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What Are the Wallfacers in 3 Body Problem?

What Are the Wallfacers in 3 Body Problem?


  • 3 Body Problem ranks as the second most-watched series on Netflix in North America and the U.K.
  • The ambitious sci-fi show follows Ye Wenjie’s contact with aliens during China’s Cultural Revolution.
  • The creators hope to expand the universe of 3 Body Problem in future seasons, focusing on the powerful Wallfacers.

Based on the award-winning sci-fi novel series Remembrance of Earth’s Past by Liu Cixin, 3 Body Problem remains one of the most-watched new Netflix Original Series in the U.S. and abroad. The ambitious tale concerns Ye Winjie (Rosalind Chao), a Chinese astrophysicist who contacts a mysterious alien entity via satellite communication during the country’s Cultural Revolution. Ye’s actions lead to a harrowing alien invasion on Earth, prompting intervention from a mysterious group called the Wallfacers.

3 Body Problem currently ranks as the second most-watched TV show on Netflix in North America and the U.K. Although the popular series has yet to be renewed, creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss (Game of Thrones), and Alexander Woo (True Blood) have planned to expand the universe and begun writing new story ideas. If 3 Body Problem does get renewed by Netflix, the next chapter will almost certainly involve the Wallfacers, a protective foursome that wields more power than most fans know. Here’s everything to know about the Wallfacers in 3 Body Problem.

3 Body Problem

3 Body Problem


Release Date
March 21, 2024

Saamer Usmani with Shailene Woodley , Marlo Kelly , Jess Hong , Jovan Adepo , Rosalind Chao

What Is the Main Conflict in 3 Body Problem?

3 Body Problemis adapted from the first novel of the same name in Cixin’s Remembrance of Earth’s Past trilogy. Set during China’s Cultural Revolution between 1966 and 1976, the story follows Ye Wenjie, a brilliant astrophysicist traumatized by witnessing the brutal death of her father when she was younger. Due to her scientific acumen, Ye was recruited by the Chinese military and forced to work on satellite communications. Ye makes contact with a mysterious extraterrestrial presence via satellite and her decisions ultimately lead to an Earthly invasion.

Apart from telling Ye’s personal and professional story, 3 Body Problem refers to an astrophysical dilemma relating to orbital mechanics. In basic scientific terms, the 3 Body Problem refers to the motion of three particles orbiting one center of mass. In the TV series, the 3 Body Problem refers to Trisolaris (Three Suns), a planet that revolves around an unstable three-star system. The inhabitants of Trisolaris are called Trisolarans, an alien race that faces an existential threat due to its planet’s precarious position in the cosmos. Although Season 1 of the popular Netflix sci-fi show mostly follows the first book in Cixin’s trilogy, the plan is to expand 3 Body Problem across the entire trilogy if Netflix gives the showrunners more seasons.


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Who Are the Wallfacers in 3 Body Problem?

In 3 Body Problem, Ye makes a decision that eventually results in the Trisolarans invading Earth. To prevent the incursion, the United Nations Planetary Defense Council (PDC) proposes and passes a plan called the UN Wallfacer Act. In the novels, the term Wallfacer refers to four appointed individuals assigned to enforce the Wallfacer Act on behalf of the PDC. The policy’s primary objective is to stop the Trisolaran (San-Ti) invasion of Earth 400 years before it occurs. Wallfacers also derive their name from ancient Eastern monks meditating in silence. In the show, Wallfacers telepathically communicate their plans secretly in honor of their moniker.

In Cixin’s trilogy, Wallfacers are introduced in Book 2, The Dark Forest. The four Wallfacers include former U.S. Defense Secretary Frederick Tyler, former Venezuelan President Manuel Rey Diaz, Astronomer Luo Ji, and Nobel Prize-winning neuroscientist Bill Hines. However, the TV series features three Wallfacers instead of four, each bearing different names, races, and disciplinary backgrounds. According to Benioff via Netflix:

“We know that the genesis of the Wallfacer Project comes from Wade [Liam Cunningham], because we saw him make the phone call in Episode 7. The reason the term was chosen references staring at the wall, trying to achieve a state of enlightenment and not interacting with the outside world. And it’s a pretty damn lonely existence.”

In the eighth and final episode of 3 Body Problem Season 1, three additional Wallfacers are revealed by name. Secretary General Joseph announces that Army Historian General Hou Bolin (Clem Cheung) and Kurdish Professor and war hero Leyla Ariç (Salem Murphy) are appointed as Wallfacers tasked with overseeing the Wallfacer Act. Benioff contends these choices are more conventional, adding:

“Two who are chosen are more expected choices: a Chinese general and war historian who’s written extensively about military affairs, who spent his life thinking about military conflict, and a Kurdish war hero who’s had success in asymmetrical conflicts.”


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How Do the Wallfacers Set Up Season 2?

After General Bolin and Leyla Ariç are appointed, male protagonist Saul Durand (Jovan Adepo) is revealed as the final Wallfacer in 3 Body Problem. According to Benioff, the decision came out of nowhere and “doesn’t make any sense to anybody except for Wade.” If the short and bingeable sci-fi series is renewed, the shocking revelation could set up an unpredictable plot heading into Season 2, especially given Saul’s resistance to joining the cause. Discussing Saul’s aversion to joining the UN group, Benioff states:

“Becoming a Wallfacer is not just an honor. It’s really more of a curse. Because once you’ve been chosen for this thing, it’s a bit of a Kafkaesque nightmare in that everyone thinks everything you’re doing from this point on is a plan to defeat the aliens.”

In the novels, Wallfacers are inevitably met by Wallbreakers, a group of people hired by the Earth-Trisolaris Organization (ETO) to monitor the activity of the Wallfacers. The Wallbreakers assume the avatars of three of the Wallfacers, with Luo Ji the only one who is spared. How this plot point will play out in future episodes of 3 Body Problem largely depends on Netflix’s decision to continue or cancel the popular show. If 3 Body Problem gets renewed, fans can expect to see much more of Wallfacers Hou Bolin, Leyla Ariç, and Saul Durand and their impending interaction with the Wallbreakers.

You can stream 3 Body Problem on Netflix now.

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