Which Lost Character Matches Your Fandom?

21May10

As I can’t seem to think about anything else, and it’s a fine distraction from grading, I’ve been engaging in a lot of conversation about Lost this week across a range of media. On Twitter this afternoon, my friend Derek Kompare commented in a discussion that no matter what the finale offers, a good portion of fans will be irate that it didn’t match up to their expectations for the faith they put into the show – and then he compared the reaction to John Locke at the end of season 2, raging against the button.

This led to a round robin of Twitter brainstorming for this: a taxonomy of Lost fans as represented by Lost characters. In addition to me and Derek, participants in the #LOSTfantax Twitter discussion include Noel Kirkpatrick, Nina Huntemann, and Myles McNutt – all media scholars. Here’s a compilation of our wasted time (updated with some of your great suggestions in the comments!):

  • Locke = a fan with utmost faith in the show, only to have his beliefs come crashing down in the end.
  • Jack = a fan who convinced their friends to watch early in the series, but now wants to leave the show and can’t pull the plug because they’ve dedicated so much time to it.
  • Hurley = a die-hard fan who edits Lostpedia, collects action figures and t-shirts, and spouts catchphrases, with utmost trust for the producers to pull it off in the end.
  • Sun = a fan who only watches for the ‘shipping.
  • Jin (circa season 1) = a viewer who has no clue what’s going on or what anybody’s talking about.
  • Sawyer = a fan who sarcasticly mocks show, but really loves it.
  • Claire = a person who watches intermittently, but insists on talking through episodes asking to be filled in on what she missed.
  • Michael = a fan who wanted answers, was unsatisified, and left – but then came back when he heard show got awesome, and then left angry because he didn’t fit in anymore.
  • Juliet = only watching because her it’s her boyfriend’s favorite show; secretly wants a new boyfriend.
  • Desmond (season 4 version) = a fan who skips around watching random episodes on DVD.
  • Desmond (season 6 version) = a blissed-out enthusiast happy with whatever the show gives him.
  • Faraday = a fan who could explain it all to you, but won’t because he knows you wouldn’t understand.
  • Kate = a fan who has expertly tracked the series and contributed to fan culture, only to be dismissed by other fans because she’s a girl.
  • Richard = a genre fan who dove in enthusiastically, but gave up right before the end.
  • Ben = a fan with a theory for how it all makes sense, and the ability to rationalize and twist everything to fit into his theory.
  • Arzt = a stubborn fan who has good theories, but is such a jerk that they blow up in his face.
  • Walt = an avid fan for the first two seasons, only to watch later seasons rarely and unpredictably. May watch finale, but still unclear.
  • Sayid = a fan with a bad track record getting invested in TV shows that die early, but finds redemption in Lost.
  • Ethan = a lurker on fansites who chimes in with occasionally creepy comments under a strange pseudonym.
  • Nikki & Paolo = fans who prefer Heroes.
  • Rose & Bernard = fans who tried a few seasons, but then decided to just wait for the DVDs.
  • Miles = a fan obsessed with when dead characters will be coming back to the show.
  • Frank = a viewer who has no idea what’s going on or why he’s still watching.
  • Dogen = a viewer who decides to check out the show’s final season to see what the big deal is about, only to leave in confusion after a few episodes.
  • Rousseau = the First Fan who watched way before anyone else. Felt threatened and defensive when others discovered the show.
  • Charles Widmore = an abrasive fan banned from the message boards; now will spare no expense spoiling the show for others.
  • Whispers = obsessive fans who are unable to move on after the series ends.
  • Smocke = a fan who wants to re-write the entire show to fit his desired narrative, dismissing everyone else’s opinions as wrong.
  • Jacob = Darlton, sadly realizing that they’ve created a monster, and looking to pass on responsibility.

So who are you? And please add more parallels in the comments…



25 Responses to “Which Lost Character Matches Your Fandom?”

  1. 1 Cat

    Happily, my LostFantax matches up with my favorite character. I’m a Desmond.
    I’ve invested a lot in this show, but at this point I’m just geeked to find out how Darlton’s gonna pull it off.

  2. 2 DBR

    This is very funny. I’m a Jack– loved the show until this season’s Richard Alpert episode, when it became clear that Lost was going to end up a religious parable of good vs. evil which, after so many good character arcs, is pretty lame. But I can’t stop now, I’ve come this far…

  3. 3 Elissa

    I’m Hurley. Or Hugo as I prefer to call him.

    Although, for the record, I only edited Lostpedia once.🙂

  4. 4 Monica

    I’m Claire (unless that means I also have to be mentally unstable.)

  5. Great list! (Especially “Jin (circa season 1) = a viewer who has no clue what’s going on or what anybody’s talking about”….hilarious). I’m definitely a Sawyer – I love to make fun of it just as much as I love to watch it.

    Here’s my weak attempt to add to the list:

    Sayid = A fan who had a prior history of making his friends/family watch bad television shows, but was redeemed by his recommendation of watching Lost.

  6. 6 Scott Oberacker

    Great stuff here! Here’s me:

    Desmond (season 4 version) Can’t stop desperately re-watching old episodes in between viewing the new ones, but confident he will find his “constant” to explain it all by Sunday.

  7. 7 Aaron

    I would just add:

    Whispers: fans who have made LOST so a part of their lives that they are unable to “move on”

  8. 8 bc

    Definitely Ben, which is funny because that’s my name in real life.

    And my theory totally explains everything.

  9. 9 bryant

    Charles Whidmore: Banned from the message boards; now will spare no expense spoiling the show for the rest of them.

  10. 10 Matt

    I’m struggling to find a representation for Nikki and Paolo, mainly because I think I’m the only person who thought that their episode was one of the best in the series (even if the characters were ridiculous additions to the show). So, how about:

    Nikki and Paolo: People who say they’ve been with the show since the beginning, but really only watched about half of season 3.

  11. 12 Dan Marcus

    Great list, but I think Rose & Bernard should be described as early fans who stopped watching when they realized they actually had lives outside the show.

    I don’t see myself here – I think I’m probably Penny: ambivalent in the early years, dropped altogether for a while, came back and finally invested for 4 & 5, now just waiting for narrative closure.

  12. 13 Stephanie

    Miles is one of my favotire characters, so I was dissapointed to see he didn’t make your taxonomy. Here’s my shot at his defn:

    Miles: A fan who will listen to the characters even after the show “dies.”

  13. Can there be a “double fandom”? If so, I propose Team Miles/Sawyer–the fan who secretly wishes s/he was watching a cop show.

  14. 15 msjacks

    Oh my gosh, I love this! It’s so spot-on! I’m a Jack with Sayid undertones. Not-so-coincidentally, those are my two favorite characters!

  15. Thanks all for the great additions – I’ve added some of your suggestions & new ideas to the original list!

  16. 17 davemack

    Vincent: it’s a glorious shaggy-dog story!

  17. I guess I’m a Locke. I watched this series in about 5 months on DVDs, then watched the broadcasts of season six. While I wouldn’t say that I’ve lost faith in the series, as I’m going to a movie theater to watch the finale on Sunday, but I do have to say that the first three seasons are clearly my favorite. They had this ability to pull of the chills of the uncanny seemingly every episode during that time period. While few of the questions would have been answered had that season’s finale been the end, it also would have been a VERY satisfying end.

    And I’d describe Locke as “wanting to believe”, just to connect the show to its old Sci-Fi trappings.

  18. 19 Neo

    Definitely Locke, sorry I can’t elaborate right now but my brain is going into meltdown from the anticipation, of both the final episode (?) as is, as well as the hope that this final (again ?) salvo will set things straight, as much as it can at this point, that is… So maybe I can be some “other kind of fandom” then… or better, a fulfilled Locke…

    Here’s the (very good) definition of “Locke’s fandom” again, to whom missed it.

    “Locke = a fan with utmost faith in the show, only to have his beliefs come crashing down in the end.”

  19. Rousseau! LOL

  20. 21 Courtney

    I guess I am

    Smocke : I would love to rewrite the whole series and a devoted fan never missed an episode

    Locke : I did have faith in the show the island did go down

    and I’m Kate I guess

  21. 22 P.R.

    What fan-type is Mr. Eko?

  22. 23 Chris Blakesley

    Eko – A fan who silently watches for a season, and then stops watching because he doesn’t like the show’s direction.

  23. 24 Liv

    I think I’m mostly Sawyer, but sometimes Desmond (season 6), with a lot of Daniel, Ben, and Miles.
    Some of these really made me laugh – especially the Charles & Ethan ones :’). The main characters’ ones; Jack, Kate, Locke, Sun, Jin… really related well! Claire’s was so true! I liked Juliet’s, as well.
    I would’ve liked to have seen one for Charlie? But I can’t think…

  24. locke is really my character in Lost. I relaly kinda like his character


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