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The Stand
Publish Date

The Stand is an apocalyptic horror novel by Stephen King, first published in 1978. The producers have mentioned the book as a major influence on the series.(see below)

The novel re-works the scenario first seen in King's earlier short story, Night Surf (included in the short story collection Night Shift). The novel contains the first published reference to King's über-villain Randall Flagg. Flagg also appears in King's fantasy novel The Eyes of the Dragon and the Dark Tower series.

The publishing history of the book is unique in that it was re-released as The Stand: The Complete & Uncut Edition in 1990. This edition restored some text originally edited for brevity, added some new sections and revised others, and changed the setting of the novel from the early 1980s to the early 1990s.



The story begins with the death of most of the human population of North America (and, presumably, the world) following the escape and spread of a man-made biological weapon (a superflu virus) known formally as "Project Blue" and colloquially, on the west coast, as "Captain Trips". 99.4 percent of people are susceptible to Trips, and the disease has a mortality rate of 100 percent. This first section of the novel takes place over 19 days and charts the total breakdown and destruction of society in some very graphic scenes.

The novel continues, in part two, with the intertwining cross-country odysseys of the small number of survivors, including a pregnant college student (Frances Goldsmith), a laid-off factory worker from Texas (Stuart Redman), a high school outcast (Harold Lauder), a deaf-mute wanderer (Nick Andros), a dissatisfied pop musician (Larry Underwood), and a pessimistic sociology professor (Glen Bateman). They are drawn together by their shared dreams of an elderly psychic woman whom they see as a refuge. This woman, Abagail Freemantle (known as 'Mother Abagail'), becomes the spiritual leader of this group of survivors, who begin to attempt to re-establish a democratic society in the Colorado town of Boulder. Meanwhile, another group of survivors including a common thief (Lloyd Henreid), an arsonist (Trashcan Man), and the ex-chief of the Santa Monica PD (Barry Dorgan) are drawn to Las Vegas, Nevada by another entity, an evil being with supernatural powers known as Randall Flagg, the "dark man," or the "walkin' dude." Flagg's rule is tyrannical and brutal yet effective.

In part three, the stage is set for the final confrontation as the two camps become aware of one another, and each recognizes the other as a threat to its survival, leading to 'the stand' of the good against the evil and involving a salvaged nuclear weapon.

Confirmed influence on Lost

  • Disc 7 of Lost: The Complete Second Season (DVD) comments that the table where writers brainstorm for new episodes of LOST is “never without a copy of The Stand”.
  • J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof & Carlton Cuse repeatedly hint at the importance of the book in their molding of the show on multiple interviews and podcasts. In one such example from the official podcast on Novemer 6th, 2006, Carlton says: "So, in fact, our model in many ways have been other things, including Stephen King's The Stand, which we acknowledge as kind of a way you can tell a long, sprawling, character-based story."
  • In a 2004 interview with Ain’t It Cool News, Damon Lindelof stated:
“For the record, it's my favorite King book other than the Dark Tower series. In fact, you may have noticed the character of Charlie (Dom Monaghan, the rockstar one-hit wonder) is an homage to Larry Underwood....
“We're not misdirecting you on Terry O' Quinn's Flagg-esque (Walter in some worlds) qualities... but hopefully he's got some big surprises in store for everyone.”

Similarities and shared themes

  • Vivid dreams and visions are a frequent theme in both the book and the show.
  • The pregnant woman in the novel, Frances Goldsmith, has frequent dreams in the beginning about the "dark man" trying to kill her baby. This is very similar to the dreams of Claire in Lost.
    • Both babies were fathered by men who were not members of their survivor communities.
  • In the novel, the character Larry Underwood bears a resemblance with Charlie. He's a "one hit" singer, who falls in debt to a drug dealer. Later he quits drugs and begins romantical relationships with a woman called Lucy.
    • Much like Charlie's fate is to sacrifice him self for the sake of the other survivors' survival so must Larry.
  • Ben asks Locke if he has any Stephen King when he brings him a copy of The Brothers Karamazov to read.
  • In the book, the character Stuart Redman discusses Watership Down several times in the book (he couldn't put it down after he bought it as a gift for his nephew). This is the book Sawyer was reading and belonged to Boone before the crash.
  • In The Stand, when the character Harold Lauder is constructing his bomb to destroy the town committee in book two, he discusses the fact that dynamite sweats pure nitroglycerin. This same effect is brought up in the Lost Season 1 finale by Arzt. ("Exodus, Part 2")
  • Just as the island appears to be divided into the half belonging to The Others (Evil?) and the half belonging to the plane crash survivors (Good), so in The Stand the United States is divided into the West (Evil) and East (Good).
  • "Unfair deaths" seem to be a similar theme between The Stand and the Lost series. In the end of the book the characters have spent significant time being developed in a way to which the reader builds an empathy with them. These characters are then killed off. This has been reflected by the character deaths in Lost, where well-liked or sympathetic characters are killed.
  • Both Lost and The Stand deal with the ideas of rebuilding some form of society with the survivors of a catastrophe or Apocalypse.
  • In The Stand antagonist Randall Flagg wears a yellow smile-face button on the right breast of his denim jacket. Benjamin Linus claims to have crashed in a balloon whose canopy sported a big yellow smile-face.
  • In both novel and series, very smart and participating dogs, called Kojak and Vincent respectively, are featured.
  • In the book, the character Harold Lauder spends most of his time with the good (the East) until he moves over to the Side of evil (the west) where he is left to die in a pit by Nadine and eventually commits suicide, much like how Locke is with the 815ers for most of the time but follows the Others when he is left to die in a pit by Ben and looks towards suicide in the same way.
  • Ben appears to be an even better representation of Harold's character, as he is seemingly tempted to the alternate side of a conflict and shares a bitter dissatisfaction with his original allies, the DHARMA Initiative.
  • Sam Anderson who plays Bernard also has a part in the Mini-Series adaptation of the Stand as Whitney Horgan.
  • The mini-series also contained a scene similar to one in Tricia Tanaka Is Dead, in which characters Stu Redman and Tom Cullen attempt to start a nonmoving vehicle in the same manner that Hurley and Charlie once did.
  • In The Stand, the people of the west follow Randall Flagg with few questions asked just as the Others follow Jacob or Ben with few questions asked.
  • When the 4 characters go to make their "Stand" against Flagg and Company, 3 continue while one is forced to go back and report of the fate of the other three. This scenario is similar to the end of season 2 when Jack, Sawyer, Kate and Hurley go to make a stand against the Others and Hurley is sent back.
  • In Season 3's "Further Instructions", Locke awakes in the jungle after the hatch implosion unable to speak. He can only communicate by writing messages on a notepad. This is similar to Nick Andros in the novel.
  • There are murmurings later in the book among the people residing in Las Vegas whether Flagg is the one to lead them in the future. There are obvious similar murmurings among the Others on whether Ben is the one chosen to lead them in the future.
  • The leader of the good side in the novel, Stu Redman, loses his wife to cancer before the book begins, just as the leader of the survivors, Jack, lost his own wife via divorce before the plane crash. In the book Stu becomes romantically involved with Fran, a fellow survivor he meets after the superflu while Jack has shared kisses with Kate (a fellow plane survivor) and Juliet on the island thus far.
  • In The Stand the new society is very concerned about whether babies will be immune to the deadly flu, corresponding to the Others' obsession with children and reproduction.
  • The antagonist of the novel, Randall Flagg, is said to not age throughout the progression of time. He tells the character Nadine that his real name is Richard, which is the same name of Richard Alpert, who also seems not to age.
  • Both feature characters who died or were spared from death as a result of leg injuries. In The Stand, Stu Redman could not continue to Las Vegas (where the remaining members of his party die) because of a broken leg while Locke's leg injuries kept him from reaching the plane that fell and led to Boone's death instead. In The Stand, Harold Lauder chooses to kill himself as a result of an infected, badly broken leg. Likewise, Boone dies of injuries, one of them being a badly broken leg.
  • Mother Abigail is 108 years old.
  • Both feature children who seem to have special abilities: Walt in Lost and Leo Rockway in The Stand.
  • Both feature nuclear weapons detonation as a key element of the end of the conflict. The nuke Trashcan Man brings to Vegas and Jughead's core.
  • Both Randall Flagg and Jacob's nemesis have been referred to as the man in black.


  • In the unedited version released in 1990 the book's antagonist Randall Flagg awakes on a beach as Russell Faraday and appears to set out on a mission to corrupt the natives he meets there.
    • In the unedited version, the first chapter featuring Randall Flagg is chapter 23.
  • In a podcast shortly before the Season 5 finale, Damon and Carlton gave the name "Trashcan Man" as a hint to the final outcome of the Jughead. A reference to Trashcan Man accidently detonating an Atomic bomb in Las Vegas.

See also

  • Apocalypse - Article on apocalyptic references in Lost
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This article uses material from the "The Stand" article on the Lostpedia wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

ST Expanded

Up to date as of February 07, 2010

The Star Trek Expanded Universe Database is for fanon and related content. See for the canon Star Trek wiki.

The Stand was a 20th century science fiction/horror novel by human author Steven King. It dealt with the effects of a global epidemic that decimates humanity. An immensely popular book in its time, it was recovered after the Eugenics Wars and remained a "classic" well into the 24th century.

Timothy Sinclair read The Stand, along with several other King novels, in the 2350s. Christina Canapp had also read it sometime before 2379. It had also been developed into a holonovel. (Star Trek: Pendragon: "Dark Helix")

External links

This article uses material from the "The Stand" article on the ST Expanded wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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