Photo Credit: HBO
On Monday, Westworld creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy participated in a Reddit AMA to promote the show's return later in April. Of everything they discussed, one thing stood out: a promise to reveal all the secrets of season two in a video if Nolan's comment on Reddit garnered over a thousand points. By giving away the spoilers, he argued, they would take away the problems of endless theories circulating the Internet when the show airs, and shift the onus onto the Westworld community to protect those who don't wish to be spoiled.
As you can expect, Nolan's comment crossed the threshold within a few hours, given the show's immense popularity. Around midnight (Tuesday 9am in India), the co-creator and showrunner returned to the AMA post, and provided a link to a video as he had promised. Except it was all a big joke. The video, attached below, has the makings of a genuine reveal: it's 25 minutes long, and starts off with Jeffrey Wright providing voiceover for his character Bernard's scenes. It proceeds in that fashion for a minute and a half, and then everything changes.
Evan Rachel Wood and Angela Sarafyan, who play android-hosts Dolores and Clementine respectively on Westworld, appear in non-character attire and start playing a piano cover of Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up", with Wood singing and Sarafyan on the piano. Yep, Nolan just rickrolled every Westworld fan, and pranked every publication that reported on what seemed like a game-changer. Earlier in the day, The Verge said there was "a logic to it" and debated the ramifications extensively, and Vanity Fair said it seems "appropriate for a show that’s about cutting-edge innovation" and wondered if it would impact the show's ratings.
It's clear that everyone fell for Nolan's elaborate prank, which actually fits with his earlier statement at SXSW, that he and the Westworld writing team "love to f--k with Reddit". We can't think of better (or worse?) ways to mess with a passionate, active fanbase on Reddit, though given what we've seen from Nolan, we shouldn't put it past him. And oh, if you're wondering what happens for the rest of that 25-minute video, it's just a dog sitting in a front of a piano while the Westworld theme plays.