‘Westworld’: How Does The Man In Black Know Arnold?

Episode 4 of HBO’s Westworld saw a connection made between the Man in Black and Dr. Ford’s old work partner, Arnold. So, do these two characters know each other?

Spoiler alert: This article discusses Season 1 of HBO’s Westworld. Please proceed with caution if you wish to avoid spoilers.

Dr. Ford (Anthony Hopkins) discussed his old work partner, Arnold, in Episode 3 of Westworld, introducing the audience to the character that wanted to bring consciousness to the hosts. Arnold died in Westworld, but his original coding still lives on in the hosts today. Dr. Ford was quite derisive towards Arnold’s attitude in regard to the hosts and their level of conscious self-awareness when he spoke of Arnold to Bernard (Jeffrey Wright).

HBO's 'Westworld,' Season 1, Episode 3, Dr Ford talks about Arnold
[Image by John P. Johnson/HBO]

Now, in Episode 4 of Westworld, it seems the Man in Black (Ed Harris) also knows of Arnold. It is unclear yet whether he knew Arnold in person or not. However, he does seem to know quite a bit about this elusive figure.

“You ever heard of a man named Arnold? You could say he was the original settler in these parts,” the Man in Black says to Armistice (Ingrid Bolsø Berdal) in Episode 4 of Westworld.

The Man in Black further explained, “He created a world where you could do anything you want. Except one thing. You can’t die.”

HBO's 'Westworld,' Season 1, Episode 4, Armistice and the Man in Black
[Image by John P. Johnson/HBO]

Except, Arnold did die, the Man in Black reveals this, but viewers also knew this from what Dr. Ford had revealed about him in Episode 3. So, the Man in Black knows Arnold is one of the original creators of Westworld. It is unclear yet how the Man in Black knows of Arnold, especially considering part of his backstory was revealed via another Westworld participant in Episode 4.

If you were thinking the Man in Black was actually a host who thought he was a human, it seems this theory is incorrect as the Man in Black was complimented on saving a man’s sister. The Man in Black was not impressed to be reminded of his life outside of Westworld. However, considering the Man in Black scalped one of the hosts in order to discover the maze map underneath, could it be assumed he works in the medical field?

Throughout Season 1 of Westworld, the Man in Black has been searching for the elusive “game within the game.” He is now referring to this game as “Arnold’s legacy.” This is likely in regard to the fact some of Arnold’s original coding of the hosts still lives on within them.

HBO's 'Westworld,' Season 1, Episode 2, Ed Harris as Man in Black
[Image by John P. Johnson/HBO]

Another popular Westworld theory has the Man in Black actually placed as Arnold. Which would be an interesting concept, considering even Dr. Ford believes Arnold died. However, as The Wrap points out, the description of Arnold that Dr. Ford gave does not match with what we learned about the Man in Black’s personality outside Westworld. Arnold was described as not liking people at all, preferring androids over real humans. Since the other Westworld participant praised the Man in Black in Episode 4 for helping to save his sister’s life, it seems like this character might be a nicer person outside Westworld than what viewers have been led to believe so far. However, this could also just be a very clever act on the Man in Black’s behalf.

The Wrap also points out that Dr. Ford and the Man in Black will meet in Episode 5 of Westworld, so it is possible further connections between the Man in Black and Arnold could be revealed then.

How do you think the Man in Black knows of Arnold in HBO’s Westworld? Let us know your thoughts and theories by commenting below.

Episode 5 (entitled “Contrapasso”) of Westworld will air on HBO on Sunday, October 30, at 9 p.m. The synopsis is below.

“Dolores, William and Logan reach Pariah, a town built on decadence and transgression, and are recruited for a dangerous mission; The Man in Black meets an unlikely ally in his search to unlock the maze.”

[Featured Image by John P. Johnson/HBO]