Do you have a set of Westworld theories? I bet you do. Since the series debuted, audiences have set out dissecting every line of dialogue and stayed eagle-eyed for every in-camera clue. It’s a rare feat when a television series can capture its audience’s imagination so consummately (and for some of us, compulsively) as Westworld has. We’re rapt in the story that’s unfolding and the history that precedes it, and the lines between the two have never been exactly clear in the hit show.
Westworld has built a world in which the past and the present overlap and intermingle, each playing an active part in comprehending the other’s narrative. By asking us to identify with the robotic hosts, Westworld has largely told its story through a series of unreliable narrators, carefully crafted personalities who are just becoming aware of their own reality. We never know if what we’re seeing is real, if it is happening now or a “reverie” of the past and who view time and memory on a completely different spectrum than humans. We never know if what they’re saying is true or a line of dialogue that was written for them and we never know if what they’re seeing is now or a perfect memory of the past. At the same time, the human characters are surrounded by such secrecy and warring interests, their motivations become even more mysterious. In short, creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy have done an exceptional job of making sure every answer opens up new questions.
We got a lot of answers in Season 1 and a lot of fan-favorite theories proved true. Yes, William was the Man in Black, which meant, yes, the two-timeframe theory was true! Yes, Arnold was a host made in Arnold’s image! Yes, Dolores is Wyatt (kinda). Heck, Reddit even predicted the Season 2 trailer song. Of course, there were plenty of guesses that were off the mark, too. Many of us never quite caught wise to Ford’s true intentions until they were revealed, and there were more than a few crackpot theories that never paid off (or at least, they haven’t yet!)
So, with the mysteries of Season 2 ahead of us, let’s indulge in some rampant theorizing as we look back at the evidence Westworld has presented us so far. Here’s your official warning – this article is packed with spoilers for every episode through Season 2 Episode 4, ‘The Riddle of the Sphinx’ and will be updated regularly throughout the season as new clues are revealed. So if you want to keep your life theory free….well, you obviously clicked on the wrong article. To be clear, these are theories not spoilers. I haven’t seen any episodes in advance, I haven’t even read the reviews, I’m just a nerd who spends too much time on Reddit and likes to obsess over puzzles. So now that you’ve been warned, break out the tin foil hat for a deep dive into some of the series’ most intriguing mysteries.
Note: I’ll be updating this weekly with the show’s biggest hints, tidbits and reveals, so keep an eye out for what we learn in the remaining episodes!