Squid Game has taken the world by storm over the past few weeks, hitting the number one spot on Netflix in 90 countries. We break down everything you need to know about player 199 Ali, and explore the fan theory that claims he is still alive.
Warning massive spoilers ahead!
What happened to player 199 in Squid Game?
Player 199, also known as Ali Abdul, entered the Squid Game in order to make money to support his wife and son. The character is originally from Pakistan but he came over to Korea to work and make a new life for his family. He has become known as one of the most lovable, honest and kind-hearted characters in Korean TV history.
Ali became a firm fan-favourite in the first game Red Light, Green Light, where he saved Gi-Hun, aka player 456, from imminent death by holding him up with his bare hands. He also formed an incredibly strong bond with player 218 after Sang-Woo gave him the bus fare home.
However, this only made Ali’s death even more heartbreaking, when his supposed friend Sang-Woo decided to trick him during game four. The players had to pair up for the next round, however, little did they know that they would have to play each other one-on-one at a game of marbles, where if you lose, you die.
Player 199 was winning, so Sang-Woo swapped his marble pouch for pebbles. This devastating betrayal meant that Ali was eliminated, causing outrage among fans.
Fans hold out hope that Ali isn’t really dead
Ali has become one of the stand-out characters of Squid Game. There are even whole ‘Ali appreciation’ threads on reddit. There are also a number of theories circling around online suggesting that player 199 isn’t really dead.
One user claims that because we didn’t officially see Ali’s death, that he could possibly still be alive, just like with the old man, player 001.
In episode 6 titled Gganbu, we see a cutaway from the deaths of both Ali and Oh Il-Nam, hearing only the gunshot. We later find out that the old man didn’t really die and that he was behind the Squid Games all along. This has given Ali fans hope that he too is still alive.
However, it appears unlikely that Ali is going to return in season 2. We even see his body covered in blood as he is enclosed in one of the coffins at the opening of episode 7 VIPS.
Meet actor Anupam Tripathi who plays Ali on Squid Game
Anupam Tripathi is a 32-year-old year-old actor originally from India. He initially began his acting journey in 2010 at the Korea National University Of Arts, and has been working in the Korean film industry since 2014.
Some of his previous roles have included the sci-fi film Space Sweepers, lending his voice to Preacher in The 8th Night, and small roles in Miss & Mrs Cops and Luck-Key.
The actor’s Instagram following has skyrocketed following the release of Squid Game, and he now has over 2.2 million followers.
Squid Game director Hwang Dong-Hyuk said that Anupam Tripathi “appeared out of the blue” after stating that it was “hard to find good foreign actors in Korea”. The director shared that he cast Tripathi as Ali because “his emotional acting was amazing”. We totally agree, that final look between Ali and Sang-Woo still cuts us to the core!
We can’t wait to see what Anupam Tripathi does next. We just have to hold out hope that they find some way for Ali to return in season 2.