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Why Did Each Main Character Return To Play ‘Squid Game’?

All of Squid Game’s participants return home in Episode 2 before continuing the games in the next episode, with different reasons for why each main character opted to return and try for the money. Squid Game is a film about folks who are down on their luck and enter a series of potentially dangerous children’s games in the hopes of winning a cash prize of 45.6 billion Won. Each player is shown to have been recruited because they have a history of being deeply in debt, hinting that they will be willing to risk their lives for money.

Gi-Hun

Why each character returned in squid game
Gi-Hun

Gi-hun returns home, relieved to be free of the deadly games, and attempts to spend time with his daughter. He learns that she and her mother and stepfather are relocating to the United States, leaving Gi-hun with no way to see her.  Gi-hun reluctantly phones Squid Game’s Front Man about returning to play, knowing he needs to make money to support himself, his mother, and his little daughter.

Sae-Byeok

Why each character returned in squid game
Sae-Byeok

Sae-byeok is a young North Korean defector who has been battling in South Korea. She had been a pickpocket frantically trying to get enough money to support her younger brother, who was living in an orphanage. She then became player 067 in the Squid Game, and was one of the characters who, like Sang-woo, voted to stay and complete the games. Squid Game participant 067 decides to return to the games in order to raise money to support her brother and bring her entire family to South Korea securely.

Ali

Why each character returned in squid game
Ali

Ali’s purpose for returning to Squid Game’s arena, like Sae- byeok’s, was to defend his family members rather than repay a debt or gain. Ali had a wife and infant at home, whom he needed to send to Pakistan with the rest of his family, according to Squid Game episode 2. Ali returns to the Squid Game in the hopes of winning the 45.6 billion Won prize. Ali never gets to go home, dying in the marbles game when Sang-woo fools and betrays him, in one of the saddest character deaths.

Sang-Woo

Why each character returned in squid game
Sang-Woo

According to Squid Game, he lost approximately six billion Won in stocks and futures, compounded by the fact that he put his mother’s shop and home up as collateral. Sang-woo nearly commits suicide after learning that the government will seize all his mother owns until he returns to Squid Game’s arena. When Sang-Woo returns to Squid Game’s contests with his mother’s livelihood on the line, he becomes ruthless.

Deok-Su

Why each character returned in squid game
Deok-Su

Returning to his organised crime past, Deok-su is betrayed by a friend who leads him to a bridge where his boss plans to assassinate him. Squid Game’s player falls from the bridge into the water before returning to the games, insisting on taking Deok-su’s eye and kidney before killing him for the money he owes.

Il-Nam/Old Man

Why each character returned in squid game
Il-Nam/Old Man

Although it was initially considered that the Old Man/player 001 joined Squid Game because he was suffering from a fatal disease and wanted to win money to fund his treatment, his true motivation is far more deceiving. Considering what happens later, it’s surprising that the Old Man voted no in episode 2 and then became the deciding vote to send everyone home. The Old Man was actually in charge of the games the whole time, and he opted to participate because he was dying and knew it would be his last time viewing them, according to the Squid Game’s ending.

Written by Prachee Mishra