BTS‘s cinematic new music video for “ON” is riddled with hints, clues, and mindblowing references. Check out these 10+ things you might have missed the first time around!
1. War on peace
At the beginning of the MV, Jin finds a white dove pierced with an arrow. In various religions and cultures, doves are symbols of love, innocence, peace. They are also messengers.
2. Doves and Noah’s Ark
RM stands before a shipwrecked boat, surrounded by exotic animals. This scene, which likely points to Noah’s Ark, is one of the MV’s many biblical references (or movie references, if you’re thinking about Evan Almighty!). In the Noah’s Ark story, God floods the earth to return the world to its pre-creation state in order to wipe out wickedness and begin life anew.
Since Noah and his family were righteous people, God spared them from the flood, along with animals. In the Bible, a dove appears in the story of Noah’s Ark in Genesis 8:11: “And the dove came in to him at eventide; and, lo, in her mouth an olive-leaf plucked off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth.”
3. J-Hope as the Grim Reaper
After runaway prisoner Jungkook collapsed from exhaustion, he is picked at by a crow or raven. Both scavanger birds commonly symbolize death. J-Hope appears near Jungkook, dressed in black and white.
As he raps in this field of dead trees, the crow flies away and Jungkook’s body vanishes from view. The next time we see Jungkook, he has been transported to a river, the site of a symbolic baptism where an old life of imprisonment ‘dies’ and a new life of freedom begins.
4. Jungkook’s baptism
Fan theorists have much to explore in the “ON” MV, including its connections to “FAKE LOVE” MV. After running through the building all his members are trapped within in “FAKE LOVE”, Jungkook finds an indoor waterfall pouring into an artificial stream. He stops at the edge and doesn’t step into the water.
This scene could be referenced in “ON” MV. Here, Jungkook succeeds in escaping the place where he was trapped. After running far away, he finds a stream and steps into it. In the Bible, the Son of God, Jesus Christ, was baptized in a river.
In the New Testament, the Holy Spirit is described as a dove during the baptism of Jesus Christ.
And Jesus when he was baptized, went up straightway from the water: and lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon him.
— Matthew 3:16, New Testament
5. Hear no evil, see no evil?
Jimin appears in the MV with a child, surrounded by discarded, silent drums. V appears with a blindfolded girl. After hearing Jimin sing, the first child begins playing his drum, and the wall trapping V and the little girl opens.
V removes her blindfold, takes her by the hand, and leads her toward freedom. In both these situations, it is as if BTS is leading others away from the wicked past toward a bright new future.
6. “Make It Right”
In the “Make It Right” music video, the hero must go on a journey to slay a dragon, but he can’t do it alone. He needs the help of a kind and faithful girl, who most-likely represents ARMY.
In the “ON” MV, V walks hand in hand with a blonde, little girl who closely resembles the girl from “Make It Right”.
SO IT WAS TAEHYUNG EVERYONE I- pic.twitter.com/93RM2zUB1v
— kookoo⁷ (@kookiechimm) February 27, 2020
7. Movie and TV references galore!
Film enthusiasts have spotted a whole slew of references in the “ON” MV, including The Maze Runner…
…The Lion King…
…Game of Thrones…
…and The Handmaid’s Tale, just to name a few!
8. Jungkook’s barbed binds
Since Version 3 of BTS’s MAP OF THE SOUL: 7 concept photos were inspired by “The Last Supper” painting, it’s no wonder why fans are spotting so many biblical references in “ON”! Here, Jungkook is bound with barbs instead of rope or chains.
It’s an interesting choice because n the Bible, Jesus was crowned with thorns as “King of the Jews” before being nailed to a cross.
9. V on the cross
Religious references continue with this breathtaking aerial shot! The way V lies on the ground, arms outstretched with his head resting on a log, may call to mind images of Jesus on the cross.
10. Protector Jin
After Jin finds a slain dove on the battlefield, he brings its an empty cage to a room filled with empty cages that once belonged to living doves.
In many of BTS’s MV, Jin plays the role of protector. In “FAKE LOVE”, for example, he cradles a lantern with a flower inside it, much like he cradles the dove’s cage here.
11. “FAKE LOVE” cloaks
During the dance battle scene in “ON” MV, BTS faces off with a version of themselves dressed in red cloaks.
These cloaks could be referencing the ones in “FAKE LOVE” MV.
12. “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas”
This short story by Ursula K. Le Guin played a key role in BTS’s “Spring Day” MV. Many fans believe Jungkook symbolized the child who must be imprisoned in misery in order for the rest of the town to live in bliss.
In “ON” MV, Jungkook is seen running away from a prison-like place…
…and he joins other survivors/rebels at the end of the MV.
Le Guin’s story ends with these lines: “The place they go towards is a place even less imaginable to most of us than the city of happiness. I cannot describe it at all. It is possible it does not exist. But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas.”