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Whether you sell off organs from the dead, or devour them, I don't give a damn. However, you ruined the most crucial element of this place. Equality. Everyone is equal in these games. Players get to compete in a fair game under the same conditions. These people suffered from inequality and discrimination out in the world, and we offer them one last chance to fight on equal footing and win. But you have broken that principle.
~ The Front Man to a worker, before executing him for violating the rules of the Squid Game
The Front Man, whose real name is Hwang In-ho (Korean: 황인호), is the secondary antagonist of the 2021 Netflix Korean drama Squid Game.
He is the leader of the Masked Men and the enigmatic overseer of the Squid Game. It is eventually revealed he is the brother of the detective Hwang Jun-ho. In-ho was invited to compete in Oh Il-nam's survival competition in 2015 and ultimately won. Later, he went on to become Il-nam's right-hand man, the Front Man. In 2020, while In-ho worked overseeing the games, his sudden disappearance bewildered Jun-ho, leading him to conduct a police investigation.
He was portrayed by Lee Byung-hun, who also played Park Chang-yi in The Good, The Bad and The Weird, Storm Shadow in the G.I. Joe live-action film series, and the T-1000 in Terminator: Genisys. His English dub was voiced by Tom Choi.
Remember, once they find out who you are, you die.
~ The Front Man after executing a staff member
As the Front Man, In-ho is very strict and ruthless to keep the order within the games and keep his underlings under control, executing the ones who break the rules and disturb the games. He believes in equality and that the games are actually a last chance in life to the contestants, as they play a fair game under the same conditions after suffering because of the inequality and discrimination in the outside world. Despite this belief, In-ho also views the players as a way of entertainment to the rich gamblers behind the games, as he later explains to Gi-hun that the contestants are similar to the horses he bets on races.
In-ho does not tolerate anyone disturbing the equality of the games and will eliminate players and the masked workers who violate this rule. He also values the secrecy of the games, as seen when he immediately kills the masked supervisor that is forced to reveal his face to a player. Despite being a firm and stern person, he is polite and always acts in a sophisticated manner. He also respects the ones above him, the VIPs and the Host. He accepts Il-nam's request to receive the VIPs, making preparations for their arrival and then attending and trying to please them while they watch the games.
Not much is known about his personal life, but he seems to be close to his family, especially his brother, as they noticed his absence just a few days after the games started and Jun-ho infiltrates the Squid Game just to look for him. This is also evidenced by Jun-ho saying that In-ho gave him his own kidney and by In-ho trying to keep his brother alive, as he orders the masked soldiers not to kill him after learning the identity of the intruder. Later, he even breaks the rule of secrecy by revealing his face to Jun-ho in an attempt to ask his brother to come with him so he can ensure his safety. Upon being refused, he simply shoots Jun-ho non-fatally in the shoulder, instead of fatally like he did to anyone else. After shooting Jun-ho, In-ho is haunted by his own action, showing that In-ho does care about his brother and feels remorse about what he did.
In 2015, Hwang In-ho was a former police officer who was recruited to participate in the Squid Game, ultimately becoming that year's grand prize winner. After his victory, In-ho remained involved with the games planned by Oh Il-nam, eventually becoming the Front Man, the competition's masked overseer and administrator.
In 2020, despite having won the prize money five years ago, In-ho lives in a small apartment with a single room and has been missing rent payments.
Five years later, during the period of the games in 2020, In-ho oversaw the competition at the remote facility on an island southeast of South Korea's mainland. Unbeknownst to In-ho, after a few days of his sudden disappearance, his family was bewildered, particularly his brother Jun-ho, who works as a detective in the Korean National Police Agency. Jun-ho becomes suspicious as to the circumstances of his disappearance when finds a card of the Squid Game in his apartment. Later, Jun-ho infiltrates the Squid Game facility disguised as a member of his masked staff to look for his brother.
Following the resolution of the second game, When a player takes a staff member hostage (who later commits suicide realizing the staff member is just a young boy), In-ho executes the boy since he removed his face mask at gunpoint, violating the secrecy of the competition.
In-ho later discovers a conspiracy amongst his underlings of a black market organ harvesting operation involving Player 111, a contestant who previously worked as a doctor. The masked staff involved in the conspiracy needed the doctor alive to harvest more organs, so they were giving him information about the games and making him have an unfair advantage. When this revelation came to light, In-ho accuses them of breaking the rules as the players are supposed to have equal chances, especially coming from a world in which many had no opportunities because of inequality and discrimination. In-ho executs the surviving soldier involved, and has Player 111 murdered by a shooting squad. In-ho later has the bodies strung up to demonstrate to the surviving contestants of the consequences of violating the rules.
Concurrently, In-ho realizes that Officer #28 was murdered by a bullet from gun usually carried by the Korean police, leading him to believe Officer #29 (Jun-ho) is a spy. In-ho orders a manhunt for Officer #29, unaware that he has infiltrated his office investigating In-ho's disappearance, presuming that he was one of the deceased contestants. In-ho and the masked staff later found the body of the masked man Jun-ho had thrown into the sea when he stole his uniform to infiltrate the staff of the games. With the body, In-ho found Jun-ho's police ID, making him realize that the intruder is his brother.
In-ho organizes a meeting with the game's VIPs (wealthy patrons who do organized betting and gambling on the contestants), and arranges for them to watch the fifth game live, unaware that Jun-ho has already infiltrated the VIP lounge as a masked servant.
Jun-ho escapes the island, and In-ho barely sees him escaping to the ocean. In-ho leaves to the mainland to capture the escapee. Knowing that it is his brother, In-ho orders the masked staff to bring the intruder to him alive. Jun-ho attempts to send evidence of the competition to his superiors in the KNPA, but was most likely unable to due to poor reception. Jun-ho is cornered by In-ho and the masked staff on a cliff, and uses his last bullet to shoot the Front Man in the shoulder. Even after being shot, In-ho signs to the masked staff not to fire and tells Jun-ho to come with him if he wants to live. Confused on why the Front Man would say this, Jun-ho questions who he is. In-ho unmasks himself, revealing to Jun-ho that he is his brother. He once again offers Jun-ho to come with him, so he will keep him alive. However, Jun-ho is in shock and refuses. With no other choice, In-ho shoots Jun-ho in the shoulder, and he falls off the cliff into the coast below. During the night before the last game of the competition, In-ho is haunted by the shooting of his brother, whose fate remains ambiguous.
A year later, he visits Il-nam's death bed after he passed away and pays his respects. In the meantime, Gi-hun, while preparing to leave on an airplane trip to see his daughter again, learns about the new game they intend to host after seeing the same man who manipulated him try to manipulate another man into doing so with the same game he played with him earlier. Not wanting anyone else to experience the traumas of the game that he and the former players had experienced, Gi-hun makes a phone call to the guards and In-ho, standing up to them and threatening to stop their games. As such, In-ho threatens him by telling him to not get any absurd ideas before revealing that he's watching him by suggesting he gets on the plane he was going to board, stating that it was for his own good, with Gi-hun deciding to abandon the airplane trip, presumably to try to find a way to stop the games after hanging up.
In the Korean Version, He is referred as 'Dae-Jang' by the Pink Soldiers, which roughly translates to 'Boss/Captain'.
The actor who plays the Front Man, Lee Byung-hun, is mentioned by Ji-yeong in episode 6, when she is talking with Sae-byeok about mojito and quotes his line from the film Inside Men.
The creator of the series stated that one of the plotlines he wants to explore in a possible season two is the story of the Front Man and his brother Jun-ho.