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"It doesn’t cater to your lowest self, it reveals your deepest self. It shows you who you really are."
-William, to Dolores

William is one of the main characters of the Westworld series. He is a first time guest to the park. He arrives with Westworld veteran, co-worker, and soon to be brother-in-law, Logan. William is played by Jimmi Simpson. Before arriving at Westworld, Logan decided to make William an EVP (Executive Vice President) at Delos. In the first season finale, William is revealed to be a younger version of the Man in Black.

The Man in Black William is a Westworld veteran, having visited the park for 30 years. He believes that the park's co-creator, Arnold, hid some mystery in the park before he died 34 years earlier. In "The Bicameral Mind", William reveals that he is the majority shareholder of Westworld, thus, in effect, owning the theme park. He is portrayed by Ed Harris.

He is on first name terms with Dr. Robert Ford; in the episode "Contrapasso" he greets Ford by saying, "How'm I doin', Robert?" Likewise, in "The Bicameral Mind", Ford greets him with, "Hello, William."

Background

William

Delos is Logan's family business which is headed by his father. William works at Delos. He is engaged to Logan's sister, Juliet. Logan makes William an EVP (Executive Vice President - it is possible for a large company to have a team of EVPs). Logan and William go on a trip to Westworld together.

Man in Black

As the Man in Black, William says he has been visiting Westworld for thirty years. He wants to visit the deeper levels of the game he believes is hidden in the park. He says he regularly visits Dolores Abernathy, a host who lives on the outskirts of Sweetwater. Among other hosts within the park, he has made acquaintances with Teddy Flood and Lawrence.[1]

The Man in Black is a wealthy person outside Westworld, wealthy enough to operate a foundation and to be recognized by other guests in the park. However, he does not like having his vacation interrupted by guests who recognize him (or anyone else, like Charlotte Hale).

Season One

"The Original"

The younger William did not appear in this episode.

On one of his many visits to the park, the Man in Black has the intentions of finally reaching the deeper levels of Westworld. He pays a visit to Dolores one last time, killing Teddy Flood in the process. On a later day, he visits the Mariposa Saloon to meet Kissy, a card dealer. At nighttime, he sneaks up on Kissy and slits his throat, rendering him powerless, and quietly drags him away to the mountains. There, after explaining his intentions to find the truth of Westworld and its deeper game, the Man scalps the host. On the inside of the host's scalp, he finds a map for an unknown maze.[1]

"Chestnut"

William comes to Westworld with Logan, who he disapproves because he comes to the park for a good time and has little interest in the role playing. William meets Dolores.

Clifton-Collins-Jr-and-Ed-Harris-in-Westworld

Man in Black tows Lawrence back to his hometown

On his journey, the Man in Black halts a hanging proceedings for Lawrence by killing all the men in the area. He greets his old acquaintance, who has no recollection of ever meeting him before. He uses Lawrence's bonds to tie him to the horse and he's dragged away to the town where he originated from. In order to learn more about the maze in the deepest part of the Westworld game, the Man in Black threatens Lawrence's family. He quickly shoots down all the host attackers, who are unable to kill him and then kills Lawrence's Wife to add to the persuasion. Eventually, the gunslinger receives what seems to be a message via Lawrence's Daughter (the host is not in character when she delivers the message), which provides him with information on how he can reach the maze. Taking Lawrence with him, he departs from the town.[2]

"The Stray"

William convinces a reluctant Logan to go on a bounty hunt. While he and Logan are sitting next to a campfire, a disoriented Dolores stumbles into William's arms.

"Dissonance Theory"

Logan wants to finish the bounty hunt and mocks William for bringing along Dolores.

"Contrapasso"

Logan and william

William and Logan argue

William, Logan, and Dolores travel to the town of Pariah, where they meet the criminal gang leader, El Lazo. El Lazo tasks them with stealing explosives from a Union wagon and they successfully complete the mission. But as William, Logan, and Dolores are distracted at the Brothel in Pariah, El Lazo steals the explosives for himself and orders the Confederado's nitroglycerin bottles filled with tequila. Meanwhile inside the brothel, William pulls Logan aside and says he doesn’t want to go on the War story line with Logan. Logan suggests that William could just kill all of the Confederados if he doesn't like them, and then join the Revolutionaries. William stands firm, and Logan chides him for being upset at killing an unarmed man and not being able to call himself a hero anymore. Logan says there are no heroes and no villains. Logan tells William that he only gave him the EVP (Executive Vice President) promotion because William will "never be a threat to anyone". Logan also says that he thinks that Juliet chose William for the same reason.

Dolores William Kiss

William and Dolores kiss.

Later, Logan is outside when the Confederados find out that the nitroglycerin has been stolen. When they realize this, the outlaws beat up Logan. Although William sees Logan in need of help, he decides to leave him behind. William and Dolores flee, even as Logan is yelling for help. After William and Dolores jump onto a moving train, they find El Lazo and his friend Slim's corpse filled with nitroglycerin.

"The Adversary"

William does not appear in this episode.

"Trompe L'Oeil"

"It doesn’t cater to your lowest self, it reveals your deepest self. It shows you who you really are."
-William, to Dolores

On the train, William plays cards with El Lazo and Dolores stares out the window, bitter after El Lazo’s betrayal. Dolores notices staked heads lining the tracks and El Lazo explains they’re in "Ghost Nation" territory; "the most savage tribe there is."

Dolores tells William she does not want to go back to her old life. William opens up about his search for meaning in the park. Struggling with his feelings, William tells Dolores about his fiancée back home; Dolores is hurt by the news and exits the train car. William goes after her, asking: "How can I go back to pretending when I know what this feels like?" He kisses her and they make love.

The next morning, William tells Dolores he doesn’t regret the previous night -- he believes she unlocked something in him. Dolores shares a new sketch: "the place where the mountains meet the sea." She says it is something she's made up, not like her other paintings which have all been things she's seen.

The train lurches to a halt and El Lazo looks out to see they’re surrounded by Confederados with heavy artillery. Under fire, a man on a horse rides from the train carrying a white flag. On closer inspection, the man is Slim’s nitro-filled corpse, which El Lazo shoots to ignite. The confusion created by the explosion allow for El Lazo, William and Dolores to ride off, through Ghost Nation territory. The Confederados pursue them and run straight into the Ghost Nation warriors, giving William, Dolores, and El Lazo time to escape. Clear of danger, Dolores stops William at a beautiful landscape -- the one from her dreams. Exhausted from fighting, the couple choose to part ways with El Lazo.

"Trace Decay"

William and Dolores travel until they come across a riverbank littered with corpses. William recognizes them as Confederados, and Dolores finds a young one still alive, but injured. William reluctantly hands over their canteen of water for the Confederado host to drink from. He asks the Confederado whether they were part of the group that attacked the train, and after confirming this the Confederado reveals that a new recruit from Pariah tipped them off about the train and told them to kill everyone on it. William deduces that it was Logan.

Dolores wants to help the injured soldier but William refuses, as he was sent to kill them. Dolores chides him for his attitude, and goes to fetch water, leaving William to watch the Confederado. As she returns, the Confederado dies. It's not clear if William killed him or not.

The two finally arrive at Dolores' "home", an empty strip of land containing a single metal tower: the remnant of a church. William is confused, but Dolores goes to stand by the tower. She experiences a memory and holds a gun to her head, and William rushes over to take it from her. She breaks down, saying that she doesn't know what's real anymore. William decides to take her back to Sweetwater, fearing for her sanity. They are suddenly surrounded by a group of Confederados led by Logan, who cheerfully tells them that they are "so fucked".[3]

"The Well-Tempered Clavier"

William and Dolores are held captive in the Confederado camp, with William tied to a chair and gagged. Logan removes the gag and William asks him to help get Dolores out of the the park, because she is different from the rest of the hosts. Logan scoffs at this, saying William probably isn't the first to fall in love with a host and delude himself into thinking they're real. He chides William for forgetting about his fiancée, and decides to show him the truth.

He grabs Dolores while William protests and stabs her in the stomach, opening her up while she screams to show her mechanical insides. William stares at her, and Dolores sees the mechanics and is shocked. She falls to the ground, and Logan stands over her. They exchange words, and Dolores grabs a knife and slashes Logan across the face, then finds a gun and shoots a few Confederados. William tells her to run, and that he will find her. She makes her escape.

Later on William asks Logan if they've found Dolores, and Logan says no. He asks William if he realizes that the park isn't real, and William says he does. Logan cuts William free, and professes his affection for him. They embrace.

The next morning Logan wakes to find that William has dismembered all the Confederados during the night. From the body parts on view, it's obvious that the hosts in this time-frame are electro-mechanical. Still holding the knife, William tells Logan that he is no longer in charge, and that he is going to help him find Dolores. He pushes Logan to the ground and holds the knife to his throat, telling him to stop calling him "Billy". He gets up and leaves Logan on the ground.[4] |}

Old William
Testing

Personality

William has a strong moral compass and inquisitive mind. While at Westworld, Williams shows respect toward all of the hosts and is eager to learn more about the story lines.

As William gets more frustrated with Logan's behavior, he is forced to make difficult decisions that conflict with his moral compass.

William seems to be more interested in the narratives of Westworld than most people who visit the park.

Over the course of the first season, William begins to become affected by the experiences in the park. He is at first hesitant to kill hosts; and his first kill during a shootout in town is only to save a whore whom he befriended in a previous episode. His second kill isn't until much later during the nitroglycerin robbery and deeply upsets him. He starts to become more violent due to his frustrations with Logan and his infatuation with Dolores (and by proxy his need to be "the hero").

This eventually, after Logan cuts Dolores open to show William her mechanical innards, results in William dismembering and butchering an entire battalion of host soldiers in the night. After this event, he becomes obsessed with "saving" Dolores, to the point that he begins to gun down and brutally kill other hosts in the park (even to the extent that Logan becomes disgusted by the violence).

William also potentially leaves Logan to die, alone and naked, strapped to a saddle. He sees this act of brutality as necessary, so as to gain more control in the park (as William is marrying into Logan's family, and thus William could take more control from Logan).

All these events (the violence he committed, the obsession with Dolores, his failure to be "the hero" he wanted to be, and the overall brutality in the park) lead to William finally 'snapping' and becoming the cruel and sadistic Man in Black. In the real world, he assumes the role of a kindhearted, charitable philanthropist, but while in the park gives in to his baser urges.

Relationships

Logan

William and Logan have a strained relationship. They seem to be friends by circumstance; soon to be brother-in-laws and co-workers. Personality-wise, William is a foil of Logan. In Westworld, William earnestly tries to learn more about the hosts and story lines. Logan does not care for them at all because he's only interested in drinking, killing hosts and host prostitutes. Eventually the conflicting nature of the two comes to a dangerous ending - William, fully embracing the brutality of the park in his narrow minded quest to save Dolores, potentially leaves Logan to die, strapped naked and alone to the saddle of a horse.

Dolores Abernathy

William and Dolores are attracted to one another and their relationship continues to grow as they work together. They do not hesitate to defend each other when in times of danger. William shows great concern for her well being, deciding to help get her out of the park. However, his love for Dolores eventually becomes an obsession; he begins to narrow-mindedly search for Dolores to save her, even at the cost of his own morality. Eventually, Dolores is reset after the events with William, and her inability to remember William results in his becoming the cruel and sadistic Man in Black; a cynical, jaded man. After this event, he still recognizes Dolores as something he wants to save; but sees her more as a pawn now to explore the deeper meaning of the maze.

Lawrence

Lawrence Pedro Maria Gonzalez, or "El Lazo" met William during the episode, Trompe L'Oeil. William and Lawrence have had many 'adventures' together.

Appearances

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 The Original
  2. Chestnut
  3. "Trace Decay"
  4. "The Well-Tempered Clavier"

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