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Westworld Co-Creator Says Your Confusion Is All Perfectly Valid

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Now that the second season of Westworld is over, fans are desperately trying to make sense of a series that has become increasingly complicated—and maybe even a little confusing.

“It’s all perfectly valid,” co-creator Jonathan Nolan said of that criticism in a recent conversation with Entertainment Weekly. “If it didn’t track for some people, it didn’t track. But look, the first movie that I worked on [Memento] was told backwards, right? I’ve always had a great faith in the capacity of an audience to not only be able to track complicated, non-linear storytelling but often to embrace it and enjoy it. Those are the people we’re making this show for.”

According to Nolan, nothing about Westworld’s storytelling approach is accidental. Whether you’re confused or not, this series is the product of an intricate, carefully considered plan. “The first season had a non-linear structure, but it’s not apparent until the last episode,” he explained. “The second season is a little more straightforward, but it is playing out in two distinct timelines—two and a half if you count the post-credits sequence, and complete with flashbacks. It’s not necessarily for everyone, but all of these choices were rooted in the protagonists’ understanding of the reality around them, and centring this season on Bernard’s broken mind as he tries to navigate through the debris of memory. Subsequent seasons will be structured in… different ways.”

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Nolan and HBO have yet to decide when Westworld will be back, but based on the lengthy gap between the first two seasons, you shouldn’t expect new episodes any earlier than late 2019. While Nolan isn’t ready to reveal much about the plan for the future, he is willing to confirm that most of the next season takes place outside the park. “We’re very excited about where the third season goes,” he said. “It’s been a long build-up to get outside the park, and we’re incredibly excited about what that looks like and sounds like and what exactly our hosts discover out there.”

For a more spoiler-filled discussion of the season two finale, check out Nolan’s EW interview here.