The Shape Of Those Odd Squid Game Coffins Finally Explained

There are a lot of tiny details in "Squid Game" that have deeper meanings. Everything from the costumes, the mysterious symbols, the real-life context, the food, the games — even the allegedly bad acting — has a reason, or at least adds to the rich viewing experience of "Squid Game." This, of course, applies to those strange coffins. That's right, those bows are more than just a pretty ornament.

In a roundtable interview with Netflix Korea, "Squid Game" production designer Chae Kyung-Sun explained why there were bows on the coffins of players who died in the game. The coffins, which look like gift boxes, were designed with the creator of the games in mind, and they reveal more about his way of thinking. There's no way to discuss the creator without giving away his identity, so spoilers ahead for season 1 of "Squid Game."

It All Comes Back to Il-Nam

Everything in the Squid Game was created by Oh Il-nam, the old man who put himself in the game as Player 001. He created the games to ease his own boredom and give struggling people a chance at happiness, though the second part wasn't as kind as he thought it was. The details of the games are based on happy memories from his own life because he's trying to show the contestants some kind of joy before they ultimately die. Everything from the streets of the marble game city, to the sugar-cutting shapes were chosen because it made Il-nam happy. 

Chae, who worked as a production designer on the series and helped come up with some of the most iconic elements, explained how Il-nam's way of thinking led to the gift box coffin design:

"I think it focused on the mind of the person who came up with the game. I imagine he'd think he gave the contestants a chance as if he's a god. 'This is my gift to you. Even your bodies being disposed in the incinerator is a show of mercy.' So I thought, what if I put a ribbon on it?"

Il-nam thinks of himself as a kind god, one that is giving players of the game a special gift. So when they die and are eventually incinerated by the Squid Games staff, the bow is his final gift to them. After all, now they don't have to worry about funeral expenses. 

An Allegory for Class Divides

At its core, "Squid Games" is a harsh look at capitalism and the class divides it causes. The wealthy, like Oh Il-nam and the masked VIPs, are completely out of touch with the people beneath them in the social structure. The workers, dressed in jumpsuits with simple geometric masks, represent the working middle class who manage to eke out a living while turning a blind eye to the cruelty of the rich. The idea of the players' deaths and cremation being "a gift" is just another clue as to the warped way Il-nam thinks. He's putting people through incredible trauma and then killing most of them for his own amusement and the entertainment of a handful of rich jerks from around the world. Seeing that as any kind of gift is deeply disturbed. 

In the real world, "Squid Game" is so popular that replica coffins have been reported at mortuary service trade shows, which means you too could be buried in "Squid Game" style, if you really wanted. It may sound morbid, but tone-deaf "Squid Game" cosplays are all the rage right now

The Devil's in the Details

There coffins aren't the only symbols within "Squid Game." Each of the workers wears a mask with a geometric shape, and those shapes determine their ranking within the system. Workers with circle masks are the grunts, those with triangle masks are armed enforces, and squares are the managers who boss around the other two groups at the behest of the Front Man. The shapes are not only the playing field for the kid's game that inspired the show's title, but they're part of the Korean letters that spell out the series' name. 

The sheer amount of detail in "Squid Game" means that even after the stunning season 1 conclusion, there are still lots of unanswered questions. We may now know why the games exist, and all about the reasons behind little details, but there's still so much left to discover about this rich and complex world. While season 2 isn't 100% confirmed, it's likely that this extremely popular series will return for more mysterious mayhem on Netflix sometime soon.