Brow Beat

The Westworld Creators Offered to Spoil All of Season 2, and the Resulting Video Is Really Something

Actress Rachel Evan Wood in the Westworld Season 2 primer.
Just when we thought they were never gonna give up those plot twists …
Still taken from the video

Some Redditers are too clever for their own good—just ask any showrunner whose big, important plot twist was spoiled on the site by a fan who caught on before the show was ready to reveal it. In a Reddit AMA on Monday, Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, the creators of HBO’s Westworld, acknowledged how “the friendly folks at this subreddit guess the twists and turns of the season” but expressed concern that those fan theories, when correct, can sometimes also ruin the surprise for other viewers.

To combat this phenomenon, they made an unusual proposition:

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 1,000 upvotes we’ll deliver the goods.

That’s right, the team behind one of the twistiest shows on television promised to deliver a roadmap up front, supposedly inspired by Game of Thrones, which (for a while, a least) was based on the books by George R. R. Martin. On Monday, Nolan made good on the promise with this video primer:

For the first minute and a half, the video looks like it might be legitimate—but then it turns out to be a Rickroll, as Evan Rachel Wood starts singing a mellow cover of “Never Gonna Give You Up.” You got us, Westworld creators, although using the prospect of a video laying out the season to thwart spoilers, a genuinely interesting concept, was a pretty cruel bait-and-switch.

Things get much weirder if you keep watching, as the rest of the 25-minute video is padded out with black-and-white footage of a dog sitting in front of a piano, followed by a dedication to someone called Bento, who died at age nine in 2018. Is Bento the dog? An Easter egg from the show? Or could it possibly be a touching tribute to … viral sensation Bento the Keyboard Cat?

Now, that would be a twist.

Marissa Martinelli is a Slate editorial assistant.