Liberate te ex inferis and the key to the underworld
Part 1 – The Basics
The belief in some kind of underworld is a multicultural concept that is part of many religions. It´s often depicted as the home of demons, ghosts and evil in general. When people still thought that the world was a disc, underworld also really refered to the are that was supposed to be below the disc.
Also in the show they often kinda joked about hell in general – Gary Troup is an anagram for purgatory and when Anthony Cooper arrived on the island, he thought he was dead and already in hell.
Anthony Cooper: Cooper: Little hot for heaven, isn’t it?
But there really have been quite lots of hints towards the underworld, even if it was just by naming some people in a special way.
Abaddon is a figure from the bible, who was refered to as the angel and king of the abyss/underworld, who had the key to seal it. It´s not clear but hinted at that Abaddon banished the devil for 1000 years in hell – Matthew Abaddon worked for Charles Widmore.
In the egyptian mythology Osiris and Anubis were the most important gods of the Underworld – Anubis was depicted in the ritual chamber below the temple wall.
Also the hieroglyphs in the Swan station. They mean Underworld as well.
In greek mythology Persephone was kidnapped by the Hades, the god of the Underworld and so she became his wife and goddes – Persephone was not only the alias of Alvar Hansos daughter Rachel Blake, it was also the name of an hotel in the game Via Domus.
Also from greek mythology : Cerberus, the 3-headed dog and guardian of the Underworld – Cerberus was the name that the DHARMA Initiative gave the smoke monster.
So these are quite a few hints. The question is now – could the Underworld really exist in the world of Lost? I say yes and for this there are quite some gaps to fill, which is quite easy.
Part 2 – Catch a Falling Star
At first there would be the song “Catch a Falling Star” which was introduced in the episode “Raised by Another” and heavily featured on the show. And the lyrics can be easily applied to the island.
Eileen: “Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket.”
Claire: My dad used to sing that to me when I was little. Do you think you could sing it to the baby once in a while?
Eileen: Of course.
Never let it fade away
Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket
Save it for a rainy dayFor when your troubles start multiplyin’
And they just might
It’s easy to forget them without tryin’
With just a pocketful of starlight
Falling star – a falling star would be a meteorite. Meteorites often have a metallic core, which could be an explanation for the magnetic anomalies of the island. Meteorites were already praised thousands of years ago and even the egyptians made weapons and other items from their metal. We even could see a falling star – it killed Tricia Tanaka .
And when meteorites hit the earth they often leave a crater. And well, the island has got a pretty big one, which can be seen on Rousseaus map and probably also in the episode “A Tale of Two Cities”.
Also interesting would be an interview by Jimmy Kimmel with Cuse/Lindelof. Kimmel just asked about persons, nothing else – and their answer might imply some other influence from outer space.
Kimmel: Is everyone on the island from planet Earth?
Cuse: [long pause] Yes. That may be one of the best Lost questions we’ve ever been asked.
Lindelof: When you get asked questions like that, you have to be very careful how you answer.
- 01: And the fifth angel sounded the trumpet: and I saw a star fall from heaven upon the earth. And there was given to him the key of the bottomless pit.
- 02: And he opened the bottomless pit: and the smoke of the pit arose, as the smoke of a great furnace. And the sun and the air were darkened with the smoke of the pit.
- 11: And they had over them a king, the angel of the bottomless pit (whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon and in Greek Apollyon, in Latin Exterminans).
Pocket – the star, that was falling, was supposed to be put in a pocket. And when the earth caught the star, the island (or parts of it) became the pocket. They even refered to the “source” as a pocket on some occasions on the show.
Eloise: The room we’re standing in was constructed years ago over a unique pocket of electromagnetic energy.
Stuart: We hit the pocket!
Starlight – the light from the shining star. It can be seen through little cracks on the surface of the island. And it´s described as being beautiful.
Mother: Don’t go in there.
Man in Black: What’s down there?
Mother: Light. The warmest, brightest light you’ve ever seen or felt. And we must make sure that no one ever finds it.
Man in Black: It’s beautiful…
Part 3 – Connecting the dots
So the Angel of the bottomless pit didnt just go by the name Abaddon, the greek also called him Apollyon, which is another form of Apollo. Apollo was pretty often refered to in form of chocolate bars. In greek mythology Apollo was later often also identified with the god Helios. In the book Bad Twin by Gary Troup the so called Helios Foundation is mentioned.
So by naming this character they must have wanted to refer to these lines. And this biblical Abaddon kinda had the key to the Underworld. And what do we have on Lost? Not really a key but rather a cork. And when Jacob explained the function of the island, he compared it to a cork, which keeps the evil darkness right where it belongs. And in the end it was really a literal cork.
Jacob: Think of this wine as what you keep calling hell. There’s many other names for it too: malevolence, evil, darkness. And here it is, swirling around in the bottle, unable to get out because if it did, it would spread. The cork is this island and it’s the only thing keeping the darkness where it belongs.
Pretty important is here also an excerpt of the season 3 bonus material. Lindelof and Cuse described the function of the Swan already back then as a cork. So in the end the Swan was nothing else but a modern version of the stone plug which had to contain the evil.
Damon Lindelof: Let’s just say, theoretically, inside the Island there was this ball of electromagnetic energy. And, let’s just say, there was a group of people—we’ll call them the DHARMA Initiative—sort of drilling around, and doing general futzing on the Island, and they accidentally drilled into this hole, and suddenly that entire ball of electromagnetism became untapped, so they built this Swan Station above it, in an effort that it wouldn’t get completely out of control. So, by plugging that hole, you don’t actually do away with all the electromagnetism. It’s still there.
Carlton Cuse: It became tapped, actually.
Damon Lindelof: Yes, tapped, that’s right.
Carlton Cuse: Not untapped, but then now it’s been re-corked. Let’s just call it corked. It’s been corked. It’s not—it’s … its fine. Don’t worry about it.
Damon Lindelof: It’s tapped.
Also in the Swan Radzinsky made the famous Blast Door Map and left some pretty interesting notations on it. One of them would be “liberate te ex inferis”* which means “save yourself from hell / the underworld / the spirits below”.
Dr. Chang: If we keep drilling and hit that pocket, all hell is gonna break loose!
And when they removed the cork in the cave the ground began to glow and it became pretty hot in there. This indicates that hell was just about to be opened.
Even the script for “The End” suggests the possibility, that they are right above Hell:
JACK. ROPE tied around his waist — DROPPING DOWN INTO THE CAVERN the last TEN FEET — WHAM! SHOUTS AS HE HITS the ground like a ton of BRICK — as if he wasn’t already MORTALLY WOUNDED! Jack rolls over onto his side as RUMMMMMBLE! Another TREMOR HITS… they’re every TEN SECONDS NOW… Jack forcing himself up as he looks around and — We realize this place has quite literally GONE TO HELL. First and foremost, Jack is just BLASTED BY THE EXTREME HEAT.
ON JACK. CRAWLING NOW as he moves the GREAT STONE TOWARDS THAT HOLE — FOR ALL WE KNOW, it could be a passageway to HADES INTSELF — Jack CRYING OUT IN PAIN — just WILLING. THE STONE. FORWARDS. And FINALLY HE GETS THERE. ROLLS THE ROCK INTO PLACE. THUNK. BACK INTO THE HOLE. He’s DONE IT.
So the conclusion to all this would be: In the world of Lost the underworld exists. Thousands of years ago there was a meteorite which opened the entry to hell, but it was sealed by the people with this cork and from this moment the gate had to protected – otherwise the world would have ended. Or something like this.