Is Charlotte Really Charlie?
One of the most intriguing theories concerning Bernard goes back to Westworld Season 1. It revolves around his "cornerstone", which is the death of his son Charlie. Ford created this memory as an homage to his friend Arnold's own tragedy. The death of Charlie played an important role in defining and anchoring Bernard's reality - at least, the reality where he believes that he walking around as the human Bernard Lowe. But Charlie only appears briefly in a handful of episodes, and not much is revealed about his history. Already, there is this element of mystery behind the life and death of Bernard's son.
It's the introduction of Charlotte Hale that kicks this theory into high gear. Since this is a show about identity and reality, some fans questioned if Charlotte Hale is really Charlie - Arnold's daughter - as an adult. Initially, the theory was mainly powered by "Charlie" being a common nickname for Charlotte, but Season 2 has deepened things. When Grace is revealed to be the Man in Black's daughter Emily during “Riddle of the Sphinx”, it's clear parental lines are a key thematic area.
Did Bernard Make A New Charlie?
In "The Riddle of The Sphinx", Bernard has a memory that he printed another body and made another red sphere. The red sphere contains the conscious of some mysterious person. Following on from Charlie as a focal point, what if the new body and mind are for Charlie?
One of the recurring themes of this season are parents reuniting with their parents: Maeve is on a quest to find her daughter; Dolores found Peter Abernathy; and the Man in Black has reunited with his daughter Emily. It thus wouldn't be out of the question that this red sphere is a way for Bernard to get his son back. Season 2 is all about Delos looking for a way to become immortal. What if Ford figured out how to solve the Cognitive Plateau that caused James Delos to malfunction 149 times and wants to give back to Bernard for all of his help around the park?
Throughout Season 1, Charlie's background tied into several meanings behind the designs and programs of the hosts: his favorite song was "Reverie" from Claude Debussy and his favorite toy was the ball in the maze. Ford spoke about famous artists live on through their works, and children are a way for parents to continue their legacies. Whatever happens, Charlie looks to be the key.
Westworld airs Sundays at 9pm on HBO.