The 12 Lords of Kobol

The Reincarnation Interpretation

UPDATED 7 July 2008 21:21 GMT

MovieWeb: Do the final 5 have model numbers, and if there are 12 Cylons and 12 Gods, are there any direct pairings between the Gods of Greek mythology and the Cylon models?

Ron Moore: The final 5 do not, in fact, have numbers. The pairing of the 12 colonies and the 12 Gods and the 12 tribes and the number 12, while there’s the certain repetition of the numerology in the show, there’s not that direct correlation that you’re asking about. (Source)[2]

There are 12 Lords of Kobol. They are split into two groups, those that take mortal form through reincarnation and those that stay within TPBLAD acting as guides to their mortal companions. All of this takes place periodically in order to rejuventate mankind through a cycle of destruction and rebirth.

Head.Six: I’m an angel of God sent here to help you….just like I always have been (Torn)

The 12 Lords of Kobol

The 12 Lords of Kobol

Grace Park: “There’s one episode where everything is explained and I had to read it three times, I had to sit down with [executive producer] Ron Moore and he had to break it down.” (Source)

Reincarnated forms

Each mortal form has a cue installed into their subconscious prior to their birth. In the case of the Final Four, this is the watchtower tune. In the case of Starbuck it is the mandala. They are entirely human and therefore don’t possess any special powers[3], the cues are used as a guide to allow them to realise who they really are – when the time comes.

(In the same way, Hera is born with the number “6” as a cue, leading her to seek out Caprica.Six)

RDM: 3/26/2007 — They arrived at a certain point in space and they were made aware of who they are. The music manifests a dawning awareness. These are four of the final five, which puts them in a separate category from everybody else… A lot of the specifics of the back story of how this came about will reveal itself over the course of the next season. Those four are trying to figure out their own story. They don’t really understand what this all means. Tigh’s been in two wars and wondering, how could this be? A part of next season’s storylines will uncover how they came to be who they are and the specifics of that… It was something I came up with this season as I worked toward the finale. The conceptual framework in which these guys are Cylons, it all sort of works once we laid down their individual back stories… but they are different fundamentally. (source: Post-Gazette)

The problem is that the cues have led the Final Four (and therefore the audience) into mistakenly thinking they are true cylons, whereas in fact they are only cylons within the conceptual framework of immortality.


The other six Lords of Kobol, stay in the space between life and death and act as guides for their companion mortal LOK. They use the Opera House to appear as head characters in order to communicate and exert their influence.


Kara is a special case. She appears to be “lost”, she cannot be contacted via the Opera House.

Hybrid: And in the midst of confusion, he will find her, enemies brought together by impossible longing, enemies now joined as one.

Leoben stands on the shore of TPBLAD, the river/stream – a metaphor for the space between life and death so he can reach out and contact her when she is on the verge of death without requiring the Opera House.

Leoben finds Kara at the Maelstrom gas giant planet.

Sharon: …that’s the spot where your god supposedly stood and watched Athena throw herself down o­nto the rocks below out of despair over the exodus of the 13 tribes

Kara is, or is at least playing the role of Athena who 2000 years ago commited suicide by throwing herself onto the rocks below, in Maelstrom she commits suicide by hitting the “hard deck” on the gas giant planet[1].

She doesn’t actually die, she is saved before her Viper explodes (explained in TPBLAD and Time Travel!)

3/8/2007 — Question: Was it a bullet that penetrated Kara’s canopy or something else?
RDM: This was left deliberately vague. What do you think it was?

Leoben: See, there’s nothing so terrible about death. When you finally face it, it’s beautiful. You’re free now. To become who you really are.

12 Cylon Models

The Opera House figures were responsible for influencing the cylons to create the S7 (see The Head.Six Theory). They do this by proxy leading the S7 to believe that there are five other cylons. This is why Caprica.Six believes there are 12 cylon models. The S7 aren’t allowed to think about the Final Five to avoid them realizing the truth.

(Note that this is probably why Head.Six is getting Baltar to preach the one true God so that the LOK don’t become religious entities again – the last time this happened it resulted in human sacrifice)

Since the S7 are creations of the LOK, they are built with the ability to see the LOK as a head character without requiring the Opera House – the LOK can appear to an S7 member at anytime. This explains Caprica.Six’s Head.Baltar. Remember the S7 resurrect by passing through TPBLAD and the resurrection technology comes from the LOK who reside there – the original programmers.

Baltar’s Head.Six / Head.Baltar are the same Lord of Kobol.

The “real” Final Five

Throughout the show, we have been led to believe that the five humans are the Final Five. This is a mistake that stems from the fact that the cylons aren’t allowed to think about the Final Five. It’s the LOK within TPBLAD that are the true final five and now that they have connected with the five humans, the raiders and Caprica.Six can sense them, but they incorrectly identify them. The final five humans are supposed to know the way to Earth, but its obvious that they don’t have a clue, however the five LOK within TPBLAD do know the way to Earth, since they programmed Kara’s Viper to indicate it’s location when she brought it back through TPBLAD after her time travel adventures with Maelstrom.Leoben (see TPBLAD and Time Travel!)

[1]Thanks to Mathematica for this one as well as other clues
[2]Thanks to ThPrimes for this one
[3]Although Kara is an amazing Viper pilot and Baltar an extremely intelligent scientist

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5 Responses to The 12 Lords of Kobol

  1. tommyfreszetti says:

    so there are 12 LOK divided into 2 groups. ones that reincarnate and take human form, and the other group consisting of the LOK that exist in TPBLAD. if i understand correctly, 4 of the LOK from the first group are currently “residing” in the revealed 4’s minds. then it is only logical to assume that another “cylon” of this sort (a human vessel with a LOK in his mind) is still out there unaccounted for and the thesis here is that it is starbuck. this thesis is proven mostly (moslty as in other than the 1st hybrid words which can be interpreted several different ways) by the fact that Leoben has appeared to her in several visions. ok, but the same is true for Baltar. he too has had visions, he too has been transported in time and saved by a LOK from TPBLAD – that is when we take the theses here at face value. so who is the final cylon? starbuck or baltar? and why starbuck and not baltar? who is the last unaccounted for human to have a LOK inside him?
    and more importantly – it doesn’t seem logical to divide the LOK into 2 categories, state that the first category consists of the LOK that are “earthly” and reincarnate and the other category consists of the LOK existing solely in TPBLAD, and then, after we discover that the 4 of the final 5 (in the sense that they are the reincarnated LOK from the 1st category), say that the true final 5 are the entities existing in the TPBLAD? that would mean that the 1st category of LOK is the same as the other. furthermore, we have to also remember that there supposed to be a total of 12 LOK – 5 reincarnating ones, as i presume, which would leave 7 in TPBLAD. saying that the F5 are the TPBLAD 7 does not have any sense at all. therefore, this theory i think would work if the thesis here would state that the way to earth is known to the LOK in the final 5’s minds (and not the other 7 ones existing in TPBLAD) and it is them who are responsible for Kara’s death/dissapearance and decyphering the signal that her viper was receiving.
    on the other hand, if we assume that both categories of the LOK have a number of 6 members each(which is the operating theory here), that would mean that the final 5 would account for the 5 reincarnating LOK leaving just one LOK totally unheard of. where (in whose body, in whose mind) is the last reincarnated LOK hiding? who is his vessel? and how this human-or-cylon-person-vessel would be different from the final 5 who are completely human nonsynthetic and natural (hence avoiding detection)? what would make this last (presumably) human vessel different from the f5 to such an extent that it would exclude him from the “would be” final6? that is the question. despite my criticism here i have nothing but respect and appreciation for the amount of work that has had to been put into piecing this theory together into a pretty coherent and logical one. please excuse me if my post is confusing and my train of thought is unclear but i’m only human 😉 and i myself am having much difficulty with unlocking the show’s secrets so that everything fits. peace.

  2. swozzie says:

    The 5 LOK in TPBLAD are the “real” final five, they know the way to Earth. One of these is the “final cylon” and it appears as Head.Six which is why its Baltar that hosts the final cylon and not Starbuck since Starbuck cannot be contacted via the Opera House, her companion LOK (Leoben) isn’t in the Opera House (otherwise there would be six in there and not five) and its the LOK in the Opera House that are the original programmers – the things that the cylons have come to know as the Final Five (evidenced by the fact that the TPBLAD LOK know the way to Earth and the reincarnated LOK do not) – the cylons are confusing the reincarnated LOK with the TPBLAD LOK – they are connected which is why they can sense them but this leads to them incorrectly identifying them.

  3. tommyfreszetti says:

    but there are supposed to be 6 not 5 TPBLAD LOK and 6 reincarnated LOK, right? so where is the sixth TPBLAD? or am i missing sth here – “The other six Lords of Kobol, stay in the space between life and death and act as guides for their companion mortal LOK. They use the Opera House to appear as head characters in order to communicate and exert their influence.” so how come the TPBLAD 6 are the F5?
    and if the final 5 (or 6) are in the TPBLAD then who and where are the other 6 LOK if not within the revealed 4?
    this would also mean that starbuck is also a host of a LOK but since she can’t be contacted via the opera house she can’t be (mistakenly) presumed to be a cylon (the same type as the F5 cylons)? but then again Leoben does appear to her and does exert his influence on her – so i honestly do not understand how she is different from Baltar the LOK host. is it the mere fact that Leoben is absent in the Opera House? she hosts “the other” LOK, who maybe was outcast by the other LOK?

  4. swozzie says:

    the 6th is Maelstrom.Leoben, his companion is Starbuck, she cannot be contacted via the Opera House, she is “lost” and Leoben is trying to find her (see the TPBLAD and Time Travel post for an explanation of this)

    the TPBLAD 5 are the original programmers of the S7, they used the Opera House to appear as head characters to the early cylons and helped them develop resurrection technology as well as the S7

    Maelstrom.Leoben exists in TPBLAD, but not in the Opera House, they are two different things, the Opera House is just a device they use to communicate with the 5 mortal LOK, Leoben/Starbucks interaction is completely different, Leoben can only communicate with her when she is on the verge of death – Leoben stands on the shore of TPBLAD, the river/stream a metaphor for the space between life and death so he can reach out and contact her

  5. I’m an advocate of Head Six as final Cylon (and programmer of the original AIs) but for quite different reasons for this theory.

    However, how does Head Elosha, who is paired with Roslin, fit into this?

    And why does Adama get a vision of the First Hybrid’s hand reaching out of the tank and grabbing him?

    There are too many people getting visions to have them all be paired with a Lord of Kobol, I think.

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