Drama Recaps
Tree With Deep Roots: Episode 20
by | December 10, 2011 | 91 Comments

What do you get when all of your characters happen to be great at playing actors? One amazing show, is what. It’s Conspiracy Pretend Time, and no one is more prepared for any and every eventuality than Team Sejong. Who needs the Thirty-Six Stratagems of War, anyway? Okay, maybe our good guys do, but at this point they could probably write their own (way better) book of stratagems just based on their fight against Hidden Root. Using Hangul. In your face, Jung Ki-joon!


We find ourselves back with Sejong and his heart-wrenching grief, but even then, Chae-yoon refuses to let him wallow in it for long. He begins a beautiful monologue to the grieving King, who has now wavered in his drive due to Jung Ki-joon’s actions.

When Sejong said that he never loved the people, Chae-yoon assuredly tells him that he did. The emotion of the scene is too much for even our hero, who fights back tears as he tells Sejong why he didn’t just take So-yi and flee. It was because the letters were that amazing – and mostly, because he was in awe of the fact that Dam had something she wanted to wholly dedicate herself to. He was jealous of her ambition and drive, and so he thought that maybe if he learned the letters, he could be like her. This line is one of the greatest to me, because it gives us a little more insight into what makes Chae-yoon tick. He’s just a lost boy in search of purpose. His main beef with Sejong is that he finally found purpose (outside of killing the King), and thus, finally found the ambition that Jung Ki-joon claimed was like opening a door to hell. So what’s so wrong about that?

Yet, he claims that he’s angry with himself for ever thinking about making his wish to the King to take Dam and leave, bear children, and teach those children letters. He was a fool for trusting Sejong. This is literally reverse psychology of the highest order, and severe props go to Chae-yoon for his intelligence.

Chae-yoon once again takes So-yi’s hand, ready to lead her out of the Hangul Room. And once again, this is the catalyst to spring Sejong back into action. Chae-yoon’s words have returned the King to himself, but he’s still in the self-blaming stage and still shaken by Jung Ki-joon’s words about his true motives. Sejong claims that though he wanted to give the people power, but in the end he only wanted to share responsibility.

Here’s where Chae-yoon’s past really comes to the fore, as he reminds the King that the people have been carrying ‘responsibility’ for thousands of years. What will really change if Sejong leaves that responsibility behind? That the people might actually gain something they might want to do, that they might actually have (gasp) ambition? Is that such a hell after all? And, in the way that only Chae-yoon seems to be able to talk to the King, he calls him out for being spineless. Sejong finally smiles with pride in his eyes. Chae-yoon, you’ve done it again.

When Chae-yoon first took himself outside to have a good cry, I thought it was simply because he was overcome with emotion from the scene that just transpired. But when we see a flashback to Chae-yoon carrying the Prince on his back as they escaped from Hidden Root, and then we see the Prince’s shoe that Chae-yoon had found sitting right next to him… it becomes clear that he’s actually crying for the Prince, which is infinitely more endearing. He really is a big softie at heart, and the fact that the Prince’s death affects him this much just gives him that much more depth. So-yi is watching from a distance, and just like when she looked back toward Sejong when Chae-yoon took her hand earlier, once again she turns and looks back toward the direction of the palace.

Alone, Sejong is once again left to stare at the alphabet that has now cost him his son’s life. But Chae-yoon has brought him back from the brink, and Sejong finds himself filled with purpose as he begins to write Chinese characters on pieces of paper. He lays them out among the Hangul characters, and together they spell Hunminjeongeum (meaning the correct/proper sounds for the instruction of the people), which is the name for the true historical document that promulgated Hangul. It’s nice to see how that name (could have) come about.

Over at the new Hidden Root Headquarters, Jung Ki-joon is busily planning on how to nip this alphabet thing in the bud. He knows that the minute they letters are spread they’ll be like a plague, so anyone and everyone who knows about them must be killed. For sure he knows that Jung In-ji, Sung Sam-moon, and Park Paeng-nyeon are involved. He entrusts his lackeys to find out who else has been given secret missions. Any killings that may happen will be permitted. Good gracious, Jung Ki-joon. You really are ruthless.

Team Sejong has a meeting of their own, and it’s nice to see the whole gang back together. Sejong knows that they need a new strategy for the promulgation of Hangul, and suggests using the eighth stratagem from the ‘Thirty-Six Stratagems’ from China, that usually illustrate unorthodox or deceptive means. The eighth stratagem happens to be ‘Openly repair the gallery roads, but sneak through the passage of Chencang’, meaning that Sejong plans to deceive Hidden Root with an obvious approach, so that they’re too distracted to notice the sneak-attack. This is very much like the fifth stratagem, ‘Make a sound in the east, then strike in the west’, except it’s more intense due to the use of physical bait (rather than just misinformation) to assure the enemy of the truth of the misinformation. Thus, whoever gets chosen as the bait must act as though what they meant to do isn’t actually what they meant to do, in order to truly draw in the enemy. Phew, it sounds complicated already.

So, that leaves us wondering… who’s going to be the bait? And what’s the exact attack? Everyone in the Hangul Room hears it, but we don’t.

With his (seemingly) last words, Lee Bang-ji told Jo Mal-saeng about Jung Ki-joon’s true identity. In response, Jo Mal-saeng goes straight into the King’s assembly and drops to his knees, asking Sejong if he actually listened to the advice he was given about suspecting those closest to him. Determination is literally pouring from Jo Mal-saeng’s pores as he tells the King that from this moment, the investigation into Hidden Root must be done by him. Even if Sejong doesn’t grant him permission, he will do it. Even if he’s fired, he will do it. Even if he’s forced to leave the palace, he will go at it alone.

He seems to be taken aback slightly when Sejong nods and agrees. He entrusts the entire investigation of Hidden Root to Jo Mal-saeng. And as for the promulgation of the alphabet, and so his son’s death was not in vain, Sejong promises that he will wager his life to see that the letters are promulgated. Stakes, meet Upped.

In a meeting with Lee Shin-juk and Jo Mal-saeng, Sejong orders that Jo Mal-saeng must be provided with all the personnel and troops he needs to carry out his investigation. The new investigator’s first charge is to find out how Hidden Root became aware of Prince Gwangpyeong’s whereabouts. Jo Mal-saeng basically asks if he’s free to do whatever he deems necessary to carry out his investigation, even if that means interrogating everyone within the palace. Sejong says yes, and suddenly I’m very worried. I know this is part of the stratagem, but Jo Mal-saeng is pretty old-fashioned when it comes to mercy… meaning that he doesn’t have much of it.

Lee Shin-juk, the resident Hidden Root official, looks like he’s about to die from holding his breath. Whether Sejong suspects him or not is still up for debate, but he’s sent out so that Sejong and Jo Mal-saeng can speak in private. When he meets the other Hidden Root members, he can only convey his worries on how strange it is that Sejong would entrust the entire palace to Jo Mal-saeng.

Meanwhile, just as Sejong said, the printing office within the palace is making printing blocks to mass produce the story of Buddha in the new alphabet. Deputy Chief Scholar Choi Man-ri, the strongest opponent to Hangul that’s not in Hidden Root, bursts into the office with other Jiphyunjeon officials in order to start tearing it apart.

Mu-hyul interrupts their destruction session, followed by Sejong. Choi Man-ri boldly confronts the King, adamant that the life story of Buddha cannot be printed within the palace and that he’d rather die instead. I don’t know if he was counting on Sejong’s good nature, because it seems all but gone as Sejong orders him and the other scholars to be imprisoned at the Royal Investigation Bureau at once.

Han Ga, responsible for most of the spying, reports all of the recent events to Jung Ki-joon – namely, that Choi Man-ri has been arrested and that Jo Mal-saeng has taken over. The Leader notes that it’s like they’re back in the era of Former King Taejong, where good or bad didn’t matter and deeds were done recklessly. Lady, I don’t think you’re in a position to make it seem like you’re the one doing good things here.

But this kind of chaos and pandemonium is exactly what Jung Ki-joon wanted. He firmly believes that good people and bad people aren’t any different from each other – because a good person is just one that hasn’t been thrown into bad circumstances. Because he killed Gwangpyeong, he threw the ‘good’ Sejong into ‘bad’ circumstances, and believes Sejong’s true colors are showing. Oh, Jung Ki-joon. Once again you don’t know when you’re being fooled.

But maybe I don’t know when I’m being fooled, because now I’m beginning to doubt where Sejong’s control ends and where reality begins. Jo Mal-saeng has dragged all the court ladies out of their rooms to conduct a search, and their rooms are torn apart. Good gracious, it’s become a Joseon witch hunt. The moment So-yi arrives, he orders her immediate arrest. Wait, what? What’s going on here?

Park-po runs to the station to tell Chae-yoon the news, which sets him off running. Run faster, Chae-yoon!

Jo Mal-saeng has wasted no time, and has already begun to torture So-yi. Did he not even wait one second? He accuses her of being part of Hidden Root, since the only person besides Sejong who knew about Gwangpyeong’s whereabouts was her. She protests her innocence, and he only orders more torture (as well as the arrest of all the other court maidens who shared her room). She screams, and it breaks my heart. Not So-yi!

Chae-yoon bursts into the bureau to see that So-yi has already passed out from the pain. He demands to know what evidence Jo Mal-saeng has against So-yi, who’s only been doing the King’s work. Jo Mal-saeng turns on him instantly, asking what Chae-yoon was doing when the Prince died, thus effectively throwing suspicion onto our hero.

It comes as a slight surprise to Hidden Root that even the court maiden So-yi has been imprisoned, and Pyung doesn’t seem to like the information that he’s hearing. Jung Ki-joon might be suspecting Sejong has a secret plan at last, thinking that Sejong is truly either suspicious of everyone or there’s something that they don’t know.

But Pyung goes outside with a mixed expression on his face. We see him flash back to the time when So-yi cried in the woods after finding Kuk-se and how he had watched silently from afar. Oh my goodness… does someone have a crush? Really? That wasn’t all just in my mind?

Chae-yoon has tried already to see the King about So-yi, but is quickly rebuked by a court matron who chides him for his bad manners (no one sees the wizard!). Sejong is taking a walk outside with his entourage, and that’s where Chae-yoon eventually finds him, interrupting his conversation by falling onto his knees and asking whether Sejong sanctioned So-yi’s arrest.

Sejong, to my complete surprise, says that it’s true. I was at least expecting shock, like Sejong didn’t expect Jo Mal-saeng to go so far as to arrest his most-trusted court lady, but there’s nothing there. But the moment he quickly turns on Chae-yoon, blaming him for the secret mission Prince Gwangpyeong underwent and ordering his arrest, I’m beginning to wonder whether everything, including So-yi’s torture, was planned.

Stuck in prison and looking like he’s seen much better days (or like he just finished partying with Ke$ha), Chae-yoon is forced to listen to another torture session going on outside with So-yi and the other court ladies through the night. One of them reveals that they spoke of the Prince’s whereabouts while they were doing their laundry, and perhaps that’s how someone else became aware. Regardless, Jo Mal-saeng believes that they must be punished for speaking so frivolously, and orders that their names be erased from the palace roster, and that they be sent away as government slaves. Good god.

Meanwhile, Choi Man-ri is interrupted from his prison protest-staging by the King’s pardon. Jo Mal-saeng tells him that this favor should put the kibosh on his insubordination, but Choi Man-ri merely scoffs at this notion.

Chae-yoon is pulled from the prison as well, and ordered to follow Jo Mal-saeng.

The total tally of chaos caused at the palace is: twenty officials ousted, everyone named by the court ladies arrested, Choi Man-ri and the other high officials arrested, as well as Chae-yoon and other palace guards being thrown into prison. Even though Choi Man-ri and Chae-yoon have been recently released, is this everything that Jung Ki-joon anticipated?

Everyone at Hidden Root thinks that Sejong has played right into Jung Ki-joon’s strategy, but Jung Ki-joon seems either wary or disappointed. Or both. He wonders if this is all Sejong truly amounts to.

Jo Mal-saeng has brought Chae-yoon before Sejong, and tosses him down to the floor. When he rises, he does so slowly… and then he brushes some of his hair from his face as he coolly asks, “Do you think I fooled them?” Ohhh! I knew there was an act going on, but Team Sejong really is something else. And I wasn’t sure of Jo Mal-saeng’s involvement either, but it seems like Sejong is truly the grand puppet-master.

We finally see how all the pieces came together, starting with Sejong letting Jo Mal-saeng in on the plan. Sejong knew that he had to get someone out of the palace without arousing suspicion in order to complete the mission, and found the perfect way to do it through exiling the court ladies as government slaves. Of course, as it turns out, everything was staged – the torture, Chae-yoon’s reaction to hearing So-yi was being fake-tortured, all of it. We even see Chae-yoon practicing his lines before he did his heroic burst into the torture courtyard. Ha.

It’s good to know that the torture was feigned and that none of the court ladies had to lose a limb for the great cause. At the place where they’re to take a boat for their slave exile, they’re freed instead. Everything went off without a hitch, and now So-yi and her fellow court ladies are charged with completing the promulgation. How awesome is it that we have empowered women that even the King trusts with the most monumental of tasks?

In flashback, we also see that the wavering Sejong did due to Jung Ki-joon has passed, and that he’s filled with new resolve to promulgate the letters no matter what that promulgation brings about. He’s doing it for his people now, and will no longer worry about what the future holds.

Later, when Chae-yoon has dressed to prepare for a secret mission, he shares a telling moment with Sejong. He asks Sejong if he ever told him that his grace is immeasurable, and Sejong wonders why his grace is suddenly so immeasurable now in a joking tone. But Chae-yoon isn’t joking at all.

Chae-yoon: “To come to a decision like this, your grace is immeasurable.”

Wow. What a perfect moment for these two. Both of them are in it to win it, and Sejong has earned Chae-yoon’s complete and total respect and admiration at last.

Jo Mal-saeng finds Chae-yoon on his way out of the palace, and takes him to his home. It turns out Lee Bang-ji is still alive, but barely. Though he received the best medical care, his wounds are too grave and he’s not long for this world. Chae-yoon gets to be with his teacher in his last moments, at least, and Lee Bang-ji is a father figure until the end – even telling Chae-yoon that he was proud to have him as a disciple… because he had no talent as an assassin anyway. Ha! Even on his deathbed, he’s cracking jokes.

He says something we already know, that Chae-yoon is one of the most good-natured people he ever knew. But on the bright side, he’s getting to die a warrior’s death due to fighting the greatest warrior he ever faced – Gae Pa-yi. With that, Lee Bang-ji dies in Chae-yoon’s arms.

Han Ga is busy looking through all the names of people within the palace who might have received secret missions, and is befuddled when Pyung seems to have something to say. Pyung hesitantly brings up the court maidens who were chased out of the palace. Han Ga muses aloud that it’s sad since they were wrongly accused. But what of it?

Pyung adorably edges into his next words, as he wonders if those court maidens might hold a grudge now that they’ve been exiled and maybe… maybe they could be drawn into Hidden Root? They could be useful to the cause, right? Awwwwww. Pyung, your crush is showing.

But Han Ga literally laughs in his face, immediately calling Pyung out for bringing all this up because he just likes So-yi. Pyung is immediately embarrassed and tries to take back his words, but Han Ga isn’t finished poking fun at him. Aww, poor little assassin and his poor little heart. But before he can suffer further embarrassment, they’re interrupted by Jung Ki-joon. He actually thinks Pyung’s idea is worth something and wants to find out where So-yi and the others are. Uh oh.

Chae-yoon has arrived at the simple house where So-yi and the other court ladies are staying, and his happiness bubble at thinking she’s making rice just for her orabeoni is swiftly popped when she replies that it isn’t for him. In fact, she tells him to go call who the food is actually for, and Chae-yoon only looks puzzled.

Unfortunately Pyung’s crush on So-yi looks like it will only cause trouble, as he sends Kuk-se to gather information about where the court maidens were transferred. He finds out that no government slaves arrived in any precinct, and doesn’t look happy about it.

It turns out that the people So-yi had planned to feed were a roving band of singers, which makes sense when Sejong had mentioned earlier that even songs about the establishment of Joseon would be used to teach and spread Hangul. The following scene is light and beautifully moving, as So-yi leads a band of children through the streets singing songs. Ah, so this is how Sejong is mounting the offensive. Brilliant!

I was hoping Pyung wouldn’t relate the So-yi information to Jung Ki-joon, but he does (bros before… well I can’t say the other word, because So-yi is too awesome). And the Hidden Root leader is made aware that he’s been fooled – again. Sejong and his nemesis have another conversation across space and time, as Sejong wonders aloud about how Jung Ki-joon had likened the letters to a plague. Smirking triumphantly, Sejong thinks that he was right – his letters will spread like the plague.


Forget Jung Ki-joon, Sejong proves that you don’t have to be evil in order to be a maniacal genius. Okay, maybe not maniacal, but a scheming mastermind. Whatever. Jung Ki-joon may not have been outsmarted for very long, but this isn’t the first time Sejong has gained the upper hand. Their battle of wills is just too fun to watch, and I take pleasure in seeing Jung Ki-joon fail. Now that he’s killed Prince Gwangpyeong, all bets are off where he’s concerned.

I’m wondering if Sejong would have actually fallen into Jung Ki-joon’s trap if Chae-yoon wasn’t there to snap him out of it. But once again, all of Team Sejong comes together to form a whole. With Chae-yoon and Sejong, it truly does seem like there can’t be one without the other now. Sejong had purpose but lacked a way to achieve it, Chae-yoon was without purpose but with the means to achieve almost anything. Together, they’re just an amalgamation of awesome.

I wavered a bit during the big pretend party that went on during this episode, wondering if Jo Mal-saeng was a part of it. And even if he was, I wondered if Sejong was really allowing his court ladies to be tortured just to fool Hidden Root. When the full conspiracy was revealed, I admit that I thought: “This show should win every award ever made past, present, and future!” But I calmed down. It should just win 99.9% of every award ever made.

Last episode I remember wishing that we’d just get one sageuk-grade longing glance from Pyung to So-yi, because their relationship is something the series has been toying with for a long while. Now that he’s been ousted, I feel gleefully gratified. Yeah, he’s a heartless assassin – but he’s got a crush, and when is that not adorablesauce? And yeah, maybe that crush will put So-yi into life-threatening danger, but I’m going to pull a Sejong on this one: I’m just going to think about the now.


91 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. mskololia

    Awww….HeadsNo2, you are so good to us. I must go and read this recap now. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Ani

    Aaaaaaaaaaw. Chaeyeon and Pyung both crushing on Soyi. I was also worried when Soyi got tortured. But when Sejong showed no reaction when Chaeyeon t old him, I was like “Er, this was planned I bet.” Glad to know Sejong isn’t one to torture his own team.

    Is it weird that I prefer calling this team Team Hangul instead of Team Sejong? I just can’t see Chaeyeon as one to be full on following a leader. Sure he respects Sejong and admires what he’s doing, but we’ve seen Chaeyeon be so independent and strong from the beginning that it feels weird and out of place to call him a member of Team Sejong. Well, it’s more like the whole Team Jacob/Edward thing has ruined me on calling anyone a member of Team Someone without thinking they’re in love. Hahaha. I love it when the protagonists continue to outsmart their opponents. Glad Jo Malsaeng is in on the gig too. RIP Lee Bangji!

  3. kristi

    It’s Bbuna time at DB! ๐Ÿ˜› (Bbuna is short for TwDR in Korean.)

    The following scene is light and beautifully moving, as So-yi leads a band of children through the streets singing songs.

    I just loved that image, and then the song playing over Sejong sitting with his eyes closed. I thought that was the most symbolically powerful moment of hangul carrying a message of hope for the future, and it made me a little weepy. But then someone posted on one of the Korean boards that the song did exist, with the full lyrics, and I lost it.

    It’s not famous, she had to run a search with the lyrics heard in the episode to find the information, but it really did exist, even if it can’t be dated exactly. It’s one of those anonymous folk songs transmitted over time, and they changed the lyrics a little for the children, but the reason they chose it for this episode is because of the wordplay with hangul. It’s like the ABC song, or the Do-Re-Mi song in the Sound of Music, reminiscent of the game Ddolbok and Dami used to play as children, and it’s very catchy, hence the appropriateness over Sejong’s challenge to JKJ that hangul will spread like a (happy) virus.

    ๊ฐ€๊ฐธ๊ฑฐ๊ฒจ ๊ฐ€์ด ์—†๋Š” ์ด๋‚ด ๋ชธ์ด ๊ฐˆ ๊ณณ ์—†์ด ๋˜์—ˆ๊ตฌ๋‚˜
    ๊ณ ๊ต๊ตฌ๊ทœ ๊ณ ์ƒํ•˜๋˜ ์šฐ๋ฆฌ ๋‹˜์ด ๊ตฌ๊ฒฝํ•˜๊ธฐ ์ง์ด ์—†๋‹ค
    ๋‚˜๋ƒ๋„ˆ๋…€ ๋‚˜๊ท€๋“ฑ์— ์†”์งˆ ํ•˜์—ฌ ํŒ”๋„๊ฐ•์‚ฐ ๊ตฌ๊ฒฝ ๊ฐˆ๊นŒ
    ๋…ธ๋‡จ๋ˆ„๋‰ด ๋…ธ์„ธ๋…ธ์„ธ ์ Š์–ด๋…ธ์„ธ ๋Š™์–ด์ง€๋ฉด ๋ชป ๋…ธ๋ฆฌ๋ผ

    • 3.1 Linda165

      Thank you kristi. I was hoping to find the meaning of the song here, because I suspected I had one.

    • 3.2 dramabliss

      Love this info. Thanks, Kristi.

      Is there any way for us to get the Romanized lyrics as well as the melody. Would love to learn and sing this song.

      • 3.2.1 Linda165

        As per Google ahjussi:

        gagyageogyeo gai eobsneun inae mom-i gal gos eobs-i doeeossguna gogyogugyu gosaenghadeon uli nim-i gugyeonghagi jjag-i eobsda nanyaneonyeo nagwideung-e soljil hayeo paldogangsan gugyeong galkka nonyonunyu nosenose jeolm-eonose neulg-eojimyeon mos nolila

        • kristi

          Thanks for the romanization, didn’t know it could be done on Google.

          @dramabliss: the melody’s what you hear in the episode, it’s repetitive.

          Not sure what the first two lines mean, but the next two sing about traveling around the country, having fun while you’re still young, etc.

          The point of using this song though isn’t in the lyrics per se, IMO, but the rhyme with the letters in the alphabet. So if I weren’t happy with the lyrics used here, I could make up my own, as long as they begin with ๊ฐ€ ga ๊ณ  go ๋‚˜ na ๋…ธ no ๋‹ค da ๋„ do ๋ผ ra ๋กœ ro etc.

          • anais

            Don’t the first two lines go something like…

            ๊ฐ€๊ฐธ๊ฑฐ๊ฒจ ๊ฐ€์ด ์—†๋Š” ์ด๋‚ด ๋ชธ์ด ๊ฐˆ ๊ณณ ์—†์ด ๋˜์—ˆ๊ตฌ๋‚˜
            Ga Gya Geo Gyeo, it’s become that this ๊ฐ€์ด* lacking body of mine** doesn’t have a place to go.
            (* Not sure what ๊ฐ€์ด means
            ** I can’t pin down which ์ด๋‚ด this is, though I’m thinking it may be ์ด ๋‚ด as in “this my”)

            ๊ณ ๊ต๊ตฌ๊ทœ ๊ณ ์ƒํ•˜๋˜ ์šฐ๋ฆฌ ๋‹˜์ด ๊ตฌ๊ฒฝํ•˜๊ธฐ ์ง์ด ์—†๋‹ค
            Go Gyo Gu Gyu, Our lord/master who was suffering doesn’t have a mate with whom to go sightseeing.

            ๋‚˜๋ƒ๋„ˆ๋…€ ๋‚˜๊ท€๋“ฑ์— ์†”์งˆ ํ•˜์—ฌ ํŒ”๋„๊ฐ•์‚ฐ ๊ตฌ๊ฒฝ ๊ฐˆ๊นŒ
            Na Nya Neo Nyeo, brushing the back of a donkey, should we go sightseeing all around Korea?

            ๋…ธ๋‡จ๋ˆ„๋‰ด ๋…ธ์„ธ๋…ธ์„ธ ์ Š์–ด๋…ธ์„ธ ๋Š™์–ด์ง€๋ฉด ๋ชป ๋…ธ๋ฆฌ๋ผ
            No Nyo Nu Nyu, play, play, play while young because you can’t play when you get old.

        • dramabliss

          Thanks for all the inputs.

          I yet have to watch the episode (waiting for the English subbed). I’d be sure to make a video clip of the segment with So-Yi singing with the kids.

      • 3.2.2 Ross

        This seems ironic but you can learn to read hangul in about 2 days if you like ๐Ÿ™‚

        Some times I wish we could add a few characters for English sounds like “R” and “z” and we all hop over to hangul and lose the ” I before e except after c” issues with writing English.

        You’ll notice in the movie ” moon” that the writing on the walls is hangul even though they speak English.

        Anyway, you might give hangul a try even if you don’t speak Korean; never know when it’ll come in handy ๐Ÿ™‚

    • 3.3 MonChaiChan

      thank you for the info! i had also asked a few ppl if they knew anything else about the song. it sounds so catchy and happy that i want to learn it~

  4. carrot

    This is my first ever comment on dramabeans despite following this awesome site for so long. Thanks so much for your recaps. I have not had time to watch the drama yet but your words allow me to follow it beautifully ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. kristi

    Alone, Sejong is once again left to stare at the alphabet that has now cost him his sonโ€™s life. But Chae-yoon has brought him back from the brink, and Sejong finds himself filled with purpose as he begins to write Chinese characters on pieces of paper. He lays them out among the Hangul characters, and together they spell Hunminjeongeum (meaning the correct/proper sounds for the instruction of the people), which is the name for the true historical document that promulgated Hangul. Itโ€™s nice to see how that name (could have) come about.

    That was another symbolical moment, though it took me a while to understand the significance of Sejong changing the placement of the characters.

    The first time they were placed as Min-Eum-Hun-Jeong (ๆฐ‘้Ÿณ่จ“ๆญฃ), which translated means (as the caption read) ‘What the people says must be borne in mind.’

    The second time is when it became Hun-Min-Jeong-Eum (่จ“ๆฐ‘ๆญฃ้Ÿณ), ‘The right words and sounds to teach the people.’

    Put them together, it means Sejong has heard from the people (ie. what Chae-Yoon had to say) and he’ll use hangul to teach the people like he intended.

    Wonderful, no?

    Stuck in prison and looking like heโ€™s seen much better days (or like he just finished partying with Ke$ha)


    I can’t remember when I realized exactly something was off–I mean, I knew this was staged fairly early on, just wasn’t sure who was in on it–but I have to say, I burst out loud when I saw his hair. Almost wish they hadn’t done it b/c it was so comical, I couldn’t take the proceedings seriously afterwards, though they came to an end soon enough. And I did like that moment in the flashbacks when we see Chae-Yoon practicing his lines before his fake-burst into the interrogation yard, I’ll bet that was ad-libbed.

    • 5.1 dramabliss

      Kamsa hamnida for another useful and interesting tidbit of history. So grateful for your inputs, kristi.

      HeadsNo2, you’re awesome, as always!

    • 5.2 Birdie

      Thank you to both of you Kristi and HeadsNo2 for all the interesting info. I enjoy and appreciate this drama 100x more… the closest to my PERFECT drama.

  6. Adele

    Yeaahh..another one of your amazing TWDR recaps is here! I must confess today I have checked this site for an update almost once every hour. Thanks heaps!

    Since I haven’t been able to watch this Ep. with subtitles just yet, briefly I thought with So Yi being tortured, Sejong had finally succumbed to his inner Taejong because of his grief and be exactly like his father. Pheeww.. glad to see he’s still as awesome and deserving of respect as ever, and that it’s all just a big pretend party.

    Hmm… And now that this series has reached Ep 20, I’m beginning to wish it will last longer. I know.. I know, with a long drama there is always a risk that the quality of the drama drops as it gets lengthened unnecessarily.
    But who knows? Maybe with its ratings as high as it is at the moment, the series may be extended? One can only hope ๐Ÿ™‚

    • 6.1 kristi

      They’ve already set the date for a TwDR special on the 28th, then it’s awards time on 29-31. And then the new drama with Ji Jin-Hee and Goo Hye-Sun in the new year.

      I’m sure SBS would like to hold onto TwDR but they know better than anyone that it’s because TwDR is sticking to its plans that it’s doing so well. They’re not going to hurt it with an extension.

  7. Banu

    If they only could give us more Pyung & So Yi love…I knew he liked her since he kidnapped her..Auww..

    • 7.1 Linda165

      I thought that too, but when he ordered his men to kill her before Chae Yoon, it made me doubt.

      • 7.1.1 Irene

        Yes, and he called her “chick” :-DD , well in english, maybe not in korean.

        I had the same feeling as you, if he likes her, why would he want to kill/hurt her? So I think he just wanted to take Chae Yoon out, knowing that he’s going to save her no matter what, even sacrifice his own life, and then he’d order them to stop.
        Is it so wrong if I am rooting for them? :-)))) Because I want Chae Yoon to be happy. What does So-Yi want? Will she ever love him back the same way? I don’t think/feel so.

        • Jo

          uhh yea, in korean it definitely was just “those girls” not chicks. Lol. Sometimes the translation is more..colloquial than it is.

    • 7.2 kbap

      Awwww I love Pyung! He’s so cute ๐Ÿ™‚ (and my growing crush grows every day…Pyung, I’m better than So Yi…? :D)

      Darrrrn they’re so cuteeeee

      • 7.2.1 soomp

        i kinda love pyung too. you will love him 10x more in Vampire Idol!

        this was such a great ep, and especially enjoyed this recap – thanks!

    • 7.3 greenfezza

      I got this funny feeling that Pyung will die protecting So-yi from…maybe Gae Pa-Yi. Heck, I think he will team up with Chae-Yoon to fight GPY to avenge his former teacher. Cause let’s face it, I don’t think Chae Yoon alone will be able to defeat that monster. But two of them, jumping around the trees, using assassin’s technique might be able to kill the so-called “greatest warrior”.

      Well, just my 2 cent though. I don’t see any other reason why the writer want to suddenly spring out Pyung’s crush towards So-yi this late on the series. His death protecting her might justify that.

      • 7.3.1 anais

        I don’t think it was sudden, though. They’ve finally let blossom the little seeds of suggestion they’ve been sowing all along, ever since the fire in the library when YP didn’t kill SY.

        But you are definitely right that YP or team CY&YP may have to protect SY from GPY.

      • 7.3.2 kbap

        Haha, I think the crush thing wasn’t that sudden, like anais said. But I think that two students under the master should team up together and beat up the baddies! (that’d be so cool) And I could see more awesome fight scenes and the Pretties working together. Now that’s what I want for Christmas ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. mskololia

    As awesome as this drama is to me, I don’t want this drama extended. It’s not necessary imo…

    The cast and crew need to be released via the drama’s end so they can get on with their lives and careers.

  9. Quaggy

    Loved this episode!! I was figuring a plan was afoot, but I wasn’t really sure who was in the know from the very beginning (Jo Mal-saeng, Chae-yoon, etc.) or how much of the torture was real. I was so excited when it turned out to be a true collective Team Hangul effort!

    I also loved that Hidden Root, even with their female Leader, was too blind to realize that four women could be dangerous. Three times I thought one of them had sussed it out, only… nope, they STILL aren’t the droids you’re looking for.

    By the time, Hidden Root was smacked over the head with the fact that the court ladies were the likely messengers, it was too late. The four have already split up and assumed other identities. So-yi, as the most well-known, will now likely be the main target, but the other three should be able to blend into society and continue spreading the words like a virus.

    Jung Ki-joon wants to kill everyone involved in Hangul? That’s impossible now. Hidden Root, meet Grass Root. Check and mate.

    • 9.1 kristi

      Hidden Root, meet Grass Root. Check and mate.

      Not sure about the checkmate part yet, but I like this summary, very succinct and to the point.

      I like that it’s JKJ’s warning and own experience (of seeing how fast it spread once learned) that gave Sejong the very idea of letting it loose through its messengers, adding to the inevitability of promulgating the alphabet, rather than use the official channels like he intended at the beginning (in previous eps., not this one).

      He wanted JKJ’s input, as a judge, he got it, and is now using his feedback to improve the dissemination.


      • 9.1.1 Quaggy

        Not sure about the checkmate part yet, but I like this summary, very succinct and to the point.

        Well, I suppose it’s not quite game over yet for Hidden Root. We still have 4 episodes left after all! But Hidden Root has missed the window of opportunity to stop the new alphabet by murdering a certain number of people. From here on out, everything will be much, much harder for them. Grass root movements might die out over time, but, unlike individual humans, they are difficult, if not impossible, to kill outright.

        • kristi

          Just meant that I was hoping Milbon would still have one or two moves left before Sejong’s final checkmate, but you’re right that the game’s all but over. We know who the winner is from history anyway, and there’s poetic justice that the coup de grace came from the real Hidden Root, ie the Grass Root.

          • anais

            Hidden Root, Grass Root.

            I love all the extended metaphors sprouting (hehe) here. You guys are awesome.

    • 9.2 taizhu

      Jung Ki-joon wants to kill everyone involved in Hangul? Thatโ€™s impossible now. Hidden Root, meet Grass Root. Check and mate.

      This is exactly when I thought when I saw the scene of So-yi walking through the village with the children…check…mate. Game over. Milbon just doesn’t know it yet.

      The reality is this…teach children a catchy song to sing and learn from and that song will live forever. I mean, aren’t kids in the West still chanting rhymes about Little Miss Muffet and Little Jack Horner and all sorts of English people who have absolutely nothing to do with them hundreds of years later? Brilliant strategy by King Sejong. Didn’t really think of this during the show but this is a can’t lose strategy. Show, I love you to pieces.

      It will take time for Milbon to even figure what the handmaidens are doing. By then it will be too late. Nothing–even killing everyone who designed the language–can stop the eventual spread. The children and the beggars are now the seeds of these “plague-like” letters and nothing can stop that.

      Brilliant show. Brilliant writing. Brilliant acting. Brilliant recaps. I’ll be so sad when this is over but I think it will be able to deliver until the very end.

  10. 10 Stardust

    dear Headsno2, thank you so much for your amazingly detailed, beautifully screen-captured, and wonderful analysis of this drama! I have not watched it yet, and is only living off this fast and awesome recaps you been feeding all of us! Thank you for taking the time! =D

  11. 11 Haydn

    best freaking episode ever.

    ’nuff said.


    sorry. totally inappropriate, i know. ๐Ÿ˜‰ couldn’t help it.

    • 11.1 So3

      haha i know!!! and the look on So-yi’s face is like Chae Yoon was saying something very natural to her, like it’s meant to be and they don’t need to agree that in advance. She understands, accepts and agrees to everything Chae Yoon said!

    • 11.2 Jay

      I loved that part too!

      I’ve enjoyed the whole series from the beginning, but the part that pushed me into total love was when Chae Yoon and Dahm found each other again. I’m a total goner for those two and the hope they represent for the future in the series. I love that it’s what the letters mean to them, the purpose and ambition they’ve provided, that in the end gives Lee Do the confidence to overcome his crisis following the Prince’s death.

      And I really really loved Chae Yoon’s answer to his master’s question — that he won’t give up what he loves for this mission, and he’ll accomplish his mission too! It was the perfect Chae Yoon answer and perfect answer for the series as well — because in the end, the letters are a gift of hope, not a doom. Go Chae Yoon!

  12. 12 JanusSoCal

    Headsno2, as usual, your recaps are amazing and usually what I look forward to most during the week. But, i can’t believe you left out the scene where Sejong and Jo Mael Sung have finally suspected the Right Minster and the Vice Deputy Chief Scholar! I was like.. THANK GAWWD. Team Sejong is all sorts of awesomeness.

    • 12.1 kristi

      I was like.. THANK GAWWD.

      I KNOW! ๐Ÿ™‚ They’ve been acting suspiciously enough that it was starting to strain credibility that Sejong et al. wouldn’t suspect them, but guess what? THEY DID.

      Thank you for not going stupid on us, TwDR.

    • 12.2 mskololia

      I loved that scene too and was beginning to wonder about our dear king….His father did leave him with loyal members of the court.

  13. 13 amelia

    pyungggg! that guy is in 3 dramas at the same time?! too freaking cool. (twdr, vampidol & what’s up!)

    • 13.1 kay

      i know! i love him already.

  14. 14 anais

    I loved the scene when Jo Mal Saeng whines to Sejong that he’d rather have been the one tortured because it was even more torturous for him to only pretend torturing the court ladies. In this episode, he played the MuHyul role of the tough guy being reduced to warm fuzzy bear. Giggles giggles.

    I’m soooo happy that the actor who plays Jo Mal Saeng got the chance to play this wonderful character and show off this side of himself. He’s so earned it over his career of playing villainy.

    • 14.1 kristi

      He had a wonderful ‘good guy’ role last year in Daemul, which earned him a supporting actor award at SBS. Played Kwon Sang-Woo’s long-suffering prosecutor boss, and they were a great comedy duo, with some terrific emotional scenes thrown in. I like him in TwDR, he’s as solid a veteran actor as they come, but I LOVED him in Daemul.

    • 14.2 dramabliss

      He seems to be in most sageuks, at least those I have watched. I remember him as the War Minister in SKKS.

      In TWDR, i was pleasantly surprised at the redemption of his character. Earlier in the series, wasn’t he one of Tae-jong’s henchmen? If I recall right, he was instrumental in switching the message that the young king Sejong sent to his father in law and Prime Minister Sim On that led to the death of the latter and his household, including Chae Yoon’s father.

  15. 15 queencircles

    I laughed so hard when Pyung got teased for his crush. So cute, I watched it twice.

    I can never say enough how awesome this show is.

  16. 16 Iviih

    Hi there! Thanks so much! LOL when you said Ke$ha hair I laughed so hard.. hahahaha

    and @Kristi! Thanks for this

    Itโ€™s like the ABC song, or the Do-Re-Mi song

    I knew the song was something like this, but now I’m totally sure about it. And this is so perfect!

    Weeee love this drama, since this drama is so awesome, since every episode it’s awesome I can’t lie.. I’m afraid of its end.

    I expect an end very very awesome…

    I wish there is no surprise(heroic) death! Because every Sageuk does this in the end…. I’m still bittter about Chuno’s end…

    I wish an end where it’s awesome and surprising without the need to kill Chae Yoon, So Yi, Mu-hyul….

    Let’s see!

    Thanks everyone !!

  17. 17 neener


    I love Pyung for having a crush on So-yi….he might save So-yi again…

    • 17.1 kbap

      That, would be awesome. I guess ๐Ÿ˜€ And hopefully be a good guy. (Yah, I’m still hanging on to that thread of hope. lol)

      • 17.1.1 ahjummabunny

        you remember the stand off on the cliff when he refused to kill sejong??? I thought that meant he was going over to sejong’s side and I loved the idea of it. Although my brain was going around in circles trying to figure out how that could’ve happened. And then he let me down by saying he only wants to protect bonwon.

  18. 18 Sonia

    HeadsNo2, you’re AWESOME! I lurvee your recaps. ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. 19 cv

    thanks for the recap! twdr is totally awsome. No other word for it!

  20. 20 roombagaroomba

    can’t believe this drama is getting beaten in the poll by Dream High.

  21. 21 AuntieMame

    In the end, JKJ’s final devastation will be Pyung turning on him.

    And, Pyung will turn on him when he orders Pyung to kill So Yi, Gae Pa-yi (giant killer) and Yeon Do (little girl) because they all know the alphabet. Since, it is JKJ’s vow is to kill everyone who knows the alphabet.

    Pyung, as well as the the other members of Milbon, have started to question the wisdom of JKJ’s decisions. Although Pyung has blindly obeyed JKJ’s orders so far, I think he will draw the line at killing So Yi, Gae Pa-yi and Yeon Do.

    Unfortunately, this may mean that JKJ will actually have to try to do his own killing, which will set up a final fight scene between him and . . . ?

    Thank you so much for the great recap. And, thank even more for the information from the other commentators regarding the song and the bits of history. I’ve been a follower of the site even before the reincarnation to Dramabeans. And, the knowledge and sharing of information is always the best here.

    • 21.1 kbap

      Darn, your theory (or wait, is this gonna come true?) is awesome ๐Ÿ™‚ (Erm, my bias for Pyung is kicking in but that’s OK.) Seriously though, I don’t get JKJ and why he wants to kill everyone that knows the alphabet. Or why he opposes the alphabet in the first place *scratches head. Did I miss something while reading the recaps and watching the episodes? Hmmmmmm…And same here, I’m a long-time reader on Dramabeans, just not a comment-er until recently… ๐Ÿ˜€

      • 21.1.1 anais

        He wants to kill everyone who knows it because it’s too easy to learn and thus transmit, even unofficially. It would provide them an alternate means of communication, which – if it catches on – would force the elite to also have to accept, even if they continue to devalue it for centuries as they actually did.

        I’m totally with AuntieMame (BTW, great moniker, love Auntie Mame). I don’t think Pyung would be able to do anything to Gae Pa Yi. If anything Gae Pa Yi will – or at least I hope – become the nail that shuts the coffin. I agree that Pyung might turn to save Soyi and Gae Pa Yi to save his little friend. No one would dare kill Gae Pa Yi, I think. I hope the show will provide an answer for Gae Pa Yi, especially since it had Chae Yoon begin to ask questions about who Gae Pa Yi is, where he comes from, etc. I want to know why he’s with Milbon in the first place.

        • AuntieMame

          And, Gae Pa Yi will kill anyone who threatens Yeon Do, regardless if it is JKJ or Pyung.

          JKJ has lost all faith in people. That’s why he is adamant in stopping the alphabet.

          Here’s what I posted on another site:

          The disease of wood-rot occurs due to a lack of sunlight, a stagnant moist environment, which makes the wood conducive to fungal infections. Wood-rot crumbles and unstabilizes the strength of the wood, resulting in the eventual collapse of the wood and therefore, the structure.

          At this point, the King may just be a flower. But, JKJ is acting like the wood-rot that will eventually kill the tree that he professes to be protecting. Too much protection on anything or anyone can become a strangle-hold, which can debilitate and eventually kill.

          JKJ isnโ€™t thinking of what is most beneficial for the lower class or common people. Or, rather, he actually thinks very little of them because he thinks they are not capable of handling knowledge (sunlight) . He thinks it is safer for them to be stay as they are (stagnant and strangled). He assumes for the lowest expectations of the people, in which they will not be able to handle learning, end up in chaos and destroy their world.

          Whereas, the King assumes the highest expectations for the people, in that they (the people) will learn and when their learning result in dilemmas, obstacles or stalemates, they will figure things out and/or work out compromises, in order to survive and advance. Isn’t that what we are expected to learn from our home and school; i.e. how to deal with the difficulties that we encounter in life.

          Itโ€™s ironic that the King has more faith in the people than JKJ, who professes to be fighting the monarchy, in behalf of the people.

          And, that’s the beauty of this drama. It shows how everyone, be it King, JKJ, ministers, Milbon members, actually believe that their path/belief is the ‘correct’ and ‘righteous’ way for the people. One can’t find fault in each of their arguments because they are correct . . . to a certain extent.

          But, the worst is that they not only truly believe in their righteousness, they are all stuck on the “I’m right, you’re wrong” stupid train. -_- Truly, for the good of the people, they need to get off the train, go into the railroad depot of “Sense and Sensibility” and work on how to generate concrete benefits that are truly for the good of the people. ๐Ÿ™‚ (Yoohoo . . . Leaders of the governments of the world, you should watch and understand the messages of this drama. -_-)

          • anais

            Very nice extended metaphor. Quite lovely actually. Kudos.

            As for leaders of our factious world, yeah, wouldn’t that be nice?

        • triniti

          I think that Gae Pa Yi, isn’t a part of MilBon as much as he is probably only affiliated to them the same way GukSe is. Probably he is indebted to them in some way. Because he, unlike Pyung seems to be ‘utilised’ by MilBon solely for his physical capability. He doesn’t get into the politics of it all, merely following orders. Who knows?? maybe he’s some kind of a mastermind who plans to kill the whole world someday!! haha! I think Gae Pa Yi character was crafted to be ambiguous anyways. But i’m sure him and YunDu knowing Hangul is gonna change his stance. Maybe he will finally make his own decision in this show against JKJ.

          Another point (though beware, this next paragraph may just kill a few of your brain cells…)
          My favourite part of this episode was Pyung’s crush on SoYi!!! i mean what could be more adorable than that!! awwwwww:))) i feel terrible for him, since Soyi and ChaeYoon already had their lets make some babies!! talk…in front of the king…haha. who else found that statement by ChaeYoon awkward?? Poor thing.

    • 21.2 Jomo

      Pyung has already refused a RottenRoot order when he was told to kill the king.
      He said it was to protect JKJ’s life, but if you watch that scene, you can almost see him think, “The Prince, OK, but the KING? Not so sure…”

      • 21.2.1 anais

        a RottenRott order

        Almost spewed my coffee onto my computer screen. LOL!

        Yeah, agree with your assessment!

    • 21.3 ahjummabunny

      I don’t think there’s enough time fore bonwon to order those deaths. I don’t really see pyung turning. I see bonwon being usurped by the rest of milbon. right minister and most of the people in mil bon are expecting their payout-the parliament and he’s not delivering. I’ve always suspected student shim of having an ulterior motive when it comes to mil bon. It’s like he wants a finger in every pie.

  22. 22 addictediAm

    I want to kill JKJ right now Asap. :P. Now that King Sejong knows the identity of JKJ. Why not arrest JKJ as a criminal for killing his son GP but that would make the plot so simple and overused and without evidence it won’t happen. King SJ is anti violence too. I don’t like the ideology of JKJ in the first place. His not worthy to be Sambong’s successor. Opposing alphabet? For the sake of aristocrats? They’re afraid of giving power to the people is so selfish. His closed minded and thinks he knows everything about the future of Joseon. Die JKJ. I really like this drama. I trust the director and love the plot but i want JKJ to die a horrendous death. ๐Ÿ˜€

    • 22.1 addictediAm

      I really need to see revenge or justice against JKJ. King SJ must do something regarding JKJ since he already knows him and with his army he can catch him easily. I don’t see any movement from him and really kills me since i love this show so much. I don’t tolerate murderers JKJ and afraid he may kill one of team Sejong’s gang. I don’t want to be sad again in the ending. Regarding the spread of the alphabet (great cause) to the people, its brilliant and a satisfaction to watch how JKJ plans and scheming won’t succeed.

      • 22.1.1 Jomo

        I don’t think the King’s goal is to destroy JKJ, as in eliminate him.
        He wants to defeat him fair and square by eliminating any of his just causes for dissent.

        It would be a bigger victory if this nemesis from his childhood agreed with him. That is what he wants. I hate to say he is asking for his approval, because I don’t think he cares if JKJ likes him. He just wants to be right, and he wants JKJ to say it out loud with his mouth.

        • anais

          I’d go further. He not only wants to BE right but DO right. That’s why he tried to save the young JKJ repeatedly when he was a child. Why he put his life on the line for Ddolbok. Why – as Jomo says – he put his life and even his whole project on the line to better understand JKJ’s way of thinking so that whatever critiques JKJ can offer can be incorporated into the project itself and further strengthen it. Which he does.

        • triniti

          You guys remember what young Sejong said??

          In his Joseon, Jung Ki Joon must be there. I don’t think he is going to kill him, and if the drama ended in this way it would go against the entire show and Sejjong’s no violence code anyways. The ultimate goal by the end of 24 episodes is for Sejong to defeat JKJ using words, which according to Taejong, was the more treacherous path (which we know, because at this stage, Sejong could easily kill of JKJ)
          Sejong is going to win this battle eventually with wordsand show his father just exactly what HIS Joseon is made of and can do.
          What will become of JKJ then?? We can already see that by ep 24 he’s gonna be standing alone. Over the course of the drama, the guy’s become pretty messed up in his head with his twisted ideals. Before he dies, i think Sejong is gonna make sure he figures that out, and understands the importance of Hangul. My bet is that JKJ is gonna kill himself after finding out what a douche he’s been!! (haha though i doubt that will happen) though it would be good if it did. because then it would make his death super tragic and for plot purposes, it would also save the lives of Chaeyoon, Soyi, and MuHyul!!

          though i doubt the directors are gonna be this nice to us…

  23. 23 Rovi

    Hunminjeongeum, which is the name for the true historical document that promulgated hangeul. – it’s actually hangeul‘s official name…

    haha, and now I officially love Team Sejong. ๐Ÿ˜€

  24. 24 iLLusiOnEr

    “Iโ€™m going to pull a Sejong on this one: Iโ€™m just going to think about the now.”

    ..then you put CY’s smile-smirking face there..mann, i cracked!

    I feel the tension a bit winding down in the last scene. Perhaps now the writer is building up the last plot to the climax, its the last hill in the roller-coster ride.

  25. 25 Jinijani

    If Pyung love her(So-yi) ,
    His master’s destiny(Lee-bang ji) = Pyung’s…
    …really do look alike.
    What would happen ?

    • 25.1 Linda165

      Omo! You’re right about the destiny thing!

    • 25.2 lenrasoon

      omg i thought about this too, i hope nothing happens to So Yi.

    • 25.3 ahjummabunny

      no, soyi isn’t like that. remember how she was when she was kidnapped? and at that time she was just living for the letters and the hope that dolbok was alive, but now she has even more at stake. The scenes I never want to see?
      Sejong sending soyi and chae yoon away and soyi becoming a useless pawn. She was the girl on the cliff telling them to put down their weapons, the girl calculating the distance between where she was to where the nearest body of water is after being kidnapped. I hope the writers don’t let me down.

  26. 26 kiongna

    Quote : “Together, theyโ€™re just an amalgamation of awesome.”
    Woot Woot – ah how apt ๐Ÿ™‚
    Love your recaps as always HeadsNo2 ๐Ÿ™‚

    @AuntieMame, I’m looking forward to see your predictions unfurl ๐Ÿ™‚ for a second there I tot it was the script kekekke… or is it? LOL

    Love this drama to bits, love this recap, love all the comments – learnt so much, thanks everyone!

    • 26.1 AuntieMame

      No, it’s not the script. I don’t think any writer would be taking ideas from our discussions.

      It’s just what I think is logical, based on some assumptions. Of course, it’s something that I won’t mind seeing happen . . . hee, hee.

  27. 27 Arhazivory

    I really love the discussions sparked by HeadsNo2’s recaps. I refrained from reading it until the subs were out but its so nice seeing her take and reading Kristi’s points of information and everyone else’s input.

    Although I enjoy korean dramas, this is the first time I’ve ever deeply felt like learning the language. I really want to learn Hangul and so…I think I will. XD

    • 27.1 lenrasoon

      it’s rare to read discussion like this here, i feel like i’m learning something and i am ^^

      • 27.1.1 lenrasoon

        i’m talking about outside of this thread, thankfully “Tree with deep roots” comments are really good to read because you feel learning something new not only about the drama but Hangul as well.

  28. 28 lenrasoon

    umm i don’t know if i like Pyung crush on So Yi, that means he’ll keep an eye on her, like what happened in this episode, and this must bring danger to her in the future.

    about King Sejong fooling with us/banchon i thought it was well played, i also liked when the King and Jo Mal-saeng were having a talk about their suspicions and once again i see how sharp is the King when he said Lee Shin Juk’s name and Jo Mal-saeng mention Shim Jong-soo, they’re in the right track and can’t wait how is this going to unfold in the drama with only 4 episodes remaining.

    Thanks again HeadsNo2!

    • 28.1 mskololia

      Yeah, if show is going there with him having a thing for SY, he is clearly putting her in danger if found, and he has to know it. Duh!!!

      Winning against CY may be making the synapses or receptors in his brain misfire due to competition; first Lee Bang and now SY. Irrational thoughts are looking like a pattern with this guy who clearly needs to get out more…. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • 28.1.1 lenrasoon

        “Winning against CY may be making the synapses or receptors in his brain misfire due to competition”

        wow i never thought it this way, this is interesting! yeah Pyung really have a lot in common with CY, now i’m more worried haha.

        • mskololia

          Pyung may face a certain death in the end. If he disobeys another order, I can see Garion/Jung Ki-joon killing him. That would be sad as Pyung would realize the man never had any compassion for him or his father and his training as an assassin was an empty life. They were considered slaves and disposable to his uber-pain-in-the-ass.

          I hope Jung Ki-joon is left with no one to follow him….

  29. 29 Jomo

    Thank you for the recap, HN2!

    I just want to brag here. I KNEW it was a feint.
    Just ask my kids.
    I was yelling – this is not really happening! They’re only doing this so the Power Hangul Girls can go out and promulgate. There is no way in the whole wide universe of ways that the King would put his Soyi in danger.

    Love the plague image:
    It starts with the leeeeetle tiny fleas, jumps to rats and birds, to cats and dogs, horses and cattle, slaves and peasants, servants and masters, merchants and yanbans, students and scholars, court folks and royalty.

    Only those in complete isolation would escape, and that is not a reality for these people in those times.

    I know what the kids were singing:
    “Let’s get ready to promulgate!”

    • 29.1 lenrasoon

      I only knew because i accidentally read the spoilers lol but if i didn’t i would totally fall for the King’s lie when i saw the torture scene, even if i knew that it was an act i was a little worried if Jo Mal Saeng was in it with them or not and why the hell the King would let JMS hurt the girls haha, as i said in the comment above the whole thing was really well played *claps*.

      About the plague, i was worried when JKJ found out that the court ladies never went to exile to become slaves and that i’m sure he will try to chase them in the next episodes, but when i hear/read the word plague i think of something spreading really fast to the point of losing control and that’s exactly what the King wants, i’m pretty sure that King Sejong knows that banchon will eventually find out about the act (and they already did) but his whole point was to just let someone out of the palace without making suspicions and that’s it, the plague now is unstoppable which is definitely just like your image describes.

  30. 30 HFS1981

    “What a show!” and “Oh my god!!” are really not enough to describe how fast my heart beats before, during and after I watch each episode! Each episode has been better than the one before and the acting is just…make me speechless. ABSOLUTELY. I mean really, I cannot watch the episode in just one hour because I keep repeating scenes. This is how much this show is enjoyable. Thank you for the outstanding experience in every episode. WOW

    By the way, I knew that Chae was part of the plan in the scene in which he asked Sejong about his order to arrest So Yi. He knelt down and kept calling Sejong “Your majesty”.. that was what gave him away.

  31. 31 HFS1981

    and may I say, I don’t think bad people are good people thrown into evil circumstances. I think good people are people who continue to be good even when are thrown into such circumstances. Encountering an evil/bad circumstances is not an excuse for people to do bad things

    • 31.1 mskololia

      Yeah, I wonder if he was referring himself in that line trying to justify his actions that are OTT with his justification for or willingness to kill innocent ppl?

  32. 32 Janet

    from headsno2 “Sejong proves that you donโ€™t have to be evil in order to be a maniacal genius.”…… kinda like Na PD, right?

  33. 33 Sojuboy

    Thanks for all the recaps. I wish I had time to watch all this.

    As for acting,

    I haven’t really notice Shin Se-Kyung (So-Yi) before, but she is turning into one quality actress. Quite a babe. This looks to be a breakout role for her. Looking forward to seeing her getting better parts in the coming years!

  34. 34 bd

    Actually think I liked ep 19 a little more than this one – overall, more powerful and suspenseful from start to finish.

  35. 35 Hangul joa

    I’m happy to see you post. ๐Ÿ™‚ thank you…
    I’m little bit worried that this drama is much different from the real historical fact… because Milbon, Chaeyoon, Muhyul and Jung ki joon are not real-they are made by the author. The only historical fact written in Korean history is that King Saejong, the great made ‘hangul’ , and actually, only few scholars inclucing Choi man lee vehemently opposed to king saejong and he did go to jail but got free next day. The atmosphere at that time was like.., ok, the new letter is good, which was possible because, probably Lee bang won had already killed almost all the enemies(opposition forces) for his son. The author had no choice to create new characters to make it more dramatic.

    without fiction,it is almost impossible to make film of king saejong period dramatically. He was really a workaholic and accomplished so many things including scientific, argricultural, military forces so on while he was alive. It is written in the record(the Annals of the Joseon Dynasty) that he had a meeting at 4:00 A.M with Jiphyeonjeon scholars everyday. That’s why on the promulgation day of Hangul, more than half of Jiphyeonjeon scholars could not attend. Half were ill in bed.

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