The BTS Universe. This complex web of ARMY lore and theories can seem intimidating, especially for new fans who are trying to catch up. So, here’s a helpful beginner’s guide to help you figure it out!
1. What is the difference between the BTS Universe and the HYYH era?
The BTS Universe (BU) began as a series of music videos and fan theories from 2015 that expanded over time. The BU is ongoing, but its backbone is The Most Beautiful Moment in Life era, or “Hwa Yang Yeon Hwa” (HYYH). The official name “BTS Universe” wasn’t given until 2017.
2. Which music videos are part of the BU storyline?
The best way to get into the BU is to start at the beginning and watch the MVs chronologically. “I NEED U” MV is the first video officially in the BU. The other videos are, in order: “RUN” (Korean), “I NEED U” (Japanese), “RUN” (Japanese), “EPILOGUE : Young Forever”, all 7 WINGS short films, the LOVE YOURSELF highlight reels, “Euphoria”, “FAKE LOVE” (teasers and MV), “FAKE LOVE” (extended MV), “Epiphany”.
“Boy With Luv”, “Lights”, and “Heartbeat” are not part of the BU, but new videos may still be added.
3. BU companion books, etc.
The BTS Universe has now expanded beyond MVs to other media. Here’s what you should read/watch to delve deeper into the BU. BTS WINGS concept photo book, The Notes 1 (book), Save Me (webtoon), and the untitled, upcoming K-Drama. BTS’s second game (currently in development) also connects to the BU.
4. BTS WORLD vs BTS Universe
BTS’s first mobile game BTS WORLD is not connected to the BU. It takes place in an entirely separate alternate reality.
5. Key symbols
The BU has a ton of imagery and metaphors that tie into fan theories. Two of the most important, frequently repeated symbols in the BU are the smeraldo flower (a flower that only exists in the BU) and butterflies/wings. Each member also has symbols that tie into their storyline, like Suga‘s piano.
6. Key events
In the BU, the same events happened over and over again, but in different ways. In Save Me, the reasons for this was confirmed: Jin is a time traveler. Each member has at least one key event that is repeated throughout the BU MVs. For example, Jimin’s association with water/drowning.
7. Other characters in the BTS Universe
BTS are the main characters, but several others influence the story on and off screen. Some of these characters include the love interests from the LOVE YOURSELF highlight reels and BTS’s fictional parents.