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Most of the story is about two people reading each other diary, which is itself conceived as a "trap" or a "trick" for the other magician.

It is possible indeed that the "duplicating" machine is not some Tesla apparatus, but, again, just a MacGuffin for the other magician.

Do we have evidences that the "clones" are actually clones and not puppets? The scene with the clone is part of the diary narrative; the same goes for the whole Tesla scene.

What is outside the diary "meta"?

closed as too broad by Paulie_D, A J, Gustavo Gabriel, mattiav27, Panther Aug 27 '17 at 10:02

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    If you start to doubt one of the major parts of any fictional narrative, then the whole point of engaging with the story falls apart. There's literally no evidence to doubt that the events shown on the screen from the diary narrative are somehow more fake than the remainder of the story. – iandotkelly Aug 25 '17 at 13:19
  • I am not doubting it, I am just asking how deep is the "trick". What part is in the diary meta? What is outside? Each diary is written explicitly for the "enemy". – pazqo Aug 25 '17 at 13:25
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    People always wrongly use: MacGuffin. – LeonX Aug 25 '17 at 13:27
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    The scene where Angiers shoots clone Angiers, and his surprise during that scene, should reveal to you that the clones are actually alive. Also note that when he is performing the trick live, clone Angiers gets to live, and original Angiers gets drowned to death. If your theory is true, then the last Angiers we see is a puppet of a puppet of a puppet of a puppet of ... And that doesn't make sense. If clone Angiers is functionally equivalent to original Angiers, that makes him a clone by definition of the word. – Flater Aug 25 '17 at 14:01
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"Do we have evidences that the "clones" are actually clones and not puppets? The scene with the clone is part of the diary narrative; the same goes for the whole Tesla scene."

The very last scene is not part of the diary "meta", and we clearly see a room full of water-filled boxes with a clone inside.

I think it's pretty clear that the clones are, in fact, clones.

  • Actually, we only see boxes full of realistic bodies. It's more the hat field which is out of the meta (while it was just part of the narrative before). – pazqo Aug 25 '17 at 13:58
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    @pazqo: Your argument would require the machine to actually teleport the real Angiers. If that is the case, there is no need to create a puppet at the original location and then seemingly drown it to death. The drowning is not part of the trick, no one sees it happen. – Flater Aug 25 '17 at 14:04
  • @Flater .... I agree with you, completely - but in the spirit of the question - there is a small chance that the 'bodies' are there to prove to Borden that he's capable of 'getting his hands dirty'. They are a trick directed not at the crowd but at Borden - particularly given the history of the drowning of Angier's wife. I think its a very convoluted and unlikely argument though. – iandotkelly Aug 25 '17 at 14:18
  • @iandotkelly: But why shoot the first clone (before the performances)? That scene proves that the clones are alive. If we start questioning the things we see happen, then anything is possible. Thus basically turning this question into Russel's teapot. – Flater Aug 25 '17 at 14:23
  • @Flater ... I agree - as I said as a comment to the question. If you start to doubt the scenes that are 'flashbacks' as reading the diary then almost everything can be assumed to be fake. Yes, there are 'red herrings' in the diaries - like the TESLA left by Borden that ironically leads Angier to Colorado and a real device, but I don't think we are ever shown anything that is later proven to be false. – iandotkelly Aug 25 '17 at 14:32
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This doesn't necessary prove that there are clones, but as source material, it may help someone be swayed in that direction. The Prestige is based the novel of the same name by Christopher Priest.

From Wikipedia - The Prestige Novel:

Blockquote "The duplicate Angier, alienated from the world by his ghostly form, discovers Borden's secret. He attacks one of the twins before a performance. However, Borden's apparent poor health and the duplicate Angier's sense of morality prevent the assault from becoming murder. It is implied that this particular Borden dies a few days later, and the incorporeal Angier travels to meet the corporeal Angier, now living as the 14th Earl of Colderdale. They obtain Borden's diary and publish it without revealing the twins' secret. Shortly afterwards, the corporeal Angier dies and his ghostly clone uses Tesla's device to teleport himself into the body, hoping that either he will reanimate it and be whole again, or kill himself instantly. It is revealed in the final chapter that some form of Angier has continued to survive to the present day."

The Prestige Novel - Wikipedia

Although this is not the exact narrative, the wikipedia entry explicitly sites the words duplicate & clones in relation to a "corporeal" Angier, but it does sound like the novel version may offer more of an astral projection as opposed to to a flesh and blood duplicate, although seemingly one is made at the end of the novel.

Westworld: As a side note, Jonathan Nolan (Christopher Nolan's brother) whom often co-writes with Christopher on many films, is now an Executive Producer and writer of the TV remake of HBO's Westworld.

Famous Line From The Prestige: "Every magic trick consists of three parts, or acts. The first part is called the pledge, the magician shows you something ordinary. The second act is called the turn, the magician takes the ordinary something and makes it into something extraordinary. But you wouldn't clap yet, because making something disappear isn't enough. You have to bring it BACK. Now you're looking for the secret. But you won't find it because of course, you're not really looking. You don't really want to work it out. You want to be fooled."

A Line From Westworld (Dr. Ford)- "Everything in this world is magic... except to the magician."

Westworld is about "androids" in a theme park, whom discover by a narrative written from the Park's creator, Dr. Ford, that they are androids and begin to "wake up". The ideas (and even some terminology) of Dr. Ford is similar to concepts presented in the Prestige, as Ford has "recreated" his whole family (including a child version of himself) as androids hidden in the park ("The Adversary"). And parallels can be made with 'the rivalry' Ford has with Delos Board Members and his partner Bernard with Angier and Bordan/Twin. (Note: The word Rivalry is another way to to discuss/say Adversary).

So although "clones" or "duplicated" have not yet been fully disclosed, it is possible that there are androids in the park that have real-world-human counterparts and I wouldn't be surprised if we learn that there may be "multiples" of some models in later seasons. It seems to coincidental that Westworld is borrowing pages from the Prestige and wouldn't be as relevant if The Prestige didn't include it's double twist with real clone duplicates of Angier.

Ford and child host

Ford's Android Family Opening of Ford Child Android Host

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