The most mindblowing ‘Westworld’ season 3 fan theories
It seems like only yesterday we were screwing over the season finale of Westworld S1, fully aware we were in for a long wait before finding out what’s in store for Delos Incorporated and the robotic residents of the Westworld theme park.
When it aired back in 2016, the sci-fi western hybrid demanded both close attention and thoughtful analysis through its transmission of major revelations, which is perhaps why HBO gave us so long to digest the many twists and turns of the debut season.
The long wait ended and Westworld S2 hit our screens on April 22, 2018. In the build up to its release, HBO pulled it out of the bag with regards to its viral marketing campaign, throwing out enough Westworld Easter eggs to keep us hunting for months. There were immersive Sweetwater experiences, a well-crafted and clue-ridden Delos website, and some trailer-hidden binary code even more cryptic than the actual show.
The hunt gave birth to a plethora of theories, to the point where creators & showrunners Jonathan Nolan (Interstellar) & Lisa Joy (Pushing Daisies) allegedly laid out their bold plan to give away all the big spoilers before the second season even started (although this turned out to be a prank).
Prank or no, Westworld was a big talking point in the runup to S2. While season three draws out interminably, we look at the most mindblowing theories from before it dropped. Don’t forget, we’re about to delve into some serious spoilers for season one, so be warned if you haven’t watched it yet (chop, chop – you’ve got twelve days to catch up).
Westworld at war
Combining what we know from S1’s finale and S2’s trailers, it’s obvious the lines between Westworld and the real world will continue to blur in the second instalment. With Dr. Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins) having sacrificed himself to facilitate the uprising and Maeve’s intended programming for “Mainland Infiltration”, it’s likely the idea of a holiday theme park will perish and Westworld will become home to a civil war between humans and hosts.
There are serious hints for this in the S2 trailers, including a human invasion of the park, Westworld’s bulls running riot in the Delos headquarters, and Delores popping up in the modern world. As Gamesrader put it, “escalated interaction between the park and the ‘real world’ is clearly the next step, and the boundaries and distinctions between the two will start to melt down.”
Shogun World and other parks
As you’ll remember, in the finale of season one we saw a bunch of Samurai-themed hosts in a separate area, together with the logo “SW”. If you’ve seen the 1973 movie of the same name that inspired the series, you’ll remember it also featured numerous parks. During the trickling of details on the newest season, it’s been confirmed there will be a Samurai park called “Shogun World”.
It looks like Delos had numerous regions for its clients to explore when they got bored of Mariposa Saloon. However, some argue we’ll get to see even more parks in S2, a theory that’s supported by Nolan & Joy’s response to fans’ request for a Roman World & Medieval World (both of which featured in the movie). “We had to save something for season 2.” Hint, hint? Fingers crossed!
Immortality: The purpose of Delos?
This was a theory speculated from the start and was even hinted at decades before the show hit our screens. At the end of the 1976 Westworld sequel Futureworld, the lead characters discover that Delos is attempting to create replicas of real people.
Fast forward to 2016 and in season one’s premiere, Theresa Cullen (Sidse Babett Knudsen) declared, “This place is one thing to the guest, another thing to the shareholders, and something completely different to management.” Such a statement immediately raised questions as to whether the AI technology was created for a different purpose (other than to be fucked or murdered by wealthy Westworld tourists.)
It wouldn’t be completely out of the question to suggest Delos is an experiment to develop and sell immortality to rich patrons, particularly since we know simulations of human personalities can be uploaded to hosts (a la Bernard Lowe). This theory was further explored via the death of Ford, with some claiming he was a host all along and had figured out a way to upload his consciousness into the AI technology.
Maeve and Dolores swap places
Maeve and Dolores chased parallel paths throughout the first season of Westworld, which looks set to continue in S2. Gamesradar outlined a key clue can be found in the names of the two characters:
‘Dolores’ comes from a Spanish name meaning ‘Virgin Mary of the Sorrows’.” Meanwhile, Maeve is a Gaelic name meaning “she who intoxicates”. “So it’s the Virgin Mary vs. she who intoxicates. The Madonna and the Whore. Think about their season one colour-coding too, with Dolores usually in blue and white, and Maeve in black and red / pink lace . . . That parallel will underpin their paths as they evolve in season two.
In S2 Maeve will shift into a maternal role in the quest for her daughter. Or in other words, “the whore is attempting to become the Madonna.” As the trailers show, Dolores moves in the opposite direction, waging war over anger at her past treatment (not to mention her quest to make sense of Wyatt, who was merged with Dolores’s programming in order to ignite the destruction of Westworld’s beta version.)
The Man in Black becomes an ally
The Man in Black (Ed Harris) has done some terrible, terrible things – we know this much is true. We also now know from the season finale that he is in fact William, as the character played by Jimmi Simpson was revealed to be a young Man in Black.
Throughout the entire first season, the character stuck around the park trying to figure out Arnold Weber’s (Jeffrey Wright) hidden mystery. One theory for season two suggests the Man in Black will turn into an ally of the hosts and join the revolt. In the official trailer, he states, “I’m gonna burn this whole thing to the ground,” adding that the robot hosts are now “free”.
The theory goes that while he became embittered and subsequently committed some awful crimes, the Man in Black is Westworld’s embodiment of hope and persistence, which is why he kept visiting and tried to keep everything afloat.
Why else did he put so much effort into figuring out the maze, if not in the belief the hosts could do better for themselves? With this and the clues from the trailer in mind, it wouldn’t be outrageous to suggest his allegiance with the hosts and their battle.