In the age of spoilers, TV showrunners must go through extreme lengths to attempt to actually shock audiences. That's why everyone was so surprised when Westworld's showrunners, Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, announced on Monday during their Reddit AMA that they would release a video that reveals all of the Season 2 spoilers on the Westworld subreddit. But, instead of releasing a spoiler video, Westworld rickrolled its fans with a 25-minute video. While Nolan and Jo's promise to release a video that previewed all of Season 2's major plot twists seemed too good to be true, fans who checked in on Reddit totally bought into it, and wow, were they pranked.
Even though some Westworld fans have taken to Twitter to curse the show for its shameless publicity stunt, others have applauded it, even if it wasn't what they were promised. That's because the Westworld rickroll video is actually hilarious. The video starts with what seems like a plausible opening to Season 2. Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) wakes up on a beach and he can't remember why he got there. Then arrives in Sweetwater, the busy old Western town from the show, and he sees people walking around until all of the sudden everyone stops — it's like they freeze.
Suddenly, you hear a piano playing, and suddenly you see Clementine (Angela Sarafyan) playing the song "Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley — hence the name "rickroll" — while Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) sings it. As if that weren't enough to indicate that the video is a prank, the video then cuts to a title card which says,
"Dear Reddit, From all of us here at Westworld, thank you for watching.We hope you enjoy season two..."
After that, the clip transitions a 21-minute-long video of a dog sitting on a piano bench while the show's theme song plays. At the end, the video shows another title card that reads "For Bento 2009-2018." Bento, as you might remember, was the name of the Keyboard Cat who passed away in March, according to The Guardian.
As you can imagine, the troll disappointed a lot of people who had flocked to the subreddit to see the originally promised spoiler-filled video. Nolan's original statement made the video sound like it would be unlike anything a show has ever released. "We're going to post a video that lays out the plot (and twists and turns) of season 2," Nolan and Joy had written, in anticipation of the new season which will premiere April 29. The showrunners' statement continued:
"Everything. The whole sordid thing. Up front. That way the members of the community here who want the season spoiled for them can watch ahead, and then protect the rest of the community, and help to distinguish between what's 'theory' and what's spoiler."
This made Redditors, who frequently use the forum to to spoil shows and predict plots twists, practically foam at the mouth, and everyone voted that the showrunners should release the spoilers. As you can imagine, many fans felt betrayed by the rickroll.
Since the video is pretty funny though, a lot of Westworld fans were able to see through the deception and appreciate the fact that various cast members were in on the prank. At least the rickroll took a lot of effort, right?
Regardless of whether or not you appreciated Westworld's extravagant rickroll, you can probably bet that the show didn't lose any viewers over the prank. In fact, it might have turned a few people who simply love a good rickroll into the show. For all of the people who love to spoil shows, Westworld's creators and actors have a message to say, and that's: "Never gonna give you up / Never gonna let you down."