What Happens to Walt in Lost?


While there is no shortage of memorable characters on Lost, the intrigue surrounding Walt (Malcolm David Kelley) was evident from the pilot episode up until his final appearance as a full-time cast member on the show. For everything Lost is and tries to be, Walt’s presence is one of innocence and wonder, captivated by The Island and the people he meets when Oceanic 815 goes down.

The only kid involved in the plane crash (that we know of early on), Walt’s relationships on The Island are nuanced. From his strained relationship with his father, Michael (Harold Perrineau), to the curiosity he exhibits with John Locke (Terry O’Quinn), and even the playful friendship he builds with Hurley (Jorge Garcia). It’s apparent during the first two seasons, through the flashbacks, audiences get of characters’ off-island lives, that there’s something different about Walt — something special.

As Lost progresses, so too does Walt’s story, and unfortunately for Kelley himself, his own growth spurt eventually gets him written off the show. But what really happened to Walt? Does he get his happy ending? Does he end up back on the Island?

Lost Poster



Release Date
September 22, 2004


Walt’s Early Days on the Island

Walt Lloyd in Lost

Fans of LOST can quickly recall how traumatic the introduction to Walt is; he’s ten years old, can’t find his dog, his mother just died, he was just in a plane crash, he doesn’t know Michael at all, and he’s on a beach, surrounded by adults who are in primal survival mode. Not to mention, there’s a mysterious monster in the jungle that’s mowing down trees. With all that happens to Walt in the first season, watching the back and forth with Michael is what drives both characters. The dynamic is combative at best, with Michael’s inadequacies as a father showing, while Walt feels at home on the Island and wants to do more daring things with his time.

Several times, this forced Michael to take an authoritative stance, pushing the son he signed over to this ex even further away. When Walt is kidnapped by The Others, Michael finally shows how much he cares — albeit in the worst way possible — brutally murdering two of his people and betraying the rest to exchange Ben (Michael Emerson) for Walt. It’s revealed in Season 4 that Michael couldn’t live with the guilt of his actions, so he decided to tell his son what he had done, adding more PTSD to his teenage son.

Walt Is Drawn to the World of John Locke

Terry O'Quinn as John Locke sitting in the jungle in Lost

Of all the interpersonal relationships on The Island, the connection between Walt and John Locke seemed to signify there was more to Walt than originally thought. When Locke is playing backgammon, it’s Walt who joins him and listens to the story of how The Island “healed” John. Walt follows Locke and Boone (Ian Somerhalder) and learns to throw knives, much to the dismay of Michael. Locke also shows his care for the young boy when he finds Vincent the dog and assists Michael in rescuing Walt from a polar bear. It’s Locke who knows that Walt burned the raft down and he keeps his secret.


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Things hit a fever pitch, however, when Locke and Boone discover The Hatch. In a conversation with Walt, Locke makes contact with the young boy, who immediately tells Locke not to open “that thing.” Their relationship is solidified in later seasons, first when Locke attempts suicide and is stopped by a grown Walt, and then when Locke visits Walt in New York, where the young boy tells him he’s been dreaming about him — a prophetic statement fans know very well.

What Happens to Walt After Hurley’s Helping Hand?

Hurley (Jorge Garcia) in Lost looking out at the sunset

Early in the series, Hurley and Walt have a comical relationship, usually revolving around Walt correcting Hurley’s spelling errors or hustling him for thousands of dollars in backgammon. In the end, however, Hurley is the one who helps Walt the most. After the series ended, “The New Man in Charge” was released, an epilogue that shows Hurley and Ben’s way of running The Island. Ben visits Walt at the Santa Rosa Mental Health Institute, where he says the one thing Walt needs to hear: “You’re special.” They leave the facility and find Hurley, the new protector of The Island, who is there to bring Walt “home.” A tearful Walt knew this day would come, his destiny tied to the one place he felt like himself.


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After being kidnapped, chased by polar bears, burdened with his father’s crimes, and searching for a way back, it’s Hurley who tells Walt he needs to get back to The Island, confidently saying, “It’s where you’ve always belonged.” For a character that had so much struggle over the course of his time on The Island, fans couldn’t agree more.



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