Warning: Spoilers for Westworld Season 2's premiere.
The season 2 premiere of Westworld has finally hinted at the location of the titular theme park, revealing that the vast landscape is located on an island. While questions surrounding the android hosts' sentience, memory, and free will dominated the first season of HBO's hit series, fans were also thrown for a loop regarding the logistics and setting of the park itself.
The Westworld park is a sprawling environment of roughly 500 square miles that replicates the natural setting of the 19th century American Southwest. But is it actually in the United States or is it artificially created, like the humans and animals that inhabit it? By the conclusion of season 1, the series had dropped the bombshell that Westworld is only one of six theme parks owned by the Delos Corporation. The second park, Shogun World, was hinted at in the season 1 finale, and from the trailer will factor into season 2. In addition, the appearance of a tiger in Westworld offers a clue as to what Park 6 could be. However, the question remains as to what place could possibly hold six massive theme parks which feature radically different environments.
Though the series depicts multiple timelines, the events that are considered "the present" in Westworld are set in 2052 - which is far enough in our future that different kinds of science fiction concepts could come into play regarding how and where the parks were built. Popular fan theories posited that Delos built their exclusive getaway destination on another planet, under a dome beneath the sea, or even within the American Southwest itself. Regardless, we know that guests, who pay upwards of $40,000 a day to vacation in Westworld, arrive and exit the park via a train to the Mesa Hub control center.
"Journey Into Night" offered more concrete evidence if the park's location: Westworld is, in fact, on an island, according to Delos' Head of Operations Karl Stand, as he speaks to authorities about the company's ownership of the landmass. To make that clear, the scene has Delos representatives arriving at Westworld by sea.
However, this revelation opens up a lot of new questions: How big is this island? Is it artificial, or has the island been completely terraformed (after all, the island is big enough where the late Dr. Robert Ford planned to construct a new sea)? Also, where is the island situated? The implication is that it's somewhere in the East, perhaps in the vast Pacific Ocean. While it's likely Westworld takes place on Earth since it's set only 34 years in our future, this is still a sci-fi series, so the possibility that the island is located on another planet can't be entirely ruled out until the series confirms Earth definitively - if it ever does.
Why the guests arrive in Westworld by train and where the train travels to in order to return paying customers back to the real world is something else to speculate over. Does that train actually travel beneath the ocean from the mainland, or do guests arrive by air or by sea to the island and then take a train to the Mesa Hub, only to board a 19th century-style locomotive to begin their vacation in the park? No matter how they embark on their stay, in order to maintain Westworld's secrets and isolation, it seems like the entitled 1% who can afford to visit the park certainly jump through a lot of hoops for the privilege.
Westworld airs Sundays @ 9 PM on HBO.