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A Man In Black 'Westworld' Theory That Will Blow Your Mind & Make You Rethink The Past

There are few things in this world that are better than a TV show that makes you question the very existence of reality. Or, in Westworld’s case, the existence of the reality within the show. Because just when you think you’re figuring something out, they hit you with a new storyline with new characters, and you’re left muttering “WTF” under your breath or shouting it at the TV. Like the newest theory about the Man in Black on Westworld and the truth about his past within the park. But what if I told you that we were given a remarkable amount of clues in just one episode of Westworld that might lead us to the truth about who the Man in Black really is and what his purpose in the amusement park has been for the past 30 years?

In the most recent episode of Westworld, we got to see things from the perspective of a couple of guests - how they are briefed on the adventure ahead of them, how they arrive at the park, and how they get acclimated to the atmosphere of the Old West once they arrive. But what you might not notice on first watch is all of the clues that this Sweetwater is a little bit different from the one we saw in Episode 1.

There is a theory floating around the internet that William, the man in the white hat who we saw visit Westworld for the first time, and the mysterious Man in Black are actually the same person, but in different timelines. And the evidence around us to support this theory is really starting to pile up.

We See An Old Westworld Logo


From the start of the episode, we’re learning about things from the guests’ point of view and in doing so, we’re privy to a view of an older Westworld logo. Although this could be chalked up to poor manufacturing in the express train William and his friend are riding in, the company of Delos is much too high profile to let something like that slide. As a first clue into considering this as taking place in the past, it seems almost too obvious.

The Man In Black Said He Was Born At Westworld

At first when he says this, you can’t help but be all,”Whaaaat?” And then you remember that it could mean any number of things and the gears start turning. If he has been at Westworld for the past few decades, there has to be a reason he stayed there and was allowed to do so. There also has to be a reason he turned into the awful man that he is today. So in that sense, he could have been “born” when something happened to him within the park to turn him bad and make him abandon the white hat he’d chosen before he went onto the train for the first time.

William Chooses Between A White And A Dark Hat To Begin His Journey

If you chat with the host Aeden on the Westworld website, he’ll ask you which hat you choose to start your journey with and if you hadn’t noticed already, there seems to be a lot of importance placed on these hats that the guests choose before they enter the park. William chooses a white hat and, as we see multiple times, he is a genuinely good person, but the white is in such a stark contrast to the all-black that the Man in Black favors that it has to mean something big.

The Outside Of The Brothel Is Different When William And Logan Arrive

Usually, Maeve is standing outside of the brothel and we even see her shoo Dolores away, for fear that she’ll deter business. But when William and his friend arrive, Clementine is instead outside, beckoning the men inside, and Mauve is nowhere to be found. Could this be because she isn’t playing the character yet and is instead off living in the desert with her daughter, escaping the clutches of the Native American hosts?

Episode Two Showed Us A Lot Of Maeve’s Backstory And She Was Absent When William Arrived

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It was likely in part to show us how the malfunction among the hosts us starting to spread, but we got to see a lot of Maeve’s previous storyline, when she was a single mother, living a simple and happy life, until Native American scalpers got a hold of her. The way we were shown Mauve’s other storyline could be to remind us that before playing the madam, she was someone else, somewhere else in Westworld. And in that way, it would make perfect sense for her to not be present when William and his friend arrive years before.

When Clementine Replaces Maeve As Madam, It’s Said That She’s Done The Job Before

Ashley Stubbs mentions in present day that Clementine would be able to replace Maeve as the madam of the brothel in Sweetwater, because she’s done it before. Could this mean that Clementine was the originally madam, back when William first arrived at Westworld, which is why she could play the role once again? It would also explain whey she is the main woman we see working the brothel when William and Logan visit, and why we don't see Maeve and hear her speech in any of those scenes.

There Is A Monumental Thing That Happened At The Park 30 Years Ago

There have been multiple mentions of something happening at Westworld 30 years previously to have had negative consequences, and if William is the Man in Black in Westworld, then it’s entirely possible that he was involved in some way. And if that’s the case, somewhere in there could be the reason why the Man in Black can do whatever he wants while in the park. Maybe he found out something from Dolores that he wasn’t supposed to know that she didn’t even know she said, or he saw something that alluded to the other level of the park, which the Man in Black is currently obsessed with finding. Not to mention the fact that the years would match up perfectly, aging William 30 years to be the age of the Man in Black.

There Has To Be A Reason We’re Seeing William’s Stay At Westworld

And it isn’t just to give us a guest’s perspective of the park, because that can be done with a few vague scenes with less than memorable guests. Instead, what we have is William’s entire journey, the gist of his humble and kind personality in contrast to his friend’s, and we saw what seemed to be a meaningful interaction with Dolores. We’ve already seen the Man in Black talk to Dolores and comment about her not remembering him, so was this their first time meeting, and what might have prompted him to stay longer?

William Doesn’t See The Hosts As Non-Living Things

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When he bumps into a host, he’s quick to apologize, even though it was a clear example of one of the Westworld hosts interacting with a guest in order to start a duel, which would add to the guest’s experience. Then, we see his friend Logan stab the elderly man who keeps offering to take them on a treasure hunting adventure and William is obviously distraught about the whole thing. He can’t yet see the hosts for the androids that they are, which is why he might easily fall in love with Dolores.

While he probably gets the whole setup, it’s still hard to not have feelings for the very human-like hosts of Westworld. And if he falls in love with Dolores easily, then once more, this could be the key to the reason why he stayed on. Maybe he wanted to find out how to unlock Dolores’s core memories so that she would remember him, or he saw it happening once and wanted to further investigate.

Ford’s New Plan Will Give Us Confirmation Of The Two Timelines

Ford was quick to shoot down Lee the engineer’s idea for the new narrative to be played out, but that’s because he has plans of his own for the next storyline in Westworld. We see just a snippet of what he’s talking about when he brings scientist Bernard out of the lab, to the outskirts of Westworld where they once had a town and what is believed to be the site of whatever happened 30 years ago. There we see what looks like the top of a tower, all in black, with a black cross on top of it. This very distinctive sight could be what connects the dots for us as viewers, if we get to see the same location in William’s timeline in the past.

With just two episodes of Westworld behind us, there is no sure way to know just what the Hell is going on or how deep these mysteries are going to go, but so far they’ve done everything right in capturing and keeping our attention. When such a huge and monumental theory about the Man in Black in Westworld can be suggested just two episodes into a new series, you know they’re doing something right. Now, we just have to wait and see what other similarities and differences we see between William’s timeline and the one with the Man in Black.