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From Ilnam’s role in the games to Junho’s ‘death,’ here are the 5 biggest mysteries in ‘Squid Game’

By Hannah Mallorca Published Oct 13, 2021 11:59 am

Squid Game was a breakthrough in K-drama land, but fans were left hanging after the final episode. A ton of mysteries were left unresolved without a clear closure.

For starters, Seong Gihun (Lee Jungjae) was boarding a plane to the US when he spotted the familiar Salesman (Gong Yoo) recruiting a new player for the games. Gihun is then overwhelmed with anger—and unresolved trauma—as he vowed to end the survival games for good. 

We have no idea what awaits Gihun, since the police didn’t believe his confession about the Squid Game. At the same time, Hwang Junho (Wi Hajun)—the officer who knew about the truth—died, or did he? At the end of the series, it’s clear among fans that no one truly won the games. 

With these unanswered questions in mind, let’s revisit the loose ends from the blockbuster dystopian K-drama. 

What happened to the players who didn't return to the games?

In episode two, the remaining 201 players left the games after the majority voted for the games to stop. They returned to the outside world, but many struggled to re-adjust their lives. Only 187 players, however, chose to play despite the imminent danger. 

As the games continued, the Front Man (Lee Byunghun) asked the soldiers to “keep an eye” on those who didn’t return. So, if they are given the “opportunity” to vote in the beginning, why was there a need to watch over those who didn’t return? Will they be killed as punishment, or appointed as one of the game’s soldiers? 

Did Junho die, what happened to his police reports?

Junho investigated the dirty dealings behind the games and why his older brother was missing. His “secret operations” went from bad to worse when he found himself coming face-to-face with the VIPs.

The cop, who was able to secure damning evidence, escaped the facility to notify his superiors about the games. However, he was chased by the Front Man (who turned out to be his older brother) and henchmen. Trapped at the edge of the cliff, Junho was asked by his brother to join him in the games. He was shot right after he refused. 

This was the last time we saw Junho in the series. So, did he really die? The soldiers are notorious for harvesting the organs of the dead bodies. Why didn’t they show his body being stolen? 

What’s the role of the Salesman? 

The charismatic Gong Yoo thrilled viewers as the Salesman who lures potential players into the games. He was first shown on the first episode when he challenged Gihun to a game of ddakji. After their intense bout, the Salesman tempts Gihin to enter the games.

We see the Salesman again in the last episode tempting another player. He was then interrupted by Gihun, asking him where he came from. While his role in the games was clear, what’s the Salesman’s exact role in the series? How was he recruited by the VIPs?

Is Ilnam (Player 001) an undercover player by the VIPs?

It was revealed in the final episode that Ilnam turned out to be the true mastermind of the games, who wanted to experience the thrill of the games. However, he passed away from a brain tumor before he can reveal more details to Gihun. His death leaves a lot of loose ends. How was he recruited as a game maker? Why did the games continue even after his death?

Do previous Squid Game winners climb up the ranks?

Squid Game showed a quick glimpse into the previous winners of the games. At that time, the “winners” who were only known to fans were Gihun and the Front Man (who won in 2005). It has never been explained what the other victors chose to do after their win.

Gihun and the Front Man experience different fates post-games. The former chose to take down the games once and for all, while the latter climbed up the ranks. So, were they given a choice after their win? Can the winners be finally left on their own? 

Also, did Saebyeok (Jung Hoyeon) and Ali (Anupam Tripathi) really die—since the former’s death wasn’t announced? What happened to the bereaved families? Where do the mysterious soldiers leave the dead bodies, even from previous games? How were the soldiers chosen? How many Squid Games are happening around the world?

Needless to say, we still have a ton of questions after Squid Game’s season finale.