Sunday, 19 October 2014

Nine: Nine Time Travels 2013 - The Ending

In a previous post about TvN dramas, I said that "Nine: Nine Time Travels" is one of my top 3 favourite TvN dramas, and one of the best Korean dramas I've watched in the past 2-3 years. The ending left many baffled, so I am going to give my interpretation of it here.

I shall attempt to answer 2 questions now.
(1) Is Sun-woo going to die?
(2) What is the last scene with Sun-woo and his brother, Jung-woo, on the mountains of Nepal about?

(1) Is Sun-woo going to die?

Korean drama

My answer is no. The reason is simple. Sun-woo Senior died because he went back to the past. But Sun-woo Junior will not be able to do that because all the incense sticks have been used up. In episode 16, when the bad guy tries to light the incense stick that Sun-woo used up, it disappears. If Junior doesn't go back to the past, he will not die there like Senior did.

As seen in previous episodes, the present will change when something in the past changes. Using Jung-woo as an example, he lived "life A" for 20 years. When the past changed, "life A" will not happen and he lives "life B" for 20 years. However, he has memories of "life A" because he did experienced it once (something like a dream).

So Senior will "come back to life" in 2013. Then there will only be one Sun-woo. Senior's life a.k.a "life A" (in which he is dead from 2013 to 2033) will not happen. Only Junior's life a.k.a "life B" will happen. But Sun-woo will regain memories of "life A" because he experienced it once.

(2) What is the last scene with Sun-woo and Jung-woo on the mountains of Nepal about?

Korean drama,

The show could have ended at the point Junior boards the plane and everything will make sense. But no, the scriptwriters have to add the last scene. Here's my take on it.

Under normal circumstances, Senior will come back to life in 2013, there will only be one Sun-woo.

However, the circumstances are not normal here. Why? Because Senior is stuck in the past and cannot come back to the present. He did not die in 2013 but in 1993.

So when 38 year old Junior is still alive in 2013, 38 year old Senior comes back alive in 1993. He will have to live another 20 years, before "life A" becomes just a memory in 2013.

In the last scene, Sun-woo looks old. That's because he is 58 year old Senior. Some things never change and he is worried that Jung-woo will die in Nepal again, so he hangs around to save him.

One illogical loophole

There is just 1 thing that doesn't make sense to me. Why is it that just because Junior knows that Senior has a brain tumor that the tumor miraculously disappears? It would have made sense if the scriptwriters had written it this way: Junior goes for regular check-ups, finds the tumor in its early stage and removes it.

Well, I guess nothing is perfect. 


  1. Nice article. Please also check out my version of the story:

    Here I explain my interpretation of the nine nine times time travel ending. Enjoy it!

  2. In fact the whole drama doesnt make sense.
    okay i have forgotten
    it is a DRAMA
    we are all over thinking .

  3. Hello , I just finished re-watching "nine: nine times time travel "and i found your interpretation of the end and i agree with it 100%. As much as i didn't like that last scene the first time i watch it when the drama was airing , i like it now more since the last episode recounted the new life B that the audience didn't see , it make more sense that they showed the full cycle and end the drama like it started .
    About that one illogical loophole , it got explained when sun woo got back to life after the failed surgery , the flashback explained that junior went for regular check-ups since 2007. And when he still suffered the headaches, his sunbae told him to go to the hospital to check he told him that he already suffered from it 2 years ago which mean he found the tumor in its early stage and removed it .

  4. Hi, i also love to watch drama. I just started to watch this drama. It seems really nice though i only watch 3 episodes. I am watching Oh my ghostess too. This is a pretty cute ghost drama. You should watch it if you have not.
    Anyway nice reviews! Keep it up! :)

  5. To me, the last scene is just to show the choice of the grown up young Sun-woo.

    The logic:
    1. The existence of the present is based on the actions in the past. Therefore, a change in the past will change the outcome of the present.

    2. The existence of the future is based on the actions of the present so the choice of the present will affect the future.

    The Facts:
    1. The old Sun-woo's present universe was 2013 and he chose to go back to 1993 and altered the past so Sun-woo's present universe got altered based on the logic above. Similarly, base on the logic above, the old Sun-woo of 2013 died in 1993 so old Sun-woo ceased to exist afterward - this was the result which all the entities in the old Sun-woo universe would come across.

    2. The young Sun-woo's universe was 1993 and onward. However, young Sun-woo also got some knowledge about the future like his brain tumor and his death.

    3. There are 9 incense sticks and each incense stick allows one to travel one time back 20 years to the past and return to the present except the last stick which does not bring the user back to the present.

    My conclusion:
    1. Young Sun-woo of 1993 will get his own set of incense sticks with reference to his universe in 2013.

    2. Young Sun-woo got the future knowledge that he might die if he altered the events in 1993; therefore, young Sun-woo chose not to alter the events in 1993, instead he chose to alter the event in 2013 when he reached 2033 - that is why the last scene comes in. The older look of Sun-woo in the last scene was actually the young sun-woo reached 2033.

    Will young Sun-woo die in 2033 after altering the event in 2013? Who knows as this will be another story but the story of old Sun-woo was concluded - old Sun-woo died in 1993 and cease to exist from 2013 onward.

    1. I totally agree. Your explanation makes some sense to me.

  6. out of all assumptions and conclusions, the one from Scorpio EDC is perfectly satisfy my curiosity .. .. it's concluded! :D

    Thanks scorpio...

  7. Why not a simpler explanation? Soon-Woo gets to get older. His brother keeps visiting Nepal and in one of those visits the older Soon-Woo is also there. Soon-Woo finds his brother right in time before the next avalanche. It is a way for the writer to tell us that Soon-Woo keeps living.

  8. Hey Guys, nice article. I just finished watching... And I guess we're all the same.. Run to the internet to know the truth. Here ir comes my appointment. In the last dinner, Soon-Woo and his brother, was talking about the travel, and in that scene, in the chair was that same jacket that showed when he died on the ice mountain. So the extra credit may be the first Soon-Woo, that fake dead, and lived 20 years in the past because he was stuck there, and saved his brother's life, that he originally couldn't in the beginning. He became a error in the past line that make him chose and be what he became,a loop. That extra scene get me crazy to think on the possibility. His brother still wants to go back in the past and change the death of his father.