Drama Recaps
Tree With Deep Roots: Episode 3
by | October 23, 2011 | 41 Comments

It’s really fun to watch a conversation between two people that makes you feel like you’re in a verbal boxing match with giants. Every time Lee Do landed a nicely-veiled hit to his father I practically cheered… Wait, I actually did cheer. We’ve got secret orders, political maneuvering, and shadowy groups of idealists bent on subverting the power of the King – all the ingredients you need to make a tasty sageuk cake. Mmm.


Arrows rain down around him, but Lee Do doesn’t even flinch. He’s owning his slow motion walk, and whether his assuredness comes from some deeper knowledge that his father won’t actually kill him or just his newfound purpose we’re not really sure.

When he approaches Former King Taejong, he speaks as if nothing happened, even asking how his father’s morning went. His father’s reaction is not the same, as he’s more in the ‘how do you think I feel?’ department. Lee Do, however, stuns everyone by falling into a deep and very formal bow before his father and asks to be spared. Something rings strange about this, since we know the steps Lee Do has taken as a character to stand up to his father… surely he hasn’t taken one step forward just to take ten back.

Taejong is a master of poker faces, and seems nonplussed at first when Lee Do goes into detail, saying that he wasn’t in his right mind and that he can cleanse his sin through death. The Former King can take his life at any time he’d like, just pick a time and date – but… it’s also a sin to die before your parents, so he begs to be kept alive. We’re starting to see the double objective Lee Do is playing and our faith is restored – he’s doing exactly what he said to Mu-hyul last episode, in taking a step back to find a better way to strike.

He questions his son’s sincerity, and Lee Do reassures him by saying he will never go against his will again. In fact, he promises to deal with politics only at his father’s guidance and to learn his ways. Testing him, Taejong asks about what Lee Do plans to do with the command of the army. Lee Do’s reply is simple: how could he even dare to dream of mimicking his father in army command? Of course father knows best.

It’s only when Taejong approaches his son and calls him out for being insincere that we see a brilliant change in Lee Do’s facial expression. Here’s the King we’ve seen growing since episode one, no longer quivering in fear of his father’s shadow.

This father and son conversation is a trade of underhanded blows, but each line has undeniable impact. Their relationship remains one of the most ambiguous and intriguing in recent drama memory, as Taejong brings up the lunchbox and Lee Do easily deflects by saying he never received such a box, only the answer to his Joseon. It only gets more intense, as Lee Do leans in to tell his father that this should work out best – after all, he’ll live longer. Taejong has no other choice.

This answer seems to placate Taejong (or does it?), and the formalities return with the distance. His father asks what his son will do now that everything will be done by his will, and with a smile on his face Lee Do innocently says he just wants to build a study hall and spend quality time with scholars. Lee Do’s genius is coming to the fore, and he dutifully asks his father to name the library – and Taejong offers ‘Jip Hyun’. This will become the Jip Hyun Jun, or Hall of Worthies.

Father and son later discuss if Jip Hyun Jun will make Joseon any different. Lee Do wants to make a Joseon that can be ruled by rhetoric and not swords – by assemblies that can hear the people out. This is outlandish to Taejong, who believes all assemblies are made to make puppet kings… coming from a man who tried to make a puppet king out of his son.

Lee Do is stopped on his way out by two words: “Hidden Root”. He tells his father it’s just a rumor, but Taejong stands by his belief that Jung Do-jun made a secret group by that very name. Jung Do-jun was a hugely influential member of Korean politics and his clash with Taejong was over political ideologies, resulting in Jung Do-jun’s death by Taejong. Lee Do doesn’t know who’s left alive to run the group, and Taejong reminds him that Jung Ki-joon, the nephew of deceased Jung Do-jun, is still alive.

Lee Do feigns ignorance, that he doesn’t know who Jung Ki-joon is – but something in his expression seems to tell us that he does.

Back in the slave village of Ban Chon, the woman who burned the very journal of Jung Do-jun and who ordered two slaves to commit suicide stares at the journal’s sash. She’d saved it from the fire, and as she looks at it, we hear in voiceover that she has finally found the Hidden Root Scroll. Our first news about Ddol-bok this episode comes from a reporting slave, who says that Ddol-bok is like a madman. The leader suggests starving him for three days to see if that calms him down.

Lee Do walks with his royal entourage and flashes back – again – to a young Jung Ki-joon saying he can’t do anything.

We go through Lee Do’s eyes to a flashback that takes us back nine years, to an examination presided over by King Taejong and his three sons. Our third incarnation of Sejong, pint-size Lee Do, becomes curious over a strange boy who passes him by with a contemptuous look. Lee Do looks over the paper the boy submitted, finding that he’s written various inflammatory remarks about the state of Joseon – namely that the King is a puppet while the treasurer holds the power, and that Jung Do-jun built this country. The author is none other than Jung Ki-joon.

In a dynasty with a monarchy that commanded absolute loyalty from all its subjects, Jung Ki-joon’s written remarks are no laughing matter. Lee Do follows him into a Confucian Temple before his father gets hold of the paper, enraged at its contents. He orders Jung Ki-joon to be brought to him immediately.

The boys talk it out, intellectually an even match but ideologically different. Jung Ki-joon has a major bone to pick with the King who killed his uncle, but gives Lee Do the time of day because he proves different from his father. Ki-joon launches into attacks on King Taejong, speaking his mind on how Taejong doesn’t even scare people – he just kills them, like his brothers and comrades. But that’s not even what he’s most mad about – it’s because his uncle, Jung Do-jun, built an assembly system to restrict the King’s power that the King only holds twice a year.

In fact, it was not because Taejong killed Ki-joon’s uncle and destroyed everything he’d built that he came to take the test. It’s because Taejong killed Ki-joon’s uncle and still kept the laws he’d implemented – making all the things Jung Do-jun had worked for, like the assemblies and supreme chancellor positions, a puppet show to try and convince the scholars and bureaucrats that Joseon is based on those laws. It’s because Taejong stole his uncle’s Joseon. Ki-joon calling his father a thief and a murderer, however, is Lee Do’s last straw – and he finally punches Ki-joon right in the mouth.

Despite the physical turn of the debate, Lee Do’s curiosity gets the best of him and he tails Ki-joon, who knows he’s being followed and seems to allow it. There must be some strange form of mutual respect going on, especially since Lee Do grabs Ki-joon to hide him in the bushes when they see that royal troops have surrounded the scholars’ compound in search of Ki-joon. It’s an eye-opener for Lee Do, who at first doesn’t want to believe that his father could order troops to mercilessly beat and kill people over one child’s criticism. When a man is killed, Ki-joon calls Lee Do out – would he be holding Ki-joon back if he thought his father was merciful?

Regardless, the boy gives himself up to prevent further bloodshed and is beaten. The man leading the troops, Jo Mal-saeng, raises his sword to kill Ki-joon – but fails when Ki-joon is swept away on horseback by his father, a scholar named Jung Do-gwang. This is the flashback Lee Do sees over and over, and from that point we’re out of the past and back in the present.

We’re only in the present long enough to establish that we’re going back into the past (I know, bear with me), this time through Taejong’s eyes. In the hunt for Jung Do-jun’s brother and son, Jung Do-gwang and Jung Ki-joon, King Taejong and his loyal shadow Jo Mal-saeng find a secret door leading into a Secret Cave. Carved into the wall is a message from Jung Do-jun.

Basically, it reads that if the King is the flower, the world is the roots. If the flower withers, the tree doesn’t die. If the roots wither, the tree dies. Withered flowers can be chopped off – the King is that flower, just a fancy decoration of the tree called “Joseon”. The roots are the scholars. He, Jung Do-jun, made the root of all roots – hidden roots.

The message rings of foreboding, and in the middle of a dark and dank cave, Taejong mysteriously hears the sound of owls.

Back in the present (again), Lee Do is apprised of the actions of Jo Mal-saeng, who was unable to report to Former King Taejong moments ago as he’s hot on the trail of Jung Ki-joon and his father. Lee Do knows Jo Mal-saeng is getting secret orders from his father, and wants to know where he is – like yesterday. Mu-hyul tells him that protecting Jung Ki-joon means war with his father. But in Lee Do’s Joseon, Jung Ki-joon must be there. War it is.

Two men on horseback, one being Jung Ki-joon’s father Jung Do-gwang, are on the run from the royal troops that Mal-saeng has used without the King’s command. They manage to sneak out by ditching their horses – and Mal-saeng knows the only place that they could have gone to hide is Ban Chon.

I don’t know if the following scene was meant for some laughs (considering the serious context, probably not) but it was funny nonetheless. An official tells Taejong that if soldiers enter the Ban Chon village, students and scholars won’t just stand down – especially since it’s Jung Do-jun’s brother, and we all know how the scholars feel about Jung Do-jun’s death…

Taejong says that he knows all that, that’s why he’s trying to kill Jung Do-gwang and Jung Ki-joon quietly. You literally see the official facepalm.

Ddol-bok’s hands are bound by rope to a weight bigger than he is. The leader’s tactic of calming him down by starving him in a shed doesn’t seem to have worked. He does, however, get a bright idea. If he can somehow maneuver that torch off the wall and onto a bed of flammable straw in a shack made of dead wood…

The female leader of Ban Chon, meanwhile, goes to the Confucian Temple in the dead of night. It’s a secret meeting, as the two men we saw earlier on horseback have taken sanctuary from the royal army inside.

They’re in the safest place in Joseon – or so they believe, without knowing that Jo Mal-saeng has the royal army surrounding Ban Chon as they speak. Jung Do-gwang is performing a hidden ceremony for his brother, the deceased Jung Do-jun. He says that he will avenge his brother, and the woman tells him that that day is not far away. He doesn’t believe it, but she hands him the sash she saved from Jung Do-jun’s journal.

Cleverly tucked away inside the sash is the last message of Jung Do-jun, in what they refer to as the Hidden Root Scroll. His brother is overcome with emotion as he admits that they couldn’t rebuild Hidden Root without the scroll, but now they can. The woman tells him that he can now become the second leader of the secret group and that all scholars will follow him.

Jo Mal-saeng has been waiting with a good number of royal troops outside of Ban Chon for Taejong’s secret command. The Former King has given it, just as Jo Mal-saeng finds out where the two men they’re hunting have hidden. He calls the rest of the troops in and tells them that they’re going to raid the Confucian Temple.

In order to get around that pesky technicality that the royal army can’t enter without the King’s command, Jo Mal-saeng’s idea is to dress everyone in black. If anyone falls behind, however, they will die as a traitor. The royal army can’t claim them.

Lee Do is nearly floored that his father would order troops to enter Ban Chon, it’s that unthinkable. There’s not a way to prove that his father did do the literal ordering, but it’s clear enough to the sharp King. He tells Mu-hyul that he must bring Jung Do-gwang and Jung Ki-joon back alive.

Mu-hyul, who was earlier told by Lee Do that it was time for him to “stand up” (presumably in the war against his father), doesn’t waver anymore and takes the order.

By standing on his head and using his feet to knock the torch off the wall, Ddol-bok has succeeded in both freeing himself and starting a pretty big fire in Ban Chon. He even deals another head blow (he did this sneak-attack to a royal guard last episode) to the man who opens the doors to help him and makes his escape.

The villagers seem less concerned about the fire and more concerned with catching Ddol-bok. Soon he has all the Ban Chon men chasing him with torches and makeshift weapons as he runs headlong toward the temple.

The royal army, led by Jo Mal-saeng, begins to converge on the temple where Jung Do-gwang has taken temporary sanctuary. I’ve been wondering about Jung Ki-joon the whole episode, and at least we know he’s somewhere and safe. His father can breathe easier, especially now that he has the scroll he’s spent years searching for.

As the disguised royal army is about to swarm the temple, they’re stopped when the doors fling open to reveal a little Ddol-bok running for his little life toward the temple. The look on Jo Mal-saeng’s face (we can only see his eyes, which makes it even better) is priceless. Ddol-bok runs all the way up the steps and stops, immediately shocked to see a small army of men all dressed in black – just standing there. I don’t know if this is fate, providence, or just plain bad luck and timing on Ddol-bok’s part – but he’s brought the entire village on his heels and thus saved himself from getting killed by Jo Mal-saeng’s men.

The arrival of pretty much the entire village of Ban Chon throws a wrench into Jo Mal-saeng’s plans. Ddol-bok has unknowingly bought Jung Do-gwang time to escape through a trap door in the temple as the royal army is forced to stay outside to battle the villagers. Even in all this turmoil, as Ddol-bok is trying to escape again, some villagers leave the fray to chase him.

Ddol-bok only has survival on the mind, and as Jung Do-gwang and his follower emerge into the forest from the trap door/tunnel system of the temple to get on horses for an escape… Ddol-bok runs up, throws Jung Do-gwang off his horse, and steals it so he can run away.

It’s only when the horse is galloping at full-speed through the forest does Ddol-bok realize that the bag Dam made him is gone. As he was hijacking the horse, the man with Jung Do-gwang tried to grab him but only ended up tearing Ddol-bok’s bag away. Meanwhile, as the two men try to make their escape on foot, they realize that the Hidden Root Scroll is on the horse Ddol-bok stole. Escaping isn’t as important now as finding that scroll again.

A mad chase begins, with Ddol-bok at the front of the line. His mission: find his father’s will. Jung Do-gwang’s mission: find the scroll. Jo Mal-saeng’s mission: kill Jung Do-gwang no matter what. Mu-hyul’s mission: save Jung Do-gwang.


Our four main story lines are beginning to converge, though I can’t help but feel that Ddol-bok is the odd man out. His original tie to Lee Do, with the King having saved his life, becomes almost irrelevant to how he gets roped back into the main events. Fate is dealing Ddol-bok a heavy hand, though, and we can’t help but be swept along wherever he goes.

Ddol-bok has a habit of lacking in care towards others (excluding his father and Dam), so it wasn’t out of character for him to throw Jung Do-gwang from his horse and steal it. It doesn’t do wonders for trying to like his character, though, which is something I found myself having a bit of a hard time doing. He’s still a kid though, so he has a lot of room to grow – into Jang Hyuk, I mean. And when is that a bad thing?

Something I’ve been meaning to mention is how much I like the score. The music isn’t beating us over the head or trying to manipulate us into feeling. It’s doing what a good score should do, by supplementing what’s happening on the screen rather than blasting us with the same lyrics over and over again. It’s nice to sometimes have no lyrics and just instruments when the dialogue is already so good. Every conversation Lee Do has with Taejong is just too good to be overshadowed.

Song Joong Ki being amazing is just a given, and his performance this episode only increased my respect and admiration. He’s just so good, especially with his transformation into a more self-assured King. The only thing that could make me sad in regards to Song Joong Ki is that he played most of the episode from a throne. He just kept looking like he really wanted to jump out of it… but then if he did, we wouldn’t have gotten this face:

How can a King be so adorable when he’s so shocked over his father’s political subversion methods? How?


41 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. dany

    I like this series more and more. Thanks for the recap!

  2. SoloJacen

    Adorableness it is.

  3. Angeline

    This reminds me of Sungkyungkwan Scandal 🙂

    • 3.1 Yourstruly

      I agree that it’s enjoyable like Sungkyunkwan scandal but in a different way. SKK was humorous and had the adorable Guhro-Yongha bromance (and I was just as giggly as the next fangirl) , but Tree with Deep Roots is just a better made sageuk in terms of the acting and the taut storyline. But that could also just be because SKK was made to be a school life fusion sageuk to begin with and the genre has limitations. I don’t really think it’s a problem with the writer because she’s written old school sageuks before. Actually, the King Sejong sageuk from a few yrs back was written by the writer of SKK and that was a really good sageuk. It’s interesting to see new interpretations of characters like Sejong and Taejong since that time period was so rife with political upheavals.

    • 3.2 Combray

      LOL if you watch ahead and get to the part when the king isn’t SJK anymore (;~~;) and he’s talking to the scholars, one of the scholars is played by SJ’s Kibum who looks like Yoo Ah-In, lmao, especially dressed in full Sungkyungkwan scholar regalia.

  4. hahahha

    Best Drama of the Year!Currently watching episode 6..I’m soooo hooked that I’m now hoping that tomorrow will be Wednesday.ehehehe..I just hope the entire crew will maintain a stellar editing..It’s a WOW, everything from the musical score, to the editing, to the cast performance..(Joong Ki is the show stealer!)..WOW!thanks for the recaps!its been a while that I’m doing this craziness again…watching the raw first then waiting for the subtitles…then reading the recaps..crazy:)…
    SAGEUK RULES!!!!!!!

    • 4.1 hahahha

      I forgot to say this..the only downside is…It feels like I’m reading/watching Dan Brown’s book..(Angel and Demons)…ehehehe…But still loving it! hahaha..Dan Brown, Saguek style:)

      • 4.1.1 kristi

        I’m actually enjoying the so-called ‘Dan Brown’ aspect of TwDR, but going into more details would spoil eps. 5-6. Let’s just say the ending for ep. 6 generated a lot of speculations/analyses on Korean forums, and one of them which explained the layers of interpretations from the clues in the episodes gave me shivers.

    • 4.2 Urgh...

      Six episodes in and you already call it best drama of the year?! How many dramas have you actually watched this year? -_-

      • 4.2.1 kristi

        S/he wouldn’t be the only one. I lurk/post on DCgallery and have seen quite a few posters express similar sentiments. No one’s arguing it’s flawless, but they find 2011 quite mediocre and Tree With Deep Roots a refreshing change.

        • hahahha

          Hahahahah!Thanx kristi!hahahahah…@urgh, if you ask me about the number of kdramas I watched..too many to mention, You know whats fun is that I’m able to watch almost all dramas from sbs, mbc,kbc and cable networks from monday to sunday..that’s the beauty of the internet, besides if I’ve no plans in watching the drama(due to lack of subbers..I read the recaps)…This drama has a lot of potential, it is just perfect..I just hope that the cast and crew won’t get tired..or get frustrated if MoH will suddenly steal the lead(Ahjumma’s Rulz in Korea especially in ratings)

  5. tegami

    I have no complaints about this drama so far but there was one thing that irked me this episode: when Jung Do-jung claimed to have built the very roots of the roots of Joseon, it came off to me as sounding a little arrogant. And isn’t that the very quality that makes Taejong an abominable king? Shouldn’t his archenemy be more humble? Jung Do-jung should be the antithesis of Taejong… :/

    • 5.1 kristi

      Actually, Jeong Do-Jeon has the rights to such claims. He’s considered the de facto founder of Joseon–from the dynasty’s political, administrative, legal, taxation systems through Confucianism as the ruling philosophy to the choice of Hanyang (current Seoul) as the new capital, there’s very little that didn’t come from Jeong Do-Jeon’s mind and influence. Yi Bang-Won’s father, Yi Seong-Gye, was behind the military campaigns that overthrew Goryo, but the institutional and ideological foundations were laid out by Jeong. That’s why when he clashed with Yi Bang-Won (over who should succeed Yi Seong-Gye/Taejo; Jeong supported a younger son of Taejo), it could only result in elimination, not reconciliation.

      And Jeong Do-Jeon is the antithesis of Yi Bang-Won, in the sense that his view of the dynasty was closer to a constitutional monarchy (as stated in the drama, he argued the ministers in the government held the real power, not the king), whereas Yi Bang-Won believed in absolute monarchy.

    • 5.2 bd

      Yep, Yi Bang-Won would have preferred that Jeong Do-Jeon support him rather than have him killed, but once Jeong Do-Jeon supported another brother as Crown Prince, all bets were off.

  6. rainerust

    Because it’s Song Jong Ki and that man can manage adorableness anytime anywhere.

    I loved the way the storylines converge but you’re right about not liking Ddol-bok. I found it really hard to like him here. My sympathies lie more with King Sejong than anyone else (possibly but not all because of SJK).

    I find the political maneuvering in this saeguk more palatable than usual but possibly only because it’s in the early stages yet.

    • 6.1 Jomo 143∞

      It looks like the writers are having fun with our sympathies.

      First thing we see in the first episode is a big Dol-bok who needs to kill the king (Lee Do). This sets us up to think big DB must have a legitimate gripe against him, right? Bad king!

      But Lee Do tries to save the queen’s father. Good king!
      The message gets swapped out, and as a result, DB’s dad dies. Bad king!</i?
      Then Lee Do saves little DB.
      Good king!
      From there on, Lee Do is an extremely sympathetic character, under dog to his father’s cruelty.
      Suddenly, little DB looks kinda like the problem here. Bad Dol-bok!

      It’ll be cool to see if they can move us over to DB’s side, or if they are even going to try. Right now, though, I say starve the kid again! Make him stop screeeching!

  7. mary


    Gawd I love your writing. 😀 I’ll probably miss your side comments when the king grows up to be Not Joong Ki.

  8. soojin08

    I’d love to see more of Song Joongki in the coming episodes, but man, Han Suk Kyu makes one hell of a cute King. So adorable yet so fierce.

    Yeah, watched ep 5 and 6 already. 🙂

  9. kristi

    You’re just whizzing through the episodes, aren’t you? 🙂 I know I would in your place. Every ending keeps us on the edge of our seats.

    CAM with your description of the episode highlights as a ‘verbal boxing match’. I commented elsewhere that sometimes it doesn’t take much to keep the audience entertained, just well-written (and well-performed) mind games, and that’s what Yi Do going toe to toe with his father was all about. Song Joong-Ki/Yi Do’s double act at the beginning of the episode was riveting, in the sense that we doubted his apology was sincere not only because we’ve been privy to his thought process in the previous eps. but also because we know when he’s sincere. Yet if we didn’t know any of that and saw him for the first time in this episode (better yet if we didn’t know this was Sejong), it was convincing enough that we’d have believed this was someone who feared his father and was making an abject apology. I liked that it wasn’t entirely clear what was going on, and we were left wondering whether Taejong would buy it. Then when he approached his son and whispered ‘missing from your speech (which promised loyalty, filial duty and propriety) is sincerity, it didn’t have an ounce of sincerity, did it?’, and Yi Do threw him a cold look then an almost sneering smile, goosebumps, goosebumps, goosebumps! 🙂

    Theirs has quickly become one of my favorite relationships ever in k-dramas. So many layers, so much ambiguity, so much fun for viewers.

    • 9.1 Jomo 143∞

      Second the goosebumps! What a great ironic face SJK has!

    • 9.2 anais

      Kristi, one of these days, I hope you decide to do more than comment because I can’t get enough of the knowledge you bring to bear, the insightfulness to boot, and the style of your prose. I’m too lazy or overexcited oftentimes to offer comments that are meaty, witty, AND thoroughly articulate. So it’s a pleasure to come across commenters who seem to consider their words more carefully.

  10. 10 Danna

    Waaah…one more episode and SJK is gone….HSK is awesome but that doesnt stop me from missing….especially when they bring him back for 2 mins in ep 6 leaving me clawing at the screen for more

  11. 11 asianromance

    Thank you for the recaps! This is really THE kdrama series for me to watch right now. I love Yi Do and the Former King’s showoff in the beginning of the episode. I barely breathed due to all the tension in the air and wondering what each will say next! Kdramas are awesome at this father-son stuff.

    I agree with you that Ddol-bok comes off pretty callous in this episode. But I have to admire his creativity and perseverance in how he managed to escape from his imprisonment. He really is no ordinary child. I’m not sure if he’s meant to be a likable character, but he is definitely one to be in awe of and one who is definitely capable enough of killing the king.

    I found the scene where Ddol-bok stumbled upon the ninjaed-out men hilarious. And when all the villagers chasing after Ddol-bok came up to the temple and saw Ddol-bok and the ninjaed-out men – man that must have been awkward! hahaha!

  12. 12 neener

    very interesting….too bad I can’t watch for Joong Ki in the coming episodes!!

  13. 13 sita

    Keep recapping please!! I really really like this drama. Even if I started watching this because of Song Joong Ki,,but somehow I just can’t stop watching it after young Lee Do is gone.

    The cinematography is good..the actors are well known, and even the story is awesome. I just like Saeguk and this one will be a better one compare to Queen Seon Deok or Iljimae, I think :))

  14. 14 smiles

    Headno2, thanks for the fab recap! I am HOOKED on this drama – it’s got me on the edge of the seat, which has just floored me.

    I’m all for period pieces, love em in fact – but I’m more of a Jane Austen kinder girl, than a political affair….. I’m shocked that I’m so into it, particularly as it one about history I’m not familiar with, during a period I know nothing of, about people I’ve never heard – I freaking impressed drama gods, – granted I’m only on episode three – but its freaking brilliant!

  15. 15 Birdie

    Thank you for the recap. This is an amazing sageuk. With sageuk I get bored easily, but every scene so far in this drama is significant and well-done. The confrontation between Yi Do and Taejong is tense with its many hidden meanings etc. Also the puzzle solving aspects is really interesting. I agree with the music part. Many a time the music and lyrics overpower the dialogue, which makes it annoying.

  16. 16 myweithisway

    Thanks for the recap!

    The best thing about this series? The characters are clever, smart, and resourceful! My nerdy side and fangirl side can squee equally in glee =)

  17. 17 Jomo 143∞

    Thanks for doing the recap for this.
    Everything was great in this show – the collision of Dol-bok’s village posse with the King’s assassins was quite cleverly set up. As you pointed out, I loved the look Lee Jae Yung gives when the idea flashes through his mind that his nefarious plot was discovered, and they were in sooooo much trouble.

    Too sleepy to write now! Later!

  18. 18 CKDexter

    I’ve never been a big saeguk fan so “Tree With Deep Roots” wasn’t on my list of dramas to see… but you may just convince me otherwise, HeadsNo2. Props to your capable writing too.

    And this may be a little late, but welcome to Dramabeans!

  19. 19 laya

    Thank you for the recap! <3

  20. 20 craziluver

    lots of coincidence happening in Ddolbok’s part. LOL wanna watch this now!

  21. 21 S

    The conversations between Taejong and Lee Do were amazing. SJK can really hold his own!

    I wish SJK would get a lead role of a punchy drama before we lose him to movies entirely.

  22. 22 database

    Booooo!!! Overrated!

  23. 23 escritorista

    “How can a King be so adorable when he’s so shocked over his father’s political subversion methods? How?”

    same sentiments here :))

    i agree that the existence of Ddol-bak is kind of detached from the whole story as it is being relayed and i just hope that they will be able to string his character back wherein he’s really a necessary existence that will make the story all the more interesting

    thanks for the recap!

  24. 24 Kiara

    Thank you much for the recaps. Hope you’ll be recapping future sageuks too. <3

  25. 25 elizabeth

    joongki is the epitome of cuteness.

    cant wait for Jang Hyuk to appear!!

  26. 26 bd

    Thus far, a very well done sageuk.

    If the quality keeps up, will be up there w/ “Joseon X-Files.”

  27. 27 Carinne

    I will wait a little longer and run a marathon show for this one.

  28. 28 lol

    This episode was ruined with horrible translations. I loved the quality of translations until when the characters started talking politics and idealism.

    For example, in the secrete cave things were pretty much messed up. Jeoung Do Jun meant that the King should only choose Prime Minister(or chancellor) and rule the kingdom jointly with the prime minister who will represent scholars, whom he believes to be the ‘deep roots’ and the intellectuality of the world, thus lead the king to the right way of ruling. The summary in this cap is more accurate recitation of what was written on the wall.

    However the translation went very wrong and it translated “chancellor” as world, scholars, roots, all in one paragraph. I don’t even understand how one word could be translated into three inconsistent words. It seems like the translator didn’t understand the meanings at all. (considering the translator did good job at catching daily conversations) The subtitle maker seem unfriendly with Korean. There were severe translation errors especially when idealism discussion scenes kicked in.

    No offense, but I hope somebody fluent in both languages could improve upon the subtitle, for this drama is too good to be misunderstood for people who don’t speak Korean.

  29. 29 Lilian

    Haha..I loved the scene when Dol Bok ran right into that army…awesome! Hope that Song Joong Ki will get to be the lead in a new drama soon =)

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