WestWorld’s narrative showcases events mostly from three time periods. There was a time in the past when Arnold was alive and something terrible happened in the park. In the present day, it’s approximately 30 years later, and something has triggered a repetition of the events in Escalante. These events were experienced quite differently by certain characters. Let’s look at several high-level sequences of events. The exact dates were discovered in the alternate reality game (ARG) — the dates have since been redacted.
- Before the park opened, when Ford and Arnold were first creating hosts
- After Arnold died, and the park opened, and William and Logan visit
- Thirty years later; The MiB seeks The Maze and Ford preps for his new narrative.
2015 to 2018
- The Golden Years; Ford and Arnold create hosts
- Arnold secretly begins fostering consciousness in Dolores
- Arnold tells Ford that Dolores is alive; Ford disagrees
- 2018: Arnold attempts to sabotage the park by engineering an event in which Dolores and Teddy kill all the hosts before Dolores kills Arnold, then Teddy, then herself
2021 or 2022
- Ford opens the park without his partner, amidst financial woes.
- William and Logan visit, meeting Dolores
- William goes on his own journey, becoming The Man in Black
- Delos company acquires ownership of the park.
2022 onward (30 years)
- The Man in Black visits monthly, to purge his dark side
- Dolores is assigned to a narrative as the rancher’s daughter where she is fated to suffer repeated horrific abuses in her role as a pit stop for newcomers going Black Hat.
- Maeve is assigned to a homesteader narrative where she and her daughter are repeatedly attacked and scalped by natives.
- Other hosts such as Walter and Rebus, Clementine, and Teddy also suffer to repeat terrifying abuses during this time.
- William’s wife, Juliette, commits suicide
- The Man in Black kills Homesteader Maeve and her daughter
- The Man in Black takes a 1 year break from WestWorld
- Maeve is reassigned as The Madam of the Mariposa
- The Man in Black returns to WestWorld
- His first stop is Abernathy Ranch.
- Ford preps for his new narrative: adding Arnold’s reveries, digging up Escalante
- Dolores memory-trips her way back to Escalante
- Bernard, Maeve, Hector, Armistice, Teddy, and possibly other hosts awaken
- Elise and Stubbs go missing under suspicious circumstances.
- Cullen dies an extremely suspicious death at Bernard’s hands.
- Several technicians and QA personnel are killed during a malfunction in The Body Shop which spread to an adjacent park under development.
- June 15, 2052. Dolores kills Dr. Ford, and some or all of the Delos board of directors.
So, we think know those things happened. They’re all confirmed by specific scenes, expository dialogue, and interviews with the creators and actors and the AR game.
I’m also constructing a detailed timeline with anything and everything depicted in the show, and as much sourcing as I can.