‘Westworld’ S02E08: What Does Kiksuya Mean?

HBO He left his violent ways behind.

Tonight’s episode of Westworld, Season 2 Episode 8, is called Kiksuya. What does this  mean and how does it relate to Westworld? Read on for details and minor spoilers.

The title of the episode, Kiksuya, means “Remember” in Lakota. In fact, nearly the entire episode is going to be about the back story of the Ghost Nation, with much of the episode containing subtitles. Yes, much of the episode will be spoken in Lakota. If you recall, the subtitles in Episode 3 showed Hector speaking Lakota to the Ghost Nation natives. Before the season started, the producers shared that one episode would be in a different language, much like that tattoo episode from Lost. Most fans believed that was the Shogun-world themed episode, but it turns out they were actually referring to Episode 8.

Lakota is a Sioux language that is spoken by approximately 2,000 Native Americans today, who live mostly in North and South Dakota. The New York Times has a fascinating story from June 2000 about a woman seeking to preserve the Lakota language in all its richness and complexity. There’s also a non-profit organization called Re-Member which seeks to improve the quality of life on the Pine Ridge reservation. They have a newsletter called Kiksuya.

HBO allowed Heavy to view tonight’s episode early. And although we won’t be sharing any major spoilers here, we can attest that the episode title ties in perfectly with the plot of tonight’s episode. In fact, after you watch the episode, you may think back on the episode title and pause for a moment, reflecting on the idea of remembering within the context of the Lakota language.

Tonight’s episode is amazing. There are moments that will definitely stick with you for a long time.

The use of Lakota in the episode title also ties in to a Lakota legend that we see in the intro every week. The white buffalo is significant in Lakota legend. You can read all about it on the Lakota Ranch’s website. The white buffalo is described as being the most sacred being one can encounter. When a white buffalo is born, it’s a sign as significant as the second coming of Christ, experts explain. It’s a sign of unifying nations and bringing purity of mind. It gives a sense of hope for the future.

The summary for tonight’s episode reads: “A heart is taken following a departure.”

Westworld has 10 episodes total this season. It’s hard to believe that after tonight, there are only two episodes left in this outstanding season.


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