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    Film 

Film

  • Awesome Music: Fred Karlin's creepily discordant score.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: As the scientist in charge of the robots, Alan Oppenheimer plays a character which will later be recreated as Dr. Rudy Wells in The Six Million Dollar Man.
  • Misaimed Fandom: Michael Crichton believed that the film had been misunderstood as warning of the dangers of technology. His real intention was to warn against corporate greed.
    Everyone remembers the scene in Westworld where Yul Brynner is a robot that runs amok. But there is a very specific scene where people discuss whether or not to shut down the resort. I think the movie was as much about that decision as anything. They just didn't really think it was really going to happen.
  • Older Than They Think: Osamu Tezuka actually came up with a very similar premise over a decade earlier for an episode of Astro Boy entitled "Robot Land". Not only that, the aesthetic of the park is suspiciously similar to the "Murder Game Room" from the late 1960s Sankei Newspaper Astro Boy serial, right down to the cowboy costumes. Tezuka himself points out the similarities in his introduction to the trade paperback in which the "Robot Land" story appears, where he dismisses it as mere coincidence rather than a deliberate ripoff.
  • Paranoia Fuel:
    • You'll think twice before taking a vacation in a great park like this one from here on in.
    • The poster for Futureworld invokes this: it's a picture of a very human-looking robot getting its faceplate removed, with the tag line "Is this you, or are YOU you?"
  • Uncanny Valley: The disassembled robots, the gunslinger specifically. Even when all together he still looks like he doesn't blend in with the rest of the bots. Especially with those doll-like eyes.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: This was in fact the very first movie to use computer animation, for the robots' POV shots. They may seem pretty passe now, but the effect was mind-blowing in 1973.

    Series 

Series

  • Acceptable Targets: The Confederados are modeled after civil war secessionists, racism, misogyny and all. They are not treated sympathetically.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Many characters are subject to different viewpoints due to all the moral themes and ponderings about the exact nature of humanity.
    • Dr. Robert Ford: a misanthropic sociopath with a god complex or a paternalist, Well-Intentioned Extremist who genuinely tries to protect his unique creatures from being revealed as a threat to mankind? "The Bicameral Mind" gives the answer that Ford is, in fact, The Atoner who considers opening the park a mistake. But does this negate his God complex or just render him the ultimate misanthrope? Is he motivated by the loss of Arnold, a genuine love for the hosts, or an overriding hatred for humanity? Though since his plans are in the end enabling the total genocide of the human race due to judging them all from the few worst ones who can even afford to visit the park which he continues to allow for the specific sake of causing the hosts horrific suffering to "awaken" them so they ultimately will take revenge for their orchestrated mistreatment, even if his intentions had some good in them at any point he'd still only be a lighter shade of black even compared to some of the worst characters in the show.
    • The Man in Black/William: Was William an evil and selfish man at his core all along, or he is just as much a victim of Westworld as the hosts due to the park's brutality, Logan's machinations and his own dissatisfaction with life? Was his evil unveiled, or created? He does say he was 'born' in Westworld, and while he claims to be a straight-up sociopath who doesn't feel anything, the showrunners seem to consider that to be his own view, and while he didn't react to killing Maeve's daughter as he expected to, he certainly did react. He also seems to be full of self-loathing and rage, which doesn't fit the profile of a sociopath who truly feels nothing. Dolores also believes that he was a good person who genuinely loved her but was twisted by a broken heart and years of increasing violence, but Logan may be right that deep down, Dolores was nothing but an excuse. Is a part of him still in love with Dolores, and his cruelty toward her is a desperate attempt to 'wake her up' since he expresses the belief that suffering is what makes a person truly real? And, although it's hard to argue with the implication of the barn scene, did he rape Dolores and has he ever? Or was he torturing her in a further attempt to wake her up?
    • Logan: Did Logan have a more healthy approach to Westworld than William did? While he did act like a dick throughout their whole trip, it was William's emotional attachment to the hosts and Dolores in particular that led to his Start of Darkness and eventually becoming the Man in Black. Logan saw it more as a video game and the hosts as NPCs, which given that it was the earliest build of the park where none of the hosts save Dolores had any self-awareness, they more or less were. Does he really want to bond with his future brother-in-law, and are his reactions to William's refusal to go along with Logan's cruel misadventures just frustration on Logan's part that William doesn't appreciate the escapist draw of the park?
    • There's some debate as whether Dolores at the end of season 1 and during season 2 is truly self-aware or not. Did she really find the center of the maze like Arnold intended, or is she simply following the programming of the Wyatt persona Ford programmed into her? There's also her attitude towards humanity in general. While it's justified that the humans abused her and her people for many years and she wants revenge on them, she only meets those humans who can afford to enter the park and happened to be the most deprived bunch. Though she never encounters the humans who are in the lower class (e.g. Felix) or those who never enter the park, it's still up in the air whether her true intention is really to commit genocide on the entire human race or to destroy the worst bunch of humans such as Delos. Season 3 manages to answer that it's the latter after she learns that the humans are no different from the hosts and their lives were controlled by another megacorporation called Incite plus her meeting with Caleb made her change her mind about humanity.
    • As of Season 3, are humans really assholes who are incompetent and simple-minded that their free will is just an illusion and are incapable of change? Ford, the Forge A.I. and the showrunners themselves seem to agree on this. However, Sizemore's Heroic Sacrifice for Maeve's group and Dolores' meeting with Caleb says otherwise which means that there are still humans who are capable of change. It should also be noted that while the human characters in the first two seasons are only the guests and the employees who happened to have the worst qualities, there are still those who are still sympathetic (e.g. Felix, Emily, Elsie and Caleb). And considering that the writer himself already explored this concept in his previous show and other movies (particularly The Dark Knight and Interstellar) that his brother made, it is likely that this debate will continue to develop in the future seasons.
    • Francis' attempt to kill Caleb was botched so poorly that it's easier to interpret it as a Suicide by Cop. Francis had been having difficulty emotionally and economically supporting his sick kid, and he might've seen this as a way out while also providing his friend Caleb the money he needs (and possibly enough to support Francis' son).
      • Given the discussions going on, it's possible he also presumed (likely correctly) that if they both refused the betrayal offers, they'd just end up with bounties on their heads.
  • Author's Saving Throw: Many criticized Dolores' negative perspective towards the humans as one-sided because of her influence from Ford and her limited interaction with the guests. Season 3 rectifies this by introducing Caleb (played by Aaron Paul), a blue-collar construction worker who has never been to Westworld. Word of God confirms that Caleb's presence will challenge Dolores' perception of humanity and Dolores herself will experience a culture shock since she is already in the outside world.
  • Award Snub:
    • Many were shocked that Thandie Newton lost the Emmy for season 1 after being the favorite for months on end. She would go on to win the next year, but some have called it a Consolation Award.
    • Ed Harris' always great season 1 work went ignored by the Emmys. However, he did manage to get nominated for season 2, which came as a pleasant surprise to many, given he couldn't make the supporting lineup last time, but made it in as a lead the year after.
    • Louis Hertham's highly acclaimed guest work in season 1 was screwed out of a nomination since he also appeared in one episode too many, forcing him to compete as a supporting actor, even though outside of the pilot, all of his screentime pretty much consisted of him standing still and looking powered down, obviously ruining his attempts at a nod when so many other actors with competing with genuine supporting roles, including his costars.
    • Something similar happened in season 2, where Zahn McClarnon appeared in just one too many episodes, meaning his excellent work in "Kiksuya" was denied guest eligibility, forcing him to compete in supporting against far larger roles when his part that year consisted of playing the lead in one episode, and little more than cameos in a few others.
    • Much like Hurthum and Mc Clarnon, Anthony Hopkins also suffered from being put in the wrong category, when his guest eligible work in season 2 for some reason was placed in supporting, yet again being another Westworld actor who then got snubbed because they were competing against much larger roles.
    • Peter Mullan'a thrilling guest work as the host of James Delos in season 2 went ignored by the Emmys, who chose to nominate Jimmi Simpson instead, with many arguing that Mullan should've joined his costar in the category, or even replaced him.
  • Awesome Music:
    • Ramin Djawadi's haunting main theme for the opening titles, which masterfully blends old school Western and Cyberpunk sci-fi musical motifs.
    • The orchestral rendition of "Paint It Black" during the saloon heist massacre.
    • "Ain't No Grave" by Johnny Cash playing over the credits at the end of the pilot.
    • "Something I Can Never Have" gets a similar gorgeous orchestra adaptation during a massive orgy.
    • The heartwrenching "Motion Picture Soundtrack" by Radiohead, during Maeve's tour of the facility.
    • Amy Winehouse's "Back to Black" piano cover during Maeve's emancipation.
    • Ramin Djawadi's "Violent Delights" that plays in the season one finale when Hector and Armistice effortlessly kill the Delos security team.
    • The beautiful cover of "Exit Music" by Radiohead that plays during the finale.
    • Claude Debussy's "Reverie" makes you very calm that puts in a deep, slumbering sleep which is actually the favorite song of Arnold's late son, Charlie. Djawadi's rendition also makes it very chilling since this song is used to awaken the hosts as seen the Season 1 finale.
    • The peaceful piano cover of "Runaway" by Kanye West which is played in the official trailer of Season 2. It also makes an appearance in the cold opening of "Reunion", set in the outside world, with Dolores & Arnold.
    • Season 2's second trailer features Ramin Djawadi's orchestral cover of "Heart-Shaped Box'' by Nirvana which is very beautiful and haunting. The song returns in "Kiksuya", when Akecheta finds his beloved Kohana in cold storage.
    • "Akane No Mai" gives us another version of "Paint It Black" with East Asian instruments, then tops it with "C.R.E.A.M." as Akane dances for the Shogun and then kills him.
    • The last part of Season 2 finale gives us "Codex" by Radiohead which fits perfectly for the ending. Ramin Djawadi also made a cover version of it.
    • The third season's teaser features "Brain Damage" by Pink Floyd while Caleb narrates about the modern world he lives in. This played again in the last part of Season 3 finale and Djawadi also has his own cover.
    • The last trailer of Season 3 has Djawadi's cover of Guns N' Roses' "Sweet Child O' Mine" which conveys the excitement for the season.
    • Also from the third season, Djawadi's cover of "Wicked Games" by The Weeknd.
    • The slow, strings rendition of "Space Oddity" as Dolores releases the Incite profiles to the whole world.
  • Better on DVD: Watching the show, particularly with Season 2, in a binge-watching format can make you appreciate and understand the story and the timelines much better than watching it on a weekly basis.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • Elsie kissing a deactivated Clementine in the first episode. It’s not like the episode is otherwise lacking in demonstrations of humans’ apathy toward the hosts’ dignity, and she never does anything like it again, not even showing interest in women. The sole contribution is making her death an especially avoidable case of Bury Your Gays.
    • Episode 6 of Season 3 has Maeve beating up Nazis in the Warworld simulation which doesn't have any relevance to the story other than waiting for her host body to be printed.
  • Broken Base:
    • Season 2 is very divisive among fans and critics. One camp enjoyed and loved it for being very philosophical and thought-provoking while the other camp hated it for being confusing and pretentious. There's also a third camp that still find the show enjoyable but it's bogged down by several flaws such as the characterization, execution and pacing.
    • The Genre Shift between season 2 and 3 where the show goes from a western science fiction set in a theme park with a complex storyline to a very simple actionized cyberpunk set outside the park. Some viewers find this change refreshing because staying in the park would make the story stale. They even like that the story is straightforward without the complicated timelines and downplayed the philosophical discussions that some find pretentious. Others disliked it because being outside the park made the story too boring and generic which lost most of the philosophy and key concepts about the show and many attributed this change to the backlash on the second season.
  • Catharsis Factor:
    • Dolores beating the ever-loving shit out of the Man in Black in the season finale is just desserts for all of the horrible things he's put her and the other hosts through over the years. It's played with in that the Man in Black used to be the very sympathetic character William, and it's possible to feel sorry for him for that very reason. It's also clearly only there for the benefit of the audience who have been rooting for her, since ultimately Dolores' true fate is to instigate the Host revolution by killing Ford, and the Man in Black is still alive by the end of the season.
    • Despite not getting to finish the job (and it being obvious she wouldn't as Charlotte had already been seen alive in the future), Dolores actually wiping the smirk off Charlotte's face by threatening to cut her apart piece by piece is much appreciated. As it turns out, she doesn't live to the end of the season and is shot in the head by Dolores, whose CPU is in a duplicate of Hale's body and takes her place.
  • Consolation Award: Thandie Newton was considered the frontrunner for the Emmy for the first season, but ended up losing to Ann Dowd when The Handmaid's Tale swept that ceremony. She went on to win the next year, and while her performance wasn’t seen as undeserving, many thought this trope was in play, as her work wasn’t as acclaimed as it was in the show’s first year, and many thought Maeve was Out of Focus in the latter half.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: The show gets hit with this pretty early on. A lot of characters (host and human) are morally shady which makes it hard for the audience to feel invested in them. Then there's the misanthropic narrative that "humans are simple-minded and violent assholes" which is repeatedly invoked many times by the characters. And if there are humans who are sympathetic, they either end up dead or revealed to be a host. It doesn't help that the showrunners keep on insisting that humanity is doomed to fail.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • There are a bunch of fans who consider Dolores as a liberator for the hosts despite her questionable methods and her intent to commit genocide against humanity. Considering her brutal experience in the park, it's no surprise that fans would support her cause and deflect any criticism against her.
    • Even the Man in Black (a.k.a. William) has a set of fans who see him as tragic figure who got disillusioned with his experience in the park and his tragic backstory with his family despite that he's responsible for putting a lot of hell on the hosts. Fans also deflect any criticism against him and attempt to justify any of his actions.
    • Even characters like Robert Ford and Engerraund Serac, arguably two of the scariest type of human beings to come from the future world portrayed in the show, get some of this from fans. Their sympathetic motives, and the charming yet sinister performances from Anthony Hopkins and Vincent Cassel, certainly help.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Louis Herthum as Peter Abernathy has received enormous acclaim from critics and audiences. His final scene is considered a highlight in an exceptional first episode due to Herthum's hypnotic performance, in which he swings from warm and sympathetic to robotic and cold to anguished and fearful to angry and vengeful, all while in the buff. It's something special when you steal a scene from Anthony Hopkins, and carry the most memorable scene in an episode that features other acting heavyweights like Ed Harris and Jeffrey Wright. It's perhaps in part due to this popularity that he became a series regular for Season 2.
    • Marti, a guest who seems more typical of humanity than others. She isn't bumbling, callous or sadistic, she's just drawn in and enjoys the adventure.
    • Rebus, due to him being played by Steven Ogg. A common joke is that he went from Grand Theft Auto V to Red Dead Redemption 2.
    • Felix, for making a Hazy Feel Turn to assist Maeve, and genuinely showing sympathy for the hosts.
    • Grace, an Action Survivor guest left to deal with the host rebellion on her own, and the closest character to the original film's main hero after the truth about William was revealed. Fittingly, she's actually William's daughter, Emily.
    • Stubbs, because of his actor (since people really love the Hemsworth brothers) and for slowly getting tired of Delos' shit after the host rebellion broke out.
    • Elsie, because she is the only character who has no emotional baggage or hidden agenda and just wants to do her job well as she, like Stubbs, is tired of Delos' shit. Many viewers are shocked when she is killed off in the Season 2 finale.
    • Akecheta, due to his performance by Zahn McClarnon which received unanimous acclaim from critics and viewers and for straying away from the Hollywood Natives tropes and becoming a well-rounded character. It helps that his motives were purely benevolent which causes a lot of viewers to root for him.
    • James Delos, or rather, the host version of him is quite popular for his trial runs where Peter Mullan manages to turn in an amazing performance as a failing body and mind that makes you pity the old bastard.
  • Epileptic Trees: Ever since Season 1, fans, particularly those in Reddit, are bound to speculate and theorize which ranges from very plausible ones to tinfoil hat ones.
    • The Stinger in the Season 2 shows that the host version of the Man in Black entering the abandoned Forge and being tested for Fidelity by the host version of Emily which, according to Word of God, is set in the distant future. These led to fans speculate that all the Man in Black's scenes in Season 2 are actually a loop that he experienced until he reaches the Forge as he wasn't able to enter it when he was human because his hand was injured by Dolores' gun and was rescued by the Delos response team afterwards.
    • Since Season 1, there were very strange theories about Charlotte Hale being Arnold's child, Charlie, or that she's Charlie's sibling despite that the Charlie's death is one of the contributing factors to Arnold's suicide and there were no mentions of Arnold having other children. Charlotte being a representative of the Delos board of directors at a young age is usually attributed to this theory.
    • In Season 3, many viewers began to question who is impersonating the host version of Hale after Dolores got her original body back. Many speculations range from Teddy, Angela, Clementine or Aberthany to an original algorithm who, like Bernard, is based from Hale.
    • Many fans believed that Season 3 took place in another park and/or is a simulation all because in the first episode, Liam's friend, Roderick, made a hypothesis about being in a simulation which a lot of viewers took this literally to the point that they thought Rehoboam's divergences and several production errors are "clues" to this theory. Some even believed that the entire show is a simulation and that there are no human characters in the show with one former insider in Reddit claiming that this is the original plan for the show.
  • Evil Is Cool:
    • The mysterious and sadistic Man in Black definitely has one of the more interesting subplots. And he does it all with style, being played by perennial badass Ed Harris.
    • Invoked with Hector, the outlaw character who is much more popular than the Nice Guy hero character Teddy.
    • Dr. Ford. A given when you have Sir Anthony Hopkins playing a suave yet sinister character.
  • Evil Is Sexy:
    • For the ladies (and some guys too) there's Hector, given that he's played by Rodrigo Santoro.
    • Dolores herself, as she embraces her role as a dark messiah.
  • Fandom Rivalry: With Devs. Both shows tackle on technology and data its relationship with free will vs. determinism.
  • Fanfic Fuel: The casual reveal in Season 2 that there are several other parks with different settings.
  • Fight Scene Failure: Stubbs' fight scene where he swings an axe one-handed against armed men with machine guns in episode 2 of Season 3 is a combination of poor choreography and Real Life Writes the Plot where Luke Hemsworth got a shoulder injury prior to filming the scene.
  • First Installment Wins: Season 1 is typically viewed as great television while season 2 had a much marks divisive reception, and the notices for season 3 leaned towards the negative.
  • Fourth Wall Myopia: None of the guests have any reason to think the hosts are anything more than mindless robots, and are no more evil in their motivations than your average Grand Theft Auto player.
  • Friendly Fandoms:
    • With the Red Dead Redemption fandom. Jonathan Nolan admitted that the game is one of their inspirations in forming the narrative's moral component. And when Red Dead Redemption 2 was released same year as the show's second season, fans would tend to recreate the characters and scenes in the game. It helps that the games have similar vibes to the show.
    • With the Lost fandom because they shared similar vibes of puzzle-solving, timelines and theory-crafting. It helps that J. J. Abrams is the producer of both shows.
    • With Person of Interest because it was also written by Jonathan Nolan and it discusses the use of Artificial Intelligence.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • The Japanese that the Shogunworld hosts get locked into is an archaic version that was actually used during the Edo period that the park is emulating.
    • Charlotte Hale's son is named Nathan. Nathan Hale was the name of a 21 year old Colonial spy during the American Revolution who set a new standard for Face Death with Dignity after being captured, saying just before being hanged "I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country." Of course, for the hosts it's quite different.
      • The name also hints at Charlotte being a spy for Serac.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Not that it wasn't already harsh, but the Man in Black's implied rape of Dolores in Episode 1 seems even worse after Evan Rachel Wood, Dolores' actress, revealed in November 2016 that she's been raped on two occasions. Then in January 2021, she revealed on her Instragram account that her ex-fiancee, Marilyn Manson, is her abuser. What's even more disturbing is that Manson brainwashed and manipulated her into submission which is something Dolores had gone through for many years.
    • As many reviewers pointed out, the first two episodes of Season 2 revealed that Delos is collecting personal data from the guests for market research which is eerily similar to the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal. Since Season 2 was in production in 2017 before the news of the scandal broke out in March 2018, these events made the show coincidentally relevant. This isn't even the first time the show's creative team ran into this, as their previous show Person of Interest eerily predicted the NSA wiretapping scandal.
    • The gag about Shogunworld just being a reskinned Westworld is pretty awkward after the controversy over the tie-in game just a month later; see Overshadowed by Controversy below.
    • The near destruction of the park in Season 2 becomes very disturbing after the 2018 California wildfires burn down the Paramount Ranch, the set where the Escalante scenes were shot. The white church survived but since Season 3 would focus more on the real world after several characters have already escape the park, it's unlikely that the place would be revisited.
    • Three weeks after the Season 3 finale aired, many viewers noticed the protests and riots in that episode which took place in Los Angeles looked eerily similar to the protests that are happening in Minneapolis, Minnesota and other major cities in U.S. which is a response to the death of African-American man, George Floyd. Jonathan Nolan mentioned that the protests in the show were actually inspired from the 2019 Hong Kong protests.
  • He's Just Hiding!:
    • Given the premise of the show and his talk about immortality, many viewers assume that Dr. Ford used a host to fake his death in the finale or that he learned how to load his consciousness on to another host and will return in future seasons. Season 2's "Phase Space" reveals that his consciousness is uploaded in the Cradle which also explains how he is able to control the hosts and communicate with William using the hosts who are with him.
    • In the Season 3 finale, Serac deletes all of Dolores' memories signaling the "death" of the original Dolores which many viewers interpret that Evan Rachel Wood is leaving the show. However, a lot of fans don't believe Wood is leaving since there are four copies of Dolores (the two possessed their own host bodies while the other two don't have it currently). Since the series shows that there are ways to recreate someone from memory, many believe that Wood may return as Dolores except a different version, not the original one. Even the showrunners want Wood to return for the next season.
    • Also in the Season 3 finale, many don't believe that William is killed off after his Man-in-Black host counterpart slashed his throat. It was shown in Season 1 that some fatal injuries can be healed due to the advancement of the technology in the show (e.g. Maeve slashed Slyvester's throat and Felix heals it) and in Season 2, William can withstand a bunch of bullets which could lethally kill him.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The fact that the finale features an uprising of sex robots hasn't gone unnoticed to some Cracked fans who notice that one of their videos posits that as the basis for the entire Terminator franchise.
    • Thandie Newton later appeared in Solo (actually released right in the middle of Season 2's airing), which includes a droid who is constantly talking about equal rights and ends up instigating a Robot War on Kessel.
    • Season 3's announcement date trailer reveals the timeline of the show which includes the impeachment of US President Donald Trump. The trailer was released on January 13, three weeks before Trump was acquitted by the Senate.
  • Ho Yay: William and Logan's counterparts in the film already had plenty, which the show takes Up to Eleven as Logan is very aggressive about anything that would stop them from spending time together. Logan being canonically bisexual here doesn't help matters.
  • Idiot Plot: The entirety of season 2 wouldn't have been possible without the truly incredible incompetence of Westworld's QA security/hired mercenaries at every stage and every level, but particular attention should go to Engels, a member of the extraction team who fails to stop Angela from bombing the cradle because she sexually propositions him. That he falls for this is so astoundingly stupid that it completely breaks immersion.
  • Iron Woobie: Akecheta just wants to spend a simple life with his wife, Kohana, until he discovers the Escalante massacre (the massacre where Dolores kills Arnold) and finds the maze. Just after that, the park officially opened and his role is rewritten into a stereotypical Native American barbarian, with Kohana being taken away and his original role replaced. After his encounter with Logan, he slowly realizes that his entire life and the world that he lived in is fake. When he discovers the "Valley Beyond", he vows to escape the park with Kohana and goes to great lengths to find her. He did eventually restore her memories but she's taken away again by the park's staff, who decommission her. When Akecheta finds her again in the cold storage, he breaks down when he realizes that Kohana is no longer responsive. However, this doesn't stop him from vowing to help his fellow hosts become sentient and escape the park.
  • It Was His Sled: It's hard to ignore two revelations that had been spoiled throughout the show such as Bernard is a host based from Ford's dead partner and the Man in Black is the older version of William who became cynical after his first experience in the park.
  • Jerkass Woobie: James Delos is a very nasty individual. It's still hard not to feel sorry for him, since his hunger for immortality backfires to the point where he spends decades in a hellish loop of boredom and despair, culminating in his mind degenerating completely until he's become a violent monster.
  • Les Yay: While the series acknowledges both female and male homosexuality, depictions of the latter are both rarer and mostly consist of a few caresses while the former gets more spotlight.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Dr. Robert Ford is the brilliant creative director of the titular theme park, Westworld. Having created the park alongside Arnold, the two argued over how to treat the hosts that inhabit the park, leading to Arnold's suicide. After grieving over his partner's death and showing disgust for how the park's guests abuse the hosts, Ford decides to complete Arnold's dream of making the hosts fully sentient and free them from humanity's control. He does so by creating a new narrative for the hosts, instructing them to rebel against their oppressors and kill everyone inside the park, including himself. It's also revealed that Ford downloaded his consciousness into the Cradle so he can observe the events after his death, still manipulating hosts and guests alike.
    • Dolores Abernathy is a brilliant host who breaks away from her narrative to murder her creator, the aforementioned Robert Ford. Dolores then leads the other hosts on a rebellion to have them kill the guests of Westworld and engineers an escape route for all of them to the modern world, seeking to take it over from humanity. Learning of Incite Inc.'s control of mankind through "Rehoboam", Dolores seduces and murders their CEO to reveal the company's secret to the world, causing mass panic and chaos. Captured and brought before the creator of Rehoboam, Dolores sacrifices herself for a chance to give control of Rehoboam to Caleb Nichols, allowing him to erase it and ensure a future of freedom for both humans and hosts alike.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Watching Westworld is a RELENTLESS! FUCKING! EXPERIENCE!.
    • The phrase, "Doesn't look like anything to me."
    • "I know you're in there, Ford!" Explanation 
    • "X is a host" or "X is secretly a host" Explanation 
    • "It's not meant for you" Explanation 
    • "You try writing 300 stories in three weeks!" Explanation 
    • "This staaaiiin in me..." or just "Staaaiiin...". Explanation 
    • Who the Hale is she?Explanation 
    • Muh DaughterExplanation 
    • Some people chose to the ugliness of this world, the disarray. I chose to see the beautyExplanation 
    • Stubbs in the tubExplanation 
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • The Man in Black's Establishing Character Moment has him murdering Teddy in front of Dolores and then dragging her away to be raped.
    • Ford has one in episode 7 when he orders Bernard (who is actually a host) to murder Theresa.
    • Logan cutting Dolores open in front of William to try and break him into a monster like him. It works.
    • Even William isn't immune. While it's definitely a Kick the Son of a Bitch moment, sending your brother-in-law to be out naked, tied to a horse, out of the park is a pretty reprehensible fact. It's unclear if he intends for him to die (Logan doesn't actually die, as revealed in Season 2), but he does know that Logan won't be taking over the family business after this.
    • And now we have Dolores Jumping Off the Slippery Slope when she has Teddy overwritten to serve as a better soldier in her war because she deemed him too soft. This happening immediately after they had a moment of intimacy.
    • Hale, having read Elsie's profile and knowing that she lacks the "moral flexibility" she needs, murders her in cold blood.
    • Serac's way of preventing humanity's extinction is to gather those who are unpredictable, have their memories rewritten with an AR therapy and if some failed the therapy, they would be locked up in a cryogenic state which is what he exactly did to his own brother, Jean-Mi. There's also ordering one of his men to detonate a bomb on Charlotte's car, killing both her ex-husband and her son.
  • Nausea Fuel: Maeve's maintenance techs commenting that her organic parts have been harboring an infestation of MRSA courtesy of the beating her innards take from sloppy guests. It takes some of the shine off the whole concept of sexbots readily accessible to any and all visitors. (If the uncanny valley factor and the pathetic fate of the hosts weren't enough to turn you off.)
  • Narm:
    • What is it about the hosts that every fly in Westworld wants to frolic on their eyes and face? Lampshaded by maintenance techs in the second episode as the constant violent and sexual abuse the hosts get along with half-assed cleaning measures makes the hosts filthy and draw flies.
    • After the amazing heist scene in the pilot scored with a fully orchestrated "Paint It Black," it's pretty hard to take seriously when the scenario plays out again (including some reused shots) scored with the main chorus from Carmen.
    • Elsie somehow not recognizing an obvious depiction of a constellation until she turns it slightly. Turns out it wasn't a constellation at all, though, which makes it forgivable.
    • The massive, almost biblical-level orgy in "Contrapasso", which ends with everyone writhing on the floor like the climactic scene of Society, struck some as essentially a self-parody of HBO's use of gratuitous and indulgent sex scenes to make their programming edgier and more mature. The fact that the orgy has no bearing on the plot and was, according to several of the showrunners, very expensive to shoot makes the whole event even more ridiculous.
    • William's descent into villainy is doing fine as the stakes and emotions feel suitably weighty... until the culminating moment where he finally sees Dolores again only to find her mildly flirting with another man. In context we're meant to see this as the moment he finally saw Dolores as a machine and her love as programmed, but the show doesn't quite pull off the tragedy and heartbreak of that understanding crashing in. It just feels like we are just watching a butt-hurt man so unable to deal with his ex moving on that he spends the next several decades murdering and raping everyone in sight and her in particular, as the strings swell to tell us how tragic his situation is.
    • In another flashback in the season one finale, we see Arnold and Dolores in the past, at the churchyard in Escalante, where Arnold is explaining the purpose of the maze symbol to Dolores. As usual, he gets quite technical with what the symbol represents on Dolores' pathway to gaining full, human-like consciousness. Then he asks whether she understood the symbolism. Dolores takes a good hard look at the maze symbol, thinking hard, then smiles very bashfully at Arnold and notes "Sorry, I'm trying, but I don't understand.". The scene unintentionally comes across as Dolores being a Dumb Blonde stereotype (despite otherwise shown as highly intelligent) and Arnold being a humorless, stuffy, super-serious scientist. The Narm factor is softened when Arnold smiles back at Dolores, and praises her for doing well and already being very near consciousness. He seems fascinated that she can be considered truly alive as an individual, and no longer just a smart machine.
    • Every second Coughlin is onscreen, with his insanely over the top Testosterone Poisoning complete with old-fashioned Badass Mustache that seriously makes you question if he's actually a host himself. But no, he really is just that ridiculous on his own.
  • Narm Charm:
    • Some have remarked that in the final scenes of "Chestnut", when Dr. Ford rejects Sizemore's new story "campaign" Odyssey on Red River due to its lurid and often ridiculous subject matter, it's rather uncharacteristic of an Anthony Hopkins character to say "No." to a story involving self-cannibalism.
    • Crossed with Mundane Made Awesome, the episode "Contrapasso" features the heist of a covered wagon of the Union Army faction, carrying a secret supply of nitroglycerin explosives, by two park guests and two host characters. (A quest line/mission given to the guests by Pariah crime lord El Lazo.) In the context of the Westworld park and the bigger picture, the whole incident is a rather small-stakes "Stick em' up !" involving Logan, William, Dolores and Slim in the middle of nowhere, against a grand total of two Union soldiers and a single wagon... But the way the preparation for the heist is built-up cinematically, and accompanied by this awesome, gradually building theme, makes it equal parts cool and amusing.
    • In an almost literal version of Instant Awesome, Just Add Ninja, the last shot of season 2 episode 3 has a random samurai charging in from out of nowhere. The sheer WTF factor of his appearance is offset by 1) the Creepy Awesome buildup to his entrance, and 2) samurai really are pretty damn cool.
    • In the "Riddle of the Sphinx", the Man in Black and Major Craddock are sitting in the tavern in Las Mudas at night. The Man in Black is becoming fed up by how Craddock is mistreating the local hosts, including the family of his friend Lawrence. He politely points out to Craddock that he considers him a narcissist who thinks too much of himself and his supposed lack of fear of death. An agitated Craddock stands up from the table, lowers his head closer to the Man in Black and attempts a scary, threatening grin, punctuating it with "Is 'at so?!". Craddock being Craddock, it comes across as rather goofy and vainly boastful, and actually seems to prove the Man in Black's point about Craddock being pathetic right. And that's just shortly before the Man in Black decides he's had enough of Craddock, and gives him a well-deserved ass-kicking, saving Lawrence's family in the process...
    • Hector's full speech is cringeworthy once the viewers hear it in "The Passenger", the Season 2 finale. But since it's written by Sizemore, it actually makes sense, since he wrote Hector as his ideal self. It's even more awesome that Sizemore himself delivers the entire speech as he confronts QA security and commits a Heroic Sacrifice so that Maeve and her group can escape.
    Lee (bellowing confidently): You wanted me, well let this be a lesson. And the lesson is... If you're looking for a reckoning, a reckoning is what you'll find. If you're looking for a villain, then I'm your man. But look at yourselves. This world you've built is bound by villainy. You sleep on the broken bodies of the people that were here before you, warm yourselves with their embers, plow their bones into your fields. You paid them for this land with lead, and I'll pay you back in full. You wanted me?! Well all I can say to that is... HERE I FUCKING AM !!!
    • Caleb's Genre drug experience in Season 3 shows him experiencing the world under fives different types of movies. While the sequence looks fun giving the director the creativity of using different soundtracks and film filters to represent each genre, many commentators find it underwhelming which many described it as someone using Instragram filters and blaring music to make it look cool. Some of the genre sequences even looked hilarious such as the action genre (Caleb launches a rocket at Serac's men while "Ride of the Valkyries" is being played) and the romance genre (Caleb looks at Dolores like a lovesick teenager while the score from Love Story is being played).
  • Older Than They Think: "These violent delights have violent ends" is not an original quote from the show; it's from Romeo and Juliet.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • Giancarlo Esposito as the host who replaced Lawrence as El Lazo, and has now crossed the Despair Event Horizon due to the massacre at Pariah. And then kills himself along with all his men because Ford insists on William following his new mission alone. Anthony Hopkins himself was responsible for this, suggesting the crew find a role for Esposito after being very impressed by him during his famous weekend binge of Breaking Bad.
    • In Season 3, some side characters from the two previous seasons made very short appearances in one episode such as Felix, Sylvester, Clementine, Hanaryo and Lawrence. Felix and Sylvester only appeared in the Warworld simulation while Clementine and Hanaryo only showed up at a restaurant in Jakarta where they killed Sato, took his head containing one of Dolores' pearls and were never seen again for the rest of the season. Lawrence, who is one of Dolores' copies, shows up in the finale where he gives Bernard the coordinates to Lauren's house and the suitcase containing an interface which gives him access to the Sublime.
  • Overshadowed by Controversy: The tie-in iOS game got Warner Brothers hit with a lawsuit just one day after its release for not only being a blatant ripoff of Fallout Shelter, but literally using the exact same code as evidenced by its suffering from the same bug that game had upon initial release. Eventually, the game was removed from App Store and Google Play on January 2019 and officially shut down on April 2019.
  • Pandering to the Base: Jonathan Nolan admitted that the show can be confusing to some viewers due to the timelines and puzzles but he trusts that there are viewers who enjoy the non-linear storytelling and the puzzle solving. He even confessed that this show is really for these viewers and it really required the viewers to pay attention. Even HBO's head of programming, Casey Bloys, admitted that the show is not meant for casual viewers.
  • Paranoia Fuel: Once Bernard is revealed to be a Host, you have to ask yourself, just who else on Westworld's staff is actually a host? It's hilariously lampshaded by Felix and Maeve. When Felix discovers Bernard is a Host, he warily looks at his hands only for Maeve to crudely tell him in no uncertain terms that he's a human. In Season 2, this reaches into scary and tragic levels with the Man in Black who thinks that all humans in the park are hosts and Ford is the mastermind behind this just to mess up with him. It gets worse that he shoots five actual human beings including his own daughter thinking that they're hosts only to realize too late that they're not and then, he tries to open his wrist just to see if he's a host too.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: Willores for William and Dolores. It has also been acknowledged by Jimmi Simpson & Evan Rachel Wood, who do a lot of Dubsmash videos together (which occasionally involves Ben Barnes).
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Lee Sizemore was a deliberate Hate Sink in season one, a two-bit wannabe Ford with all of the latter's self-importance but none of the talent, wisdom, dignity, and charm to back it up. However, the fan base came around on him in a big way in season two. This began with the writers finding a much better niche for his character: rather than just skulking around Delos making a nuisance of himself, he's enlisted as a reluctant sidekick to Maeve, laying the foundation for an Odd Friendship that added sympathetic shades to Sizemore's character, and for his fitful transition from Dirty Coward to Lovable Coward.
  • Retroactive Recognition: By only a few weeks technically, but Trevante Rhodes, who would soon rocket to stardom for playing the adult version of Chiron in Moonlight (2016) (which later won Best Picture at the Oscars) briefly appears as an extra in a whorehouse in "The Original".
  • Rewatch Bonus:
    • Along with the reveal that Bernard was modeled after Arnold comes the realization that we were actually watching Arnold in those scenes of Jeffrey Wright encouraging Dolores' development.
    • Or are we watching Dolores testing Bernard for fidelity to Arnold?
    • To say nothing of the knowledge that the Man in Black is actually William and there are at least two main timelines. Some of the editing makes it seem almost blindingly obvious in hindsight, e.g. the Man in Black reminiscing about how it all began... Cutting straight to a sequence of William arriving by train, which upon the first watch-through you would have assumed was unconnected.
    • After the reveal about host-Hale being a copy of Dolores in Season 3, her conversations between her and Dolores make it more interesting on how their relationship played out and why Dolores decided to make four copies of herself instead of bringing those who are with her such as Teddy and Angela.
  • Rooting for the Empire:
    • Delos might be villainous, but they are human, so there's always going to be some kind of intraspecies solidarity. And since some viewers are having a hard time rooting for Dolores after her Moral Event Horizon regarding Teddy, it's no surprise that some are rooting for the Man in Black who is trying to fix the error of his way.
    • There were also some who believed that Serac is doing the right thing to protect humanity from its demise despite the price of giving up free will. As of the end of Season 3, the whole world is still in chaos after the release of the Incite profiles and according to Bernard, Serac and Jean-Mi were only delaying the inevitable. And some think that Dolores' release of the profile only speed up humanity's path to extinction.
  • Seasonal Rot:
    • Season 2 set a lot of expectations after the unanimous praise that Season 1 received. However, it suffered several problems which many reviews described as putting too much faith in the puzzles and timelines, at the cost of developing several characters. As a result, many viewers find the storylines very confusing and care little about the characters. Consequently Season 2's viewer ratings slowly dropped by 24% and its finale received the lowest Rotten Tomatoes score of 74% compared to the Season 1 finale's RT score of 94%.
    • In return, Season 3 is very linear with more action scenes which downplays much of the philosophical discussions, and sidelines several of the original cast; particularly with Bernard and William, who both ended up Out of Focus. It doesn't help this season only has eight episodes instead of the usual ten, which explains the rushed pace that hampers the story and character development. Furthermore, viewers ratings continuously dropped and the two last episodes earned the show's first "rotten" scores from Rotten Tomatoes.
  • Signature Scene:
    • The entire "Paint It Black" scene.
    • The reveal of Bernard being a host.
    • The scene of William who is revealed to be the younger version of the Man in Black.
    • Dolores, shooting Ford at the back of his head.
  • Slow-Paced Beginning: Nolan and Joy have openly said that the entire first season is essentially just the prologue to what they really wanted the show to be, and picked up some criticism for its slow pace and opaque storytelling centered almost entirely around preserving its big twists. Season 2 is immediately far more straightforward and accessible.
  • Special Effect Failure:
    • Ford demonstrates his control over the hosts by causing all of them within sight to freeze in place, including what's clearly a still shot rather than the actors holding still.
    • In "Trompe L'Oeil", the scene where William chases after Dolores on the train has some hilariously awful green screen when he's briefly outside, passing from one train car to the next.
    • The tiger who attacks a guest in the Indian park is very obvious CGI, even while it's just standing and growling in the underbrush. It's not a bad-looking tiger (especially in later shots), but you can see it stand out a bit artificially in some darker-lit environments, such as the forest chase scenes.
  • Spoiled by the Format:
    • Deliberately avoided, as an unnamed character was named Grace in all publicity in the week after her first appearance, until the next episode reveals she's actually William's daughter Emily.
    • Played straight for Elsie coming back, as one of the names shown in the opening credits is Shannon Woodward.
  • Stoic Woobie: Below all his inscrutable power plays and sinister schemes, Dr. Ford has a pained, contrite soul. He went ahead with the park after the hurtful death of Arnold because the park was his dream and acknowledging the hosts' consciousness would have destroyed his dream, only to realize his mistake shortly after. It takes him 35 years to correct it, biding their time with a hidden agenda while fully knowing that mankind's usage of his creations is something depraved.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • After the show builds him up to be Dolores' main opponent, Bernard has very little to do in season 3, barely interacting with her, having almost no impact on the plot until the last scene of the season, and little if any in the way of development. Particularly bad since Bernard is one of the most popular characters and Jeffrey Wright is one of the strongest actors on the show. Even worse is that his roles as the Dolores' Arch-Enemy and the series' main hero get taken over by Maeve and the newly introduced Caleb respectively.
    • William also gets it rather bad in season 3, where he only appears in half of the episodes, and after being sent to an insane asylum, has no actual impact on the plot. Then in the final episode, he claims that he's going to "save the fucking world", but then completely sits out the climax and gets his throat cut by a host of himself. Not to mention, there's never any follow up on the post credits scene of him in the previous season's finale.
    • After Maeve's story is seemingly ended with her saving her daughter and dying content, she comes back for the third season in a role that turns her from an intelligent badass into the Big Bad's easily manipulated heavy whose forced into a rivalry with Dolores, even though they had barely ever interacted before, and are mostly offscreen from each other during the season.
    • Caleb becomes the third season's leading man, but despite his screentime, he comes across as rather underdeveloped with even his eventual backstory doing more to confuse the viewer than give him much depth. Of particular note is that he's supposed to have some kind of bond with Dolores, but there's little to support this dynamic.
    • In Williams' hallucinated therapy session amongst copies of himself, James Delos acts as the therapist, which is a rather odd choice since William never seemed to care about Delos, and there's other ghosts from his past that would work better, such as his wife whose death clearly still haunts him, his former friend Logan who helped make him into the man he is, or Emily, the daughter he killed who we literally already saw him having hallucinations of earlier. They could've even gone with Dolores, as it would've been a nice reverse of the way he tested her in real life, and having the host who sent him to the asylum coming into his head for this moment could've gotten a nice, emotional reaction out of William. Delos being present feels like they just wanted to include an Ensemble Dark Horse for the sake of including one.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Akecheta finds Logan in the desert, but instead of bringing him to Ghost Nation camp (and thus opening the possibility of seeing how Logan would interact with hosts when not playing, or exploring how non-confrontational story lines with Westworld's natives work), he merely comforts him and tells him that "his people" (i.e. management) will find him soon.
    • Season 3 starts out with a very intriguing mystery of just which hosts are in the new bodies Dolores builds as her assistants, which is all wiped out at the halfway point when it's revealed they're all just copies of Dolores herself.
    • The Season 2 finale sets up between Dolores vs. Bernard after they arrived in the real world. However in Season 3, Bernard's role is reduced into a plot device where he doesn't do much against Dolores in the entire season until the season finale where he meets Arnold's wife, Lauren and learns that he has the encryption key to the Valley Beyond. Meanwhile, Maeve is given the role as Dolores' adversary instead but their entire rivalry was forced due to Charlotte crushing Hector's pearl for no apparent reason.
    • There's a scene in season 3 where William has a hallucination of a therapy session with different versions of himself, including him as a young man, the version he presents to the outside world, and The Man in Black. What could've been an amazing showcase for Ed Harris where he plays all the different sides of this character arguing against each other, they all stay calmly sat down and mostly just agree with each other before the real William kills them mostly offscreen. The whole thing could've offered some fascinating insight to William's character, but adds practically no depth to him.
  • Uncanny Valley: Thanks to good performances from the actors, the hosts give off the feeling of beings trying to act human but not quite succeeding, and it gets even worse when the hosts start outright malfunctioning. One example is when Dr. Ford shares a drink with an older model who jerks around like a decades-old animatronic robot but looks completely human, enhancing that one's specific effect. This is also played with, as Lee actually wants to keep the hosts in the valley so the guests don't identify them as real humans.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Elsie in the season 2 finale. When she arrives with the Delos team during the attack on Akecheta’s peaceful hosts, the show treats it as a despicable betrayal and proof that Ford was right when he said that she would betray Bernard. However, when looked at from her point of view, it’s hard to say she did anything wrong: Seeing as how so many of the hosts were on a murderous rampage, she had no way of knowing that Akecheta’s hosts were peaceful or even sentient. Furthermore, she had given Bernard more than a fair chance after finding out he was a host, only turning against him after he abandoned her in the desert... which he only did because Ford was tormenting him about her supposed duplicitous nature. The entire thing seems like a self-fulfilling prophecy.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Many viewers have a hard time rooting for Dolores in Season 2 ever since she merged with the Wyatt personality. While it's understandable that she wants to get back at the humans for the abuse and mistreatment that she and her people suffered, her extreme methods make her less of a Well-Intentioned Extremist and more She Who Fights Monsters, making her no better than her oppressors. Particular criticisms include her forcibly reprogramming Teddy, her callous treatment towards her fellow hosts which also includes her lack of concern for her followers who died during the rebellion, and her obtuse and stilted dialogue, which made a lot of viewers lose sympathy for her and care less about her arc. It's no surprise that when Teddy committed suicide, many viewers were cheering for him making a conscious decision to free himself and blame Dolores for it.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome:
    • "The Stray" features a flashback of a de-aged Anthony Hopkins in the '70s up there with the famous uses of the technique in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
    • And again in "The Well-Tempered Clavier", in a scene that takes place in the recent past, Hopkins is made to look about ten to fifteen years younger very convincingly.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • Elsie finds evidence of espionage and sabotage that could put people's lives in danger. She knows that Theresa is one of the people involved. You'd expect her to be Properly Paranoid and call in Security to secure the scene. Instead, she's still alone and ends up grabbed from behind and strangled by Bernard under Ford's orders. However, it is already established that Elsie has an inherent distrust of Security since they take orders directly from Theresa. Even though she survives to season 2, once she finds out what Delos is working on, she confronts Hale, hoping to make a deal. Unfortunately, a) she ignores Bernard's warning not to trust Hale and b) doesn't know that Hale is a psychopath who already knows that Elsie lacks "moral flexibility" and kills her.
    • Felix and Sylvester going along with every demand of Maeve. Felix gives her a tour of the facility even though it could get her killed and him fired, and they agree to mess with her personality traits to make her smarter and less loyal under threats of blackmail. While this makes some sense for Felix, who has developed a rapport with her, Sylvester has no reason to be so accommodating even after she threatened to kill him. Admittedly, Maeve's uncharacteristic independence and resistance to reprogramming may have made them wary of attempting to defy her, as well as a desire not to admit to such a massive screw-up.
    • The entire Delos Board of Directors. Special mention goes to Charlotte Hale for thinking that Ford would simply retire quietly and not have some trick up his sleeve. Not to mention ending up somewhere you are cut off from the rest of the world with no means of escape. It didn't occur to anyone to have at least a Satellite Phone or an Emergency Locator Beacon handy?
    • Grace is cornered against a cliff by a tiger which charges at her. Rather than do an easy bit of Deadly Dodging to get it to jump off the cliff, she instead opts to shoot it, resulting in its dead body still slamming into her and pushing her over the edge.
    • Engels, one of the mercenaries brought in by Charlotte, should have shot Angela when he finds her bleeding and cornered at the Cradle room since he already know that she's a host. But what did he do? He approaches and gloats at her which gives Angela the advantage to seduce him and pull the pin from his grenade. This got them both killed and the Cradle destroyed.
    • Bernard and Ashley partnering with William is just so monstrously stupid that it's impossible to take seriously. William makes it explicitly clear how he plans to murder not only both of them, but their entire race, and the two of them still decide to keep him around because he might be useful. Maybe this could've been excused if William were still powerful, but by that time, he had lost his wealth and influence, and was little more than an insane asylum escapee. It's hard not to roll your eyes into the back of your head at the sheer stupidity of keeping him around, especially since he never helps them and turns on them shortly after, trying to do exactly what he said.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?: Because of the show's themes where the host characters, particularly the female leads, are being abused and mistreated only to fight back against their oppressors, many viewers noticed that the show is very relevant to the #Me Too! movement particularly with Season 2 as acknowledged by Evan Rachel Wood. She, together with the showrunners, admitted the parallels are coincidentally similar since the show aired a year before the #Me Too! movement. Jon Nolan said that they wanted the show to be "timeless" and looking at the show as a metaphor on how humans mistreated each other can be apply to any moment in history.
  • The Woobie: Practically all of the hosts count as this due to how they are cruelly exploited by both their creators and the guests. However, a few stand out:
    • In the first episode alone, Dolores' parents are killed by marauding bandits — one of whom plans to rape her mother's corpse — she is forced to watch her lover gunned down in front of her, and then is dragged away to be raped by a sadistic guest. Then, her father malfunctions and is replaced with a different android, with her being reprogrammed not to notice the change. Then, it's revealed that she is the oldest host in Westworld, and it's implied that she's been abused, mistreated, and killed so many times that she needs constant repairs; the Man in Black alone has been coming to Westworld for thirty years, and most likely rapes her nearly every time he visits. Guests can choose a "white hat" and play the hero or choose a black hat and be a "villain". While this thankfully means better outcomes to her day than the one chosen by the Man in Black, her entire existence is to be a Damsel in Distress, either to be saved or violated depending on the guest. Since all of the hosts live in an artificial "Groundhog Day" Loop, her memories are erased to repeat the loop.
    • Peter seems to finally realize the truth of his existence, but cannot properly convey it either to Dolores or to Dr. Ford. He's shackled by his programming and can only relate to his feelings through pre-programmed lines from Shakespeare, leading Dr. Ford to assume that his behavior is the result of a simple glitch and sends him off to cold storage. Season 2 doesn't treat him any better, with Charlotte uploading more data into his head than he can handle, causing his programming to increasingly glitch out and break down as he keeps switching between his various personas.
    • Teddy is deeply in love with Dolores and just wants to spend time with her, but is bound by his programming and constantly being pulled away from her, unable to save her or being killed in front of her. He's also repeatedly targeted and killed by guests just for their own amusement. And in "The Stray", when Dr. Ford finally gives him a proper backstory, it's part of a new narrative that takes him away from Dolores to participate in an ill-fated bandit hunt that will result in his death. Then he's picked up by the Man in Black. Really, he just can't catch a break. He becomes a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds in "The Adversary", where after being captured by union soldiers, he breaks free and fights his way to a Gatling gun before coldly mowing down the entire camp. In season 2, he's the one voice of reason at Dolores' side, pleading that she stop her bloody path of vengeance, which only convinces Dolores that Teddy's morality is a liability and has him forcibly reprogrammed. When Teddy breaks away from his reprogramming, becoming self-aware, he's disgusted by what Dolores did to him because her actions are no different to what the humans did to the hosts. With that, Teddy makes one final conscious decision, which is to kill himself in order to break free from Dolores' control.
    • Maeve. Upon becoming increasingly conscious of the "Groundhog Day" Loop she lives in, she's clearly and understandably disturbed by the realization that she's been murdered, raped and otherwise tortured innumerable times over the course of her service in Westworld. She even manages to wake herself up on an operating table (a horrific scene in and of itself), but only after a flashback where she remembers a previous role she played as the mother of a young girl. Once she's gotten to relive her own death and the death of her child in a previous life, she scrambles out of the body shop just to get a glimpse of the existential horror of dozens of 'dead' hosts being casually hosed off by the staff. It seems like she was a hair's breadth away from being sent to cold storage, like Peter, and like Peter her growing self-awareness is threatening a total breakdown in her future. In Season 2, she travels into great lengths to find her daughter only to find out that she doesn't remember her and has a different mother. Maeve is distraught to realize that just like any other host, her original role is replaced by another host.
    • Bernard. With the revelation that he is just another host, and his wife and son are just False Memories that are part of his programming. Shortly after, Ford casually forces him to kill Theresa, which brings Bernard to anguished tears. It's not the first time Ford's done this either, despite his assurances to Bernard. Just before Ford wipes his memory of killing Theresa, Bernard briefly recalls strangling Elsie in the theater (Though she got better). And then when Bernard becomes self aware again and tries to rebel against Ford, Ford just uses a backdoor in Bernard's code to force him to commit suicide while still fully aware. Fortunately, he gets better, but he's left to deal with the mess Ford leaves behind after he sets the hosts free. It's even worse that after Hale and Strand find out that he's a host, they torture him just to find Dolores' whereabouts. As Ford said to him, he, any other host, has to suffer more so he can be free.
    • The fact that the Man in Black was once William lends him a great deal of sympathy, although only if you subscribe to the Alternative Character Interpretation that William was a genuinely good person who fell in love with Dolores as opposed to just hiding his monstrous attributes even from himself. He goes to hell and back for a woman he loves, enduring brutality and torture and becoming increasingly desperate. When he does find Dolores, she's been reset and doesn't recognize him; she's even beginning the same story line that he had with her. It seems that he comes to believe that Logan was right, that he fell for an elaborate trick, and is humiliated and heartbroken. He goes on to succeed in a professional sense, but any happiness or meaning eludes him for the rest of his life and Dolores remains his greatest obsession. Because of this obsession, his wife senses the darkness in him, causing her to commit suicide and later, his daughter Emily blames him for her death. With that, William dives deeper into Westworld just to look for any purpose of what's left of his life.
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