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S5 Easter Egg: The Epic ‘Red Rug’

By nomaD,

  Filed under: Lost
  Comments: 22

Written by KeepingPace-

There’s a much neglected screencap/easter egg from Season 5 that we need to discuss!

The EPIC 'Red Rug'
The red rug from Jacob’s inner sanctum inside the Four-Toed Foot

Since I’m a Classics/Religion major in undergrad and love Greek mythology, I had to find out what this said. After extensive research I was able to fill in the missing portions because, as it turns out, all three lines are from various portions of the Iliad. The text reads:

Line 1:
??? ??? ???????? ??????? ????? (Iliad bk. 16, line 494)

Line 2:
??? ?? ?????? ???? (Iliad bk. 4, line 451)

Line 3:
??????? ?? ????? ????? ??????????? (Iliad bk. 16, line 350)

This translates to:

“Now you must embrace this evil war”
“the ground ran with blood”
“then death’s black cloud enveloped”

Seems we have references to the war that’s coming (which Widmore mentioned to Locke while he was off-Island last season), a lot of deaths in the upcoming Season 6 as casualties of said war, and a big shout out to Smokey doing the dirty work.

I should add that the first line from the Iliad is given by Sarpedon (a great Trojan hero) to his friend Glaucus (a Lycian) as Sarpedon lay dying on the field of battle. Upon seeing Sarpedon mortally wounded, Glaucus prays to Apollo, asking the god to help him rescue the body of his dying friend. Apollo cures Glaucus’ wound, allowing him to rally the Trojans around the body of Sarpedon until the gods carry the body away.

This seems to have nice parallels with Jack’s change of heart in becoming a man of faith due to Locke’s death and his return to the Island, and it has implications for the true body of Locke laying out on the beach amidst the Other’s near the Four-Toed Statue. Perhaps some deus ex machina will help Jack/Ilana rally the Losties/Others around Locke’s body until it can be carried off or restored by Jacob, who himself no longer has a physical form… Maybe Jacob will inhabit (cohabitate with?) Locke in order to bring him back to life!

Zombie season, anyone?

Or maybe this pertains to the ordeal with lugging around dying Sayid and his revival in the healing Spring inside the Temple that we already saw in LA X. I realize many people think Jacob might’ve inhabited Sayid, but I’m holding out for the real Locke coming back and facing off against his imposter.

Iraqi Lazarus? Muslim Christ?

Also, Sayid’s “What happened?” line makes me think this was just the same thing that happened to young Ben, and now Sayid will be a permanent Other badass. Sayid shoots Ben, leads to him being a creepy, manipulative Other and the man he wanted to prevent, and then Ben’s dad shoots Sayid, eye for an eye. Ironic turn of events, no?

Back to the issue at hand, I would like to point out that until someone told me in the #darkufo chatroom on IRC (and it was confirmed in LA X), I had no idea where this red rug was shown in S5. The red tapestry’s placement in the Foot Room (on the floor, hence the moniker Red Rug) is very intriguing.

Let's cut a rug!

While I have a copy of the DVDs, I couldn’t find the overhead pic of the rug anywhere, so my guess is it was either an exclusive for the Blu-ray or the Dharma Orientation Kit. Even though there’s not a lot to go on here with it simply being a screencap and an easter egg, I have a few guesstimates based on what we’ve seen of the Jacob/Nemesis debate thus far:

This is the tapestry of Jacob’s Nemesis; one which is in direct contrast to Jacob’s. These tapestries could quite possibly be the physical manifestation of MIB and Jacob’s “theories” about the nature of mankind and the goings-on of the Island (which we saw them give in the opening scene of The Incident).

The Great Debators

Man in Black: “They come… fight. They destroy. They corrupt. It always ends the same.”

Jacob: “It only ends once. Anything that happens before that? It’s just progress.”

Jacob’s white tapestry is about granting humanity it’s desired redemption (taking quotes from an epic about a hero’s journey home: Homer’s Odyssey), whereas MIB’s red rug is all about humanity’s willingness to destroy itself with constant wars (and takes quotes from the much more war-driven opus, Homer’s Iliad). These are the 2 competing narratives woven by these competing forces.

Oh, what a tangled web we weave!

Their choice of the same author (whose identity is uncertain, and therefore actually could have been multiple people), and yet preferring different books with different themes is very telling about these 2 individuals…

Many of us believed Jacob was the sole guiding force on the Island way back when we first saw the Cabin in S3’s Ben-centric, Man Behind the Curtain.

Our favorite haunting cabin misanthrope

Then our understanding became more nuanced and broadened when Christian claimed to speak for Jacob in S4’s Locke biopic, Cabin Fever. Some called bullshit and knew something was fishier than a fish biscuit, but others took good ol’ ghost Christian at his word.

Timeshares are a drag...

Flash back to last season’s finale, The Incident, and we got to see that there are actually 2 opposing forces at work here — just like the light and dark players in Locke’s backgammon game. And while they seem to have very different outlooks in regards to humanity, they may be cut from the same cloth.

O Ye of Little Faith

If this red tapestry is indeed the narrative that Smokey has tried to create, and firmly believes in, this explains the placement of the rug in Jacob’s statue abode, too. Jacob wanted to keep a reminder around about his competition/debate with the MIB, but he was showing his lack of respect/agreement with it by putting it down and walking all over it, symbolically.

Also, this might meant that the only one who can cut off a piece of these tapestries is the original weaver. Jacob cut the corner off of his tapestry and left it in the Cabin to show Ilana he’d be at the Statue of Taweret, and MIB/Smokey cut off a piece of his to (fittingly) wipe the blood from his knife off onto it. Guess the blood wouldn’t show, what with the thing already being blood red and all! Great way to show us (on several levels) that Smokey’s out to spill some major blood…

One last sidenote about my use of the name “Nemesis” for the Man in Black.

Nemesis: in Greek myth, a daughter of Nyx (Night) and the personification of righteous anger, especially that of the gods at human presumption; the spirit of divine retribution against those who succumb to hubris (tragic pride). The Greeks personified vengeful fate as a remorseless goddess, and the name Nemesis is related to the Greek word ??????, meaning “to give what is due”.

According to some versions, Nemesis (and not Leda) was loved by Zeus and laid the egg which Helen (of Troy) hatched from. Nemesis provides one of the rare instances where an apparent personification of an abstract quality is the object of an ancient cult, and was worshipped at Rhamnus in Attica, where a magnificent temple was built for her in the fifth century BC.

Lots of obvious parallels to our Smokey/MIB there, other than the obvious gender difference, and I’ll leave you to spot them all, but the not so obvious one I want to point out is that “birthing” of Helen makes Nemesis (in that timeline!) responsible for helping start the most famous war in all of history: the Trojan War. The same war, might I add, which is the setting for Homer’s Iliad, and which Smokey apparently has on his bookshelf as an all time fave. Remember how Widmore (in Life & Death of Jeremy Bentham) was talking about an impending war on the Island, and how if Locke wasn’t back on it before it started, the wrong side was gonna win?

Battle stations!!!!

Ok, folks… That’s all I have for now (as if it weren’t too much already!). Since I did the work on the Greek, now we have to find us an expert on hieroglyphs and get the Egyptian stuff translated! And I’m all ears about what the other drawings mean. Here’s hoping we can decipher this…

Don’t forget to leave your comments! One of the greatest things about LOST is that it’s a community effort, and it’s brought us together 🙂

Thank you so much for this unbelievable post from KeepingPace over at

Nemesis, in Greek myth, a daughter of Nyx (Night) and the personification of righteous anger, especially that of the gods at human presumption. According to some versions she and not Leda was loved by Zeus and laid the egg out of which Helen (of Troy) was hatched. She provides one of the rare instances where an apparent personification of an abstract quality is the object of an ancient cult….
[11:47] <KeepingPace> …She was worshipped at Rhamnus in Attica, where a magnificent temple was built for her in the fifth century BC.

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