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Subtle Details About HBO's 'Watchmen' You Wouldn't Know From Just Watching The Show  

Tyler Mitchell
10.1k views 14 items

When Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' Watchmen first hit comic book stands in 1986, it was an immediate hit that became a critical darling both in and outside of comics circles. Come on, it made the cut on Time's list of the 100 best novels published in the English language between 1923 and 2010, for crying out loud. Zack Snyder's 2009 film adaptation of the source material came and went without much fanfare, but Watchmen has always been primed for a television series more than a movie. And now, a Game of Thrones-less HBO has given Damon Lindelof, the man responsible for the twists and turns of Lost and The Leftovers, carte blanche to do what he will with the realistic look at vigilantism - and he is really going to town with it.

In addition to the show, which airs on HBO, Lindelof and his team have created supplementary material in the form of a website called Peteypedia that houses things like internal FBI memos and newspaper articles from the alternate universe of the show. This list collects the most interesting and surprising details about the world of HBO's Watchmen revealed in these supplementary materials. We are trying to stay away from information that is explicit or overt in the episodes themselves, so no squid rain here, folks. We are talking about everything from interesting facts about the characters to the weird and surprising inclusion of real-world people like Ezra Klein and Robert Mueller into this alternate 2019. Let's jump on in.

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Adrian Veidt (Ozymandias) Disappeared Seven Years Earlier, Spawning A Host Of Conspiracy Theories
Adrian Veidt (Ozymandias) Disa... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Subtle Details About HBO's 'Watchmen' You Wouldn't Know From Just Watching The Show
Photo:  DC Comics

In a tidbit that is sure to become important to the show if speculation about Jeremy Irons's character is to be believed, Adrian Veidt disappeared without a trace back in 2012. According to a newspaper article on Peteypedia dated September 9, 2019, Veidt was finally declared deceased by the FBI after a seven-year search.

The general public of the Watchmen universe appears to have been pretty obsessed with the famed man's disappearance, as well. At one point, when fascination surrounding the mysterious disappearance was at its height, nine of the top 100 books on The San Francisco Times Best Sellers’ List were devoted to investigations (both reputable and unreputable) about Veidt. It's nice to see books have made a comeback in a world without technology! 

There Are "Manhattanologists" - Experts In The Study Of Dr. Manhattan
There Are
Photo:  HBO

Another throwaway detail that is pretty fascinating is the idea of "Manhattanologists."

Experts in the study of all things Dr. Manhattan, "Manhattanologists" are mentioned in the newspaper article on Veidt - along with the notion that anything made by Dr. Manhattan might be carcinogenic. The article also mentions that leading Manhattanologists now believe that there is no actual merit to those concerns. 

Pet Cloning Is A Widely Available Service
Pet Cloning Is A Widely Availa... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Subtle Details About HBO's 'Watchmen' You Wouldn't Know From Just Watching The Show
Photo:  DC Comics

Yet another throwaway line in the same newspaper article involves the idea of pet cloning and the monetization of it. The article mentions that in 1999, Veidt "began licensing proprietary technology to other fields, most notably, pet cloning, through a subsidiary named after his famed lynx, Bubastis."

There is precedent for cloning in the universe of Watchmen comic books: After Bubastis was vaporized at the end of the original series, Veidt cloned the lynx and eventually dubbed it Bubastis II. 

There's An International 'Free Vietnam' Movement Focused On The United States
There's An International 'Free... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Subtle Details About HBO's 'Watchmen' You Wouldn't Know From Just Watching The Show
Photo:  HBO

In the show's universe, Vietnam has become the 51st state of the United States of America. The redesigned American flag isn't half bad, either. But Vietnam's inclusion into the United States has not come without controversy.

Near the end of the newspaper article on Peteypedia, it is mentioned that, in 2017, the governor of Vietnam claimed the Vietnamese Liberation Front had taken out Veidt as an act of terror against the US. The police action that followed resulted in hundreds of civilian casualties, as well as rebuke from nations like China and the United Kingdom, who support the "Free Vietnam" movement. It would seem that President Redford is a controversial figure both at home and abroad.