Let's swing right into it!
What a familiar scene: Jungkook on a swing, just like in the Blood, Sweat & Tears MV. And then the swing comes back burning.
FLYING & FIRE
In my Blood, Sweat & Tears symbolism blog I aligned Jungkook on the swing with a desire to fly, both because of a passage in Herman Hesse's 'Demian' and the constant references to the story of Icarus.
Icarus and his father were trapped on island. To escape his father fashioned wings for them to fly away but warned Icarus not to fly too close to the sun because his Wings would melt off. Of course Icarus didn't listen, flew too close to the sun, Wings fell off and Icarus fell to his death.
In 'Demian', the main character, Sinclair tells his mentor that he is afraid of dreams in which he is able to fly. His mentor responds:
"[...] most people shed their wings and prefer to walk and obey the law. But not you. You go on flying. And look! You discover that you gradually begin to master your flight [...] Lacking that, you would be drawn up to the heights, powerless - which is what happens to madmen."
Drawn up into the heights - powerless..? Isn't that exactly what happens to the boys moments later in this trailer?
Jimin, J-Hope, Rap Monster, Suga, and Jungkook all levitate. The only two who don't are V and Jin (and we will get to the why of this in a bit).
The way they levitate almost exactly follows Pistorius' words of warning:
"drawn up to the heights, powerless - which is what happens to madmen."
They have gone mad with the knowledge of the evil world. The theme of an evil and good world is one that keeps coming back.
Through this entire storyline, from I Need U, until now, I feel like Jungkook gradually takes on the role of a young Sinclair from 'Demian'.
He is in the process of realising that there are two realms. A luminous and good one, and one of evil, and he is gradually drawn to the world of evil and mystery.
In his short film, and in the MV, he drew a bird beginning to fly, just like Sinclair does in 'Demian', and then the drawing is set on fire, again, just like in the book.
Jungkook craves flight, but he is worried and scared of these wishes of his (as is Sinclair) because he is scared that he will burn up like the bird he drew - and like Icarus.
The trailer shows him burning up from the desire to fly (with the swing coming back burning), following, somewhat, in the footsteps of Icarus and following the same fate that he drew for himself.
If we continue to look at 'Demian' to interpret the trailer, then we have another subtle reference to fire.
Suga, Jimin, J-Hope and RM are all lying down in their respective settings, staring straight ahead as if in a deep dream or reverie.
A particular passage from 'Demian' comes to mind. It is a passage when Sinclair first enters the home of his organ-playing mentor, Pistorius:
"Meanwhile my acquaintance [Pistorius] had lain down on the floor and was busying himself with something.
"Come," he called after a moment, "we want to practice philosophy. That means keep your mouth shut, lie on your stomach and meditate." "
In my Blood, Sweat & Tears theory I've mentioned the similarities between Pistorius and Suga's character.
They both playing the organ, and the piece that Suga plays in Blood, Sweat & Tears is actually a piece that is named in Demian as a piece that Pistorius plays for Sinclair.
In their past storylines during the HYYH era (I Need U + Prologue + RUN) Suga and Jungkook were paired off. Although the pairings have shifted for the latest comeback, there are still parallels to be made between the old pairings.
Jungkook seems to follow the path of a young Sinclair who is barely beginning to discover Abraxas and the existence of both a good and an evil world. In 'Demian' Pistorius acts as a mentor and guide to young Sinclair to open his eyes to the truth of the world, much in the same way that Suga is a mentor figure to Jungkook during their HYYH era, during which Jungkook's character seems to realise that there is something very wrong with his world.
STATUES & APPLES
J-Hope's setting in the trailer has the statue 'Pieta' by Michelangelo in the background. The statue was also in the background during J-Hope's scenes in Blood, Sweat & Tears.
Notice the difference between the statue in the trailer (top) and the MV (bottom). In the first one Virgin Mary holds Jesus in her arms, but Jesus hasn't been sculpted out. He is in the process of being created.
In the trailer, Jesus' body has been fleshed out, and furthermore, the Virgin Mary's face is gone, as it cracked during the ending of BST after Jin kissed the statue.
What's significant about it?
Remember the end of the BST mv when Jin walks to the mirror? Above it is a German phrase by philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche that translates to:
"You still have to have Chaos inside you in order to be able to give birth to a dancing star."
This is when the statue of the weeping Virgin Mary that was behind J-Hope falls to pieces.
In the lore Virgin Mary is pure and good, but she gave birth to a dancing star (Jesus), and hence she has to have Chaos inside her. In the trailer, she has given birth to the Jesus in his arms (he has been fleshed out from the rock) but in order to be able to give birth to a shooting star, she has lost her purity, which is what she is especially known for. Her purity is her face; her main feature.
Another reference back to the Blood, Sweat & Tears mv is the Apple in Jimin's hand.
The blindfold that covered Jimin's eyes slips off. The apple rolls out of his hand.
This refers back to the MV when Suga tied Jimin up to keep him in the blind.
Jimin had already eaten from the apple of truth/Apple of discord and he knows that there are two worlds, an evil one and a good one. Jimin wanted to share the truth of the world with the others (the last supper scene in Blood, Sweat & Tears) particularly with Suga (Chatroom scene in Blood, Sweat & Tears), but the others don't want to see what Jimin does.
They prefer to stay blind, and Suga wants to make Jimin go back to being blind to this truth, like before, which is why he ties Jimin up inside the Chatroom and blindfolds him.
After the Apple rolls out of Jimin's hand, an apple floats up to the surface of the water in Jin's scene.
This is key! Because it ties in their stories with Jin, who has often been on the sidelines in the last few MVs!
REFLECTIONS & MIRRORS
Jin watches his own reflection in the water. Unlike like the others, Jin is standing up and looking down, almost as if he looks at the other members from above, except he is actually looking down at himself.
I know that many have referenced Jin's scene with the myth of Narcissus who was in love with his own appearance to the point that he died for not being able to look away from his own reflection in the water, but I believe there is more to it than this.
In one of my previous theories I talked about BigHit giving a clue that Jin is the Greek mythological figure Psyche.
It comes into play here as well, for I wholeheartedly believe that Jin is the main psyche (consciousness) that ties all the other characters together. He is the main character and the others merely live inside his mind. In the same way that Demian and Eva live inside Sinclair's mind.
That is why the Apple Jimin drops comes up to the surface in Jin's water. It's also why his room in his short film has elements from all of the others.
The mirror and chains from Rap Monster. The Eva painting from J-Hope. The Apple from Jimin. The piano from Suga. The bird painting from Jungkook. And finally the scratches from V.
All of it seems to come together via reflections and mirror.
Throughout BTS's MVs, especially since the HYYH era, there has been scenes with mirrors and reflections playing a big role. Specifically I'm thinking about Suga in the Japanese Run MV where he is in a room with broken mirrors all over the floor, and Rap Monster who looks at himself in the mirror in his short film, after which the mirrors break. Rap Monster also finds himself in a setting of mirrors and broken glass during his promotional photos for Wings, a setting which bares much resemblance to his setting in this trailer.
J-Hope also looks at himself in the mirror at the beginning of I Need U (both the Korean and Japanese version) and Jin looks at himself in the mirror at the end of BST at which point his face begins to break.
Mirrors represent a way of seeing another other world, and even a portal into this other world. For more evidence about this, refer back to my previous theory about mirrors.
In BST when Jin looks into the mirror at the end of the MV, the flowers in the reflection are different. A signal that the world on the other side of the mirror is not the same.
Broken mirrors, like the ones that surround RM, and also Suga in the Japanese MVs, signifies that there is no going back.
It's impossible to return through the mirror and hence the boys are stuck in this world of temptation.
TEMPTER & WINGS
Along with Jin, V is the only other character who doesn't lie down on his back, and who doesn't levitate, and I believe this is because he is the tempter of the group.
He is a tempter, lost in the evil world, and there to enlighten the others to the fact that there is booth a realm of good and light and a realm of evil and darkness.
V was the first one to have a significant scene that involves a mirror.
All the way back to the Danger mv, V looks into a mirror and cuts his hair. Now at this time J-Hope is also enchanted by a mirror. He dances in front of it.
It's not a coincidence that J-Hope and V, who were the first to have scenes involving mirrors were paired off in the Wings comeback. They have been in the world beyond the mirror the longest, but for V his time there has taken a bad turn and he wants out.
V can't get through the mirror. He tries and he runs at it, but he can't get through. He can't escape where he is.
Like Icarus and his father couldn't escape Crete, and built wings in the hope to fly away.
With his new Wings, V believes that he can finally escape this world, not realising that he is becoming a madman in the process.
BLACK & WHITE
There is another theme running through the trailer, about the contrast and difference between black and white.
As we talked about before, there are two realms. The realm of good and the realm of evil. That's what the quote from 'Demian' that RM recites in BST tells us.
Now let's look at the choice of background colours for all the members in this trailer. They're mostly black or white.
J-Hope's is black. Suga's is black. Jimin's is black.
V's is white.
Jungkook's is mostly black but there is also a scene of him with a white background. Rap Monster's is white but turning black. Jin's is both black and white. Overall his room is black but at his back it is white.
Now what does this mean?
In Korea white clothing has come to represent the journey to the afterlife. It equals death.
Black, on the other hand, represents the darkness that comes after mastery has been achieved!
Jimin, J-Hope and Suga are seen with dark backgrounds because they have all mastered the world and opened their eyes to the truth of which world they find themselves in. And how to travel between the mirror worlds.
RM's and Jungkook's backgrounds are both black and white and they're beginning to realise what the others already have. The same for Jin. When he first saw the mirror in BST he began to realise what it meant and that was why his face cracked.
V is the only one with an all white background. V still thinks that he can escape with his new wings. He is so focused on that, that he can't see what's really happening and how Jin is the one controlling everything. How it is through Jin that they all come together and can act.
But wait... What is that black liquid that runs down the painting Jimin stands in front of and that Jungkook has on his fingers?
The first thought that springs to mind, once again connects this trailer to the past MVs.
This time it's the Japanese I Need U MV.
In this MV Rap Monster paints over his mirror with the saying "살아야 한다" (trans: Need to live/survive).
He paints over the mirror (and hence the portal to the other world) with black paint. That way he can't see through the mirror, and naturally that traps him in the evil world. This is why RM's mirrors break apart in his short film.
In this trailer the black paint that signifies choosing one world over the other comes into play and shows both Jimin and Jungkook choosing the world of evil and temptation. Or at least it shows then realising that they're stuck.
BUTTERFLY & BREAKING
We're nearly at the end and left are only two small points to talk about.
First: the mysterious scene with a butterfly on Suga's mouth. Suga is lost in the forest. As the saying goes: he can't see the forest for the trees.
I've talked about this scene in a previous theory, so I'll go over it quickly.
In Greek, the word Butterfly also means soul and it is said that when someone dies, their soul flows out of their mouth. In other words: when someone dies a butterfly comes out of their mouth!
There is no denying that these MVs all refer to death.
But who exactly is dead? Everyone but Jin?