For a solid year, I rewatched Lost in preparation of Season 6. I took thorough notes on each episode, keeping careful track of the show’s mysteries, and when and if they were explained. The remaining unanswered questions I present here are based on those notes.

Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, the masterminds behind Lost, have made it clear that when it comes to wrapping up the show, their priority is the characters and their story arcs. All of the mythology stuff comes in a distant second. I wholeheartedly agree that the characters are what ultimately matter. But to satisfy my own kicks and curiosity, I just wanted to know what was left to be addressed.

My questions might be a little different than yours. That’s okay. Mine come from the perspective of a fiction writer who recognizes literary techniques and has a pretty good handle on how writers think and work. (But please don’t think I’m comparing myself to Lost’s writers — I’m in awe of what they’ve done with this show.)

Got a question to add to the list? Email me.

I present:

  • A downloadable PDF checklist of Unanswered Questions. This version groups the questions together by topic, and words them in a concise summary that takes everything known about the show into account. This list is by far the easiest to follow and understand.
  • The complete, unabridged list of unanswered questions I compiled when I rewatched all five seasons of Lost. It’s unordered, extensive, and not recommended for casual fans. That list is on this page you’re reading now; just scroll down.
  • What about the questions that are likely to go unanswered? Here are my best guesses as to which trivial mysteries just won’t be addressed.

Follow LOSTexplained on Twitter for all the latest news, information, and thoughts on Season 6!


Unanswered Questions

Why did the monster kill Captain Norris, and not the others? [1.01]

How did Locke suddenly regain the use of his legs on the island? [1.04]

Where is Christian’s body? Why wasn’t it in the coffin? [1.05]

According to psychic Richard Malkin, “danger surrounds” Claire’s baby, and the child requires her protection and influence. Why? What did he see in Claire’s reading? What was so dire about the child’s future that he would go to such great lengths as arranging for Claire to be on Oceanic 815 to ensure that she alone would raise the child? [1.10]

How exactly is Walt “different somehow”? Does he, as it appears, subconsciously cause things to happen? [1.14]

Did Walt subconsciously cause the polar bear to attack him? [1.14]

What was the transmission heard by Leonard Sims and Sam Toomey at the Navy listening post in the Pacific — the same transmission heard by Danielle’s team, that lured them to the island? Who sent it? And for what reason? [1.18]

Why did Locke lose the use of his legs again? Put another way, whatever on the island that repaired the paralyzing damage to his legs — why did it stop working? [1.19]

Who made the Dharma food drop? [2.17]

How often do the food drops take place? [2.17]

Why would the Dharma Initiative still be receiving food supplies on the island when it hasn’t been in operation on the island for what appears to be a very long time? [2.17]

The conclusion we’re meant to make from the episode is that the Swan station went into lockdown mode based on the timing of the food drop. So… why? Why would the station need to be locked down when a food drop was being conducted? [2.17]

Locke suggested that the blast doors being triggered during the supply drop may have been intentional — to trap the Dharma workers in a place where they couldn’t see who was dropping it. Is this the reason for the lockdown? If so, why would the source of the food drop want to remain anonymous? [2.18]

Why was Libby at Santa Rosa Mental Hospital? [2.18]

Why is Libby hiding the fact that she was also at Santa Rosa from Hurley — and that she remembers him from there? Does she have ulterior motives for her budding relationship with him? [2.18]

Was Eko right about the salted circle on the ground above the Pearl station being made a visible target for planes to see? If so, why? Could the circle be the intended target of the Dharma food drops? [2.21]

Why does the man in the Dharma orientation videos go by different names in each one? [2.21]

Was Desmond’s chance encounter with Libby really so random? She was awfully trusting and willing to believe in a man she didn’t know. Was there more to this than it seems? [2.23]

What’s the deal with the big green bird? Was it really saying Hurley’s name? [2.23]

Who built the four-toed statue? [2.23]

When was the statue built? [2.23]

Why did Locke see the monster as a “beautiful bright light” (in 1.04 “Walkabout”) when every other time it’s seen, it appears as black smoke? [3.05]

Why did the smoke monster kill Eko? [3.05]

What did Eko mean when he told Locke that the rest of them were “next”? Next at what? The next to die at the smoke monster’s hands? [3.05]

Mikhail said that Dharma instigated a war with the Others, which led to the Purge. Was he telling the truth? [3.11]

Why do pregnant women die on the island before giving birth? [3.16]

Why was Ms. Hawking in a photo on Brother Campbell’s desk? How do they know each other? [3.16]

Where is the volcano that’s on the island? [3.20]

When in the past did the volcano erupt? [3.20]

Is the island’s volcano now dormant? [3.20]

What became of Ben’s childhood friend Annie? Was she killed during the Purge, or had she left the island by then? [3.20]

Why did the Others enact the Purge, which was nothing less than a massacre? What pushed the war between the Others and Dharma to such an extreme? [3.20]

Who built the Temple, and when? [3.22]

Who or what was the Walt that Locke saw from the Dharma burial ditch? [3.22]

How did the journal belonging to the Black Rock’s first mate get to Madagascar after the ship wrecked on the island? [4.05]

Tovard Hanso found the Black Rock journal and kept its contents secret for over a century. Is this journal how Alvar Hanso found out about the existence of the island, and decided to place the Dharma Initiative on it? [4.05]

Why did the Hanso family decide to sell the Black Rock journal in 1996 after years of keeping it a family secret? [4.05]

How did Penny know about the island, and that Desmond was on it for three years? [4.05]

Harper insinuated that Juliet was favored by Ben because she “looked just like her.” Which “her” was Harper referring to? Ben’s mother? His childhood friend Annie? [4.06]

Why would Dharma build a station (the Tempest) with the purpose of containing a poisonous gas inside it? Did they intend to use it against the Others if a weapon of last resort was needed? [4.06]

Who killed Nadia? Charles Widmore? Someone else? [4.09]

Why was the hidden door in Ben’s basement covered in hieroglyphs? [4.09]

Why has Widmore been having nightmares? [4.09]

Who was the man stationed outside of Santa Rosa Mental Institute, watching Hurley? Who did he work for? [4.14]

Charles Widmore knew of Paik Industries and even mentioned that he played golf regularly with Sun’s father. Are these two powerful men merely business associates, or do they share a deeper connection (such as an interest in the island, perhaps)? [4.14]

Why is it so cold down in the chamber where the island-moving wheel is housed? [4.14]

Why doesn’t Claire want Aaron brought back to the island? [4.14]

Since turning the wheel beneath the Orchid station sends one to the Tunisian desert, it stands to reason that the polar bear Charlotte found in Tunisia wearing a Dharma Initiative collar (in 4.02 “Confirmed Dead”) must also have turned the wheel at some point, and that’s how it wound up there. What and when were the circumstances surrounding the polar bear that turned the wheel and moved the island? Who was responsible for this, and why? [4.14]

Chang selected the site of the Orchid station, based on his knowledge of the pocket of “unlimited power” beneath the site. How did he know ahead of time where to build the Orchid? [5.01]

Did Chang recognize the wooden wheel buried beneath the Orchid station? Does he know what it is, and who put it there? [5.01]

Who were the men waiting at Sayid’s hotel room, intent on killing him and Hurley? Who did they work for? [5.01]

Why are the Oceanic survivors, the Freighter Folk, and Juliet affected by the time jumps, yet the Others are not? [5.01]

Does Charles Widmore own Oceanic Airlines? [5.01]

Why is Ms. Hawking living in a church in Los Angeles? [5.02]

Ms. Hawking likewise was once an Other on the island, so why did she leave the island? [5.03]

Where did the canoes come from that were at the survivors’ camp? When in time did they arrive, and who brought them there? Did they arrive on Ajira Airways? [5.04]

Who shot at the survivors from the second canoe? [5.04]

Who is the “very clever fellow,” working for the Initiative, who figured out how to find the island? [5.06]

If Abaddon’s the reason Locke went to Australia for his walkabout, and Abaddon works for Widmore… does this mean that Widmore knew Oceanic 815 was going to crash on the island, and he arranged for Locke to be on it? [5.07]

Since Amy was able to carry her baby to full term and deliver successfully (with Juliet’s Caesarian help), then the problem that present-day Others have with bearing children is something that began after 1977. What’s the cause of this childbirth problem in the present? [5.08]

How and when did the Others and the Dharma Initiative come to a Truce? What were the circumstances that spurred this agreement? [5.08]

Presumably, the Hydra Island runway was ordered built by Jacob, who knew that Ajira 316 would be coming to the island in 2007 and would need a place to land. So how did he know it would be coming? [5.09]

How did draining the water out of that tiny hole below Ben’s house summon the smoke monster? [5.12]

Who built the monster-summoning water hole there to begin with? [5.12]

Is Pierre Chang really dead in the present? Did he die on the island? If so, how? [5.13]

Eloise Hawking said to Penny, “For the first time in a long time, I don’t know what’s going to happen next.” Since she seems to be able to see the future, why is it that as of this episode, she’s lost that ability? [5.14]

How exactly did Richard watch Jack, Kate, Hurley, Jin, Sawyer, Juliet, and Miles die? [5.15]

Is it mere coincidence that the Dharma Initiative built the Barracks over the place where the Others buried the hydrogen bomb? [5.15]

Who built the Tunnels? [5.15]

Do the Tunnels run all over (or rather, under) the island? What else do they connect to? [5.15]

Why was an enormous statue of an Egyptian fertility goddess (Tawaret) erected on the island? And what is the significance of Jacob living beneath it? [5.16]

What is Ilana’s history with Jacob? [5.16]

What happened to Ilana in the past, that gave her such a severe head wound? [5.16]

Why is the Man in Black “stuck” in John Locke’s form? Why can’t he change his appearance anymore? [6.04]

Is it coincidence that the numbers representing each of the remaining castaways on the cave wall correspond to the cursed Numbers? How long have these names been written here? [6.04]

Who really killed the remaining Ajira survivors? Was it Widmore and his people? The smoke monster? Someone else? [6.08]

Sideways reality: Why aren’t Sun and Jin married? [6.10]

Who was Mother? How did she get to the island? Did she have a predecessor as island protector, or was she the first? How did she know so much about the island and how it worked? [6.15]

The Light beneath the island is what makes the island so important and special. But what is the Light? [6.15]

Why did Mother tell MiB that he would never be able to leave the island? And does this mean that MiB will be unable to escape despite all of his present-day efforts to do so? [6.15]

Who told Ben that he could summon the monster using the room under his house? [6.16]