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Westworld (TV Series 2016– ) Poster

(2016– )

Trivia

The set which was used for Escalante, including the western town, was completely destroyed in the largest and deadliest wildfires in California in November 2018. The only building to survive the fire was the white church built specifically for the show.
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Jump to: Spoilers (11)
Ben Barnes (Logan) broke his foot before arriving to the first day of shooting. Being afraid of losing the job, he didn't tell anyone, and just used the limp to look like a character choice. He then had to maintain the limp throughout filming.
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The quote "These violent delights have violent ends" is from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.
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Writer, Producer, and Director Jonathan Nolan describes this show as "the next chapter of the human story, in which we stop being protagonists."
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The modern songs heard on the player piano, in the Mariposa Saloon and Hotel, are the idea of Writer, Producer, and Director Jonathan Nolan. Nolan and Composer Ramin Djawadi explained that the covers are to remind people that the world is a theme park, and that everything is scripted. The songs are chosen by Nolan.
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Early on in the series, Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) hands Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) a copy of Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, and she reads a passage aloud. Much of her dialogue thereafter is similar to Alice in the book, as well as the overall theme of questioning one's reality. At one point in the book, Alice exclaims "I wonder if I've been changed in the night? Let me think. Was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I'm not the same, the next question is 'Who in the world am I?' Ah, that's the great puzzle!"
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In one scene, a character refers to the only "rule" of Westworld being that you cannot die. The name of the company that runs Westworld is "Delos", which is also the name of a Greek island, known for the earliest case of "Prohibition of Death", a political social phenomenon and taboo, in which a law is passed stating that it is illegal to die.
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Showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy wanted to give the series a Blade Runner (1982) feel, and wanted to make the series much darker and more cerebral than Westworld (1973).
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Season one, episode three, "The Stray", mentions that the guests pay forty thousand dollars a day for their stay in the park.
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Writer, Producer, and Director Jonathan Nolan took inspiration from video games like BioShock Infinite (2013), Red Dead Redemption (2010), and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (2011) to deal with the narrative's moral component on a spectrum.
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When you see the original gunslinger in the basement, the background music and noise is from Westworld (1973).
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In the below-ground storage area for decommissioned androids, you can see a globe statue at the bottom of the dilapidated escalators. An identical one was on display in the arrival area in Futureworld (1976), the sequel to Westworld (1973), hinting that older areas of the original park have been abandoned. In fact, if you look closely at the globe, you can see the word "Delos" spelled out along the circumference, the name of the company that owns the park.
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The repetitive three chord phrase, often heard in the background music, comes from Westworld (1973), where it underscored the Gunslinger's slow, but relentless pursuit of the hero.
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The Man in Black's (Ed Harris') unusual pistol is a rare LeMat 1861 revolver. It features a nine-shot .42 caliber cylinder, with an additional single-shot twenty gauge shotgun barrel. While the real LeMat was notoriously unreliable, a presumably perfected version would give its owner a serious firepower advantage over a typical Wild West six-shooter.
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Warner Brothers had been trying to remake Westworld (1973) since the 1990s. In 1996, Michael Crichton, the Writer and Director of the movie, met with J.J. Abrams, wanting him to write the screenplay, but Abrams was unable to come up with a way he thought worked. In 2000, Joel Silver was announced to be working on the remake. Silver hired Richard D'Ovidio to write the screenplay. In 2002, Arnold Schwarzenegger was announced to star in and produce the movie with John Brancato and Michael Ferris writing a new screenplay. Schwarzenegger subsequently left the project when he was elected Governor of California. In 2005, Tarsem Singh was announced as the director. In 2007, Quentin Tarantino claimed he had been offered the movie. In 2008, Billy Ray was hired to write a new screenplay. In 2013, Abrams pitched the idea of a television series to Creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy. As Nolan told Deadline: "J.J. came to Lisa and me with the suggestion that Westworld wasn't to be realized as a movie, since it had been ripped off so many times, and inspired a number of science fiction films, rather a television series from the robots' point of view."
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The first modern song played by the player piano is "Black Hole Sun" by Soundgarden.
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Jonathan Nolan named the town Sweetwater after the farm in Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), which is his favorite western.
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After filming the sixth episode, production shut down for two months. According to HBO, this was done to give the creative team more time to prepare the last episodes of the first season.
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The train arriving at Westworld is set on a flatbed truck driving up and down State Route 128 in Utah. So when characters are looking out the train window, they're actually looking at the Utah landscape, not a greenscreen. The showrunners chose Utah as they wanted the show, and the park, to have the feel of the vast landscapes.
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The first season was a massive success, and averaged 11.7 million viewers per episode across multiple platforms, according to HBO, the most ever for a freshman drama.
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In the unaired pilot, Miranda Otto played a character named "Virginia Pittman". As reported by Entertainment Weekly, after the pilot, producers re-conceived the role, and Otto left the show. She was replaced by Sidse Babett Knudsen, with the character now named Theresa Cullen.
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In season one, episode six, "The Adversary", when Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) is searching the abandoned offices, the gunslinger from Westworld (1973) can be seen briefly in the shadows.
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The second television spin-off of Westworld (1973) after the series Beyond Westworld (1980).
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The photograph of Juliet, William's fiancé and eventual wife, is actually a stock photo of Times Square.
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When interrogating "hosts" in the repair center, Westworld technicians frequently use verbal commands derived from computer software debugging. The commands "step into" and "resume" are used to arbitrarily run specific sections of a program's source code and examine the results one at a time.
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Early on, producers had talked about Clint Eastwood portraying the Man in Black.
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To avoid the production delays experienced in season one, the whole second season was written in advance, and scenes from different episodes were shot in a row, based on the location and actors and actresses availability.
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The use of the player piano throughout the series appears to reference Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.'s first novel, "Player Piano", which describes a dystopian future, in which almost every aspect of human life is automated. In his novel, the protagonist rails against a life devoid of purpose or choice, thanks to the ubiquity of machines. The reality outside the confines of Westworld, to which has been alluded as a similar world, where the mundane daily tasks of life have been automated, and where there is no unemployment. However, one of the guests complains that this has left a world where humans have "no agency".
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During the final episode of the first season, the player-piano music that plays over Dr. Robert Ford's final speech is Radiohead's "Exit Music (For a Film)". It was written for Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet (1996). This show made several references over the course of its first season to William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet", including the idea of faked or impermanent deaths as a plot twist, and the fact that various characters often repeat the line "These violent delights have violent ends", which is from Act 2, Scene 6 of the play.
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An orchestral adaptation of "Paint it Black", by The Rolling Stones, was played during the street shooting scene.
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The name Dolores is derived from a Spanish reference to the Virgin Mary: "la virgen de los Dolores", or "nuestra Senora de los Dolores", meaning "The Virgin", or "our Lady of sorrows". "Dolores" in Spanish means "sorrows" or "pain", originating from the Latin word "dolor", also meaning "pain" or "suffering".
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The man in the circle in the opening sequence is a reference to the "Vitruvian Man" by Leonardo da Vinci.
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The saloon is one of the sets at Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studio in Newhall, California. The replica frontier town was once owned by Gene Autry.
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The way the horse is moving in the opening sequence is a reference to "The Horse in Motion" by Eadweard Muybridge.
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In Westworld (1973), Yul Brynner (Gunslinger, dressed all in black) was the cyborg, and Richard Benjamin (Peter Martin) was the human guest. In this show, it would seem this has been flipped, with Ed Harris (Man in Black) as the human gunslinger, and James Marsden (Teddy Flood) as the cyborg.
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During times of danger in the show, there is a series of two notes that are played (on a natural scale) from Middle E to Middle D sharp. These two notes are famous in the Western genre of movies. They are particularly known as the first two notes from "Man with a Harmonica", which was the theme of the character known as "Harmonica", who was played by Charles Bronson in Once Upon a Time in the West (1968).
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This show received twenty-two Emmy nominations, the most of any drama series.
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Some scenes were filmed at Paramount Ranch. It's been used by Paramount Pictures since 1923, but not just for westerns. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2000), Weeds (2005), and The X-Files (1993) are amongst the shows that have also filmed scenes there.
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Filming for episode one took place during a twenty-two-day period in August 2014, in and around Los Angeles, California, as well as Moab, Utah.
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The tune played throughout the series, Bernard's son's favorite tune, was the song "Wilderness", from the PC game Dink Smallwood (1997). The song was actually composed by Claude Debussy, and it's called "Reverie".
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The two technicians, Felix (Leonardo Nam) and Sylvester (Ptolomy Slocum), are named after the two animated cats of the same names. Felix is the nice one, who tries to save a dead bird. Sylvester is the nasty one, who thinks it's a waste of time. The bird even bites Sylvester when he tries to catch it. There is a deeper level also. Sylvester isn't mean just because he is a cat or human. Felix proves that.
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In the first episode, Dr. Robert Ford (Sir Anthony Hopkins) engages in conversation with one of the first, now-defunct robots to occupy Westworld. The robot was played, in a cameo, by a heavily made-up Michael Wincott, who appeared as serial killer Ed Gein opposite Hopkins in Hitchcock (2012).
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Instrumental covers of Radiohead songs are featured four times on this show. "No Surprises" and "Fake Plastic Trees" on the player piano. "Motion Picture Soundtrack", covered by Vitamin String Quartet "Exit Music (For a Film)".
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The town was filmed in Melody Ranch, in Calfornia's Santa Clarita Valley. Other Western productions were filmed here, including the series The Lone Ranger (1949), HBO's Deadwood (2004), and The Magnificent Seven (2016). The town building sets were destroyed by bushfires in November 2018.
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The player piano rolls used in the opening sequences, as well as various episodes, were custom-made for this show by Tim Baxter of Meliora Music Rolls in Atlanta, Georgia.
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The Cure's "A Forest" is featured on the show's player piano as an instrumental cover.
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Thandie Newton won the 2018 Emmy Award in the Supporting Actress in a Drama Series category for her role as Maeve Millay in this show.
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In season two, episode ten, "The Passenger", the light fixtures in the Forge library are the spinning orb from the introduction credits on Game of Thrones (2011). The same orb also appeared in the citadel library on Game of Thrones (2011).
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Westworld (1973) was Michael Crichton's first story about a theme park that goes wrong. The better known one was, of course, Jurassic Park (1993). In that movie, Sir Richard Attenborough played the inventor of the park. In this series, the park's inventor was played by Sir Anthony Hopkins, who appeared in five movies directed by Attenborough: Magic (1978), A Bridge Too Far (1977), Young Winston (1972), Chaplin (1992), and Shadowlands (1993).
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The subtle movements of the hosts are called "reveries". The constant theme played (and Bernard's son's favorite song) is Reverie, by Claude Debussy.
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Arnold Schwarzenegger had watched Westworld (1973), and studied Yul Brynner's performance, in preparation for playing his character in The Terminator (1984).
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Evan Rachel Wood and Louis Herthum appeared on True Blood (2008).
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In the beginning of season one, episode eight, "Trace Decay", when Maeve (Thandie Newton) is speaking with the new Clementine (Lili Simmons), the song playing on the piano is "The House of the Rising Sun" by The Animals.
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Although the time of the series is never stated, the dates seem to work for it to be a true sequel to Westworld (1973). The movie was released in 1973, but it was set in 1983.
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Max von Sydow and Christopher Plummer were considered for the role of Dr. Robert Ford.
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The "Westworld" park is set in the 1870s. This becomes clear in season two when Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) is at "Fort Forlorn", inside which is stationed the U.S. Army's 25th Infantry Regiment, as evident by the flags in the fort. The 25th were stationed in various places in Texas and New Mexico for the entire 1870s until they were transferred to the Dakota territory in 1880.
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The taxidermied water buffalo head, which hangs above the bar in the saloon, is an African Cape water buffalo. Water buffalo are not related to the American species bison, which are sometimes commonly called "American Buffalo".
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Ed Harris starred in The Truman Show (1998), also dealing with a fake reality, wherein everything is scripted, and is envisioned for entertainment.
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As of season two, Jeffrey Wright (Bernard Lowe) is the only actor to appear in every episode.
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Ed Harris was nominated for the 2018 Emmy Award in the Lead Actor in a Drama Series category for his role as Man in Black in this show, but lost to Matthew Rhys from The Americans (2013).
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Jared Harris auditioned for the role of Dr. Robert Ford.
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Jeffrey Wright was nominated for the 2018 Emmy Award in the Lead Actor in a Drama Series category for his role as Bernard Lowe on this show, but lost to Matthew Rhys from The Americans (2013).
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Evan Rachel Wood was nominated for the 2018 Emmy Award in the Lead Actress in a Drama Series category for her role as Dolores Abernathy on this show, but lost to Claire Foy from The Crown (2016).
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Eion Bailey was originally cast as Logan, but had to withdraw due to scheduling conflicts.
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In season one, all but one episode were certified aged 15 by the BBFC. Only episode five, "Contrapasso" was certified aged 18.
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In Dr. Robert Ford's (Sir Anthony Hopkins') office, he has a section of wall covered in faces (presumably hosts). This could be a reference to Game of Thrones (2011). In that show, the Faceless Men of the House of Black and White have a room where they keep the faces of the victims that their many-faced god has told them to kill.
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William (Jimmi Simpson) comes to Westworld with Logan (Ben Barnes). On Person of Interest (2011), Writer, Producer, and Director Jonathan Nolan's previous show, Jimmi Simpson played a character named Logan.
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In season one, episode four, "Dissonance Theory", William and Logan storm into a ranch that's been taken over by thieves and bandits. The wood stove clearly says "Indianapolis", which refers to a company located in Indianapolis, Indiana, a real company which made wood stoves like the ones seen in the show. However, this particular model with the side-flue feature wouldn't have been made until later in the 1800s, possibly early 1900s. However, it doesn't matter since the setting of the town of Westworld is fictional, so it doesn't have to be historically accurate.
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Luke Hemsworth is the older brother of Chris and Liam Hemsworth. Sir Anthony Hopkins and Tessa Thompson appeared in Thor: Ragnarök (2017) with Chris Hemsworth and Luke having a cameo. Jeffery Wright also starred in The Hunger Games movies alongside Liam Hemsworth.
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Producer J.J. Abrams was mentored by Steven Spielberg, who also directed Jurassic Park (1993). Spielberg first met Michael Crichton while Robert Wise was directing The Andromeda Strain (1971). Robert Wise directed Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979), and Abrams directed Star Trek (2009).
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Dolores is the middle name of Ed Harris' real-life daughter: Lily Dolores Harris.
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Dr. Robert Ford has the same last name as real-life movie Director John Ford, who was famous for making westerns. Amongst them My Darling Clementine (1946), Clementine being the name of one of the characters on this show. The name of the character Arnold, in turn, bears likeness to Jack Arnold, a movie Director famous for making science fiction movies. Dr. Robert Ford's name is also the same as the coward that killed Jesse James.
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This show features one Oscar winner: Sir Anthony Hopkins; and two Oscar nominees: Ed Harris and Rinko Kikuchi.
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Amy Acker, who played Root on Person of Interest (2011), another show created by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, was considered to appear, but was unable to, due to already being cast on The Gifted (2017).
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Escelante is also the set used for Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman (1993), the Paramount Ranch.
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On this show, a robot "bad guy villain" carries a Winchester Model 1892 "Mares Leg" rifle as his main weapon in a rifle holster on his back. The rifle has been modified with more modern touches, but is basically the same model that Steve McQueen used on Wanted: Dead or Alive (1958).
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Ed Harris also had an early brief role as a morgue attendant in Coma (1978), written and directed by Michael Crichton (Writer and Director of Westworld (1973)). Coma (1978) was also adapted for television in 2012 by Tony and Ridley Scott.
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Sir Anthony Hopkins and Ed Harris appeared in Nixon (1995) and The Human Stain (2003).
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Evan Rachel Wood and Jeffrey Wright appeared in The Ides of March (2011).
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Both Anthony Hopkins and Thandie Newton appeared in Mission Impossible 2.
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Sir Anthony Hopkins and Thandie Newton appeared in Mission: Impossible II (2000).
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Sir Anthony Hopkins, Tessa Thompson, and Luke Hemsworth appeared in Thor: Ragnarök (2017).
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Bernard Lowe is an anagram for Arnold Weber.
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A clue to the fact that we are viewing different timeframes is the logo of Westworld itself. In the timeline of the present day, the "W" has straight lines, like we see in the television show logo. However, in the timeline of William and Logan, the Westworld "W" is curvy. This is also noticable when Bernard goes into the sub-basement to access a computer, and the logo displayed on the computer is the older style. It is very common for companies to update and change their logos and slogans every so often, and so this was a subtle hint to the viewers.
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Jimmi Simpson (William) figured out his character's true identity early in the series, when the Make-up Department started making him look like someone else. He studied Ed Harris' scenes, and mimicked some details of his performance. Conversely, Ed was not confirmed of their characters' relationship until it was in the script, and Jimmi's William didn't influence his Man in Black at all.
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During a July 2017 Hollywood Reporter drama actors roundtable, Jeffrey Wright (Bernard Lowe) said that he was only told the big secret twist in Lowe's first season storyline on the morning of the day when he showed up to shoot the scene. He said, "I don't think it would have been possible with this (to have known the truth about Lowe all along). What's interesting about the show is that there was this big reveal. But if you look back at the previous episodes, you'll see these breadcrumbs that are now more fluorescent that were already there but were just very subtle hints of where it was going." Interestingly, during a November 2016 interview with Kim Renfro of Insider, Wright contradicted his own version of these events, saying instead that the writers had told him that Bernard was not human in the middle of rehearsals for episode two.
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The series takes many cues from modern gaming (especially open world gaming) culture, such as:
  • Side quests.
  • Non-player characters (the hosts) on a storyline loop.
  • Level difficulties (the further you go, the tougher the encounters.)
  • Easter eggs (one guest uses the actual term.)
  • Equipment upgrades (again specifically mentioned.)
  • Character selection (William's preparation before entering the park).
  • Player styles, such as the Man in Black as completionist.
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One of the main reasons why Sir Anthony Hopkins agreed to take the role was that he was only going to be contracted for one year. He was told from the beginning that his character wouldn't survive the season.
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The name of the character played by Sir Anthony Hopkins, is "Dr. Robert Ford". Robert Ford is also the name of the coward who shot Jesse James, the infamous American outlaw. In addition, Jesse James and this show's Dr. Robert Ford were shot through the back of the head.
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The first villain mentioned is Hector Escaton. In Greek, "eschaton" means last. In the New Testament, it is used to refer to the Last Day, the end of the world, and the end of the current evil era. Eschatology is the section of theology that deals with the last things: death, judgment, the afterlife, resurrection. So Hector's surname hints at the apocalypse, towards which the series is building.
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When Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) speaks with the Man in Black (Ed Harris) in the second season finale, she describes when giants had roamed the land, but are now just "bones and amber". This is a reference to the origins of Jurassic Park (1993), where dinosaurs were developed from ancient mosquitoes (with dinosaur blood and DNA) trapped in amber. The novel "Jurassic Park" was written by Michael Crichton, who also wrote and directed Westworld (1973).
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Many, if not all, of the hosts' names are in some way significant: -Dolores is Spanish for "suffering". -Maeve is an Irish name that loosely translates as "she who intoxicates". -The ever-helpful Teddy, a.k.a. Theodore, has a name which means "gift of God" (though the surname "Flood" may give this a darker meaning). -Clementine, the mild-mannered prostitute, comes from the Latin for "forgiving". -Hector was named after a famed Trojan warrior. Escaton shares an origin with "eschatology", the religious study of the Last Days. The name Hector Escaton could translate from Greek as "He Who Holds the Last". -El Lazo, alter-ego of the often-hanged Lawrence, is Spanish for "The Noose".
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After Logan (Ben Barnes) joins forces with the Confederados and captures William (Jimmi Simpson) and Dolores (Evan Rachael Wood), he can be seen wearing a pin on the lapel of his jacket similar to Game of Thrones (2011)'s Hand of the King.
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