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    Posted on Nov 4, 2016

    7 "Westworld" Fan Theories That Will Make You Say, "Holy Shit"

    Um, so how many timelines are there exactly?

    HBO's new show Westworld is only five episodes in, but already people have a ~lot~ of questions.

    HBO

    And when people have questions, there are bound to be fan theories. It's like the second coming of Lost out there, people.

    So here are some of the best, craziest, and the most and least likely fan theories out there right now. Spoilers follow!

    1. William and the Man In Black are the same person on two different timelines.

    HBO
    HBO

    The most popular Westworld fan theory floating around right now is the "two timelines" theory, which posits that the show isn't showing us events in exact chronological order, but is instead jumping back and forth between the future and the past. People who subscribe to this theory generally think that William is the constant: The Man in Black is never referred to by name, which could mean that the show is trying to hide the fact that he's actually William in the future (or present, as it were).

    This helps explain some of the mysteries of the show. How are the techs able to interview the hosts while they're in the middle of the storyline with a guest? It could be that the interviews are happening at a completely different time. Why is the park logo that William sees when he arrives different from the other logo we've seen around? How was Lawrence able to reappear so quickly in William and Logan's quest when the MiB had just slit his throat?

    There are a lot of issues with this theory, such as the fact that current-day Westworld employees appear to be talking about Dolores going off loop with William, indicating that William is indeed in the park in the present. Additionally, the MiB says that back when he first came to the park, the hosts were all very much mechanical and not their current part-biological versions.

    This video sums up the evidence for the theory:

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    2. Bernard is actually a host.

    HBO

    Redditor TheScalex theorizes that Bernard isn't really human, and is actually a host with a built-in tragic backstory about losing his son. Most of the evidence is subtle: Bernard says he "didn't get much sleep last night" in one scene, which is what hosts like Maeve have been saying after their late-night encounters with employees. In another scene, Ford tells Bernard, "I know how your head works," which could imply that Bernard is programmed.

    Bernard's scene where he speaks to his estranged wife could debunk this theory, but there could be an explanation there that we don't know yet.

    Others have expanded this theory to assume that all Westworld employees are hosts, including Ford. That just seems like a bad idea though, doesn't it?

    3. Bernard is a clone of Arnold, carrying his consciousness.

    HBO

    Even crazier than the idea that Bernard is either a clone of Westworld's co-creator Arnold, or is a host that contains Arnold's consciousness. Some argue that this photo of Arnold looks a bit like an older version of Bernard, others argue that Bernard, as a host, would look at this photo and see whatever he needed to see, in the same way that hosts might look at a modern-day photo and say, "Looks like nothing to me."

    If this were true, it might explain the odd timing of Bernard's conversations with Dolores. It could be that some of the Bernard/Dolores conversations we see are actually Arnold/Dolores conversations, taking place in the past.

    If that doesn't convince you, how about the fact that Bernard Lowe is an anagram of Arnold Weber. SPOOKY.

    4. The maze isn't a physical maze, it's a quest for the hosts.

    HBO

    With what we've learned thus far about the maze, this is one of the more likely theories out there. When the Man in Black asks Lawrence's weirdly omniscient daughter about the maze, she responds, "The maze is not for you." This indicates that the maze is meant for the hosts, not the guests.

    So, what if the maze is a sort of mental quest left inside the consciousness of the hosts by Arnold? What if the way they can finally achieve self-awareness is by completing this maze?

    It certainly doesn't hurt this theory that the drawings of the maze look a hell of a lot like a brain.

    5. The workers speak to the hosts remotely, via VR.

    HBO

    We know that virtual reality exists in the Westworld universe, as one of the Butchers, Sylvester, said that he had a ham sandwich and a "nubile redhead awaiting instruction" for him in the VR tank. We know that Westworld the park is a step up from VR, offering a real-world alternative.

    So a simpler explanation for how the hosts are pulled out of the park for questioning so quickly and easily is that the employees are using VR to speak with the hosts remotely. Sure, it's not a grand theory, but it does explain some weird time cuts that would otherwise point to the "two timelines" theory.

    6. Westworld kills guests and replaces them with hosts.

    HBO

    This one's a shot in the dark, and mostly exists because it was the plot of the old Westworld movie's sequel, Futureworld. In that movie, the park was actually a grand scheme to lure humans, kill them, and replace them with androids. Could that be happening in this version of Westworld as well? Maybe, but we haven't seen a human die yet...as far as we know.

    7. Westworld is on Mars.

    HBO

    This theory helps explains why, in a version of what is supposedly Earth in the far future, there's still enough untouched land to host an entire theme park. Others have — jokingly or otherwise — suggested a shrink ray, but it's much more likely that the park exists on another planet that's been terraformed, such as Mars.

    The evidence for this is reasonably strong: In one conversation, Lee asks co-worker Theresa when she gets to "rotate home again." In another scene, Bernard speaks with his estranged wife over video chat, indicating a great distance.

    Do you have an excellent Westworld theory? Share it in the comments!

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