Two weeks ago, during the season finale of Lost, we got the very first full glimpse of the four-toed statue, face and all, just like we were promised by the producers earlier in the season. However, we were also told that it would be clear just who that statue was depicting, and though some obviously saw clearly who it was, there was nothing to give us the official word on it, and some of you, me included, have remained a bit frustrated at the ambiguity of exactly which Egyptian deity the statue was built to represent.
Though it was obvious that it was not Anubis (as I had personally thought), I also wasn’t entirely convinced that it was Taweret. Suddenly, Sobek, an Egyptian god that resembled the face of a crocodile seemed a likely candidate as well. I did post over at Sledgeweb’s Lost Stuff that Taweret seemed the most likely possibility at the time but I also didn’t really want to believe it, simply because there were so many better deities in my opinion. But ABC has settled the speculation for us, and in a rather quiet manner, I might add. According to the most recent recap at ABC.com, the statue is in fact Taweret. I know, I know, many of you saw this from the very first moment we caught a glimpse at the back of the statue, so go ahead and use the comments below to proclaim your brilliance, cleverness, and aptitude for figuring out the mysteries of Lost, something I obviously suck at.
And now, a little about Taweret. Wikipedia has this to say about the Egyptian Goddess:
Her name means (one) who is great. When paired with another deity, she became the demon-wife of Apep, the original god of evil. Since Apep was viewed as residing below the horizon, and only present at night, evil during the day then was envisaged as being a result of Taweret’s malfeasance.
As the counterpart of Apep, who was always below the horizon, Taweret was seen as being the northern sky, the constellation roughly covering the area of present-day Draco, which always lies above the horizon. Thus Taweret was known as mistress of the horizon, and was depicted as such on the ceiling of the tomb of Seti I in the Valley of the Kings.
Later they go into more detail about how Taweret became known as the Goddess of fertility and child birth:
Early during the Old Kingdom, the Egyptians came to see female hippopotami as less aggressive than the males, and began to view their aggression only as one of protecting their young and being good mothers, particularly since it is the males that are territorially aggressive. Consequently, Taweret became seen, very early in Egyptian history, as a deity of protection in pregnancy and childbirth. Pregnant women wore amulets with her name or likeness to protect their pregnancies. Her image could also be found on knives made from hippopotamus ivory, which would be used as wands in rituals to drive evil spirits away from mothers and children.
In most subsequent depictions, Taweret was depicted with features of a pregnant woman. In a composite addition to the animal-compound she was also seen with pendulous breasts, a full pregnant abdomen, and long, straight human hair on her head.
As a protector, she often was shown with one arm resting on the sa symbol, which symbolized protection, and on occasion she carried an ankh, the symbol of life, or a knife, which would be used to threaten evil spirits.
As the hippopotamus was associated with the Nile, these more positive ideas of Taweret allowed her to be seen as a goddess of the annual flooding of the Nile and the bountiful harvest that it brought. Ultimately, although only a household deity, since she was still considered the consort of Apep, Taweret was seen as one who protected against evil by restraining it.
When Set fell from grace in the Egyptian pantheon, as a result of being favoured by the unpopular Hyksos rulers, he gradually took over the position of Apep, as the god of evil. With this change away from Apep, Taweret became seen only as the concubine of Set. She was seen as concubine rather than wife, as Set already was married to the extremely different goddess, Nephthys, to whom no parallels could be drawn. It then was said that Taweret had been an evil goddess, but changed her ways and held Set back on a chain.
So I have to ask this question, does the reveal of the statue being Taweret give any semblance or meaning behind Jacob and his Nemesis (being called Esau by many of you)? Could Jacob and Esau be represented in Lost as some form of Apep and Set, deities associated at times as the Gods of Evil? It seems obvious that Jacob “took” something from Esau in order for him to have such a desire to kill him, maybe it was the taking of his status as the God of Evil. It would certainly put an interesting spin on things, if both of them turned out to be some manifestation of this tale. Of course, that doesn’t make much sense when we look at how Jacob was wearing white, as if the producers wanted us to realize he was a “good” guy, and he also seems to have a lot of faith in mankind as well, a trait I wouldn’t expect to see in the God of Evil. But still, interesting none the less!