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Squid Game Ending Explained: Who Is The Winner?

Squid Game Ending Explained
Squid Game Kdrama 2021

Netflix’s original Squid Game kdrama has become the talk of the town for its thriller-action jaw-dropping storyline. The plot is one thing, but the Squid Game ending has made everyone speechless. The South Korean drama Squid Game is the story of people who decide to participate in a mysterious survival game that has a whopping 40 million dollar prize at stake. The plot reveals two main characters of Squid Game, Seong Gi Hun and Cho Sang Woo. The drama shows how the two inverse personalities advance to the finale of Squid Game with a heap of dead bodies leaving behind!

Gi Hun’s life crashes down after getting fired from the job. Thus, to make money, he joins the game. Sang Woo and Gi Hun are childhood friends. Sang Woo joins the game after getting into trouble at his workplace despite all the hard work he has done to be where he is now. Squid Game is a South Korean action, thriller, mystery drama that premiered on 17 September 2021 on Netflix. It is directed and written by Hwang Dong Hyuk (The Fortress), starring Lee Jung Jae, Park Hae Soo, and Wi Ha Joon. The kdrama comprises nine episodes. However, Netflix dropped all nine episodes at once on the premiere day! So, if you want to binge-watch Squid Game, watch it on Netflix!

Also Read: Nevertheless KDrama Ending Explained

Squid Game: Plot and Cast

The thriller mystery drama ‘Squid Game’ depicts the story of people who struggle with their lives. Thus, to win the prize money of 40 million dollars, they become players of this mysterious survival game called Squid Game. However, they never had thought the game that would make their life would snatch the same life from them. The drama highlights the harsh reality of today’s world. While the world rules by powerful and wealthy people, poor and helpless souls have to go through a rough patch every single day to live their hopeless life.

Squid Game stars Lee Jung Jae as Seong Gi Hun, Park Hae Soo as Cho Sang Woo, Wi Ha Joon as Hwang Jun Ho, Oh Young Soo as Oh Il Nam, Jung Ho Yeon as Kang Sae Byeok, Heo Sung Tae as Jang Deok Su, Kim Joo Ryoung as Han Mi Nyeo, Tripathi Anupam as Abdul Ali, Yoo Sung Joo as Byeong Gi, Lee Yoo Mi as Ji Yeong for main leads. Gong Yoo and Lee Byung Hun make special appearances. The supporting cast members include Kim Young Ok, Lee Ji Ha, Im Ki Hong, etc. Such an excellent cast of Squid Game has delivered an exceptional performance, portraying each character soulfully.

Squid Game Ending Explained: What is The Squid Game?

Many viewers, especially international, maybe do not know what exactly is the Squid Game. In the first episode, the game Gi Hun plays during his childhood is the Squid Game. However, the series version is more terrible and destructive than the innocent and joyous boyhood game. Here once you lose, you lose your life and not just a game. The kid’s version of Squid Game is the final round of the series where Gi Hun and Sang Woo have the ultimate face-off.

While the two have a cut-throat playing the game, the VIPS watch them as if they are pieces of human forms without breath. The fact VIPS bet on the players like one does on horses at horse racing, as if forgetting they are humans with feelings, lives, dreams, and loved ones, gives the storyline a heavy and dark turn. That makes the plot more sinister, leaving viewers in goosebumps of harsh reality.

How Many Players Die In Squid Game?

This question is quite tricky. Instead of how many die, it should be how many actually survive. It is easier to know from the storyline that not many players get out of this deadly game. Since the original purpose of Squid Game is to find only one winner and all other players have to die at some point. Initially, the game has 456 players, but in the end, there is left only one. It shows that except for Gi Hun and Oh Il Nam, Sang Woo tricks every player give marbles in Round Four, where they get killed by the pink soldiers.

Han Mi Ryeo kills off the gangster Jang Deok Su by grabbing onto him and throws both off the glass bridge in Round Five. The North Korean woman Kang Sae Byeok who is looking for her brother, stabs by Sang Woo right before the last round. Another notable death is of the police officer, Hwang Jun Ho, leaving viewers perplexed. He sneaks into Squid Game excellently but meets ultimate as he shoots by the Front Man.

What Is The Real Identity of The Front Man?

The Front Man of Squid Game is a metallic black masked person covered in a black hood. He is not the true mastermind of the game but rather a supervisor who looks after every activity of the players. His real identity reveals in Episode 8 when The Front Man chases after the police officer, Hwang Jun Ho. The police offer gets out of the game arena but ends up at the cliff edge. After being surrounded by Squid Game’s soldiers and the Front Man, Jun Ho shoots him but shocks when the Front Man removes his mask and reveals his face who is none other than his own brother, Hwang In Ho.

Squid Game Ending Explained

Squid Game featuring The Front Man

In Episode 5, it unveiled that Hwang In Ho was the winner of the 2015 Squid Game. If so, he must know what the winner has to go through to conquer the so-called victory, how much burden that person has to bear for his whole life. Therefore, In Ho becoming the Front Man leaves viewers open-mouthed and confuse. How he becomes the Front Man could become a focal point of Squid Games Season 2. It also implies that Squid Game has been going on for years at different places, taking the lives of the poor.

Also Read: I Remember You Kdrama Ending Explained!

Who Is The Winner Of Squid Game?

Gi Hun is the winner of the Squid Game. If we put it simply, then we have one winner. But the purpose of Squid Game at the end is fathomless. The final players who face-off are Gi Hun and Sang Woo, two childhood friends who used to play the same Squid Game in their childhood days. Coming from the same small town, both lead vastly different lifestyles. Whereas Sang Woo becomes a successful person until the embezzlement incident, Gi Hun leads a pretty simplistic life. He lives a life full of hardships, making him look like a failure in the eyes of society. Ultimately, putting these two in the finale, Squid Game is questioning humanity here. Will a successful, rich yet apathetic person win the race? Or will a failure, poor but empathic person conquer the game?

The Squid Game describes its purpose clearly by showing the characters contradicting personalities at the finale. In the final round, we see, one is ready to kill anyone to write his name off on the victory, and the other values life above anything. They both enter the arena and begin the game they used to play as kids. But here, there is only one winner. Seeing Sang Woo’s cruelty to secure his victory, Gi Hun let out his anger. Both attack each other viciously, without holding back. Each emotion both displays show the raw desire they have, one for victory and the other for survival. After their unmerciful fight, Gi Hun gets the upper hand but realizes the precise meaning of this game. One of the game rules permits them to cancel the competition if the majority agrees to end it.

Gi Hun, who learns to value life, stretches his hand to Sang Woo, who lays defected on the ground. Gi Hun reaches out to him so they can leave the game together. After all, for Gi Hun, now money does not matter. Seeing so many lives vanishing in front of his eyes, he values people’s life over and above everything. Not to mention, in the end, Sang Woo is his friend. However, Sang Woo, even before Gi Hun could reach out, stabs his own neck with the knife and takes his last breath in Gi Hun’s arms. Thus, in the end, Gi Hun becomes the winner of the Squid Game. But is it really the victory he wanted?

Gong Yoo Cameo In Squid Game

Another thing that stands out is Gong Yoo’s character in Squid Game. Even though he appears for a short duration, Gong Yoo plays a crucial role at the beginning and ending of Squid Game. Gong Yoo, who appears like a salesman (but his role is much deeper than a normal salesman), plays Ddakji (flipping thick paper folding) with Gi Hun in the first episode. Rules are simple. If Gi Hun wins, he will get money. However, if Gong Yoo wins, Gi Hun will receive a slap on his face for each loss. Their game leads to Gong Yoo recruiting Gi Hun to join the Squid Game, where the winner will receive whopping 40 million dollar prize money.

Squid Game Ending Explained

Squid Game featuring Gong Yoo Ep09

At the end of Squid Game drama, Gi Hun is leaving for LA to meet his daughter, who lives with her mother and stepfather. But, he sees the same man (Gong Yoo) playing ddakji with a man. Knowing that Gong Yoo is recruiting players for the dangerous game, Gi Hun races to the opposite platform to catch the man. As soon as he reaches there, he finds Gong Yoo already board the train, waving at him as if he mocking him. Gi Hun snatches the Squid Game calling card from the other man, ordering him not to join the game.

Squid Game comes near its end as Gi Hun dials the Squid Game calling number and tells that he is a human and not a horse. He wants to know those people who are playing with the peoples’ lives, playing this horrible game. He expresses his grief, pain, remorse, warning them that he will not forgive them for the horrifying things they did to everyone. This is where we see a newfound resolution in his eyes. This time Gi Hun is not going to turn his back. He is going to the person who saved the man on the street. Even with all wealth at his feet, Gi Hun is going into danger. This time he will be the man who stops for others on the street! This time he will not turn his back on the hopeless people!

Who Is The Mastermind Of The Game?

This is the highlighted question of the series with no answer. We know that the Front Man runs the game with the help of soldiers, workers, and managers. But in reality, who is the mastermind of Squid Game is a difficult question to answer. In the last episode, it reveals that Oh Il Nam contestant no. 001 is the Host of the game. It also means that he may be one of the people who are in charge of the game.

All of this shocks viewers as well as the winner of Squid Game, Gi Hun. He never had once thought, Il Nam, the elder who was on the verge of death would be behind this dreadful game. However, viewers also get confused with his participation in the game. If Il Nam is the Host of the game, why must he participate in this deadly game? The reality-check Squid Game shows by the ending will leave only a bitter taste for viewers.

How Is The Winner’s Life After The Game?

Gi Hun’s life changes completely after Squid Game. He lost so much for winning the prize. He lost his mother, who passed away due to her complicated health issue. Then there is Kang Sae Byeok, who he meets inside the game. In the end, he even lost his friend Sang Woo. He feels ashamed to face Sang Woo’s mother. But knowing he has to carry this burden, pain, grief, and shame till the end, he takes a step forward. He finds Sae Byeok’s brother and leaves him in the care of Sang Woo’s mother with half of the prize money for the time being. After returning from the game, he learns about Oh Il Nam’s true identity.

Knowing the reason for this deadly game, Gi Hun decides to be the one who helps the man on the street. He does not want to leave anyone behind anymore. Gi Hun believes in humanity, empathy for people in need. He will prove Il Nam wrong. He will show this world do not disgust, ignore, or look down on poor people. Like the man who helped a poor elder freezing on a cold street, Gi Hun is going to hold onto humanity. Thus, this newly found determination can lead to the production of Squid Game Season 2.

What Is The Purpose Of the Squid Game In The End?

Now here comes the question many viewers must wondering about. What is the true intention behind conducting such a horrible deadly game that plays with people’s lives? In the last episode, Il Nam reveals how the game came into existence. There was no grand or significant purpose behind the game, all of this was for FUN (well, it is impossible to have any meaningful reason for such a messed-up game). Il Nam and his wealthy friends had nothing to do, and to pass the time, to have fun, they came up with this mess, the Squid Game.

Squid Game featuring the host of the game Oh Il Nam

It is the game where rich people will bet while sipping scotch and laughing while poor people strive and even lose their lives for pieces of paper that hold so much value to them, the pieces of paper we call money. It is honestly messed up because the show gives a reality check to everyone on how poor people struggle to live every single day while rich people can walk down on them easily as if they are pieces of garbage! If you want to view the dark, messed-up, deadly game that took countless lives, watch the action-thriller Squid Game on Netflix!

Also Read: Stairway To Heaven Kdrama Ending Explained!

Written By

Annyong, Harshali here. I write entertainment and K-drama articles. I like to spend my time reading mangas, webtoons, novels, watching Asian dramas, and sketching. Take every challenge as a tool for upgrading myself.

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