Westworld: Some Of The Best (And Strangest) Fan Theories

Post by:
03 Nov 16

HBO’s epic drama Westworld has reached the midway point of it’s run on Sky Atlantic, so I thought it was about time we delved a bit deeper into some of the fan theories that are out there, swirling around in the internet. Two key questions seem to be the main focus of fan’s ideas – Who is Arnold, and who is the Man In Black? Obviously ***SPOILERS*** for episodes 1 to 5 of the show…

According to the show’s history, we know Arnold was Ford’s business partner who apparently died in the park, and was trying to make the hosts ‘conscious’. However it was revealed in the latest episode that no one (other than Ford) seems to know what Arnold looked like, and references to him have been expunged from history. It also appears that some remnant of Arnold is still lingering in the park, as Dolores appears to be in communication with him. So is he still alive? Or is his consciousness still the ‘ghost in the machine’ somehow?

That second possibility might lead to the purpose of The Man In Black. What if Arnold did manage to ‘upload’ his consciousness into Westworld. Could that be what’s at the centre of the game? What if MiB is dying and is looking for a way to extend his life by following in Arnold’s footsteps?

Dolores

Dolores

Another possibility could be that Arnold is alive in Dolores. She is the oldest host in the park, and seemingly the only one hearing Arnold’s instructions. Could he have buried his consciousness within Dolores as a way of keeping himself alive? Personally I find this one less likely, mainly due to the fact they made a point of noting that no one knows what Arnold looks like. That leads me to think his is someone in the park, or running the park…

Which leads to another fan theory… Ford is actually Arnold. We saw Ford question Dolores about whether she hears Arnold’s voice. This could be Ford checking if she has begun to break her loop, and become sentient. But i’m not buying this, as she lies to him, and clearly is hearing Arnold’s voice in her head. It just doesn’t seem to sit correctly with me.

Another suggestion is Bernard is an android version of Arnold. Ford, after losing his friend, creates as host version of Arnold who’s loyal, and compliant to Ford’s wishes (or so he thinks). It’s an interesting idea. We have seen Bernard chat with his wife via video link, but that could easily have been faked, and she could also be a host. This does bring up another theory, which whilst it doesn’t impact directly on the story, could be a nice twist…

Westworld is on Mars. If you think about it, that’s not such a crazy idea. We know it’s expensive. We know it’s set in the future. The park is a huge open space, and it does beg the question, where on Earth could that be? Did the company buy up a huge piece of desert? If that was the case, it would be a huge endeavour to stop people just gatecrashing the area. Could this possibly be taking place on a terraformed Mars, where they could have as much space as they like? It would explain why we the staff at Westworld talk about being stuck there, away from their families. Also why Bernard could only talk to his wife via video link.

Logan & William

Logan & William

One of my favourite head-spinning theories though, is the idea we are actually watching two separate timelines play out on the show. At the centre of this theory is Jimmi Simpson’s character, William. If this is true, there are a couple of popular ideas as to who William might be. The first is that William is actually a young Arnold, although events in the latest episode seem to suggest that isn’t the case.

In episode 5, Logan has a conversation with William about the park “hemorrhaging cash” and that his company is considering a hostile takeover. However, he then goes on to talk about how one of the partners killed himself, but it was covered up. If William was Arnold, that makes no sense. What is interesting here though, is the way Logan talks about the park. He talks about the death sending the “park into a free fall”, hence the money problems. That would suggest it’s a recent event, not a historic one. That would mean this the William/Logan storyline is happening much earlier than the stuff we’re seeing with Ford behind the scenes. This leads to the second possibility…

Lawrence/El Lazo

Lawrence/El Lazo

William is The Man In Black. What we’re seeing is the start and end of his journey through the park. This actually seems quite likely, and would explain a number of things that didn’t sit quite right with me. Lawrence, the criminal MiB rescues from the noose (only to slit his throat later) is revealed to be El Lazo, who William meets in the next scene. Now it’s possible that the Lawrence/El Lazo host was just picked up by the staff and reset, but there have been a number of these points in the show, where hosts seem to move around and be in two places at once. Dolores for instance is seen with Lawrence, but also in the maintenance area of Westworld. It’s possible she was taken away in the middle of the night for her chats with Bernard and Ford, but don’t you think William might have noticed her missing? There could of course be two versions of Dolores in the park, but that seems less likely, as they made a point of the fact she is the oldest host in the park, so would suggest there is only one of her.

Westworld is proving to be as mind-bendingly brilliant as it looked when we first saw the trailers. If you haven’t caught it yet (although I don’t know why you’d be reading this if that was the case!), you can find it on Now TV and Sky Atlantic, with new episodes arriving every Tuesday night at 9pm.