Be aware there are spoilers for Westworld Season 1 below.
Westworld‘s first season played out like a well-constructed puzzle; one that left plenty of mysteries for the hyper-attentive audience to ponder over the long wait for Season 2. Now, the wait is almost over, and while the HBO hit’s sophomore season has been shrouded in secrecy, new details have finally come to light thanks to series creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy.
The creative duo spoke with the folks over at EW and revealed the return of a few key characters — but first, the character you shouldn’t expect to see again: Robert Ford. The report confirms that the character originated by Anthony Hopkins “was really and truly killed by Dolores” in the season one finale, and Hopkins isn’t expected to return in the role. However, with a plot that loops backward in time, we can expect to see young Ford make an appearance played by another actor (adios, digital Hopkins).
Of course, the park’s VIP player and Delos heavy hitter William, aka The Man in Black, will be back for season 2 and he’s got “a new mission” now that the host uprising has begun. No details on what that mission might be, but we can expect to see Jimmi Simpson return as the younger version of the character, as the series explores how the white hat gone bad gains his influence at Delos Incorporated during the early days of the park.
The report also confirms that another pair of mystery players are set to return – Shannon Woodward‘s clever programmer Elsie Hughes and Luke Hemsworth‘s security chief Ashley Stubbs. Elsie went missing in season 1 after she started digging too deep into Westworld’s mysteries, and Stubbs was captured by a tribe of Native American hosts after he tried to track her down. Turns out they’re both still alive, but in a bit of trouble. “They’re finally getting to experience Westworld as guests and not in the managerial halls,” Joy said, “but I’m not sure they’re enjoying their experience.”
Tessa Thompson‘s Delos boss Charlotte Hale also finds herself in a dangerous new predicament at the start of Season 2, and she’s not too happy about it. “She is back and causes trouble,” Joy said. “She went from this controlled person playing this chess game with Ford. He takes out her king and queen in one fell swoop. Now she’s left at the mercy of the hosts like everyone else.”