After months of waiting and theorizing, BTS’ new album name has finally been released, and with it, the ARMY has already thrown themselves into decoding BTS’ MAP OF THE SOUL: 7 meaning. If you know anything about the K-Pop group’s fanbase—or if you’re an ARMY yourself—then you should already expect that the theories are plenty. Some of them are pretty out there, but we’ve gathered several of the most common readings here for you to make your own informed interpretation.
A few months ago, fans were certain after the BTS “Persona” comeback trailer that Map of the Soul: Persona was part of a trilogy, much like the Love Yourself albums of 2017 and 2018. In the trailer, we saw words like “Persona,” “Shadow,” and “Ego written on a chalkboard—in that order—so fans only assumed that “Shadow” is next up in the list. Add this to the fact that BTS’ Map of the Soul series is based on psychologist Carl Jung’s ideas of Persona, Shadow, and Ego, ARMYs were certain that this new album would follow suit. But instead, we got a number: 7. What are we supposed to do with that?
Well, like the debate over whether BTS’ new album would follow suit in the Persona series as either Shadow or Ego, today’s argument over what the number 7 is supposed to mean has plenty of ARMYs passionate and confused. Some are convinced that 7 is still a reference to the word Ego:
“Seven is pronounced as ego in korean so in conclusion we are getting MAP OF THE SOUL: Ego AHAHJSJSKSK,” wrote one Twitter user. Another tweeted, “seven in hangul is “일곱“ which pronounced as “ilgob”(ego) so it’s actually ego wtf.” Yet others have pointed out that this might not be all too accurate. Twitter user @kimmee82 explains:
“Low key annoyed with all the 7 in Korean is ego tweets because it’s not….seven in Korean is chil (칠)-Sino- or ilgop (일곱 – pronounced more like ill-gohp)-native- also native Korean numbers are for counting so it would be chil.”
If we’re going by that, then Ego still might not be quite right. Meanwhile, others are convinced that 7 is simply symbolic of the seven members in BTS, their upcoming anniversary, or another one of Carl Jung’s works titled Seven Sermons to the Dead:
While we can’t confirm that any of these interpretations are 100% right, there is one thing for certain: MOTS 7 is dropping on Feb. 21, so we’ll have to stay tuned to see if any of these meanings will be confirmed then.