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As revealed by Ilana, a candidate is a person who is capable of replacing Jacob as the protector of The Island and, in particular, The Source. The exact criteria of what constitutes a candidate has not been revealed, however, they seem to have a special protected status among The Others, as evinced by Dogan's insistence that the remaining candidates remain inside The Temple where they will be safe. Ilana notes that there are only six candidates remaining in the episode "Ab Aeterno", however, since that revelation two candidates, Sayid and either Sun or Jin, have died, bringing the total number of remaining candidates to three. They are Hugo "Hurley" Reyes, James "Sawyer" Ford and Jack Shephard.

All the currently surviving candidates (and several past candidates) have made physical contact with Jacob while off the Island. He put his hand on Hurley's shoulder in a taxi-cab outside of prison after he was released. He touched Sawyer's hand when he gave him a pen at his parents' funeral. He touched Jack's hand by a vending machine when he gave him a candy-bar after his first solo surgery.

It is unknown if Jacob's touch is the criteria for assigning a candidate, marking the candidate, protecting the candidate, or if there is another reason for the physical contact.


Candidates' names often appear in lists. Charles Widmore indicates that he has a list of candidates' names when he takes them prisoner on Hydra Island. Dogan extracts a list from an ankh that Hurley had in a guitar case given to him by Jacob. The candidates' names are written on the wall of a Cliffside Cave, and the names of the candidates are written on a rotational dial in the lighthouse.

According to the lists that the viewers are shown, no first names have been used. This causes ambiguity about a character's status when the character shares a surname with another character. For instance, the name Kwon can refer to either Sun or Jin. The name Linus could be either Ben or Roger, and the name Rousseau could be either Danielle or Alex.

In the episode "Lighthouse", Hurley and Jack visit a lighthouse, in which a dial that indicates the rotation of the beacon has a list of names written upon it, each name corresponding to a degree value. If the list completely corresponds to the rotation of the dial, then there were originally 360 names on the list of candidates. However, this cannot be verified, because the entire dial was never shown, and Jack destroyed the dial in a fit of confused anger. In the episode "The Substitute", Sawyer and The Man in Black visit a cave, in which the names are written on the wall, along with a number.

It has been observed that there is a correlation between the names and their number in the cave and the names and degree numbers in the lighthouse. For instance, the name Shephard is written at 23 degrees in the lighthouse, and is written as 23-SHEPHARD on the wall of the cave.

Candidacy TerminationEdit

In both the cave and the lighthouse, names are crossed off the list to indicate that a particular individual is no longer considered a candidate. Candidates are crossed off the list when they die, or achieve another purpose in life. For instance, Kate's name was crossed off the list when she adopted Aaron Littleton. Jacob is the one who decides who are candidates, and terminates their candidacy when it becomes unlikely they'd accept the mantle of protecting the Island. Although The Man in Black was shown to cross off John Locke's name after his death. (The Substitute)

As Jacob told Kate, however, crossing a candidate's name is not permanent. "It's just a line of chalk in a cave. The job is still yours if you want it". (The Candidate). So apparently crossing off names is more of an organizational tool for Jacob rather than actually symbolic of candidacy termination, unless the Candidate has died.

The CandidatesEdit

A partial list of candidates can be gleaned from the wall of the cave from "The Substitute" and the dial from "Lighthouse". The following tables contains the information currently available. It should be noted for the sake of honesty and objectivity the characters specified in the comments section of the following table are only the most likely matches to the names, although in many cases (as with Shephard, Reyes, Sawyer, Locke, et. al.), it's so extremely likely, that it's almost a certainty. However, the only conclusive match will be when Jacob's replacement is finally selected.

There does not appear to be any reason for the order in which the names appear, with the exception that the most likely candidates were attached to numbers which have played a significant role in the overall story arc.

Number Surname Comments
2 LaCombe Member of Danielle Rousseau's science expidition
4 Locke John Locke - Survivor of Flight 815
8 Reyes Hugo "Hurley" Reyes - Survivor of Flight 815 (Became a Protector of the Island)
10 Mattingly Unknown character
12 Foster Unknown character
13 Beckett Unknown character
14 Pryce One of The Others
15 Ford James "Sawyer" Ford - Survivor of Flight 815
16 Jarrah Sayid Jarrah - Survivor of Flight 815
17 Barnes Unknown character
18 Kueffner Unknown character
19 Nguyen Unknown character
20 Rousseau Either Alex or Danielle
21 McHenry Unknown character
22 Moorhead Unknown character
23 Shephard Dr. Jack Shephard - Survivor of Flight 815 (Became a Protector of the Island)
24 Kluxen Unknown character
25 Asher Unknown character
26 Bozarth Unknown character
27 Doorie Unknown character
28 Howard Unknown character
29 Brennan (Lighthouse) Appears as number 35 in the cave. A member of Rousseau's science expedition
30 Wade Unknown character
31 Toms Unknown character
32 Rutherford Shannon Rutherford - Survivor of Flight 815
33 Novak Unknown character
34 Grimaldi Unknown character
35 Brennan (Cave) Appears as number 29 in the lighthouse. A member of Rousseau's science expedition
36 Syzmanksi Unknown character
37 Torres Unknown character
38 Lindstrom Unknown character
39 Mortoka Unknown character
40 Dowsen Unknown character
41 Turner Unknown character
42 Kwon Sun-Hwa Kwon or Jin-Soo Kwon - Survivors of Flight 815
43 Barnes Unknown character
44 Martinez Unknown character
45 Latta Unknown character
46 Osalka Unknown character
47 Gupta Unknown character
48 Stanhope Either Harper Stanhope or Goodwin Stanhope. Members of The Others.
49 Meyers Unknown character
50 Gowner Unknown character
51 Austen Kate Austen - Survivor of Flight 815
52 Birn Unknown character
53 Driscall Unknown character
54 Olarti Unknown character
55 Kennedy Unknown character
56 Hassra Unknown character
57 Grimwault Unknown character
58 Burke Juliet Burke - One of The Others
59 Suzuki Unknown character
60 Kysta Unknown character
61 Davies Unknown character
62 Inman Kelvin Inman - Member of the DHARMA Initiative
64 Goldstein Unknown character
73 Costa Unknown character
77 Franetzki Unknown character
90 Troup Gary Troup - Survivor of Flight 815
93 Luttwig Unknown character
94 Cohen Unknown character
95 Pollema Unknown character
96 Greeson Unknown character
97 Pallison Unknown character
98 Horton Unknown character
99 Goodson Unknown character
100 Bardfield Unknown character
101 Faraday Daniel Faraday - Member of the Kahana Crew
102 Montand Member of Rousseau's science expedition
103 Horsman Unknown character
104 Lewis Charlotte Lewis or one of her parents: either David or Jeanette - Members of the DHARMA Initiative
105 Onaa Unknown character
106 Sregzyaski Unknown character
107 Thomson Unknown character
108 Wallace Unknown character. This is the only significant number that doesn't correspond to a main character.
109 Friendly Tom Friendly - Member of The Others
110 Eipons Unknown character
111 Klein Unknown character
112 Horton Unknown character
113 Worden Unknown character
114 Yamada Unknown character
115 Bargas Unknown character
116 Lambert Unknown character
117 Linus Either Roger or Ben (DHARMA & The Others, respectively)
118 Chavez Unknown character
119 Almeida Unknown character
120 Rodriguez Unknown character
121 Nielson Unknown character
122 Freed Unknown character
123 Clay Unknown character
124 Dawson Michael Dawson - Survivor of Flight 815
125 Owens Unknown character
126 Renti Unknown character
127 Mora Unknown character
128 Paddock Unknown character
129 Campbell Unknown character
130 Tillman Unknown character
131 Jackson Scott Jackson not to be confused with Steve Jenkins - Survivor of Flight 815
140 Lewis Charlotte Lewis or one of her parents: either David or Jeanette - Member of the DHARMA Initiative
171 Straume Miles Straume - Member of the Kahana Crew
195 Pace Charlie Pace - Survivor of Flight 815
197 Sheckler Unknown character
202 Harggus Unknown character
222 O'Toole Unknown character
226 Carlyle Boone Carlyle - Survivor of Flight 815
231 Amistad Unknown character
233 Jones American Solidier who brought Jughead to the Island.
251 Yaris Unknown character
272 Oralingo Unknown character
282 Aguila Unknown character
285 Jenkins Steve Jenkins, not to be confused with Scott Jackson - Survivor of Flight 815
291 Domingo Unknown character
301 Mars Edward Mars - Survivor of Flight 815
313 Littleton Claire Littleton or Aaron Littleton - Survivor of Flight 815 and her son born on the Island.
317 Cunningham American Solidier who brought Jughead to the Island.
321 Fernandez Nikki Fernandez - Survivor of Flight 815
335 Henderson Rose Nadler nee Henderson - Survivor of Flight 815
337 Martin Karl Martin - member of The Others
346 Grant Unknown character
 ? Chang Pierre Chang or Lara Chang - Member of the DHARMA Initiative
 ? Davison Unknown character
 ? Garner Unknown character
 ? Goodspeed Either Horace, Amy, Olivia Goodspeed or Ethan Rom nee Goodspeed. Members of the DHARMA Initiative & The Others
 ? Pickett Danny Pickett - Member of The Others
 ? Reynolds Unknown character
 ? Sullivan Survivor of Flight 815

It should be noted that Frank Lapidus was identified as a possible candidate by Bram, although his name was not seen in either the lighthouse or the cliffiside cave. However, there are many numbers that are unaccounted for, it's possible that his name appeared in both the lighthouse and the cliffside cave, but simply never made it to the camera.

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