‘Westworld’ Theory: Did HBO Create A Stock Photo Identity Just To Tie Into Their Series?

A Season 1 theory gains traction as Season 2 of 'Westworld' introduces a new character

HBO's 'Westworld,' Season 2, Episode 2, Reunion, William and Delores, theory
John P. Johnson / HBO

A Season 1 theory gains traction as Season 2 of 'Westworld' introduces a new character

Episode 2 of HBO’s Westworld finally revealed William’s (Jimmi Simpson) wife in the flesh. Up until this point, the character had only been seen in a photo found in the Westworld theme park. And now, this appearance has escalated a previous theory about the show.

In Westworld, it is hard to tell the difference between hosts and humans. Already, fans have been fooled into believing people were human only to discover they were actually hosts. Fans are already over-analyzing everything in an effort to keep in front of the game in relation to storylines in the robotic sci-fi series. Added to this is the confusion of the timeline of events with many stories running at conflicting times to each other.

Enter William’s wife, a woman only seen in a photo up until Episode of Season 2. Fans of the show had discovered that the image of Juliet was a stock image that could be purchased by anyone on Getty Images. On Reddit, they explored the implications of this finding and discovered some very interesting facts that would just seem like crazy fan theories if it were any other TV series. Except, this is Westworld, and no theory is ever really off the table.

 HBO's 'Westworld' Season 2, photo of Juliet, theory
  HBO

Firstly, the person who took this photo is a photographer named Erik von Weber. For fans of the show, Weber is the surname of Arnold, a man who first established the Westworld theme park and then was recreated as the host, Bernard Lowe. Over time, fans worked out that Bernard’s full name was an anagram of Arnold’s. So, is this photographer a real person, or could their name be an anagram of someone in the series? So far, fans haven’t found a name that matches, but that doesn’t mean it won’t in the future.

Secondly, many Westworld fans noticed that some of Weber’s photos matched some of the costumes seen in the TV series. For example, one samurai in the Season 2 trailer is seen wearing the same hat as one in Weber’s photos. You can view the comparison via this Reddit thread.

Immediately, fans started to question whether HBO had created this identity specifically to tie into the Westworld series. However, as fans quickly discovered, this photographer had taken images as far back as 2005 that can be linked to the show. Therefore, it is more likely HBO used the images and costumes in those images as inspiration for their show and Weber is not a person created by HBO because it is unlikely HBO was preparing the world for their series that long ago.

Now, with the latest episode of Westworld airing, it has become apparent that the woman who appeared in the Getty image is also the actress who played Juliet in Episode 2. Huffington Post reached out to the woman, Claire Unabia, and asked her about her involvement in the series and, in particular, that image which was taken about four years ago. Claire revealed that the image taken wasn’t necessarily for a stock image. Instead, she said it was for a technology company, although she couldn’t remember who.

So, as yet, Delos being that company is not yet out of the equation.

“It was for a particular job. What I recall was for technology, [an] internal technology picture, so that’s what I recall taking it for,” she told Huffington Post.

Even more interesting is the fact that she also doesn’t remember the name of the photographer. Instead, she adds more intrigue to this Westworld theory by issuing the following statement.

“I don’t recall that name at all. Maybe the name is not the actual name.”

However, fans will just have to tune into further episodes of Westworld to find out if this theory pans out or not.

Season 2 of Westworld returns with Episode 3 on Sunday, May 6, at 9 p.m. ET.