It was just revealed in Season 1, Episode 9 of Westworld that

Bernard was made in Arnold's image

Now, I understand that there is supposed be a certain level of mystery surrounding Arnold and what he was up to, but why does no one (in-universe) know what he looked like? Arnold only passed away roughly 30 years ago, shouldn't there be other employees who were around from that time, or barring that pictures of Arnold somewhere? Ford is very manipulative and controlling, but he would not be able suppress everything, especially from outside sources like the media. Or was Arnold really that reclusive, that no other photographs of him exist?

I understand that this question is pretty speculative at this point and that it may be answered in the next episode. To prevent closure, I would limit answers to out-of-universe interviews and quotes from the cast and crew if no in-universe answer is available at this time.

  • I accidently dupe'd this a little over on Movie and TV stack, but ask slightly different things... if anyone has ideas about this, please check out my question and see what they think about plot holes I suggest in addition to Skooba's Nov 30, 2016 at 23:13

2 Answers 2


After Arnold's death, all records of him were purged by Delos. Most people don't know who he was, much less how he looked. There is only one photo of Arnold remaining: The one Ford keeps with him as a memento, which he shows to Bernard early on.

In episode 2, Logan mentions a founder who died in the park, talking about his death as if it's a myth. He doesn't know the founder was named Arnold, and his lawyers looked thoroughly through Delos's records, and couldn't find any proof of Arnold's existence or death. If we believe the theories about multiple timeframes (which I certainly do after the two most recent episodes):

This conversation occured about 5 years after Arnold's death, and he was already mythical and forgotten. The "present day" is then 30 additional years after this, if the theory is correct.

The simplest assumption, then, is that nobody currently working at Delos has worked there for 30–35 years, since otherwise some things would easily come to light. I can't recall seeing any employees there who are old enough to have worked there that long, either – except possibly Theresa if we stretch assumptions a bit, but we know she hasn't been there long, although she does know about Arnold (she mentioned him in her lunch with Ford, if I'm not mistaken).

So it does seem that Delos, prior to being bought out by the Man in Black (who also knows about Arnold, but he learned about him from the hosts, who retain knowledge about him through the programming he did), did succeed in scrubbing Arnold's existence from their records, and that Ford is the only remaining employee from that time.

  • 2
    +1, Good answer. It just seems so odd to me that no one outside the company, like a news media group or even the paparatzi, has pictures of Arnold.
    – Skooba
    Dec 1, 2016 at 13:01
  • 3
    It's impossible for us to know how famous Ford is in the real world, since we haven't glimpsed much of it yet, but I think it's safe to say that he's kind of a recluse and presumably lives in the facilities. Logan knows about the story of Arnold, but he might just have learned it through his connections with Delos, not through the mass media. But yes, in our world you would probably expect the founders of a park like Westworld to be celebrities like Mark Zuckerberg or Elon Musk…
    – tobiasvl
    Dec 2, 2016 at 10:07

By No one I assume you mean no humans

Arnold died before the park opened. What that means is that, other than Ford, there are (now) very few (or no) people who worked on the project who would still be around (being about 35 years later). It would have been in Ford's interest to let go various engineers who'd worked with them early on before going public after the accident. The "money people" whom Ford describes in his conversation with Theresa over lunch (when Manuel spills the wine), and in an earlier conversation with Bernard, had not yet come into the picture. That leaves the actual circumstances of Arnold's accidental death before the park opened a piece of park history that is interpreted by Ford. As time goes on, and as nobody working at the park was around for that incident, it moves into the area of the legend, history, and myth of the park.

The above fits with Logan's story (early on in their travels) told to Billy about "one of the founders dying" -- but the information being difficult to track down. This matches Ford's pre-opening disagreement with Arnold (as described by Ford). The park was not operational when Arnold died.

As shown in Episode 10

his death was no accident, but a suicide-by-bot due to Arnold having deep misgivings about how they were treating the Hosts, who were beginning to show signs of sentience, and his desire to prevent the park from opening.

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