"Dreams are mainly memories. You imagine how fucked we’d be if these poor assholes ever remembered what the guests do to them?"
-Elsie Hughes, in "Chestnut"
Elsie Hughes is a character in the sci-fi western TV series, Westworld. She is a rising star in the Behavior Lab and Diagnostics Dept. She diagnoses behavior problems in Westworld’s hosts, as well as programming them prior to entry into the park. Hughes is played by Shannon Woodward.
Elsie was employed as a programmer for the Delos theme park, Westworld. She was Bernard Lowe's assistant and worked alongside him in the Behavior Lab and Diagnostics division of the Westworld Mesa Hub. She appears to show affection to some of the hosts, especially the female hosts. She was shown treating Dolores with gentleness. Elsie also 'stole a kiss' from the Old Clementine Pennyfeather while she was off-line in the Mesa Hub.
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 the old Peter Abernathy but Bernard refuses. Elsie fixes Maeve's personality programming - increasing her capacity to "read" people - after Narrative had made her more aggressive in a last-ditch attempt to make her more attractive to new guests. 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 - as a safety measure so that they can deal with bad dreams.
Elsie and Stubbs team up to find the lost Woodcutter host. They visit the Woodcutter's Python Pass camp and Elsie notices that the host had been carving strange markings into his wood carvings. Stubbs says that the markings are the constellation, Orion, and Elsie wonders why a host would carve that without being programmed to do so. Elsie finds the lost host stuck in a crevasse. Stubbs rappels into the crevasse to retrieve the Woodcutter's head, but the host doesn't stay in sleep mode. The Host climbs out of the crevasse and approaches Elsie holding a boulder over its head. Elsie tries to shut down the host via her tablet device, and the Woodcutter bashes in his own head with the boulder.
Elsie approaches Destin and threatens to reveal his "necro perv" activities with the hosts, if he doesn't let her examine the Woodcutter. That's when she finds a laser-based satellite up-link in the host's arm and shows it to Bernard.
Elsie heads to Sector 3 to figure out who is responsible for the corporate espionage. Elsie believes that Theresa must be responsible because she was the last to have logged into the relay. Elsie starts to download information from the relay, but before she finishes she hears a noise, and someone grabs her from behind.
Elsie appears in a memory that Bernard 'sees' before Ford wipes his memory. In this memory, Bernard is seen strangling Elsie. It is unclear whether Bernard has killed Elsie, but he has this memory right after he asks Ford whether Ford has ever made him hurt someone like he hurt Theresa.
Bernard regains his memories and one of them is of him appearing to strangle Elsie. Bernard believes that he killed her.
Elsie sees herself as the smartest person in the room. She is tenacious, smart, and quick-witted. She can also be impulsive.
Elsie's closest relationship in the park appears to be with her boss, Bernard. She is often seen working with him running diagnostics on the park's hosts.
When Stubbs and Elsie pursue a stray host, they trade insults that neither takes seriously. However, when the two of them were in danger from a malfunctioning host, they did show real concern for each others safety.
During "The Original", Elsie is shown (Old) Clementine's reverie, an unconscious brushing of her lip, by Bernard. After Bernard leaves, Elsie strokes Clementine's hair, and after looking around to make sure no one is watching, Elsie gives the off-line Clementine a kiss.
- Season One
- This character's name was originally given as "Elsie King".
- Evidence to Elsie's possible survival were given in the form of hidden and encrypted links in the show: http://delosincorporated.com/video/intra/tablet.mp4 http://delosincorporated.com/assets/transmission.mp4
- Steve Williams, director of "Trace Decay" gave an interview to The Hollywood Reporter
- THR: Bernard asks Ford if he's ever hurt anyone other than Theresa. Ford says no, and as he does, Bernard experiences a vision in which he's choking Elsie. Some are taking that as confirmation that Bernard killed Elsie (Shannon Woodward). Is that the right read?
- SW: (Laughs) Let me refer you to your earlier question about Lost. There's a form of storytelling that I happen to be somewhat partial to, which embraces the thrill of ambiguity. So I will only say this: I will answer your question with this question. Are we in fact sure that that was Elsie?