‘Squid Game’: The Bizarre Truth That Debunks Fans’ Theory on How Guards and Players Are Chosen

The storyline of Squid Game had fans developing an array of complex, detailed, and unique theories. One popular theory fans want an answer to is how the guards and players are chosen. Fans theorize it has something to do with what color they pick when playing Ddakji with the Salesman. Actor HoYeon Jung debunks the theory with a bizarre yet real Japanese and Korean urban legend about red and blue toilet paper.

The Salesman in 'Squid Game' theory holding blue and red tiles.
The Salesman in ‘Squid Game’ Episode 1 | via Netflix

Seong Gi-hun chose the color blue and later became a player in ‘Squid Game’

In the K-drama, Gi-hun (Lee Jung-jae) meets a man in the subway station. The Salesman offers to play a childhood game. Ddakji requires the player to flip over their opponent’s tile. The Salesman offers Gi-hun a cash prize if he succeeds. Gi-hun picks the blue tile, and a fan on TikTok theorized it led to him becoming a player in Squid Game. According to EpicStream, the theory suggest the guards who helped run the Games also played Ddakji but picked the red tile.

Squid Game actor HoYeon Jung analyzed fan theories about the K-drama with Vanity Fair. She debunks the idea and explains director Hwang Dong-hyuk’s reasoning behind the colors. Hwang chose them based on a real Japanese and Korean urban legend called Aka Monto.

Aka Monto is a bizarre legend about a spirit, red and blue toilet paper, and people who use the bathroom.

What is Aka Monto?

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There are a few different versions of Aka Monto. A common depiction is of a cloaked ghost wearing a red cape. In other versions, the ghost wears a blue cape. He appears to people using a public toilet, often squat toilets. The legend says the ghost’s hand emerges from the toilet and offers the person red and blue toilet paper.

The ghost gives the person a question to answer. If they choose the blue paper, the ghost will suffocate them to death and leave their bodies blue from lack of oxygen. The person will be skinned alive and left a bloody red mess if they choose the red toilet paper.

According to Atlas Obscura, there is a way to cheat the ghost. Picking any other color will drag the person to the underworld. To stay alive, the person must decline the ghost’s question immediately.

‘Squid Game’ Season 2 will hopefully answer fan theories

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Some fan theories about Squid Game have been debunked by the director or the main cast. But fans still want answers to their questions and hope to see it fleshed out in Squid Game Season 2. Fans believe Hwang Jun-ho (Wi Ha-joon) is still alive. He fell off a cliff after being shot by the Front Man.

The twist ending of the K-drama also led fans to theorize where Gi-hun’s story will lead. Since he did not board the plane to see his daughter, fans believe he might re-enter the game or try to take it down from the outside. Director Hwang does tease the main character will return.