Westworld Theories: Ford's Father, The Maze, Elsie, Antarctica, Sub Level C And More

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.

arnold and fords father in westworld comparison

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?


westworld arnold

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.

doctor ford finger westworld

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 dante's inferno westworld

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.

elsie in theater on westworld

Elsie Wasn't Captured or Murdered

In "The Adversary," Elsie (Shannon Woodward) follows a mystery to an abandoned theater somewhere inside Westworld. Just as she discovers a big conspiracy involving Thersa and Arnold reprogramming old hosts, she is apparently taken out by a mysterious figure. In an interview with EW showrunner Lisa Joy commented:

I love Elsie's character and I'm also worried about her character. She's been fearless and asking questions she shouldn't ask that are the exact ones I would ask in that situation. I'm hopeful she's okay but worried she's not.

Elsie has quickly become one of my favorite characters on the show, and I hope she isn't dead. A new theory on Reddit suggests that she might still be alive, and she might not have been caught by evil DELOS staff trying to protect this secret:

She is reviewing a Host profile right before she hears the sound that startles her- there is a picture in the top left corner, but it is unclear who it is- I think it looks like Dolores, what do you think? And: I think Stubbs is the person who sneaks up on Elsie and that he silences her because someone else is coming into the room. Some support for that: A) Stubbs and Theresa work together so he may have discovered or be aiding her in the sabotage/spying whatever.... B) Stubbs knows that Elsie is smart and curious so as a Security person may have her under surveillance and knows she went into the park. He follows her. I wrote this in another thread and someone thought Stubbs was in Control, but it is clear that the Sizemore pissing scene is not simultaneous with Elsie going into the Park, that scene comes after. C) In the writing, the Stubbs/Elsie combination has a goofball sidekicky flavor and I think the natural progression would be to have them both working together.

It's possible. I honestly don't know Elsie's fate, and I'm afraid we might have to wait a couple of weeks to find out what happened to her.

westworld bernard computer

Westworld Is Located in Antarctica

We've theorized for a while now that Westworld might not take place on Earth, but on another planet. This theory came about from Sizemore's question to Theresa in the first episode: "When do you get to rotate home again?" But that phrasing doesn't mean that the very expansive theme park couldn't be located in a very remote location here on Earth. Dom on Reddit suggests that Westworld may be found in Antarctica:

Before I begin, it's important to note that I strongly believe that Westworld is telling three different stories with the same characters within one setting. I also believe that just about everything and everyone is a metaphor for multiple things/people. So my theory is meant to be just one of those "stories." Westworld might be located in Antarctica for the following reasons: 1. At the end of Episode 4, we hear Maive give Hector the first two numbers to open the safe: 60-47. If you use these as Latitude-Longitude Coordinates it would place the park in Antartica. What's also interesting is that this is where the South Magnetic Pole is located. Why is that interesting? There are several Research Bases located there for scientific research. I felt this theory was a long-shot until I took a better look at the bottle of whiskey Ford brought during his "sit-down" with MiB (Episode 5). It kept bothering me that you can't make out the entire first word of the label. But if you re-watch the shootout between Logan/William and Slim Miller (Episode 4). It says "Casey". Why is this important? Because there is a research facility called "Casey Station" in Antarctica that shares very similar latitude-longitude coordinates. On top of that, it shares many "similarities" with Westworld: The nickname for the current Casey Headquarters is called "The Red Shed". What is the primary color we see everywhere inside the Mesa Hub? Red. Casey Headquarters is also located on top of a hill and is considered to be the largest single structure in Antarctica. Again, very similar to the Mesa Hub within Westworld. Casey Station is also located close to the now abandoned "Wilkes Station". It was established by the United States to support science and exploration. It was established in 1957 as one of seven U.S. stations. Australia would take over the station in 1959. Wilkes Station is now considered a toxic waste dump. Some clues that may link this to Westworld are: In Episode 2, Maive tells Teddy: "The only thing wrong with the 7 deadly sins are that there aren't more of them." The Mariposa Saloon Safe. Also, if you spell out the initialed words in full, you can pull out the phrase: "Casey Waste Station" from the entire name of the safe company.

Dom goes on to explain that he believes Maeve is a metaphor for the United States and Clementine is a metaphor for Australia and that the hazmat suit-wearing techs could be a metaphor for "workers trying to clean up the toxic waste or perhaps even the ultra-violet radiation that effects Antarctica." Okay, I'm not sure this theory holds any weight, but I thought the insanity in the connections of these dots was worth sharing. Good job to whoever mapped this crazy theory out.

westworld theresa video confrence chinese board member

What the Chinese DELOS Board Member Was Saying

This one isn't so much a theory but a bit of information that some people might be wondering about. In The Adversary, Theresa is shown talking to a DELOS board member through a video conference call, but what he says to her is in the Mandarin language. In case you were wondering, here is what was said:

Ms. Hale ????, ?????????????????????????

Which translates to:

Ms. Hale has already arrived. We trust that you understand that her appearance represents that (the) time can't be delayed any further.

Not anything big here but I wonder why "time can't be delayed any further." Are they trying to stop Ford from transforming too much of the park with his new narrative or if the ticking clock the result of something more sinister going on?

Westworld hub map

Sub Level C Exists: What Will We Find Below Cold Storage?

In "The Adversary," we see Bernard journey to sub level B82, just one floor above cold storage, seen in the pilot episode, located on sublevel B83. We were meant to believe that this was the lowest section of the Mesa Hub. Even the Westworld map from the DestinationWestworld website shows it as the lowest section of the behind-the-scenes facility. But if you look carefully at the Elevator Display in episode six you'll notice that there is a Sub Level C. What do you think might be located on those whole new level, so mysterious that it's not even included on the ARG map?

As a user on Reddit points out, one of the buttons says "C95" with a lock icon underneath. Is it possible that sub level C is the original basement from the original movie? It appears that sub level B is the original lobby that guests initially arrived at when coming to the park. It's possible the C level is completely under water.

Westworld young Robert host

More Evidence Supporting the Two-Timeline Theory

If you're reading this Westworld theories article, then chances are you've read our other theory posts and are well acquainted with the two-timeline theory. For those of you who are not, the theory suggests that we are witnessing stories from multiple timelines. The storyline featuring William and Logan is set 30-something years ago leading to the initial critical failure, and the story with the Man in Black takes place three decades later, with some suggesting that William becomes the Man in Black.

Episode 6, "The Adversary," adds more fuel to this fire. One of the biggest pieces of evidence to support the two-timeline theory revolves around two very different-looking Westworld logos. An old retro logo appears when William first arrives at the park, very different than the sci-fi modern looking logo we see in much of the rest of the series. Some viewers have written this off as a continuity error as the show shut down for a handful of months during production and did reshoots. Well, this week's episode seems to suggest it was intentional.

westworld logos episode 2 and 6

As you can see, the image to the right from episode 2 shows the dressing room with the retro logo, while the video playing in the behind-the-scenes area in episode 6 shows the same robot host in front of the new logo. Viewers have concluded that the retro Westworld logo was added in after the fact with computer manipulation. The thumbnail on HBO seems to feature the original shot with William in front of the modern Westworld logo:

Modern Westworld logo in William scene from Westworld episode 2

As has been widely reported, production was shut down on Westworld halfway through season one to help the showrunners get a better handle. It's possible that they decided after filming that viewers needed some clues to hint at multiple timelines. HBO even filed the following tweet before the series premiered, cluing viewers into this possibility: