HBO's Watchmen Fan Theory Believes Jeremy Irons Is Playing Doctor Manhattan

HBO's Watchmen is a show full of mysteries. With only two episodes having aired, fans already have some major questions to puzzle out, such as who really killed Judd Crawford, who or what extracted Will Reeves from Angela Abar's custody, and to an extent why Angela is so important herself. Those questions are all the makings for a good story, but there's another major mystery to unfold -- the identity of Jeremy Irons ‘character. The character is officially credited as "Lord of Country Manor", but many fans believe him to be Adrian Veidt, aka Ozymandias a key character from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons original Watchmen comic book series. However, there's one fan theory that thinks that may not be the case and that Irons is really playing Doctor Manhattan in disguise.

Over on the r/FanTheories Reddit, user u/TheDeadlySpaceman has suggested that while Irons' character has all the hallmarks one might expect from Veidt, it's actually a misdirection and, instead, the character is actually Doctor Manhattan. The supporting evidence of the theory is actually pretty interesting. First, there's the fact that the show has pretty repetitively made the point that Doctor Manhattan is on Mars, but more than that it's also gone out of the way to state what the superpowered being can and cannot do. In "Martial Acts of Comanche Horsemanship", Will Reeves makes the claim that Doctor Manhattan can change his appearance to look like a normal human being. It's something that is easily dismissed by Angela as not something Doctor Manhattan is known to do. It's an interesting point to make, especially since when it comes to Doctor Manhattan's actual powers, they -- very generally -- lean more towards the he can do pretty much anything if he really wants to -- the motivation being key.

The theory also points out the similarities between the structure Doctor Manhattan is building and destroying on Mars and the manor Irons' character is residing in. There's also the matter of the servants at the manor, who were revealed to be clones on Sunday. The theory suggests that they aren't actually clones, but sort of an advanced form of self-duplication that Doctor Manhattan has evolved. The final "proof" in the theory is the pocket watch that Phillips makes Irons' character from sketches in the series premiere. Before he was Doctor Manhattan, he was Jon Osterman and Jon Osterman was a watchmaker's son something the theorist says makes it seem suspect that Veidt would actually design a watch.

It is a curious theory and would make for one immense twist if it proved to be true. That said, though, as other uses note what could be more likely is that Irons is actually playing Veidt, but the reason Veidt went missing and was declared dead is because Doctor Manhattan has him imprisoned in an Earth-like prison on Mars -- that would account for the similarities in the manor house and the structure seen on Mars. Others have pointed out that sometimes the most obvious explanation is the one that sticks and it's kind of a stretch to try extrapolate the idea of Irons being Doctor Manhattan.


Whoever Irons' character ends up being, fans can watch the mystery continue to unfold with Watchmen airing Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.

What do you think? Is Irons' character really Doctor Manhattan or do you think he's Veidt? Let us know in the comments below.