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A Word Cloud of Westworld

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Joel Carron, Data Scientist at Mode

November 22, 2016 3 minute read

Last week, we examined HBO's original series Westworld with charts showing the relationships between characters, whom they mention, and how many words they've each said.

With the season finale rapidly approaching (only two episodes left!), we decided to hone in on the content of the dialogue. What are the hosts, guests, and employees of Westworld actually talking about? We made a word cloud of everything characters have said so far (up through Episode 8, Trace Decay) to kick off the exploration.

Westworld Word Cloud

Why a word cloud? They get a lot of hate, but they can be a useful starting place for deeper analysis. Adam Crymble points out “[A]n expert in the source material can, with reasonable accuracy, reconstruct some of the more basic details of what’s going on.” Once these details bubble to the surface, they spark new questions.

Two observations immediately led to some questions:

  • It seems like everybody is talking about Dolores. Who else gets mentioned frequently, and at what rate?
  • Judging by the size of that f-bomb, there's a lot of swearing in Westworld. That's not huge shock on its own—this is HBO after all—but who's doing the swearing?

To get answers, we needed to say goodbye to word clouds and hello to bar charts. Unlike word clouds, bar charts can display sums and rates with precision.

Whom are characters talking about?

Dolores appears to be mentioned and spoken to more than other characters. But how much more? And who else is a frequent topic of discussion?

Mode Analytics

As expected, Dolores comes in first, but she outpaces Bernard by 20 mentions. The elusive and unseen Arnold clocks in at No. 3.

Who swears the most?

Do humans or hosts swear more? What about men or women? Since our dataset includes values for the sex and status (human/host) of each character, it was easy to divide dialogue by group.

Word cloud by group

It's interesting to see how much more frequently humans curse than hosts. For all of Westworld's rough-and-tumble appeal, it would appear that only a few hosts curse frequently.

Let's narrow it down to the foulest of the foul-mouthed. Here are the top 10 swearers, broken down by total curses and rate of cursing.

Mode Analytics

If you were betting Logan would top the list, you'd be wrong. Sylvester (the redheaded butcher) comes in first for total curses by a wide margin. Perhaps it's because he's angry or defending himself in almost every scene? His butcher buddy Felix doesn't swear nearly as much, but curses still account for 1.5% of Felix's total words.

Elsie swears almost half as much as Sylvester, but her rate is much lower—only 1.36% compared to his 3.92%. Perhaps that's because she gets to experience emotions besides stress—bantering with Stubbs, blackmailing that one butcher, or earnestly trying to get Bernard on her side.

For all his talk about “just trying to be chivalrous,” Teddy swears a good amount. It's not his fault though. He didn't swear at all until Ford programmed him with the Wyatt storyline in Episode 3. Teddy utters his first curse words later in the episode when he's out on a bounty hunt with one of the guests and gets ambushed by Wyatt's men. In Episode 8, Teddy has a flashback of the Man in Black hurting Dolores, and his swearing rate reaches the highest point yet.

Mode Analytics

Want more violent data delights?

We're showcasing these visualizations and many others on Westworld in Data. If you want to explore the dataset for yourself, sign up for a free Mode account and query these Westworld data tables. Look out for more visualizations next week!

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