‘Westworld’: Which Characters Died Permanently in the Season 2 Finale?

Dolores rides a horse and aims a gun in the Westworld Season 2 trailer

Dolores in Westworld | HBO

Westworld‘s Season 2 finale, as expected, left viewers with tons of unanswered questions, but there’s one that’s much more pressing than others: which characters, if any, died for good? Is anyone not coming back next season?

Co-creator Jonathan Nolan has confirmed that some actors really will not return for Season 3, saying, “it’s a large ensemble cast and sadly we’re saying goodbye to some people at the end of this season.” So who is he talking about? Who’s coming back and who’s not?

We’ll start with Maeve, who is shot while ensuring her daughter makes it to the Valley Beyond. However, you can be sure that she’s coming back. Not only do Felix and Sylvester get to work salvaging the hosts including Maeve, but Thandie Newton has confirmed that she’s in the third season. Other hosts who died alongside Maeve like Hector and Armistice will probably be back, too.

But what about Lee Sizemore, who quickly became an unexpected fan favorite character in Season 2? Unfortunately, actor Simon Quarterman believes that Sizemore truly is dead. He told Entertainment Weekly, “I’m not sure that anyone could survive that type of peppering with bullets, but at least he went out heroically and selflessly, which is a far cry from when we first met him in the first episode of season one.”

However, this is a show where people can die for real but still return; just ask Anthony Hopkins. So when Quarterman was asked whether he’ll come back in Season 3, he simply said, “Who knows.” However, at this point, it seems like a safe bet that we’ve seen the last of Sizemore.

Elsie and Bernard | HBO

The same is true of Elsie, who is shot to death by Hale near the end of the finale. Co-creator Jonathan Nolan sure made it sound in an interview with Entertainment Weekly like Elsie isn’t coming back, saying, “Shannon Woodward is a phenomenal actor and lovely person and we had a fantastic experience working with her and would relish the opportunity to work with her again.”

He did add, “This show is about mortality and immortality and there’s never any real saying goodbye.” Woodward, however, told the podcast Still Watching: Westworld that without a doubt, “human Elsie is dead.” So if she were to return, it would have to be either in a flashback or as a host.

What about Anthony Hopkins’ Robert Ford? He seems to be permanently deleted from Bernard’s mind now, so is that it for Hopkins? It does seem to be, as co-creator Lisa Joy told The Wrap, “Yes, Ford is gone.” However, Ford also previously returned from getting shot in the head, so we should never fully rule out another Hopkins appearance.

A whole bunch of hosts ended up in the Valley Beyond in the finale, which Dolores made sure no humans could ever get to. So what’s to come of those hosts? Teddy’s final scene certainly felt like a goodbye, so are those characters off the show now?

It looks like they might be, at least for the foreseeable future. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, a reporter asked Nolan if it’s safe to assume that those in the Valley Beyond won’t continue on into Season 3, and Nolan responded, “I think that’s on the safer end of things to presume. But there’s a big story we’re telling here so…yeah.” If that’s the case, that would mean we truly did say goodbye to Teddy and Akecheta among others, although maybe when Nolan brings up a “big story” they’re telling, he means we could see them further down the line like in Season 4.

James Marsden and Evan Rachel Wood in old West gear in front of horses

Teddy and Dolores | HBO

For a few minutes there in the finale, it seemed like the show might also be getting rid of Evan Rachel Wood, with Dolores’ consciousness ending up in Hale’s body. However, the very end of the finale revealed that this won’t be the case, as Dolores as Hale ended up getting her old body back while keeping the Hale host body around. An open question is whose consciousness, exactly, is in that Hale body, but that’s something we likely won’t learn until Season 3.

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