Why did Sangwoo kill himself in Netflix’s Squid Game?

Darcy Rafter October 4, 2021

Squid Game continues to be a viral sensation on Netflix and, as people are rewatching the series already, many are wondering why Sang-woo killed himself.

Squid Game‘s final hour is set outside the world of the arena, a year on from the show. The finale will definitely have you on the edge of your seat – but it may need some explanation.

This will be serious spoiler territory so, if you’ve heard all the buzz surrounding Squid Game but haven’t had a chance to watch it yet, stop reading right here.

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Squid Game | Official Trailer | Netflix

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Squid Game | Official Trailer | Netflix
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Why did Sangwoo kill himself in Netflix’s Squid Game?

Sang-woo is a businessman who tried to kill himself during Squid Game before. He is officially eliminated when he commits suicide after Gi-hun refuses to do the deed.

Sang-woo had eliminated Sae-byeok (the defector) from the game. As Sae-byeok held a knife to someone’s neck, Sang-woo stabbed her in the throat by surprise.

Many are curious to know why Sang-woo kills himself when he could have walked away alive. It is suggested he’s too ashamed of what he has done and the way he has treated people.

On the other hand, he may be embarrassed he’s leaving the game without the money. After being deemed a successful man in everyday life, he may feel like a failure in Squid Game.

Sang-woo may have realised the only way to get money to his mother was to hope Gi-hun won it and helped her out. After all, he has known her his whole life.

Sang-woo is overwhelmed by the event and kills himself, meaning Gi-hun wins the game. Of course, the truth is there’s no real winner in Squid Game.

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Netflix’s Squid Game ending explained

The final two contestants on the show are Gi-hun and Cho Sang-woo. They grew up together and used to play squid game as children. In the final contest, Gi-hun and Sang-woo are allowed to beat each other up until one of them clearly wins or someone dies.

Gi-hun beats Sang-woo to the ground and is about to enter the circle drawn in the sand, which would signal his victory while Sang-woo faces elimination and death.

Gi-hun realises he doesn’t have to kill Sang-woo to win as the rules of the game allow the competition to be cancelled if the players agree to end it. In hopes of ending the game, Gi-hun walks back to Sang-woo and asks if they can leave together. Sang-woo reaches out for Gi-hun’s hand and it seems as though they will walk away together – alive.

However, Sang-woo takes a dagger and plunges it into his own neck before dying in Gi-hun’s arms.

Now, can we have another series of Squid Game?

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Darcy is an experienced journalist passionate about celebrity culture and entertainment. After gaining a degree in Media and Communications at Goldsmiths University she has also become a social media specialist, always keeping informed on the latest trends. With almost five years of experience in media, her expertise is analysing platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. When she's not tracking the latest trending content, she’s watching films and eating lots of chocolate.