‘Westworld’ Season 3: The Surprising Secret Behind Luke Hemsworth’s One-Armed Axe Fight

In the March 22 episode of Westworld, fans saw Luke Hemsworth return as Delos security agent Ashley Stubbs. And in one of the coolest action scenes this season, he fought off multiple guards with just one arm. But as it turns out, the fight scene wasn’t intended to be shot that way. Hemsworth was actually injured at the time, and he painfully had to carry out the axe fight with just one arm. 

[Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for Westworld season 3, episode 2.]

Luke Hemsworth
Luke Hemsworth – Westworld | HBO

Who is Luke Hemsworth’s character Ashley Stubbs on ‘Westworld’?

Ashley Stubbs is the Head of Security for Westworld’s Quality Assurance Division. Throughout the first season, he works with Ford (Anthony Hopkins), Bernard (Jeffrey Wright), and Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson) to keep the hosts and guests in the park safe. 

In season 2 of Westworld, after Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) kills Ford and starts a bloody rebellion, Stubbs oversees the evacuation of guests from the park. The whole time he seems to be working for Delos, but at the end of the season, he hints he might be more than just a security guard. 

In the season 2 finale, Stubbs allows Charlotte/Dolores to leave the park and tells her that he’s worked in the park for longer than she thinks. He also says that he’s really only loyal to Ford and that his “core drive” has been to protect the hosts. This exchange had viewers wondering if Stubbs was a host the whole time. 

Stubbs is revealed as a host in season 3 of ‘Westworld’

In the second episode of season 3, Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) returns to his old lab in Westworld and finds Stubbs sitting there, bloody and glitchy. Stubbs, who is officially revealed to be a host, tells Bernard that he tried to kill himself because his mission to protect the hosts was over. 

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But Bernard repairs Stubbs and asks him to help him stop Dolores. Stubbs agrees and sneaks Bernard up to the floor where all the hosts are programmed. When Bernard plugs himself in to repair his own glitchy software, Stubbs encounters Delos guards that attack him. 

Stubbs gets shot by one of the guards in the arm, so he grabs an axe, and begins to fight them off with only one arm. He’s able to give Bernard enough time to look at his programming, but when the building alarm is activated, he grabs Bernard and jets out. Bernard then changes Stubbs’ directive, programming the security agent to leave Westworld, and protect him in the real world.

Luke Hemsworth had to improvise that epic axe fight 

In an interview with TV Line, Luke Hemsworth revealed that he was injured just days before filming the fight scene in episode 2. “That was never actually supposed to be one-armed,” he told the outlet. “I actually tore my bicep off the bone two days before we shot that. So while I shot that scene, my bicep was completely off and I could barely lift my arm up.”

Hemsworth revealed that the day of shooting, the fight scene “was rechoreographed with one hand” to accommodate his injury. The Westworld actor noted that he did try to use both arms, but the “electric shock” like pain held him back.