Drama Recaps
The Moon That Embraces the Sun: Episode 3
by | January 11, 2012 | 112 Comments

So much cuteness today, I don’t even know how they crammed it in to one episode, all while moving along the plot and giving us a glimpse of the darkness ahead. I find myself in the weird conflict of wanting to linger in these teenage moments (adorable and heart-warming — I could watch a whole drama about these years) and wanting to hurry to the adult portions, because I feel like the adult cast will be just as strong. Stay! Go! Stay! Go!

Holy moly, and the ratings keep jumping. Episode 3 drew a 23.2% rating. (Take Care of Us, Captain had a 9.4%, Wild Romance a 6.4%.)


The Moon That Embraces the Sun OST – “달빛이 지고” [ Download ]

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Yeon-woo and Bo-kyung are brought to the palace to be Princess Min-hwa’s new companions and lessonmates, and Nok-young recognizes the two girls for their true natures: Yeon-woo is the moon she must protect — the one whose proximity to the sun will ruin her family, but who is also fated to stay by the sun’s side, a paradox the dead shaman Ahri was trying to prevent. Bo-kyung is a second moon with dark, malevolent energy, which we could’ve figured on our own without mystical eyes. Seriously? Evil is written all over that petulant face.

The girls confirm that they’re both here for the same purpose, and the realization brings identical looks of Aw, HELL no to their faces.

The queen dowager asks Nok-young to look into the girls’ fortunes — to see if either one is fit to be a queen.

The girls await Princess Min-hwa, edging away from each other uneasily. Yeon-woo makes the first overture, suggesting that they let bygones be bygones. Bo-kyung has been coached by her sly father, Minister Yoon, and recalls his warning not to make enemies in the palace — or at least, to not betray her true feelings outwardly. So she slaps on a smile and agrees, saying she’s sorry for that day, too.

Relieved, Yeon-woo takes her hand to seal the “Let’s be friends” deal. Bo-kyung tamps down her well of inner evil at seeing their hands touching (does the presence of goodness cause that blackened soul to sizzle in pain?).

Prince Hwon peers at his potted plant, which is growing way too slowly for his impatient mind, and decides he’ll just have to seek out the gift-giver to ask what’s been planted. Uh-huh. Because it’s just that important to know what kind of flower she planted, yup.

His dutiful and somewhat hapless attendant, Hyung-sun, reports on the identities of the princess’s new companions. Hwon had guessed Yeon-woo might be one of them, but the confirmation brings a smile to his face and he sighs over how pretty her name is. Then he grabs Hyung-sun’s hands and asks in a tone of desperation for his help. Hyung-sun’s response? An anguished, “Prince, noooooooo!”

Hyung-sun outlines all the reasons why it would be improper, nay, impossible, for the crown prince to meet in secret with an unmarried lady inside the palace. Hwon cuts through the babble with one reminder: “Performance evaluation.” Hwon feigns a bad memory while pointedly asking who it was that helped Hyung-sun when he failed his review. And who was it who helped him study? And who does he have to thank for his promotion? Hmm? Hyung-sun crumbles. I’m pretty sure I adore this relationship.

Hwon writes a note telling Yeon-woo that he was excited to hear of her coming to the palace, and that he’ll send someone to her soon. Hyung-sun bribes the princess’s attendant to pass along his message-pouch to Yeon-woo. It’s slipped inside Yeon-woo’s bag.

The queen, Hwon’s mother, sits with Yeon-woo and Bo-kyung to welcome them to the palace. She’s demure and regal, which is why it’s doubly hilarious when Princess Min-hwa bursts into the room, plops down in front of the girls, and asks eagerly, “Which one of you is Scholar Heo’s sister? Huh? Huh?” She wastes no time, this one.

Upon confirmation that it’s Yeon-woo, Min-hwa declares her to be as pretty as her brother, and gives her a gift right off the bat. While I love that these two are hitting it off, this excess show of favor is sure to breed discontent in Bo-kyung, who is basically Discontent Central already. She glares jealously.

Then the two girls make their bows to Grandma, aka the queen dowager. At least in this scenario Bo-kyung has the upper hand, although the queen dowager hides her deviousness well. Hidden behind a screen is Nok-young, who watches the scene to get a read on the girls, per the queen dowager’s instructions.

Yang-myung finally makes his appearance at the palace, to Hwon’s utter delight. He grabs his brother in a bear hug and is pleasantly surprised to hear that Yang-myung is good friends with Yeom, whom he is on his way to meet.

Hwon is disappointed that his busy schedule means he doesn’t have time to sit down and chat with Yang-myung, so he comes up with an alternative plan: Big Bro will just have to join them, then, in a match of football/soccer between two palace groups. The game pits Blue versus Red: scholars Yeom and Yang-myung join the prince on Blue, while third buddy Woon plays for Red.

Woon is introduced as the first place winner in the recent state exams in martial arts, where Yeom placed first for literature. When Hwon and Yeon-woo had first met, she’d said her brother took first place on one exam, and Hwon had lied that his brother took the other first place. So now Hwon laughs and tells Woon, “You’re the guy who almost became my brother.” Cute how they’re all connected somehow, even if just by coincidence.

During embroidery time, Yeon-woo finds Hwon’s message in her bag and reads it. Hilariously, though, she hears the words in an angry tone — she still thinks he’s upset that she was impudent, totally oblivious to his crush on her. So when he’d written that he was unable to sleep upon hearing of her palace appointment (’cause he was excited, aw), she imagines him growling through clenched teeth, “I’ll send somebody soon, so I’ll see you then.” *Ominous glare*

Min-hwa has no interest in embroidery so she drags Yeon-woo outside to play instead, and a miffed Bo-kyung trails after them. But Bo-kyung recalls the note Yeon-woo had stuffed out of sight, and she heads back to read it. It’s signed with the name Lee Hwon, which doesn’t seem to immediately ring a bell. I’m not sure she realizes it’s the prince, but she does understand that her rival’s getting chummy with royalty.

Min-hwa leads Bo-kyung and her court ladies in a game of Marco Polo. Hyung-sun takes advantage of the moment to approach Yeon-woo, acting as messenger, and asks if she’s Yeom’s sister. Thinking she’s about to be in trouble, Yeon-woo lies and answers no.

Min-hwa sees Hyung-sun lurking and grabs him before he can hasten away, asking where Yeom is. He blurts out that a football game is in progress before catching himself, and that, naturally, Gives Her Ideas.

The three girls make their way to the game, and Min-hwa immediately picks out Yeom in the crowd. She moons after him, by Yeon-woo’s eyes are drawn to Hwon, who has a moment of glory in scoring the first point of the game. Bo-kyung notices the prince as well, her ambitions about to grow bigger.

The queen dowager asks Nok-young for her evaluation on the girls, pleased at the reply that her wishes will come to fruition. The queen dowager is satisfied, but Nok-young leaves wondering, “What joke of Fate is this?” The one who is suited to be queen cannot occupy the queen’s quarters, while the one who is not suited to be queen is fated to do just that.

Nok-young thinks, “Two moons and two suns… and the smell of Death.”

While playing, Hwon trips over a player and sprawls hard on the ground, leading all to gasp in shock. A guard orders the terrified offender apprehended, but Hwon steps in and declares that they should be playing a fair game, and no one is to clear his path or purposely let him have the ball. Yeon-woo is impressed.

A court lady arrives and urges the princess to head back to her quarters (Min-hwa replies idly, “That’s all right, the king’s on my side,” spoken like a true daddy’s girl) and the three girls turn to go. Yeon-woo takes one last look at the field, and Yang-myung cheerfully smiles up at her — only to realize she doesn’t see him, because she’s staring at the prince behind him.

Disappointed, Yang-myung thinks to himself, “I don’t care if everybody else becomes the prince’s people — as long as you would become mine.”

The princess’s entourage crosses paths with King Seongjo’s, and Min-hwa happily chirps to Daddy that she’s made friends and likes Yeon-woo especially. Cringe. I love how candid and sunny Min-hwa is, but girl could use a few lessons in tactful politicking. Everybody is tense at the implication, especially the fathers of both girls — Minister Yoon sees that his daughter has been sidelined, and Minister Heo sees the dangers of too much outward favor.

The king asks the girls to be good friends to the princess, then adds a word of advice using a figure of speech about a palace tree. He asks whether they understand the meaning, addressing Bo-kyung first. She apologizes for not knowing, saying that her father taught her that scholarly learning was the province of men, and the king finds her response acceptable.

Then he asks Yeon-woo, who answers correctly; it’s a saying about not revealing even what kind of trees grow near the palace. Ergo: Keep your mouth shut about court matters.

Yang-myung makes his greeting to the indifferent king, and frankly Seongjo’s cold harshness toward his son makes me unable to find him the least bit likable.

He’s here to make a request of the king — his first, only, and last request. He confesses that there is a young woman he cares for, and if the king has any thought to arranging Yang-myung’s marriage, he would like to make his choice known. Yang-myung screws his eyes shut and awaits his father’s cold rejection, only to have the king ask for her name. He stutters and gives Yeon-woo’s name, incredulous but hopeful, and the king says he will take it into consideration.

Yang-myung’s excitement is adorable and — because we know which way the wind is blowing on this match — heartbreaking.

That evening, the Heo family gathers and asks Yeon-woo what she thought of her first day in the palace. She answers, “It was good.” Mom: “That’s all?” Yeon-woo: “Yes.” She declines to explain any more, throwing back the saying about palace trees. Haha. Dad gives a hearty laugh at her cheek.

There’s some adorable family repartee as Dad and daughter have their tight-knit moment of praising each other, and Mom jokes that she’s sad to be left out. So she turns to Yeom and they have their own mama-son moment. Cute.

Yeon-woo finds Seol outside, who’s practicing her sword skills with a wooden stick. She asks for advice about “somebody” who was sent a letter from “somebody else” and doesn’t understand its meaning. She relays Hwon’s words about sending a person for her, and martial-minded Seol answers that it sounds like a threat. HA.

Yeon-woo confesses that she lied when the messenger came for her, and Seol exclaims that that’s the worst thing she could have done — she’s proven herself to be a coward AND a liar. HAHA.

As Yeon-woo mulls this over, she imagines Hwon in her courtyard again. He addresses her with a smile, asking if she really thinks he means to threaten her. He asks if she’d agree to meet with him, and she says shyly that she does want to see him.

She asks if he’ll send his messenger to her again, but that’s when Dream Hwon disappears, leaving her hanging.

Minister Yoon is not happy with the way things are rolling at the palace, and he asks Bo-kyung if she did anything wrong, ready to blame her for not being able to get the princess to like her. Bo-kyung says indignantly that everybody’s on Yeon-woo’s side, and that the princess automatically likes her because she likes Yeon-woo’s brother. Even a royal relative sent her a letter.

Minister Yoon asks for the name, and she tells him it was Lee Hwon. I still don’t think she realizes it’s the prince, although his last name indicates he’s of the royal family.

Minister Yoon takes this news to the queen dowager, who is amused at the evidence of puppy love but also sees that Minister Heo is increasingly becoming an obstacle to their purposes. She’s dismissive of the prince’s crush, but Minister Yoon sees the threat now that the king has also shown his favor toward Yeon-woo. He urges the queen dowager to hurry their plans to marry off the prince.

Bo-kyung arrives at the palace the next day with new resolve, determined to find a way to stick this time. Her entrance is intercepted by Hyung-sun, who has determined that she must be the Heo girl, since Yeon-woo said she wasn’t. Oh noes! He’s here to take her to the prince secretly, and of course Bo-kyung is willing to comply.

Hwon awaits his visitor in the secret meeting place, and goes through a practice run of turning and smiling to best impress the girl. Omg, this is cracking me up, it’s so cute. He even giggles to himself in anticipation, then hastily takes his opening pose at the sound of footsteps.

Hwon keeps his back turned (nooooo!) as he addresses Bo-kyung, thinking she’s Yeon-woo. He confirms that he is the prince, then turns… but her head is bowed and he’s nervous so he continues, “I don’t know why, but after that day I couldn’t forget your face. After hearing you would be the princess’s companion, I wanted to see you again.”

Bo-kyung smiles happily and raises her eyes… and he’s floored. He demands to know who she is, which naturally confuses her, and he cuts her off to apologize and say he was mistaken. I think there’s a palace official who’s about to get his butt royally kicked.

Hwon glares at Hyung-sun and storms off, leaving Bo-kyung to puzzle this over. She’s seen by the court lady who delivered the letter previously…which hints at future complications.

Min-hwa and Yeon-woo make good-fortune bracelets, and the princess confides that she’s going to give hers to Yeom. Yeon-woo says she was going to give hers to him, too, and Min-hwa gasps, “No! I’ll give this one to your brother, so you give yours to mine. That’s fair, is it not?” Or… you could both give them to your own brothers. But I guess there’s no fun in that. Min-hwa offers to play gift-messenger, and Yeon-woo insists on making hers over, since this one’s too shabby for the prince.

Bo-kyung joins her companions, and deduces that the prince must have been trying to see Yeon-woo. But outside, the court ladies busily gossip that the prince and Bo-kyung were seen together, and this conversation is overheard by the queen, who demands an explanation.

Hwon berates Hyung-sun for the mix-up, while Hyung-sun defends himself since the girl lied about her identity. Hwon asks why she’d do that, since there’s absolutely no reason for her to avoid him. Is there?

To make sense of it, then? A brain diagram to analyze Yeon-woo’s thoughts:

HAHAHA. (Korean media/fandom loves brain diagrams, which always pop up online for various actors and characters. Here’s one example.)

According to Hyung-sun’s calculations, Yeom occupies seventy percent of Yeon-woo’s boy-related thoughts. Growing up with such an outstanding brother, most other boys don’t even land on her radar. Hwon bows his head in dismay.

Furthermore, she will have been exposed to the substantial charms of her brother’s study buddies. Cheery Yang-myung therefore occupies twenty percent, and Woon the remaining ten percent. The latter he calls a cha-gwol-nam (cold palace man), which is hysterical: it’s the Joseon equivalent to the slang term cha-do-nam, or cold city man. Oh man, pop culture cheekiness in a sageuk? It’s gold.

Hwon is discouraged, but he asks after the last dot in Yeon-woo’s headspace, only to hear, “It is you, prince.” Hahahaha. Hwon protests the tininess of his presence in her brain, and Hyung-sun hurriedly explains that it’s just because of their crossed wires and misunderstandings.

Hwon is so irritated that he tells him to face the other way: “I can’t stand to look at you!”

But bad news: Hwon is brought before the irate king, who demands an explanation of the rumors that he was off meeting the Yoon girl in secret. Hwon says that the meeting happened, but was a mistake. Or, rather, he has feelings for the princess’s companion and tried to meet her, but it’s not Minister Yoon’s daughter — it’s Minister Heo’s. The king recalls Yang-myung’s wife request with an Ohhh, crap look on his face.

The king cuts off Hwon’s explanation and says he’ll pretend that confession of affection didn’t happen. He scolds Hwon, pointing out that his thoughtless behavior could put that girl in the middle of political conflict. Thus he’ll let this incident slide, but the prince had better watch himself.

As the girls ready their departures, Bo-kyung is feeling thoroughly disgruntled and almost snaps at Yeon-woo’s innocent comment. Recalling herself at the last moment, Bo-kyung decides to twist things around and shares a “secret” — that she met the prince earlier, who admitted to admiring her from afar. Oh no, poor crushed teenage heart.

The queen dowager has started pushing for the selection of Hwon’s bride, and the king presents the issue to his council. It is decided that all unmarried girls between the ages of 12 and 16 are to be temporarily forbidden from marriage, so they can be presented as candidates for the prince’s spouse.

Tonight is host to an end-of-year ceremony at the palace, and the prince dawdles while looking over his flowerpot and asks Hyung-sun what flower is sprouting from it. Hyung-sun declares that it’s not a flower, but a type of lettuce. Hwon mulls this over, wondering what that means — another puzzle between them — but sighs, “Now I won’t be able to hear that answer, ever.” He orders the plant removed.

So when he heads out for the ceremony and finally sees Yeon-woo, face to face, he looks at her with a cold, blank face. His father’s words of warning — that his actions could end up hurting her — ring clear in his head, and Hwon walks on without a word.

At Seongsucheong, the shamans’ building, Nok-young prepares her team for the ceremony. This is a yearly occurrence enacted to drive out the ghost that reportedly resides in the former quarters of Prince Uiseong (the king’s half-brother who was killed in Episode 1, on the queen dowager’s orders).

It’s a ritual, but also a party, and palace officials enjoy food and drink while the shamans do their work. All of our main characters are present at court, and Yang-myung smiles at the sight of Yeon-woo… who looks wistfully off in the prince’s direction. Oof, this hurts already and we’ve only just begun.

Hwon steals a glance at Yeon-woo but keeps his stern face on, and Yang-myung can read the situation well enough to feel the blow.

Nok-young takes her place at the center of the ritual dance, which somehow transports her to a gravesite. Ahri’s?

As Yeon-woo watches the dance, she hears a voice warning her that this is is “not a Fate you can handle.” It’s Nok-young, telling her to cut ties now, because this is her only chance to escape.

Yeon-woo looks around curiously, wandering into the crowd, trying to find the source of these words. Time slows almost to a crawl as she sees Nok-young standing ominously before her, talk-thinking these warnings directly into her head: “You must flee while you can.”

Then time resumes and Nok-young is gone. A huge masked figure steps into her line of sight, scaring Yeon-woo into dropping the bracelet she’d made for Hwon. The masked figure takes her hand and leads her away, and the two are spotted by Yang-myung, who follows.

Once they’re in private, he takes off the mask, revealing Hwon’s sad face. He tells her, “Do you recognize me?” She nods. He asks, “Tell me who I am.”

She answers, “This country’s…” He finishes the thought, “…prince, Lee Hwon.”

There’s surprise in her reaction, but also youthful hope and thrill. The moment is marked by fireworks being set off in celebration, and Hwon repeats her words from their first meeting, asking if she truly wants him to forget her: “I’m sorry. I tried to, but I couldn’t forget you.”

Then flower blossoms flutter down around them, just like that first time.

And watching from a distance is Yang-myung, crushed.


I make jokes about Bo-kyung being the font of all evil, but I do almost feel sorry for her. Almost. There was enough that happened in Episode 3 to justify her bitterness, because it’s hard enough to be a teenager and make friends in any time and age, but to be burdened with your father’s grand expectations? Cut out of the friendship loop before you were even given a chance? Those setbacks are understandably hard to bear. Yeon-woo seems like the golden child who gets everything she wants without trying, and Bo-kyung is the girl who schemes and plans and never gets what she wants. She is not entirely undeserving of sympathy.

In fact, I wish this was the way we first met Bo-kyung, rather than watching her being so snide and sly in the Seol-beating incident. I get why we were meant to see that side of her first, because then we get to see firsthand the dark energy Nok-young senses in her. But from a character standpoint, I would’ve liked to have seen Bo-kyung entering the palace on a level playing field, and then turning dark.

In that case — if we saw Bo-kyung driven to malicious acts through a progression of hurt feelings, jealousy, and ambition — the drama would be more about showing us that you create your own dark fate by making bad choices (like, say, Myun in The Princess’s Man). Characters in that mold retain their humanity and make for interestingly conflicted personalities. Instead, the drama opts for the Fate line about being good or bad on an intrinsic level, so much so that a shaman can tell at first sight what your nature is. I get how that symbology comes into play in a fantasy drama like this, but I personally tire of the Fate Made Me Do It line of reasoning, which always strikes me as an excuse to be a bad person.

In any case, I adore Min-hwa. In a drama that I suspect is going to drag out the Fated Moon/Sun dichotomy for a while to come, the assertive, forthright princess is a breath of fresh air. Because I fear I’ll need that fresh air to help recover from heartbreak once the brotherly love is put to the test. No, not the bromance!


112 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. kbap

    Thank you for the recap! 🙂

    • 1.1 kbap

      Ooooof. Now that I’ve read the whole recap, my heart breaks for Yang-myung. And this is only the beginning, too (as JB said). *prepares jumbo-packs of tissues*

      • 1.1.1 funkypicklez

        but aren’t you excited at the thought of Jung Il Woo playing Yang Myung?

        I love JooWon but I’m so thankful it’s Jung Il Woo who’s playing Yang Myung at the end. He’s going to wonderful at masking his broken heart with a playboy attitude. <3 There's really no better actor than Jung Il Woo to express those two contrasting emotions at the same time!

        • kbap

          Yes, SO excited 🙂 Jung Il-woo does do the mask-broken-heart-by-being-all-smiley-and-playboy-like image really well. I’m just afraid I wouldn’t be able to piece back my heart after this drama, lol.
          Sigh, I agree with you there’s no better actor for this roll than Jung Il-woo. Kind of relieved that Joo won isn’t playing this roll. He’s awesome, but I think Il-woo’s just better at these heartbreaking rolls.

        • Roo

          True, the child actors are doing an excellant job and I can’t wait to see the adults playing their roles. But a broken hearted Jung il woo is heartbreaking! Seriously when he cries, my heart hurts. Damn Kim Soo Hyun and Jung Il Woo. WHY put two great actors together and make us choose 🙁

        • IamOchre

          Yeah. I think Jung Il Woo can pull the role better. Plus his tandem with Han Ga In would not be so awkward.

          I don’t want to lose this tweens.

      • 1.1.2 yakuna

        yes ,,,,me too sad sad..yang myung is doomed to heartaches?????oh nooooo jeong ilwoo….please KBAP share your packs of tissues with me…cry cry….

        • Anduril

          Me too, tissue please; sometimes I hate destiny. But it can’t be as bad as Bidam in QBSD right. To fight so long and then fail. Since it is fictional comedy, maybe he can have an ok-in-the-end ending?

          • kbap

            Haha, yes, I usually ship main parings ’cause I know how it’s gonna (hopefully) end up…but really…THIS? Jung Il-woo AND Kim Soo-hyun? (although for me, it’s Jung Il-woo all the way. Even if I know I’ll need super glue and a microscope to put my heart back together). And yes, there’s plenty of tissues to go around. 🙂 I think I just emptied Costco, for this week and weeks to come…(and you guys…)

  2. nuri

    YAY!! Thank you

  3. cv

    yay! thank you for the recap! ^^
    can’t wait until it’s subtitles. hehe

  4. YBisTOP

    Omg! I can’t wait until the English subs come out! I am loving this drama already!!

  5. czak

    my love and heart break for this drama keeps increasing each minute…
    seeing my Lee min hoo’s heart breaking yet again for Kim Yoo Jung is just too much…
    I wish they would be in another drama were they would be together cause this MoonSun and Fox child just breaks my heart…
    thanks for the recap!!!

  6. Joo

    Glad to see read this recap before going to class~ Have already watched it with chinese subs but am always looking forward to read JB and GF’s views on the show ^^

  7. HLee

    the lonnggg wait is finally ovvver… (:
    thanks JB! now off to read the cuteness ^uu^

  8. enerianna

    where can you watch this with subs?
    ahhh I watched it without, and didn’t understand half of the conversations, but this episode was so cute <3
    I already feel my heart breaking though. ackkk

    • 8.1 Meghan

      The first two episodes are subbed on dramacrazy. 🙂

    • 8.2 yakuna

      check out KIMCHIDRAMA

  9. Girl

    when i’m watching, there’s always this sense of dread that something bad is going to happen. oh well, i guess that’s what happens when you watch a drama that’s not a romcom

  10. 10 ss

    omgod, i had that SAME EXACT FEELING of not wanting to let go of the child actors, to be honest, they are older than most “child” actors and the entire show could run on them alone and i wouldnt mind one bit, if it werent for the fact that jung il woo is awaitin <3 god i just LOVE the actress playing yeon woo, she is going to be GORGEOUS when she grows up. to be honest, i dont know if han ga will do her justice as the "grown up" yeon woo, i guess we'll have to wait and see in ep 7 but god, im so attached to these kids !

  11. 11 funkypicklez

    thank you so much for the recaps! i am totally in your shoes javabeans, as I don’t want to say bye to the child actors yet I seriously cannot wait for Jung Il Woo and Kim Soo Hyun! plus the actress who is to play the bratty girl, BoKyung, (still a little forgetful on the names) will be amazing. i loved her in sungkyungkwan scandal and han gain is just so pretty!

    i also would like to say with the child actors a bit longer because before we move onto the adult cast, there’s going to be a lot of drama and angst as YeonWoo’s family may be murdered (i don’t see how else a daughter of a noblemen turns into a shaman). although, there is a adult actor for her brother so i hope it is only YeonWoo who gets separated from the family.

    finally, just a small comment on the king’s attitude towards the older brother, YangMyung
    i think he acts that way on purpose. if i’m not mistake, it was his brother that was killed in the beginning of the drama, right? if you listen carefully to the king after he agrees to think about the brother’s marriage, he says something along the lines of “i told you to be careful in the palace, not to cut yourself off completely.” i think he knows that if he shows his elder, illegitimate son too much attention, his life will be endangered because people will start seeing him as a threat to the crown. Furthermore, when Lee Hwon says he likes Yeon Woo, the King remembers that Yang Myung likes her too and immediately says no to Lee Hwon. He’s just a father trying to protect his own son.

    • 11.1 shu

      oh no, no masscare of her family! then where would yeom be for our crybaby princess? i do want yeom to be won over by her overpowering crush …

    • 11.2 elena

      no.. it’s not gonna happen like that… I should not give out the spoiler..but no.. yeonwoo’s family is not going to get murder…

      • 11.2.1 funkypicklez

        haha. i just ruined it for myself too thanks to a lovely translation of the book.

        still doesn’t explain the whole process and how she ends up as a shaman but it does put my heart a ease. yay! no blood shall be shed. 🙂

    • 11.3 jassy

      yeah i understand why his father show coldness towards him, it is his way to protect him.

    • 11.4 alpaca

      oh man, thank you for this comment!!! i watched the scene with the king and yangmyung and didn’t understand why the hell didn’t the king just tell him what he really meant. this clears everything up, and it seems so obvious now, lol i must be an idiot for not realizing it myself.

  12. 12 cg96

    This series is getting more interesting.Thanks for the recap.

  13. 13 HLee

    the ratings are just getting higher and higher indeed!I won’t be surprised at all if it’ll hit the 30% mark very very soon (:

  14. 14 bluemoon

    Can someone explain to me why the queen dowager is plotting schemes? Isn’t her son the King already and her grandson is going to be king too? Why all the scheming when it’s her own kins. Is she afraid that other people going to take their position away, is that why she is plotting schemes.

    If this drama follows the book, Yang-myung did eventually get married to Yeon-woo, but for some reasons, she supposedly die and became a shaman instead.

    I hope this drama will also includes the scene when Heow meet Yeon-woo in the forest, and he asked about who she is, but she told him that she doesn’t know who she is either.

    Can’t wait to see the adult version.

    • 14.1 funkypicklez

      She’s constantly afraid that someone will steal the crown away. She sees everyone who is not on her side, which so far is only Yang Myung and Minister Heo, as a threat.

      Also, the maids of the palace mentioned that Minister Yoon is not only a follower of Queen Dowager but also somehow distantly related to her. So she’s going to try everything to marry off Bo Kyung to Lee Hwon.

    • 14.2 Joo

      The queen dowager comes from the Yoon clan. She’s trying to protect the interest of her family and make sure that her clan has a place and a say in the politics. She’s not really trying to bring harm to the king or the crown prince but she’s determined to remove any obstacle that threatens to cut the power that the Yoon clan holds. In episode 1, she ordered the king’s half-brother to be killed (accusing him of wanting to overthrow the king) because the half-brother was pushing the policy of cutting the power of the clans from which the king’s wives came from. Then she wants Bo-kyung to be the future queen to maintain the power of the Yoon clan.

    • 14.3 lulupony

      This is from my experience watching Chinese court dramas. Often, when a queen is enthroned, her family become powerful as well through connection. You see this happening with multiple queens throughout Chinese and probably Korean history.

      While technically a woman becomes a member of her husband’s family, the dowager queen naturally will have her own family’s interest at hand. The Yoon clan was probably powerful to begin with if she became queen, so I think her scheming thus far has been in effort to keep the Yoon family in power in court politics. When she talks about the King sometimes, it sounds like she’s threatened by the King favoring other court officials, meaning the Yoons are losing favor.

      You can think of it as the Lee (royal family) vs. Yoon

    • 14.4 bluemoon

      I see! That actually makes a lot of sense. I understand now.

      I failed to mentioned in my original post that this drama is so PRETTY to look at. Every scenes is wonderfully shot and beautiful to look at. AMazing!

    • 14.5 Anonymous

      Hello. Are you the same person as the Blue posting the English translations of the novel? 😃

      • 14.5.1 bluemoon

        No, I’m not. I also read her translation of the book and that’s how I’ve come to know a bit of details.

        I really enjoy her translation of the book.

        • Anonymous

          I see. Hehehe, I was about to request for an earlier release of the Chapter 6 translation. I’m just getting too excited with all these mysteries getting revealed one after the other.😊

  15. 15 martini

    That was GREAT! Now, I have to go back and read the first two. I didn’t know this was here until I got this link from the Moon/Sun Facebook page.


  16. 16 Fiercediva

    This show is so made of win. In my mind I’m thinking of Bo-kyung the Nellie Olsen of Joseon. 🙂 As well as Jung Il-woo probably making me cry buckets when he becomes Yang-myung, I already feel bad for the Princess, whose guilelessness is so endearing, but who is obviously also fated to love more than she is loved. Damn, is no one going to be happy in this gorgeous drama? 🙁

    • 16.1 kbap

      Haha, I wish the Princess will end up with Yeom…then again what with our martial-arts-tomboy? Sigh…
      Also, it does seem like quite a few of us have caught second-lead syndrome, does it not? 😛

    • 16.2 nauna

      LOL! “In my mind I’m thinking of Bo-kyung the Nellie Olsen of Joseon.” Your Little House reference cracked me up, but I can definitely see what you mean.
      I have to agree with JB, I would like to have seen the progression of BK’s character as she makes the choices that take her over to the dark side, rather than just watching Her Pettiness doing despicable things because, well…that’s just the way she is.
      Also, I’m beginning to feel like the only one in Kdramaland that doesn’t find Princess MW endearing. I tried in ep 3 to like her more, I really did. No luck, though…just found her thoughtless.

    • 16.3 ❍ ♥ ☀

      I agree with the Nellie reference as well.
      Agreeing also with JB that it would have been more realistic if we witnesses BY turn to the dark side rather than have her start off there.

      Kids can be selfish, jealous, impatient, ignorant, but seldom are they cunning. BY is proving that despite her evil ways, she is a good daughter by doing what Daddy asks her to do.

      Limited time with the young cast prevents us from seeing this transformation, I am guessing. In addition, in order for it to work that Noh Kyung spots BY immediately as something wicked this way comes, we get an Easy Bake Bad Cookie walking into the palace.

      I just realized that “selfish, jealous, impatient, ignorant” describes Princess MW, too! How ironic is that?
      Maybe they are showing us that how good or bad kids turn out depends on their adult guides? That with a father like Minister Yoon, MW could also turn devious?

      Either way, I love all the characters, but feel BY ends up being the least logical and thus, a K-drama evil second lead, not someone I am supposed to like EVER.

  17. 17 Roggy

    I watched the Raw episodes before i read the recaps, now i have to wait till the subs come out!

    OMG YANG-MYUNG!! My heart break for you! His brother is taking away his EVERYTHING! ESP. his MOST important thing! NO! DONT STAND FOR THAT! START A REVOLT! TAKE DOWN THE MONACHRY!!! TAKE BACK YOUR GIRL!!

    okay.. now that outta my system. sigh. i dont know whats gonna happen once then become adults and everything gets more serious!!!

    • 17.1 violet

      but he loves his brother though,he won’t be able to do anything harmful to him.that’s why it’s so heartbreaking…maybe he will find love eventually?(whit someone else i mean)

  18. 18 DMKO

    Thank you JB for the great recap and comments.

  19. 19 sally_b

    The child actors are so stunningly beautiful and talented. Their peachy faces will be missed when we move on to the adult cast.

    I’m SO hooked on this drama.

  20. 20 Arhazivory

    THe screenshots are so pretty. I haven’t started this drama yet but I’m looking forward to the prettiness and obviously good plot.

  21. 21 elena

    Thank you for the recap. I always like reading other people’s view about dramas.. always enjoying reading JB and GF’s. Oh yeah,,OMG… I am so impressed by the child actor who plays the main character Hwon! He is really really good!!!!! I have to praise him for his acting!!
    And Min hwa princess.. I really didn’t like her in the novel. I am hoping the writer of this drama make Min Hwa princess character change a little bit.. but so far the writer of this drama did really good job modifying stories from the novel!

    • 21.1 Sinyard7

      Thanks for the recaps JB. The child-actor playing Hwon… also did an excellent job as the child version of Baek Dong Soo in Warrior Baek Dong Soo.

  22. 22 Ani

    Aaaaaaaaaaaw, the brothers are sooooo cute. Can we put forth the bro code? Bros before, er, hoes. Or we can make some sisterly love between Seol and Yeonwoo, because Sisters are before Misters. I love these child actors.

    • 22.1 Ani

      One more thing.

      Yang-myung/Lee Min-ho is the cutest, most adorable thing in the world. X)

      • 22.1.1 funkypicklez


        I know he's done lots of projects before but I really hope this one brings him the attention and fame he deserves! <3<3<3

        Interestingly enough, he's playing the child actor to Kim Soo Hyun who's also started off as a small child actor and is now the main lead of his own drama. I remember Kim Soo Hyun making my heart flutter in Will It Snow for Christmas, but I honestly don't remember myself fangirling over him as I am doing to Lee Min Ho. Heehee

        • funkypicklez

          whoops. I mistaked Lee Min ho for Yeo Jin Goo >.<

      • 22.1.2 rainyrainy

        100% AGREE 🙂

  23. 23 hLee

    what a complete package.. i’m so in-love with you “sunmoon” 🙂 there’s the dark politics, the sweet friendship, and oh, there’s the adorable young love that makes me giggle and swoon and then there’s the impending heartbreak of yan-myung that shutters my heart.. i won’t be able to choose between these two. my heart goes with them both, wanting them to get the girl they want, or at least for yan-myung to get over his blossoming love for yeon woo some time soon.. i can’t bear to see him hurt!! but then I so love the cute hwon inlurve.. show, you’re beautifully cruel.. ^uu^

  24. 24 Heelie

    Thanks for the recap. I am actually excited by this show except I don’t have enough time to watch this yet! I cant wait until they turn into adults!!

  25. 25 Lia

    So so SO much love for this drama. Definitely one of the best I’ve watched in a long time – solid acting and well paced, intriguing plot (so far). I’m a little sad that the child actors will be bowing out soon, they’re doing an extremely impressive job (especially Hwon as the cute petty Crown Prince)!

    I really hope that the adult actors will be able to keep it up, and hopefully the chemistry between Han Ga In and Kim Soo Hyun will be good.. I really hope casting Han Ga In won’t be a mistake because I’d hate to see this drama go downhill, given all its potential and how well its been doing so far.

    • 25.1 hLee

      expectations for the adult actors are so high and may they live it up.. hopefully the pedestrian that the child actors conjured would remain at such cuteness and perfectness and get surpass even once the adult actors take their roles. And yes, I too am hoping badly for the chemistry of kim soohyun and han ga nin to be good ^uu^

      I adore Princess Min-hwa and Seol and can’t wait how their love interests (hopefully, if there ever is for seol) unfold.. (whos for yeom and whos for woon)

      I’m investing on these drama– time, admiration, heart and all.. (:

  26. 26 JD

    GUH must remember that Yeo Jin Goo is only 15. BUT HE’S SO HANDSOME IN THAT PRINCE OUTFIT -_____________-

    • 26.1 chewii

      So Trueeeeee !!!!

  27. 27 doublen

    Kim Yoo Jung is so beautiful!

  28. 28 3hoshi

    As much as I loved the whole ending bit with Hwon and Yeon-woo escapsing the party, I kept wanting to say, “How on earth did nobody notice that the prince was missing. All the the other royal family members were seated quite close and it was the king’s order for the guards/enuichs to keep close watch over Hwon!” LOL^^

  29. 29 shu

    hey guys, i’m just a tad confused, ’cause I saw in the teaser about Yeon Woo being crowned, but I’m not sure who she got married to, she didn’t look that sad, so I’m assuming to the crown prince. So if my line of thought is correct, then it would mean she already is the crown princess before she grew up, therefore in the future, wouldn’t it mean that she has sort of already won Bo Kyung, so once she recovers her supposed amnesia, she would be able to be her queen legitimately right? Well, unless they frame her and strip her of the title. Or she didn’t actually get married to Hwon. As intrigued as I am for the older counterparts, (well except Bo Kyung) I absolutely adore the the younger actors. I want to find out how the shaman part of the story will continue, ’cause I have no clue at all.

    Oh, and I’m rooting for young Hwon and Yeon Woo! For the older counterparts, we shall see how the chemistry turns out 😀

    • 29.1 bluemoon

      In the novel, I believed she got married to Yang-myung, but the drama might be different.

      I didn’t noticed that she got crowned in the teaser. That means then that she is getting marry to either Lee Hwon or Yang-myung. Can’t wait to see the outcome! This drama is amazing.

      • 29.1.1 elena

        in the novel, Yeon woo didn’t marry Yang-Myung.. and lets leave it that.. I don’t want to spoil anything..lol and the teaser showed that Yeon Woo and Lee Hwon was sitting next to each other…:)

        • javabeans

          Can we keep the book spoilers to a minimum, please?

          I understand the compulsion to talk about the book, but some of these details are major spoilers for those of us who are enjoying watching the drama and don’t want the future details spoiled.

        • bluemoon

          Based on the translation of the book by Blue from this site (http://belectricground.com/2012/01/10/book-club-the-moon-that-embraces-the-sun-chapter-5/), I thought it was Yeom-wol who was the wife of Yang-myung and she “supposedly” died (they didn’t know that she has become a shaman) that is why he won’t remarried when Yeom asked him why he won’t marry again. Are they talking about a different female character for Yang-myung besides Yeom-wol? Another love-interest perhaps? Please correct me if I’m wrong in assuming that the woman Yeom and Yang-myung are talking about is someone else other than Yeom-wol? I’m very curious now.

          the segment: (all credits goes to Blue from belectricground.com)

          ““But why do you not remarry?” (Prince Yangmyeong became a widower after the death of his wife two years ago.)

          “It has not even been three years since her passing. (The mourning period is for three years.) It’s the law that you wait at least three years before you remarry.”

          “Those men are rare.”

          Prince Yangmyeong looks sadly at the annex building once again and then speaks. “If there is a woman more beautiful than you, I’ll remarry right away. If there is a woman like you.. Though I know that annex is empty, I can’t take my eyes off of it. Though I know I must not speak of it…”

          “Yes. You must not speak of it. Please look away.”

          Yeom sits just staring at his teacup.

          “I’m sorry for bringing it up. I didn’t even drink, and yet I must be drunk.” And in silence, the two men drink their tea.” “

          • elena

            no, Yeon Woo is not the wife of the Yang Myung, in the novel, the story is taken place after the incident of Yeon woo’s death which is 6 or 7yrs later. So they are talking about someone else which is wife of the Yang Myung who died 2yrs ago

          • shu

            hmmmm, yes, but hwon mentioned at the end of the chapter that yeon woo was his betrothed.

          • Blue

            I’m sorry if my translations confused anyone, but just wanted to clarify that Yeonwoo and Yangmyeong never married each other. Yangmyeong was married to another woman.

          • bluemoon

            Thank you for the clarification you guys! I was under the impression that YM and HW were married to each other, and she died. Thanks for clarifying that YM were married to a different person and not HW. I’m less confused now. Hehe!

  30. 30 haj

    I’m sorry if this has been said already:

    I think it’s important to note that after Yang Myung met the King, the King said to himeslf “I told you to come to the palace with discretion, not that you shouldn’t come at all” indicating that he does in fact care about Yang Myung. After all, we can tell that the King is a good man who cares about his children.

    Thus, I think that he is cold to Yang Myung to prevent and protect his sons from political rivalry and competition for the throne. If the King was kind to Yang Myung also, he would threaten Hwon’s position and ambitions politicians would take advantage of that.

    My guess is further supported by how aware the King is to the possibility of creating a political problem. When he warns Hwon about endangering Yeon Woo, we learn that the King is sensitive to avoiding political conflict and harm to those that need protection.

    Heehee. Just my thoughts.

    • 30.1 funkypicklez

      My thoughts exactly! Although you summed it up much more beautifully than I did in my earlier post.

      What’s sad is that Yang Myung will never know his father’s true feelings. Instead, he’ll continue to live believing his father hates him.

      • 30.1.1 haj

        I know, right? The King is quite the effective self-sacrificing noble idiot, except maybe not an idiot, and he also sacrifices his relationship with Yang Myung.
        Self- and-Son-Sacrificing Noble Wiseman.

        • funkypicklez

          Sometimes as I watch my saeguk dramas, I have to sometimes pause and remind myself that although I am watching a fictional piece of work that stuff like this really did happen. Lots of innocent noblemen and kids were killed in order to eliminate they seemed to pose to the crown.
          Then I get really sad and it becomes near impossible for me to continue – one of the main reasons why I don’t like saeguk and I could not watch My Princess Man.
          I don’t know what I’ll do if Yeon Woo’s family gets killed because of the Queen Dowager. It’ll be near impossible to continue the drama, especially seeing how happy and close the Heo family was.

      • 30.1.2 haj

        And thank you 🙂 I’m sorry I didn’t see your earlier post until you pointed it out.

    • 30.2 Fidelity

      I was just about to translate that part as well! I think the King wants no one to second-guess Hwon’s eventual ascension to the throne in order to keep both sons safe. It’s too bad he has to be so cutting to Yang Myung in the process but I like the fact the ‘tough love’ here has good justifications.

      • 30.2.1 ❍ ♥ ☀

        I like your use of “tough love” for how the King is acting.
        Also ironic that however much time the King will end up adding to his unfortunately born son with this type of protection, the King understands he is not giving him happiness. The King recognizes the least he could do is give the boy the girl he likes!

        So the King ends up giving “tough love” to both sons by trying to deny Hwon the girl Hwon likes.

  31. 31 sujudiehardfan

    i really hope some of the cuteness will stay when adult actor come in…
    this story is really good and have a solid story-line…
    although i interested in this drama basically for han ga-in but i agree with everyone… the child actor did a really good job and i don’t mind them for more episode…
    if this drama is extended, i don’t mind.. because it’s usual for joseon drama to be long… ^^

  32. 32 nuri

    oh. even right now i’m torn already. who am i going to root for? i loves both the hero and second lead and their interactions with the heroin. Kim Soo Hyun and Jung Il Woo will make this even better *praying*

  33. 33 Carinne

    I need to catch up w/ all the cuteness. Wah~ up pretty fast gals. Thanks☆

  34. 34 79%

    OMG this show is hooking me like SKK did! Amazing story and excellent performances! Can’t wait to watch this subbed!

  35. 35 REDJ

    So much Cuteness in just one episode. And the Girls here are sure pretty. I adore Lee Min Ho’s character, he’s just so cute. I’m not actually a FAN of second lead guys but in this one, so far, im really into the Prince Yang Myung. <3

  36. 36 jyyjc

    I am so in love with this drama right now. And it’s only episode 3. What a great way to start off the new year, and it’s only january.

    • 36.1 jyyjc

      I just found out that the child actress who plays Seol is the little girl who plays hyunbin’s niece in Samsoon.


      I am amazed. She is looking lovely growing up so far.

      • 36.1.1 funkypicklez

        I knew I recognized her from somewhere. Her eyes and slightly chubby cheeks are still the same! 😀 she’s adorable.

      • 36.1.2 John

        Seo Ji Hee reminds me of Sung Yu Ri’s portrayal of Heo Yi Nok in Hong Gil Dong.

        I think it’s her eyes and hair.

  37. 37 Urnaa

    Love this drama. This is really gem.

  38. 38 redfox

    cant wait for Jung Il-Woo to step in. that guy can bring such depth into a character with his eyes alone, while still being quirky and kind of innocent.

    Love the costumes.

  39. 39 kit


  40. 40 anjaehee

    OMG! 🙂 i’m really looking forward to this drama 🙂 i wonder what will happen to yeon woo and the prince 🙂

  41. 41 anjaehee

    BTW, the original female lead was Moon Geun Young but then she declined the offer due to the fact that the popularity and awareness of the main lead actor is not that high 😐 OW WELL, maybe Han Ga In will be able to deliver the role pretty well 🙂 Good luck to them! 🙂 Fighting!

    • 41.1 ping

      dear, that news is mostly generated by the media to hype up this drama.

      it’s true that MGY was sought after. but she DID NOT decline the role because of KSH. Rather, she was in New York studying.

    • 41.2 ❍ ♥ ☀

      That report doesn’t make much sense as KSH is exactly the type of lead MGY would seek to act with.
      His success in Giant and DH prove not only that he will be the best big thing, he already is the next big thing.

  42. 42 lolly

    cannot contain excitement for coming episode!!!!!! cause i know episode 5 will be the start of all heartbreaks …. =[

    anyway, i’m hooked onto hwon’s side profile. MEGA HOT.

  43. 43 any

    i feel sorry for jung il woo for those role, iwish in future he get the first role

  44. 44 John

    This looks good. I’ll have to wait until it’s on the interwebs though 🙁

  45. 45 Aly

    omg I don’t wanna see how Yangmyung is hurt and is gonna get hurt even more in the future T_T I’m kinda on the side of the prince too but minho is just so freakin hot haha 😀 Anyway, I can’t wait for tmr recap 😀

  46. 46 peaches

    I really, really LOVE this! So far I haven’t had the time to go and watch it yet, but from the recaps, I’m already hooked. I LOVE everyone and they’re all SO sweet and adorable!! I half dread the adult part because I just don’t want the happiness and loveliness to end :C Hahaha selfish but.. yeah! 🙂 Can’t wait!

  47. 47 nickynisa

    haven’t watch this drama.. still waiting for more eps.. enjoy reading the recap.. thx..

  48. 48 Jeannah

    tq JB,

    the third party was just standing near to the

    lovebirds ?, I can’t understand they can’t sensed the

    third party was watching them at close sight ?..

    director ?…….

  49. 49 goldenkiwi

    Hwon is so cute; I do wish the “child” actors would stick around some more…

    Anyways, I’m not ready for the heartbreak to start yet! ;__;
    I don’t want the happy times to enddd…

  50. 50 Banu

    I’m I the only ones.. who got really teary eyes @ the scene between the King and his son Yang Myung..TT
    I love these cast I hope they stay a while before turning adults.. whahah first time feeling this way.. but am also dying to see what well happen to our beloved Il Woo’s character “Yang Myung” since he got much change that his story doesn’t have a happy ending.. “well with the girl he likes then”..

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