The 10 Good, Bad & Ugly Theories of ‘Westworld’ Season 2

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Ford is alive

Ford is alive (FALSE)

The nagging theory that Ford (Anthony Hopkins) was still alive, despite being fatally shot by Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) in the Season 1 finale, was quashed this year. It turns out that, because Ford was very much human, he is still very much dead. Hopkins did however return as a host copy of Ford, who messed with Bernard’s mind for a while. While we weren’t particularly crazy about this as it undermined the emotional impact of the events of last year, it’s still fun to have the iconic actor back.

James Delos

They’re cloning the guests (TRUE)

Some very astute people — like Vanity Fair’s Joanna Robinson and others — noticed last season that Delos is up to something with these guests. The company has not only been collecting data on everything the guests have been doing at the parks, it has also been collecting their DNA for the purpose of cloning them, which we saw happening to James Delos (Peter Mullan). Their copying and uploading human minds into robot bodies to achieve what humans can’t — immortality — was a big discovery this season.


Grace is Theresa (FALSE)

The show frequently jumps around in time, which is partly why the theory that Grace (Katja Herbers) is a young Theresa (Sidse Babett Knudsen) crossed people’s minds. This is also an example of fans grasping at the finest details — the smoking, the faint accent, Herbers’ slight resemblance to Knudsen — to keep a theory alive. It was all for naught though, as it turned out Grace was actually William’s (Ed Harris) daughter, Emily.


Elsie is alive (TRUE)

Some may have abandoned hope on this one, after last season saw Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) grabbing his colleague from behind under Ford’s orders. Many thought Elsie (Shannon Woodward) was a goner, but it turned out she was alive and held up in a cave with her biting wit intact. It only took the show over a year and several episodes to confirm it, but cheers to those who never lost hope.


Ghost Nation was the first to gain consciousness (TRUE)

The internet was right — the first host to truly break through consciousness was Akecheta (Zahn McClarnon), the solemn leader of Ghost Nation. He first had inklings about what was going on when Arnold died in the park, and he’s been working to wake up the others since. It’s an especially meaningful development given this idea of Native Americans being aware of their own oppression and finding some sense of autonomy in spite of it.

Hale and Bernard

Charlotte Hale is Charlie, Arnold’s son (UNCONFIRMED, but likely FALSE)

Charlotte (Tessa Thompson) may not be the most interesting character on the show, but this added complexity is just not necessary. This theory that she is Arnold’s son has been around for a while, and it’s not only out there, but it doesn’t really add much to the story. In fact, it kind of ruins the characterization of Arnold, who was so grief-stricken following his son’s death, it ultimately led to his own demise. We’re going to pass on this theory.

Ed Harris

William is a host (Probably FALSE)

Another popular theory that had some steam this season is that Ed Harris’ William has been a host all along. In fact, in last week’s episode, he seems to think so himself, cutting into his arm in search of a port. But this is more likely the result of a deteriorating and traumatized man who just killed his own daughter, thinking she wasn’t real either. Besides, this theory doesn’t make the story better. Wouldn’t it be more impactful and tragic for William to have committed such an unthinkable act as a human? Let’s put this one to bed.

Young William

Young William comes back as a host (UNCONFIRMED)

This is one of our favorite still-unresolved theories. We’re assuming by the end the season we’ll see a host with someone’s human consciousness uploaded into it, and it’s going to be someone we know and care about. That’s why it would be perfect for that person to be young William, played by Jimmi Simpson. Maybe this is the sick joke Ford had planned for William all along — for him to confront his own immortality and the more innocent version of himself. This could even be what’s behind The Door. Plus, this way we get to have more of Simpson, an actor we’ve sorely missed this season.


Arnold’s mind is in Bernard’s body (UNCONFIRMED)

When Bernard washed up on shore in the season opener, we knew something was off. He seemed confused. Disoriented, even. It didn’t take long for fans to wonder if the person we were seeing wasn’t even Bernard. It wouldn’t be the first time the show tricked us about which Jeffrey Wright character we were watching. This theory from a fan on Reddit is that, in the show’s present day, Bernard is walking around with someone else’s consciousness. Could it be Arnold’s? Or could another host have taken over, like Maeve?


Dolores’ plans in The Valley Beyond (UNCONFIRMED)

We already know that The Valley Beyond — which holds data on the guests instead of the hosts — gets flooded. But before it does, we need to know: What’s Dolores trying to do? We know that part of her goal is to potentially take down humans (or overrule them, somehow). But there’s also an idea floating around that Dolores wants to upload her own consciousness into a human body. In the season finale promo, we get several shots of Bernard and Dolores together, perhaps traversing The Valley Beyond. Maybe he helps her in this endeavor?

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Westworld is fodder for both insanely cool and just plain insane fan theories. Part of the fun of a show like this is in speculating about twists before they even happen.

Last year, eagle-eyed fans on Reddit were able to foresee some of the season’s biggest revelations. And as the show has gotten even more confounding in Season 2, the viewers have remained just as savvy — if not more.

In the gallery above, we take a look back at just some of the popular theories that circulated throughout the season, as well as a couple that have yet to be confirmed or debunked. (Beware, spoilers ahead.) Hopefully, we’ll get answers in Sunday’s finale!

Westworld, Season 2 Finale, Sunday, June 24, 9/8c, HBO