New Westworld Theory: Who Is The Man In Black

Westworld is shaping up to be HBO's next big hit series, airing in the ever-popular Sunday night timeslot occupied by Game of Thrones 10 times per year and previously held by The Sopranos and Six Feet Under.

The series comes from producer J.J. Abrams which partially explains why it is shrouded in mystery similar to his 2004 endeavor with LOST.

For now, the biggest questions of the show are regarding who Ed Harris' Man in Black. Who is he? What does he want? Where did he come from?

There are a few facts we have to lay out before we can answer those questions but answer them we most certainly will.

Harris' character has been on an unstoppable warpath with all of Westworld's hosts. He intimately interacts with the hosts around him but, almost always, ends up killing them in brutal fashion with zero remorse.

Numerous times the character has expressed interest in finding his way out of "the maze." Still, no one else seems to be talking about this maze despite clues being embedded on the inside of other hosts' scalps.

The bullets of Westworld are only strong enough to penetrate the "flesh" of the hosts which is designed to be weaker than human flesh. This was best displayed when Jimmi Simpson's William was shot in the streets standing up for Clementine. He was merely injured as though he were shot by a paintball gun or rubber bullet, at best, but his gun took out his enemy in all of his bloody glory.

Furthermore, only a small number of hosts have access to weapons like an axe because such objects can do damage to both human guests and hosts.

Along the way, hosts have defended themselves against the Man in Black but their resistance is futile as the bullets manufactured for their guns do no damage to him. Many viewers are taking this fact as signifying the Man in Black to be a rogue human guest.

The prevailing theory of Westworld's Man in Black claims that he is a much older version of William trapped in the environment with the stories being told during different timelines. Sure, that would be very J.J. Abrams of them, but it's not the theory this writer is buying into, and it's false because security has previously been seen watching him on the security cameras in real time.

Westworld Man In Black ed harris

Here's what is really going on with the Man in Black...

Westworld's Man in Black has to be one of the first (if not the first) host to be unleashed in the environment.

Somewhere along the way, the Man in Black's wave of hosts was recalled in their entirety but he was left behind and thought to be deactivated or otherwise found a way to fly under the radar, posing as a human guest. The security team behind Westworld has stopped tracking him, as a result, and in that time he has developed consciousness without his hardware being reset after regular conversations.

Back when Westworld was first created, the idea of humans killing hosts and hosts killing hosts was undeveloped. The hosts were made from stronger (probably more expensive) material. Once the idea of introducing storylines which required gun fights and death came about, the invincible wave of hosts was recalled. Except the Man in Black.

Over his years in the controlled environment, the Man in Black has searched for both clues to the maze in other hosts skulls and information about the outside world from their hard drives. One example is Dolores' memory of him attacking her in the barn. Either he was simply a part of the story line taking place a long time ago and the memory still haunts her or he tossed her into the barn to carve into her head and pull information about her conversations with Jeffrey Wright's Bernard Lowe and others living in the free world.

Don't forget: the first episode of Westworld was called, "The Original." Such a title could indicate what the entire series is about: Ed Harris' Man in Black. The original host, the original sentient robot, and the first host to develop consciousness.


The only argument against the theory is Bernard talking to Dolores, calling her the oldest host in Westworld. She may be the oldest as far as Bernard knows but may not be the original host. Keep in mind, Anthony Hopkins' Dr. Robert Ford has a few tricks up his sleeve. The Man in Black may have been his curveball for the new world as his ego and curiosity allowed him to create a monster, one way or another making him the original host who has found a conscious desire to survive.

Westworld airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.