If there’s one thing about Westworld you can depend on, it’s that the show can get really confusing at times. And one of the most confusing parts involves Dolores. She’s wandering through at least three timelines (see our story about the timelines here.) After Episode 9, the chronology is even more confusing. We’ve broken down fans’ best theories on when specific events occurred in the show, to help you keep track of what’s happening.
This article has spoilers through Episode 9.
Here’s what you need to know.
When deciphering Dolores’ timeline and the chronology of events in Westworld, it helps to pay attention to what Dolores is wearing. This isn’t 100 percent accurate, since she wore a dress in the early days of Westworld that was identical to the dress she’s wearing in present day. At one point in the present, it also appears that she changes into her pants outfit that she wore with William. So while her clothes can provide a clue to where she is in the timeline, it’s not 100 percent foolproof.
Here are the top theories about the Westworld timeline and when Dolores’ events occurred. This information includes some details shared on a Reddit thread here, along with a few other pieces of information gleaned from clues left in the show.
‘Westworld’ Events from Approximately 35 Years Ago
- Westworld is in its early stages, with only a few people like Arnold and Ford living at the park. Dolores was one of the first hosts created, but Maeve was here during this time too. Commenter “Arya Stark” below mentioned that Lawrence’s daughter, Armistice, and Angela were also there in this scene.
- The city of Escalante with the white church exists at this time, along with a secret meeting place underground with Arnold.
- Dolores enters the church and sees all the hosts going crazy from hearing Arnold’s voice in their heads. (She’s wearing her blue dress in this part of the scene.)
- Dolores is also wearing her blue dress when she walks through the offices beneath the church and sees a young Ford going into Arnold’s office. She goes further downstairs to have a meeting with Arnold in a glass room.
- Dolores had frequent meetings with Arnold during this time.
- At the end of this time period, 34 years ago, Dolores killed Arnold. Ford asked Dolores when her last contact with him was, and she said 34 years, 42 days, and seven hours ago, “the day Arnold died.” She said she was going to help Arnold “destroy this place.” (Thanks to a commenter, “Arya Stark,” below for their contribution!)
- It’s unclear if the huge massacre in Escalante, ending with Dolores’ trying to shoot herself in the head and Teddy somehow participating in the massacre, was connected to Arnold’s death at this time or if it occurred at a different time.
‘Westworld’ Timeline Approximately 30 Years Ago
- The park has a critical failure. According to Bernard: “The park hasn’t had a critical failure in over 30 years.” (It’s unclear if the failure happened during Arnold’s time or if it happened during Dolores and William’s time, or somewhere in between.)
- The park is having financial trouble, and Logan’s family is considering buying shares to help.
- William and Logan visit the park before William is supposed to marry Juliet, Logan’s sister.
- Dolores meets William.
- Dolores and William run away from Logan. Dolores changes from her blue dress into her pants outfit, which hints at which timeline we’re in.
- William and Dolores find Escalante. But this time the church is partially torn down, with just a frame remaining, and Dolores is confused about why she’s there (what led her to visit this place) and what timeline she’s in. William comforts her.
- Logan captures William and Dolores and cuts into Dolores’ stomach, showing William her host interior. He shows William a photo of Juliet.
- Dolores runs away and William decides randomly to murder and dismember tons of hosts.
- At this point, it’s unclear if Dolores goes back to the church and back underground again. She’s shown wandering down a hall that’s unkempt and broken down, while wearing her pants outfit and looking for a wound in her stomach. So she may have done this loop at some point in Williams’ timeline too.
- The Man in Black gets married. (He said in an earlier episode that he and his wife were married 30 years ago.)
‘Westworld’ Events Between 30 Years Ago and Present Day
These events happened before the present-day timeline but after the events that happened 30 years ago.
- Ford created Bernard.
- The Man in Black killed Maeve’s daughter and first realized pain could cause hosts to become “human.”
- The Man in Black’s wife died.
‘Westworld’ Timeline: Present Day
- Dolores is seen wearing the blue dress in this timeline, but she also wears pants in the present-day timeline too.
- Dolores’ dad finds the photo of Juliet and glitches out. This also triggers Dolores to hear Arnold saying “Remember.”
- Dolores’ meetings with Bernard did not happen in present day. They happened 35 years ago, when “Bernard” (Arnold) was wearing black in the scenes.
- Ford unburies Escalante for his new narrative.
- Maeve begins to achieve sentience and starts a journey to escape.
- Dolores shoots an attacker and runs from the farm, sometime after The Man in Black dragged her into the barn. The current theory is that at some point after this, she changed into the pants outfit that she’s wearing in her adventures with William.
- The Man in Black is searching for Arnold’s maze. He takes Teddy with him on his search.
- Dolores retraces her memory, returns to Escalante, and goes back to the bunker, walking through broken down hallways.
- She remembers that she killed Arnold.
- She goes back upstairs to the church and sees the Man in Black walking through the church door.
Do you see anything you don’t agree with in the timeline? Let us know in the comments below.