Not since Lost has a show spurred as many fan theories with as much passion as Westworld. The HBO sci-fi Western drama series is only four episodes into its first season, but it has spawned a flurry of reddit threads and copious amounts of theorizing about everything from the true identity of the Man in Black to whether Westworld is even on Earth. But are fans in danger of theorizing this show into oblivion? Have big “twists” already been guessed seasons in advance?
HBO’s new president of programming Casey Bloys recently spoke with Variety about the show’s success, and he admitted that some of the fan theories that have popped up online aren’t far from the truth:
“There are a lot of theories out there, and with some of them, I’ve been very impressed with how they’ve constructed the guesses. I’ll just say, they’re getting close.”
As for when fans can hope to get resolution to some of the burning questions the show has asked, Bloys promises some satisfaction by the end of this first season:
“All I would say is, it’s a very satisfying end. I think questions will be answered. I love reading the fan theories online. I think it’s great the way people have engaged. I’m just pleased to see the reception from an engagement point of view, and that it has started all of these conversations. I think people will get the answers they’re looking for by the end of Season One. A lot of the ones that people are buzzing about.”
Bloys went on to discuss how the show hopes to connect on an even deeper emotional level going forward, altering his previous statement to more accurately describe the Season 1 resolution as “satisfaction” and maybe not necessarily “answers”:
“I think a lot of the fans are engaging with Dolores and Maeve specifically, and so from an emotional point of view, I think that will grow, in terms of those characters’ journeys. And from a mystery point of view and a story point of view, I think you will get — I don’t know if ‘answers’ is the right word, but maybe it’s ‘satisfaction.’ You’ll see how Ford and the Man in Black play out by the end, story-wise.”
Indeed, while I’m completely obsessed with Westworld from a narrative and world-building perspective, I’ll admit I’ve had some trouble finding any kind of emotional connection to the characters, so I’m interested to see if by season’s end, my feelings have changed.
As for when we can expect a Season 2 renewal, the show has been performing swimmingly in the ratings, but Bloys noted he wants to get “a very complete picture” of the ratings before pulling the trigger, noting that he’s going to be speaking with executive producers Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy about where the story might go in Season 2 soon. At this point, though, given that HBO literally only has three other drama series on its slate—Game of Thrones which has two seasons left, The Leftovers which has one season left, and new series The Deuce—I’d say a Season 2 renewal for Westworld is all but guaranteed