The 'Mirror World Theory' Says All Might Not Be Straightforward in 'Westworld' Season 3

Westworld Season 3 Mirror Theory Explained
John P. Johnson/HBO

Many have praised this season of Westworld for being more to the point than previous installments (or rather, the hopelessly tangled story that was Season 2). It’s been pretty nice not having to constantly ask, as Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) once did, “Is this now?”

But a new fan theory suggests that might not be the question to ask regarding Season 3 at all. Instead, maybe we should be asking another central Westworld question: “Is this real?” One Redditor might have figured out this season’s big twist, and there’s plenty of evidence to suggest they’re absolutely right.

Read on to discover why key moments of Season 3 might not be real (but beware of potential spoilers!).

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The Mirror World Theory, Explained

Basically, the theory suggests some of what we’ve seen hasn’t been real; instead, it’s part of Rehoboam’s “mirror world” that was referenced in Episode 3. If that’s correct, we’re not seeing multiple timelines as usual. Rather, we’re seeing certain events that are real and certain events that only take place in the idealized version of reality that the AI created.

This seems like a very Westworld thing to do. Given how heavily past installments have relied on a twisty storytelling structure, it’d be a little disappointing if, all of a sudden, everything was straightforward. And given this season’s heavy focus on the pitfalls of technology, showing a different timeline as one created by the AI makes a ton of sense.

But this isn’t all theoretical; there’s plenty of images and events that have occurred so far to back it up.

Westworld Season 3 Episode 3 Charlotte Hale

(John P. Johnson/HBO)

Hale’s Speech

Many viewers probably noticed that Charlotte Hale’s (Tessa Thompson) speech to her son played twice in “The Absence of Field.” What some might not have realized is that the speeches vary slightly. Hale’s first speech is as follows:

This is Charlotte Elizabeth Hale. This is a message for Nathan. Nathan Hale, my son, I love you so much, buddy. The night that I left, you wanted me to tuck you in and sing you our song. So I am going to sing it to you now.

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Her second speech is totally different from the first:

This is Charlotte Elizabeth Hale. This is a message for Nathan. Nathan Hale, my son, I haven't always been there for you. There's so many things I need to say. This might be the last time that mommy gets to talk to you. I love you so much, buddy. I am so proud of you, and I am sorry. I am so sorry if I ever made you feel like you weren't the most important thing. I was trying to build a life for us. And now I realize none of it even matters. The night that I left, I wanted to sing you a song, our song, but I didn't have time, so. So I am going to sing it to you now.

Could this be a technology glitch? Sure. But on Westworld, everything is deliberate — everything, even slight changes in phrasing, happens for a reason. So if the mirror theory holds, it’s possible one of these speeches was real, while one was created by Rehoboam.

Westworld Season 3 Aaron Paul

(John P. Johnson/HBO)

Caleb’s Talks with Francis

Yet another inconsistency occurs in the first episode, when Caleb (Aaron Paul) both doesn’t answer his deceased pal and talks to him on the phone. These two events occur right after each other, leading viewers to wonder, “Wait, did he answer that call?” He did, but in only one world; in the other, he lets it go. Viewers see both, not realizing they happen in different universes.

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Bernard’s World is Inconsistent

Other Redditors noticed a host (ha!) of unusual and weird stuff going on in Bernard’s world. First, he comes across a calf with barbed wire around its broken leg, but when the camera angle changes, the wire is gone. See for yourself:

(HBO)

Second shot:

(HBO)

In addition, the scenery changes in Bernard’s scenes. When he goes back to his dormitory, it at first appears a group of people are arguing and getting ready to fight over a board game. Take a look:

(HBO)

When he turns around, the people aren’t arguing — they’re dancing, with no indication a conflict ever occurred. Weird, huh?

(HBO)

The Season’s Logo

Finally, for one last hint that we’re all supposed to care about mirrors this season, take a look at the Westworld logo for Season 3. It’s reflected with one half light and one half dark.

Then it combines into three pillars, almost as if… it’s on two sides of a mirror, and the reflection makes up half of the image. Is this what’s really going in this season? It might be, and it also might not be. But that’s a whole lot of inconsistencies for a show that’s known for being utterly meticulous. Plus, there's been a huge focus on mirrors this season: William (Ed Harris) shoots one, Maeve (Thandie Newton) carefully regards herself in one, and Dolores and Hale are reflected back in each other's image as they sit on the bed.

With all those things considered, it wouldn’t be surprising to discover that this theory is accurate — but we'll just have to wait and see.

Westworld, Sundays, 9/8c, HBO