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Persephone (pur-SEF-uh-nee)

EDIT: In clue #66, Rachel Blake posted on her blog that she is Persephone!

Our no longer faceless hacker guide is shrouded in mystery and cryptic in her communications. What do we know about her? Where is she? and of course, is she alone? These are just a few of the questions surrounding her, and hopefully we can shed some light onto this "Queen of the Underworld".

Artwork: Proserpine, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1874, oil, Tate Gallery in London

From Lostpedia:

Persephone is one of the main characters in The Lost Experience, a hacker that acts as a guide through the story, leading players to clues and pointing out her discoveries to us.

Mythology Information:

Persephone is a major player in Greek mythology. Often considered an Olympian, she crosses storylines with most of the other major Greek gods and goddesses. She is attributed as the Kore or "Young Maiden". She was the daughter of Zeus and Demeter, and became the goddess of the underworld after being abducted by Hades. The story of her abduction, and the ensuing search for her by Demeter, is considered by many scholars to be one of the most important myths in Greek mythology.

  • In a second version of the Persephone myth, referenced by Dawn Work-MaKine on her website, Persephone goes willingly into the underworld as an attempt to ease the suffering the souls who reside there and to help prepare them for their 'rebirth'. I have been unable to find a copy of this myth online, but have seen several references to it.

As part of the Eleusinian Mysteries (traditionally begun on September 13th), the search by Demeter for her daughter Persephone is re-enacted. The rite possibly included elements re-enacting the hieros gamos (sacred marriage). Participation in the ritual was thought to enable the soul to experience the connection among life, death, and rebirth – to achieve a spiritual renewal, or even a literal “rebirth” or immortality.

Persephone was courted by Hermes, Ares, Apollo, and Hephaistos.

Persephone was also known as “Queen of the Underworld” and encompasses both life and death – unifying in one deity the full life cycle.

Her name is from the Greek words persô and phonos. Her name has been translated to mean "Destructive Manslayer", "Destroyer of Sound", or "Destroyer of Light". "Destroyer of Light" appears to be the most commonly accepted translation.

Additional Mythology Info:
For reading material, please visit the following:
MythWeb - summary
Encyclopedia Mythica - another summary
Wikipedia - more in-depth information

- oo7surge (Kyle M., thank you for the email!)


Blogger maven said...

I'm finally first! Yea!!!!!!!

Great thread, 007. Like the artwork. Wish we can find something neat for the Timeline. Where is everyone?

6/17/2006 9:04 PM  
Blogger belly0fdesire said...

Great post oo7surge!!! well done :)

6/17/2006 10:47 PM  
Blogger oo7surge said...

Thanks guys. Like I said on the email, I'm hoping that other research areas will feed into this post as well. I think having Persephone as her own post should include a little bit from each of the research threads.

Also, not sure whether I should go and pull theories off the other board that would relate and post them in the main page, or if we should just let the comments be a "fresh start" for theories?

6/17/2006 10:54 PM  
Blogger maven said...

I think the theories should stay in the comments, otherwise the main page will be a mile long eventually!

Thanks for the timepiece, 007. I emailed it to Lena.

6/17/2006 11:59 PM  
Blogger belly0fdesire said...

Yeah... that time piece would fit well... and I agree with leaving the theories in the comments... everyone prolly has their own set of about 10 different theories and yeah... what maven said... It is a good idea to give Persephone her own post explaining the mythology behind her name... it may mean more than we see at this point and some people may not have any idea who she is. Other posts can address different topics that fall underneath the topic of Persephone, but this one, I feel, was necessary as well. I really like this post, it was quick, to the point and gave quite a bit of information. The picture fit in well to... I know I said it before, but I want to say it again... well done.

(I use too many dots)

6/18/2006 12:57 AM  
Blogger Thrasher76 said...

Great first post!! I great place to start!! This should be a good start for when we go live...is there anyother topic you guys think should be up here by Monday? So far we have P and the timeline...I think it will be enough to spark discusions on the boards...can we have the TEST one deleted please? I have been busy tweaking the discussion blog but have been doing some research and should be able to add my 2 cents to this thing on Monday...gotta go take care of Pops today...I use two many dots too!!

Peace & Namaste!

6/18/2006 8:02 AM  
Blogger Matt the Pale said...

Great job, oo7surge! Reading this post was a real hoot. :D

6/18/2006 8:25 AM  
Blogger oo7surge said...

Thanks for all the positive feedback. For a start, here are the theories from Lostpedia. I know there were more in the comments on TLEC, but haven't had the chance to go dig them out yet.

Theories from Lostpedia

- Persephone is Rousseau's kidnapped daughter Alex, who shares a remarkably similar story to the Greek goddess.

- Persephone may be the person who asked "Where is Alvar Hanso? What have they done with him? Who is in charge?..." at the Alvar Hanso option of Hanso Phone Line.

- Persephone is a disgruntled employee in the Hanso Corporation, perhaps in middle management or research. Someone not high enough in the hierarchy to know what's really going on, but high enough to see that something is fishy.

- Persephone is Karen DeGroot, one of the founders of the DHARMA Initiative. Note the resemblance between photos of DeGroot and the shadowy image of a blonde woman seen in the Persephone Web clue mentioned above.

- Persephone is Rachel

- Persephone and Penelope Widmore are one and the same.

- Persephone and Alexander Widmore from Bad Twin are one and the same.

6/18/2006 11:03 AM  
Blogger Carol said...

nice concise intro to the myth of Persephone :D I really do hope that the hacker Persephone's story is revealed more by the end of the game. You would have to think there was some signifance to the name choice, but maybe that was the first red herring

6/20/2006 10:32 PM  
Blogger Damn the Man said...

I just noticed the shoutout. :) No problem, buddy!

And, there's lots of talk going on about this from letyourcompassguideyou.com and this.

I found this on this site while looking for the picture.

I'm not sure who created it, or when/where, or what the actual name of the picture is. I looked everywhere I could think of, and came up with nothing.

So, I figured I'd let you know. Maybe you can dig up something. :)

6/23/2006 10:54 AM  
Blogger wizardry_eas said...

OMG damntheman. I never noticed that before but now I have seen it it seems so clear. No doubt about it in my mind.

6/23/2006 3:51 PM  
Blogger Carol said...

still getting used to this blog set up... I can understand having that welcome blog first... is there some way you can add to that things that have been edited in the blogs below?

Anyway, I am still hunting high and low for the origin of that pic on LYCGY... though my wrist is having issues with all of the mousework. I'm even looking in things not obviously Persephone because it hasn't turned up in the obvious places. It seems an odd choice of image. WTK used the famous Rosetti image in his DJDan podcast video, why now pick such an obscure one? It only seems to be on one site, and it is an old site so I doubt the image was planted.

It would help if we could narrow the search with more info about the pic... is it a painting? A stone relief? Part of a larger image or the whole image as is? Time period? It may be something that we aren't supposed to read too much into, and I may be wasting my time... but as a wise person once said I see it more as time well spent (boy have I had a lot of art passing before these eyes in the last few days).

6/26/2006 6:24 PM  
Blogger Carol said...

oh, and there is a theory that Persephone willingly injested the pomegranate seeds, usually the story goes because she fell in love with Hades. Will have to check on sources later.

Can I just say my word verification is "bemee" :D

6/26/2006 6:28 PM  
Blogger Carol said...

trivia... Rosetti was working on illustrations for Dante's Divine Comedy... a book referenced in Bad Twin. And from what I could understand the model for Proserpine and at least one image from the Purgatorio section of Divine Comedy was William Morris' wife

6/26/2006 6:37 PM  
Blogger TEAM Lena said...

I am worried about persephone. Does anyone think we may hear from her(?) soon?????

6/28/2006 1:43 AM  
Blogger oo7surge said...

Lavenda - I've also been looking for the second version with Persephone "willingly" going into the underworld. I have found several references to it, but no hard-copy(so to speak) of the alternate myth. The way you have was one that I saw - she fell in love with Hades, and the other was a little different.

There was some hero that Demeter was very fond of who died. This upset Demeter greatly, which intrigued Persephone. P's curious mind had explored all the wonders of the world, but she did not understand death. So, to try to understand death, and thush - her mother's grief, she travelled to Hades to find the hero's soul, and discover the secrets of death. She had to pay Charon, and pass the guardian to the gates of the underworld (Cerebus). Once in the underworld, she fell in love with Hades and ate of fruit of the underworld.

This isn't exact, but gives the gist.

6/28/2006 10:33 AM  
Blogger Carol said...

I do wonder how much of the myth we are to apply to the game... I think it's a good idea to be aware of all the intracacies of it (but then hey... I like myths!), but is it a "lowest common denominator" hint? Are we really just to look at the basic, more widespread, myth?

Oh to be back at uni with access to more books, rather than just relying on the net! Anyway, may the search continue.

I've had a thought recently that P is one identity, and R is like Kore... the more innocent aspect. I'm beginging to lean more to R is not P as there are things that R doesn't seem to know that P did. Maybe P has been taken or gone back to the underworld, which is why we haven't heard from her for a while. Maybe Act 2 is the winter of the game, Act 3 is spring/summer and P will return?

Sorry, another post of just thoughts, haven't had a chance to do any more research on this

6/28/2006 8:21 PM  
Blogger oo7surge said...

Lavenda - I've been thinking something similar in light of recent events. I don't think RB is P either. Mostly due to the Vik Institute bit. If RB was P, wouldn't she know about the hieroglyphs? That was part of the P hack, after all.

Is there anything else you think I should add to this post? I've been avoiding IG events since they've been covered in other posts, so I really don't know what else would really go here... any ideas would be welcome!

6/29/2006 9:08 AM  
Blogger Yakobus1 said...

now that we know that RB is P, i'm throwing out a theory here that she is the daughter or some other relative of Alvar Hanso. Persephone in mythology is daughter of some god (i forgot which, just got back from vacation) and other similarities i'll post later, but our RB/P keeps making references to her genes and the like. also, i'm been thinking about her clues, like "heir apparent" for one, maybe she's talking about herself

just some thoughts, be back later

7/03/2006 6:54 PM  
Blogger oo7surge said...

yakobus1 - I've noticed several people with similar theories. Persephone was the daughter of Zeus and Demeter. Both parents were Olympians in Greek mythology. So, if we do find that she is the daughter/grandaughter of Alvar Hanso, then her mother's/grandmother's identity may be equally important. In the mythology, Zeus (daddy) actually plays a relatively minor role. He makes a deal with Hades that Persephone may be taken, but then he runs off to one of his temples to "ignore" what happens. If TPTB are playing on the mythology, then I suspec that another female character will come into play with an important role. Perhaps they are paralleling the myth and Rachel's mother doesn't know who/where she is, but is searching for her... Karen DeGroot maybe? Just speculation.

7/05/2006 12:16 AM  
Blogger Carol said...

It's interesting with discussion on the main blog mentioning the casting call quite a bit, there was only one female character listed on it. So there was no call put out for DJDan or Tonya for that matter. Hmmm... so I don't know if we will actually get Rachel's mum as a character, but it would be nice to know who she is. Karen De Groot seems the most likely to fit a Demeter role, just not sure how much I think Rachel's mum was involved, how close to the hierachy she was.

7/09/2006 6:33 AM  
Blogger DeDJeZTeR said...

I would just like to say that since this research blog was added I have been asking to do a section pertaining directly to the artwork and paintings used within the game and was routinly given the run around. I even had it all prepared on my comp, so now that I see this I am starting to wonder just how many of these ideas focused on in here really belong to other people. I couldn't even get a straight answer as to how to enter it into the blog even though I have been slated as a contributer since the get go... ThanX to who ever is in charge for stabbing me in the back...
C-ya and Nega-Namaste

8/23/2006 12:15 PM  

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