Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for Squid Game.
Let's get the obvious out of the way. A ton of people die in Squid Game. The hyper-popular Netflix K-drama has made a name for itself for bringing Korean children's games into the spotlight, and of course, for its obscenely twisted and violent deaths.
In the world of Squid Game, desperate people are brought into a mysterious facility and asked to play a series of children's games. If you lose, you die, but every death adds more money to the cash prize at the end.
As we saw, the players were willing to do anything to win the money and change their drastic circumstances. Naturally, the bodies piled up around them.
When the dust settled, there were plenty of casualties, but how many did Squid Game rack up?
How many people died in 'Squid Game'?
There were a total of 456 players who started playing at the beginning of Season 1. By the end of the first game—"Red Light, Green Light" — the player count was already reduced to 201, with 255 players being killed and eliminated.
After six rounds of games (seven, if you count the night raid), only one player was left standing. The main protagonist, Seong Gi-hun, was the tragic winner and solemnly, almost reluctantly, took home the 45.6 billion won prize ($38.6 million).
Yet even though there was only one person left, it doesn't mean 455 people died. After the bloodshed of the first game, the 201 remaining players voted to leave and go home. The vast majority of them (187 people) decided to return to try and win the money, but that's 14 players we can subtract from the total. With that in mind, the actual death toll comes out to slightly less than the amount of initial players (which isn't saying much since that's still a whole lot of dead people).
Furthermore, the games weren't the only causes of death in the show. Officer Hwang Jun-ho left his own trail of bodies while investigating the games' facility in search of his missing brother. Player 111 (named Byeong-gi) killed several game workers after they couldn't provide him inside info on the upcoming games. Even Gi-hun's mother tragically passed away from illness, one whose treatment he had intended to pay for with the prize money.
What's the final death count?
A total of 441 players died when taking into account players who didn't return after being set free. That number also includes Il-nam, the creator of the games who passed away after the fact. Put that together with the amount of superfluous deaths that occur in between games and outside of them entirely, and you have a total of 449 deaths throughout the whole series.
This count does not factor in Jun-ho — whose fate is left ambiguous after being shot and falling from a cliff into the ocean. It also does not count the game worker who was stabbed in the eye by a player, as their status was left unclear.
Even without the maximum amount of players, the final death toll still dances dangerously close to the initial count of 456. Whether they were playing the games, or even if they were nowhere near them, no one was safe from death in Squid Game.