What Are the Rules in Westworld?

HBO's new sci-fi Western, Westworld, is a lot to take in. There are human-like robots called "hosts," sexually deviant guests visiting the titular theme park, and a whole bunch of general weirdness. Because the series is so insane, we figured it might be helpful to keep a running list of all the rules and concrete information we have about what goes on inside the amusement park — before it gets way too confusing to follow. After Sunday's premiere, here's what we know about how the hosts, guests, and engineers function.

  • While the hosts seemingly reset every day, guests stay in Westworld for up to two weeks, according to the premiere.
  • Guests can do whatever they'd like to the hosts (kill, rape, etc.), but the hosts cannot harm the guests — though signs of a host uprising are evident.
  • Hosts are written with a semipermanent story. Teddy (James Marsden) is Dolores's (Evan Rachel Wood) true love, so no matter where their adventures take them on a particular day, they are the star-crossed lovers.
  • The engineers can replace hosts. We see at the end of the premiere that the host who plays Dolores's father (Louis Herthum) is replaced by a different host, but the storyline of Dolores and her father remains the same.
  • The engineers can rewrite stories for particular hosts. We also learn that the body of the host who first plays Dolores's father has also played several completely different parts within Westworld. His playing the father role is just the latest in his history.
  • When hosts malfunction, they're placed in a warehouse. There are rows and rows of old hosts just standing nude in storage.
  • Engineers are constantly tweaking and rewriting codes. Dr. Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins), the head honcho, adds a code that allows the hosts to very slightly recall memories from days past, which then manifest in physical actions like touching their lips in recollection of affectionate feelings. The code malfunctioning is what gets Dolores's father in trouble, as he starts to recall his past lives.
  • As dangerous as the town is, even more depravity happens in the desert. Repeat guests know this, and they use Teddy as a guide to take them out there.
  • There's more to Westworld than meets the eye. The villain known as The Man in Black (Ed Harris) has been coming to Westworld for decades, and he's determined to uncover a deeper level of the park. He's onto something; he tortures a host until he discovers a map hidden under his scalp and sets out to follow it.