HBO surprised audiences this week by renewing Westworld for another season. According to reports, the popular sci-fi show may actually have two more seasons in the works. This news is surprising, because many of us assumed that this was the last season of Westworld. So, if Westworld has been renewed for two more seasons, where will the show go from here?
Image via HBO
Westworld Renewed By HBO
Showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy are onboard for at least one more season of Westworld. And HBO seemed positive about the storytelling possibilities of the future. This is what they had to say about Westworld being renewed for at least one more season.
“From the Western theme park to the technocratic metropolis of the near future, we’ve thoroughly enjoyed every twist and turn from the minds of master storytellers Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy,” said Casey Bloys, president of HBO Programming. “We can’t wait to see where their inspired vision takes us next.”
There are only two episodes left in the current season of Westworld. The third season of the show only has eight episodes, instead of the usual ten. It seems like HBO felt like Game of Thrones successfully bowed out with truncated seasons (a matter of debate obviously) so they are attempting to do the same for Westworld. Since the show is based on the Michael Crichton movie, Westworld has always felt like a cinematic mini-series. So it is likely that the next season or two will also get shorter runs. This allows HBO to maximize the show’s impact, not to mention their special effects budget.
Where Does Westworld Go From Here?
Image via HBO
“Welcome to the end of the game.” That is what Dolores (or at least a vision of her) said to William this season. This statement, coupled with the show’s rapid expansion into the “real world” (I am still convinced that this Future World is just another park) led many to believe that this season was the final season of Westworld. After all the show has definitively moved away from the park where the first several seasons took place. It has also considerably cut down its cast list to a small number of key players. And recent developments saw many of the original hosts from Westworld destroyed. So where can the show go from here?
Season three of Westworld has seen some dramatic developments in both the parks and the ‘real world’ of the show. This season we were introduced to a new villain who wants to take over Delos, and whose technology is already controlling the world. We got to see the class struggles within this system, personified by Aaron Paul’s new character. We have also seen Dolores move forward with her nebulous plans to take over the world of the humans.
Will We See A War Between Humanity and The Machine?
Is it possible that the show is moving towards an all out war between humanity and hosts? We know that Dolores already has the capability to build new hosts. And it seems that the character of Serac may hold the pearls that host the consciousness of many other hosts. If Dolores can build herself a new army of hosts, then we may be heading towards a much larger conflict. Will season five show us a war between androids and humans? Is this the beginning of Battlestar Galactica? (All of this has happened before and all of this will happen again). Or maybe this is like the origins of The Matrix? We have seen many films and television shows grappling with the fallout of a war between human and machine. Westworld may be going down this path, if Dolores has her way.
Actor James Marsden commented on the future of Westworld way back in the first season. “It wasn’t about getting the first 10 done, it was about mapping out what the next five or six years are going to be. We wanted everything in line so that when the very last episode airs and we have our show finale, five or seven years down the line, we knew how it was going to end the first season.”
Will We See Other Parks In Future Seasons?
Westworld has visited other parks before, notably dropping Maeve into both Shogun World and War World over the course of the past two seasons. We also saw The Raj, a colonialist Indian fantasy world last season. A recent episode teased the possibility of a Medieval World, complete with some familiar looking dragons. It is interesting to note that in the original movie, the first time a human was killed by a host happened in Medieval World. So why haven’t we visited this park yet? I would much rather have seen Medieval World this season than repeatedly visit the Nazi glorification of War World. Hopefully next season will allow the show to cross over into a new genre by visiting Medieval World.
Image via HBO
According to a fictional Delos travel website, there are at least six parks in operation. We have already seen four of them, including the original park of Westworld. We know that Medieval World exists. But are there other parks with other hosts waiting to be shown onscreen? Or is it possible that the Future World that Dolores now finds herself in is secretly the last park? Could this be the show’s final twist for this season? The realization that the ‘real world’ has been utterly destroyed and all humans now live in a park themselves? I feel like this is a distinct possibility, but Westworld has surprised me before.
Emily O'Donnell is a writer and photographer with roots in some of the earliest online fandoms. She cut her genre teeth on the Wizard of Oz books at the tender age of 6 years old, and was reading epic adult fantasy novels by the age of 10. Decades later, she still consumes genre fiction like there is no tomorrow. She is delighted to be living through the golden age of sci-fi and fantasy popularity. She is unashamed of the amount of fanfiction that still lingers online under her name.