5 things we’ve learnt from Westworld season 2’s viral unveiling of Shogun World

TODO alt text

Samurai World, Shogun World, call it what you will, this is for certain: Westworld season 2 is going to be bringing more than its fair share of katanas, kimonos, and all manner of craziness if the show’s viral site reveal is anything to go by.

Delos Destinations, the in-show offshoot of Delos, the owners of the parks, finally unveiled Shogun World to its adoring (or so they think) public via its website. The picture is breathtaking enough, but that description, while only a few lines long, is a collection of clues and pulsating possibilities that could give us the clearest hint yet at what to expect in Westworld’s sophomore season.

“For those for whom Westworld is not enough,” the description of Shogun World reads. “The true connoisseur of gore can indulge their fantasies with the slash of a katana. Modeled after Japan’s Edo period, Shogun World offers a chance for guests to embrace their inner warrior, in a landscape of highest beauty and darkest horror. Let your true self take shape in the land where self-discovery is an art form.”

We're getting sword fights

Oh, yes. You don’t go waving the word katana about willy-nilly (pro tip: don’t wave katanas about either) without it meaning something. While Japan is famous for its samurai and chess-like one-on-one battles, it’d hardly be surprising to instead see a guest or two really go to town with one of the Far East’s most feared weapons. That’ll certainly make a change from six-shooters. But who's for the chop?

Westworld season 2 might just bring in jump scares

Darkest horror, you say? Gimme some of that occult Oriental goodness. Think Heart of Darkness mixed with The Thing and we could have a couple of Ford-approved stories that could form the crux of a few narratives this season. If there was one thing that Westworld season 1 was missing, it was a series of spine-chilling scares. Shogun World might just offer that up in spades.

A bloodier, more brutal season

While the first season of Westworld was hardly a walk in the park (get it?), it sometimes shied away from the gorier moments. With Game of Thrones away until 2019, the blood bank must be overflowing at HBO. The perfect time, then, for several litres of the red stuff to be spilled.

The Edo Period - What can we expect?

If you don’t know your Amaterasus from your animes then the mention of the Edo period may throw you off somewhat. No worries, I’m here to plug the gap in your brain labelled ‘Extremely Cool Moments in History.’

Starting from the early 1600s and ending in 1863, the period is characterised by, get this, foreigners trying to upset the apple cart. Sound familiar? The Hosts might want to fight back against that, however and, knowing Westworld, that parallel isn’t a coincidence.

There’s also fire, lots of fire. Mt. Fuji erupted, and the city of Edo burned to the ground during this period. So that is what we could expect to go down: Everything will burn – and it could lead to a great big Guests vs. Hosts war.

What timeline is this from?

It’s never fun trying to second guess Westworld. I’m zeroing in on the reference to the “self-discovery” at the very end of the description, though. That could be key to trying to figure out what timeline we’re getting.

The Man in Black may be a cold-blooded killer by the time we ‘meet’ him in the present day, but he wasn’t always that way – and he formed much of the past/present intrigue. The first season showed signs of William changing, and I reckon we’ll only see the Shogun World in Young William’s timeline, possibly a few years after his early travails around Westworld. Besides, self-discovery is just another way of saying ‘Oh, cool, I’m a world-class assassin now who wears a nice hat.’

There's even more to learn about Westworld season 2. Read on to see why we're getting a darker Dolores, and 11 more things you need to know about the upcoming season.