Squid Game Fan Theory Lays Out Il-Nam’s Ulterior Motive For Final Game

An interesting fan theory has been circulating online giving some extra dimension to one of Squid Game‘s most nuanced and complex characters.

Warning: spoilers ahead

To refresh, Squid Game is the megahit Netflix show that follows financially destitute people as they are recruited by a shadowy organization into a macabre contest. If any of the 456 competitors wins in a series of children’s games, they get a life-changing $38 million. However, if they lose, they die.

One of the central figures of the show turned out to be Hideo Kimura’s Il-Nam, the old man who appears to be one of the contestants at first, but who turned out to be the mastermind behind the mayhem.

At the end of the show, the protagonist Seong Gi-hun (Lee Jung-jae) plays one last game with Il-Nam: the pair look out a window and make a bet on whether a homeless man left out in the cold will get any help from a stranger.

With Il-Nam believing people are inherently self-interested, he bets that no one will stop for the man, while Gi-hun believes someone will stop to help.

While Gi-hun eventually wins the bet, a fan theory put forth by user ArenLuxon on Reddit has some added layers of interpretation that has us second-guessing this scene. For instance, might Il-Nam have been using the game as a vetting process to select his successor? Take a lot at the post below.

The idea that Gi-hun could’ve intervened to help the man directly, and that Il-Name faked his death, certainly puts the scene in a new light. And with how many twists and turns the show has, it might just end being what unfolds if they make a season two.

You can watch all nine episodes of Squid Game on Netflix now.