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Main Article Theories about
Benjamin Linus
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His character


He is Good

  • Everything Ben does is in the best interest of the island and is to serve a greater good. While he has murdered people in cold blood, and is a pathological liar, it is all to protect the island. Much like the wizard (the man behind the curtain) in "The Wizard of Oz," Ben is a liar but has good intentions for doing so. Any of his wrong deeds can be blamed on either the island's will, or the greater good.
  • Although ordered to kill Danielle Rousseau by Charles Widmore, he spares her life because she was "no threat." He also takes her baby, Alexandra, and raises her as his own daughter.

He is Bad

  • Jacob and the Island gave Ben a tumor because he does things for his own personal gain, and not the benefit of the Island.
  • Ben manipulates Sayid to kill people for his (Ben's) own gain. Everyone who Sayid killed could have prevented them from returning to the island.
  • Ben manipulates everyone to benefit himself, not the island. Ben was not supposed to return to the island, but he tricked the O6 into returning, not for the gain of the island, but because he knew they would be the only way he could selfishly get back.
  • Ben always has a ulterior motive for his actions, usually inconsistent with the lies he uses to justify his actions, meaning the use of the excuse that he is protecting the island could be false to justify himself.
  • When Ben took Locke to see Jacob, he actually took him to the cabin where Nemesis lived. Ben has always followed Nemesis instead of Jacob.
    • This doesn't necessarily make Ben bad. It just means that he's a pawn like almost everyone else. He didn't knowingly follow the Nemesis. If he had, Fake Locke would've just been able to tell Ben exactly who he really was and what Ben had to do.
  • Ben kills Jacob in cold blood
  • After killing Jacob and learning all about Nemesis he still seeks to try turn the situation to his advantage. (Lying to Richard and the Other's)


  • Lost is never black and white. Neither Ben nor Widmore is purely bad or purely good.
    • What is good, what is bad? The question is somewhat irrelevant given that every main character seems to have some massive flaw. If it really mattered, then why are Kate and Sawyer, two murderers, considered important "good" guy characters in the show? "Good" and "Bad" never truly exists, only a grey scale in between. Ben is doing what he is meant to do, if he cannot change that, which we have been repeatedly told, then how can he be held accountable as bad or good. It is his fate, his destiny.
      • What about Jacob and Esau/MIB/Loops? Granted, ALMOST NOTHING is known about them, but they seem to be reasonably black and white.
        • Perhaps those two are just on a different level than "regular" people like Locke, Ben, Jack, etc...
  • Though Ben is a chronic liar, and it's never possible to be 100% sure about Ben, after the conclusion of season five it seems apparent that Ben is just as much out of the loop as many of the other characters. In all likelihood, he thinks what he's always done is what Jacob has asked, even if that wasn't actually the case.


  • Ben was working for Jacob's nemesis and helping him gain access to John Locke's body. In The Lie, Ben says to Jill, "So keep him safe, Jill. Because if you don't everything we're about to do won't matter at all." The "him" being a reference to John Locke's body. If Jill doesn't keep it safe, everything they're doing to get Ajira 316 to crash will be pointless because Jacob's nemesis will not have a body to use. Ben is doing this to get revenge on Jacob, because he is angry at being ignored. Eloise Hawking was obviously also aiding him on this endeavor, as she was finding the window during which the flight could crash on the island.
    • This doesn't necessarily mean Ben is allied with the Nemesis. At the end of season five it's become clear that no one has every piece of the puzzle, and everyone is manipulated in some shape or form by one, if not many other, characters. All of the above things Ben may have been doing thinking they were Jacob's will -- while not realizing that they were, in fact, the Nemesis's will. Also, if Ben were working hand in hand with the Nemesis, there would have been no need for Fake Locke / The Nemesis to deceive Ben into killing Jacob. He could've just said, "Ok, our plan has worked. Ready?" He didn't.

He and Widmore are Playing a Game

  • Ben and Widmore, are both playing a game for control of the island. This is supported by the fact that in "The Shape of Things to Come", Ben says that Widmore changed the rules. The "rules" are something that Ben and Widmore have agreed upon previously. This games resembles a chess game, in which the winner comes away with control of the Island. Supported by the idea that Ben called Alex a "pawn" to convince Keamy not to kill her.

Charles Widmore is his Constant

He knew that Locke would succeed him

  • Locke was always meant to go to the island. When Locke didn't join the Mittelos Group and go to the island when he was 16, the island was forced to find a substitute. Locke would have been 16 years old, from May 30, 1972 - May 29, 1973. Ben came to the island sometime in 1973. The island settled for Ben when it couldn't have Locke...and Ben knows it.
  • Ben is upset and shoots Locke when Locke hears Jacob in Jacob's cabin, because Ben had convinced himself that Locke could not be his successor.
    • Ben shoots Locke to test this. If he is the John Locke who traveled through time and spoke to Ethan and Richard, he can't die because he hasn't traveled through time yet.
    • Alternatively, Ben doesn't know that that it's impossible to change something that has already happened, and hopes to kill Locke to prevent him from becoming the new leader of the Others.
  • Ben and Locke are brothers. Their mother, Emily, had John when she was underage and gave him up for adoption. She then made a new life with Roger and had Ben some years later. Locke and Ben were always meant to be reunited.
    • Impossible. Ben's mother dies in childbirth sometime in 1973. Locke's mother was alive much later than that.

Never supposed to be the leader of the Others

  • Ben was never supposed to be the leader of the Others. Jacob and the Island are able to cure cancer and heal many medical problems. However Ben was allowed to develop a tumor that would have killed him if Jack would not have arrived on the island and saved his life. He developed the tumor because he was being punished for taking a position without it being ordained for him.
    • Christian, who said he was speaking on Jacob's behalf, told Locke (in the FDW) that listening to Ben never got him anywhere. If Ben was truly the leader, then his requests would be considered trustworthy and the right decision.
    • Widmore was supposed to be the leader at the time of Ben's reign. Widmore claims that Ben 'stole' the island from him and 'tricked' him into leaving.
    • In the time of the DHARMA initiative, women did not have a problem giving birth on the island. This problem arose after Ben took over leadership of the Others. The fertility problems are a side effect of his not being the true leader.
    • Ben appears to be able to control the smoke monster; however, when Locke asked Ben what the monster was, he told him he didn't know. Ben 'awoke' the monster but he only appeared to control. He actually told it to do what it would have done anyway.
    • Ben was able to gain the loyalty of Bonnie and Greta in the Looking Glass station to lie to the others about the station being flooded. He also gained the loyalty of Mikhail, who killed Bonnie and Greta at his orders. Before Bonnie died she told Charlie how to turn off the jamming devices. She defied Ben only after she realized he had betrayed her. When Ben asked Richard and the Others to stand up against Locke when he was beating Mikhail so that they could visit Jacob, nobody obeyed him. Similar to a king whose subjects only obey when they feel the demand is reasonable.
  • When looking at a character, especially one as dynamic and deep as Ben, you have to give the writers and the character himself a break. Sure he always has a plan, but there are too many people devoted to whatever the cause is that Ben's motive cannot be to become ruler supreme. He never shows signs of wanting to become the supreme ruler, in fact often showing signs that he is lonely, and that he never wanted this position in the first place. Working for the island, he knows his work is never done, and having been such a clear devotee of what the island is and what it stands for, it would be not just a strange move for his character to only be in it for the power, but a dumb move on the writers part too, bringing an incredibly multi-dimensional character deeply involved in the story down to the level of a one dimensional "fill in" if you will.
  • Ben is the pawn of Smokey/Jacob's nemesis. He was manipulated into becoming the leader of the Others, but was not Jacob's choice (visions of his mother indicating he was to join the others). He needed to be ready to kill Jacob when the time came. To have him initiated into the others required him to be fatally wounded. Which only happened due to the timey-wimey loop.
    • Ben was meant to be the leader of the Others, Locke wasn't. There's no evidence to suggest that Ben's visions of his mother had anything to do with Jacob's nemesis. Nemesis used the time-skips to manipulate Richard into thinking Locke was the future leader, then after he assumed Locke's form he manipulated Ben into killing Jacob. Since Locke wasn't supposed to be the leader, Ben was still Jacob's chosen leader when he entered the statue at the end of "The Incident, Parts 1 & 2". This is backed up by the fact that Jacob was entirely respectful of Ben throughout their confrontation in the statue, even asking him if he liked the tapestry. "What about you?" was not a sign that Jacob had never chosen Ben, but a reminder that Ben had a choice to make and that the conflict he was involved in was bigger than him. As spoken by Eloise; "it's bigger than all of us."

His Off-Island Pursuits

  • Ben has been preparing for a life off the Island. That is the reason for multiple passports and currencies hidden in his house. Ben always has a plan and would plan for living a life off the Island should that day come.
  • Ben was able to retrieve countless amounts of information on anyone he chose while living on the Island. After he moves the Island he is still able to find out a lot of information very quickly about Sayid, Nadia, and Nadia's murderer.
  • You are trusting Ben too much. Perhaps like he was manipulating Kate with blood tests, he was also manipulating Sayid giving fake evidence. Ben has just as big of a motive as Widmore to make sure no one looks for the island.
  • Jacob only wanted Locke to turn the FDW. Ben manipulated Locke because he wanted off the island in order to find Widmore, and Penny, to avenge his daughter Alex's death. Ben knew that it was supposed to be Locke who turned the FDW, but told Locke that he alone was the one capable of moving the island.

Knowledge of 815 crash

  • When Ben came out of his house in the Barracks on the day of 815's crash, he immediately looked up as if expecting to see something in the sky. Given that in an earthquake one wouldn't expect something to fall out of the sky, this may point to Ben having knowledge of the crash perhaps years in advance. Due to the time-traveling development in season 5, this may be the case.
    • Ben had prior knowledge of the crash, but it has nothing to do with time-travel. He learned about it from Jacob, who appears to have knowledge of future events, such as the Ajira crash, when Nadia would be killed, and when Locke would be thrown out of a window by his father. Pickett mentioned one of Jacob's lists early on in S3 when Ben was having surgery, which contained the names of 815 passengers - Pickett said "Shephard isn't even on Jacob's list." Since Ben received these lists via Richard, and Richard was off-island at the time of the crash (filming Juliet's sister for Ben), this means Ben must have received the list before the crash occurred - meaning he knew the crash would happen. This explains why he immediately looked up at the sky when he came out of his house on the day of the crash.
    • More likely the noise of a low flying jumbo jet would be very loud, not to mention unusual, on the island. Ben obviously had no idea of the exact day of the crash as he was caught on the run sending people off to get information about it.

Ben and Annie, Alex & Pregnancies

  • Ben falls in love with Annie, and they try to have a child. Annie is one of the first, if not the first woman to die on the island because of the pregnancy problems. Her death leaves a deep impact on Ben.

"Evidence": In "The Man Behind the Curtain" Ben is seen holding the doll Annie gave him on his birthday many years ago. The writers also have stated that Annie will be very important in later storylines about Ben, even more important than the Island's volcano.

    • Ben's mother died when he was born, and he had to pay for it his whole life through his father's treatment of him, which is why Annie's death during pregnancy has such an impact.
    • Annie's death is the final straw that causes Ben to really join the Hostiles/Others, and start the Purge.
    • Ben kidnaps the infant Alex, both amazed that a woman (Rousseau) has given birth on the Island without dying, and glad that he finally has a child of his own.
    • Investigating the pregnancy issues is one of the major goals of the Others when Ben is their leader. That is why Juliet is brought there, and she kept from going home until the mystery of the pregnancy issues is resolved, because Ben is determined to find out what is causing them.
    • Ben does not want Karl to get Alex pregnant, because he does not want to lose his other most important woman in his life, and he even goes so far as to lock Karl in and tries to brainwash him.

He is the one

  • The answer to what lies in the shadow of the Statue is the one who will save us all, this has to be Ben became it can't be Jacob's nemesis or Jacob.

Jacob DID choose Ben

  • Richard was telling the truth in "Dead Is Dead." Jacob wanted Ben healed, and he wanted him to lead The Others. Ben never lost favor with Jacob. It was MIB that gave him the tumor, in order to manipulate him against Jacob. Re-watch Ben's exchange with Jack in "The Cost Of Living." Ben: Two Days I after I found out I had a tumor on my spine, a spinal surgeon fell out of the sky. If that's not proof of god, I don't know what is." Jacob brought Jack to the island, so It's clear to me that Jacob wanted him to save Ben.
  • Jacob treats Ben respectfully during almost the entire scene in The Statue. He patiently listens to Ben's monologue, and he seems to have tears in his eyes. He knows that he caused Ben a lot of pain when he refused to meet with him, just like he knows his words will hurt Ben, but he knows it has to be done. Jacob wanted Ben to kill him, and he touches him when he dies.
  • I agree. Ben was chosen to kill Jacob by Jacob. Jacob is not trying to convince Ben to spare him but to kill him. When Jacob says "What about you?" It is almost as if he is answering the question "someone needs to kill Jacob, who is it going to be?" Jacob answers it "what about you?"...and Ben complies. It is also important that Ben has never had direct contact with Jacob so as not to arouse suspicions from MIB. It is also equalyy important that Ben has gone through hardships and tests of faith so as to provide a resonable background of resentment for Jacob. I have no idea what Jacob's ultimate purpose is, but I am pretty sure Jacob has somehow gotten around MIB's plan.


  • Ben was working for Jacob's nemesis and helping him gain access to John Locke's body. In The Lie, Ben says to Jill, "So keep him safe, Jill. Because if you don't everything we're about to do won't matter at all." The "him" being a reference to John Locke's body. If Jill doesn't keep it safe, everything they're doing to get Ajira 316 to crash will be pointless because Jacob's nemesis will not have a body to use. Ben is doing this to get revenge on Jacob, because he is angry at being ignored. Eloise Hawking was obviously also aiding him on this endeavor, as she was finding the window during which the flight could crash on the island.
    • Ben attempted to turn Cesar against "Locke" and it was revealed that he was attempting to kill him. It seems very unlikely that Ben knew what was going on, let alone actively working for Jacob's nemesis, at least not before he encountered Alex in Dead is Dead.
    • MIB became the smoke monster and took Alex's form Dead is Dead to warn Ben not to kill

Locke (MIB). MIB would not have done this if they were working together. This also implies that Ben could kill MIB and MIB can't kill Ben or that MIB wanted him around long enough to kill Jacob.

  • Ben knew where the loop hole is even he does not know what it means! and the sink hole in his basement (which is dependent to black smoke) is some how relative to the loop hole. if we agree that black smoke is against jacob and the others we have agree with the idea that ben is against the jacob too. he killed jacob therefore he already found the loop hole Flocke knew that so he took the advantage and ask ben to do what he wants to do in the temple (as Alex) and eventually kill jacob.

He is a descendant of Jacob

  • In the Bible, Jacob's wife dies giving birth to a son. She ask Jacob to name the son Benoni while she is giving birth but Jacob eventually changes it to Benjamin, In LOST, Benjamin Linus' mother Emily dies during giving birth to Ben and ask for him to be named Benjamin.

This article uses material from the "Benjamin Linus/Theories" article on the Lostpedia wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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