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It has been revealed in episode 9 of Westworld that;

...Bernard is actually a host 'resurrection' of Arnold, made in his likeness.

This is confirmed through the photograph and flashbacks of Dolores talking to him in the secret basement of the hidden home.

But, given the fact that all the employees speak of and semi-mythologise Arnold, why is it that

No one seems to have noticed that Bernard looks exactly like him? We know there is documentation and photos of Arnold (Ford has one), so given that Bernard is seemingly free to come and go as he pleases why would no one from the 'real world' recognise him as Arnold's Doppelganger? If Bernard never rotates out of the facility, why has no-one noticed he doesn't ever leave? the picture of Ford, his father and Bernard would indicate that the Bernard/Arnold host has been knocking around the facility for a long time (The flashback of Ford activating the machine looks like a much younger Ford, I'd speculate 20 years younger minimum). Are we really to believe that Charlotte Hale, a board member, has no idea what Arnold looks like?

Has the show addressed this glaring plot hole at any previous point?

Given the events of S02E02, I'm opening this one straight back up wth a bounty attached. Arnold was clearly not a reclusive, he should be recognisable to outside interests: and yet still is only known as 'Bernard' by external forces in Season 2. Are there any interesting theories why?

  • 2
    This has been asked over on Sci-Fi too, but slightly differently.... could anyone comment/include the fact he never rotates out? Commented Nov 30, 2016 at 23:11
  • Do we have any information that any of the staff would have known Arnold in the first place? Everything they've said about Arnold is that he's extremely reclusive. If his back story matches Bernard's (which is implied in episode 9), it seems that his sorrow may have cause him to shut himself away with his deathless creations and ceased to interact with humans. But that's only conjecture.
    – Catija
    Commented Nov 30, 2016 at 23:48
  • Also, I like the title phrasing over on SFF better... this one implies that there's something going on with Bernard while that one could refer to any time in the show.
    – Catija
    Commented Nov 30, 2016 at 23:58
  • 1
    I think the timeline is vital here. It's probable that Arnold died while the park was in its infancy. There were either no employees at that time, or Ford fired them all. So no one would know what Arnold looked like. That, or every other employee is also a Host.
    – Tim
    Commented Dec 1, 2016 at 2:53
  • 1
    When Ford activates Bernard for the first time he says "After such a long absence, it's good to have you back." And the Ford we see looks only a bit younger than present-Ford. This suggests to me Ford waited quite a while before making Bernard.
    – Oliver_C
    Commented Dec 12, 2016 at 18:33

4 Answers 4


(I'll just copy/paste my answer from the SFF question here.)

After Arnold's death, all records of him were purged by Delos. Most people don't know who he was, much less how he looked. There is only one photo of Arnold remaining: The one Ford keeps with him as a memento, which he shows to Bernard early on.

In episode 2, Logan mentions a founder who died in the park, talking about his death as if it's a myth. He doesn't know the founder was named Arnold, and his lawyers looked thoroughly through Delos's records, and couldn't find any proof of Arnold's existence or death. If we believe the theories about multiple timeframes (which I certainly do after the two most recent episodes):

This conversation probably occured about 5 years after Arnold's death, and he was already mythical and forgotten. The "present day" is then 30 additional years after this.

The simplest assumption, then, is that nobody currently working at Delos has worked there for 30–35 years, since otherwise some things would easily come to light. I can't recall seeing any employees there who are old enough to have worked there that long, either – except possibly Theresa if we stretch assumptions a bit, but we know she hasn't been there long, although she does know about Arnold (she mentioned him in her lunch with Ford, if I'm not mistaken).

So it does seem that Delos, prior to being bought out by the Man in Black (who also knows about Arnold, but he learned about him from the hosts, who retain knowledge about him through the programming he did), did succeed in scrubbing Arnold's existence from their records, and that Ford is the only remaining employee from that time.

  • this isn't answering the question I ask here though, hence why the question is not quite a duplicate (and can't accept a dupe answer); the question here isn't about Arnold ... it's about Bernard... has he never 'cycled out'? has no-one noticed? Commented Dec 3, 2016 at 22:48
  • 3
    @JohnSmithOptional Well, you do actually ask the same question, which I feel I've answered here… But you also ask why nobody has become suspicious of Bernard's behavior, regardless of the connection with Arnold. I don't really know the answer to that part of your question.
    – tobiasvl
    Commented Dec 3, 2016 at 22:57

Until they answer this it just seems like lazy writing in service of an (admittedly great) twist.

Even though the show says Arnold's involvement in the park was concealed after his death, there's a lot of people who seem to know about him. Logan knows about him as does Theresa. Ford mentions that his "business partners" scrubbed Arnold from the records which means that at least some people in Delos knew who he was and almost certainly what he looked like. It's pretty hard to believe that none of the important people from Delos dropped in for a visit and noticed that there was a robot version of Arnold running around.

Sure, Arnold died a long time ago and yes Delos did their best to scrub all elements of his memory from their records. Nevertheless, it would take a lot more than that to remove someone from existence. Based on the flashbacks, it seems like the park was started AT LEAST in modern times if not the near future. It's kind of hard to believe that a person wouldn't leave anything behind even if they aren't big social media users. Perhaps Arnold grew more reclusive but there's nothing to indicate that he was a virtual hermit who never left any evidence of his existence.

Do we really think there wouldn't be a single press release of Arnold in his early work in AI/robotics? Or maybe a faculty/staff picture when he was getting his degree or teaching at a university? Ford often acts in such mysterious ways that I can't really buy that no one there ever decided to Google his mysterious partner or the early days of the park.


The plain answer is that, with the knowledge currently available to the viewer, it is a glaring plot hole. No information has been offered to explain why Bernard doesn’t “rotate out”, nor to explain why no-one recognises that he looks identical to


However, the story is still ongoing, and the disjointed timeline of the show would easily permit an explanation being introduced in a later episode.

For example, it’s plausible that

everyone else knows that Bernard is a host, but that each time he finds out, he gets emotional enough to affect his productivity for a few days, so there’s an unspoken understanding that “we just don’t mention it”


Being that Barnard is controlled by Ford, I interpreted the necessary out of office times to be taken into account by Ford.

For example, during weekends/holidays, Ford may order Barnard to deactivate inside his living quarters.

Who would notice if he actually entered the park or not through the official exits and entrances?

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