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Hero Overview

Can't you hear me? This isn't right! We shouldn't be killing each other like this!
~ Seong Gi-hun to the ones behind the Squid Game.
You don't trust people because they are trustworthy. You do it because you have nothing else to rely on.
~ Gi-hun to Kang Sae-byeok.
Listen carefully. I'm not a horse. I'm a person. That's why I want to know... who you people are... and how you can commit such atrocities against people. That's why... I can't forgive you for everything you're doing.
~ Gi-hun to the Front Man and the ones behind the Squid Game.

Seong Gi-hun (Korean: 성기훈) is the protagonist of the South Korean Netflix drama show Squid Game. Gi-hun is a divorced and indebted chauffeur, former assembly worker, and an obsessed gambler. He is invited to play a series of children's games, the Squid Game, for a chance at a large cash prize. He accepts the offer to settle his debts without knowing about the horrors of the game.

He is portrayed by Lee Jung-jae, and by Kim Yeon-ung as a child. In English, he is voiced by Greg Chun who voices Garou, Mr Kaji, and Muzan Kibutsuji.



10 years prior to the 2020 Squid Game, Gi-hun was involved in a work riot in a car factory that had shut down. Its founder blamed the employees for is downfall, which incited the riot and killed a friend of his. 3 years prior to joining the game, Gi-hun divorced his wife, which resulted in him living separated from her and his daughter. In 2020, he is a down-on-his-luck chauffeur who lives with his sickly mother.

Squid Game

In 2020, Gi-hun lives with his mother who works a lot. He secretly steals money to go and bet with a friend but is discovered and beaten by the gangsters whose money he stole. Later, at a subway station, he is approached by a salesman who wants to play Ddakji with him. After finally winning upon losing (and getting slapped each time he loses), the salesman gives him a Squid Game card to call them if he wants to participate. Gi-hun eventually agrees and while going in a car, he is put to sleep by gas. He is then taken to an island in an unknown location with the other players.

He then wakes up in a dorm and finds himself among 455 other players, all with similar large debts. The players are kept under watch at all times by masked guards in red jumpsuits, with the games overseen by the Front Man. There, he meets an old man and confronts a North Korean named Sae-byeok and a gangster named Jang Deok-su. After registering, all players are taken to a room to play Red Light, Green Light. Just before the game starts Gi-hun encounters his childhood friend Cho Sang-woo.

The players soon discover that losing in these games results in their death, as they realize that the participants who move in front of the giant doll are shot. Gi-hun survives the first game thanks to Sang-woo's advice and Ali catching him when he trips and is almost seen by the doll. Afterwards, they finds out that each death adds ₩100 million to the potential ₩45.6 billion grand prize. Gi-hun allies with other players, forming a team with Sang-woo, Ali, and Sae-byeok, to try to survive the physical and psychological twists of the games.

When he voted out of the games, his time outside was not better: his mother is sick with severe diabetes, he has no money to pay for her surgery, his offers to work has been turned down, and no one in the police force believes him when he tells them of the events that befallen him (except for Inspector Hwang Jun-ho, whose brother has been taken in as a participant in the games). He encountered Oh Il-nam (whose name he does not as of yet) and ate dried rameyon and talking with the elder man, who revealed that he was ill from brain tumor early on before Red Light, Green Light.

Having no other choice, Gi-hun decided to rejoin the games in hopes of winning the prize money, which was more than enough to pay for the surgery for his mother. He participated in the game named Honeycomb, which he narrowly survives by licking the back of the candy until the symbol carved around it melted, enough for Gi-hun to pass. When the lights flickered on and off, a riot led by Deok-su and his team ensues. Gi-hun narrowly survives as he targeted by attackers but is saved by Ali and Sang-woo. The trio joins forces to help Sae-byeok who goes to their encounter while being chased by Deok-su and his group. In the game Tug-of-War, with the help of Il-nam and Sang-woo, his team survives against the other, simply by strategizing in the game.

Gi-hun and Sang-woo later organize their team to take turns guarding in case of another attack through the next night, out of fear that they will be killed in their sleep. In the following day, during the Marble game, Gi-hun decides to partner with Il-nam, but soon discovers he will have to play against him. The old man, however, looks forward to find the house his wife and child lived in instead, frustrating Gi-hun. In spite of his attempts to convince Il-nam into playing with him, Gi-hun eventually persuaded Il-nam into playing the game, which he nearly lost to the latter (though he managed to turn it around by tricking Il-nam into giving him his marbles). Unfortunately for Gi-hun, Il-nam discovered the deception but allowed Gi-hun to win by giving him his last marble before the old man is seemingly eliminated for losing.

Traumatized by Il-nam's "death", Gi-hun manages to move on from the loss of a friend and played Glass Stepping Stones with the other remaining 15 contestants. He manages to cross with Sang-woo, Sang-byeok being guided by a glass worker in front of them. After the lights are turn off by the Front Man and the time to cross is about to run out, the glass worker is unable to figure out the next glass to step on and Sang-woo pushes him off of the bridge so they could cross within the time limit, disturbing Gi-hun. The surviving three managed to pass, but Sae-byeok is greviously wounded from the game.

Gi-hun later confronted Sang-woo over him killing the glass worker that kept them alive in the game, but their confrontation is later interrupted when the Masked Men gave them formal outfits and fine dining as rewards of their statuses as finalists. Later, after noticing that Sae-byeok didn't look well, he went to talk with her. Gi-hun suggests that the two of them work together against Sang-woo in the next game. They conversed about family and future matters and Gi-hun told her about wanting to be a good father to his ten-year-old daughter. Sae-byeok reveals to have a young brother with the same age as Gi-hun's daughter. She asks him to promise that if either of them manage to survive and win the game, they will use the prize to take care of each other's family. He soon discovers that Sae-byeok is wounded and tries to call for help, but Sae-byeok is killed by Sang-woo. Enraged, he attempts to attack Sang-woo, but is stopped by a masked soldier, as other masked men take Sae-byeok's corpse away for cremation.

In the last game, eponomously named Squid Game, Gi-hun gets to choose what side he is on after winning a coin flip. Gi-hun takes the offensive while Sang-woo is left with the defensive. After grimly conversing with Sang-woo over their childhood memories (and throwing dirt at Sang-woo's eye when he was about to attack), Gi-hun engages in a brutal fist fight with Sang-woo. Although initially overpowered and nearly killed, Gi-hun manages to gain the upper hand over Sang-woo, and prepares to cross to the last row to win, but eventually stops by invoking the third clause and ending the game. He tries to beckon to Sang-woo to come with him, so they can both go home. However, Sang-woo decides to commit suicide, telling Gi-hun to take care of his mother before dying, leaving Gi-hun mourning the loss of his friend. With Sang-woo's death, Gi-hun automatically becomes the winner of the Squid Game.

With the prize money that he won at the cost of the people he bonded with, Gi-hun returns to society, as a quiet, recovering man unable to speak of the events that has happened. He visits Sang-woo's mother, who tells him that his mother has not returned her calls or has conversed with her at the slightest, prompting Gi-hun to return to his apartment, only to find his mother dead from her diabetes before he could pay for the treatment that could have saved her life. Unable to cry, he silently mourns for his deceased mother.

A year has passed, and Gi-hun, although rich with the prize money, is deeply traumatized by the losses he suffered. So much so, he has not even touched his prize money (aside from using it to pay off his debts to the loan sharks). He is granted an offer by a bank manager to become a VIP, but he silently refuses, and is later invited by a woman with an invitation, from Il-nam, who reveals that he is the mastermind of the death game. Gi-hun angrily confronts Il-nam over the games that has brought death and loss to his life, demanding questions over the reason for the games itself. The old man tells he actually dying from brain tumor and requests to play one last game with Gi-hun, betting over the life of a homeless man. Gi-hun eventually wins the game out of surprsing luck (because the homeless man was later recovered by police), but Il-nam succumbs to his tumor and dies, but not before he explains Gi-hun his motivations for the games: to test if humanity does have goodness within them while recreating the children games within his fledging memories for the sake of nostalgia.

Gi-hun later changes his hair style and color, finds Sae-byeok's brother, Cheol, and takes him to Sang-woo's mother, leaving them with the shares of the prize money he won. He later tried to go abroad to visit his daughter in Los Angeles, only to encounter the salesman he played with before. He tried to confront the salesman, to no avail and stops a potential player from participating. He later calls the Front Man, demanding to know who he is and who is running the games, but is ordered to get into the plane, revealing that they are watching his every move. Determined to find out about the violent nature of the games that has taken the lives of everyone but himself, Gi-hun does not go to the plane and instead returns to Korea to take on his personal quest to end the death game once and for all.


  • In the series, it is stated that his age is 47 in 2020, despite Gi-hun saying that his birthday is in October 31, 1974. This is because one year is added after birth in the Korean age, making him 47 in 2020 and 48 in 2021.
  • Hwang Dong-hyuk, the director of the series, explained that Sang-woo and Gi-hun were named after two of his friends in real life and are two sides of himself: Similar to Gi-hun, he was raised in Ssangmun-dong by a single mother in a financially troubled environment; similar to Sang-woo, he went to Seoul National University and his entire neighbourhood praised him and had high expectations of him.[1]


External Links


           Squid Game logo render.pngHeroes

Seong Gi-hun | Cho Sang-woo | Kang Sae-byeok | Hwang Jun-ho | Ali Abdul | Han Mi-nyeo | Ji-yeong

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