Every hidden clue about Squid Game's twist ending you missed
30 September 2021, 16:42 | Updated: 8 October 2021, 16:50
Squid Game hinted at the ending the entire way through the season. Here's all the clues and details you missed along the way.
In the final episode of Squid Game, viewers finally find out who is behind the deadly survival games and who originally created them. The reveal has resulted in millions of viewers around the world now rethinking everything they saw in the entire show.
Fans have now realised that there were actually multiple hidden clues and details across the nine episodes that pointed to the twist. Here's a breakdown of every hint about the Squid Game ending that you might have missed.
WARNING: Major spoilers ahead for Squid Game!
At the end of Squid Game episode 9, the truth behind who created the games was revealed. It turns out that Oh Il-nam (Oh Yeong-su), the old man, also known as Player 001, was the actual host and creator of the entire competition.
Il-nam explains that he and his rich friends created the games as a form of entertainment. Usually, Il-nam would have been a spectator, mingling with the VIPs and betting on the players, but due to the fact that he was dying, he decided to play the game himself for one last bit of fun before passed away.
When Il-nam was introduced at the very start of the competition as Player 001, viewers fully believed he was an actual player. However, there were very subtle clues the whole way through the show that hinted toward his true identity.
1) During Red Light, Green Light, Player 001 doesn't appear to be scanned by the doll.
After the doll turns around and begins to scan the players for any signs of movement, you can see a strong green outline and green haze over the top of each player. When the doll scans Player 001, the green haze over him doesn't appear as strong as the others, which could imply that the doll is programmed to avoid shooting and killing him.
2) He also played the game smiling and without any fear whatsoever.
While most of us chalked this up to the dying old man having absolutely nothing lose, Il-nam's tactic becomes a lot clearer once you know who he actually is. After seeing half the players get killed, everyone else is terrified to move but by confidently running ahead, Il-nam essentially encourages the others to continue playing.
His impeccable timing of stopping just before the doll says 'red light' could also be down to him knowing the exact pattern of the game, thanks to his years of spectating. And ya know, the fact that he created it...
3) Il-nam chooses the star and rejects Gi-hun's offer of swapping shapes in the honeycomb game.
Obviously, Il-nam knows that while the star may not be the easiest shape to cut out of the honeycomb, he knows damn well that it's a lot quicker and easier than trying to cut out an umbrella. He knows better than to swap with Gi-hun.
4) The Front Man only ends the fight after Il-nam calls for the violence to stop.
The middle-of-the-night fight between the players results in several deaths and injuries but it's only stopped when the old man climbs to the top bunk and shouts for it to end. Despite being a player, Il-nam is still clearly in charge of the game, with the Front Man agreeing to his request.
5) Il-nam knows the exact way to win Tug of War.
Il-nam knew exactly how to win Tug of War, but it may not have just been down to his own childhood tactics. As the host of the games, Il-nam would have seen countless teams go head to head. It's possible that he added to his own strategy based on how the winning teams won over the years.
6) Player 001's page is missing from the 2020 player file.
This is arguably the biggest clue that Player 001 is not a real player. When undercover detective Hwang Jun-ho discovers the file of players for the 2020 games in episode 5, he opens the folder and finds that the first page is for Player 002. Player 001's details are missing because he never registered as an official player.
7) Il-nam doesn't make an effort to team up for the marbles game.
Before playing marbles, the players are asked to get into pairs. With an odd number of players, one will be left alone. We later find out that the one who is left behind is not eliminated at all, and returns to the bunks without even having to play the game.
Il-nam knows this rule (seeing as he was the one who made it up) and sits alone in a corner, hoping no one will choose him. Gi-hun eventually does choose him and the two end up playing each other.
8) Il-nam finds an exact recreation of his house within the marble game's set.
For most of episode 6, viewers think that the old man is simply confused and rambling to Gi-hun about his life. When he finally 'finds' his old home in the fake neighbourhood, we think he's just imagining or seeing things.
Once viewers realise that Il-nam is creator of the games, it becomes clear that he wasn't actually imagining anything. The game's 'location' is something that he created himself, and is a direct reference to his old home and childhood.
9) Viewers don't see Il-nam being shot and killed.
After Il-nam loses the marble game to Gi-hun, red workers arrive and hold a gun to his head. As Gi-hun walks off, distraught that the old man is about to be killed, we hear a gun shot but we do not actually see Il-nam die.
Considering that Squid Game doesn't exactly shy away from the blood and gore of it all, it's a bit of a red flag. The decision not to show Il-nam being shot is a powerful one, and one that makes the entire scene that much more devastating. But as we all know in television, unless you see a dead body, the character is not confirmed to be dead.
Il-nam was also standing when he was about to killed, but viewers do not hear the sound of his body drop to the floor either.
10) Il-nam leaving before the glass stepping stones game was a calculated decision.
Il-nam's decision to quit the game either before or after the marble round becomes a lot clearer when we find out what the fifth game actually is.
The glass stepping stones is probably the most deadly round of the competition. If Il-nam had played the round, he would have had to have made sure that he went last. If he hadn't got his hands on the 16th bib, then there's also the added threat that another player could push him off and kill him.
11) His name hints at exactly who he is.
Il-nam can translate loosely to "first man". One of the meanings for the name element 'Il', also written as '일', can mean 'one'. The second part of his name, 'Nam' or '남', means 'male' or 'man'.
Il-nam is Player 001, and he was also the original founder and creator – or quite literally, the first man – to create the game.