The third episode of the second season of “Westworld,” which aired Sunday night on HBO, opens somewhere we’ve never seen or heard about on the show.
The episode opens with two peacocks, palm trees, and an instrumental sitar version of The White Stripes hit “Seven Nation Army,” indicating that this setting is a Delos Destination park.
A woman (Grace) and a man (Nicholas), characters we’ve never seen before, sit at an outdoor table in an Indian setting. There are temples and elephants. And until the hosts go haywire, nobody shoots or stabs anybody. So, it’s quite the opposite of Westworld.
Guests seem to come to this park, called “The Raj,” to hunt dangerous animals, including Bengals. “British Raj” refers to the period when India was under British rule from 1858-1947. The Bengal tiger, native to India, was seen washed up on the shore of Westworld in the season two premiere. As we see early in the episode, the hosts in this park (including the Bengal) go off the rails and start attacking guests.
Here’s everything we know about The Raj, the new park on “Westworld”:
The Raj is the sixth park.
Here’s how the Delos Destination website describes The Raj:
“If being pampered by our world-class spa isn’t your cup of Darjeeling Tea, the park’s jungles and mountains are your only chance to glimpse magnificent beasts long vanished from your world.”
So at The Raj, you can either relax and enjoy your surroundings like a beach, or you can go on an adventure. Or both! Either way, it’s really expensive.
It seems as though enough potential guests were looking for something similar to Westworld, but not so violent and intense. Being listed as park six, The Raj is probably the sixth and most recent park Delos built.
What does The Raj mean?
The British Raj was a period of British colonial rule over India between 1858 and 1947.
During this period, Britain ruled about two thirds of modern India. The other parts of India were under the control of Indian princes, but they were under a lot of pressure from Britain.
In the screengrab above, there’s a flag over the the building in The Raj park. It appears to be a red flag with the British flag in the corner. This is what the British Raj flag looks like.
What decade is it?
British rule over India started in 1858, during Queen Victoria’s reign. It ended in 1947, when King George VI was king.
Based on the costumes worn by the guests and hosts seen in the opening sequence, our guess is that The Raj is supposed to depict a decade between the 1920s and the 1940s.
Some guests come here to hunt Bengals.
Guests who like danger, but aren’t quite ready for Westworld or Shogun World, can come to The Raj to hunt Bengals and other wild animals. In The Raj, the animals can’t hurt you, unless things go very, very wrong like they did in this episode when the Bengal attacks Grace.
Other guests come to The Raj for a true vacation — it’s definitely more relaxed than Westworld and Shogun World.
From what we’ve seen of the park so far, it looks like a lot of guests come to drink tea, ride elephants, or admire extinct animals. It has way more of a vacation feel than Westworld and Shogun World.
We also know from what Lee Sizemore says in the season two trailers that Shogun World was made for guests who found Westworld too tame. The Raj looks like more of a true vacation, and perhaps is a park where guests go to prepare themselves for the more excessive parks Delos has to offer.
A Bengal attacked Grace, and it’s probably the one Bernard found in Westworld.
Grace narrowly escapes the Bengal attack, but is captured by Ghost Nation when she gets to the shore of Westworld.
The Raj is on the same island as Westworld. But how far is it, and how is the environment and climate so different?
Nicholas says to Grace that there’s nothing like hunting Bengals. “Edge of the park is a bit mad,” he says to her. So The Raj is on the edge of the island that Delos Destinations owns, so it’s on the water.
From the little information we have gotten about this island, we can guess that The Raj and Westworld are next to each other. Since The Raj and Westworld both have warmer climates, this makes sense. Shogun World is in the mountains and cold, with snow.
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