Game of Thrones Author Disses Lost

Fantasy author George R.R. Martin, whose tome Game of Thrones is being adapted for television by HBO (the series premieres April 17), is never at a loss for words—just try thumbing through his ridiculously intricate descriptions of a knight's wardrobe. Recently, some of Martin's words irked one of TV's power players: Lost showrunner and nerd king Damon Lindelof.

Speaking with The New Yorker, Martin roused the dragon in Lindelof when he said: "We watched [Lost] every week trying to figure it out, and as it got deeper and deeper I kept saying, ‘They better have something good in mind for the end. This better pay off here.’ And then I felt so cheated when we got to the conclusion.”

Oh, snap. But that wasn't even the haymaker. Lindelof's Dharma-brand underwear got scrunched up when Martin said this: "I want to give [my readers] something terrific. What if I f*** it up at the end? What if I do a Lost? Then they’ll come after me with pitchforks and torches.”

Lindelof took to his preferred platform, Twitter, with several responses that sit somewhere between downright nasty and tongue-in-cheek. "I don't take issue with his opinion, I take issue with the fact that he coined 'Pulling a LOST' as empirically 'f***ing up the ending,'" he said in one tweet. "I've just been informed George is working on his feud response. I'll have it in FIVE YEARS! #NOYOUDINT," he said in another, making a dig on the notoriously long time it takes Martin to write his books.

[Spoiler alert for those who have not seen the Lost finale] The ending of Lost might go down as the most polarizing finale of all time, with even the most hardcore fans of the mind-bender split on its quality. Supporters praised its characterization and metaphysical questions, detractors wanted answers and thought the big revelation at the end was a cop out.

Lindelof has since said that this "feud" isn't really a feud at all, and that he's a fan of Martin's work (he's currently reading Game of Thrones). But he also feels the need to vehemently defend his show in the face of criticism. Martin has yet to respond to Lindelof's comments.

Just as Lost was once an obsession of mine, I'm currently all about Game of Thrones. It pains me to see two of my favorite creative people butt heads, but I can understand both sides. Martin has a right to voice his opinion (I agree with him that Lost's ending was disappointing), and Lindelof has a right to defend what he affectionately calls his "baby." But isn't handling criticism in the job description for a TV showrunner? Ever since Lost ended, Lindelof has been a bit immature when defending his show against an army of complaints (except for one epiphany he made after he himself was disappointed by Harry Potter). If that many people are complaining, maybe they have a point?

And at this point, is it okay to say "Pull a Lost?" Like, if I don't show up for my friend's party and give him a stupid excuse, can he say I "pulled a >Lost?"


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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"When a show makes the plot the central integrating feature (aka the definition of a serialized drama), the characters are secondary."

Learn to read, rube.
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@blarg76

Are you really going to say Lost wasn't about characters?
Are you really going to say the only programming about characters are sitcoms?
Rethink what you've said.
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@blarg76> I wasn't gonna post in this article anymore, but after reading your comment, I felt compelled to say, THANK YOU!!!
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Lost was not "about" the characters. Lost was a serialized drama. Serialized dramas are about plot. That is their distinguishing characteristic. Sit-coms are about characters. Procedural shows like Castle are about the characters. When a show makes the plot the central integrating feature (aka the definition of a serialized drama), the characters are secondary. Lost's plot is far removed from everyday life. Thus, the characters, their interactions and their reactions to events only have importance to viewers in the context of the plot. Claiming the plot is unimportant and saying that the show is "about the characters" is a major cop-out and actually serves to make the characters meaningless.
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Yay, you invented a new word: engagging. Meaning irresistably interesting but vomit inducing.

I am a Lostie, and eagerly watched every week. I was happy to enjoy the ride, but didn't obsess over the mysteries beyond a few forum discussions. I did like the ending for the most part, but I felt like there could have been more.

I have not read Game of Thrones and am not sure if I will. I love many fantasy series, but this one seems too serious and long-winded for me. Based on the preview, I will definitely watch the pilot of the show, but I may not keep watching if it's too much horror and drama, not enough fantasy.

As for the "feud", it's all in fun I think. If only Damon had thousands of pages to explain all the mysteries of Lost, his fans might be fully satisfied. Of course then they'd probably get bored and put down the book to go watch TV.
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Given how insane the expectations will be for the Game of Throne's ending ... provided Martin ever gets there. Don't be surprised when its ending more-or-less gets the same kind reaction LOST did. It is impossible to wrap complex stories like this in a neat little bun. And if you do, you'll find that's all you did while writing a boring ending. Writing is messy, just like life. Sure, Lost could be frustrating at times. But Lindeloft always kept it creative and engagging, its why it was such a success and its imitators have almost universally flopped. In the quest to not fall into Lost's pitfalls they failed to do what that show did right.
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While I wasn't a fan of the sideways universe reveal, Lost had a mostly satisfying ending. Most of the lingering mysteries were either stuff I stopped giving a crap about or things that were perfectly fine being left ambigous and could never have been given a concrete resolution. If you wanted a perfectly rational explanation for all the mystical stuff happening on that mystical island then you don't make any sense as a person.
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George R.R. Martin, please continue to write what ever it is you write because I am sure alot of people will enjoy your work. Stupid comments like this about other peoples work is just pathetic and it is not constructive criticism. The show has finished and the writers wrote. The finale was produced and what we saw was their end chapter. I'm sure at the end of your books, your final chapter will be written and maybe alot of people wont like that too. But how ever anyone decides to finish a story, that is their call. So keep growing your beard and shut your mouth!
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ok for the last time i\'ll go through this again and hopefully the internet will get it through it\'s head. if you watched Lost for 6 seasons like i did and have got all your friends into it and debated the series then is it really a surprise that it ended on a character not? the whole show was about the characters and if you can\'t realize that then you will never enjoy the ending. the finale was bloated, the fight between good and evil was a let down & the sideverse was lame it still culminated in a fulfilling ending to a great show. the people who were pissed off are the same that **** because they didn\'t know every reason why the polar bears were there and what was going on with them. sadly i don\'t think they understood the polite middle finger being shot in their direction with \"the new man in charge\". was it plot heavy at time, yes but it always fell back on the characters: choices, consequences, understanding and so on. these are the same people that **** about the bsg finale and it just makes me laugh at how people lose their minds over stuff like this. your opinion is just that and you have a right to it but think before you type. also on bsg they got to earth and it was a hell hole, where did you honestly think it would go you smart fool? be more disappointed in the whole 4th season being rushed and not the ending. Lost was great, it was a game changer and like anything or anyone in life fell and got back up and when it did it was great. get over yourselves please. thanks
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I find it funny that if one disliked the ending (as I did) one is typically labeled as a "LOST hater" or someone who "just didn't get it." I got it. I really did. I understand they weren't dead the whole time. That said, I don't like the thematic implications of the ending (sure, personal opinion, so not something that really matters), but I cannot see how people who claim the show was "all about the characters" can see the fourth, fifth, and sixth seasons as anywhere NEARLY as successful as the first three. Characters acted very strange, development was replaced with "we'll tell you a bunch of time has passed and suddenly this character is completely different!" (Jack, for example), and macguffin after macguffin was strolled out in really sloppy fashion. I was a huge fan of the first three seasons, as those had a tightly-written plot (not as much in season three), the characters were constantly getting more depth, and the plot serviced those characters, which simply isn't the case in the second half of the series, at least not for me.
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Most TV shows ARE about the characters. Everything else is just a setting in which those characters exist. Shows like Stargate where the central story is the main feature to the series, the characters are less important and it's more about resolving the conflict to the storyline.
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It is obvious that the truth hurts Lindelof IMO you blew Lost with a ending that wasn't fitting the beginning. From the previews I can say I am very excited to see this show.
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@headclub I can't help but agree. I don't hate Lost now, but I was a total diehard fan until the last episode. I know so many people like that. I watched it weekly with 6 or 7 people who weren't as diehard as me, but they loved every minute of it and were sucked in too. After the last episode ended, I was hesitantly thinking "wow... yeah... so good" simply because I didn't want to believe that Lost had let me down after all those years. Well, nearly a year later and I haven't re-watched any episodes of Lost, and none of my friends talk about it anymore. If they do, there's a sense of bitterness in how they feel about it as a whole. And it wasn't because the finale was the worst thing they've ever seen or I've ever seen, because it wasn't. A lot of it is because Lost led us along as if there was going to be a massive "a-ha! gotcha!" moment, where everything would all of a sudden make sense in context with everything we've been shown before. They've done that stuff before, and they've done it well. But when that moment ended up being "everybody created this purgatory like place after death so we could all live on together happily ever after"... it was hard not to feel let down.
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@DaddyDave> Seriously man, where do you get your figures from? 80%???? That's 100% untrue! All the mysteries answered? Even Darlton admitted that's not true either... I think you confuse fact- with your opinion. Lost was unequivocally my favorite show until season 6, and I would've said it was the best ever too, but my opinion changed with the stretch run. The people who "hate" Lost now were die-hard fans who loved the show as much as you do, and feel like they were let down!! NOT trolls as you suggest...// and the reason you never heard of Game of Thrones is cuz you obviously don't read. Cuz if you did, you would know his name (Martin) as he is considered the modern day Tolkien. and has scaled the NY Times bestseller list with every book in this series. Lawyered.
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I really think the world has gone mad, In an era when cheap copied brainless action movies rule its no wonder theres a group of trolls who are hell bent on continuing the the "Hate Lost bandwagon, I mean godforbid we watch anything with brains that makes you think.
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@smithinjapan> Let me guess, you were mungonna or one of his ilk on the Lost message board....
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@Anachronisms> Martin recently wed his gf of 30 years. but I do see your point. There is a certain irony that this is coming from Martin, who took 10 years to write his last 2 books and has 2 more to write to complete the series (he's 62 years old). However, I still agree with him about Lost. and it wasn't a personal attack on Lindelof. but Lindeldouche did personally attack Martin, calling him a b*tch, real mature. What a stupid turd...
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I think Lost kind of copped out. I mean, okay, the show is about the characters. I get that. However, didn't the mythology build the island into a character unto itself? A lot of people where drawn in to the show because the characters were interesting(they were). However, didn't a lot of people get drawn in because the island's mysteries were interesting as well(they were)? So, by trying to sell us on the show being about the characters, wasn't it only half an ending if you left out the island's "backstory"? We had SO many character-centric episodes to relate us to the show's characters, that when the finale came, we cared enough about them that we've taken sides as to whether the ending was great or a let-down. But, I think the ones of us that are disappointed, concern ourselves more with the fact that they built the island up as this important setting, plot-device, "character" if you will... and then little was explained. I "cared" for the characters. I was "happy" for them. "Sad" for them. And I counted the island amongst them. So, is it not easy to see how some of us feel? If one of your favorite characters wasn't given their due, in your opinion, wouldn't you feel like it was a cop-out?
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I think in the end, Lost shows its true colors. It is a show about its characters and the whole sci-fi and religious mysteries are just the backdrop of it. It cares about its character more than the mystery. And that is what makes it great compared the other shows (ahem Heroes, The Event, flash-Foraward ahem). Plus, Lost is a TV show and not a book first. That makes its story difficult to maintain with all the other factors to be considered (like actors, budget, schedule). And lastly, I think this "feud" is all but a stunt to create buzz about the coming show.
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If you understood the ending and still didn't like it, so be it, I'm sorry it ruined six years of your life. But if you still think that, one year after the finale, the characters were in "purgatory" since season one, then you have no business dissing the show.
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SADLY there is this myth within the media and among "fan" forums that most people didnt like the end of LOST, this is false, (Check out many of the polls, many have an 80% majority who loved it) yes many people didnt like it claiming it didnt answer its mysteries, ANOTHER MYTH, it answered virtually everything. Many people just didnt "Get it" so to spare their blushes "It sucked" And to those who still somehow think they were dead the whole time, HOW, they not only made it clear within the show but the writers even confirmed this. I really think people need to stop being lazy and recycling other peoples garbage and use their brains. LOST is the greatest work of fiction ever seen on tv, theres nothing else even close. Ive never even heard of this other guy shows how good he is eh.
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I loved Lost. I thought the finale was good (not great).

We've all said our bits on Lost, and we simply shouldn't dredge it all up again, but the finale's greatest weakness to me was that it virtually invalidated the entire series.

So many (a majority of?) people had guessed, early on, that all the characters (regardless of 'location' or 'time') were in purgatory, yet despite that we clung to it as it _was_ so well done, we were expecting explanations of how (the writers vision of) purgatory worked, expecting closure on characters storylines as they 'moved on' - but so many story threads and arcs were left dangling incomplete that to get to the end and have the characters simply say "oh, we were in purgatory - I guess it's time to move on, ok lets go" left a distinct "um, yeah ok, don't get me wrong the show was awesome, but um why did we have to watch 6 years to have the one single thing we'd more or less guessed be proven true? what about the 'big' answers you've promised again and again and again - you can't say you will provide answers then get to the end, turn around and say 'what do _you_ think the answers were?'." I thought Choose Your Own Adventure novels were a fad decades ago.

Lost was revealing, bit by bit a DaVinci, and in the final breath turned to reveal a Mondrian. (pick distinct artistic styles as you see fit).

Anyway, as to the feud ... it's a bit narcisistic on Lindelof's behalf given that it's one sided and he's obviously doing it to amuse himself.

Regardless I certainly think "pulling a Lost" is justified. Whether or not we loved or hated the ending, what the writers/producers did was build a story, promise to reveal more and then get to the end and ... not reveal anything, but ask _us_ to reveal what we thought (which we'd been doing for 6 years through countless blogs and discussion forums). Kind of a bait and switch - but baiting with something good and switching to something good as well. Ahh. I have dredged. Moving on!

I, and others, have actually used the "pulled a Lost" description in discussion of other works already where something "promised" has not been delivered - this is hardly anything new. Lindelof should realise this, in fact I'm sure he does.
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Athanatos: "The ending of Lost was a cop-out, they obviously painted themselves into a corner and had no clue how to end it, despite claiming they knew where it was going from the beginning."


So how should it have ended, bro? Let me guess... you have no idea. And let me ask you this as well, how did it end? what happened? You have no idea about that either and you know it. People that need to be told what is what and what to do have their uses.... their opinions, however, are not all that worthwhile. But, go ahead.... do explain how in your opinion how it was a copout. ;)
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I liked the ending of Lost ; we will see how many seasons will have Game of Thrones ...
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Without thinking to much on this subject, i went the simple way and asked if i would hunt George with a pitchfork and torch if he did a lost with his ending.

Yes i would!!!
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I LOVED LOST FINALE ALONG WITH THE ENTIRE SHOW. IT WAS A GREAT EXPERINCE FOR ME AND I HAVE NO REAGREATS TEAM LOST ALL THE WAY!!!
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The ending of Lost was a cop-out, they obviously painted themselves into a corner and had no clue how to end it, despite claiming they knew where it was going from the beginning. Not to mention the tons of unresolved plots. On a show such as Lost, satisfying the heart is not enough, it was a show about mysteries, not just a drama.
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The only ending that is a copout is an ending which thinks the audience is morons and spells itself out in large easy-to-push numbers or letters. The ending of LOST, which I've watched numerous times of course, is flawless. It wraps everything up, without using any paper. It will be talked about for a long, long time because it allows you to believe what you want to happened happened.
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Fakefeud is fake. That said, there's a certain irony to Martin knocking an ending. If you extrapolate the time between books to get the release date of the 7th and compare that with death rates for unmarried males of Martin's height, weight and age, the chance that he lives to finish the series, even working on his deathbed, is less than half.
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Lost: You know those complex, intricate scientific mysteries we set up? **** that, it's MAGIC!
Me: *heavy sigh*
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At the end, Lost satisfied the heart and not the head. I'm fairly sure that early on the showrunners said that everything that happened on the island could be explained by science. Clearly by season 4 this had been thrown out the window but I stuck with it for the characters and their journey. Did I want more answers? Yeah, sure I did but it didn't totally ruin the show for me that everything wasn't explained. It would have been nice to see Alana's story and resolve the issue of Ben's childhood sweetheart (whose picture kept changing in his house). These mysteries remain but the thing that annoyed me most was Jin staying with Sun to die instead of escaping to raise his daughter. Seriously WTF???
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I agree that the finale was terrible. I wasn't a fan of seasons 5 or 6 as a whole, either. I traded in my season 1-5 Blu-rays to Amazon shortly after the finale aired.
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@vstherevolution, i am in agreement there (wasn't a massive lost fan but still watched it) the ending didn't seem right thanks to all the promising. It would of been great it was just a series end and not a franchise end
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Lost forever!! The most amazing show!!
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You know, I still have a Lost icon and all and I'll enjoy it for what it was... but the ending of Lost probably wouldn't have bothered me so much if Lindelof didn't overhype it himself. Every year up until the end of season 5 he said "trust us, we know where we're going, we're going to answers the big questions and it will be satisfying". Then before season 6 that tone shifted to "well the show has always been about characters... we'll answer what we can... no there's not enough time for us to cover that one, sorry". I mean, Ilana was supposed to be Jacob's daughter but they blew her up instead because they didn't want to waste what time they had left telling her story. They clearly didn't plan those last 3 seasons as well as they thought they did and the finale suffered greatly for that, so I can't exactly disagree with the guy's use of the term.
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Well I for one loved Lost and especially the finale.
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LOL so much fun.Grow up people! :p
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I hate lost and everyone around me does
I only regret wasting hours on watching this nonsense Martin is totally right
I agree with him
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Loved Lost. Ending explained everything one needed to understand to understand the ending. Think Game of Thrones is just about a bunch of people riding around on horses and talking. On these facts, I'll throw in with Damon. Bonus points for Damon & Carlton having awesome podcasts rather than interviews in "The New Yorker", which people only read in barber shops and doctors' waiting rooms.
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I completely agree with this guy. I loved lost until season 6 where it all went downhill. The finale was one of the most disappointing finale's of any show I've watched - and that's saying a lot. It was truly devastating for me considering how much I used to love the show. Such a waste
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The fact that if you told someone that a show pulled a Lost, they would immediately know what you meant, makes the statement valid regardless of whether you liked the cop out ending or not.
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Lost finale was amazing
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I agree with some here who said the Lost ending was so horrible that I wish I had never watched the series in the first place. Although Song of Ice and Fire isnt done yet, I doubt the ending will be anything like Lost.
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Lost finale was perfect. Nuff said!
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Why the hell are we talking about Lost still? It ended a year ago, let's move on and discuss the Game of Thrones, since that's "now." Or maybe we should call "focusing attention on something else so we can get ourselves out of the limelight while we ruin a TV adaptation" "Pulling a Martin."
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George is absolutely right. I felt cheated by Lost and wish i had never watched the series. I've read all four of George Martin's books so far in the Song of Ice and Fire series, of which Game of Thrones is the first. If he pulls a Lost, I'll be crushed, and I only discovered the series about a year ago. I can't imagine how those who've been on board since '97 would feel if he made the ending seem to discount all that occurred before it a la Lost. Damon's being a baby.
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There is no way that Lost could've ended that would've satisfied every fan. The story stayed true to what it had been all along, the story of the survivors of flight 815. Those who were disappointed wanted there to be an "alternate reality" or some other super cool sci-fi twist...Lost was never about sci-fi, it was a story and the story was told.
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Just because Martin has an opinion, doesn't mean he is personally attacking Lindelot. If Lindelot wants to accept responsibility for the ridiculous plot, non-sense sci-fi and a completely lackluster ending, then call it 'pulling a Lindelot', otherwise, he should cut his losses and make something good. I feel the same way about 'Battlestar Galactica'. The main difference is that 'Battlestar Galactica' almost made sense, until it pulled a Ronald D. Moore. I don't think LOST was ever going for making sense.
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He's 100% right.
LOST didn't just burn it's audience but created a general disposition of doubt over anything else coming along that had "action-mystery tied to it.... like The Event. We're just not gonna blindly fall for a show putting out a bunch of mysteries and not solving them in a timely fashion for a good while I think.
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Lost was a great show, right up until the ending. The ending didn't just suck, it made the rest of what happened in Lost seem not only pointless and insignificant, but left me wondering if that whole show was nothing more than a dream, a bad dream. I felt soooo cheated by the ending, sorry Lindelof, but the rest of your "baby" was great, great writing. Too bad you ended it the way you did.
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