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''This doesn't look like anything to me.''
Not a great deal of information, though we know he cared for Dolores and argued on behalf of the hosts with Ford.

Revision as of 23:40, October 22, 2018

He died, here in the park. His personal life was marked by tragedy. He put all his hopes into his work...his search for consciousness consumed him totally: barely spoke to anyone, except to the hosts. In his alienation he saw something in them. He saw something that wasn't there. We called it an accident, but I knew Arnold and he was very, very careful.

–Dr. Robert Ford (on Arnold)

Arnold Weber, also known as the Creator, is a character in HBO's Westworld. He and Dr. Robert Ford designed and created the hosts. After Weber's death, Ford created Bernard in Arnold's image. Ford made Bernard's name an anagram of Arnold's full name.

Arnold was killed approximately 34 years before Dr. Ford interviewed Dolores in "Contrapasso"[1] ("Right before the park opened."). [2]

Arnold and the hosts were said to have "a special connection."


Dr. Ford reveals to Bernard that he had a creative partner during the development of the park, and that his partner's name was Arnold. According to Ford, Arnold had grander ambitions for the hosts than being pseudo-humans in a theme park. "He wasn't interested in the appearance of intellect or wit," Ford said. "He wanted the real thing. He wanted to create consciousness." Ford illustrates how Arnold intended to do this by drawing a pyramid with "memory on the bottom, then improvisation, and then self-interest." Ford leaves the top of the pyramid empty, and claims that Arnold never decided what to put there.

When Bernard asks about what happened to Arnold, Ford says that Arnold withdrew, speaking only with the hosts and consumed by his desire to create consciousness, until his death in the park. Arnold's death was declared an accident, but Ford believes otherwise.

The Stray

Arnold is with Dolores again in the Remote Diagnostic Facility. He brings her a copy of Alice in Wonderland, which he says he used to read to his son. Dolores reads a passage and notes that change is a common theme in the books he has given her. She inquires about his son, and when asked why she would ask such a thing, she reveals that she did it to ingratiate herself with Arnold; she thought it was the right time to ask him a personal question. Arnold tells her to read on. Dolores reads another passage and ends with, "Who in the world am I?"

In another meeting with Dolores in the Escalante Remote Diagnostic Facility, Arnold seems more tense than during previous sessions. He tells Dolores that he thinks he may have made a mistake.

Dissonance Theory

Arnold is again shown with Dolores in the Remote Diagnostic Facility underneath Escalante.


While diagnosing Dolores, Dr. Ford asks if she has spoken to Arnold since the day he died. Dolores denies it, but when Ford leaves her alone, she says, "He doesn't know. I didn't tell him anything." This indicates that she is still "speaking to Arnold," or still being affected by his code.

The Adversary

Bernard and Elsie discover that there are several first generation hosts that are not on the current data/GPS system, but are instead on the legacy data/GPS system. Five of these hosts are ones that Arnold built as a present to Dr. Ford. In this episode, the young Robert host reveals to Ford that he heard Arnold's voice tell him to kill the greyhound, Jock.

The Well-Tempered Clavier

In one of Dolores' memories, she walks by a door with a name plate that reads, "ARNOLD WEBER".

Ford angrily chastises Arnold in the remote diagnostic facility. Ford tells Arnold that he's "not seeing with clear eyes". Ford calls Arnold's behavior unacceptable, and says that what Arnold has done is "mere showmanship".

In one of the memories Bernard experiences in this episode, Ford shows Bernard a framed photograph of himself and Arnold (and the host that looks like Ford's father) right after Ford awakens Bernard for the first time. Years later, when Ford again shows Bernard this photograph, Bernard assumes that the middle figure, a host, is Arnold, because Bernard's perception filter prevents him from seeing Arnold's image in the photograph.

In the Escalante RDF, Dolores hallucinates having a meeting with Arnold. Dolores is glad to have finally found Arnold, but when she asks him for help, he says he cannot. He tries to comfort her and tells her to remember why. Dolores is shocked and upset when she remembers that he can't help her, because she killed him. This is Dolores having an internal dialogue.


Not a great deal of information, though we know he cared for Dolores and argued on behalf of the hosts with Ford.


Dolores Abernathy

Arnold appears to have a special connection with Dolores. He has private conversations with her in a Remote Diagnostic Facility, and even tells her to follow the Maze so that she can find joy. He appears to care about her and her feelings, as when she becomes upset after he tells her he can't help her, he tries to comfort her by touching her cheek. Dolores does seem to take comfort from it, as she holds his hand to her face and closes her eyes. (We later learn that this is Dolores hallucinating an inner dialogue with herself.)

Robert Ford


  • Although Ford claims that the Bicameral Mind method of 'bootstrapping' consciousness was abandoned, he also says that the voice commands used to control the hosts are a vestige of the bicameral control system. In this system, hosts heard their programming as an inner dialogue. This was accomplished by Arnold broadcasting to the hosts (via transmitters and receivers). Dolores Abernathy is shown many times reacting to a voice that only she hears — a voice that seems to be speaking to her from inside her own head.
    • It is revealed later in the season, that Ford has also been using the bicameral control system[citation needed] to broadcast to several of the older hosts (Dolores, Peter Abernathy, Walter, etc.)
  • The Man in Black believes Arnold is the creator of The Maze.
  • As Ford says: "For three years we lived here in the park, refining the hosts before a single guest set foot inside," Ford explained. "Myself, a team of engineers, and my partner."
  • In the scenes between Dolores and Arnold in episodes 2, 3 & 4 actor Jeffrey Wright portrays Arnold, and the voice over in the beginning of episode one the voice interviewing Dolores is that of Arnold. Since viewers didn't know what Arnold looked like, it was assumed by most that these were scenes between Bernard and Dolores. It is not revealed to Bernard until episode 9 that he is a host replica of Arnold. The scenes with Jeffrey Wright in the Remote Diagnostic Facility were really Dolores' memories from over 34 years ago (when Arnold was still alive).
    • Astute viewers, like Vanity Fair's Joanna Robinson, noticed differences in the scenes with 'Bernard' interviewing Dolores.[3] Namely that: Dolores was clothed (Bernard didn't conduct interviews with clothed hosts, but Arnold did); the location was not in the usual Behavior Diagnostic labs (and instead in a different location); most of the voices that Dolores hears in her head, telling her things like "find me" and "remember" are Jeffrey Wright's voice; and 'Bernard' (really Arnold) acted differently with Dolores than he did in other scenes with other hosts (Wright knew that he was playing Arnold in those scenes). Also, in the Escalante RDF scenes between Arnold and Dolores, he wears a black lab coat that we never see Bernard wear in the Mesa Hub. Many viewers, including Robinson, had thought from the very beginning of season one that Bernard might be a host. Other clues were: (1) In the "The Original" we are told that people no longer die of diseases, and yet Charlie died of cancer, and (2) Bernard had not aged at all since his son's death. [4]
  • Arnold's surname: J.S. Bach published two collections of pieces called The Well Tempered Clavier. However, twenty years later the composer, Bernhard C. Weber, wrote a collection of preludes and fugues, and this composition is also called, The Well-Tempered Clavier. In the Westworld episode of the same name, it is revealed that Arnold's surname is also Weber. (The surname of Weber was confirmed when Dolores walked past Arnold's office door.) [5]

Photo showing the name plate. Click to enlarge

  • The nameplate on Arnold's office door (seen in Dolores' memories from approximately 34 years ago) shows Arnold's surname. "Bernard Lowe" is an anagram of "Arnold Weber".
  • In his meetings with Dolores in the Escalante RDF, Arnold doesn't wear neckties, and also he wears something that looks like a black lab coat. (Maeve wears something similar in "The Bicameral Mind".)
  • In "The Well-Tempered Clavier", Ford accuses Arnold of "mere showmanship". (Ford is referring to scientific showmanship or spectacle which was common from 1840 to 1910. This is an accusation that Arnold hasn't really created consciousness, but is instead engaging only in scientific spectacle.)

Arnold's Pyramid Theory of Creating Consciousness

Arnolds theory of bicameral mind
He wanted to create consciousness. He imagined it as a pyramid. See? Memory, improvisation, self-interest. (Bernard: ‘And, at the top?’) Never got there. But, he had a notion of what it might be. He based it on a theory of consciousness called the bicameral mind. The idea that primitive man believed his thoughts to be the voice of the gods. (Bernard: ‘I thought it was debunked.’) As a theory for understanding the human mind, perhaps, but not as a blueprint for building an artificial one. See, Arnold built a version of that cognition in which the hosts heard their programming as an inner monologue, with the hopes that in time, their own voice would take over. It was a way [to] bootstrap consciousness.

–Dr. Robert Ford on Arnold


You ever heard of a man named, Arnold? You could say he was the original settler of these parts. He created a world where you could do anything you want, except one thing: you can't die. Which means no matter how real this world seems, it's still just a game. But, then Arnold went and broke his own rule. He died right here in the park. Except I believe he still had one story left to tell. A story with real stakes; real violence. You could say, I'm here to honor his legacy.

Man in Black

Remember. I can't help you. Why is that Dolores?

– Arnold (to Dolores)



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  1. Dolores, in "Contrapasso"
  2. Logan to William in "Contrapasso"
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