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Westworld's Showrunners Offer to Reveal the Entire Season Two Plot to Help Protect Its Biggest Spoilers [Updated]

Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) prepares to tell young William that he’s actually the Man in Black.
Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) prepares to tell young William that he’s actually the Man in Black.
Image: HBO

After Reddit and other fan communities pretty much predicted the entire first season of Westworld, showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy made headlines by promising to work with online theorists in the second season. Now, we might know how: Spoil absolutely everything.

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During a Reddit AMA, Nolan shared a controversial plan to safeguard the biggest secrets of season two. He said they’re thinking of creating a video that lays out the entire plot of the second season, along with all of its twists and turns.

[Update: Apparently they were just fucking with us. As reported by Polygon, a video surfaced on YouTube from a user called Singing Traveller047 that purported to be a spoiler-filled recap of the upcoming season. The first minute features Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) describing what he’s doing and how he’s feeling, proving just how weird and awkward a spoiler-filled preview would be. He arrives at Sweetwater, only to find all is well. Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) is there too.... and she bursts into song: “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley. Goddammit. Also there’s a dog in front of a piano for, like, 20 minutes—you can watch it here. The rest of the original article follows.]

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The idea is for the video to do for Westworld what A Song of Ice and Fire did for Game of Thrones: give certain fans a chance to serve as gatekeepers who’ll protect the season’s biggest secrets from the larger fan community.

It creates a larger problem for us, though, in terms of the way your guesswork is reported online. ‘Theories’ can actually be spoilers, and the line between the two is confusing. It’s something we’ve been thinking about since last season. The fans of Game of Thrones, for instance, rallied around and protected the secrets of the narrative in part because they already knew those secrets (through season 5).

We thought about this long and hard, and came to a difficult (and potentially highly controversial) decision. If you guys agree, we’re going to post a video that lays out the plot (and twists and turns) of season 2. Everything. The whole sordid thing. Up front. That way the members of the community here who want the season spoiled for them can watch ahead, and then protect the rest of the community, and help to distinguish between what’s ‘theory’ and what’s spoiler.

It’s a new age, and a new world in terms of the relationship between the folks making shows and the community watching them. And trust is a big part of that. We’ve made our cast part of this decision, and they’re fully supportive. We’re so excited to be in this with you guys together. So if this post reaches a 1000 upvotes we’ll deliver the goods

Nolan said they’d only go through with it if their comment got 1,000 upvotes on Reddit, which it doesn’t look to have achieved yet. Of course, there’s always the chance that Nolan isn’t being serious, but I’m going to try giving the benefit of the doubt in this case. [Update #2: That was stupid.] Nolan and Joy seem sincere about trying to engage with the community to avoid major spoilers for the next season, and it’s at least an attempt to negate some of the damage. That said, having a couple-minute video synopsis of a season isn’t nearly the same as reading a book series, so it’s hard to say whether it would actually work... and whether any fans would be willing to sacrifice an entire season of reveals so they could protect others.

Westworld returns to HBO on April 22.

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Video Editor and Staff Writer at io9. My doppelganger is that rebelling greeting card from Futurama.

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DISCUSSION

scoobysnax33
Chewbacca_Is_My_Uncle

Ok, full stop here: are we all losing the plot, so to speak? How is discussing a show and theorizing on it spoiling it?

Why is this different than, say, sports? If I lay out a theory that the Houston Rockets will win the NBA championship in two months, and they do, is anyone going to come back and say I spoiled the Finals for them? Did the five or six fans of UMBC who picked them over Virginia ruin the NCAA Tournament for everyone else? (I kid, UMBC! That was great.)

Game of Thrones was a completely different situation. There were three to five books of material that could be spoiled. But here, we’re all on a level playing field, so to speak.

EDIT: sure, there are some very astute Redditors out there. But trust me, I kept up with the Westworld subreddit, and for every one spot-on prediction, there were a *lot* of clunkers.