Is Dolores Living in a Simulation in ‘Westworld,’ and Is It Futureworld?


Jul. 10 2022, Published 12:40 p.m. ET

Evan Rachel Wood in 'Westworld'
Source: John Johnson/HBO

Dolores is gone in Westworld… or is she? In Season 4 of the HBO drama, Evan Rachel Wood is playing a new character named Christina. But is Christina actually Dolores, and is Christina/Dolores living in a simulation?

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The Christina-in-a-simulation theory is especially compelling if you’ve seen The Matrix Resurrections, as Screen Rant points out. In that movie — spoilers ahead if you’ve not seen that fourth Matrix film — Neo is an employee for a video game company who doesn’t realize he’s living in a simulation himself. And in Westworld, Christina is also a video game employee, one who creates nonplayable characters. And she might be similarly deluded…

Christina, or Dolores, is “almost certainly an AI living in a simulation,” one writer says.

Ariana DeBose and Evan Rachel Wood in 'Westworld'
Source: John Johnson/HBO

In a Season 4 analysis, Signal Horizon’s Tracy Palmer lays out a convincing argument that that Christina, Dolores’s apparent new incarnation, is “almost certainly an AI living in a simulation.”

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For starters, there are all those parallels to Season 1. We see Christina waking up with her hair haloing her head on the pillow, just as Dolores woke up in the first season. Then, Christina’s roommate, Maya (Ariana DeBose), asks for help deciding between white and black shoes, much like how William (Ed Harris) chose between white and black hats in Season 1. (Also, in Hinduism, the word “maya” refers to a power that creates illusions.)

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Then, during a date, Christina goes to the restroom. And as she stares at herself in the mirror, she lets her head fall to the side, just as Dolores’ head fell to the side in the Westworld lab.

“This is also what nonplayable characters do when they aren’t being interacted with,” Tracy writes. “She is unknowingly a nonplayable character. … She also doesn’t realize she is the ghost in the machine and that her reality is not real. … She doesn’t understand she is writing the game at the behest of an unknown system, having had her consciousness uploaded when Rehoboam deleted itself. She also doesn’t realize she is the ghost in the machine and that her reality is not real.”

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That simulation may be Futureworld, as fans have speculated.

As Inverse reports, some Westworld fans believe the futuristic New York City where Christina lives in Season 4 is actually another Delos theme park called Futureworld, which was the subject of the 1976 film Futureworld, the sequel to the 1973 film Westworld, which started the whole franchise.

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And Redditors believe Christina is a host in another park. “You see Christina have the same morning loop: wakes in bed the same way, has the same morning routine over and over again like Dolores. Her ‘story’ that she starts to write is the same as her life as Dolores Abernathy — living in the country with her father,” one person wrote. “Then you hear two guys talking about how ‘this place is wild, I can’t believe this is your first time…’ which is what we hear from the guests at Westworld.”

In another Reddit thread, a fan wrote, “Season 4 will be as good as Season 1 because it’s clearly the adaptation of Futureworld. I think [creators] Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy always had this plan in mind. S1 and S2: Westworld adaptation. S3: Transitions between Westworld and Futureworld. S4: Futureworld adaptation. S5: The conclusion of it all.”

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