Your Westworld Logistical Questions Answered

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How Much of the Hosts’ Stories Are Written?

We learn that the techs have written all of the storylines in Westworld. And Lisa Joy told us that each particular character has a series of storylines which are looped over and over again:

Certainly a part of the thinking about theories has been mapping out the loops of all the different hosts, some them major characters, some of them minor characters. It’s really exploring a bunch of different storylines that we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg on. Then it involves maps of what Westworld actually would look like and different towns within it and what those towns would involve and the different mythologies that would exist there. That’s a constantly fun thing to engage in. It’s kind of like playing with a giant set of intellectual Legos and just building and building and building.

But how long are these loops? How many of these loops does each character have? How often does that robbery scene happen? We are not told this information. Jonathan Nolan has said that he has been inspired by video games:

I was fascinated by the concept of writing a story in which the protagonists’ actions aren’t part of the story. In games like The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim,Red Dead Redemption, or the sandbox games that Bioware make, morality is a variable. How do you write a story in which the hero’s moral component exists on a spectrum? That’s a fascinating challenge. I’m also fascinated by how non-player-characters in video games have their own lives. In Skyrim, when you walk into a village, you aren’t necessarily the most important person there. The NPCs have lives that happen whether you’re there or not. I was listening to directors’ commentary from Ken Levine about building Bioshock Infinite and the affection that game developers and designers develop for their characters. It’s a qualitatively different relationship than the one screenwriters have with their characters, because video game characters don’t just recite dialogue—they do shit, and the players interact with them. It’s a relationship that I think Crichton anticipated to some degree, but it’s become much more complicated than even he could imagine.

Ed Harris’ character The Man in Black seems to be experiencing Westworld like a video game, trying to discover the hidden secrets of the world. Harris told us at the TCA’s that we will learn about who his character is in “the outside world, his past, why he is here and who exactly he is.”

He’s been coming here for 30 years. When he first came, he was not the man in black. This is a character he has assumed and developed over the many years he’s been coming to this place. I think initially when he first arrived, he was exploring what his place was like. I can do whatever I want. I can kill people if I need to or make love to strange robotic prostitutes. I think something happened to him at some point that this part of him that’s very dark, very violent, all of a sudden he recognized this was a real part of him he’d never really lived with in his life outside, obviously repressed in civil society for many years and realized this is a part of myself I should check out and see where this takes me. But there’s also a much deeper purpose for him being here at this point. He thinks there’s some deeper level to what’s happening in this park. I’m not sure what it is or why, perhaps Tony’s character is in charge of something that’s not really obvious on the surface. I think he thinks the more chaos he causes, the more destruction he can create with the A.I. folks, [the better], but it’s not random. There’s always some narrative he’s following. Someone gets in his way and he has to blow them away.

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How Safe Are the Park Visitors?

Even with simunitions, there are a plethora of chances for Westworld park guests to get hurt or killed. Guests could attack other guests, they could get thrown off a horse, or accidently fall into a ravine.

Nolan says he imagined clients signing a very comprehensive release form before being admitted to Westworld. The first episodes don’t show the guests filling out paperwork, but we heard it straight from Nolan. And the whole world is designed to try to keep the guests safe. The hosts are programmed not only to play their part in the elaborate storyline but more importantly, to go off script when a situation presents itself where a guest’s safety is in jeopardy.

Part of what the hosts have been designed to do, we have a feature in the program called The Good Samaritan Reflex or Function. Wherever they can, the park is populated by hosts and part of their responsibility, part of their subconscious programming is to try to protect the guests in whatever capacity it can. So if you’ve got a drunken guest who’s careening towards a cliff edge, you’re more likely than not to have a host nearby who, without breaking that narrative, is going to find a way to gently steer them back. They’re cannon fodder on one hand, but they’re also the all-purpose minders of this place.

Westworld Photo

How Much Does a Ticket Cost?

How much does it cost to be a guest in Westworld? Can anyone attend this theme park or is it only for the richest of the rich?  The marketing for the show reveals that it costs guests around $40,000 a day to attend this western theme park.

It seems like creating this huge expansive world would be very very expensive. I’m sure this will be revealed as we dig further into the mystery of the motivations behind the company running the operation.

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And Even More Questions Unanswered

I have many more questions about this world and the science fiction western theme park at the center of it all, but these are the only answers I could find in the dozens of interviews I searched through. Here are a few of the logistical questions I still have:

  • How long does a guest get to stay inside the world? Ed Harris’ character has been coming back for thirty years but how long has he spent inside this park?
  • How does Westworld reset the characters and the world? Is there a day off where tech crews come in and fix all the damage? Or are whole parts of the world “closed” to guests while the hosts and the world are “reset”?
  • What is allowed and what is not allowed? What are the rules for park guests? It seems like the Man in Black is being allowed to do whatever the hell he wants, but is he breaking any rules? Or is it just like a video game and after you gain admission you’re allowed to do whatever you want? Nolan has mentioned that guests are not allowed to hurt other guests in the park.

If you liked our Westworld logistical questions, please check out our other Westworld features:

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