Before we begin, one note: we’ve not seen any more episodes than you of Lost, assuming you’re up to date with the series. Thus, no spoilers, just speculation!
As Lost draws to a close, with only five hours of TV left before it’s all over, there is one question that we can be sure will get an answer: which members of the cast are going to die?
With no new episode of Lost to watch this week, I decided to indulge in a little speculation to try and figure out which of the series regulars will end up eating soil before the story is over. There are 15 ‘regular’ cast members in season 6, so excluding Ilana (the only series regular who has bitten the dust thus far) that makes for 14 possible deaths. Of course, some deaths are more likely than others, and that’s why I’ve created this handy guide: the Lost Dead Pool.
As is customary in a dead pool, I’ve assigned odds predicting the likelihood each character will die (assuming, of course, that anyone survives…) so check out my reasoning below, and feel free to leave your own guesses and speculation in the comments.
Remember – there are no prizes for being correct – but you will get the bragging rights of having a successful guess on record!
James “Sawyer” Ford – Odds: Even
As far as deaths go, Sawyer’s is about as certain as it gets. First, he’s a major and well-loved character, but not, by any means, the hero of the piece. Indeed, he’s the adversary of the man who is, and that traditionally doesn’t end well.
Second, the woman he loved died, so there’s nothing greater he can lose except his life.
And third, he had his revenge on the original Sawyer long ago. His story is complete and, as they say, keep going long enough and there’s only one way any story ends. With death.
As if those reasons aren’t compelling enough, consider that Sawyer has also gone through a classic redemptive arc, from villain to hero, but he’s taken lives, and the rules of fiction dictate that there’s only one way to achieve redemption for that. It probably won’t happen until the finale, but I’d put my money on Sawyer being dead before that last logo appears.
Jack Shephard – Odds: 2-1
Of all the characters, Jack has been on the biggest journey. He started out the series as a ‘man of science’, beholden only to what he could see and understand.
Six years on, he’s changed by his experiences, resigned to fate and the nebulous intentions of ‘the island’. For that reason, I’m expecting him to be the man who replaces Jacob.
However, dedicated Lost viewers will remember that Jack was originally intended to be a surprise death in episode 1, but gained a stay of execution. He’s long overdue for the big sleep, and it seems so obvious that Jack is destined to replace Jacob that, if he did actually die, that would be a bigger shock than if he’d died in episode 1. Perhaps his real destiny is to deliver that shock after all.
Hugo “Hurley” Reyes – Odds: 3-1
This is a tough one. Hurley is the comic relief, as well as (let’s face it) the ‘entry point’ character for the legions of geeks who love the show. His plucky, down-to-earth underachieving is something we can all relate to, and he’s the only character that we’ve been consistently rooting for ever since day one.
For that reason, there are only two ways this can go: he survives, because he’s just too popular to kill, or he dies, because that’s the one way to prove that no-one is safe.
As the only one capable of talking directly to Jacob, he’s got plot mechanics on his side, but there’s a good chance Hurley will be offered up as a sacrificial lamb. Whether he survives or not is purely down to how cruel the writers are feeling when the time comes.
Richard Alpert – Odds: 5-1
Mr. Immortal himself has already indicated that he’s willing to end his life of wasted servitude, and Smokey doubtlessly has a grudge against him, so Richard’s death is quite plainly on the cards.
Perhaps Jacob will reward his service by setting Richard free to live out his life in the outside world, away from the island. But I doubt it. Richard’s death would have such a huge impact on the viewers that I’ll be very surprised if the writers can resist it, and, let’s face it, he’s long overdue, having lived several lifetimes already.
No-one gets to live forever.
Claire Littleton – Odds: 7-1
Poor Claire. She clearly forfeited her right to life (in narrative terms) when she abandoned Team 815 a few seasons ago and signed up with the embodiment of all that is dark and evil. Plus, she’s freaking mental, and unlike Sayid, shows no signs of coming back from that.
I don’t see her remaining on the island once the candidate has been selected, but at the same time, I don’t see her making it back to the outside world. Plus, as the character most frequently loyal to the smoke monster, she’s certain to be his first choice for cannon fodder, especially since she might have just betrayed him.
John Locke/Johnny Smoke Monster – Odds: 10-1
There are only three ways it can go for ol’ Smokey. Either he’s killed, trapped on the island, or he escapes.
While I can’t deny that the sight of John Locke walking off into the distance, finally free of the island, would be a threatening and powerful ending for the series, it would also suggest failure. Ridding the world of him once and for all would be a win, but it doesn’t make sense to replace Jacob if there isn’t going to be a Smoke Monster alive to be his rival.
The idea of Jack and Locke being stuck on the island with only one another for company is how I can imagine the series ending, and for that to happen, the Smoke Monster has to stay with us. And in any case, how do you kill a cloud of sentient smoke, even if you want to?
Sayid Jarrah – Odds: 15-1
Two weeks ago, I’d have said that death was the only way Sayid was getting out of his current situation. But since last week’s episode hinted that he might not be as far gone as we thought. I’m not so sure now.
He might have become a cold, emotionless zombie who kills without hesitation, but this corruption was not of his own doing. Death wouldn’t be a fair ending for him. It’s possible that, when the time comes, he’ll embrace oblivion as a way of reasserting his own free will, a final act of defiance against Smokey’s influence, but it’s just as likely that he’ll turn back towards the light in time to stay alive when everything’s done and dusted.
Miles Straume – Odds: 20-1
Like Hurley, Miles is a well-loved comic relief character. But unlike Hurley, he has powerfully selfish motivations. He came to the island in search of a payday, and that doesn’t bode well for his eventual fate.
Indeed, if Hurley lives, I’m certain that it’ll be Miles who becomes the sacrificial lamb of the cast and, let’s face it, there’s a certain irony inherent in the man who can speak to the recently dead heading over to the other side himself.
Working against him is the fact that, as a relatively late addition to the cast, his death isn’t going to mean a lot if it does happen. His contemporaries are already mincemeat, for example. It’d almost be more of a surprise if he didn’t die.
Jin-Soo Kwan – Odds: 20-1
So much screen time was spent reuniting Jin and Sun that I’m hesitant to believe either will die, but if one of them has to go, then it’ll certainly be Jin.
More than any other character, he’s been through a world of crap ever since he arrived on the island, so it’s possible he’ll be rewarded with a clean getaway, but it’s also likely that he’ll be forced make the ultimate sacrifice to save his wife.
To be honest, I’m expecting a happy ending here, though.
Ben Linus – Odds: 20-1
Of all the main cast members, Ben is the one hardest to get a handle on. So far, his contributions to Season 6 have been limited, so it’s not clear what his purpose in the story is.
He started life as a villain, but unlike Sawyer, he hasn’t followed a redemptive arc. Ben possibly has regrets, but he hasn’t tried to make amends, so he won’t be expected to make a sacrifice to balance his karma, and furthermore, the island has already judged him twice and he’s survived both times.
I’m forced to conclude that if Ben was going to die, he’d have done so already by now.
Kate Austen – Odds: 25-1
Like Sawyer, Kate has been down a redemptive path, though a little more ambiguously. Unlike Sawyer, her crimes were motivated by good intentions.
The fact that she’s not a ‘candidate’ suggests that in the eyes of the island, she’s expendable, but she’s also got a child to go back to. And, as brutal as Lost is, I’d be surprised if it left a child without its mother (even if she’s not Aaron’s biological mother).
And although Jack and Sawyer would be substantially affected by Kate’s death, Lost has already fridged more than enough female characters over the years, so it’d take some very poor decision-making, indeed, for them to kill off the series’ most well-developed woman simply to get a reaction out of the male leads.
I’m fairly certain that Kate is safe.
Frank Lapidus – Odds: 25-1
Good old Frank. Frank who has had about six lines this series. There’s only one reason that Frank’s still hanging around the main cast at all, and that’s because they need a pilot to fly the Hydra Island plane home. As long as that plane’s intact, he’s safe. And since the cast arrived by plane, I’m reasonably sure that’s how the survivors will leave (narrative circularity, y’see).
He’s not the safest guy around, but his death would be so meaningless that I don’t expect them to actually bother wasting time on it at all.
Desmond Hume – Odds: 30-1
The man who kicked off Season 2 in spectacular fashion hasn’t been in Season 6 much, but he’s already proven pivotal to the plot. He knows better than anyone that death can’t be avoided, having tried to personally prevent Charlie’s, but since he was abducted and brought back to the island against his will, he’s got Penny and their child to return to.
At least one of the Lost couples needs a happy ending, and for that reason I’m expecting Desmond and Penny to be reunited once more by the series’ end.
Sun Kwon – Odds: 35-1
Like Kate, Sun has a child waiting for her off the island and, as far as I’m concerned, that’s better protection than Kevlar-lined adamantium.
There’s no way that both Jin and Sun will die, and I can’t imagine the writers leaving Kwon Jr. with only the father she’s never met to raise her. You can have a child without a father, but without a mother? No chance.
More than any other character, Sun’s tickets home are as good as booked. Only an untimely volcano eruption can prevent her flight home now.
Add your own thoughts in the comments!