'Westworld': Everything to Know Before the Series Premiere

Be our guest, and learn the language of HBO's new series ahead of its Oct. 2 debut.
Courtesy of John P. Johnson/HBO

It's not Westeros, but HBO's newest show boasts a world that's as rich in detail as Game of Thrones in its own right.

Based on the 1973 Michael Crichton movie of the same name, Westworld takes place in the near future, at an amusement park based in the far past: an immersive world modeled after an old Western movie, with thousands upon thousands of lifelike robots playing out roles designed to fulfill human guests' wildest fantasies.

Given the complicated nature of reality within Westworld, it's no surprise that both the show and the park come equipped with its own unique language of sorts. With that in mind, here are some of the key terms and people found throughout Westworld, ahead of the series premiere.

Westworld: A theme park set in an Old West landscape, where human guests utilize robot hosts to safely satisfy their every desire.

Delos: The corporation that owns Westworld.

Sweetwater: The central town in Westworld.

Host: The term used for Westworld's robot inhabitants. 

Guest: The term used for Westworld's human visitors.

Newcomer: The term the hosts use for Westworld's human visitors.

Storylines: The interconnected narratives found throughout Westworld, which guests can explore and customize at their leisure.

Loops and Scripts: What the hosts are supposed to stick to, with only minor improvisations allowed.

Drives: The goals and desires that inform a host's actions, as per programming.

Core Code: The overriding drive for all hosts, preventing them from hurting a fly, let alone a guest.

Fly: A thing the hosts can't hurt. Also a thing that often winds up on a host's eyeball. Must be infuriating.

Dreams: When Westworld's human personnel interview and run diagnostics on the hosts, the hosts believe they are experiencing a dream.

Current Build: A host's current assortment of scripts and drives.

Past Configurations: A host's previous assortment of scripts and drives.

Wipe: The process of cleaning a host's current build, before restoring or changing its programming.

Memories: Despite wipes, memories of past configurations still exist within hosts, waiting to be overwritten — almost a subconscious of sorts.

Reveries: Gestures made by hosts that are tied to specific memories, to make them seem more lifelike.

"Deep and Dreamless Slumber": A spoken phrase used to power down certain hosts. 

Ford: The name of Westworld's eccentric creative director, played by Sir Anthony Hopkins.

Gunslinger: The enigmatic man in black, played by Ed Harris on the show, and inspired by the Yul Brynner character in the Michael Crichton movie.

Dolores: A host who lives on a ranch with her father, Delores enjoys painting in her free time, and chooses to see the beauty in her world. She is played by Evan Rachel Wood.

Teddy: A handsome figure who arrives in Sweetwater by train, played by James Marsden.

Hector: A feared outlaw with an equally fearsome posse, played by Rodrigo Santoro.

Bernard: One of the chief creators of Westworld's hosts, a man of great heart and great intellect, played by Jeffrey Wright.

Maeve: The madame at Sweetwater's local brothel, played by Thandie Newton.

Arnold: Not Schwarzenegger, but a name with major impact within the world of Westworld all the same.

Black Hole Sun: A 1994 song written by Chris Cornell and performed by Soundgarden.

Thirty Years: The length of time since Westworld's last critical failure … at least as of the series premiere.

Catch up on THR's coverage of Westworld. The series premieres Oct. 2 on HBO.