Squid Game season 2 will see Gi-hun embark on a revenge mission. However, this will cause some problems for both the character and the series.
Squid Game season 2 will see protagonist Gi-hun seek revenge on those responsible for the show’s eponymous tournament, but this arc actually has some risks for the character. Squid Game became a global sensation both for its sharp satire and brutal violence. Gi-hun played an invaluable role as a believable everyman, forced to participate out of desperation and acting as a surrogate for the audience. Throughout Squid Game season 1, his somewhat bumbling persona endeared him to viewers, making him so much more than a stereotypical action hero.
Even though Gi-hun emerged victorious in Squid Game season 1, there was never any suggestion that he was any more than an ordinary man with understandable weaknesses and relatable motivations. Even as the Squid Game games became increasingly complex and the wider plot of wealthy elites and secret societies began to unravel, Gi-hun remained a grounding presence. However, the Squid Game season 1 ending sets him on a potentially different course. After realizing that the Squid Games are still active, Gi-hun appears to turn away from a reunion with his daughter in order to exact his revenge and end the games for good. It’s this change that could spell trouble for the character.
Gi-hun Is More Than Just An Underdog In Squid Game Season 2
Details around the Squid Game season 2 plot (via AllKPop) confirm that revenge will indeed be Gi-hun’s main motivation. His previous experience of competing in a Squid Game and proven nous should put him in a good position to bring down the games once and for all. However, in transforming Gi-hun from down-on-his-luck everyman to avenging angel, Squid Game risks ruining what made his character, and the series as a whole, so compelling.
For all the outlandish traps and conspiracies involving secretive elitist cabals, Squid Game season 1 worked because it was – on some level – believable. Its satire was effective because all viewers could understand and engage with the relentless pressure of modern capitalist society. It was easy to understand how financial desperation could force people to participate in something so horrible. However, if Squid Game turns its lead character into an all-action vigilante, the show risks losing what made it so provocative. Not only is turning the previously muddling Gi-hun into a cold and calculating hero a narrative stretch, but it arguably also makes him and the whole series far less relatable.
Squid Game Season 2 Is Already Taking Away Gi-hun’s Best Weapon
Not only did Gi-hun’s shortcomings in Squid Game season 1 make him an effective audience stand-in, but his greatest strength also made him a lovable protagonist. Ultimately, despite the slew of memorable characters that nearly made it to the end of the tournament, it was Gi-hun’s pure heart that gave him the skills to emerge triumphant. Despite wrestling with difficult emotional decisions, such as whether to kill Sang-woo in his sleep, Gi-hun is revealed to be a good man. He even gives a share of his money to Sae-byeok’s brother and Sang-woo’s mother, demonstrating his strength of character.
However, if Squid Game season 2 decides to turn Gi-hun into a vengeful force, he will arguably lose the relative purity that helped him survive in season 1. While this would arguably be an interesting and perhaps even a natural character development, it would still represent a fundamental shift for the character. Given how integral morality and the value of knowing right from wrong are in Squid Game‘s wider social commentary, this could have a potentially disastrous impact on Gi-hun’s personality and the whole series.