This Korean child’s game map can be seen in many places throughout the series. One of the first ones we see is in the presentation card given to Gi-hun by the salesman. The guards also have either a square, circle, or triangle on their masks to identify their rank. However, there are other places that we are sure you saw but ignored it. Including the show’s logo at the beginning of every episode, with the magenta color to make it pop even more. But other scenes hid the symbols even more.
For example, in the red light green light game, you can see that the giant doll in the middle of the yard has the symbols as a hair clip, spoiling away the last fun. Or there is also the front man’s room elevator entrance which has marks all over it in a very artistic way. However, one of the most interesting things is during the last supper between the remaining three players. They are sitting at a triangle-shaped table in the middle of a circle made of square tiles. This represents that they are showing the world that they are risking it all until the last challenge.
10. The red and blue tile has a dark story behind it.
The quick game that the businessman uses to entice and get the players for the game might be confusing to non-Korean people. We are sure many people missed this detail because of it. However, we are here to tell you all about it. Many theories compare the red and blue tile to the red and blue pill in The Matrix, and in a way, that is a good analogy. Nevertheless, there is something else that makes more sense, and it might be the answer. The blue and red tiles are based on a Japanese urban legend.
The story goes that if you are alone in a public restroom, a ghost called Aka Manto might show up and offers you to choose between red and blue toilet paper. If the person decides red, they’ll have a very gruesome and painful death. If they choose blue, the ghost will suffocate them to death. In this case, no matter the player’s color, there’s a high probability you will die in the games that go with the urban legend. Even the show’s director Hwang Dong-hyuk confirmed in an interview that it is based on Aka Manto. The more you know.
9. The iconic red light green light doll has been around for a while.
The story behind one of the most recognizable figures in the show is the big creepy doll used in the first game is very interesting and goes back to the 70s! The girl is very recognizable for many Koreans because she was one of the most famous figures in South Korea’s school books. Her name is Younghee, and her friend Chulsoo is the main character of a series of educational textbooks typical in the 1970s and 1980s. The stories always focused on bizarre and sometimes embarrassing childhood memories that bring nostalgia while educating about different aspects of life. That’s not all; the doll used in the show is a real attraction!
Just a few hours away from the North of Seoul, in Jincheon County, a carriage museum is the home of the doll used in the show. Yes, the massive doll is right at the museum entrance, and since the show aired, it has become a big attraction. The filmmakers behind the show borrowed Younghee and, after they finished, brought it back to the museum. People noticed that the once creepy doll has become even more bizarre because it seems like it lost a hand while in transportation. Sadly, it won’t be there for too long because it’s now under a private archiving process. So if you are in South Korea, you better go and snap a pic before she is taken away.
8. There are even secrets in Squid Game about the music.
One thing that makes the show a bit unsettling is the music. The child-like songs, especially in dark moments, make some scenes a bit disturbing. However, there is one song that gives us goosebumps every time the show plays it. It’s the 1866’s Blue Danube by composer Johann Strauss Jr. The song is the unofficial anthem of Austria. The Danube river, which is the second-longest river in Europe, inspired the music. One thing that sticks out is that Strauss Jr. wrote it to lift the spirits of the people of Austria when they lost the war against Prussia.
The one song they played before announcing the next mortal game was to lift a nation’s spirits – sounds a bit ironic in Squid Game. Yet, it has a purpose. Think about it. After the first game, everyone was terrified of what was in store for the following games. Even if most of the people came back after, the majority decided to quit. So in a way, they play the song to keep the players’ spirits up, even if for most of them, it meant the end. It was even played after the last supper, in a moment that all three players were exhausted and tensed up from everything that happened in the earlier game, so we don’t think the song did its job here.
Something that caught our eye and confused us is the call that the front man gets at the beginning of episode 7. In the scene, you see the front man being a little hesitant to pick up the call. However, when he does, his conversation with the mysterious person calling seems a bit suspicious. We can’t hear the other person’s voice. Yet, you see the front man saying, “I’m happy to hear you enjoyed the game, sir.” Then he continues, “the host is currently waiting for the VIPs to arrive.” You might think that he is talking with Il-nam, but the host is player one, so it can’t be him. Which brings us to the question: who is he speaking to?
The plot thickens, and we are confident that we will get the answer to it in season two, but we have a theory about whom he was talking to, and it seems like there is someone else that outranks player one and is the one controlling the networks of games around the world. It looks like a crazy idea, but it has a bit of logic. If Il-nam is about to pass away from the tumor, there has to be someone else to take the reigns, and even if having the front man sounds like the obvious answer, it seems like he is only a pawn in the big scheme of the Squid Games.
We overlooked this one the first time we watched the Squid Game, and now it’s blowing our minds. In many scenes with Gi-hun, you see a neon red cross from a church near the area while he’s in town. The first time we see the cross, he is carrying his daughter to her home. After that, we see it once again after going to ask his ex-wife for money, and he ends up punching the stepdad. Both times the cross is seen behind him. Another red cross from a religious man on the street after Gi-hun (now the victor) is dropped off in a limousine.
Minutes later, you see the neon red cross from the church while he’s walking to his home, where he finds his mother dead on the floor. This is the only instance where Gi-hun is walking towards the cross, and knowing there is no such thing as a coincidence in Squid Game, we are sure there is some symbolism in all this. In the real world, a red cross symbolizes humanitarian aid and protection in the face of a conflict and disaster. Maybe at the beginning, when you see him walking away from it, it’s the way of the showrunner to tell us that he has his back to any aid that the game might have. And then he is finally facing it; it’s a way of showing that help is needed and is on its way.
5. Let’s share more clues about who player 1 is in Squid Game.
Player one betrayed us into thinking he was just a sweet old man with nothing to lose and wants one final goodbye playing his childhood games. But as we learn in episode 8, it was all a lie to play with our hearts. However, what if he gave us clues along the way that reveals his identity? Well, he did, and after knowing what they were, we will never see the show the same way again. For once, in the very first game, you could see him super happy hopping around and not even flinched seeing other people getting killed all around him.
If you think about it, he is the last vote to leave the game. We think he just did it because he wanted to see how many come back. (By the way, the answer is 93% of the players come back. The ones that didn’t are kept in observation). Even when some players started killing each other, he casually is on the top bunk beds screaming to stop the massacre, when people were calling for the guards to stop the craziness. Furthermore, even in the marble game, he is messing with Gi-hun’s head to “trick” him to cheat so that he can survive. He might know to mastermind his player status, but one character knew how to play the game.
4. Han Mi-nyeo knew how to play the game the best.
Player 212 Mi-nyeo was the seductive manipulative contestant. Sure, it was annoying at times. But, she made her way through the ranks. Plus, she eliminated herself on her terms in the most epic way. She started as a scared woman who had a kid to take care of. This player wanted to get out of the game after witnessing what happened in red light green light. But then she came back with a plan. Player 212 would find who she thought were the most decisive players. And, she would intimate anyone who might ridicule or think of her as inferior. She was the only player who was not intimidated by player 101 Deok-su. So much that she often confronted him when he treated her like trash.
Not only did she laugh at Deok-su’s macho man persona, but she was not scared of the guards. Mi-nyeo told them things like “what are you looking at?!” She ate the completed dalgona on a guard’s face. That is without recounting how she covered for Sae-byeok when she went in the vents. And she sneaked cigarettes and a lighter in the game. However, the most badass thing she did was fulfilling the promise she made to Deok-su of being the one that kills him. It has to be one of the best deaths in the whole show. She was one unforgettable character that we are sure we’ll miss in season 2.
3. Did you notice Sae-Byeok’s accent change in Squid Game?
There are many details that we definitely missed when watching the show just because of the language barrier. Mainly because when you are watching a show with a language that you can’t understand or have any knowledge about, there is no way you can pick up accents because you don’t have a guide on how to enunciate some words. So this exciting but minor detail was missed by a lot of the non Korean-speaking audience, and we think it’s sweet and interesting to put on this list. Sae-byeuk has a sad back story of surviving and escaping the dictatorship of North Korea to have a better life, but leaving behind her family.
The only family she brought with her was her little brother, who is in the system while finding the resources to give him a better life and get her parents to South Korea. So while talking to her little brother, her accent is a bit different, and it’s intended to make him feel more comfortable, Sae-byeok uses her natural North Korean accent. The rest of the time, when she’s talking with other people, she uses a fake accent to hide that she is from the north, something that someone might use against her. This is one of the reasons why at first, she is so hesitant of trusting anyone else but herself.
The grand winner of Squid Game, player 456, Gi-hun, might have a lot of compassion and suffered as much as anyone else in the games. However, even when he came out victorious, he didn’t do it by himself; there are many instances throughout the whole series where if it weren’t because of the help of someone else, he would have been long gone. In the first game, after seeing people getting shot at, he was in complete shock. If it weren’t because of player 199, he would have died. The second game was the only one where he was the one that came up with the idea to lick the dalgona to make it.
One of the saddest things about the Squid Game is seeing your favorite characters die, especially in the most tragic ways. For the bad guys, it maybe was a bit of a celebration of sorts. However, the show foreshadows some of their deaths in an earlier moment, making them ironic. For example, player 101 Deok-su jumped a bridge to escape the mob that was going to kill him. He later died the same way but at the hands of Mi-nyeo. Speaking of Mi-nyeo, her death is similar to the arched position she and her team used to win the tug-of-war, a back spot that she even said made her feel empowered.
Before Ali made it to the games, he stole the money that was rightfully his from his boss. In the marble game, he died because Sang-woo stole all his marbles. (It is also important to note that Ali saw Sang-woo as mature and in a boss-like position of respect.) Sae-byeok has a scar on her neck and threatens to kill the man that lost the money she needed to save her family. She later dies with Sang-woo slashing her throat. Speaking of Sang-woo, he almost killed himself in a hotel room before the games. Of course, he later did when he stabbed himself to let Gi-hun win.