Thursday, April 23, 2009

LT251: The Riddle Revealed


Not sure which team Ilena and Bram are playing for, so in the meantime I’m going to use the label Team Van to identify the group. The name comes from the black van that picked up Miles for a joyride.

Team Van has now asked the riddle, “What lies in the shadow of the statue?” twice. It is time we take a stab at answering this.


There is an old show that was on FOX called Millennium. It had a main character named Peter Watts. If we state the phrase “shadow of the statue” into an anagram engine it comes up with “Watts House of Death”.

Ok, this seems like it requires a big leap of faith. However, before dismissing consider that Terry O’Quinn aka John Locke starred in the show.

And in one episode a serial killer was played by our Horace Goodspeed.

And the series final line was “We are all shepherds.” Hmmm…


With the statue being of Egyptian origin, I did a search on Egyptian riddles and found the most famous one: What is that which is four-footed, three-footed and two footed? The answer is “Man” since we crawl when a baby on all four, use a cane for assistance when old, and walk upright on two feet in between those times.

It seems that the LOST writers are expecting us to research this topic when leads us to the Sphinx, the guardian of the tombs.

The Sphinx consists of a lion’s body with the head of the pharaoh. The lion is considered the guardian of kings. Lions would accompany the rulers during warfare as they believed their presence would keep them safe.

Once the Great Sphinx was completed a temple was erected in front of the 66-foot statue. The temple was a place where believers could offer gifts to the living god known as Horus-in-the-Horizon. Horus?


Horus-in-the-Horizon is one of the many identities of the god Horus. In this form he is depicted as a man with a falcon head. And notice what he is holding!

In this identity and as the name implies he is considered the rising sun. We have seen a Dharma logo that seems to represent the rising sun:

This logo has only appeared one time and is found on the map that Ben gave to Danielle, Alex and Karl for them to find their way to safety – which failed.

Consider the logo, the attached meaning the Egyptian god, the ankh in his hand, and Horace’s name as the leader of the Dharma Initiative. All these clues seem to point to the most popular form of Horus: the Sphinx. Add in the connection of a riddle to the Sphinx and we seem to be on the right track.


In more recent times attempts were made to determine if tunnels and rooms existed under the Sphinx. They used ELECTROMAGETIC sounding. Indeed chambers were found. The group of researchers from Boston College and Florida State University labeled these readings as “anomalies”. Where have we heard the term “electromagnetic anomaly” before? If you can’t remember the answer is the arctic listening post that Penny arranged to find the island.

It most definitely seems like we are the right track, but I couldn’t get any closer to shadows other than the sleeping prince story. So the search term was switched to “Egyptian shadow”.


It seems the Egyptian’s believed that a person is made of six parts including the shadow. A person couldn’t exist without its shadow and visa versa. In hieroglyphics the symbol is that of a small man painted completely black.

The shadow also became used as a sign of protection. In the hot desert this was logical extension of the meaning and use of the shadow. And being the Egyptians were so fascinated with the sun and that light is required to cast a shadow it was expected that soon the shadow would represent the comfort for all those who dwell in the king’s shadow of protection.

I came across the Book of Shadows which contains rites and rituals that serve as a guide for witchcraft.


With the above research in mind, I stepped back and tried to examine the riddle using simplicity.

What lies in the shadow of the statue?

Using simplicity as my guide the possibilities that came to mind were the Temple, the well or darkness. I keep getting drawn back to Smokey who could represent darkness. Could the reference be figurative and be pointing us to the coming war?

Could the answer be Smokey? Recall when Smokey was crashing down trees it would make him the size of the statue! Could the Statue be walking around like a giant Paul Bunyan?


Another excellent proposal suggests the answer is “A Lie”. Riddles are just that, brain teasers. “What LIES…” doesn’t mean physical position to the shadow, but lies as in telling a falsehood. We can rephrase the riddle then to “What tells falsehoods in the shadow of the statue?” Answer: nothing because if you do Smokey will judge you. Perhaps only the truth can be spoken in the shadow of the statue.


Another strong candidate for an answer is “The Door”. Remember the false door that Sayid found when he took the sailboat with Jin and Sun around the island? We saw in an earlier scene that it was guarded by two armed Others. It seems odd to guard a door that Sayid wouldn’t know was guarded. Michael mentioned they had weapons, but didn’t really speak much of the door. And when Sayid opened the door it was solid rock. What purpose would that serve the Others?

Unless something is behind the rock and this leads us back to Jughead. Is this the burial spot for the bomb? Will the bomb be used in the final war or will it open some doorway to the underworld?

And keep in mind that rock formation which looked like a window. I’m getting a little Alan Parsons Project song in my head now! Could looking from a certain place through the window reveal some secret?


Another related point takes us back to Mr. Eko who incorrectly quoted the Psalms 23. He said, “the shadow of the valley of death”. The proper wording is “the valley of the shadow of death”. Is there some ancient cemetery here? Is this the Valley of the Kings?


Some see a strong connection to Stephen King’s book, “The Stand”. The book includes many similarities to LOST including a 108-year old woman. But the connection to this post is that the group used a question to identify each other. That question was “Who lies in Hemingford, Nebraska”. The answer was Abigail Freemantle. Try that one Frank!


Or when Ben was first prisoner he told Locke that Hemmingway could never get out of Dostoyevsky’s shadow.


Keeping a literary theme going…

"It cannot be seen, cannot be felt
Cannot be heard, cannot be smelt.
It LIES behind stars and under hills,
And empty holes it fills.
It comes first and follows after,
Ends life, kills laughter. "

--J.R.R. Tolkien "The Hobbit" Answer: Darkness


I had to keep digging. And then I found this:


Around 1400 BC an Egyptian prince was said to have taken refuge in the shadow of the Sphinx. He dreamed and in that dream was told he would become the king if he kept the sand from covering up the Sphinx. He became King but only after murdering those in the rightful line to the throne.

Many suspect the dream was a lie. Since the claim was to have come directly from the god of Horus, who could question it? This seems to match a pattern seen on LOST. Ben has used lies to accomplish his goals and when questioned he falls back on the claim, “Jacob wanted it.”


Recall an earlier episode entitled “The Little Prince”. Many assumed it referred to the literary work and this was reinforced with the scientific name (B612) of a star that uses the same planet name found in the book.

However the show also used the double-meaning of pointing us to Aaron as the Little Prince.

So, the Little Prince lies in the shadow of the statue.

Personally, I want to carry a step further and suggest a burial plot. The grave could hold the body of an ancient Egyptian king who is today known as Jacob. Could this imply then that Aaron is Jacob?


I’m putting my money on Aaron. Post your guess in the comments section.

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1 comment:

BellBookCandleSupply said...

Still other theories include the notion that the ankh represents the sun crowning over the horizon, the path of the sun from east to west (with the loop representing the Nile), a stylized person, or that it is a combination of the male and female symbols of Osiris (the cross) and Isis (the oval) respectively, and therefore signifies the union of heaven and earth.
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