apply to Montand, who was also killed by the Monster, and for which there is | photographic evidence of his name being #102.

There are several options to explain as to how the Monster would be able to kill certain individuals such as these.

1) It may be that they were already disqualified from candidacy before they were killed, and perhaps revoking protection as a consequence. Why Jacob might have disqualified them, is open-ended and doesn't need an in-depth theory to show that it's a plausible possibility. However, I could think of numerous general examples why Jacob might cross a name off. To name a few, a) He might feel that a candidate has "served their purpose" and has no more value as a potential leader, or b) he might feel that a candidate has achieved their personal "atonement" they needed out of their Island experience and therefore no longer are in need the Island in their life, or c) he might feel persuaded that they've demonstrated that they are not psychologically or morally fit for leadership (or they've undergone change into unfitness), or d) he might feel that they would be more of a detriment to other candidates, or e) he might relinquish their protection so that they can be "sacrificed" (a sacrifice the Island demands) to make a point or achieve some purpose. And there are probably countless other examples I could name, but those are just a few obvious ones that come to mind.

2) It may be the case that only the last batch of candidates as shown in Season 6 were specifically granted protection, and perhaps Jacob had not given that to prior candidates.

3) It may be that the Monster is allowed to kill candidates under certain rules or conditions. The writers commented more than once in podcast/commentary for Season 6 that the rules and however binding they may be was a topic they intentionally wanted open to discussion among the fans, which suggests that not everything is clear cut.

4) And as a last resort, we could simply concede that there is an internal contradiction in listing Eko as a candidate despite his death at the hands of the Monster. This would be neither the first nor the last time the show made an error of contradiction within the internal details of its story, and I am readily admit that these flaws exist. But this still wouldn't change the fact that Eko's name was for all intents and purposes listed as a candidate on the dial, even if it represented a flaw in the show.

As to address your point that Eko was on the Others' kidnap list, I think this is trivial. Jacob could have asked them to take one of his candidates if he wanted. It's his prerogative. Regardless, Goodwin actually told Ana Lucia why they tried to kidnap Eko: during the first assault, the Others were taking the "strongest" survivors who were "threats". They never made another attempt to take Eko after the first assault. A list was never explicitly seen until the second assault when the Others took 9 more survivors, and Eko's name was not on that list.

As for more positive support of Eko's candidacy available on the show, independently of the dial, the correlations between Locke and Eko in their roles of spiritual leadership and their encounters with the Monster would at least give reason to suspect that Eko may have been a candidate. After all, when Richard questioned the Man in Black why he took Locke's form, he simply said: "I knew he could get me access to Jacob, because John was a candidate." Of course this doesn't prove Eko was a candidate, but it's worth noting, as Eko's role here seems to have existed within the same paradigm as Locke's.

In any case, like I suggested at the first paragraph, I think if you find it really troubling, then a warning of the disputed canonicity could be written at the top of the candidates list. But I think there is overwhelmingly solid reason to keep the list in itself on Lostpedia, and that Eko's name is a reasonable inclusion.

MrLockeIsAWarrior (Talk) 4:27, Sep 1, 2018

Fair enough.

Also, to address what you said about Montand's death: I think that, as Robert and the Monster were both pulling on him, causing his arm to be torn, both are directly culpable in his death. So I still think this represents an instance where the Monster was able to, for whatever reason, directly kill someone who was on the dial.

I also think it is pedantic to say that the names Jacob wrote should only be valid if they were surnames. I know there's still some debate as to what Eko's surname actually was (there is a reference to him as "Father Tunde" in one episode, but this name is strangely never used any other time in the show, suggesting it might be an alias.) It might seem a little odd if Jacob chose to write Eko by his first name, but this wouldn't be the only time the writers treated Eko's name in an odd manner. (Prefixing his first name with "Mr." was also odd, as was never giving a clear answer to his surname, if even had one.) Regardless, even within the story, Jacob might choose to oddly write a character's first name, if he thinks it's distinctive enough.

And one final remark, but I still haven't seen any indication that the writers would want the other names on the dial prop dismissed or that they had no input into the names. Like I said before, I think which minor names appear in the final cut and which ones don't appear is a matter of trivial happenstance in the camerawork/editing and not intentional. I find it doubtful that the writers or production staff made a concentrated effort to avoid showing certain names. MrLockeIsAWarrior (Talk) 15:57, Sep 1, 2018

Questionable Lost Encyclopedia error

Hello again. I just wanted to raise a few quick points regarding Lost Encyclopedia errors, as I noticed you edited the article recently and added back something I removed. (You may have noticed that I removed several items from that article over the past year.)

I do agree that the Lost Encyclopedia is not totally reliable in terms of minor details or some answers to minor details. There are claims it makes that I disagree with that I don't think match well with the information from the series or the writers, some which aren't mentioned in the Lostpedia article.

For example, sometimes I think the Encyclopedia editors mistakenly tried to "fill in" some blanks or "fix" some of the series' non-issues in places where they weren't necessary, and in doing so, compounded matters with contrivances and errors. (Their page on the Blast Door Map has at least two examples of this.)

That being said, I think we should also be a bit careful in what we assume are errors if it may not necessarily be the case. I think some fans got a little haphazardous in adding errors to the Lostpedia article over the years, often at the risk of jumping to erroneous conclusions themselves and misrepresenting their own assumptions as fact.

Some of the items I removed, for example, I thought were actually well-supported in the series or just too dubious to say one way or the other. (Also in some cases, I thought some errors that were more "semantic" were regarded too strongly as "factual errors", where it seemed more likely that the Encyclopedia's editors were just trying to generalize or simplify a trivial detail for brevity of speech at the expense of literal accuracy.)

Anyway, now I'll address the information you added back regarding the Man in Black's appearances at the Barracks and Hydra Island on that night. As the Encyclopedia claimed he had the ability to appear in both locations simultaneously.

I don't think we can say for sure that this is an erroneous conclusion. While I'm not committed to the idea that he was in both places at once, it does at least seem possible.

The reason for that is that we've seen evidence before in the series that the Man in Black can seemingly manifest in different locations at once. The main examples to my recollection:

Example 1: In The Cost of Living, he seems to manifest as several figures from Eko's past surrounding Eko at once

Example 2: In Left Behind, parts of the Monster's smokey substance seem to split off/scatter a bit both before and after it hits the sonic fence.

Example 3: In Dead Is Dead, when Alex's figure abruptly manifests behind Ben in the opposite direction from where the Monster retracted back into its grate.

Example 4: In Ab Aeterno, when Isabella's figure appeared to Richard on the Black Rock while the Monster could be heard outside.

It does seem to me that the Monster has some capacity to manifest or project itself into more than one location at once.

That being said, our examples in the series all had the Monster's split forms in close proximity to each other and brief in duration. It is true that we've never had a definitive confirmation that he could be in two places at once at such a long distance as between the Barracks and the Hydra or sustained over such a long period of time. Then again, close proximity and brevity of time could simply be relative terms.

So I don't think we can rule it out for sure as a possibility. It seems that he could have manifested/split/projected a second form at some point and sailed in that body to the Hydra while keeping his main body around the Barracks region.

Speaking of sailing, that would actually be the main point of consideration in favor of the possibility that he could have split up in this scenario. It seems that it took Sun and Lapidus some time to sail from the Hydra to the Barracks, since they embarked at day and arrived by night. So would the Man in Black have had time to enact his shenanigans with them at the Barracks and then later arrive at the Hydra, all before sunrise? Possibly, but I'm not sure.

Anyway, I will again say that I am not committed to this idea that he split himself in this situation. I don't have a firm position on it myself. I am just saying that it is a blank, a gray area in our knowledge. So I do not think we should definitively say in the article that it is an error. It seems to be a valid interpretation of the known facts.

The fact that it's not a strict error is even implicitly acknowledged in the article's "Counter-Evidence", which says "There is no reason to think these happened simultaneous. The Man in Black may have appeared hours later." Key word: " may ". So therefore may not be an error.

In fact, since the Lost Encyclopedia itself aspires to "give new information" canonically from the series' writers to fill in some little blanks in the series, this detail for all we know may or may not have come from the writers. While it seems like a fleeting and trivial detail, perhaps characteristic of the editors drawing their own erroneous conclusions, I don't think we can say for sure one way or the other.

A final remark, as an observation: I think the article would be more interesting if it discussed and outlined more of the "new information" detailed throughout the book and perhaps left it open-ended on what one is to make of the authenticity of such information. There has surprisingly been basically none of this on the article in the past 8 years, with just mostly emphasis on the book's little bit errors here and there.

Anyway, I have said my piece, and I shall leave it at that for now.

MrLockeIsAWarrior (Talk) 4:34, Dec 22, 2018

Very well, thanks for the response!

MrLockeIsAWarrior (Talk) 17:54, Dec 22, 2018

Thanks for the comment!

I missed your comment on the Questions and Answers talk page from a few months back. It's a great suggestion! MrLockeIsAWarrior (Talk) 23:57, Dec 31, 2018

Re: Podcast Transcript

I didn't actually create the page, I just put the really basic stuff to format/add the correct categories, it previously was just the word "lost" so I made it look better. I don't think I have access to the podcast so I doubt I'd be able to transcribe it.Schroeswald (talk) 12:05, January 3, 2019 (UTC)

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