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The importance behind one of Westworld’s most popular phrases

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It’s more than Shakespeare

Westworld - Dolores in Sweetwater John P. Johnson/HBO

One of the most memorable phrases from Westworld’s first season is a Shakespeare quote from Romeo and Juliet, but there’s more to it than simple poetry.

[Warning: The following contains spoilers for the first season of Westworld.]

“These violent delights have violent ends.” It’s the phrase that’s spoken to Dolores multiple times throughout the series. Sometimes by Arnold or Bernard, other times by Dr. Ford. For a long time, most fans assumed that it was just a decorative aspect of the series, which has referenced Shakespeare on multiple occasions, uses Claude Debussy’s “Reveries,” and tends to focus on the picturesque cultural elements of centuries past.

Like everything else in Westworld, however, things are never just romantic for the sake of being romantic, not even Teddy and Dolores’ pained relationship; based on new evidence, it looks like not even Shakespeare is safe from double meanings.

One Redditor discovered that on Dolores’ profile, which is brought up on a Delos Corporation tablet by Bernard, it specifically states that when the quote is uttered, it essentially loads up Wyatt’s narrative. At that point, Dolores turns into the murderous host that she was revealed to be in the finale, and will have much more importance going forward as Dolores is left to explore her new narrative as Wyatt.

One of the biggest issues that has arisen with this theory is the fact that Papa Abernathy, Dolores’ father, says it to her. If he said it, why didn’t she turn into a raging, murdering host? The second popular theory on this thread is that he did trigger Dolores, and that’s why she said the phrase to Maeve, inevitably unlocking her memory and participating in Ford’s new narrative. Again, like most things in Westworld, it all points back to Ford.

The remaining question is what does that mean for the rest of the quotes that have popped up throughout the season? Or is there more to the use of Radiohead than just showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy being big Thom Yorke fans?

Even the first season has already ended, HBO has continued to release new evidence that supports fan theories and answers some of the questions that were left following the finale. Yesterday, the official Westworld bot, Aedan, sent out an email with confirming that he would be undergoing maintenance. When trying to have a chat with him, the bot glitches out and new code pops up. Fans have been poring over it to see if there’s anything there and have come up with a couple of theories.

The last big revelation that the community discovered was a secret MP4 hidden within the code of Delos Corporation’s website (created by HBO) that revealed Elsie was actually alive. Where she is, however, remains a mystery.

Westworld will return to HBO in 2018.