Drama Recaps
The Moon That Embraces the Sun: Episode 19
by | March 14, 2012 | 122 Comments

Things finally come to a boil, as the baddies up their game in a big, big way. Will Yang-myung cross over to the dark side? Will Hwon finally get to protect the person he loves till the end? Will logic hang on by a thread? It looks like you can wound the beast, but you can’t slow it down by much: Today’s episode recorded 38.7% ratings, even after a week’s hiatus.


After the big fancy declaration and swirling kiss, Hwon and Yeon-woo walk back outside, and he wonders if she doesn’t have anything to give him, since he gave her his heart and everything.

She says she doesn’t have much – what does he want? He starts to inch closer… “You know, IT… I want to try it…” Rawwwr. She wrings her hands nervously. He leans closer…

Hwon: “That thing you did with hyungnim…” Uhhh… she did THAT with Yang-myung? “…with the long stick…” HA. Okay, am I just supposed to pretend I didn’t hear that? Dirty!

But he means the game, of course, the one he saw her play with Yang-myung and the kids. It’s adorably childish of him, but I still say it’s a wasted opportunity for some smooches!

She shows him how to play, and he’s hilariously bad at it. Hyung-sun has to sneak in some tips to help him out, and then the poor man has to run and chase the ball every time. But he finally gets the hang of it, to resounding applause.

Meanwhile Yang-myung is busy being coaxed to the dark side by Minister Yoon. Yang-myung asks if he’s willing to give up his position as the queen’s father, since he knows Bo-kyung to be his only daughter.

Minister Yoon just gives an evil smile, “One can always make another.” Ew. I don’t want to think about you making babies. Stop that. Well that explains the sudden entrance of the niece into the palace. Turns out Bo-kyung wasn’t paranoid about how far her father would go to control the throne.

But as we know, Yang-myung only cares about one person: Yeon-woo. Minister Yoon appeases him by saying that he can’t exactly marry her, but one should keep what’s most precious close to him, in secret.

Yang-myung agrees to board Ship Evil. Please tell me this is a plot-within-a-plot, otherwise I’ll have to assume you ran off and got a lobotomy during the hiatus.

Bo-kyung stirs with fear, guessing her father’s moves before he even makes them. She wonders to herself, “Father, are you abandoning me, and the king?” She realizes that means Hwon is in danger, and she rushes out to find him in the middle of the night. Oh no… but he’s with Yeon-woo out in the open!

And that’s exactly what she sees. Her faces goes dark, and she stops in her tracks before they notice her.

The first plan of attack against the king is swaying public sentiment, so news comes out of Hwon’s secret affair with a shaman. Hong Kyu-tae does his best to counter the smear campaign with rumors of the truth—that the princess bride returned from the dead and she’s the shaman in question.

Hwon meets with the assembly and they argue against prosecuting for Yeon-woo’s fishy “illness” eight years ago, while Hwon in turn wonders why they’re not up in arms about the accusations against the king and his shaman. Are they just saving themselves and watching the house burn down, or are they the ones that lit the fire?

Cue awkward guilty coughs ’round the room. Oh that’s not conspicuous or anything. Hwon laughs it off like a joke, but eyes the room warily.

Bo-kyung tells her father that she saw Yeon-woo with her own two eyes this time, and it wasn’t a figment of her imagination. But Minister Yoon is tired of her paranoia, and tells her it doesn’t matter whether that girl is dead or alive.

She realizes that he’s already decided to cut her loose along with Hwon and decides that she’s the only one who can protect what’s hers. Oooh. Bo-kyung is the interesting wrench in this whole thing, because she could ruin either side’s plan enough to muck up everything. She orders that the last temporary head of Seongsucheong be brought to her at once.

Yeon-woo asks Hwon for a favor, and requests that she be allowed to see Nok-young one last time. He reminds her that Nok-young is the reason she suffered this much, but she counters that she’s also the reason she’s alive.

“Whenever I look upon your face, I feel grateful that I am alive.” She says that eight years’ affection isn’t something to be taken lightly, and asks to see her.

Bo-kyung meets with the evil shaman and asks if she can kill a person with black magic. She says that the most she can do is cause great physical pain, like she did with the king. Bo-kyung only now realizes that Hwon’s attack was her father’s doing.

The shaman says she needs to know exactly where the target will be, and must be physically nearby, and also requires a boost of energy to power the spell, much like Min-hwa’s involvement the last time. She’s specific about needing a virgin. Well I know where you can find a drama full of those. She says if the energy is powerful enough, the target could die. (Desire fuels the energy, thus the more fervently the source of the power wants to harm the target, the stronger the spell.)

Nok-young’s spidey sense is tingling, as she sees a bowl of water turn to blood before her eyes. She gets called to the palace to see Yeon-woo, and greets her with a bow. Yeon-woo asks about her friend Ahri, the one whose dying request it was for Nok-young to protect her.

She says she doesn’t know much, but that Ahri was saved once by her mother, before Yeon-woo was even born. “So the person who saved you was not me, nor her, but your mother.”

Yeon-woo says she hasn’t yet forgiven Nok-young for everything, but she understands why she made those choices.

Yeon-woo: Before it’s too late, I wanted to say this. Thank you. For saving me, thank you. For taking me in, for raising me, for protecting me, thank you. For the last eight years… for being my mother… thank you.

Nok-young cries, hardly believing her words. It’s actually the one instance where Yeon-woo’s overwhelming goodness moves me – to give her thanks when even forgiveness is asking a lot of you… it’s just really touching.

At the same time, Bo-kyung meets the shaman for the spell, shrouded in black. As expected, she offers up herself to fuel the dark magic.

But Nok-young has seen what’s to come, and warns Yeon-woo that a spell is headed straight for her. “But I’m going to stop it.”

It’s shaman vs. shaman as they cast their spells, and Nok-young uses her own blood to power the evil spell back to where it came from. It makes her cough up blood, but she knocks the other shaman down.

Bo-kyung trembles, and then the shaman suddenly wakes up… but it’s Nok-young’s voice that comes out of her mouth. She jumps out of her skin, recognizing her immediately.

Nok-young calls her out for all her sins—keeping her mouth shut about the murder, trying to have what was never hers—making it clear that she is not the victim that she believes herself to be. Bo-kyung screams in terror, and then Nok-young leaves the shaman’s body, sending it back down to the ground. It leaves Bo-kyung in hysterics.

Yeon-woo’s mother gets ready to go pray at a temple for a while, telling Yeom that it’s time to let Yeon-woo go onto the next life, so that she’s not still holding onto the past when the baby comes. Yeom sees her off.

Once she’s gone, one of the servants asks Yeom if he’s heard the rumors – that Yeon-woo’s death may have been murder, and what’s more… that she may still be alive. He adds that there’s something that’s always niggled at him: eight years ago, he remembers going back to the grave the day after they buried her, and it looked like the grave had been dug up. You’re saying this just NOW?

Suddenly their conversation gets interrupted by an arrow that lands inches from his face. It has a note attached, from Minister Yoon. He details the plot to kill Yeon-woo, naming Princess Min-hwa as the culprit, and Hwon as the one who covered up her crime. Oh no.

Yeom reels from the news, realizing now what Min-hwa meant when she had cried and said she was sorry for everything. It’s a piss poor way to find out, but I’m glad he knows.

He comes in to confront her, stone-faced while she chatters on about making clothes for the baby, hopefully a son just like him. He finally opens his mouth, “Was it me you wanted to have? And do you have what you wanted now? What was it that you wanted to have that badly?”

He looks at her hatefully, and she starts to cry. He steps closer, begging her to say that it’s not true, that he’s wrong. But she collapses to the floor in tears, “Please forgive me!” He can’t believe that she’s been lying all these years, betraying their whole family.

She insists she was going to tell (For eight years?? Yeah you were really on the ball with that…) but it makes him complicit in her crime. He says he’s to blame too, for letting it happen. Well that’s taking it a bit far. He turns to go and she clings to him, but he pushes her away coldly.

The Council of Evil sits around waiting for Yeom to make a move, hoping that he’ll be incensed enough to blame the king. But once they figure he’s not going to do what they want, they decide to kill him. But… THAT MAKES NO SENSE. It’s only been like a few hours. Urg, let’s just swerve around that plot hole for now.

Yeom hears noises outside so he heads out, only to be confronted by a group of assassins headed straight for him. He backs away, and then suddenly Seol jumps out from nowhere, wielding her sword. Awww yeah. Finally, some badassery!

She tells him to get behind her, and he’s like, but you’re a girl! Well she has a sword and you don’t, so back the hell up!

She fights them off, killing one, and then another… but she gets stabbed. It doesn’t stop her though, and she lunges forward… as another sword goes clean through her torso. Ack!

Just then, Woon arrives. She crumples to the ground and Yeom runs over to her. Woon takes care of the attackers, but Seol is already bleeding out.

Yeom clutches her close, “Seol-ah! Seol-ah!” She uses her last ounce of strength to open her eyes, “Yeon-woo is alive.”

His eyes widen. Seol: “You asked me to look after her while you were away. I’m sorry I couldn’t keep that promise until the end. I’m going like this. Forgive me.” Trembling, he tells her how grateful he is that she protected Yeon-woo until now, and tells her he’s sorry for giving her such a huge burden.

She tells him not to be sorry: “You were the one who gave me a name. From that day until this very moment… even though I know I shouldn’t… I kept you in my lowly heart.” She asks him to forgive her and her eyes start to close.

Crying, he shouts, “Sorry? Forgive you? For what?!” To herself she thinks: “Master, because of you, I became a person. I became a woman. I became Seol. It was a short life, but right now, I am happier than any woman in the world.”

She dies in his arms, as he cries out her name over and over.

Nok-young wakes up with a sharp pain in her chest, and finds Jan-shil crying outside. They both know without being told, that Seol is gone. Jan-shil says Seol keeps telling her to be well, and to tell Nok-young thank you.

As they cry, snow begins to fall.

Woon reports to Hwon that he’s moved Min-hwa and Yeom to a safe place. He asks if anyone was hurt. Woon pauses, knowing that Yeon-woo is hearing all of this, and then tells him about Seol. Yeon-woo muffles her cries in the next room, barely able to contain them.

Suddenly Hwon orders him to check on Grandma, because she’s next. Sure enough, in her chamber she starts choking on her own blood, after eating something poisoned. She gasps for air, cursing Minister Yoon.

She looks up, happy to see what she thinks is Hwon. All we see is a headless red robe, covered in shadow. Oh THAT’s not creepy. *shivers*

She tells him it was all for his own good, as she coughs up more and more blood. But the vision just turns his back to her and walks away, leaving her to die. It’s then that she flashes back to Hwon’s accusations, which were the exact same words that his father had said to her eight years ago.

And with that, she dies. Well at least there’s one satisfying death to counter the one that makes me angry.

The Council of Evil chuckles at Grandma’s demise, and then Yang-myung joins them for some more plotting. They worry about opposition since public sentiment could be turning against them, so Yang-myung suggests they move up the timetable for the coup.

He assures them that public sentiment is something he holds in the palm of his hand. He notes his last big public deed, making sure that Hwalinseo got the medical supplies that they needed, thus framing him as the perfect King of the People. Gathering support will be a breeze.

Yeon-woo sits in her room, holding in her cries, and Hwon tells her to cry as much as she wants. She says she doesn’t even have the right to cry. Gah, I don’t even know what that means.

Yeon-woo: “She has always protected me, but I could do nothing to protect her.” Well if there’s anyone who understands that, it’s Hwon. Yeon-woo: “She was my friend, my family… no… more than that.”

“I don’t understand why she had to die.” Yeah me neither, but this is where we are.

He pulls her to him in an embrace, and tells her that he will not stop until this evil is put to rest.

Yang-myung meets with the people behind the coup – the extended Council of Evil, if you will. He laughs to see some familiar faces, like the astrology professor who first took Wol into the palace.

He chuckles, wondering aloud who would’ve thought that a publicly-known wastrel like himself would suddenly be eyeing the throne. Listen, if you’re just going to point out the logic holes, it’s going to make it harder for me to ignore them.

Minister Yoon says the time will be during the upcoming hunting festival, where the king goes hunting with the people to celebrate open season. Only “the hunt will be inside the palace.” Yang-myung finishes his metaphor: “…And the prey will be the king?”

He then takes out an empty book and tells Minister Yoon to fill it with the names of all those who will stand with him. Aha! Maybe our first sign that perhaps you did not get a lobotomy after all?

The book gets passed around the room and they all write down their names. Yang-myung betrays a little smirk.

They sort out their plan of attack, while Hwon prepares the same, intending to turn the tables on Minister Yoon. He talks to the assembly about the hunt with a smile on his face, but inwardly thinks to himself that they’ll see who’s hunter and prey when it’s said and done.

He looks worried though, and tells Yeon-woo that he’ll relocate her somewhere safe while he’s out hunting. She just asks him to return safely, and he promises that he will.

Yang-myung looks up at the night sky, and says aloud, “See, what’d I say? I said that moon would follow me wherever I went.” But he’s not talking to himself, because Woon comes out from the shadows, knowing that the comment was meant for him.

Yang-myung: “I’ll ask one thing. Are you here on orders, or are you here as a friend?” Woon: “I came as a friend.”

Yang-myung sighs that “friend” is a good word. “I’ll ask one thing.” Woon: “You already asked.” Hee. Yang-myung points out how little fun he is. “Then I will ask one more thing. Do you consider me a friend, even now?”

Woon: “I have done so until now, and will continue to do so.” Yang-myung smiles, “Then no matter what choice I make, no matter what I do, will you remain a friend?” That alarms Woon, and he asks what it means.

But Yang-myung shakes it off as nothing, and says it won’t matter now, because the choice is made. “How did we end up like this?”

The day of the hunt arrives, and everyone prepares. Hyung-sun tells Hwon that it’s time to go, and then suddenly stops to say that it was an honor to serve by his side. Oh no. Hyung-sun, not you too! Stop it!

Hwon asks why he’s talking like he’s going to die, and reassures him that he’ll be fine. He turns to Woon: “Are you ready?” They brace themselves and march out.

The king is announced. Hwon thinks to himself: “It is time. The time has come for everything to find its rightful place.”

He comes down the steps and meets eyes with Minister Yoon, and then Yang-myung.

As they march forward, Yang-myung follows just behind him. Flashback to the plan, which begins as soon as the king approaches the main gate. The doors burst open, and soldiers come running in.

Everyone raises his sword in defense, surrounding the king. Yang-myung and Hwon stand back-to-back, in the center of the circle.

And then at the same time, both brothers turn around and raise their swords, poised at the other’s neck. No! Crap crap crap crap crap. THIS ISN’T HOW IT’S SUPPOSED TO GO.

Woon whirls around, his sword now pointed at Yang-myung.

Following that cue, the Council of Evil turns around, now joining the attack against the king, and killing off anyone who’s defending him. It leaves Hwon completely outnumbered.

With his sword held to Hwon’s throat, Yang-myung’s voice cries out:

Yang-myung: I have come to inform you: The sun lives in the sky. But the sky has banished the sun. Fate has shifted and you have reached the end of your providence.

Damn, he went there. High treason it is.


It’s both better and worse that Yang-myung has gone this far. It’s better because it’s at least one unexpected turn in a plot that otherwise left very little to surprise. But it’s still completely under-motivated, because he’s been a totally different character up until now. It’s not like he’s been harboring a dark side since the beginning (which by the by, would’ve made for a MUCH more interesting character). I just refuse to believe that it’s happening… even as it happens before my very eyes. I know, I know. Maybe it’s my Jung Il-woo love that’s making me hang on, but I swear, sans lobotomy, it doesn’t make sense. Call me an optimist, but I’ll put my money on a double reversal.

There were a lot of big reveals in this episode, but they clearly maneuvered the big ones for the finale, like Yeon-woo’s reunion with Mom and Yeom (though I don’t get why he isn’t charging into the palace to see her the instant he knows she’s alive). Yeon-woo’s character really took a backseat in this episode, which I didn’t understand, given how close we are to the end. It kind of makes me give up hope that she’ll have any agency at all in restoring her name. Ever since she moved into that closet room, she’s done nothing, which kind of makes me throw my hands in the air. So much potential, so little done with her in the end.

Seol’s death wasn’t exactly necessary, but I understand it in terms of giving her character an ending. She probably never would’ve confessed her love for Yeom if she weren’t on her deathbed, and it seems fitting that she’s the one to tell him that Yeon-woo’s still alive, and that she kept her promise to him all these years. Personally I wanted her character to be more badass throughout the series, because her one show of swordfighting skills got me all excited and then ended with her death so prematurely. Though Yeon-woo/Jan-shil/Nok-young’s reactions to her death were heartbreaking, it felt wrong that they were all apart, and that they weren’t the ones to be there in her passing.

At least we go out on this episode at a high point in the action, which hopefully means that tomorrow’s finale will deliver a satisfying epic battle, though I really should stop anticipating Baek-Dong-soo-style badassery in a drama that is just not going to give me that kind of action. Still, heads better roll from somewhere inside those walls, because I have had enough of the sitting around with clenched fists, waiting for the baddies to get their due. Off with their heads!


122 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Mila

    yeahh… Finally!

    • 1.1 cv

      LOL! Yea, finally! wheeww…what a wait….
      I do hope the last episode wraps up nicely all the loose ends.
      I don’t believe King’s brother will betray him(fingers cross)…. It’s just for show for the baddies 😀 What better way for them to go out then being shown in public going against the King–high treason! yup.

      • 1.1.1

        I just watched the final episode. You may be right or not but I don’t want to spoil it for anyone though, so I’ll just keep my mouth shut for now ~:)~

  2. kbap

    Thank you for the recap 🙂

    • 2.1 kbap

      I grasp tightly onto that thread of hope…Yang-myung, please die. I’m saying this out of love. There’s no way you can get out of this and still be branded as a good guy (I don’t believe that he really became a villain. This far into the story, it’s sort of late for that).
      Well, if I were to sum it up real quick what I’m most disappointed in (even though there’s still one more episode), it’s bromance. Or lack of. Ack. Those boys need to make up really quickly. I don’t care if it’s not logical or whatnot next episode should just be all rainbows and sunshine and bromance. Or else I swear I will not walk away from this satisfied.
      On another note:
      Why, Seol, why? (Just find another hotter man! These girls really hang onto their first loves in this drama, huh.)

      • 2.1.1 Soua

        I have a feeling this is his way of protecting his brother… If he dies, then the King is safe… and all of the evil ones will go down with YM.

        How deep his love is.. *sigh

        • kbap

          Very. (I hope.) But I’m thinking that’s the only logical thing to do. I’m not very good at classify things as logical or not, but I’m thinking it’s more logical that Yang-myung steps back, looks at the whole picture, and think, “What the heck am I doing? I should protect my brother.” (very poorly written by me though. Not an author, I know.) than to have a sudden change of heart and kill Hwon. Up until a few episodes back he didn’t even have any interest for the throne. Why would he want it suddenly now? He already made up his mind. If he goes ahead and turns evil, I swear, that contradicts whatever he had said in the children actor episodes. This drama is making me happy and cry at the same time. How could it (sorta) so epic/awesome and yet at the same time make so little sense?

      • 2.1.2 Kiara

        I would be satisfy with him dying if he was evil but he freaking wasnt. He doesnt deserve to die imo. Ahhh this show drives me nuts.

        • kbap

          Maybe he doesn’t deserve to die but I still think he should. Well, that’s just me. However I just watched the part when Yang-myung speaks about being friends with Woon, and if you ask me it seems like the before-battle-to-death sort of speech/talk. I don’t think he’s evil really, or else his eyes wouldn’t be brimming with tears. Especially in this drama, if you’re a bad guy, you’re pretty much bad all the way (Bo-young’s dad, for example). And bad guys wouldn’t really give that type of talk, no matter how much friends matter to them. No really in-betweens (except for Min-hwa, I guess…?)

          • kbap

            Sorry I meant that he really shouldn’t die. I dunno, it’s to save him from suffering his whole life? He’s such a pitiful character.

  3. karen

    thanks for the recap im gonna miss this show 🙁

  4. Han

    thank you, thank you so much!!!!!!1

  5. nonski

    thanks thanks thanks and a lot more thanks for posting this recaps. off to read

  6. xandy

    Thank you! one more episode .. moon/sun will be longed for. All the cast,you did a great job!

  7. sootyxsnowpetal

    Aw, Seol! And I was wondering what words Hwon and the old King said to the evil grandma before she died, but hey, I guess I’ll wait for the subs on Friday to fill in the blanks here. Thank you for the recap!

    • 7.1 sootyxsnowpetal

      I was wondering if daylight savings time would make you update an hour later, which would make it too late for me to stay up, but thank goodness you’re affected by it too!

  8. Nokcha

    Thanks for the recap. Still think the recaps are better than actually watching….

    • 8.1 danny

      I totally agree, honestly I have read the whole recap of at least three dramas and just watch the highlights in youtube, like the romantic scenes and kisses. Secret garden, City Hunter, Myunwol the Spy. Javabeans and girlsfriday’s recap are for me, better that actually watching it. oh yeah, pls include Return of Iljimae too. ^^

  9. chaostea

    Aww, Seol died.

  10. 10 ikachan

    wow dramatics…..
    why seol must die …so sad

    • 10.1 diorama

      Nooo! Whyyyyy? She and Jangshil were my favorite characters and now she’s dead for no reason whatsoever!

  11. 11 Hanare

    Wish to see more happy days of lead character, not like other drama’s last hour happiness.

  12. 12 21

    I don’t think why but this episode kind of annoys me…everything seems to be happening way too easy for the baddies. All their plots are working out just fine and the goodies are always taking a back seat! I want them to be more pro-active, I really hope we see some good actions tonight!! I am no longer sure why I am so attach to this drama when I look back and it’s really not that great. Thanks for the recap btw! Always a pleasure to read.

  13. 13 keya

    this show is just overhyped and has very little substance. i can’t wait for it to be over so i can pretend that it is only 6 episodes long. (sigh)

    the only good that came out of this is that kim soo hyun and all the child actors are now recognized for their great talents and doors have opened for various projects for them. otherwise, what of a potentially epic saeguk.

    • 13.1 keya

      what *could have been* a potentially epic saeguk.

    • 13.2 hi-there

      i totally agree with you. this was an EPICALLY over-hyped drama… this drama got realllyyyyyyyy lucky there wasn’t much competition.

      if i had to place this with TWDR or The Princess’ Man… my goodness, the other 2 would K-O it into a bloody pulp 😡

      i am glad the younger cast + KSH + kinda HGI got some exposure through this drama though… that’s about it. LOL this drama definitely isn’t that high up on my list of best sageuk’s. oh wells. 🙂

    • 13.3 asianromance

      I agree. The show has gone downhill after the childhood episodes were over. The first couple of episodes remind me of the great writing of SKKS – cute but mentally engaging with super smart main characters. After the characters grew up, it’s like their intelligence regressed and the direction is unclear. There is too much going on.

      But at least this drama ensures that the child actors and Kim Soo Hyun have become household names. ANd at least this drama may encourage other people to write sageuks using alternate/fake history (and hopefully do it better).

    • 13.4 diorama

      Oh yes, absolutely. I enjoyed the childhood portions, but when you think about it, it took a third of the drama just to get to the initial premise which the audience knew already.

      I mean, just think about the potential: the king of Joseon having a love affair with a shaman! Political coup! Conspiracy and magic! Characters with every reason to be complex, dark, and engaging…and we get this. I wanted to like it, I really did, but sadly it let me down on every front. Only good thing is that Kim Soo Hyun, Kim Min Seo, and the kiddies will get bigger and better roles from now on.

    • 13.5 keya

      what irks me the most is that they somehow managed to turn all the women powerless in the end, when there could have been so much potential for them to become more than this:

      yeon woo – crying in the closet
      seol – death by way of saving yeom
      bo kyung – insanity
      jan shil – just sitting there (where did all her spunk go? whatever happened to her friendship with yang myung?)

      *shakes head* i rest my case.

      • 13.5.1 Girl

        I agree…

        *shaking my head as well*

      • 13.5.2 Carrie

        “Jan shi -just sitting there”. Hahaha, that just made me laugh. Sad, but true unfortunately.

      • 13.5.3 asianromance

        I feel like this happens with a lot of kdrama female characters- they start off sort of badass and then become all limpy. Side note: poked my head into Feast of the Gods drama- street-smart, spunky teenager becomes teary-eyed, bullied adult. WHY?!!!

        But yeah with 4 strong females, every one of them came out at the end feeling like a victim.

      • 13.5.4 danny

        i so totally agree, at least yeon woo should have done something, even bo-kyung she could have turned the tables around since his father is going to betray her anyway.

      • 13.5.5 Ani

        I think Seol doesn’t count there because she may have died protecting the man she loved, but at least she went down fighting. It would have been no more than different than i she had died while protecting Yeonwoo. She died, yes, and I hate that and will hold it against this drama until I can forget about it. But at least Seol did something. At least she was a badass fighting to protect someone she cared about. Nothing more powerful than a woman saving a life.

      • 13.5.6 Vinn

        I would totally agree with this if it wasn’t for the fact that this drama had SO much potential going for it. And damn, what did they do? On a micro level, this plotline didn’t move AT ALL, and it was more predictable than any hyped drama in recent memory.

        And it’s getting such insane ratings. Really, truly baffling.
        (But I’d totally watch it for my dose of Jung Il Woo, so who am I to judge?)

    • 13.6 Joy

      I concur! So overrated and no descent competition hence the highest ratings. However, I did love the younger ones. They did a great job portraying their characters as well Kim So Hyun.

    • 13.7 Kiara

      QFT and I cant wait for it to end.

  14. 14 asianromance

    Thanks for the recap!

    “Though Yeon-woo/Jan-shil/Nok-young’s reactions to her death were heartbreaking, it felt wrong that they were all apart, and that they weren’t the ones to be there in her passing. ” —- That’s exactly how I felt. I was like “Nooo! Yeon-woo needs to be there so that these girls who have spent their entire lives together can say a proper goodbye!” RIP Seol! I really wanted a Woon x Seol pairing too =*( So sad that she had so little screen-time.

    I also put my money on a double-reversal from Yang-myung. I wonder if Yang-Myung and Hwon planned the whole thing together. Hwon’s one crafty dude.

  15. 15 Hanare

    Wish 2 see more happy days of lead character, not like other drama’s last hour happiness.

  16. 16 Alex Louise

    I dont believe in YM betrayal at all. I put my trust in JIW (hehe)

    • 16.1 kbap

      Same honey~ I love JIW to such an extent it’s kind of weird. 🙂

  17. 17 FunnyBunny

    Noooo Not Seol! Why?? Why??? She was my favorite!! So she just dies and Princess murderer still stays with Yeom??? WTF Drama??? This is the one thing that drives me crazy about sageuks. No matter who my favorite character is, they always die, or have the most tragic ending ever. It’s like the writers know who I’m gonna pick and then decide to crap all over them. Oh drama gods what have I done to anger thee???

    • 17.1 Ani

      I know right? Every sageuk I’ve seen to date, my favorite characters die!

      [Sageuk Spoilers]

      Revenge of the Fox’s Child: Both gumihos die
      Tree With Deep Roots: Main leads die
      Chuno: Read recaps 1-16(?), then skipped to watch the last episode. Yeah, main lead dies.

      I guess only the Princess’ Man has good guys surviving death. Except for the original princess’s husband, which suuuuucked.

      [/End Spoilers]

    • 17.2 kbap

      Well I hate my favorite characters dying too (Seool! Why???) but for once I want Yang-myung to die. Sounds weird, but I say this because I love him. Really. ‘Cause it’s the epic heroic exit he needs, after doing pretty pathetic things like swordfighting with his little bro over a girl. LOL. Bro before h… I think I’ll leave it at that.

  18. 18 little missy

    i agree what happen to yeon woo? she is such a smart girl i’m sure she can do something about the whole situation such as analysing or solving the problem but the limelight in this drama turns out to be hwon and yang myung?

  19. 19 lovedramas

    I am pretty certain that a double reversal is going to happen with YM. I’m pretty sure that he knew either way, he was gonna have to die for this. Maybe in the double reversal, the king would spare his life, but I don’t think it happens that way usually. High treason ends always in death – at least in all the sageuk’s i’ve seen (unless the other side wins).

    I just feel like in the end, YM collected those names for a reason and will make sure that he cleans some house for the King. Maybe it wont happen this way but that’s the feeling I got from the very start of YM getting approached by Yoon. I also feel like if he really wanted to – he would have done something when they fought over YW a few episodes ago. I just think YM is helping Hwon get rid of his biggest traitor – his FIL (hehe… not for long).

    • 19.1 Fiercediva

      I agree. It’s kind of like an assisted suicide – he’ll sacrifice himself as the noblest idiot ever to keep Hwon and YW safe. WAE WASTE SUCH HOTNESS, YM, WAE? *sobs*

  20. 20 DMKO

    love this recap, thank you gf!

  21. 21 Salie

    thank you very much for the recap! i can’t concentrate on my work because i’m waiting for this 🙂 One episode left..

  22. 22 Ani

    URGH! What the FRACK DRAMA? Seol was one of my favorite characters right next to Janshil, and they were both criminally under used. I was expecting more from them. More scenes, more badassery, more sisterly love. MORE! I was expecting a happy ending for them. And yet…. SEOL DIES!!!!! *breathes fire* Off with all their heads I tell you. Off with it all!

    • 22.1 diorama

      I was really hoping for a female version of SKKS’s Jalgeum team. Well, there goes that hope.

  23. 23 teachermok

    Nooooo! Seol!!!! But thanks for the quick recap javabeans! 🙂

  24. 24 sita

    finally! 😀

  25. 25 Marlene

    Lobotomy my arse!! Ha ha ha!!

  26. 26 fangirl98

    I’m just trying to make it through to the finale.

  27. 27 appreciate

    Oh, it’s here. Thank you^_^

  28. 28 shippoannie

    To be honest, from the beginning, I thought that there could be a chance that YM could be the king because of the “lighting shinining around him” when he saved Jan-shil in his younger years; but that was just my imagination.

    To me, maybe I have favoritism over YM, but I feel that he doesn’t have to protect Hwon. I feel so bad for him because he had so much potential and in the end…….bleh.

    Also, I was cheering for Jan-shil and YM.

    Unlikely, but my imagination thought it could have worked.

    • 28.1 asianromance

      Since this is fake history and they can write it however they want, maybe Hwon abdicates to Yang-myung so he can live with Yeon-woo in the mountains or something.

  29. 29 Brenda

    I agree with you girlfriday.
    I just don’t believe that Yang Myung would betray Hwon. It doesn’t make sense. He probably only made everyone sign that book so that he’ll be able to help Hwon weed out the traitors amongst him. I’ll believe he’s a traitor when I see Hwon’s corpse (as bleak as that sounds).
    I’m really curious as to what Yeom will do now that he knows the truth. I would’ve wanted to see Yeom become an active part withing the battle as well.
    If Yeom did, even for a second, think that Hwon was responsible for covering up Yeon Woo’s death and he took part in the coup under Yang Myung, it would’ve been interesting to see Yang Myung & Yeom vs Hwon and Woon. But it’s highly unlikely that that’ll happen =(

    When Yeon Woo gets reunited with her family, it better be lengthy or else I’ll be disappointed.
    They went from focusing the first 18 episodes on Yeon Woo and Hwon to focusing episode 19 entirely on the coup, it seems kind of mismatched.

    • 29.1 cv

      Yea, it went from draggggging to wham bam, we know who did what in one episode when they could have paced it out better… like the first seven to eight episodes. After, that, it went in circle until now.

  30. 30 Pepper

    Thanks for the recap!! XOXOXO
    You must be somewhere in north America, very consistent with your recap time on this drama.
    I really LOVE this drama!! The shaman battle is awesome!!
    Poor girl Soul , but with the kdramas somebody has to die !! Always! Can’t wait to get the DVD!!
    thanks again!

  31. 31 maechan

    I refuse to accept Yamg Myung as a baddie! Please, please, please make it a double reversal… He should be intelligent enough to know that if he takes the throne Yeon Woo will never-ever be his… TT.TT

    • 31.1 maechan

      *Yang Myung (tactile keyboard’s fault!)

  32. 32 misachan

    awww janshil crying for seol was soooo sad… and I’m only reading it… i haven’t even watched it yet….

    and yes…. that’s all that seemed to satisfy me about this episode… well the response to seol dying (not the dying itself) and the death of the awful grandma.


    oh yang myung you better not be bad!!!
    I want me some long overdue bromance between these two… namely bromance between kim soo hyun and jung il woo…

  33. 33 Mel

    I didn’t read the recap since I haven’t watched the episode yet but judging from the caps, so much blood. After an episode of cuteness, the finale ends with like a blood bath. Will more characters die? Was this the beginning of a massive war? So much can happen in one episode remain

  34. 34 Girl

    There was so much potential for Yeon Woo’s character. I miss the spunk that was there when she was a teenager. Right now, she’s really taken a back seat to all the events unfolding around her which I find kind of frustrating when we know she’s got intelligence and wisdom beyond her years. Just my two cents 🙂

  35. 35 calamityjanedoe

    Seol had such great potential as a character. I wish she had more screen time and development. And that was a weak fight scene–she is so much more badass than that!

  36. 36 Maria

    I hate that people die so easily in saegyuks. Gahhhh

    Anyone else hoping that yang myung still has loyalty in him

  37. 37 Bantik

    I think the prince acts as a double spy, and how it does not fit all. If not, write the names of the criminals would be meaningless to the same + so that such a person had the ending – it is also not logical. It will be a complete nightmare.So I’m confident it’s just a play on words, I even read somewhere that the Prince would die defending the King, a sad ending but still better than the end of episode 19.
    Ps: I do not understand one thing: Where is the mother of the King? I have a feeling that she did live in another world!
    Thank you!

  38. 38 stars4u

    And I’m not even ready to say goodbye to anyone of them… *sobs*

    I hope they spare Hyung-sun!!! Though I know Yang-myung won’t make it… even thinking about it breaks my already broken heart.

    I love the exchange between Woon and Yang-myung…
    I miss their bromance!!!
    What’s with all the shows taking away the bromance?

  39. 39 Linda121

    This drama sucks!!! It’s all fluff! I’m upset all around, I really enjoyed the beginning with the children and that’s it!!!! I mean Seol was supposed to be a badass bodyguard to Yeon Woo and nothing, Yang Myung’s description described him as a playboy esque type? This is a perfect example of an overhyped drama, I love all the actors but the writing simply fell flat.

  40. 40 Garrdan75

    the segment with Seol is so heartbreaking…cried a bucket load…she looked so sweet in Yeom’s embrace…arrrrghhh…the writer should have let her live…moreover give her a more indepth storyline—-yes, a romance with Woon…how Rip that would have been!

    I am in full agreement with whomever commented that Yeon Woo was rather “lame” in this second-to-last episode!!…her sadness and tears are affecting, but there basically was very little interesting action on her part and with her interaction with Hwon…sigh! the dynamic “romance” has petered/trickled down to a state of “blandness”…sure hope the finale episode gives us more zing!!

  41. 41 jyyjc

    I don’t believe that Yangmyung turned to the dark side. It’s way too late for that, plus the drama’s never shown to us that he desired the throne.

    Yeonwoo did nothing in this episode. Seriously? Seriously? She’s the main female lead, it’s the second last episode and she just sits in a little room? Sigh.

  42. 42 Alona

    thanks GF,

    WOW !! Yang Myung + Iljimae = very charismatic suicidal LONER ! fit to be a KING !

    suddenly commit treason ? (No on going overthrow plotting on his part in earlier episodes suddenly out of nowhere this happen?

    not consistent in character built up for yang myung by the writer.

    Wearing BLUE robe meaning will he die ?,
    and telling us the outcome of yang myung’s action ?

    He sacrifice his life to protect Yoen Woo, but definitely not the KING !!

  43. 43 Garrdan75

    Oh, major oversight:

    To girlfriday…very appreciative of your quick recaps of the episodes!! You are quite talented with verbiage and have a wonderful sense of humor and quirkiness! Well done with each of your recaps for us non-Korean understanding viewers and avid fans of kdramas. Thank you so very much for your time and efforts!! 🙂

  44. 44 RealKdramaaddict

    The princess should have said to her husband the she would have done the same now. Just be honest. She just cried and grabbed his arm.

    That’s overplaying past innocence and cuteness, and now blackmailing him with pregnancy. How can Yeom love her as a person?

    • 44.1 gominam

      can’t believe this drama at all..yeah all the leading ladies sitting and crying is all?

      • 44.1.1 sally_b

        you totally nailed that. all the leading females boo-hoo-ing and most of the males standing around with gritted teeth and some form of obsession.

        I’m looking forward to being relieved that it’s over. ffs.

        …bring on another Sexy Chuno-esque drama that I can dismiss the flaws MUCH more easily. 😉

  45. 45 almontel

    i also wish that Seol didn’t have to die…couldn’t they have used her till the end?

    oh wells…i can’t wait to see how they will wrap things up…

    i still feel that Jung Il woo is still a good brother towards the end…i don’t think he’ll even harm a hair on the king’s head…

  46. 46 Flo

    Victory finally….but drama…really…Seol….did you really have to go and kill Seol. Not fair soooo not fair. I loved her character she was awesome….the one suckie thing about this episode…well atleast she finally admitted her feeling for Yeom….*sniffles*…but she died in his arms….seriously couldn’t stop crying.

    OK moving on, as for YM no way no way no way he would turn against his brother…I absolutely refuse to believe it…there is a plan somewhere in here. Don’t know if they are trying to pull the whole Princess’ Man ending….which I pray to the Drama Gods not or the whole self-sacrificing thing on YM part…I don’t want hims to die…I wove hims…

    OK even that creep me out…LOL…A part of me wants YM to get with Janshil….just saying

    By the way love you guys for recapping so fast you are awesome

  47. 47 h0ns

    Thank you Girlfriday for the recap… I love how the way your recap it, love your opinion and naughty opinion especially in first scene of Yeon Woo – Hown.. Aaaaawwwrrr it SO NAUGHTY! hahahhahha… gives the best description on Hown character!

    To be honest when Seol died in the arm of Yeom, I didn’t feel so sad, no tears came out… It was just not touchy since Seol character was just like a side dish *no development and no individual story came from her character* But I was so teary when watching NK and Janshil reaction plus Yeon Woo reaction… they were so closed together… they are her family… so touchy…

    Aaaa.. can’t wait for tonight episode… can’t wait for the lovey dovey scene…

    Once again, thank you for your recap ^^

  48. 48 coby

    My friend told me that its possible that YM will die, and I realized that that’s the only resolution to his character. I mean if he lives and turned out not to be a baddie, he will forever covet Won’s love.

  49. 49 biankoy

    they killed Seol-ah!!!! oh boooooooo!

  50. 50 sootyxsnowpetal

    By “This isn’t how it’s supposed to go,” does that mean that you didn’t want it to go that way or that the drama didn’t follow the novel?

    • 50.1 kit

      it followed the novel to a t this episode

      which is kind of a bad thing tbh

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