hercircumstance and I had the singular joy of having the time to rewatch LOST from the beginning together. Of course, there was much speculation, some of which we wanted to share:
We wanted to break it down by character, but realized that our perspective on the show had changed quite a bit by a theory rooted in the previlence of the Black and White stones. The backgammon game that Locke shows to Walt, we feel, has impacted the entire direction of the show. Locke said that there are two teams: one light and one dark. It's the oldest game, from Mesopotamia, and 'older than Jesus Christ.' rimwalker has mentioned the purpose of the game, but let me provide that information again:
Backgammon is a game of luck and skill. It is played by two people with 15 checkers each on a board consisting of 24 spaces or points. The checkers are moved according to rolls of the dice. Each player tries to bring his own checkers home and bear them off before his opponent does, hitting and blocking the enemy checkers along the way.
(slightlyjillian: like someone whacking Sayid on the head: see... 'hitting'!)
Backgammon has been around a long time, with origins dating back possibly 5000 years. The ancient Greeks played. So did the Romans. The game we know today was refined in England in the seventeenth century, which is also when it acquired the name backgammon.
slightlyjillian: see, the game is old... perhaps people have been playing it 'live' on the island for years and years...
hercircumstance: Why would Locke have brought the game with him? Where did he find it and why is he the one to introduce the concept to us?
slightlyjillian: Uh... *blank stare*
hercircumstance: But it seems like we've figured this out too soon, it's ... too easy.
slightlyjillian: Move along home, everybody...
"And who, having once experienced backgammon, could possibly leave it behind?" Read the article: Two Cultures
(all game info from Backgammon Galore http://www.bkgm.com/)
Although, to indulge the Backgammon point: who would the players be? And how many games have been played? There are the bodies of Adam and Eve that Jack and Kate found in the caves. They had the stones, both black and white in the same little bag. Perhaps that game, which ended fifty years or so ago... perhaps they were able to end in some sort of harmony? Bringing the stones together?
Danielle's been playing the game. She says that the survivors from the shipwreck lived peacefully for two months. Then they 'came back from the Black Rock' and at that time some of them became "Carriers." Of course, captivated by the Game theory: we wondered if the 'carriers' had little stones of their own which they... carried. Danielle says that "He started to take them away from her." Which lends itself to the game purpose of bearing off your opponents people/pieces.
More backgammon: The setting of Backgammon is rather intriguing...
Backgammon is a game for two players, played on a board consisting of twenty-four narrow triangles called points. The triangles alternate in color and are grouped into four quadrants of six triangles each. The quadrants are referred to as a player's home board and outer board, and the opponent's home board and outer board. The home and outer boards are separated from each other by a ridge down the center of the board called the bar.
The object of the game is for a player to move all of his checkers into his own home board and then bear them off. The first player to bear off all of his checkers wins the game.
Home Board. Outer Board. Separated by a ridge.
Of course, my pet theory that the 'voices' are from a thinly veiled parallel reality (gah, I wish I could say that without making it sound goofy) might have something more to do with the "home board and outer board separation..." Or perhaps the Caves vs. the Beach serves that purpose for the setting.
hercircumstance More than one game is going on.
slightlyjillian And somehow I must make this all correspond with my Watership Down theories! Sawyer is Bigwig!
hercircumstans Focus. Perhaps the ridge is on the island itself. Separating the island into two halves.
slightlyjillian We did see the maps Sayid picked up in Danielle's shack. They did seem symmetrical. The heavy and light topagraphy lines were balanced on either side of the map.
hercircumstance But why would the new gang from Flight 815 start playing in an old game?
Unless a new game is starting. Perhaps by 'losing Alex', Danielle lost her game. And the crew of Flight 815 is the new team with Locke playing and moving the pieces for his team. And once the timing is right, Locke will challenge the old team.
slightlyjillian Oh my gosh! What if it isn't challenging the old team, but challenging the "HIM" that Danielle mentioned. Perhaps there is a 'player' on the island and he's challenged Locke to a game.
hercircumstance Assuming that Locke is the 'player' for our team. Because he is the one to motivate and move along his 'people/pieces'...
slightlyjillian Bare with the goofy imagery, but let's say there was some minor god who likes playing Backgammon and he causes people to be stranded on his island. He took the tail section of the plane for his players and left Locke with the others. He's started a new game.
hercircumstance Locke's lost two players already: the pilot (unless the pilot was never meant to be a player) and the scuba diver.
slightlyjillian Who knows how the other half of the plane would be doing on the other side. Oh oh. But this works well with Watership Down though: the two communities being pitted against each other is the entire last half of the book. Sawyer can still be Bigwig. *beams*
hercircumstance Interesting that Danielle's still around though. And why did she kill Richard?
slightlyjillian And why was Sayid hearing "donde esta, Alex?" (realizes she doesn't know how to spell her Spanish words anymore) Danielle is French!
hercircumstance Maybe that was Richard asking.
slightlyjillian Which would work okay with some sort of multi-national science team sailing from Tahiti.
Alex. Alex. Alex. Here in an interesting point on the endgame of Backgammon and the origins of the name:
At the end of the game, if the losing player has borne off at least one checker, he loses only the value showing on the doubling cube (one point, if there have been no doubles). However, if the loser has not borne off any of his checkers, he is gammoned and loses twice the value of the doubling cube. Or, worse, if the loser has not borne off any of his checkers and still has a checker on the bar or in the winner's home board, he is backgammoned and loses three times the value of the doubling cube.
What if Danielle lost the game. What if she couldn't let go of Alex, and he was the last checker in the homeboard? The Alex would have been 'backgammoned.'
Last comment before we move on:
THE ELEPHANT IS REAL! It's really there. Danielle has an elephant sticking its trunk into her shack in episode nine.
slightlyjillian Heh, maybe the elephant is her pet watch dog and alerts Danielle to danger. Like Dino from Flintstones or something.
hercircumstance Maybe it was just tossed in to make circumstances all the more bizarre.
Our Mom: I knew there was an elephant. *beams*