We’re only five episodes deep into HBO’s newest adventure, Westworld, and it’s already become one of our favourite things on television. The show seamlessly blends science-fiction and western elements into something completely fresh, totally immersive, and deliciously intriguing. The Jonathan Nolan creation has become a new obsession, and has fans clamoring to uncover its potential secrets. While Westworld‘s brutal park life contains enough action to entertain audiences, the show’s true allure derives from the utter mystery surrounding the motives of its inhabitants and, even more so, its creators. Westworld’s threads are beginning to come undone, and certain players are about to show their cards.
Just when it seemed like we were getting some answers, things became even more complicated. What and where, is this maze that everyone’s obsessed with? What is Dolores’ true purpose? What are those satellite signals all about? We likely won’t understand it all before the end of the season, and that thought alone is putting detective caps on everyone. What’s even more exciting, is that show execs are giving many Redditors and internet dwellers a subtle nod of approval. Naturally, with all of this secrecy, comes a bunch of online theories. Luckily for you, we’ve filtered through the absurd, to present the most plausible. Here are three fan theories about Westworld, that are likely to be true.
Big spoiler warning for anyone who has yet to watch the show.
1. Someone’s a robot, and it might be Bernard.
It’s almost a foregone conclusion that one of the characters presented as human, is in fact, an android. Anthony Hopkins’ brilliant park director, Robert Ford, has built a world that is so intricate and detailed, that most hosts could pass as a human being. In fact, that’s kind of what attendees pay the big bucks for. If the overseers at Westworld weren’t keeping tabs on everything in the park, it would be difficult to determine just who was built by human hands. If we look at the most recent episode, “Contrapasso”, we now know that hosts can bleed…like, a lot. Ok, so who is the secret robot? Well, there’s one likely possibility.
Jeffry Wright’s tampering employee, Bernard Lowe, might be a bot programmed to code for the company. It’s entirely believable that Bernard was built with the purpose to keep things under control, and is now beginning to question the world around him. The breadcrumbs exist in dialogue shared between Lowe and Ford, where there’s a whole lot of talk about grounding the host and adding a backstory to convince the robot of its humanity. This would explain the phone calls to Bernard’s ex-wife, and the grief surrounding his son’s passing. The death of his son becomes even more suspect, given that Ford himself spoke of illness being a thing of the past, and that humanity is on the road to resurrection technology. Then there’s the fact that Ford is aware of pretty much everything Bernard does. Even the most intimate of details are somehow being logged. It could be that Bernard was modeled entirely after Westworld’s mysterious co-founder, Arnold. This would explain his position in the company, and the fact that he seems to follow the same uneasy path of his predecessor. Bernard is obviously obsessed with the hosts, and Ford warns him to avoid making the same mistakes Arnold previously made.
2. Arnold is still alive…sort of.
Dolores finally had her self-aware moment during Sunday’s episode, and she also admitted to hearing voices inside her head. We were previously told that these voices are programmers dictating android behaviour, which is then disguised as a host’s internal monologue. With this latest revelation, it’s being teased that Arnold is leading Dolores around the park, hoping to destroy Westworld altogether. It’s becoming more likely that Arnold is somewhat alive, whether through an uploaded code in Dolores, in a robotic form, or just as an older dude somewhere in the maze. Arnold wanted to make sure the hedonistic park ended with him. Now it’s just about discovering which route Arnold went to reach his goal.
3. There are multiple timelines.
This one becomes a bit tricky, and might even be debunked within the next few episodes. The easiest way to debunk the multiple timeline theory, is to wait until Ed Harris’ Man In Black, and captain good guy, William, meet in person. Until then, the rumour mill will continue to point to this theory of a separation in time. The boldest claim embedded within this fan-driven narrative, is that Willam and the Man In Black are the same person. It’s important to note however, that even if the two are completely different characters, they could still exist in separate eras. For the sake of our argument, let’s brush aside the “same person” theory, and get to the root of what multiple timelines entail for the structure of the park. So then, where’s the evidence? For starters, dedicated viewers have pointed out the differences in logos between scenes including William and Ford. Then there’s the company that owns Westworld, Delos Inc. Fans have reminded us that Willam and his brother-in-law, Logan, enter the park and speak about buying the entire operation – the park in their reputed timeline, is bleeding a whole lot of money. Meanwhile, the multiple eras would involve Dolores in a big way, and would give her character even more meaning. We’ve seen flashes of Dolores in multiple settings being analyzed, and fans have begun to claim that her vicious loop, was set as punishment for an initial breach in protocol. We could be witnessing that breach in her galavant with William. Could William be leading Dolores into the maze? Was he consumed by failure, and has been visiting the park ever since. Does he now wear a black hat? We don’t know, but in due time, we’ll all find out.