The Leftovers is a show built on the unknown. This is no surprise, since the series was created by the man who baffled the world with , Damon Lindelof. While the Lost for six years Justin Theroux-starring HBO show is surrounded by an endless barrage of questions and theories, it's greatest mystery is still where exactly 2% of the population disappeared to on October 14.
On the day of the "Sudden Departure," millions of people vanished into thin air without a single explanation.
The Leftovers follows the years after the catastrophic event and all the upsetting things that happen to the people who remained. Season 3, which premieres April 16, will wrap up the confounding-but-beloved series and possibly even give viewers a hint as to what happened to the departed.
Leftovers has such an intriguing core mystery, the detectives of Reddit and the rest of the internet have been investigating what could have happened to the 2% long before season 3 was even on the horizon. We've compiled all the most compelling theories out there, from the craziest ones to the most plausible. Take a look ahead to find out where, exactly, the departed may have gone.
They Were Lost In A Glitch
There's currently a popular theory going around that the world as we know it is actually
a simulation run by greater powers. If that's true, the departed are simply the victims of some misplaced ones and zeros in the computer code of life, Redditor Andys5010 says.
Considering how metaphysical creator Lindelof tends to be, this idea is a little bit too cold to be the true answer.
Photo: Courtesy HBO. More
They’re In The Future
If you're not feeling the simulation theory, here's another bizarre and unexpected possibility: The departed were stolen from the future for a very specific purpose. "They are needed in the future because they had plenty of potential to improve the possibly horrible future or lack of population whatever," writes Redditor
Breaking-Lost. Photo: Courtesy HBO. More
They’re Stuck In Time
If the 2% isn't in the future, maybe they're in the past? "What if the people didn't 'disappear' but instead got left behind in time," considers
another Redditor. "Time moved forward, they didn't. They are frozen in time forever."
We're going to guess both time traveling ideas are a little too hard sci-fi for an HBO drama about grief.
Photo: Courtesy HBO. More
They’re All In Australia
Australia keeps coming up in the
Leftovers universe, so the key to understanding the departure may be hiding Down Under. However, it’s unlikely 140 million people ended up in Australia and no one noticed or notified the authorities. Photo: Courtesy HBO. More
They Simply Moved To Another Location
Considering all the drama and complexity of the other theories in this gallery, it seems unlikely the departed didn’t disappear, but just changed location. This idea comes from the
, who theorized the northern hemisphere’s Tropic of Cancer and the southern hemisphere’s Tropic of Capricorn are running cosmically parallel and possibly "spit" the so-called "departed" between the two. New York Times Photo: Courtesy HBO. More
They’re Actually In The Real World
What if the 98% we’re dealing with were the ones who actually departed and now they’re in a separate universe? It’s possible the “real” world now only has 2% of the human race left, leaving us to watch the true departures in an alternate, bleak timeline.
Try not to think about how awful the 2% world is after seeing how dark the 98% world is.
Photo: Courtesy HBO. More Story Continues
They Were Lost ed
This is a continuation of the previous theory, with an Oceanic flight 815 twist. It’s possible the 98% departed and died,
Redditors theorize. Now we’re watching them come to terms with their own deaths, like creator Lindelof’s first critical TV hit, Lost. Photo: Courtesy HBO. More
They Experienced The Rapture
When people talk about
The Leftovers, they often describe it as, "That show where a lot of people were 'raptured.'” But it’s still unclear if that’s what technically happened.
The Rapture is literally a biblical event, where all the true Christian believers will be taken up to Heaven by Jesus. Maybe the departed were raptured — albeit without all the floating bodies — or maybe they weren’t.
Photo: Courtesy HBO. More
They Were Sent To Hell
Matt (Christopher Eccleston) spent a lot of time in season 1 attempting to prove the departed weren’t “raptured,” but had, in fact, been taken due to wrongdoings. Right now it’s any one’s guess if
either religious stance is true. Photo: Courtesy HBO. More
They Were Wished Away
This is the most popular theory on the internet, following season 1’s “The Garveys at Their Best.” The episode shows that Kevin, Laurie, and Norah all seemed to wish away their departed loved ones the moment they disappeared. Kevin was in the middle of an affair he may have felt guilty over, pregnant Laurie was questioning having another baby, and Norah was annoyed at her family members in the exact second the 2% left.
The Leftovers be the greatest case of “be careful what you wish for” in television history? Photo: Courtesy HBO. More Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here? This Is Who Reddit Thinks Will Wind Up Killing Cersei in Game Of Thrones Lea Michele Watches Glee Alone & Is Proud Of It The Bachelor's Lace Talked About Her Breakup With Grant