Who Are the VIPs in Netflix's 'Squid Game'?

Squid Game, the engrossing Netflix K-drama that sees hundreds of people battle each other in a deadly survival competition for the chance to win a handsome cash prize, features several mysterious characters, including a group of VIP guests.

Wearing sparkling gold-colored masks each shaped like the heads of different animals, including a ram, a tiger, a deer and a bird, the VIPs watch the contestants compete to the death from a viewing room. While their origins remain a mystery, they do provide some clues about the contest.

The VIPs are guests of Oh Il-nam (who we later find out—spoiler alert—is the mastermind behind the competition). They are usually hosted by Il-nam whenever they arrive to watch the games.

However, the Front Man (who oversees the competition), also sometimes hosts the VIPs on behalf of Il-nam, such as for the final two games of the contest.

While hosting the VIP guests, the Front Man sometimes explains the background of the games, which are themed around children's games, while also controlling various aspects of the match taking place.

For the fifth game, six VIPs arrived by helicopter to the game facility, which is set on a remote island. They were entertained in a lavish room with chandeliers from which they had a front row view of the players who either safely crossed the glass bridge or plunged to their deaths.

The extravagant jungle-themed viewing room was decorated with giant plants that surrounded the plush sofas where the VIPs kicked back in robes while being offered drinks.

A still from "Squid Game" on Netflix.
A still from "Squid Game" on Netflix. Netflix

Throughout the room were several humans covered only in body paint, positioned like statues near each sofa. One was seen serving as a human footstool or table on the ground, while another was seen fanning their guest.

Some comments made by the VIPs, who are only heard speaking in English, have provided some clues about the competition, such as that these games don't only take place in South Korea.

One VIP guest told the Front Man: "The games of this edition have been amazing," with another adding: "The contest in Korea was the best."

The Front Man replied: "Thank you. I believe the next game [the fifth one] will exceed your expectations," to which another VIP says: "Well that's why we came all this way. Trust me, the screens we have at home are plenty big but nothing beats seeing it with your own eyes."

A still from "Squid Game" on Netflix.
The Front Man character in "Squid Game" on Netflix. Netflix

We also know that the VIPs place bets on these games. One guest was heard shouting: "No,no don't do it!...you f***in loser!," upon seeing (through a video monitor) a troubled player appearing to attempt to take his own life. "I put a lot of money on that d***head to win," said the VIP guest who revealed he'd wagered "a million bucks" on that player to win the competition.

Squid Game director Hwang Dong-hyuk wondered "just how far privileged VIP people could go" in terms of looking down on others when he was developing the VIP scenes, he told Hankook Ilbo on September 28.

The use of the human statues covered in body paint aimed to portray VIPs going as far as turning humans into objects. He thought: "Can people with money look down on people up to that extreme point?" South Korea's Edaily reported on September 29.

Masked Waiter

The VIP guests remain faceless throughout the series, apart from one of them who takes a liking to a masked waiter (who happens to be—spoiler alert—Jun-ho, the policeman who had infiltrated the game facility disguised as a staff member).

Later when the guest forces the waiter to remove his mask, Jun-ho turns the tables and manages to get the VIP on his knees, giving him an ultimatum of either revealing everything the guest knows about the games (which Jun-ho intends to record on video) or lose his life. The scene cuts out before viewers are shown what the guest decides.

The VIPs appear in the final episode, and it seems likely that they will feature more prominently in (hopefully) a second season of Squid Game, especially since the games are held in different countries, as mentioned earlier by the VIPs.

A still from Netflix series "Squid Game."
Characters from "Squid Game," the new Netflix K-drama series about a deadly survival game. Netflix