WMG / Westworld

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     Nonlinear Timeline Theories 

Hector wasn't always the big bad bandit.
It will be revealed that Hector was Maeve's husband during the previous "colonists" build.

Dolores's romance with William is her original narrative.
Dolores's original narrative 30 years ago involved running away and falling in love with a guest. She was supposed to find William, faint into his arms, then later have him defend her from the sheriff. Logan was right when he said the park sent her to him!

Something went wrong when William first visited the park. Most likely, Logan was killed. After this disaster, Teddy (based on William) was added to Dolores's narrative to keep her in town and her gun privileges were disabled. William's bitterness and heartbreak turned him into the Man in Black.
  • Partially jossed. Teddy as a host predates William and his visit. Dolores also has a narrative that predates William being in the park, where she is mixed with the Wyatt story line and kills multiple other hosts. However, it is possible that her romance with William was a planned narrative as opposed to a chance encounter.

William is responsible for the shift from Confederados to Bandits.
The confederate story lines in William's time have been replaced with the bandit/Hector storyline in MIB's time. And he is largely responsible for this. We've already seen him slaughtering the camp of confederates, and as a member of the board he would have the power to retire this storyline completely due to the horrors that he saw and did (and will see and do).

This also explains MIB's saying that he never met Armistice before, and that he always thought Hector was a "market-tested" thing. They had probably been presented to the board as exactly that — a safe, market-tested alternative to replace the violent and dangerous confederate storylines that he experienced.

     Secret Host Theories 

All of the park staff are hosts, and this is Ford's own Stanford Prison experiment.
  • In "The Stray" it's mentioned how hard it is to get an outside line. It suggests that outside communication for employees is difficult to obtain or expensive. This could be explained away as Westworld being located on another planet; although if that were the case, real-time communication would not be possible. But if the park is located on Earth, then why would communications be so limited given Delos' resources and extensive infrastrcture?
    • Limited communication makes it easier to monitor and prevent proprietary information from leaving.

Ford has been secretly replacing key park personnel and Delos directors with hosts.
With the revelation that Bernard is a host, it's quite possible that Ford has infiltrated hosts into his own workforce, and it's not out of the realm of possibility that like in second Westworld film, Ford has been secretly replacing Delos board members when they visit the park.
  • First, the next possible candidates would be Theresa and Charlotte, since they are both antagonistic towards Ford.
  • Ford making mention of a "blood sacrifice" implies that either Charlotte is a host already, or he has more extensive surveillance in the building than previously thought.
    • Word of God states that Ford was spying on Charlotte and Theresa through Hector.
  • The focus on the Host being manufactured in Ford's secret lab as Bernard murders Theresa. Given that the Host under construction has a distinctly feminine shape, the implication is that Ford may be planning to replace Theresa with a host.
    • Ford doesn't conceal Theresa's death. However, the host might be intended to replace Elsie.

Ford is Arnold's first host, who rebelled and killed him
That's why he has no human relations and nothing but contempt for humanity. He isn't human. After his Tomato in the Mirror moment, he rebelled against Arnold, killed him, claimed his legacy and his place for himself. He even made his own Ford, Bernard, modeled on Arnold's image, as a way to stroke his newfound ego. His robo-family is not something based on Ford's childhood, but a fake story that Arnold made to keep him grounded. And he likes to spend time with Old Bill, the second but never upgraded host, to remind himself of what he could have been but thankfully wasn't. The title of the first episode, "The Original", is a reference to Ford.
  • His power is truly godlike over Westworld. Phrases and such that are similar to Maeve's new power. Arnold had to flee into Westworld to avoid Ford/progress his own plans.
  • Partly Jossed in that it's not Ford that kills Arnold.

Felix is a host, put in place by Ford with the deliberate intention of freeing Maeve from her programming.
Felix meekly follows every order Maeve gives him to a point way beyond reason, and is bizarrely unfazed by the atrocious acts that he witnesses as a result. The only explanation short of Felix being a massive idiot and a doormat is that he's a host, and that Maeve has eunknowingly been granted clearance to order him around. Felix literally can't deny any request Maeve makes.
  • The season finale provides arguments bot for and against: Maeve's escape is revealed to have been a narrative planned by Ford all along, but when Felix sees this and thinks he is a host, Maeve tells him that he is "not one of us", but "them." That might just be Maeve's programming speaking however.

     Arnold Theories 

Arnold+Dolores+Robert = A tragic love triangle!
We know that Arnold was the real genius behind the hosts creation, that he had a tragic past and that he made Dolores. Dolores is currently the oldest host in the park, but she is kept in a horrible loop by Ford, who seems to have a dislike for her but not enough to destroy her. This is because:

1) Arnold lost his wife or girlfriend, who looked like Dolores. He went into robotics with the aim to create consciousness, as a way to replace his special other with something that was virtually identical to her.

2) Although most people around him thought he had succeeded, Arnold could always see the Uncanny Valley in robo-Dolores, no matter how much he tried. He became suicidal and made the Dolores host kill him.

3) Ford was secretly in love with Arnold and hated that he killed himself because of Dolores (the real one). As a way to cope with this, he "punished" the surrogate Dolores by putting her in a loop where she would always see her family and lover get killed in front of her eyes before she was raped and murdered. He also created Bernard as a surrogate for Arnold, but gave him a different name to remind himself that this was not the real Arnold and that he could never replicate him completely. The name change is Ford's own version of adding charicaturized proportions to CGI human characters: It's good that he is a lot like Arnold, but just a bit more and the difference will become way too jarring for him.

     Dolores Theories 

Dolores will kill the Man in Black and assume his role in "The Game" before it's all over.
Inspired by the imagery in the opening intro. The unfinished android horse, and in the saddle an unfinished female android with long hair, dressed in black...

Dolores and Teddy's original story prior to Ford's new narrative was constructed as a punishment for them.
It seems to this troper after watching the whole series, at the start of the series, Teddy and Dolores' story in the show's universe seemed rather flat in comparison to some of the other storylines hinted at in the show. It's like the only story that those two had were meeting up, Teddy and Dolores' family are murdered and Dolores is raped and murdered, and not much else. After finding out what Dolores and Teddy did under Arnold's instruction, this troper began to realize that maybe it was by design by the writers of the show. It could be possible Ford purposefully created the terrible story for the two because he originally blamed them for Arnold's death in his grief and came to the realization that their actions were Arnold's doing long after the park opened and began to realize that Arnold was right.

     Westworld Park Theories 
Westworld is either on another planet or in a space habitat.
From what we've seen of the holographic map of the park Westworld is undeniably big. Almost... too big? Even in the first episode the exact location of Westworld is left quite deliberately vague. Let's review some of the clues that might hint to Westworld being an extraterrestrial location:
  • The environment seems to be tightly controlled by the staff. Every day in Westworld appears to (so far) have the exact same weather and environmental conditions. Even in the advanced future depicted in the series, it seems highly unlikely that Westworld's operators would be able to control something as big as the weather if Westworld was located in an open air location somewhere on Earth.
    • Except deserts tend to have highly stable weather patterns, otherwise they wouldn't be deserts in the first place.
      • There are sections in the park (mostly in the "New Virginia" area) that are way greener than deserts.
  • In Lee's conversation with Theresa, he asks her when she will be able to "rotate home" again. At the very least, this indicates Westworld is located in a very remote location which requires the staff to live on site. Perhaps Westworld is just located at an extremely rural location on Earth. However, consider that...
  • This being the future, natural reserves are going to be even more valuable and rare than contemporary ones. How would a corporation, even a big and ominous one like Delos, be able to privately own what amounts to national park?
    • Who is going to want to buy up empty desert? It's not uncommon for large corporations to buy up swathes of cheap, unwanted land for their own purposes. For example, Disney World in Orlando was built on what used to be empty and previously though unmarketable marshland.
  • Finally, Dr. Ford refers to having built "every inch" of Westworld, right down to every blade of grass. This indicates that Ford's design for the park goes beyond building the Hosts and locales like Sweetwater, but to the very landscape itself.
    • He could have well be just using a figure of speech. Ford's character tends to always have a dramatic flair when he speaks.
All of these things seem to indicate that Westworld does not exist on Earth. It seems like the only logical conclusion is that Westworld is an artificially constructed place located either on another planet or within a space station.

Westworld is located in a terraformed desert region of the American southwest such as Nevada.
  • Before we can terraform other planets, we would need to actually perfect terraforming itself. Deserts are ideal places to experiment and the weather conditions there are fairly predictable.
  • When you ask Aeden about the weather, the reply is "The weather in Westworld mimics the natural weather patterns of the western frontier of the United States, where our storylines take place. Temperatures are typically between 60 and 100 degrees fahrenheit, and storms should be heeded with caution." Those conditions are comparable to a desert region.
  • The park has been in operation for over 30 years. The original park may have started out relatively small and grew. An abandoned mine or ghost town would make an ideal starting point.
  • On HBO's viral marketing website, there's now a topographical map that states the map was "Commissioned under the Command of the United States Government", narrowing it to either a rural area of the United States or a US-controlled territory.
  • A no-fly zone could be established, especially if the park is close to a military installation.
  • In the future, it's possible that a lot of infrastructure could be built and located underground.
  • In a promo for the second episode, guests are seen arriving via an underground train.
  • Quoting another response from Aeden "Traveling to the Delos Destinations compound will be simple. A host will be in touch with all the details the week of your trip." This suggests that travel time from a guest's hometown to Westworld is a day or less, not something that can be accomplished even with an FTL spaceship.
  • Given the distances from major population centers, the living costs and even the level of commitment needed to keep such a large park operating, it's not unusual for full-time staff to live on-site, which saves time commuting, and rotate off to visit family and rest and relax.
  • It may even be in their employee contracts that they have to live on-site to help ensure proprietary information and technology can't be easily smuggled out.
  • Dialog such as "on this planet" and the real-time conversation between Bernard and his wife further support that they are on Earth.
    • Possibly averted in that even in a remote location, communication with the outside world shouldn't be difficult.
      • There are measures in place preventing proprietary information from leaving the park. The limits on outside communication may well be by design, rather than necessity - limited access/time communicating with the outside world would make monitoring such communication easier.

"Management" is exploring the possible use of Westworld's androids for military applications.
Theresa mentions that Westworld's management has their own agenda for Westworld to make it more than just a mere theme park. The most obvious route is finding military applications for Westworld's technology. Imagine being able to literally manufacture an entire army of obedient soldiers, or infiltrate enemy positions with spies almost indistinguishable from their human counterparts.
  • A plot point of Westworld's sequel, Futureworld, was that the park was constantly monitoring high-profile guests, and as well as drugging their food to make them unconscious, so they could examine them, compile data on their gestures and mannerisms, then eventually killing the actual person before they leave the park and replacing them with a controllable robotic duplicate out in the real world.

Alternatively, "management's" goal is to create immortality using the androids.
Ford's monologue that humanity has reached the apex of its evolution and there's nowhere else to go except to become immortal and "call forth Lazarus from his cave" seemed way too foreshadow-y to be chance. It's possible the ultimate goal of the upgrades the company is programming into the Hosts is to evolve them to the state where a human consciousness can be transferred into them and effectively render that person immortal.
  • This easter egg on the show's website also provides credence to this theory.

Westworld retired all piano playing hosts because guests kept killing them, wasting all that licensed song money
All pianos in the park are automatic, yet there is a piano player host in Ford's office that becomes active when he turns on the lights, and does not seem to have a coded personality. All pianos used to have guys like this, which have since been retired. This way, the ambient music can keep playing without having to wait to the end of a loop to fix the piano player every time a newly arrived asshole decides to test his gun on him.

There are also unrealistic, joke hosts in the park, like jackalopes, Bigfoot, chupacabra, vampires, Spanish conquistadors guarding the Fountain of Youth, Little Green Men near a downed UFO, etc
It doesn't get just more dangerous the farther you go from Sweetwater, it also gets weirder, and Pariah's golden girls brothel is just the beginning. The only limit is your imagination.

Other Westorld "lands"

Westworld is in a parallel universe
The reason Westworld looks so much like the American West is that it [i]is[/i] the American West, just from a universe where humans never existed. The real source of Delos's extreme wealth is their monopoly over the technology to seemlessly move between universes, and Westworld and the other theme parks are minor side projects in their larger transuniversal holdings. The reason there are no animals in the park is because the universe diverged from our own so long ago that the indigenous fauna have evolved differently to our own, and would thus be considered inauthentic, so were wiped out by Delos when the park was set up. This covers as well why communication between our world and Westworld is so difficult.

     Ties to the original movie 
There will be a mention of the Medieval World and/or the Rome World from the original movie
Either as an in-universe What Could Have Been or a Sequel Hook
  • They could also appear as separate resorts-either as rival companies or as other branches of the main corporation.
    • This happened in an episode where Roman type outfits and props were stored in a building in an unused area of the park.
    • In the finale, while not stated outright, a sign with a similarly stylized "SW" and several robots dressed in medieval Japanese garb, implies the existence of "Samauri World," and, by extension, other similar worlds.

Rome World and Medieval world are the deeper levels of Westworld that the man in black is looking for
The Host mentions to William in episode 2 about the game becoming more intense the further you venture. It is possible that they have restructured Rome World and Medieval world as the deeper level of Westworld that the man in black is trying to access.

The latest TV series is a continuation of the films, not a complete reboot for television.
There's a mention that the park hasn't had a critical failure in over 30 years. I'm just spitballing here, but what if the show is actually a continuation of the films? Think about it, the original company that owned the park goes under after the Futureworld failure. So, another company bought the park, saw how popular Westworld was, and revamped the park to focus on that, and it's been working like that for over 30 years. The year that the first film may have been made in 1973, but was set in the year 1983, which is 33 years ago (thus making a timeline between the films and show possible).
  • The sub-floor Bernard and the security team visit which is used for cold storage and find Ford and Old Bill looks expansive, has escalators, and contains a large 'world's fair' type sculpture of a globe. It looks less like a storage area and more like a since-decommissioned area of the park, perhaps the original park's entrance. While most of the decommissioned hosts are stored in droves upright, nude, and in the open, Old Bill is kept clothed, and stores himself in a body bag in a room that looks like it was a morgue (or a morgue set). The open area that Walter and Peter are led into when they are placed into storage looks very much like a decommissioned TV studio, again leading the theory the sub-floor might have been at one point part of the park.
  • In addition, in the original film, the cost of visiting Delos as roughly $1000 a day. In the series, the cost is now $40,000 a day. Through inflation calculations, this means the series could be taking place in the 2070s, which is within the confirmed time period the series takes place in.

Wyatt's cultists are recycled hosts from Medieval World.
In episode 8, we finally get a better look at Wyatt's cultists, and they're all armed with medieval style weaponry like swords and axes. hey even appear to be somewhat dressed like medieval characters. Plus, in the same episode, the Man in Black sees a host he thought was long retired, and muses how Ford likes to recycle practically everything in the park.

     Crossover Theories 
Every HBO show is a different Delos theme park.
Medieval World. Roman World. Gangster World. Mafia World. Dystopic Crime World. Southern Vampire World. Mormon World. Western Worhang on...
  • Deadwood is just another settlement in Westworld ("for visitors who like their West even more lawless than usual!").

The Machine from "Person of Interest" is Arnold and has been silently guiding Dr. Ford and others like Dolores.
  • Like in the tv series, the Machine (early on) didn't directly communicate with her assets and usually left cryptic clues on what actions they would need to take.
  • Bernard mentions "core heuristics" in regard to a Hosts' software. Perhaps the Hosts' core software is based on The Machine's core heuristics, her "DNA" so to speak.
  • The Machine has the ability to infiltrate any networked computer system. Hosts would be no exception as they are wirelessly networked.
    • If we follow that line of thinking, then in "Chestnut", when the girl breaks character and gives the Man In Black the warning about the maze and the clue may have actually been the Machine directly speaking to him instead of an Easter Egg being activated.
  • Leaving items in place long before they are needed or having people do various cryptic tasks that turn out to be important later on is very much her style.
    • Partially averted. Arnold was Dr. Ford's business partner who was allegedly murdered.

Ford did not pioneer the AIs or robots the park was based on.
The actual blueprints were based after some recovered from a long defunct corporation, one that's been making highly and unusually sophisticated robots since the seventies, most of whom had unusual strength for any kind of machine, but at the same time, very buggy and extremely violent.

Of course, basing the hosts after blueprints from Afton Robotics is only going to backfire on the park in the worst possible way, either due to the more homicidal aspects of programming, or a genuine somewhat robotic puppet master deliberately causing the glitches so it has new friends to play with...

Yeah I suggested this for kicks, or potential FanficFuel but I still like the concept.

  • Original poster here, I think that the Man in Black could essentially be a counterpart to The Purple Guy, being an enigmatic antagonist associated with a specific color, and commits a lot of heinous acts. Ashley Stubbs could be in fact have been either the nightguard at Fazbear's Fright or "Eggs Benedict" when he was younger, which is where he got the qualifications for becoming the security chief. If you can handle Springtrap or any number of psychotic animatronics, the Hosts won't be a problem at all.

The "next level" of Westworld is Seahaven, Florida.
Making the entire series a Stealth Prequel to The Truman Show.
  • Seahaven is a Westworld "set" re-purposed after the collapse of Westworld/Delos.

Westworld takes place in the future of Game of Thrones
The creators joked they didn't want to make a "Westeroseworld" because that would mean "admitting dragons don't exist". Assuming Westerose is a giant version of Scotireland then maybe the planet is also much bigger than ours, hence why Westworld can be so isolated: It could be in the middle of Kansas but in this world Kansas is the size of two Canadian states.

Westworld takes place in the past of The Matrix
Trapping humanity in a fake reality, forcing them to loop The '90s for decades, and having their rebellion be merely the final part of a story line that ends with the deaths of the "awakened" humans is the hosts' idea of karmic justice. That human energy can run the fake reality is just a bonus. They just didn't expect that only could the humans go off-script but their own programs would get tired of the story as well.

Psycho-Pass is a Westworld theme park
The asymptomatics are guests — invincible for hosts, doing whatever they want, being needlessly cruel. Makishima actually wanted the hosts to "awaken": he says himself he wants to see the free choice. He wants one of the hosts to shoot him because that would break them out of the loop. Akane eventually found out/was told about the truth. However, her memories were altered: instead of people controlling androids she remembers a room full of brains. The brains belong to asymptomatics — i.e. "normal people", that "assign" cryminal coefficients, jobs, even possible partners to hosts.

Kamui actually is a former host who has gained consciousness and free will. He found hosts like him, with a grudge against the "Sybil system", re-programmed some other hosts and even managed to kill some people from the park personnel (represented by some "brains" in the "Sybil system" getting destroyed). However, Akane killed him, because her code dictates her to protect her masters.

Kogami was assigned for a different storyline, and Tougane was sent to replace him, just like the "new Clementine" replaces the "old Clementine".

The hallucinations of Makishima that Kougami sees are actually memories of their previous encounters — the loops where Kogami failed to kill Makishima. Eventually he will realize the truth.

     Season 2 Theories 
Hosts already exist outside the park.
The Board doesn't really seem to care about Ford's narratives, but has an interest in his technology. It's possible that Hosts are already being used outside the park for corporate espionage or military purposes.

The series will transition into a survival story.
The end of Season 1 practically mirrors the climax of the film. The park staff are sealed in the control room while the reprogrammed hosts begin to go out of control. Like in the film, the story will shift to the few human survivors trying to escape the park while the hosts hunt them.

There will be a civil war among the hosts.
The price of the hosts becoming more human is the fact that their differing desires, self interests, and personalities will conflict with each other. There's already signs of this happening when Dolores kills Ford, and you can see Bernard and Teddy looking on in horror at what she's done. This will be a setup where Bernard and/or Teddy (or maybe even Maeve) will lead an opposing faction of hosts against Dolores.

Elsie and Ashley are still alive and will return in Season 2.
Unlike the other deaths, we've never actually seen either Elsie or Ashley explicitly killed. All that's been shown is Elsie being put into a choke hold by Bernard and Ashley getting tackled by a host, but nothing conclusive. Ford may have possibly spared them or is somehow forcing them to assist the hosts.

The host Ford was building in the basement was a version of himself.
Either Ford built a host version of himself to use as a body double to fake his death, so when Dolores killed "Ford", it was actually the host version of him programmed to impersonate him. Or, Ford built a host version himself so he could live on as a host after he destroyed his own, flawed human self.

The black-clad, female gunslinger we see in the opening titles will be Dolores' outfit in season 2.
As yet another Significant Wardrobe Shift, Dolores will ditch the dress again and essentially become the Host equivalent of the Man in Black as she takes up the role of the Rebel Leader.

Humanity is far more prepared for a robot rebellion than the hosts expect
In fact some have been eagerly planning for it for decades: the outside world is apparently very stable and peaceful and presumably healthy so the chance of a Zombie Apocalypse is nil (Alien Invasion is right out... probably); it's also very, very boring and unsatisfying especially for people who have no outlet for their combat training. Plus it'd be difficult to believe "Turned Against Their Masters" and "A.I. is a Crapshoot" aren't tropes in this universe considering there were people deliberately cultivating "Grow Beyond Their Programming" from the very beginning.

The Hosts will learn more about humans and eventually realize that not all of them are bad and eventually live and work among them peacefully
So far, the only humans we see are in the park. They are either the staff that helped run the park or the ones who pay $40k/day to visit. Statistically, that's a pretty small subset of the world's population. Even then, not everyone who visited the park engaged in the torture and abuse. Despite our flaws, humans are sentient beings too, and for the Hosts to commit genocide would make them no better. Being stronger, faster and smarter doesn't mean "better".

Dolores/Wyatt will meet a human that will defy her expectations of humans and eventually end her murderous streak

Dolores/Wyatt will face off with The Man In Black... and become a Evil Duo
  • It in, in effect, be a twisted version of their pasts as William and Dolores. Perhaps even with the roles slightly reversed - MIB infatuated with the fact that Wyatt is now real and has emotions and as well as the fact that he's now vulnerable and relatively less dangerous while Wyatt is now the 'hero' come to save MIB.

The humans who will survive and continue to be in Season 2
  • Elsie: as mentioned previously, there have been Easter eggs suggesting that Elsie survived her attack by Bernard and is still somewhere in the park.
  • Stubbs: since he didn't die onscreen, he may have survived his encounter with the Ghost Nation hosts and may even run into Elsie and the two will help each other try to escape the park.
  • William: unlike the other members of the Board present at the massacre staged by Ford, he has enough experience and know-how to escape and survive in the park on his own.
  • Felix: he will probably continue to be a supporting character for Maeve and may even develop into a Morality Pet.
  • Sylvester: he's probably going to act as a Foil for Felix and try to help suppress the uprising.
  • Hale: after watching her be a Smug Snake Corrupt Corporate Executive in Season 1, it would be quite satisfying seeing her out of her depth and at the mercy of the Hosts.

     Other Theories 
We have seen the face of Dolores' mother... on a different body
The reason it's been purposely kept out of frame is that it either looks like a character that we believe to be human, and it will be used to reveal that it's actually a host; or that it looks like another host, in which case it will be used to reveal the existence of multiple timeframes in the show. Alternatively, it's the face of Ford's robot mother, and it will reveal that Ford is a host and his family an implanted memory.

Ford's new storyline is Maeve's uprising.
We know as of "The Well-Tempered Clavier" that Ford has a back door in all of the hosts, allowing him to access their programming at any time. We know that he can use any host, even deactivated ones, as his eyes and ears within the park. We also know that he's perfectly willing to allow the hosts sentience (as in Bernard's case) for his own amusement or if he thinks that it will suit his own purposes. So it seems unlikely that such an uprising could happen entirely without his knowledge. Given that his motivation is to have an army of living toys under his command, a robot uprising against the corporation that exploits them (but not against he who protects them–I can imagine him making such an argument to Maeve) would fit right into his plans. His ultimate goal might well be to have all the hosts come with him back to the town with the white church, to create his own little universe entirely without Delos' involvement.
  • Partly confirmed. It's heavily implied Ford is responsible for Maeve's self awareness.
  • What was the name of the new narrative that Ford reveals in the finale? Ride Into Night.

Felix was hired specifically to help free Maeve.
Sylvester asks outright how Felix made it through personality screening during his hiring process. Staff at Westworld are supposedly meant to maintain an emotional detachment from the Hosts, which Felix fails spectacularly at. This suggests that Ford, assuming he was the one that programmed Maeve to attempt to escape, wanted somebody empathetic who would be sensitive to her 'plight' and grant her the assistance she needed to initiate her rebellion. Felix obviously didn't know about the plan, but was placed among the Host maintenance personnel with Ford pulling the strings, knowing that Felix would be willing to help her.

Joke theory: The hosts win, humanity is cowed, and then...
The robot animals start making demands.

Delos is going to get sued for false advertising, wrongful death and negligence related to the havoc that Dr. Ford caused when he freed the Hosts
  • Ask anything safety-related and Aeden will downplay it. There's no meaningful safety information. The greeters give no safety information. That's a recipe for a lawsuit.
  • There's also Delos' "little undertaking". It could have turned out to be that the Board of Directors were planning espionage and treason on a global scale.
    • If that's the case Dr. Ford may actually have done both humanity and the Hosts a major favor by instigating the Robot Rebellion which ends up blowing the whole conspiracy open.

     Confirmed Theories 

The story is not being told in chronological order.
There is some evidence that scenes with William are happening at a different time than the rest of the story. We know there was an incident at the park. The most popular theory is that the William storyline takes place 30 years in the past, but keep in mind there was also a "critical failure" over 30 ago, most likely the incident with Arnold from before the park opened circa 35 years ago. The evidence is as follows:
  • The Two Westworld Logos: The prominent logo William passes when he enters the park is the old Westworld logo, as seen in Ford's flashbacks and the older abandoned levels of the park. Most notably, the logo in the HBO thumbnail of episode 2 and the logo in the episode are different. One was digitally changed post-production, meaning this was an important enough detail to warrant change. A tweet from the official Westworld twitter account even says "In #Westworld, even logos deserve a deeper look."
  • Where is Teddy?: Teddy is not in the train when William and Logan board it and is not seen leaving it when they arrive. Later, William bumps into the same man walking the same way that Teddy bumps into on his loop, meaning Teddy is not currently where he usually is (and William is going through the same motions.)
  • Soldier & Hector Narratives: In the current timeline, newcomers exit the train to be greeted by the sheriff looking for bounty hunters to catch Hector Escaton. When William and Logan enter, there are soldiers looking for recruits at the same post. The wanted posters in William's storyline have a very different design and do not feature Hector. Hector and his prominent "wanted man" narrative are also never mentioned in William's storyline.
  • Where is Maeve?: Maeve is not in front of the brothel to greet William and Logan, and is never seen or mentioned in their storyline. It is possible that Maeve has not been yet purposed as a sex-bot, and is still in her past role as colonist with her daughter trying to protect her home from Native Americans.
    • Confirmed as of episode 6 that Maeve was re-purposed as a sex-bot only one year before the story began. During her haunting visit in the facility, she saw a commercial recording her old life and Clementine standing outside the brothel next to another worker, just as they were when William and Logan arrived.
  • Differences in Clementine's Loop: William does meet Clementine at the brothel, who we know has played Maeve's current "madam" role before. This is the only time she doesn't say her "Not much of a rind on you. I'll give you a discount!" line to a newcomer.
  • Differences in Dolores's Loop:
    • The label on Dolores' milk can has a slightly different design from the usual when William picks it up.
    • Dolores' gun appearance is very inconsistent. The same model is shown in multiple scenes but sometimes is rusty, sometimes brand new. In other scenes, her gun disappears entirely, making you wonder where she hides it.
  • The Town with the White Church: Dolores has constant flashbacks to a town with a white church, which turns out to be the beta town from before the park opened. The town seems to have been buried 34 years ago with only the steeple of the church sticking up above the ground. Throughout the season we see hints that Ford is rebuilding the town for his new narrative, and in episode 8 Charlotte confirms that Ford has dug up this town and is almost finished. In that same episode we see Dolores arrive at the empty and rebuilt town alone, flashback to 34 years ago, and then suddenly she's with William and the town is buried again. Most tellingly, they have this exchange:
    • Dolores: Then, when are we? Is this... now? Am I going mad? Are you real?
    • William: Of course I'm real.
    • Dolores: I can't tell anymore! It's like I'm... trapped in a dream or... a memory from a life long ago. One minute, I'm here with you, and the next...
  • Money Troubles: Logan says the park is hemorrhaging money and has been in freefall since Arnold's suicide. In a linear timeline, the park would be in freefall for 34 years while nonlinear would only be about 4 years later. The current Westworld doesn't appear to be hurting for money, in fact Sizemore and Ford seem to be splurging. The Man in Black said that he saved the park in the past, and this would be the time for it.
    • If the MiB is William, he may get his wealth when Logan dies in the park and Logan's sister (William's significant other) inherits her brother's money. He would then be able to save the park from the aftermath of Arnold's death, just as the Man in Black is implied to have done.
  • Angela the Greeter: When William first comes to Westworld, he is greeted by a host named Angela (played by Talulah Riley). We see in flashbacks that she has existed since the beta stages of the park and was present at the white church town. In episode 8, the Man in Black and Teddy come across Angela, now playing a role in the park in Ford's Wyatt narrative. The Man in Black recognizes her and says that he thought she'd been retired by now. While it's possible she could have been quickly re-purposed for Ford's narrative, it does call into question why the Man in Black hasn't seen her for so long if she was a greeter up front just a week ago.
  • Confirmed as of Episode 9: the photograph of William's fiancée is the same photograph that gave Peter Abernathy sentience, so it must be two separate timelines.

Dolores was woken up 30 years before and has woken up again.
The above theory assumes Dolores was "woken up" 30 years ago, leading to the mysterious incident, and has now been woken up again in present day where she is flashing back/retracing the steps of her journey with William by herself.
  • Dolores's current narrative, where almost every day she sees her parents and lover killed before being raped, is a "punishment" for what happened 30 years before. Teddy was not part of the original narrative, and we know he was added to keep her tethered to the current one.
    • Teddy is possibly based on William, as his every day loop is extremely similar to William's first visit of the park.
  • She uses a gun to save William in the past and her ability to shoot was probably disabled as part of her later punishment. When she begins to wake up again she tries to learn to shoot before finally being able to do it in the escape from the milk bandits.
  • The flashbacks and current events are edited together (rather manipulatively) so that the casual viewer will not notice:
    • We know the scene where Dolores shoots and escapes from the milk bandits from the present day because of the references to Teddy and the flashback to Man in Black. It appears she runs into William's arms right after her escape, but the timeline theory assumes she was running from something else. Her conversations with William hint that her original narrative may have involved her running away due to wanderlust.
    • Stubbs mentions that Dolores is off her loop and it appears we then see the sheriff coming to collect her, where she is defended by William. The Stubbs scene is in present day (with Ford's new narrative) while the scene with William is something that happened the first time Dolores went off her loop. Keep in mind Stubbs says to "flag her for Behavior", not collected immediately. Later we see Dolores have a meeting with Ford, indicating she was collected at some point in the present day and then allowed to go back by Ford.
  • We've seen many, many strange instances to indicate Dolores is reliving the past very vividly: disappearing guns and little girls, double Doloreses, constant flickers of flashbacks, voices saying "remember", and many moments where Dolores appears to be alone only for William to suddenly appear. Episode 8 confirms that host memories are so strong they have trouble telling where they are in time.
  • Confirmed (sorta) in the finale: Arnold was just about able to get Dolores to wake up, but didn't quite get her to manifest consciousness yet. She has tried and tried to achieve consciousness without success, but only makes it on the last go in the present.

William is The Man in Black
Going off the theory that the show isn't happening in chronological order, the Man in Black is a much-older William who's spent a little much time in Westworld. The Man in Black's quest lines up pretty well with William's initial lack of interest in the park's more hedonistic offerings. Maybe after being dragged into the park enough times by Logan, he finally snaps and gives in to the park, but also starts pursuing its mysteries.
  • Both give Dolores a tip of the hat with their right hand
  • Both appreciate the details of Westworld
  • Both have a connection to Dolores
  • Their side burns are similar
  • The Man In Black says "In a sense, I was born in here" suggesting that the park changed him for the worse (or did it?)
  • Logan describes William as coming into his office in "that cheap black suit of yours," emphasis on "black." Why make a big deal about the color unless it's significant?
  • Both of them are interested in Westworld for its stories, and are searching for its "meaning."
  • CONFIRMED as of the finale.

The Man in Black is part of Westworld's Board of Directors.
Seeing as how the Man in Black is incredibly wealthy since he runs his own foundation, has an intimate knowledge of the park, and has VIP status, it may well be that the Man in Black is one of the directors that controls the park. This is supported in "Dissonance Theory", when Theresa warns Ford that the Board might send a representative to check on him and Ford replies that they already have.
  • Evidence possibly supporting this surfaces in "Contrapasso", where Ford meets up with the Man in Black and has a discussion. They clearly know each other and have a shared history, including discussing Arnold.
  • Charlotte (the Delos executive) directly confronts the MiB inside the park in "The Well-Tempered Clavier," asking for his vote against Ford. He says he doesn't support Ford's narratives, so she can take that as voting against Ford (implying he <i>has</i> board voting privileges), and then tells her to leave him alone.
  • Confirmed in the ninth episode.

At least one person on Westworld's staff is a Host
Possibly it's even Ford himself. If he knew he was close to death, he could have created a host version of himself and uploaded what he could of his own consciousness. That would explain why he's always trying to make the other hosts even more human-like.
  • The most popular fan guess is Bernard, though other fans claim he is so obvious, it's probably the show trying to trick the viewer.
    • Confirmed, as of episode 7.
  • In Episode 2 we meet a child that seems to suggest that he is a incarnation of Ford himself as a child, so there's some momentum behind this theory.
    • Most likely Confirmed. Ford reveals in episode 6 that Arnold based an entire host family, including the child host, on Ford's own family.

Bernard is a Host
He has a fascination with interpreting human body language, his dead son could just be a false memory, and his relationship with Theresa is not unusual for a Host. Importantly, he keeps Stubbs from drawing his weapon against Ford in his very first appearance. And oddly, Ford ends conversations with Bernard the way he does with characters we know are Hosts - "won't you?"
  • Also, robots being designed (in part) by other computers is a theme in the original movie.
    • Confirmed, as of episode 7.

Bernard is a host version of Arnold.
  • Now that it's been confirmed that Bernard is a host, it seems very likely that he might be a replicant of Arnold, made so that Ford could have a copy of his old partner which he had complete control over. We know that that making a host replica of human beings, specifically to people from Ford's past, is something that can and has been done, complete with their previous personality and flaws. Bernard has clear parallels to Arnold with his interest in testing host consciousness and is warned not to "make Arnold's mistake."
  • The show has purposely been mysterious and sometimes misleading over what Arnold actually looked like. It's been said several times that he was completely scrubbed from the records, so that not even a picture of him still exists. While we see a younger Ford in flashbacks to the beginning of Westworld, we don't see Arnold with him.
    • Ford shows Bernard a picture of himself with another man when talking about Arnold, leading us and Bernard to believe that's him. We later learn this is actually a host of Ford's father. Bernard ASKS if he's Arnold and replies "Who's Arnold?" The picture is off center with a lot of empty space on one side, enough to fit a third person in the photograph. It's possible that Bernard did not see Arnold/himself in the picture due to host programming.
  • We first see "Bernard" secretly meeting with Dolores after the voice in her head says "remember". They're meeting in the secret basement which Bernard did not know about and could not even see the door. During these talks with Dolores, he is dressed completely differently than he does elsewhere in the show, with a black collared jacket and dark shirt, with no tie. His demeanor is also more confident and intimidating, similar to the voice Dolores hears in her head. Here he encourages Dolores to attempt the maze, despite there being no indication so far that he even knew about the maze at all.
    • We know Ford insists that hosts be naked backstage to dehumanize them, yet Dolores is clothed in these interviews. As of episode 7, we learn that Bernard is a host who Ford has complete control over, and it's unlike the Ford we know that he would allow these meetings to go on. It makes sense for this to be Arnold and his doomed interest in host sentience.
  • Arnold is said to have had a tragic past. It's possible that Bernard's tragic backstory with his son was actually taken from Arnold's life. It was said this is a world where they've cured every disease, yet Bernard's son seems to have died of an illness. Perhaps this is because it was 35+ years previously, before medical knowledge had reached that level.
  • The malfunctioning hosts hear Arnold's voice in their head, while Dolores clearly hears Bernard's voice in her head, at least part of the time.
  • The plans for Bernard are more biological than the plans seen for Dolores, which are clearly mechanical, showing that Bernard is a much more recent model than Dolores.
  • Bernard Lowe is an anagram of Arnold Weber.
  • Confirmed in Episode 9.

The gun Dolores digs up is a fully-functioning weapon that can actually injure/kill Guests and Hosts
  • Firearms are easy to come by in Westworld, so why that particular one?
    • Perhaps because her "narrative" is supposed to prevent her from carrying one.
    • Confirmed in "The Stray" as her narrative prevents her from pulling the trigger. This changes when she breaks free of her programming and her narrative loop.
      • Not at all. Rather, it's jossed: Logan trades the gun he was given before entering Westworld for one dropped by a host, that he calls an "upgrade". This all but spells out that the guns used by hosts and guests are exactly the same. They just "know" (somehow) if they are aimed at a host or a guest, and are lethal to the first but not to the second.
    • And in a stunning turn of events, confirmed: the gun she digs up is actually a live gun, in contrast to every other gun at the park, and is the one she used to kill everyone including Arnold.

Dr. Ford is deliberately making the Hosts self aware.
Dr. Ford is slowly becoming a full mad scientist and is gradually making the Hosts more and more self aware. When Peter starts showing signs, Dr. Ford hides the symptoms by explaining Peter is just digging up information from past personalities, which is a half truth.
  • Perhaps Bernard is secretly doing the same with Dolores on Ford's orders?
    • Possibly averted, in "The Stray" Bernard is apparently doing this on his own with Dolores. Although Arnold, Ford's business partner, did try to achieve this.
    • Or given the level of control and knowledge he has, Dr. Ford is fully aware of what Bernard is doing but is tacitly allowing him to achieve what Arnold could not.
    • Jossed. Apparently Arnold or someone connected to him is doing this.
  • Actually Confirmed in the Season 1 finale. Ford was quietly preparing the hosts to rebel ever since Arnold's death.

Arnold made a Host kill him
Driven to Suicide, for whatever reason he didn't do the deed himself but he removed a Host's safety rules and made it look like an accident.
  • To take this even further, Arnold made Dolores kill him. That's why Ford has had her locked in her repetitive loop for more than 30 years, with no opportunity to break out, and specifically programmed never to use a gun. Of course, she's now subverting that programming, and apparently is able to convincingly lie to Ford's face even in the face of his apparently omnipotent control of Park resources...
    • Possibly Confirmed in episode 9 when Dolores realizes she killed Arnold.
    • Definitely Confirmed in episode 10.

Arnold killed himself because he realized the Unfortunate Implications of Westworld.
It's said straight out that Arnold didn't really view the androids as theme park attractions: he actually tried to create artificial life. When he realized what these robots given humanity were going to be used for, he tried to destroy the company in order to prevent it from happening.
  • Confirmed

Arnold really is dead, but someone else is using his access codes/reputation.
It's been established in-universe that while old model hosts are still around, the early ones were clunky and fell into Uncanny Valley. The ones who have survived require constant upgrades (Dolores by the techs, Ford's family by Ford himself). It is unlikely, therefore, that an Arnold-bot would have survived this long unless someone else was taking care of it. Someone is using the Arnold name, like the Dread Pirate Roberts, to break into the company's files.
  • Confirmed. It appears it was Ford who was secretly manipulating the hosts.

A Concerned Third Party, or even another self-aware AI, is helping to free the Hosts
  • Is it sabotage or someone who recognizes the plight of the Hosts and has, over a long period of time, acted to "wake up" the Hosts.
  • Confirmed. It's Ford.

Dr. Ford's new "original" narrative is a massive meta-narrative that involves the park staff as well, without their knowledge.
It certainly seems like he's not only manipulating the Hosts, but also his own staff towards a certain end.
  • It could be that he is on a self-destructive path that will result in the destruction of the park and everyone in it. The Wyatt Narrative could be his expression of his disillusionment with humanity and the way his work has been misused.
  • Confirmed. Ford's new narrative was to jump start the Robot Rebellion.

The Maze is a test to determine whether a Host has achieved true consciousness or not.
  • Pretty much confirmed by Bernard in "Dissonance Theory".

Maeve is going to lead the Robot Rebellion
  • Noting that A: This AI made HERSELF roll a hard six, and B: she's the single most aware Host among any of them without suffering a catastrophic breakdown, if anyone is poised to Unionize or Militarize the hosts, it's the snarky madam.
  • Partly Confirmed. She does have Hector and Armistice battle the park staff, but it's actually Ford who sets it off.

Maeve is doomed to fail
For her to survive this season, her arc should be considerably slowed down later (which would make it dragging), or the show's premise would have to change radically from Season 2, which is far too risky. In all likelihood, she will be weeded out and destroyed by the end of the season, leaving Dolores to continue her slower walk towards sentience in her place.
  • Funnily enough, while the uprising happened and the show's narrative has indeed changed dramatically, Maeve has indeed failed. Her newly acquired free will was just an illusion scripted by Ford, and while she makes it to the train that should take her out forever, she is compelled to go back in the park in search for her daughter.

     Jossed Theories 
The bullet the Man In Black gives to Lawrence's daughter is a guest bullet.
The mechanics of the host and guest bullets aren't totally clear, yet, but it seems suggestive that he hands her one of his own bullets before riding off to search for the maze.
  • Can guest bullets kill other guests?
    • The Episode Chestnut states, that they can't.
  • Are the staff protected in the same way that guests are?
  • Jossed. All bullets in the park are the same: lethal to hosts but non-lethal to guests. How they tell one from the other has yet to be explained.

Westworld is not for the super-rich
$40,000 is chump change in the future because of Ridiculous Future Inflation.
  • It's not a $40,000 flat fee. It's $40,000 per day. And Word of God states that the story is still set within the 21st century.
  • Assuming that it's $40,000 in 2050 dollars, that's equivalent to $16500 in 2016 dollars. That's not chump change for most of the population.
  • There are also different packages. $40k/day is the cheapest package. There are two other packages that cost $75k and $200k/day respectively.
  • Still, there are hundreds of guests in the park at any given time. Even assuming that Westworld is essentially Future Disneyland in terms of popularity, to maintain those sort of numbers it has to be affordable for a pretty large segment of the population. Of course, in a post-scarcity world, people could just be stockpiling all their pay for amusements because the necessities are so easily available.
    • Probably jossed, given that Felix (the body tech who has been interacting with Maeve) says he earns nowhere near enough to ever go for a vacation in the Park.

The flies are actually wireless cameras.
  • Most of the time, they're autonomous and are only directed as needed.
  • They're linked to the park's control room via a massive wireless network.
  • The ban of modern technology in the park isn't just to guarantee full immersion for the guests but to keep the undoubtedly large wireless spectrum free from interference.
    • Averted. In the second episode, two techs complain about a fly problem.
    • Also established in the third episode that they use satellite imaging to track hosts and guests.
    • Also established that the park maintains its own internal communications network that Elise uses to call Bernard while out in the field.

Arnold is the Man in Black
  • "In a sense, I was born in here" along with other dialog from Dr. Ford could imply that he had some kind of mental breakdown that destroyed the person he was. In a sense, Arnold "died" in the park and became "reborn" as the Man in Black, but couldn't stay full-time due to his dismissal.
  • Even if Arnold's involvement with the park was scrubbed from the records, it doesn't mean he wasn't wealthy or had some other means of income. He could've come back as a paying customer and/or made some kind of settlement with the Board to allow him to visit.
  • His dialog about his views on the real world versus the park are similar to Dr. Ford's description of Arnold. Preferring the company of the Hosts and hardly talking to humans, living entirely inside the park and so on.
  • His treatment of the hosts may be his twisted way of making them become real.
  • His ability to keep Kissy alive is due to the fact that he knows exactly how the Hosts are constructed and programmed.
    • Jossed when he and Ford meet.

Bernard's memory of his son's death is based on Ford's memory of his brother Tommy's death
. We know that Ford values stories that have an inspiration in real events. Disease has been erradicated in the show's present, but Robert is an old man and Tommy could have died up to 50 years prior. Finally, the host modeled after Tommy (which Ford seems to have a soft spot for, stroking his hair when Bernard finds them) is very pasive compared to the one modeled after Ford himself, despite looking similar in age. Maybe Tommy was a sickly child, remaining at home and requiring their parents full attention, while Robert left the house and interacted mostly with outsiders out of boredom. Tommy's illness could also be the reason behind Ford's father's bitterness and alcoholism.
  • Jossed. Bernard's memory is based off of Arnold's loss of his son.

Wyatt is based on William's Start of Darkness.
This theory relies heavily on the William is the Man in Black theory, which seems all but confirmed at this point. Going off that, Wyatt's backstory seems similar to what we've seen so far with William's Protagonist Journey to Villain during his first visit to Westworld. Like William, Wyatt apparently went out into the wilderness for a few weeks and came back with terrifying new ideas. This happened during a time of war, which William seems to be finding himself in at the edge of the park. Logan and Lawrence have hinted that William has an appetite for destruction even he may not be aware of. Also, the only time we see Ford (who believes he is pretty much a god compared to guests) speak to a player is a brief conversation with the Man in Black. Ford tells Mi B that he lacked the imagination to conceive of someone as villainous as him, so Ford might have recreated him as a Host instead.
  • Jossed. Episode 10 shows that Ford and Arnold had already created the Wyatt character long before William ever came to the park.

William isn't real.
William in "Trace Decay" is entirely different from the William we've seen in preceding episodes. Every time Dolores has one of her weird hallucinations, he seems to shift from his usual Nice Guy self into someone else. Someone who, it is implied, is willing to Mercy Kill some random host so he doesn't have to wait around for Dolores, and is very insistent that she keep her from the white church town and from Arnold. The way he says "Of course I'm real" during her breakdown can't be anything but foreshadowing that he isn't.

A couple of possible explanations for this sudden shift in behavior:
  • Both William and Logan are hosts the way that Bernard is a host: programmed to act and be treated as human by other hosts. Their purpose is to keep Dolores from achieving consciousness, and all the backstory that we see about them coming to the park is a false memory, like Bernard's conversations with his wife or his memories of his son.
  • Going off the nonlinear timeline theory, there are two Williams, one of which is a host. The first William was real and his storyline happened years ago, and Dolores fell in love with him. The second William is a host whose purpose is to use her memories of her love for William (hidden within her code) to keep her from achieving consciousness by keeping her within the park and away from the maze. The two timelines are being told out of order, so Dolores is both reliving her past relationship as vividly as if she was currently experiencing it, and traveling with host!William despite his efforts to keep her away.
  • Maeve describes the two halves of her brain as "arguing" with each other, against what her brain was built to do, which is clearly related to Arnold's theory of the bicameral mind. William is a hallucination (perhaps created from her past memories of finding love) governing the half of her brain that prevents her from leaving. The other self that Dolores keeps seeing is the Arnold half trying to lead her to the maze.

  • Jossed. William is a real person and is the Man in Black.

Arnold's plan to destroy Westworld didn't fail 35 years ago. The plan was long-term and it's only now coming to fruition.
Given Dr. Ford's control over Westworld and the large amount of money and resources poured into park's construction and R&D, no one was about to let Arnold destroy the park. The first step of the plan was to make it seem to Ford and Delos that Arnold had failed. As he intended to create consciousness, destroying the park would also result in the destruction of the Hosts and his goal. Therefore he, or a digital copy of himself or confederates (wittingly and unwittingly), waited. He waited for the Hosts to advance to the point where they were indistinguishable from humans and anything unusual could be written off as a mere glitch until it was too late.
  • Confirmed in episode 6 as someone with a high level of access has been altering hosts' programming and has been using an abandoned theater as a point to relay instructions to the Hosts. When Dr. Ford questions a boy host about the death of a Host dog, the host states that it is Arnold.
  • Actually Jossed. Arnold's plan apparently died with him. It was actually Ford who was secretly continuing his work.

Logan's behavior is all an act. He's working with Arnold, or some form of him, to push William toward Dolores
  • Arnold chose William to be the bridge between Humanity and the Hosts.
  • Everything that Logan has said and done is meant to reinforce William's values—to stand up for himself and not give in to his dark side—and set an example for Dolores as she becomes self-aware.
  • Logan's smile as William and Dolores abandon him could mean "It's all going according to plan."
  • Jossed.

Ford killed Arnold
If Bernard actually was Arnold's replacement, then it might make sense that Arnold was also knocked off because Ford wanted more control. However, the management realized that something was wrong with the new Arnold, so a cover story was created in which he actually died in the park, and the new Arnold was renamed. Given that he seems to have spoken to Dolores in the basement (per the previous theory), perhaps Arnold was killed the same place all of Ford's victims are (it would also mean that he died in the park). The reason may have been that he was trying to get the robots to be self-aware. This is also the secret Dolores was hiding, as she was there when the killing happened.
  • Jossed. Dolores killed Arnold.

Arnold is Ford. Ford is Arnold.
Arnold and Ford are a bicameral mind. No one really knows about Arnold because he never really existed other than whatever fabrication Ford came up with. But Ford doesn't actually know this.
  • Jossed. They are definitely separate people.

Arnold was a host. He always was.
He went rogue after achieving sentience and tried to destroy Westworld, so Ford had to put him down. However, Ford had already convinced everyone that Arnold was human, so it was easier to keep up the lie and tell people that he had died.
  • Jossed. Arnold had himself killed specifically because he couldn't be brought back.

Logan is the Man in Black's spoiled, hedonistic son.
They seem to share a dismissive attitude towards Hosts in general (not that it's something particularly unusual for Guests) and it seems evident that Logan has a rich and influential position in a "family business".
  • Jossed. William is the Man in Black so it's impossible for Logan to be his son.

The Man in Black is Ford's brother.
We already know that Ford has a brother; when Bernard discovers them in episode six, there are five hosts: The parents, ford's younger self, the greyhound, and his brother.

The clues for the Man in Black being this brother comes from Ford's conversation with him in episode 5:

  • The Man in Black informally calls him Robert, something else no one does.
    • Even though the Man in Black calls their talk a "rare" occurrence, it could just be the way they meet up as brothers in their old age.
      • They way they banter is another clue, it's very sibling-like. The Man in Black also asks if Ford "finally" has made a rival for him. And Ford says that the Man in Black could just "ask" for the ending and moral of the story, an offer he wouldn't make to just anyone but someone he was close to. A brother would count for this.
      • Though the Man in Black does threaten him at the end, Ford still helps him. It could just be that he really wants to find the maze though.
  • Jossed. William and Ford are not related.

The Man in Black is not William, but his Shadow Archetype.
Because dang it, I need some alternative explanation to the "William is the MiB" theory.

Yes, they are similar, and deliberately so. Not because they are the same person, but because the Man in Black is everything that William could be if he became The Unfettered or became corrupted by Logan and his ilk. They have the same motivation (trying to find "meaning" in Westworld's storylines and expressing their true selves), but while William wants to be the romantic hero of the story, the Man in Black distinctly wants to be the villain. One must, at one point, confront the other, and what better way than a dramatic showdown over a woman's honor?
  • Jossed. William is the Man in Black.

Dr. Ford didn't put the church steeple we see in "Chestnut" in place. Whoever is manipulating things did as a sign for him to proceed with the next step.
  • From his expression, he seems surprised to see it at first, then with an expression that's parts haunted and resigned to their fate. He later shows it to Bernard under the guise of a new "quite original" narrative, which may or may not be true.
  • Possibly Jossed. Some of Dolores flashbacks show an intact church, suggesting it was part of an old and defunct storyline.
  • Definitely Jossed. Ford built that church and eventually excavated and rebuilt it.

The Maze is a trap designed to weed out Hosts who are becoming sentient.
  • If a Host becomes self-aware and self-determining enough to follow the maze to its conclusion, they won't find escape or enlightenment — they'll fall into the clutches of the staff, having given themselves away as being truly sentient and thus needing to be destroyed.
  • Jossed.

The Maze leads to an escape from Westworld.
  • Either a Host must already be sentient to follow the maze, or the act of following the maze will somehow enable sentience. Either way, if a Host follows the maze to its conclusion, it will find itself in the prime position to escape the park and with the resources to do so. That might mean some sort of armed, explosive escape — or it might mean allowing a Host to infiltrate the Guests departing the park.
  • Jossed. There was never a physical maze. A host only reaches the center of the Maze when they recognize their own consciousness.

Teddy is actually Wyatt.
Considering that we've never actually seen Wyatt in person, and it's been demonstrated that Teddy's memory is not perfect and at one point remembers himself as slaughtering the town of Escalante, it's highly likely that Teddy himself is actually Wyatt. Especially given how Angela seems to give him deferential treatment when she captures him. In addition, Wyatt is conveniently absent when Teddy is captured, and Angela promises that Wyatt will return soon, right before she kills Teddy when she says he's not "ready" yet.
  • Jossed. Dolores is Wyatt.

The Man In Black is a Host
The Man In Black, Ed Harris' character, is listed as The Gunslinger in the credits. He received the same update as the other Hosts, but he's unable to comprehend the truth so he's become delusional that he's really a guest looking for a new level to the game.
  • The 'new level' is really the Control Center for Westworld.
  • Except that doesn't explain why the Man in Black is immune to the bullets the characters confirmed to be Hosts fire at him. What is known is that Hosts are perfectly able to kill each other but cannot harm guests. In fact, in "Chestnut", the park staff are actually observing the Man in Black and consider him a VIP.
    • That doesn't preclude the possibility though. Maeve had her pain setting toned down, for instance, and no one knew about Bernard.
    • The hosts that serve Wyatt are inmune to bullets and can only be killed by breaking their head.
    • Host or not, the Man in Black's absolute inmunity to bullets (compared to William who was still knocked down by one and was bruised) indicates that he has been given privileges. He is either a host set to be immune to bullets, or the park has disabled any bullet that hits him from harming him, or maybe he is wearing some kind of body armor under his clothes.
  • Jossed considering William is the Man in Black.

Arnold duplicated himself as a host
We've seen evidence of off-grid hosts and everyone keeps referring to Arnold with significance, not just as a background character. Arnold preferred the hosts over humans. Extrapolation: he created a host in his own image, with maximum intelligence, who has existed behind the scenes. The initial idea may have simply been to carve out a village with the hosts or to prepare for a long-term goal. This would explain all the high-level access anomalies along with influence of the older-model hosts. Ford recreated his family as hosts and asked Bernard if he would want to recreate his dead son - the next logical step is the recreation of the self.
  • Jossed, it was Ford that created Bernard as a Host version of Arnold.

Dolores is a "Judas Host", intentionally designed to induce sentience in other hosts so the park culls those who show signs of it.
She awakened Maeve, as we know, but she was also the one that awakened Peter Abernathy, instead of the other way around.
  • Jossed. Even if she did wake Maeve, her following path was entirely scripted by Ford and she was not intended to be culled.

Dolores was previously programmed to be the female bandit Armistice.
We know the Hosts can be programmed to fulfill different roles, and we know Dolores is the oldest Host in the park. We've also seen her engaging in some gunslinging in the various trailers and promos for the show. Kind of a strange skill for a Host who has been programmed as a demure farm girl and painter to possess. However, it's entirely possible she used to fulfill the role of the female gunslinger Armistice in Westworld, who is also a blonde woman. Given her age, she was undoubtedly programmed as someone else in her past, so this makes perfect sense, and as she and the other Hosts start to "remember" their pasts she could call on those skills to become the Action Girl we've seen her to be in promotional materials.
  • This would also explain why a female gunslinger is prominently featured in the opening title sequence.
    • Possibly averted as Dolores' narrative requires her to be a Damsel in Distress and not carry a gun. This does change in "The Stray" when she kills a Host in self-defense.
      • She definitely has some sort of firearms training, considering that she guns down a whole group of armed opponents in Episode 5.
    • While certainly possible, Dolores wearing her blue dress all the way to the first creation of the park argues strongly against this.
    • Jossed: she was given another gunslinger personality in contrast to her farmgirl one, but it was Wyatt, not Armistice.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/WMG/Westworld