Extremely minor spoiler alert: This blog will discuss the main characters of Westworld, but will not reveal anything about what they actually get done in the very first episode. If you don’t mind knowing about who the main players in the show are, and just want to know what you’re getting yourself into – read on. If you’re looking to go in completely blind, then now’s your last chance to back out.
Westworld is a series about a futuristic amusement park intended for rich vacationers. The park itself is populated by two factions, the robotic “hosts” — 3D-printed robots that act out a series of “storylines” and “narratives” (much like NPCs acting out scripted dialogue and actions during quests in a video game), and “newcomers” – the guests themselves that act as newcomers to the Old West, who are encouraged to act however they wish. Westworld’s newcomers can eat, drink, fuck, and shoot their way around Westworld with zero repercussions – the hosts can’t kill the guests, and the hosts can’t say no. At least, that’s the way the program is designed.
Within Westworld are a few key characters, all of whom – at their core – are seeking to learn more about Westworld’s inner workings. There’s Dr. Ford, played by Sir Anthony Hopkins, who is the mastermind behind Westworld itself. Think of him being to Westworld what John Hammond was to Jurassic Park. As a matter of fact, quite a few parallels can be drawn between the two series’, one major similarity being that Michael Crichton wrote the original canon which both franchises were based off of. Dr. Ford himself is fascinated by the AI hosts that he’s created, and is seemingly unphased by any variety of quirk or glitch that they have.
Then we’ve got Bernard Lowe, played by Jeffery Wright, who seems to be the primary writer of the guests’ code. He’s the guy who is called in by other researchers in the shadowy organization who owns Westworld whenever there’s a problem, and he also appears to have the closest relationship with Dr. Ford out of anyone else in the company. He’s also one to take an analytical approach to his work first, where others seem simply keen to shut anything down that isn’t working 100% up to par – Lowe is intent on understanding how the hosts are evolving and if they are capable of actually learning from their scripted actions.
One main POV character is one of the guests themselves – a woman named Dolores Abernathy (played by Evan Rachel Wood), an innocent ranchers’ daughter who suffers a series of unfortunate storylines as the first episode progresses. Dolores is said to be the very first guest that was built for Westworld, giving her a special place in the hearts of both Dr. Ford and Bernard Lowe. It seems like the doctors and researchers behind Westworld have a soft spot for Dolores’ sweet demeanor and innocent nature, yet nobody (perhaps not even her) truly knows what is going on behind the circuits that make her tick.
Lastly, there’s The Man In Black, played by professional badass Ed Harris. As far as anybody can tell, The Man In Black is a “newcomer” (that is, a paying vacationer), who has been through Westworld’s storylines 100 times over. He tells a certain guest – in a resentful tone – “all these years and you still don’t remember me”, so perhaps The Man In Black is a vacationer who’s just a little too obsessed with the reality of Westworld. It is unclear what his motives truly are, but The Man In Black seems intent on pulling the threads of Westworld apart slowly until he finds what’s at the center of it all.
And that’s that. Westworld’s four key players in a nutshell. You’ve gotta watch this show to truly get it, and I really recommend that you do. If you’re a fan of science fiction, westerns, AI stories, or technology fantasy in a nutshell – you’ll dig Westworld.
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