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Damon Lindelof clarifies what the hell's going on with Adrian Veidt on Watchmen

Jeremy Irons stars in Watchmen
Photo: Colin Hutton (HBO)

[If you don’t want to look upon these Watchmen plot points and despair, maybe check out Rion Amilcar’s favorite books of the decade instead.]

The mystery of who Jeremy Irons is playing on Watchmen was resolved fairly early in Damon Lindelof’s continuation series, but many fans surmised correctly that the actor would play Adrian Veidt (a.k.a Ozymandias) based on just the trailer. No matter, because Watchmen has raised many more questions in its first season, including whether Doctor Manhattan can take on a human form, what’s up with these “squidfalls,” and just what the hell Veidt is doing on that beautiful estate while the Seventh Kavalry terrorizes Tulsa.

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Turns out, Veidt didn’t just retire to countryside to become a playwright specializing in shows about naked blue god-men—despite what the fancy digs and army of clones might suggest, he’s actually being held captive. We don’t yet know by whom, but Lindelof did recently tell Collider where exactly Veidt’s prison is located. From the interview:

“I think that if Adrian Veidt is trying to escape from prison, that’s not a good challenge for him. He’s going to do that very easily—there’s no prison that’s going to hold Adrian Veidt, unless that prison is on Europa, a moon of Jupiter.”

That’s a ways from Doctor Manhattan’s adopted home of Mars, but that doesn’t necessarily shoot down the theory that the erstwhile Jonathan Osterman is the responsible for Veidt’s imprisonment. After all, “Jupiter” is the last name Sally Juspeczyk took on, and Doctor Manhattan was in a relationship with Sally’s daughter Laurie (Jean Smart) for years. Then again, that kind of inside joke might be beyond Doctor Manhattan’s current emotional capacity, so maybe Lady Trieu (Hong Chau) just built an even bigger trebuchet.

Lindelof also confirmed what so many have been thinking about those “anniversaries” the clones and Veidt have been celebrating—a year passes between each visit to Europa: “It’s a story told on a very, very large canvas, each installment taking place on another anniversary of another year that he has spent wherever the hell he’s spending [it].”

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Of the nine episodes that make up season one, Veidt is absent from only one; according to Lindelof, he didn’t fit into the story being told in that particular episode. Any episode with clones and show tunes, though? He’s your man.

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