Trigger Warning: This article or section has mature content, such as: Suicide and Depression Themes, Violence, view at your own risk.
Spoiler Alert: This article or section contains details about BTS Universe timelines. Do not proceed unless you wish to be spoiled.
The BTS Universe or Bangtan Universe (often shortened to BU) was initially known as The Most Beautiful Moment in Life Series, Hwa Yang Yeon Hwa Series or HYYH Series until the official name and logo were first used in 2017, is a South Korean media franchise and shared fictional universe that is centered on a series of music videos and short films, independently produced by Big Hit Entertainment and based on characters inspired by the members of BTS. The franchise has expanded to include short stories, books, a webtoon and a visual novel. In the future is planned to release a drama of the franchise.
On April 29, 2015, BTS began their second era with a mini album and "I Need U" serving as the album's title track. The music video for this track shows a story of the seven members in an alternate reality, depicting their anxieties and uncertainties as they confront their futures. Following this music video, multiple pieces of content were released in this era and in their third era. Due to the popularity of the fictional universe, Big Hit Entertainment named it the "BU", or "BTS Universe".
On June 29, 2017, the BTS Wings Concept Book, the first piece of BU content with the official BTS Universe logo, was released. In an interview from July 2017, RM explains the origin of their "I Need U" and "Run" music videos by saying: "Stars Wars came out tens of years ago, but a dad and his son still go to a theater to see [it]. It’s not just like a five-year or a ten-year thing, you know what I mean? Our company knew that and they always told us about how important it is to make a world like Star Wars or Marvel [did]." In August 2017, at the start of their fourth era, posters of the fictional characters were released. At the same time, the phrase "BU content certified by Big Hit Entertainment" was added to all music videos and short films that were part of the BU.
"Seven boys. Best friends. Their fates intertwined through the good times together, but also the tough times, as they have gone their separate ways and suffered greatly as a result. When all is almost lost for these boys, one is given a special chance to go back in time and help his friends fix the mistakes that led them down this path. He’ll do anything to save them, but can he? Or is he too late?" – Plot summary of the 花樣年華 Pt.0 <SAVE ME> webtoon.
On August 9, 2017, Jin posted on Twitter a selca featuring a bouquet of flowers and the word "Smeraldo", which is not an actual flower. However, the fans found Testesso, a fictional florist who is planning on opening a shop called Smeraldo Flower Shop.
Testesso has a Naver Blog about the Smeraldo Flowerand his shop, with different stories about the origin of the flower and his experiences with it. These stories were deleted and the BU logo was added to the blog on July 4, 2018. A few days later, the blog started to post the same stories as last year, but the eighth story changed and Seok-jin didn't pre-order the Smeraldo Flowers for the girl because he turned back the time.
Also, the Instagram account associated with the blog was deleted and re-opened on July 20, 2018, with content alike to previously uploaded and the Twitter account was private since August 2017, until the content was deleted and reupdated on July 2018.
As of July 6, 2020, all the content of the blog was deleted for the second time with posts slowly being reuploaded again on the same dates. However, the third story changes and gets uploaded on July 15, 2020 instead of July 17, 2020. In the previous versions, Testesso talks about how the flower was first discovered in real life. On the 2020 version, he talks about seeing a man with an umbrella stopping in front of the shop during the typhoon. Afterwards, the uploads proceed just as before.
*Don't confuse Jin, the vocalist of BTS with Seok-jin, the fictional character.
On July 30, 2020, the account started giving a poll, giving the fans the chance to decide what happens next.
On August 4, 2020, day 13 of the new set of Tweets, a new hashtag was added that seems to suggest promoting the upcoming BU video game as well.
The Notes 1
Would I be able to straighten out the errors and mistakes and save the others? I didn't grasp the depth and weight of this question. – Seok-jin, 2 May Year 22.
The car had just barely missed me. The remaining buzz of the alcohol all made me feel giddy. Then I realized I couldn't hear the piano anymore. – Yoon-gi, 7 April Year 22.
SeokJin just stood there on the edge of my sight. He didn't come closer or start talking. – Nam-joon, 11 April Year 22.
My phone rang. I came back to myself as if awakened from a long dream. I took out my phone. It was YoonGi. – Jung-kook, 11 April Year 22.
Mom handed me a chocolate bar. "HoSeok, close your eyes tight and don't open them until you count to ten." – Ho-seok, 23 July Year 10.
I lied for the first time today. I looked into the doctor's eyes and pretended to be depressed. "I can't remember anything." – Ji-min, 28 September Year 20.
The sheet caught fire and instantly flared up. My last sight of this world was this dirty, isolated room, the red-hot flames and rolling heat, and JungKook's twisted face. – Yoon-gi, 2 May Year 22.
My narcolepsy occurred anytime, anywhere. I always ended up having dreams about Mom when I blacked out. The dreams were all alike. I was heading somewhere with Mom on a bus. – Ho-seok, 10 May Year 22.
I wanted to kill myself instead of Dad. If I could, I wanted to drop dead right then and there. – Tae-hyung, 20 May Year 22.
"Run, JiMin." We all started running. I was caught up in the excitement and ran with them. The snacks and plastic soda bottles flew into the air. – Ji-min, 15 May Year 22.
At some point, we were all running along the coastal road. I was out of breath, sweaty, and had a splitting headache. But I didn't stop because they continued on. – Jung-kook, 22 May Year 22.
It was like the last scene in my dream. The only difference was that SeokJin was up there instead of me. – Tae-hyung, 22 May Year 22.
Several days ago, l'd been here and seen some graffit. I'd automatically looked around, but TaeHyung had been nowhere in sight. I stared at the graffiti painted all over the wall for a while. – Nam-joon, 13 July Year 22.
The bouquet of Smeraldo flowers fell from my hand. She was lying in the middle of the road. Dark red blood flowed down the road. – Seok-jin, 30 August Year 22.
I didn't tell anyone, but I felt on that long-ago day that I had finally found a real family. Real brothers. – Jung-kook, 22 May Year 22.
The Notes 2
The Smeraldo was trampled under my feet. And a time loop began again. – Seok-jin, 27 June Year 22.
Everyone must have their reason for wanting to be dead. And for wanting to be alive. Why did Jungkook feel like dying? And what did he live for? – Yoon-gi, 12 May Year 22.
At different moments, I was overcome with seething doubt and disbelief. And I asked myself: Do I believe TaeHyung? And the answer was always the same. – Nam-joon, 18 July Year 22.
Would I lose someone important to me again? I felt like tearing up. "Who is worried about who here? If you are really worried about me and feel sorry for me, please just stay alive. – Ho-seok, 11 May Year 22.
The dreams seemed to be demanding some kind of answer from me. As if they were telling me that there was a problem and I had to fix it. But I couldn't do a thing on my own. – Tae-hyung, 10 July Year 22.
If the seven of us could really become one, HoSeok would be like our guardian, always taking care of us. Be he wasn't really as carefree or outgoing in the inside as he seemed on the outside. – Ji-min, 14 June Year 22.
Why did they lie to me? – Jung-kook, 22 July Year 22.
I had a dream last night. My high school friends were in it, and terrible and vicious things happened in the dream. SeokJin was watching them without a change in his expression as the tragedies unfolded. I drew his sinister looking face and showed it to Namjoon.
"SeokJin is back."
NamJoon told me about how he met SeokJin. He also told me that SeokJin seemed changed.
A nightmare and the news of SeokJin for the first time in two years. Unable to dismiss it as a mere coincidence, I felt apprehensive. – 11 April Year 22.
Poll: A. I should ask for SeokJin's number (56,3 %)
B. I should go and see if the friends I saw in the dream were doing okay (43,7 %)
Result: #1 - A
"Do you know SeokJin's number?"
I asked NamJoon. I didn't know what I wanted to ask SeokJin, but I felt I should go see him. I called several times, but he wouldn't pick up. So I ended up going to his house. As I looked for him in the second-floor room with lights on, I saw a map on the wall. Among the places marked on the map, there was one I knew.
"That's YoonGi's workroom. – 11 April Year 22.
When JungKook and I went to see YoonGi a couple of days ago, we'd ended up making him mad at us. I was on my way to see him at his workroom, wondering if I could talk to him again, but even before I got there, I saw him walking out of his place. I called him, but he didn't hear me and disappeared around the corner.
In my dream, he was in a room that was ablaze. I had stolen his lighter from his room, but since he was a smoker, he should have another one by now. When I tried to follow after him, I saw a SUV driving slowly in his shadow. What is that car? Does that car have something to do with YoonGi and the fire? – 30 April Year 22.
Poll: A. YoonGi must've started the fire. I should follow him (74,3%)
B. YoonGi must've been killed by that suspicious SUV (25,7%)
Result: #2 - A
I was reminded of how angry YoonGi became a couple of days ago. Things still didn't look right with him. Pretending I hadn't seen the car, I followed him in a hurry. I saw the smoke rising from a motel in the distance. Was that the place I saw in my dream? As I was running toward the motel, I saw someone who looked very familiar. The person was SeokJin who was walking away after leaving something in front of the motel without a moment of hesitation as if he had planned the whole thing. – 30 April Year 22.
I came close to doing something terrible. To my dad who was beating up me and my sister... If HoSeok hadn't stopped me, I would be in jail now. HoSeok said he was there to ask me if I would go on a trip to the sea which was SeokJin's suggestion. But I didn't think SeokJin contacted us because he really wanted to go on a trip to the beach. I was certain that SeokJin knew something about us or something we didn't know. It was SeokJin who showed up in front of the motel YoonGi was at and made JungKook go into the building. Would I be able to talk to SeokJin if I go on that trip to the sea? – 21 May Year 22.
We all got together for the first time in a long while because of the trip to the sea.
When we said we wanted to take a picture together, SeokJin shook his head.
I was the only one who saw him crumpling up a picture the six of us took together. Did we mean nothing to him now? I picked up the crumpled-up picture. And I followed SeokJin who was going up to the observatory alone.
For some reason, the wind at the observatory felt familiar. I could've seen this in a dream. Seeing SeokJin's cold face, I felt like tearing up. I decided to... – 22 May Year 22.
Poll: A. Ask if SeokJin was helping us (67,7%)
B. Ask if SeokJin was behind everything that had happened so far (32,3%)
Result: #3 - A
"I know you're helping us. I don't know how. I can't explain it."
I went on and on about awful things that nearly happened to us and how mysterious coincidences took place right before those horrible events to prevent them from happening. SeokJin pushed me away and said,
"I don't need anyone's help, and I don't help anyone." – 22 May Year 22.
There was a sudden sand storm which continued for several minutes. We reeled as if we were about to fall from the observatory. When the sand storm subsided, SeokJin left without a word to us.
HoSeok asked me if something had happened, but I had no answer. I felt frustrated and sad. What should I do? I should... – 22 May Year 22.
Poll: A. Follow SeokJin (62,2%)
B. Take care of the other friends (37,8%)
Result: #4 - A
I couldn't end the conversation there. SeokJin! SeokJin! I tried to stop him, but he left without looking back. He drove his car and left us just like that. I felt nonplussed. I didn't get to hear anything from him. But there were some things I found out. He couldn't remember what we used to be. And there were moments when he looked as if he was in pain. Maybe... he needed our help. – 22 May Year 22.
We found out very late that JungKook got into a car accident on the way back from our trip to the sea. He'd gotten hurt on the day we were all together, and I felt horrible that I found out about it so late. On top of everything, it was a hit-and-run, so they still didn't know who did it. And JungKook couldn't remember a thing.
When I was sitting by his hospital bed side and watching over JungKook, I felt someone was outside. It was strange because it was late at night and the visiting hours were over. Maybe it was the hit-and-run guy. He almost killed someone, so he came to see if JungKook remembered anything. I should... – 13 June Year 22.
Poll: A. Go out and see who the person was (53,8%)
B. Stay with JungKook to keep him safe (46,2%)
Result: #5 - A
I banged open the door and rushed out. There was no one there. But I saw someone's back as he ran behind the corner. Was it my imagination, or did I see SeokJin? Did SeokJin also come to check on JungKook? Then why didn't he come in? – 13 June Year 22.
There were five of us in the chatroom to which JiMin invited us out of the blue, everyone except SeokJin and JungKook.
"Do you know what the map of the soul is?"
We were puzzled, but when SeokJin's name was mentioned, we all became serious. JiMin said he went to the hospital and saw SeokJin there. JiMin said SeokJin asked a doctor about the map of the soul. Hearing that, NamJoon spoke as if he had suddenly remembered something.
"You know he also asked me about that several days ago. He said he had to find that in order to end everything."
JiMin said he heard of it before somewhere. I didn't know what the map of the soul was, but it must be something important if SeokJin was going out of his way looking for it. But what was it that he had to end?
"Why are we going on and on about it when we can just ask him?"
YoonGi was right. But we also knew that SeokJin was unlikely to tell us even if we were to ask. If this was the way to help him, I should... – 23 June Year 22.
Poll: A. Find out about the map of the soul (59,6%)
B. Look for a person who might know about the map of the soul (40,4%)
Result: #6 - A
First, we need to find out what the map of the soul was in order to figure out where it would be and how we could find it. NamJoon said it sounded like an academic term, so he would search for it at a library. I said I would go with him. But I got a call from NamJoon when I was on my way to the library to meet him. A person working at the gas station became sick all of sudden, and they needed NamJoon to cover for him. When we decided to meet up again tomorrow and I returned home, I saw my dad drinking. Seeing that, I turned around and walked out of the house. I could sleep at NamJoon's container and go to the library with him tomorrow. I didn't want to be by my dad's side... when he was drinking. – 23 June Year 22.
I had the nightmare again. I watched as NamJoon was dying in the burning container. And I also saw SeokJin watching the whole thing with his soulless eyes.
Does my nightmare have anything to do with SeokJin being so changed? How long will this nightmare continue? The map of the soul... SeokJin said he needed to find it in order to end everything. His suffering and my nightmare... Can we end everything if we find the map of the soul? – 10 July Year 22.
TXT Universe: The TU or +U started on January 11, 2019, is a shared universe that included in music videos and photocards, also produced by Big Hit Entertainment. Similarly to the BU, it is based on characters inspired by the members of TXT. Although the BU and the TU are different universes, the fictional cat-like creature with one blue eye and one green eye who meets Seok-jin at the beach, Jung-kook after his accident and Yeon-jun in several places seems to exist in both universes but isn't confirmed to be the same creature.
GFriend's Fictional Universe: In July 2019, Big Hit Entertainment has acquired Source Music an entertainment company, who manages the girl group GFriend, making the group part of the multi-label organization, Big Hit Labels. On the corporate briefing of the second half of 2019, Bang Si-hyuk said "Storytelling will be expanded in stages to include artists in our multi-label organization." The short film A Tale of the Glass Bead : Previous Story was released explaining the GFriend music videos storytelling, but so far is not established as an official universe.
YOUTH: Initially known as Blue Sky (푸른 하늘), is an upcoming drama based on the BU, Big Hit Entertainment along with Chorokbaem Media are currently developing the drama with Kim Jae Hong as producing director and Kim Soo Jin as a scriptwriter, the drama is expected to be released in 2021. This drama will tell the story of seven boys who meet for the first time within the BU. As it will be based on when the characters were younger, the members will not personally act in the drama and will be casting rookie actors instead. The filming is reportedly scheduled to begin in September of 2020.
Upcoming Animation: In August 2019, Bang Si-hyuk menciones an animation as future project for the BU in the Big Hit Corporate Briefing with the Community. The project status is unknown.
Upcoming 3D CG Movie: In August 2019, Bang Si-hyuk menciones a 3D CG movie as future project for the BU in the Big Hit Corporate Briefing with the Community. The project status is unknown.
The short film 화양연화 on stage : prologue was originally released on September 8, 2015, but was deleted and re-uploaded on September 16, 2015, and Seok-jin's post-credit scene was removed.
In the scene, Seok-jin is in his car, then opens his glove box and pulls out his polaroid with Yoon-gi; however, when he sees it, him is the only one in the picture, with Yoon-gi mysteriously absent from the picture. At the end of the scene, it is hinted that the car is floating on the sea.
The sculptures Venus de Milo,Laocoön and His Sons (only Laocoön's bust), Livia attired as the goddess Ops,Crouching Venus,Perseus with the Head of Medusa,Ares Borghese,Pietà, and the painting The Lament for Icarus by Herbert James Draper appears in "Blood Sweat & Tears" music video.
"Blood Sweat & Tears" music video uses a lot of objects and elements of the book Demian by Hermann Hesse.
The quote "'Magic Shop' is a psychodramatic technique that exchanges fear for a positive attitude." in 'FAKE LOVE' Official Teaser 1 is a reference to the book Into the Magic Shop by James Doty.
Note: "To-be-confirmed actor/actress" was added due the upcoming drama adaptation, maybe not all will be appear in the drama. Only was added to the characters existent before of Year 13 in the BU timeline due the drama will be placed when they are younger.