Dr. Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins) was consistently positioned to be the God character all throughout Westworld’s first season, whether that god was capricious and cruel (when we were led to believe that he was nothing but contemptuous of his android creations, continually preventing them from becoming sentient) or loving and benevolent (when the season finale revealed that he was merely “toughening up” the hosts in order to ready them for their full-conscious arrival on the world stage).
What’s really come through in the post-finale interview deluge is not only just how deliberate (of course) this characterization and thematic motif was from the very beginning of the show’s inception, but also how this throughline continues throughout the rest of Westworld’s run, however long that may be.
Sitting down to speak with Variety, showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy sketch out a rough outline of their mythology:
[T]his is a scene of television that is, in a sense, a prologue to the larger story that we’re telling. In this narrative, Ford is God. This is the death of God as the jumping-off point for our story, but also [as] a full meal [un]to itself.
Moving on, the site asked the dynamic duo about the second season, and why it won’t be arriving until 2018. Noting that they’re currently in the script stage for the season, Nolan went on to say:
It’s an ambitious project, and HBO has encouraged us to take the time and resources that we need to work on each stage of that. I love television. One of the fun things about television is that sometimes you find yourself in this place where you have to wear all these hats at once – you have to write, shoot, and cut simultaneously. We wanted to, in the second season, spend some more time writing, then switch gears into production, then cut. So we’re not going to follow the annual year-on-year tradition of television. Television’s changing. And the ambition of the project is such that we’re going to take our time to get the second season right.
If the narrative that they’re working on is as intricate and nuanced as the first season’s – and especially if they’re going to continue to develop the thematic material, as Nolan seems to indicate here – all the extra time will be more than needed; Westworld laid down the gauntlet in terms of narrative and technical sophistication, and being able to consistently deliver on that level, at the least, or even expand its reach even further, at the most, will be of the utmost necessity.
Otherwise, no one will be watching, whether there is a fully planned-out story or not.
In the meantime, there is a ton to discuss. What will the death of God mean for the second season – will Westworld become the next Jerusalem, the Promised Land to be fought incessantly over? Will a new divinity attempt to take Dr. Ford’s place?
And if Ford was God, then who might Satan be in this telling? Share your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.