On June 26, BTS released their “Stay Gold” music video for their Japanese album, MAP OF THE SOUL: 7 ~ THE JOURNEY. This beautiful MV is full of small but meaningful details that are inspiring new theories and reviving old ones. Here are 20+ things you might have missed the first time around!
1. This hallway
The video begins with Jungkook approaching the end of a hallway that looks strikingly similar to the one he ran down in the “Fake Love” MV. All around him, wreckage from his members’ solo sets can be seen.
2. This window
After Jungkook reaches the end of the hallway, he looks out a window that calls to mind the window from “Fake Love” MV.
Here Jin opens and closes the curtain on Jungkook, who is on the outside looking in.
3. Suga’s rebirth
This room could be a revival of Suga‘s set from “Fake Love” MV. In that music video, Suga sat on a wood chair much like the one in “Stay Gold” MV.
The room in “Fake Love” MV goes up in flames…
…but this new room shows rebirth. The scorch marks on the wall and empty water buckets suggest that someone put the fire out before the room could be consumed. Now a tree, symbolic of new life and a fresh start, is growing out of the ashes.
4. Jin’s mattress
The mattress Jin is floating on could be referencing the one from the on stage: prologue video that V wakes up on, or the one Jungkook is lying on in “Blood, Sweat & Tears” (Japanese) MV.
5. RM’s imprisonment
Many moments in this video are reminding fans of BTS’s LOVE YOURSELF and WINGS eras. This scene where RM is trapped inside an elevator calls to mind the locked up phone booth from his “Reflection” short film…
…and his jail time in the Save Me webtoon.
6. The bus
The bus here is taking fans all the way back to 2013. In BTS’s debut music video for “No More Dream”, the members arrived by bus to take over the K-Pop world.
7. The match
The moment when V strikes a match is reminding fans of the scene where Jungkook struck one in the “Spring Day” MV.
— taekook 🐾 (@flirtaeguk) June 26, 2020
8. The golden retriever
At the end of March, Jimin and RM made friends with golden doggos. One of the dogs in Jimin’s photos might very well be the dog in “Stay Gold” MV.
9. Possible references to The Outsiders book by S.E. Hinton
BTS’s “Stay Gold” might have been inspired by the book that made the phrase “stay gold” famous. The Outsiders is about a group of misfits who are more like family than friends.
Two of them (Ponyboy and Johnny) go on the run after Johnny kills a boy to save Ponyboy’s life. They hide out in an old, abandoned building (a church)…
…where they pass the time by reading Gone With the Wind.
After the church is accidentally set on fire (spoiler alert)…
…Johnny dies from injuries he received while rescuing the children trapped inside the building. Before he dies, he tells Ponyboy to “stay gold”.
10. Jin’s book and the butterfly confetti
Jin is reading A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a comedy about fairies meddling with human lovers, by William Shakespeare.
The butterfly confetti could be hinting at fairy magic or butterfly motifs from BTS’s previous works.
Later on in the video, what could be gold fairy dust can be seen floating through the set. It leads the members to a beautiful, golden land.
11. V’s photo of Jimin
V’s artistic photo of Jimin, shared on Weverse, was snapped on the set of “Stay Gold”.
12. This throwback to Jungkook’s solo scene in “I NEED U” MV
— Jeon Jungkook Brazil⁷ (@JeonJungkook_BR) June 26, 2020
13. Jungkook’s outfit
Fans have pointed out how similar Jungkook’s clothes are to his clothes from “Fake Love” MV. In general, the members’ outfits appear to mix aesthetics from their HYYH and LOVE YOURSELF eras.
14. This hint at Jin’s solo song “Moon”
— jin files⁷ (@seokjinfile) June 26, 2020
15. These beaded friendship bracelets
— ⟭⟬ omer meroz⁷ ⟬⟭ (@omermeroz) June 26, 2020
16. J-Hope’s kitchen
Details from the crumbling kitchen in “Stay Gold” MV may remind some viewers of the kitchen from the Japanese “Blood, Sweat & Tears” MV.
17. The locked door
In the “Fake Love” MV, Jungkook can be seen through the keyhole in J-Hope’s door. J-Hope was unable to escape the room…
…but the golden light (of the Golden Maknae?) shining through the doorknob in “Stay Gold” MV suggests that J-Hope is being freed this time.
18. Suga’s scooter
During his trainee days, Suga injured his shoulder in a motorcycle accident while working a part-time delivery job. Some fans theorize that this shot of Suga happily leaning on a scooter represents him overcoming his accident and the pain it caused him.
His accident has previously been referenced the videos for “Interlude: Shadow” MV and “We Are Bulletproof: The Eternal” MV.
19. RM leading BTS to paradise
In “Stay Gold” MV, RM leads his members to a golden land of flowers of happiness. Just like in real life, he has guided them through good times and bad as their group’s leader.
The above scene calls to mind the ending from “ON” MV, where BTS leads BTS out of their dystopian land to a bright, new future.
20. “Spring Day” blooming
ARMYs adore “Spring Day”, and so do BTS’s creative directors! This flowering tree alludes to the one from “Spring Day”.
21. “I Purple You”
V lovingly touches the “Spring Day” tree, which is covered with purple moss. This tree, the paradise’s source of magic and life, could represent ARMY.