(Spoiler Alert: Do not keep reading if you are not caught up on “Westworld”)
“Westworld’s” resident bad ass, the Man in Black (Ed Harris), is driving intense speculation about the HBO series; namely, people want to know who in the hell he really is.
A number of theories have popped up to explain MiB’s backstory. We don’t know anything for sure, given the limited amount of information we have on him yet, but some of these theories are pretty convincing.
He’s the Amusement Park’s Co-Creator, Arnold
In episode 3, Ford (Anthony Hopkins) talks about Arnold, the co-creator of Westworld who spent his entire life trying to create actual consciousness within the hosts.
If MiB was in fact Arnold, that would explain why he is given the freedom to do whatever he wants within the park and why he is so determined to discover a deeper level to
Now, Ford told Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) that Arnold died years before, but this could be a simple misdirection. Also, MiB previously said he “was born in this park,” so Ford and MiB could be speaking metaphorically.
He’s an Older Version of Nice Guy William
This is where things get complicated. What if William (Jimmi Simpson) is a younger version of MiB and we are watching his origin story through flashbacks?
William has shown himself to be a morally upright person and conspicuously chooses a white hate when he first enters the park. We also know an “incident” took place the park 30 years ago, the same amount of time MiB has been coming to the park.
So what if William experiences something so horrible within the park it turned him evil and we are now seeing the present day repercussions of that?
The problem with this theory is that in the end of episode 3, we see Delores (Evan Rachel Wood) wander into William’s camp after seemingly having a conscious moment. That would mean Bernard’s interactions with Delores would also have to be in the past or some other equally confusing time jumps are occurring.