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They come. They fight. They destroy. They corrupt. It always ends the same.
~ The Man in Black

The Man In Black is the main antagonist of the science-fiction mystery drama TV series Lost, which lasted 6 whole seasons. Also known as the "Smoke Monster" in earlier episodes and often glossed over for the first part of the series, it was shown in Seasons 5 and 6 that he is an enigmatic and evil entity born on the Island during the Classical Roman Era that seeks to free itself from the Island, which according to Jacob, would unleash great evil into the world and destroy it. He was originally the brother of Jacob, the Guardian of the Island, but became the Smoke Monster after Jacob threw his brother down the Heart of the Island, a source of mysterious power that the Island keeps, as revenge for killing their adoptive mother.

Throughout most of the series, the Man in Black is seen this form, briefly adopting the guise of several other dead characters and animals in some episodes, until Seasons 5 and 6 when he assumes the appearance of John Locke, and remains in this form until his death.

The Man in Black is played by Titus Welliver in his original form (Titus would later play James Savoy in Transformers: Age of Extinction and War in Supernatural) and by Terry O'Quinn (who played the character John Locke in Lost) during the finale of Season 5 and the entirety of Season 6.

Trivia

  • The Man in Black was the thirty-third and last character to ever have a flashback.
  • The Man in Black was the eighteenth main character to die.
  • The Man in Black never once left the Island during the course of his roughly 2,000-year life.
    • He is the only main character to never be off The Island - the opposite of Penny.
  • The original appearance of the Monster was the first major plot twist of Lost and changed how the viewers and characters perceived the Island. ("Pilot, Part 1")
  • The Man in Black has been portrayed by seven different actors, more than any other character on the show.
  • The alleged appearance of the smoke monster swooping down and causing the turbine explosion was officially debunked by the producers. ("Pilot, Part 1")
  • The entity, in the form of the black smoke, has been seen or heard by all the main characters except Daniel, Ana, Lucia, Charlotte, Libby, Pierre, Eloise and Christian. Locke, Jack, Kate, Charlie, Eko, Juliet, Jin, Ben, Sawyer, Claire, Hurley, Miles, Sayid, Frank, Sun, Ilana, Michael, Nikki and Desmond have had "close encounters" with it. Walt, Shannon, Boone and Paulo have all heard the Monster but not seen it. However, Boone and Shannon had a "close encounter" with the black smoke in Boone's vision. Jacob and Richard are the only ones who have been shown encountering the monster in the forms of the Black Smoke, Man in Black, and as Locke.
  • Richard Alpert took notice of a picture that a five-year-old Locke drew of a man being attacked by a cloud of whirling black smoke. ("Cabin Fever")
  • Cerberus is also the common name for dog-faced water snakes, a genus of water snakes in the Colubridae family.
  • Cerberus in the Greek Mythology was a multi-headed hound which guards the gates of Hades, to prevent those who have crossed the river Styx from ever escaping. Robert claimed the monster wasn't a monster at all, but a security system charged with guarding the Temple.
  • In the May 26, 2006 Official Lost Podcast, the producers said, "There's a good chance that you guys saw the Monster this year Season 2, but just didn't realize you were looking at the Monster." Gregg Nationslater stated that the appearance of the Monster was after the episode "The 23rd Psalm" and likely in the second half of the season. Presumably, they were referring to his appearances as Yemi.
  • When the entity appeared in human form, his shirt and Jacob's shirt are contrasted. Jacob wears a light colored shirt, while his nemesis wears a dark one. (Dark and Light)
  • In November 2009, executive producer Damon Lindelof stated that, regarding the scene in "Pilot, Part 2" where Locke explains to Walt the premise of backgammon using the concept of light and dark, he and fellow co-creator JJ Abrams had planned for those two sides to eventually be personified by two individuals (in reference to Jacob and the Man in Black). 
  • The casting call described the entity's 1800's appearance as "Samuel. Any ethnicity, 40s-60s. A corporate raider looking to take over his next company. Powerful, devious and obtuse. He has a cunning intellect and a strong sense of danger. May lead to recurring. Looking for someone very interesting and very special for this role..."
  • Dogen describes the Man in Black to Sayid first as "an angry man" who is influencing Claire, then "evil incarnate."
  • The Man in Black evidently has a streak of sadism, as shown in the brutality of its attacks as the Monster, and the apparent amusement it expressed at John Locke's confusion about his own murder.
  • Since a DVD commentary reveals the monster sound effect to be an NYC taxi cab printer, Rose's familiarity with the sound may be an in-joke. In ("Pilot, Part 1"), the Losties discuss the sound on the beach the morning after first hearing the Smoke Monster in the jungle. Rose is heard saying "The noise it made sounded very familiar." Shannon is heard asking "Where are you from?" to which Rose replies "The Bronx."
  • In what appeared to have been a red herring, on June 14, 2006, DJ Dan fielded a call on his podcast, which was part of the ARG The Lost Experience, from a scientist worrying about nanotechnology(miniature machines that can carry out tasks). The caller suggested that with an electromagnetic field, the machines could work together to form a "storm cloud" that could actually think. This clearly was a reference to the Monster, but the theory had already been discredited by the producers in the July 31, 2006 podcast, and again in the first DJ Dan live broadcast.
  • The Man in Black is one of 22 characters to have their name appear in a soundtrack title, although some of his nicknames are used instead of a name, e.g. Monster and Smokey.
  • According to the Across the Sea audio commentary, Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse thought it would be interesting if the Man in Black didn't have a name at all.
  • The Man in Black along with Sun, Christian, Bernard, Eko, Libby and Ilana are only main characters who doesn't have any line in their first episode.
  • Last words: "You're too late"
  • Witnesses of death: Jack, Kate