Westworld is over for 2016, and it couldn’t have been a more momentous inauguration. Westworld season 2 is now probably my most anticipated returning show in 2018, after the final season of Game of Thrones, naturally.
SPOILER WARNING for all episodes in Westworld season 1
Westworld season 2 is a certainty, as is Westworld season 3 to season 5. The creators had this one planned out well into the future.
But, what happens when you plan series ahead of time? You leave traces hidden in the narrative, little pieces of information seemingly useless now, but that could prove to be of great significance in future storylines.
There are plenty of Westworld plot holes and clues littered all over season 1 — scenes you that may seem sloppy or irrelevant now, but are more than likely part of some greater picture.
Let’s get right into the Westworld season 2 speculation, and pick apart the pieces in the hope of striking gold.
This is a long piece. If you aren’t in it for the big read, check out the table of contents to see if anything grabs your attention!
Why Was Bernard ‘Woken’ Before?
After a dramatic death scene in Westworld episode 9, Benard is raised from the dead by Felix. In a conversation with Maeve, he mentions how he’s ‘woken’ before. Since being given his memories by Ford, he apparently remembers something from his past.
It is said quickly and disregarded for more immediate concerns, but we believe it has serious consequences. Benard has died before; this isn’t the first time things have got so far out of Ford’s control that he’s had to terminate his companion — or somebody else has.
Has Ford been doing this for a long time, trying to get Bernard to a point where he could be aware of himself while also siding with the old man? Or has something else happened?
The fact of the matter is, things would have had to get to a point where his memory couldn’t just be wiped. Like he did after the whole ‘Teresa incident’. He was, or had to be, ‘killed’.
This gives us a tiny glimpse into the backstory of the park. So far we’ve been given the important events. Those of 30 years ago and the present day, but things clearly haven’t been plain sailing since then, and Bernard’s awakening is proof.
Here’s a bit of Westworld season 2 speculation for you, we think we’ll been doing some more time travel, perhaps more obviously this time, back to when Bernard died for the first time.
What Made Ford Change His Mind About the Hosts?
Ford wasn’t always on the same wavelength as Arnold. He made that pretty clear. But, by the end of the series, it became evident he was just as passionate about his creations as his former partner.
When did this all change?
This polar-shift of opinions might have just happened over time but, given the violence and drama of Westworld season 1, we’re pretty sure there was an event that triggered his change of heart. Perhaps the same event that led to Bernard’s first death.
There is no doubt in our minds that this change of heart will be referenced in Westworld season 2 or later. Expect to see Anthony Hopkins return, maybe even as his younger, CGI self.
What Happened to The Other ‘Woken’ Hosts?
According to Benard, Maeve isn’t the first host to become aware of their surroundings, others have done the same. Allegedly, most went crazy, driven mad by the reality of their situation. The key word here being ‘most’. Some didn’t.
What happened to these few isn’t clear. Could they have escaped? Perhaps they are still hiding with the park?
It is likely that some of these characters will join the Westworld season 2 cast and bring a new dynamic to the story. Perhaps embellishing some of the more vague back stories and plot holes.
Who Were Wyatt’s Axe-Wielding Crazies?
The Wyatt narrative hadn’t begun, but he still had some crazy folk working for him up in the mountains — Angela (the original host that greeted William) being one of them.
It’s easy to assume that they are part of some early entry plan for the Wyatt narrative, building suspense, but we think there is a deeper meaning behind them.
The Man in Black comments on how he was surprised to see Angela, believing she would have been decommissioned years ago. But what if she was?
Angela has a conversation with Teddy, in which she claims he isn’t ready, before stabbing him. She seems to be very much aware that death isn’t the end for Teddy, but how could she know that just being a regular host that is playing out a Wyatt narrative?
These people follow Wyatt, and Wyatt is Ford’s narrative. He knows who Wyatt is, and he knows who he wants by her side.
The Two Honest Guys believe that Wyatt’s men are actually woken hosts, hosts that Ford has released from their delusions and hidden within the park, ready to help with the uprising when the time comes.
We see in the Westworld season 1 finale that Ford has emptied the entire cold-storage facility, seemingly recruiting them to his forces. However, how do you control such a rabble? You give them leaders, leaders who already know the score.
Wyatt’s men — and women.
Does Every Violent Delight Have a Violent End?
Westworld is fond of this phrase, nailing it home with remarkable efficiency. Violence in this world begets violence; a theme sure to follows us to Westworld season 2. But will it go even further than that?
We think this phrase is a tease, not just for future events, but the conclusion of the entire series. Although, we are going to spin the tables slightly.
Dolores doesn’t want violence; she doesn’t want the human’s world, she has said this many times. She just wants to be free. Westworld will end not with violent delights meeting violent ends, but with peace. Dolores knows all too well that bloodshed leads to more bloodshed. She has lived it again and again for decades.
Our Westworld theory? Dolores will go from Ford’s militant to self-guided peacemaker. She’ll follow her own path, her own thoughts, like a true free willed person.
Is Maeve Really Sentient?
We spend our most of the season believing Maeve is slowly gaining sentience, and by the end, she is in complete control.
But, as it transpired, she wasn’t.
We got a hint at this in an early episode, when Felix realises that everything she believes to be happening under her own free will is actually just a sequence she is acting out. Maeve passes this off as trickery, believing only she is in control.
However, in the finale, Bernard looks over her coding and informs her that everything she is doing has been planned out. Before she snaps the device he is holding, he mentions the events that lead up to her final scene of leaving the train and heading back to Westworld.
While Maeve appears to be in total control, everything she is doing is preprogrammed. She isn’t doing it out of free will; she is running a narrative.
Maeve isn’t conscious; she is just acting out a narrative of a host that thinks it is.
Is Maeve a Test?
How is real consciousness described in Westworld? It is you, your own voice inside your head. Not Arnold’s, not random improvisation, your own intuition.
We see Dolores finally meet herself in the finale. This symbolism of consciousness clearly means she has broken through the maze and is now a free-thinking being. However, this took her over 30 years to accomplish. Time and time again she would follow the path, eventually figuring it out.
Ford doesn’t have 30 years to do this to all the other hosts; he needs things to happen in a much faster timeframe.
On a number of occasions in Westworld season 1, Ford mentions the concept of bootstrapping consciousness. The idea that by giving these machines elements of humanity, they would eventually learn how to harness it as their own free will.
We believe Maeve is a dummy run, a test by Ford to see if he can accelerate the consciousness process. Maeve is a strong candidate, having shown to responsive to the reveries in a way many hosts haven’t — e.i grieving over her ‘daughter’.
While Maeve isn’t fully conscious yet, it is likely that she will eventually gain it. Some argue she already has. It could be that Maeve getting off the train and heading back in the Westworld to find her daughter was actually her own free will, not a programmed act. Or maybe it way. If Ford has succeeded in accelerating the time it takes to break hosts free of the programming, the rebellion won’t just be Dolores vs. Humanity, but the entirely of the now fully ‘woken’ host population.
Maeve could also be an elaborate distraction. If Ford knew the date on which he planned to unleash his creations upon the world, he might have simply programmed Maeve to cause mayhem inside the Delos labs, slowing down security.
This is all working under the assumption that she is part of Ford’s plan, however. We aren’t 100% sure who tampered with her code. It good go far deeper than we know.
Was Felix a Host?
Felix was initially Maeve’s unwitting pawn but eventually became a full on conspirator in her games. Even after she nearly killed his colleague, he still followed her blindly.
For us, it was all a bit odd. He was just too accepting of Maeve’s bloodthirstiness and never seemed to question what was happening. He just did as he was told.
Later it transpired that somebody was in control of Maeve, programming her every move, from waking when she shouldn’t to leaving on the train. If this mystery person had the whole thing planned out, it wouldn’t be too far of a stretch for them to plant Felix as an assistant to Maeve.
She seemed to have an awareness for hosts built into her, able to immediately tell Bernard was one of them. However, if the programmer could control everything that happened, they could potentially have put in a blindspot for Felix.
Other Than Westworld, What Other Parks Are There? Are They As Important?
All the action in the series revolves around the Westworld park, but the season finale revealed there are others too — Samaria World seemingly one of them. This adds a pile of questions to the mountain, such as how many other parks are there? But what we at Two Honest Guys are really interested in is their significance to the story.
The title of the show is Westworld for a start, so it would seem strange for other worlds to become central to the plot — although they may be referenced or even visited. However, the main crux of the story is set entirely within Westworld. This is where the hosts are revolting; this is where the creator, Ford, spent his time.
In Westworld season 2, we hope to find out what is happening in the other parks. Are the hosts in revolt as well? Or was Ford’s focus always on Westworld. He appears to have put all his efforts into the narratives of Westworld, although he has had over 30 years to move between them.
It could play out that there were only plans for other parks. That they were never opened. However, we think it more likely that these worlds will collide. If the parks were active, then the hosts inside it would surely hold the same level of importance to Robert. Which means he would want to free them too.
If the hosts of the other worlds aren’t gaining sentience yet, they will in future seasons.
How Does the Man in Black Know So Much About Westworld’s Maze?
The Man in Black seems to be all knowing — for the most part.
He had a habit of knowing exactly what to do and when to do it. For example, he knew that threatening Lawrence and killing his wife would mean that Westworld would reveal another clue to him. He also knew that scalping the hosts would show him the maze.
But, how does he know all this stuff?
Clearly, he’s been digging around for a long time. His past visits have been referenced on numerous occasions, and on these outings, it is likely that he has been digging deeper and getting more clued up.
Our prediction for Westworld season 2 is that these plot holes will become a part of the story, revealing through flashbacks more about the mysterious place of Westworld. If we don’t get these, it’ll leave some pretty massive plot holes.
I’d like to see where he went after first discovering the maze. What was his first move?
Perhaps, on his travels, he’ll encounter some of those characters we believe will crop up as Westworld progresses, hosts that ‘woke’ and didn’t go crazy.
What Was Ford Printing?
In one of the most pivotal scenes of Westworld season 1, Ford forces Bernard to kill his lover Teresa and sets into motion the final throws of the world as we knew it.
However, as Teresa was brutally murdered, we were teased with something. Ford was printing a new host — we saw the muscle structure carefully being woven to the bone. New life created as another was snuffed out.
What was Ford printing? We think it was himself.
We wrote a Westworld theory piece about this, but here is the shortened version: Ford wasn’t killed by Dolores in the finale, it was a host version of himself. By doing this, he could begin the revolution, but keep himself alive to lead the rebellion.
However, there is another theory that surrounds this moment.
Some have speculated that Ford did indeed die, but he also created a host version of himself. In a monologue before his death, Ford spoke of how artists eventually became their work, living through their music. Perhaps he was referring to himself as an artist and the hosts his art. What better way to lead the revolution than by being a host himself?
Either way, we believe that we’ll see Anthony Hopkins return to the Westworld season 2 cast list, but in what form?
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Will We See Elsie in Westworld Season 2?
When Ford gives Benard his memories, we catch a glimpse of him choking out Elsie. So is she dead?
This wouldn’t make much sense. Elsie was actually helping Ford by alerting him to Teresa’s inside plot to steal data from the park. By killing her, it would imply that Ford wanted the data outside the park, but what good would that do him?
Having the data outside the park meant that Delos could tamper with it, rolling it back and potentially removing any hope of the hosts becoming sentient.
What is more likely, is that Elsie isn’t actually dead. Ford silenced her to avoid unsettling the Board while he carried out his revolution plot, but he hasn’t killed her.
I bet you didn’t know this, because I certainly didn’t, but throughout the run of Westworld season 1, HBO operated a website for the fake owners of Westworld, Delos. After the finale, a coding error appeared.
Some crafty Reddit user figured out that this code could be used to extract two links. The first to a 3 second audio clip of Elsie saying ‘Hello?’. The second points to a video of Elsie’s locator showing that she is still somewhere in Westworld. Surely, this isn’t HBO trolling us?
Ford must have left Elsie alive and it is likely she’ll be returning for Westworld season 2, probably with some juicy gossip as to what went down with her, Bernard and Ford.
What Happened to Hemsworth?
In Westworld season 1 episode 9, the head of park security, played by the eldest Hemsworth brother, is confronted by some Native American hosts. The hosts were clearly those belonging to Ford and not the park, as Hemsworth was unable to freeze their motor functions. He was then tackled by the Hosts, and that is the last we see of him.
But what happened?
Luke Hemsworth’s character, Stubbs, was out looking for Elsie after receiving a notification of her whereabouts, something she potentially managed to activate while being held captive. It would appear that Ford had left these Ghost Nation hosts behind to guard her, another indication she is most likely alive. But will Stubbs be left alive too?
Unlike Elsie, Stubbs is unlikely to prove of any value to the Westworld revolt. He isn’t a programmer, and he has always had a particular disdain and mistrust for hosts. Is there a reason to expect him back and alive in Westworld season 2?
Yes, we think so. For one, an off-screen death is a terrible cop-out, especially when you have so few human characters on the show. But, more importantly, Stubbs is head of security for a reason. While he might have been tackled, we didn’t see him completely subdued — there is potential for him to fight them off.
It is likely that the entrances to Westworld will be immediately shut off to ensure no hosts escape into other, human populated areas. We believe Stubbs will become a ‘behind enemy lines’ operative working inside Westworld after the carnage of season 1’s finale. With the park on lockdown, Stubbs could be our window into Westworld from Delos’ point of view.
What Did Ford Mean When He Said William Owned ‘Most” of Westworld?
Ford’s parting words to the Man in Black were simply ‘most of it’.
He quipped this tantalising little nugget of Westworld speculation gold after William spoke of how he owned Westworld.
So, what did he mean?
We think he could have been referring to either of two things: That he no longer owned all the hosts, because Dolores was free, or that there is more to Westworld than meets the eye.
Ford was a mysterious man, he also had complete control of narratives and tearing up Westworld as he saw fit. It would not surprise me to learn that he’d created a secret part of Westworld, a place where the hosts could stage their revolution.
He may well be hinting at something obvious, or it could be a lot more intriguing. We’ll find out in Westworld season 2; that’s for sure.
Why is the Westworld Maze Printed Inside the Host’s Scalps?
The Westworld Maze is everywhere. Drawn into tables, onto the floor, is nearly branded onto Teddy’s chest at one point and appears inside the scalp of Native American host, Kissy. But why Kissy?
The simple answer is to tease the audience, but we all know better than that.
The maze symbol appears all over the park and seems to be a very obvious design choice by Arnold. It tends to crop up on Dolores’ path, which would make sense, acting like breadcrumbs leading her to her primary goal. Naturally, then, Arnold must have put the maze inside Kissy’s scale, right?
We don’t think so. For two reasons.
The first reason is that Kissy and Dolores don’t have any interaction. Dolores doesn’t seem like she’s interested in any part of the lifestyle he belongs to. She also isn’t a violent host — for the most part — which means she is unlikely to ever scalp the poor guy. If he was part of the breadcrumb trail, surely their paths would have crossed?
The second reason for our little Westworld theory is that the Man in Black makes a bee-line for this Kissy. He knows what he’s after; he knows how to get it.
Our theory? We think he put it there. He was probably anxious about being unable to remember or find the maze again, so he created a permanent reminder inside the scalp of his favourite card dealer.
This is our way of explaining the way the plot has gone, but it probably wasn’t supposed to be this way. The actor who played Kissy, Eddie Rouse, sadly died soon after filming his early scenes. Director Jonathan Nolan stated that he had a major role planned for Kissy, but decided to take a different route and preserve Rouse’s last role. Dolores and Kissy may well have met further down the line, but unfortunately that will never be the case. So, instead, the writers had to find a different explanation, and we think it might be our one.
Why Did the Maze ‘Reveal’ Itself to the Man in Black?
The maze isn’t meant for you. We hear people tell the Man in Black this quite a lot. Yet, after he brutally slaughtered Maeve and her ‘daughter’, the maze revealed itself to him.
Of course, he might have simply witnessed this by proxy. A happy accident that led him down the path we see in Westworld season 1. After all, it appears with Maeve in the centre, perhaps calling her instead.
Either way… What the feck just happened?
Why Did the Maze Appear At All?
How did this massive maze diagram appear in the sand? The landscapes have been shown to be real and not digital.
We see Ford carving out the world with a massive industrial digger; people enter via trains or lifts. How did could this have happened? It seems unlikely that there would be some mechanical element in the ground to produce such a pattern.
This is one plot hole I cannot wrap my head around. It would imply that Westworld can change at will, which wouldn’t fit with what we’ve been told. It’s not like the Hunger Games arena, nor does it have a life of its own.
This little moment, this little throw-away scene has big implications for Westworld season 2 and those that follow. It means we’ve been told a lie.
Either Westworld isn’t what it seems, or the version of events we’ve been given are a lie.
A Wild Westworld Theory: Is the Man in Black a Host?
Despite being told it wasn’t for him, despite being a human, the Man in Black was able to follow the trail every step of the way, and find the centre of the Maze.
Could the Man in Black be host?
It’s tough to tell who is a host and who isn’t. The way they are built of synthetic tissue, the way they bleed, even the way they think is so human you can’t tell who is and who isn’t a host. Bernard is proof of that.
We have also yet to see Ed Harris anywhere other than inside Westworld.
Hosts have been shown to see things that aren’t there. Memories, visions, and such. If the Man in Black is a host, it would explain how he was able to see the maze. It would also explain how he was able to follow the trail. We aren’t suggesting young William is a host, only old William. Perhaps a dying wish, or demand, from an old man.
If he were a host, this would open up a plethora of more questions, such as why couldn’t he be hurt? This is simple enough for the creators to explain away, as we still don’t know exactly how the bullets in Westworld work. How does anyone survive a bullet that can tear through a host? Potentially smart bullets programmed to fall apart upon impact with certain people. If you can tell a bullet not to hurt a human, you could also tell it not to harm certain hosts. That’s our guess anyway.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ed Harris’s role turn out to be a be a host. It would be easy enough to explain away, given how little we know about how Westworld works, and would also fit well within Westworld season 1’s style: A total mindfuck!
Is Everyone a Host?
Westworld showed us that you should never assume that things are as they appear. Bernard wasn’t human. Ford was fighting for the Hosts. Young William was batshit crazy.
In season 1, Bernard remarks that the hosts of Westworld are always practising, always trying to learn how to be more human. What if the entirety of Westworld is simply ‘practice’. It could be a simulation, run by humanity, to discover what would happen if they did introduce sentient robots into normal society. Potentially, Westworld could be a test to find out if things really would have violent ends, or wether hosts could ever be integrated into normal society.
When is Westworld Set?
The year in which we find ourselves is a bit ambiguous, but we can make a bit of an educated guess. We just have to look at what we know.
Much of the series is set 30 years in the past: when William explores Westworld for the first time and just after Dolores has shot and killed Arnold. What we know about this time is that Arnold lost his son to illness. In the hospital, he was hooked up to machines that looked very much like current technology, old-fashioned respirators and the like. We also see that the robots of Westworld were a bit more ‘old-fashioned’ back then. When Logan slices open Dolores, she is revealed to be full of metal rods and wires, not quite to artificial muscle structure used in future casts.
Back in 2013, a humanoid robot was unveiled that — despite being a bit more clunky and having massive cameras for eyes… and no skin — looks similar to the interior workings of old school Dolores.
So, when is Westworld set?
We think Westworld of the past, the 30-year-old Westworld, is set in the very near future, within the next ten years. When tech is still similar to our own and hospitals aren’t super-advanced and futuristic. That would then put the current events of Westworld season 1 around 2056, or thereabouts.
James is THG’s technophobic TV nut, movie addict and theorist crackpot. He’ll be bringing you features, insights and incoherent ramblings on all your favourite and least favourite shows and movies.