Drama Recaps
Chuno: Episode 9
by | February 19, 2010 | 49 Comments

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What does a General do in the forest?

In what has become a Chuno drama series’ tradition, the even number episodes that end the weekly doublet have left viewers strung out and anxiously waiting for their next hit. Chuno Episode 8 cut off right as Song Tae Ha has been uncovered as a runaway slave as he saves Un-Nyun’s life. And slave hunters Dae-Gil, Choi and Wang-Son were closing in fast, showing off their parkour skills as they rushed to capture Tae-Ha. Will this be the reunion episode?

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Chuno OST – “검은 울지 않는다” (A Sword Doesn’t Cry) – Choi Chul-ho [ Download ]

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The assassin Yoon-Ji had launched a surprise attack on Un-Nyun, and only the quick reflexes of Tae-Ha have saved the day. Yoon-Ji is then forced to attack Tae-Ha, launching spinning attacks that end with a reverse-gripped second dagger slicing upward.

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By the narrowest of margins, Tae-Ha remains unscathed but his headband has been sliced apart, revealing the dreaded 奴 tattoo burned into his forehead. Note: this 奴 symbol, pronounced as “no” in Korean (see Chu-no), is the Chinese lishu character for slave. If you look closely at this symbol, you’ll notice two elements side by side – left side radical 女 meaning woman (originally, this element was in the jiaguwen form of a woman kneeling) and the right side element being a stylized version of “right hand” – put together, 奴 means a hand servant or slave. The Korean word “no” itself translates to male slave, and together with the Korean word “bi” for female slave, combines to form the Korean word, “no-bi,” which is the generic Korean term for slave and for slavery in the Joseon period.

Seeing this tattoo is a shocker for Un-Nyun, who really believed Tae-Ha when he said that he was not a slave.

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But for Un-Nyun, the revelation of the 奴 has special significance. It was 10 years ago that she and her brother Seong-Hwan had escaped from Dae-Gil’s family’s ownership. To be integrated into society as free people, Un-Nyun and Seong-Hwan resolved to obliterate their tattoos by taking a red-hot iron and burning off the mark. It is almost too much for her memory to bear, and Un-Nyun is frozen by the sight of 奴.

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Tae-Ha makes Yoon-Ji pay for gambling with a risky attack. Reverse-grip dagger fighting against a skilled and physically stronger opponent is a bad idea if the initial attack fails, as such an opponent would undoubtedly try to close the distance and grapple – your dagger, held reverse-grip, will end up being pointed towards your own body! And so, in a rather abrupt ending, Tae-Ha plunges one of Yoon-Ji’s own daggers into her stomach, and it is good-bye to this intriguing but rather under-developed character.

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As predicted by Dae-Gil, Tae-Ha and Un-Nyun had decided to get to Jeju Island by picking the closest coastal town up-river from the island port of Wando, which iself is the closest port to Jeju Island. Tae-Ha grabs Un-Nyun by her wrist and they make it to a boat. With no further hinderances, they are off to Wando to find passage to Jeju Island.

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Meanwhile, Dae-Gil’s mad dash to get to Tae-Ha and Un-Nyun before they make it to boat gets stymied, when Baek-Ho and his men suddenly appear in ambush. Dae-Gil barely escapes the initial slash by Baek-Ho, who could have cut Dae-Gil in two. Dae-Gil quickly defeats both of Baek-Ho’s men, and then faces off against Baek-Ho, who has been ordered by Un-Nyun’s brother to kill Dae-Gil at all costs.

Baek-Ho: Are you the slave hunter Lee Dae-Gil?
Dae-Gil (sneering): Lee Dae-Gil… is a name I am hearing for the first time.
Baek-Ho (unfurling a color drawing of Un-Nyun): This girl… do you know her?

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I’m not exactly sure why Baek-Ho shows the drawing of Un-Nyun to Dae-Gil – why would Baek-Ho have thought that showing a color drawing of Un-Nyun make Dae-Gil freeze like a statue? But for certain, Dae-Gil is stunned by the drawing which shows Un-Nyun older than the pictures that Dae-Gil has been showing around. This man has seen Un-Nyun recently! Baek-Ho launches a killing attack on Dae-Gil but just before Baek-Ho is able to strike home, he is stopped… dead. General Choi has saved Dae-Gil with a wondrously accurate thrown-spear from some distance away!

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Baek-Ho looks despairingly at the spear that has gone clean through his back and protruding out of his chest. He is a dead man, and has only time enough to gaze for a few seconds at the woman he loved and swore his life to protect. This is a rather poetic scene. The picture of Un-Nyun was sliced in two by Baek-Ho’s surprise attack on Dae-Gil, and a dying Baek-Ho picks up one half and Dae-Gil picks up the other half. Neither has the real woman, and now the drawing (woman) has been ripped to pieces.

Dae-Gil rummages through Baek-Ho’s corpse to find something that might give him a clue as to where to go next, and finds the clue that he is looking for: a wooden slip called a ho-pae (호패 / 號牌) that gives Baek-Ho’s name, hometown, age (by birth year) and rank (if applicable).

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With that, Dae-Gil rushes off to get to Baek-Ho’s village, where he thinks he can find Un-Nyun, not even waiting for Choi and Wang-Son. Dae-Girl runs back to Seol-Hwa and rips a horse’s tether out of her hands and gallops away. The hell with that! Seol-Hwa leaps onto the last horse and chases after Dae-Gil. Choi and Wang-Son arrive too late, what the heck do they do now?

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Back in the capital city of Han-Yang, a few of Chun Ji Ho’s men have been ordered to see the evil Left State Minister Lee Gyeong Shik at his open pavilion, while Chun Ji Ho and his right hand man are sticking with Commander Hwang Chul-Woong. The men going to see Minister Lee bring forth Commander Hwang’s written accounts detailing the successful murder of the former Left State Minister Im.

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Minister Lee is pleased and leaves the pavilion, leaving Chun Ji Ho’s men and more importantly, leaving plates of hot and delicious looking food just sitting there. Chun Ji Ho’s men happily help themselves, not knowing that Minister Lee has poisoned the food. They die horrible deaths, and then are strung up like criminals for the local magistrates to find.

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Meanwhile. Tae-Ha and Un-Nyun are well on their way to Wando. Un-Nyun is full of questions. After a few questions – but really, Un-Nyun could have asked about the weather, or about Tae-Ha’s favorite hobby, but right as rain she was going to ask the following question:

Un-Nyun: How did you come come to be a slave?
Tae-Ha: I am no slave.
Un-Nyun (expecting that answer): Then what is all of this? You are a slave but not a slave. You are one the being chased but you are not running away. What kind of words are these? Which words that you speak are ones I can believe in and which words should I throw away?

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Well, this is right. Tae-Ha has sort of dragged Un-Nyun into a situation that she has not the first idea about. Then again, Un-Nyun does seem a little bit self-righteous (*cough* err, who’s not a slave again? *cough*). Further, Tae-Ha is actually the one who should be indignant, because if it wasn’t for him having to drag Un-Nyun around, he probably would have made it to the former Minister Im’s house in plenty of time to discuss things before Commander Hwang got there and massacred everybody.

So Tae-Ha fills in the details. After his subordinate Hwang had betrayed him with Lee Gyeong Shik, the then Left State Minister Im came to visit Tae-Ha and his men in jail. Minister Im told Tae-Ha about the secret letter that the Prince had written to Tae-Ha, and how vital it was for Tae-Ha to survive and not to take the dignified path of being executed (and therefore spared a lifetime of indignity). Tae-Ha and his men thus allowed themselves to be turned into slaves, with the plan being that Minister Im would “activate” Tae-Ha and his men when the time was right.

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Un-Nyun’s response is a little revealing:

Un-Nyun: Then are you trying to undo this false accusations and go back to your life before you were made into a slave? Is that why you ran away?
Tae-Ha: I have more important things to accomplish than shedding slave status.
Un-Nyun (almost rhetorically): Could there be more important things than to free yourself of slavery?

Un-Nyun was born a slave. And with being a slave, Un-Nyun knows that she can be bought and sold, used for sexual pleasure, beaten, raped, starved, branded, tortured. And if she resists, she could be tortured and/or killed. If she were to have children, then those children, no matter who the father was, would also be slaves. From her perspective, what in the world could be worse than slavery? And therefore, what in the world could be more important than freeing one’s self from being a slave?

On the other hand, Tae-Ha was not born a slave. Rather, he chose to swear an oath to defend the Crown Prince, and in so doing, Tae-Ha endured the loss of his command, the torture, the beatings, the permanent branding of 奴 because he had greater purpose. Tae-Ha lives not for himself, but for that greater purpose. It is interesting to wonder whether Un-Nyun might find greater purpose in her life, or whether she will spend the rest of her life trying to run away from being a slave.

Tae-Ha: There is something that I must do, even it means that I am turned into something even worse than being a slave.

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Un-Nyun stares at Tae-Ha, slowly shaking her head from side to side. Tae-Ha might be have his heart in the right place, but it is clear that he doesn’t know a thing about what he is talking about. It is all just academics and theory until you’ve seen and been through what being a slave does to you.

Un-Nyun: There is nothing in this world that is worse than being a slave.

But even as Un-Nyun shakes her head, she takes off her cloak and tears the ribbon to make Tae-Ha a new head-band. Tae-Ha is surprised and touched by Un-Nyun’s gift. Un-Nyun could have told him to rip off a strip of his own clothes to make a head-band, but she used her own clothes instead. And Un-Nyun picked a ribbon color that matched the trim on Tae-Ha’s jacket, and really, who does that except for girlfriends marking their territory and/or wives?)

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The slave rebellion conspiracy story line just got a little interesting, and I’m including some of it here. Back in Episode 7, Eop-Bok shot and killed a noble. Eop-Bok’s girlfriend, Cho-Bok, rummaged through the dead man’s clothes to find a 1,000 nyang draft note. Now the slave conspiracy wants to trade in the 1,000 nyang draft note to buy muskets but to do so, they need to enlist the aid of a slave who knows how to launder the note. Eop-Bok is angered to learn that person who can do the laundering is the same con-man who swindled him earlier! Eop-Bok is ambivalent now as to whether to continue.

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Late that evening, Eop-Bok and Cho-Bok are walking in the late fall night, and Eop-Bok asks if Cho-Bok thinks it is possible for a righteous movement to use a non-righteous person like that con-man slave. Cho-Bok thinks for a second, smiles and grasps Eop-Bok’s hand in hers, just as if they were two lovers out for a night-time stroll. Eop-Bok is immediately scared of being caught, but Cho-Bok smiles and squeezes his hand.

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Cho-Bok: What do you think?
Eop-Bok: Let go, won’t you?!
Cho-Bok (slowly letting go): You saw me, right? You hold on when you hold hands. And then you let go when it’s time to let go… When to hold and when to stop… Whether to let go or not. But NOT to dither and hesitate. Hmm?

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The logic is beyond Eop-Bok, who can likely only remember the touch of Cho-Bok’s warm hands on this cool autumn night. Even with the thousands of stars out shining bright in the night sky, there is none can match the glow of an incandescent Cho-Bok. I think the character of Cho-Bok is quickly elevating to match Seol-Hwa in energy and brilliance. I’m totally sold on Cho-Bok at this point.

Under the same night sky, Dae-Gil and Seol-Hwa have camped out before sleeping the night. Seol-Hwa still doesn’t know why they left Choi and Wang-Son, as Dae-Gil isn’t saying. Seol-Hwa stretches out, both satisfied with her life (not being forced to dance and and not satisfied with her life (bored) at the same time.

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Seol-Hwa tries to bait Dae-Gil into conversation, starting with an outrageous statement that she might want to just up and become a slave hunter like Dae-Gil and his merry band. That hits a nerve with Dae-Gil, who responds.

Dae-Gil: Now you’ve gone off the deep end. Is this something that you would think worthy of being your calling?
Seol-Hwa: Then why do you do it?

Dae-Gil pauses and unconsciously traces the length of the scar he got from Un-Nyun’s brother, the slave who killed his whole family and ruined his planned life with Un-Nyun.

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Dae-Gil: …because they [the runaway slaves] need to be caught. The slaves who betrayed their masters must all be caught and returned to the way things were.

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It is more than a little ironic and tragic that Dae-Gil is the most feared slave-hunter around, since in his past life, he wanted nothing more than to become a person of high enough influence, so that he might change the world and get rid of slavery altogether. All Dae-Gil wanted to do was change the whole world so that he would be able to marry his slave-girl Un-Nyun. And now Dae-Gil enforces that order.

The next morning, Dae-Gil and Seol-Hwa find themselves in Baek-Ho’s home-town, and Dae-Gil instructs Seol-Hwa to go ask questions and find out where Baek-Ho lives, who his master is, whether people know of Un-Nyun, etc. Seol-Hwa responds by asking whether Dae-Gil is just going to abandon her once she goes off looking.

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Seol-Hwa: If you abandon me again, I won’t let it just pass. Even if I don’t have any faith in any man in this whold world… you know that I have faith in you, right? And you know what that means, when a woman says to a man that she has faith in him?

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As if Dae-Gil didn’t have enough to think about at the moment. He is perhaps just a few moments away from meeting up with the man who killed his disfigured his face, killed his whole family, destroyed his whole clan, and stole his love away from him, and who knows, perhaps Un-Nyun will be there as well, and where Un-Nyun is, perhaps Tae-Ha will be there too. Seol-Hwa has just admited that she likes Dae-Gil – but what can Dae-Gil do with that information, where would Seol-Hwa find room in Dae-Gil’s heart?

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Back again to Tae-Ha and Un-Nyun. They have found passage on a cargo ship heading to Jeju Island, and on the overnight passage, it appears that Un-Nyun has started to develop feelings for the former General. After a rather fitful night in the cargo hold where each of them took turns gazing at the other, Un-Nyun and Tae-Ha meet on the deck in the morning. Un-Nyun thanks Tae-Ha for lending her his cloak as a blanket, and hands it back. But there is meaning in every action, and Tae-Ha looks at his jacket, which has been folded neatly with the draw ribbons also folded. Tae-Ha has been married once before, and knows a gesture like this means that Un-Nyun is offering more than just the return of his cloak.

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Ahead of the newly-formed couple, at the village where the last surviving son of the late Crown Prince is residing. The Constable Kwok (that rat bastard fink who betrayed his fellow soldiers and his General Song Tae-Ha, thereby escaping a lifetime of punishment as a slave) is gambling with his peers. After losing a bit, Constable Kwok takes a breather and heads over to a water barrel to drink. But then Constable Kwok takes out a blank piece of paper which he sets into the water. It’s Minister Im’s secret message!

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Wow, I did not expect this. It appears that Constable Kwok did NOT betray Song Tae-Ha after all, but was part of the counter group headed by former Minister Im! Constable Kwok pales as he reads the secret message. Constable Kwok realizes he has little time and must take the little prince out of danger immediately. And in fact, he has even less time than he could have imagined, as he peers down the village path and sees his nemesis Commander Hwang approaching!

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Constable Kwok must act NOW. Quickly Constable Kwok takes out all of his peers, killing five men in an instant. The noise brings out the nurse / lady for the prince, who is shocked by the blood-drenched Constable Kwok. She has no idea how close things are to being a disaster. Constable Kwok literally yanks the infant prince from the lady and makes a dash for it out the back way just as Commander Hwang and Chun Ji-Ho, alerted by the sounds of battle and screams, run in through the front.

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Commander Hwang quickly surveys the scene. He orders Chun Ji-Ho and his lieutenant Man-Deuk to run after the escaping infant prince and whoever is carrying him. But Man-Deuk, egged on by Chun Ji-Ho, chirps up and asks for more money. Slice! Commander Hwang has no time for games and kills the man. Chun Ji Ho runs off as Hwang attacks him as well, but Hwang has no time to play around. He must find where the escapees are heading! Despite the danger in remaining in the place where soldiers have been killed, Hwang enters the hovel to search for clues. Hwang realizes that there is an organization at play that must have gotten there ahead of him, and looks for markings that might say where they have gone. And he finds them. They went north!

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Only a mile or two away, Tae-Ha and Un-Nyun are on their way to that same hovel, not knowing that they are a bit late. When they arrive, they see the carnage of now 6 dead people (5 soldiers + poor Man-Deuk)!

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Tae-Ha searches for and finds the same clues as Hwang did less than an hour before. But late to the party means they are stuck with the tab. When Tae-Ha leaves the hovel, he finds that he and Un-Nyun have been surrounded by 12 soldiers, including 10 men with bows! Poor Tae-Ha!

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And finally, Seol-Hwa returns to Dae-Gil with the information about Baek-Ho’s location, teasing Dae-Gil at first. But Seol-Hwa’s mirth turns to a bit of dread, given the strange and determined look on Dae-Gil’s countenance. But she gives Dae-Gil the information, and Dae-Gil wastes no time in entering a yang-ban’s house to search for answers.

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As night falls, and Dae-Gil brazenly enters the Lord’s house. Dae-Gil loudly asks the Lord of the house whether Baek-Ho lives in this place. Startled, the Lord turns to face Dae-Gil. Surprise surprise, it is Un-Nyun’s brother! Dae-Gil takes out his dagger and lets out a scream as he begins to charge…

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Comments:

Well, I actually feel a lot better now, knowing that Constable Kwok is one of the good guys and was not a betrayer after all. Jo Jin-Woong, the fantastic actor who plays Constable Kwok, and Min Ji-Ah, the moon-beam smile actress who plays the perky and intelligent slave Cho-Bok, really stood out in this episode. I hope that Constable Kwok with his humor and understated emotional energy, gets to continue on in this drama and not get killed off somehow. And I like how Cho-Bok, despite being a slave and a woman, has the liveliest spirit and the most common sense and intelligence among all of the people she is with. But when two relatively minor characters are the ones that I am raving about, and it’s Episode 9 already, then something is not quite right.

Inasmuchas I am intrigued by the storyline and I am enjoying the martial action and beautiful cinematography, after this episode I am left with an itch that I just can’t scratch when it comes to the main characters of Tae-Ha, Dae-Gil and Un-Nyun. Tae-Ha is kind of tragically gentle. Un-Nyun is tragically helpless. And Dae-Gil is tragically angst-y. There is an over-abundance of tragically delicious characters, while positive characters like Seol-Hwa and Cho-Bok are in short-supply. I’d really like a main character or two to root for, but right now, me rooting for Constable Kwok, Seol-Hwa and Cho-Bok doesn’t quite do it.

Still, Episode 9 was just about right in terms of balancing story and characters. The main characters are now starting to be fleshed out, and with Episode 8, we are starting to see elements of the Un-Nyun character that we’ve not seen before. Episode 8 showed Un-Nyun’s despair at her lost love, and in this Episode 9, Un-Nyun is becoming more steel-hearted, giving up on love in exchange for respect, comfort and safety. But I wonder what will happen to those warm toasty feelings she has toward Tae-Ha, once a tragically shaggy Dae-Gil shows up?

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49 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Jessica

    Thanks for the recap!

    I’m just skimming a little because I want to watch this unspoiled, but a part of me hopes that Lee Da Hae’s character will ultimately end up with Jang Hyuk because I still see them as a couple from Robber :)

    (And how sweet would it be if this was their past lives! Heehee)…

  2. pixie

    thanks for the recap samsooki. lol @ general choi.

    i’m just glad that 2 people are out of the way so we can move on with other characters. and constable kwok is a surprise treat, i thought i wasn’t going to care for him at all.

    i felt sorry for eop-bok when majority of the slaves disregarded his concern regarding the con-man. i guess they’re so desperate that reasoning is out of the question. but cho-bok is one smart woman…she was able to make him put aside his personal grudge for the greater good :)

  3. momosan

    But they killed my poor Baek-ho!!!!

  4. Oppa888

    I still feel that Lee Da Hae is not making much of an impact for an actor of her calibre. Her character is really rather dull and uninteresting, and her perfectly manicured appearance is not adding any credibility whatsoever to her poor slave girl character.

    As much as I am enjoying Chuno, I also have trouble empathising with the main characters and their plight. Beautiful cinematograph,choreorgraphy and action is what makes this drama so good, at present that is anway.

    I am actually liking Kim Ha Eun as Sul Hwa more than the lead actress.
    She is beautiful, cute, cheek, sweet, adorable and funny! If I was Dae Gil I would give up the hunt and turn to her instead!

  5. serendipity

    Nice recap!

    Ep 9 is where I lost the flush of first love for Chuno. The sexy gimmicks were starting to get a bit old for me. But you have revived it with a perfect mix of narrative, exposition and opinion.

    One thing that really impressed me was that they killed off Baek Ho and the assassin lady. Wow! They sure are not sentimental and have no compunction killing off interesting characters like so much plot fodder. Seems like it’s going to be no-holds-barred. Eeeks. *Hides behind sofa and braces for more Tragedy*

    Indeed, how would UN react to a tragically shaggy Dae-Gil? I mean, we loves the feral swordsman (yum), but will the gentle, fastidious, genteel-ised UN be able to cope with this scary mass of muscle and emotion? Well, this is likely the least of our worries. Onward and upward with the angst-o-meter!

  6. msim

    Great recap: Cho Bok is definitely my favourite right now – she’s brilliant. Whatever she says, I believe it. I want her to succeed.

    Big shock at finding out that Constable Kwok is not a turncoat after all. Subtle.

    Dae-Gil is behaving more and more like a typical slave-owner or the son-of. He feels entitled to his ex-slave; his property. I’m finding it next to impossible to romanticise this pairing.

    I am watching this series until the end. I get goose-bumps during the fight scenes and its stunningly gorgeous photography, its striking soundtrack and complex heroes with modern sensibilities.

    Chuno’s fatal flaw remains intact in this episode: its head-writer’s incapacity to imagine a heroine as compelling as the men (bye-bye Lady Assassin Yoon-Ji, we hardly knew you).

    Unless it is revealed in the next episode that Un-Nyun is a closeted werewolf; I just don’t believe in this character as a woman born into slavery, who escaped from it and also abandoned her position as a noblewoman to flee an unwanted marriage.
    Un-Nyun’s appearances illicit groans and moans in my home from all its inhabitants: from an 11 year-old niece to a 74- year-old grandma.

    p.s.: I’d like to be like Tae-Ha when I grow up

  7. danni

    @ momosan Yeah, I was totally heart-broken when Baek-ho died, but I think that there are too many characters in here anyway so it was almost a given that Baek-ho was going to get the axe.

    I have to agree that the side characters are definitely standing out a lot more than the main characters. Dae-gil is always brooding and the scenes with Tae-ha and Un-nyeon aren’t uninteresting, but I do find them somewhat dull because they tend to be very stoic characters most of the time. The upside of these scenes is that I’m rooting more for them to end up together than for Dae-gil and Un-nyeon to end up together, but I guess that’s because we’ve seen zero interaction between the two in the present time.

    I’m glad Constable Kwok turned out to be a good guy, I was worried in the previews when I saw him running around killing people, but it was all for a good cause so its cool.

  8. Amg1

    @samsooki, Dude thank you again for such a wonderful recap as always,
    “Un-Nyun was born a slave. And with being a slave, Un-Nyun knows that she can be bought and sold, used for sexual pleasure, beaten, raped, starved, branded, tortured. And if she resists, she could be tortured and/or killed. If she were to have children, then those children, no matter who the father was, would also be slaves. From her perspective, what in the world could be worse than slavery?”
    I have finish up to chapter 14 and I must say that indeed Un-Nyun is the Central theme of this drama, I wont give any spoilers, but I am know fascinated by the way her character has been written and in the last comment that you made above you hit the nail in the head, and if people miss that point I feel they have miss the whole of what CHUNO is all about, thank you again for such brilliant insight!!!!

  9. Marie

    I am not enjoying this drama as much as i had hoped I think they are dragging the story a bit and I too hope that Lee Da Hae character ends up with JH They do have chemistry or is it that I do not like the boring OJH.

  10. 10 mimi

    Great recap!
    This episode proved the helplessness of Un-Nyun that everyone complained about. When the assassin lady was about to um… yes, KILL her… Un-Nyun just gazed and stared off into space. Shouldn’t slaves have more survival skills than the average person? Wasn’t the slave experience partly what had made Harriet Tubman so strong?

    I’ll have to disagree about Cho-Bok, the slave partner to the tiger shooter. Her character is very disturbing to me b/c she completely holds no morals or a conscience whatsoever. “Oh, sure, shoot another noble. No biggy. Let’s do it again.” (And said with a cheerfulness, at that.) Such a stoic outlook on human life makes her resemble a sociopath to me.

    Lastly, I am so disappointed that the writers gave DaeGil no redeeming qualities when he is the lead. I still want him to end up with the lifeless damsel, but C’MOM, writers, give him a chance, will you? How can he compete for the hearts of the audience or his lady when you make him out to be a ruthless slave chaser/ killer with no manners and a huge anger management problem? It’s not fair to him. — Go away, Tae Ha. The writers made you too perfect but even still, I don’t like you. Your ears stick out.

  11. 11 Bunde

    I don’t want to sound morbid, but the two death scenes were very interesting. First, they killed off couple of two well known actor and actress. Looking ahead, i am to think they will keep bringing many more people for cameos. I also almost felt sorry for the female assassin because of her pained expression on her face when she was dying, like she had other things to her that was not finished in her life. Then, Danny Ahn, ex-G.O.D., the Baek Ho character’s death was very beautiful. He loved and served Un-yun as he looked at half of her picture, as if he only got to know half of her. Then, the look on his face and himself, with a background of very deep blue sky and green mountains – as if he was going to die and fade into them. Cinematography is superb in this drama.

  12. 12 samsooki

    I LOVE reading all y’all comments!

    So many different points of view, and I learn just by reading what you guys write.

    I have mixed opinions about everything in Chuno so far.

    re: Baek-Ho’s gruesome demise…. this is what you get when you run into the buzz-saw known as OTP. Baek-Ho is basically a Star Trek crewman #2 who goes on an away mission and then dies when he gets all panicky in front of a hostile alien. I’m sorry to say, though, I agree with his early exit. He had no place to go – BH’s entire character was based on trying to protect Un-Nyun from the assassin Yoon-Ji… and Yoon-Ji just got whacked, so….. BH had to go.

    re: the a-morality of Eop Bok, Cho-Bok and Dae-Gil –

    This is really something that has me thinking hard at night. But in the end, I look at this this way.

    Slavery is such a difficult subject to comprehend. Korea had it for over 1,200 years. That’s 5 times as long as the history of the United States. Put it another way, that’s over 60 generations. During the Joseon Period, some historians put the percentage of slaves in the population to be about 30%, which means that there were easily over a million slaves in Korea during the time that Dae-Gil was wandering around putting run-aways back into bondage.

    Basically, what this means is that slavery during this time was not only everywhere, but it was everywhere and all-the-time, for all-time. There wasn’t a book written or an oral story told in Korea during this time that didn’t pre-suppose and accept slavery as a given. And those who had the most influence, wisdom, intelligence, resources, and power – the yang-ban class, well, they twisted the moral teachings of Confucianism to justify human bondgage – so slavery wasn’t just the way of the world, it was also the “right” way.

    But that doesn’t mean that slavery was the Right Way, as any slave would probably say, “there is nothing worse than being a slave.” And so, if Up is Down and Down is Up, if Evil is Good and the whole world is upside down, then I can live with Eop Bok, Cho Bok and Dae-Gil being a-moral. At least they aren’t hypocritical in claiming their actions are morally justified.

  13. 13 Chuck

    @10 mimi

    I agree with you about Cho Bok. I can understand fighting to end slavery, but she just doesn’t seem to be even slightly bothered by killing people.

    On the other hand, I disagree about UN. Why on earth should a slave have more survival skills than non-slaves? Slaves are presumably illiterate, they do nothing of their own initiative, just what they are ordered to do. They don’t learn martial arts, certainly. They live their whole lives as dependents on their masters. They are, in fact, far more likely to be helpless people than non-slaves.

    As for Dae Gil, I”m still trying to figure him out. Obviously, the writer/director team don’t want us to know all about him yet. We alreday know he does help some slaves escape—sending them to some mountain, where he tells them someone else will help them. He considers himself degraded, in being a slave hunter. He originally, wanted, as samsooki pointed out, to change the world and end the institution of slavery. He is a highly conflicted character. Something’s got to give, where he’s concerned.

  14. 14 momosan

    @samsooki

    Baek-ho is a red-shirt. This I can see. However, it was kind of a weird waste of both characters to whack them at this particular point.

    And I liked Baek-ho……..we never learned his back story, but he kept saying that Un Nyon allowed him to live as a real person, so presumably she some how allowed him to be free. ::snuffle::

  15. 15 Sakura

    Hi Samsooki
    Very entertaining recap, thanks for the very detailed letter character expulsion of the word slave and the explicit fighting scene.

    Eventhough cho bok is a smart woman but she didn’t think far enough of the group, their capability to strike because they are just following someone’s order it is not their just cause in the first place, they are being manipulate because of their brand, cant’ live like a human being – demean them and her assignment as a look out post , and yes one bad apple won’t spoil the whole bunch of girls! like the late MJ sings.

    I don’t think Song Tae Ha could erase the brand even he wanted too, unless he too place the hot iron rod on his forehead, another logo up there ! Un Nyun do not have to buy colorful headband to match his clothes. Although Un Nyun now has feelings for STH to fill the emptiness after 10 years but she ever mention to STH in earlier episode that her first love is locked in her heart, sorry mate you’re second best but it is OK for STH because he had experienced his first love before.

    Seol Hwa is trying her best to “dig” Dae gil, what a marvelous 17 year old girl.
    She forget all about her first intention – to search for her mom.

    How could constable kwok have the heart to kill his colleagues for the crown prince ?. Is this cause a justified action to save the prince ( very cute baby!!.)

    Is dae gil going for revenge when he meet Kuonomme?

  16. 16 norahbetty stocking

    Thanks Samsooki foy your wonderful recap.
    Chuno as I see it (now just finished ep 14) is totally a new approach for kdrama, so expected why some people don’t like certain characters-they are new to them. To me all are doing wonderful in their job including LDH (I love this sooo ladylike, elegent character-and she is doing terrific job in ep 13 and 14.-sometime we need a break from cutesy, cheecky character, eventhough SH nailed it perfectly .

    Jang Hyuk-what a charismatic actor
    Oh Ji Ho-whenever u give us your stare (with ur piercing eyes), I’m lost-u are so good at it.
    Lee Da Hae-wish I can have your demure, soft angelic face/character like this, eventhough offscreen you are more like Joo Yoo Rin.
    Lee Jong Hyuk (Hot)-reminds me of French actor Yse Montand (u act with your eyes)
    KHE (SH)-u are cute
    Chuno gang-the best partnership/chemistry ever.

  17. 17 Amg1

    @samsooki. You are so right again, and I think in your first recap you mention the fact that CHUNO is not only about the LOVE tragedy of our Hero Dae-gil, but the background of the story is that of “Slavery” in about 300/400 years ago in Korea, and when we look at Un-Nyun’s, and Seol-Hwa’s situation both of them chose the two different man in their current situation as a sole means of survival in Un-Nyun’s case Tae-Ha is protecting her from what they perceive as a treat to her to being send back into slavery, and Seol-Hwa by being with Dae-gil has been rescue from a life of prostitution, I am satisfied with this drama since it is two story’s being told and mesh into one which I found very cool! thank you again!!!

  18. 18 firewife

    samsooki – Thanks for the excellent recap.

    What’s interesting about the characters in Chuno is that they’re not being defined for us as typical good-guy-heroes, bad-guy-villains. We’re allowed to see both strengths and flaws and think for ourselves about who’s right, who’s wrong, what’s justified behavior, what’s not.

    Look at DG, for example. As a young man he seems very idealistic and even a little naive in his dream of creating a world with no class differences. However, if he hadn’t fallen in love with a beautiful slave girl would he still have had that same wish? His comment in ep 9 re: returning the slaves to where they belong, shows that the ideology of the nobles was more deeply ingrained in him than it appeared at first. So is his intention of changing the order of things, in fact, not so much noble as perhaps self-serving? Ten years later, in his slave-hunter incarnation, he’s got a well-deserved reputation as someone to be feared, but we’ve also seen him show compassion, especially to SH. And is his desire to find UN solely motivated by love, or does he want revenge? Is he trying to reunite with his love, or return her to where he thinks she belongs, like a piece of property? Does he even know?

    As for TH, he seems like the practically-perfect-in-every-way man, but what seems like a great strength, (his sense of duty), could also turn out be his biggest weakness. Blind obedience is never a good thing.

    UN is helpless, yes, but considering she was born into slavery with no free will of her own, and then spent 10 years living the life of a noble lady, with all the restrictions that come along with that title, really, what can you expect? The little bit we know of her life during those 10 years seems to hint that she’s a compassionate person and we are beginning to see some character development take place. (Yay!)

    SH is cute, perky and livens things up for sure, but she’s also shallow and immature. I mean, did she really think that was a good time to try and confess her feelings to DG? Timing is everything and the girl didn’t seem too clued in to how DG was feeling right then.

    Even the scary (but still hot) Commander Hwang has his vulnerable human side. The dude might be a cold-hearted killer, but he loves his mom! I know I should hate him, and I do, but yet I still find him attractive and wish the writers would throw a little love interest his way. Is something wrong with me?

  19. 19 pixie

    @samsooki, thanks for the brief history of korea :) whenever i watch sageuk drama, the main thing that i always notice is the conspiracy.

    right now, everybody is only concern of their own personal agenda. dae-gil’s biggest motivation of becoming a slave hunter is to find UN, tae-ha’s will to protect the last prince, slaves just trying to be freed from bondage, and even eop-bok wanting to take revenge on dae-gil. i can’t wait to see the day that they all come together and fight the evil minister, especially dae-gil and tae-ha… if that day will come.

  20. 20 Quaggy

    Great recap as always, Samsooki!

    I have to admit that going into this I was a little prejudice in favor of the Tae-Ha/Un-Nyun pairing. (Probably thanks to these pictures: http://www.dramabeans.com/2009/11/chunos-lee-da-hae-and-oh-ji-ho-spend-first-night-together/) But I realized by the first episode that Dae-Gil/Un-Nyun was probably going to be the endgame ship.

    But the problem with that pairing is stressed right in the title. Dae-Gil is a slave hunter… and Un-Nyun cannot imagine a fate worse than slavery. Dae-Gil isn’t just a mercenary, who occasionally accepts a commission to find a runaway slave. All he does is send people back into bondage. There’s an innate and unresolvable conflict in that.

    I thought that maybe after the first episode when he rescued the runaway mother & daughter that Dae-Gil was actually part of a sort of Korean-style Underground Railroad, which would have avoided that conflict nicely. But no. He just can’t tolerate sexual exploitation. (He has to have that moral code because otherwise, he would be completely irredeemable.) And now in this episode he says that slaves actually need to be returned to where they belong. Unless that’s not actually what he believes and he is only speaking like that because the possibility of meeting Un-Nyun’s brother is weighing heavily on his mind, the unresolvable conflict is back full force. If Dae-Gil and Un-Nyun are the OTP, this is all going to end in tears. (And death, but I think that’s a given.)

    Tae-Ha and Un-Nyun, at least, I can see being able to settle down somewhere and have a happy life together, providing they both survive to the end. Yes, I realize that it’s highly unlikely and I’ve been preparing myself for a very tragic death scene or two… or three. But it’s nice to have a little hope that Tae-Ha, after all the tragedy he’s seen, will be granted a some happiness in the end. And if the happiness he finds is with Un-Nyun, I’m definitely cool with that.

  21. 21 Unni

    I am actually liking Kim Ha Eun as Sul Hwa more than the lead actress.
    She is beautiful, cute, cheek, sweet, adorable and funny! If I was Dae Gil I would give up the hunt and turn to her instead!

    Of to you, u can say anything for happing yourself. but actually is not, i think it is a empty hope. poor you

    it is so important, we don’t know the ending yet.
    keep watching,
    actually, Dae Gil n’ Un Nyun are loving each other.

  22. 22 janie

    Wow, more insights to drool/dwell on… awesome thoughts by all, so much to ponder… am so not that articulate when it comes to deep discussion but will post anyway ;p

    #8 Amg1… I must say that indeed Un-Nyun is the Central theme of this drama…

    Oh wow, so it’s all about HER then…how insightful is that… is that why she has the most screen time compare to her other cast members ;p Was that what LDH meant when she hinted that there is a twist to the story? Would UN be the one who will help her love ones (DG/TH) to fulfill their dream/mission to rebuild a better Joseon that they might not be able to accomplish due to possible death :( Oh… suddenly I don’t care about the OTP perference anymore, I just want to see her raises above her circumstances and take charge!
    ~~
    19 pixie … i can’t wait to see the day that they all come together and fight the evil minister, especially dae-gil and tae-ha… if that day will come.

    Yes, let it be, let it be, a new dawn has come, anything is possible!

  23. 23 janie

    opps… forgot to add sth earlier, just wondering has this been discussed before… how come the brother has the ‘奴’ on his head while Un-Nyun’s on her chest (ouch); I thought I saw some on people’s face too… just wondering..

  24. 24 Lazynative

    Good Lord Seol-Hwa is hot, hot, hot! Your pics of her in this post are also very good. People have mentioned the high quality cinematography already so I won’t say too much more on it. It strikes me as interesting that many characters, almost have a colour code in a lot of the scenes – like purple for Seol-Hwa, shades of blue for Tae etc. for the women this even extends to the make up!!!

  25. 25 Mathew Kraft

    Thanks Samsooki for the recap !.

    I remembered during the scriptwriter interview saying Un Nyu/Hye Won –
    character will go on developing right to the very end and Jang Hyuk’s interview mentioned dae gil live insanely searching for Un Nyun?, Dae gil’s character is also revived all the time.

  26. 26 nana

    hello…

    im new here… and i like korean drama.. i confuse with this part in your interpretation
    “Un-Nyun thanks Tae-Ha for lending her his cloak as a blanket, and hands it back. But there is meaning in every action, and Tae-Ha looks at his jacket, which has been folded neatly with the draw ribbons also folded. Tae-Ha has been married once before, and knows a gesture like this means that Un-Nyun is offering more than just the return of his cloak.”

    what is the meaning of his jacket and ribbons has been folded neatly and he has been married once.. what is UN/HW offered to him?

    sorry for asking..

    juz curious..

    thank you~~

  27. 27 Felicia Ang

    Thanks samsooki,

    Quite interesting to know they use ho-pae as identity card in the form of wooden block during the Joseon era quite creative in their thinking and also the different official badges the three hunters are keeping for their work.

  28. 28 Jill4675

    Excellent recap! Both entertaining and informative! :)

  29. 29 hosaena

    Thanks for the drama recap
    I am really enjoying this drama it is unlike other Korean dramas i have seen so far.
    Let’s not try to fine flaws nothing is perfect. All in all it is a good drama with great led actors and acting skills.

  30. 30 Sakura

    @15 Sakura,

    There was a typing error, the word should be explicit not expulsion.

  31. 31 Biscuit

    @Sakura: Yes, the constable had a good reason to kill his colleagues. Prince is THE #1 priority. His colleagues may not have supported him and could have killed him off. In previous episodes where the prince was crying, no one came to attend to him. Shows how very little they think of him.

    As for Seolhwa… I think that while she looks for her mom, you can’t stop your emotions. When you like a person, you like ‘em. She may still want to search for her mom, but I’m sure you don’t want to lose another person you love.

    Besides, I doubt she could easily find her mom by herself. She can’t even run away from a few drunk men, and what can she do being a woman with no money in Joseon era? Might as well stick with the guy…

  32. 32 Chuck

    Man, episode 13, what a heartbreaker. Say what you will about this character or that, but this writer knows how to create drama . . .

  33. 33 samsooki

    @26 nana –

    what is the meaning of his jacket and ribbons has been folded neatly and he has been married once.. what is UN/HW offered to him

    Oh, it is a symbol of her willingness to be his wife.

    What Un-Nyun can give to Tae-Ha is only her ability as a wife. She has no money or land, no family, no status or connections.

    Her folding Tae-Ha’s clothing in such a careful and considerate fashion is what a doting wife would do for her husband, as the woman would be responsible for doing the cooking, cleaning, mending and washing of clothes. Un-Nyun’s folding of her clothes represents what she can do for Tae-Ha, and her willingness to do it means that she is expressing her willingness to be married to Tae-Ha.

    Poor Dae-Gil!!!

  34. 34 Jacq

    Thankyou Samsooki for the explanation. I was wondering what the hidden meaning in it myself. It makes sense now for TH to have that gentle loving (yet a little surprised) look on his face when HW handed him his clothes back neatly folded.
    Love HW/TH together!

  35. 35 nana

    samsooki.. thank u o much 4 ur explanation.. now i knw whats d meanin of ‘folded’.. i wonder what will be happen since there are 10 more ep.. i really appreciate it once again.. thank u =]

  36. 36 Sakura

    @31 Biscuit,

    I would like to differ from your reasons about the prince and seolhwa.

    As for the prince he is fully guarded (protected) by the court lady and the constable. The only time she left him was to fetch water at a short distance near the house and also the prince came out crying that’s to introduce viewers (us) that is the prince, the prince was crying because he was left unattended by his nanny.The Crown prince and family had stayed at the island for quite sometime but CPdied of poisoning could be the wife had the same fate too and also there was a plague at jeju island, they got no medical help from Hanyang.

    In epi. 5 Constable Hanseom left his post to make a pass at the court lady, so we can say that at the moment it was a safe place before the coming of an assasin.
    You mentioned about ‘they thought very little of the prince” and I would like to give an example about fatherhood during the Joseon era from this drama.
    General STH didn’t even embrace his son, he said- “if the child spend too long in his father’s hands it will end up spoiling him”. So the women are the one taking care of the family and doing all the household chores while the men is the breadwinner. Another good example, during the fire scene Lee Dae gil call for his mother first and I can also say that he respect women.

    Seolhwa you wrote ” She can’t even run away from a few drunk men, and what can she do being a woman with no money in Joseon era? Might as well stick with the guy…”

    I do empathize with Seolhwa. I am sad that she is left unattended by her family. She ran away from the dance troupe that show she is streetwise and bold in character like some of the words she said – if you help me I’ll strip later, how dare you try to get a peek for free?., come in and let all sleep.

    I still think that she gave a half thruthful answer to the three men. like to find her mum, her identity is a big spot near her breast. Her mum was sold when she was little and her father died when she was six years old, Which is the truth? when they left her for consensus her facial expression, she was smiling and sticking out her tongue (unless that is her habit) .She is a growing up girl always asking for food and she drank alchohol too for her age (17). And she is not shy to collect money from the men’s mouth. She very lucky to meet the three charitable men who still respect women except for Wangson.

  37. 37 Amg1

    At this stage I have found Un-Nyun and Seol-Hwa’s characters the most fascinating of them all as samsooki already mention in his comment, the two lead characters were born as free man but Un-Nyun was born a slave, so that changes the whole dynamic in the way her life has been, Dae-gil and Tae-Ha they are masters of there own destiny, but as for Un-Nyun all the decisions for her life apart from running away have all been made by the man that control her life, so if there is really a greater evil per se, I find Un-Nyun characters the most tragic of them all, even Seol-Hwa I do not think we know her whole story but I will guess that being sent into prostitution at the age of 17 was not her choice, but at least for all intended purposes Seol-Hwa is not consider a slave so from that point of view she is different than Un-Nyun.
    I still feel that in the end Un-Nyun may not find happiness with neither of the two lead man, to add more to her tragedy.
    this drama will become at the end one of the great Melodramas in fusion sageuk history!!!!!!!!!

  38. 38 langdon813

    Finally got a chance to catch up and read this recap, thanks samsooki! I too was wondering about the significance of how UN folded TH’s garments. I always enjoy the historical facts you include with your recaps, they’re fascinating.

    Wow, we sure did get to the end of the road abruptly (and brutally) with Yoon-ji and Baek-ho, didn’t we? I’m having trouble remembering who even hired Yoon-ji in the first place so no loss there, but I would have liked to see Baek-ho stick around a little longer (not because he’s great-looking, which he is, but because it seemed like there was an interesting story there with regard to his history with UN). Oh well. Fat must be trimmed at some point and I guess it starts now…

    I like Cho-bok too, and the only issue I have with her is the same problem that everyone had with UN, just in reverse. If UN is too pristine, then Cho-bok is too dirty. Her blindingly white teeth in contrast to her perma-smudge face just looks ridiculous. But that’s nitpicky, and not enough to mar my enjoyment of Chuno in the slightest.

    Of course I still love Seol-hwa to death!

    Great job as always, thanks samsooki!

  39. 39 kween

    I am anticipating when Un Nyun and dae gil will have their first conversation.

  40. 40 song4u2

    I just started this drama (on epi 2) and I like the leading character/actress’ acting a lot. The character shows got guts and courage to me so far…this is going to be good.

    The leading man is conflicted for sure and I’m not sure why he wants her back as property or for love because of the ‘natural order of things’….I get the feeling he dies in the end though.

  41. 41 Emma

    I’m rooting for Tae-Ha (OJH is just so magnetic that one cannot take one’s eyes off him) for the character could be potentially very interesting -if the writer did not stick with the rather hollow militaristic ideal of the ‘loyal general’- and I must admit the other guy does not interest me, either as a character or as an actor, in the least. I wish the writer spend more time and thought on the female lead. Her character is so underdeveloped, unconvincing and irritating, to the point of being offensive to women. It would be more interesting to show her as a more determined person, somebody who wishes to escape first slavery and then the threat of slavery for good, cannot be conceived as a passive, completely non street-wise, demure violet. And she should help in the fights too with the means at her disposal and according to her abilities. The character should display some profundity and complexity of feeling as she moves to a new, more rounded, more difficult, and hence more exciting,love. Her love for Tae Ha should be emphasised and underlined rather than be serve as a form of gratitude (and while the other one is not on the scene), since it is the love of a free person, or the love she feels as a free person (they should contrast that with her first love, the love of a dependent slave for her young master). Through that love -and similarly I’d like to see how the man, Tae-Ha, is transformed through his love for her. Tae Ha’s character too, the loyal general, should be given more to do than the display of military loyalty and chivalry- the writer has a unique chance to build up his main female character and give us an interesting character that shapes herself through her struggle with, and defence of, this new love, her coming to understand and wanting to experience this new love. However, I fear that the makers will simply fall back on the old, convenient and false saw, that we only love once, first love tramps all love blah, blah, blah, yawn, yawn, yawn (not to mention the fact that the form of love preferred would be that of a slave woman for her master. The writer is well advised to go and read Euripides’ tragedy Andromache . He will see how a slave woman rages against those who enslaved her, speaks of her dehumanisation, of her reduction to a res, a mere thing, and of the ordeal of the master’s bed, however young, charming, generous and loving the master).

  42. 42 song4u2

    @41 wow!

    From what I’ve seen so far, I did not get streetwise for the leading female character….she was a slave and protected/shielded by her bro so what could she learn on her own…now the young girl who was rescued without a father or brother should have some street smarts imo, but I have not run across her again just guessing though…now viewing epi 3.

  43. 43 samsooki

    @41 Emma –

    You make some good points. But to play devil’s advocate a little:

    The portrayal of Un-Nyun (by Lee Da Hae), as the silently enduring, rather idealistically romantic, almost strangely alternating between impulsive and passive, but altogether rather helpless runaway slave who is now known as Hye-Won (her non-slave name) probably touches closer to reality than a firebrand who fights with humanistic and feministic energy.

    What Chuno always falls back upon is the background of history. In other words, if you take a woman who was born a slave, knows nothing about anything except to being a slave, and who has loved only one person, to whom she has put all of her heart and soul and dreams of eventual love and freedom, then, whose life is shattered by violence and the abrupt apparent murder of her love (and her soul and her dreams) by her brother, then, what would that character look like? And, before you answer, you gotta place this character in the time period and location of an extremely fractured and brutal society, where men were dominant everywhere, where slaves were not human, and social castes were enforced as a part of a religious / moral belief system.

    The character of Un-Nyun / Hye-Won is very, very complex. I don’t think this is wrong per se, except that given the constraints of a drama series, her character should have been simplified a great deal and type-cast MORE (not less) so that people can understand why she does what she does.

    If Hye-Won ends up being with Song Tae-Ha, it is not necessarily by choice but by pragmatism, and that’s not the OTP but it is a necessity that only those with no options in life are forced to make.

  44. 44 samsooki

    @41 Emma –

    Lastly, while the crying out against de-humanization would be in every heart of those who are not free, whether it would be seen in reality is another thing altogether.

    It isn’t like Korea’s no-bi (slavery) system lasted only a hundred years or two hundred years, where people might have remembered or heard of a time when there wasn’t slavery… The no-bi system lasted over 1,200 years, maybe even closer to 1,500 years. And so during the Chuno period, the existence of (and the justification for) slavery would have been as part of regular life as summer following spring, or as day follows night. It is so difficult to imagine, now, that kind of society, but Korea had it…

  45. 45 song4u2

    I was wondering about the slavery aspect of this drama thanks so much for the history lesson.

    Since the male leads are so attractive in the storyline, I guess writers cannot get away from romanticizing the characters a little. If they all survive in the end that would be interesting to see how the writers justify it because their line of work does not inspire love from those being chased and beaten, but a whole lot of hatred; and jealousy from their competitors.

    I still like the female lead up to this point (epi 4). I felt so sorry for the two of them and he was a mouse, but now a tiger. Ten years later and both still longing for someone who no longer exists except in their memories….

  46. 46 song4u2

    At this juncture, I am for HW and TH being together and starting anew, but this is a K-drama so I won’t hold my breathe….

  47. 47 poketboi

    i for one dont find seolhwa and chobok appealing at all
    in fact i tend to tune out during their scenes
    (especially chobok – her characteer is so typecast and unoriginal; im sure ive seen this kind of setup hundreds of times in other dramas, the unusually bright and capable girl surroundedby a bunch of moronic dundering men)
    but thats probably because im a little emo and i love tragic characters
    i love how tragic all three main characters are
    although at the moment (especially in episodes 12, 13, 14) daegil is bordering more on pathetic than tragic
    i love the tragic budding romance between taeha and hyewon
    but im a litle alarmed that its developing so quickly, whereas the possible relationship of daegil and unnyun is becoming more and more remote a prospect
    i mean, the guy has been looking for her for ten years, cut this guy some slack! it would be heartbreaking really if this OTP didnt get some closure
    and while it would also be heartbreaking for taeha if it did, its fine, since taeha is already a pretty tragic character
    i almost feel like hes destined to live a long, lonely life; since hes the only character who lives his ilfe solely for others
    and he already lost his wife and kid, so it wouldnt be the first time
    what im predicting is that in the end, daegil and unnyun will be reunited and in love; but obviously there is no way on earth their relationship wouldever have worked out, so theyll just both die together. and lonely taeha will go on to become some great general, etc

    ps. im so sad they killed off yoonji. it was so interesting to watch her, even if it was just to wonder how awe-inspiringly out-of-place she looked in this sageuk

    pps. can we just take a moment to spazz about the hotness that is lee jonghyuk
    amen

  48. 48 song4u2

    @ 47 Interesting prediction.

    I think TH/HW will end up together and DG will die a runaway slave because the noble will make him one and he will eventually be killed by a bullet.

    HW will think she is still in love with him but realize (albeit too late perhaps) that her true live is TH….I’m not sure if the two end up physically together though as she may die in the process with DG. I see TH predicament far worse than DG and his quest is more noble to me at this point, but I just finished epi 4 so things could go down hill with all kinds of twists and turns….Either way, I do not see a happy ending, but I hope writers prove me wrong and let someone be happy in the end.

  49. 49 Rachel

    I feel a tiny bit sorry for the two jumos, the artist & horse vet guy – nobody gives a fig about their story line.

    It’s a pity we didn’t get to see more of the mysterious Lady Assassin. I half hope she will miraculously reappear later, but a knife to the gut like that >.<

    The noble who loves a slave girl become ruthless slave hunter. The slave girl becomes a noble. The general becomes a slave. Who is the slave?
    I see some interesting clashes of character coming…

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