Watching season 2 of Westworld has been an exercise in bewilderment. Sunday nights are now spent trying to piece together the show’s endless riddles. What does the Door have to do with our "real" world, anyway? Will the Ghost Nation become a greater part of the story? And do the Hosts really know how to use escalators? Now, a new theory threatens to upend everything we think we know about Westworld – and it follows an eerily familiar dynamic from a cult late '90s film.
YouTuber HaxDogma posits a fascinating theory: Westworld, and possibly the other Worlds, are housed in a massive dome, like the television set of The Truman Show. The 1998 film, directed by Peter Weir, stars Jim Carrey as the unwitting Truman Burbank, who is the subject of a lifelong reality television show — which began when he was born. As he grows up, he is unaware that he is being filmed, though he begins to pick up oddities as an adult. Every moment of Truman’s life is scripted and filmed; there are hidden cameras in his house, car, even in a pencil sharpener. All of the people in his life — from friends to his mother to his wife — are paid actors. The puppet master of the show, creator and producer Christoff (Ed Harris), controls Truman’s entire life from a small office in the dome’s "sky." And Truman’s home, a small island called Seahaven, is an elaborately constructed set housed inside a giant dome; the sunset is even controlled by a program.
Did you catch those two points? Ed Harris was in The Truman Show; Harris also plays the Man in Black on Westworld.
But! HaxDogma points out some very unusual solar patterns on Westworld. In the scene where William is riding to find Emily, we can tell that he is riding west. He is heading directly towards a setting sun and his shadows are long. Emily, though, appears to come from the opposite direction under a rising sun. In a shot of her riding her horse, the sun is much higher in the sky than in previous scenes of William racing toward a setting sun. HaxDogma also notes that there is no way William could have met Emily the next day, because another shot of Emily shows her silhouetted against the setting sun on the horizon.
"What gives?" you may be asking. Well, for starters, that is not how the environment of Earth works. HaxDogma admits that this may just be part of the show’s quirks, similar to how Stanley Kubrick deliberately used "impossible" architecture in The Shining. Kubrick wanted the audience to feel a sense of subliminal unease as they watched the film; Westworld has been known to employ similar techniques. It could also just be a continuity mistake.
But we all know that’s no fun. Instead, HaxDogma suggests that maybe Westworld exists inside a dome, just like in The Truman Show. This would explain the references to fixing the climate control program, the sun being in impossible places in the sky, and how different terrestrial biomes can exist so close together. This is exactly what happened in The Truman Show — and these environmental irregularities helped Truman discover the truth about his life. It’s not so far-fetched that Westworld and The Truman Show use the same technology — and thus, exist in the same universe. Westworld even cast the same actor who plays the puppetmaster. Has this connection been staring us the face the whole time?
If this is true, HaxDogma speculates that Westworld has been a long, overwrought take on The Truman Show’s central premise: the audience (us) is rooting for the main character to escape. In Westworld, that would be...Dolores. Perhaps it’s been an allegory all along. One thing’s for sure: we can’t handle any more anomalies in this show. Can Westworld give us a break?
Check out the video below to see this theory in action.