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HBO, home of some amazing TV shows, may have just killed the Rickroll. This is because the showrunners for Westworld, Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, have Rickrolled Reddit. And they pulled their publicity stunt off in spectacular style.
What Is Rickrolling?
If you’re very young or simply new to the internet, you may not be aware of Rickrolling. It’s a simple concept where you’re invited to click a link, and instead of opening the site or story you were expecting, you hear “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley.
Rickrolling has been around since May 2007, when the music video for “Never Gonna Give You Up” was touted as the trailer for Grand Theft Auto IV. Rickrolling then became a thing across the internet, and out of touch brands continue to use it to this day.
Which brings us onto HBO, Nolan and Joy, and their Rickrolling of Reddit.
The Day HBO Rickrolled Reddit
Ahead of the second season of Westworld, Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy took part in a Reddit AMA. During this AMA the showrunners announced that they were willing to post a video showing the entire plot of Season 2 in an attempt to reduce the impact of spoilers.
Redditors lapped it up, upvoting the suggestion to ensure Nolan and Joy followed through. However, while some Westworld fans were keen to see spoilers, others expressed their disagreement with the plan. Regardless, the votes racked up and the video was uploaded.
As you can see, this video starts out delivering what it promised, with Jeffrey Wright, who plays Bernard, describing how Westworld Season 2 opens. And then, just as you think it’s legit, Evan Rachel Wood, who plays Dolores, sings “Never Gonna Give You Up”.
After a brief message informing Reddit they just got pwned, the rest of the video shows a dog sitting at a piano as the Westworld theme plays out. It closes with a tribute to Bento, better known to Reddit et al as Keyboard Cat.
Spoiling for a Fight
Is this important in the big scheme of things? No, of course not. However, the internet is responsible for spoiling lots of big shows, including Game of Thrones, so this suggests HBO is at least a little concerned about the same thing happening to Westworld.