Westworld is returning for its second season this year, and bringing with it a slew of returning characters and new creatures to the tantalizing theme park.
[Warning: The following may contain spoilers for Westworld’s second season, as well as its first.]
Let’s get the basic points out of the way. Anthony Hopkins will not be returning for the show’s second season. Co-creator Jonathan Nolan told Entertainment Weekly that his version of park architect Robert Ford died at the hands of Dolores in the first season. Nolan promised Ford won’t be completely forgotten, though. A younger version of Ford will make an appearance as the season’s arc explores park owner Delos Corporation’s past.
Nolan also cleared up some lingering questions over a few minor characters. Programmer Elsie Hughes and security officer Ashley Stubbs are alive. The two characters disappeared in the park last season, but Nolan promises they survived — barely. Co-creator Lisa Joy told Entertainment Weekly that Hughes and Stubbs are finally “getting to experience Westworld as guests and not in the managerial halls, but I’m not sure they’re enjoying their experience.”
Other notable favorites, including Jimmi Simpsons’ William (also known as Man in Black) and Tessa Thompson’s Delos executive Charlotte, are also returning to the park. William is situating himself in the impending war between hosts and guests as the host uprising spreads across the park. We’ll also learn more about how a young William got involved with Delos and the park, as Nolan and Joy explore why he became so influential to the board of directors.
Charlotte, on the other hand, finds herself in a dire situation. She’s left to contend with a host uprising without Ford by her side. Joy says that Charlotte “went from this controlled person playing this chess game with Ford,” but without him, “she’s left at the mercy of the hosts, like everyone else.”
It sounds like it’s going to be a dangerous time for just about everyone involved in Westworld and Delos, but the most interesting tease Nolan and Joy offered centers around Bernard. Bernard was Ford’s right-hand man who was taught to believe he wasn’t a host, and was devastated when he learned otherwise. Bernard will spend much of his time this season trying to deal with the wreckage left by the initial host uprising seen in last season’s finale, and learning secrets about Delos along the way. For example, a new class of white, drone-like hosts that were teased in the season two trailer seen above.
“The drone hosts relate to the corporation’s secret project which is hidden in plain sight in this park,” Nolan told Entertainment Weekly. “As we talked about in the pilot, the park is one thing for the guests, and it’s another thing for its shareholders and management — something completely different. We’ve used the Google analogy — for consumers, it’s for search and email, yet for the company, it’s for advertising. There is an agenda here that Delos has undertaken for a very long time.”
Westworld returns April 22.