Anubis and the Smoke Monster hieroglyphics

Hieroglyphic in Smokey's Lair Episode 5x12

Hieroglyphic in Smokey's Lair Episode 5x12

This hieroglyphic was on what seemed to be an altar in the underground temple that is Smokey’s lair.

The snake-like creature on the left is probably Smokey itself. The creature on the right, whose hand is outstretched with an offer of something (food?) for Smokey, looks a lot like the jackal-headed Egyptian god Anubis:



Anubis was the god who protected the dead and brought them to the afterlife. That certainly fits in with the world of LOST, with all its undead characters wandering around.

There’s been a big debate, among LOST fans, about whether the four-toed statue is meant to be Anubis or the goddess Taweret. I’d thought it was Taweret, based on the similarities of the headdresses, the toes, and Taweret’s mission of protecting pregnant women. The appearance of the Anubis hieroglyphic, though, in such a prominent place in Smokey’s lair, suggests that even if the statue is Taweret, Anubis must also play an important role in the history of the Island.

Editing to add: Answers people have given for “Other” in the poll are “It’s not offering, it’s welcoming,” “The Golden Apple of Discordia,” “Tootsie roll pop… ‘how many licks does it take’,” “Nothing – the hand is just outstreched towards the monster,” “Blessings,” “Nothing,” “A heart,” and “A heart to be weighed (judged).” Good answers!

Screencap (lightened and cropped) from Lostpedia, (c) ABC. Picture of Anubis via Wikipedia GNU FDL

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7 responses to “Anubis and the Smoke Monster hieroglyphics

  1. The four toed statue is of Isis, the wife of Osiris and the mother of Horus(the Egyptian Jesus). When Horus was a baby his mother took him to a magical hidden island to protect him from his uncle seth, who had murdered his father. The island is protected by Anubis, the Egyptian god of judgment and the underworld(his hieroglyph was on the wall, calling the monster, when Ben was judged). And the cherry on top. Horus was crippled as a boy then miraculously healed, died and rose again after 3 days, and had a line/scar under his right eye(image search the eye of Horus and you will see). Last week when Jack was cleaning the class room there was a time line of ancient Egypt. Long story short, John is Horus reincarnated and is here to save everyone. I think Richard might be an ancient Egyptian left to protect the island. There it is. Hope I didn’t burst your bubble!

    • Now that the season finale has run…

      The statue on the beach where Jacob lives (only a foot remains by the time of our cast) I thought at first was Anubis but I read another list and someone pointed out that is was crocodile headed Sobek, not Anubis.

      That got me to researching Sobek and more Egyptian stories. The snake thing in the lower right corner of the hieroglyph is a symbol for the goddess Wadjet (called Buto in Greek). The thing in the upper left corner looks a lot like an eye of Wadjet (precursor to eye of Horus or eye of Ra). Wadjet makes a lot of sense and is a direct tie to the island. In the story of Osiris, after he is encased in the coffin by Set, Isis takes the infant Horus to an island and places him under the care of Wadjet while she seeks the coffin box with Osiris’ body. Then Isis cuts the island from it’s foundations so that it moves and cannot be found.

      This island is the island that Isis cut loose to hide Horus (in the version where Horus was aleady born before Osiris was killed).

      The basement where the smoke monster lives strikes me as similar to the Hall of Two Truths where the Ba of a deceased person was judged. If they failed the test of Ma’at, then their Ba was fed to a devouring god (Amamet). The Ba held memories so Amamet would have those memories to exploit. So, I consider it possible that the monster is Amamet who (like Jacob’s nemesis) sees the worst in people. If true, then Jacob would be Anubis who makes sure the judgement is measured correctly and who, while guarding the path to the place of judgement, makes sure that deserving souls get guided where they need to go. The hieroglyph representing Amamet and Anubis would make sense in that light.

      But, the smoke monster could also represent Set. Greek myths equated Set with the Titan Typhon. He was represented both by snakes and as a monster of smoke. If true then the nemesis is Set who is represented in the hieroglyph as the serpent who contends with Anubis (and don’t forget Wadget, especially on this island) because he wants to destroy the one the island protects, Horus. So Jacob would be a Horus figure. Makes sense that the nemesis would hate him since Horus the Avenger castrated Set and cast him out.


      • Jacob’s enemy is Cerberus. The Island has several Cerberus Vents (CV) that are identified on the blast door drawing that Radzinsky worked on while in the Swan station. In Ancient Greek mythology, the god Hermes and the monster Cerberus (smoke monster?) are thought to derive their origins from the golden jackal. The Egyptian god of embalming, Anubis, was portrayed as a jackal-headed man, or as a jackal wearing ribbons and holding a flagellum, a symbol of protection. Did you notice that the big statue has four toes? That’s how many toes a jackal has on its feet. Back to Hermes – I think Jacob is a version of Hermes. Hermes helps people with injuries, which might tie into why people can heal quickly on the island. Hermes embodied the spirit of crossing-over: He was seen to be manifest in any kind of interchange, transfer, transgressions, transcendence, transition, transit or traversal, all of which involve some form of crossing in some sense. This explains his connection with transitions in one’s fortune. In the final episode of season 5 we see Jacob/Hermes show up at the transition point of people’s lives (Kate/stealing, Locke/becoming a cripple, Sayid/losing his wife, Jack/surgery, etc.). Jacob gives Jack an Apollo candy bar (the one that had jammed in the vending machine). Medicine and healing were associated with the Greek god, Apollo. In many Greek myths, Hermes was depicted as the only god besides Hades, Persephone, Hecate, and Thanatos who could enter and leave the Underworld without hindrance.[all of this was sourced from material found on Wikipedia]

  2. Welcome Darin, and a belated welcome to Steve.

    I just found something very interesting. I was skimming through some of the Wikipedia articles on the gods/goddesses you mentioned, and I found this in the article on Wadjet:

    When identified as the protector of Ra, who also was a sun deity associated with heat and fire, she sometimes was said to be able to send fire onto those who might attack, just as the cobra spits poison into the eyes of its enemies. In this role she was called the Lady of Flame.

    In the opening sequence of The Incident, we see fire twice in the first couple of minutes. First, it’s in the middle of Jacob’s room, and then in that oddly extended scene of him cooking the fish.

    This emphasis on fire struck me as significant enough that I made a note of it in my “Jacob and Esau” post, but I didn’t know what the significance might actually be.

    So maybe there is a connection to Wadjet. Could Jacob be a worshipper (or perhaps even an incarnation of) Wadjet?

    • About the opening scene of The Incident:

      First thing that i noticed about the fire in Jacob’s pad was that it is being shown in reverse. Watch carefully… Dont know why

      The “Oddly Extended Fish Scene”
      This is clearly an allusion to a red herring being presented to offset someone’s plan… MM? Jacob is cooking… you guessed it… a red herring

  3. I think Ted could be on to something with the Cerberus/Hermes comments. I am not quite ready to completely go Greek since hieroglyphs are so central to this discussion point but I’ll conceed the possibility.

    There are various versions of the Osiris story depending which era of Egyptian history the version is drawn from. Hence, I am preferring the version where Isis cut the island free from its foundations to be hidden. I can see the nemesis as Set and the smoke monster as Set (so nemesis is smoke monster) but I can also see the smoke monster as Amamet and separate from Set. In either case, I see Jacob as more like Anubis than like Horus. John Locke as a Horus figure is apealing but only if he actually awakens next season (and Richard’s comments seem to make that unlikely).

    Also, I could see the nemesis (whether Set or not) appearing to others in various guises. He could be the Christian who told Locke how to get off the island. But, if I accept that, then who is the Clare who appeared in the cabin with Christian to first give instructions to Locke? And Christian told Jin’s wife to wait for Locke at the office while the nemesis Locke was still on the other island. Could he jump back and forth to be both places? Or is Christian someone else?

    What we still do not know is the actual use of the temple by the others. Whom do they worship, and how, and why are they called to protect the island and temple. Any of that would be helpful. Unless someone has caught something I missed.

  4. I think Christian might be an incarnation of Jacob. Both of them have a habit of showing up in the Lostie’s lives to give them a little nudge.

    I was about to say that I didn’t think that Greek mythology plays a role, because most of the references we have seen in the show are Egyptian — and then I remembered that the tapestry Jacob was weaving had Greek lettering.

    So complicated! 😉

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