Alice in Borderland season 2: The Borderlands explained and how the players got there

22 December 2022, 20:34

Watch the trailer for Alice in Borderland season 2

By Katie Louise Smith

Alice in Borderland season 2 reveals exactly what happened to the players and how they ended up in the Borderlands. [Spoilers ahead!]

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Alice in Borderland season 2's ending finally answers one of the series' biggest questions – and one that people who have read the Manga series have known for a while now.

After a mysterious first season that left us with a million questions, season 2 starts to deliver on some of the big reveals we've been waiting for, including the most important of all: How did the players actually end up in the Borderlands?

READ MORE: Alice in Borderland season 2 ending explained: What the Joker means for season 3

We get somewhat of an answer to that question in the final episode of the season, and the reveal sets up an interesting storyline should the series be renewed for a third season at Netflix.

WARNING: Major spoilers ahead for Alice in Borderland season 2! Don't read ahead if you have not finished all eight episodes!

What are the Borderlands in Alice in Borderland? How did the players get there?

Alice in Borderland: What are the Borderlands and how did the players get there?
Alice in Borderland: What are the Borderlands and how did the players get there? Picture: Netflix

What are the Borderlands in Alice in Borderland?

The Netflix series has not yet given us a full explanation about what the Borderlands actually are, but season 2 did reveal one important thing about them: The Borderlands appear to be the border between life and death. Kind of like purgatory or limbo.

When Arisu wakes in hospital after being found in the wreckage of the meteorite attack in Tokyo in the real world, his brother tells him that his heart stopped for a whole minute. "Apparently for a minute, the borderlands had taken you," he reveals.

In the final game, before Arisu chooses between staying in the Borderlands as a permanent citizen or declining, Mira tells him that he will finally get answers to his questions no matter which option he actually chooses. If season 3 is renewed at Netflix, the Joker will likely reveal the answers to every question that Arisu – and we – have about the Borderlands and their purpose.

How did the players get to the Borderlands?

None of the players did anything physically to enter themselves into the Borderlands. As we see in season 1, Arisu, Karabe and Chota simply find themselves stranded in a completely abandoned version of the bustling city they had just been walking around in. Similarly, Momoka and Asahi’s footage shows them wandering around the desolate city completely clueless as to how they got there.

Now, we know that the Borderlands aren't a physical place, and the players were simply transported there spiritually or subconsciously after they died as a result of the meteorite attack. Their physical bodies also remain in the real world.

Alice in Borderland season 3: How did Arisu and Usagi get to the Borderlands?
Alice in Borderland season 3: How did Arisu and Usagi get to the Borderlands? Picture: Netflix

How do the players leave the Borderlands?

In order to leave the Borderlands, players must win all the games and collect every card in the deck – including the face cards which appear at the end of the First Stage. The Hatter's theory about the card collecting was correct after all.

But instead of one player being allowed to leave, everyone who is still alive once all the cards are collected is able to make a decision whether they want to stay or leave.

In the season 2 finale, we see that Arisu, Usagi, Kuina, Chishiya, Aguni, Akane, Ann and Niragi all decline to stay on as permanent residents in the Borderlands and end up being transported back to what we believe is the real world.

Those who opted to stay become permanent citizens of the Borderlands. As far as the Netflix series goes, it's unclear what that means for their real world bodies.

How does time work in the Borderlands?

While viewers see that the players have spent days and weeks in the Borderlands, extending their visas 3-days-at-a-time each time they play a game, season 2 reveals that time works differently than in the real world.

In the real world, Arisu's heart only stops beating for one minute. In that one minute, he experiences several days in the Borderlands.

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