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Treasure Ep. FIN: All to Action

Updated: Feb 5, 2023

Wonderland

What we know so far: Ateez has gathered as friends to form a group of anarchist pirates who will come if called and have started on a journey towards a treasure that might be a new world/utopia. There is also another group, Halateez, who may be either an alternative dark side of Ateez or doppelgängers from a future parallel world. Ateez gets pulled into an illusion where they believe they are still on their quest and either their subconsious or Halateez themselves are begging to be set free from it. Once they wake, Hongjoong has a compass to guide them through their trials and they know that even though it will be hard, they won't need to worry becuase they have eachother to lean on.


We have arrived at Ateez's battle hymn, and still on of my favorite songs of theirs, Wonderland!!


Let's see what our favorite theorists have to say about this comeback, starting with Bookish Theories:

My Takeaways

  • The music video is based on Alice in Wonderland with each Ateez member representing a different character in the story. Hongjoong as the white rabbit, Seonghwa as the red queen, Yunho as the caterpillar, Wooyoung as the jabberwocky, San as Alice, Jongho as the Cheshire Cat, Mingi as the mad hatter, and Yeosang as the white roses painted red.

  • Wonderland represents both a land of wonders (utopia) and a land of nonsense

  • The music video is about the two sides of Ateez coming together, represented by the flags turning from all black to black and white

  • Since everything is nonsense, the focus is on Ateez' journey towards the Door of Truth which is the final step of their success

  • Yunho’s shadow duplicates at the end representing Ateez and Halateez having duel control

15Kim's take on things:

My Takeaways

  • Protagonists in this music video are Halateez not Ateez

  • Wonderland characters are Ateez

  • Uniform characters are Halateez

  • Doppelgängers are in command in another dystopian universe

  • Masks are worn to hide their identities

  • Wonderland is Halateez's universe so there is no need to hide their faces and they can appear in their uniforms

  • The dystopian universe Ateez sees is risky and there is no happiness there

The picture 15Kim used in her video of Ateez in uniform with the beaded masks was interesting to me so I looked around YouTube until I found out where it came from. They actually used it in their Wonderland comeback VCR for MNET. (I typically show clips of videos that speak directly to what I am talking about in my blog post but I didn't feel right about cliping out Ateez's Wonderland performance so feel free to watch it or not after you see their VCR).

My Takeaways

  • Ateez members are walking through mannequins which reminded me of the scene in Say My Name where Hongjoong walks through the black robed people. In both scenes, Ateez members are the only ones moving which could mean they are the only ones aware of what is going on.

  • "Open your eyes" from Treasure Ep. 3 is said. This could be a way of asking us as viewers to open our eyes and pay attention to them or as a way signalize Ateez being aware.

  • The phrases, "The End of the Beginning" and "The Beginning of the End" are used. This could symbolize Wonderland's placement in the Treasure series storyline. It both ends their beginning (the first three episodes) and begins the end (this episode and the answer episode) but if you take it in the context of the song lyrics, it could have a different meaning.

"Even if it explodes; I don’t care now; This place right now is; The beginning of the end; The door of truth is opening in front of us; Like destroying it we on fire.
Are you going to stop here? What you've longed for is right in front of you oh; Although we can’t come back; Oh, we must going on.
Breaking the wall, woh (Woh); Someone (Someone); Has to go through (Has to go through); It’s not easy; But that’s why we like it.
On my-my way Everyone keeps pace (Ehh; Eh); On my-my way Run after counting one, two (Ehh; Run, run); On my-my way Make our own path (Ehh); Hurry up, hurry up; To the beginning where the end awaits; Let’s go.
  • It sounds like they found what they have longed for, which might be some truth they were searching for. They can't stop now that they have found it and have to keep going. The problem is that they have to break down barriers in order to do that and what they are attempting to do isn't going to be easy. They have to make their own path to do it as they run to the beginning where the end awaits. The line, "to the beginning where the end awaits" sounds ominous to me. Are they running towards their end? Is anyone else getting a Harry Potter walking towards his final confrontation with Voldemort feel from this line? Is that why this is a battle hymn, they are getting ready to fight some "big baddy"? I'm not sure yet but it has that feeling for some reason.

  • An infinity symbol is placed over the compass rose. Here is what I found out about the compass rose, "The Compass Rose:Not all who wander are lost.” The traditional Compass Rose, sometimes know as the “Wind Rose,” is a star shaped symbol that points North/South/East/West and directions in between. First uses of this symbol date back to the ancient Greeks and have been depicted with as few as 4 to as many as 32 points. It is found on all nautical charts and serve as a navigation tool for mariners. Symbolically, the Compass Rose represents direction, awakening and discovery. The 4 main “winds” of the rose represent infinite possibility, the present, the past and the future."

  • Seonghwa is the one who removes his mask, just like in Say My Name, indicating he plays an important role in the plot related to Halateez

Hints From the Making of Video: Wonderland

  • Yunho is asked what scene he filmed and he said, “Something like I’m controlling members in front of the tv? I think we filmed as if it feel like I led members”. He is talking about him at the "caterpillar" set. Why is Yunho meant to be controlling the members? If that is the case, what is up with the smoke in the tv images?

  • They asked Hongjoong to introduce the music video. He said this: “Wonderland is Ateez, who is waiting the ending in front of new beginning, looks back on the reason why they started this journey and think, “let’s go forward together.” It has ambition like that.” What does that mean? That doesn’t really connect to either of Bookish Theories' or 15Kim's theories, unless he is talking about journeying to the place where they can meet Halateez?? Also the grammar is weird so I think the subtitlest got something wrong but as I can’t speak Korean, this is all I have to go by.

Now for the subject of this post, Wonderland:


Final Thoughts


Wonderland is not only a take on Alice in Wonderland (the "layer 1" imagery here is strong), but a story of Ateez gearing up for a battle and the beginning of Ateez and Halateez possibly coming together (or at least journeying to meet each other through the Door of Truth - this is still a little unclear to me). We may have caught a glimpse into Halateez's universe that 15Kim considers as a dystopian universe that Ateez sees and it is a risky place without happiness. Halateez unmask themselves in this comeback either because they are comfortable in their own environment or Ateez is coming together with them. They are looking back on the reason for their journey thus far and decide to go forward together. They also seem more aware of their surroundings than the others around them based on the VCR before their comeback stage and the compass rose they are dancing on which represents direction, awakening, and discovery.

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