When Westworld premiered on HBO Sunday night, we were promised the next Game of Thrones and expected as much, since executive producer JJ Abrams is involved and the premise gives the showrunners a lot to work with. What we got in Westworld was a show filled with secrets and questions, and a burning desire to get them all answered now. Including, who is Dolores on Westworld? She is the first robot we hear from in the show and obviously the most important to the creators.
It isn’t until near the end of the episode that we learn not only is Dolores important to the creators of the interactive amusement park of Westworld, but she’s also the oldest robot they have, who has gone through multiple story lines as many different characters. Now, however, Dolores is the quietly artistic daughter of a farmer, who’s in love with a gentleman who is very much not a cowboy or whore monger, and who dreams of a full life with him. Which is all well and good, and totally romantic, except that every morning, her life begins again, new, in a very Groundhog Day-like fashion that doesn’t phase her or any of the other robots, since they have no recollection of their systems starting up again, refreshed.
And Dolores’s character of the sweet and timid farmer’s daughter plays out over and over for the most part, until the very end of the episode reveals that she is becoming self-aware, even if she hasn’t yet figured that out. There was a running theme of an annoying fly repeatedly landing on a robot but, being other than human, they weren’t annoyed by the bug and didn’t swat it away or try to kill it. Also, they aren’t supposed to kill any living thing. But at the very end of the episode, the fly lands on Dolores again and this time, when it lands on her neck, she slaps it. Meaning that not only is she very aware of the annoyance, but that she’s succeeded in killing a living thing, which all of the robots in Westworld are programmed not to do.
So who is Dolores on Westworld? Evan Rachel Wood described her character to LA Times as someone who is almost like a Disney princess and comes across as one of the more pure hosts in Westworld, which is the part she’s programmed to play for right now. It’s also been established that she’s the oldest robot in the park (if that’s even what we’re calling it), and that means that she has been powered down enough times and asked the usual series of security questions so much that sooner or later, you have to expect her to malfunction in a way that makes her realize that because of what’s going on, she can’t say anything to the creators. And once that happens, all bets are off for the sweet and innocent Dolores we currently know.