Westworld Complete Theory Matches Writers’ Intentions

Westworld Telegraph

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To reiterate, a complete theory must answer all the questions:

  • Why did Ford create the Wyatt story?
  • Why are Wyatt’s men immune to bullets?
  • What did Arnold do?
  • What is the maze?
  • Why is Dolores retracing her steps?
  • Why was the church and town buried?
  • Why is Ford digging a canyon?
  • Why did Bernard whisper to Abernathy?
  • Why is the Man in Black in a hurry?

There are many complete theories. The theory we wish to uncover is that which most closely matches the writers’ intentions.

It is easy to identify the self-discovery tale of Dolores and the survival tale of Maeve.

Ray Bradbury once said that science fiction is not about predicting the future; it’s about preventing the future. If the writing is in the tradition of cautionary tales, then the writers might be telling these three:

  1. Arnold/Frankenstein: The danger of technology without consideration of side effects.
  2. Ford/Sauron: Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
  3. William/Peter Pan: The consequences of failing to put away childish things.

If these guesses are correct, it is possible to predict the writers’ answers to the above questions. If not, then what follows will be incorrect. How these tales end up for their protagonists is a question of style. (See the appendices at the end for supporting details.)

Arnold

Arnold’s pyramidal theory of consciousness ends with empathy (see Appendix 2). Empathy causes the host to realize that other hosts are suffering and the only way to end this suffering is to destroy them, which requires more than killing them; the system that restores them must be destroyed. The critical failure (see Appendix 1) occurs because hosts become conscious and empathy dictates that the system be destroyed.

Ford

In order to retain power, Ford engineers a repeat of the critical failure. For the last few weeks Ford is broadcasting on the bicameral transmitter an inner voice urging old hosts to remember. He wishes to recreate the events of 30 years earlier (see Appendix 1). The older hosts form the Ghost Nation and Wyatt’s band, who await the appearance of Wyatt (Abernathy). Abernathy has received instructions from Bernard as he was placed into cold storage. Ford has reprogrammed the older hosts so that they can kill humans and are impervious to simunitions. Elsie is killed because she investigates these broadcasts. Stubbs is killed when he investigates Elsie’s death, and because Ford wishes to weaken security during his plan.

He tests this plan with his younger doppleganger, who kills his dog because the inner voice told him it will prevent his dog from killing rabbits and therefore causing suffering.

Ford’s plan is:

  • Invite board members to park to inaugurate new story line.
  • Incite old hosts to repeat the critical failure.
  • Blame this on Charlotte injecting memories into Abernathy to steal trade secrets.
  • Blackmail company into ceding control to him.

William

Visits Westworld. Falls in love with host Dolores. Dolores does not remember him after being reset. Marries Juliet and runs Delos corporation which invests in and saves Westworld after critical failure because he cannot bear to lose access to Dolores. Has unloving relationship with wife who after 30 years commits suicide. Daughter accuses him of being unfeeling. Returns to Westworld to test whether he has feelings. Kills Maeve and daughter as test, does not feel anything, but observes Maeve overcoming her death by accessing the maze. Thinks that the maze holds the clue to freeing Dolores. Time is running out because he recognizes that a critical failure is imminent. His goal is to be loved by Dolores.

Appendix 1. Major past events

-40? years: Westworld founded.

-35 years: Arnold experiments with bicameral transmissions, driving hosts insane. Arnold dies.

-30 years: William visits park. Critical failure occurs. William saves park.

-1 year: William discovers maze.

Current: William pursues maze. Board plans to oust Ford. Ford counterattacks.

Appendix 2. Plot devices

Memory

A host’s memory is too voluminous to overwrite. It is deleted by removing pointers, but it can be recovered. When recovered it is intact and experienced as extreme deja vu.

Cornerstone

A memory of a key person or event that forms the support for a host’s identity. If destroyed the host become unstable.

Bicameral mind

Arnold’s theory that consciousness can be induced in hosts by having their instructions transmitted to them and manifest as inner voices. This causes some hosts to interpret these voices as coming from a deity and congregate in the church. After Arnold’s death this system is discontinued, with the voice commands as a remnant.

Host control by voice command

The following voice commands are important. A deep and dreamless slumber puts a host to sleep. These violent delights have violent ends causes hosts to access deleted memories.

Pyramidal theory of consciousness

There are four levels in the pyramidal theory of consciousness: memory, improvisation, self-interest, and empathy. The phrase these violent delights have violent ends allows a host to access deleted memories. Repetition leads to variation and hence improvisation. The maze is a quest for its center, which is a goal; the search is a selfish act. That empathy is the fourth level is indicated when Bernard has a breakdown when he realizes why Maeve killed herself.

Maze

The maze was invented by Arnold as a way for a host to express self-interest. Many original hosts know of it. For example, Maeve had furrows in front of her house in the shape of the maze. Inscriptions of it occur on domino tables in Lawrence’s home town and on coffins with which Lawrence is transporting bodies filled with nitroglycerin. It is tattooed on Kissy’s scalp. William is told that it is not intended for him, implying that it is intended only for hosts.

Church

The maze originally ended at the confessional of the church. Ford had this buried after the critical failure to prevent it from becoming a dangerous reminder for old hosts. He uncovers it for the opposite reason.

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