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Alice In Borderland's Queen Of Hearts Character And Game Explained

Out of all the killer card challenges players endure in "Alice in Borderland," the rarest and cruelest of all options are the Hearts. Their focus on trust and ability to toy with people's emotions sets them apart from other games, causing participants to question their will to live and contemplate sacrificing others to survive. The chances of winning are much greater for a wider range of contestants because size and strength take a back seat in favor of psychological warfare and next-level trickery, which is why the Queen of Hearts reigns supreme over all the other face cards.

Even though most of these ordeals prohibit violence, Hearts have a reputation for being notoriously difficult, as seen in the series when players are impressed that Ryōhei Arisu (Kento Yamazaki) is able to survive the Seven of Hearts challenge. These devastating endeavors often end in heartbreak, like the Ten of Hearts Witch Hunt, which results in many unfortunate deaths. In Season 2, the Jack of Hearts Solitary Confinement is a bloodbath of betrayal, demonstrating how quickly people turn on one another, and at the heart of it all is the Queen.

Mira Kanō (Riisa Naka), a mysterious ally with an elegant presence, is first introduced as an executive member of the Beach before it is revealed she is something much more sinister in the Season 1 finale. She returns as the Queen of Hearts at the end of Season 2 for the final challenge, a croquet match with Arisu where all he has to do is complete the game to survive. On the surface, it looks like an easy-to-accomplish task, but things are rarely what they seem when dealing with the Queen.

Mira Kanō is a master manipulator and the Borderland's most formidable villain

While the Queen of Hearts isn't packing heat like the King of Spades, Mira Kanō's skill set makes her the most dangerous boss battle in "Alice in Borderland." 

"My game was a mind game, a psychological game," Riisa Naka told TV Guide, "and compared to others, which are packed with action and their intensity, my offense was using words." 

Her persona's talents are fully displayed in the croquet game, and thanks to the Queen of Hearts' cunning efforts, the no-stakes activity turns into a masterful display of mind manipulation. Distracting Arisu with tea and conversation, she is able to verbally infiltrate his mind and play off his need for answers by hurdling fabricated, outlandish and cliche-ridden revelations about the Borderland, hoping to get him to quit, thus losing the challenge. 

When that doesn't work, she tries to prevent the game from finishing by playing off his emotional state, claiming that nothing in the Borderland is real. She hopes Arisu will kill her because of this, which would prevent her from playing, so the game cannot be cleared.

After this fails, Mira attempts to convey to Arisu that everything is happening in his mind. Posing as his doctor, she claims he can't distinguish what's real and what isn't, using his memories and trauma against him in a thought-provoking battle.

 While it is effective, he resists her tricks and finishes the game, thus resulting in Mira's death. Naka, however, doesn't think fans should rule out her making a comeback should the show return for another season.

Long live the Queen of Hearts

Many may think that Mira Kanō's death means the games are complete, but the Joker card seen at the end could leave the door open for "Alice in Borderland" Season 3. In the manga, this figure shrouded in darkness appears after Mira is killed. 

The mysterious character is left out of the series, which means he could be the basis for another run and be the final boss if the show continues. With the Joker presumably taking center stage in a potential third season, some wonder what the Queen of Hearts' role will be. 

It's worth noting that she gets into Ryōhei Arisu's head, almost breaking him, so she could still be an influence on him moving forward. Plus, it isn't like characters who have died haven't returned before, something Riisa Naka believes could be the means to which her persona returns to the series. 

"If there were to be Season 3, I wonder what would happen with the whole team that fought together so far," Naka said during an interview with NextShark.com. "You saw the ghost of Hatter introduced in the show so many times, so I have this feeling that he might come back again. So for Mira, you might also think that she could return." 

Takeru Danma (Nokuaki Kaneko) — AKA Hatter — is killed by Morizono Aguni (Sho Aoyagi) in Season 1 and returns in a ghost form in Season 2. Should another iteration occur, this could mean Mira is somehow still in Arisu's mind, pulling her manipulative strings from beyond the grave.