Drama Recaps
The Moon That Embraces the Sun: Episode 6
by | January 19, 2012 | 191 Comments

FINALLY! This is what we’ve all been waiting for. And holy moly! Ratings scored a hefty 29.3% for this episode — every episode thus far has been a new high, so we’ll see how long this steady climb can continue. (Apparently in the minute-by-minute ratings, the episode topped out at a 31.56% at Jung Il-woo’s first appearance. Ha. Why am I not surprised?)


The Moon That Embraces the Sun OST – “시간을 거슬러” (Going against time) by Lyn.
[ Download ]

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Yeon-woo dies, leaving Hwon and her family grief-stricken. Yang-myung tears back into town just in time to see her coffin being buried, and he falls to the ground in tears.

Minister Yoon tells Bo-kyung to prepare to move to the palace, since she’ll be the prince’s bride now. Bo-kyung is unsettled as she asks her father, “Is she dead?” while thinking to herself the addendum, “Did you kill her?” Nice to know that at least she isn’t entirely sanguine about killing someone to get her way, even if the dark force is strong with this one.

But as she retires to her room, she recalls her father’s words of warning — that if she’s not ready to go this far, she shouldn’t harbor the ambitions in the first place. Basically: This is the big leagues, and we play hardball here. Get used to it or get out of the game.

Bo-kyung takes out the friendship bracelet Yeon-woo had made for Hwon but dropped at the ceremonial rites. Recalling how it felt to see the two lovebirds together, Dad’s words ring in her ear: “Remember the anger you feel when something has been stolen from you.”

Yang-myung comes to see Hwon, but it’s not comfort he offers. Instead, he asks what right Hwon has to ask after the burial, and her family. What did he do for Yeon-woo? “When she was cast out of the palace like a criminal, what did you do? When she was hovering between life and death, what did you do? When she was buried in the cold ground, what did you do?!”

Oof, this hurts, even though I understand his anger — his hurt at being without power and unable to do anything, watching someone with power not doing anything either.

Hwon yells at him to stop, but Yang-myung yells back that Hwon is the prince who has everything, like the king’s affection and the loyalty of his best friend. He asks brokenly, “Just one thing — could I not have just one thing?”

Hwon is shocked, never having realized Yang-myung’s feelings for Yeon-woo. Yang-myung continues that if it had been him, he would have done everything he could — he would have put everything on the line to protect her: “You could not protect her.”

Yang-myung walks away vowing to himself to claim and protect her in the next lifetime.

The queen dowager practically cackles her satisfaction to Nok-young. Can somebody get this lady a mustache, so she can twirl it? She’s in such great spirits that she readily agrees to hear a request, happy to bestow her favors on Seongsucheong. But she balks when Nok-young asks to leave for a spell, not wanting to let go of her most skilled shaman. Nok-young assures her that she will return, and that she needs time to recover her powers because causing a death takes its toll on one’s spiritual energies. Yeah, it’s called having a soul.

And then… Yeon-woo opens her eyes. In her grave. Yeesh, I knew we were probably going to get a Romeo & Juliet-style death-fakeout, but I didn’t think they’d actually bury her alive. Aboveground, Nok-young stands guard as a gravedigger shovels through the dirt.

Yeon-woo realizes where she is and starts to panic, burning through her oxygen supply quickly. Nok-young urges the man to dig faster, and just as Yeon-woo’s about to pass out, an unexpected visitor shows up. It’s a girl with bare, bloodied feet, clutching wildflowers: Seol. Aww. That brings a surprise tear to my eye, that Seol clearly went through hell to run away and pay her last respects.

Inside the coffin, Yeon-woo starts to fade out, crying out for her parents and the prince as her life flashes before her eyes like scratchy scenes on a broken television… barely registering that she’s made it out to fresh air.

When she awakens again, she’s in a room being watched by a precocious little girl — the girl Yang-myung previously saved in the marketplace. Her name is Jan-shil, and she calls for her mistress.

Seol rushes to greet her excitedly, but Yeon-woo looks at her blankly, wondering who she and Nok-young are. Where is she? “And who… am I?”

Nok-young is shocked — this wasn’t an intended side effect — but I suppose this presents the perfect opportunity to reinvent their story. She tells Yeon-woo she’s a shaman, having collapsed after a shamanic rite that sapped her energy and must have also taken her memory.

Yeon-woo asks after her family, and Nok-young tells her she doesn’t know — that she took her in after she saw her wandering the streets, sensing spiritual energy within her. Yeon-woo doesn’t remember anybody but the thought hurts nonetheless; she tears up, asking if she was abandoned by her family after they realized she had powers. Nok-young urges her to forget her past and focus on her life now.

In the palace, Hwon crosses paths with Minister Yoon, who offers up some insincere words about having been worried about him. Two can play this game, and Hwon laughs it off, acting as though he’s taken the philosophical route regarding life and death. But his tone of warning leaves neither in any doubt that they stand as political opposites, each a danger to the other.

With the opposition twisting Yeon-woo’s illness into a political tool, they are able to get Minister Heo exiled, as punishment for allegedly trying to sneak a sick daughter into being princess. He leaves Yeom with words of warning to not hold this against the king, and to patiently await the day he may be called to serve Hwon. At least it’s fortunate that the trumped-up accusation won’t be held against Yeom, though I’m sure he’ll wear the tarnish for a while.

They’re alerted to news that Mom is at it again and find her lovingly feeding a stray girl she must have picked up off the streets, calling her Yeon-woo. Apparently this is not the first time, and Yeom ushers the girl away while Minister Heo reminds her that Yeon-woo is dead. Mom comes back to her senses and breaks down in sobs.

With the help of an ally (who knows of their situation), Nok-young ushers her girls — Yeon-woo, Seol, Jan-shil — away in secret. Yeon-woo hangs back, sensing that her family may still be here and that leaving will make reunion impossible.

As the man sends them off, he thinks, “With the moon hidden away, this country’s darkness will grow deeper. But if it waxes, it will wane, and when it wanes, it will wax again. That is the moon.” He wishes them safe until that day comes.

Nok-young recalls her dream-vision and asks Ahri if this is the solution she’d indicated — if this is the two-birds-with-one-stone answer to saving both the girl and Seongsucheong. Whether she returns to the palace or continues on as a shaman is now up to Yeon-woo and her fate.

Bo-kyung prepares to take her place as the new princess bride, and her mother gives her some last reminders about how this was her place from the start, that she is not a replacement but the original owner retrieving what was hers. Bo-kyung assures her that she will not let anyone take anything from her, and that she will be on her guard.

Princess Min-hwa, meanwhile, huddles in her bed, weighed down by guilt and fear over her part in Yeon-woo’s death. True, she didn’t do anything, but the queen dowager has skillfully manipulated her into thinking her girlish wishes were responsible. It’s a clever way to tie the princess to her side, by making her think she’s played a bigger role than she has.

Hwon dutifully makes his bows to the bride’s family, but as he waits for her to emerge, he looks up at the sky and holds out a hand to the drizzle. He doesn’t even notice Bo-kyung, lost in thought over the memory of Yeon-woo describing her name as meaning light rain, or foggy mist.

It’s a mist not unlike the haze of clouds currently covering the sun, for a moment of symbolism. (All this simplistic symbology is starting to wear thin, but moments like this are a nice touch.)

Bo-kyung registers his inattention with disappointment. Elsewhere, Yang-myung also holds his hand out to feel the droplets, remembering Yeon-woo.

And then…some time later, another hand reaches out for the mist, this time wearing king’s robes.

Hyung-sun attends on King Hwon (Kim Soo-hyun!!), who wryly reminds him of his habit of talking too much. Some things never change. He declares that he’s in the mood for a game of golf, and all the court officials are rounded up to fawn over his prowess with the club.

But as Hwon lines up a ball, he frowns in pain and momentarily touches hand to heart. He brushes it aside, though, and compliments his opponent on a good game. It’s amusing to watch the looks of nervousness and horror that cross the other ministers’ faces at the winner for claiming victory.

The winning minister says modestly that he just won because this hole was a teeny bit larger than the others, and Hwon lets out a jolly laugh… which then turns stern as he asks pointedly if the minister knows where the biggest hole in the palace is. Laughter turns uneasy — does he have another meaning? Hwon says he’ll show them what he means, then heads into a building filled with records.

Hwon finds what he’s looking for and takes out a chest containing appeals to the king. He starts reading.

He summarizes their contents in a deeply sarcastic voice: citizens unfairly punished, people given unfair loans that get their land taken from them, officials bribing their way into government. He demands to know why these appeals were kept from him.

They attempt lame excuses about reviewing the reports first, saying they were trivial enough to handle without him. Hwon challenges, “Who can call these matters trivial? Who told you to stand judgment over the citizens’ suffering?” This interference of communication between the king and his people, he angrily declares, is the palace’s biggest hole.

The ministers retire to rant among themselves. Minister Yoon has been silent throughout all these events, perhaps viewing Hwon as the threat he is, while the others are more dismissive, saying he has finally grown up.

One minister derides the king’s newfound passion, saying he ought to save that for the bedroom. Apparently Hwon has refused to share a bed with the queen all these years, and the ministers speculate that he’s faking his infirmity as an excuse to keep up the separation. One minister argues that he isn’t faking, because he can’t hide his pained expressions when his heart acts up.

They mull over the problem of what to do with the king, wondering if they can send him away on the pretext of recovering his health. Minister Yoon finally speaks to express approval, saying that it’s better to occasionally loosen your tight grasp on a dog’s neck rather than keeping it in a stranglehold, in order to get the dog under your control.

Minister Yoon presents a proposal to the dowager queen, saying that many are suggesting that the king take a royal concubine, perhaps somebody he cares for who can bear a future prince. The dowager queen balks — the prince must be born from the queen. Minister Yoon points out that the king refuses to consummate the marriage with the queen, meaning that without a concubine they may have no direct successor. And if that’s the case, there’s always the threat of Prince Yang-myung, who is quietly amassing supporters…

That’s enough to rattle the dowager queen. Minister Yoon proposes that she help him take over some of the king’s authority, since she’s the only one with the ability to check the king.

Minister Yoon does this by proposing that the king temporarily move palaces, but Hwon cuts right to the heart of the matter: If the king vacates the main palace, during his absence it is the king’s father-in-law who becomes responsible for court matters. He says this in that deceptively playful way that sounds pleasant but is really his way of informing Minister Yoon that he’s on to his power-grab attempt. In fact, when he’s informed that Grandma wants a chat, he guesses she’s about to push the same point with him, knowing they’re conspiring together.

On his way to see the dowager queen, Hwon crosses paths with Queen Bo-kyung (Kim Min-seo). She greets him warmly, but his face grows cold and he passes silently.

They are brought before Queen Mother and Queen Granny, who urge Hwon to go away for a while, for his health’s sake.. Grandma brings up the lack of royal heirs, to which Bo-young tearily apologizes. Queen Mother assures her it’s not her fault because the king is ill, while Hwon sits there stone-faced.

He firmly declines the suggestion, so Grandma argues that neglecting his health is neglecting his royal duty. Hwon makes the barbed comment that it would also be negligent of the king to leave state matters in the hands of his extended family, which Grandma understands to be aimed at her favoritism regarding her own kinfolk.

She’s offended (or rather, acts offended as though his charge is unjust) and declares that there’s only one way to respond: hunger strike. Taking on the tone of a righteous martyr, she announces that if the king will insist upon misunderstanding her motives, she will cease eating and count down the days to her death.

Hwon is cornered, all right. I’m sure he doubts very much that the old bat will die, but politically, he’s been maneuvered between rock and hard place. Then to add to the matter, Bo-kyung prostrates herself in front of his doors, crying piteously for him to let go of his anger, laying all the blame on herself. She refuses to rise until his tiff with Grandma is resolved, and he tells her she can stop because he’s already decided to reconcile.

Bo-kyung rises and stumbles, conveniently right into Hwon’s arms. There’s been no indication that she’s being deceitful, but I think we know enough of her to suspect she’s in actress mode, and Hwon knows it too. He comments how fortunate she must be to have the queen dowager backing her inside the palace, and her father outside it.

Bo-kyung stiffens to realize he’s sharper than he seems, and she tries to move away. He tightens his hold on her and reminds her of words he’d said before, leaning in close like a lover. His tone is sweet, but his words contemptuous — that she and her family may set out to gain everything, but don’t bother trying to win his heart, “Because you can never have it.” He says that last with a cynic’s laugh.

Bo-kyung looks stricken in front of witnesses but when she’s alone, her face twists into a sneer. She trembles angrily and reminds herself that Yeon-woo is dead, and that she belongs here.

Bo-kyung is visited by Princess Min-hwa (Nam Bora), who’s as bright and cheery as ever. Bo-kyung plasters a smile on her face and when Min-hwa asks about her appeal to the king, Bo-kyung says demurely that her insufficient virtue has prevented them from conceiving an heir. Min-hwa says it’s not virtue that’s needed but affection, and that the reason her brother doesn’t visit Bo-kyung’s bed is probably ’cause he doesn’t love her. Ha, so I see she hasn’t learned tact in all these years.

Min-hwa has happy news to share, and says that a date has been decided for when she and her husband can share quarters. Essentially she’s been married for a while (I presume while she was still very young), but they haven’t consummated the union. Bo-kyung deflates at this, jealous of the princess.

Min-hwa arrives outside her husband’s quarters, but pauses to write something on a piece of paper. It’s the aforementioned auspicious dates, and she adds to the list. HA. You’ve gotta love a girl who’s eager for some loving.

She enters his room and finds him asleep. Shyly, she tells him her news, that today’s one of the dates… only said husband is actually outside, having just arrived at his own door. Sleeping Dude gets up, interrupting her, and she whines in annoyance, “Yang-myung oraboni!” Hahaha. (Also: Jung Il-woo!!)

Yang-myung can immediately tell she’s messed with the dates, and she’s so miffed at his brotherly teasing that she storms out, not even stopping to chat with her beloved husband. (It’s Yeom!) In a huff, she tosses Yang-myung’s shoes onto the roof. Ha, so petty.

Yeom wonders why Yang-myung’s always picking on his sister, and he says it’s just cause she annoys him. Heh. But there’s added sadness here, and the mood briefly dims as Yang-myung sighs over his friend being stripped of his wings when he was destined for greater things; it makes him blame Min-hwa and Hwon.

Yeom has a brighter perspective on it, saying that the princess is his family’s savior, and it was through her influence that his family was allowed to live. If ever there was an apt situation to use the phrase “giving the illness, then the cure,” this is it.

When the friends emerge from the room, Yang-myung finds his shoes gone, but hilariously produces a spare pair from his bag. It’s because he’s a frequent traveler, but I love the idea that the princess’s petty revenge is so easily thwarted.

Mention of the king brings a wistful look to Yang-myung’s face, and he asks Yeom if he wonders what Yeon-woo would look like now, if she’d lived. They’re all aging, but in his mind she’s still 13.

So on his slow walk home, he imagines the 13-year-old Yeon-woo at his side. She tells him — as she once did before — that the king waits for him at the palace.

He asks, “Will he really be waiting for me when I’ve given him such pain?” She tells him, “He’s waiting.” She asks him to protect the king.

Yang-myung finds a crowd of men waiting for him at his front door, and they recognize him immediately. He turns and runs, managing to evade being spotted by the crowd.

As he emerges from hiding, he thinks to himself, addressing his words to Yeon-woo, “Are you happy now? This is my way of protecting the king.” Ah, I suspect these are the supporters Minister Yoon alluded to, who are eager to back Yang-myung’s claim to the throne. He, however, wants none of it.

That night, Hwon sleeps fitfully. He hears Yeon-woo’s dying words about how none of this is his fault, which conflict with the dowager queen’s insistence that it is. Then there are Yang-myung’s angry accusations that he did nothing to protect Yeon-woo. He wakes, and those words ring in his years.

This is a recurring dream, as Woon — keeping silent guard in his chamber — deduces. They head outdoors for some air, and Hwon explains the meaning behind this building’s name (Silver/Hidden Moon). When his father had it built, the moon above the pond was so beautiful he wanted to treasure that image, so that on nights when the moon is hidden, he could come here and look upon it.

Hwon adds that once there was a moon he hid here, and that while the sun and moon can’t share the same sky, they can be seen together in the same pond. And in the water’s reflection, we see the moon hovering over Hwon’s shoulder.

In the woods, Nok-young is in the middle of a rite when the candles are snuffed out by some unseen force. She senses something in the air, something unsettling and powerful. Jan-shil delivers a letter from a man who warns her that the spiritual energy of the heavens is shifting, and that they will meet soon. It’s time.

Several days later, Nok-young heads to meet him, with the same three girls trailing in her wake. There’s Seol, all grown up now (Yoon Seung-ah), with Yeon-woo (now named Wol, or Moon) keeping her face hidden.

Arriving at the dock, she finally comes out from under the covering, revealing adult Yeon-woo (Han Ga-in).


Did you know that there are two suns and two moons? And that the sun and the moon can’t be in the same sky together? And that the sun loves the moon, and the moon loves the sun, and that the moonmoonsunsunOkayWeGetIt.

I’m enjoying this drama a whole damn lot, and it makes me giddy and sad and intrigued — but oy with the super-obvious metaphor. It’s not a bad one; it’s just getting really, really old. It’s a simple concept in the first place, so we’d have to be dumb not to grasp the poetry of the sun-moon divide, but it’s being handled with all the subtlety of a Hong Sisters metaphor. Circa 2006. This drama has such a lovely, stirring feel to it and terribly engaging actors, that I wish the delicacy of its artistic sensibility translated into delicacy of storytelling. Instead it’s sort of like bashing something in with a sledgehammer and then coloring it with dainty brushstrokes.

That said, I’m thrilled that we’re starting to see some great meaty stuff now that we’re finally into the present-day story. I adored the teenage moments and think it’s one of the better sageuk childhoods in recent years, but from a story point of view, this is where it really starts. This is where we start going interesting places, so it’s a welcome advancement, and not a moment too soon.

I wasn’t anticipating this rift between the brothers to happen so soon, but damn if it wasn’t moving. Their shared love of the same girl was bound to eventually lead to conflict, but I didn’t expect it to come at her death. It makes sense, though, that while Yang-myung’s love of his brother was so strong that jealousy and hurt wasn’t enough to bring him to the breaking point, death — that final, irreversible point (excepting shamanic interventions, that is) — finally pushes him there.

And yet, adult Yang-myung still loves his brother, and just as with their early-adolescent rift, both sides suppose the other wants no more to do with them while actually longing for that connection.

I’m again amazed at how spot-on the casting matches up from childhood to adulthood, and find I can easily believe the transition, even though not that many years have passed. (Heck, Jung Il-woo is just one year older than teenage Yeom, aka Im Shi-wan.) For instance, I see teenage Hwon in Kim Soo-hyun’s mannerisms, which aren’t exactly the same but make it believable that one grew into the other.

Speaking of whom, Kim Soo-hyun is doing a marvelous job — he’s got a wonderful way of adding a bitter, caustic edge to Hwon while also being able to show us that lighter, smiling side. (Even if most of his joking is satirical or mocking.) There’s a delicious undercurrent of steely nerve in Hwon’s way of speaking — he can turn from jovial to sharply incisive in a flash. We saw it in his adolescence, but it has sharpened over time and it keeps his court on its toes. It also gives me hope that this is not a young king about to get jerked around by others; he’s in control of his power. Lesson painfully learned.


191 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Ace

    Kim Soo-hyun!!! I missed you! Man, I loved the scene where he whispered to Bo-kyung that she’ll never have his heart. Wish he could do the same to the hated dowager queen and minister yoon. Really looking forward to the end where I hope they’ll be put to death (feeling bloodthirsty every time I see them on screen).

    Jung Il-woo!!! His first scene made me smile. The character really suits him. In the novel, he’s a widower. I’d like to know if that’s the case in this drama too.

    • 1.1 czak

      aahhh… my favorite scene also…!!!!
      it has double effect since it would look so lovey and sweet cinematographically speaking but then his words were one of the worst kind of insult to a QUEEN. dont sympathize to witch girl though….

      KIM SOO HYUN!!!!

      I wish he would tell that minister to his face that everytime he see his queen, he sees the ministers face and that just makes him want to slap the queen square in the face…!!!!
      sorry for being violent

      KIM SOO HYUN!!!!

      would love if he told the dowager queen straight in her face that he would be glad she died from hunger strike ate least he would not have a pain in the arse conniving killer blood relation…. hahahahaha
      sorry for being violent, again

      KIM SOO HYUN!!!!

      But I guess King hwon is just reving up to shout to high heavens or eerrr the evil people in the story, “In your face… buck face. cant control me like you did when i was a KID. I am the KING!!! BOOOYAH…!!!

      KIM SOO HYUN!!!!

      • 1.1.1 Ani

        Methinks you’re the Kim Soo-hyun fan I have to fight to get a piece of him huh? Actually, you can keep him. I’ll just watch him from afar while my undying love continues to grow. Didn’t you know? The sun and moon just can’t share the same sky. ^_~

      • 1.1.2 7arrie7

        “…would love if he told the dowager queen straight in her face that he would be glad she died from hunger strike ate least he would not have a pain in the arse conniving killer blood relation…. hahahahaha
        sorry for being violent, again”

        AHAHA, my thoughts exactly. Did he have to make up with his Grandmother (which I suppose means apologizing to her) so quickly, or even, ever? I mean he didn’t say anything wrong or untrue-in fact it was right on the money… err on the the Queen Dowager’s bloody hands at least. Plus, why not let the “queen” just keep crying until she collapse when she can’t keep up that act. She has nothing better to do anyways besides practicing on her acting skills.
        Okok, I get that it wouldn’t be good politically to not “resolve” between him and the dowager since he’s still quite young so she still has power over him-ahh, but still! I would love to see how long she could “count the days before she dies”. sorry for being harsh. 😛

      • 1.1.3 jane

        Fun Fact: kim soo hyun & yeo jin gu acted as brothers in Giant

    • 1.2 alove

      That first scene of Jung Il Woo made me think of him in FBRS mixed with a little bit of Song Joong Ki in SKKS.

    • 1.3 Marteki

      OMG that was my fav scene too! I’ve watched that scene like 5 times already. KSY is amazing!
      his acting as king sort of remind me of the TWDR kings acting/ character… <3 <3 <3

    • 1.4 nickynisa

      “don’t bother trying to win my heart because you can never have it”

      for sure hwon has so many layers… he kept everything in his heart…

    • 1.5 yunwa

      you read the novel? i’m really curious about the novel, this drama made me insane!!!!!
      i hope to read the novel, but i think the novel will not be anywhere except in korea only right.. 🙁

  2. czak

    been waiting for this..

  3. Joanna

    love this episode!! thank you 🙂

  4. jane

    Darn, it’s kinda sad our king has grown from the cute puppy that he was into a cold and collected person T_T.

    A feww things:
    -the older version of Bo Kyung looks just like her younger self!
    -&Can i just say that the scene with Yeon Woo coming back alive in the coffin.. gave me shivers. I would hate to be buried alive
    – ..I know woon’s supposed to be hwon’s bodyguard but am i the only one that finds woon just sitting there staring at our king sleeping supah weird?

    • 4.1 jane

      Btw… I’m kinda sad princess minhwa kept quiet till this day and married yeom without any worries..
      Hopefully she’ll prove me wrong in the future.

      • 4.1.1 czak

        kinda sad that seol and yeom will never be together since he is married to minhwa…
        I think this is one of the trifecta stories in the book I am sad about…
        would have been glad if yeom and seol became a couple one time or another or maybe if yeom found out about seol’s feelings…

        • p3rk3le

          I was shipping Seol and Yeom so much!!! I’m so sad this ship has sailed… TT maybe.. aaarg dunno. I had a whole side-awesome-romance for those two in my mind…. so you’ve read the book? it doesnt havent there either??

      • 4.1.2 sally_b


        1) first…I’ll admit I was a fan of the exuberant Princess MinHwa from the-get-go. That scene where she’s so stunned by Yeom’s beauty…all she can do is mutter “wooow…so pretty”…then runs away, perfectly shows what a child she is…

        2) then…it’s been pointed out more than once that’s ‘she’s no scholar’…and not to forget that the Dowager is one mean, bad-ass old lady…

        If the princess had/has ANY smarts whatsoever…she would keep a low-profile on knowing about *the murder*. Plus she is instumental in keeping Yeom’s family from slaughter …I think she’ll be giving us more surprises as the story progresses. 🙂

  5. appreaciate

    This drama is so good. And keeps getting better.

  6. Yeng

    ksh is soooo amazing….at first i thought he might be kinda young for this role since the both actress are older, but he fit the king so well!!! i love his bitter and angry laugh….cant wwait till he meet wol

  7. Kannitha

    Jesus! I’ve been hitting the ‘refresh’ button 5 times already. Finally it’s HERE! OMG, OMG!XD
    Ok, torn between desperation and obsession, I actually watched it RAW! Christ… Bloody addictive… Damn it, this is my final year in high school….OMG OMG OMG!

  8. Elaine

    Kim Soo Hyun is simply amazing in this role. I should have known better than to doubt his acting. So far, the casting has been insanely spot on, especially for the four main leads, such that the adult actors actually have some sort of psychical resemblance to the child actors too.

    So amazing.

    Hopefully Han Ga In manages to deliver because Kim Yoo Jung was so good as a young Yeon Woo. I’m missing her already!

    • 8.1 Janet

      Kim Yoo Jung….. so, that’s her name.

      I was watching Tamra, the island (while waiting for the MoonSun subs to be out) and was surprised to see her there – as the little sister of the female lead. She looks the same. I love this kid. She’s a good actress now, I can’t wait to watch her when she grows up!

  9. hopefulheart24

    WAHH!!! thanks for the recap! 🙂

  10. 10 ninsarama

    i was trying to remember kim soo hyun’s cold and cutting acting, and it was will it snow for christmas! I love this side of him. I found his bit with his queen really hot! LOL.

    • 10.1 jane

      Haha, i felt like he was also channeling will it snow for christmas.
      that’s the drama where i fell in love with him too, and stalked him hoping he would get a lead role someday.. and here he is now..*sniff. The freaking king(well, fake king) of Joseon.

      So proud.

    • 10.2 Miiya

      HA! me too..i kept rewinding it to that scene! ^^ OO I hate the Dowager Queen I would have gladly loved to see her die of a hunger strike. she’s a real brat. So sad to see that Yeon-woo lost her memories. But i hope they will get back together somehow.. EPISODE 7 WHERE ARE YOU?!…but i still love jung il woo more. <3

  11. 11 KDrama Fan


    Thanks for the recap JB.

    I’ll have to see the episode to believe the transition of the characters-they look so different and I was so invested in the younger set.

    Shame the princess got her man as I was hoping for Seol to get him. Oh well, I guess she’ll be protecting YW-so glad they ended up together.

    And just plain yeh, for Il Woo. He definitely has my vote without even seeing the epsiode!

    • 11.1 KDrama Fan

      Now that I’ve seen the episode I’m like yeh, Kim Soo Hyun. He rocks as a king. Wish he could have played the younger version for continuity in looks and mannerisms.

      I was disappointed with Jung Il Woo’s character as I thought it would have me laughing but his chat with ‘Yeom Woo’ was as awesome scene.

      All the adult characters look so different barring Seol and the little shaman prodigy. The princess is believable too. But in the scheme of things it doesn’t really matter.

      Wonder if anyone thought the adult Woon-ah looked like a reincarnation of Michael Jackson when they first saw him. I’m going to be looking for his moon walk…

  12. 12 kbap

    JUNG IL-WOO. I love you. Haha. With that out of my system, this was a great episode. Love the adult cast and Sam dong-ah too (but my ultimate bias is JIW. I think I’m going to be shedding loads of tears)

    • 12.1 yakuna

      just wondering if Jung Il-woo is aware of all the unkown lovers he has…I,me and myself for one??? Does he even realize he is so popular????

  13. 13 Joy

    Thank you, javabeans! 🙂

  14. 14 BeLinda

    yey, episode 6!! thanks JB..

  15. 15 Lady seoul

    Lesson painfully learned, love that about the king. I’m seriously spazzing, I’m so happy we have all the adult cast. Although I really love the kid actors/actresses! Loving this drama, I hope the ratings keep shooting up!

  16. 16 Ani

    Sorry Jung Ilwoo fans, but I am here for Kim Soo-hyun. Or maybe I should be apologizing to the Kim Soo-hyun because I am here to continually claim him as, well, not mine, but I’ll be claiming my love for him. Heh.

    If only the Sha-woman (hahaha) had gotten to Yeonwoo just a bit earlier. Oh and Seol! I just adore her. Glad to see that she never strayed from Yeonwoo’s side. X)

    • 16.1 Ani

      *apologizing to the Kim Soo-hyun fans….


      • 16.1.1 czak

        aaahhhh… i had wanted to share…
        but that scene with kim min seo was too HOT…
        *Shakes head* after that scene i dont think i can share…

        • Ani

          Sigh. I always discover them too late. *turns to her collection of Karl Urban and Hugh Jackman pictures for comfort*

          • Kiara

            Jackman is mine. Karl Urban is that way ——->.

          • Ani

            Hey, Jackman has been mine since X-Men (2000). And I completely claimed him by the time Van Helsing rolled around. You’re going to have to pry him out of my cold dead hands….. He and Karl Urban (Xena and Hercules in the 90s) are the only crushes that are constant in my life.

            -_-‘ So lame. XD

            We digress…. *clears throat* On the matter of Kim Soohyun. I agree to let whichever fan out there that claimed him have him while I continue to support him quietly. X)

          • Kiara

            Lol Ani <3.

          • yakuna

            hahaha!!!! that’s hilarious!!!!

  17. 17 21

    I am really surprise at how they casted Kim Soo-hyun with Han Ga-In as their age different is quite big but I guess Ga- In looks young..mm i guess it all depends on their chemistry! Very excited for next episode!! Thanks for the wonderful recap!

    • 17.1 jane

      With kim soo hyun.. there’s bound to be chemistry with just about anyone. HOTDAYUM.

    • 17.2 boms

      yeah.. he’s 24 and she’s actually almost 30… in American years o_o..;;

  18. 18 Joo

    Thanks for the recap!

    Have much to comment about this episode but, argh, need to go for classes soon! Shall first read the recap and see what JB has to say! ^^

    • 18.1 Joo

      Firstly, I have to say truthfully that I was very worried about Kim Soo-hyun playing adult Hwon. Don’t get me wrong – I really LOVE Kim Soo-hyun and his acting. I got to know him through “Will It Snow for Christmas” which was to date the most impressive and unforgettable role I’ve seen him play and in “Dream High” I see no abs or pretty face of other actors – it had been Sam-dong all the way. But, as I’ve said many times, Yeo Jin-goo was totally fabulous – he shaped the character Hwon so well I got worried about whether Kim Soo-hyun will be able to make his adult Hwon connect with the young Hwon. That, I do think, is the hardest part for the adult cast – they not only have to continue portraying the characters well or even better than the child cast, they have to make the transition of their character from young to adult smooth and convincing. Well, I have to say my worries were totally unfounded. Kim Soo-hyun not only did great as usual, he did a marvelous job! I could totally see him as Hwon, well a taller, more mature, more cynical, less naive, less jovial Hwon, but the character Hwon whom I’ve loved since episode 1 is still there!

      Another actor whom I think did great too is Jung Il-woo. I do admit for the first few minutes or so of adult Yang-myung’s scene, I felt that Jung Il-woo overdid his acting – his adult Yang-myung seems too frivolous and unlike of young Yang-Myung. Then after that few minutes, when adult Yang-myung started drinking with Yeom, I see him as the Yang-myung we knew from the previous episodes – the way he talks reminded me of how young Yang-myung acted when he commented about his friends becoming the Crown Prince’s people. Then his imagined conversation with young Yeon-woo reminded me of young Yang-myung once again. I guess being frivolous is his way of fending off potential supporters to protect Hwon. Hopefully in the later episodes I’ll be able to get used to this “frivolous” Yang-Myung.

      I’m still looking forward to Han Ga-in’s portrayal of Yeon-woo/Wol. She may not be wonderful but I hope she can do great as Yeon-woo. Anyway, she was pretty in that last few minutes of the episode! And I still do not think she looks too old for Kim Soo-hyun. Kim Soo-hyun may be baby-faced but Han Ga-in is baby-faced too! I’m just praying that the chemistry between them will be sizzling!

  19. 19 hanna

    Dude, what happened to the Hwon’s dad? Did they just bump him off and handed Hwon the crown?

    • 19.1 jane

      Haha i agree. he just disappeared off the face of this earth.

    • 19.2 boms

      lol it seems like some adults just disappeared… Yeon Woo’s parents too…? Idk. Maybe they’ll reappear again…? I hope they didn’t die 🙁 such sweet parents!

    • 19.3 Akiness

      Who knows, we might get some flashbacks later on.

    • 19.4 willow85

      I think if you read back…they were exiled to another parts of the country. Remember the talk between y-m and y.

  20. 20 cher

    This drama is SO ADDICTING! I have to wait for another week. 🙁

  21. 21 Maria


  22. 22 all4movies

    The adults are finally here!!!

    It’s been great so far and the young uns have done a superb job in building a strong foundation. Let’s see where all this takes us and if the strong will of the king can withstand such political machinations.

    I’m divided as to who I want Yeon Woo to end up with though. I love Jung Il Woo, but am surprised at how much I want to root for the king too as he’s nobody’s fool about what’s going on around him.

    • 22.1 sally_b

      heehee…I also LOVE Il Woo…however (just my opinion) the preceeding episodes did not give me enough ‘young love’ scenes between YeonWoo & YangMyung to convince me that the two would make a …how to say..a ‘better’pairing.

      I can totally empathize with YangMyung and his one-sided love, but the show didn’t have the young YeonWoo expressing anything more than sisterly concern for him at any point in time.

      Unless this next-life part of the tale includes her falling in love with YangMyung …based on their adult chemistry together….I’m going to have to stay onboard the Crown Prince Ship.

  23. 23 Lemons

    Okay, I am just putting this out there. The sun and the moon can be in the same sky together. It has to be daylight, obviously, but it happens. Fairly regularly.

    I get the cold/hot, dark/light symbolism of the moon/sun, but not this.

    If this is a duplicate comment to something someone else write, I apologize.

    • 23.1 boms

      HAHAA I totally snorted outloud when I read your comment about both of them being in the same sky XDDDD hahaha

  24. 24 Hyenim

    Woohoo, the power of JUNG IL WOO’s appearance made the rating went up a notch.
    He is truly a scene stealer, a league of his own.

    Kim Soo Hyun was fine too.

    But yeah, I’m JIW biased. JIW all the way!

    • 24.1 kbap

      I love you. Really. I seriously do. JIW fans hafta band together so we can over-power Soo-hyun fans. (jkjk I love Sam-dong too.) But seriously. Jung Il-woo is just…magical. JIW all the way!

      • 24.1.1 yakuna

        I’m bemoaning the fact that they did not make Jung Il woo sing some of the music/OST…this puppy has a beautiful voice…..

    • 24.2 WooJagi

      I know right! We can safely say that JIW was the one who boosted the rating to a record high.

      Like I said the JUNG IL WOO fandom is formidable and not to be messed with.
      Cheers for us JIW fans!

  25. 25 educatetheignorant

    What are the political implications of a king falling in love with a shaman? More so, a married king?

    Tried Googling… to no avail. :p Hehe.

    • 25.1 78446

      I feel like Blue of belectricground.com should answer this. If she’s here, that is.

      My uneducated guess is that shamans are part of the cheonmin class, or the lowest caste in society, together with slaves, butchers, gisaeng, etc. I guess it would be bad if a king fell in love with someone considered to be at the same level as slaves and prostitutes? Someone please correct me if I’m wrong.

      • 25.1.1 educatetheignorant

        Oh, ok. Thanks! 🙂 I feel that you’re right… cause Wikipedia says, “The shaman is a professional who is consulted by clients whenever the need is felt. Traditionally, shamans had low social status and were members of the ch’onmin (천민) class. This discrimination has continued into modern times.”

        Maybe I’ll enjoy the story more, if this is explained some more… After all, whenever I check out the synopses of this one, they always emphasize the king- shaman romance…

        Would you know if shamans allowed to marry, though? Or just fall in love for that matter…

  26. 26 stars4u

    So sad to see the child/teen casts go…
    But my… the teenage Hwon and adult Hwon are so similar…
    I can’t believe I have to wait a week…

  27. 27 innocec3

    KIM SOO HYUN!!!!!<3
    It's been so long since i watched an episode without subs. But I did it for Soo Hyun~
    He made such a smooth transition from Jin Gu's Hwon. I can wait until the next episode!
    Han Ga In looks much younger on screen than in pictures. I was pleasantly surprised by her 1 second appearance. I was the most worried about her.
    When the grandma said she was going on a hunger strike, I was like "YES! PLEASE!" But of course, how can such an evil character just die like that?

    • 27.1 sally_b

      “When the grandma said she was going on a hunger strike, I was like “YES! PLEASE!”

      LOLz…for reals.

      Yeah..evil Dowager feeds on other people’s anguish…she’s not going anywhere soon. I’d like to see her press Bo-Kyung so far that she turns on her ~ need. more. episodes. now.

      I really should stop watching shows as they air in real-time…but the REALLY good ones…you just can”t wait.

  28. 28 sujudiehardfan

    this drama is getting really good…
    every time i finish an episode i want another episode…
    this drama is addicting!!!

  29. 29 petals isabella

    i afraid what will happen to princess min hwa if yeom know what happen…
    poor girl… she barely know anything….
    all adult cast had done very good job…
    i don’t feel awkward to see them replacing the young ones…

  30. 30 chisaicherry

    Kim So Hyun looks like a little kitty cat that I want to pet! Love him!

  31. 31 eunshil

    kim min seo is really pretty .

    • 31.1 JC

      she is! and she looks great in hanboks

  32. 32 JC

    I really like how the child actors and adult actors look similar. It makes the transition much easier.

    Great episode!

  33. 33 Trina

    Hrmm… I wonder what happened to YW father too…. Did he died or something?? Where is the YW mother too??? Now, it is the waiting game of who will see YW/Wol first… Is it Wednesday again??? Oh, I will not root for anyone until I see the HOT Waterfall Shower scene and who get it first.. That the person i will root for…. ^^

  34. 34 jen

    i’m more interested in jung ill woo’s character. he’s a really good actor and i really want to see what they do to his character

    and darn, is this cast really good O.O!
    even the kids-teens-adults. i’m simply stunned!

  35. 35 someone

    i feel like ksh’s talent was totally wasted in a teeny poppy drama like dream high ( sorry fans ) , doode has way more potential than that
    i feel like i’m going to like the hwon character more now , he knows what’s up
    on the other hand , the 1st appearance of jiw with the princess , i still feel like the way he deliver his lines seems like it still has that cha chi soo’s taste in it, maybe bcuz he didnt have that much time to really settle into this new role , but i can already see the young ym in him during his conversation with young yw , i think he will get better with time
    def has a lot of expectations for this drama

    • 35.1 Kaybee

      It is Dream High that got him this role, I believe apart from his obvious talent. He was GREAT in Dream High, so GOOD that *in my opinion*, they changed the main lead from TaecYeon to Kim Soo Hyun who got the girl. 🙂 I first saw him in ‘Will it snow in Christmas?’ and this comes from a hardcore Go Soo fan…I kept thinking about the younger Go Soo till the end! That time, I had a feeling that one day he will make it big very BIG and here he is now, just few work old and as a lead actor!!! 🙂
      Aw…this drama is for the likes of us who love both KSH and JIW!!! 😀
      I’ve seen Jung Il Woo’s many works before and this I can say that he has a tendency to overact though he is very good actor and is effective… He has a picturesque face and is such an eye candy. I believe, his overacting at times makes his scenes imbalanced… He will be a Cha Chi Soo throughout this and other drama/s unless he learn to control his hyper emotions at times on screen…. So far loving each and everyone.


      • 35.1.1 yakuna

        this brings to mind Lee Junki ..like in Hero and Iljimae…a bit on the overacting…..although he did better acting in Time bet. Dog and Wolf

        • Kaybee

          True! Lee Jun Ki— SQUEAL!!! Didn’t watch Hero but watched Iljimae, Time between Dog and Wolf, My girl, King and the clown, May 18 and Fly Daddy Fly… He is more stable actor than Jung Il Woo and has more variety of expressions…but yes, it is the role that also defines the actor…

    • 35.2 educatetheignorant

      I second the motion.

      But I guess Dream High needed him… otherwise, what will you do with a drama with idol stars who previously did not have acting experience? His performance helped the others’ appear more credible. 😀

  36. 36 RoSe

    Thank you for writing the most objective review so far of Episode 6. I like that you were not quick to judge Princess MW after the time-jump. So she kept her mouth shut, who’s to say she’s not a bit traumatized by it? Her cheery exterior may just be a way of masking her true feelings. Now if she tried telling someone about what had happened before, do you think anyone would believe her? A little princess versus the queen dowager? Give the kid the benefit of trauma for one. What happened to YW might be a repressed memory in her subconscious.

    • 36.1 Ace

      I think she feels guilty inside because the grandma made it look like it was because of her that they killed off YW. So she’s trying to be/gonna try to be a better wife to Yeom to make up for her past ‘transgression’

      (good move by the grandma btw so she can control the princess. despicable, but clever).

  37. 37 vdiddy

    I am surprised the ratings for this drama aren’t even higher than they are. I live in Korea and last night when the show was airing, I was at the jjimjilbang (Korean sauna/bathhouse) and then a restaurant and both places were playing the show on several TVs. And last week was the same. Its seems like all of Korea is tuning in. But with good reason. The drama has it all it seems; great casting with popular actors, chemistry, compelling if somewhat familiar and obvious storyline, and (sometimes) good camerawork. I am not as big of a fan of saeguks (watching them raw on Korean TV is harder than modern dramas) but there are some that I will try to follow and this is one.
    Cheers for the recap.

  38. 38 jelly

    My goodness!! the ratings are shockingly high!!!

    Considering MBC hasn’t got any good ratings for the second half of last year….they must be jumping up and down to gain the jackpot.

  39. 39 Sam

    I keep thinking KSH is going to break out in Samdongie satori even in his royal voice. Yet when he whispers nasty things in the Queen’s ears, that thought bubble suddenly bursts?? LOL!

  40. 40 mmmmm

    hi all. kim soo hyun is perfect actor. it’s really samdong. hahah so different. I think jung il woo act same 49 days. it’s same. it’s just my opinion

    • 40.1 Pitch


  41. 41 sora

    i loveeeee this drama!!!!!!

  42. 42 Carinne

    I can’t really critique HGI until next week’s performance, so far every other adult star fits the bill to their young starlet except KSH. I can’t quite put my finger on it why I find it wasn’t a smooth transition for Hwon. *pause* I think KSH maybe is so use to his trademark dashing smiles and all, that he forgot to uninhibit it or tone his charm down a notch to match with his young star’s persona. Just sayin. He seems to be in a world of his own than be a part of a league here.

    Sent from my G☆Note

  43. 43 purplegongju

    gahhhh im soo biased to yang myung but at the same time i know how hwon is too i cant hate his character but i just feel for yang myung. and i dont know i love second leads like this. and well ilwoo isnt helping that at all. im just loving this drama metaphor that i can ignore and such. i can see the transistion so well in each one. and im just hoping second lead will get a happy ending not like the novel that is all i ask writers pls.

    • 43.1 Selli

      What happened to him in the novel? D: Did he die?

  44. 44 Jennyforthewin

    I really can’t stop watching this. I’m officially hooked. The transition, to be honest, took a little to get use to. I find myself going back to previous episodes to reexperience the “feel” of each character so I don’t lose that connection with them. I really enjoy the sarcastic acting and low voice of kim soo hyun. I personally think he is doing a good job with the crown prince role but oh boy, it’ll take a couple more episodes to get me to completely forget about the child counterpart. I thought nam bora did a pretty good job because i saw the younger version in her. I thought yeom was spot on as well. Something about yang myung’s portrayal by Jung il woo is off. Haha probably because I’m still picturing him in ramyun shop. Anyway, can’t wait for the interesting part to officially start…with yeon woo.

  45. 45 Little Lulu

    OH RIGHT! So, we’re done with the obvious and we are all now together asking what will happen next. I’m just…sooo…excited.

    It seems like I would take time to get used to with the adult actors. The young cast will surely be missed but the adult ones seem to be adorable as well.

    It’s good to see Jung Il Woo back on screen and in sageuk! Han Ga In is just simply.. enchanting! And holy cow, Kim Soo Hyun is ONE DAMN HOT SEXY KING!
    *his moans while reading in front of the officials O.o *

  46. 46 fanboy

    Quick Q: Isn’t it that the moon the sun can share the same sky a.k.a ECLIPSE…? I have been thinking about for a while and I believe this will be answer to the metaphor… From the way I think things will go there will be an “eclipse” in the story then after that they cannot be together in the end.. I think we are in it for a bucketful of tears for an ending.. 🙁

    Men I think I’m over analyzing things eh..

    • 46.1 Little Lulu

      OH MY… Now that you mentioned it, I’m waiting for that ending to happen. I just love tragic love stories. And if this show did that. Then, this will be my all time favorite sageuk drama!

      • 46.1.1 fanboy

        Inasmuch as I like this drama, I don’t really like the tragic endings [recall: Endless Love: Autumn in my heart.. Stairway to Heaven.. ] I want the ending to be epic but nonetheless hopeful…

      • 46.1.2 ioia

        too early to tell if I like it to end tragically but ehy if u love tragic love stories try the other awesome sageuk drama tree with deep roots had an epic tragic ending ^_^

  47. 47 aa

    did any one else find it extremeeely awkward that the queen dowager was basically commanding hwon to do the nasty with bokyung?


    • 47.1 riin

      I was actually surprised that they didn’t force them into the same room the next evening.. it’s what they usually seem to do.. with witnesses and all 😀 European monarchy style

  48. 48 pozi

    Hard to say goodbye to these young actors, this episode is awesome, set an perfect ending for these young actors, hope this drama keeps on the track, can’t wait for next week.

  49. 49 Mouri

    Thank you for the Recaps!!

    I must say, I am SO Darn Happy with this Drama!! In all the conflicts, it maintained the warmth of feelings between the lead characters and did not recklessly introduce hatred-causing misunderstandings and maddening-noble-doer syndrome in anyone!! I was soo sure they would do that in order to get Yeon-Woo out of the palace and into becoming a Shaman…I actually considered not following this drama anymore, since if that happened all my good-will and love for this drama would evaporate and leave me with a heart-breaking disappointment. And I dont think i would want that to happen to the impression this show left on me so early in its run. Bit yet again, I am GLAD that SunMoon took this route!! Yaay!!

  50. 50 Musings

    So if Nok Young didn’t expect Yeon Woo to lose her memory… what was she planning on doing after she had dug her out?

    • 50.1 boms

      … that is a REALLLY good question! o_o

    • 50.2 Jaykah

      Maybe she would have just explained everything to her and hoped Yeon Woo would agree to go with her. I mean all Nok Young would really have to say is that her family would be in danger if she doesn’t leave and I guess from then she would’ve made her a shaman too. It just ended up being more convenient this way and more entertaining if not frustrating for us 🙂

      Random side notes:

      I can’t get over how much the rating just skyrocketed!
      I also can’t get over Jung Il Woo, so smexy! He’s going to break our hearts later 🙁
      Kim Soo Hyun is also looking good, I may actually become a full fledged fan of his after this 🙂
      Never been a huge fan of Han Ga In but hoping this role change my mind, she’s gorgeous though no doubt.
      Also was anyone else hoping Yeom and Seol got together?? I was 🙁 I adore Yoon Seung Ah so hope she gets a bigger role and perhaps her own romance, Im guessing with Woon then.

    • 50.3 Lolly

      I guess it would really be an unintended effect for nok young, if yeon woo could have been rescued earlier before she started to panic and inhale so much oxygen in her coffin, the amnesia probably wouldn’t have happened. sigh.

Add a Comment

Stay civil, don't spoil, and don't feed the trolls! Read the commenting policy here.

 characters available. Comments will be truncated at the word limit.