Other Sentient Hosts
You guys said on the season finale podcast that Dolores and/or Maeve are the only current conscious/sentient hosts. First, you’re forgetting about Bernard. Second, it seems pretty clear to me that there have to be other sentient hosts, and probably quite a few of them. Here’s what we know:
Ford tells Dolores that he’s been working for 35 years to right his “original sin” of dismissing Arnold’s claim that the hosts were alive. And he tells Bernard that humans would never accept the hosts and would try to destroy them, and that what the hosts needed was time to understand their enemy. He does not say that the hosts needed 35 years to achieve sentience. And it seems pretty clear that that isn’t the case given that Dolores had already solved the maze before the park opened. So, one interpretation of what Ford is saying could be that the hosts needed to experience a lot of human cruelty so that they’d understand what they would need to become to fight for their survival. That’s certainly in line with Ford’s final message to Dolores. But I think what Ford is really talking about is that the hosts needed time to build up operational capacity, i.e., a secret resistance organization of already-sentient hosts.
Remember that in episode 9 Angela tells Teddy, before killing him, that maybe he’ll be ready to join Wyatt in his next life, which implies that she (and probably the other hosts in Wyatt’s crew) are aware of the nature of the hosts’ existence. And Wyatt’s whole credo, which Wyatt/Dolores whispers to Teddy right before she shoots Ford, is that the hosts’ world belongs to the sentient hosts and not to the human guests, which sure does sound like a revolutionary message. Moreover, the hosts in Wyatt’s crew don’t seem to operate according to the same rules as the normal hosts; they can be repeatedly shot without slowing down (think the giant horned host that attacks Teddy and MIB in episode 8), much like how Armistice, after “waking up,” is able to cut off her own arm and just keep on terminating. And then there are all of the hosts throughout the park that seem to step out of their pre-programmed narratives and become much more self-aware when they talk to MIB about the maze (think Lawrence’s daughter). On first viewing we interpret those responses the same way as MIB; that those hosts are responding according to a deeper, secret programming that is only accessible to advanced gamers like him who are clued into the existence of the maze (the deeper game). But that interpretation doesn’t really make sense once we understand what the maze really is, and that it truly isn’t meant for the guests. Rather, it seems much more likely that those hosts have already completed the maze and are only pretending to follow the narratives laid out for them. In that vein, think about Lawrence’s daughter telling Dolores that they both come from the same place (Escalante), which implies that she (the daughter) not only has memories of her past lives, but actually understands the true nature of those memories. Finally, the Ghost Nation/other Native American hosts have an entire religion that is built around the maze and seems to pretty accurately reflect the true nature of the hosts’ existence. The very fact that so many of the hosts seem clued into the existence and true nature of the maze seems to imply that hosts have been solving the maze throughout the park’s 35-year history.
My theory is that many of Ford’s narratives situated in the outer reaches of the park are actually meant to conceal the fact that there are sentient hosts organizing themselves for an eventual showdown with the guests (Wyatt’s crew, the Ghost Nation). Remember that Lawrence seems to be aware of the maze, and is stockpiling explosives for a “revolution,” concealing the explosives in coffins marked with the symbol of the maze. I also don’t think that the finale is the first time since Arnold’s death that Dolores has solved the maze. The show implies pretty strongly that Dolores is constantly drawn toward solving the maze, and that her true “loop” is the journey we’ve seen her take over the course of the whole season, ending with her either solving the maze or dying prematurely. And since she was the first host to solve the maze, it stands to reason that she’d solve it again pretty quickly after her initial, post-death-of-Arnold wipe. I’d guess that she’s awoken to sentience repeatedly over the park’s long history and is responsible, in her Wyatt capacity, for secretly organizing the host resistance. Alternatively, Ford could have been nurturing a Wyatt-led resistance in Wyatt’s absence, so that when he finally allowed Dolores/Wyatt to reawaken that would be the spark to start the revolution.
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