Westworld's Showrunners Explain Why They Want Us To Love Robots

John P. Johnson/HBO
Westworld is HBO's newest show and it seems like a surefire hit. The show's mystery is a major selling point, even though it's based on a movie from 1973. And the crumbs showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy left us to follow have raised more questions than provided answers.

The pair spoke with EW about the show. Their answers are extensive, but they manage to maintain mystery while providing information. Joy told EW she saw the robot Hosts as the key characters in the story.

"We started from the point of view because for us it was the most tenuous emphatic connection and if you didn’t nail it right on you might not ever get it," Joy told EW. "If you started from the guests, we already have that kind of human-centric bias. We had to shake that system."

Joy goes on to say that empathy with the hosts was the key reason behind an early, upsetting scene between Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood), Teddy Flood (James Marsden), and The Man in Black (Ed Harris).

"For me, it was important to do that respectfully and to get from it the essential question: 'This a terrible, terrible thing that is happening. If Dolores is a person, it’s unforgivable,'" Joy tells EW. "Then if you take a step back – and for a minute, you do really have to take a step back to get into the analytical, less visceral place – it’s like: 'If it’s just a robot, does it matter?'"

A fascinating take. And the fact that the next episode's preview shows that the robots are waking up makes this an even thornier question. To learn more about the world of Westworld, read the rest of the interview here.

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