Squid Game: Who is the old man and what’s his role in the deadly game?

Major spoilers ahead for the hit Netflix series

Monday 18 October 2021 22:29
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Trailer for Netflix thriller Squid Game

One of the biggest mysteries of Squid Game has been the identity of the mastermind character behind the game in the show.

The series, which Netflix believes could be its most successful of all time, explores a dystopian reality, in which a mysterious organisation recruits people in debt to compete in a series of apparently childish games for the chance to win a life-changing amount of money.

The games are based on classic children’s games, some of which are specific to Korea, while others, such as “Red Light, Green Light”, are known worldwide.

Unlike typical children’s games, however, those in Squid Game have deadly consequences should you lose.

In the show’s season finale, it is revealed that the old man or ‘No. 001’ (Yeong-su Oh) is the one who created the concept behind the deadly games.

As one of the show’s most beloved characters, the reveal shocked and disappointed audiences around the world.

His real name is revealed to be Oh Il-nam and that he created the game for “amusement and entertainment” (via The Cinemaholic).

The character reveals that he is extremely rich and at was at a point in his life where he was bored. Having everything he wanted didn’t leave him happy and so he created the game to have some “fun”.

Speaking to his equally wealthy clients who were just as bored as him, he created the violent Squid Game both to satisfy himself and his clients who betted against one another for thrills.

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Oh Il-nam’s illness (a tumour) is revealed to be real and another reason for his creation of the game; with nothing to lose, he is driven to extremes.

Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos has said that Squid Game is “on the way” to becoming the streamer’s “biggest show” ever, beating out the streamer’s other hits including The Witcher, Bridgerton and Stranger Things.

The show’s creator Hwang Dong-hyuk recently revealed his ideas for a potential second season of the series, stating that he may choose to focus on The Front Man character.

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