In the latest issue of SFX magazine, Jonathan Nolan, who writes the hit HBO show Westworld with Lisa Joy, revealed what we can expect from Dolores Abernathy (Evan Rachel Wood) and madam Maeve Millay (Thandie Newton), two hosts who underwent dramatic realizations in season one.
“She is leading this revolution with a cold-eyed, clear understanding of exactly what’s happened to her over the years,” Nolan says of Dolores. “She understands [the other characters] in some ways, better than they understand themselves. But the question of what happened to her, the question of how Jimmi Simpson’s character, William, becomes the Man in Black, is something we continue to explore, and her relationship to that character.”
As for Maeve, the last we saw of her (spoiler warning for season one), she resisted escaping the Delos Incorporated facility in order to return to Westworld, seemingly in the hope of finding her daughter.
“Maeve is one of my favorite characters I’ve ever gotten to work with,” Nolan says. “Her character is struggling with the realization that she’s not human. She’s already begun to manipulate
her own code. She’s been built to resemble humans, not just physically, but emotionally. And she gets to choose which of those pieces she wants to hang onto. So, when she chooses to listen to that connection to [her daughter] who is equally artificial and has been programmed, the decision to honor that and follow through on that is very beautiful."
It seems as though Nolan and Joy have plenty to unpack in season two of the show, which starts on HBO on April 22.
"The question now is, how much will our hosts value the relationships they have, even if their relationships threaten their survival? And the question of ‘At what cost survival?’" adds Nolan.
"Maeve, in a sense, has already made that decision; now it’s a question of following through on it. But she is struggling, as Dolores, as Teddy, as Bernard, are all struggling with this understanding that some of the things humans do are very ugly. And some of the things that humans do are very beautiful. And some of the things that the Hosts do that are very human may not be things that they want to let go of too soon.”
You can read more about Westworld season two in the latest issue of SFX - look out for it on shelves from Wednesday, March 28.
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