In the original 1973 film that HBO's Westworld is based on, Delos operates three separate branches of its futuristic theme park: the titular West World, along with both Roman World, and Medieval World. Interestingly, HBO has already had successful dramas that fit within each of these distinct genres — Deadwood, Rome, and Game Of Thrones — and it seems like the new sci-fi series might actually be starting to collide with the network's most popular program. Westworld might've dropped a Game Of Thrones reference on this Sunday's episode, "The Well-Tempered Clavier," and the implications are pretty mind-blowing.
When the hour began, William and Dolores once again found themselves at the mercy of Logan. It's unclear what exactly transpired between when William abandoned Logan to the Confederados in Pariah and when Logan reappeared at the head of an army, but somehow the black-clad rogue had been made a major or general in the meantime. His new position of authority even came with a brand new fashion accessory — a piece of jewelry pined to his lapel that pretty much anyone who watches Game Of Thrones would recognize in a heartbeat. A golden broach, consisting of a finger-like pattern inscribed within a circle, all thrust through with a long pin:
It may not be an exact replica of the pin worn by the likes of Ned Stark and Tyrion Lannister, but there's no denying its striking similarity to the emblem of the Hand Of The King. So why would Westworld drop this apparent Game Of Thrones homage in the middle of its penultimate episode? For one thing, it immediately lends Logan an aura of power, since HBO viewers are conditioned to seeing that pin worn by someone in a position of authority.
But if Logan is merely the King's Hand… then who's the actual King? The symbol implies that Logan is serving at the whim of some higher power, but Logan has never appeared to be answerable to anyone but himself. The most obvious candidate for "King" of Westworld is the park's creator himself, Dr. Ford. But we've never seen any connection between Ford and Logan; does the Hand Of The King symbol imply that there is a connection that has yet to be revealed?
Or is Logan perhaps serving someone else who is challenging Ford for leadership of Westworld — since, after all, even claimants to the Iron Throne get their own hands? (Barristan for Daenerys, Davos for Stannis, etc.) The Man In Black seems to be the character in most direct opposition to Ford… and if the theory that the Man In Black and William are the same person, does that mean that Logan has unknowingly been serving William this whole time? Logan's rash and violent actions are a large part of what has been driving William's evolution from white-clad hero to host-killing villain, so in a way you could say that Logan has been in service of his more docile friend this entire time.
Let's not forget the other, nastier aspect of that Hand Of The King pin: what tends to happen to the men who wear it. Jon Arryn was poisoned by his wife, Ned Stark was beheaded for treason, Tywin Lannister was murdered by his son, and Barristan was cut down in the streets. Nobody who takes on the role of the King's Hand ever seems to last for long. The job title is cursed; putting on that pin is tantamount to drawing a giant target on your back. So hopefully this means that awful Logan's days are numbered and he'll be one of the likely casualties of next Sunday's Season 1 finale.
But none of that actually answers the question of why Logan's pin looks so much like the Hand's emblem. Are residents of Westworld's future America still as obsessed with Game Of Thrones as we are today? Or could Game Of Thrones actually be Roman World? Will the two shows crossover someday when a character on Westworld decides to explore the other branches of the Delos park and suddenly stumbles into the middle of King's Landing just as Daenerys' dragons swoop overhead? Does this mean all of our favorite GoT characters are really just robots playing out an elaborate fantasy concocted by some megalomaniacal architect?
OK, I better stop slipping down this rabbit hole before I completely melt my mind.
Images: John P. Johnson, Screengrab/HBO; Giphy