Season: 1–6, Episodes: 98, Faction: Survivors/MIB
Sayid Hassan Jarrah (Arabic:سعيد جراح) was a middle section survivor of Oceanic Flight 815 and a former Iraqi Republican Guard torturer. A courageous man and a competent leader, Sayid maintained a conservative manner which reflected strength and spirituality.
Sayid spent much of his adult life searching for his love, Nadia, and trying to atone for his past. On the Island, his skills and leadership played a key role in his group’s survival. Sayid worked to find the source of a distress signal and met the woman who sent it out. He developed a relationship with Shannon, another survivor, and was devastated by her accidental death. Sayid proved very useful in the survivors’ fight against the Others, first interrogating one that they trapped and later helping Kate and Locke rescue Jack.
Sayid was one of the six who escaped the Island. He reunited with Nadia, but when a hit-and-run driver killed her, Sayid joined Ben as a hitman against Widmore to avenge her. Afterward, he did charity work in the Dominican Republic, but Ilana forced him aboard Ajira Airways Flight 316, returning him to the Island. Sayid found himself in 1977, where the DHARMA Initiative captured him, believing him a Hostile. He escaped and unsuccessfully tried to kill young Ben, whose father then shot him. After he returned to 2007, he died, but the Man in Black resurrected him and recruited him to his side. After this, Sayid lived in the Man in Black’s group in an almost blank state. After speaking with Desmond, he broke out of this state, and was later redeemed when he sacrificed himself aboard Widmore’s submarine, exploding while carrying the Man in Black’s bomb.
In the flash-sideways, he was reunited with his island lover, Shannon Rutherford and along with their friends, they moved on.
1×09 – Solitary
Sayid Jarrah was born in 1967 in Tikrit, Iraq, the son of a celebrated Iraqi hero. While in school, a girl named Nadia from a wealthy family regularly pushed Sayid into the mud out of affection, but Sayid misunderstood her advances and ignored her. (“Solitary”)
5×10 – He’s Our You
Sayid once killed a chicken for his older brother, who hesitated when asked by their father to do so; Sayid’s father commented “At least one of my sons will be a man someday.” (“He’s Our You”)
After finishing school, Sayid attended Cairo University.
Sayid served as a Communications Officer in the Iraqi Republican Guard for 5 years. He learned crucial skills but engaged in morally questionable acts, including an as-yet unexplained incident in Basra.
2×14 – One of Them
U.S. forces captured Sayid’s base during Operation Desert Storm, when he was a mulazim awwal (1st lieutenant), equivalent to a U.S. major general. An American sergeant major assigned Sayid, the unit’s only English-speaker, to interrogate his own commanding officer.
When Sayid evaded this task out of loyalty, Kelvin Inman, a DIA operative, showed him a video of his officer’s nerve gas attacking his home village. Sayid then tortured his CO, giving the testimony he received to the Americans, who paid him significantly before releasing him. (“One of Them”)
1×09 – Solitary
The Republican Guard promoted Sayid to the rank of Ra’id (Major) in the Intelligence division, where he tortured and interrogated military prisoners. He began questioning his loyalties though when forced to interrogate Nadia, who had joined an insurgent group.
When his superior officer, ordered her execution, Sayid killed him to help her escape, shooting himself as well and giving her his gun. He refused to flee with Nadia, fearing for his family. She left him her photo with the Arabic inscription; “You will see me in the next life, if not in this one.” (“Solitary”)
1×21 – The Greater Good
Sayid left Iraq in 1997 and spent the next several years searching for Nadia, never staying in a single location for more than a few months. (“The Greater Good”)
3×11 – Enter 77
He spent some time in Paris cooking for a small restaurant, but though he used the alias Najeev, he couldn’t escape his past. One of his torture victims recognized him, and her husband kidnapped him by pretending to hire him as a chef. Imprisoned in their basement, Sayid first protested his innocence but then privately confessed to his victim, who forgave and released him. (“Enter 77”)
1×02 – Pilot, Part 2 | 1×12 – Whatever the Case May Be
He left Paris soon after, before he could learn the local language. (“Pilot, Part 2”) (“Whatever the Case May Be”)
5×17 – The Incident, Part 2
Years later, he considered returning to Paris for his first wedding anniversary. (“The Incident, Part 2”)
1×21 – The Greater Good
In 2004, Sayid was arrested in Heathrow Airport and delivered to CIA and ASIS officials. The agents offered him Nadia’s whereabouts if he infiltrated his college roommate’s Sydney terrorist cell and convinced him to martyr himself to further their investigations. If he refused, they threatened to detain Nadia indefinitely overseas.
Sayid agreed, but he revealed his betrayal at the last minute to his roommate, who immediately shot himself. Sayid delayed his flight to Nadia in California so he could arrange a proper Muslim burial. (“The Greater Good”)
1×23 – Exodus, Part 1
In Sydney Airport the following day, Sayid met Shannon and asked her to watch his bag. She instead reported him to airport security as an “Arab man” who’d left a bag unattended.
1×24 – Exodus, Part 2
After interrogation, airport security released him with apologies, and he successfully boarded Flight 815. He sat in the last seat in business class, looking at photos of Nadia. (“Exodus, Part 2”)
On the Island (Days 1-44)
1×01 – Pilot, Part 1
After the crash, Sayid made a signal fire and asked Charlie to help. (“Pilot, Part 1”)
1×02 – Pilot, Part 2 | 1×03 – Tabula Rasa
The next day, Sawyer accused him of being a terrorist and the US Marshal’s prisoner. But Sayid’s early contributions, which his military background facilitated, soon proved him a vital member of the group.
He fixed the plane’s transceiver and led an expedition to high ground to receive a signal. There, he picked up a French signal. He deduced that it had looped for 16 years, and asked the group to withhold this information from the others. (“Pilot, Part 2”) (“Tabula Rasa”)
1×04 – Walkabout
A few days later, after wild boars entered the fuselage, Sayid disagreed with Jack’s plan to burn the bodies. (“Walkabout”)
1×05 – White Rabbit
Sayid and Kate, who’d developed a friendship, started to police the Island after water disappeared, initially blaming Sawyer. (“White Rabbit”)
1×06 – House of the Rising Sun
Sayid stopped a fight between Jin and Michael and insisted that Jin be handcuffed till he could figure what had happened. Later, Sayid disagreed with Jack’s plan to move to the caves, believing in the signal fire’s importance. (“House of the Rising Sun”)
1×07 – The Moth | 1×21 – The Greater Good
Later, Sayid attempted to locate the signal’s origin, but Locke knocked him unconscious and smashed his equipment. (“The Moth”) (“The Greater Good”)
1×08 – Confidence Man
When he suspected Sawyer of hoarding Shannon’s asthma medicine, Sayid tortured him, injuring his arm. Sayid later learned Sawyer was innocent and left the beach on a solitary journey of redemption. (“Confidence Man”)
1×09 – Solitary
Sayid followed a cable from the beach into a trap and hung for hours until Danielle Rousseau cut him loose. She tortured and interrogated him about her daughter’s whereabouts, and Sayid told her of the crash about hearing her distress signal. Rousseau found a photo of Nadia, and Sayid said she was dead, because of him. Later, Rousseau showed Sayid her music box and Sayid fixed it. She then told Sayid about the Others. Sayid escaped, stealing Rousseau’s maps and notes, and hearing whispers coming out from the jungle. (“Solitary”)
1×10 – Raised by Another | 1×11 – All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues
Sayid returned to camp and told Jack and Sawyer they were “not alone”, which eased his and Sawyer’s conflict. (“Raised by Another”) (“All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues”)
1×12 – Whatever the Case May Be
He enlisted Shannon’s help translating Rousseau’s maps, and though they discovered only song lyrics, they developed a relationship. (“Whatever the Case May Be”)
1×13 – Hearts and Minds
Sayid & Shannon’s relationship bloomed and he gave her a gift of shoes. Boone initially objected to the relationship and warned Sayid off from his sister. (“Hearts and Minds”)
1×20 – Do No Harm
Sayid took Shannon to an isolated beach and had a romantic date. (“Do No Harm”)
1×21 – The Greater Good
Sayid delivered the eulogy at his funeral and Shannon asked Sayid to kill Locke, whom she blamed for Boone’s death, but he refused and later stopped her from doing it herself. The two temporarily broke up. (“The Greater Good”)
1×24 – Exodus, Part 2
Rousseau came to camp and kidnapped Aaron, and Sayid led Charlie into the Jungle in pursuit. (“Exodus, Part 2”)
1×25 – Exodus, Part 3
They successfully rescued the baby, and a worried Shannon embraced him on his return. (“Exodus, Part 3”)
Associated LOST Themes
Associated DHARMA Stations
Decoded Family Members & Lovers
Decoded Season 1 Characters
Decoded Season 2 Characters
Decoded Season 3 Characters
Decoded Season 4 Characters
Decoded Season 5 Characters
Decoded Season 6 Characters
Key Episode(s) to Decoding the Character
(Month) Montu is usually depicted as a hawk-headed man, wearing a crown with two tall plumes, a solar disk and uraeus, and often wielding the scimitar or khepesh. Warrior kings of the New Kingdom frequently identify themselves with Montu, for example in the famous inscriptions of Ramses II describing the Battle of Kadesh against the Hittites in Syria (trans. in Lichtheim, vol. 2, pp. 57-72), where the king is repeatedly compared to Montu or identified as Montu’s son. A fragmentary papyrus gives a putatively first-person account of Montu’s intervention on behalf of Tuthmosis III in battle against the Syrians, a trinity of Montu Gods coming to the pharaoh’s aid in the form of a wind: “Let one of the hostile winds come to me, while three Montus are in it, being hidden … Montu, lord of Hermonthis, was at my right arm; Montu, lord of Djerty [Tuphium] at my <left?> … and Montu, lord of Thebes, exterminated them in front <of me>,” (“A Fragment of the Story of a Military Expedition of Tuthmosis III to Syria (P. Turin 1940-1941),” Giuseppe Botti, JEA 41 (1955), p. 66). Montu was also incarnate in the sacred Buchis bull. Montu’s consorts are Tjenênet, Iunyt, and Raettawy. The modern name of the town of Armant (Coptic Ermont), where Montu’s primary cult center was located, preserves his memory.
The earliest references to Montu speak of him not as a warrior God, but as a God of the sky and stars. PT utterance 503 affirms, “When Montu is high, I will be high with him; when Montu runs, I will run with him,” and utterance 555 says “I have gone up to the sky as Montu.” Utterance 412 combines the astral theme of transposing the deceased king to his new life among the stars with a suggestion of the martial potential of Montu: after identifying the deceased king with Orion and Sirius, the spell says, “May the terror of you come into being in the hearts of the Gods … like the lock of hair which is at the head of the Montu-stars,” (trans. mod; Faulkner sees in the passage a reference, rather, to the hairstyles of certain similarly-named tribesmen). Even after Montu’s image as a warrior God was firmly established, his celestial aspect is recalled in his occasional characterization as “son of Nut,” (“Notes sur le dieu Montou,” Fernand Bisson de la Roque, BIFAO 40 (1941), p. 23). Montu is sometimes joined with Seth: “Montu and Seth are the magical protection to the right and the left of the king,” (ibid., p. 25).
A spell (no. 2 in Borghouts) to repel a physical attack invokes Montu. The operator addresses a clump of earth in his hand, calling Montu, “the star of the Gods,” to come to him, identifying himself with Montu, and then, presumably speaking in the voice of Montu, promising to take away the opponent’s strength and to “put it into my hand,” that is, like the clump of earth. The God who lends to the pharaoh his prowess in combat could thus be invoked to do the same on behalf of an ordinary person.
Throughout the world in ancient times, man worshipped the sun. We find monuments to the sun gods all over the world, but in Egypt we really begin to get a feel for just how the sun dominated early theology. In Egypt, at various locations and apparently somewhat independently, the worship of the sun developed with gods of various names. So many of Egypt’s deities were associated with the sun in some way that it is difficult to identify them, and their various forms became very complex. Montu, who we generally identify as an ancient war god in Egypt, actually originated in the form of a local solar god in Upper (southern) Egypt, apparently at Hermonthis (City of the Sun). His worship seems to have been exported to Thebes during the 11th Dynasty.
Because of this god’s association with the successful King Nebhepetre Montuhotep I (or II, same king), who ruled during Egypt’s 11th Dynasty, Montu (Mentu) achieved the rank of state god. Montuhotep I reunited Upper and Lower Egypt after the chaos of the First Intermediate Period. His association with Montu is obvious from his name, which means, “Montu is satisfied”.
However, by the 12th Dynasty, Montu became subordinated to Amun, another deity who probably originated in Upper Egypt, and would later be known as the “King of Gods”. It was during this period that Montu’s role in Egyptian religion took on the true attributes of a war god.
Actually, Montu’s veneration as a war god can be traced originally to the Story of Sinuhe, where Montu was praised by the tale’s hero after he defeated the “strong man” of Retjenu. By the New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty pharaohs, some of whom followed a very military tradition, sought specifically to emulate Montu. For example, the Gebel Barkal Stele of Tuthmosis III, often referred to as the Napoleon of Egypt, describes the king as “a valiant Montu on the battlefield”. Later in the New Kingdom, he became so personally identified with the Ramesses II that a cult statue bearing the king’s throne name, Usermaare Setepenre, with the epithet, “Montu in the Two Lands”, was venerated in Ramesses II’s honor during his lifetime. When kings such as Ramesses II are referenced as “mighty bulls”, they are claiming the association with Montu as his son.
It should also be noted that Montu had a connection with Egyptian households and was probably considered a protector of the happy home. He was often cited in marriage documents. One document from Deir el-Medina invokes the rage of a husband to his unfaithful wife with, “It is the abomination of Montu!”
Montu was honored with cult centers in a number of locations. Specifically, he was worshipped at four sites within the Theban region. The cult centers included Armant (ancient Greek Hermonthis), southwest of modern Luxor (ancient Thebes) on the west bank of the Nile, Medamud (ancient Madu) northeast of Luxor, Tod (ancient Greek Tuphium), southwest of Luxor on the eastern bank, and at Karnak which is just northeast of modern Luxor. Most of these cult centers appear to have been established during the Middle Kingdom, with the exception of Karnak. There, the earliest monument dates from the New Kingdom, and specifically to the reign of Amenhotep III.
A hymn from an Armant Stele says of him, “the raging one who prevails over the serpent-demon Nik,” and the one “who causes Re to sail in his park and who overthrows his serpent enemy”. Therefore, it is perhaps not surprising that the ancient Egyptian warships were equipped with figures of a striding Montu holding maces or spears. Each of these statues were styled as a god of one of his four primary cult centers.
Montu is commonly depicted as a man with the head of a falcon surmounted by a solar disk. He wears the double uraeus behind which two tall plumes extend vertically. Later, he became associated with the Bull Cults such as Buchis at Armant, and so he is depicted with the head of a bull and a plumed, solar headdress. Another bull sacred to Montu was also worshipped at Medamud.
Like a number of other deities, Montu also became associated with Re in the form of Montu-Re. He was also paired with the solar Atum of Lower Egypt, and in this guise, was often depicted escorting the king into the presence of Amun. Other documentary evidence suggests that he was also sometimes paired with Set (Seth), perhaps acting as a controlled divine aggressor to balance Set’s chaotic attributes.
Montu is also sometimes accompanied by one of his consorts in ancient scenes. Three are known, consisting of Tjenenet, Iunyt and Rettawy (or Raettawy). Rettawy is the female counterpart of Re, and is depicted like Hathor as a cow with a sun disk surmounting her head. Through Rettawy, Montu is connected with Horus and thus the king, for their son was Harpocrates (Horus the child).
Montu’s worship survived for many years, and he was eventually considered by the Greeks to be a form of their war god, Ares.
In Ancient Egyptian religion, Monthu was a falcon-god of war. Monthu’s name, shown in Egyptian hieroglyphs to the right, is technically transcribed as mntw. Because of the difficulty in transcribing Egyptian, it is often realized as Menthu, Montju, Ment, Month, Montu, Monto, Mentu, Mont or Minu’thi.
Monthu was an ancient god, his name meaning nomad, originally a manifestation of the scorching effect of the sun, Ra, and as such often appeared under the epithet Monthu-Ra. The destructiveness of this characteristic led to him gaining characteristics of a warrior, and eventually becoming a war-god. When Thebes gained prominence, and thus its patron god Amun became more significant, changing his wife to Mut, Monthu was chosen as the necessary child to satisfy Mut’s strong maternal desire to adopt, since he represented strength, virility, and victory.
Because of the association of raging bulls with strength and war, Monthu was also said to manifest himself in a white bull with a black face, which was referred to as the Bakha. Egypt’s greatest general-kings called themselves Mighty Bulls, the sons of Monthu. In the famous narrative of the Battle of Kadesh, Ramesses II was said to have seen the enemy and “raged at them like Monthu, Lord of Thebes”.
In Ancient Egyptian art, he was pictured as a falcon-headed or bull-headed man who wore the sun-disc, with two plumes on his head, the falcon representing the sky, and the bull representing strength and war. He would hold various weaponry, including scimitars, bows and arrows, and knives in his hands
During the New Kingdom, large and impressive temples to Monthu were constructed in Armant. In fact, the Greek name of the city of Armant was Hermonthis, meaning the land of Monthu. Earlier temples to Monthu include one located adjacent to the Middle Kingdom fortress of Uronarti below the Second Cataract of the Nile, dating to the nineteenth century BCE.
Mentuhotep, a name given to several pharaohs in the Middle Kingdom, means “Menthu is satisfied”.