|“||I’ve been pinged by Lee’s team no fewer than four times today. Mr. Salt can shit a golden goose egg for all I care – when he leapfrogs the line it throws my whole team’s workflow off.||”|
–Elsie Hughes, in an email to Bernard Lowe
Elsie Hughes is a main character in the sci-fi western TV series, Westworld. She is a rising star in the Programming division. She diagnoses the odd quirks of behavior in Westworld’s hosts as well as prepares and updates them for entry into the park. Hughes is played by Shannon Woodward.
At some point Elsie was employed as a programmer for Delos' fictional theme park Westworld. She became an assistant to Bernard Lowe and worked alongside him in many of the upgrades and diagnostics for the robotic improvements in the Behavior Lab and Diagnostics division of the Westworld Mesa Hub. Due to her constant presence around the hosts, she has grown affectionate to them, especially the female hosts in the Mariposa Saloon. She has also made a remark about a nude host she was preparing as a bartender. One could possibly assume that Elsie is bi-sexual. She is known to ask many questions, most get ignored or pushed aside.
Elsie and Bernard discover reveries in some of the hosts, following the upgrade of some ten percent of the population of Westworld, including Clementine. Bernard associates this to Dr. Robert Ford who usually likes to make them look more real. Elsie later helps diagnose the cause of Walter's violence in the saloon, which almost put visitors in danger. As a consequence, manager Theresa Cullen has them recall the upgraded hosts for diagnostics. Following a staged bloodbath in the town of Sweetwater, Elsie accounts for Dolores Abernathy and Teddy Flood dressed in the same time-period garb, the latter who was shot in the massacre.
Elsie requests to rebuild Abernathy Ranch but Bernard refuses. Elsie messes with Maeve's personality programming in order to keep Lee Sizemore from removing her from the narrative. A curious assistant asks if Hosts dream. Elsie says no but does admit that they understand the concept of dreams. If someone forgets to wipe a past narrative, Hosts are programmed to think that they are dreams.
Elsie and Stubbs team up to find the lost woodcutter Host. They visit the work camp he was last at and Elsie notices that the Host had been carving strange markings into his animal wood carvings. Stubbs says that the marking is actually the constellation Orion and Elsie wonders why a Host would carve that. Elsie finds the lost Host stuck in a crevasse. Stubbs goes down to retrieve it but somehow the Host doesn't stay in sleep mood. The Host climbs out of the crevasse and begins to approach Elsie with the intention to crush her with a large rock. Instead he lifts it and bashes in his own skull.
Elsie approaches Destin and threatens to reveal his "extra curricular" activities if he doesn't let her see the Woodcutter. That's when she finds a laser-based satellite uplink in the Hosts arm and shows it to Bernard.
Elsie heads to Sector 3 to figure out who is responsible for the info leak. Elsie learns that Theresa is behind the leak after having logged into the relay. She starts to download all the information from the relay, but before she can get it back to Bernard someone grabs her from behind.
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Elsie's closest relationship in the park appears to be with her boss, Bernard. She is often seen working with him diagnosing the parks Hosts. She seems to soften her sardonic attitude towards him, though it is not completely gone. Bernard doesn't seem to care when she goes missing.
Stubbs and Elsie have a somewhat contentious time as coworkers. As he and Elsie pursue a stray host, they often trade insults at each other that neither takes seriously. However, when the two of them appeared to be in danger from a malfunctioning host, they did show real concern for each other's safety.
Elsie appears to have an attraction to the host Clementine Pennyfeather. During The Original, Elsie is shown Clementine's reverie, an unconscious brushing of her lip, by Bernard. After Bernard leaves, Elsie strokes Clementine's hair, and after a look to ensure no one is watching through the room's glass walls, Elsie gives the offline Clementine a deep kiss. As Elsie pulls away, she appears to gently stroke her own lip, much like Clementine had.
- This character's name was originally given as "Elsie King".