Westworld Finale Sets Series Record As Showrunners Tease Season 2’s Expanding Universe

The numbers are in and if there was ever any doubt that HBO’s Westworld has enjoyed a commendable opening run, official figures have revealed that a record 2.2 million tuned in for Sunday’s finale, “The Bicameral Mind.”

That’s up seven percent from last week’s penultimate episode, ensuring that much like the show itself, Westworld‘s season 1 ratings went out with a flourish. Not only that, but with an average of 12 million viewers across all available platforms, HBO’s genre mash-up now ranks as the most-watched first season of any original series in the network’s history. That’s quite the feat, and Westworld‘s landmark success has also been recognized in critical circles too, after it bagged a pair of WGA Award nominations – Best Drama Series and Best New Series – earlier this morning.

Looking back on the inaugural season with the benefit of hindsight, co-creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy have offered a more thorough analysis of “The Bicameral Mind” and, perhaps most exciting of all, where Westworld is headed with season 2 and beyond. It goes without saying, but THR’s chat with Nolan and Joy is riddled with spoilers, so continue at your own risk!

Still with us? Kicking things off, Nolan touched on the mysterious Samurai World that featured during last night’s finale, before teasing that the show’s scope extends far beyond the dusty hills of Westworld itself. Said he: “We never had any intention of staying in one place. We don’t want to shoot on the same sets for 10 years. We want to blow the sets up and move onto another piece of the story.”

As for the overarching theme of Westworld season 2, in light of the host’s uprising, Lisa Joy warned viewers to expect more chaos now that many of the park’s robots have freed themselves from the shackles of their creators.

“The control vs. chaos reminds me of the Langston Hughes poem, about what happens to a dream deferred. We’ve set this up as Dolores living in a dream, but it’s someone else’s dream. She can’t live her own life. Then, at the end, we see. It explodes and goes out with a bang.”

Now for the million-dollar question: when can we expect Westworld to return? Not until 2018, according to Nolan, who asked viewers to be patient as all involved begin moulding the show’s future – from the core story all the way down to the logistical issues that come hand-in-hand with such an ambitious production.

Definitely not coming back until 2018. Look, we said to the network very early that this was a different kind of show, having gone through the experience of making the pilot. Game of Thrones is incredibly ambitious, and that was part of the reason we knew we wanted to make this show with HBO. Game of Thrones kind of has written the book on production value for television, and how to make something that has all the scope and scale of cinema for a TV show. They also have an advantage of having [George R.R. Martin’s] amazing books, or had it for the first six seasons, which gives you a leg up. I still don’t know how they turn those seasons around in a year. It’s astonishing. But we knew for ourselves that going forward, the production is enormously challenging and ambitious, and so is the writing. So we said very early on that we wouldn’t be able to turn this around every year, and knowing full well that that’s been a time-honored tradition in television. But in film, my other life, on the Batman movies, the best we could do is turn another one around in three years. I really feel like we’re splitting the difference here.

HBO brought the curtain down on Westworld season 1 with the premiere of “The Bicameral Mind.” In light of Nolan and Joy’s teasing comments regarding the show’s sophomore run, tell us, what are your hopes going into season 2? Sound off down below and let us know!