Jan 19, 2009

Lost Myseries: The Numbers

4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42 ... THE NUMBERS!!! Every Lost fan knows them by heart, but what do they mean? That is one of the biggest questions Lost fans want answered on the show.

Sure there was that whole Valenzetti Equation explanation from one of the Lost alternative reality games (The Lost Experience), but if it didn't happen on the show, it isn't taken as Lost fact. The producers of the show have said that casual viewers won't have to do more than just watch the show to get information. Sure the online games, mock Web sites and fake ads are fun, but the key information for Lost is given during Lost episodes.

So what does that mean for the Numbers? Will we ever get a true explanation for them? Why do we keep seeing them in different places? Do they really have power and if so, what gives them that power? Are they bad luck/cursed?

Unfortunately for Lost fans, the producers have hinted that we may never find out the true meaning of the numbers. In 2005, Damon Lindelof said that we may never know what the Numbers mean, but there was a huge backlash from the fans over this. They've since used Star Wars as a reference to why we should be careful what we ask for.

Here's the way Damon Lindelof put it:
There are some questions that are very engaging and interesting, and then there are other questions that we have no interest whatsoever in answering. We call it the midi-chlorian debate, because at a certain point, explaining something mystical demystifies it. To try and have a character come and say, "Here is what the numbers mean," actually makes every usage of the numbers up to that point less interesting.

You can actually watch Star Wars now, and when Obi-Wan talks about the Force to Luke for the first time, it loses its luster because the Force has been explained as, sort of, little biological agents that are in your blood stream. So you go, "Oh, I liked Obi-Wan's version a lot better." Which in the case of our show is, "The numbers are bad luck, they keep popping up in Hurley's life, they appear on the island." ... But if you're watching the show for a detailed explanation of what the numbers mean—and I'm not saying you won't see more of them—then you will be disappointed by the end of season six.

So sadly Lost fans, I think we'll be left with the Lost Experience definition of the numbers, and we can then interpret them in our own way.

But its always fun to watch the episodes and try to find where they numbers have appeared. From kids jersey numbers in the airport to the Oceanic 815 seat numbers to the speedometer on Hurley's car, the numbers keep popping up.

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