‘Squid Game’: The Twist Ending Explained and More

Netflix’s Korean survival drama, Squid Game, is a hot topic. The K-drama has gained attention for its brutal storyline, turning childhood games into a bloody fight to survive. Four hundred and fifty-six people with thousands in debt take part in a game with the opportunity to win millions in prize money. The prize money is saturated with blood as it escalates in number with the death of every player. Seong Gi-Hun (Lee Jung-Jae) joins the game after being in debt and possibly losing his daughter. In the game, he remeets a school friend who will do anything to win, Cho Sang-Woo (Park Hae-Soo). Squid Game took 10 years to plan by the director and creator, Hwang Dong-Hyuk. The K-drama will catch viewers’ attention from the start with its dark storyline, but its ending left a lot to be explained.

Characters Cho Sang-Woo, Seong Gi-Hun and Abdul Ali in 'Squid Game' wearing green tracksuits holding weapons
Characters Cho Sang-Woo, Seong Gi-Hun, and Abdul Ali in ‘Squid Game’ | via Netflix

The rich use the poor as pawns and ‘Squid Game’ host kills his brother

Throughout Squid Game, viewers are introduced to a bigger patron than just the host of the games. He talks on a special phone giving updates to an unknown caller. He often talks about VIP members visiting the facility. The VIP guests are wealthy men who help maintain and run the games. The vast organization of the games makes more sense knowing the VIP members are the upper-class who have no regard for human life and see the players as pawns for enjoyment.

Viewers of Squid Game may have some further questions about how the games are run or exist. The games in South Korea are not a singular event. The organization takes the game to different parts of the world to start the cycle all over again. This means Squid Game has resulted in the death of possibly thousands, and no one has noticed or batted an eye because of its founders’ high status.

One field character that raises a lot of questions is the games’ host. The host is called the Front Man. He is responsible for keeping the game afloat and following the rules. His identity is hidden until one key moment. Officer Hwang Jun-Ho (Wi Ha-Joon) sneaks into the game as a guard to find his lost brother, who he believes has a connection to the game. No one expected the host to be Hwang In-Ho (Lee Byung-Hun), his brother. The question remains of why In-Ho is its host and why he stayed a part of it. In-Ho won the game five years ago and ascended the ranks. Fans are still uncertain why In-Ho killed Jun-Ho when he tracks him down as being the infiltrator.

Who wins ‘Squid Game’ and what happens to him afterwards?

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Netflix’s Squid Game was a lot to get through with its bloody gore of surviving six days of gruesome childhood games turned into nightmares. It is important to remember the K-drama focuses more on Gi-Hun. In the final games, Oh Il-Nam (Oh Yeong-Su), Kang Sae-Byeok (HoYeon Jung), and Abdul Ali (Anupam Tripathi) all meet their end in ways fans did not like. Sang-woo betrays Adbul in a game of marbles, causing his death while he kills Sae-Byeok after she survives the post-final game fatally wounded. The final game of survival is between Gi-Hun and Sang-Woo.

While fans came to dislike Sang-Woo for betraying his team, he does something unexpected. Gi-Hun and Sang-Woo fight to win a Korean childhood game called Squid Game. Sang-Woo realizes the persona he has become all for money. Realizing Gi-Hun has maintained his humanity throughout the games, Sang-Woo kills himself, allowing Gi-Hun to win.

As promised, Gi-Hun returns to his life with millions in a cash prize. The events he witnessed and took part in leave him broken. Because of the effects of the games and their inhumanity, Gi-Hun never used the prize money. He has the money safe in a bank but refuses to spend a cent and lives a nomad life. The prize money only exists because of the hundreds that died during the games. According to Esquire, “The appalling depiction of 455 deaths is to prove that people do have the capacity to be good, no matter the circumstance.” Gi-Hun suddenly gets a wake-up call when he is summoned to meet someone he thought he would never see again.

Oh Il-Nam is alive and Seong Gi-Hun returns to the game

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Gi-Hun lived a less than extraordinary life after surviving the Games and refused to use the blood money he won. No one expected him to remeet the one person he thought was pure in the Game. Gi-Hun goes to a secret location and never expected to find Il-Nam. The older man he helped keep alive throughout the games. Fans were left to believe, Il-Nam sacrificed his last marble during a game so Gi-Hun could win. Many and Gi-Hun thought Il-Nam met his end. This is farther from the truth.

Gi-Hun enters an empty building floor with Il-Nam holding onto life hooked up to medical machines. The sweet older man dying from a brain tumor is, in reality, one of the Games founders. Why was Il-Nam in the games? After years of watching and knowing he will die, Il-Nam takes part so he can feel young once again. Il-Nam has no regard for human life and sees it as entertainment. He knew full well he would never lose the Game.

Netflix’s Squid Game had one final twist ending. After watching Il-Nam pass away, Gi-Hun saves Sea-Byeok’s younger brother from an orphanage and leaves him in the care of Sang-Woo’s mother with the cash prize. Gi-Hun makes a brash decision to die his hair a bright red like the color of the suits the guards wore in the game. When Gi-Hun witnesses another person being recruited for the Game, Gi-Hun stops him from entering. Fans were left confused why Gi-Hun re-enters the game just as he was ready to board a plane to see his daughter. Gi-Hun’s moral humanity refuses to let another person be a victim of the Game.