Karl Strand is a main character and antagonist on the Second Season of HBO's Westworld. He is the Head of Operations at Delos and the leader of the Delos Extraction Team. He is played by Swedish Actor Gustaf Skarsgård.
Rumored to have a military background. At some point he became the Head of Operations at Delos Incorporated.
Karl Strand is first seen at the Delos Incorporated beachhead when Bernard Lowe is brought to him by Ashley Stubbs and Maling. Confronted by a Chinese Naval Officer, he tells his aide to make them sign an NDA and then get off his island. Introducing himself to Bernard, Strand explains the current situation to him, then gets Antoine Costa to remove the core processor unit from a dead Ghost Nation host. They discover that he was killed eleven days previously by Dolores Abernathy.
Strand leads the Delos team to the site of the Gala massacre, discovering the dead bodies of Humans and Hosts alike. They find the body of Dr. Robert Ford with maggots feeding on the gunshot wound through his head.
Continuing the investigation, Strand and his team find an anomaly; a Bengal tiger that has crossed boundaries from Park 6 to Westworld. Nearby, they discover a huge flooded plain with the bodies of hundreds of dead Hosts. Strand wants to know what happened, to which Bernard replies that he killed them all.
In the Control Room, Strand looks at the bodies of hosts and his extraction team lying everywhere, and takes a call from Maling. She's collecting hosts from the new lake and has started draining it. He tells her to try and re-set the hosts to work in their original loops. She acknowledges and tells him she has teams looking for Peter Abernathy; Strand wants to see Abernathy himself.
Strand then goes to Antoine Costa and asks for an update. Antioine tells him that 1/3 of the recovered control units are as clean as if they'd never been used. He also tells Strand that the Cradle has been destroyed by fire, along with all of the hosts' backups it contained.
Strand intercepts Bernard Lowe and Ashley Stubbs with two of his contractors as they are trying to get away. He asks for the key that he thinks one of them used as a reason for killing Theresa Cullen.
He takes the two to the Remote Diagnostic Facility where Theresa died. Charlotte Hale is there, justifying herself to Stubbs. Strand doesn't think Bernard could have killed her, so he suspects Stubbs. He then threatens to kill Stubbs when Bernard stops him, and they are interrupted when the hidden door is found by a PMC.
They go into the corridor beyond the door, with Bernard and Stubbs leading the way. Strand kicks open another door and they find a room full of Bernard hosts, wrapped inside of plastic bags. Hale, Strand, and Stubbs realize that Bernard is a host. The Bernard clones are in a variety of states.
He later observed Charlotte Hale questioning/torturing Bernard, alongside with Stubbs and Costa.
- Bernard Lowe (Caused)
In order to not let humans destroy his kind, Bernard mixes his own memories up to make them inaccessible to others which would start a chain of events leading to successful replacement of Charlotte Hale by Dolores without any living witnesses.
At the Forge, after Bernard finally puts his memories in order, Dolores in Hale's body shoots all humans in the room including Antoine and Karl to change the coordinates of the data package containing the hosts and their Eden to “a place no one will find them.”
Strand appears to be a confident and decisive leader, immediately taking control away from Stubbs upon arriving in Westworld and asserting his authority on behalf of Delos. He appears to dismiss the possibility that the hosts are anything more than mindless killing machines and is determined to contain the host uprising while preserving Delos's interests.
- Ashley Stubbs: When Stubbs tried to defend Bernard from being blamed for the massacre as Head of Behavior, Strand pointed out to Stubbs that, under his watch as Head of Security, Delos had suffered the biggest loss of human life in its entire history.
- Bernard Lowe:
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- Karl is a Northern Germanic male name meaning "strong man" or "free man".
- Strand is German meaning "sea shore"