BTS HYYH trilogy explained

BTS INU, Prologue & Run: Retakes on Innocence Lost & The hardships of growing up

[Important note: The following theory and all subsequent theories/explanations for the HYYH Trilogy have been published on this site back in July 2016, so before the Wings short films were released — and confirmed all this was indeed accurate.

Those short films will also be subjected to analysis here later on, so follow us on WordPress or tumblr to get the latest updates.]


The HYYH Trilogy is simply a coming of age storyIt tells the struggles the boys are facing while transitioning from childhood to adulthood, from being caterpillars to being butterflies (chrysalis stage). But it’s even more so the story of Jin struggling with his own metamorphosis, trying to return to the “pretend world” of Neverland where he thinks he will be able to reconnect with his youthful self and feel as a whole again. 

Filled with dense, thoughtful symbolism, the Trilogy has an Inception-like feel to it (with an outright reference to the movie in the Prologue, using its soundtrack during the end credits). I NEED U, The Prologue and Run are a retelling of the same events, over and over, with shifting timelines and perspectives between characters. Readings of what the boys are aren’t mutually exclusive (far from it): each of the boys has his own storyline, illustrating typical stages and feelings of adolescent life: self-hatred and pain (J-Hope), grief and depression (Jimin), anger and rebellion (V), angst and confusion (Suga), volatility and longing (JKook), denial and survival (Rapmon) — what they go through and represent can be interpreted differently depending on the viewer. They are their own selves, with their own, multi-layered narratives, but they should primarily be interpreted as parts of Jin’s own psyche (Jin is indeed referred to as #psique on Instagram for the concept pictures). Ultimately, the whole HYYH Trilogy is about the process of transitioning from boyhood to adulthood Jin goes through, and an allegory for growing up. In order to reconcile his old and new self and be able to move forward, all the boys will have to come to terms with the end of youth so they can all move on together to the next stage of life (Jin’s life). Until then though, they’ll be stuck and won’t be able to break the cycle of dreams that makes them relive their struggles.

As with Inception, the subject of the Trilogy is not the more blatant one. The movie was ultimately about the inner journey of a man, Dom Cobb, struggling against himself and his regrets over the death of his wife, haunting him and preventing him from moving on. The piece “Je ne regrette rien” by Edith Piaf is used every time as a wake-up song for people involved in a common dream to tell them the effect of the sedative will soon end and that they will wake up. It is played here at the end of the Prologue with the same intention to wake the boys up from their common dreamland, their Neverland. Both in the movie and the Prologue MV, the message behind the song is obvious: “Do not regret anything”. The lyrics tell Dom Cobb to stop living in regrets, to set aside his obsession about the death of his wife and go on without her; they tell Jin, ou main character/entity, the same thing: to stop living in regrets, to set aside his obsession about the end of youth and move on.

More than a concept about the Most Beautiful Moment in Life, truly the HYYH Trilogy is about the hardships of growing up and letting go of one’s youth (butterfly metamorphosis). The flash backs to happy times are only there to remind us of what has been lost. But there’s a message of hope behind this, still. In the end, Jin is able to reconnect with his whole self and move forward, taking the Lost Boys of Neverland with him into the real world.

Jin first thought he had to leave the emotions of his youth (personified by the boys) behind in order to become an adult, but comes to realise by the end that he does not have to, that youth really is a state of mind. This will later be reaffirmed very loud and clear with Forever Young and Fire, outside the Trilogy but still part of the HYYH cycle.

[Edit, September 2016: As for the Wings short films, they are an umpteenth reenactment of HYYH, but based this time on the classic coming of age story of Demian, written by Hermann Hesse. Whereas the HYYH cycle had left most viewers confused, the Wings short films gave away some pretty straight-forward answers, but also put a greater focus on individuality and morality, most probably to fit Bangtan’s new concept of “Boy meets evil” for the new, more mature Wings era (it seems they will also have solos). By introducing the notion of good and evil, the Wings short films actually serve as a link between the 2 eras.]

See the following parts for detailed analyses:

Follow us on WordPress or tumblr to get the latest updates on HYYH & Wings.

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26 thoughts on “BTS INU, Prologue & Run: Retakes on Innocence Lost & The hardships of growing up

  1. i have a mini theory for BS&T, I hope it could help you out cuz I love reading your theories and I indulge in your Tumblr and theories a lot

    And my theory is that the reason why his face cracks is because his is killing the mother figure and he is the mother figure in BTS so he is destroying/leaving his childhood by breaking into the new mold

    Jin=mother=face cracks
    statue that’s looks like the Virgin Mary= mother figure= face explodes

    Rap monster teaser pics and photo shoot are in a place with broken statues so perhaps he also is moving on to adulthood ?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hey Kathy. Thanks, it’s always good to hear that people like my theories 🙂

      That’s an interesting point, I never thought of that.

      All of them will eventually be moving on to adulthood at some point. I’m currently working on my BS&T theory/explanation, it should be up sometime next week I think. Stay tuned!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Hi there! I know im almost a year late about this when i just ignored it at that time but now it bugs me and im really curious about the part where Jin kissed the winged statue. I interpreted that scene as his acceptance to adulthood that he would be facing the new chapter of life. But then i was thinking it’s like a gay thing he is accepting that some people would think as evil in lined with the last glance of broken wings?

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  2. I was wondering, since it says at the top, “-confirmed all this was indeed accurate.” Did you, like, email BigHit or something? I was just curious because i’m trying to wrap my head around all these theories so I just want to read something that is the closest to accurate as possible. I’ve read your theories for SugaKookie and some others as well and I think they’re really cool XD

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    1. Thanks for your comment.

      It’s all based on recurring themes and a consistant use of symbolic elements throughout the areas, YNWA now included. When all the pieces fit perfectly together to tell a very coherent story, and when this story is being told time and time again later on, that’s confirmation enough.

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      1. I am a literature graduate and i am also diong my masters degree on literature and I can say that her theories make a lot of sense when you analyze all the symbols and metaphors. my interpretation of the music videos were pretty much the same or at least similar so i wouldn’t say she is just making all these up or over analyzing (or forcing the theories on to music videos). the story behind the MV’s is amazing and well thought they planned every single scene perfectly and nothing is there for vain. IMTHEPATHETICFANGIRL it is amazing that you put all the effort to analyze and write these down. respect.

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      2. Your theory’s are accurate I think, I’ve only read the I NEED U m/v explained, and it all made sense and linked up to the other songs, as in Stigmas short film rapmon says at the beginning that one must destroy their childhood in order to become themself.

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  3. Hello 🙂 I really enjoy your theories, and I agree with them. I was wondering if you could maybe analyze the Blood Sweat and Tears Japanese Version MV? I was honestly quite confused as to how this might fall in place with the rest of the theories.

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  4. Hey, I just wanted to ask are the forever young and fire theory have been released yet ? . Much love to your gratitude and hardworking that you have putten through the bangtan theory!❤️

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  5. (BS&T Theory) Bueno, me auto-spoileé el final del libro Demian de Hermman Hasse y resulta que la madre de Demian muere y el personaje principal estaba enamorado de ella (Demian no es el personaje principal), entonces, se supone que vuelve como ángel caido para que se den así como el “último beso”, entonces, Sinclair (el protagonista) queda con una marca en la cara por lo ocurrido.

    “Se supone que BS&T está totalmente relacionado con este libro, por eso lo comencé a leer, hehe”.

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  6. Hi! I love your theories and I do think that yours are the most logically accurate with the storyline through the MVs. I was wondering if you’re still working on your ‘coming soon’ analysis? I can’t wait to read those! kkk

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  7. *SPOILERS AHEAD IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED EUPHORIA!* This new theory that seems pretty obvious for their new ‘Euphoria’ video is that because it has some references to other videos, it shows us the difference before and after you chose to ‘love yourself’. As always, if you have anything to add or any objections, feel free to comment on anything I missed or your thoughts! In the beginning of ‘Euphoria’, it shows dark colors and it references the old videos. The main colors that I found were dark blue, dark green, and bright colors of white and some reds. The dark colors represent the negativity and fear they had in their lives. In some meanings, the dark color symbolises the hidden hope one might have. Which could explain why their is hair black. The bright colors of white show purity and innocence. The reds could represent passion (for maybe their music or passion for them getting better with their lives) and it could mean danger. Besides the colors, let’s not forget about the #Glitches. Glitches mean that there was a TEMPORARY malfunction. Because of the glitches, it shows that everyone goes through a temporary malfunction in their life and it only gets better as shown from the video showing almost no glitches.
    For V’s POV- In the beginning of the video, it shows V jumping off of the metal platform into the large body of water. Jumping into a large body of water reveals that V is in emotional distress, most likely from the abusive parents aspect. As the flashbacks roll on, it shows V in the water. The setting is very dark and it’s just him in black clothes. As I said before, black symbolizes hidden hope. As he stares into the camera, the scene of him stabbing his father shows. This could mean that because he killed his father, he had a hopes of a better life. A couple clips later, V is seen in a room filled with graffiti. He is in the middle of the room and there is a blue and green glare of light on his silhouette. Green lights represent healing and even inner peace. Blue represents protection of boundaries and space. V’s bloodied hands turn into Jin’s six white flowers.
    For Jin’s POV- Jin is seen putting the six flowers on the ground, similarly to the WINGS concept. It is reported that the six white flowers represent either the other six members and their innocence. The main colors for his scenes were white and in front of a light. White stands for purity, protection, and beginnings. This scene can be interpreted as Jin being the protector of the six members as he is the oldest in the group, he also had the six flowers in his own hands. As he opens the window, he gets a glance of an apartment. In that apartment, it is red. Flames spewing from the inside. Jungkook is seen carrying Suga out from the bed as the fire overtakes the whole room. The bed inside has red covers. With the fire, red is seen as a symbol of power. I think that the power aspect comes from all of the members having the power to carry on and be able to improve themselves as a whole and independently. An0ther way this could be interpreted is having the red be a symbol as fame and reputation. As the boys gained more and more popularity, they could be devoured by their determination to become better. This basically means that they worked so hard to become better that they collapse due to the overwhelming events that they have been through on their journey. ALSO, as the scenes roll on, there is a red road/highway that one of the boys collapse on, which proves their hardships. (probably irrelevant but Jin has those flashbacks like in Run).
    For RM’s POV- RM is seen dropping a red lollipop. He had a red lollipop from Run. The colors of the scene are dark blue, dark green, and white, The lollipop is seen as a desire for RM. Everyone knows that lollipops are filled with loads of sugar. Because many know the consequence, him dropping it shows that he dropped his desire and his power.
    For JHope’s POV- There wasn’t much scenes with him alone, but he was seen all white on stairs with Jimin. JHope seems to be trying to go down the stairs and has Jimin trying to pull him back. Going down a staircase symbolises that JHope’s journey was very negative and even confusing. Jimin is there trying to help JHope from his problems. Keep in mind that Jimin and JHope were seen together in the Run music video in a hospital and in the first LOVE YOURSELF video with a girl. (While writing this, I just had a thought. WHERE ARE THE GIRLS? k thanks.)
    For Jimin’s POV- He is first seen in front of the bathtub *cough Lie cough Run cough*. The scene is dark and with little light. Bathtubs are supposed to be a symbol of relaxation but since the tub is overflowing with water, I think that the bathtub is a symbol of his mind. His mind is filled with a lot of things and he is in need of help in order to stop the flow. A couple scenes later, he is seen running with the boys. The scene is also constantly cutting to Jimin being alone a couple times. But the colors are still the same. Yellow. Serendipity. I think that the flashbacks are a symbol of Jimin holding back all of his mistakes and that it still haunts him.
    For Jungkook’s POV- Jungkook is first seen getting beaten up in an alley. The colors are red and blue. Red can be seen as rage, courage, and getting better. Blue is seen as calm, masculine, stability. The two colors are often seen as opposing colors. This can be interpreted as his opposing emotions/thoughts he has. The person beating him could be himself. He is the youngest in the group and so he would often feel this pressure to help his hyungs and maybe even beats himself up for doing his hyung’s wrong. He is seen later with Suga and helping Suga from the fire. This supports the fact that Jungkook always helping his hyungs and he always tries to be there for them. Later on, Jungkook is seen on top of a building with his arms wide open, like he has wings.
    For Suga’s POV- He is first seen in a pink and green screen. There is pink fire around him. Pink could mean the universal meaning of loving oneself and others. He is also seen in a room with fire and the red room.
    Towards the end when everyone’s story has been told, V is seen holding his broken hand up, just like the previous music videos. When he wakes up, the whole video is seen in a more brighter version and the colors are more vibrant. All the boys are having fun together and Jungkook is often seen alone in his own cameos. Tell me below what you think this means! The whole video ends with Jin watching over his young members and the video pans over to the sea while it drops into the ocean, back to V in the water. Many people speculate that Jin is dead and he saves the other members and now that they are all safe, Jin has to leave. I think this is an amazing theory and I can’t wait for more theories! Comment yours below! 화이팅 Hwaiting!

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    1. Thanks, Amber! There are a lot of interesting things in your post. I will stick with my theory, especially regarding Colors as everything once again fits: black represents adulthood, white is innocence and bright colours represent youth (and the chaotic times young people might go through, transitioning to adulthood). Green, blue, red… those were important especially in BS&T, but I’d need to go back to my notes on those. I remember that green was definitely associated with knowledge, though.
      When V kills his father, innocence is lost — hence why we see Jin putting the white petals on the floor: they are all one and the same, as part of Jin’s psyche. Because of V, who embodies the rebellious side of Jin, they are all thrown into adulthood, whether they like it or not. They all struggle to deal with that new reality, but they eventually come to terms with it. Note that JK was always the one who wanted to move onto adulthood in the Trilogy — he struggled too, hence why he literally gets beaten up by adulthood in INU, but he always wanted to grow up. Here, Jin and JK are on the same page — Jin is finally ready to become an adult and that’s why we see JK saving Suga. And why we see J-Hope leaving the hospital, pushing Jimin to consider moving on to.
      There is so much to analyse here once again! I’ve watched the MV only twice but I’m happy to say that it all fits perfectly with my interpretation of the Trilogy almost 2 years ago, from what I gathered. I might actually take some time to explain the whole MV here soon, as this looks like the actual end of all this and I’m assuming they’re now done with this theme.

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