If you want to spend hours embroiled in a debate about what will happen in a given show, then Reddit is the place to go. For a show like Game of Thrones—which has five books of material to serve as fodder, a rotating cast of nearly 50 characters, and a penchant for killing off said characters—this can result in as many theories that are later debunked as sure-to-be-confirmed ones. But over the first season of Westworld, it became clear there was very little that its dedicated subreddit was going to get wrong. Fans predicted that William would grow up to become a balding Ed Harris and that Maeve’s grand escape was part of a programmed narrative. Reddit predicted that Bernard = Arnold (Bernarnold) and that Dolores = Wyatt. Even the complex multiple timelines were all mapped out in advance. (There is already a theory for season two that looks pretty solid.)
The result was that, if you were online, you knew nearly everything that was going to happen in advance. Instead of getting big twists, fans ended up just checking boxes.
However, in the season finale, there was one big development that Redditors failed to see: that Ford was on the side of the hosts the entire time, working to continue what Arnold began. As one user wrote, “This subreddit somehow got everything right, and yet still knew nothing at all.” As it turned out, when it came to the overall narrative and its significance, the show’s creators were still in control. This was, perhaps, the most fitting lesson Westworld had for its fans. Putting the puzzle together doesn’t matter if you can’t step back and see the whole picture.