Skip to main content

The Westworld showrunners reveal which Host showed free will first and it's not who you thought

With all of the mind-bending reveals and betrayals that happened in the Westworld finale (opens in new tab), it’s easy to forget about the smaller, more intimate moments. Maeve (Thandie Newton), the host who had spent so long trying to break free from her programming, seemed to be a pawn in an even bigger Ford narrative of robot free will – or was she? The Westworld showrunners have finally cleared up one of the finale’s biggest dangling threads, which might change how we view Maeve’s tragic story.

First, a quick recap of what went down in the finale: Having made her way to the train terminal, Maeve refuses her escape narrative by going back towards the facility’s park to find her ‘daughter’. 

Was Maeve’s change of heart all part of some crazy meta-narrative, or did Maeve show free will even before we saw Dolores and a whole host of… hosts shoot up Ford’s reception? Even Dolores’ free will can be questioned when the song that was playing - Debussy’s ‘Reveries’ - upon killing Ford was the same one that was playing when she killed Arnold. Dun-dun-dun...

As reported by IGN (opens in new tab), creators/husband and wife duo Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy spoke about Maeve’s decision at PaleyFest, stating: "If you look at her performance in that moment, that is really the first decision she's ever made. For me, it's a very emotional moment in the episode because you see her free will.”

That’s all cleared up then… right? Or does that not seem like anything to you?

Westworld season 2 (opens in new tab) will air sometime in 2018.

Image: HBO

I'm the Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.