'Squid Game'
Source: Netflix

There's a Victor at the End of 'Squid Game,' But Nobody Really "Wins"

By

Sep. 23 2021, Published 3:52 p.m. ET

Spoiler Alert: This article contains spoilers for Season 1 of Squid Game.

The premise of the Netflix original series, Squid Game, is the stuff of nightmares, and it has the potential to keep viewers thinking for quite some time once they watch all nine episodes.

The South Korean drama focuses on a group of 456 people who are invited to compete in a series of children's games to win a prize of ₩45.6 billion. The participants are all struggling financially, for one reason or another, but there's a major catch to the endeavor: the games are all deadly.

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The show has been compared to the book and film editions of The Hunger Games. Unlike Katniss and Peeta, who were both able to survive at the end of their deadly contest thanks to their quick-thinking, there can only be one victor in Squid Game.

However, there's a final twist at the end of the series that will have viewers debating about whether there really is one winner.

'Squid Game'
Source: Netflix
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Who wins 'Squid Game'? Details on the show's conclusion.

While winning the game experience comes at the expense of many other lives, the first season of Squid Game does conclude with one victor.

Cho Sang-woo (Park Hae-soo), an investor who took from his clients, and Seong Gi-hun (Lee Jung-jae), the chauffeur with a gambling problem, are the two players who make it to the final round in "One Lucky Day."

Their last task is to play Squid Game, which is already violent in nature. The childhood friends learn that the only way the game ends is if one player dies, or if the majority decides to end it with a forfeit. Gi-hun wins a coin toss advantage ahead of time, and he decides to begin on offense.

The players do participate in the game for several minutes, and it proves to be both grueling and gruesome.

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'Squid Game'
Source: Netflix

Though Gi-hun ends up getting the opportunity to kill Sang-woo and win the game, he is unable to harm his former friend. As Sang-woo is bleeding on the ground, Gi-hun decides to try to forfeit the prize money. He asks if the game can end.

As Gi-hun extends his hand to help his friend get up, Sang-woo grabs the knife next to him. He completes suicide, and Gi-hun becomes the winner of Squid Game.

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Once he gets out of the competition, Gi-hun learns that his life has been falling apart on the outside world. He's hesitant to spend any of his prize money because he doesn't like the way that he won.

'Squid Game'
Source: Netflix
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Does the old man, Oh Il-nam, die in 'Squid Game'?

After Gi-hun leaves the games behind, he finds out that he isn't the only survivor. Oh Il-nam (Oh Yeong-su), the old man who entered the games after he found out he was dying from a brain tumor, lived as well.

While the contestants (and viewers!) thought that he passed away during the marble game, Il-nam survived. He wasn't just a player; Il-nam actually created the concept of the game.

He only decided to play once he found out that he was dying already. About a year after Gi-hun's victory, he meets with Il-nam on his deathbed.

The elderly man does die in Squid Game, but only as a result of his illness.

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'Squid Game'
Source: Netflix

In the final moments of the series, Gi-hun tries to stop a man who has been recruited for the next round of the competition. As he's getting on a plane to Los Angeles to see his daughter, Gi-hun calls the phone number on the back of the Squid Game card. He then decides not to get on the flight. Instead, he wants to focus his efforts on ending the competition for good.

Season 1 of Squid Game is available to stream on Netflix now.

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