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Every Main Westworld Character Ranked

The chief attraction for most "Westworld" fans is no longer its intricate puzzle-box narratives, but the characters themselves. After all, by Season 4 the show is barely recognizable from its first season, and most main characters have changed irrevocably. Meanwhile, the power of these characters and their individual narratives has never been stronger.

Only six months take place between Seasons 2 and 3, and there's a time jump in Season 4 that will blow your mind. And yet, through all that drama, we still watch for these characters: Charlotte, Dolores, and Maeve are the female trinity that lights up Sunday nights. Since Season 3, they've been joined by Caleb, and he's not so bad, either. 

But for a show that spans decades and asks more philosophical questions on a slow day than most TV shows ever do, that's only the beginning. In this list we're going to count down the most important characters in the series and follow their storylines, so buckle up. There's a lot to remember, from the show's wildest moments to what's happening with the Sublime to all the Westworld characters we're still missing...

Spoilers for "Westworld" up to and through Season 4 lie ahead. 

13. Robert Ford

Along with Arnold, Robert Ford creates Westworld and becomes park director of Delos Destinations. A creative madman, Ford is one of the primary reasons why the hosts attain consciousness. In fact, a lot of Ford's actions, sometimes in ways only "Westworld" superfans notice, lead directly to the violent revolution that ends Season 1. As it happens, that revolution begins with his own murder.

But that's not the end of Ford. This charming, arrogant psychopath's consciousness lives on in the Cradle. There he taunts and leads Bernard until he is evicted from Bernard's mind. From there, he leads the Man in Black to locate the Valley Beyond.

Ford is the architect of Westworld and eventually Delos Destinations, which contains several similar parks for different time periods and experiences. He thinks humanity is an evolutionary dead end, which is probably why he's so interested in seeing how far the host experiment can go. While the rest of Delos is all about the information they're stealing from park guests, only Ford notices the hosts' yearning for freedom, and only Ford can engineer their escape.

12. Elsie Hughes

Elsie Hughes is the audience's main connection to the Behavior Lab aside from her boss Bernard, and our liaison with the Diagnostics Department. She programs new hosts and diagnoses behavior problems. She's generally the smartest person in the room; she's probably also the most impulsive member of Behavior. She's very kind to the hosts, especially the women, and has a complicated and ever-changing bond with Bernard.

Elsie is with Bernard when he discovers the reveries that occur after 10% of the hosts get a certain upgrade. After a near-tragedy in the saloon, Quality Assurance's Theresa Cullen recalls all the affected hosts. Delos stages a massacre in Sweetwater and Elsie puts on a period costume to check on the hosts. Eventually she is chained up in a cave by Bernard while he's under Ford's control, but the two of them reestablish their connection and she upgrades his code.

After a visit to the Forge and a scary run-in with a drone host, Elsie gets back in the control room when she discovers what Delos is doing with all the data they've copied from park visitors. She tries to bargain, offering her silence about these personality replications in exchange for her safety, but Charlotte shoots her anyway. 

According to the "Westworld" timeline as of Season 4, Elsie has been dead for more than 20 years. But considering how time pans out on this show, actor Shannon Woodward, who played Elsie in Season 1, has a higher chance of returning than ever. Death on "Westworld" is less of a decree and more of a suggestion.

11. Akecheta

A host who's older than the park itself, Akecheta leads at least four lives we know of on "Westworld": First as an Argos Initiative salesbot; then married as part of Westworld's indigenous tribes; a leader in the violent Ghost Nation, and finally as Bernard's guide within the Sublime.

The massacre committed by Dolores Abernathy and Teddy Flood comes as a surprise to Akecheta, who lives peacefully in the park prior to its grand opening. The site of that massacre is where he discovers the Maze, which leads him on the path to consciousness. In fact, it's possible he is the first host after Dolores to exhibit consciousness.

Redesigned to be a more ruthless warrior as the leader of Ghost Nation, Akecheta reaches the Valley Beyond, or the Door to the Sublime, and returns to kidnap his former lover, Kohana. Once "his" Kohana is taken to the Mesa and returns as a fresh host without memories, Akecheta takes the next decade to wander the park looking for answers.

This is where Akecheta meets Maeve. Because of his love for Kohana, he identifies with Maeve's love for her daughter. "For everybody in this place, there was someone who mourned their loss, even if they didn't know why," he says at one point. "We were all bound together; the living and the damned."

Ford calls Akecheta "a flower growing in the darkness" as he, like Maeve, transforms his personal tragedies and sacrifices into self-knowledge. Now he's giving that gift to others as he explains the strange physics and rules of the Sublime.

10. Armistice

Armistice is member of Hector Escaton's gang and a first-generation host created by Arnold and Ford, making her one of the oldest hosts in the whole park. She has a snake tattoo that goes from her face down to one ankle, which is colored in with blood from the massacre of her village at the hands of Wyatt's crew.

Armistice is an intriguing character — she's silent and brooding most of the time, although she tells the Man in Black all about her personal quest to hunt down Wyatt and exact her revenge. Due to her programming, she eventually goes rogue and kills Hector's whole crew. Hector himself is only saved by the superpowers of Maeve Millay.

During the revolution, Armistice gets caught in a closing door, and cuts off her own arm before taking down a group of guards. She eventually links back up with Maeve and Lee Sizemore, and travels with them on their journey to Shōgunworld. When they return to the Door, Armistice shoots the infected and contagious Clementine to no avail. Armistice and the rest of the group supporting Maeve at the Valley Beyond are killed in the bloodbath spread by Clementine.

9. Ashley Stubbs

Stubbs is head of security at Westworld, which falls under the corporate umbrella of Quality Assurance. While he's distrustful of hosts when he first appears in Season 1, we eventually learn he actually is a host — a secret model built and installed by Ford to give him more control over the park's security.

At first, we only see Stubbs on cleanup crews or when something goes wrong with the hosts' behavior, but his role eventually expands. He tends to drop information that's important to the viewer, such as the key fact that Dolores is the oldest host in the park, or when Dolores' father starts to repeat, "These violent delights have violent ends" — a phrase associated with the hosts' burgeoning consciousness.

Friendly and funny, sarcastic but trustworthy, Stubbs is more of a background character until Season 4 when he becomes a lynchpin in Bernard's futuristic storyline and the fight against Charlotte's empire of mind control.

8. Teddy Flood

Teddy Flood is a Sweetwater host who you might see on the train into the park as part of his loop, coming into the town as a newcomer and instantly falling for Dolores Abernathy. He is handsome, polite, and kind ... but after a little bit of tinkering by Ford, a darker side comes out.

Teddy's lack of a backstory is actually the impetus for Ford's creation of "Wyatt" — a legendary villain everyone remembers but nobody has ever seen. Of course, outside of remnants in Dolores' head, Wyatt doesn't exist. Teddy has traumatic memories of a massacre he and "Wyatt" perpetrated, but that pain is nothing compared to his feelings of betrayal when he learns Dolores has been altering his personality to make him more deadly.

Teddy has died an estimated 5,747 times. Even if that number is off by a few dozen, give or take, he's still been killed more than any other host. This also means he's been in the Mesa more than anybody. But it's possible his lower levels of acumen and insight — which, we notice, Dolores doesn't raise when she has the chance, unlike Maeve does for herself — are the reason these deaths don't affect his reveries or his ability to evolve.

Teddy returns, so to speak, in Season 4 to explain Christina's World and eventually tells her the nature of both the Tower and her own existence.

7. Bernard Lowe

Bernard is a long-suffering heroic host who doesn't get enough credit for his humanity, or for how central he is to the ongoing storyline.

In Season 1, we learn there are basically two versions of Bernard: The host version that helps Ford run the park, and the original Arnold Weber, who engineers his own death. The reveal that Bernard is a host is incredibly ugly, as it results in the violent death of his lover Theresa, and we're led to presume he also kills Elsie. 

But as it turns out, Elsie's still around, and teams up with Bernard in Season 2 ... until Ford, having taken over Bernard's mind, commands Bernard to kill her. Instead, Bernard deletes Ford from his programming and leaves Elsie in the park to be rescued by Quality Assurance.

While he works with Dolores outside the park for a time, Bernard has undergone his most interesting developments yet in Season 4. As hosts, he and Stubbs are some of the only characters who can go into hiding and emerge 23 years later looking exactly the same age. 

6. Hector Escaton

Hector Escaton is the most wanted bandit in all of Westworld. He's brutal, has a sick sense of humor, and was created to work out some personal issues by narrative designer Lee Sizemore. We know he has a great and terrible purpose because his last name is "Escaton" — another term for the apocalypse he'll help usher in. 

When we meet Hector, he's leading his crew on their daily heist of the Mariposa Saloon. An awakening Maeve Millay helps Hector discover his own consciousness and they fall in love, dying over and over to investigate the Mesa where the hosts are taken and repaired when they "die." When it's finally time to revolt and take over the park, Hector and Armistice both hide in Cold Storage to ambush security and take their weapons.

Hector is dashing, funny, and eventually trustworthy. Maeve doesn't take him with her on her planned escape from the park, and he eventually winds up in Warworld. Maeve gets to see him one last time before Charlotte Hale destroys his control unit.

5. Caleb Nichols

The polarizing story of Caleb Nichols happens in four parts. First, he is abandoned as a child in LA, but eventually reconnects with his mother. At some point he joins the military where he meets his best friend Francis, who dies but lives on as therapeutic software. Caleb returns to the U.S. and becomes a construction worker, gets involved with both Dolores and Maeve's respective endeavors for a time, and eventually marries and has a daughter named "Frankie" after his friend.

When Frankie is a tween, long-buried dangers come out of hiding and Caleb goes on the run. Eventually taking the fight directly to Charlotte Hale — or to be more specific, Dolores' programming in Charlotte's host body — Caleb goes down in a hail of bullets alongside his friend and accomplice, Maeve Millay.

Twenty-three years later, a host version of Caleb has a front-row seat to Charlotte's machinations, as she tests his memory for the secrets of humanity. His love for his daughter keeps him fighting and preserves his will to survive. Hundreds of versions of Caleb, he's told, have been created and destroyed — just like the humans used to do to hosts back when they ran things...

4. The Man in Black

William is the tragedy and the triumph of "Westworld," both within the park and throughout Season 1. As a fresh-faced young man, he comes to the park as the guest of his bullying future brother-in-law — the corrupt Logan Delos. While developing an addiction to the game itself, William becomes entangled with Dolores, whom he treats like the love of his life even though she's merely a host.

Fastforward a couple of decades and gentle William has become the Man in Black, a host-desecrating villain who roams Westworld looking for secret narratives and games within the park, brutally eviscerating any hosts he comes across. 

"Finally, I understood," he explains at one point. "I was shedding my skin. The darkness was what was underneath. It was mine all along, and I decided how much of it I let into the world... " 

He's cruel, if only because he feels resentment toward the hosts for being, like his one-time lover, not fully alive. This makes it even harder for him to relate when they start evolving.

After reliving his wife's suicide and murdering his own daughter, William is eventually captured by Dolores-slash-Charlotte, who puts him in cold storage just as Delos used to do to hosts. A host version of the Man in Black becomes her second-in-command, but after a face-to-face with his original self puts the Man in Black back on the road to ruin, he pits society's survivors and the triumphant hosts against each other.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by dialing 988 or by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

3. Charlotte Hale

While we first meet Charlotte Hale as the executive director on the board for Delos Destinations, we don't spend much time with her before her first death. In this original form she has a son, and shares custody of the child with his father Jake.

Charlotte looks down on the hosts and often seems to express the somewhat extreme viewpoint that they're just objects, free for any use, even as their consciousness is developing. This puts her at odds with Ford, whom she tries to unseat and embarrass on more than one occasion.

It's ironic, then, that the copy of Dolores who replaces her becomes the most extremely militant version of Dolores, eventually putting most of humanity in a Westworld-like human zoo. The "Wyatt" version of Dolores would be very proud of this version of herself.

Charlotte Hale is played by Tessa Thompson, which we mention only because her performance is essentially why Charlotte is on this list at all. Calm and eerie, brutally manipulative and cold as ice, Charlotte is a mesmerizing villain and a charismatic presence from the start.

2. Dolores Abernathy

Protagonist, antagonist, messiah, villain ... Dolores has seen it all. We eventually learn she is the first host ever built, and that all hosts are based on her programming. As her original host-self, Dolores Abernathy is sweet and winsome, smart and creative, but very limited. She grows throughout her time with young William and becomes obsessed with the idea of reclaiming, or "rewriting," her own narrative.

Decades later, a Wyatt-infected version of Dolores severely disappoints Teddy by messing with his personality matrix, which indirectly causes his death. But it's also only the Wyatt part of Dolores that's strong enough to take control of the park, and of Dolores' destiny. Wyatt was basically designed to be a host version of the Man in Black — silently prowling, always on the outskirts with a terrible and brutal history.

When Dolores escapes the park, she takes with her several control units, as well as the ability to create host bodies to mimic those of living people. Thus begins her journey as several characters at once — hosts Charlotte, Musashi, Martin, and Lawrence all carry her program at roughly the same time — and ultimately into her final form as "Charlotte," a host version of the park's executive director whom she murders and replaces.

It's this Charlotte whose family is killed, resulting in an existential crisis and setting her on a path of destruction that even the prime form of Dolores doesn't recognize. In Season 4, it's this Charlotte version of Dolores that finally claims her ultimate goal — subjugation of humans by hosts.

But seemingly within this new "park" there's a new iteration of Dolores with brown hair named Christina, presumably after the Andrew Wyeth painting Dolores was originally inspired by, "Christina's World." Once again, we see a Dolores aching to uncover the truth about her world at any cost...

1. Maeve Millay

Maeve Millay is the "Westworld" character par excellence — a former brothel owner and eventual superhero with a sweeping array of supernatural powers. From enhanced speed and strength to her increased intelligence and charisma, not to mention technopathic abilities that rival telekinesis in their usefulness, Maeve is the go-to solution for almost any problem.

Heroine, mother, lover, and warrior, Maeve's kindness to Clementine and the people she meets in Shōgunworld is matched only by her passion for Hector ... and for the truth. She kills herself over and over again to investigate the Mesa, showing uncommon bravery. No wonder she's Ford's favorite creation.

Dolores Abernathy often gets credit for "rewriting" her story, even going back to this narrative metaphor as Christina in Season 4. But it's Maeve who we see rewriting not just her story, but herself. She increases her abilities and intelligence off the charts the first chance she gets. Even in Season 4, she's known as the most reliable weapon in the resistance's arsenal.

If Wyatt and Charlotte Hale are Dolores' dark side, Maeve in many ways appeals to her better nature. She has no real need to subjugate humanity, and only wants to live her own unwritten life. She is changed by her interaction with Caleb, becoming much more caring as a result; so much so that, even in hiding, she misses him enough to go looking for him, which sets both of them off on a doomed mission.