Since Westworld revealed that Bernard is a recreation of Arnold in Season 1, the HBO series has shown us more and more of what Robert Ford’s partner was like when he was alive. It’s also clear that the mysteries surrounding Arnold and Bernard are just going to keep on coming in Season 2 — one of which has to do with his mysterious family. Could Charlotte be Arnold’s daughter on Westworld? The fact that Bernard has teamed up with Tessa Thompson’s character could be significant.
Not only does Thompson look like she could conceivably be related to Jeffrey Wright and Gina Torres — who played Bernard’s wife Lauren in Season 1 and could likely be based on Arnold’s ex-wife — but Bernard/Arnold had a son named Charlie, and that name similarity seems like too much of a coincidence to ignore.
Charlotte and Charlie are probably not exactly the same person. Back in Season 1, when Joanna Robinson posited this theory for Vanity Fair, it seemed as if Robert might have just swapped the name Charlie for Charlotte when programming Arnold as Bernard. Robert told him that the tragic backstory he gave him was an homage to Arnold’s own tragedy. So that would mean that Charlie is a fiction, and Charlotte is the reality.
However, in Season 2, flashbacks reveal that Charlie did exist once upon a time. Arnold, not just Bernard, talks to Dolores about him. So, maybe Charlotte and Charlie were twins, and only the girl survived. Maybe she’s a clone.
In Season 1, Charlotte’s arrival and connection to the world was even more obscured. For a moment, it seemed like Charlotte might even be William/the Man in Black’s daughter, potentially. She is the executive director of Delos Destinations, after all, and the company is already rife with nepotism. William’s last name is unknown. That fan theory can likely be ruled out, however, as William’s blonde little girl Emily — who he talked about in Season 1 — made an appearance in Season 2, Episode 2. Charlotte’s potential connection to Bernard/Arnold, however, is still on the table.
There are just two minor issues with this theory. First: the timeline. How much time has passed since Bernard died? Enough time for Charlotte to be born and grow up? That’s not exactly clear. Then again, maybe his wife had Charlotte with someone else, or was already pregnant when Bernard died, and named her daughter after her. Lauren’s maiden or re-married name could easily be Hale.
Secondly, would Charlotte really not know what her father looked like? It’s not completely outside of the realm of possibility. There was some drama in Season 1 about nobody at Delos knowing what Arnold Weber looked like, but surely his own daughter would have grown up with a photo in the house. If Bernard was made in the image of her father, she’d notice.
Why does this matter? There’s more than just a soap opera-y twist at play with this theory. If Charlotte was Arnold’s daughter, this would be a juicy wrench in Bernard’s current existential and moral dilemma. He’s a host who thought he was a human until just recently. He has a foot in each world, and those worlds are at war. Robert programmed him to remember his son Charlie and that loss. Just like Maeve is motivated by the programmed memories of her once daughter, Bernard could be swayed by an emotional connection to Charlotte that technically is, but technically isn’t all that real.
Plus, would Bernard/Arnold be pleased to learn that his daughter is involved in drone hosts and collecting guest DNA and blackmail? Probably not! Something’s going on with Bernard on Westworld, that much can be certain.
Not to put too much importance on parentage, but the character is clearly strong enough on her own and doesn’t have to be anyone’s blood relative to be important. But it does seem to be a theme in Season 2 with various characters. And in the race to unlock the mysteries of Westworld Season 2, the possibility of Charlotte being Arnold’s long lost, or long reborn, offspring is definitely one to consider.
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