Just when you think Westworld is going to stop asking questions and start giving answers, the HBO series introduces more challenges, twists, and characters. When we think it'll zig, it zags. But, of all of the new twists introduced in the third episode, which aired on Oct. 16, there is one new character fans are obsessing over. If you need further proof, just take a look at what they've been talking about for the past week, as the internet is filled with theories about Arnold on Westworld.
In the episode, “The Stray,” Ford explains to Bernard that Arnold was his partner many years ago. He co-founded Westworld alongside Ford, but the duo’s vision for the park differed, according to Ford. Arnold wanted to give robots a consciousness complete with an inner monologue, a “bicameral mind.” However, Ford warned, that the robots could dangerously confuse that monologue for voices in their heads, or the voices of gods, which drove many of them insane.
At the end of this disturbing walk down memory lane, Ford revealed that Arnold died in an “accident,” though he doesn't fully believe that explanation. It’s all very mysterious. And, while Westworld is revealing more backstory, audiences have more questions than ever. Just who is this Arnold guy? Is he really dead? Can we trust Ford’s version of the story? Can we trust Ford about… well, anything? I took to the Internet to see what fans have to say about Arnold, and while there were many interesting theories out there, these seemed to hold the most water.
Arnold Is Dead
First, there's the possibility that what Ford says is true and Arnold is really dead. In that case, this reveal would be less about Arnold and more about what his vision and death say about Ford himself. Arnold’s story may continue to unfold, but only through its consequences on his old partner.
There Is No Arnold
The Hollywood Reporter theorized that Arnold may simply represent Ford’s earliest days at Westworld. In that case Arnold is Ford, who is purposely causing the robots to malfunction. Redditor Silentgraphic also theorized that Arnold may have never existed. Maybe, the Reddit user guessed, Arnold was “Ford's attempt at making a conscious host” and this conscious host is what caused the critical failure 30 years ago.
He’s Connected To The Man In Black
Multiple fans think Arnold is the Man in Black, but it's unclear how Arnold would then go unnoticed in the park and thus seems a little far-fetched. Perhaps, the Man in Black instead knows Arnold somehow, and is maybe even avenging him, or carrying out his plan?
Dolores Is Fulfilling Arnold’s Work
Arnold’s goal was for robots to achieve consciousness and an inner monologue. BeyondWestworld.com theorized that maybe the top part of achieving Arnold’s pyramid of consciousness — the final test — is the maze. Maybe, the site proposes, the maze isn’t for guests, but for hosts to prove sentience. Dolores could be depicting this — she has already proven memory and improvisation with the gun, after all.
Arnold Is An Android
Many people think Bernard is a robot, it’s all over the internet. But The Hollywood Reporter theorized that maybe Bernard is Arnold, in resurrected robot form. Similarly, others have found it curious that Arnold was introduced in the same episode that Ford gives Teddy a nemesis, Wyatt. Bustle editor Samantha Rullo believes that maybe Arnold’s consciousness had been uploaded into Wyatt when he supposedly died. Or maybe Wyatt is really Arnold, a human hiding in the park who Ford has sent Teddy after?
"These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends"
MoviePilot discovered that if you use the "chat with Aeden" robot on DiscoverWestworld.com and type "these violent delights have violent ends" three times, you get the really creepy message above.
So, what does Arnold have to do with the message that appears to be acting like a virus? Every robot that hears it seems to gain sentience — just look at Abernathy, Dolores, and Maeve. Could this have been Arnold’s last hurrah before he died? Could he be alive and reprogramming robots now? Is the Man in Black doing his bidding? I guess we’ll just have to keep watching Westworld for more answers — and more questions.
Images: John P. Johnson/HBO (6); Discover Westworld/Romper