In Westworld episode 1.05 (Contrapasso) viewers begin to see how Arnold's reveries work to slingshot consciousness, as Dolores continues to "remember" the past.

But in some sequences, it appears that in the past, Dolores is also "remembering" the future and not the other way around! She has several conversations with young William (or Billy) that show the audience that she is "lost in her thoughts and/or time" (definition of what a reverie can be), but also seems to be able to recognize concepts of the "real world" when William speaks about it, in which she should not be able to do. In each era Dolores is in, feels like she exists in time slips.

However, in another scene set in the past Dolores sees herself walking in a crowd and begins to follow herself (a reverie in a reverie?).

So my question is, what exactly is going on here? Are Dolores' memories semi-faulty with the code creating some improve to the memories she has access to or was she in fact remembering the future, suggesting something else (predetermined universe or some kind of time travel) is at play here?

  • how far into the series have you watched?
    – Luciano
    Aug 7, 2019 at 8:03
  • I have seen both seasons, but I haven't watched in a while & am currently rewatching. But it seems like there R things that are debatable, like Ford taking credit for Arnold's work (because Ford says a lot of different things to different people/hosts), or Dolores acting out Wyatt's backstory (given to Teddy) in season two, when allegedly she had found the center of her maze already. I'm just trying to figure out if her memory has improve or not, or if things in the past actually happened that way, seeing the actual future in some cases, along with perhaps other past selves? Aug 7, 2019 at 13:01
  • I know Bernard has time slips too, (and I'm not quite at season 2 yet), but for some reason I thought his were filmed a little differently and didn't rely on memory so far into the past and I don't recall a scene where it seemed like he saw the future, as much as he saw and repeated the past, but maybe my memory is faulty!;) Aug 7, 2019 at 13:13
  • 2
    I don't think either of them sees the future, it's just we are not shown events in a linear chronological order. If I remember correctly from season 2, it's quite confusing indeed. For example, Man in Black and James Delos... I think more will be / needs to be clarified in season 3.
    – Luciano
    Aug 7, 2019 at 13:41
  • 1
    I need to rewatch all of it too, but I think you might get a slightly more clear answer for Dolores memories on season 2. I need to rewatch it to be sure.
    – Luciano
    Aug 7, 2019 at 15:32

1 Answer 1


Westworld is a mind-f*ck of a show, let's be clear about that.

One thing to bear in mind is that Dolores is an artificial being (no kidding, right?).

So it's hard to classify her "recollections" as "memories" for a couple of reasons.

  • Her programming:
    Part of hosts' programming is the bicameral mind to be receptive to programmers' new instructions as voices in their head coming from gods.

  • Her realizations:
    She slowly realizes that the voices she hears were not Arnold's but her own.

  • Updated code:
    As she accepts those memories and realizations, it introduces new changes to her programming. Think of Robocop rebelling against his prime directives to transcend what he was initially programmed to do and regain part of Alex Murphy and become something else altogether

There is the concept of perception vs reality. Obviously, Dolores lives within a fabricated reality but Arnold and Ford both prepared her to evolve beyond her initial limitations and give her a hand in modifying her destiny.

  • 2
    Even this is debatable IMO, because we know now that characters like Bernard can have "Arnold's memories" and therefor human memories can be turned into code, leading also then to the notion of "clone hosts" introduced in the second season. For all intended purposes, the hosts still have "memory", even if it's not processed or comes to exist the exact same way as human memory, it is needed for hosts to reach the center of their maze and allegedly reach "consciousness"... Sep 29, 2019 at 23:54

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .