Squid Game season 1 ending explained and season 2 predictions

Squid Game - Courtesy of Netflix/Youngkyu Park
Squid Game - Courtesy of Netflix/Youngkyu Park /
1 of 3
Squid Game season 2
Squid Game – Courtesy of Netflix /

If you’re here, it means you finally finished Squid Game, Netflix’s latest suspenseful and exceptionally successful Korean TV drama.

The series is the first K-drama to become Netflix’s No. 1 show, which is a big deal. Foreign shows and films don’t usually rate high in English-speaking territories due to unfortunate reservations about watching media in other languages. This time, the series was just so good that it became the top show in the United States after only four days.

Squid Game comes from successful Korean director and screenwriter Hwang Dong-hyuk, who admitted that the series was one of his hardest projects to date.

Here’s a quick recap of what’s happened so far in the world of Squid Game and an explanation of that intense ending, plus some predictions for a second season.

What happened in Squid Game season 1?

Seong Gi-hun (Lee Jing-jae) is a divorced father with a heavy gambling addiction, which lands him in financial trouble. Gi-hun becomes one of 456 debt-ridden players who participate in six games.  The winner leaves with nearly $40 million U.S. dollars.

The games are simple enough, but the penalty for losing is death. The Front Man runs Squid Game from behind a mask and acts as a host to American VIPs, who arrive partway through the games to make bets on players.

The number of players drops quickly until there are two participants in the final match: Gi-hun and his childhood friend, Sang-woo.

While the players are being killed off for entertainment, Korean police officer Jun-ho (Wi Ha-jun) infiltrates the facility Squid Game is held in, searching for his missing brother. Although though he successfully passes as a worker for a while and gathers evidence, he is eventually forced to run. The man-hunt ends when The Front Man reveals himself to be Jun-ho’s missing brother, In-ho. The Front Man then shoots his brother, supposedly killing him.

It’s no small feat emotionally or physically, but Gi-hun wins the games and the prize money. After being released, Gi-hun finds his mother (who he was trying to win money for) has died. Even a year later, he still can’t shake the horrors he experienced while participating in Squid Game.

Gi-hun is mysteriously invited to an abandoned office building, where he finds his supposedly dead friend from the games Il-nam on the edge of death. Il-nam explains that he’s the creator, and in light of his fatal brain tumor, decided to finally participate in the games instead of facilitating them. After a final bet on the goodness of humanity, Il-nam dies in the presence of Gi-hun.

Later in the subway when Gi-hun sees a stranger participating in the selection process for the games, he runs to intervene, now aware that the games are a continuously ongoing event. Right before he boards a plane to visit his daughter in the United States, Gi-hun calls the phone number that contacts the game-runners and confronts their evildoing. He decides to forgo visiting his daughter and turns back, now a man with a new mission.