Follow TV Tropes



Go To

The lore established with the illustrated book series "유리구슬 Märchen" clarified and introduced story elements beyond the music videos. It Jossed a lot of popular theories in the fandom. Although, even receiving new information, there are still several mysteries:

  • The magical abilities of each girl and their individual motivations.
  • The connections between the members portrayed through motifs as well as the different timelines.
  • The place where some of the stories take place (hometown island, city, a dream or even realms).
  • What some elements in the story symbolize such as the content of the "2006.03 가죽여행 (Family Trip)" tape and the tarot cards.
  • The lore surrounding the "Wheel of the Year" and its connection with this world.
  • The songs that are part of the lore aside from title tracks.note 
  • The Japanese music videos as part of a Loose Canon.
  • What's written in the letters from "Summer Rain" and the diary.
  • Who cursed them... Gods? Monsters?
  • The linearity of the story, among others.

The Wild Mass Guessing page has a self-explanatory name. This is a place to gather theories based on the content put out so far, no matter how wild. There are folders for confirmed, jossed and crossover theories at the bottom of the page.

"Envy is like a seed planted in our hearts, growing in its own without water or care, twisting its vines amongst us."
A Tale of the Glass Bead: Previous Story

General Theories

The desolation of their village was due The Wild Hunt.
Sinb prevents Yerin from taking a train in "Crossroads", "Time for the Moon Night" where they are locked in a room has many stormy scenes, both recurrent motifs connected with the event.

Something caused the desolation of their hometown, hinted to be their own powers after conflicts involving envy. Then someone murmured to them "search for the butterfly from the legend and your powers will be stronger". That's how all the girls start to run through time to reverse what they have done and save each other.

The Heavenly Bodies (Time for) trilogy isn't included in the 2020 recap (where they decided to streamline their story), despite of its importance. Maybe the trilogy is part of a non-chronological arc where Eunha is stuck in the hunt and the other girls need to remember her somehow (and it would be elaborated in the next series).

In the last book, when the girls succumb to the curse and turn into witches, their memories are erased, similar to when people join the storm riders. They are surrounded by a dark miasma. The wish granter (last butterfly) would cause "things granter than they could handle" (pandora box). The problem being that the desolation was the first event, just then (after using all the butterflies from the box) they were cursed to be witches and stripped of their memories. The only way for it to make sense would be if they end up stuck in a loop (living the event that caused the desolation over and over, trying to fix it).

Walpurgis Night during "Mago" was presented as a celebration and ode to women empowerment, so the witches' festival is not something negative in-universe, but when they found comfort in being witches. However, the girls transitioned to a spectral figure in the ending of "Apple", an Otherworldly symbolism. So, did they join the hunt as the price? Or were they hunted, wronged and tricked in joining it as the price?

"Apple" takes place in Avalon, Isle of Apples (or Annwn).

A magical mist involves the place and there is an apple tree right there. The latter half of the video has a darker, underworld-y imagery like Annwn. And... the girls are witches! Avalon is known for a The Lady of the Lake as well (their powers were given by their village lake). Even though their village is canonically "blue butterfly village", it could have taken inspiration from Celtic Mythology and other existent legends.note 

The forest in "Apple" is the same from "Sunrise". The labyrinth is inside that forest. And the tunnel in "Sunrise" and "Mago" leads to this misty place.
It's an overarching story told inside the same universe, so it isn't a reach to group together the scenes of "forests with mysterious fog". The girls probably got trapped in the mists of time many times in this story as that's what "Sunrise" is about. The tunnel needs to transport them to a secret and important place (maybe the payphone is also a kind of transportation).

The labyrinth and the garden symbolize this place (playing with Eden and the the serpent-like labyrinth symbol). From being trapped in time, the apple represents freedom and knowledge, a labyrinth is also a symbol of transformation "losing to find".

"Fallin' Light" and "Memoria" are part of the arc about one of the three realms: sky, and it's connected to "Time for the Moon Might" and "Sunrise".
At the same time that Yerin, unsuccessfully, tries to reach the angel's ladder with threads, Sinb burns to ashes the photos with Rays from Heaven (biblical allusion to Jacob's dream of a ladder reaching to heaven), as if she's breaking the bridge between the earth and sky.

The Korean myth about the origins of the sun and moon mentions a rope thrown from the sky. There is a character with bad intentions who ended up with a rotten one, and the ones who could climb turned into the sun and the moon.

The labyrinth is a place for tainted souls i.e. glass beads (and "Fingertip" wasn't just a dream, but the labyrinth itself).
The lyrics of "Labyrinth" are very suspicious and mysterious. The "won't you wake up / you'd better wake up" and "wake up, wake up / break it now, get out" could mean that they labyrinth isn't a physical place and it's a dangerous place of dreams.

Eunha woke up at the end of "Fingertip", but that dream (or nightmare) could be the labyrinth itself. The girls are describing what happened in the labyrinth ("Fingertip") in the lyrics. If Eunha turning back in time causes her glass bead to be tainted, the labyrinth could be the place that they go when this happens. She has three butterflies in "Crossroads", but none in "Fingertip".

The puzzle's missing piece in "Sunrise" was to find Eunha with a Ley Line-esque alignment.
Umji finds a missing piece to the puzzle that completes a Haydn's "Sunrise", Op. 76 music sheet, the same piece that Eunha is playing alone in a forest. Umji and Eunha are playing piano in different places before all the girls meet together in the end. It could be a Ritual Magic to align their places together.

Umji's room while she's playing the piano is full of papers, similar to Sowon in "Memoria" evoking 1000 Origami Cranes. Eunha and Umji have a paper airplane motif through "Rough" and "Time for the Moon Night". "Sunrise" has three concept names: "Daybreak", "Daytime" and "Midnight" (When the Clock Strikes Twelve). The ritual could need not only a place, but also at a Liminal Time.

"Summer Rain" is the aftermath of their conflict in "Crossroads".
The girls are sulking and separated. Even though in the ending of "Rough" they meet again, the girls' letter to Sowon shows their fear to be apart. "Rough" could have lead to "Crossroads". "Summer Rain" has a lot of non delivered letters, it could be the girls trying to deal with the conflict.

Eunha could have take her decision to go back in time in this moment, when she drops the box she seems hopeless.

"Navillera" is an different timeline.
"Navillera" is a timeline where they didn't grow up friends with Eunha, a NaÔve Newcomer, though they could have get closer to her in this time, it doesn't match with the school episodes. The interactions between the girls are different, the dynamics changed. Eunha has an Expository Hairstyle Change and looks like a New Transfer Student, because it feels like a new addition to the group, that's weird since they met in high school (or way sooner as they grew up together).

Other possibility would be that she's back in town, playing the Stranger in a Familiar Land (but Sowon was the one going in a separated way in "Rough"). "Navillera" could be Eunha changing the way she meets the other girls back then in their hometown.

Actually, they meeting Eunha at night means meeting her in their dreams.
The popular theory is that the girls can meet Eunha at night, but a door can be seen during the daytime scene, hinting a Dream Land (the other music video with a portal was "Fingertip", a Mental World). The lyrics are very lore influenced and it says:
As time, time for the moon night
Iíll meet you in my dreams.
The fact that people sleep at night and Shakespearean sonnets used in "Sunny Summer" also would help it to be a Talking in Your Dreams situation.

The moon is the key (or "Memoria" is part of the storyline and explains why the moon helped them).
There is a door in "Time for the Moon Night" teaser and a portal in "Fingertip". Time for Us (2019) limited edition has a door lock note  and Dear Buddy (a fan meeting) poster has a key. The logo symbols resemble a door lock as if you open this lock with the key, the moon changed its position.

The heavenly bodies themed trilogy release dates give hints about this. The first music video was released under the influence of the pink moon and the other two when the moon was half illuminated and half dark. The pink moon caused this phenomenon and the first quarter moon let them meet Eunha in these specific nights. There are several hints about day, night and dreams, maybe this is a key to understand the music videos and the scenes separate in day and night.

Sowon appears in "Memoria" with 1000 Origami Cranes, meaning that she's wishing for something (curiously Sowon's name means wish), and Umji is painting... A pink moon. "Memoria" was pretty much an example of Your Mind Makes It Real.

Eunha and Yerin's love story evolves to a Love Triangle with Sinb.
Yerin confesses to Eunha in "Navillera" and Sinb seems unbothered, even getting closer to Eunha, which leads Yerin to be jealous. So, from a teenager couple, Eunha and Yerin become 'rivals' in "Fingertip", since Yerin helps Sinb, who has an Astral Projection from Eunha, to run away.

"Love Whisper" shows Sinb and Yerin Holding Hands. In "Time for the Moon Night" as Eunha is missing, Sinb is going after her. "Crossroads" shows Eunha and Sinb fighting, one more time, Sinb and Yerin seem together and Holding Hands in the train scene.

"Rough (Running Through Time)" and "Summer Rain" are parallels.
All the girls are going in different paths. Sowon is even waiting at a train station, but they drop everything to be together again and meet just to open their Time Capsule with the letters. "Summer Rain" in other hand... contrasts with "Rough" with the letters motif. The red notebook can be seen again. "Rough" has a happy ending with the girls reuniting and opening the capsule, but in "Summer Rain", the letters ended up in a trash or in a rainy street. Eunha's reaction in the end is also mysterious and hopeless.

"Summer Rain" can also be connected with "Sunrise", or better, the phone booth connects the two timelines. Sowon in "Summer Rain" and Yerin in "Sunrise" communicating with each other. As if "Rough" and "Summer Rain" could be parallels just as much as "Time for the Moon Night" and "Sunrise".

"Rough" lyrics are full of sorrow:

I wasnít able to tell you but I liked you
Like a dream from the younger days, like a miracle
If I could run through time and become an adult
I will hold your hand in this cruel world.
But also promises.
We're like parallel lines.
Even when weíre trapped in time and get lost, we will eventually meet.

"Summer Rain" lyrics say "it was a memory of a summer say with joy and sadness" as the first verse expressed joy and the second sadness:

Perhaps you are coming to me
to share your umbrella
My heart is beating
Is this a miracle of a summer day?"
Interwoven by a "miracle" motif:
At a crossroad hiding
the moon in the night sky
Iím waiting for you
Will there be a miracle?"

  • "Crossroads" changed this perspective, showing the actual conflict between the girls. Although, "Crossroads" can be the bridge between "Rough" and "Summer Rain".

Sowon was going back to their hometown in "Rough".
The place that happens the story doesn't seem like an island or village, the girls live in a city.
  • Maybe they studied there and moved, but were originally from the island. The train and ticket from "Love Whisper" would make sense too, they go there for their vacation.
    • Then "Crossroads" happens in the city. "Time for the Moon Night" is more empty... No people, abandoned building... And an open field.

The next era will be related to Celtic Mythology.
Specifically, Caer Arianrhod. The name "Caer Arianrhod" is used in Welsh for the constellation Corona Borealis which is related to Ariadne from Classical Mythology. They could borrow elements from the myth for their witch universe as the castle can be a spiral castle (Caer Sidi), exchangeable to a World Tree, where they can travel between realms as witches. The revolving castle can be described as labyrinth-like as well.

Another detail would be the name "Arianrhod" being from the Welsh arian, "silver," and rhod, "wheel". The "Apple" Concept Photos from Song of the Sirens (2020) is an all silver room. Also, Silver Wheel can represents the moon or the wheel of the year, both heavy motifs in the story.

  • There is no... next era.

The forest in "Sunrise" is the same from "A Tale of the Glass Bead: Butterfly Effect" leading them to the apple tree.
Sinb's tear in the end could hint to A Glitch in the Matrix as that world is a Dream Land. They are lost in that forest ó same place, but different times ó in "Butterfly Effect". Thanks to the Ritual Magic piano song, they could meet in "Sunrise".

Magical Abilities Theories

Sinb is a fiery fallen angel.
Sinb and her wings in "Memoria" could be related to the Icarus myth, since the labyrinth myth is present in their story and the song says "weíre gonna fly in the blue sky", also "Falliní Light (Angelís Ladder)". If connected to her fire motif, she could be related to seraphs (six-winged angel meaning "the burning / fiery one").

Yuju is a banshee.
She's in a grave in "Time for the Moon Night", wailing for whoever was supposed to be there. There is something broken at her feet in the first book, she's surprised (she could have broken with her new power).

She also has a Mirror motif through the music videos, what could be some seer-like traits... If she could foresee the future with constellation patterns (Memoria) or Reading Tea Leaves (Sunrise).

Umji's power hurts herself and/or other people.
She has bruises in her knees in "Time for the Moon Night" and hurts Yuju in a fight in "Crossroads". She feels bad, so she isolates herself.

Umji's magical ability is manipulation of inanimate objects.
She's in a room full of plushies in "Fingertip" and stays there most of the time. She has a stuffed animal in her bag in "Love Whisper" as well. A mini book shows Umji with a stuffed animal in a page where the girls are displaying their abilities (Sinb is holding one of its arms ripped). Less important, but the teddy bear in "Rough" moves, but the object was with Yerin.

While the girls write letters to deliver them or give up through "Summer Rain", Umji makes a paper boat. How could it reach the letter addressee? Her power could grow as the plot demands. If she can manipulate papers or plushies, what happens if she draws a rainbow or a pink moon? "Memoria" shows how imaginary things turn into reality. Maybe that's Umji's power.

Yerin's power is related to water.
Yerin has a Bathtub Scene with blue highlights in her hair and is seen manipulating something watery in "Fingertip" as well as something similar in the mini book. Her knees have glitter in "Memoria", she looks surprised at her legs. She appears with siren written in her arm in Song of the Sirens (2020) "Broken Room" Concept Photos. Fans noticed that siren is almost an anagram to Yerin's own name. They also have a song called "Mermaid".

Sowon didn't receive a power (Or it's a hidden power).
She isn't seen with defined motifs like the other girls, she's like a protector and reliable friend. Sowon appears in the mini book with a crying shadow, when the other girls are displaying their powers. Although, there is a page where all the girls but Sowon are inside of a glass bead. There are hands holding this bead and it could be Sowon's hands.
  • She was supposed to be the first girl to receive a power, she's also the oldest and the second girl to reach the bookstore.

Eunha's power is related to time.
Her power isn't disclosed as her motifs are heavily centered around elements that all girls share eventually, like the glass bead and butterfly. She seems a little omniscient in "Fingertip", but it was her dream after all. However, she is surrounded by glass beads in "Fingertip", "Time for the Moon Night" and many globes similar to moons in "Fallin' Light" as well. Being the main character, or the girl chosen as the main point of view, she must have a strong connection to time travel, having the most potential to use the butterfly for that purpose.
  • She could also have a special type of control over her glass bead (more than one glass bead?).

    Confirmed Theories 
The glass bead is a reflection of the soul.
The books say that all the girls in the village are born with a glass bead, then they are gifted at a certain age with a special ability from the village's lake... A special item like this could be a reflection of the soul. It could get tainted as well as be related to the magical ability they are gifted, but also their motivations.
  • Confirmed... Sort of? It's a reflection of themselves and it's connected with their power.

The labyrinth is related to the "Minotaur Myth" (Ariadne's thread)
Yerin's bucket full of ropes with multiple colors in "Fallin' Light". She's trying to tie something with the help of the ladder (the original name of the song is "Angel's Ladder") as she tries to reach the Rays from Heaven.

The "Twisted" Concept Photo from 回:Labyrinth (2020) is the girls dressed in white in a white background carrying yarns, every girl has a color. In one of the photos, all the girls are looking at Eunha. Another photo from "Twisted" is similar to Time for Us (2019) "Daybreak" Concept Photo, where Sowon is in the center, what leads to the next point. The semiotics could tell that they "Daybreak" Concept Photo, with Sowon's flowery crown, plays with a marriage day imagery; a bride and her ladies. What makes it interesting: Dionysus married Ariadne (Minotaur Myth) and gave her a crown Corona Borealis (later turned into a constellation). Although, in another picture, Eunha is also using a crown with Sowon.

  • Confirmed in a Weverse Magazine. They were doing a retelling of mythical women as the center of the narrative. It's interesting to notice that these women can be all reimagined as witches. Ariadne controls the labyrinth, she's a witch. There is also "witches' ladder".

Yerin is getting sadder every time Eunha tries to turn back in time.
Yerin is a lively girl, she even confesses to Eunha in "Navillera" (and even "Rough", if she was the person who wrote the love letter to Eunha), but in "Time for the Moon Night", "Crossroads" and even "Fingertip" to an extend (since it was Eunha's dream), she seems sad. All these moments are referenced in "Crossroads" in Eunha's loops. Early theories speculated that she misses Eunha, but in "Time for the Moon Night", when Sowon tries to move her lips upwards, there are six girls in the room (Eunha was there), so it wasn't about that.
  • Confirmed? All of the girls were miserably time traveling, trying to save each other.

    Crossover Theories (Discontinued...) 
Artists under HYBE have been sharing a lot of similar motifs and Easter Eggs. Here's the most known connections so far.
GFRIEND and BTS' BU (magic shop, Smeraldo flower, the girls and parallel lines.)
  • The girls from the Highlight Reel are six, just like GFRIEND members. Just a coincidente... but the thing starts to get interesting when the art direction from their simultaneous eras were suspiciously similar (Love Yourself 承 'Her', Rainbow). "The Truth Untold" is about the Smeraldo Flower legend. "Flower Garden" from, one more time, a simultaneous era (Love Yourself 轉 'Tear' and Time for the Moon Night), has a similar thematic. "Flower Garden" uses flower for its metaphor, "a flower that has eternity". You can see the Smeraldo Flower story here. The same eras also used a lantern ("Fake Love" music video and "Time for the Moon Night" comeback teaser). The music videos have a cinematic parallel with the protagonists closing the curtains. The teaser for "Fake Love" shows a shop where they exchange something for another. GFRIEND has the Glass Bead Store, they are the clerks (but still a vague concept). The shop is dark, the store is quirky. Although, they algo get an item from a place in the mini books, a man hand it to them. The red notebook is another similar object. Time travel is also an element in common, Eunha and Jin are the ones the narrative follows, but in GFRIEND's case, all of them traveled as the last mini book revealed.

  • People pointed out some similarities between "Blood, Swear and Tears" with "Apple", both are temptation arcs. BU was connected to Demian by Hermann Hesse. GFRIEND never confirmed, but there is a book from the same author with an interest name... The Glass Bead Game. The setting from "Apple" is also eerily similar to Jimin's arboretum. Also, the whole Ariadne and Dionysus parallel.

GFRIEND and TXT's TU (the magic island, the mysterious girl, a door, small abilities)
  • There is an eerie girl with school uniform who appears in "Magic Island", her clothes are similar to "Rough" where they have a practice room. There are speculations of her being Eunha, because she has odd eye in "Memoria", like the cat from TU. The ghost girl from "Eternally" being similar to Umji in "Butterfly Effect" with the white dress. The star from "Nap of Star"... It's known that Ariadne (an element from GFRIEND's story) turns into the constellation Corona Borealis.
    • However, the girls from TU could be revealed as the girls soon to debut.

  • Both stories happen / are directed related to a magic island. The door they burn in "Run Away", there is also a door in "Time for the Moon Night" teaser, standing alone in the field. There is a train in "Magic Island", similar to one from "Love Whisper" (Although, Sinb prevents Yerin from taking one in "Crossroads"). A Ferris wheel appears in "Blue Hour" and "Love Whisper", the latter happened in the island.

  • Growing horns? That's what happen with GFRIEND when they turn into witches (it can be seen at the end of "Apple" and the mini book). Although, it doesn't seem like it means similar things in the stories, just a coincidence (or is it?).

  • The red notebook yet again.

  • This.

  • Their debut trailer is eerie similar to "Previous Story" and the Arc Words "is it a blessing or a curse". "Outro : Cross The Line" brought a similar scene from "Crossroads" where Eunha falls and wakes up in her bed.

GFRIEND and NU'EST (Knight, Queen and Chessboard)
  • GFRIEND's VCR at NYEL was a transition to NU'EST's stage. A lot of people theorized that GFRIEND could represent the queen from their storyline. Although, they are in the Glass Bead Store and the chessboard (belonging to NUEST's storyline and where they are showed after the transition) is stuck in a glass. Maybe the members, being the witches from this multiverse, hold a magical power over time and space from the other timelines of the other groups.

    Jossed Theories 
"Love Whisper" and "Summer Rain" are parallel worlds.
The albums are called Parallel (2017) and Rainbow (2017). "Love Whisper" is a summer trip of the girls recollecting memories, the connection made by the music videos can mean that they are different timelines. "Love Whisper" could be an Artificial Afterlife, because it emulates all of their happy memories (even similar scenes from past music videos). "Summer Rain" in other hand is the worst (or real) timeline, what happened after their departure in "Rough". However, the rainbow gives hope for the future, maybe it was a hint about their plan in "Memoria" and "Time for the Moon Night" to make a wish to the pink moon.
  • Jossed. "Love Whisper" is the origins story, it's the island where it all started.

"Love Whisper" is a Merged Reality
Since it carries symbolism from all the timelines: tree ("Me Gustas Tu"), bridge ("Rough", "Navillera"), butterfly ("Fingertip"), cassette player ("Time for the Moon Night").
  • Jossed. "Love Whisper" is the village where the girls were born and grew up.

The crossroads is a Place of Power.
"Previous Story" uses the phrace "Wishing we could turn back time, we stand at the crossroads". In "Rough", we hear "There is a place we need to go". "Summer Rain" is another hopeless (or seeking hope) song which the lyrics mentions a crossroads.
  • Maybe it's just a represatation of Two Roads Before You (place of decision). Also, a place where they could meet each other. "Rough" says "If I could go back in time, I'll hold your hands at the crossroads".