21 Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was barren. The LORD answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant. 22 The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, "Why is this happening to me?" So she went to inquire of the LORD.
23 The LORD said to her,
"Two nations are in your womb,
and two peoples from within you will be separated;
one people will be stronger than the other,
and the older will serve the younger."
24 When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb. 25 The first to come out was red, and his whole body was like a hairy garment; so they named him Esau. [e] 26 After this, his brother came out, with his hand grasping Esau's heel; so he was named Jacob. [f] Isaac was sixty years old when Rebekah gave birth to them.
27 The boys grew up, and Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was a quiet man, staying among the tents. 28 Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob.
WALT: What is it, like checkers?
LOCKE: Not really, it's a better game than … checkers. You play checkers with your Pop?
WALT: No. I live in Australia with my mom.
LOCKE: You have no accent.
WALT: Yeah, I know. We move a lot. She got sick. She died a couple of weeks ago.
LOCKE: You're having a bad month.
WALT: I guess.
LOCKE: Backgammon is the oldest game in the world. Archeologists found sets when they excavated the ruins of ancient Mesopotamia. Five thousand years old. That's older than Jesus Christ.
WALT: Did they have dice and stuff?
LOCKE: [nods] Mhhm. But theirs weren't made of plastic. Their dice were made of bones.
LOCKE: Two players. Two sides. One is light … one is dark. Walt, do you want to know a secret?
-LOST, Season 1, The Very First Freaking Episode
Two brothers live on an island. One light. One dark.
They live together in a peace imposed on them by rules, which appear to be mystical in nature, and of a power greater than them.
They appear to need to eat, or at least they do eat. They do not seem to age.
The light one devotes himself to art. He appears to have the ability to come and go from the island at will. He draws people to the island, to himself, apparently of his choosing. He visits them. He touches their lives, briefly. He touches them, physically but subtly.
The first he brings may be a slave ship.
The light brother has hope for these people.
The dark one has no hope for these people, whom he sees as fallen and unworthy. He hates his light brother, and hopes someday to kill him. He will do anything to accomplish this.
They are, perhaps, men. They are, certainly, also something more then men. They may be ideas. They may be scientists. They may be playing nothing more or less than a game, the island their board, these people their pieces.
But even in a game, the stakes can be desperately high.
They are brothers. And they have been in contention for a very, very long time.