While there are arguably a lot of twists and turns in the Season 1 finale of ‘Westworld,’ one of the most intriguing questions to come out of the episode had to do with the character of Maeve, who we had thought had managed to break free of her programming and plan an excellent escape from the park, only to learn her entire escape was part of a pre-programmed story for her. So when she makes the fateful decision at the end of the episode to exit the train (which would have whisked her out of the park) and head back inside to find her “daughter,” we were left to wonder whether that decision was also part of her “story” or if that was Maeve finally making a real decision on her own, which would make sense since it was so counter to everything she had been doing up to that point. Luckily for the fans, Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy provided some answers about this very question this past weekend at Paleyfest at the EW moderated panel for ‘Westworld.’ When asked about whether Maeve’s decision to leave the train was part of her programming or actually her making her first real decision, thus her first act of free will, Jonathan Nolan had the following to say:
“The way that we designed it and the way we shot it… that is really the first decision she’s ever made. For me, it’s a very emotional moment in the episode because you’re seeing the first freewill.”
While speaking about the Maeve achieving free-will theory, Nolan also commented on the rabid fan theories and conjectures that sprung up on the internet, joking about it even though you could tell it is a bit of a problem for the writers to have to be checking Reddit constantly to see if anyone had guessed their latest twist yet:
“It’s annoying sometimes when people guess the twists and blog about it…you can’t complain when people are that engaged… just stop doing it, please.”
Lisa Joy later added:
“It’s amazing some of the theories he would tell me they were coming up with.”
And of course, when asked if Dolores was also acting under her own free will when she shot Ford in the head and attacked the banquet, Nolan gave a much slyer answer:
“Isn’t it more fun to just guess?”
By which he’s hinting that Dolores might be acting out a whole other story and not even realize it, meaning the real revolution will actually come from Maeve, the only confirmed robot in the park with actual free will (and may also hint that the “Ford” who was killed that night may not have been the real deal, it might have been a Host and the real Ford might still be out there pulling the strings). Of course, there are some who think the fan speculation got a little out of hand during Season 1 (including yours truly, who wanted to enjoy the show without every yahoo I know telling me 5 different theories he/she read about on Reddit, especially when one of those inevitably would turn out to be true and ruin a surprise for me), but then again, maybe that’s on the writers and show-runners for dropping a few too many hints about what was to come. Either way, knowing that Maeve has free will in Season 2, and could potentially be leading an alternate revolution against or alongside Dolores’s could lead to some fascinating showdowns in the second season, and 2018 cannot come around soon enough.
What are your thoughts on the Maeve free will reveal? Share your thoughts and theories in the comments below!