“These violent delights have violent ends,” Friar Lawrence says in William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. He’s talking about Romeo’s abrupt marriage to Juliet, and how it’s likely to come to an equally abrupt ending — one way or another. But HBO’s Westworld series has adopted that line as a kind of mantra, voiced by many characters and used to suggest another thing entirely.
The show, created by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, and inspired by Michael Crichton’s 1973 movie, opens with a future Western theme park largely staffed by hyper-realistic humanoid robots, which park guests can follow on heroic adventures — or can rape and murder with impunity. As the hosts start to gain sentience and realize what’s being done to them, the guests may pay for their violent delights. Or will they? The series has been designed as a puzzle box, and the focus keeps shifting.
Here, we’ll look at everything from trailers to the show’s wild marketing tricks to the spoiler culture surrounding Westworld, as we unpack its narrative — and the increasingly elaborate meta-narrative being built around it.
Westworld creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy have signed on with Amazon Studios
They will continue to write and produce Westworld for HBO for an undisclosed period of time
Jul 2, 2018Tasha Robinson and Bryan Bishop
Question Club: What do we want from Westworld season 3?
Looking over the high and low points of the season, and where they point for the future
Westworld’s season 2 cliffhanger is simultaneously awesome and obnoxious
The timelines come together, but they still remain baffling
The biggest questions left behind after the season 2 Westworld finale
And some thoughts on what season 3 might look like
Westworld’s free Alexa game is like a radio drama crossed with a quiz show
Westworld: The Maze is a short game for Amazon Alexa devices, putting players in the shoes of a newly awakened host.
Westworld’s Man in Black is beyond saving
Bernard and Maeve make important strides of their own in the season’s penultimate episode
Westworld’s latest episode is a heartbreaking tale of suffering
The secrets of Ghost Nation are finally revealed
Jeffrey Wright says his Westworld character is ‘based on a Reddit user’
And his character’s movement is based on how Evan Rachel Wood plays Dolores
Westworld Spoilers Club season 2, episode 7: Les Écorchés
A trip into The Cradle reveals plenty of surprises
Westworld Spoilers Club season 2, episode 6: Phase Space
Unexpected discoveries, familiar faces, and the power of aspect ratios
Westworld’s digital marketing is giving fans sneak peeks at the show’s biggest secrets
For HBO’s hit series, the line between marketing and storytelling continues to blur
Westworld Spoilers Club season 2, episode 5: Akane No Mai
A visit to a new park is funny, surprising, and bloody as hell
Westworld may just give The Man in Black a shot at redemption
A major revelation opens up a host of possibilities… and one possible character return?
Westworld’s biggest new surprise has nothing to do with hosts
A double fake-out, and another great new cover from composer Ramin Djawadi
Westworld is getting a third season
Only two episodes into the second season, HBO seems very happy
Westworld’s latest episode reveals what the park was really built for
The second episode of the season drops subtle clues with big ramifications
Westworld’s first new major surprise leads to more questions than answers
The season 2 premiere sets up the pieces with ruthless efficiency, but what game is being played?
Westworld season 2: our spoiler-free review
Don’t worry — we’re not going to ruin anything
Apr 11, 2018Tasha Robinson and Devon Maloney
Could Westworld’s crazy season 2 spoiler plan have worked?
In an AMA, Westworld’s creators promised to spoil the entire upcoming season, but it was a prank. But what if they’d followed through?
Westworld’s spoiler reveal turns out to be an elaborate Rickroll
Prepare to get spoilers for the entire second season of Westworld... or not
Westworld’s creators will fight spoiler culture by spoiling the whole second season
It’s a social experiment, attempting to evoke the protective attitude around spoilers that Game of Thrones created
A guide to Westworld’s viral marketing, for fans who don’t want to translate binary code
Secrets and revelations from the websites of Delos, Inc.
The new Westworld season 2 trailer promises blood as the robot uprising continues
This isn’t going to end well for anyone
Westworld’s hosts just took over HBO to reveal a new trailer is coming tomorrow
A cute marketing trick, and some fleeting glimpses of new footage
A day in real-life Westworld from a host’s perspective
Here’s what it’s like to be a robot in Westworld — or at least in HBO’s immersive Westworld experience
I ruined my trip to Westworld by treating it like a video game
Omnia mutantur, nihil interit
The best part of real-life Westworld was learning what people want from Westworld
SXSW created the town of Sweetwater, and it was a perfect way to see how people approach entertainment’s immersive future.
Nov 28, 2016Tasha Robinson, Adi Robertson and 2 more
Predicting Westworld: our pre-finale theory blowout
Who’s alive, who’s dead, who’s a bot, and what they’re drinking
Westworld isn’t really a theme park — it’s an effort to simulate an entire artificial world
Westworld is a good TV show about a terrible video game
A simplistic window into fictional violence
Westworld's creators explain how their series addresses violent video games
They aren’t interested in blanket condemnations, they just want to raise questions