When I first saw the track list, I had a feeling that Spring Day would be a sad song.
I was writing a post about the Sewol Ferry Incident and what it means that BTS donated to the families, and when I saw that title 'Spring Day' all I could think was: this is going to be a sad and possibly quite political song.
If you a sensitive to topics such as death and tragedy do not read on as this post will use examples from the real tragedy of the Sewol Ferry sinking.
And then comes the trailer and proves me right... I don't know if I should be happy or sad. But first let's take a moment to appreciate how wonderful the music in that snippet is!
Now onto the theory...
We start out with Jungkook who stands in front of a carousel, a place that's supposed to be fun, where the words "You Never Walk Alone" are written. As he stands there lights begin to shine on him.
"Passing by the edge of the cold winter, until the days of spring, until the flowers blossom, please stay, play stay there a little longer."
- Spring Day -
The lyrics go as JK is lit up by sunlight and looks away from the camera.
Now let's refer this back to the Sewol Ferry Incident which happened in spring 2014. The crew of the ship told the passengers (most of whom were high school students) to stay where they were and wait. Even as the crew were abandoning ship, they told the passengers to stay.
It is also a phrase the the government used in dealing with the rescue and afterwards in dealing with the mourning families. Telling everyone to stay put and wait.
The students onboard the ship were on their way to Jeju island to go on a school outing when the ferry sank (on their way to something fun, like a carousel).
A teacher who was rescued at the incident committed suicide a few days later and wrote a note in which he stated:
"[...] Scatter my ashes at the site of the sunken ferry so that in the afterlife I may become a teacher to my students who have not been rescued."
When I saw the title song, "you never walk alone" behind Jungkook I immediately thought of this teacher and his last written wishes to accompany his students to the afterlife so he can help them along.
Now we see Jimin standing in front of the sea with a pair of shoes in hand.
It's significant that he stands in front of the sea, as it again references the ferry that sank in 2014, but the shoes are also highly significant.
Shoes of those who had died in the incident were placed at the harbour and people wrote messages around them.
The first pair of shoes were a new pair left by the student's family and on it the following words were written:
"My dear, your friend bought you a beautiful pair of shoes; your mum sister and brother are all waiting for you."
The word Omelas refers to a fictional town in a story by famous fantasy writer Ursula LeGuin: "The Ones Who Walk Way from Omelas".
The story is about a utopia where everything is perfect and wonderful and people are happy. The place is called Omelas.
(On a side note: J-Hope in front of mirror with a bottle of pills? I sense references back to HYYH)
Inside the hostel called Omelas they all seem to have fun and be happy, and understandably so, because in Omelas everything is more, and everything is better.
There is only one bad thing about Omelas...
In order for everyone to be happy and have fun, a child has to be kept in complete darkness and misery.
Notice how Omelas is all dark as Jungkook runs towards it? He is the child who is kept in Darkness. He a reflection of those abandoned. Those who were told to stay where they were and who died as a result.
When people in Omelas learn about the child who is kept in darkness, they mostly accept it as this is the way in which they can live happily.
But some people abandon the town and leave and the narrator in LeGuin's story remarks that no one knows where they go...
"but they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas."
This almost seems to be a reference to the end of the trailer where they run down a hallway and Jimin waves them further ahead. He smiles, knowing where he is going.
The boys seem to be running for their lives down this hallway, to escape, and the camera is tilted, which reminds me of the Sewol Ferry and how the ship tilted to the side and sank.
J-Hope sits and watches the sky. But where is he sitting? On top of a train wagon it almost looks like..? Is this a reference back to HYYH. I guess we're going to have to wait for the full music video to find out.
Now Jimin is running towards a lone tree in a snowy landscape.
In mythology a lone tree is often seen as a great strength and as a symbol for life. Has Jimin escaped the tragedy and come outside to continue to live his life? Or has he, on the contrary left for the afterlife?
He encourages the others to follow, but they don't appear to be coming.
I'd also like to note that snow often symbolises feelings of abandonment and loneliness, which again highlights the themes and a feeling of being told to wait.
Rap Monster seems to be standing in a passenger cabin. Is it inside a train (a reference back to the HYYH era) or is it onboard the ferry?
The camera tilts as it zooms away from him almost as if to symbolise the Sewol Ferry.
Jin seems to be capturing it all. And this might be a subtle reference to how the events of the Sewol Ferry Incidents were falsely reported by media, who first reported that everyone was safe, when in fact 295 lives onboard were lost.
And again we have the shoes, this time hanging from a tree. Is it the same tree that Jimin is so excitingly running towards?
The shoes hanging like that also made me think of Tim Burton's film 'Big Fish' where the character enters a strange town called Spectre.
Upon entering the town, one has to take off ones shoes and throw up onto a line, which for the inhabitants of the town means that they're hanging up their old responsibilities.
The town is similar to Omelas in that it is also a sort of Utopia, or like an afterlife. The act of abandoning one's responsibilities by throwing the shoes up on the line also seems to be a metaphor for dying in 'Big Fish'.
Shoes on power lines or hanging from trees are often a sign of death, and I believe that it is in this music video as well.
Jungkook is alone in the darkness of Omelas. It looks like it's the same sofa where they were all sitting earlier. He lights a candle and at the end the candle goes out, as if to symbolise that a life has been extinguished.
That's all for now, for a full theory and references we're going to have to wait for the music video to be released... You can read my full theory here.