Besides being a blow to loyal fans, co-creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy have both said in interviews that they had always planned on wrapping up the sci-fi drama’s story after five seasons. “We had always planned on ending the series next season,” Joy told The Wrap. “You know, we always thought that Westworld should kind of come full circle and back to the West. But with Dolores, who was just a player in other people’s games, finally getting to write her own.”
Indeed, Season 4 set the stage for Westworld to return to its titular futuristic theme park after expanding the story to the outside world in season three. “There’s time for one last game, a dangerous game with the highest of stakes,” says Evan Rachel Wood’s Charlotte/Dolores in the finale. “Survival or extinction. This game ends where it began. In a world like a maze. That tests who we are. That reveals what we are to become. One last loop around the bend. Maybe this time we’ll set ourselves free.”
Adapted from Michael Crichton’s 1973 film of the same name, Westworld premiered in 2016 and racked up nine Primetime Emmy wins during its run and 54 nominations. Besides Wood, the show’s cast featured movie stars like Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Thandiwe Newton, Tessa Thompson, Jeffrey Wright, Luke Hemsworth, Aaron Paul, and more.
“Over the past four seasons, Lisa and Jonah have taken viewers on a mind-bending odyssey, raising the bar at every step,” HBO shared in a statement. “We are tremendously grateful to them, along with their immensely talented cast, producers and crew, and all of our partners at Kilter Films, Bad Robot, and Warner Bros. Television. It’s been a thrill to join them on this journey.”