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Westworld’s Elaborate Season 2 Spoiler Prank Video Is So, So Good

Yesterday, the internet was taken aback when one of the most deliberately mysterious shows on television made a strange proposition: Westworld’s showrunners offered to give up all of season 2’s twists and turns ahead of time, in an effort to avoid trouble with spoilers. If your money was on that being an elaborate prank, congratulations, you’ve already been right about one part of Westworld season 2 before it even airs.

Jonathan Nolan commented in a Reddit AMA that he and co-showrunner Lisa Joy were considering posting a video of all the spoilers, with the intent that the fans who want spoilers ahead of time would then be able to protect those who don’t as fan theories start to fly. He cited Game of Thrones and how book readers, who knew what to expect, did the same for their fellow fans (until the show passed the books, that is).

This drew a strong reaction from fans, ranging from those who just flat out thought it could result in malicious fans spoiling things for others to those who thought it was out of character to just give everything away, in a video, up front without at least making people hunt for it. Then, there were theories floated that the video would be a ruse that would seem to give things away but turn out misleading in the end, rebutted by fans who were pretty sure Nolan and Joy wouldn’t toy with them like that.

As it turns out, they wouldn’t, but they’re not above a more straightforward prank, as seen in the video they ultimately released, above. If you didn’t watch it yet, do that before reading any further, and just … wait for it.

robot hand tapping fingers

Yes, they pulled off a Rickroll of unprecedented proportions. The video, titled “Westworld Season 2 — A Primer,” starts off looking like your average piece of Westworld material, featuring Bernard (Jeffrey Wright), Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood), Clementine (Angela Sarafyan), a bunch of other, motionless hosts, and of course, an unsettling realization as a recognizable piano cover sets in. But this time, it’s Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up,” played by Sarafyan and sung by Wood. It’s a perfect combination of the long-running internet gag and the show’s style.

That’s followed by a message thanking fans, and then over twenty minutes of a dog, sitting at a piano, listening to the series’ theme music—waiting way more patiently than we are for season 2 to start on April 22.

(via Nerdist, image: screengrab)

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Dan is a video game modding hobbyist and secret ninja who lives in North Carolina with his wife, Lisa Brown, and his dog, Liz Lemon, both of whom are the best.