Westworld Season 2 Episode 9 Theories: Is William a Host? [POLL]

HBO Westworld

Wow. Season 2 Episode 9 of Westworld was absolutely phenomenal, but it’s left fans with a big debate: Is William a host? We’re going to explore the pros and cons to this debate after that crazy reveal tonight.

This post has MAJOR spoilers for Season 2 Episode 9. DO NOT read on until you have seen “Vanishing Point” or you will be majorly spoiled. After you read this article, take our poll at the end and let us know what you think. 

Fans have long been debating whether or not William is a host on Westworld. And the episode we just watched leaves us with more reasons to wonder. I’m going to go ahead and put in my guess. No, I don’t think William is a host. But many other people disagree with me.

Tonight we had a shocking revelation for Season 2. In fact, this might have been one of the craziest storylines yet. William was unable to accept that his daughter, Emily, was real and not a host. Ford’s constantly appearing to him in the park and the little “game” he created for William have pretty much destroyed William’s grasp on reality. William thinks everyone he sees is Ford in disguise or part of Ford’s game. He can’t bring himself to believe that Emily was real.

And so it happened… Not only did William shoot and kill bona fide Delos employees, but he shot and killed his own daughter. And when he realized this, he almost killed himself. But instead, he sought salvation in another way: with the desperate hope that he’s secretly a host.

Tonight we learned a lot about William. We learned that he has been a black hat all along, even when he wanted to be a white hat. William, essentially, was a sociopath. He was a serial killer who managed to control his violent appetite and only reveal it within the park, sparing the real world from his wrath. But it was this realization that led his wife to kill herself. (Well, if you believe that. Some people believe that William killed his wife and disguised it as an overdose — his first “real world” murder.)

In the end, Ford’s game and William’s darkness led to William murdering his own daughter. And we leave the episode with William digging into his own arm, blood streaming out, in the desperate hope that he is a host and operating by his programming. But we never saw the results of that. The episode cut out before the reveal.

You see, I think William believes that if he discovers that he is a host, then that will be his absolution. He doesn’t have to feel guilt or grief because he’s only been acting according to his code. He is desperately hoping that this is true.

But meanwhile, we have Teddy as a sharp contrast. I still believe that Teddy may have been programmed with a narrative to mimic how William and Dolores first met. Both William and Teddy met Dolores when a milk can rolled into their way. I believe Teddy’s narrative is modeled after William’s. But that’s where it ends. Teddy is a host and he believes that he still bears responsibility. He does not believe that being a host absolves him of guilt. And while William could never break free of the dark part of his programming (which I think is embedded in his DNA), Teddy could break free from the dark part of his programming that Dolores embedded within him. He finally could, although it took him a long time (and he wasn’t able to do it in the first Wyatt narrative.)

Here are some of the hints for and against William being a host.

Hints that William isn’t a host.

  • William ages. We’ve never seen hosts that age.
  • He’s in the real world, married and has a daughter. Hosts don’t do that.
  • It would absolve him of guilt. Just from a storytelling perspective, it is far more dramatic for William to not be a host.
  • William’s wife’s comments about whether or not he is real are about her belief that he’s dark inside and hiding his true sociopathic nature.
  • Ford’s “door” game for William is really just a long game of revenge after William destroyed the original purpose of his park, by bringing in illegal activity and stealing humans’ minds.
  • Hosts don’t have fidelity. We saw what happened to James Delos.

Counter hints that William is a host. 

  • William might be a special model that ages. Or he might just be moved into an ever-aging host body. Or he’s simply given a good back story.
  • He was real at one point in the past. But just like Bernard was given Arnold’s back story, the William we see NOW is a host with his human’s back story.
  • It would be just as dramatic for William to be a host once he learned that he was still capable of breaking free of his programming, like Teddy or Akecheta did.
  • William’s wife’s comments about whether or not he is real hint that he’s a host.
  • The door game is for hosts. Maeve and Dolores and Akecheta are all contenders and hosts. William would be the only human contender, which likely isn’t the case.
  • Maybe William doesn’t have fidelity. Remember how he was looking at his hand during his party? Maybe he’s constantly replaced, just like James Delos.

There are more pros and cons to the argument, but this is a good place to leave off while we get started down this debate. Let us know what you think in the poll below:

Is William a host? We may find out for sure next week.

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