The identity of Gong Yoo’s character in Squid Game was also disclosed by the director when he talked about the paper-flipping game’s actual meaning.
Squid Game is an unprecedented phenomenon in the history of Korean TV series. Its influence has gone global. The series goes viral in every country where Netflix is available. Viewers are greatly impressed by the concept of “deadly survival games” in the drama and various messages that are smartly conveyed throughout the 9 episodes. The games in the series have also become exciting topics of discussion for many netizens. One of the games that is theorized the most by netizens is the paper flip challenge in exchange for money in episode 1.
In episode 1, a mysterious man (Gong Yoo) approaches and invites Gi Hun (Lee Jung Jae) to play a childhood game – flipping paper. If he wins, he will receive 100,000 won. If he loses, he will get slapped. Gi Hun chooses the blue piece of paper and gets so caught up in the game that he accepts the man’s invitation to join Squid Game.
Many viewers thought that by choosing the paper’s color, the “victims” of Squid Game are also choosing their roles in the game. Those who pick blue paper will become players (wearing green clothes), while those who pick red paper will become workers (wearing red clothes). This idea has convinced many viewers to believe that the director skillfully included this detail in the drama for the viewers to make speculations and hint at the second season.
However, the truth turns out to be different from what the viewers thought. Squid Game’s director – Hwang Dong-Hyuk, finally gave an explanation for the game’s meaning:
“I know there are a lot of theories about Gong Yoo’s character right now. But those viewers are definitely more creative than I am,” he said.
According to the director, the colors of two pieces of paper come from an urban legend called “Aka Manto”, a ghost who haunts the bathroom. This legend originated from Japan and became famous for its horror. This ghost will make humans choose between blue or red toilet paper. In fact, it’s just a trick question. Both options lead to a painful death. In some variants of the story, those who choose blue will be choked, and those who choose red will be stabbed until they die.
Throughout the series, this is also a point that is made clear. All players are entering a destined death without even knowing it. Every game and action of the players in Squid Game leads to death – except for the final winner. Therefore, that is the director’s intention when making Gi Hun choose between two colors, blue and red!
Regarding Gong Yoo’s character as a “salesman”, director Hwang briefly shared that: “This character is an employee of the game, he is trusted by the game masters to be active in the community”.
All episodes of Squid Game are now available on Netflix.