henry gale, lost, and the wizard of oz

Did you catch LOST last night? I found it very interesting as they introduced a new character: Henry Gale. It seems he’s one of the “others” on the island, though denies it.

The story he claimed was that he and his wife were in a hot air balloon and crash landed on the island 4 months prior. His wife became ill and died.

Now I didn’t catch this until going online to different places, but his story is a familiar one. It borrows from a couple of story lines from The Wizard of Oz.

Henry Gale is Dorothy‚Äôs Uncle Henry. But Henry doesn’t have a story about a hot air balloon. The Wizard does. Here’s his story as told by Wikipedia:

The character is introduced in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Unseen for most of the novel, he is the ruler of the Land of Oz and highly venerated by his subjects. Believing he is the only man capable of solving their problems, Dorothy Gale and her friends travel to the Emerald City, the capital of Oz, to meet him. Oz is very reluctant to meet them, but eventually they are granted an audience. Every time the Wizard appears in a different form, once as a giant head, once as a beautiful fairy, once as ball of fire, and once as a horrible monster.

Eventually, it is revealed that Oz is actually none of these things, but rather an ordinary, American man who has been using a lot of elaborate magic tricks and props to make himself seem “great and powerful.” When revealed, Oz explains that his real name is Oscar Zoroaster Phadrig Isaac Norman Henkel Emmannuel Ambroise Diggs. To shorten this name, he used only his initials (O.Z.P.I.N.H.E.A.D.), but since they spell out the word “pinhead”, he shortened his name further and called himself “Oz”. Working as a magician in the United States, he wrote OZ on the side of his hot air balloon for promotional purposes. One day his balloon sailed into the Land of Oz, and found himself worshipped as a great sorcerer. As Oz had no leadership at the time, he became Supreme Ruler of the kingdom, and did his best to sustain the myth.

I find this very interesting. So I’m wondering, are the writers of LOST trying to give us a clue as to what’s going on with the show? Maybe the character is an “other” and he made up his story from his remembering The Wizard of Oz. Or, was this intentional by the writers to give us clues?

Remember the whole thing about Oz turned out to just be a dream by Dorothy — the story’s main character.


[tags]LOST, Wizard of Oz, Henry Gale[/tags]

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  • DJS

    I’m so glad I’m not the only one who noticed the Henry Gale/Wiz connection! Keep us posted.

  • Lost Fan

    Great info! Reading it made me think of one other thing that falls in line with the whole “Gale as the Wizard” theme: the fact that Echoe asked to see him and then made his subsequent confessions…

  • Michael

    Great job, I noticed this too. The Gale Forcers were the Wizards soldiers. I don’t believe it has anything to do with the story, but this: the man is very literate, he admits this to Locke, so he’s giving a hint to the castaways. He’s playing with them knowing THEY won’t connect Henry Gale, coming in on a balloon and The Wizard of Oz. To the other, just like Ethan Rom whose anagram is “Other Man”, it’s all a game the others play on the castaways.

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  • Ozzie

    The Oz story was only a dream in the 1939 film. In the book, it was all real.

  • Jen

    Zeke (the bearded man on Lost) is also the name of one of the farm hands on Henry Gale’s farm. He ends up being the cowardly lion.

  • ellen

    iI got the whole Henry Gale too! What does that mean, a whole Wizard trip.

  • the fictional Dharma Inititive website helps and confuses this issue, if you highlight the faint grey area at the top of the page, in the white and black area you will suddenly see what seems like nonsense, but if you cut and paste that directly into your search engine you will get exactly one hit, a rare language page, halfway down you will come to the language called OZ! and that phrase is a quoted example… witha forboding message indeed.

  • Louis L.

    I also noticed the similarities between the 2 stories. Then I took a look at a screen cap of the map Lock saw and found a map of OZ. Take a look for yourself. Do they look similar to you? http://www.eskimo.com/~tiktok/faq04.html#5

  • rob

    Louis, I kinda see it.

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  • mikey

    I don’t know if this has been mentioned, but Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and Harold Perrineau were both previously in the prison series Oz. Maybe there’s a connection there.

    In reference to Henry Gale, see this interesting comment:


  • vix

    Seems to me you’ve missed the obvious OZ connection – that the plane came from Oz (the land down-under).

  • Holly

    brilliant stuff. I noticed the connection between Henry gale and the Wizard of Oz, and I do think the writers are trying to get us hints. Just like with the Brothers Karamov book, as well as with the Turn of the Screw book by Henry James and the Dharma Initiative. I am trying to piece it all together to try and see what it means. Also, there is some kind of spiritual symbolism to all the animals on the show. I.e. The horse Kate sees, the frog that Sawyer hears, and the Polar Bear. Thoughts? I would love to hear back from you on the matter.

  • rob

    Holly, wow! You’re going deep! I don’t know any spiritual connection to the frog, horse, and polar bear. It’ll be interesting if we find out what the deal with those animals appearing and all. Well, the frog lives there (and remember the boar?). But the horse, bear, even “Dave” (Hurley’s friend) and Jack’s dad were showing up and they didn’t belong. We know the people meant something, but don’t know what the animals mean, do we?

  • Anne

    There were also the feet sticking out from under the house in the 1st episode of season 3.

  • rob

    Ha! True, true.

  • Suzy

    A also the fact that the only kid on the show, walt, has (or had) a dog. and dorthy had a dog. and the fact that the wizrd had tons of forms and was always prestending to be something, just the black smoke-stuff turns into poeple and things.

  • J.Lowe

    Last night on the 2/14/07 episode there was an image of a man who died under scaffholding, with big red shoes on.

    The previous episode from last week also featured an interesting image when Jack was watching Kate and Sawyer on the black and white monitor at the Others camp. The woman I was watching the show with commmented “That’s like the crystal ball from the Wizard of Oz.”

  • someone needs to create a website dedicated to OZ connections, this is all too real and crazy to not mean anything signifigant.

    Most currently– the “box” ben tells locke about appears to work similarly to the ruby slippers- click your heels 3 times and bam! he described it as a box that you can wish for anything and will appear in the box. I have a feeling that it is really the black smoke monster, shape shifting into the wishes, kinda like the wizard changing forms in the oz stories.

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