Lost/Benjamin Linus

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Benjamin Linus
Lost-Ben 06.jpg
Actors Michael Emerson
Sterling Beaumon (flashback)
First Appearance 2x14 - One Of Them
Last Appearance 6x18 - The End
Show Status Season Two: Recurring
Season Three to Six: Billed
Episode Count 60
Notable Episodes 2x14 - One Of Them
2x17 - Lockdown
2x20 - Two for the Road
3x20 - The Man Behind the Curtain
4x09 - The Shape of Things to Come
4x13 - There's No Place Like Home (2)
Flashback Count 2
Flashforward Count 1

Benjamin Linus, or simply Ben, is the leader of the Others. He is played by Michael Emerson and appeared in 60 episodes.


Basic Information

Before Oceanic 815

Ben as a child
Benjamin Linus was born in a wooded area roughly 32 miles outside of Portland, Oregon. He was born on December 20th, presumably in the early to mid 60s. His mother, Emily, was seven months pregnant and hiking with his father, Roger, when she went into premature labor and suffered complications after giving birth to Ben. Roger managed to carry Ben and Emily to a nearby highway and flag down two motorists, Horace and Olivia, but Emily passed away before they could get her to a hospital. Roger spiralled into depression over the death of Emily, silently harboring resentment towards his son and blaming him for Emily's death, and had trouble finding work.

Years later, when Ben was a young boy, Roger received help from Horace in finding work. Horace was a mathematician with The DHARMA Initiative and secured a job for Roger, bringing him and Ben to the island via the DHARMA Initiative's submarine. Ben and his father lived at the barracks, and it was there he met a young girl named Annie and the two became close friends. Life on the island was not entirely pleasant as Ben's father discovered that, although Horace talked about the world-changing work that was being done there, his job was as a mere "workman". Roger's issues were further compounded when he found himself in a middle of a shootout between DHARMA personnel and "the hostiles", a term given to the island's native inhabitants. These factors drove Roger to drink heavily while off work and to neglect Ben.

On one of Ben's birthdays, Roger was intoxicated and bluntly blamed Ben for Emily's death. Ben fled from the house and to the barracks' sonar fence. Hearing whispers all around him, he saw his deceased mother on the other side of the fence. Emily prevented Ben from crossing the fence, telling him it wasn't time yet, and disappeared into jungle. Ben later crossed the fence in search of his mother, but drew the attention of one of the hostiles - Richard Alpert. Richard was intrigued by Ben's story of his mother and, after Ben requested to go with him, told Ben that it might be possible if he was very, very patient.

Four years later, in 1977, Jack Shephard, Kate Austen and Hugo Reyes joined the DHARMA Initiative with the help of James Ford, Juliet Burke, Miles Straume and Jin Kwon. Unbeknownst to the rest of the DHARMA Initiative, all of these people were actually from the future and had travelled back in time to 1977. They also all knew Ben as an adult in the year 2004. Although they all knew Ben would eventually betray the DHARMA Initiative and become their enemy, they accepted the fact that they couldn't change the past, and thus did not intervene. However, when the DHARMA Initiative captured Sayid Jarrah in the jungle, problems ensued. Sayid had also travelled back in time, but James and the rest of his friends were unable to cover for him. Sayid was locked up and kept prisoner, since DHARMA believed he was one of the "hostiles".

When Ben heard a hostile had been captured, he wanted to meet him, believing that Richard may have sent the prisoner to get him. Ben managed to get into the security building and to the jail cell by telling Phil, the security guard, that Horace asked him to take food to the prisoner. Sayid was shocked when he learnt that the young boy was Benjamin Linus, his future enemy. Knowing the pain Ben would cause him thirty years later, Sayid played along and pretended to be a hostile. Believing that Sayid would take him away with him, Ben managed to create a diversion and let Sayid out of his cell by stealing Roger's set of janitorial keys. Once in the jungle away from the barracks, Sayid shot Ben and ran off into the jungle.

Ben was found bleeding to death by Jin, who rushed him back to the barracks. Juliet, a fertilty doctor, worked frantically to save him, but Ben needed a proper surgeon to stop the bleeding. Jack was a surgeon but refused to help Juliet, also carrying a grudge against Ben for his future sins. Eventually Juliet and Kate decided that their only hope to save Ben was to ask the hostiles if they could help. Kate and James went into the jungle carrying Ben. They were found by a group of hostiles and asked them to take them to Richard. Richard remembered meeting Ben in the jungle four years earlier and Kate asked him to please save Ben's life. Richard warned Kate and James that if he helped Ben, he would never be the same again. Ben would forget what happened to him and he would forever be one of the hostiles. Knowing it was Ben's only chance at surviving, Kate and James accepted the conditions and handed Ben over to Richard, even knowing that this is what would make Ben into the man he would become thirty years later.

Richard took Ben to their temple, a place with magical poperties, and Ben was healed. However, when Charles Widmore, another hostile, found out what had happened, he was very displeased that Richard had brought an outsider to their temple. Richard told Charles that the Island had chosen Ben and that Jacob wanted him healed. Charles accepted this and went on to introduce himself to Ben.

Ben returned to his life with the DHARMA Initiative, since the hostiles had a bigger plan for him. Ben lived at the barracks for many years, but regularly met with the hostiles in the jungle. Eventually Ethan, Horace's 11 year old son, also joined Ben. One night, in January 1989, Charles sent Ben and Ethan on an assignment. Their job was to kill Danielle Rousseau, a French woman who had shipwrecked on the island. According to Charles, she was an outsider and a threat to the island. Ben and Ethan found her camp on the beach, but when Ben entered her tent he saw that she had a newborn baby with her. Ben took the baby and held Danielle at gunpoint. She pleaded with him not to harm her baby girl, whom she called Alex. Ben decided to take Alex with him and warned Danielle never to come looking for her child. He told her that if she wanted Alex to live she would stay away. Ben and Ethan left with baby Alex, leaving Danielle helpless and alone. When they arrived back at the hostiles' camp, Charles was not impressed at Ben's decision. He ordered Ben to kill the baby, but Ben refused. Charles claimed that the Island wanted it that way. Ben however, claimed that a baby didn't pose any harm to them and told Charles to kill the baby himself if he wanted it done. Charles was displeased, but walked away. Ben then decided to raise Alex as his own child.

Back at the DHARMA Initiative, Ben had also started working as a workman. One day, in 1992, the hostiles finally executed their plan with help from Ben. After delivering supplies to The Pearl with his father, Ben killed Roger by popping a gas canister in their DHARMA van. He returned to the barracks to find everyone there dead; the result of an attack launched by the hostiles to purge DHARMA from the island. Richard had the bodies of Ben's former co-workers collected and tossed into a mass grave.

After this purge, the hostiles moved into the barracks, along with Ben, Ethan and a few other DHARMA employers who joined the hostiles' side. Somehow, it came to Ben's attention that Charles regularly left the Island and had had a daughter with an outsider on the mainland. This was against the rules of their people and Charles was then banished from the island. When Ben went to see Charles off, Charles believed that Ben was only there to gloat. There had been an uneasy tention and battle for leadership between the two men for a long time and Charles blamed Ben for him having to leave the Island.

Years passed and Ben became the leader of the hostiles. Ben became concerned with their inability to procreate - any woman who conceived on the Island died along with their baby after their immune system turned against the foetus. Attempting to find a solution, Ben sent Richard and Ethan off the island, to Miami, Florida to recruit a fertility doctor - Juliet Burke. Juliet was a highly skilled doctor who had managed to get her sister pregnant after chemotherapy had made her sterile. This was the very woman who helped save Ben's life when he was a child, but he would have no recollection of her. Juliet was recruited and brought to the Island to work on a solution at The Staff, their medical station, but tragically she lost nine pregnant women to the fertility problem. Ben refused to allow Juliet to take a pregnant woman off the island to further test the possibility that it was the Island itself causing the problem, so Juliet requested to leave, as she was out of ideas. Ben revealed to Juliet that her sister's cancer had returned and told her Jacob would cure the cancer if Juliet remained on the island to solve their problem. Juliet agreed.

Over two years passed with Juliet still working on the problem. Ben began to experience back pains and Juliet took X-rays of his spine to see if there were any fractures. Two days before the crash of Oceanic Flight 815, Ben learned from Juliet that the back pain he was experiencing was due to an aggressive tumor on his spine that, if left untreated, would be fatal. As Ben pointed out how no one on the island had a trace of cancer when convincing Juliet to stay if he cured her sister's cancer, Juliet believed he had lied to her and that her sister was dead. Ben maintained that Juliet's sister was cured and that he never lied, but wouldn't allow Juliet to leave. Two days later, Ben and his people witnessed the mid-air break-up of Oceanic Flight 815 - a plane carrying Jack, Kate, Hurley, Sawyer, Sayid and over forty other survivors. Once again, Ben had no recollection of these people, not even of Sayid, the man who shot him as a child. Ben ordered Goodwin and Ethan to head to the tail-section and mid-section crash sites, respectively. They were to infiltrate any survivors and have lists of names ready in three days. Turning his attention to Juliet, Ben brought her to see Mikhail Bakunin at The Flame. Mikhail was in the process of watching news feeds of the disappearance of Oceanic Flight 815 and compiling information on the passengers. At Ben's request, Mikhail patched into a video feed Richard was shooting off-island. This video showed Juliet's sister and her son, both alive and healthy, and allowed Ben to prove to Juliet that he wasn't a liar.

After Oceanic 815

Season Two

Through Mikhail's information on the survivors, Ben learned that one of the passengers, John Locke, was once permanently paralyzed, yet was walking on the island. The Island had helped Locke, yet Ben developed a tumor on his spine. Ben trekked to the survivor's beach camp to meet Locke, but was captured in one of Danielle Rousseau's traps and was shot in the back with a crossbow when he tried to run. He was turned over to Sayid Jarrah and taken back to The Swan so that his wounds could be treated by Jack Shephard. However, Sayid locked himself inside the armory with Ben and brutally beat him during an interrogation.

Ben claimed to be Henry Gale, a wealthy industrialist from Minnesota, and was traveling with his wife, Jennifer, in a hot-air balloon on a trip across the Pacific. According to his story, his balloon crashed on the island four months before his capture by Rousseau. They sought shelter in a cave on the north shore of the island and waited for fly-overs, but his wife became ill three weeks ago. She developed a fever, became delirious two days later and then died. He buried her in the jungle by his smiley-face balloon, but claimed he couldn't remember how deep the gave was or how many shovelfuls of dirt it took. These two points of contention made Sayid believe Ben was lying, especially after the death of Shannon Rutherford and her subsequent burial by Sayid.

Ben spent the majority of his captivity locked inside the armory and watched over by Jack and Locke. His presence was kept a secret from the rest of the survivors, but Eko deduced there was a man hidden inside the armory and demanded to speak with him alone. Ben was told about how Eko killed two men - two Others, but regretted his actions and was back on a righteous path. Eventually, Locke decided to bring Ana-Lucia Cortez in and put her skills as a former cop to use in questioning Ben. Ben agreed to draw a map to his supposed balloon, but Ana-Lucia kept it hidden from Jack and Locke. Meanwhile, Ben continued to play mind games on Jack and Locke, playing the two against one another.

Ben was eventually left alone with Locke when a lock down went into effect inside The Swan, trapping the two inside. Ben was freed by Locke on the condition that Locke would protect him no matter what happened. While attempting to force open the blast doors, Locke became trapped underneath one of the doors when the timer alarm sounded. With Locke incapacitated, Ben was tasked with entering the numbers into the computer terminal. The timer reset itself, the lock down ended and Ben told Locke that he entered the numbers. Ben helped Locke with his wound as best he could when Ana-Lucia returned with news that they found Ben's balloon - but Sayid had dug up the grave and found the body of the real Henry Gale inside.

With the truth revealed, Ben changed his story. He claimed that, four months ago, he was part of a search party and found the real Henry still in his balloon with his neck broken. However, Sayid found a hand-written note on the real Henry's body which proved Henry survived the crash. Ben exclaimed that he didn't kill Henry, but refused to answer any questions about the Others due to his fear of the "man in charge." Ben eventually went on a hunger strike and refused to talk, but did tell Jack that the Others would never give up Walt Lloyd in a trade for him. Ana-Lucia was left to watch over Ben, but let her guard down and he attacked her, telling her that she killed two good people who were leaving her alone. He went on to tell her that Goodwin told them all about her, that Goodwin believed she was worthy and he could change her, but was then knocked out by Locke.

In a private conversation with Locke, Ben changed his story about pressing the button, claiming her never pushed it and the timer simply reset itself. Locke refused to believe him, but asked him why he didn't try to kill him and escape during the lock down. Ben told Locke that he is "one of the good ones" and was caught by Rousseau when he was coming to get Locke.

Ben was eventually freed by Michael Dawson in exchange for Walt. As an additional part of the deal, Jack, Kate Austen, James "Sawyer" Ford and Hugo "Hurley" Reyes were led into a trap by Michael and captured by the Others. The group was taken to the Pala Ferry dock where Ben greeted them with Walt. He told Michael that he wasn't happy with the arrangement his people made to get him released, but he would abide by the terms of the agreement. Ben let Michael and Walt go with one of the Others' boats and told Michael to set a compass heading of 325 to escape. He also had Hurley released, as it was Hurley's job to take a message back to the Oceanic survivors to stay away from the northern side of the island.

Season Three

Ben brought Jack, Kate and Sawyer to The Hydra, a DHARMA Initiative station located on a small island two miles off-shore of the main island. He had a brief breakfast on the beach with Kate before putting her with Sawyer and under the watch of Danny Pickett. His main concern, however, was with Jack as he needed Jack to perform spinal surgery on him to remove his tumor. He tasked Juliet to open a dialog with Jack as he believed she bore a striking resemblance to Jack's ex-wife, Sarah. Ben attempted to win Jack over to his side, revealing that they had contact with the outside world and promising Jack that he would take him home should he co-operate. However, Jack saw Ben's X-rays and, realizing he was taken by the Others because of an aggressive tumor on Ben's spine, refused to help him. Jack later "escaped" from his cell and Ben found him in the control room watching Kate being intimate with Sawyer. Jack agreed to perform the surgery if Ben would get him off the island.

During Ben's surgery, Jack deliberately cut into Ben's kidney sack which, if left untreated, would kill Ben in an hour. Jack demanded that Kate and Sawyer were to be freed, but Juliet ordered the Others to capture them as she was more than willing to let Ben die. In the middle of this stand-off, Ben regained consciousness from the anesthesia and, speaking alone with Juliet, offered to let her leave the island if she would help Jack's friends escape and let him live. Juliet agreed and Jack successfully removed Ben's tumor. However, Juliet killed Pickett to let Jack's friends escape and was thereby sentenced to be executed. With the site of the incision from his surgery becoming infected, Ben agreed to a deal with Jack: he was to stay with Ben, monitor his condition and nurse him back to good health in exchange for sparing Juliet's life. Juliet was spared, but Ben had a marking burned into her skin as punishment.

Because Kate and Sawyer knew The Hydra's location, Ben ordered the Others to abandon the facility and they returned to their home at the barracks. After about a week, Ben's health improved to the point where Jack was no longer needed and so he was forced to make good on his promise to allow Jack and Juliet to leave. He saw this as a sign of weakness to his people, but he could not go back on his word. However, in a stroke of luck, Jack's friends found the barracks in an attempt to rescue Jack. Locke sneaked into Ben's home and made it clear to him that he intended to destroy their submarine, even though Ben revealed to him that an electromagnetic anomaly had destroyed their means of locating the island: Jack and Juliet would leave on the submarine and wouldn't be able to return. Locke had Alexandra Rousseau, Ben's adoptive daughter, take him to the submarine and he blew it up with C-4 taken from The Flame. With the submarine destroyed, Ben no longer had to let Jack and Juliet leave. Locke was immediately captured, but brought to see "the man from Tallahassee" - Anthony Cooper, Locke's father. Ben told Locke there was a metaphorical box on the island in which anything you wished would appear inside and it was Locke who had brought Cooper to the island. As Jack's friends now knew where the barracks were, Ben ordered the Others to abandon it and move to a new place. Juliet, however, was left behind with the Oceanic survivors to infiltrate them and discover which of their women was pregnant.

The Others set up camp on their way to the temple and Ben ordered Locke to kill Cooper as a gesture of free will necessary to show he was ready to join them. Ben knew Locke wouldn't go through with it and embarrassed him in front of the assembled Others. The Others broke camp and continued on their trek, but Ben had Locke stay behind with Cooper. Ben warned Locke not to follow them unless he was carrying his dead father's body on his back. Unbeknownst to Ben, Richard had talked with Locke and gave him information on a man who would kill Cooper: Sawyer, the man whose life was ruined by Cooper. Locke used this information and caught up with the Others with his father's dead body on his back, demanding to know the Island's secrets. Ben informed him that he wasn't the true leader of the Others as he answered to Jacob. He refused to take Locke to see him as he was the only person who could speak to Jacob and the only person Jacob trusted. Meanwhile, Mikhail stumbled into camp with news that a woman, Naomi Dorrit, had parachuted onto the island and had means of communication with her off-shore ship. Ben was to send the Others on a raid on the Oceanic survivor's camp in two days to take the pregnant women marked by Juliet and was willing to take care of Naomi then. Mikhail insisted they act immediately, but Locke beat him and forced Ben to take him to see Jacob.

Ben took Locke to a secluded cabin in the jungle that was surrounded in a circle of white ash, warning Locke to turn off his flashlight as Jacob did not like technology. Inside, Ben carried on a conversation with an empty chair, making Locke believe that Ben was insane. Locke was about to leave when he heard a third person speak. Believing it was Ben playing another trick on him, Locke shone his flashlight and the cabin began to shake violently with objects being thrown around. Ben grabbed the empty chair and told Jacob that he had his fun, but was thrown back. Locke fled the cabin and Ben joined him shortly afterwards. The two hiked back to the Others' camp, but Ben made a stop along the way at the mass grave the hostiles had dumped the bodies of DHARMA personnel. Ben revealed to Locke that this was where he was metaphorical born and then shot Locke in the abdomen. He shot Locke because Jacob had said something to him and learned from Locke that it was "help me". Ben left Locke for dead in the mass grave.

Returning to the Others' makeshift camp, Ben stepped up the Others' raid on the Oceanic survivors camp by a day. Alex overheard what he was planning and sent Karl to warn the survivors. Thanks to their intervention, a majority of the raiding party was killed but Sayid, Sawyer and Bernard were captured. Bernard revealed that the other Oceanic survivors were heading to the radio transmitter to contact Naomi's off-shore freighter. Ben decided to intercept them and talk Jack out of it, and left Richard in command to continue taking the Others to the temple. Alex demanded to accompany Ben and he accepted, later telling her that he agreed as he was going to leave her with the Oceanic survivors - her new "family." He was disappointed that she had betrayed him. Alex reminded him of what he did to Karl, locking him in a cage and trying to brainwash him, but Ben merely stated that he didn't want Karl getting her pregnant and overreacted. The two eventually intercepted the survivors and Ben tried to coerce Jack into giving him the satellite phone by threatening to have Sayid, Sawyer and Bernard shot. Ben claimed that Naomi was one of the "bad guys", a representative of a group of people who have been trying to find the island. If freighter was contacted, then every single living person on the Island would die. Jack refused to comply and heard three gunshots over Ben's walkie. Infuriated, Jack beat Ben badly but left him alive so Ben could watch them get off the island. Beaten, Ben introduced Alex to Danielle, her mother.

Season Four

With a rescue helicopter on its way from Naomi Dorrit's freighter, Ben attempted to get Danielle to take Alex as far away as possible. He believed everyone would die and did not want his daughter harmed. Rousseau did not take kindly to Ben referring to Alex as "his" daughter and refused to listen to him. Still a prisoner, Ben ended up with the Oceanic survivors at the nose section wreckage of Oceanic 815. There they learned of Charlie Pace's death and warning that Naomi wasn't who she claimed to be. The survivors split into groups: those who believed Charlie sided with John Locke while those who believed in rescue sided with Jack Shephard. Ben politely asked Jack to go with Locke and Jack agreed.

While traveling with Locke's group they encountered one of the people from the freighter, Charlotte Lewis, who was forced to go with them. But Charlotte decided she would leave anyway, but she was shot twice in the chest by Ben. Luckily she was wearing a bullet-proof vest and was uninjured. Locke was incensed by Ben's actions and resolved to finally kill him. Ben attempted to plead for his life, telling Locke that he had information and answers, but was unable to tell him what the smoke monster was. Before Locke could pull the trigger, Ben told the group detailed information about Charlotte and the members of her team. Locke was told his instincts were correct and those people were a threat. Ben revealed that they came for him and knew all this because he had a man on their boat.

The group eventually made their way to the barracks. Sayid and Kate came to the barracks with another member of the freighter, Miles Straume, and traded Miles for Charlotte. Miles attempted to extort $3.2 million out of Ben, by offering to tell the freighter people Ben was dead, in exchange for the money but, as Ben was being held captive by Locke, he was in no position to get the money in the time frame Miles wanted. Ben eventually struck a deal with Locke: information for his freedom. He revealed to Locke that a very dangerous man, Charles Widmore, was looking for the Island in order to exploit it and was going to kill everyone on it. Ben and Locke revealed some of this information to the survivors who followed Locke, and Ben revealed the identity of his man on the freighter - Michael Dawson. As he believed the men on the freighter would use his daughter against him, Ben talked Alex into leave the barracks for the safety of the Temple, a place of sanctuary the rest of the Others had taken refuge at. She left with her mother and boyfriend, Karl. Shortly thereafter, the barracks were attacked by mercenaries from the freighter, killing three Oceanic survivors in the initial fighting. The mercenaries leader, Martin Keamy, brought out Alex and ordered Ben to surrender himself. Ben knew the mercenaries would kill everyone once they had him and so refused to surrender. He attempted to persuade Keamy that Alex wasn't his actual daughter and was just a pawn, but Keamy calmly executed her without hesitation anyway. Shocked that the rules had been changed, Ben descended into a secret room within the secret room of his home. Shortly after he returned, the smoke monster appeared inside the barracks and attacked the mercenaries, thereby giving the survivors time to flee for their lives and for Ben to say goodbye to his daughter.

Safely away from the barracks, Locke's group fractured: James "Sawyer" Ford left with Claire Littleton, Claire's baby Aaron and Miles. Locke forced Hugo "Hurley" Reyes to stay as Ben said Hurley was needed to find Jacob's cabin.

After the Island

One year and one month after the crash of Oceanic flight 815, Ben appeared seemingly out of thin air in the middle of the Sahara Desert. He made his way to Tikrit, Iraq where Sayid Jarrah was burying his wife, Nadia. Ben spoke with Sayid and revealed to him that Nadia's death wasn't an accident but an associate of Charles Widmore had killed her. Widmore's associate had followed Sayid to Iraq, so Ben and Sayid worked together in order for Sayid to murder the man and get his revenge. As Nadia was his life, Sayid decided Ben's war was now his and wanted to work with Ben. Ben then traveled to London, England and confronted Widmore. He couldn't kill Widmore, but wanted the man to know the pain he had felt by killing Widmore's own daughter, Penelope. Widmore claimed Ben would never find Penelope, and that the island belonged to him and always has. Ben told Widmore he would never find the island.

Ben then employed Sayid to assassinate a group of people. He was in Berlin, Germany to monitor Sayid's progress in tracking down an economist, one of the men on the list. In order to find him, Sayid was wooing the man's personal assistant, Elsa. Things went bad, however, as Elsa knew who Sayid was and shot him before she could find out who was employing him. Sayid killed her and had his wound treated by Ben. He reminded Sayid that Elsa and the people she worked for did not deserve their sympathies, that he did these things to protect his friends. He gave Sayid another name and told him it was good that they knew he was after them now.

The Real Henry Gale

The real Henry Gale's driver's license

The real Henry Gale was a black man from Minnesota. His wife was never on the balloon as Henry was traveling by himself. It is unknown who killed Henry or why, although it appears that he was interrogated by the Others prior to his death.

Character History

Information is shown in chronological order. Episodes in bold are Flashback/Flashforward episodes.

Before the Crash

After the Crash

After the Island

Memorable Moments


  • Henry Gale is the name of Dorothy's Uncle in the Wizard of OZ.