It’s an understatement to say that Netflix’s Squid Game is one of the biggest shows of all time. The Korean title is an undisputed worldwide phenomenon, with the streaming platform reporting it as its most-viewed original program ever with over 111 million people tuning in.
In an interview with the Associated Press, director and series creator Hwang Dong-hyuk confirmed that the drama-thriller will be renewed for a second season—much to the delight of fans worldwide. While little is known about what the sequel might hold as Hwang is “in the planning process currently”, one thing’s for sure: the set design will likely play a huge role in the second season, just like it did in the first season.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Hwang revealed that he will “pay more attention to the details [and] not make any mistakes, no matter how small they may be” in order to “bring more joy to the fans, and maybe put more Easter eggs in [the next season]”.
In anticipation of the second season, we return to the first season to cover all the design details and hidden nuances where the production crew and art team weaved in plenty of surreptitious references. Some of these plot threads and theories might just surface in season two.
1. The industrial-style dorms
The warehouse-style dormitory is the first space that the players encounter in the game. The pared-back room features stacked beds and ladders, which Squid Game art director Chae Kyoung-sun likened to stacking goods in a warehouse. In an interview commentary with Netflix, Chae noted: “Since modern society is constant competition to climb the ladder, we thought about portraying that in the bed design.”
Eagle-eyed fans will also have spotted the markings on the dormitory walls, which are major clues for the contestants on the upcoming games. As the games progress and the participants lessen, the beds in the dorm are gradually removed and the pictograms are progressively revealed.
If the second season was to focus on the participants, we can perhaps expect a similar dormitory concept as the foundation of the games—where contestants are willing to sacrifice their own humanity in pursuit of vast wealth—would not have changed.