BTS is known for causing major mayhem and confusion with their promotional videos and photos, music videos, and music. As a result, many ARMYs are constantly thinking of elaborate theories, and I am no different. As an ARMY myself I spent some time (actually, a LOT of time) writing down my thoughts on these theories. Finally, I was able to put it into one GIANT document and want to share it with all of you, my fabulous readers. So, without further ado (and no judgement..okay, maybe a lot of judgement), here is my FULL BTS theory!
THINGS TO KNOW BEFOREHAND
TL;DR: None of the members are dead, including Jin, and are living separate lives after returning from the beach featured in the Prologue: Butterfly MV.
Note: BST K, means Blood, Sweat, Tears Korean version & BST J means Blood, Sweat, Tears Japanese Version
Note: MV means Music Video
MEDIA USED: Jin's letter to the group in English
THE MOST BEAUTIFUL MOMENT IN LIFE & LOVE YOURSELF (HYYH) BTS THEORY
The group was living happily together, or at least it seemed until Jin received a premonition of the utter demise and separation of the group after V knocked down his tower of cards. The cards symbolized the ‘House of Cards’ and the foundation of the group that was ultimately knocked down and driven by temptation, as indicated symbolically in BST K. By knocking over the cards, V became the evil force that would ultimately drive the group apart and his future evil actions would lead the group into madness, as once again symbolically seen in BTS K. He tempted Jin into evil and although Jin sacrificed himself to try to stop the group, he couldn’t stop what would happen to the members.
NOTE: ALL MEMBERS ARE PAIRED UP EXCEPT FOR JIN WHO IS THE OUTCAST OF THE GROUP SINCE HE KNOWS THE GROUP’S DEMISE.
- Rap Monster/V
Time passed and the I NEED U MV happened and it shows the various sins that the members committed that would lead to their end:
- Rap Monster: Drug addiction, as seen by him ‘eating’ lollipops, which were actually cigarettes as seen at the end of the Run MV (showing cigarettes/drugs are illegal in Korean MVs). Rap Monster also led Jungkook to do drugs, as indicated in the Run MV where everyone was partying, but he looked dazed and confused. Rap Monster can be seen introducing drugs to Jungkook in the BST K and BST J versions by making him drink the ‘green drink’ and in the BST K and BST J versions Jungkook can be seen ‘eating a lollipop.’
- V: V was driven to madness because of his mother constantly being abused by his father. Driven mad by grief, V killed his father violently by stabbing him multiple times, thus identifying V as the ‘evil’ of the group. Afterwards, he ran off and left his mother.
- Jimin: Always playing the happy one of the group, Jimin was living a ‘LIE’ and caught up in his own sadness, which he never divulged to the group. He was extremely close and dependent on them and didn’t want to separate himself from the group despite him constantly living a ‘LIE.’ This ultimately leads to him wondering whether or not he should drown himself.
- J-Hope: Pill addiction, he is constantly going back and forth between whether or not he should or should not take drugs. Pill addiction is seen in every single music video he is featured in, including ‘MAMA.’ He tries to be the ‘angelic’ figure or the ‘happy’ one of the group, which will be explained later.
- Suga: Obsession with fire that would lead to him possibly burning himself alive.
- Jin: He was unable to save the group and that is his sin.
- Jungkook: Constantly trying to keep the group together, but failing, Jungkook is led into drug addiction because of Rap Monster and gets into fights and ultimately is in a car accident, but doesn’t die.
After killing his father, V calls Rap Monster multiple times, but with no answer. These calls can be seen literally in the Prologue: Butterfly MV and symbolically in the “Stigma” teaser video. He asks for ‘one call’ from the police officer questioning him and calls Rap Monster in the beginning of Prologue: Butterfly, but Rap Monster doesn’t answer and V leaves a voice message saying something along the lines of ‘Hyung, I need help.’ Rap Monster can be seen trying to answer V’s call in his own teaser video, “Reflection.” Rap Monster tries to get into the locked-up phone booth, but is unable to pass through and misses it. Trapped, and caged by his secret, V hides from the group that he killed his father until after the Prologue: Butterfly MV. He can be seen symbolically thrashing around in the water, showing that he is struggling to tell the group the truth (as seen in the Run MV and Jin has also seen V thrashing in the water during his premonition of the group’s demise). The group takes one final photo together by the beach, V jumps off the ledge and then tells the group what he has done.
The group is shocked, and as seen in BST J, Jin punches V in a fit of anger for what he has done, but feels sorry for V and tells him ‘Sorry.’ He knows he must make V a ‘lone wolf’ (as seen by V’s jacket in BST J) in order to save the members of the group. Essentially, Jin is driving out the evil. During that same night, Jungkook and Suga get into a separate fight. Jungkook is trying to save Suga from himself by ‘blowing out the flame’ of evil that has taken Suga over (Suga is always holding a lighter and Jungkook is repeatedly blowing it out, showing he is trying to save Suga from his demise). Failing time and time again, Jungkook punches Suga and Suga, in a fit of anger, throws a chair at a mirror. This can be seen in the Run MV at 2:53 that there is a flower vase holding the SAME flowers that Jin holds in his individual ‘Love Yourself’ teaser photo. Also, the broken mirror symbolizes ‘bad luck.’
Saddened by what happens, Jungkook takes drugs, gets beaten up, and is run over by a car and sent to the hospital where he survives but is possibly paralyzed, as indicated by him being in a wheelchair. This WHOLE scene can be seen symbolically in both Jungkook’s and Suga’s individual song teasers for their solo songs “Begin” and “First Love.” In “First Love” Suga hears a crash at the end and runs over to it. He sees a car crashed into the piano shop he was at earlier, and the car caused the piano to burn into flames. This can be symbolically seen as not only his ‘first love’ the piano dying, BUT also be seen as his innocence dying because he saw Jungkook in the crash and called an ambulance for him. While in “Begin” Jungkook is seen in a hospital bed and he wakes up after hearing a crash. Once he stands up, he stands in front of a painting of Suga that is melting (another symbolism of fire) and Jungkook becomes distressed and screams ‘HYUNG.’ This is probably a dream sequence that Jungkook is having before he wakes up from his crash. This also describes the song lyrics for “Begin,” whenever the ‘older members’ or ‘hyungs’ are upset, Jungkook is upset and thus it led to his own sadness/accident.
- Love Yourself Single Posters
o Jungkook Translation: “The day I want to run to that place, in the direction that my heart is taking me to.” He wants to run to a place where his hyungs were not upset, probably back at the beach during Prologue: Butterfly MV.
o Suga Translation: “Don’t come closer, you’ll become unhappy.” He feels guilty after fighting with Jungkook and then Jungkook gets into an accident. He doesn’t want people close to him because he thinks they will get hurt.
o Jungkook/Suga Translation: “We are alone when we returned from the sea.” Explaining that after returning from the ocean/sea in Prologue: Butterfly MV, the group essentially separated right after.
o Jungkook is in a hospital bed and Suga can be seen in the waiting room.
If Jin is the victim in the situation and V the evil one, then J-Hope is the symbolic angel of the group. He is constantly saving or informing the members of dire situations that have occurred or will occur. This can be seen multiple times within the music videos where he is stretching out his arms, like wings, and he is even seen with wings in ‘Boy Meets Evil’ teaser video. In BST K he even has a bow and arrow and is seen by the statue of the Virgin Mary and Jesus. He is clearly a figure that is meant to righteously save the group someway. He is also the one in Jin’s letter that texted Jin and told him that Jungkook had gotten into a car accident. Despite his pill addiction, J-Hope coped the best way he could to further the group and also to help Jimin. Jimin and J-Hope are regularly seen in the same settings, whether it’s a psych ward, on a bed, in the bathroom, and other places. The pair is similar in that they take care of the group, but while Jimin does it via his personality, J-Hope seems to do it with his actions.
- Love Yourself Single Posters
o Jimin Translation: “I lied because there’s no way you’ll love someone like me.” Clearly, Jimin is showing that he always lived a “Lie” and didn’t want to show his real side to his friends, because he was scared of them leaving him
o J-Hope Translation: “If you shine, I’m fine.” Yet again ANOTHER indication that J-Hope is the ‘angel’ of the group, and his teaser photo even shows him by an airport similar to the one in ‘Young Forever’ MV with, once again, his arms spread out smiling upwards.
o Jimin/J-Hope Translation: “We are alone when we returned from the sea.” Explaining that after returning from the ocean/sea in Prologue: Butterfly MV, the group essentially separated right after.
o Jimin is in the darkness, while J-Hope is in the light, perhaps J-Hope is finally able to breathe now that he is separated from the group, as indicated by his happy face in both teaser photos? Or just could be another hint that he is the angel
As explained earlier, Rap Monster constantly missed V’s calls and also tempted Jungkook to do drugs. Rap Monster’s most important part is seen at the end of BST J when he sees Jin after a while and says the following exchange with him:
Rap Monster, surprised, “Oh, hyung!”
Jin, casually gives Rap Monster a small bottle with something in it. “It’s been a while.”
There are two conclusions that can come from this, but that will be discussed later on. V, as explained throughout the paper, is shunned by the group after revealing he killed his father. After being punched by Jin, V runs away and becomes a ‘lone wolf,’ but he could be trying to find his mother. He is seen holding a picture of him and his mother in Prologue: Butterfly, and it seems that he misses her, indicating that he ran away from home, but NOW is also leaving the group. In Jin’s note, it is indicated that Jin DID punch V and that V’s graffiti (I NEED U) is all that is left of him. He is the evil of the group and knocked over Jin’s tower of cards.
- Love Yourself Single Posters
o V Translation: “Would you have left me if I made a different choice?” Now he is the one self-reflecting in the puddle of water, instead of Rap Monster (Rap Monster’s solo song in Wings is called “Reflection”). He is clearly upset and states basically if he had not killed his father, would Jin and the rest of the group not have shunned him?
o Rap Monster Translation: “I am looking at your back, because it is not the right time.” He is looking at all the members’ backs because it is not the right time to face them. Meaning, once again, that he is separated from them.
o V/Rap Monster Translation: “We are alone when we returned from the sea.” It shows Rap Monster in the darkness, while V is in the light. It also says the words ‘Save Me’ but when turned over it also says, ‘I’m Fine.” This links back to Rap Monster missing V’s calls/cries for help, and V now just telling him ‘I’m fine.’
Jin’s story is simply a tragedy. Since knowing his friends would part in the Run MV, Jin tried his best to save the group, even selling his soul to save the rest of the members, as seen symbolically in BST K and in ‘Awake’ Teaser Video. His solo song ‘Awake’ describes how he knows that he can never reach the top, but instead cares about the rest of the members. It’s almost like Jin accepted his fate as the outcast and is willing to do whatever it takes to save them. In Prologue: Butterfly, Jin is regularly taking videos and photos of the group, as if he is desperate to create actual evidence that the group WAS together and WAS happy, even for a short time. In I NEED U, he is seen smelling the fumes of a poisonous flower, the same flower featured in BST K, showing that he is struggling to keep himself together, let alone the group. Jin being the leader is regularly seen, he is ALWAYS driving the car, holding the camera, and/or video taping the group! He is clearly the leader and since he is the LEADER he is also the OUTCAST. Once V admits to killing his father, chaos ensues and Jin is left with no choice, but to punch V and kick him out of the group. The group as a result of this violence dissipates. Jin is then later called by J-Hope stating that Jungkook has been in a car crash. He also sends a note to the group talking about the past and what happened and why he is ready to return to the group.
o Jin Translation: “If I can turn back time, I want to be the best guy in the world.” He is clearly talking about, that if he could go in the past, he would do more to save the rest and be a better person. Jin is holding the flowers that were featured in the Run MV (2:53). Jin and Jungkook are the only two members holding flowers, which makes sense since the two were the ones trying to hold the group together the most AND also because Jin is the oldest and Jungkook is the youngest. Additionally, both solo songs from both members talk about ‘sacrificing their own happiness for the good of the group’ etc.
o Jin Translation: “If I can turn back the time, I wanted to go back to that summer’s sea.” Jin’s translation is the ONLY one that is different and it shows him by the ocean, so one can conclude he NEVER left the beach area but stayed soon after punching V. While everyone left, Jin stayed as if punishing himself for not saving everyone else. Also in the background is the ‘waxing crescent’ moon seen during the daylight. This is a symbol of a ‘new moon’ or a ‘turning over’ which leads to two possible conclusions.
o Side note, Jin looks SO FINE in this picture. Give this boy a modeling career already.
The recent LOVE YOURSELF Highlight Reel showcases the lives of the members after the major fight that separated the group. Each member separate lives, except Jimin and J-Hope, and each has a ‘girl,’ except for Jimin and J-Hope who share one. At first glance, the highlight-reel might be seen as a romantic video, but further speculation proves that this concept is much deeper than just a ‘romance’ concept. Instead, each girl can be seen as the member’s conscious or soul. The members are broken and the girls are there to showcase their past mistakes and how to move on and finally ‘love themselves.’
Jin starts off the video with the following narrative:
“Some moments become more vivid with the passage of time. Yesterday’s many encounters and goodbyes existed for this moment. Every alley and crossroad I walked through were all meant to lead me to this very place. That kind of moment is what I mean.”
He is seen waiting to cross a railroad cross walk and is shocked to see a beautiful girl across from him holding a diary. As she runs past him, she drops her diary and he picks it up. The scene cuts to Jungkook, in a wheelchair, looking at his surroundings, before he is stopped by a girl who reaches her hand out to him and he takes it gladly. Next, Suga is seen about to take out his lighter (a common theme) and begin to smoke, but a young girl takes it from him and writes his initials ‘Y.K.’ She walks away and shows him a lollipop, a safer alternative to smoking. The scene jumps from her showing the lollipop to Rap Monster suck on a lollipop. He sees a girl handing out pamphlets, working hard, and he seems to admire her determination. She drops the pamphlets, and he hands them to her, but not before she ignores him and runs off. They look back at each other before walking in opposite directions. We then see V eating some ramen at a convenience store, witnessing a girl stealing products and putting them in her backpack. V stops her, takes her backpack and offers to pay for the items, but the girl runs outside. He follows her and she grabs the backpack away from him. Finally, we see Jimin and J-Hope in the dance studio, with Jimin admiringly recording J-Hope until a girl walks in holding a cake for J-Hope, although it isn’t his birthday. Jimin clearly ‘likes’ the girl because he begins to record her and becomes shy when she notices him. Finally, we see J-Hope about to blow out the candle, but not before he closes his eyes and reminisces on a flashback of one of his past birthdays. Sadly, it seems like J-Hope was abandoned by his mother on his birthday by a carousel. She tells him to ‘close his eyes’ and walks off, leaving him alone.
The narrative that Jin said, in the beginning, indicates that life is continuous and that each interaction and moment leads the individual to their ultimate destination. The member’s destination has led them to meet these girls.
The next segment showcases another narrative from Jin as cicadas are heard in the background.
“The sounds of cicadas that chirred like showers end in an instant. In the abrupt silence, I realize life’s immense beauty. Just the fact that you are in it makes all the difference. Even if this were a dream, this is where I choose to be.”
V is with the girl and he is thinking of past events, including being woken up by Rap Monster in the Prologue: Butterfly MV and doing graffiti. A part of him wants to forget these memories and he is about to swing a golf club at his phone as the train passes (a train similar to Jin’s scene), but seems to second guess it and hits the ground instead. It shows that although V wants to forget, he never can and thus doesn’t attempt to.
While Rap Monster has followed his girl onto the bus, a similar bus to the one he was one in his ‘Love Yourself’ teaser photos. He is clearly lost and has really only seen the girl’s back, again another reference to his teaser translation ‘I am looking at your back because now is not the right time.’ He lazily looks outside the window once inside the bus, once again showing he doesn’t have any true destination. Perhaps, he is simply trying to find himself again.
In probably one of the most profound scenes, Jungkook is seen drawing a picture intensely (perhaps a picture similar to his ‘Begin’ teaser?) until his girl takes off his headphones and he is shocked by the melody that the guitarist is playing to other sick patients. Jungkook is now in a cast, showing that he is recovering from his injury, He notices the ‘Y.K.’ initials on the lighter and is instantly transported to times that he spent creating music with Suga. He seems in shock like perhaps he forgot about Suga and the rest of the group due to the crash.
The climax of this segment is reached once J-Hope begins doing a cheerful hip-hop dance routine with the girl as Jimin attempts to film both of them, but instead focuses on the girl once again. Next, V’s girl can be seen following him as he continues to walk across the railroad tracks (once again similar to the railroad tracks that Jin was by). The scene cuts to Jin as he closes the girl’s diary, notice a drawing of the same flowers that he was holding in the ‘Love Yourself’ poster and seen in the Run MV, and chooses which outfit he should wear. However, once he looks down and sees the fallen lilies, another flower seen in multiple BTS music videos (and notice there are six flowers, representing six members), he changes to a slick suit and walks off screen.
Finally, the segment ends with Suga about to start smoking, but throwing the cigarettes away with a smile, obviously remembering the cute scene between him and his girl earlier. His phone begins to ring and he falls down to look at the screen. His face instantly becomes scared and shocked, and Jin voices over saying: “Why is it that the happiest of moments usher in sudden fear?”
Let’s also note that dates that have been seen in the bottom right of the screen. Jin was the last one to have a date.
- Jungkook, June 14
- Suga, May 25
- Rap Monster, June 5
- V, June 18
- Jimin/JHope, May 31
- Jin, August 30
The next segment showcases another narrative by Jin as a car drives at nighttime.
The scenery is distorted, possibly because the driver of the car is under the influence, stressed, or drunk. Jin says the following:
“Looking back, I had known all along that underneath the glittering world before my eyes lay my deception that everything was to collapse with a breath of wind. I turned away, idestepped, simply closed my eyes. Afraid I was, afraid to be loved for who I am.”
As Jin narrates, we see that Jin is the driver and he is smiling while he drives in the dark landscape. He also has a picture of all seven members together at the beach.
The next following scenes are quick, with Suga drunkenly going up the steps,Jin looking outside the window, V creating graffiti J-Hope dancing with the girl while Jimin dances by himself in the dark, Jin picks up the speed in his car, V and the girl are then caught by the police, while Rap Monster sits next to the girl holding a hair tie, and Jungkook walks down the stairs of the hospital holding baby’s breath.
Everything crashes amongst the members, Jin is looking disoriented behind the wheel, Rap Monster leaves the bus finally leaving the hair tie for the girl, V is running away from the cops with his girl, Rap Monster is left at the SAME bus stop that V was doing graffiti at earlier. Let’s stop for a second to notice the graffiti that V wrote:
- I’m Fine, similar to the Love Yourself duo poster with Rap Monster
- Won’t Trust, Can’t Trust, Don’t Trust
- You Think
- Tell Me What Is the Reason
- More I’m Fine graffiti
Okay, back to the video.
The music climaxes as Jin closes his eyes while driving, Jimin and the girl crash into each other and Jimin lands on a nail hurting his hand, Suga is angrily playing the piano, V continues to run while Jungkook peacefully sniffs the flowers, Jimin wipes blood off his arm, V grabs the girl and hides her in an alleyway, Suga is seen crossing the street and fighting with the girl even pushing her away, J-Hope runs with the girl on his back while Jin shakes his head, Jimin is in the rain with an umbrella, V gives himself up to the cops, Jungkook sees that his girl is no longer in her room (probably dead), and finally the scene slows down to focus on Jin.
Jin is buying flowers, once again the same one in the diary, teaser photos, and Run MV, and sees his girl across the street. They happily wave to each other and she runs across the street but is sadly struck by a car. He watches, shocked as the scene unfolds.
Finally, we reach the last segment and flashbacks of multiple images are seen across the scene. It’s a beautiful reminder of all the pain and suffering the members have gone through during their lives. All of them probably want to go back and fix everything, but can it truly be fixed? During these flashbacks Jin voices over:
“If we could turn back the clock, where should we go back to? Once we reach that place, can all our mistakes and errors be undone? Will happiness be ours to stay?”
After the series of flashbacks, Jin can be seen catching the falling vase of lilies while the date ‘August 30th’ is once again flashed on the screen. Jin looks different like he is defeated and worn out. He takes off another sweater, puts on a hat, and walks upstairs. Plenty of sweaters and shirts can be seen left behind on the chair. The end scene shows the sea and Jin says:
“Though many seasons pass, there are places that cannot be reached. Yet another storm to be faced and to be weathered head on. Loving without fear. Hesitating and parting. Merely living as the person I am.”
And the scene fades to black.
As stated early, each girl is the consciences of the individual members, even the one shared between Jimin and J-Hope. While Jungkook’s girl died, it showed that all along, Jungkook made the right decision in helping his friends stay together and can now move on and love himself. Prior to this, Jungkook always blamed himself for the group breaking up and enabling Suga to continue his smoking addiction. As a result, Jungkook turned to drugs and gang fights to take away his anger, which ultimately led to his car crash. He is now able to move on, possibly find the group once again, and find happiness. Meanwhile, Suga’s conscious, or girl, taught him to stop smoking and to face the reality of what he did to the group and especially to Jungkook. Before, Suga was living in a fantasy where he couldn’t face his ultimate sin of fighting with Jungkook, leading Jungkook towards his accident. Instead, Suga focused on music and smoking, refusing to face his truth. The girl brought him back to reality, and one can assume that the phone call was Jungkook reaching back to Suga after many days, weeks, or months. He resorted to anger, and pushed the girl, upset that she made him face the truth, but finally he was forced to. Now, he is able to move on, accept himself, and hopefully love himself. Next, we have Rap Monster. Rap Monster left the group confused and isolated. He was lost and searching for himself, hence why he is seen casually walking around or hopping on random buses. He has nowhere to go ever since he left V alone by not answering his calls. The girl showed him how lost he was and now he can hopefully find his way now that he has gotten off the bus.
V is next, with his girl doing the same things he was well-known for prior to these events. She was stealing, doing graffiti, and V was tagging right along. However, in the end, V realized that he was unable to run away from his sins of looting and murdering his father, and decided to face the police and accept his fate. Probably the most confusing one is the relationship between Jimin, J-Hope, and their girl. It’s actually not a love triangle scenario, but instead, the girl represents Jimin’s conscious. He used to be a vivacious character that was always dancing and smiling alongside J-Hope, but started to hate himself and became isolated, which is why he is filming in the corner. This can ultimately be seen when both Jimin and the girl bump into each other, crashing onto the floor, and J-Hope is seen carrying the girl on his back. J-Hope is Jimin’s guardian angel of sorts (again, read earlier on how J-Hope is the ‘angel’ of the group) and wants to save Jimin from himself. But, Jimin, wiping away the blood caused by the nail, is lost and unable to accept J-Hope’s help. It’s incredible that J-Hope is providing such strong support, despite being abandoned by his mother at such a young age. It shows the power of J-Hope’s love for the group and his willingness to sacrifice himself for the group constantly, especially with Jimin.
Finally, we reach Jin’s story. The girl represents him trying to find happiness and love with himself. He falls in love with the girl, but doubts whether or not he deserves to be. His narratives show this by him saying whether or not he deserves to LOVE himself for who he is. Ultimately, he is unable to because the girl is run over by a car after she lovingly waves at him. This is also a major indicator that Jin was the one that hit Jungkook with the car and caused Jungkook to end up at the hospital. This would make sense because after punching V in the BST J MV, Jin is drinking and becomes disoriented. Once again, this disoriented nature is seen in the Highlight Reel as Jin is narrating. Faced with the ultimate sin of hitting his friend, Jin goes back in time multiple times in order to right the wrongs and prevent each member from falling deeper into their sins. This can be seen at the end where multiple flashbacks are seen in backward motion AND also seen when Jin prevents the six lilies in the vase from falling over. He knew that the vase would fall and he stopped it from happening. This is an indication that his friends are finally able to stand up on their own and no longer need Jin to constantly go back in time and help them. Instead, Jin must accept that nothing can be fixed and perfection can never be found, instead, everyone must move on and learn to love themselves. Again, this theme is shown in the end as the pile of sweaters is shown on the chair. Each sweater represents a time that Jin went back in time in order to help his friends. However, these sacrifices ultimately led to Jin not being able to love himself (the girl being run over) and causing him to be unhappy. After multiple times failing, Jin has accepted he is unable to save everyone and goes upstairs to move on. He will now be able to love himself.
The Highlight reel showcases the group moving on from their past sins and trying to find happiness, instead of sadness, in their current lives. Now, they will be able to love themselves.
So what did you think? Was I right or was I wrong? Let me know in the comments below!
Stay Kurrent. Stay K-pop.
Note: No images or media are owned by me. Cover photo image courtesy of BigHit Entertainment.