Is Bernard a host or a human or something else? After a season and half of Westworld, there is one pivotal character that appears to be the key to understanding the mysteries of the show; Bernard Lowe is the little piece of a much larger puzzle. But how?
Season 1's shocking twist was that Bernard was actually a host replica of Park creator Arnold. Now, as Westworld Season 2 approaches its mid-season episode, Bernard continues to play a central role in understanding how we perceive reality as he shifts through different timelines.
Showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy know their fans love dissecting every single scene, something they've really steered into with Bernard in Season 2. Ever since he woke up on the beach in the first scene in Season 2, his confusion (along with the audiences) has been central to understanding how the timelines connect. Eagle-eyed fans are examining every move Bernard makes and conjuring their own theories about who or what he is. So let's take a look at some of the best theories surrounding Bernard (or is he Arnold)?
- This Page: Is Bernard Really A Host?
- Page 2: Is Bernard's Son (Or Daughter) The Key?
Bernard Is Actually A Clone
Even though Westworld Season 1 seemed to resolve Bernard's nature, a lot of Season 2 has thrown that for a loop, with a popular theory being that we're dealing with multiple Bernards. This idea stems from the two main timelines in Westworld Season 2: Present Day and Two Weeks Ago. An easy way to decipher which Bernard is in which timeline is by looking at his suits; Present Bernard is wearing a grey suit, while Past Bernard is wearing a dark suit. However, it's been suggested that the Bernard hanging out with Charlotte Hale in the past is actually a clone.
This idea actually predates Season 2's premiere. In one of the trailers, there's a shot of Charlotte standing in front of three different versions of Bernard, as well as a mechanical host with the creepy mouth that looks just like Bernard implying that Ford was working on a host during the time before the current park opened.
Now that the show's out, the plot has thickened. We've learned that not only was Delos interested in creating robots, they wanted to manufacture clones. Each clone would carry the memories from the previous clone. An example of this happening may have occurred during the cave scene where Bernard finds Elsie he starts to have memories of finding the hidden lab and creating a new host, but are these memories his?
Bernard Is Evolving Into Arnold
Whose consciousness is in the red ball is sparking several theories. Some fans believe it holds the mind for young William, while others think it signifies that Robert Ford is coming back to the park. But some fans are pointing towards Bernard, suggesting he is actually evolving into Arnold. This could explain why he's been glitching very much like James Delos, and why some of his memories come back after Elsie and Bernard find Delos still alive in the fishbowl room where the Man in Black left him to suffer.
What this implies is that when Bernard is found on the beach, it's really Arnold Weber with a brand new body. This not only explains his complete disorientation, but also a key aesthetic change: future Bernard has no scar on his temple. The Bernard two weeks prior has the wound where he shot himself in the head in Season 1, whereas the one on the beach does not.
Of course, the question is why Ford would do this to Arnold? What is his motivation to bring back his oldest friend? As interesting as this theory sounds, it doesn't coincide with Ford's love of the past.