We were blown away by the intricately-crafted, amazingly-acted, visually stunning premiere of Westworld on Oct. 2. But the impressiveness started before a single character appeared onscreen – we were floored by the opening credits. It's no secret that nearly every HBO series has stellar intro sequences. The Game of Thrones clockwork opening credits, for one are noteworthy in their own right. While it's great to look at, do the Westworld credits have a greater significance within the scope of the show? We have to wonder what the Westworld opening credits mean.
The opening intro is already garnering a ton of praise for its lovely score, which was written by Ramin Djawadi – also known as the genius behind Game of Thrones iconic score, with memorable numbers like the Season 6 finale's absolutely beautiful "Light of the Seven."
The Westworld opening credits – which were actually created by Patrick Clair, the same designer who also created the True Detective intro – features a gorgeous, super melancholy strings-and-piano heavy melody playing over various shots of the robotic humans and robotic animals who populate the "theme park" as they are being created. These incredibly lifelike androids aren't exactly Disney animatronics – the people and horses that appear in the artificial Old West Town are virtually indistinguishable from the real thing.
Until they start glitching, anyway.
But in addition to being visually stunning, the trailer makes a few key references which connect to the show. In an interview with Vulture, Clair discusses creating opening credits which were both "simple and symbolic." He wanted to capitalize on the show's "poetic" method of creating these robots.
In the trailer, we see machines connecting the synthetic fibers which make up the robots. First, we see the machines creating a horse, which we see in motion as it gallops, still pure white with the synthetic material and not yet covered in skin/paint/whatever it is the robots are covered in. Then, the machines sculpt an artificial human eye. That's followed by a shot of a robotic "host" playing a piano, in the midst of its own creation. The raw synthetic fibers make it look like a sort of skeleton.
We then see two of the robots – likely symbolic stand-ins for Dolores and Teddy – in what appears to be an intimate moment, as the machines are working on finishing them up. Then, we see a hand firing a gun, before pulling back to see that the hand belongs to a long-haired robot Western woman atop a horse, as the machines are putting the final touches on the galloping horse. Though we only briefly glimpsed her in the premiere, it seems like this shot might be a reference to the probable-robot Armistice, played by Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, the gunslinging cowgirl at Hector's side.
Finally, the robot hands lift from the piano, revealing that it's a self-playing, automatic piano. The robot is then placed on the circle device that the park employees use to dip the creation in some sort of white substance, to coat it – the next step in its creation, and one which seems a pretty overt visual reference to Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian man.
Interestingly, the trailer cuts out before we actually see the finalized robot. This seems like a purposeful, significant choice – the show is definitely not letting us forget that many of these people are actually robots.
There's already been talk about Westworld succeeding Game of Thrones as HBO's next huge hit – on a visual level, at least, it's pretty clear that Westworld stands up to the comparison.