Last night’s episode of Westworld was all about returns. Bernard returned to the park and Maeve, our queen, returned to the game. It was a fun, almost self-contained episode that saw both of our hosts with hearts trying to navigate new worlds and question the nature of their reality, but it also contained a surprising and fun crossover with another HBO show you might know.
We’ve known since season one that Westworld was the original park, but not the only Delos destination available for guests who wanted to live without limits. We visited park 2, Shogun World, in season two, as well as The Raj, a take on colonial India. This year we were teased at San Diego Comic Con with a fourth location, a park set in World War 2.
This park, it turns out is called “Warworld” and the version of it Maeve woke up wasn’t actually real—it was a simulation created to test her and find out where The Forge’s data had been sent to. But Maeve had no idea where that data went, and being asked helped her realize she was in a simulation, which she then hacked her way out of. (I love Maeve).
While we knew Warworld was on the horizon, we didn’t know that we’d ben visiting a second new park this episode, or at least the underground operations center for it. Bernard, along with Ashley Stubbs, stepped behind the scenes of park four. (Stubbs, as many had suspected, had been a host all along, programed and planted by Ford.)
And what was park four? Medieval world! Well, something like it. It looks like it’s a park dedicated to fantasy in the genre sense, with swords, knights, nobles, and bards. All that great stuff. And a dragon who looked very familiar to HBO fans.
Yes, that was Drogon from Game of Thrones snoozing in an enclosure. But there’s actually more to the moment. The techs that were talking about rumors of a wealthy Costa Rican buyer for the dragon? Those were Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss!
In the behind the scenes extras available on HBOGo after the episode, the Westworld showrunners confessed that the Game of Thrones captains were big Westworld fans and so they worked then into the episode and were also allowed to use their dragon. Well, the digital assets of the dragon at least.
The surprise inclusion of Medieval World wasn’t just an opportunity for an HBO easter egg though, it harkened back to the original Westworld movie from 1973. In that film, which also involved the host robots uprising to kill the guests, there were three “worlds”: West World, Roman World and Medieval World. It was actually in Medieval World that the hosts first started killing guests in that original movie.
Now that the Delos Destinations menu is almost entirely filled in, the only remaining mystery park is park five. Could it be Roman World? If so, I hope that we get another HBO crossover if we visit and someone from Rome stops by to say hello.
(via io9, image: HBO)
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