The season 2 premiere of Westworld is upon us and while the cast and crew have remained tight lipped there are certain things we can gleam from the trailers, and promotional material released by HBO.

Season 1 left us with a lot of burning questions and so the premiere comes hotly anticipated. For a look back at season 1 you can check out my last post here.

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Who’s Back

We know for certain that the following characters are back: Dolores, Bernard, Maeve, The Man in Black, Teddy, Charlotte, Hector,  Lee Sizemore, and Clementine. Other interesting returning characters are William who I imagine we’ll finally see how he came to hold so much power over the park. Another is Logan who we last saw strapped to a horse riding into the distance at the hands of William. His name appears on the season 2 cast list but isn’t in the promotion. In the trailer, however, we see a body being approached by a native american and that may or may not be Logan.

There’s also been no sighting of Anthony Hopkins, who previously said he had only signed up for one season.  Dr. Ford is of course dead, having been shot by Dolores in the finale, but a popular theory is that the person we actually saw getting shot was a host. If you recall in at the end of episode seven during the Bernard reveal there was a host being created in the basement, some feel that might be Ford. If he is returning, you can bet the Westworld crew are keeping it under wraps for maximum shock value.

Another interesting potential return is Elsie Hughes. The last time we saw her she was being strangled by Bernard in one of his flashbacks. The assumption is that she is dead although that has never been confirmed. However, an interactive map on a promotional site for the show pegged Elsie within the park, hinting that Bernard never actually finished the job.

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What’s New

At the end of last season, during Maeve’s attempt to escape, we got a glimpse into another world beyond Westworld. That world had the initials SW and we saw samurai hosts inside. It was probably the most tantalizing tease of last season and speaks to a much larger universe than we had anticipated. It appears we’ll be entering this world as evidenced in the trailer by Maeve wearing a kimono.

Interestingly during the Super Bowl Ad  fans uncovered an important detail hidden within that brief footage. At 33 seconds into the trailer, there are white bars at the top of the screen, which “is binary and decodes to which leads to Delos Destinations dot com, as one Reddit user found. The biggest discovery so far is a slideshow that advertises the six Delos parks that are either active or in development. One of those is Shogun World which we will be seeing this season.

Also featured in the full Season 2 trailer is an all-white, faceless host that slightly resembles the molds from the assembly-line opening title sequence.  Westworld showrunners Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan have since confirmed the figure is indeed a different breed of host — called a drone host — under the control of the Delos corporation. We’ve had hints at a secret Delos agenda already and it appears that these Drone’s are there to further whatever that is. In the final Season 2 trailer, the drone host revealed its violent potential, harshly throwing a body into what appears to be a water tank of some kind.

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Everything Else

  • Where is Peter Abernathy? Last we saw he was uploaded with Westworld data by Charlotte. Will he make it out of the park?
  • in the full trailer Dolores is in modern clothes (a familiar white dress) against a city backdrop. Has she made it outside? Is this another world yet to be discovered?
  • Stubbs and Charlotte have survived the massacre and appear to be suiting up to stop the uprising
  • there’s a room full of Bernard hosts which isn’t creepy at all…
  • we get what looks like a flashback of Logan and his father? More indication that we’ll get filled in on that backstory that was desperately lacking in season
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There are plenty of other burning questions like: what does Bernard remember? what does Maeve actually want (her daughter of course but then what?) will we ever see the outside world? Fortunately for us showrunner Jonathan Nolan has said that he actually plans to answer questions this season

“We don’t like to endlessly build mystery; we like to settle our debts by the end of the season,” Nolan said. “We want to feel like the show is rocketing ahead. The first season was a journey inward; this is a journey outward. It’s a search for what else is in the park, and what else is beyond the park.”

What he and Lisa Joy intend on answering is another issue entirely. Let the theorizing begin.