Westworld Bits: A Deep Dive Into The Maze, Hideo Kojima's Praise, And That Yul Brynner "Cameo"

In this edition of Westworld Bits:

  • HBO's inside look at "The Adversary."
  • Everything we know about the Maze so far.
  • Behind the scenes with Jimmi Simpson and Ben Barnes.
  • Who supplied that Yul Brynner sculpture for its brief cameo?
  • Thandie Newton talks about playing an artificial being.
  • Of course Hideo Kojima is a Westworld fan.
  • Fan theories, fan art, and more!
  • As is always the case, HBO has released a mini-featurette delving into one aspect of the latest episode of Westworld. This week's subject: Bernard's relationship with Theresa and whether or not it blinded him to her treachery.

    westworld jimmi simpson ben barnes

    William and Logan may not get around particularly well in Westworld, but actors Jimmi Simpson and Ben Barnes get along well enough to share selfies on the set. This image also serves as a reminder that the series really does go out of its way to film on some gorgeous natural locations.

    Westworld (HBO ) is on tonight !! Hopefully one of the upcoming episodes my Yul Brynner Gunslinger will be making a cameo . #nickmarrastudios #hbo #westworld #hbowestworld #yulbrynner #nickmarra #sculpture #likeness

    A photo posted by Nick Marra (@nickmarrastudios) on

    Yup Brynner's evil Gunslinger, the chief villain of the original Westworld movie, made a brief cameo during "The Adversary," briefly popping into frame as Bernard Lowe ventured into the lower levels of park ops. And now we know where this particular model came from A few weeks ago, Nick Marra of Nick Marra Studios shared this image. Yesterday, he confirmed on his Facebook page that yep, that was his definitely his Yul Brunner in the episode.

    If you want to see more of this amazing Yul Brynner recreation, you only have to look to this video from Tested. This sculpture was originally unveiled back in April of 2015 and it does a whole lot more than just stand there – its face actually opens up like it does in the movie, revealing the inner workings of this killer 'bot.

    Metal Gear Solid mastermind Hideo Kojima is one of the few people designing massively expensive video games who could be described as an auteur – to play one of his games is to dive deep into his psyche and catch of a glimpse of who he is as a person. And as anyone who has played his games can tell you, it isn't that surprising that he's a fan of Westworld and it's even less surprising that he's found himself connecting with Anthony Hopkins' Dr. Robert Ford, sharing this quote from the series on social media:

    They come back because of the subtleties, the details. They come back because they discover something they imagined no one had ever noticed before, something they fall in love with. They are not looking for the story that tells them who they are, they already know who they are. They are here for a glimpse of who they could be.

    Kojima is ambitious enough that I wouldn't put it past him to try to design his own Westworld. Give him a few decades and see what happens.

    westworld hallucinations

    You should always listen carefully to the songs on Westworld's soundtrack – none of those instrumental versions of modern pop songs are elected by accident. Case in point: the orgy scene in episode 5 scored to Nine Inch Nails' "Something I Can Never Have." Vulture caught up with series composer Ramin Djawadi to explore this particular choice:

    Perhaps the song selection here is Dr. Ford's design, poking a little fun at the guests who think their desires are being met in the moment. Or perhaps the song is another call to Dolores, a thematic complement to her yearning. Whatever the case, Dr. Ford's agency when it comes to the music becomes a little more clear in this episode, given that he's actually the one playing the piano in the bar where the Man in Black takes Teddy. Is it a coincidence that he's playing another Debussy piece, "Clair de Lune" — the same song that plays on guitar when Dolores and William walk through the streets of Pariah at night? "Dr. Ford seems to be drawn to that kind of romantic music," Djawadi said.

    Thandie Newton's character Maeve Millay in WestworldMoviefone spoke with Thandie Newton about Maeve's big episode and she addressed the question that everyone who watches the show surely has – how, exactly, do you play a robot?

    Of course, I could have known everything and figured it out, but it was actually a really fantastic sort of layering of traits of the character which were completely led by the script. And, in terms of the physicality of the character, yes, there were many conversations about what kind of movement are we talking about. And, obviously all the people playing hosts, there needs to be similarities to our core behavior so that you can relate to all of them, or maybe identify with them before even, you know? And they wanted us to achieve full human naturalness.

    So it's actually funny, because I assumed that playing in artificial intelligence, playing a robot, I would need to do some kind of robotics, but it was the opposite there. I actually had to be as perfectly human as I could be. In fact, I had to be the best version of being human, because that was the point to us.

    And as a human being, we're programmed in terms of the influences that we receive as children, the education we receive — we're made up of all of the different programs from outside, some random, some specific. And someone who is dealing with trauma in childhood, let's say for an example, you can be, you can take out that program and decide that you want to behave differently than having panic attacks every five seconds. So that that would also inform the way I saw her.

    You can read the whole interview at the link above.

    westworld attributes

    Someone has been doing the world a service by taking numerous screen caps from "The Adversary" and putting them on Imgur, so let's dwell on a few of the more interesting shots. First up is a look at Maeve's attribute matrix, the RPG-esque system that defines her strengths and weaknesses. Note the high scores in tenacity, charm, and sensuality. Note the low scores in meekness, humility, and cruelty.

    westworld dialogue tree

    While we're digging through Maeve's head, here's a look at the dialogue tree that knows exactly what she's going to say before she says it, offering up all possible options within the limitations of her improv programming.

    westworld maze sketchbook

    And here's a close-up of the Maze as seen in Dr. Ford's journal. Whether he had a hand in designing it or if he's simply looking for a way to fully combat Arnold's work remains unclear.

    westworld maze

    It's become increasingly clear that there aren't any coincidences in Westworld. So when Redactor xanokothe notes a similarity between the show's logo and the Maze symbol the Man in Black has been tracking for six episodes, maybe we should take notice. It's most likely just an Easter egg, a cool connection that ties the show's imagery together, but feel free to speculate away!

    If you're looking for a deeper dive into the Maze, YouTuber HaxDogma has got you covered. The video runs just under ten minutes (grab a snack) but it's pretty comprehensive, running down theories and speculation, drawing on ideas from within the show and from outside sources. If you want to vanish down the rabbit hole, this is a good place to start.

    teddy with the gatling gun in Westworld

    How many Hosts are currently active within Westworld? Redditor machine_made put some thought into this after rewatching the first episode, where it is mentioned that the buggy update is causing issues with 10% of the population or 200 Hosts across a dozen "active storylines." Does this mean there are only 2,000 Hosts in Westworld? That's a small number for such a giant park, especially one with 1,400 guests at a time. Here are his thoughts:

    Cullen says they've got 1400 guests in the park, and Sizemore's line seems to contradict the information from Aeden on the discoverwestworld.com site, where it's stated that the Host to Guest ratio is 10:1 — but if Sizemore is only referring to currently active Hosts, that 200 number is just a tiny percentage of the number of actual updated Hosts. He's really only referring to the ones that would be problematic to pull down and roll back. For instance, Hector's bandits are up in the hills, presumably not interacting with Guests at that moment, so pulling that entire group would not be a problem. But Teddy has just been interacted with by the group of return Guests, who want him to guide them, so if he's updated, that's a problem, because his storyline is active.

    So I think that means that at any time in the park, there are actually closer to 14,000–20,000 Hosts, not including animals. Which makes the park much more densely populated, and much more likely for Guests to spend an entire visit only interacting with Hosts.

    Hoepfully, Westworld will explain just how many Hosts are currently within the park. You know, just to clarify. And to make it clear how big the robot army really is when that inevitable revolution goes down.

    westworld fan poster

    Redditor Messypandas has made this excellent Westworld poster, which is so evocative of the show's imagery and ideas that HBO should just cut him/her a check and use the concept for future marketing. Messypandas later shared two additional posters created in a similar style:

    westworld fan posters