Major spoiler warning for Squid Game, duh

Since binging Squid Game this week, I’ve come across a lot of cracking theories on TikTok and Reddit, and since we have no idea when we’ll get a second season, let’s unpack them all.

There’s a lot of things you may have missed in the early episodes of Squid Game that foreshadowed major moments in the show—from character reveals to the way some of them died. Then, there’s also all the unanswered questions about the VIPs, Gi-Hun’s red hair, and just how exactly a season 2 could work?

P.S. if you haven’t seen the ending or are confused as fck, check out our explainer on the Squid Game ending.

Every main characters’ death in Squid Game was foreshadowed by their life in the real world

Hear me out here because this genuinely checks out. A lot of our characters’ downfalls end up ironically being related to things they did and how they acted outside of the game.

Player 101, the mafia boss Jang Deok-su (Heo Sung-Tae), jumped off a bridge to avoid debt collectors from a casino in the Philippines then fell off a bridge in the fifth game.

Similarly, player 212, our chaotic queen Hwang Jun-ho (Wi Ha-joon), tells Deok-su to promise that they’d make it out together. Then, when he betrays her, she fulfills that promise and takes him down with her on the bridge.

Player 67, the North Korean defector Kang Sae-byeok (HoYeon Jung), threatened to slit a man’s throat outside of the game then was slashed in the neck by Player 218, Cho Sang-woo (Park Hae-soo).

Player 199, the Pakistani immigrant Abdul Ali (Anupam Tripathi), ran away with his boss’ money (which really was his six-month-long overdue pay) and then was eliminated after Sangwoo stole his marbles. There’s also a bit of a parallel here in how polite and committed he was to his boss (particularly, that he continued working for him for six months unpaid) and then how he trusted Sangwoo, another man with wealth and power over him.

Speaking of Sangwoo, before the games, he wanted to kill himself because he was so ashamed of what he had done. Then in the final match against player 456, Seong Gi-Hun (Lee Jung-jae), Sangwoo, ridden by the shame of being defeated, decides to kill himself instead of voting to end the game with his childhood friend and surviving.

This last one may be a reach but player 111, doctor Byeong-gi (Yoo Sung-joo), was sued for malpractice outside of the game—AKA cheated the medical system for his own gain. Then he was killed and hung up on display for doing a similar thing in-game by conspiring with some of the Squid Game workers and dissecting his fellow dead players for clues to the next game.

@15laa

Okay the censoring might be a bit too careful but I don’t want to get b@n3d hehe #squidgame #squidgamenetflix #netflix #tvseries #kangsaebyeok

♬ Pink Soldiers – 23

The old man is actually Gi-Hun’s father

A lot of Squid Game TikTok believes that Player 1, old man Oh Il-nam (Oh Yeong-su) and one of the game’s VIPs, is actually Gi-hun’s father.

In episode two of Squid Game, “Hell”, the players are given a bottle of milk and a bun. Gi-hun tries to ask the guards for some choccy milk instead, which is when Oh Il-nam whose standing directly behind him in line asks if he was spanked as a kid and says that his son was the same and that they’re alike.

Then, in episode four, “Gganbu”, the two of them both say that the area the group plays marbles in resembles their hometown—down to the literal alleyway and house, respectively.

Throw in the fact old mate bumped into Gi-hun at a convenience store when everyone was let out, that his son’s birthday aligns with our MC’s and that he spared him during the marbles game, and it all starts to sound mighty suss.

@ruthbellpan

Reply to @ruthbellpan LAST ONE WILL BLOW YOUR MIND ???? #squidgame #netflix #squid #okeh #theories #squidgames2

♬ MONEY – 리사 (LISA)

If the old man is Gi-hun’s father then he planned the games for him

There are two things that come to mind here. First, Oh Il-nam made the game to find his son and make him the new Front Man or his VIP replacement. Second, he invited Gi-hun as a twisted way of winning his inheritance instead of just handing it to him, which fits with the theme of equality.

For this theory to work IMO, Il-nam would’ve had to have left Gi-hun and his mum when Gi-hun was young, otherwise he would’ve recognised him, no?

Are Ali and Sae-Byeok alive?

I find this theory pretty unlikely to be honest but some hopefuls claim that fan-faves Ali and Sae-Byeok, who both deserved better, are still alive.

Their reasoning for Ali is unclear. I mean, we saw his body be cremated after he died.

But some claim that Sae-Byeok never fully died because we didn’t hear the Front Man (Lee Byung-hun) announce her death as they did with everyone else. Personally, I think we didn’t hear it in the show because it didn’t fit with the grim tone of the scene and that the symbolism of the coffin was convincing enough as is.

The blue and red card game the Salesman plays with Gi-hun determines whether someone joins as a player or a worker

At the beginning of the show, Gi-hun plays a game called Ddakji with the Salesman (Gong Yoo), a suspiciously handsome man in a suit who recruits desperate debt-ridden people for the Squid Game.

The game is rather simple: choosing either a red or blue paper card, you have to throw it onto another player’s card on the ground and try to flip it over.

According to some inky theorists, the red and blue cards represent the players and workers. If Gi-hun had chosen red, he may have ended up as a red circle worker instead of a player, whose uniform is a greenish-blue.

@lucy.what1

it’s just my guess but i have checked, all the other players have also selected the color blue. #fypシ #viral #squidgame #squidgamenetflix

♬ She Knows – J. Cole

There isn’t enough evidence to completely support this theory but it would definitely play into the whole “everyone is equal here and gets a second chance” rule of the Squid Game.

If true, it may be that the workers are then forced to work their way out of their debt?

If the red and blue card theory ends up being true, it might be that workers are paid out of their debt if they work. It could explain why there are so many workers, why they live in such shitty conditions, why one of them was a kid, and why some of them were desperate enough to sell players’ organs for cash.

Gi-hun died his hair red because he plans to go back to the Squid Game as a worker

Speaking of the whole red and blue symbolism theory, it seems like Gi-hun’s decision to die his hair red at the end of the game might foreshadow the fact he’ll sneak into the games as a worker to destroy it from the inside in the second season.

To be honest, his new hair choice is either a cheeky reference to this or Gi-hun is about to ride the Hallyu wave and join BTS.

Shocking absolutely no one, the hot cop is definitely not dead (but probably still hot)

Does this need to be explained? The age-old rule in TV is if you don’t see someone die on-screen, they aren’t dead.

We saw this when Mi-nyeo was taken away by guards after not finding a partner in the fourth game and then showed up later as a contestant for the fifth round. And, it’s highly likely we’ll see this with Hwang Jun-ho (Wi Ha-joon).

It also wouldn’t make sense for Jun-ho to die when we’ve yet to explore his relationship with his brother, the Front Man, which brings me to my next theory.

Gi-hun and Jun-ho will swap roles in Squid Game season 2

I fully think that in season two, we’ll see Gi-Hun sneak into the facility much like Jun-ho did this season, and see Jun-ho compete as a player.

Why? Well not only are they the two characters we as an audience are still rooting for that are still alive but they kinda parallel each other quite nicely.

Adding to that, it wouldn’t make sense for us to follow the games in season 2 with completely new characters when these two are still in the narrative. It’d just be very hard to root for randoms.

I also feel like, if this theory ends up true, Jun-ho will have amnesia or the VIPs will tell the Front Man he either plays or dies on the spot.

BLACKPINK’s Jeannie will compete as a player in season 2

Okay, this theory is so fkn wild it almost could be true? BLACKPINK member Jeannie may star as a player in Squid Game season 2. Why? Some people on TikTok reckon it’s likely because she’s a fan of the series and was spotted on-set during the first season.

Specifically, she was seen sitting next to actress Jung Ho-yeon in her bed in episode eight, “Front Man”, AKA when Sae-Byeok dies.

The Squid Game VIPS, while awfully acted, probably founded the whole thing

Given that the VIPs are all twisted old men and that there aren’t many of them, it seems like they most likely founded the Squid Games.

This is a particularly sound theory when you remember Oh Il-nam is part of the crew. That, to me, suggests that the others flew in to see what his games are like.

In that same way, I feel like past winners can be Front Men and have some special privileges (like the ability to live a normal life outside of the games) but can never be seen at the same level as the VIPs.

According to the Squid Game records, the current Front Man won in 2015. However, he was only missing for a few weeks when this season begins in 2020, which suggests that he’s allowed to freely roam around but has to go back to do his duties once a year.

There are other Squid Games around the world (read: potential spin-offs)

If the VIPs are founders, that implies that they each run their own game. From their awful accents, you can tell that each of the VIPs is from a different country, too. There’s at least an American and Russian one among them.

When the group is watching Gi-hun and Sangwoo fight, one of them says that the games in Korea are always interesting, which further suggests that there are more games like them around the world.

The biggest part of this theory, to me, is it opens up the series for possible sequels and spin-offs, including a potentially awful US remake. The show is about to surpass Bridgerton as Netflix’s most-streamed original series so I would not be surprised if this happened.

According to PopCrave, Squid Game creator Hwang Dong-hyuk isn’t sure whether there’ll even be a second season of the hit show. But, if there is, he may draw on some of the fan theories from around the world (including in this yarn) for inspiration.

“I haven’t decided yet whether or not I should do another season,” he said.

“But if you look at it in a positive way, I could actually pull ideas from fans all around the world to create the next season. I think that’s what I’m wrestling with right now.”

If you want to rewatch Squid Game and fact-check all these theories, you can watch it on Netflix.

Image: Netflix