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Whether you sell the dead bodies’ organs or eat them or whatever, I don’t give a damn. However, you ruined the most important aspect of this place. Equality. Everyone is equal while they play this game. Here, every player gets to play a fair game under the same conditions. These people suffered from inequality and discrimination out in the world, and we’re giving them one last chance to fight fair and win. But you broke that fucking principle.
The Front Man to a soldier in "A Fair World"

Hwang In-ho (황인호 Hwang In-ho?) also known as the Front Man, (프론트 맨 Puelonteu Maen?), is the current head staff member and the person who oversees the Squid Games. He is the brother of Hwang Jun-ho, and became the Front Man after playing and winning the 28th Squid Game in 2015 (as Number 132). The Front Man wields absolute control over all three classes of Guards.

The Front Man observes the survival competition games through several monitoring screens as the games unfold. He sometimes steps in when a situation gets out of control during the games, such as when the identity of a staff member is somehow revealed (which is forbidden in the games), in which case the Front Man storms in and executes the exposed staffer.

The Front Man also is often seen answering phone calls back at his quarters, communicating with the person on the other line about the ongoing competition. This is usually the host, whose orders he carries out. He also ensures that the VIPs have a good time while watching the game.

Appearance

While masked, this mysterious character appears in an all-black outfit, including a black geometrically patterned mask. His look stands out from that of the other staff members who don hot pink tracksuits with a black mask each bearing either a circle, triangle or square symbol.

History

Backstory

In-ho participated in the 28th Squid Game in 2015 as Player 132 and ended up winning it. He was involved in bribery, which were likely the cause of money problems which made him participate in the games. At some point in his life he was a police officer, like his brother Jun-ho. He once gave one of his kidneys to his brother. About a week before the 33rd Squid Game began, he left his apartment and didn't contact his family. This resulted in Jun-ho believing he had gone missing.

2020

The Front Man is first seen as he walks into the room where workers are monitoring the players through cameras. When the players enter the area for the first game, the Front makes a phone call, telling the person on the other end that the preparations are complete and the game can begin. He then starts watching the game on a big screen, while listening to a jazz song and drinking whiskey.

After the Squid Game was stopped due to players voting for it to end, it restarted due to many players returning. A worker informs the Front Man that 93% of the players returned to the games. The Front Man tells him to keep an eye on the fourteen people who didn’t return and to keep him posted.

After a worker is forced to take his mask off by a player who stole his gun, the Front Man enters the room and shoots the worker through the head. He reminds the other workers that once somebody finds out who you are, you're dead.

The Front Man gives a few players no food to set off a fight between the players. He makes the lights flicker to cause more hysteria. When Player 001 cries out to stop the fight, the Front Man tells the workers to end it.

After Byeong-gi (a doctor who helped workers with organ selling) lashes out at some workers and kills one, a worker takes off his mask to show he's just human and calm Byeong-gi down. The worker then secretly tries to stab Byeong-gi, but the Front Man enters the room and shoots him. He tells him that he doesn't care about the organ selling, but that he is angry the worker ruined the equality of the players by giving Byeong-gi advantageous information. He tells him that the players suffered inequality in the real world, so they get last chance to fight fair. He then shoots the worker again; this time killing him.

The Front Man is informed about another dead worker. He finds out there is an intruder on the island and demands the workers to find him. He then takes out the bullet out of the body's head and takes a close look at it, recognizing the bullet.

Later, he returns to his quarters to take a phone call, but the Front Man notices that the phone is placed differently than he usually does it. This tips him off that the intruder is probably close to him, so he takes out his gun and goes to search for the intruder. He mentions that he knows that he's a cop as he recognized the bullet as the kind the Korean police uses. He asks the intruder to come and talk with him because that he can not leave the place without his permission. He enters the room the intruder is in, nearly finding him, but gets a call revealing that a body was found on the island. He goes to see it, and sees the police ID that was in the body's pocket. He sees that it's Hwang Jun-ho's ID, his brother. He also sees that the body is not Jun-ho, realizing he is the intruder and is still walking around.

When the VIPs arrive, he informs the host and goes to greet them. He introduces himself and brings them to the room where they can watch the next game. During the game, he keeps the VIPs informed about the game and the players. As he finds out that the intruder had just been with one of the VIPs, he goes to look for him. He finds out that Jun-ho escaped through a hole and catches a glimpse of him at the end of it. Through a phone call, he's informed that the diving equipment is gone and the intruder must’ve left through the underwater cave. He goes after him by boat with a few workers. He tells workers to bring him alive.

As the workers catch up with Jun-ho and corner him on a cliff, the Front Man arrives. The Front Man tells Jun-ho that he will let him live if he hands over the gun and phone. He knows that Jun-ho has only one bullet left in his gun because of police regulations. As the Front Man gets closer, Jun-ho shoots him in the shoulder. The workers want to shoot Jun-ho, but the Front Man signs not to. Jun-ho asks the Front Man who he is, to which he responds by taking off his mask, revealing that he is Jun-ho's brother In-ho. He asks the shocked Jun-ho to come with him, but the detective refuses. In response, In-ho shoots his brother in the shoulder. As Jun-ho falls off the cliff, In-ho simply puts his mask back on and walks away with his escort.

Later as in-ho goes back to his office, In-ho takes care of his bullet wound while looking in the mirror. He's haunted by a hallucination of Jun-ho asking him "why?".

After Gi-hun wins the Squid Game, he sits in the car with him and congratulates him. Gi-hun asks him why they are doing this, and In-ho compares it with horse racing. He also tells Gi-hun that he's surprised he made it this far and to think of it as a dream.

2021

In-ho stands next to Il-nam's bed, who had just passed away.

Appearances

Hwang In-ho's appearances
Episode One Episode Two Episode Three Episode Four Episode Five Episode Six Episode Seven Episode Eight Episode Nine

Behind the scenes

He was portrayed by Lee Byung-hun. In the English dub, he was voiced by Tom Choi.

Trivia

  • Hwang In-ho and the subplot with Jun-ho were not in the original script. There were only added after the decision for Squid Game to be a series instead of a movie.
  • Lee Byung-hun, the actor who portrays Hwang In-ho, is mentioned in the series by Ji-yeong in "Gganbu" when referring to the movie Inside Men.
  • While mentioning the plot lines he would like to explore in season two, Hwang Dong-hyuk stated that one of them would be the story of the Front Man and his brother.[3]
  • In-ho always puts the transmitter on the right side of the telephone and puts the receiver on the left.[4]
  • In-ho is implied to be left handed, or left eye dominant, as he holds and shoots his gun with his left hand.
  • He carries a Colt M1911 pistol.
  • He, Seong Gi-hun and Cho Sang-woo are the only characters that appeared in all nine episodes.

References

  1. As briefly shown on the documents for the 33rd Squid Game in "A Fair World".
  2. In Korea, 1 year is added to the person's age after birth, so if he was born in 1976, he will be 46 one year after the 33rd Squid Game.
  3. Squid Game Season 2: Plotlines The Show's Creator Wants To Explore
  4. "VIPS"
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