A victim of physical abuse, she was incarcerated after she killed her abusive father in retaliation for his murder of her mother. She later joins the 33rd Squid Game, where she joins Seong Gi-hun's team. There she forms a close connection with Kang Sae-byeok. She was eliminated in Marbles, after she sacrificed herself for Sae-byeok's survival.
Ji-yeong has a rather laid back, unbothered personality despite the intensity of her current surrounding, and not very easily intimidated. However, she is bothered by religious people due to its ties to her past trauma with her late father, and mocks them. She can be somewhat cheerful to people she is closer to, such as Sae-byeok.
In her youth, she was physically abused by her father, who later stabbed her mother to death. In an act of revenge, Ji-yeong kills her father, a crime for which she served time in prison. Some time after her incarceration, she agreed to participate in the Games to, with little regard for whether she lived or died, as she felt she had nothing to live for in the outside world.
Her father, as Ji-yeong said, was a pastor, and begged God for forgiveness while he abused his daughter and hit his wife. Although he did not pray when he killed Ji-yeong's mother, she thinks this is because he knew he wouldn't be forgiven. It is implied that his father's association with religion caused her disdain for the religious player, as his beliefs were directly tied to her trauma. Because of this, she dislikes Player 244 due to the fact he's a pastor, and reminds Ji-yeong of her father.
Prior to the third round she was recruited by Sae-byeok to join to the Team 4, and an alliance of contestants that included Cho Sang-woo and Seong Gi-hun. Sang-woo initially disapproved Sae-byeok's choice because he only wanted male recruits, which almost prompted Ji-yeong to depart, but Gi-hun encouraged her to stay. She survived until the fourth-round game of Marbles, during which she was partnered with Sae-byeok. Upon learning only the winner between the two would survive, they opted to wait until the final moment and then play a single round to determine the winner.
As they waited, Ji-yeong and Sae-byeok discussed their pasts, when Sae-byeok asked Ji-yeong what she would do if she won the Games, Ji-yeong realized she did not know. Upon deciding that Sae-byeok had more reason to live than Ji-yeong, since she still had a family to support, Ji-yeong purposefully lost the Marbles game, sacrificing herself so Sae-byeok could advance in the games. Ji-yeong was shot in the head by a soldier, eliminating her from the games.
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Behind the scenes
Ji-yeong was portrayed by actress Lee Yoo-mi.
- It is implied that she might have been sexually abused, because she mentions her father would do the "unthinkable" to her.
- While she was having a conversation with Kang Sae-byeok, she stated that she doesn't have a family name in Gganbu (episode 6).
- In "A Fair World", it is implied that Ji-yeong is an atheist, possibly because of her father's beliefs and actions. This could possibly be why she also gets annoyed by Player 244.
- In the original script, Ji-yeong was intended to be male, and their name would have been Ji-young. At some point in the over-a-decade-long wait for Squid Game, the director decided that the "bond between women" would better fit the script.