There's nothing creating discussion on television right now quite like HBO's Westworld. Created by Jonathan Nolan (The Dark Knight) and Lisa Joy, the series is based off the 1973 film of the same name. It tells the story of a highly sophisticated western-themed amusement park, where guests pay to interact with the fictional land known as Westworld. The guests of the park are given the freedom to do whatever they want, whenever they want, without repercussions.
With the season's penultimate episode getting ready to air, anticipation over what could happen is building. The first season has featured a wealth of twists and turns. Many of those twists have already altered the future for several primary characters, and a new look at 'The Well-Tempered Clavier' suggests the hour will be focused on a few fan favorites.
Courtesy of HBO, these new photos offer a glimpse at Dolores Abernathy (Evan Rachel Wood), who may or may not be on her way to the entrance of the maze. The images also offer look at the recently self-aware Maeve (Thandie Newton), as well as Dr. Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins) and Bernard Lowe (Jeffrey Wright), the park's creator and the right-hand man he created. Take a look below:
[vn_gallery name="Westworld Character Images From Episode 9" id="849012"]
The images are tantalizingly vague, which should come as no surprise given how close the season is to reaching its conclusion. The series has made a name for itself as a giant puzzle box, generating a lasting fan discussion on the internet during the long wait between episodes. That's a rare thing for television these days, as there is so much for viewers to consume that finding a show capable of holding so many fans' attention and encouraging them to search for clues -- sometimes in earnest, sometimes not -- makes the show an even more likely successor to Game of Thrones. Whether or not the series will reach the same level of critical and commercial success as HBO's other big-budget adaptation remains to be seen, but in just one season, Nolan and Joy's tricky little series may have come close to passing its predecessor in terms of elaborate fan theories.
Those theories are likely to continue, as HBO recently renewed Westworld for season 2 -- although that probably didn't come as shock to anyone. Even the pilot episode's strong critical reception made it fairly obvious that the series had a bright future ahead. Let's hope the finale does the same.
Westworld continues this Sunday at 9pm on HBO.