Westworld is an intensely layered show, with enough twists and turns to confuse any casual viewer or in depth fan. It’s very much like LOST in its approach to narrative — the ABC show that ran for six seasons — with things taking place all over the timeline. When exactly does the show taking place? Who is a human and who is a host? Is any character really dead? Season 2 has begun to answer a lot of these questions, which we have updated below (spoiler alert!)
So, you have questions, we have theories. Grab your host milk, check your hands for twitches, and let’s dive into the most outlandish fan theories for Westworld Season 2. We’ll be updating this list all season long.
Dolores Was Modeled After Someone Important
Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) was the first host to understand what she is — but does she know who she is? From all of her flashback scenes with her creator, Arnold (Jeffrey Wright) appeared that they had an uncommon bond. The current fan theory is that Arnold based Dolores’ design on someone he knew — much like the way Ford (Anthony Hopkins) built Bernard to look like Arnold.
Redditor RexNite1 points out that when Dolores first asked Arnold if they were friends, he said, “I wouldn’t say friends, Dolores. I wouldn’t say that at all. Forgive me.” If they aren’t friends, perhaps she was modeled after a lover or even an enemy? RexNite1 suggests that Dolores could also be modeled after Ford’s wife.
It’s not likely that she was Arnold’s wife, because we’ve seen flashbacks of her — Lauren — as portrayed by actress Gina Torres. Perhaps Arnold and the real Dolores had an affair? Charlotte (Tessa Thompson) could easily be someone’s daughter, perhaps there could be a connection there, especially since Bernard and Charlotte shared so many scenes together in the Season 2 premiere.
Season 2 Update: As of the Season 2 finale, this theory is still unanswered.
William Takes Dolores Out of the Park
Based on the trailers for Westworld Season 2, it’s clear that Dolores travels outside the boundaries of Westworld. Redditor otto454z points out a few different instances of Dolores outside the park, including a shot of her sitting at a modern piano with William behind her.
Since the shot was of young William (Jimmi Simpson) and not the Man in Black (Ed Harris), it’s clear that Dolores left the park before the events of the Season 1 finale. Essentially, she experienced a lot of things before her second journey through the maze. Will she begin to remember these events, now that she has found her voice again?
Season 2 Update: This theory proved to be true. In Episode 2, “Reunion”, Arnold took Dolores and various other hosts out of the park as part of a demonstration to Delos.
Teddy Has Reached Consciousness
Teddy is currently Dolores’ right hand man. The pair of them have gone on a rampage, killing both hosts and humans alike. While Dolores is aware of herself and the reality of the park, Teddy is not, at least not to the fullest extent as Dolores seems to be.
Redditors Lord_surfusa and Ghettostyle both believe that Teddy is becoming more conscious as the show progresses. Ghettostyle specifically points out how consciousness is typically linked to the “reverie” memories, which Teddy experienced when Dolores was operating out of her Wyatt persona.
Teddy seems to be questioning Dolores’ motives a lot, which is not something a host would normally do. Is he growing a moral compass as well as deeper conscious awareness?
Season 2 Update: This is mostly true. Teddy has struggled all season long with his identity. As of Episode 5, “Akane No Mai,” Teddy has been reprogrammed by Dolores. As of Episode 9, “Vanishing Point”, Teddy is dead.
Delos Isn’t Inside the United States
The Westworld park is huge and it’s only one of six parks — so where is all of the land located? Redditor me_zus wonders if a corporation like Delos is allowed to own such a huge piece of land because something about the government has changed?
As we saw in the Season 2 premiere, the Delos parks actually exist on an island. Is this island off the coast of the United States? Does it exist in another country? Is it its own country? We have so many questions about the land each park occupies.
Considering the show’s Western setting, is it possible that the show takes place in a post-apocalyptic future where the Western United States have separated from the mainland? Or did the Delos designers model the park off of real world locations, just like early hosts were modeled after real-life people?
Season 2 Update: This is true! Props to everyone who theorized this. In Episode 1, “Journey Into Night,” Chinese military landed in Westworld and mention was made of an “island”. The current theory is that Delos owns an island in the South China Sea.
The Hosts Run On Milk & Alcohol
Despite learning how the hosts responded to commands and lived out programmed narratives in Season 1, we didn’t learn to much about how the hosts’ bodies actually worked. Redditor vynzilla asked recently how the hosts stay powered throughout the day — are they solar powered? Do they eat? Do they drink?
In that same thread, Redditor mobani suggests that they need blood to stay alive and we have often seen hosts lose blood on the show. Redditor vitzli-mmc suggest that the hosts run on alcohol-based fuel cells. This would make sense, especially in Westworld, because so many hosts are always drinking.
Redditor spennydc also has another theory: it’s the milk. We’ve seen hosts ingest milk, like in the pilot. We’ve also seen hosts come to life inside milk baths. Most recently, we saw Bernard drain milk out of another host and inject himself with it. The milk (or whatever it really is) helped Bernard’s body stop seizing and return to normal.
Season 2 Update: This is also true! In Episode 4, “Riddle of the Sphinx”, Elsie gave Bernard “milk”, which she called “cortical fluid”.
Ford Isn’t Really Dead
Lastly, we have the fate of Ford to discuss. Vulture theorizes that Ford isn’t really dead and that Dolores actually shot a copy of himself. The clues apparently lie in Ford’s hands:
Reportedly, when he’s shaking hands with Bernard before taking the stage, something about his digits just didn’t look right to some viewers. This is significant because hands were the major giveaway to who was a host and who was a guest in Michael Crichton’s original film. And remember all those times that Ford seemed to be hard at work on a secret project? What if the climax of his greatest narrative included a host version of himself?
In the original film, the only way to tell if someone was a host, at least in passing, was to look at his or her hands. Was this a final clue in Ford’s puzzle? Or was Ford always a host? It’s very likely that when Dolores went rogue 30 years ago that she actually killed everyone and not just Arnold.
Season 2 Update: BINGO! This is also true! At the very end of Episode 6, “Phase Space”, Bernard came face to face with his maker, Ford! They were both inside the Cradle at the time, so Ford is technically dead, but his consciousness lives on and is still in control of the park. As of the Season 2 finale, Ford has been deleted from all systems.
The Man in Black is a Host
Throughout Season 2, the Man in Black has taken multiple bullet wounds to his body, yet he hasn’t died. Since he hasn’t received any dramatic medical attention (minus some field bandages) could this be a clue that he’s really a host? After tragically killing three rescue men and his own daughter, William began to spiral out of control. He even contemplated taking his own life.
Since this season has been about Delos’ secret immortality project, could William be the first successful test subject?
Season 2 Update: HE’S A HOST!!!!!
That’s is for Season 2. We’ll be back for Season 3!
Westworld Season 2 is currently airing on HBO Sundays at 9PM and on Sky Atlantic Mondays at 9PM in the UK, and on Foxtel Mondays at 8:30PM in Australia.