What happens at the end of Squid Game?

1 October 2021, 18:13 | Updated: 8 October 2021, 15:16

Polly Foreman

By Polly Foreman

Squid Game ending: who is responsible for the games, who dies, and how many winners are there?

If you've just polished off all nine episodes of Netflix's Squid Game, we're guessing you're still reeling from all the shock twists and turns the finale delivered.

The show centred around protagonist Gi-hun (played by Lee Jung-jai), a gambling addict who answers a mysterious invitation to take part in some games in which the winner gets 45.6 billion won (£28 million).

Each round is based on a different popular children's game, but the contestants quickly learn that they have a deadly twist...

If you've finished the series and still have questions, we've got all the answers you need about *that* ending...

**Warning: contains major spoilers for Squid Game season two**

Still confused by the Squid Game ending? Read on...
Still confused by the Squid Game ending? Read on... Picture: Netflix

What happens at the end of Squid Game?

After the fifth game, only Gi-Hun, Sang Woo (Park Hae-soo) and Kang Sae-byeok (HoYeon Jung) are left.

The trio are treated to a steak dinner the night before the final, but it quickly emerges that Sae-byeok is injured after a shard of glass from the game five bridge stabbed her.

Gi-hun and Sang-woo are the Squid Game finalists
Gi-hun and Sang-woo are the Squid Game finalists. Picture: Netflix

When she is in bed, she asks Gi-hun to look after her brother if he wins, and she is then stabbed by Sang Woo when Gi-hun rushes for help.

Gi-hun and Sang-woo enter the sixth game as enemies, and they are told that the last round will be Squid Game, which they played together as children.

The pair are at first prepared to fight to the death, but Gi-hun has a change of heart just as he is about to win.

He tells the guards that he and Sang-woo will vote to leave the game together, but Sang-woo kills himself after telling Gi-hun to take care of his mother.

Gi-hun is then released with the prize money.

The show flash-forwards a year in the future, and Gi-hun, who is suffering with the trauma of the games, is revealed to have not spent any of the money at all.

He receives a card resembling the original invitation, and he goes to the address as requested.

When there, he discovers player one Il-nam (played by Oh Young-soo), who we thought had died in the marble round, in a hospital bed - and learns that he was responsible for the games.

Why did Il-nam create Squid Game?

Il-nam tells Gi-hun that he made money as a lender, and that he created the games when he and his wealthy friends became bored of having so much money they didn't know what to do with it.

He created the games to spark some excitement in their lives, revealing that they bet on the humans like others may bet on horse races.

After telling Gi-hun the details about the games, he dies of the brain tumour.

What does Gi-hun do with the money?

After visitng Il-nam, Gi-hun visits Sae-byeok's brother at the orphanage, and takes him to Sang-woo's mother so she can be his guardian.

Sang-woo's mum tells them that she's excited to have someone to live with, and Gi-hun leaves them together.

When she opens the suitcase, she discovers that Gi-hun has left her a huge amount of money - and left a note saying that he owed it to Sang-woo.

In the final scenes, Gi-hun is shown smartly dressed and speaking to his daughter on the phone while on the way to the airport to visit her in the US.

Gi-hun rescues Sae-byeok's brother
Gi-hun rescues Sae-byeok's brother. Picture: Netflix

However, he then sees the Salesman trying to coax another victim to the games on the platform - and promptly chases after him and steals the invitation.

While at the airport, Gi-hun calls the number, and is told by the Frontman to board the plane. The final scene sees Gi-hun turn around and walk away from the plane - presumably to seek revenge on those responsible for the game.

Who dies in Squid Game?

As suggested by the game's premise, a huge number of the characters die in Squid Game.

As well as Sang-woo and Sae-byeok, other victims include Abdul Ali (Tripathi Anupam), Heo Sung-tae (Jang Deok-su), and Kim Joo-ryung (Han Mi-nyeo).

Policeman Jun-ho, who goes undercover to expose the games, is also killed by the Front Man (who is revealed to be his missing brother).