Westworld Season 2 premiered with much fanfare and as we caught new glimpses of never before seen areas of the park following the host rebellion, fans also got a clue to a long-pondered question: where is Westworld located? In the Season 2 premiere, we see a militarized force and employees of Delos Incorporated lined up on a beach. A new character named Karl Strand and his team have apparently been sent in to regain control of the park after the hosts go rogue. In an altercation with a man in uniform, Strand said, "Escort him off my f*cking island," so we finally know, at the very least, the vague geography of Westworld.
The six theme parks (we know the specifics of at least two more: Shogun World and Medieval World) are apparently set up on an island, which would account for the beach scenery we see. As Entertainment Weekly also points out, the military officer is speaking Chinese, which may suggest that the island is somewhere in the South China Sea. However, EW also notes that, given the show's time period set sometime in the near future, it's possible that China's territory has expanded beyond the borders we currently think of.
Some fan theories also speculate that Westworld takes place on a different planet, which could be supported by an interview showrunner Jonathan Nolan did with EW at the end of Season 1.
When asked about the mechanics of the hosts, Nolan said:
Their construction and their power source is something we’re really going to get into during Season 2. So we’d like to keep that mysterious. They’re closer to biological than they are to mechanical, but they don’t suffer brain death the same way we do. They’re largely indistinguishable from a human beings, but their brains don’t require oxygen — which opens up interesting possibilities. Their brains are not as fragile as ours. On one hand, their cognition is controllable and malleable, but on a structural level they can’t be killed in the same way you and I can. There are advantages and disadvantages to being a host. Season 2 we’ll be exploring more the nuts and bolts of what they are— as the hosts themselves are trying to understand.
The fact that hosts could theoretically function in oxygen-deprived environments may support the idea that Westworld is located on a different planet. Of course, the question of how humans could travel there and survive remains, but the show has answered for less complicated plot twists.
Then again, in that same interview, Nolan revealed that he imagines the park takes up about 500 square miles of land mass. (Being precise about this is evidently important to crafting the story.) He pointed out that it's not unthinkable to imagine that one corporation owns a land mass of this size. Explained Nolan:
If you drive across the Western United States — and I don’t think that’s where the park is located — but if you do that … we were pretty rigorous about the scope and scale of it, about size of the park. It’s within 500 square miles. I think Ted Turner owns that much in Mexico. It’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility that a park this size would exist here in America.
Needless to say, there are plenty of islands topping 500 square miles in the South China Sea, so while that theory sounds like the most plausible, there's still a whole season's worth of epic plot reveals to go.
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