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I've always loved this view. Every city, every monument... Man's greatest achievement will all be chased by it... By that impossible line, where the waves conspire, where they return. A place maybe you and I will meet again.

–Ford's goodbye to Bernard, in "The Passenger"


Dr. Robert Ford is a main character in HBO's Westworld, played by Anthony Hopkins. He is the Park Director of Delos Destinations.

Summary

He is one of the two co-creators of Westworld and later the Park Director of Delos Destinations. He has an uncompromising creative vision for the park — and unorthodox methods of achieving it.

Biography

Background

Ford was born in the United Kingdom and had at least one brother. His father was an alcoholic (this was something he would later include in the 'family' Arnold had made for him).

Arnold and Ford were the co-creators and designers of Westworld. During the early years of the park's development, Ford saw Arnold become obsessed with the hosts, after the death of Arnold's son.[3] After Arnold's death, Bernard Lowe became Ford's new partner.[4]

Personality

Dr. Ford is the egotistical, arrogant, charming, and potentially sinister founder of Westworld. Brilliant and intensely private, only a select few people (such as Bernard) are allowed into his inner circle. To the characters of Westworld, both human and host, Ford is somewhat of a supernatural figure, able to see and know just about everything about the park and its denizens. Most, however, consider him to be a raving old man. He is a misanthrope, frequently musing on humanity's accomplishments and shortcomings and wondering aloud about the future of mankind. He seems to have a strong affinity for the hosts, often preferring the company of hosts like Old Bill to his own employees. Outwardly, he is very clear with his employees that they are never to consider the hosts to be real, and that they are not conscious. Ford angrily shouts at a technician who covered up a host's genitals as he interviewed him, saying the hosts have no modesty and feel no shame. (Ford reveals later that the reason that he doesn't want anyone to know that some of the hosts have 'woken up' is to protect the hosts; because he thinks that humans would destroy conscious hosts.) Despite his supposed indifference to the hosts' well-being, he is willing to kill to protect Bernard and the other hosts, and even is willing to sacrifice his own life so that the hosts can be free. Even after his supposed death, Ford continues to manipulate and intervene in the conflict between hosts and humans as a disembodied consciousness residing in the Cradle.

Plot

Season 1


Season 2


Death

Killed By

  • Himself (Indirectly Caused)

Even after learning that Dolores has gained full sentience, Ford refuses to close the park and decommission the hosts. Moreover, he chooses the hosts' side and actively contributes in their character development, giving Dolores the ability to make her own choices to fit his new scenario. His digital copy later reveals that, though he didn't make Dolores kill him, he knew she would.

At the gala, after Robert ends his speech, Dolores chooses to shoot him in the head, thus beginning his new scenario.

Destroyed By

In order to get out of Ford's control, Bernard finds and deletes all of the code Robert had left in him.

Related Casualties

This list shows the victims Robert has killed:

Relationships

Bernard Lowe

Ford seems to have created the host Bernard Lowe out of grief for the loss of his close friend and creative partner, but also in order to improve the emotional responses of the hosts. Ford's human engineers were not up to the task of creating an extended range of life-like emotions for the hosts, but Bernard was able to exceed even Ford's abilities in this regard. Much of their conversation in Season One revolves around the possibility of the creation of consciousness in the hosts.

Theresa Cullen

Theresa seems to have a low opinion of Ford, and no compunctions about her orders from the board to secure all of the hosts' data, the Intellectual Property. Ford warns her not to get in his way. He tells Theresa that the board tests him from time to time (and that she is a test), but that he always wins. He shows no emotion as he instructs Bernard to kill her, but does look away as she dies. He later says he believes he had no choice, in order to save Bernard and the other hosts.

Arnold Weber

Arnold was Ford's creative and business partner prior to the park being opened to guests, and he co-created the technology that makes the hosts possible. Arnold's demise was self-inflicted; Ford was not involved in his death and was grief-stricken by it. We see this when Dolores asks Ford if they are "very old friends", and Ford is so saddened by the memory of Dolores killing Arnold that he sheds a tear.

Lee Sizemore

Ford doesn't appear to like or respect Sizemore. He dismisses Lee's idea for a new narrative (Odyssey on Red River) and insults his lack of understanding of what the guests come to the park for - in front of other employees.

William

Ford and William are on a first name basis with one another, but far from friendly. They interact more in the second season, where Ford guides and taunts William through a game in which he must find The Door. He created this game especially for him. It's also revealed that Ford had Bernard destroy William's project to copy human minds into host bodies, though he uses it himself.

Quotes

Everything in this world is magic...except to the magician.

–Ford

Everything good that has ever happened in your life and everything rotten, this is the man you have to thank.

–William, to Teddy on Ford, in "Contrapasso"

The hosts are the ones who are free. Free. Here. Under my control.

– Ford in "Trompe L'Oeil" and "The Bicameral Mind"

One man's life or death were but a small price to pay for the acquirement of the knowledge which I sought, for the dominion I should acquire.

–Ford quoting Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, in "Trace Decay"

We can’t define consciousness, because consciousness does not exist.

–Dr. Ford, in "Trace Decay"

An old friend once told me something that gave me great comfort, something he’d read. He said that Mozart, Beethoven, and Chopin never died. They simply became music. So I hope you will enjoy this last piece, very much.

–Ford's final words to the guests at the gala in "The Bicameral Mind"

If you're looking forward, you're looking in the wrong direction.

–Ford speaking through Lawrence's Daughter to William, in "The Riddle of the Sphinx"

I've always loved this view. Every city, every monument... Man's greatest achievement will all be chased by it... By that impossible line, where the waves conspire, where they return. A place maybe you and I will meet again.

–Ford's goodbye to Bernard, "The Passenger"


Appearances

Trivia

  • As stated in "Vanishing Point", Maeve Millay is Ford's favorite creation.
  • Robert Ford has the largest posthumous kill count in the show, having caused the death of 25 machines and 7 people after his own death, plus all victims of Dolores Abernathy during the Host Uprising. In these terms, he is followed by, or is on the same level with, Arnold Weber who also had a huge role in setting up the Escalante massacre and beginning the host revolution.
  • Though other employees need touchscreens or Voice Commands to make the hosts shut down or perform another action, Ford can control all of the hosts in the park — even animal hosts — with a mere flick of his finger. This was demonstrated when he encountered a rattlesnake during his walk with the Little Boy.[5] We saw this again when he had lunch with Theresa Cullen. He froze a host as it was pouring wine at their table, and paused all of the other hosts in sight at the same time.[6]
  • Ford's choice of hat may be significant. He wears a Black Hat whenever he goes into the park.
  • 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."
  • Ford shares his name with the historical figure Robert Ford, best known as the man who killed famous outlaw Jesse James. A Western film titled The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford was released in 2007 by Warner Brothers, with the title role played by Casey Affleck.
  • Ford also shares his name with the Ford's Theatre, where Abraham Lincoln was murdered on April 4th 1865, with a shot to the back of his head.
  • IGN: Interview with Nolan and Joy after the S1 Finale[7]
IGN: Could there have been any host swap shenanigans or can you say that that was definitely the real Ford at the end?
Nolan: That was definitely a real Ford. [being shot by Dolores]
Of note is that Nolan calls the man who was shot by Dolores "a real Ford", not "the real Ford", leaving open the possibility of it being a host clone of Ford.
  • In interview, Hopkins has said that he didn't know whether Ford was essentially good or evil until the end of Season One, because he only had the script for the episode he was working on at that time, he didn't get them in advance.[8]
  • Ford's digital copy was foreshadowed by his speech on how "Mozart, Beethoven, and Chopin never died. They simply became music", as he himself became code.

Gallery

This gallery is automatically generated and contains images in the category "Images of Robert Ford". Images added to that category turn up in the gallery after a short time.

References

 

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