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What Is Bernard's Backstory On 'Westworld'? Ford Just Dropped A Bombshell

John P. Johnson/HBO

A huge Westworld reveal in its seventh episode "Trompe L'Oeil" confirmed what many fans suspected about park programmer Bernard Lowe: he's a host developed by Dr. Ford and dropped into a high-level position in the human employee pool of the park. Even more shockingly, he swiftly killed Theresa — an exec with whom he'd been having a sexual relationship with — at Dr. Ford's command once she learned of their secret. While this confirms a bunch of speculation about Bernard, it also raises even more questions, among them. For instance, what is Bernard's backstory on Westworld? Because what fans know so far might all be an elaborate simulation.

Viewers had previously been led to believe that Bernard has an estranged wife and a son who died of an illness when he was young. But fans know that hosts have such backstories programmed into them all the time, giving them memories and objectives that drive their characters within the park. Is it possible that Bernard's memories are simply a programmed log line? I guess so, but then how does that explain Bernard's phone call with his wife, who seemed to be a real person? Is she also a host programmed by Dr. Ford who's living out in the real world? Is she elsewhere in the park? Will it come out that Bernard's son isn't his biological son after all and that he's simply a host that pulled one over on real humans the same way he did with Theresa?

John P. Johnson/HBO

Another prominent fan theory making the rounds is the possibility that Bernard is actually a host made in Arnold's image. No one can remember how long Bernard has been in the park, but Dr. Ford jokes that he's been working there "forever." Another clue is the photograph that Ford shows Bernard, claiming it's the last photo of Arnold ever taken. In the shot of the photo from Bernard's point of view, fans see Ford standing with a man they now know to be his father and a gap where another person could be standing. Viewers also know that hosts are programmed to block out anything that doesn't match up with their perception of reality, so it's possible that Bernard didn't see Arnold in the picture because what he would have been looking at is an image of himself.

Finally, some clever fans on Reddit like gbtolax, realized that "Bernard Lowe" is an anagram of "Arnold Weber." While no one knows what Arnold's last name actually is, it's plausible that Ford cleverly disguised his creation with an anagrammed version of his partner's name. There's plenty of evidence to support the theory that Bernard is a recreation of Arnold, just like Ford's family in the park is a recreation of his childhood home. What that means for the fate of the park, though, remains to be seen.