Posted on Wednesday, November 9th, 2016 by Peter Sciretta
We are six episodes into Westworld, and today I bring you the sixth edition of our popular Westworld theories round-up.
This week we take a look at Doctor Ford’s father and his relationship with Arnold, what might be at the center of the maze, a comparison to Dante’s Inferno, Elsie’s fate, Westworld’s secret location, what might be in sub level C, what the Chinese DELOS bird member said, and new evidence to support the multiple timeline theory. All this and more, after the jump.
Is Arnold Ford’s Father?
In “The Adversary,” Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) uncovers a secret hidden house in the park grounds housing a recreation of Robert Ford’s (Anthony Hopkins) family: his mother, father, brother, and greyhound dog. Bernard is told by Ford that Arnold created these hosts as a gift to him, and we see that they are of the mechanical variety and not the flesh and bone 3D printed models that currently populate the park. The big reveal here that you may not have noticed is that Ford’s father is the person who appeared in the photo that Ford presented Bernard with when first telling him about the park’s late co-founder Arnold, who had been removed from all the history books.
So does this confirm that Arnold was Ford’s father?
Bernard Is Arnold and Couldn’t See Himself in the Photo
We’ve discussed the possibility in the past that Bernard might be a host, and that he may even be a host recreation of Doctor Robert Ford’s former partner Arnold. This could mean that some of the scenes we’ve seen with Bernard talking to Dolores might actually be Arnold talking to Dolores before his death. This week’s episode, “The Adversary,” seems to further this theory by introducing us to a host version of Ford’s father.
What if when Bernard was shown the photo of Arnold, he like other hosts, couldn’t see the piece of the picture that breaks his reality? We’ve seen this in the past with hosts being presented with the photo of a modern day Times Square portrait, with them admitting that it looks like nothing to them. So they’ve already established that when a guest says something that breaks the reality of the world or they see something that breaks their reality, which it goes by unnoticed.
So what if Arnold was in that photo, to the right of Ford and the host version of Ford’s father? Notice in the picture there seems to be a lot of empty space to the right, and the framing appears to be oddly off-center. Maybe there is a figure there that Bernard can’t see because of his host programming.
Ford Is a Host and the Center of the Maze
Since the first episode of Westworld, fans have theorized about which behind-the-scenes DELOS employees might secretly be hosts. The most popular theory now is that Bernard is a host, with some people suggesting that he might have the consciousness of Arnold inside him.
But episode five of the series saw a confrontation between Ed Harris’ Man in Black and Anthony Hopkins’ Doctor Robert Ford which ended with the black-hat park guest making an accusation that Ford might have something under his skin other than flesh and bones. So it’s not a jump in logic that Ford might be a host created by Arnold, although with the showrunners having the question asked onscreen, I somehow doubt the obvious will be true. Nolan is great a misdirection, and I believe this comment was a brilliant example of that. But what if Ford is a host?
Reddit user _cianuro_ explains how Ford might be not only a host, but the center of the maze:
I’ve been entertaining the idea that Ford is the host (that has figured out the maze, built himself a home, and made himself the master). While Arnold is the creator who fell at the hand of his creation — Ford. It would certainly explain why he has a backstory (the house and family) built.
Teddy Flood has already explained that “the Maze is an old Native myth:”
The Maze itself is the sum of a man’s life. The choices he makes, the dreams he hangs onto. And there at the center there’s a legendary man who had been killed over and over again countless times. But always clawed his way back to life. The man returned for a last time to vanquish all his oppressors in a tireless fury. Built a house and around that house he built a maze so complicated only he could navigate through it. I reckon he’s seen enough fighting.
That explanation seems to support this theory. Metaphorically, Ford is the center of the park. He has a house that is hidden within the park and is the only character who can control all aspects of the park. Ford is like a God, able to control entire populations of hosts with a raise of a single finger. If he is a host, maybe he is communicating with the hosts over a wireless frequency.
But for this theory to work, it would mean that Ford would have had to replace himself as the head of the park with no one being able to tell, or perhaps, DELOS being in cooperation with the host version of Ford. Seems rather unlikely.
DELOS Is Dante’s Inferno
Someone on Reddit noticed that the map of DELOS Westworld behind the scene building bears a certain resemblance to the levels of Dante’s Inferno. VisceralMonkey theorizes that Mesa is purgatory and the further you go in, the worse the punishments with “each guest choosing their own punishment based on their behavior.”
People die and they arrive in the park on a train with no memory of their deaths.
And Ford is the devil and Arnold is the God who left him there, another biblical metaphor to add to the growing list. Most likely just a coincidence, or possibly a visual reference at best, but I thought the visual comparison was worth sharing.