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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 is a character in the TV series 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 Weber presumably died in the park approximately 34 years before Dr. Ford interviewed Dolores in "Contrapasso"[2] ("Right before the park opened".) [3]

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

Biography

Dr. Ford revealed to Bernard that he had a partner at one time, and that his partner's name was Arnold. Dr. Ford said that Arnold wasn’t satisfied with the mere appearance of real beings. He wanted the real thing. He wanted to create consciousness. Ford illustrates how Arnold intended to do this, making reference to the theory of the bicameral mind. Memory on the bottom, then improvisation and then self-interest. But the top of the pyramid? Ford leaves it blank. He just taps it and says Arnold never got there. There is a sense that Ford knows what should go there, but is withholding it from Bernard, the way he seems to withhold anything he can from Bernard and everyone else until he’s been pushed.

Bernard asks what happened to Arnold, and Ford says that Arnold withdrew and refused to talk to anyone but the Hosts - and then he died in the park. The “search for consciousness consumed him entirely.” As he looks at the host piano man in his office, Ford says that Arnold saw something in the Hosts. Something that wasn’t there.

Ford says that they called Arnold’s death an ‘accident,’ but Ford doesn’t buy it. He knew Arnold and he was "very, very careful".

Chestnut

Arnold is shown with Dolores in the Remote Diagnostic Facility underneath the white church.

The Stray

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

Contrapasso

The Man in Black speaks with Dr. Ford and makes it clear he wants to continue to pursue the game. He knows the only man who knows the truth behind it is Arnold. It also seems that Arnold could be talking to Dolores. During diagnostics, Dr. Ford asked Dolores if she had spoken to him. Dolores said no, but as he walked away, she indeed did speak to him, and now we know she has been speaking to him all along.

The Adversary

It is discovered that there are indeed several first generation hosts that are not on the current system, and who can still hear the voice of Arnold speaking to them. This is discovered when the Little Boy tells Robert Ford that Arnold told him to kill the dog.

The Well-Tempered Clavier

We can hear (or read, if you use the closed captions) Ford speaking to Arnold back when Arnold was still alive. Arnold Weber's full name is visible on the door to his office in the Remote Diagnostic Facility underneath the white church. (Dolores remembers walking near the door.)

Notes/Trivia

  • Although Ford claims that the Bicameral Mind method of 'bootstrapping' consciousness was abandoned, Arnold's code is still inside the hosts. The voice commands employees use to control them are pieces of his code. Several times in the first half of the season, we've seen Dolores Abernathy react to a voice — a voice that seems to be speaking to her from inside her own head. Could this be Arnold talking? Is his code somehow directing Dolores to reach beyond her programming and achieve consciousness?
  • The Man in Black believes Arnold is the creator of The Maze.
  • According to Ford, Arnold had more grand ambitions for the hosts beyond just serving as pseudo-humans. "He wasn't interested in the appearance of intellect or wit," Ford said. "He wanted the real thing. He wanted to create consciousness."
  • 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."

Arnold Base Theory

Arnolds theory of bicameral mind

"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 … ” - Ford speaking of Arnold's theory[4]

Quotes

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, its 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


Gallery

References

  1. According to Dolores in "The Well-Tempered Clavier"
  2. Dolores, in "Contrapasso"
  3. Logan to William in "Contrapasso"
  4. http://oohlo.com/2016/11/01/the-mind-boggling-westworld-theory-spurred-by-those-day-of-the-dead-parade-voices-dolores-heard/
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