The first season of Westworld had The Maze, and Season 2 has The Door. This new puzzle (also referred to as The Valley Beyond, The Pearly Gates, and Glory by various different characters) seems to be pointing all the show’s key players to a specific spot in the park. But what exactly is The Door? It turns out the answer could be a lot more literal than we thought.
Spoilers for Westworld Season 2 Episode 8 lie ahead.
Is The Door just a door?
The latest episode of Westworld offered up a unique look at pretty at everything that’s come before it through the eyes of Akecheta, a Ghost Nation Host who’s been sentient for years and just so happens to witness some of the most important moments in the show’s history.
There’s plenty to unpack there, and I’ve covered a lot of it already, but one interesting moment worth revisiting is the scene where Ake first discovers The Door.
At this point, he’s already sentient and is beginning to become disillusioned with his preprogrammed narrative as a bloodthirsty Ghost Nation warrior. Wandering through the desert, Ake stumbles across a sunburnt, severely dehydrated, and babbling Logan Delos. This is apparently where Logan wound up after William tied him to a horse and sent him off into the wilderness as punishment.
Logan isn’t exactly coherent, but he seems to be asking for help. He mentions something about a door, presumably referencing one of the many escape hatches that Delos employees can use to get in an out of the park. Those words clearly stick in Ake’s mind, and a few moments later he spots another door entirely.
Peering into the mysterious valley that seems to be the crux of Westworld Season 2, we can see what look like a mid-sized power station. Nothing special, right? But just to the right there’s a large grey box with what could just be a door built into its side. Ake connects this door to the one Logan was babbling about and makes a pretty big leap: The Door is a way out of this fake world and into the real one.
Before investigating further, Ake decides to return home to get his Host wife, but when they head back together the valley has been filled and The Door is gone. Eventually, Ake finds another way into the real world by letting himself die, but never solves the mystery of The Door. At least not yet.
The Door might be another Cradle
There’s a popular theory floating around online that The Door could actually be another server room similar to The Cradle (the room filled with backups for every Host that got exploded in episode 7). The twist, however, is that this server room is filled with backup copies of Westworld’s guests instead.
If the company’s technicians can create a perfect copy of Ford’s brain (and a near perfect copy of James Delos’) then why not everyone else who visits the park? We already know that one of the main purposes of Westworld is to study its human visitors. So this feels like the logical conclusion.
In that case it doesn’t seem like Ake will have much to gain from finding The Door, but there’s another character who could have a very good reason to go there: Dolores.
Will Dolores destroy The Door?
We already know that Dolores is headed to The Door. She just calls it The Valley Beyond, which might actually be a more accurate name. But what does she have planned?
Well, it turns out that Dolores has known about The Door for a long time. Young William (played by Jimmy Simpson) actually showed it to her in a flashback earlier this season while it was under construction, though it was unclear exactly what we were seeing at the time.
Fast forward to the near-future timeline and it looks like Dolores may have found a way to destroy The Door once and for all. At the start of Season 2 we see a large body of water filled with what appear to be dead Host bodies. Here’s what that looks like:
Westworld fans have argued that the rock formations sticking out of the water line up pretty well with the mountain range just behind The Door. The implication here is that Dolores found a way to flood The Door and destroy those human consciousness backups as a final bit of payback against Westworld. That won’t help her escape the park, but at least she’ll get her revenge, right?
Westworld airs Sunday nights at 9 p.m. Eastern on HBO.