BTS’s “Shadow” And “Persona” Trailers: Here’s How They Connect

These theories might hurt your brain, but it’s worth it.

Last year, BTS released the “Intro: Persona” comeback trailer, starring RM. This video introduced fans to BTS’s album concept for MAP OF THE SOUL: Persona, which draws heavily on Carl Jung‘s psychology theories.

“Intro: Persona’s” spiritual sequel, “Interlude: Shadow”, expands on these Jungian themes, and more. Here are some examples of how the trailers connect!


1. Who am I? You are me. I am you.

It’s fitting that “Interlude: Shadow” rises out of “Intro: Persona” because the same thing happens in the mind, according to Carl Jung.


In Jungian psychology, the persona and shadow are intimately connected. The individuation process necessary for growth begins with the dissolution of the persona and a descent into one’s own darkness, the shadow.


According to Jung, “the more consciousness gains in clarity, the more monarchic becomes its content…the king constantly needs the renewal that begins with a descent into his own darkness.” In other words, to become your true self, you have to abandon your persona (the mask you have crafted for the world)  and face your dark side.


During the individuation process, however, there’s a risk of falling victim to the shadow. The shadow is instinctive, irrational, and has the tendency to project a perceived flaw in one’s self onto other people. These projections can create a harmful “veil of illusion” between the ego and the real world.


“Interlude: Shadow” explores the relationship between the shadow and ego, but in the end, Suga doesn’t fall victim to his darkness; he embraces it as part of who he is, but not all of who he is.


It’s the answer to the question RM posed in “Intro: Persona”: Who am I?


2. The intros

Both trailers take ARMY back in time to BTS’s rookie days. “Intro: Persona” samples from “Intro: Skool Luv Affair” the first track on BTS’s 2014 album, Skool Luv Affair.


In its intro, “Interlude: Shadow” samples from “Intro: O!RUL8,2?”, the first track on BTS’s 2013 EP, O! RUL8,2?. 


3. The graphics

“Intro: Persona” opens with these graphics…


…that pay homage to the 2014 comeback trailer for Skool Luv Affair.


Throughout the video, “Interlude: Shadow” makes several references to BTS’s 2013 EP, O!RUL8,2? by using a graffiti graphic style similar to the one we see in the “Intro: Persona” video.


4. Chalkboards

“Intro: Persona” features a chalkboard that is similar to the one seen in the first teaser for BTS’s debut MV, “No More Dream”.


The difference, however, is that the writing on RM‘s chalkboard is all about Carl Jung and psychology.


“Interlude: Shadow” continues the chalkboard trend with these chalk scribbles.


5. To fly or not to fly?

“Intro: Persona” has much to do with discovering who you are not just to yourself, but to society. RM raps about spreading his wings and making his place in the world.


“Interlude: Shadow”, on the other hand, is about a private, inner battle. Suga’s rap is less optimistic, dealing with doubts and fears that may not be expressed aloud to other people.


6. What’s your dream?

RM (the persona) asked all parts of himself this question, including his shadow.


Suga (the shadow) answered by expressing his truest, deepest desires.


7. Mirrors

In psychology, the “mirror stage” describes how the Ego is formed through the process of identification. Mirrors are highly associated with how you perceive yourself and how the world perceives you.


RM and Suga both have mirrored selves in their videos, but Suga’s is fractured. In this sense, RM is the polished persona, who is seen by the world as multifaceted but flawless. Suga, the shadow, is where flaws and imperfections happen in order to create a new, improved self.


8. A change in perspective

RM and Suga have similar boxes in their videos that could represent a soapbox (something that provides an opportunity for someone to express their views publicly) or a pedestal. RM’s is shot from above…


…and Suga’s is shot from both below and inside/above.