Drama Recaps
Tree With Deep Roots: Episode 1
by | October 19, 2011 | 68 Comments

[New recapper alert! HeadsNo2 has graciously offered to lend her recapping skills in covering the new kid on the sageuk block, Wednesday & Thursday’s Tree With Deep Roots. It’s a highly anticipated drama that’s already commanding the top ratings spot, and looks like a lush feast for the eyes. Hopefully also for minds and hearts. –javabeans]

Tree With Deep Roots is cinematically stunning and darkly thrilling – a full on assault of the senses, if you will. If this drama were a meal, it would have seven courses with a complimentary dessert just because it’s awesome like that. If this drama were your girlfriend, she’d leave you to watch Song Joong Ki play a tortured young king and Jang Hyuk a Joseon-era murder investigator. If this drama wore clothes, it-…

You know what? The opening episode was good. Let’s just go from there.


We open in a currently unspecified year, though background material tells us that we are in the Joseon Dynasty – as we usually are – during the reign of King Sejong, who ruled from the year 1418 to the year 1450.

A royal guard, KANG CHAE-YOON (Jang Hyuk) is counting the amount of steps it takes to get from one side of the royal courtyard to the other for a future assembly. It’s nice to see that Jang Hyuk in a fancy hat, but I still miss that mane of glory from his Chuno days. Sigh.

In a brilliant bit of camerawork/CGI, we see the assembly Chae-yoon has been plotting for literally unfold in front of our eyes. He’s decided that the Sam Do (basically, the Royal Red Carpet that only the King may walk on) is the fastest way to get to KING SEJONG (Han Suk Kyu)… by one hundred and seven steps. That seems like one hundred and six steps too many, Chae-yoon, but good luck all the same.

He stands in line as part of the assembly, and with the untying of his hat we know that Operation: Kill the King is underway. I’m sure that the hat untying can be symbolic, in that Chae-yoon is shedding his oath to protect the King in order to have a killer drama opening instead – but either way, it’s captivating to see the battle scene that follows.

With a roar of a war cry, “Lee Do!” (the name King Sejong was called before he was King Sejong), Chae-yoon leaps onto the red carpet. The Royal Army springs into motion, but no one has the balls of steel Chae-yoon possesses to walk that sacred carpet, and can only toe the edges while they try to fight him off.

Chae-yoon makes it all the way to the throne, distracting MU-HYUL (Jo Jin Woong), Joseon’s best swordsman, with some kind of smoke bomb as he launches toward the King… Only to be shot not once, but twice, through the chest by arrows. Nooo! He’s still ready to persevere, but only gets pelted with more arrows for the trouble, even one straight to the Achilles tendon. Ouch.

Mu-hyul holds a sword to Chae-yoon’s neck, while he can only stare straight forward at King Sejong, blood dripping from his mouth. In a voiceover, we hear him say: “Failed.”

Turns out the assembly was all a scenario that got played in Chae-yoon’s head, and he’s safe and sound where we last saw him. He concludes that the current version of Operation: Kill the King is too risky, and that unless he shortens the distance or becomes faster, he’ll have to wait. The dream wasn’t for nothing, though, and he sketches a map of the palace into his little black book.

As fate would have it, none other than King Sejong comes across his path. Chae-yoon weighs his chances in percentages about making a move to kill Sejong now by using the sword of a nearby guard, but his chances only get smaller upon Mu-hyul’s arrival. We can see the wheels turning in Chae-yoon’s head as it’s a now-or-never decision, but his chances are already less than they were during the imaginary assembly…

And then King Sejong turns around, to ask Chae-yoon for his name. We hear a voiceover of him asking himself “What do I do? What do I do?” as we all sit on the edge of our seats. He’s quiet, glancing at the nearby guard’s sword as though he’s ready to make his move – and we hear him say, in voiceover:

Chae-yoon:“My name… My name is Ddol Bok!”

Insert flashback and collective “aww”. It’s the kid from City Hunter! We cut to a young Chae-yoon, whose earlier name (as a slave, so it seems) was DDOL-BOK (Chae Sang Woo), beating the crap out of another, way bigger kid. He’s trying to get answers as to who made fun of his father – in what proves to be a Ddol-bok Smash! button for him all throughout the episode.

We’ve moved back to the year 1418. According to history, this is the first year of Lee Do, or King Sejong’s, reign as king – with his father (former King Taejong) having abdicated the throne.

Elsewhere, a man is being tortured and interrogated (oops, are they one in the same?) by JO MAL-SAENG (Lee Jae Young) about Ddol-bok’s master and the King’s father-in-law, Chancellor Shim. We’ve started to get our political maneuvering into play, but we don’t have the full picture yet. All we know is the tortured man is both shocked and hurt to hear that these orders are coming straight from His Highness.

In stark contrast, the slaves at the very house of the Chancellor of the Hour are having a good ol’ time. Interrupting them is a well-meaning fellow slave who gets taken advantage of because of an apparent mental handicap. Before one of the slaves can quip that Ddol-bok will get them all for this stunt, Ddol-bok bursts onto the scene – in our first bit of comedy for the hour – and sets to beating the men who put makeup on his father’s face.

All the ruckus gets them dragged before the brother of the currently absent Chancellor Shim. Ddol-bok boldly defends his father, Suk-sam, and wins the impromptu debate – but the offending party, Gul-sang, refuses the terms and causes another fight to break out with the hot-tempered Ddol-bok.

Afterward, father and son share a touching moment by a stream. Ddol-bok washes the makeup off and tries to teach his father how to defend himself in the future. It’s here where we learn that Suk-sam wasn’t always this way, as he fell from a hill trying to protect his son. Now the roles are reversed and his son is protecting him. The way they are together is adorable city.

Ddol-bok spends a leisurely afternoon with another slave girl we’ve seen earlier in the episode – her father was the one that caused all the trouble earlier. I might be very wrong about this as she’s not been officially named yet, but this seems to be a young SO-YI (KIM HYUN SOO).

They’re your typical Cute Children, and have an Extra Cute Word Game. They even exchange stolen gifts, which is sweet and sad all at once. She’s made a small bag out of pilfered pieces of silk from her mistress, and he’s stolen her a partially-broken container of rouge. He even helps her apply some to her face – and she returns the favor. Aww. Wait, we’re in kdramaland. Surely this kind of adorable happiness cannot last long.

Aaand it doesn’t. The two little lovebirds return to their master’s home to find chaos, with his slaves trying to defend the homestead and getting beaten for it by Royal Troops. Ddol-bok enters the fray and saves his father, escaping with him and young So-yi(?) to a house in the woods. In order to keep his father from returning to the house, Ddol-bok binds his hands and feet.

After a brief interjection with the Queen, we cut from the torture of the captured Chancellor’s brother to former KING TAEJONG (Baek Yoon Shik), enjoying a quiet day of fishing with the Royal Court. He’s the first one to catch something and everyone makes a big to-do. How much do you want to bet that no one else baited their hooks? He’d updated on the state of the interrogations, and it becomes clear that though he’s abdicated the throne, he still hasn’t quite relinquished his power.

Mu-hyul makes it past official LEE SHIN-JUK (well-beloved Ahn Suk Hwan) into a grandiose, beautiful, and busy room to see none other than LEE DO, aka a young KING SEJONG (Song Joong Ki). He’s absorbed, almost to the point of obsession, with a floor-sized 33×33 game of sudoku. I can’t even play the kind that comes in the weekly newspaper.

The sudoku seems to be Lee Do’s way of coping, though we can see him trembling from his shoulders to his hands. Aww. When the Queen comes, as if knowing what she’s going to ask, he begins to name the men his father has had executed. In turn, she berates him for falling into his games whenever serious things happen, and begs him to save her father’s life. He’s the King of Joseon. Can he not even save a life?

Cut to: a flashback montage of Lee Do not saving lives. He remembers each one he had to watch as a young prince and how everyone asked for help while he could help no one.

Spurred by these haunting memories, he can only dejectedly tell the Queen: “I cannot save him. I cannot do anything.”

Cut to: Lee Do doing exactly what he said he couldn’t do. During the court proceedings where the fate of the traitors is decided, it’s pretty clear who wears the real kingly pants out of this father and son duo – and it isn’t the current king.

He’s more or less coerced by his father to give the seal of approval to Chancellor Shim’s grim fate, and the two kings’ conflict comes to a head in the Sudoku Room (that’s what I’m calling it for now, anyway). These actors chew up the scenery, and it’s clear that Lee Do is still under his father’s thumb as much as he doesn’t want to be. The Sudoku Room scene serves to show us the differing ideals between them – Taejong is trying to get Lee Do to see things in the singular way that he does by ‘solving’ the sudoku puzzle with only the number one. He says that the King is number one, and the only one with the power. Everything else is unnecessary.

Though told by his father to stay out of it, Lee Do embarks on Mission: Save Shim-won and sends a girl from the palace with a secrete missive. She’s meant to take it to a slave of Shim-won’s that Lee Do trusts, but because of the police presence surrounding the house the letter ends up in the hands of Ddol-bok, his father, and that yet-unnamed-girl-I’m-sure-is-young-So-yi. They’re left with the task of delivering the letter, and while Ddol-bok is initially distrustful he believes the young So-yi can read from their earlier gift exchange. He asks her to check the letter’s contents against what the girl says, and she hesitantly agrees. They’re reassured that if they deliver this to their master all will be well and their fathers will be saved, thanks to the King.

Ddol-bok volunteers to go, but in a touching moment, his dad uses the skills his son taught him earlier in the episode to take the dangerous mission of letter delivery himself. He runs through the night without stopping, and catches up to his master’s caravan.

Too little, too late – Shim-won’s reaction tells us that all is not well with this letter, and in a brief flashback we see why: Jo Mal-saeng had intercepted the court girl sent to deliver Lee Do’s letter and pulled a bait-and-switch. Whether the real letter would have helped or not is debatable, since royal troops come to surround the caravan moments later. Without knowing any better, Ddol-bok’s father admits to being the letter carrier and receives a bloody and horrible blow to the head for it. I had a feeling this was coming, but it’s still heartbreaking to see.

Lee Do hears the bad news from Mu-hyul, while Taejong hears the good news from Jo Mal-saeng, who hands over the original letter. Seems like someone hasn’t turned his king switch into the ‘off’ position.

Ddol-bok’s father, Suk-sam, isn’t dead – yet. He’s getting there, while Shim-won sits as a prisoner and lots of horrible torture implements are readied. Suk-sam cries about his son who he might never see again and Shim-won takes pity, using the precious time he has left on this world to demand a piece of paper so that he can write to Ddol-bok on Suk-sam’s behalf. The actor playing Shim Won doesn’t have a lot of screen time, but he’s established himself as an upright man with integrity, honor, and care for others. He’s dignified as he accepts the bowl of Execution Poison, and as he drinks it, we see Suk-sam holding the paper that Shim-won wrote for him.

Lee Do, no stranger to uptake, knows that the letters were switched as soon as he hears about Shim-won’s fate. At least he doesn’t live in a land of denial where his father is perfect, and as Taejong is still scheming with Jo Mal-saeng, all Lee Do has to do is stand outside to overhear proof that his father betrayed his trust.

He takes a long moment deciding whether to go in or not. Deciding against it, he can only walk away hanging his head.

Chancellor Shim’s family and slaves are being carted through the street like animals. Since the belief existed that being a traitor must be contagious, no one from Shim-won’s household is excluded from the promise of a future and probably horrible death. Thus far our two children have been able to avoid detection, but upon seeing her dad being pulled along in the procession, DAM (previously referred to as ‘young So-yi’, but she has a name now!) is unable to hold back. Ddol-bok tries to drag her back, but they both end up captured and thrown into prison with the rest of the slaves.

Meanwhile, the Queen goes to visit a deeply brooding Lee Do. Where before she had been pleading, asking a question we were all wondering with her: can’t he, as King, do anything?, now she’s taken on a more somber air befitting the execution of her father. She only knows of the letter her father actually received and not the actual letter Lee Do tried to send. In her eyes, Lee Do has betrayed both her and her father.

Ddol-bok is in prison when his dying father is unceremoniously thrown in. There have been a few moments in this episode where Suk-sam has shown real clarity in his eyes, and this is the finest yet – but sadder, since he’s about to shuffle the mortal coil.

His son is hesitant to approach him, suffering from disbelief at seeing his father this way. He is pulled down to his father, who hands him the letter Shim-won wrote for him.

In a nicely juxtaposed scene we see Suk-sam’s passing without a word, just as the Queen is relating how her father passed without a word. Her tearful words echo Ddol-bok’s feelings, as he angrily demands to know who is responsible for his father’s death. The Queen finally tells Lee Do:

Queen Soheon: “It was you who killed him.”




Sometimes bad things can come from calling dramas early, but this first episode is a veritable powerhouse of performances. I’m a little less worried than usual about this drama’s story and pacing since they’re basing it off a novel of the same name, which means that the writers know where they’re going and how they’re going to get there (usually, maybe, hopefully). That shouldn’t surprise us, since this is coming from the Queen Seon Deok team (with many other impressive credibilities), but I’ve never seen Queen Seon Deok (it’s going to happen one of these days). I couldn’t base all my future hopes and dreams for a drama just on that name.

But I *can* base all my future hopes and dreams on this episode!

I liked Sungkyunkwan Scandal just fine, and found Song Joong Ki a delight and pretty to look at. But I admit, I was really in this drama for Jang Hyuk, who I really fell in love with after giving a hell of a performance in Chuno. That drama had its flaws, but he gave the performance of a lifetime as the lovelorn and tortured slave hunter. That sort of act is hard to follow up, but I have full faith in him and am excited for what’s in store.

That being said… SONG JOONG KI.

Who knew he had it in him?! I brought up Sungkyunkwan Scandal earlier to prove I was not a rabid fangirl of his before this drama aired. I was excited to see Song Joong Ki, sure, but I didn’t really know what I was in for. He is BRILLIANT. His scenes with Baek Yoon Shik, playing his father and the former king, literally put me on the edge of my seat every time. There’s something about the inner struggles of a king lost in the shadow of his predecessor that Song Joong Ki displays as narrative information just in his facial expressions alone. I never felt like he was mugging for the camera, either.

He probably wouldn’t have all the moral crises he’s having if he were like his father, but he isn’t. And that’s the beauty of the conflict. His father intended to raise a Mini Me King and got Song Joong Ki instead. I can’t *wait* to see how this plays out!

But then when I think about it, I *can* wait to see how this plays out. Normally when I see child actors of our future stars on the screen my general thought is: “Alright, let’s grow up as soon as possible.” But Tree With Deep Roots is smart. It knows I want to see Ddol-bok grow up into Chae-yoon, and therefore be Jang Hyuk… but it also knows I don’t want Song Joong Ki to ever grow up, and become Han Suk Kyu (I’m sure he’s going to be fabulous, though). They’re unfortunately mutually exclusive, so my trust is in the production team.

Now, on to the purely superficial stuff: this drama is gorgeous. If I had to name my favorite visual aspect, it would definitely be the color palette. Jewel tones abound in this lush environment, and it has the look and feel of a big-budget film. The Sudoku Room is a technical marvel in and of itself and the director knows it, because we get plenty of wide-angle shots. It’s a feast for the senses. None of the costumes look hokey (that risk comes with any costumed drama) and everything seems well planned and choreographed (so far), with a solid and talented cast.

That being said, we’re in a 24 episode drama, and at least the first four episodes are used to set the table. This drama is selling itself as a political conspiracy/murder mystery, so I have a feeling things are going to get a lot more complicated here on out – and maybe darker. Ooo! Fun. We’re at the peak of sageuk season and I had been waiting for a drama to really captivate me since the void left by City Hunter. But there is one aspect of Tree With Deep Roots that sets it above and beyond most other dramas I’ve watched this year – it is downright thrilling.

If this is what we can expect for the rest of the run, then bring it on, Tree.


68 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. LK

    OMG. I’m so happy someone is recapping this drama! I was just about to start watching it at the moment, how perfect! I’m really in the sageuk mood lately, after watching The Princess’ Man. I was sad that nobody recapped that drama because I would’ve understand some part better. But nonetheless, it was a terrific drama. I heard many good thing about Tree With Deep Roots. I don’t even care if there’s a love line or not, since I love anything mystery.

  2. MiMi


  3. danna

    Everyone including the Korean media, critics, and every blogger I know are raving over Song Joong Ki right now…and he absolutely deserves it…I think I may have watched his scenes a billion times this week and taken at least twice as many screencaps…..brilliant doesn’t even do service to his performance…as a longt time fan, I’m so proud of him…Korea HAS to give him a lead role in a drama next or I’ll cry!!!!
    about the show….. I’m not in love with this drama just yet, in fact I’m not even sure If I want to continue with it… not because it’s not interesting but because of time limitations and In the first few eps I felt it tried to hard….especially in the dramatic scenes…that said the rest of the cast is also good, especially Han Suk Kyu….he’s a lot of fun to watch….even more so than Jang Hyuk….also anyone recognize Moo Hyul as Brutus from Sons of Sol Pharmacy?! damn what a tranformation!!!
    Thank you for recapping HeadsNo2…even if I dont continue watching I’m looking forward to reading your recaps

    • 3.1 Kgrl

      “Korea HAS to give him a lead role in a drama next or I’ll cry!!!!”

      You can say that again. The guy has been worthy of a leading role 2 years ago. How many dramas have we seen when the lead actor gives us only mediocre at best performances? SJK has been pretty amazing in all of his roles, despite the lack of significant screen time. I have to say Tree has been his best performance yet.

  4. kate

    Being a super queen seon duk, song joong ki and jang hyuk fan, I watched this drama for 4 episodes and I was sort of disappointed. Yeah, every pretty scenes (+cast EEPP!) but it only plays like ONE song haha and even through ep 4, we never got a glimpse of Shin Sae Kyung’s, the grown up character which sort of frustrated me because I found the younger character to be interesting and I was very curious as to what happened to her. They practically set her aside and I just really wanted to know. I don’t know how I got through the QSD political scenes without ever skipping, but for tree, I’m like half asleep because I’m a loyal watcher and I never skipped scenes in my entire kdrama life. Anyways, tree wasn’t too bad but not brilliant either. I’ll stay tune for episodes 5-6 but if that doesn’t satisfy my hunger, I’ll sadly quit but I’ll gladly read the recaps.

  5. Arhazivory

    Thanks for the recap. Honestly, in SJK’s first scene in the game room when he started repeating the names of all those who were murdered, my eyes teared up automatically and I had to pause, take a deep breath, and wonder….why the hell am I crying?

    Damn…in every scene he was intense and moving. I feel sad that he’ll only be in the drama for a short time but they sure as hell picked the right person to give an impact. I’ll never look at him the same. I hope the drama entities will cast him in another intense role after this performance.

    • 5.1 Cynthia

      He’s set to start filming “Wolf Boy” with Park Bo-young this month. 🙂

  6. Pepero

    Welcome and thanks so much for the recaps HeadsNo2! I wasn’t really in the mood to watch a sageuk, but your nice recaps have changed my mind. I dig thrillers, so this one seems to be my cup of tea. Can’t wait for your next recap!

  7. Mara

    i was equally blown away from the first episode and song joong ki. now i’m not so excited, after watch ep 3.

    drama don’t fail me now.

  8. YBisTOP

    This drama is very good! I recommand it to anyone.

  9. kakashi4444

    how exciting!! thanks so much. after marathoning/devouring Princess’ Man, I kind of fell into a drama slump – looks like it’s over!

  10. 10 myweithisway

    Yay! Now double the time for fun since we can spazz over episodes and recaps! Great job and thanks so much for your hard work!

  11. 11 KDR

    I watched the first four episode in one shot last week.. it really is a GREAT drama!! I am glad you are recapping it! ^_^

  12. 12 Birdie

    Welcome, HeadsNo2. What a name! Is there a HeadsNo1? Thanks for the recap. I am liking it so far. All the scenes are visually well-done. Although sad to see SJK go as he was amazing, we have more of JH-he is very good, too. Hopefully TWDR will keep it up.

  13. 13 Kaleido

    Thanks for recapping this drama. I actually watched the first 4 ep over the weekend… and I must say that Song Joong Ki was brilliant. I was sad to see him “grow up”. I will definitely miss seeing him.

    I thought the drama started quite slow.. .and the first 10 mins totally confused me… I almost gave up… but I am glad that I kept watching it. TWDR did not sucked me in as much as like TPM or even WBDS.. but I enjoyed it mostly because of the performance of SJK… but I also started to enjoy the story development…

    thanks again for recapping this.

  14. 14 rui

    thank you
    sageuk recapping is happening right here in DB

    • 14.1 Linda165

      I know!! I’m like huh?! But loving it!

  15. 15 queencircles

    Thanks for recapping this! I was not planning on watching this but then I had some downtime and nothing to watch so I thought I’d try it out. I LOVED it. The first episode had me hooked and then next three had me captivated as well. This is my first sageuk show, and I’m excited already by this story. Can’t wait for this week’s episode! Thanks again, I’ll be looking forward to your next recaps!

  16. 16 fuzzymogwai

    woo recaps! i loved ev minute of the eps so far and im so glad someone is recapping! thanks!

    and i cannot agree more song joongki is doing briliantly! im actually kinda sad that i think his bits are now over ish…

    and the su do ku was epic like. its even harder bc there are no starting pieces to guide you…


    looking forward to the next recap!

  17. 17 Shiku

    Thanks for recapping the drama and am in for the long haul.

    • 17.1 aslinn


  18. 18 nauna

    Thanks for the excellent recap HeadsNo2! I’m a little back and forth with this drama. There are moments I find mesmerizing, like every scene between Sejong and his father, and the grown up Chae Yoon is an intriguing character is intriguing, but for some reason I don’t quite love it yet. So far, I’d have to say I mostly find it thrilling, but not yet addicting.

    I have to agree with everyone who’s raving about SJK, he’s brilliant here. Thank goodness the actor playing the mature Sejong, just picked up right where he left off.

  19. 19 Noemi

    yay! Welcome, HeadsNo2! I’m so glad that you will be writing recaps for TWDR—watching k-dramas is so much more fun when you get to hear everyone else’s opinions and thoughts too 🙂

    I ditto what everyone else says about Song Joong-ki…he’s amazing as Lee Do! I loved him to pieces as Yeorim in SKKS, but seeing this side of him as an actor—wow! I’m sad that his character has to grow up, but I like what I’ve seen of Han Seok-kyu so far.

    Also, I really enjoyed the child actors—Ddol Bok and Dam were quite expressive, too. Not to mention the gorgeous scenery, the cinematography, the intense pacing…I think I may have found my new crack. Hoping that it keeps up the awesomeness! 🙂

  20. 20 oi

    hi HeadsNo2, welcome 😀
    and thank you for recapping this drama

  21. 21 Jane

    It’s a pleasant surprise to see someone recapping Tree with Deep Roots. Thank you for putting time and effort, I’ll be able to understand alot more. You rock!

    Such a beautiful drama so far! i am loving the scenaries..
    Can i just say Song Joong Ki has totally changed my views on him, like, forever?! Such different level from who he played for S Scandal.

    Keep the great recaps commming!

  22. 22 tegami


    I think it’s safe to say that Song Joong-ki absolutely STOLE the first few episodes he’s been in.

    He’s just that fan-frickin’-tastic.

    It makes me sad to think he won’t be staying for the whole drama….lol, I can’t believe I’m saying this but:

    “Jang Hyuk, please don’t come on screen yet!”


  23. 23 coffeevampire

    Thank you for recapping this drama. I love it and I’m already addicted!

  24. 24 hpn88

    SJK was beyond fabulous. I just wanted the drama to continue and not take the time leap. He had me riveted from the first second he was on screen to the last.

    PS: He “accidentally” revealed that he had a girlfriend on an interview recently. There go my plans of seducing him.

  25. 25 kit

    ohmaaaaaan this recap was amazing. i’ve really wanted to get on board with this; i love historical dramas, the team behind this is amazing, the actors even more so. soidjfsiodjfsijdf. waiting two weeks for my uni entrance exams to finish aaah.

  26. 26 cheonsa

    Thanks for the recap! I love it – both your recap and the show. I love intelligent sageuks and this is definitely one of them. Love the conflict between Taejong and Sejong and how it was played out. His evil genes may have skipped Sejong but they certainly manifested themselves in TPM Princess Seryoung’s dad. QSD was what got me started on sageuks. You’ve gotta check it out! It’s got its low points like the fan servicey QSD-bidam romance but overall, it makes for a good watch. The ballad of Suh Dong with Kang-ah as King Mu was much better at integrating the romance element into the story.
    Looking forward to your epi 2 recap!

  27. 27 anotheraddict

    Woot! I haven’t watched TWDR yet as I’m a bit sageuked-out at the moment, but I was planning on checking it out soon– I’m thrilled to see that it’s being recapped. (I guess it’s time for me to board this train!) I’m even more thrilled to see a generous soul with some decent writing chops showing up as a new guest recapper here at DB. Kudos and Kamsahamnida, HeadsNo2!

  28. 28 dancinfff

    I was interested in Tree With Deep Roots because of Song Joong Ki and I kept seeing news about it on Dramabeans. So I go check it out, and it’s like a new Song Joong Ki. I’m so use to the playful and smiling one, but I love the serious actor Song. He should really stick with these kind of dramas for now.He was (is) amazing. Like he had me drawn in with his acting and not just his looks. He should get a leading role soon right?
    The kids are great actors too! I don’t know how they can act so seriously. Almost every child actor I’ve watched in KDrama have been amazing! Kudos to them!

  29. 29 asianromance

    Thank you so much for recapping! I’m loving this drama so much right now! Song Joong-ki definitely impressed me as Lee Do. I know some have already watched ahead, but did any of you notice that SJK and Han Suk-kyu had the same walk for Lee Do. I’m impressed by this detail.

    The little kid who played Ddol-bokk overacted just a smidgeon at times, but his intensity and physicality really fits well with Jang Hyuk’s intensity.

    The Sudoku room really is breathtaking!

  30. 30 laya

    Yay! Hello HeadsNo2! ^_^ Thank you for the recap! <3

  31. 31 dulcedeleche

    Great recap!

    Just a suggestion- since this is the first episode…can you do a character profile before the recap starts? I was having issues following who-was-who.

  32. 32 Kiara

    Welcome HeadsNo2 :).

    Thank you so much for the recap.

  33. 33 Suzi Q

    Thanks for the recaps! At the beginning, I was confused about the royal assassination plot.

    Loved Song Joong Ki in SKKS. I agree that he definitely stole the thunder from Jang Hyuk in this first episode.I hope they will cast Song Joong Ki in a lead part in the future. He was brilliant as the young King Sejong. Too bad he doesn’t have a lengthy part in this drama.

    This cast is superb.

    Didn’t recognized Jo Jin Woong as Moo Hyul .He lost so much weight.He looks great!

    Baek Yoon Shik is perfect as Taejong, the evil and immoral former king,who murders everyone that got in his way.The real King Sejong had a horrible evil parent and it is amazing that he was able to survive him.

    Don’t know the novel this drama is based upon, but they have done a wonderful job on the scenery, costumes, music, and the photography. Can’t wait for future episodes.

  34. 34 Linda165

    See? This is why I like reading recaps, for the details and insights. That Sacred Carpet thing totally flew over my head. So thank you HeadsNo2 for a detailed, entertaining and very well written recap.

    Can’t wait for the rest. Oh! And welcome!!
    *throws confetti*

  35. 35 all4mvoies

    This drama sounds interesting.

    Now if only I could get over my dislike for Jang Hyuk. I have never liked his arrogant screen presence in the roles he has played in the past.

  36. 36 thunderbolt

    Thank you for the recap, HeadsNo2! What a lovely surprise!

    Song Joong-ki is beyond amazing in TWDR. Come rave with us here:


    • 36.1 Arhazivory

      lol. I raved.

  37. 37 MJP


  38. 38 bishbash

    it’s not sudoku btw. it’s called magic square.

    yay for recaps btw! 😀

  39. 39 mems

    Wow, I wasn’t going to watch this at first but your awesome 1st recap just changed my mind. Will have to check it out now!

    Thank you HeadsNo2!

  40. 40 Deeliteful


  41. 41 koreandramalover / kdl / kay

    Welcome HeadsNo2! Outstandingly-written recap!! Such a silky-smooth, easy, pleasant, entertaining, witty and perfectly-pitched piece of writing/recapping!! Well done!!! Because of your exceptional recapping, I can literally imagine the whole awesome episode unfolding in front of my eyes even before watching the episode! 😉

    Thank you so much for volunteering to recap this drama because I was praying for it to be recapped! Did Javabeans invite you to do it? If so, thank you Javabeans! 😉

    Once again, welcome to Dramabeans, HeadsNo2! 😉

  42. 42 nonski

    thanks HeadsNo2 for recapping TWDR! looking forward for the next recaps…

    would like to inform everyone that TWDR is being subbed at DarkSmurfSub, anyone can come and join the subbing team for fastest releases of subs. here is the link:

  43. 43 iLLusiOnEr

    The opening is one of the finest I’ve ever seen for historical drama.It beats ‘Chuno’! Wait for 2nd episode. The standoff between the young king and his father is one hella of a performance from Song Joong Ki. Too bad his character doesn’t have more screen episode. Perhaps in flash backs after this.

    There were some reasons why I anticipated this drama: QSD writer, Song Joong Ki and Jang Hyuk, and my sageuk’s fever. Having watched first two episodes, this show is not to be missed!!

  44. 44 Francesca

    SJK nailed it! How I wish they extended his role to some more episodes instead of only 4!

  45. 45 rita

    Welcome HeadsNo2!!!! love this drama i am so happy to have you recap……SJK is fabulous in this…..am looking forward to your recaps….

  46. 46 tia

    i can’t watch this drama @dramafever and i only have kbsworld in my cabel network..
    i’m saaadd,, i can’t watch song koong ki intense acting..

  47. 47 soojin08

    The one-liners in this drama ARE EPIC I TELL YOU.


    Tree With Deep Roots, HWAITING!

  48. 48 antonia

    i didn’t watch the princess man yet (it’s on my list) nor chuno. so i can’t compare.
    but what an amazing first episode, i saw it yesterday and i can’t wait for the second one! i cried like a baby… suk-sam history is so sad… and SJK he brings tears to my eyes just from his awesome performance, waves to him… i love him in skks but this is much more promising… why did he have to grow up?
    the drama was thrilling and good and so was your recap THANK YOU!!!!

  49. 49 rainerust

    Welcome to DB HeadsNo2! And thanks for the brilliant recap on TWDR – I was surprised to see it up since JB and GF don’t normally cover saeguks but I’m grateful that you’ll be stepping in!

    After watching TPM and weeping buckets of tears I told myself NO MORE SAEGUKS…but then SJK had to happen and I just couldn’t stop myself. He absolutely stole my breath away as young King Sejong (the pain! the hope!) and I will rave about him in a couple of the later episodes once you get the recaps up so that there won’t be any spoilers but OH he was amazing!

    So out of curiosity does anyone know why King Taejoon would abdicate if he wasn’t actually going to let his son be in power? I mean he’s still kinda holding the reins, right? Why? How would that make sense?

  50. 50 Phoebe

    Omg you don’t know how grateful I am! Thank you so much. Just what I needed to fully understand the show. Super excited about this due to it being written by the same writers who wrote Queen Seon Deok 😀

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