Possible spoilers for Westworld season two and definite spoilers for Westworld season one below.
The mysterious and possibly cruel (depending on how you look at it) Man in Black was the primary focus of Westworld‘s first season. If you’ve finished the first season (read our casual viewer’s guide), you now know that he went from an empathetic first-time guest to the majority shareholder in the park, making him essentially the owner. In the time since his fist visit, he spends years carving up Host AIs in the search of a hidden secret he believes the original park creator, Arnold, hid somewhere in the “maze.”
It’s easy to root against the Man in Black, especially if you’re of the belief that the AI Hosts deserve agency from their sudden consciousness. He seems like the main antagonist of the first season, easily, but Ed Harris, speaking to IndieWire at the Westworld season 2 premiere, doesn’t see it that way:
“I see him as a protagonist actually, yes,” Harris said. “Particularly this season. The maze is […] history. He’s on a whole other track this year, and I think the track that he’s on definitely makes him a protagonist. I’m worried about Season 3, to tell you the truth.”
It’s clear that the robot uprising of Westworld isn’t going to lead to an assimilation of the AIs into the normal world, so maybe the Man in Black is the only one who knows how to stop the rise of the machines?