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Westworld (TV Series 2016– ) Poster

(2016– )

Trivia

Jump to: Spoilers (17)
Ben Barnes broke his foot before arriving to the first day of shooting. Being afraid of losing the job, he didn't tell anyone, and just used the limp to look like a character choice. He then had to maintain the limp throughout filming.
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The quote "These violent delights have violent ends" is from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.
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Writer, Producer, and Director Jonathan Nolan describes this show as "the next chapter of the human story, in which we stop being protagonists."
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In one scene, a character refers to the only "rule" of Westworld being that you cannot die. The name of the company that runs Westworld is "Delos", which is also the name of a Greek island, known for the earliest case of "Prohibition of Death", a political social phenomenon and taboo, in which a law is passed stating that it is illegal to die.
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The modern songs heard on the player piano, in the Mariposa Saloon and Hotel, are the idea of Jonathan Nolan. Nolan and Composer Ramin Djawadi explained that the covers are to remind people that the world is a theme park, and that everything is scripted. The songs are chosen by Nolan.
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Showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy wanted to give the series a Blade Runner (1982) feel, and wanted to make the series much darker and more cerebral than the 1973 film.
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Episode 3 in season one mentions that the guests pay $40k a day for their stay in the park.
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The repetitive three chord phrase, often heard in the background music, comes from Westworld (1973), where it underscored the Gunslinger's slow, but relentless pursuit of the hero.
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Early on in the series, Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) hands Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) a copy of Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, and she reads a passage aloud. Much of her dialogue thereafter is similar to Alice in the book, as well as the overall theme of questioning one's reality. At one point in the book, Alice exclaims "I wonder if I've been changed in the night? Let me think. Was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I'm not the same, the next question is 'Who in the world am I?' Ah, that's the great puzzle!"
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In the below-ground storage area for decommissioned androids, you can see a globe statue at the bottom of the dilapidated escalators. An identical one was on display in the arrival area in Futureworld (1976), the sequel to Westworld (1973), hinting that older areas of the original park have been abandoned. In fact, if you look closely at the globe, you can see the word "Delos" spelled out along the circumference, the name of the company that owns the park.
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The train arriving at Westworld is set on a flatbed truck driving up and down State Route 128 in Utah. So when characters are looking out the train window, they're actually looking at the Utah landscape, not a greenscreen. The showrunners chose Utah as they wanted the show, and the park, to have the feel of the vast landscapes.
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Jonathan Nolan took inspiration from video games like BioShock Infinite (2013), Red Dead Redemption (2010), and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (2011) to deal with the narrative's moral component on a spectrum.
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After filming the sixth episode, production shut down for two months. According to HBO, this was done to give the creative team more time to prepare the last episodes of the first season.
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Jonathan Nolan named the town Sweetwater after the farm in Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), which is his favorite western.
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Warner Brothers had been trying to remake Westworld (1973) since the 1990s. In 1996, Michael Crichton, the Writer and Director of the film, met with J.J. Abrams, wanting him to write the screenplay, but Abrams was unable to come up with a way he thought worked. In 2000, Joel Silver was announced to be working on the remake. Silver hired Richard D'Ovidio to write the screenplay. In 2002, Arnold Schwarzenegger was announced to star in and produce the film with John Brancato and Michael Ferris writing a new screenplay. Schwarzenegger subsequently left the project when he was elected Governor of California. In 2005, Tarsem Singh was announced as the director. In 2007, Quentin Tarantino claimed he had been offered the film. In 2008, Billy Ray was hired to write a new screenplay. In 2013, Abrams pitched the idea of a television series to Creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy. As Nolan told Deadline: "J.J. came to Lisa and me with the suggestion that Westworld wasn't to be realized as a movie, since it had been ripped off so many times, and inspired a number of science fiction films, rather a television series from the robots' point of view."
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The Man In Black's unusual pistol is a rare LeMat 1861 revolver. It features a nine-shot .42 caliber cylinder, with an additional single-shot twenty gauge shotgun barrel. While the real LeMat was notoriously unreliable, a presumably perfected version would give its owner a serious firepower advantage over a typical Wild West six-shooter.
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The first modern song played by the player piano is "Black Hole Sun" by Soundgarden.
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When you see the original gunslinger in the basement, the background music and noise is from Westworld (1973).
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In the unaired pilot, Miranda Otto played a character named "Virginia Pittman". As reported by Entertainment Weekly, after the pilot, producers re-conceived the role, and Otto left the show. She was replaced by Sidse Babett Knudsen, with the character now named Theresa Cullen.
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When interrogating "hosts" in the repair center, Westworld technicians frequently use verbal commands derived from computer software debugging. The commands "step into" and "resume" are used to arbitrarily run specific sections of a program's source code and examine the results one at a time.
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The second television spin-off of Westworld (1973) after the series Beyond Westworld (1980).
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Early on, producers had talked about Clint Eastwood portraying the Man in Black.
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The first season was a massive success, and averaged 11.7 million viewers per episode across multiple platforms, according to HBO, the most ever for a freshman drama.
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The use of the player piano throughout the series appears to reference Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.'s first novel, "Player Piano", which describes a dystopian future, in which almost every aspect of human life is automated. In his novel, the protagonist rails against a life devoid of purpose or choice, thanks to the ubiquity of machines. The reality outside the confines of Westworld, has been alluded to as a similar world, where the mundane daily tasks of life have been automated, and where there is no unemployment. However, one of the guests complains that this has left a world where humans have "no agency".
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An orchestral adaptation of Paint it Black, by The Rolling Stones, is played during the street shooting scene.
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The name Dolores is derived from a Spanish reference to the Virgin Mary: "la virgen de los Dolores", or "nuestra Senora de los Dolores," meaning "The Virgin", or "our Lady of sorrows". "Dolores" in Spanish means "sorrows" or "pain", originating from the Latin word "dolor", also meaning "pain" or "suffering".
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Filming for episode one took place during a twenty-two-day period in August 2014, in and around Los Angeles, California, as well as Moab, Utah.
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The saloon is one of the sets at Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studio in Newhall, California. The replica frontier town was once owned by Gene Autry.
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During times of danger in the show, there is a series of two notes that are played (on a natural scale) from Middle E to Middle D sharp. These two notes are famous in the Western genre of movies. They are particularly known as the first two notes from "Man with a Harmonica", which was the theme of the character known as "Harmonica", who was played by Charles Bronson in Once Upon a Time in the West (1968).
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The man in the circle in the opening sequence is a reference to the "Vitruvian Man" by Leonardo da Vinci.
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Some scenes are filmed at Paramount Ranch. It's been used by Paramount Pictures since 1923, but not just for westerns. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2000), Weeds (2005), and The X-Files (1993) are among the shows that have also filmed scenes there.
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To avoid the production delays experienced in season, the whole second season was written in advance, and scenes from different episodes were shot in a row, based on the location and actors availability.
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This show received twenty-two Emmy nominations, the most of any drama series.
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The way the horse is moving in the opening sequence is a reference to "The Horse in Motion" by Eadweard Muybridge.
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The two technicians, "Felix" and "Sylvester", are named after the two animated cats of the same names. Felix is the nice one, who tries to save a dead bird. Sylvester is the nasty one, who thinks it's a waste of time. The bird even bites Sylvester when he tries to catch it. There is a deeper level also. Sylvester isn't mean just because he is a cat or human. Felix proves that.
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The tune played throughout the series, Bernard's son's favorite tune, was the song "Wilderness", from the PC game Dink Smallwood (1997). The song was actually composed by Claude Debussy, and it's called "Reverie".
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The player piano rolls used in the opening sequences, as well as various episodes, were custom made for this show by Tim Baxter of Meliora Music Rolls in Atlanta, Georgia.
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In the first episode, Dr. Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins) engages in conversation with one of the first, now-defunct robots to occupy Westworld. The robot is played, in a cameo, by a heavily made-up Michael Wincott, who appeared as serial killer Ed Gein opposite Hopkins in Hitchcock (2012) (with Hopkins in the title role).
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Instrumental covers of Radiohead songs are featured four times in this show. "No Surprises" and "Fake Plastic Trees" on the player piano. "Motion Picture Soundtrack", covered by Vitamin String Quartet "Exit Music (For a Film)".
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The Cure 's "A Forest" is featured on the show's player piano as an instrumental cover.
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The town was filmed in Melody Ranch, in Calfornia's Santa Clarita Valley. Other Western productions were filmed here, including the series The Lone Ranger (1949), HBO's Deadwood (2004), and The Magnificent Seven (2016).
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Arnold Schwarzenegger had watched Westworld (1973), and studied Yul Brynner's performance, in preparation for playing his character in The Terminator (1984).
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Evan Rachel Wood (Dolores Abernathy) and Louis Herthum (Peter Abernathy) appeared in True Blood (2008), though they never appeared in a scene together. Wood played the Louisiana Queen of the vampires, and Herthum played the pack leader of the Shreveport werewolves.
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The original Westworld (1973) was Michael Crichton's first story about a theme park that goes wrong. The better known one was, of course, Jurassic Park (1993). In that film, Sir Richard Attenborough played the inventor of the park. In this series, the park's inventor is played by Sir Anthony Hopkins, who appeared in five films directed by Attenborough: Magic (1978), A Bridge Too Far (1977), Young Winston (1972), Chaplin (1992), and Shadowlands (1993).
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Although the time of the series is never stated, the dates seem to work for it to be a true sequel to the original movie. The movie was made in 1973, but it was set in 1983.
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Max von Sydow and Christopher Plummer were considered for the role of Dr. Robert Ford.
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The taxidermied water buffalo head, which hangs above the bar in the saloon, is an African Cape water buffalo. Water buffalo are not related to the American species bison, which are sometimes commonly called "American Buffalo".
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Ed Harris starred in The Truman Show (1998), also dealing with a fake reality, wherein everything is scripted, and is envisioned for entertainment.
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In season one, all but one episode were certified aged 15 by the BBFC. Only Westworld: Contrapasso (2016) was certified aged 18.
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The subtle movements of the hosts are called reveries. The constant theme played (and Bernard's son's favorite song) is Reverie, by Claude Debussy.
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The "Westworld" park is set in the 1870's. This becomes clear in Season #2 when Dolores is at "Fort Forlorn", inside which is stationed the US Army's 25th Infantry Regiment, as evident by the flags in the fort. The 25th were stationed in various places in Texas and New Mexico for the entire 1870's until they were transferred to the Dakota territory in 1880.
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Jared Harris auditioned for the role of Robert Ford.
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Eion Bailey was originally cast as Logan, but had to withdraw due to scheduling conflicts.
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In Dr. Ford's office, he has a section of wall covered in faces (presumably hosts). This could be a reference to another highly rated HBO series, Game of Thrones (2011). In that show, the Faceless Men of the House of Black and White have a room where they keep the faces of the victims that their Many-Faced God has told them to kill.
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William (Jimmi Simpson) comes to Westworld with Logan (Ben Barnes). On Person of Interest (2011), the previous show that Jonathan Nolan created, Jimmi Simpson played a character named Logan.
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In season one, episode four, "Dissonance Theory", William and Logan storm into a ranch that's been taken over by thieves and bandits. The wood stove clearly says "Indianapolis", which refers to a company located in Indianapolis, Indiana, a real company which made wood stoves like the ones seen in the show. However, this particular model with the side-flue feature wouldn't have been made until later in the 1800s, possibly early 1900s.
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Producer J.J. Abrams was mentored by Steven Spielberg, who also directed Jurassic Park (1993). Spielberg first met Michael Crichton while Robert Wise was directing The Andromeda Strain (1971). Robert Wise directed Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979), and Abrams directed Star Trek (2009).
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Dolores is the middle name of Ed Harris' real-life daughter: Lily Dolores Harris.
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Show features one Oscar winner, Anthony Hopkins, and two Oscar nominees, Ed Harris and Rinko Kikuchi.
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The character Ford has the same last name as real-life film director John Ford, which is famous for making westerns. Among them My Darling Clementine (1946), Clementine being the name of one of the characters in the series. The name of the character Arnold, in turn, bears likeness to Jack Arnold, a film director famous for making science-fiction films.
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In Westworld (TV series 2016), a robot "bad guy villain" carries a Winchester Model 1892 "Mares Leg" Rifle as his main weapon in a rifle holster on his back. The rifle has been modified with more modern touches, but is basically the same model that Steve McQueen used in the TV Series, Wanted: Dead or Alive" (1958-1961).
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Ed Harris also had an early brief role as a morgue attendant in Coma (1978), directed by Michael Crichton (director of Westworld (1973)). Coma was also adapted for television in 2013 by Tony and Ridley Scott.
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Sir Anthony Hopkins and Ed Harris appeared in Nixon (1995) and The Human Stain (2003).
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Amy Acker who played Root in "Person of Interest" another show created by Nolan & Joy was considered to appear but was unable to be contacted do to already being cast in "The Gifted".
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Both Anthony Hopkins and Thandie Newton appeared in Mission Impossible 2.
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Luke Hemsworth is the older brother of Chris and Liam Hemsworth. Sir Anthony Hopkins and Tessa Thompson both starred in Thor: Ragnorok with Chris Hemsworth and Luke having a cameo. Jeffery Wright also starred in The Hunger Games movies alongside Liam Hemsworth.
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Escelante is also the set used for "Dr.Quinn Medicine Woman", the paramount ranch.
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Evan Rachel Wood and Jeffrey Wright previously starred together in 'The Ides Of March (2011)'.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Bernard Lowe is an anagram for Arnold Weber.
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A clue to the fact that we are viewing different timeframes is the logo of Westworld itself. In the timeline of the present day, the "W" has straight lines, like we see in the television show logo. However, in the timeline of William and Logan, the Westworld "W" is curvy. This is also noticable when Bernard goes into the sub-basement to access a computer, and the logo displayed on the computer is the older style. It is very common for companies to update and change their logos and slogans every so often, and so this was a subtle hint to the viewers.
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Jimmi Simpson (William) figured out his character's true identity early in the series, when the Make-up Department started making him look like someone else. He studied Ed Harris' scenes, and mimicked some details of his performance. Conversely, Ed was not confirmed of their characters' relationship until it was in the script, and Jimmi's William didn't influence his Man in Black at all.
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The series takes many cues from modern gaming (especially open world gaming) culture, such as:
  • Side quests.
  • Non-player characters (the hosts) on a storyline loop.
  • Level difficulties (the further you go, the tougher the encounters.)
  • Easter eggs (one guest uses the actual term.)
  • Equipment upgrades (again specifically mentioned.)
  • Character selection (William's preparation before entering the park).
  • Player styles, such as the Man in Black as completionist.
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The photograph of Juliet, William's fiancé and eventual wife, is actually a stock photo of Times Square.
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During a July 2017 Hollywood Reporter drama actors roundtable, Jeffrey Wright (Bernard Lowe) said that he was only told the big secret twist in Lowe's first season storyline on the morning of the day when he showed up to shoot the scene. He said, "I don't think it would have been possible with this [to have known the truth about Lowe all along]. What's interesting about the show is that there was this big reveal. But if you look back at the previous episodes, you'll see these breadcrumbs that are now more fluorescent that were already there but were just very subtle hints of where it was going." Interestingly, during a November 2016 interview with Kim Renfro of Insider, Wright contradicted his own version of these events, saying instead that the writers had told him that Bernard was not human in the middle of rehearsals for episode two.
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In season one, episode six, "The Adversary", when Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) is searching the abandoned offices, the gunslinger from Westworld (1973) can be seen briefly in the shadows.
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In Westworld (1973), Yul Brynner (Gunslinger, dressed all in black) was the cyborg, and Richard Benjamin (Peter Martin) was the human guest. In this show, it would seem this has been flipped, with Ed Harris (Man in Black) as the human gunslinger, and James Marsden (Teddy Flood) as the cyborg.
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Logan (Ben Barnes) tells William (Jimmi Simpson) that each day in the park costs "forty grand". It is not made clear if that is the price for one person, or for both combined. More importantly, it is later learned that conversation happened thirty-four years before the "present". It would be safe to assume that the price has increased in the time since that conversation.
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One of the main reasons why Anthony Hopkins agreed to take the role was that he was only going to be contracted for one year. He was told from the beginning that his character wouldn't survive the season.
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During the final episode of the first season, the player-piano music that plays over Ford's final speech is Radiohead's "Exit Music (For A Film)". It was written for Baz Luhrmann's 1996 Romeo + Juliet. Westworld made several references over the course of its first season to Shakespeare's play "Romeo and Juliet," including the idea of faked or impermanent deaths as a plot twist and the fact that various characters often repeat the line "These violent delights have violent ends," which is from Act 2, Scene 6 of the play.
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The name of the character played by Anthony Hopkins, is "Dr. Robert Ford". Robert Ford is also the name of the man who shot Jesse James, the infamous American outlaw. In addition, Jesse James and this show's Robert Ford were shot through the back of the head.
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The first villain mentioned is Hector Escaton. In Greek, "eschaton" means last. In the New Testament, it is used to refer to the Last Day, the end of the world, and the end of the current evil era. Eschatology is the section of theology that deals with the last things: death, judgment, the afterlife, resurrection. So Hector's surname hints at the apocalypse, towards which the series is building.
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When Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) speaks with the Man in Black (Ed Harris) in the final episode, she describes when giants had roamed the land, but are now just "bones and amber". This is a reference to the origins of Jurassic Park (1993), where dinosaurs were developed from ancient mosquitoes (with dinosaur blood and DNA) trapped in amber. The novel "Jurassic Park" was written by Michael Crichton, who also wrote and directed Westworld (1973).
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After Logan (Ben Barnes) joins forces with the Confederados and captures William (Jimmi Simpson) and Dolores (Evan Rachael Wood), he can be seen wearing a pin on the lapel of his jacket similar to Game of Thrones' Hand of The King; a nod to HBO'S other hit drama.
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In the beginning of season one, episode eight, "Trace Decay", when Maeve (Thandie Newton) is speaking with the new Clementine (Lili Simmons), the song playing on the piano is "The House of the Rising Sun" by The Animals.
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Many if not all of the hosts' names are in some way significant: -Dolores is Spanish for "suffering." -Maeve is an Irish name that loosely translates as "she who intoxicates." -The ever-helpful Teddy, aka Theodore, has a name which means "gift of God" (though the surname "Flood" may give this a darker meaning). -Clementine, the mild-mannered prostitute, comes from the Latin for "forgiving." -Hector is named for a famed Trojan warrior. Escaton shares an origin with "eschatology," the religious study of The Last Days. The name Hector Escaton could translate from Greek as "He Who Holds The Last." -El Lazo, alter-ego of the often-hanged Lawrence, is Spanish for "The Noose."
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