Squid Game: How Old Is Player 212? | Screen Rant

How old is Player 212, Han Mi-nyeo (Kim Joo-ryoung) in Netflix's Squid Game? Mi-nyeo is one of the standout characters of Squid Game, played by actress Kim Joo-ryoung. In Squid Game, Mi-nyeo is one of 456 players competing for prize money in a reenactment of childhood schoolyard games turned deadly. Has Squid Game's Player 212 led a hard life of bad choices, aging her before or time, or do her energetic cons make her seem more youthful than she is? Is there some other reason for hiding her age in Squid Game?

Squid Game is a South Korean show for Netflix about brutal death games reminiscent of Battle Royal or The Hunger Games. Typical of the sub-genre, Squid Games sees contestants enter deadly competitions until the characters is dwindled down to a winner or two. Squid Games' popularity continues to grow and has been a massive success for Netflix -- and for good reason. One of the great appeals of the show is how characters defeat and outwit one another. Of the cast, perhaps none is more devious than the fan favorite player, 212 - or Han Mi-nyeo.

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Since the hit South Korean drama Squid Game is pioneered by single a voice - writer/director Hwang Dong-hyuk - it suggests there is a singular vision in mind for well-developed characters like Mi-nyeo. Players' ages in Squid Game range from what look like early 20s on up to the geriatric Oh Il-nam (Oh Yeong-su), with the majority falling somewhere in their 30s or 40s when they are most likely to encounter the heavy debt and burden that would bring them to the desperate circumstances of joining the Squid Games. Although, this age range may be skewed by Oh Il-nam, if the old man competed in the Squid Games illegally. Younger seems to be better for the athletic nature of the Squid Game competition. Mi-nyeo's age is not revealed in the show, but it is hinted at and even talked about in Squid Game. However, the character's age may be just what the writer intended, and may reveal a lot about her character and the nature of the story.

In real life, Kim Joo-ryoung, who plays Mi-nyeo, is 45 years old, but that does not provide a definitive answer for the age of her character Mi-nyeo. Mi-nyeo is deceptive as a character, and her age is a part of her mystery. Within the in-universe logic of Squid Game, Mi-nyeo does not have an athletic build, and many of the games in the Squid Game competition are athletic in nature. Forced to use other talents, Mi-nyeo's devious nature probably serves her better. It gives Mi-nyeo an advantage to keep the other players on their toes. In episode 4, “Stick to the Team,” Mi-nyeo plays a guessing game of her age with gangster Deok-su (Heo Sung-tae). His guesses are 49, 39, and 19 - only the last of which satisfies Mi-nyeo in an obvious placation. Squid Game acknowledges that Mi-nyeo's age is as unreliable as her loyalties, demonstrating her deviousness. However, this unpredictability would inform her eventual fate. The story of Squid Game keeps Mi-nyeo's age ambiguous to contribute to the unreliable nature of her character.

Narratively, knowing when to specify age and when to keep a character mysterious seems to have been a conscious choice the show made for Mi-nyeo, especially when to sign up for the game a prospective player must phone a number, and give their name and birthday. For her own motivations, Mi-neyo may have felt inclined to keep her age secret for strategic reasons - in a competition with 45.6 billion won on the line - but the show itself seems to have made this choice as well. Anonymity is a theme in Squid Game, with its guards and VIPs behind masks. Even the tracksuits that the players wear all make them look somewhat ambiguous, so the narrative needed larger-than-life personalities to bring out the drama of Squid Game.

Next: Biggest Squid Game Theories For Season 2



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