Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Big Clue Everyone Missed Early In Squid Game Season 1

The Korean language survival drama "Squid Game" has been impressing Netflix subscribers ever since it debuted in September, and many viewers have already made it through the nine episodes that make up the first season .As fans recover from the crushing conclusion to "Squid Game," some have begun to examine the show's earlier episodes for clues that might have foreshadowed the shocking twist at the end of Season 1.

"Squid Game" tells a narrative in which people rarely turn out to be what they seem at the beginning. Even characters who are introduced as admirable, upstanding members of their community, such as Sang-Woo (Park Hae-soo), are hiding dark details. For the most part, the story revolves around a simple-sounding competition consisting of six children's games with ₩45.6 billion on the line for the 456 competitors who enter the tournament. However, the brutal elimination of more than half of those players during the title game of the first episode, "Red Light, Green Light," quickly establishes the extreme stakes that these participants face.

While the surviving players take the chance to escape the games after a majority of players vote to suspend the games — which came down to a single ballot cast by Contestant No. 001, Il-nam (Oh Yeong-su) — many are drawn back into the tournament by their desperate circumstances. As the series concludes, the identities of several characters become apparent, including one shocking revelation that was hinted at early on.

Here is the big clue everyone missed at the beginning of Squid Game Season 1

There are several plot twists at the ending of Season 1 of "Squid Game," but the true identity of Il-nam stands apart as the biggest one. 

While Il-nam appeared to sacrifice himself so Gi-hun (Lee Jung-jae) could win and take home the prize money, he is soon revealed to have survived. When Gi-hun visits Il-nam on his deathbed, he reveals that he was one of the founders of the "Squid Game" competition and was participating for one final thrill before his terminal illness claimed his life.

However, fans on Reddit, who are now rewatching the show, have noted some pretty noticeable clues laid out in Season 1 of "Squid Game," regarding Il-nam's connection to the competition.

Reddit user jamlessjimin listed points they felt were especially telling in relation to his performance in the first game (that being Red Light, Green Light). In that competition, Il-nam "dashed forward with a smile on his face and he was the only one who appeared to have fun."

While other clues hint at Il-nam's true identity later on, his behavior in the first episode during the initial game is so different from any other player that it serves as an early indicator of his actual level of involvement with the competition.

Numerous other clues point to the truth

Il-nam's behavior during Red Light, Green Light may have given away the big twist early on, but if you go back and rewatch the first season, you'll encounter several other clues that let Il-nam's true identity be known. 

For starters, it seems more than coincidental that Il-nam meets Gi-hun outside of the shop in Episode 2. Ultimately, Il-nam is the one to convince Gi-hun to return to the games. How many more of these chance encounters did Il-nam have with other contestants so that there would still be a good number of people to play the remaining games? 

That's not all. Episode 4 contains the sequence where the contestants murder each other when it's time for lights out. Without proper food rations, the remaining players go after one another to clear out some of the ranks. When Gi-hun goes to check on Il-nam, he's nowhere to be found. It's very possible that he knew that the melee would be so dangerous that he'd be better off on his own rather than sticking to Gi-hun and his team

Not only that, but Il-nam is the one who cries out to end the madness. On first watch, it sounds like the pleading of a scared old man. In actuality, it could've been a man on the inside letting the Front Man know that it was time for the guards to enter to put a stop to the bloodbath. This detail wasn't lost on Redditors, as u/rrrreddithasridges mentions, "When he stood up on the top of the beds and was crying that he was scared, they stopped the game almost immediately. It planted a seed of doubt in my head that never really went away."

Much like every other great cinematic twist, it almost seems obvious when you go back to watch the show. "Squid Game" is available now on Netflix.