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3 Body Problem FAQ – No SPOILERS For Season 2 Onwards

3 Body Problem has been renewed for Season 2 by Netflix, maybe even more than just Season 2 going by some of the language used.

Here is a small 3 Body Problem FAQ with No SPOILERS , because I think it is needed. Bit of an unusual article for us, but ever since 3 Body Problem released I have spent weeks answering the same questions new fans have on social media. Almost every day on X and Reddit there will be a new fans asking about possible plot holes. There are of course those who want story SPOILERS, but those are easy enough to find just by an internet search on the plot of the books.

Being able to find out things about the content of Season 1 without getting future spoilers is far trickier. So here is a small list of the FAQ I have been answering online for new fans.

No Season 2 SPOILERS Knowingly Revealed.


Plot Hole – If the San-To can’t lie because they are a hive mind, why did one of them warn Ye Wenjie?

Okay, so at no point in Season 1 did anyone say the San-Ti were a hive mind. The books never describe the San-Ti physically, so we don’t know exactly how they function. We do know that they communicate face to face visually by whatever they think. That is not a hive mind. The San-Ti are individuals. The one who first spoke to Ye Wenjie was alone and could not have been overheard/seen/sensed at the time by anyone else. Just like Wenjie’s own situation. The books describe a little of this situation and why the individual does this. However, this may be picked up in later Seasons, so that’s all there is to say right now.

The San-Ti understand deception, just not when in direct communication.


One of the most prominent questions asked by fans is why the San-Ti don’t do more to disrupt our society? Example, ‘why don’t the Sophons just start a Nuclear War/make everyone blind/stop the staircase project from launching?

Second part of this, Why don’t they build a safe room the Sophon’s cannot access?

To understand this, we need to understand the tech here a little. This is indeed an AI far more advanced than any system we yet have available to us. However, it is also extremely limited by it’s size and available functions. By using an unfolded Proton the San-Ti are able to accelerate this tiniest of masses to far greater speeds than anything larger. The San-Ti are clearly shown to be a species which has NO Faster Than Light tech. Ergo, it will take them 400 years to get to Earth. The Sophon being quantum entangled is used so that the San-Ti can communicate with Earth and see what is happening in real time, rather than waiting 8 years between messages.

Whilst that Sophon can unfold it’s dimensions to cover the entire planet when it needs to. That is highly dangerous. The Proton has no more mass in it’s global state than it does in it’s small state. Ergo, if Humans were to attack the ‘dome’ with missiles they could probably damage the Sophon severely and perhaps destroy it completely. This answers the question above of why they allow the Staircase Project to launch. They have no real way of stopping it. Plus, they already know all about it and about Will and they are also keen to met him. The San-Ti had nothing to do with the project failing, that much is clear.

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Why don’t the Sophons just make everyone blind? Well, every person you see that has an illusion, like Auggie with the countdown, that’s one of the two Sophons travel so fast across their eyes it leaves a tracer. That means only two humans can be effected by this at the one time maximum and it would be risky to have two Sophons performing this task. Then add to that one very simple thing which will answer another question above. The San-Ti are supremely confident they can defeat us in military conflict, supremely confident. Therefore they have no real interest in seeing us wipe ourselves out and turning their new home into a nuclear wasteland before they get here.

Additionally, how can a Proton start a Nuclear War? That would take converting people to their cause. The Sophon hasn’t hacked all computers on planet Earth, most of the actions you see happening are conducted by the traitors led by Evans and Ye Wenjie. The traitors have been given tech by the San-Ti more advanced than Earth currently has, but archaic enough that it can be built using current Earth tech. The show I think deliberately allows the viewer to think the San-Ti can do more than they can. Maybe because they want to save surprises for later, but probably just because they’re happy for fans to think them all powerful.

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Finally, the safe room for the Wallfacers project. Frankly it’s impossible. A proton is smaller than any single atom. Everything you see is made of atoms, including the most any safe room. Flatly put, if you built the most secure base in the world at the Earth’s core the Sophon can just travel there with no more difficulty than it does anywhere else. This is the true power of the Sophon, they can see anything they want to see and we cannot hide what we do.

The only way we can hide from the San-Ti is in our own thoughts, this is why the Wallfacers were created. Anything else, wait for Season 2 on this point.

The Joke and Saul

A common asked question is, why was Saul chosen as a Wallfacer, and what was the relevance of the joke?

Part of this we can answer and part of it we can’t due to spoilers. Why was Saul chosen from a Humanity point of view? Because the San-Ti tried to kill him, and he was known as one of the final people Ye Wenjie spoke to. That’s about it.

Form the San-Ti point of view? The clues are in Season 1, watch the previous Ye Wenjie scene closely for some ideas and teases. However, the real answer here is that this is spoilers for Season 2 and therefore you don’t really want to know that here. After all, this is not designed as a plot spoiler article at all.

Yes the is the joke is very relevant, that much is obvious. However, Saul himself has absolutley no idea what that relevance is for now. It is also with noting that in the books there is no joke, it’s a lot more straightforward.


Lying Part 2

Why was Human’s being able to deceive such a deal breaker that the San-Ti went from co-existence to conquering? The thing is, it never really caused this to happen. What was the first message sent to Ye Wenjie. We will come and we will conquer you. Ye Wenjie and Evans are fully aware the San-Ti do not come to live in harmony with us. We will only be able to live in any way the San-Ti see fit after we are a conquered species. Evans even tells a child that whether we live to see the Lord arrive depends on what the Lord wants. Evans hates Humanity completely.

The fact we can communicate directly with them and still deceive, definitely throws them a loop. However, this is more from a strategic point of view than co-existence like they tell Evans. The San-Ti are now facing an enemy that has a unique ability as far as they are concerned. The ability to lie through your teeth when face to face talking to someone else. They are worried how this will affect their military plans, not the co-existence nonsense.

Why The Nano-Fibre Scene?

Ultimately you’d have to ask the author of the books. However the way this is presented in universe is that any kind of strike with troops would take too long. There was too much risk that the traitors would destroy the hard drive evidence they were seeking.

The fibres approach cannot be detected until too late. There was confusion, but no alarms or calls of attack came. Evans reacted and was scared, but for all he knows this is the San-Ti destroying them which he’d accept. The reason a missile strike wasn’t used was in case it blew the hard drive to bits. Whereas the fibre’s provide such a clean cut that even if it was sliced in half, it could have been repaired.

Why Don’t The San-Ti Just Find An Empty Planet?

We’ve already established that the San-Ti do not have FTL tech, That means they probably have sent Sophons to the closest systems to investigate. However, it takes a just over a year for a Sophon to travel a Light Year in space. Space is huge, and silent. The San-Ti’s tech for exploring the Universe is not that much more advanced than our own. Therefore, Ye Wenjies message is a bit of a miracle. A species dumb enough to shout into the night, and a planet only 4 Light Years from Trisolaria. The fact this planet supports advanced life tells them all they need to know. Also, they probably waited for the Sophons to reach Earth before sending the fleet, just to make sure it was compatible.

It’s a one in a million chance they have to take as the 3 Body Problem cannot be resolved as we learn.

How Did The San-Ti Send The Headsets?

They didn’t, and they could not. Instead they taught Evans group how to build the headsets using Earth resources and their own technical specifications. So it’s 100 years or more advanced than anything we have, but it was built on Earth by Humans with instructions from ‘The Lord’.

The programming, and the way it replaces all the San-Ti with Earth-like cultures is all Human programming and it is all being monitored by Evans group on the ship. It is merely a recruitment tool to find people sympathetic with the San-Ti situation. The cultures we see are a representative of the different phases the San-Ti went through. Ultimately ending at the same realization they had, that there is no solution.

How Can They Be More Advanced?

This answers another question of how the San-Ti can be more advanced than us even with the chaos periods? This is kinda explained in Season 1 if you pay attention. The San-Ti or on civilisation 9k+, or something crazy. We as Humans with a stable orbit, are basically on society 1. Therefore the San-Ti evolved sentience millions upon millions of years prior to Humanity. This also explains why they are so worried about where we go next. Human’s have advanced so quickly compared to the San-Ti they are genuinely worried that by the time they arrive, we are more powerful and just send them back home to die. Hence the attempts to target and delay certain scientific breakthroughs. What if they are only 1-200 years ahead of us tech wise and it takes 400 years to get here?

We are also told in the simulations that the San-Ti found a way to pass on information through chaos periods. “If one of us survives, we all survive”. We just don’t fully understand how they do this yet. Ergo, later on they were not starting from square one, but using the knowledge of the previous civilisation. This also partially explains who the San-Ti are able to survive the 400 year journey to Earth. This hibernation tech is something they either evolved, or created a long time ago.

How Could The Nukes Have Been Placed For The Staircase Project?

Final question I see asked a lot is as above. How could the nukes have been placed so far away from Earth if we cannot go very fast? The answer is that they were not. This was not a series of nukes placed between us and the San-Ti. As you can imagine, if we could do that we wouldn’t need it.

The best analogy I have heard is this. The nukes were a runway, and served about as much purpose as a runway does at an airport. In other words those nukes are just far enough apart that the explosion of one doesn’t affect the next one. It’s a runway, and once the craft leaves the runway, it’s on it’s own. Which, is also why one small defect caused the entire project to fail. I’m sure if we perfected the tech we could pull it off eventually after practice, but rarely does something like this work first time.

So, that’s it folks. These are the most common questions fans are asking on social media and fan forums that do not want spoilers for future seasons. All of this is kinda in Season 1 if you know what to look for. But we are talking hardcore science here so not everyone who enjoys the show will easily understand.

Anything else you have questions about, well there’s search engines. However, you’ll likely find major spoilers for book 2 and 3. Therefore, if you want to enjoy Season 2 fresh, stick with my guide for now.

What do you think of these 3 Body Problem FAQ answers? with NO SPOILERS? Let me know below if this helped answer some of your questions or not. Otherwise you’ll find me on social media under a pseudonym answering these questions again and again every day.

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