Season: 2-6 , Episodes: 26, Faction: Survivors
Bernard Nadler was a tail section survivor of the crash of Oceanic Flight 815 and the husband of Rose. He was the only tail section survivor not captured by the Others or killed. He wasn’t seated in the tail section, and was only there when the plane crashed because he was using the bathroom. Bernard cared very much for Rose and felt a need to fix things, like her cancer, not dissimilar to Jack. After time-travelling to 1977, Bernard and Rose lived in peaceful seclusion in a cabin near the beach. After the Incident, they traveled back to 2007 and briefly assisted Desmond in The War before they returned to their policy of non-involvement.
In the flash-sideways, Rose and Bernard moved on along with their friends.
2×04 – Everybody Hates Hugo | 2×19 – S.O.S.
Bernard worked as a dentist before the crash. According to his wife Rose, he had a “whole mouth full of sweet teeth.” (“Everybody Hates Hugo”) (“S.O.S.”)
4×09 – The Shape of Things to Come
At some point in his life, Bernard also acquired knowledge of Morse Code (“The Shape of Things to Come”).
2×19 – S.O.S.
Bernard had been a bachelor for 56 years when he met Rose. Her car was stuck in the snow and he offered to help her out. When the car emerged from the snow, Rose offered to buy him a cup of coffee to thank him. Bernard proposed to her at Niagara Falls after dating for just five months. Rose told him, due to a terminal illness she only had one year left to live and asked him if he was sure he still wanted to marry her.
Bernard was not deterred, and during their honeymoon, he took Rose to a faith healer in Australia, hoping she would be cured of her illness.
The healer, Isaac of Uluru, told Rose he couldn’t help her. Rose lied to Bernard and told him she was cured so they could enjoy their remaining time together. (“S.O.S.”)
1×01 – Pilot, Part 1 | 3×01 – A Tale of Two Cities
Bernard was sitting in seat 23E on the plane, but left to go to the bathroom shortly before the turbulence started. As a result, he ended up in the tail section of the plane when it broke off. Since his fingers were prone to swelling when he flew, he had left his wedding ring with Rose. (“Pilot, Part 1”) (“A Tale of Two Cities”)
On the Island (Days 1-43)
2×07 – The Other 48 Days
After the crash, Bernard was found high up in a tree, still strapped into a broken-off seat. Goodwin spotted him and called for Ana Lucia, who calmed him down so he could safely descend.
Bernard was very worried about Rose after he could not find her or her body anywhere on the beach. As the tail-section survivors were kidnapped by the Others over the following weeks, Bernard found himself among the few remaining. He was one of the few tail section survivors left to meet Michael, Jin, and Sawyer from the middle section.
2×07 – The Other 48 Days | 1×19 – Deus Ex Machina
Bernard and the group found the Arrow station and used it for shelter and protection from the Others. In the Arrow, Bernard found a working radio. He used it and made contact with someone claiming to be another survivor of the plane crash (Boone). Ana Lucia thought it was the Others trying to trick them and ended the transmission. Bernard later gave the radio to Hurley. (“Deus Ex Machina”) (“The Other 48 Days”)
2×04 – Everybody Hates Hugo
Later, Bernard and the other tail section survivors caught Sawyer, Michael, and Jin and held them in a pit. After Ana Lucia found out they were not Others, she brought them to the Arrow, where Bernard approached Sawyer, Michael, and Jin and asked if there was a woman named Rose where they had come from. Bernard was elated when Michael and Sawyer told him, Rose was still alive on the other side of the Island. (“Everybody Hates Hugo”)
2×05 – …And Found
The next day, the group decided to go to the middle section camp. Before the long hike, Bernard, Ana Lucia, and Jin tried to catch fish, though Jin was the only one who had any success. (“…And Found”)
2×06 – Abandoned
The group then began the long trek across the Island to the survivors camp. Bernard helped lift Sawyer up the hill when he was carried in a stretcher. (“Abandoned”)
2×08 – Collision
Upon approaching the middle section camp, Ana Lucia accidentally shot and killed Shannon, and demanded that Bernard and everyone else not to go back to camp. Later, Bernard asked if he could go see his wife, but Ana Lucia replied, “How long have I kept you alive out here, Bernard?” Eventually, Bernard, Jin and Libby left for the beach, and Bernard finally reunited with Rose after 50 days apart. (“Collision”)
2×09 – What Kate Did
They attended Shannon’s funeral together and poured a handful of sand into her grave with the other Losties. (“What Kate Did”)
2×16 – The Whole Truth
Two weeks later, Rose and Bernard were bickering because Bernard had forgotten Rose’s birthday. They stumbled upon Sun vomiting. Sun told them she was just feeling lightheaded.
Later, Bernard was trying to ask Jin for an oyster for Rose’s birthday when Sawyer approached to tell Jin that Sun was pregnant. (“The Whole Truth”)
2×19 – S.O.S.
Following the DHARMA food drop, Rose took leadership and organized the food. Bernard commented, she was acting like she “just got back from the store.” After this, he came up with the idea of making an SOS sign to be spotted by aircraft flying overhead.
He gathered a group together for a meeting in which he told them they have ‘given up’ getting rescued. Unfortunately, Rose interrupted and told him he should confer with Jack. Bernard got angry and told her Jack was just a doctor. Rose then embarrassed Bernard in front of the group by telling him he was only a dentist.
Only 15 people came to help build the SOS sign. Bernard delegated himself the easy job of marking the letters in the sand, while everyone else dragged heavy black rocks to the shore. Later, Bernard told Rose about people not helping and asked her why she wasn’t supporting him. They began to argue and Bernard told her, “If I didn’t always have to do something you wouldn’t be here.” Rose then walked away, and Bernard seemed to realize that he was out of line. After he criticized Jin’s method of building the sign, Jin left the project, and Bernard was on his own. Rose approached Bernard and apologized, and told him Isaac had not healed her.
However, Rose claimed to believe that the Island had healed her, and that if she left, the cancer might return. Bernard told her that they would never leave the Island and embraced her lovingly. (“S.O.S.”)
2×20 – Two for the Road
Libby saw Rose and Bernard pull wine from the pallet, and Hurley later tracked them down for it. (“Two for the Road”)
During the discharge, Bernard held his ears. Just after, he helped Claire and Aaron avoid being hit by the quarantine door. Later, Bernard was helping clean up the mess from the discharge when Charlie came out of the jungle. Bernard asked him what had happened and if he was okay. (“Live Together, Die Alone, Part 2”)
3×17 – Catch-22
Following the implosion of the Swan station and capture of Jack, Kate, and Sawyer, Bernard and Rose became less active among the survivors than they were before. At one point, Sawyer stole a Phil Collins tape from Bernard to give to Kate as a “mixtape.” (“Catch-22”)
3×21 – Greatest Hits
When Karl and Juliet informed the survivors of the imminent attack of the Others, a plan to fight back was hastily created. Rousseau retrieved dynamite from the Black Rock and Rose and Bernard searched through the plane wreckage to find wire for detonating the dynamite. The pieces of wire had to be strongly knotted together into longer lengths, which Bernard seemed to have trouble doing well. Rose, who was much more successful at the task, showed Bernard how to knot them correctly.
When the survivors realized they needed three shooters to detonate the dynamite, Bernard volunteered and proved his shooting skill to Rose and Sayid by shooting cans of DHARMA food. (“Greatest Hits”)
Before leaving for the radio tower, Rose reminded Bernard that he was “not Rambo,” and to be careful. Bernard and Sayid successfully shot their tents, setting off the dynamite explosions and killing seven Others. Jin missed, however, and Bernard ran into the jungle where he was caught by Tom, as Ryan and Jason captured Jin and Sayid. Bernard was forced to tell Tom what he knew of the plan concerning the radio tower in order to save Jin, whom Tom had been told to kill if his questions weren’t answered. (“Through the Looking Glass, Part 1”)
Later, Tom shot three rounds into the sand as part of a ploy to convince Jack (listening on Ben’s radio) that his friends had been killed. Hurley then showed up in the DHARMA van, allowing the remaining Others to be killed, and saving Bernard. Later, Bernard looked on happily as he sat on the beach. (“Through the Looking Glass, Part 2”)
Related Character Images
Associated LOST Themes & DHARMA Stations
Decoded Family Members
Decoded Season 1 Characters
Decoded Season 2 Characters
Decoded Season 3 & 5 Characters
Key Episode(s) to Decoding the Character
God of the Earth, son of Shu and Tefnut, consort of Nut, father of Osiris, Isis, Nephthys, and Seth. Geb is depicted anthropomorphically, wearing the Lower Egyptian crown, with green skin or decorated with plants, often prone beneath the arching body of Nut, Goddess of the sky, his erect phallus reaching up toward her, Shu standing upright holding them apart. Among animals Geb is particularly associated with the goose. In addition to representing the earth with all its bounty, Geb is regarded as having transmitted the sovereignty over the cosmos from Atum and Shu to Osiris, and plays a pivotal role in awarding that sovereignty to Horus in the conflict between the latter and Seth.
Geb is thus the earth, neither in that sense in which it is merely part of the architecture of the cosmos, nor in that sense in which it is the receptacle of the decay of the living (albeit occasionally, e.g. PT utterance 258: “The King is Osiris in a dust-devil, earth is his detestation, and the King will not enter into Geb,” – an aspect, however, which is more confidently attributed to Aker), but rather as the supportive matrix of life. Geb embodies that continuity of life which, from a cosmic perspective, constantly turns the clock back on death and decay, as in PT utterance 368, in which it is said that Geb “has caused Thoth to reassemble you [Osiris/the deceased king] so that what was on you comes to an end,” namely the process of decay. Hence the earth is addressed in utterance 483: “O earth, hear this which Geb said when he spiritualized Osiris as a God.” The special relationship between Geb and Osiris is emphasized in the tendency to hypostatize it as ‘the sonship’: “O Geb … Osiris the King is your son; may you nourish your son with it, may your son be made hale by means of it,” (utterances 592, 640). This relationship is reciprocal: “If he [Osiris] lives, you [Geb] will live; if he is hale, you will be hale; you will have effectiveness, O Geb; you will have strength, O Geb; you will have a soul, O Geb; you will have power, O Geb,” (640). Whereas Geb provides for Osiris continuity of existence through the continuity of life’s natural matrix, Osiris provides for Geb a field for manifestation insofar as Osiris is the personal being of mortal organisms. In spell 575 of the Coffin Texts, for instance, the operator, no longer literally royal, affirms that “I have collected the thrones of Geb for him, and his souls which were in the Abyss [Nun] are united.” The mortal being thus fulfills an end which is inherent in Geb from the beginning. Sometimes it seems that what Geb provides for the mortal being is something like elemental concreteness, earth being a symbol of solidity: in utterance 570, the king asks Geb to “equip me with my shape.” Geb’s role in the reassembly of Osiris is spelled out in utterance 536, where Geb fishes him out of the water, puts his bones in order, makes firm his soles and cleans his fingernails and toenails. In this description, the parts of the body which are firm and resistant like the earth are emphasized, as are the soles of the feet, whose contact with the earth entails standing upright. Similarly, Geb is associated with the back in utterance 539, a spell for the divinization of the members of the body. In some texts it seems as if Geb is responsible in a comprehensive fashion for the resurrection, at least for its more concrete corporeal aspects (see, e.g., CT spell 20).
Geb’s identification with the continuity of life underlies his function of ratifying the transition of sovereignty: the king occupies the throne(s) of Geb as his rightful heir; indeed, insofar as he is a king, he is “the seed of Geb” (utterance 303), Geb being “the hereditary prince of the Gods” (BD spell 142 var.). This attribute can be so salient as to occasionally outweigh Geb’s identification with the earth in the Pyramid Texts, which are at once of purely royal application and oriented toward an afterlife in the sky; hencein utterance 373 the king is taken by Horus “to the sky, to your father Geb.” Geb is the source of sovereignty for those who reign upon the earth (“the thrones of Geb”) and this function is dominant among his attributes from the earliest times. The sovereign must identify with Geb as the source of this sovereignty, and hence it is wished for the king “that you may sit … at the head of the Ennead as Geb, chiefest of the Gods, as Osiris at the head of the Powers, and as Horus, Lord of men and Gods,” (utterance 468), each of these instances of sovereignty being at once universal and also delimitable from the others; similarly, the king appears to the Gods “as Horus at the head of the living, as Geb at the head of the Ennead [i.e., at the head of the nine Gods of Heliopolis], and as Osiris at the head of the spirits,” (utterance 690). The earth being the place in which all divine activity is felt, Geb can say, in transmitting sovereignty to the king, “I bring to you the Gods who are in the sky, I assemble for you the Gods who are on earth, that you may be with them and walk arm-in-arm with them,” (utterance 474); “Geb has given you [the king] all the Gods of Upper and Lower Egypt that they may raise you up; be mighty through them,” (utterance 645A).
Geb is also the ultimate source of all offerings to the Gods, and thus it can be said that he is “the essence [ka] of all the Gods,” (utterance 592). Offerings to the Gods being known collectively as the ‘Eye of Horus’, it is said that “Horus rejoiced at meeting his Eye when his Eye was given to him in the presence of his father Geb,” (utterance 478). This appropriation of the earth’s bounty to the continuation of civilization is parallel to the transmission of sovereignty: “I will stand up when I have taken possession of my blessedness … just as Horus took possession of his father’s house from his father’s brother Seth in the presence of Geb,” (utterance 519). The sovereignty is nothing other than the possession of the ordered cosmos, which can itself be referred to simply as the ‘Eye of Horus’ (e.g. utterance 587). The Upper and Lower Egyptian crowns are similarly characterized as “the eye [of Horus] <which> has issued from your [Geb’s] head,” (utterance 592). Geb is thus responsible for the transcendence of the earthly condition in the strict sense, for the spiritualization of the earth’s goods: “Geb causes me to fly up to the sky that I may take the Eye of Horus to him,” that is, so that the deceased may bring to the Gods that which has come from the earth and been made into a divine offering (utterance 524). Thus “Geb has raised on high the potent Eye of Horus which is on the hands of his great souls and upon his ordinary souls,” (utterance 689) these ‘souls’ being presumably the earthly living beings themselves. Appropriately in light of what has been said, Geb is a judge of the use to which the gifts of the earth have been put; hence mention is frequently made of Geb’s tribunal, the members of which are listed in CT spell 627. The positive judgment of Geb is manifest, it would seem, in the generation of offerings, and applies not only to humans but also to the Gods. The paradigmatic case is that of Osiris, “for whom offerings ascend at Geb’s command,” (BD spell 185A); in the Pyramid Texts, however, the king promises any God who assists him in ascending to the sky that “his ka [double or spirit, representing here the power of sustenance] shall be vindicated before Geb,” (utterance 539).
A peculiar stress is laid at times upon Geb’s use of his voice, which is perhaps a symbol for resurrection as the earth rendering up that which is within it: “O King, the mouth of the earth is split open for you, Geb speaks to you,” (utterance 697), and by the same token when a cataclysm is threatened, one of its conditions is that Geb will not speak (utterance 254; cf. CT spell 619, “the earth will not open, Geb will not speak”). The speech of Geb is at once the resurrection, the production of food, and the judgment which accords offerings. References are made occasionally to the ‘plumes’ of Geb, as in PT utterance 669, “you shall fly up and alight on account of the plumes of your father Geb,” or CT spell 682, ” If he [Osiris N] be weary (or inert), he will come to rest on the plumes of Geb.” These ‘plumes’ may be the winds, or plant life, or related to Geb’s manifestation in the goose, whose voice may also represent the voice of Geb mentioned above.
As the God of the earth, Geb was one of the most important of ancient Egypt’s gods. According to the Heliopolis doctrine, he came from a line of important gods. His parents were Shu, the god of air, and Tefnut, the goddess of moisture, who were in turn the children of Atum. Osiris, Isis, Seth and Nephthys were the children of Geb and Nut, and together these gods made up the Heliopolitan Ennad. However, it should be noted that Geb may also be referred to in various literature as Seb, Keb, Kebb or Gebb. After Atum, the four deities (Shu, Tefnut, Geb, and Nut) established the Cosmos, whereas the second set of deities (Osiris, Isis, Seth and Nephthys) mediated between humans and the cosmos.
Geb is usually represented in the form of a man who who wears either the white crown to which is added the Atef crown, or a goose. The Goose was his sacred animal and symbal. As the God of earth, the earth formed his body and was called the “house of Geb,” just as the air was called the “house of Shu,” and the heaven the “house of Ra,” Hence,. he was also often portrayed laying on his side on the earth, and was sometimes even painted green, with plants springing from his body. Earthquakes were believed to be the laughter of Geb.
In hymns and other compositions he is often portrayed as the erpat, i.e., the hereditary, tribal chief of the gods, and he plays a very important part in the Book of the Dead. Therefore he is one of the gods who watch the weighing of the heart of the deceased in the Judgement Hall of Osiris.. The righteous who were provided with the necessary words of power were able to make their escape from the earth but the wicked were held fast by Geb.
Religious texts show that there was no special city or district set apart for the god Geb, but a portion of the temple estates in Apollinopolis Magna were called the “Aat of Geb,” and a name of Dendera was “the home of the children of Geb,”. The chief seat of the god appears to have been at Heliopolis, where he and his female counterpart Nut produced the great Egg from which sprang the Sun-god under the from of a phoenix. In ancient Egypt, the egg is a symbol of renewal, and even today, this symbolism appears in our traditions surrounding Easter.
It was claimed that Heliopolis was the birthplace of the company of the gods, and that in fact the work of creation began there. In several papyri we find pictures of the first act of creation which took place as soon as the Sun-god, by whatsoever name he may be called, appeared in the sky, and sent forth his rays upon the earth. In these papyri, Geb always occupies a very prominent position. He is seen lying upon the ground with one hand stretched out upon it, and the other extended towards heaven Shu stands by his side, and supports on his upraised hands the heavens which are depicted in the form of a women whose body is covered with stars. She is the goddess Nut.
In Greek (Ptolemaic) times, Geb became identified with the Greek god Kronos.
Geb was the Egyptian god of the Earth and a member of the Ennead of Heliopolis. The name was pronounced as such from the Greek period onward, (formerly erroneously read as Seb (cf. E.A.Wallis Budge, The Gods of the Egyptians. Studies in Egyptian Mythology (London, 1904; republ.Dover Publications, New York, 1969) or as Keb. The original Egyptian was “Gebeb”/”Kebeb”, meaning probably: ‘weak one’, perhaps:’lame one’. It was spelled with either initial -g- (all periods), or with -k-point (gj). The latter initial root consonant occurs once in the Middle Kingdom Coffin Texts, more often in 21st Dynasty mythological papyri as well as in a text from the Ptolemaic tomb of Petosiris at Tuna el-Gebel or was written with initial hard -k-, as e.g. in a 30th Dynasty papyrus text in the Brooklyn Museum dealing with descriptions of and remedies against snakes and their bites.
Role and development
The oldest representation in a fragmentary relief of the god, was as an anthropomorphic bearded being accompanied by his name, and dating from king Djoser’s reign, 3rd Dynasty, and was found in Heliopolis. In later times he could also be depicted as a ram, a bull or a crocodile (the latter in a vignet of the Book of the Dead-papyrus of the lady Heryweben in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo, depicted in G.Posener e.a., Dictionnaire de la civilisation égyptienne = Lexikon der ägyptischen Kultur (Wiesbaden, 1960),lemma ‘Crocodile’/’Krokodil’). Frequently described mythologically as ‘father’ of snakes (one of the names for snake was s3-t3 ‘son of the earth’ and in a Coffin Texts-spell Geb was described as ‘father’ of the primeval snake Nehebkau, while his mother was in that case the goddess Neith) and therefore depicted sometimes (partly) as such. In mythology Geb also often occurs as a primeval divine king of Egypt from whom his ‘son’ Osiris and his ‘grand-son’ Horus inherited the land after many contendings with the disruptive god Seth, brother and killer of Osiris. Geb could also be regarded as personified fertile earth and barren desert, the latter containing the dead or setting them free from their tombs, metaphorically described as ‘ Geb opening his jaws’, or imprisoning those there not worthy to go to the fertile North-Eastern heavenly Field of Reeds. In the latter case, one of his otherworldly attributes was an ominous jackal-headed stave (called wsr.t) rising from the ground to which enemies could be bound and punished.
In the Heliopolitan Ennead (a group of nine gods created in the beginning by the one god Atum), Geb is the husband of Nut, the sky or visible daytime and nightly firmament, the son of the earlier primordial elements Tefnut (‘orphaness’, later also conceived of as moisture [e.g.: ‘tef’]) and Shu (’emptiness’ or perhaps ‘raiser'[namely of the firmament as air]), and the ‘father’ to the four lesser gods of the system – Osiris, Seth, Isis and Nephthys. In this context, Geb was believed to have originally been engaged in eternal sex with Nut, and had to be separated from her by Shu, god of the air. Consequently, in mythological depictions, Geb was shown as a ‘man’ reclining, sometimes with his phallus still pointed towards the sky goddess Nut.
As time progressed, the deity became more associated with the habitable land of Egypt and also as one of its early godly rulers. As a chthonic deity he (like Osiris and Min) became naturally associated with the underworld and with vegetation -barley being said to grow upon his ribs- and was depicted with plants and other green patches on his body.
His association with vegetation, and sometimes with the underworld, and also with royalty brought Geb the occasional interpretation that he was the husband of Renenutet, primarily a minor goddess of the harvest and also mythological caretaker (the meaning of her name is ‘nursing snake’) of the young king in the shape of a cobra, who herself could also be regarded as the mother of Nehebkau, a primeval snake god associated with the underworld, who, however, was on the same occasions said to be his son by her. He is also equated by classical authors as the Greek Titan Cronus.
Some Egyptologists, (specifically Jan Bergman, Terence Duquesne or Richard H. Wilkinson) have stated that Geb was associated with a mythological divine creator goose who had laid a cosmic egg from which the sun and/or the world had sprung. This theory is assumed to be incorrect and to be a result of confusing the divine name “Geb” with that of a Whitefronted Goose (Anser albifrons), also called originally gb(b): ‘lame one, stumbler’. This bird-sign is used only as a phonogram in order to spell the name of the god (H.te Velde, in: Lexikon der Aegyptologie II, lemma: Geb). An alternative ancient name for this goose species was trp meaning similarly ‘walk like a drunk’, ‘stumbler.’ The Whitefronted Goose is never found as a cultic symbol or holy bird of Geb. The mythological creator ‘goose’ referred to above, was called Ngg wr ‘Great Honker’ and always depicted as a Nilegoose/Foxgoose (Alopochen aegyptiacus) who ornitologically belongs to a separate genus and whose Egyptian name was smn, Coptic smon. A coloured vignet irrefutably depicts a Nile Goose with an opened beak (Ngg wr!) in a context of solar creation on a mythological papyrus dating from the 21st Dynasty. Similar images of this divine bird are to be found on temple walls (Karnak, Deir el-Bahari), showing a scene of the king standing on a papyrus raft and ritually plucking papyrus for the Theban god Amun–Re-Kamutef. The latter Theban creator god could be embodied in a Nilegoose, but never in a Whitefronted Goose. In Underworld Books a diacritic goose-sign (most probably denoting then an Anser albifrons) was sometimes depicted on top of the head of an standing anonymous male anthropomorphic deity, pointing to Geb’s identity. Geb himself was never depicted as a Nile Goose, as later was Amun, called on some New Kingdom stelae explicitly:’Amun, the beautiful smn-goose (Nile Goose). The only clear pictorial confusion between the hieroglyphs of a Whitefronted Goose (in the normal hieroglyphic spelling of the name Geb, often followed by the additional -b-sign) and a Nile Goose in the spelling of the name Geb occurs in the rock cut tomb of the provincial governor Sarenput II (12th Dynasty, Middle Kingdom) on the Qubba el-Hawa desert-ridge (opposite Aswan), namely on the left (southern) wall near the open doorway, in the first line of the brightly painted funerary offering formula. This confusion is to be compared with the frequent hacking out by Ekhnaton’s agents of the sign of the Pintail Duck (meaning ‘son’) in the royal title ‘Son of Re’, especially in Theban temples, where they confused the duck sign with that of a Nilegoose regarded as a form of the then forbidden god Amon.