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Ranking the Hosts of ‘Westworld’

Which robot is the best robot?

HBO/Ringer illustration

Westworld finally returns Sunday night, and mankind is completely screwed. The hosts—a.k.a. synthetic androids that are indistinguishable from humans—are in the middle of an open rebellion, free from their programming. So instead of stumbling upon a host in the park saying, “Howdy partner! Fancy yourself a horseback quest nine miles yonder?” like in the first season, they’re more likely to say, “EVER SEEN YOUR OWN ENTRAILS, HUMAN FILTH?”

The hosts—whether they are Terminator-esque death machines or blissfully good Western hangs—are the most compelling characters in the series, by virtue of what they are. They contain multitudes and have killer wardrobes, and the world might be better off with them in charge instead of humans (I promise this isn’t Host Blog Boy speak, just an acknowledgment that people often suck).

In honor of our future, not-quite-human overlords, we’ve ranked the 13 most prominent hosts from Westworld’s first season, grading them in four categories—deadliness, proximity to sentience, likeability, and wardrobe—plus highlighting a special trait of each character to arbitrarily determine which robot is the best robot. Let’s get started.

13. Old Bill

Deadliness: 1/10
Closest to Sentience: 1/10
Likability: 5/10
Wardrobe: 6/10

Total: 13/40

Special Trait: Whiskey shots.

Overview: Old Bill (Michael Wincott) is an out-of-commission, early-model host whom Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins) would sometimes reboot and share a drink with. And that’s kind of the issue with Old Bill: That’s just about all the guy can do. His conversational skills are pretty limited, and if you don’t wanna throw down a shot of Hennessey, what exactly can you do with Old Bill?

Sure, he’ll say really vague things like “Shall we drink to the lady with the white shoes?” that causes a stir with the folks on Reddit, but in a futuristic world where robots are capable of doing just about everything, Old Bill is a glorified bartender who only knows how to make one drink.

12. Young Robert Ford

Deadliness: 1/10
Closest to Sentience: 2/10
Likability: 6/10
Wardrobe: 8/10

Total: 17/40

Special Trait: Being a good, British AF lad.

Overview: Young Robert Ford (I’m not sure what else to call him: Robo-Ford? Yung Ford?) has a pretty wild party trick:

(Twin Peaks: The Return did it better.)

But Young Ford was an indulgent creation by Old Ford—nobody else would care much about hanging out with the younger version of themselves, and anyone who does is probably an egomaniac (that checks out with Ford). Also, most humans visit the Westworld park to murder and/or have sex with hosts, and it’s mad uncomfortable having a small robot child in the middle of all that. Still, props for the creepy face thing.

11. Rebus

Deadliness: 7/10
Closest to Sentience: 4/10
Likability: 2/10
Wardrobe: 5/10

Total: 21/40

Special Trait: Familiarity with gamers.

Overview: For starters: Rebus (Steven Ogg) is a stupid name, is literally the word for a type of puzzle, and Westworld is a puzzle-box show. Rebus is the most Westworld name ever and also its worst.

The character isn’t all that interesting, either. He’s your prototypical Evil Western Dude, who spent part of the season terrorizing Dolores before she finally fought back and murdered him. If that’s the best Rebus moment of the season, Rebus is obviously not the best or most memorable host.

10. Angela

Deadliness: 5/10
Closest to Sentience: 6/10
Likability: 6/10
Wardrobe: 7/10

Total: 23/40

Special Trait: Inciting a very awkward Elon Musk tweet.

Overview: There were two versions of Angela in Westworld’s first season: the one that greeted the young Man in Black at the park’s entrance in the earlier timeline, and the one in the present timeline that is a terrifying cult follower of Wyatt (later revealed to be a scarier, alternate persona of Dolores).

Cult Angela is definitely more interesting than Greeter Angela, and all signs point to us seeing more of Cult Angela in Season 2 (actress Talulah Riley was also bumped up to a series regular). But for the time being, we didn’t get much out of Angela—here’s hoping more character development, and more Elon Musk tweets.

9. Lawrence, a.k.a “El Lazo”

Deadliness: 6/10
Closest to Sentience: 5/10
Likability: 9/10
Wardrobe: 7/10

Total: 27/40

Special Trait: Definitely the best hang of all the hosts.

Overview: Lawrence (Clifton Collins Jr.) did not have a great first season. He spent the majority of his time tethered to the Man in Black, who treated him with quasi reverence (considering he dragged him around like a prisoner and ended up shooting up his family for answers) for most of their odyssey across the park. But then Lawrence was unceremoniously gutted by the Man in Black to save Teddy’s life.

In an earlier Westworld timeline, Lawrence went by “El Lazo,” and, by virtue of not being murdered along with the rest of his robo-family, was definitely having a much better time in the park. Let’s hope his Season 2 future is a lot more like his past. He seems like a chill dude.

8. Peter Abernathy

Deadliness: 4/10
Closest to Sentience: 7/10
Likability: 7/10
Wardrobe: 10/10

Total: 28/40

Special Trait: Naked monologues.

Overview: Of all the hosts, Peter Abernathy (Louis Herthum) has the best epicness-to-scene ratio, because he basically has One Big Scene and it’s BIG. It should be a rule that any character that goes and steals scenes from Anthony Hopkins while completely nude deserves more screen time.

This was the moment that sold me on Westworld as a show; the utter creepiness of this exchange and the foreshadowing from what Abernathy said. Herthum is returning in Season 2, where I expect he’ll say scary things while naked and win an Emmy.

7. Clementine Pennyfeather

Deadliness: 7/10
Closest to Sentience: 4/10
Likability: 9/10
Wardrobe: 8/10

Total: 28/40

Special Trait: Clementine Pennyfeather is the most absurd name in television.

Overview: Clementine (Angela Sarafyan) was unfortunately subjected to some of the park’s worst horrors: Working at a brothel meant she was attacked and objectified repeatedly, and to make matters worse, she was lobotomized by Delos Incorporated technicians after she was programmed to kill. (Though when she kicked ass, she kicked ass.)

Somehow, Clementine is doing OK after all this, having been seen at the end of the finale leading a host #resistance and shooting the Man in Black in the arm (the first sign that hosts can now officially hurt humans!!). Who needs half a synthetic brain when you’re really good with a bolt-action? Clementine spent a lot of time standing around and looking pretty—killing humans might be more cathartic for her than any other robot in the series.

6. Hector Escaton

Deadliness: 10/10
Closest to Sentience: 6/10
Likability: 6/10
Wardrobe: 8/10

Total: 30/40

Special Trait: Bad Boy sex appeal.

Overview: Just a fact: Anyone who enters a show to a cover of “Paint It Black” is instantly a winner.

Hector (Rodrigo Santoro) is that fucking guy, and as one of the park’s main villains, carries a swagger that’s only undercut by the fact that any human guest could just, say, show up behind him midmonologue and shoot him, which is what happened at the end of that “Paint It Black” scene.

Hector also makes out a lot with Maeve, and if it’s possible to stan hosts, then I stan for these two. Let’s hope they reunite in Season 2.

5. Armistice

Deadliness: 10/10
Closest to Sentience: 5/10
Likability: 8/10
Wardrobe: 9/10

Total: 32/40

Special Trait: Would win a season of Ink Master.

Overview: Everything I said about Hector rings true for Armistice (Ingrid Bolsø Berdal), his right-hand outlaw woman. Except Armistice also has a badass snake tattoo across her body and ends the season by terrorizing Delos security after ripping off her hand.

This was also the Westworld finale end-credit scene. I’m so ready for Season 2 Armistice, and I pray she’ll attach a machine gun in her missing hand’s place.

4. Teddy Flood

Deadliness: 8/10
Closest to Sentience: 7/10
Likability: 10/10
Wardrobe: 8/10

Total: 33/40

Special Trait: Dying.

Overview: Teddy (James Marsden), you are a very sweet, fierce, protective, and lovable robot cowboy. Please stop dying.

3. Bernard Lowe

Deadliness: 8/10
Closest to Sentience: 9/10
Likability: 10/10
Wardrobe: 7/10

Total: 34/40

Special Trait: Pushing glasses down his nose.

Overview: Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) loses some points because he spent most of the first season blissfully unaware that he was a host (even if Reddit figured it out for him way in advance of the reveal). But Bernard was kind of the non-Reddit Westworld audience’s surrogate: He was blown away by all the series’s twists in actual time and is the character we spent the most time with.

Almost by design, it’s hard not to root for Bernard—even when he killed his lover/boss, Theresa, because that was really Ford ordering him to do it against his will.

Without Ford giving him orders, Bernard can choose to help humans or lead the host resistance. I’ll be rooting for him regardless.

2. Dolores Abernathy

Deadliness: 10/10
Closest to Sentience: 10/10
Likability: 9/10
Wardrobe: 9/10
Total: 38/40

Special Trait: Ominous soliloquies about having dreams.

Overview: Who had the wildest trajectory in Westworld? Probably Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood). The rancher’s daughter—who was also the first host ever created and has been tinkered with and rebooted more than the iPhone—might have actually gained consciousness by the end of the season. And what does a robot with newfound sentience do to humans?

Maybe a Westworld Season 2 trailer will—

Yep. They’re fucked.

1. Maeve Millay

Deadliness: 10/10
Closest to Sentience: 9/10
Likability: 10/10
Wardrobe: 10/10

Total: 39/40

Special Trait: All the good one-liners.

Overview: After being stuck in horrible movies like Crash and Norbit, Thandie Newton deserved a role worthy of her talents. Enter Maeve. The brothel madam of Sweetwater’s finest establishment does a complete 180 by the midpoint of Season 1, when she essentially enters cheat codes for herself in the park. It’s like watching someone play a video game in God Mode.

Maeve is probably the most equipped host to handle the real world (she’s not as murder-happy, for starters, though she’s quite capable when it’s necessary). If the hosts need a leader, might I suggest they nominate Maeve? #ImWithHer #PleaseSpareMe

Disclosure: HBO is an initial investor in The Ringer.