The Whispers

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Re: The Whispers

Post by TheHolyStickman on Thu Aug 07, 2008 12:28 pm

We know that from the episdoe 'Abandonned' that the whispers can be heard by more than one person or one group of people. The Tailies and Shannon and Sayid both hear them at the same time although they are quite far apart.

Retro, I think it's fundemental, when trying to establish the nature of the whispers, whether the whispers are accidentally communicating with the losties or whether they are intentionally heard by the losties. If it is intentional then maybe they will find a way to 'open the door further' so that they become understandable and audible.

But these whispers are perhaps the most unpredictable aspect of lost. And I have a sneak suspicion that I'm miles off. I really don't have a clue.
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Re: The Whispers

Post by retroactiveman on Thu Aug 07, 2008 4:03 pm

Miles off or right on, who knows. (Maybe Miles can not only hear but understand the whispers.) I dont see how the fact that two people far apart can hear the same whispers changes anything. The whispers to the losties communicate anxiety; the content of the whispers are incomprehensible to everybody including us.

I know that science fiction fans want to believe that the worlds of the fiction they escape into is complete and real (like those two guys who sat next to me in high school who learned how to speak klingon). But, unfortunately these words are artificial; the content aspect of the whispers, the aspect that requires decoding software, is an overtly artificial and aspect, evidence that a thrid party's intention writes the show.

Some magic open door which will make things clearer in the future changes what we have now, unintelligible audible whispers, into something else. This something else is derived by speculating on its possible development in the plot. In other words, per yours and Angelo's analysis, for the whispers to have meaning, this meaning, even the unintelligible meaning, must have meaning within the plot line. In making my suggestions, I was merely suggesting an option which wasn't in the possible options that Angelo mentioned.

Just as you, I dont claim to know. But I can tell you how they operate right now.


Last edited by retroactiveman on Thu Aug 07, 2008 4:15 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : syntax)
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Re: The Whispers

Post by MollyCocktail on Thu Aug 07, 2008 7:12 pm

AngeloComet wrote:Molly - the content of the whispers doesn't indicate any such 'echo' of previous iterations of a time loop.

And, to risk belabouring the point, the whispers are live. They comment on what is happening. They respond to what they see in some cases, and in other cases discuss revealing themselves to whoever is present. For me, that's a staggering concept and integral to what The Whispers are all about.

I disagree.
The fact that some of the whispers are delivered backwards or completely inaudible suggests that they are one of two things: supernatural, which if true, would pretty much put the Others argument to sleep, or they are coming from another time which makes more sense if you believe that the Losties are stuck in a loop.
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Re: The Whispers

Post by AngeloComet on Fri Aug 08, 2008 10:05 am

I have explicitly not drawn the conclusion that The Whispers are The Others. Indeed, I did veer towards a supernatural conclusion. (

And The Whispers remarking independently about how they might reveal themselves to real people, as well as just commenting on events right in front of them, nullifies the idea of a time loop (unless events are playing out exactly as before, in which case the loop plot itself is a non-starter: by default it doesn't go anywhere.

- - -

Retro, I understand your point and, I admit, it's not one I take casually. In simple terms you are saying that the content of The Whispers may not be significant given that they are produced by, say, the equivalent of a prop-maker in the sound department. What input do they have to write down these important whisper narratives?

As I have said, I don't know who is responsible for producing the whispers on the show; how much input and influence goes into the relevance to the plot by way of their voices. (I am hazarding that, since the technology is out there deciphering their words, Darlton would have by now ensured nothing ridiculous was allowed in. I may be flat out wrong about that.)
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Re: The Whispers

Post by retroactiveman on Sat Aug 09, 2008 2:13 am

Of course that's not what I meant. Oh well. Its not that the production department writes whisper narratives. I'm sure they are following orders. It more like the whispers are written for me and you. For our decoders and for our imaginations, and for our fascination. Its akin to sitting a producer down in Jacob's chair, flashing his locke like profile for 3 seconds and letting it fall, and letting the speculation begin. It is about the speculation, not necessarily nailing down one precise and authoritative definition.
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Re: The Whispers

Post by StitchExp626 on Sat Aug 09, 2008 3:00 am

The musical score of Lost is something that exists for the viewer and the viewer alone, the characters in Lost are not hearing the music or the dramatic tension that it brings with it.

Whispers on the other hand have been heard by the characters. Obviously the characters have no idea what is being said and to be honest, most viewers of the show do not have access to sound editing software that will help them isolate one particular audio channel.

I have seen the transcripts and heard many of the cleaned up isolated channels and even then I find that it takes some powerful imagination to assert exactly what words are really being said.

I think a good illustration of this is the comic con video. Even on this where the audio is quite good there is disageement about what words were actually used ... is he Chang or Cheng, does he talk to a Jennifer or is it a Lara???

If on good audio we have trouble deciphering what is said, then the issue is even greater on deciphering those words or statements that are woven into the whispers.

The whispers must mean something in the plot but as yet we have no concrete idea. I do not think they are there for the average viewer to play with as a puzzle, as the equipment needed to isolate the track and to determine the precise wording of what is said does not exist. Intelligent guesses are made of the content of the whispers, but no one can validate these guesses.

The whispers provide a soundtrack that both the characters on the show and the viewer at home experience, an experience that is very creepy and scarey in my opinion. This is where I think you can not argue that the whispers are written for you and me. The musical score is written solely for you and me. The whispers in the show are there to elicit an emtional response in both the character and the viewer.

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Re: The Whispers

Post by retroactiveman on Sat Aug 09, 2008 4:53 am

Do they not exist for me and you? They undoubtedly do. It is art. And for that matter please clarify the difference between the musical score and the plot line of the show. The show, everything about it, including the whispers and the musical score, is intentional, is the product of someone's intention, intentionally for me and for you. The fact that the whispers require decoding software of us is evidence of this intention, evidence that the show is manufactured, and additionally evidence that show is trying to engage the audience to actively participate in the show.

I dont know how or if the whispers will fit into the plot line. You expect that they will, Stitch, but there is no way that you can know, there is no way that you can have knowledge of this. Angelo started this thread by mocking people that thought the producers had the plot line laid out from the beginning by pointing out that the writers were clueless as to how things would relate. If the writers and producers didn't have the details worked out, how could you claim to know?

Also, I never said anything about the whispers being a game. And bad audio, good audio, perfectly intelligible or partly intelligible, does not affect in any way what I am saying or trying to say.

Question: Can the whispers be decoded using software? Yes. Does it matter that there is no authoritative interpretation? Maybe for you, but not for me...what does matter is that there are people doing it and people posting about and interested in it. Will it fit in to the plot line? Probably, mysteries are supposed to solve themselves right?, but you dont know.
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Re: The Whispers

Post by StitchExp626 on Sat Aug 09, 2008 6:38 am

I should have used the expression "solely for you and me"!

The whispers are a phenomenon that are experienced by the characters in the show as well as the audience.

Are these really the voice of dead people .. I have no idea.

Are they audible although unintelligible to the characters .... yes!

Obviously the average viewer of the show is in the same situation as the characters ... audible whispers but completely unintelligible.

I hear the whispering but I can honestly say I have no idea what the content of those whispers are. Transcripts of the whispers fail to convince me that the blurry noise I hear is the words that they hear.

As the characters hear this whispering then it must be part of the plot, but as I said earlier, their meaning is not clear and to put any concrete meaning on them is just guessing. There is no harm in guessing and AC's guess is probably just as good as any guess that I may have.

In fact I have no guesses, just the knowledge that hearing the whispers does raise my anxiety level!

I think retro that you do understand about the scoring of a scene using music, we hear the score but we assume that the characters do not. As opposed to ominous noises that both the characters and the viewers here!

I understand retro when you say that hidden sound files are meant not for the characters but the viewer to interpret. That is true, except that most viewers do not have the technical equipment to decipher these hidden soundtracks. Even the clearest audio of the whispers to me still sound just like noise!

Take the newspaper clipping that Jack had in the season three finale.



This has some intelligible text

which is the following:

"The body of Je ~*~ entham of
York was discovered shortly after 4
a.m. in the ~*~ of Grand
Avenue. Ted [lastname], [a door]man at The
Tower ~*~ heard loud
noises ~*~ entham's loft.
~*~ [sa]fety, he co[nfessed]
~*~ discovered the
~*~ entered the loft a beam
in the ~*~ mom ~*~ cordin[g]
~*~


However some fans, assumung that it was Michael and knowing the name of the funeral parlour (imaginatively) came up with the following transcript which many others then took as being what the clipping said ... which in reality it doesn't

The body of Jeremy Bentham of New York was found shortly after 4 a.m. in the 4300 block of Grand Avenue.

Ted Worden, a doorman at the Tower Lofts complex, heard loud noises coming from the victim's loft. Concerned for the tenants' safety, he entered the loft and found the body hanging from a beam in the living room.

According to Jaime Ortiz, a police spokesman, the incident was deemed a suicide after medical tests. Bentham (sic) is survived by one teenaged son.

Memorial services will be held at the Hoffs-Drawlar Funeral Home tomorrow evening.

Some fan sucessfully wrote this extapolation on what they read and using some bits of known info managed to create the urban legend that the clipping mentioned a son. The reality no son is mentioned BUT through forums people read it and post it as fact, obviously they have not bothered to do any work themselves by looking at the clipping.

The same can be said for the urban myth that Carlton and Damon said no time travel. The reality from podcast 1 they constantly refer to time travel!

Some Lost fans trust what they read from other posters and see it as fact, especially if it ties in with their beliefs! However these people are not really able to back up their views as their assertions are based on the mythology of some fans, not on the reality of the show.

I class most of the transcripts of the whispers in the same class, fans eager to impress with quotes that fit their own preconcieved ideas.

You ask me how do I know ...

I have never claimed to know the inside ... all I have stated is that the characters hear these unintelligible whispers and that they must mean something!

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Re: The Whispers

Post by blonde on Sat Aug 09, 2008 7:12 am

everyone is sure "long-winded " on this one....hmmm. I will take take the Cliff's notes guys. Where are we going with this?
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Re: The Whispers

Post by retroactiveman on Sat Aug 09, 2008 7:30 am

Obviously, the losties can hear the whispers, and throughout this thread I haven't said otherwise. I have made the claim that the losties cannot access the content. I have never said that viewer has complete access.

What the average viewer can or cannot do is irrelevant. We stand in very much a different relation to the show and the whispers than the characters. It is a relation that encompasses both the music and the ability to parse the whispers. This is undeniable, and I think that you know this stitch.

When I ask you how do you know, I ask because you say that the whispers must fit in to the plot. Obviously the anxiety aspect fits into the plot, but you cannot be certain that the decipherable (sp?) aspect will fit into the plot, which is what you are saying.

I agree with your suggestion about viewers filling in the blanks with preconceived notions.

You are right that the whispers do in some ways match up with the Bentham clip. And the reasons for why you are right are in line with what I've been saying about the whispers. Why not just show the whole thing? Why not just give it away? Because it is about speculation. It is about blind spots in the perceiving subjects vision, and how we and the characters reconcile these visions. Producers lace these blind spots throughout. Whether one viewer average or superhuman (like Angelo) can impose an authorative vision upon the blind spots is not the point. The point is that the intention is to provoke the vision, to inspire the inspired viewership through losing the viewership, and to plot the viewer on an incomplete map.

So what exactly is your problem with what I'm saying?
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Re: The Whispers

Post by TheHolyStickman on Sat Aug 09, 2008 11:42 am

StitchExp626 wrote:The musical score of Lost is something that exists for the viewer and the viewer alone, the characters in Lost are not hearing the music or the dramatic tension that it brings with it.

Whispers on the other hand have been heard by the characters. Obviously the characters have no idea what is being said and to be honest, most viewers of the show do not have access to sound editing software that will help them isolate one particular audio channel.

I have seen the transcripts and heard many of the cleaned up isolated channels and even then I find that it takes some powerful imagination to assert exactly what words are really being said.

I think a good illustration of this is the comic con video. Even on this where the audio is quite good there is disageement about what words were actually used ... is he Chang or Cheng, does he talk to a Jennifer or is it a Lara???

If on good audio we have trouble deciphering what is said, then the issue is even greater on deciphering those words or statements that are woven into the whispers.

The whispers must mean something in the plot but as yet we have no concrete idea. I do not think they are there for the average viewer to play with as a puzzle, as the equipment needed to isolate the track and to determine the precise wording of what is said does not exist. Intelligent guesses are made of the content of the whispers, but no one can validate these guesses.

The whispers provide a soundtrack that both the characters on the show and the viewer at home experience, an experience that is very creepy and scarey in my opinion. This is where I think you can not argue that the whispers are written for you and me. The musical score is written solely for you and me. The whispers in the show are there to elicit an emtional response in both the character and the viewer.

Bravo, Stitch. This is the piece of writting that best explains the whispers for me. I've been trying to say this in my earlier posts but couldn't find the right words.
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Re: The Whispers

Post by TheHolyStickman on Sat Aug 09, 2008 11:48 am

blonde wrote:Where are we going with this?

Well I'm having fun. Very Happy
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Re: The Whispers

Post by TheHolyStickman on Sat Aug 09, 2008 12:05 pm

StitchExp626 wrote:
In fact I have no guesses, just the knowledge that hearing the whispers does raise my anxiety level!


I disagree with that, Stitch. I think your being hard on yourself. When I hear music in a tense scene, that raises my anxiety level. When I hear the whispers, yes it does raise my anxiety level but, the first thing I think of is Walt, Jacob, Others, Smoke Monster. I don't connect these things consciously, but whenever I hear them I expect one of those things. The whispers on there own may not mean anything but they usually come accompanied with something else.

So, as much as you disagree Retro, the whispers are already part of the plot. For me they are a warning system for something like the others or Jacob. And the main mystery for me is how they are connected.

That is why I find lost so intriguing, any other show would just use tense music when the others come (that the characters can't hear), but Lost uses its own genius method of music and it actually involves it in the show.
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Re: The Whispers

Post by retroactiveman on Sat Aug 09, 2008 4:13 pm

Please show me where in any of my posts that I dont say the whispers cause anxiety for everybody involved.

I am contesting only the pressing into service for the sake of future plot the undecipherable/decipherable aspect.

Thanks.
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Re: The Whispers

Post by TheHolyStickman on Sat Aug 09, 2008 5:55 pm

I agree that what the whispers actually say is only for us. We ourselves are meant to work out what they mean. But I believe that the Others/Jacob know all about them. And that they will find out what they are through them. And we can try and find out by deciphering them oursleves.

So overall I think that the actually content of the whispers are for us and only use to decipher and theory-ise about. But the losties will find out what the whispers actually are through 'Other' means.

For example if the whispers are the voices of the dead then we can work that out by looking at the transcripts of the whispers. But the losties will find out from somewhere else like Faraday or Jacob. Then they will become a part of the plot.
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Re: The Whispers

Post by John_Vee on Sat Aug 09, 2008 7:36 pm

Is it me or do I recall that John Locke was never phased when hearing the whispers
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Re: The Whispers

Post by retroactiveman on Sat Aug 09, 2008 7:55 pm

Stickman: that was well said and I obviously cant argue with belief. Nice way to wrap it up.
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Re: The Whispers

Post by TheHolyStickman on Sun Aug 10, 2008 1:54 am

Thanks Retro, I enjoyed it a lot.
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Re: The Whispers

Post by Igs on Mon Aug 11, 2008 6:00 pm

Just as an aside here, to this fairly intense thread, the Enhanced Episodes describe the Whispers as:

"On the island / whispers are a signal / that danger is very close."

I doubt this is meant to be all encompassing. However, this goes to a significant aspect of the Whispers (they are,generally, a warning!)

Personally, as discussed here, my view of the Whispers are that they are a way to both build suspense, and to prepare both the audience and the Losties for danger/the appearance of the Others, etc.

The Whispers are, in fact, a uniquely shared aspect of the show by both the Losties and the audience. By this, I mean -- the Losties and the viewers have the same, or a similar, experience with them. We hear an inaudible noise, strain to figure it out, wonder what it means (and have been trained to think it may portend danger) just as the Losties do. This is a fairly unique and quite cool aspect of the show.

For the more involved viewer, who takes the time to decipher/decode/play backwards the Whispers, they also provide additional information or, perhaps, pertinent questions. Another little gem from Lost for those interested in digging deeper.

IMHO, I do not anticipate that they will serve as a plot point though, I think A/C's theory was interesting (as well as many of the other posters here). Personally, I don't expect they will ever be explained though, I don't rule it out.

One thing I have come to accept on Lost is that -- there are so many mysteries, they can not all possibly be resolved. More importantly, some are better left unresolved.

Were the Whispers, simply the Others watching in the woods, were they the subjective experience of a Character (i.e. the Duckett whisper)? Probably both. And that's good enough for me on this one!

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Re: The Whispers

Post by TheHolyStickman on Tue Aug 12, 2008 11:34 am

A very nice way to finish this conversation, I think, Igs.
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Re: The Whispers

Post by MyStarbuckHatesLost on Mon Aug 25, 2008 8:14 am

StitchExp626 wrote:
However some fans, assumung that it was Michael and knowing the name of the funeral parlour (imaginatively) came up with the following transcript which many others then took as being what the clipping said ... which in reality it doesn't...Some fan sucessfully wrote this extapolation on what they read and using some bits of known info managed to create the urban legend that the clipping mentioned a son. The reality no son is mentioned BUT through forums people read it and post it as fact, obviously they have not bothered to do any work themselves by looking at the clipping.

The same can be said for the urban myth that Carlton and Damon said no time travel. The reality from podcast 1 they constantly refer to time travel!

Some Lost fans trust what they read from other posters and see it as fact, especially if it ties in with their beliefs! However these people are not really able to back up their views as their assertions are based on the mythology of some fans, not on the reality of the show.


We each paint the picture of reality with a pallet of our own choosing, even if we let others influence what colors to use.
Excellent assesment and analysis Stitch! Bravo.
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Re: The Whispers

Post by StitchExp626 on Mon Aug 25, 2008 9:10 am

Thank you MSHL

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