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LOST Theory – The Widmore, Hawking, Linus Equation

By docarzt,

  Filed under: Lost Theories
  Comments: 51

How was Ben so chummy with Hawking, when she seems to also be connected to Widmore? Whose side is she on? Why didn’t Widmore find out Ben was working with Hawking, and intercede?  Who is the good guy, is it Widmore or Linus – or neither?  Here are my theories.

The Hawking Enigma – Whose Side is She On?

One of the brain rattlers for me was this:  if Widmore sent Desmond to Hawking, probably knows Locke was heading for Hawking – and Ben was subsequently pretty chummy with Hawking, then whose side is she on?  Then it occurred to me – maybe she doesn’t have a horse in either race.

If you take away all of Mrs. Hawking’s familial connections and other patented LOST story-telling gobbility gook, the only thing we really know about her for sure is this:  she, like Abaddon, is someone who gets people to where they are going – in particular, the island.  As demonstrated in the case of Desmond, in Flashes Before Your Eyes, she is particularly assertive when it comes to guiding people back to the island that have somehow lost their way and are on the verge of committing a temporal offense.

This description of Hawking’s role in the LOST universe is easy to take as fact because it is all that remains when we distill away all of the unnecessary information mucking up her involvement in the story.  She provided a slight nudge to Desmond, direction to Ben and Oceanic Six, and had a long list of alternative routes ready to go for anyone else who might cross her path.

On the speculative end of things, we could assume that Hawking would help anyone get back to the island, and probably already has.  After all, getting the Oceanic 6 back to the island involved the use of all that machinery in the Lamppost station – should we assume that Widmore’s freighter merely stumbled upon the island, or got really good directions at an oil platform?

Being the only one with a complete understanding of the mechanics of finding the island takes her off the target list, but Ms. Hawking could still be manipulated much in the way of Dicken’s Signalman – haunted by phantoms of past missteps that eventually resulting in the wrong twist of the tracks.

Ben.  He always has a plan

When Ben left the island, he knew there was a way to come back.  Was his motivation to protect the island as he claims?  Hell no. Ben was motivated by the still fresh rage he felt watching his daughter die on New Otherton’s lawn.  Want a nice visual comparison for the glee he emitted while he choked out John Locke?  Take a look at the knifing of Keamy.  He knew there were risks – the risk that he wouldn’t make it back to the island – but if there is one thing we know about Ben it is that he is absolutely confident in his ability to manipulate people.

Somehow Ben has convinced Locke that he is dealing with Jacob, when he is not.  It’s possible that Christian was resurrected when 815 crashed, just like Locke, and that Ben has been using him on the promise that he can reunite him with Jack.  Locke, through multiple twists of fate and time, winds up thinking part of his purpose is to leave the island, spreads that same message to Alpert and company, and ultimately leaves the island under his own will.  Ben’s long con is complete.  John, who can testify that Ben can no longer speak with Jacob, is no longer a problem – and the others have no leader possibly paving the way for Ben’s return to ‘the way it was.’

On the off-island side of his scheme, Ben is locked in a tight battle with Widmore.  Using Sayid to knock out his operatives, fueling his ghost status along the way.  With no other way to flush Ben out, Widmore is ready to work with anyone – even a potential heir to his coveted position within the others.

Why Was Widmore Helping John Locke?

If Widmore had not told John Locke to return to the island, would he have eventually run into Mrs. Hawking?  Or Brother Campbell?  Or Jill the Butcher?  Maybe.  Since one of the themes of LOST seems to be people putting their own interests before the safety and happiness of others, perhaps Widmore’s helping hand had little to do with helping Locke at all.  What could his ultimate purpose have been?  Maybe it was to find Ben.

If my perception of Ben’s motivations are correct, Widmore is no doubt aware of his plans and aims to stop him.  The game between Widmore and Ben is one with mortal consequences: kill or be killed.  Having been bested by Ben’s guerilla tactics, Widmore turns to a plan with a little more finesse – something more akin to his competitors tactics. He embraces a mutual foe, John Locke.

The placement of Widmore’s right hand man Matthew with Locke could have had aims well beyond helping John round up his island vagabonds.  It could have Widmore’s aim that Locke would eventually flush out Ben Linus, bringing him into Matthew’s crosshairs. A plan that ultimately failed.  With their apparent foresight, the path connecting the Oceanic 6 must have been prime hunting grounds for either man.

Who is more desperate?

When it comes to exploiting Ms. Hawking’s indifference, why couldn’t either one of the men make it back to the island?  Why the game?  Here are a few possibilities.

Perhaps in his ill-fated attempt to conquer the island, Widmore has used up his one ticket.  Hawking may have shut the door on Widmore.  This possibility fits very well with the theme of characters living with the consequences of bad decisions.

On Ben’s side of things, perhaps it was proximity.  Since he left the island at nearly the same time as the Oceanic 6, they would need to be together to make the trip.  Hawking was perfectly willing to help him, but the variables were working against him.  The consequence of his action was that he was now inextricably tied to the lives of those six.

Or, it’s completely something else.

From TVFrenzy:

  • benlinus

    it’s completely something else 😛

    just kidding, it actually makes a lot of sense but there’s got to be much more to Widmore and Hawking, and why my namesake killed Locke is still up for debate too. I get the feeling the information these 3 are giving out is presented in such a way that it serves their purpose. But Hawking being neutral could actually work. She’s using what she has at her disposal to prevent whatever it is that would require ‘god help us all’. And the parallel with Abaddon is spot on. One thing I’m very interested in is how will Locke’s resurrection affect each of their gameplans. Ben surely knew Locke would rise from death to kick his ass to a bloody pulp (has to happen!) but what about Widmore? :S

  • Charlie’s Ghost

    I read the first sentence and have to say that Widmore didn’t send Locke to Hawking. There seems to be a misconception here. Christian sent Locke to Hawking. Desmond wasn’t sent to Hawking, he asked where she was. I think Hawking and Widmore are not on good terms. Maybe because of an earlier fling between Elli and young Widmore? Who knows.

    • hyperRevue

      Oops. Beat me to it.

      If anyone sent Des to Hawking it was Daniel.

    • docarzt

      You are right on Locke. Gotta fix that. But it was Widmore who gave Desmond her address in Los Angeles – regardless of the mission, the point is that Widmore knows who she is.

    • docarzt

      CG: Again, if Mrs. Hawking’s contraption is the only way to find the island then he either has duplicate equipment, or she actually gave him the information he needed. It seems that getting to the island is a matter of being at the right place at the right time. Of course, an alternative is that Faraday may have known how to find the island as well.

      • Mrs. Alpert

        Charles funded Dharma, the Lighthouse is a Dharma station… Daniel worked for Charles…

        I think the Eloise & Charles are/were together… at the very least I think they are on the same side… either way, Charles has 2 physicists who know how to get to the island…

        • It is my thinking that she had an episode like Desmond, and is standing on the sidelines. Gave up on Widmore because of his obsession with the Island – just like Locke. Ben is not so much obsessed as he is a controller.

  • hyperRevue

    Two things.

    1. “if Widmore sent Locke to Hawking.” Didn’t Jacob/Christian send Locke to Hawking?

    2. “When Ben left the island, he knew there was a way to come back.” Well, at least he claimed as much. We don’t really know if he was telling the truth or not. Seeing as he did return to the Island, I assume he was lying.

    • docarzt

      Read that again. 😉 He knew there was a way. He said there was no way.

      • hyperRevue

        Ugh. Sorry. I’ve been editing all day, I’m a little fried.

    • Zonker

      Why did Ben *choose* to turn the frozen donkey wheel rather than let John do it? At the time, he said it was Jacob’s will, because Jacob (Christian, actually) had not told John exactly *how* to move the island. But Christian later told John that it was a mistake for John to let Ben move the island rather than doing it himself.

      I guess it could be argued that moving the wheel was the quick way (sans submarine) for Ben to make his way back to the real world and take his revenge on Charles Widmore for the death of Alex. But 3 years later, Ben is ready to go back? What’s he accomplished by that point? Disturbing Charles’ sleep and threatening his daughter on one occasion. Having Sayid kill off some of Charles’ underlings.


      • docarzt

        He may have succeeded in killing Penny. He may have also known that Penny would be there in advance. They do seem to have played this game before.

      • Alaine

        I think one of Ben’s main goals was to turn the frozen donkey wheel and move the island so Widmore would have to start his search for the island all over again. Ben getting off the island and carrying out his threats was a fringe benefit.

        • Zonker

          Certainly so. But why not let Locke do it, as Jacob intended? That was my question.

  • DharmaDave

    I haven’t seen anyone mention that possiblity that Ben killed Locke because Locke knew about Ms. Hawking. I think that Ben was sincere about wanting Locke to stop his suicide attempt because he thought that he would need him to get the 06 back. But then he found out about Jin and knew he could get Sun (and according to him Jack was already convinced). But the Locke said that he knew about Ms. Hawking and Ben killed.

    Ben knew that the 06 hated him. Why would they agree to bring him back with them? He had to play an intrical part in them getting back. He had to offer some knowledge that they could not have on thier own. He knew to go to Ms. Hawkings. Locke knowing about it took away his leverage. So although Locke was important to his mission to get the 06 to go back, Ben wss possible going to be left out in the cold. So he killed Locke, so that he could be the to present them with the way to get back to the island, ensuring that they would reward his contribution by allowing his to hitch a ride with them.

    I do not think that Ben had any knowledge that Locke would resurrect, but I am sure once he is confronted with a living Locke that is the story he will tell.

    • docarzt

      This may be a reach, but I think Ben will try to become the ‘leader’ of the 316r’s and use them to take out the O6 and Alpert’s others. This could be the war that widmore is talking about. When the 316 people find out the O6 put them in harms way, they are not going to be very happy.

      • DharmaDave

        That could make sense and it could explain who was shooting at Locke, Sawyer Juliet etc. in the outrigger.

        • hyperRevue

          I think it’s undoubtedly th 316ers shooting at Locke, Sawyer, Juliet on the outrigger. But I dunno about there being a war between the 316ers and 06/Alpert’s Others. At least not right now, since they’re currently in different time periods (at least I believe they are).

          • DharmaDave

            They would be in a different time than Sawyer, Juliet, Jin, Faraday Miles, Kate, Jack, and Hurley,

            But they would be in the same time as Alpert and the Other’s since the did not move with the Losties.

          • hyperRevue


            But Alpert and the others exist in both periods. Whoa, that just occurred to me.

            As I see it, we have:

            2008: The 316/Alpert/Others

            ~late ’70s: O6+Miles and Faraday/Dharma/Alpert/”Natives”

          • DharmaDave

            This actually is a great theory of Doc’s. we will see the past Dharma days through everyone elses eyes and we will get a present day war between Ben and Alpert.

            Here is how I see it. Ben knew that he was done as leader of the Other’s. Alpert was sick of him and they had already accepted Locke. So he decided to leave the island with FDW and seek his revenge on Widmore to one day come back and gain control.

            He lands on the island now after 3 year and possibe killing Penny. Sun and Frank already took one outrigger to the main island and Locke will most likeley go after them. Ben will be left alone with the 316ers. What does Ben have at his disposal at the Hydra Station…..Room 23. We have to get back to that at some point. Will Room 23 be the way that Ben changed the 316ers to his own loyal Other’s and wages war on those who turned thier backs on him, with Sun, Frank, Locke and Sayid (possiblle) on Alpert’s side.

          • Nikita

            I’ve seen several break downs of the groups……

            So far, I think it’s broken down into …..

            Jack, Kate, and Hurley….Island.

            Sun, Ben, and Locke…..Hydra.


            It seems like the O6 were split with the flash of light. So, it seems you can’t have the O6 with Miles, Faraday, etc. I’ll bet the DHARMA group is: Jack, Kate, Hurley, and Sayid. Alpert/Others….

            My question is: Why wasn’t Sun taken? I’m assuming she is the “female” that took off with Lapidus in the boat….. is anyone else?

            That would leave Locke and Ben with the 316ers/Alpert/Others……


          • hyperRevue

            Yeah, they seem split by Island vs. Hydra, but I also think they’re split in time. 2008 vs. late 70s.

            Kate and Hurley ended up a little bit aways from Jack, so I don’t see any reason (yet) to think that Sun and Sayid aren’t also somewhere in that time.

            A lot of people think Sun is the female who ran off with the pilot. But I’m not there yet. I think all the 06 went back. What happened to Sun and Sayid is still entirely up in the air because we haven’t seen anything, but I’m assuming she’s with the other 06 somewhere in the past until shown some reason to think otherwise.

            And you’re also right that the 06 aren’t with Miles and Faraday yet. But I think eventually they all get together. Because remember, we saw Daniel working with Dharma already.

      • Since Michael told John he saw him on the island dressed in a suit surrounded by people who wanted to hurt him, it’s not really a stretch. The man that snatched the Dharma file is probably working for Widmore and could try to save him.

        Then again, John might now be like Mikhal and immortal.

      • Very good point, Doc!
        That sounds totally plausible to me.

      • Mrs. Alpert

        I think you are right about the war, but that Cesar will be the other leader… and that somehow Charles will make it back to the island.. somehow it’s got to come down to a Ben/Charles brawl!

    • clueless1der

      “So he killed Locke, so that he could be the to present them with the way to get back to the island, ensuring that they would reward his contribution by allowing his to hitch a ride with them.”

      If that’s true, then the Locke/Ben showdown will be completely ftw.

  • This is a good theory. I’ve been wondering about many of these issues and my conclusion was that neither Ben nor Widmore are “good guys”, they both are looking out for their own interests, and John Locke and Mrs. Hawking are incidental to those interests.

  • Hawking might be “special” in the sense that Desmond seems to be and has no vested interest. Both Widmore and Ben are fighting for control over the Island, and perhaps both may think that each is in the right.

    While there’s not been enough shown to determine that Widmore is “evil”, there is no doubt – should be no doubt – that Ben is bad indeed.

    Bad Ben Ben Bad.

    • Nikita

      Do you wonder if there is any symbology in the fact that Daniel named his lab RAT Eloise?

      Could she be a “rat?” Might she not “abandon or betray her own party” (as the definition lends to?)

      Could she be the “Economist?”

      • Perhaps the insiders know for sure that Hawking is Danny’s mom, but I don’t know that and I have quit assuming it.

        Could be that since Hawking (if Danny’s mom) left Widmore he was abandoned along with his dad because he was obsessed with the Island and the whole Time thingy-ma-jiggy.

        Because of her experience she has knowledge of teh future; perhaps she cannot time-travel with her mind like Des, but there is something special about her as well.

  • lockeheart

    I keep on wondering where jacob is in this whole equation. From what we have seen ben has never talked to jacob; at least hasnt for a signifigant period of time. Also when widmore asked locke why he would volontarily leave the island, widmore or locke does not mention jacob even though this was essentially the main reason locke thought he had to leave. Although this could just be another mystery the writers arnt ready to give us, i think it is possible that no one, besides locke has seen or heard from jacob for some time. My theory is that at some point jacob was a mythical figure that lead the others and told the LEADER of the others what to do. As widmore and ben lost contact from jacob for unknown reasons, ben, widmore, and probably richard continued to keep up the ruse to keep control over thier people. I have a feeling that although the island does have many mythical properties, what we have seen unfold for the 815ers is somthing that is special that the “others” cant really understand or explain. Maybe this whole story has unfolded because of locke, because as widmore said locke is just special, and everything the others have seen has pointed to that. I think that is possible that locke is some reincarnation of the last leader to talk to jacob (maybe magnus hanso), or is simply a person who was “chosen” to talk to jacab so locke can in turn “help him”

  • dnyk

    Sorry, but this theory doesn’t hold water.

    Ben sacrificed himself to move the island. He already knew he lost to Locke. Jacob won’t allow him to be leader… He already gave Ben a tumor.

    Ben was crying when he turned the wheel. He didn’t look confident he was getting back as this theory suggests.

    Ben has moved on… He has a new goal and a new mission, then retaining power. That mission is stopping Widmore, at all costs. That’s why he recruited Sy to kill those people.

    Why did he kill John? I can’t say for sure. There’s probably self motivated interest involved (something besides wanting to be the leader of the Others, which is a stupid theory at this point), but I’m sure it’s for the greater good of the Island.

    • sk8rpro

      The theory does hold water, I just think you want to continue to consider that Ben is a protagonist.

      * Since you mentioned Jacob won’t allow Ben to be their leader, don’t you think there is a good reason for that? Christian already told Locke that the mission is for Locke to move the wheel, not Ben. Ben conned Locke into moving the wheel.
      * “Ben has moved on” His goal is to seek revenge in killing Penny since his “daughter” was killed. Any personal vendetta blinds him from what is important. (i.e. Goodwin)
      * If Ben killed Locke for the “greater good,” that’s fascist! People despise fascists of history such as Hitler or Stalin, but yet when fascist principles are applied to characters (like Ben) or stories (The Watchmen) that they admire, they justify fascist principles.

      • “If Ben killed Locke for the “greater good,” that’s fascist! People despise fascists of history such as Hitler or Stalin, but yet when fascist principles are applied to characters (like Ben) or stories (The Watchmen) that they admire, they justify fascist principles.”

        You nailed the heart of relativism and it’s failure. Can’t for the life of me understand wanting Ben to be a good person.

        While I hope he redeems himself for his crimes, he is a criminal.

  • longlivekingnick

    I don’t think that Christian is resurrected… at least not yet, not in the way Locke is. I mean that is a possibility but why would he have said no to helping Locke stand up. Perhaps its because in the “form” that is in, he can’t have interaction with other things… then again I am crapping on my own theory because he was holding a lantern, which may just be a writers flub.

    I think that Widmore was never intended to be the leader of the others. If you look at the Psyche of the 17 year old Charles Widmore, you will see an out of control reckless kid. I think Alpert went out, found Ben, and told the rest of the others that he has found a new leader for them. I think that possibly Richard telling young Charles that he is not meant to be the leader was enough to send him into a rage and he tried to kill Ben. And since it is frowned upon to kill one of your own… I think this lead Alpert to exile Widmore. Hence, Widmore wanting to get back and take what he believes to be his rightful place at the top.

    I don’t know about Hawking tho… and frankly… her character bores me. I hope she gets banged up by the smoke monster.

    “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he doesn’t exist.” I think this best sums up Charles Widmore. Ben Linus is my favorite character, and I think that his motivation (not actions) are really in the best interest of the island. I think Widmore is fueled by jealously, and his hatred of Ben.

    One thing that still gets me is why they can’t kill each other. This is very sneaky….

  • Alaine

    I think Charles Widmore and Eloise Hawking are siblings. The way they snapped at each other on the island in 1954, sounded like a brother and sister to me. Ideals and beliefs have split families apart since the begining of time. That would also explain why Widmore would allow Hawking to search for the island unhindered.
    I have one question: If Faraday told Charlotte never return to the island, it will kill you. Wouldn’t Widmore suffer the same fate?

    • verylost

      I don’t think so. I believe Daniel told Charlotte that because he saw her die on the island (this is under the assumption that Daniel hasn’t met young Charlotte yet). I don’t think the act of returning to the island kills you. In Charlotte’s case it was all the time-travel, nosebleed issues.

  • lockeheart

    Siblings in a cool thought, but i would put thier quips more along the lines of a romantic feel that hasnt really blossomed yet. Them being simblings wouldnt really make sense because the show has pretty much shown that hawking is faradays mother even though they have techniclly told us that yet. Im definity thinking though that faraday and penny are twins.

    • hyperRevue

      They have explicitly told us that Hawking was Faraday’s mom. Desmond said so while in the Lamp Post.

      • She never acknowledged Des’ statement. Widmore sent him there, but did he say that was Daniel’s mum? I don’t remember it that way.

        While she probably is, it is still not certain in my mind that she is. It may well be the woman tending the brain- vacant girl back in England.

        • hyperRevue

          I could have sworn Des said it outright. I’ll try and look it up.

  • joe_blow

    awesome analysis.

    mrs hawking is still the great unknown, a total variable.

    the ben vs widmore storyline is all about ALLIANCES and LOYALTY. we have no real idea where hers lie. she seems to be in bed with both

  • k

    This may be a reach, but I think Ben will try to become the ‘leader’ of the 316r’s and use them to take out the O6 and Alpert’s others. This could be the war that widmore is talking about. When the 316 people find out the O6 put them in harms way, they are not going to be very happy.
    doczart i like this teory-

    remebr what walt said to locke- i keep having dreams about you- on the island in a suit-with lots of poeple trying to hurt you…
    i stil can’t help but thinkng that lost is going to pull a herring and no matter how we see it ben is going to be a hero..i just feel it…

    even more interesting after watching that last scene- lost keeps toying with crazy time- we assume that after locke saw jack he killed himself the same night- great eagles everyone else because ben does not suggest that it was the same day just that jack booked a ticket tonight- but WHEN tonight!!!?? also eloise hawking- WHEN did she know ben!!!??? WHEN we first see ben and eloise hawking interact- of course it is as if they have known each other for ages- but after watching that last scene like others have picked up- ben had the knowledge to go meet eloise and tell her he is the one that needs to get back….further if both ben and widmore know eloise would she ot be suspect- has she met either of these two men & if she knew their personalities why help them…

  • andy

    The follow excerpt from your theory is surprisingly off the mark when you consider the events of episode 409.

    “..The game between Widmore and Ben is one with mortal consequences: kill or be killed..”

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