Westworld Went Full-Inception & Hid A Trailer Within A Trailer

Photo: John P. Johnson/HBO.
The new trailer for Westworld’s second season has dropped, and we are eagerly analyzing the video for the tiniest clues of what’s coming. There’s a few expectations going into season two: we know we’re going to meet a slew of new Westworld characters, played by such luminaries as Get Out’s Betty Gabriel and Gustaf Skarsgård. But HBO has been playing some serious mind games with the rollout of the trailer and premiere, with codes hidden in glitch flashes that lead to secret sites. Now, eagle-eyed fans have sleuthed out a second trailer hidden inside the first one — and it’s as bizarre as you can imagine.
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The second trailer, like the official season two trailer, is accessible only by entering a secret site. The secret trailer lives on a site domain called Delos Incorporated, which contains no further data except the video; you can’t click on anything. It’s essentially blank.
Let’s examine the video (click here to watch). It appears to be a fictional ad for Delos; the company is touting their skill at crafting androids that perfectly resemble real humans. “We build technologies that push the limits of this world,” narrates a cheery voice, while we see suited workers crafting uncanny robot faces. The video begins to degrade into glitches as it advertises the Westworld destination park: there are image glitches, flashes, and audio glitches that eerily distort the narrator’s voice. We see a shot of Samurai warriors being prepped in the factory, and the narrator alludes to an entire universe of Delos-built worlds. The words “Logged: Xomagech” appear on screen as the video ends.
Yes, we are scratching our heads at this as well. What on earth does this mean? The glitches in this video, like the first one, indicate that there must be more information hidden in the code. We’re going to wait for Redditors to crack this secret code; fans on the forum have been eagerly working through the clues hidden in Westworld’s videos and tweets. This Delos video is only raising more questions, and we wouldn’t be surprised if fans discover another hidden trailer.
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Clearly, Westworld was inspired by Inception, the Christopher Nolan movie that popularized the recursive “thing inside itself” technique. As it turns out, this film technique is called mise en abyme, or the Droste effect, and is also used in paintings and literature, like Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Thanks, Westworld, for showing us some interesting art theory!
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