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The HBO drama, which returns for its second season on April 22, has unveiled a poster in anticipation of the sophomore run. It depicts a mechanical vulture standing in a bleak desert, nonchalantly towering over a familiar fashion accessory: a black hat — not unlike the one worn by the Man in Black (Ed Harris) himself. Next to the bird and the hat is blood, matching the crimson hues coloring the storm-strewn background.
“Chaos takes control,” according to the poster’s tagline — appropriate words for the chaotic image, indeed.
See the full poster below.
— Westworld (@WestworldHBO) March 22, 2018
The poster was revealed as part of a viral campaign, with several members of the cast participating in the virtual Easter egg hunt: Thandie Newton (Maeve), Jimmi Simpson (William), Ben Barnes (Logan) and Shannon Woodward (Elsie), to name a few. Using clues provided by Evan Rachel Wood (Dolores) and others, fans were able to unlock the deadly poster at DiscoverWestworld.com. The artwork is simple enough at first glance but upon closer inspection offers some sinister possibilities about the show’s future.
— #EvanRachelWould (@evanrachelwood) March 22, 2018
For one, it artfully indicates the power the hosts will have in the coming episodes. Beyond the idea of “chaos [taking] control,” there’s the implication of a mechanical bird of prey positioned right beside a black hat, which represents the basest instincts of the park’s clientele. The vulture hovers nearby, blood on the ground, a visual shorthand for how the hosts are standing by to descend upon and devour their helpless former oppressors.
On a more specific level, the black hat is closely associated with the Man in Black, the show’s decisive face of human evil. When last we left him, the older version of William was suffering from a gunshot wound to the arm (shortly after injuring his arm in battle with Dolores; a bad day for the Man’s limbs, to be sure), as the hosts began their violent rebellion. Even with his ruthless proficiency in the park, the Man in Black faces an uphill battle now that the safety is off the proverbial and literal guns — and this poster only heightens the imminent danger facing the character.
Could season two mark the end of the line for the Man in Black, despite his iconic association with the series? If chaos is truly in control, then anyone is fair game when Westworld returns. Just ask Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins), whose mortal existence became music at the end of season one.
Chaos goes into overdrive when Westworld returns on April 22. What do you think of the new poster? Sound off in the comments below and check out THR.com/Westworld for more coverage.
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