They have imposed that the Man in Black is the villain whereas I feel he is more of a victim of circumstances created by Jacob and the old lady who brings them up! Jacob on the other hand causes everyone on the flight lead miserable lives throughout by visiting them in their pasts and helping them make wrong decisions plus it is Jacob who always brings (other) people on the island despite knowing that they will end badly!

Did I miss something about the whole setup due to which I have the wrong impression?

  • 13
    Without a doubt, J.J. Abrams is the real villain of Lost.
    – Flimzy
    Apr 30, 2013 at 6:07
  • LOL - the dude gave us LOST... I am grateful to him!!! Even with my disagreement with Jacob, I love his line "There's only 1 end... everything in between is progress!" Apr 30, 2013 at 14:36
  • 4
    The dude complete f'ed over his entire audience with Lost.
    – Flimzy
    Apr 30, 2013 at 18:04
  • On LOST, there are no absolutes. It is entirely possible to see things from MiB's point of view as being reasonable, and we never have a clear reason why he can't leave the island. Aug 3, 2015 at 16:44

2 Answers 2


I don't think the plot can be boiled down to simple hero/villain roles. The Man In Black broke the rules, and received a sort of punishment for that. Unfortunately, it was an eternal damnation sort of punishment, which is pretty disproportionate given his offense. But using his powers, he spent the millennia manipulating and killing people, so he's not an entirely sympathetic character. If we take Jacob at face value, allowing the Man In Black to escape the island would be a horrible thing. So the Man In Black must be stopped.

Jacob meanwhile, sought a way to be released from his role as the island's protector, and to prevent the Man In Black's escape. So he manipulated the Candidates' lives to get them to the island, while also manipulating their lives so they would be prepared to fulfill the roles he needed them to have. In the process, he was willing to let many people die, both in the plane crash, and in conflict on the island. His desire to stop the Man In Black is noble, but his methods are not. So Jacob is also not entirely sympathetic.

The Flight 815 survivors similarly show a history of good and evil actions. This seems to be part of the show's writers' plans. No one on the show (except maybe Walt and Hurley) is entirely good or evil. No pure black and white, only shades of grey. In conclusion, the villain of Lost is the nature of humans to be evil. The hero is the nature of humans to be good. The show is about this dual nature of humanity.


It has been quite a while since I have watched Lost so what I say may have holes. I believe the island is a sort of Limbo. So one can argue that Jacob could have been a god or deity and the Man in Black could have been his opposite, or at least they may have represented this. Dont think in terms of the traditional religion but think of in terms of religion in general so just because they had a mother should not debunk this opinion. I think Jacob was testing everyone like a god and you notice not everyone left the island in the finale.

Writing this makes me want to watch the entire series again because it seems like there is so much I have forgotten.

  • 2
    If by 'limbo' you mean a kind of purgatory (area between life and death) then you are wrong. Everything on the island was real, everyone (well most people) were still alive. Only the 'parallel universe' scenes in the final series were purgatory (and those were off the island). Apr 30, 2013 at 13:45
  • @user171195 - I strongly disagree with your answer, not because of it's accuracy but because I almost started hating Jacob during the show! so your answer gets accepted for accuracy!!! Apr 30, 2013 at 14:35
  • 1
    I think the makers always rejected the purgatory (limbo) theory.
    – Ankit Sharma
    Apr 30, 2013 at 14:53

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