Drama Recaps
The King 2 Hearts: Episode 20 (Final)
by | May 24, 2012 | 2,368 Comments

War is declared. And even though you really wish they’d run for the hills, our heroes have to be heroes, and they run into the thick of it to put their lives on the line. They say love is war, but damn, have you ever met these two?


King 2 Hearts OST – K. Will – “사랑이 운다” (Love is Crying) [ Download ]

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Hang-ah gets dragged to the border by Dad, kicking and screaming that she can’t be separated from Jae-ha. Dad spins around on his heels and asks, “And it’s okay to be separated from me?”

Oh, Dad. Now you’re making me feel bad. He says that it took 35 years to see family members after the first war—does she think they won’t end up that way? He says he can wait decades for her if he has to, but his body won’t hold out that long.

Hang-ah starts to cry, as Dad tells her that even if they meet again, it’ll be at his grave. Okay, that’s some hardcore parent guilt right there. What is she supposed to do when you say stuff like that?

He leaves the choice to her – if she really wants to stay, she can. He tells her that South Korea has turned their backs and declared war, and Jae-ha will prove to be no different.

Jae-ha meets the prime minister to ask who the hell approved DEFCON 3. Uh, well if it wasn’t you, I’m gonna say it’s the other guy in the room with the power to do so. The prime minister admits caving to U.S. pressure.

Jae-ha tries calling Hang-ah over and over, growing more panicked by the second. She finally answers, against Dad’s wishes. They check on each other and suss out the situation—Jae-ha needs time to talk to both the U.S. and North Korea to stop this from happening.

The trouble is, North Korea has cut off all lines of communication. Hang-ah turns to her father to ask if he did this, and he reminds her that this is WAR—of course they cut off communication (though it was his superiors, not him personally).

He tells her to come back, but she hesitates, as more tears start to fall. Oh no. “I’ll go to the North. If this is the situation, then North and South have completely split apart. And the only thing that remains is war.”

Jae-ha says that the South always has their end of the line open. It’s the North that cut off their end. Hang-ah knows, and that’s why she’s going: “I’ll open the line.” Oh, wow, what a great mission for the heroine. She says that she’ll convey the king’s position and stop this war.

He protests – there’s no way for the two of them to communicate once she crosses that border. There’s no way to know how bad things will get, so how can he let her go? Hang-ah: “Isn’t your heart my heart?”

She asks if the change in situation will change their hearts. They know the answer, but he still puts up a fight, asking if she’s really going to go, knowing full well that war might break out?

Hang-ah: “I want to see Father for a long long time. And I want to see you for a long time. That’s why I’m going. So that I can see you.” He starts to cry. “Hang-ah-ya…”

Hang-ah: “You’ll stop the war, right? I’ll do the same. If you just remember that, then we’ll see each other again. I love you.” And then she hangs up, before he can even say it back. He just looks down at his phone in tear-filled shock.

They both cry for a moment, and then Hang-ah braces herself. She spins around on her heels as the music turns along with her. She marches through to the North, a woman on a mission.

Jae-ha lingers for another moment in the hallway, and then he wipes his tears and mirrors her walk. I love the double badass turn.

Bong-gu gets the confirmation that the U.S. has approved an attack on North Korea, and calls Jae-ha to gloat about it. I love that till the end, Jae-ha’s like, “Who is this?” which drives Bong-gu crazy.

He passes along the military operation as proof and says that it’s really Jae-ha’s fault for attacking via ICC. That day on the cliff he gave Jae-ha the choice between himself or his people—”You chose yourself. You killed them.”

Jae-ha: “No. YOU did.” Aw, yeah. He says that all he’s done is try to bring Bong-gu to justice, according to the law. Bong-gu laughs that in the end the Koreas will be at war and he’ll walk away.

Jae-ha: “No. I’m going to stop this war. And you’re going to be put on trial.” For all of Bong-gu’s blustering, it’s really Jae-ha who has the upper hand when it comes to poker faces, because he believes in what he’s saying. The report is confirmed to be legit, and the situation escalates as Jae-ha signs off on DEFCON 2 and the country prepares for war.

Hang-ah meets with the prime minister who praises her for her loyalty to country, and then proceeds to ask about what she’s learned in her time in the South, like where are the secret bunkers they can attack.

But when she tells him that they need to reopen the lines of communication with the South, he argues that the king is preparing for war and accuses her of caving to her womanly weaknesses. Oh, because that’s evil, right? Ass.

She narrows her eyes but rises above it and asks the very logical question of why on earth she’d come back home then, if she were just madly in love and ready to forsake her country for a man. I would’ve added a knee kick but clearly you are more civilized than I. But he tells her it’s too late for communication, because both sides have their missiles pointed right at each other. Gah, the art-imitating-life of this situation is so unnerving.

Jae-ha prepares for a public address, and Secretary Eun reminds him that he needs to appear strong before the people. He starts to write his speech, calling out the U.S. for their attack plan, and urging the North to show that they are willing to discuss peace.

He starts to write, “But if North Korea attacks Seoul… then South Korea will by any means necessary…” He flashes back to his moments with Hang-ah, on their 60km trek, and when she held him in her lap. He finishes his sentence with a pang in his heart, “…repay the whole of North Korea in kind.”

Meanwhile Hang-ah’s last conversation with the prime minister has put her father in a sticky position, and he goes entirely in the other direction and presents her with plane tickets for them to flee the country.

He says that war is inevitable now, and even here in the North, they’ll be seen as South-friendly and therefore a liability. He doesn’t trust Jae-ha either, since he heard the speech above.

Hang-ah defends Jae-ha’s need to make an official statement as such, but Dad asks how he could, knowing that Hang-ah is here. He says that a preemptive strike isn’t that uncalled for in this situation. Her eyes widen, “A preemptive strike? Are we going to attack first?” He says nothing has been decided yet. Oh crap.

Jae-ha sits down with his general and asks what kind of casualties have been projected if war does break out. In day one: 200,000 soldiers, 1.5 million civilians. In week one: 1 million soldiers, 5 million civilians. And the cost of course in the tens of billions. He looks up in horror, and the general says these are all numbers projected in 1994, so they can probably double them.

Jae-ha sits, literally the weight of the world on his shoulders. He thinks back to hyung’s dreams of peace and reunification, Shi-kyung’s dying pleas to never give up, and Bong-gu’s words that if a single life were to be lost, it would be on his hands.

Hang-ah in turn thinks back to Jae-ha’s promise during the WOC: “Trust me, and I’ll trust you,” and Jae-kang’s question in presiding over their engagement about joining their strength in a time of war.

Her doorbell rings with a delivery. A mysterious man drops off a package and she asks if he’s from China since his accent is different, but he disappears without a word. She opens it up to find Jae-ha’s I’m-sorry-thank-you-I-love-you skincare set for her (aw) with an envelope buried underneath: a copy of the U.S. military strike against Pyongyang.

This is exactly the leverage she needs. She takes what she knows to the prime minister, but only offers to give him the date of the attack if he’ll reopen the line to Seoul. Awesome. Jae-ha is headed to the border to try and speak to someone from the North, and she asks to be the one to go.

He scoffs at her gall to negotiate with him, so she gets up and breezes that she heard about the preemptive attack, “But it’ll be too late.” He offers to let her go as a representative to start the talks, but only if she gives him the date. She says she’ll give it after she comes back from the meeting, since she’s not about to throw away her bargaining chip. Ha.

The prime minister says he needs something too then, and presents her with the only copy in existence certifying her engagement to Jae-ha (that seems like a big leap, but it’s the gesture that’s important). He tells her to rip it up: “What do you need an engagement for when you are going to meet your enemy?”

She doesn’t hesitate and rips it to shreds. Now he has proof of her loyalty and she has access to meet with Jae-ha. The prime minister adds a caveat, to make sure she gives him the information promised—he’ll be holding her father as hostage until she hands over the brief. Damnit.

Jae-ha arrives first and waits for the Northern diplomat to arrive. Hang-ah calls her father to check in, and he assures her that the prime minister won’t do anything hasty (he’s totally lying through his teeth), and the two men watch the meeting via live feed.

Hang-ah walks into the room and Jae-ha lights up to see her. He approaches her warmly, but she remains distant and formal. She puts out her hand for a shake and he sees the earpiece in her ear.

He takes her hand but he sinks when she just shakes it and goes to her seat. She asks everything she’s supposed to—is he really preparing to join hands with the U.S. and go to war?

Jae-ha sits through her barrage of questions silently, which is doubly infuriating for Hang-ah who’s desperate not to lose this chance to show the prime minister Jae-ha’s true intentions.

He finally sits back and asks casually if she knows that they’ll be attacked on May 24. The prime minister freaks out, and Hang-ah’s father hands over the brief to prove it. It’s less than a week out.

Meanwhile Hang-ah flips out that he gave away her bargaining chip. But Jae-ha is still smiling, calm as you please. “What’re you doing May 24? Going to war?” Hang-ah finally loses the cool exterior, “Comrade Jae-ha!”

He just keeps going, “I’m getting married. To you.” Hahaha. Okay, that’s crazy but kind of brilliant. He’s going to set the date of the attack as his wedding day?

The prime minister barks into Hang-ah’s ear for her to get out, and Jae-ha sees her flinch. He looks up at the camera and orders him to say it directly, and stop using Hang-ah as his shield. Love it.

It works, and the prime minister calls to speak to him directly. He shouts that they weren’t behind the terrorist attack, and Jae-ha shouts back that threatening Seoul is the definition of terror.

He calms down. “You die. And then we die. The U.S. hits you, you hit us, and then if China gets involved… do you think that even one person will be left standing on this land?”

The prime minister scoffs at his solution—if they get married, does he think the U.S. will just pat their heads and wish them well? But Jae-ha makes it clear that he’s not talking about sneaking off and eloping, but standing with both countries behind them.

A wedding is cause for congratulations and if North and South officially present a united front, the whole world will rush to congratulate them. In that situation, on that day, can anyone launch a missile at them?

“I’m not doing this so that South Korea can live alone. I’m saying let’s get married and live together.”

The prime minister says he’ll put it under advisement and orders Hang-ah to leave the room. But Jae-ha presses the Big Red Button and suddenly soldiers from both sides charge into the room, guns drawn.

Oh noes, Young-bae and Dong-ha, guns pointed at each other? I don’t like this one bit!

Jae-ha barks into the phone that he has five minutes to make a decision, “Or shoot me.” He figures that even if they say no, he’ll be dead anyway, so why not just die here? He hangs up.

Then they have to sit like that in the room for the five longest minutes ever. Jae-ha: “Young-bae-ya, you’re a sniper, right? Aim so that I go in one blow.” He points to the center of his forehead. Young-bae’s eyes dart back and forth, Dong-ha tenses up, ready to shoot him if he shoots. Hang-ah looks back and forth between them all.

The prime minister paces back and forth. Hang-ah’s father pleads with him to decide. Time’s up, and Jae-ha calls. Has he made a decision?

There’s no answer on the other end. Jae-ha takes the silence as a no. “Then, war?” He orders Young-bae to shoot. If their leader wants war, shooting the king is the way to start one.

Young-bae hesitates. Dong-ha, “Just try and shoot.” And then Young-bae adorably trembles and stutters, “I-I-I j-j-just can’t …”

But then Hang-ah stands up and grabs Young-bae’s gun out of his hand. She walks over and sticks it in Jae-ha’s face. Dong-ha raises his gun to her head. OH SHIT.

She says (at the prime minister), “Do I shoot? Why, do you think that because it’s the person I love, I can’t shoot? I can kill this comrade. And die with him.”

Well, now we know why Romeo and Juliet weren’t given guns. Because then shit like this happens. Everyone just put down the deadly objects!

Jae-ha looks up at her, his eyes full of love, and her eyes soften, “I’ll follow right behind you.” She cocks her gun. Dong-ha raises his to her temple…

And then in the last possible second before my heart bursts, the prime minister tells her to put down her weapon. Everyone starts breathing again, including me.

He asks Jae-ha if this means he’s really going to help them, and Jae-ha says yes. Hang-ah finally lowers her gun and Dong-ha does too. Jae-ha takes the gun from her hand and hugs her tight.

Bong-gu watches the North Korean news report in shock and demands that the U.S. attack anyway—why not the wedding? The contact refuses because somehow the story determined he should suddenly stop stupidly listening to the crazy man. Whatever, fake America. You are so weird.

Jae-ha gets ready to cross the border on his wedding day, and the U.N. tries to stop him. But the Korean troops help get him through, saluting their congratulations. Aw, that’s cute.

And I frickin’ LOVE that they’re getting married in the DMZ. Hang-ah smiles as she gets ready when she sees two officers North and South laughing together at their post. Dad says it’s too bad their wedding has less fanfare than their engagement and fusses over her hanbok, wishing her mother were here to see her.

She hugs him and says she’s sorry for being such a troublesome daughter, but he says as long as she’s happy, that’s all that matters to him. And then he breaks away from her so that she won’t see him cry. N’aaaaaw, Daaaaad. Okay, I forgive you for the guilt trip earlier.

Everything goes as planned and the U.S. backs off their military strike and offers up their congrats, and then the wedding begins. They each walk down the aisle from either side of the 38th parallel to meet in the middle.

Jae-ha holds out his hand. Hang-ah puts her hand in his, and then he crosses to the North. They face southward and bow.

And then together they cross to the South, and bow facing north. It’s simple, and lovely, and says everything.

And then he picks her up and twirls her around as they beam.

Then sometime later Bong-gu faces trial before the ICC. And the reason you couldn’t have kept him locked up till this point and therefore not make Shi-kyung’s sacrifice moot IS? BAH.

He gets sentenced to life in prison. That’s it? What about the tank of carnivorous snakes?

Jae-ha pays him a visit in jail, and Bong-gu muses that he must’ve been dying to see him like this. Bong-gu: “I won. You went to the brink of war. You were scared.” He chuckles that they’ve experienced trauma now.

“When you hear fireworks, you’ll jump in fear. When you hear sirens, your heart will race. Only Korea is like that. A country that has experienced war. That’s why you will become more anxious. You’ll be scared of what you encountered, and only amass more weapons.”

Jae-ha: “We stopped it. I did. We did. Now we have the confidence that we can stop it. They say that the scariest thing in the world is war. But we stopped it, so what can’t we do? Thank you… for making us powerful.”

He turns to walk away. Bong-gu screams after him that locking him up will do nothing to stop Club M from existing, and attacking. Jae-ha stops for a moment, but doesn’t turn back. He squares his shoulders and keeps walking ahead.

Four years later.

Dong-ha (wearing a much more decorated uniform) comes to find Jae-ha, and he comes to greet North Korean soldiers for the new WOC team. Behind him are Dong-ha, Young-bae, and (YAY!) Kang-seok. Where have you BEEN?

They’re old-timers now, the guys who train the newbies. Jae-ha asks about the female soldier for this team and Kang-seok says she’ll be from the South this time. Jae-ha leans in close to whisper at Young-bae that southern girls are really pretty, and Dong-ha sighs that it’s already too late—Young-bae took one look at her and he’s smitten so bad he can’t even train her properly. HA.

Once it’s just the four of them, Jae-ha greets them happily saying it’s been a really long time since they’ve all been together, and asks them out for a drink. Young-bae adds dejectedly that it’s not really all of them. Aw. Young-bae.

Jae-ha looks down and Kang-seok reminds Young-bae that they already poured a bunch of alcohol over Shi-kyung’s grave—he’s probably already drunk enough. Jae-ha muses that he’d probably have collapsed. It at least warms my heart that they still talk about him.

Jae-shin sits on her wall at the top of the city, and makes a phone call to confirm a concert and says that she can make it there on her own. We pan out to see that she’s sitting up there with her parrot, speaking to it as if it’s Shi-kyung.

She says that she’s supposed to go on a blind date tomorrow. Should she go? She looks over at parrot, only this time it’s Shi-kyung that appears. *Mmmrrmph* He opens his mouth to talk and just that alone makes me cry. Gaaaaah, I don’t know if I can do this.

He tells her to go. She asks if he’s mad and he says no. Jae-shin: “I can’t say that I’ll die old and alone only thinking of you.” He laughs and tells her she shouldn’t do that.

“But you’ll always be in a part of my heart. Like a shadow.” They smile at each other. And then when she looks back at him, he’s gone. It breaks my heart all over again.

We pan over to see that she’s actually at the foot of the wall, in her wheelchair, Birdie at her side.

Hang-ah’s father coos over pictures of his grandson prince, and squeals when he gets to talk to him over video.

Later, Jae-ha rushes to meet Hang-ah for a ribbon-cutting ceremony (for the first joint bank serving both countries) and little princey runs up to daddy for a hug. All the reporters swoon, and then princey calls out for Mom, but uses the North Korean dialect version (omani), which causes a giant ruckus in the media.

The queen mother tells them it’ll blow over, and Jae-ha pretends to be stern, but once she leaves the room, he dies laughing. They’re so cute.

But it turns into an issue (with chatter from Club M) and Jae-ha says he’ll make a statement. Secretary Eun thinks it might be best to leave it alone, but Jae-ha argues that all of his people matter, and he’ll win them over one by one, until they accept Hang-ah.

He gets to work, and Secretary Eun smiles proudly.

Jae-ha and Hang-ah stand side by side, ready to go in for a press conference. He tells her the situation is getting more serious. She chides that saying omani twice will lead to war. They chuckle, ’cause, well, been there done that.

Jae-ha: “We’ve already stopped a war. Hang-ah: “That’s true. Just as long as we don’t give up. The doors open. Cameras flash.

Jae-ha: “You ready?” She says yes. He takes her hand. “I love you.” They smile at each other and with a “Let’s go,” they walk forward in step.


There were a lot of things I wanted for the finale that I didn’t get, and a lot of things that still felt satisfying anyway. The main trip-up for me is the Shi-kyung/Bong-gu war which hit its high at the end of Episode 18 and then fizzled out as soon as Shi-kyung died. It’s not really his death so much as the consequence of it that went so wrong. Had he died to put Bong-gu away, had Bong-gu remained in custody during the almost-war (which by the way was completely feasible and would in no way change the way the final chapter went down), and then be prosecuted, it would have all made sense and I wouldn’t have to tear my hair out. Because how do you even explain that he was brought to trial in the end if the first time took that much effort to get him in cuffs? HUH?

Mishandling that actually took a lot of the villain’s steam away, which I have to assume was inadvertent (because who would do that on purpose?). Sure, Bong-gu was the evil one who set the war into motion, but once that happened, the immediate threat became the world powers and I forgot that Bong-gu even existed. Despite the simplicity of containing an almost-war to four characters, I did like the dramatic climax for the couple, in putting their lives on the line. It’s you-have-to-get-through-us-to-get-to-war, and the culmination of everything they’ve built, from becoming comrades, to finding love, to trusting each other, to letting go. That felt both thematically on point and dramatically riveting, even though you don’t really expect a show to go out with a pair of dead lovers and a world war. Hello, hate mail.

What the two-part finale really lacked for me was breathing room on one score—Shi-kyung’s death in Jae-ha’s eyes. Jae-kang’s death, for instance, happened so early on that we had full episodes to mourn his passing and have Jae-ha learn and grow. And yes, Shi-kyung did already make his crucial impact on Jae-ha before he died. But I wanted that emotional beat. Jae-ha would never have become the king he is without Eun Shi-kyung. And though I loved Jae-shin’s moment remembering him, I wanted the same from Jae-ha. It was the biggest way the finale failed to deliver for me. And now I have a giant Eun Shi-kyung-shaped hole in my heart, and the show ended without patching it up properly.

There were a lot of things that this show never got quite right—the overly simplistic Club-M-is-all-powerful mantra, the over-reliance on wooden day players to give exposition, (Seriously, I can barely stand exposition when it’s served by the most talented of actors, and you’re going to give every bit of explanatory dialogue to extras? Foot, meet gun.) the slow progression of Bong-gu who took a really long time to become an interesting or effective villain. The international incidents were colored in the broadest brushstrokes possible, leading to more than a handful of countries whose leaders seemed more like silly dingbats than powerful movers and shakers. It’s not so much that I take offense, but that I would prefer the opposition to always seem bigger and badder (which makes for better drama) only they were more like dumb and dumberer.

But of course, there were many more things that the drama DID get right. It was shot gorgeously (the cinematographer and lighting team deserve like a medal, or a parade), the music swept me up in every moment and made me feel like it was a living, breathing world I was looking in on. And the cast was brilliant. I’ll be honest—I’ve always thought Ha Ji-won was over-hyped, but here she was amazingly tough, vulnerable, and believable, no matter how insane the situation seemed. She grounded everything. Perhaps it makes a great deal of difference to play a character who’s consistent from beginning to end. Lee Seung-gi had less gravitas than her going in, but gained it through his performance, and though his is still not an effortless kind of acting, it was his breakthrough to the other side—past the façade and into raw emotion. He stole the show, hands down (which isn’t really a surprise, since he played the king in The King). Jo Jung-seok played what was probably everyone’s favorite character, but I really think he’s to credit for a lot of that, because so much of who Shi-kyung was came from the physical performance. A great deal of his character’s innocent/earnest nuance could’ve been lost to a wooden actor, or worse, made to seem dumb, which would’ve been a travesty. And everyone else was already good in an established way—the parents, the hyung, and even Lee Yoon-ji, who’s always been fantastic.

When this show was funny, it hit that darkly funny sweet spot where my blackened heart resides. And when it was badass, it made me pump my fist in the air. And then, when it was deeply earnest about a soldier’s faith in his king or the partnership between a man and a woman in the face of insurmountable odds, it actually got through to my gooey earnest center.

You could say this show is about a lot of things, but it’s clear that the romance is the central metaphor – man and woman as two parts of a whole like a war-torn Korea, always at odds, but always kin. And though actual politics is far more complex than a pair of lovers being able to bridge that gap, it’s the idealistic view that they could, in such a world. What grips me most is actually not that larger idea, but the mechanics of what that relationship needs in order to make it to the end – not just love, but friendship, complete trust, and an equal partnership. A hero who saves the girl is swoonworthy, sure. But a hero who confides in his girl and trusts her to save the day is the winner, by a mile.

My favorite part of the show wasn’t actually the romance (though I loved their epic love story, I promise). It was the making of a king. What this show did right was its character development and relationships, and if you look at it from beginning to end, there are actually very few characters who change a great deal. Hang-ah and Shi-kyung are in large part the same (he gains a sense of humor, but starts and ends a hero, and she learns to play a player, but starts and ends a hero). Jae-shin takes a massive dip, but then gets back to her old self (albeit a better version) because of Shi-kyung.

But Jae-ha goes from a worthless thorn in his brother’s side to a ruler who can stop a war. He goes from someone who thinks the monarchy is a sham to a king who believes with all his heart that he is his people and they are the king. And it’s in the shaping of this character where Hang-ah and Shi-kyung are the traditional heroes of the story—they make Jae-ha kingworthy, through their tough love and indefatigable faith. It’s kind of equally admirable and stupid, but that’s why they’re the heroes. In that sense, Jae-ha really IS the people—he’s the most like us, doubting, questioning, pessimistic, jaded. Even till the end he’s the one who doesn’t want to let Shi-kyung go on his mission or let Hang-ah go on hers. Because that’s what a normal person would do. But they don’t let him be weak.

And perhaps that’s the final step he learns in becoming a true leader—to let his soldiers fight for what they believe in, to put the country and the mission before his heart. I still don’t think it justifies killing Shi-kyung (the lesson would’ve been learned without, thank you very much) but to be a true leader, he does have to live with the harsh choices and the deaths of his soldiers on his conscience. It’s the journey in making a king out of a man that hooked me through the heart, and kept me wholly invested no matter what international debacle came and went. And I guess what’s important is that I feel like the payoff for that was there in the end. And it was. Many other things may have fallen by the wayside, but Jae-ha became a king befitting his hyung’s legacy and his most faithful soldier’s trust. And I like that the point isn’t that he defeated one big bad villain (though of course we need his victory over Bong-gu), but that he finds out that he is strong, and forges ahead to fight more battles and more villains with that power.

And that’s why I really, really wanted Jae-ha to walk away from Bong-gu’s jail cell with this one retort: “I am king.”



2,368 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. shiku

    Wow, what a ride this drama has been. It has kept me guessing the whole time. Am I the only one who thought Bong Gu may try something else when the 2 koreas made up again? I was thinking he would try to kill one of their family members again especially Hang Ah’s dad, so am happy he didn’t do it. Am kinda disappointed Bong Gu wasn’t killed for everything he did. You would think Club M would have thought he was a liability and had him killed.

    I love Lee Seung-Gi, he really rocked this role, I hope he gets top awards. I also loved Ha Ji Wo, she always doea a good job and their chemistry was electric.

    Jaeshin’s conversation with Shikyun at the wall was so sweet and sad. But am happy she became such a strong person on her own.

    Love Hang Ah’s dad. He is so cool and he always had her back. He didn’t judge her when she had her miscarriage and he didn’t sell her to the highest bidder,etc.

    Thanks GF for your recaps.

    • 1.1 Ceda

      Her dad is the cooooolest dad ever!

      • 1.1.1 abu

        Yeah, I like Hang-ah and Dad’s relationship, too. Much has been said about how wonderful the royal family is, but their father-daughter relationship really rocks. I was grinning when I saw how happy her Dad was when his grandchild called him. Too cute.

        • Minea

          Wasn’t that the cutest thing?! And it was totally unexpected too ’cause he’s not one to show his emotions that easily. He was supportive of Hang Ah but when it comes to the mushy and emotional stuffs, daddy was always in covert mode. It was such a joy seeing him go gaga over his grandchild. So cute.

          Best Dad Ever in kdramaland.

          • rearwindow

            OMG yes, he was awesome. His reaction to his grandkid was beyond adorable.

          • Cinderedna

            Exactly what I thought!! He was just doubling over in laughter seeing his grandchild. SOO CUTE!!! I’ve never liked an elderly character so much.

          • Arhazivory's Zombie

            I agree. He’s so awesome. I laughed and felt touched at his excitement over his grandson.

          • satsuki92

            he was so adorable in that fatherly gruff manner of his.

          • kappy

            I absolutely loved Hang Ah’s dad and their father-daughter relationship. What he’d do for her out of his love for her including allowing her to marry and join forces with the SK Prince/King. He was cute when he got mad and frustrated, but his love for his daughter always shone through. And his reaction over his grandchild – adorable and so natural!

            Love his character and the actor. Great job.

          • Lyxie

            Absolutely….put a silly grin on my face ….

            Luckily I was at home and not at the office. Or I would have looked like a lunatic grinning at the screen…. 🙂

          • crazyajummafan

            I think that that grandpa-grandson combo will end up with a lot mischief! Especially if the grandson has his father’s 187 IQ & shrewdness and his mother’s toughness. Lethal!

          • Guam2000

            I know, I really enjoyed seeing him jump up and down on his sofa like a monkey watching his grandson. How cute was that. To make it even better he kind of look like a monkey. I was laughing during that scene. It really stuck to me.

          • Kayleigh

            I agree. Maybe an award of some kind should be set up?
            K-dramaland’s best parents v worst?

          • Duncerblur

            He was sooo adorable that I found myself squealing along with him. He really grew on me. At first I thought he was a bit of an old-fashion oddball character but his gruff, bashful love for his daughter was always delivered so honestly that I softened every time he came on-screen.

            To see him so unapologetically gleeful filled the shadowed sorrow of the moment before. It was a bit of genius editing as we experience the bright ray of hope of a better future after the desolation of loss.

        • JustJen

          YES! I LOVE that Hang Ah had such a supportive father in this drama. I love that her father was always there for Hang Ah, and that her falling for Jae Ha didn’t become some victim-saviour narrative (i.e. being saved from poverty by marrying into a wealthy family).

          I’m choosing to see his little guilt trip at the beginning of this episode as his way of trying to protect his daughter.

      • 1.1.2 OldladyluvHJW

        Yeah…agree. Wise dad, not typical kdramaland dad (dad with debt, bankrupt n go abroad..). Tq gf. Off 2 read from episode 1…again…kekeke:-)

        • im_eve

          ok call me selfish but i wanted to be on page 1 haha..so 1st:

          *FILIPINO SWEAR* ang galing ni Lee Seung-gi dito grabe!!!!

          2nd: like Girlfriday, i soooo wanted the “I AM KING” on bong-gu’s cellar window too!!!

          3rd: while not perfect, this show really is 1 of a kind & one of the, if not THE, BRAVEST KOREAN SHOW i have seen so far.

          tackling north-south divide, the “powerful” countries bullying “smaller” nations…even mentioning their names! BALLS!!!

          these are issues i have opinions about too so so much kudos to the show, its makers, for having the courage to put them all out there. made me remember how i always wonder why hollywood movies can so outright name russia, china or what-have-yous as “villain” nations & we, the others, can not. just in movies, i mean, for starters. it’s not against America. i’m just all for equality & equitability. AND I ABHOR BULLYING!

          so thank you Dramabeans, GF and The King 2 hearts, however non-sensical & yeah, sorry, stupid your title is, for BEING. THANK YOU!

    • 1.2 rearwindow

      I was holding my breath during the whole wedding ceremony because I was afraid Bong-gu would try to interrupt. I found it interesting that Bong-gu’s description of how he’s taught Jae-ha to fear applied directly to how I felt when I was watching the wedding.

      I was disappointed that Bong-gu didn’t get the crap beaten out of him (by Hang-ah, specifically) but I think it was perfectly appropriate that he was brought down through “legal” channels. The king is, essentially, the face of law and order…so it was perfect poetic justice that Bong-gu was not brought down by Jae-ha stooping to underhanded measures or destroying his own position by sinking to Bong-gu’s level and becoming a murderer. Rather, Bong-gu was brought down by that which he thought he was above: the law.

      • 1.2.1 Arhazivory's Zombie

        Nicely said rearwindow. And its good that he’ll rot in prison for the rest of his life.

      • 1.2.2 Lovecityhall

        Totally agree with your comment about Bong Goo!

      • 1.2.3 Minea


        “Bong-gu was brought down by that which he thought he was above: the law.”

        oooh, love this comment. (but i still secretly wish that he experienced some kind of painful punishment prior to being incarcerated, say, a Meet & Greet session with the Army Ants. 5 minutes, tops. No?)

        • rearwindow

          LOL!! Let’s add that to the list of “brutal and unconventional ways in which Bong-gu should be tortured and/or killed.”

      • 1.2.4 kappy

        Great observations about the Bong Gu, the villain everyone loves to hate. Felt he needed to die, a slow death preferably, ’cause I don’t want any surprises springing up on our OTP in the future. But then again, life in prison is a slow death.

      • 1.2.5 abu

        Although I’m disappointed that Bong-gu wasn’t physically tortured, I’m still amazed by how the drama depicts the King and his power and responsibilities.

        ” Rather, Bong-gu was brought down by that which he thought he was above: the law.” –best line 🙂

        • Lhej

          I agree. Bong-gu hates being ignored..so being alone in his cell without someone to watch his magic tricks is already a torture for him.

      • 1.2.6 Duncerblur

        I, too, was disappointed that John Mayo was only incarcerated for life. I think they should make the windows of his cell very, very clean with anti-condensation so he cannot write “I am King” on it.

        • satsuki92


          “I think they should make the windows of his cell very, very clean with anti-condensation so he cannot write “I am King” on it.”

          i can imagine him doing that over and over again while cackling like Gollum.

          oh and lets not forget, no pens for him lest he stabs someone else. *shudders*

        • Kappy

          LOL. Or better yet, the windows should be totally pro-condensation but just barely out of his reach so the King can arrange for “I am King” to be written on them every day.

      • 1.2.7 estelle

        I totally agree. *applauds*

    • 1.3 Hat

      Coolest father figure in recent KDramas, how awesome that he wasn’t judgemental when she had the miscarriage, and still could jump up and down for the head for the grandson’s video-call!

  2. kristine c.

    Omo! 2nd. off to read. thanks GF! what a ride this is!

    • 2.1 pabo ceo reom

      Totally. I’ll miss this cast. I can’t wait to see Jo Jung-seok again. Come back to our screens soon! Props to Lee Seung-gi for a step forward on the acting front. And I’ve always had a soft spot for Lee Yoon-ji and Ha Ji-won so they continue to make me a fan. It’s a wrap!

  3. stars4u

    This would be a drama that I’ll never forget. I had no big expectations for this drama and that actually worked for me cause it took me for a fun spring ride.

    Watching this drama, I saw Seung-gi grow as an actor and discovered new favorites *ehem* Jo Jung-seok *ehem* which eventually lead me to What’s Up. I saw Ha Ji-won being badass again. I entered this drama as a fan of Lee Seung-gi and Ha Ji-won but now the drama has left me being a fan of Jo Jung-seok!

    Though I still can’t get over the fact that Shi-kyung had to die… It was nice to see Jae-ha having someone he trusted and considered a friend. The bromane that I would miss.

    The OTP had so much chemistry!! I read/watched something about Ha Ji-won saying that she has a charm that makes he leading man shine which is again true in this series. The good thing about this pair is, it’s not the typical hero-rescues-heroine but the reverse of it. The characters complement each other, Jae-ha plans it out then Hang-ah helps execute it. He has the brains and she’s got the moves and with that it works.

    I’m going to miss this drama… Really…

    • 3.1 Jacey

      me 2~ gotta miss this movie badly… This is indeed one of the most interesting stories of this year and yea, both leads do an awesome job… really hope to see a nice drama like this again… it will be perfect if shi-kyung didnt died.(( I hate serious drama always got at least one good guy died… =( ))

      • 3.1.1 kappy

        “it will be perfect if shi-kyung didn’t die”

        My thoughts, exactly. Oh Show, why’d ya have to go and make him die? I don’t care about how realistic that might be. Good things happen in reality, too, like characters like that NOT dying. Still trying to work that one out…

        And what you said about hating serious dramas because at least one good guys dies – that’s about right, huh? Oh why did it have to be so here?

        On a happier note, I’m gonna miss this show so badly, too. Everything (except Shi Kyung’s death and foreign stand-ins making like they’re Americans) was of the highest standards.

        • reeen

          maybe Shi Kyung had to die because he got to popular with the viewers… Had he been alive his reunion with Jae Shin would have outshone Jae Ha and Hang Ah’s ending for me. Although Ha Ji Won and Lee Seung Gi were also great, Jo Jung Seok and Lee Yoon Ji shone so much in their roles that I wished they were the OTP throughout the middle stretch. I hope those two get lead roles ASAP.

          • satsuki92


            i was guilty of wishing that Jae Shin x Shi Kyung were the main OTP too.
            *runs for cover from hardcore Jae Ha x Hang Ah*

            yeap ultimately they were the main leads *shrugs*

          • nia

            It’s personal preference, while you like SK-JS, there are people who like JH-HA as well, these couples are 2 different kinds of love, people see what they want to see. But I disagree about “Shi Kyung had to die because he got to popular with the viewers”, you really underestimate the writer, I think she knows what she wrote, with me, SK may be her most favorite character, he’s very earnest, perfect and can do no wrong, isn’t that why viewers like him. Let him die, she makes us never forget him, leave more impact to us. To be true, I don’t really care about him until ep 18 -19.
            P/s: I don’t remember but I read the rumor he’d die long ago, maybe haft point of drama

        • Hat

          I agree! Shi-kyung’s death and fake America was the most annoying parts of the whole series.
          We loved Shi-lying already without the whole died for the country bit, and for nothing cause Bong-gu made bail anyways, they should have made Jae-ha reminence his death when trying to stop him making bail to reinforce the mourning.
          The foreigners parts had me cringing everytime, the bad English, the boring explainations, those terrible acting. Like the polititians had to be threatened by Bong-Gu didnt realize they could together be powerful enough to just get rid of Bong-Gu. Except for Mia, she did make the whole Club-M thing better, though I would assume that an conglomerate as the supposed all-powerful Club-M would have more than 1 good assassin, and other stake-holders would have realize Bong-Gu was nuts.

        • indy

          Same here… It’ll be perfect if Shi Kyung isn’t dead… Despite Club M’s over power shown like there’s no other mega-rich person in this big big world and Shi Kyung’s death, overall this drama is great.

      • 3.1.2 Jia Min

        Well… if SK is alive, JH’s world would be perfect so… haii… I think the writer just wanted to show that sacrifices would have to be made at times to build a better world…

        • satsuki92

          @jia min yeap yeap, having Shi Kyung alive wouldve have been far too perfect an ending.

          “The foreigners parts had me cringing everytime, the bad English, the boring explainations, those terrible acting.”

          ditto to that. particularly hated that stupid Dooley face, weird Donald Trump hairstyle, WOC official who was reused in the last episode. OH GAWD THE HORRIBLE D-GRADE ACTING. the TK2H casting team mustve picked them up randomly on the streets of Seoul. have any of us EVER seen a kdrama with good foreign actors?

          i think the only passable foreign actor was the gal who played Bon Bon. and oh for shallow-sake, the lass who played Tara is gorgeeeezzzzz. swear i’ve seen her somewhere. (like a fashion spread or smth)

    • 3.2 stressor

      ” he got the brain and she got the moves”

      exactly!!! we are on ep 20 already yet still yet the comments are still hot lol!!!

      • 3.2.1 Shi Kyung lover

        I don’t agree. She’s really smart too!

        • Just finished

          I know I’m way late in the comments, but I just finished watching this and can’t get it out of my head, especially Hang Ah’s character – quite smitten with her (watched this after I watched the whole Secret Garden a few days ago in a four day spree).

          What I loved about her character here was the tough exterior, but very soft interior. At times, very tough and determined. Other times, very feminine, vulnerable, and shy. Those two elements were similar in Secret Garden (that’s why I fell in love with her and her character(s)).

          But also, I found her protective nature of her man by going on the public trial, claiming responsibility for the King sleeping in her room, etc… very desirable and admirable.

          But one of the things that struck me the most was her being the “woman behind the great man” role where she encourages JH to be the best he can be, to play by the rules, and to be the man she can respect. She sets these expectations of him within himself thereby allowing him to go beyond what he would have thought capable. Her willingness of going back to North at the brink of war was sort of the epitome of this characteristic.

          Being a Korean and knowing the inside and outside of the culture and the role of the genders, I found this both refreshing in a way (the strong elements) and very moving and desirable (the nurturing, supportive, encouraging elements).

          I’m going to so miss this show. I have this and the Secret Garden downloaded and will be watching it again and again (I already have seen my favourite parts probably a dozen times…)

          Loved this drama.

    • 3.3 abu

      I’m still trying my best to move on from Shi-kyung’s death, but I’m really happy for the OTP. These actors made me invest soooo much into the characters. Missing all of them already..

    • 3.4 rearwindow

      “The good thing about this pair is, it’s not the typical hero-rescues-heroine but the reverse of it. ” That’s so true. As Girlfriday pointed out, Hang-ah and Shi-kyung saved Jae-ha.

  4. Maidenelle

    Thanks for the recap! Waaa…I still miss Shi-Kyung. The ending kind of killed this show for me. 🙁

    • 4.1 gala

      how I wish they casted a very, very bad actor for Shi Kyung. at least I wouldn’t be this affected and dedicated to the character. just seeing his face makes me teary-eyed. i think every time I’ll see the actor and Lee Yoon Ji, even outside their characters, i’ll be so dang heartbroken now.

      • 4.1.1 Ceda

        I agree. He is such a good actor too. I am so blue right now…I’ve been blue since he went to Bong Gu’s side. I think I might need me some pills. I honestly have not seen anything this sad for a while now.

      • 4.1.2 topper

        But wouldn’t that be a big big loss for Jo Jung Suk? This show gained him so much fans and plaudits, and I see a wonderful acting career ahead for him.

        • gala

          i think you misunderstood what I wrote. the “how I wish” is just a passing comment that if it weren’t for JJS, i’m not sure if I would’ve been this devoted to his character. he portrayed SK with so much passion that it translated to the audience. I’m one of those who just wanted his “happy ending” with JS more than the two leads.

          this is why, despite the happy ending, it’s a sad ending for me – only because I continued watching K2H for him (and as a devoted HJW fan!) but the character Shikyung was the one who kept me with the series. as for the actor, such potential. i won’t be surprised if his next project, his the “lead”. i won’t mind seeing him in a weekend drama (since i love watching those!)

          • topper

            I understood what you meant, just pointing this positive aspect out to perhaps cheer you up a little? LOL

          • satsuki92

            yes i blame Jo Jung Suk and his talent for making me so darn attached to him T_T

            right now, i cant view ANY clips of him as SK with Jae Shin, without tearing up. damn just thinking of them both gives me this suffocating clenching feeling in my chest.

            i feel like i’m the one who lost my beloved. *loser moment*

            for now, i’ve been watching clips of him in What’s Up and his musical acting roles. it really is a wonderful remedy. anybody else need help in moving past the depression/reflection grieving stage? go to youtube and watch him singing in drag in the musical Hedwig. guarantee to make your day. unless youre a huge homophobe or adverse towards anything that has to do with homosexuality/transgenderism, then i have nuthin’ to say to you. *nuh-uh*

      • 4.1.3 Minea

        personally, I wouldn’t have it any other way. if that were the case, I wouldn’t have enjoyed TK2H as much as I had. Everyone was perfectly casted.

        • toystar

          Oh I agree TK2H actors did such a great job! They made me love this drama!

        • rearwindow


          • Nikki

            The actors in this drama are so good! I got so attached to them while watching. 🙁 And yes, I’m still so sad that Shi Kyung died, I got teary eyed just reading the part about their imaginary dialogue with Jae Shin at the end.

            I agree, had they changed any one of the actors I wouldn’t love this drama as much as I do now. It’s been a good run and I will surely miss this show. :'(

            Thank you Girlfriday for your hilarious yet gut-wrenching recaps! You made me understand the drama much better than I would have done on my own. Cheers! 😀

        • satsuki92

          i couldnt resist clicking the save image button. but damn they should have taken more pictures AND have him shirtless in one of the shots. no wait, i shouldn’t lie MORE THAN ONE OF THE SHOTS

    • 4.2 cutiecutie

      Me too. that’s my biggest dissapoint. This drama ended with a lot of question in my head. I try to trust writer-nim until very end, but the final episode really dissapoint me. and i still curious until now, why BG really want to be a king?.
      still this drama is amazing. That’s why i’m so upset bout the ending. Why you kill SK drama?????? He and JS deserve a HAPPY ENDING

      • 4.2.1 topper

        He did not want to be a King. His “I am King” is not literal, but that he wants to a true power, not like the royals who got it based on blood lineage. His conversation with the Queen Mother also answered his motivations, especially why he killed his father.

        • reglest

          True, like @topper said Bong Gu isn’t normal (and maybe psychiatrist is the place she met Bon Bon eh?), he is megalomaniac, he want to show to the world that he has power!

          Thus, that reason also led him to kill Jae Kang, because Jae Kang banned him to entering korea. At first, He doesn’t hate Jae Ha, but Jae Ha belittling him with calling him Bong Gu, and that’s the start of all. For Hang Ah, the turning point is when she call him Bong Gu too…and for Shi Kyung (gaaahh…holding tears) Bong Gu hate him because he choose Jae Ha, and that’s why Bong Gu killed Shi Kyung. If he can’t get Shi Kyung neither does Jae Ha.

          A crazy person indeed he is.

          • topper

            I’ve never considered him crazy. Big ego no doubt, but he is ultimately guided by his own interests. And that is sane. Many crimes are committed like that, he just happened to be in a position of immense power to do something of a bigger scale.

          • ravens_nest

            “Megalomaniac” The perfect word to describe Bong Gu. That was why he was conceptualized as a gaudy magician. He likes to be the center of attention, he likes to make a spectacle. Bong Gu didn’t just want power, he wanted everyone to acknowledge his power as well.

            It’s interesting how Bong Gu kept equating his money to Jae Ha’s title. He wanted power and thought money would bring it to him.. In some ways he was right. If he was less of a megalomaniac and if he was less of a show-off, he could have had plenty of money bought power and lived his life in the shadows moving world powers to his own will. His nature as a show-off made that impossible for him. Furthermore, he was murderous, petty, and self-absorbed. When he petulantly killed Jae Kang, he set off a chain of events that eventually brought him low because he did not anticipate Jae Ha and Hang Ah’s greater will.

          • Bern75

            @reglest – I can live with that explanation about BG i guess… thanks for that insight!

          • reeen

            I couldn’t disagree with you more, topper. Did Bong Gu really always act in his own best interests? I think not. Often enough he let some fancy of his get in the way of carrying out his plans in a rational, efficient manners. If not for his weaknesses, Jae Ha may not have been able to defeat him countless times. Self-preservation should be the interest of a sane person, but Bong Gu was ultimately defeated by his obsessive desire to one-up Jae Ha and by his inability to let go when it was unwise to continue. Often enough Club M employees cautioned him that his plans were risky.
            I think Bong Gu was characterised as a psychopath with narcissitic personality disorder. He had delusions of grandeur that really just masked his instable self-image, his insecurities.Hang Ah’s comment about his eyes looking scared must have really punched him in the guts, just like Jae Ha’s constant devaluation and declaration that he’s really a nobody.

          • topper

            Hi reeen, I meant interest, not really best interests. Interest as in his wealth and influence, as well as his ego. Self preservation, definitely not. And that is not insanity, which I equate with crazy. Your points about him is spot on though.

          • reglest

            @reeen @topper:
            As explanation, crazy that I mean above is insanity, yes. But I get both of your points. Personality disorder, it is debacle does it fall into category ‘insanity’ or not, difficult to diagnose though. Grandeur delusion, definitely yes.
            Thought We should discuss about the means of ‘insanity’ later^^

            Truthfully, when someone act like this out of insanity, it just makes things scarier *shiver*

        • stressor

          comment thread should have like button so i could click your thumbs up on your answer… 🙂

          • stressor

            *i mean i could click thumbs up on your answer*

      • 4.2.2 rearwindow

        Well said, everyone.

        Bong-gu wanted power, which he equated with money up until he met Jae-ha.

        Jae-ha got under his skin precisely because he shook Bong-gu’s understanding of what power is. Here’s this little punk Jae-ha, who is not particularly brave, pisses away his life, and yet chances upon the role as leader of a kingdom. Jae-ha does horrible things to those around him, and yet they love and support him unconditionally anyway. Where does that power come from?

        And then, when Jae-ha starts to come into his own thanks to those around him who believe in him fully and challenge him constantly to become a better version of himself, he discovers the guts to actually challenge Bong-gu and the fiefdom that he’s built for himself. Where does THAT power come from?

        And THEN, when Jae-ha actually gains traction against Bong-gu (citing “the people” as the source of his power), Bong-gu seems to realize that Jae-ha gets his power from those around him and attempts to buy the loyalty that Jae-ha possesses in spades, namely by trying to entice Shi-kyung to his side. It’s interesting that he lures Shi-kyung by asking him to be his brother, not his advisor. Bong-gu is desperate for a family, but so far removed from reality that he is incapable of having any sort of reciprocal relationship that is not commodified. Contrast this with Jae-ha, who is even able to adopt as his father figure the secretary who betrayed him, was indirectly responsible for Jae-kang’s death, and even has reason to blame Jae-ha for his biological son’s death. And all this with a well-placed apology and an honest admission of his own guilt. What Jae-ha learns over the course of the drama is the necessity of honesty, forgiveness, and communication to a relationship. Whereas Bong-gu learns to further isolate himself from anyone who might possibly make him vulnerable.

        What kills Bong-gu and makes him so desperate to “win” against Jae-ha is that he senses the similarities between himself and Jae-ha, yet he is desperately jealous of the unconditional love that the people give to Jae-ha, and can’t understand why he is unable to buy the equivalent of that love for himself. Bong-gu strikes me as someone who has never experienced a real relationship. He commands attention with his magic tricks, he can certainly inspire fear in those around him, he has enough money and influence to get a superpower like China or America turn on a dime based on one phone call…but he cannot, no matter how hard he tries, buy love.

        Bong-gu’s insistence that Jae-ha gets his power from his title strikes me as a last-ditch attempt to reduce Jae-ha’s power to something that Bong-gu CAN attain. Obviously he is only deluding himself, but that’s what Bong-gu does, doesn’t he? He defines himself by the power he has to control the perceptions of those around him (through magic), so when he cannot control the perceptions of the world at large, he deludes himself.

        This is why I love the jail scene between him and Jae-ha. Bong-gu’s spinning his wheels just like he always does, and he even makes some fair points–Club M is still alive and kickin’; Jae-ha has experienced the brink of war and will certainly never view a bon-bon the same again, but more than anything, Jae-ha realizes in this scene that Bong-gu is completely and utterly irrelevant to him.

        • Bern75

          @rearwindow – i love what GF said in her recap:

          “I love that till the end, Jae-ha’s like, “Who is this?” which drives Bong-gu crazy.”

          truly JH’s the little punk that BG couldn’t get at, so that really got under BG’s skin. the chap just can’t wrap it around his head that this punk king doesn’t fear his money and power and be submitted to him, while the rest of the world’s politicians do.

          best revenge, truly.

          • rearwindow

            Yes, so true. Bong-gu couldn’t control Jae-ha, no matter how hard he tried.

        • crazyajhummafan

          I have only one word for your commentary – BRILLIANT BEYOND BRILLIANT! Er…. actually that’s 3 words.

          • rearwindow

            Hehe, thanks ajhumma!

        • abu

          @rearwindow, I don’t posses the eloquence that you have, and I’m really glad I met you here. Your thoughts provoke me to look deeper. It does make feel more vulnerable to the ups and downs of the drama, but it’s really satisfying. Thanks a lot!

          • rearwindow

            Thank you so much! I’m getting all teary at the incredible amount of insight, love and support from this community. Will truly miss you all now that TK2H is (sobs) over.

        • luvs

          I would like to discuss Jae Ha and BG characters.
          Except the fact that both are intelligent and in the position of power , the similarity ends there.

          BG wrested his power from his father by committing patricide. Jae ha was thrust into power against his will- he never wanted to be king.

          BG is a megalomaniac who bought’ friendship’ and bribed nations to influence them . Jae Ha was a humbled King who realized that his true power came from his people. Jae Ha uses his legitimate power (being a king) to influence nations – even to stop a war!

          While BG is the master deceiver, Jae Ha is the master negotiator and diplomat.

          (Their verbal repartee was the best I’ve ever seen in kdrama (good writing)- as an actor LSG can match the veteran Yoon Je Moon. I am going to rewatch those parts.)

          BG was petty and self-serving. He want what he wants just because. Jae Ha has righteous indignation, everything he did was for the people he loves – he would die for his people!

          BG was a lonely child and he made that as an excuse for what he became (remember his conversation with the queen?) . Jae Ha as a child was a brat and irresponsible, but he grew up because he was willing to be honest with himself and with people. He was quick to forgive and see people as human beings who makes mistakes, like him. He was willing to be loved and be taught by those who are better than him- Hang AH, SK, Eun Tae,WOC, thus he gained respect and loyalty.
          BG? he simply thought he could buy loyalty and friendship – he was betrayed each time, even Club M ditched him when cornered.
          In the end, life imprisonment is the best punishment for BG rather than instant death. Like what @reglest,rearwindow and others had written – BG wants to be the center of attention, he wants to be the star —now he is forgotten, left to rot away with no visitors.

          Like BG said, Club M is still there – and they will still continue to bribe and deceive and create tensions between countries because WAR is the biggest business in the world!!!!!

          • crazyajhummafan

            Nice work! A+++
            I just love all these beautifully written insights! Feel like compiling them and sending them to the writers!

        • Duncerblur

          Brilliantly put!

          A little off-topic but I thought the prison visit screen was beautifully shot and lit. It somehow reminded me of The Green Mile yet the similarity brought jarringly to attention the difference in premise.

          The shadows of the prison bars across John Mayo juxtaposed against the bright back-lit of Jae Ha … blinking fantastic!

          • satsuki92


            oh oh oh! i’ve watch The Green Mile too. OH GOD i cried buckets while watching him being sentenced to death.
            took me a long time to get over that scene and the whole injustice of it all.

          • Duncerblur

            Gawd, me too! My eyes were so swollen I could not go out for 2 days!

            It’s one of my fave movies.

          • reglest

            Greenmile is also my favorite movies!

            Gosh, I remember crying so much at the middle of the night, my room neighbor was afraid that was ghost!
            There are many memorable scenes in that film, but personal favorite is when he ‘released’ to cure their chief’s wife. Gosh…he was touching the ground, smell the dry leaves, his face is like a little kid, angelic, and he know that is the highest prize he can get, even just for a while….freedom

          • satsuki92

            @reglest just like our Eun Shi Kyung yes? angelic pure and god darn lovable ;D

          • Duncerblur

            reglest, exactly! With that mug and size, who could imagine that he would be the embodiment of child-like innocence and goodness???!!

            Which is why I love, love, love this movie. Darn, I’ve packed it up but once I unpack, Imma gonna have a marathon of all my fave movies … with doughnuts. K2H, how could I leave thee behind?

    • 4.3 Alex

      It’s your loss. Not mine, thanks goodness.

      • 4.3.1 Alex

        Just want to make sure, my comment above is for Maidenelle, who unfortunately failed to appreciate a darn good show.

        • topper

          Go easy on that, drama viewing is a personal experience.

        • Allie

          Agree with you Alex, this show is wonderful!!! And how I love so MUCH that I can learn from it, like, stuff about international politics, how this drama is so wise when telling us about the gender, and mostly about how realistic it brings the whole world into a drama. Very well done, I’d like to congratulate the writer and PD nim, also all those great casts of TK2H.

          And thanks a lot GF, your insight in those lovely recaps has been helping me, a lot, to absorb the beauty of this drama!

  5. Joy

    omg I get to comment as one of the first!! :DDDD Well I actually haven’t started watching Ep 20 yet but I hope it ends off in fireworks. The writers better make up for what they have done in Ep 19! :p

  6. kiteekat

    Thanks GF! <3
    It's been fun!
    Love this show now and forever 🙂

  7. lordj

    Thanks gf for giving us a ride for our lives. K2H is one of Seung Gi and Ha ji Won’s finest drama.
    We will surely miss our royal couple.
    Off to read!

  8. Cinderedna

    I’ve been refreshing the site so much, waiting for the recap to be uploaded. It was so hard resisting the temptation to start watching the episode without the recap. It only feels right watching it while reading it. Can’t wait!!

    • 8.1 satsuki92

      me too. i was hitting the refresh button like my life depended on it! was doing so, while i was in my food science lecture but *shhhhhhhhhhhhh* my lecturer and nobody else has to know that.. … …

      when i finally saw the post for episode 20 up. i let out a squeal, in the middle of my lecture. -_-

      and can i just say wow?! one refresh, the recap post appeared, right there, was 50 plus comments already. *blink blink*. you guys are gooooooooooooood. my kong fu moves aint got nothing on y’all 😉

  9. Arhazivory

    *covers eyes* I was too busy today! Still haven’t watched it…now I’m at work piggy-backing on a slow wifi and trying to complete dthe download. I’ll come back to read afterwards.

    Whatever the ending is….I’ll always love this show as the first drama that made me crazy.

    • 9.1 Florentine Lily

      This show made all of us crazy. But I definitely see myself coming back and watching it a dozen times. I love the ride it took me on. After 20 episodes, I was entertained but I also came away learning many lessons about life, love, friendship and loyalty.

      If I ever meet my own Earnest Bot, I’ll do everything in my power to keep him by my side! Purity and innocence are such rare things nowadays.

      GF, thanks for the recaps! I would also like to thank the commentators for making me laugh, cry and for their awesome comments. To the creators, thanks for the experience! It’s been great! m(_ _)m

      • 9.1.1 tere

        well said. 🙂

      • 9.1.2 Saima

        aww, true say!! =)

      • 9.1.3 Minea

        @Florentine Lily

        “But I definitely see myself coming back and watching it a dozen times.”

        I’m with you there. I don’t think i’ll grow tired of watching and re-watching this show. And seeing Earnest Bot again and again alive would be worth it.

        Good luck in your ‘Hunt for Earnest Bot Project’. Hope you find him soon. 🙂

      • 9.1.4 Nutella's Zombie

        Ok, so I held it aaaallll in, ok, I promise!


        Thank you GF for the speedy and witty and much-needed recaps, and to all me fellow commentators… Ahwubyew<333

        • Arhazivory's Zombie

          Ahwubyew too <3

          • Nutella's Zombie

            Do we rise out from the land of the dead or do we just remain zombies in memory of Earnest gege?

          • Nutella's Zombie

            Oh, and as a gift for all of us: Minion’s whimpering (in grayscale due to the tumblr gif limit *pout*) http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m4kh5mmLW81qgs2myo1_400.gif (I must admit that something seems amiss without the whimpering noises he makes). I’ll have Bon Bon’s shimmy up soon too ^^~ (as soon as PS cooperates)

          • rearwindow

            Nutella, I think I love you.

          • Nutella's Zombie

            hmm, only think? *pout* I knew I loved you and Arhazivory from the moment I replied to you lot *bats eyelashes*

          • Nutella

            So there was no way this baby was fitting on tumblr, so I just went the whole hog and made it as lush as possible. Ladies and Gentlemen, I present: Bon Bon’s shimmy (ok, I had promised shimmy but I couldn’t help but give all of her death down to the last twitch, I am so morbid may all the angels in heaven protect me) http://dl.dropbox.com/u/13579293/Piccies/b-bon-shimmy.gif

            And as a behind-the-scene-blooper, here’s what happened while I was giffing it: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/13579293/Piccies/ESK%20pouty%20face~.png (Oh Earnest gege, why must you do this to us)

          • LSGLover

            Crap I’m late again! Been busy all day now I miss the exciting interaction *teary eye* just want to bid good bye to all wonderful hearties and I love you all and I will miss you too from the bottom of the pit where you can find Bon Bon ^_*

          • Minea


            that gif of Bon Bon was pretty satisfying to watch over and over again!

          • rearwindow

            Nutella, my dearest stye-rate, I love you unreservedly. Our hearts are the same. Let’s prevent WWIII together, shall we?

          • The Nutella-Filled-Doughnuts Jae Ha Loves

            @rearwindow If that ain’t the most romantic thing I’ve ever heard, I don’t know what is <333

            Yes, let's, shall we =3

        • satsuki92

          @nutella’s zombie LOL to that Maroon 5 reference. but t’was you and me both sista. i thought i was all good after the emotional train-wreck episode 19 was.


          my heart oh my poor heart. how much more heart break can it take?!!!!!!! if i ever ever lose anyone like Eun Shi Kyung, i have no idea how i’ll even recover. i aint strong as uri gongju-nim.

          the parrot. the parrot that shi kyung gave her…. HOW FREAKING SAD WAS THAT HAVING HER IMAGINE THAT SHE’S TALKING TO HIM BUT IT WAS THE DAMN BIRD THAT HE GAVE TO HER. ah fuccckkkk, what if the bird died. she will have lost the only living connection to shi kyung.

          • Nutella


          • Duncerblur

            Back away from the bird! *cannot take much more … choke, whimper …*

          • The Nutella-Filled-Doughnuts Jae Ha Loves

            Someone hold me back before I burst from all these feeeelllsss. Why yes Seung Gi, how observational of you to notice that I was starin– ahem, glancing at you.

            Also: how badarse is it that Jae Shin gets to travel with a parrot (on her shoulder, preferably~). Korea’s Princess Cap’n Jack Sparrow (I wish my parrots behaved as well as hers.. all mine did was eat chillies, poop and peck at the rabbit TT_TT)

          • dramaaddict

            Don’t worry too much, JS still have the VHS. We can always dream and imagine their piggyback scene.

        • kappy

          Oh Nutella’s Zombie, you are a crack up!

          I have to admit you had me wondering what language “ahwubyew” was until I finally figured it out. Back at you. 😉

          Yes, lackey/minion’s whimpering face somehow doesn’t have the full effect without sound, but we’ll take it. And we’ll take BonBon’s shimmy-shimmy-coco-pop whenever you’re ready,too.

          • The Nutella-Filled-Doughnuts Jae Ha Loves

            It’s up It’s up!! It’s the dropbox links, since it was too big for tumblr :c

          • Duncerblur

            I think it was one whimper short so it seemed incomplete, ya know? Premature emasculation …

          • The Nutella-Filled-Doughnuts Jae Ha Loves

            Pffttt premature emasculation… That one goes in my punny book… geddit?

            Side note: actually, sadly, that’s all the whimpering Minion does… I quintiple-checked (I’m a paranoid Photoshopper that way) >.<;;

      • 9.1.5 rearwindow

        “If I ever meet my own Earnest Bot, I’ll do everything in my power to keep him by my side!”

        Don’t ever let him go on a vacation by himself when there’s a deranged maniac on the loose!

      • 9.1.6 abu

        I think I’ll be doing the same. This show left a mark that cannot be erased.

    • 9.2 Nutella's Zombie


      • 9.2.1 satsuki92

        HAHAHHAHAHAHHA guys, you are too funny. this comment section is totally not work safe. i think my boss might want to have a word with me soon. crazy deranged temp staff laughing her head off one moment, the next having teary eyes.

        • abu

          If ever that happens, encourage him to watch the drama and give him the link to these posts. I think he or she will understand. 🙂

          • satsuki92

            @abu HAHA! *crosses fingers*

        • dramaaddict

          If the boss is a guy, send him the link of HA and vice versa send her JH. Everything will be solved and you can safely enjoy your kdrama.

  10. 10 sue

    Overall a satisfying ending. Loved that the marriage stopped the “evil/dumb” US from attacking. Lol. It is interesting to see theUS from another perspective. Thanks for the recaps!

    • 10.1 kappy

      By “evil/dumb” do you mean US the country or that US Chief guy who I just couldn’t take seriously because of his speech impediment? Sorry if that was mean, but I just couldn’t take him seriously!

      • 10.1.1 sue

        Probably both! I can’t believe the US would want to start a war with North Korea without discussing the matter with South Korea. Maybe it is that way, I don’t know. However, both the guy and the country as a whole were depicted as clueless. Do I think this is wrong? Not really. We do the same thing in our shows and movies. Many times we reduce people from other countries to caricatures, which I think happened here too. Either way, the English speaking actors were not that great, so that didn’t help matters either.

        • Kappy

          I agree. I kept thinking, “This is not how things are really done, is it? Everyone jumping to conclusions.” If their intention was to portray how clueless parties can be in war and mock how rashly major decisions can be made that affect millions of people’s lives, mission accomplished. That US Chief of Defense (?) guy, whether or not the show intended it to be, brought it home more so. To me, at least.

          • Sue

            You make a good point. I kept thinking that the writers were doing this just to drive home how ridiculous things can get between countries. I think if we lived in South Korea we would understand it better, since they live under the threat of war every day. That may be why this show ended last in the ratings. Nobody wants to be reminded of what could happen.

  11. 11 Sailorenigma

    Thank you soo much!! I am really happy to have comrades like you! K2H FTW!!! And thank you GF for letting us ride in your recapcoasters!! :3

  12. 12 Noelle

    Ohgodohgodohgod I’m gonna cry! Off to read.

    • 12.1 Noelle

      Thank you so much for recapping this series. I didn’t think they could solve a conflict as big as a war in an episode but they did. Hang Ah and Jae Ha with the guns….Oh god my heart almost burst! It would of been awesome if they had like a star wars moment with Jae Ha seeing his bro and bestie. All in all, I am satisfied with the ending.

      Gawd I can’t believe its over! 🙁

  13. 13 Ace

    Good ending. Wished that it topped the ratings though since this is my fave among the W/Th non-cable shows. Lots of cute scenes.

    Thanks GF for the recaps!

  14. 14 slfowie

    I love you show! Its not perfect I grant you that, but some how its imperfection instead of being glaring, actually makes the show more enjoyable.
    But this does not mean I have forgiven you for killing our Ernest Bot!One measly scene! Was that all you could give us?
    Any way.. I wonder what i am gonna do now that this show is finishing. There is QIHM, but its not as dark as this one!!Think I am gonna to act all princey and throw a temper tantrum!

    • 14.1 abu

      Been wondering the same thing. But don’t go throwing a pricey tantrum, I doubt that you would like to attract the attention of a Bong-gu.

  15. 15 drina

    thx for the recaps, you are amazing, GF.. as always.. keep up the cool work!
    love the drama but kinda hate i cannot see my lovely earnest bot get his happily everafter ending with the princess…

  16. 16 Jade Butterfly

    Thank you GF for your humor & wit thru out K2H. You eschewed details that others didn’t notice or others didn’t bother with.
    I ‘fell in like’ with you cos those insightful details mattered to me.I laughed at yr cute & humorous turn of phrases.
    Its been great walking with you on this trail ! Thank you .

    To all the hearties here , ” When will I see you again ? When will we share precious moments..When will our hearts beat together ?”( Three Degrees)
    Its been wonderful here . Will we meet again? I’ll bet on it! Will we be doing this together , all of us ,on such a grand sacale anytime this year?
    Sadly , I doubt it. This show has been Epic for all the bittersweet reasons that our hearts hooked on to it , line & sinker . And for this reason alone , it’ll be a hard act to follow
    for awhile . Although ,I have d rest of d year to watch & appreciate another show , I seriously doubt that another show can displaced K2H as My Favourite Show of the year.LOVE!
    I read with raised eyebrows when some others say that K2H can’t even make it to their Top Ten List. But for me , its a shoo-in .
    My ‘Whys’
    1) I haven’t outgrown my love for fairytales. Yes, I love me a story about kings( JK & JH) ,princess (JS ) ,cinderella (HA) ,knights(SK, DH,KS,)& a big bad wizard(BG)
    2) LSG. my expectations of Seunggi was pegged at ‘Blah!’ fr his old dramas.Under-cooked acting with occasionals flares of overdramatised emotional outbursts which resulted in giving me uncomfy goosebumps. Ah , let me not forget d garnishing of ugly floopy hair & cheesy clothes.So,how do you think someone with such expectations will react to his heightened & amazing LEAP from Blah to Boom …
    From Dud to Dude ? Struck temporally dumb .I couldn’t fault-find anything .He hit so far outta d park for me .If there’s also an award for Most Improved Actor , then, that trophy better have his name engraved all over it.
    Ha Ji Won was great as usual.For me, its not something out of her usual zone of excellence so ,its just my standard- issue accolades & clap. I felt that she could have relaxed more with Seunggi. I detected that she didn’t allow herself to let go as much. As if she was , consciously , holding some back.Maybe cause , Seunggi is really young & extremely winsome & she’s always been careful to keep a clean rep ?! Who knows.Its just me & my guessing.
    3)Knights of the yin-yang table -I fell in love with Shikyung too.( I’d marry me a Jaeha ,still ,though.The bad boy component thingy) But SK-So pure & so ‘what-you-see-is-what-you-get’ kinda good boy.I’m upset that he hadda die. I’m still melancholic about it.But you know ,I hear that the writers amended the script to cater to public urges alot ( more kisses , Jaeha to rescue HA instead of her being stowed away by BG etc) . So, I guess writer-nim wanted to keep one spanner to throw back & hit us, amidst the bouquets she lavished .( To her ,Too much angst taken out & replaced it with Too much Happy-Happy)Even , the way , JK died was changed from a disembowelling bombing to a dozed-till-death ending.
    So wuri SK is our proverbial Sacrificial Lamb offering ,taking the sad burden of all the horrid things that should have happened & didn’t.Maybe ,if he wasn’t SO loved (by viewers) & maybe if yuckier things had happened to the leads , he might hv been spared death?
    The rest of the knights were spectacular in their own right , except actor who played DongHa.Think he’s still d most rough around the edges , in acting.
    4)Grand dame, Lion Queen Mama. Daebak Acting from an astute veteran.So Classy.So 3D in character.Come to think of it , she was the other kickAss Lady of the show.
    I’m so glad the writers didn’t give her the irritating personality they often give to rich ladies of standing.I’m So grateful to not watch another superficial , screamy , fainty ,arrogant insulting woman prone to shaking & slapping anyone under their station .* Shudder & sighing in relief*
    5)The Full Visual package . The droolworthy clothes & accessories used for JS & HA (i’m still pissed at Queen mum’s one pair of earring through out).Aaah ,Seunggi’s body-hugging suits.Some beautiful breathtaking sceneries .Ooh, Seunggi’s suits.The gazillion outdoor places they went to,to film .Yummz, Seunggi’s suits. Visual delights which thankfully came from an obviously decent large budget.

    There are more ,but i won’t belabour it here.Suffice to say , its a synergy of a bunch of good stuff that worked to make this show so loved & unforgettable for me.

    One Huge factor though , is my hearty pals here .You guys really made it so SO Fun & Heartwarming watching & spazzing ’bout this show. A smart & fun Family of K2H lovers!
    I’ll always remember this .Cheers & God bless to All that i’ve had the pleasure to meet here !
    See you hearties from Singapore next Thursday !Can’t wait !

    • 16.1 satsuki92

      yesss! i agree that perhaps the writers kept ESK death as planned for episode 19 (heard that rumour of his death waaaaay back) to try and stand firm to the fact that the drama was a dark one and to also end the story the way they truly really wanted too. after all the fan service that they gave us, Jae Ha/Hang Ah’s wedding, Jae Shin/Shi Kyung’s sweet garden date etc, i bet they were bursting to the seams to write how they really wanted the story to progress and end.

      ‘s not saying that his death is any less painful for me *sniffs*

      • 16.1.1 Jade Butterfly


        me too .Heart pain . I doubt we’d be able to find someone who will say that Shi Kyung’s death is in anyway justified or necessary. We would NOT have thought less of the writers , that they caved in & pandered to public pressure, had they allowed a Happily-Ever-After for Shikyung .
        Played the wrong card.

        • satsuki92

          @jade butterfly

          i agree with you, i wouldn’t have thought less of the writers no matter what direction they chose to steer TK2H in. i mean, they brought to us a awesome possum drama with awesome possum characters/cast (can i just love them both together as one??? they were too good that i fail to separate them from their roles. the lines of reality they blurred it for me. SOMEBODY HELP MEEE)


          but it’s just y’know they really might have been itching for a dark ending to satisfy some weird fetish of inflicting pain,anguish,despair,sufferings (c’mon help a sister out here, my vocab bank is fried after being pulled and thrown in a hundred different emotional directions) on others.

        • crazyajhummafan

          Didn’t we ask the writers at the very beginning when ratings were dropping NOT to succumb to public pressure and to be bold? Well I think in that instance, they heard us.

          I also think that the writing was already on the wall regarding the way Sk and JS’s r/s was going to go when they released JS’s OST. It’s called FIRST love. Which means that there will be a second or even third. And the lyrics pretty much says it all.

          • satsuki92


            yes i agree for both parts.

            the song foreshadowed their fates already but i guess we all chose not to dwell on the truth. also after the episode where he carried her bridal style to her bed (was it episode 11?), the production team released a statement to say that this was the beginning of Jae Shin’s and Shi Kyung’s tragic love line. i always assumed that it was bad translation but oh well.

            on another note, did anyone else listen to the other OST track released for their love line? it’s called “Only You” by Hyunseong. damn song should have been played somewhere in the drama cause i’ve never heard it once. would have been apt during the scene where she was watching the VHS tape.

      • 16.1.2 Florentine Lily

        AH! So that’s what happened. Although his death is painful, I’m glad the writers stood firm. While it might please the audience for everything to be all rainbows and candies, it is also important for them to understand that the writers knew what was going to happen from the beginning. To deviate too much from that would limit the power and creativity of the writers.

        Did I need/want him to die? No! But I’m okay with it. It reinforces the theme that good suffers on the path to defeating evil. And Shi Kyung was the incarnation of pure goodness.

        I was shocked but I wasn’t surprised. Deep in my heart, I was expecting it. Ever since Bung-Go locked eyes with Shi Kyung, I knew if he ever got his hand on that piece of righteousness, he would never let him go. When you are that deranged and lack love, do you let go of the only good, honest, and pure thing in your life? No. You might never own it but you make damn sure others never get to touch it again. Hence Bong-Gu’s last words to him: “why do you make me do this?” Even till the end, he really does not believe himself evil and does not understand why Shi Kyung couldn’t have chosen him over Jae-Ha.

        Symbolically, by killing Shi Kyung, Bong-Gu is consequently depriving the world of the goodness he himself lacks. He’s trying to make the world like himself: dirty.

        • ravens_nest

          Very well put.

          I might get flack for this but I appreciated Shi Kyung’s death if only because it was exactly what I expected Bong Gu to do. It was so in keeping with Bong Gu’s character and I loved that he said “Why do you make me like this?” at the end. Ugh, his complete inability to conceptualize his own guilt and his own failings as a functioning human being was an intriguing facet of his character in my opinion.

          I know some people didn’t like that Bong Gu didn’t die but I’m ok with his imprisonment. Death would only serve to shorten his punishment and I honestly think he’d die thinking he was some kind of martyr. Is it not more satisfying to see him reduced to nothing and locked up forgotten in some dark hole able only to witness Jae Ha and Kang Ah leading the North and South further towards peace? That’s so satisfying to me.

          • Bern75

            so true, raven_nest!

          • Florentine Lily

            I, for one, am glad Bong-Gu didn’t receive a death sentence. Imprisoned, he is living, knowing that Jae-Ha is unbroken. That fact is torture for him, evident when Jae-Ha met him. He set out to break Jae-Ha and cripple the Royal Family but he unknowingly and unintentionally made them stronger. That is a thorn in his side he can never remove. And he has to live each and every day with that knowledge. Even money failed him since Jae-Ha did all this while following the law.

            For me, death would have robbed us of that enjoyment. Can you imagine him punching and screaming at the top of his lungs, in his little cell (a manifestation of the one in his mind) and being ignored? You can’t tell me I didn’t just give you an awesome mental picture! Death will come, but he’ll suffer first. That’s the way I like my revenge: sweet on the outside, but cold and rotten to the core!

          • Jade Butterfly

            @ravens nest
            I agree .Death would be too easy. Stuck in a box facing the same 4 walls & open concept toilet as opposed to what he’s used to, now thats looong suffering .As long as BG doesn’t break out of jail or get upsized & upgraded to some posh cell , then I think , he’s in Living Hell wasting away .

          • satsuki92

            @florentine lily and @ravens_nest *nods head* uh-huh

            if the writers were really going for a drama that was close enough to real life experiences (pushing aside the Hang Ah/Jae Ha huggy teary reunion after that huge guns drawn tension, deeeeeeeeeeeeep into my stinky shoe closet) then they did a relatively good job. the drama wasn’t fluffy with sugar and spice and everrrrrything nice but it got us all thinking.
            yes, it made my poor head hurt but i appreciated that brain juice flowing.

          • kappy

            I am okay with Bong Gu attempting to kill Shi Kyung, because that is absolutely in his character, but not with Shi Kyung actually dying. That was the pill that was hard to swallow for me.

            Bong Gu shifting blame? He’s the king of shifting blame. The devil made me do it! Fortunately, even the Queen Mother saw thru the crap and gave him a piece of her mind (and fist).

          • crazyajhummafan

            Well put Raven! I think there are some lessons about life that we can learn from this drama.

            Those who are willing to look into themselves and see their faults and admit them, will invariably change for the better. JH when his fault was pointed out by HA, saw himself what he was, ‘trash’, and admitted it. That’s why he managed to change, and continued to do so because he was honest with himself. I loved it that he was honest enough to admit that he had sent SK to BG, but that he had pretended not to want him to go so that he wouldn’t look bad. In that, JH took responsibility for his own decisions and that makes him a better man and king.

            BG on the other hand, does not take responsibility for his own actions. He blames his parents, in particular, his mother what he has become; SK for shooting him and JH, for the impending war. He told JH that because JH chose himself over the people, that a war was going to start.

            That makes him less of a man. Take away his money and there’s nothing left. No character to hold him up, no morals to give him flesh and no love to flow thru him and give him life.

            Thank you show!

          • crazyajhummafan

            Don’t forget, no bath tubs to bath in! Yay!

          • ravens_nest


            But would it have been an effective writer’s move if Shi Kyung hadn’t died? This might be my general disgust with villains who aren’t effective in the wake of my Tae Mu dissapointment but I wouldn’t have liked it if after all that Bong Gu just misses.

            Writer-nim…you mean you thoroughly prepped me for his death by having Shi Kying go on a last date, write a will, say goodbye to his father, get tortured, fake betray Jae Ha, get shot, have an epic last speech for Jae Ha to never give up…and he doesn’t die? It would have felt a little pat to me.

            It would’ve had to have been a mega hilarious miracle save for me to have gone through all of that only for Shi Kyung to survive the gunshot. Admittedly, they could have done something funny to have one more black comedy moment.

            I was 100% ok with Shi Kyung’s death considering the lead up to it. It’s the placement and/or result that could have been better.

          • kappy

            @ravens_nest’s response to kappy’s

            Having read some darn good theories about why Shi Kyung had to die, I’m inclined to be more okay with it, but I’m still falling way short of 100%.

            Some of the best theories are (and sorry if I didn’t say them quite the way they were expressed):
            1. He died a martyr and carries with him all that that title holds.
            2. Sacrificial lamb – somebody had to be it, and with him being the embodiment of all that is good and righteous, he was the best candidate.
            3. Jae Ha would continue to depend on him too much, preventing Jae Ha from growing fully into the king he needed to be.
            4. Reinforces that good suffers in the path to defeating evil.
            5. The writers planned this from the beginning and stuck to their guns (sorry for the pun) despite its unpopularity with the viewers.

            My responses to those are:
            1. Did we really need a martyr in this story? Was a martyr absolutely necessary?
            2. Did there really need to be a sacrificial lamb?
            3. I don’t believe JH’s growth would have been stunted if Shi Kyung lived. Hang Ah and Jae Ha were one heart. Although one would be hard-pressed to find one so loyal and upright as Shi Kyung, JH, with his beloved HA, were the dynamic duo and experienced plenty of growing together.
            4. Can’t the suffering that good experiences be an injury and not death?
            5. Though this one is not intrinsically a reason for his death in the story, it still warrants inclusion. I had a bad feeling from the start about JS and SK’s love when I heard the “First Love” song and its translation. I kept hoping that the rumors of his demise were unfounded and that “First Love” was just a sweet song that wouldn’t really pan out. I thought this because their budding love was so beautiful – why would the writers kill him off? I was clearly in denial.

            It is admirable (though at the same time frustrating – like Shi Kyung!) that the writers didn’t buckle to viewer/fan pressure. This is a major reason we love this show. But as it has been expressed here by some, this is one time I would not have thought less of them if they did.

            I am not one of those who said they wouldn’t continue watching because of SK’s death. As much as I loved him and was pained by his death, he was not the main player in this saga, and I was eager to see how our royal couple would save the world – or at least Korea – and witness just how much our king has grown.

            I agree that the prep for his death was there and his surviving in the end would have made us scratch our heads in bewilderment, with all the lead in. So… leave it out (the prep). That date didn’t have to be last one. His will could have been just in case. His goodbye to his dad didn’t have to be so final. Hey, maybe he didn’t even have to get shot (yes, I even entertain the idea of Bong Gu missing). That was an epic last speech he gave, and we would have been gypped of that had he not been near death, but JH already knew where SK stood as far as JH’s not giving up.

            And regarding Bong Gu, on cue, the magician that he is, pulls out of nowhere (sleeve) a little gun (little in size but I guess not little in firepower) and shoots Shi Kyung. With all the guns drawn, no one shoots to stop him? Or afterwards? Everyone caught unawares? No one is fast enough? Is he Quickdraw McGraw? I’m probably sounding silly right now. It’s frustration talking. I know – politics, ICC, the law. I am probably missing the point. Maybe one day I’ll see, but sufficeth to say I remain not yet 100% okay with his death.

        • rearwindow

          “Symbolically, by killing Shi Kyung, Bong-Gu is consequently depriving the world of the goodness he himself lacks. He’s trying to make the world like himself: dirty.”

          Oh so perfectly put. A++.

        • Kappy

          @florentine lilly and @ravens_nest

          Enjoyed your words and take(s) on our beloved Bot’s death. I am sloooowwwwwllllyyy understanding why he had to…to…*whimper*….die. Resisting, though I may be.

        • Duncerblur

          I think that is the best explanation I have come across for Shi Kyung’s demise. Although I still think it is a bit of a lazy, cheap shot but from this perspective it at least gives the scriptwriters some kudos.

          Still weak, mind you, but at least I am not inclined to want to lock the scriptwriters in the same room as John Mayo so he can torture them with his magic acts.

    • 16.2 Minea

      @Jade Butterfly

      “The rest of the knights [other than Shi-kyung] were spectacular in their own right , except actor who played DongHa.Think he’s still d most rough around the edges , in acting.”

      I thought he was actually good and acted naturally (and funny, too). But my bias was the actor who played Young bae 🙂 He was freakin’ hilarious without really trying. And the way he’s always nervous and clumsy was adorable. Totally a 180º turn from the badass sniper Young bae.

      • 16.2.1 Jade Butterfly

        @ Minea
        I’m glad you thought DH was good. i dun dislike him at all. Just that I rank him last on my list after kang Seok.
        My favourite is YoungBae- He’s defining pose- was when he was readying himself to shot the suicide bombers. Calm , Steady & Accurate .Waa , so cool .Off his rifle ,he’s sweetly goofy & unpolished. But he’s a loyal friend & an open book. I love how he finally crumbled when he said he cdn’t shot JaeHa.
        on DH’s character -Now this brings me to rewind to d scene , where DongHa just shuttles JH away fr HA ( ship scene) . I’m thinking , unless he knows that HangAh will do harm to S Korea or to JaeHa , I felt he could have broken out of rank & quietly warned them of what he has to do & then let them decide. And his character made some comments about kang Seok being old looking etc . I thought as an elite soldier , he cd be classier in holding his tongue.
        Commenting on his acting ,For me (probably just me ) , i find him sometimes with mouth gaping open in a broad spectrum expression of relief, of shock etc…Er , same expression for a few emotions. Thats why i think what I think dear.

        • rearwindow

          I agree. I thought the actor who played Dong-ha was serviceable and completely fine (as in: I probably wouldn’t have even thought to question his acting in a lower-calibre drama), but when he’s acting alongside this team of incredible actors who bring so much depth and richness to their characters, his “fine” stood out to me like a sore thumb. It’s not that he overacted or anything, he just didn’t have the expansive set of quirks and complexity that the other characters had.

          • Duncerblur

            I think the actor who was Dong Ha has potential but I get the sense he is positioned (whether in his mind or his management company’s) as an idol wannabe actor. His acting while serviceable had an element of self-consciousness as if he could not shake what was deemed “cool”.

            Which when compared to the actors playing Young bae, who in no way will ever be idol material, and Kang Seok, seems slightly disingenuous so we can never really connect completely with him.

            Worse still, when compared with Shi Kyung, who has both the looks and the acting chops … feggedabutit. Then again, perhaps it is unfair as anyone who has stage experience has an edge over commercial television actors.

            Still, if the Dong Ha actor can shake his idol persuasion, I think he might grow into a fine actor as he showed some glimmers of depth under the false gold.

        • Minea

          Oh, yes! I know what you mean (about Young bae). He was so sure and steady when he has his sniper rifle. And I find it hilarious that when he shouts or even attempts to speak loud, his last syllable is always a pitch higher. LOL. Kills me everytime.

          side note: too bad his uniform looks like it’s 2 sizes bigger than him. 🙂

          (i love that we all have different opinions that’s why this thread is thriving and buzzing with activity. love you all :))

      • 16.2.2 rearwindow


        I feel like he was the North Korean equivalent of Shi-kyung.

        I just wanted to give him a hug every time he was onscreen.

        • satsuki92

          @rearwindow Young Bae was precious indeed was happy to see him in the last scene

        • kappy

          Yes! North Korean equivalent of Shi Kyung. I mentioned this before, but he was adorable at the celebration after the WOC training when the guys were exchanging gifts. Soooo sweet.

        • abu

          I love Young-bae, too.

        • diw

          im surprise no one is giving kangseok love. well my love goes to kangseok who is absent for several decades already.

          • satsuki92

            @diw awwww no no no i didnt forget about our dear bazooka wielding cum SNSD lover, Kang Seok. i will forever remembe his cute moment of “thank you” to the US WOC team guys. 😉

            it’s just….. he went missing for quite a few episodes and then suddenly

            *POOF* he came back in the 4/5 years time jump…..

          • Jia Min

            Kang Seok~
            I always laugh at his scenes like when he confessed his crush to HA “Tif…f.a..n.y…” (hah!) and when he was cheering with all his mind for HA during the bomb in running mill scene (ahahaha!)

          • Kappy

            @Jia Min – And how about when Kang Seok quickened his step (to the point of fumbling) when HA wasn’t looking after she informed him there was going to be a Girls’ Generation special on TV that night. Haha! (epi 6?)

        • estelle

          I love Young Bae too. He’s my favourite (other than Shi Kyung).

      • 16.2.3 kappy

        I liked Dong Ha a lot, but my favorite was Young Bae, like you. Adorably serious, clumsy, goofy, but watch out for Sniper Young Bae, ’cause he’ll take you out in a heartbeat! Loved that 180 degree turn.

        • maria

          love yong bae too!!
          i can’t help but laugh at the last part, the WOC bit. i think yong bae would be the next couple to marry out of that team. LOL.

          • Kappy

            Yes! That last WOC bit was cute. Young Bae marrying a SKorean would be in the sequel (the sequel I wish for).

    • 16.3 rearwindow

      Definitely a top ten drama for me. Hell, it’s my personal #1 drama–not perfect by any means, but the first and only drama thus far to make me go C-R-A-Z-Y.

      Watching TK2H live and contributing to (and reading!) these incredible recap posts has been an experience that I’ll truly never forget.

    • 16.4 NiaPop

      You said “I felt that she could have relaxed more with Seunggi. I detected that she didn’t allow herself to let go as much. As if she was , consciously , holding some back.Maybe cause , Seunggi is really young & extremely winsome & she’s always been careful to keep a clean rep ?! Who knows.Its just me & my guessing.”

      I think that her holding back a bit was more for her Character than her self. Hang-Ah just doesn’t seem to be the type of person that lets down their guard completely. It makes sense when you think about what kind of role she has to play towards other people. Also when you think about her past, she is a trained soldier, one that had to keep a tight control on emotions, and she has been emotionally hurt by various men in her past, Jae-Ha included. The fact that she relaxed as much as she did showed how far she has come and how much She loves Jae-Ha. Or at least that is how I’d like to interpret it.

    • 16.5 crazyajhummafan

      @ Singaporean Hearties

      Re: Rendezvous TK2H

      Venue: Swenson’s @Singapura Plaza

      Time: 12.30 till we expire from spazzing about the show or they kick us out (which ever comes first) OR our hubbies and children drag us from there!

      Dress code: Something with hearts

      Code: ‘Are you in a position to talk?’
      Reply: ‘I have it secured’

      ALL Hearties are welcomed! Please let me know thru this thread if you definitely coming by the 27th. I will make a reservation under Lee Jae Ha.

      Looking forward to seeing ya!

      • 16.5.1 Duncerblur

        What’s the date exactly? But, but … I am moving house around this month! Boo hoo hoo … my heart will be with you!

        • crazyajhummafan

          Ah sorry! Forgot to put in date. Was typing it out at 1.30am S’pore time. It’s next thur, 31st May. Will post this again later. Really hope you can join us!

          • Duncerblur

            Oh man, that is the night before the big move. I would have loved to be there but it’s OK, I will eat a bon bon in solidarity while perched on top of the boxes. Have loads of fun!

          • crazyajummafan

            Let’s continue to keep in touch. My email account can be found in #203, but I will also post any further developments in this thread. So pls keep a look out.

          • Duncerblur

            Cool! Looking forward to it! Sorry, bit out of it till I am fully moved … sigh … living in the midst of boxes.

      • 16.5.2 Jade Butterfly

        It was definite from the get -go , dear!
        i wouldnt miss it!
        …I dun have anythg with hearts though….otokke?

        • crazyajummafan

          Heart ear rings? Heart pendants?
          Your heart for TK2H is more important. Just come!!!
          Looking forward to seeing you.

    • 16.6 luvs

      Nicely summarized JadeButterfly,
      I am still thinking what to add to this list you have created … how did you read my mind? you beat me to it – also you are a bteer writer than me – so I won’t repeat what you said – I say AMEN to all of the above!
      –and I already wrote the Soundtrack – I can’t remember caring about an entire soundtract of any movie or drama before – usually I remember a famous theme song but tha’s about it – but this – I love even the instrumentals – and the three vocals be Taeyong, KWill and Lee Yoon Ji- I could sing it in hanggul soon – i play it so much …

      —when the PD said that they tried to create a memorable character in JH/HA that lingers in the minds of viewers – I’d say, they had succeeded in this.

      This drama and all the characters will linger for long – it is permanently inked and stamped in my heart and mind. I felt like I had gone on a month-long journey that is unforgettable. The meeting of the minds in this forum is a first for me and this is what ‘sealed’ it for me.

      I have learned new things and I have been reminded of a lot of things through this social discourse.
      I feel It was not time wasted but an education gained.
      Saranghe Hearties – Thank you sincerely!

      I feel I need to write a personal thank you letter and mail to MBC King2Hearts production writers and crew.
      I hope they will visit this forum and read our hearts….it might inspire them to write better and better stories.

      • 16.6.1 luvs

        lol,, i did not write the soundtrack !!!!- i meant i already wrote that the soundtrack was the best for me…

  17. 17 Joe

    The Off-spring (played by a child actor) of Jae-ha and Hang-ah is too cute.

    • 17.1 abu

      He really is. And I love how Ah-Ha adore him especially when Queen Mother left and it’s only the three of them inside the room. It got me screaming–soooo cute!

  18. 18 kewbie

    Thanks for recapping!

  19. 19 Sunmi

    It was a good ending; nothing to write home about but enough to scratch my TK2H itch. The part in this episode that honestly moved me the most was Jae Shin’s scene with Shi Kyung’s ghost; figures that even beyond death that awesome bastard still has me tearing up, nose all snotty. I swear that man was too good to be fake-real even in a drama. That’s why the offed him. Drama-land would’ve imploded if his existence continued.

    As I mentioned before the strongest thing about this show was the characterization and acting; the plot was good albeit bumpy at times but when it wanted to punch you in the gut, it could and it did. I’m so in love with this cast I half want a sequel if only to get them all back in the same place doing this for another say 20 episodes. Eh, sue me, I’m greedy.

    Last and most certainly not least, hot damn Lee Seung Gi! Way to work dem suits. Like a boss.

    I will never look at you the same way again. Royalty hasn’t been this mind-bogglingly sexy since Kim Soo Hyun’s king in Moon/Sun/Stars/Sky! Omo! Would it not be awesome to get Lee Seung Gi and Kim Soo Hyun in the same drama both playing kings that go at it. Preferably LSG as the blood-thirsty warlord villain…Mm, yes, that sounds most pleasing to me. rawr.

    • 19.1 QueenOfMangos

      Girlfriday, I agree with what your final thoughts were on K2H. There were many things I loved about this show, but that also allowed me never to overlook the holes. I wished we had more time to conclude everything, but what can we do when this show plans to kill us till the very end?
      CONCLUSION: I love K2H. It will forever be my #1 k-drama in terms of emotional impact.
      And I quote reglest who quoted hunnybunz. hunnybunz April 2nd, 2012 at 2:38 pm:
      TK2H is the kind of show that isn’t set out to impress the mass, but instead thrives to win the hearts of people who truly know how to appreciate film aka people who:
      1) think a lot,
      2) embrace dialogue
      3) crave for character development ~which most define as draggy~
      4) and has a keen sight and likeness for metaphors/sublety/hidden messages.
      All of these factors usually seem unnecessary and uninteresting to most casual viewers.
      (end of citation)
      But speaking objectively, this drama is not without its flaws.
      I’m still bummed they killed off shi kyung. There were some grey areas in the political world, and some things I’m still left questioning. I’m just glad that we atleast got a good ending for our OTP. For me, this show was crafted with so much effort that potentially just(for me) overrides any glaring imperfections. I remember throughout this show i would be appreciative of every little detail included..
      In my opinion, I’d rate it a 10/9 based on JB/GF’s rating system.

      ”A hero who saves the girl is swoonworthy, sure. But a hero who confides in his girl and trusts her to save the day is the winner, by a mile.”
      -AMEN, sistuh.
      ” It’s the journey in making a king out of a man that hooked me through the heart, and kept me wholly invested no matter what international debacle came and went.”
      -Jae Ha’s drastic character development is possibly one of my favorites in k-drama land.. probably because it is just absolutely powerful and moving.
      “Jae-ha became a king befitting his hyung’s legacy and his most faithful soldier’s trust.”
      -And that is why Jae Ha will forever be one of my favorite heroes.

      Thank you, show, for this amazing ride. I honestly can’t explain in words how appreciative i am to have this site, GF, and everyone else here who were faithfully following this show and actively participating with sharing their insightful comments.

      • 19.1.1 QueenOfMangos

        woops, how did my comment end up here as a reply? I just meant to create my own comment. lol

        • Sailorenigma

          Lol XD

        • LSGLover

          LOL! Oh mango! I will surely miss you a lot! I will always remember you – mangoes are everywhere you know 😀 they’re my favorite too

        • Minea

          HAHAHA! Me, too. Whenever I see mangoes, I’ll be thinking of you and your witty and funny comments. *salute*

        • QueenOfMangos

          Ach. you guys are gonna make me cry T____T
          I shall forever remember each and every one of you.. And then i shall spazz out when we catch up on the ol K2H days.

      • 19.1.2 Saima

        Yeah, the show perfectly captured the essence which was JH’s growth from jerkwad prince to a ruler to be reckoned with!! Hands down most compelling & favourite K-drama character!

        And, despite having highs and lows the highs had far more impact on most of us than the lows…hence, TK2H = #1 K-drama!! <3

        • Minea

          agree 100%. Jae Ha was the most layered character I’ve ever watched. What a joy to watch him mature!

          And Lee Seung Gi was a true revelation in his role as Lee Jae Ha. Never thought I’d say it but because of K2H, I’ll be forever an LSG fangirl.

        • Florentine Lily

          Agreed. It truly left an impression.

        • marneh11

          cheers to that saima!!!! 🙂

      • 19.1.3 rearwindow

        Beautifully, beautifully said. I’d rate it a 10/9 as well. Far and away my #1 drama in terms of emotional impact, in addition to: relationship development, character consistency, and hero development. Oh! Also, SUPERFANTABULAMAZING FAMILY MEMBERS.

        The sheer ambition of TK2H and the extent to which it delivers MORE than compensates for its few plot failures. I’ll take a meaty, messy drama that shoots for the stars over perfection any day.

        • rearwindow


          I’m changing that 10/9 to a 12/9. Just FYI.

    • 19.2 satsuki92

      prior to watching Shi Kyung come back as a figment of Jae Shin’s imagination. i was all pissy and not up for him to come back that way.

      it was waaaaaaaaaaaaaay sad. they were too cute together. damn him, even after he dies and comes back only as an imagination, he made me break down all over again. snot and all, just like you! at some point, i broke out in manic laughter in between my sobs after thinking about the ridiculous attachment I have formed for him. this brings me to GF’s point; the writers may have written the script BUT a whole lot of credit has to go to Jo Jung Suk for carrying out the role so so well that he endeared Eun Shi Kyung to a lot of us. even to a cold hearted bitch like me. i cannot imagine any other actor being able to replicate what he did with this role.
      excellent casting of him, TK2H’s casting team *thumbs up*
      the man was a scene-stealer in Architecture 101 and is yet again a scene-stealer in The King 2 Hearts.

    • 19.3 luvs

      Yes, I like that they did not portray Jae Shin – sighing and wasting the rest of her youth reminiscing of her first love- (like countless of kdramas plots) , but getting on with her life and opening her heart to new loves…. but still kept SK`s memory safely tucked in a corner of her heart.

      Same with Jae-Ha — the death of SK, did not stop him from doing his duties, but honored SK`s life and death and memory by continuing with the fight, and getting back to smiling and living and loving instead of moping. A King afterall, has no time to mope. They do not have the luxury to do that and its not because they are unfeeling or that they have forgotten. NO, it is because they have a duty to perform, so they have to suck the tears in and get with it. Jae Ha had to do this when his brother was killed and then again when SK was killed.

      I know, we all complained that it wasn`t shown a longer mourning period for our beloved SK onscreen but I am sure we can all understand now. Afterall the story line was dealing with very serious and urgent matters and events really were happening right after the other. If ever, we should also sympathize with our kin Jae Ha – he was never given a breathing space either. He had to deal with One problem on top of the other and there`s the 50 million population and the international issues he had to deal with on a daily basis. Poor Jae Ha, he had to snatch a date at midnight…

      BTW, I read someone posted that Seung Gi continued sobbing at the scene when SK was dying in his arms, even when the director yelled CUT – Seung gi cried for a long time and can`t stop himself. There you go – he did mourn for his friend – I was consoled by this..
      coz I too mourned for a `fictional`character – because I was thought of all the real soldiers – young men- who are in the midst of wars – and dying…
      I`m sure in Korea , this is always on people`s minds.
      Perhaps, this is one reason they are shying away from this drama – it is too close to home – in its realism.

      sorry, i tend to get off-tangent when I meant to write about one thing only…

      • 19.3.1 elizabeth

        omo… do have the link for that news where seung gi kept crying?

  20. 20 Star


    everything you said is how I feel. You can write so much more beautifully. 🙂

    really wonder how you feel about rooftop prince and how javabeans feel about the king 2 hearts though xP since you guys recap together a lot of the times

    • 20.1 piaaa

      “really wonder how you feel about rooftop prince and how javabeans feel about the king 2 hearts though xP since you guys recap together a lot of the times”

      I feel the same way!

  21. 21 Saima

    LOVED Ep 20!!

    According to us viewers killing SK served as a moot point (Ep 19) since at that point BG had already been arrested but when taken in consideration from BG’s POV it killed two birds with one stone.

    By killing SK BG accomplished two things: a) he got back at SK for his betrayal (yeah, whatever!!)

    b) SK was the ULTIMATE representative of JH’s saram. He embodied all things good, loyal, upright, etc. A person that BG would always yearn for but would be unable to foresee the reason why he’d never have a confidante like SK supporting him. Prior to getting arrested this was the best way to cut down JH and he did!! JH’s reaction on SK getting shot was too raw and guttural. He found a brother in an unexpected place and sought strength from him at many instances. In epi 10 when SK pledged allegiance to JH the latter questioned his hyung’s portrait as to what was wrong with SK. At that point JH himself didn’t realize his worth as a formidable king-in-the making that SK had seen glimpses of behind his facade.

    After watching Ep 20 I have made my peace with the writers killing SK. If not for him dying JH would still be dependent on his right hand man. Nothing wrong with it per se but would that make him the highly respectable king who would rise to the occasion without his emotions and relationships getting the best of him? Not sure. While we got our OTP together with an adorable kid in tow is it an easy ride for them now than 4 years ago? No. They still have to struggle with inane stuff like their child’s N.K’ean accent and further more aggravating discussions in the two countries.

    After much deliberation I will say that this show was awesome. It stimulated us to think after watching an hour episode, spurred many a wonderful discussions, weaved characters who were multi-faceted and delightful, and it propelled LSG & JJS into super-stardom for their acting prowess. Breakthrough roles for the both of them!! After playing JH, nobody will snigger at LSG’s lack of acting skills and JJS hopefully will clinch a lead role in the near future!

    And, my fellow hearties this has been a pleasurable ride!! You were my comrades in this brief but significant journey. We educated each other on the little details of this spectacular drama; teased each other’s brains; respected other’s opinions; and spazzed over our OTP, STP, lead actors (and their anatomy :P). Thank you for enriching my K2H watching experience!!


    ps: TK2H and Lee Seung-gi will be sorely missed!! T_T

    • 21.1 Florentine Lily

      Agreed to a tee! This show has been awesome but it also lead to two amazing experiences: this website and fellow hearties.

      It will be hard to move on, but who say we have to?

      I can’t wait to watch the next drama to blow my mind like this one has. The most pleasurable experience will be to return here, read the recaps and laugh, cry, agree or disagree with the comments.

    • 21.2 random person

      Totally agree with everything you said, especially the whole point of SK’s death. When JH had self-doubts, SK gave him strength…but that’s like giving a man a fish instead of teaching him how to fish. With SK’s death, JH had to prove that he could fish. And he did. Great dramatic impact there.

      Love how JH’s hands no longer shook when dealing with a scary situation (e.g., war) and BG. I think his steady hands are a beautiful symbol of his self-belief.

      On viki, one of the comments at the end said that JH became a greater king than his brother. This is a part of the story that really impressed me – how at the start we are led to love JK and mourn his death as a kind, wise king…but at the end, we see that his brat younger brother has not only managed to step up to the role but to exceed all expectations. The ending scene with the chief secretary was especially touching to me, because JH refused to give up on even the small minority of people who oppose him and HA. The cynical thing to do is to just ignore the minority dissenters since the majority support him already but no, he really sees every person as his people and refuses to give up on any single person.

      So awesome, so great.

      • 21.2.1 Saima

        Thank you for pointing out the detail re JH’s hands!!

        “The cynical thing to do is to just ignore the minority dissenters since the majority support him already but no, he really sees every person as his people and refuses to give up on any single person.”

        Beautiful! Both your comment and the extent of evolution of JH!! Stupendous, really.

        The late King was such an upright leader who didn’t shortchange his family members in the process. While he was a lovable character he was an ineffectual leader or not as effective as JH. He didn’t have JH’s calculating mind and nerves of steel. JH would put up a facade and deal with the consequences later (ep 10, JH-BG confrontation). These traits (among others) paved the way for BG to take notice of JH, measure him up as perhaps an equal adversary, and ultimately despise him for the things that he coveted. Employing and manipulating these coveted things enabled JH to bait BG constantly, and ultimately to bring him down!

        So, yes our bratty Prince’s evolution is nothing short of overwhelming and phenomenal! <3

    • 21.3 ravens_nest


      I agree. Plot-wise Shi Kyung’s death didn’t make much sense but character-wise it made perfect sense for Bong Gu, Jae Ha, and Jae Shin. I just wish the writers had tightened up the plot so that it made sense for both the characters AND the plot. As GF said all they had to have done was keep Bong Gu in jail all of the last episode and it would have sufficed.

      Still, I appreciate what killing Shi Kyung meant for Bong Gu’s character and for the idealism Shi Kyung represented.

      • 21.3.1 JustJen (Jenlikeskettlecorn)

        Hey Saima, I agree with everything you and everyone else here has written, I do. But I still feel the execution of Shikyung’s death was off- I wanted to feel what you wrote, but instead it felt like a shock tactic, a means of wringing tears and gasps from the audience (and my pet hate are stunts designed to emotionally manipulate an audience). For me it was a problem with pacing and tone, and I don’t think the show really properly recovered from it.

        Ravens_nest I think you’re right- it may have worked character-wise, but plot-wise…

        Anyway, I still have a tonne of affection for this drama. It got so many things right, and it sparked so many interesting discussions right until the very end! I guess we can’t really ask for that much more.

        • Saima

          Ep 19 was a little wonky for me as well. The PD mentioned that he added the kiss b/w the OTP since the fans were clamoring for one. The pacing was a ‘lil iffy. And, I just facepalmed that we’d be going into a major plot i.e. war b/w the Koreas so late into the game.

          It wasn’t until I watched Ep 20 that drove home the point the purpose of SK’s death. As rearwindow (# 38.5) mentioned beautifully: JK, SK, and HA have impacted JH irrevocably and his love for them isn’t bound by mortality. JH sought strength during a major crisis w/o these three by calling on his memories of his hyung and his bestie. And, I’m sure he’ll continue to do so in the future.

          random person’s (#21.2) comment that JH (who didn’t give a fig about popular opinion initially) now wanted to prove and win over every single of his citizens since they are his people as well was beautifully shown in the finale.

          I will have to applaud the writers on their subtlety in which they went their way to illustrate JH becoming a better King than his brother ever was. And, I have come to believe this wouldn’t have happened if SK (perhaps it may have taken years since JH would have sought comfort in SK’s support) wouldn’t have died.

          • JustJen

            Who am I kidding, I love this drama.

            I still maintain that episode 19 needed to be tightened up (but I’m also a hypocrite Saima, because I’m still happy we got an extra kiss!), but really on a whole, with Shikyung dead or alive, this show managed to deliver right until the end.

            That scene with Hang Ah and Jae Ha practically making a suicide pact… holy crap, they really know how to put everything on the line don’t they? I love them so much.

    • 21.4 Arhazivory's Zombie

      I feel like crying all over again. You are right – we have been comrades in a brief but significant journey and the whole experience has been so enticing.

      • 21.4.1 rearwindow


        • bern 75

          i <3 too Comarade Saima

    • 21.5 rearwindow

      Fantastic interpretation of why Shi-kyung died.

      I’ve always appreciated that the characters are written logically and that they act true to themselves, and I agree that Bong-gu’s motivation for killing SK makes perfect sense.

    • 21.6 Minea

      Love this comment, Saima! Lots of really good points. And thank you for analyzing SK’s death (and the effect on the people he left behind, particularly Jae Ha) – I’m now one step closer to finding that much-needed closure.

    • 21.7 crazyajhummafan

      I’ll miss you too Saima and your contributions to the drama.
      @ iluvmangos – hope you have a wonderful prom and may u find your LSG/JJS -take your pick – soon!

  22. 22 Osi

    Let me tell you a story about my best friend named The King 2Hearts. We spend time together, and do all the awesome things, be it sweet or bitter. We laugh and cry together. It is not the best in the world, but it is the best in my heart. It is not the most perfect thing on earth, but it’s perfect in my heart. It opens my eyes even wider on what’s happening in this world. All those bitter moments are part of our friendship because life is not all rainbows and roses. Life sometimes can be cruel. It’s so brave. It’s never worried about what others might think about it. It just wants to be realistic. Its flaws don’t make it less awesome. I will never forget how awesome it is. Now, it’s time for it to go. I’m not ready to let it go. But life goes on and we should move on, that’s what it teaches me. Thank you for being my best friend these past ten weeks, The King 2Hearts. You’ll be missed. I love you.

    Thank you for the recap GF.

    • 22.1 Rashell

      I love this. That is all.

    • 22.2 Saima

      aww!! sniffles….you encapsulated my emotional state with your beautiful writing!!

    • 22.3 Minea


      love it! everything you said. perfect description of TK2H. ohmygoodness! for some reason, i’m tearing up reading your post. it’s now just sinking in that this is the final recap for TK2H. *sniff*

    • 22.4 glo

      Beautifully said, Osi. Couldn’t agree more with you.

    • 22.5 Raine

      “It’s perfect in my heart” <3

      Love this line ^^

    • 22.6 Florentine Lily

      And I finally stopped crying! If feels like this is what every hearties must be thinking, only you put it into beautiful writing: “it’s perfect in my heart.”

    • 22.7 marneh11

      @Osi can you be my bestfriend too??? 🙂

      • 22.7.1 Osi

        All hearties are my best friends. ^^

    • 22.8 rearwindow

      I love this so much.

    • 22.9 Lovecityhall

      Beautifully written! That’s how I feel too.

    • 22.10 abu

      You got teary-eyed again. Love everything you said.

      • 22.10.1 abu

        I mean, you got me teary-eyed.

    • 22.11 Osi

      Aww hearties, I didn’t expect to get this warm response. thank you, thank you. I wasn’t this sad when I typed and posted this. But after I read your replies…*cries

    • 22.12 LSGLover

      Why did you make me cry too? Is it really time to let it go? I’m going to miss you all wonderful hearties 🙁

    • 22.13 bern 75

      awww…. *tear*

    • 22.14 Duncerblur

      Aw man …

      *hands Osi some Kleenex*

      What you said … sob & thanking God I have not packed the Kleenex up yet.

    • 22.15 crazyajhummafan

      Beautifully put! I’ll miss u TK2H!

  23. 23 reglest

    GF thanks for the recap, as usual…
    This time… I write comment without read your comment first, I need to talk my heart here…

    I haven’t watch this drama yet, no, not yet..but I follow the live tweet and I know there are some rage over the last episode, there are some disappointment for sure…

    Me too.. I was raging & ranting last night, I mean, how could you put a roller coaster for this 24 hours (20×72 minutes) just with final 15 minutes..I was ranting, I was raging, I want epic ending!

    Then..the realization hits me..how they tackle the wars…how the drama finally put an end. And the more I thought, the more I’m loving it… I’m accepting it. Finally. For the sake of all thought I’ve devoted for this drama

    The more I see discussion upon this drama, the more I love the end…how they symbolize all, and all…

    But now..suddenly it hits me…
    There is a BIG HOLE in my heart..that I don’t want this drama to be end…I’m speaking honestly, I’m crying right now…I’m crying for this drama to put it at the end like this, not because I’m regretting the end, but because I realize I’ve fallen in love with this drama…

    This is difficult for me to bid farewell for this drama, I said at koala that I see the end with motherly smile who watch his kid growing and mature, but now… I see this drama…like parents, who sent off their children to get marry.. We do it for greater good, we know it’s for our good, but there is still big hole of loneliness instead…

    I don’t wanna bid farewell, I don’t …this..is egoist and real me.. I don’t want to…

    Please help me *tears*

    • 23.1 Rashell

      Aww sweetie. I do understand how you feel. This drama has created a community and letting go of it and that community is so hard. We just have to cling to the memories and hope that lighting really will strike twice and another drama will come along to capture us in the same way.

      In the mean time, lets all linger here for a while just wallowing in the awesome that was K2H and the hearties!

      • 23.1.1 satsuki92

        @rashell 🙂 yes the TK2H community has been awesome beyond words! this is my first drama and first time that i’ve ever participated in the comments section. it’s been a heck of a fun ride, reading and sharing of feelings about each episode/scene and trying to make peace with each misfortune that occured!

        that said, it will take me awhile to move on from TK2H :”)

    • 23.2 Saima

      aww!! *hugs*

      Reglest: you’ve been awesome in providing us with a lot of insights like Tom & Jerry, etc. Thank you for your efforts!! <3

    • 23.3 Florentine Lily

      I’m already going into TK2H’s withdrawal. I miss the characters already. I felt like I’ve grown along with them. Excuse me while I go buy some more Kleenex. I ran out some episodes ago.

    • 23.4 marneh11

      i will send you some box of tissue reglest ive got a lot of extra boxes here…huhuhu

    • 23.5 Bern75

      Awww… reglest! *hugz*

    • 23.6 Minea

      Awww, reglest. I feel your pain. *sniff* TK2H has been a wild and sweet ride that it was hard not to fall in love with it. hope we all feel better soon *hugs*

    • 23.7 Arhazivory's Zombie

      *hugs reglest tight*

    • 23.8 rearwindow

      You’re the best, reglest. I can’t express how much I’ve enjoyed reading your comments, and I feel like I’ve actually gotten to know you in this short period of time.

    • 23.9 The Nutella-Filled-Doughnuts Jae Ha Loves

      *Joins in the hugfest* Nutella makes hugs all the better ^^~

      The phrase “I agree with everything you said” is fast becoming boring to me, but you’re really taking the words out of my head before I can write them down, and thus beating me to the punch. I cannot say it better myself, honestly and truly.

    • 23.10 abu

      I feel the way you do. But as they say, even if the song has ended, the melody lingers on.”

      *hugs everyone*

    • 23.11 Osi

      Awww, *HUGS

    • 23.12 luvs

      same here, I thought, I`m done commentating but I can`t help myself. I am undergoing a painful withdrawal and I am going to wean myself little by little – i miss you all hearties…. waaahhhhh let`s keep talking here.

      I can`t bear to watch another drama yet……
      this drama is still on my thoughts…

  24. 24 sita

    awsome 🙂

  25. 25 A

    I honestly thought that Eun Shi Kyung was going to suddenly appear!

    :'( i guess it was just wishful thinking…

    I can’t believe what JH&KA have gone thru together in these 20 episodes.

    I REALLY can’t believe jae-ha went from this backwards-revenge-seeking egotistical brat to such a responsible and mature king, tear*

    And Hang-ah too for sticking up for him and never wavering in her trust 🙂

    … i do wish we got an ending kiss or like a bed scene HAHAHA

  26. 26 muhloy

    i miss shi kyung. 🙁

  27. 27 AnnMichelle

    I take back any doubts that have ever enter my mind or crossed my fingertips about the writers!

    By golly, you did it!

    You presented us a totally believable, completely thoughtful solution to the seemingly irreparable crack that you wrecked in episode 19. You’ve stuck to your ‘original heart,’ that there IS a way for things to work out without resort to war, despite all kinds of obstacles in your way. Ratings, ignorant critics, simpleton viewers (sorry I was part of them, for a brief moment), missiles, very real threat of war – you withstand them all.

    The king, your king, our king, has finally arrived. He penned the official response to the provocation with a sinking heart. He wrote the harsh words, knowing that those were what his people needed to hear in time of imminent war, but those very same words the sharpest knife, the irreversible bullet, that will separate him and his love forever. He’s grown. He would not duck or lash out or find easy way out or do any such irresponsible things to get out writing this hateful announcement.

    But, he never forgets the promises he made, to his hyung, to his woman, to his friend, to his people. He would fight until the end. He would give it his life.

    And how amazing is the face-to-face-and-via-video-con scene!!! Every line, every movement, pure cinematic choreography!

    I jumped out of my seat (and spilled my coffee) when Jae Ha, oh so nonchalantly, said to Hang Ah (to the N. top guy in fact), you know they will attack on May 24 right?! What the fxxk! You just gave away the one negotiating trump card Hang Ah had. Without even warming up your behind!

    But that’s vintage Jae Ha. 100% pure, genuine Jae Ha.

    He had all the key players there. He had their ears. The situation was as hot as it could get. One last chance, or the peninsula blows up. He knew all too well how politicians liked to pontificate, rehash, bargain, push and pull, give and take. Only this time, there is really no time.

    And his love, the woman who deserved to be queen, forced their hands further by taking up the gun herself. I love you. I know what you are trying to do. And I agree with you. With my steel resolve, I will be your executioner. You go first. I will follow. We do everything we humanly can. And then we join in the next world.

    He looked at her so gently, so lovingly. She had tears in her eyes. They are the thinking people’s Romeo and Juliet. Adult version. Totally modern. War? Can you just watch two lovers die? Now multiply that by hundreds of thousands. Millions. That is war for you, you selfish bastards. The two defying lovers just stared at each other. The silence weighed like the lives of all those millions’.

    Drama tension? You don’t know what you are talking until you watch this scene.

    And I love how Jae Ha quickly disarmed Hang Ah. With her, at the passion of the moment, who knew what’s gonna happen. Better safe than sorry.

    Did I mention this is the best ever last episode of drama that I’ve ever watched?!

    Now off to write another comment dedicated to Hang Ah’s sweet, stubborn, soft, old-schooled, open-minded, dear dear father.

    • 27.1 Raine

      Definitely my fav scene in this episode. Jae-Ha vs. Hang-ah, South vs. North. They embody so much. Our OTP so riveting in that scene <3

    • 27.2 maeye86

      You know, watching it live with lots of dialogue and left with some words that i wud understand together with their expression made me went crazy…

      “Did I mention this is the best ever last episode of drama that I’ve ever watched?!”

      Once I read GF recap, i gotta agree with u that this is one freaking best last episode ever! Normal kdrama will use ep 20 to wrap it up or rush the ending but not this one. This is beautifully crafted!

    • 27.3 Minea


      “They are the thinking people’s Romeo and Juliet. Adult version. Totally modern.”

      What a nice way of drawing that parallel with Jae Ha and Hang-Ah. How true. Star-crossed yet actively finding the ways to be together and simultaneously desperately trying to stop the insanity of war that’s practically knocking at their door.

      And that heart-in-your-throat moment of Hang Ah pointing the gun at him was the perfect bookend to all the badass stuffs she did in the course of this drama. Guts of steel. She’s really the perfect heroine.

      • 27.3.1 AnnMichelle


        These two just spur each other on, don’t they?

        They each love who the other really is, no disguise, no pretension. Yet, when they are together, they simply push each other to newer heights. (Remember the engagement press conference?)

        In most K-drama, love means unconditional acceptance (and that’s what Jae Ha preached to Hang Ah as an ideal woman’s qualification, hahaha). The end result is usually a stagnant and dead-ended relationship. Not here. For our couple, I see the potentials and possibilities are endless.

      • 27.3.2 rearwindow

        And what a nice reversal that scene was of the time when Jae-ha “shot” Hang-ah in the WOC.

        This time, the gun between them was an extension of their love and not a barrier to it.

        Can you believe how far they’ve come?

        • AnnMichelle

          Dear rearwindow,

          (First so glad your soul is back, hahaha.)

          Yes. I wrote something about the gun pointing here and the shot in ep. 4. Still cannot stop being amazing by the writers. How tightly they wrote. How carefully they thought out. On the other hand, it’s kind of sad too, as the writers were simply doing what conscientious writers should be doing anyway. But that is such a rare occurrence in K-drama, that grateful viewers like me have to thank them again and again.

          At least, TK2H sets a new standard. Hopefully more will be follow suit.

    • 27.4 rearwindow

      YES. YES. YES.

      • 27.4.1 rearwindow

        And this paragraph?

        “The king, your king, our king, has finally arrived. He penned the official response to the provocation with a sinking heart. He wrote the harsh words, knowing that those were what his people needed to hear in time of imminent war, but those very same words the sharpest knife, the irreversible bullet, that will separate him and his love forever. He’s grown. He would not duck or lash out or find easy way out or do any such irresponsible things to get out writing this hateful announcement.”


    • 27.5 Saima

      Lovely! Keep the insights pouring in! 😀 Will never tire of reading another Hearties’ perspective!

    • 27.6 Osi

      As usual, another insightful comment from uri AnnMichelle.
      Well said. ^^

    • 27.7 LSGLover

      I never get tired reading your comments. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. Too bad that this show already ended. I would love to hear more of your analysis and learn from them. Hope there will be another drama that will attract your attention.

    • 27.8 Kappy

      Oh my goodness, I’m reliving that scene all over again. Beautifully put.

      “Drama tension? You don’t know what you are talking about until you watch this scene.”

      So true. The power of that scene was just…

      I was going to say ‘words cannot express,’ but yours does it so much justice.

    • 27.9 Duncerblur

      Hear, hear!

      The lovers were so badass in the video-con confrontation that I was on the edge of my seat. And what a brilliiant solution the marriage spoke in your wheel, US was! Complete genius. I was cackling and pumping my fist in the air.

      When Hang Ah aimed the gun at Jae Ha, I heard the words, “Back atcha, honey”. Epic. Modern day Romeo and Juliet? Definitely. Kickass? You bet. Badass? I bend over for you now …

      And I adored the wedding. So much symbolism, so simple yet heart-felt. It has more soul and impact than the engagement which seemed like a Disney production in comparison.

      This episode succeeded with subtlety of expressions, the power of the unspoken and the clarity of well-chosen words.

      Like Osi and many others have pointed out, the show is not perfect but it’s imperfections have brought us closer together. To discuss, to discourse without diverging dissent … and the ending is bitter-sweet yet leaves us all fuller and more fulfilled than when we first started this journey.

      GF, this was your best recap ever and I am touched and humbled that you have shared this with us.

    • 27.10 JustJen

      Ah AnnMichelle, I love what you’ve written here.

      Reading the comments in this thread is slowly repairing the Eun-Shikyung-sized hole in my heart.

  28. 28 asea

    Thanks for the recap! Honestly, the last two episodes are a bit disappointing to me, because I had such a high hopes for them. Seems too rushed, it’s like they have a checkpoints to clear instead of writing a story…. 🙁

    • 28.1 marneh11

      it was indeed rushed up beacause of some script changes as per I read..Even that date scene and kiss scene in ep 19 was originally not on the script it was just added to fulfill fan’s clamor..:) i am going to look for the link where I’ve read it..

  29. 29 kirara

    Yeah, this drama was super intense.. and I know the romance was cute and all but this romeo and juliet love must have action and fighting and suspense and all that..

    But overall, I agree this was a story about the King and how he grew and learned to rule a nation.. Gosh though Ha Ji won and Lee Seung Gi are terrific actors.. in that scene where they were on the phone you can see that as they were talking the tears kept flowing.. I was just Wowed at their superb acting.. I think the show would’ve not been the same if these two did not play the part of the king and King’s wife.

    all in all, it ended well and it was great.. Sad its over but now we have to move on.. Thank you for posting from beginning to end!!! 😀

  30. 30 krissy

    Very well recapped and thoughts girlfriday! You put together my thoughts in this drama. Thank you! I love this drama so much everything in it. Ditto to what to you said! Perfection I might say. Thank you!

  31. 31 diorama

    *sniff* Eun Shi Kyung, dammit, you’re the reason I liked this drama and then you had to go and die, you…

    Jo Jung Seok, next time, get a lead role, get the girl, and get to live, hear that? Oh, and sing a bit more, too.

    • 31.1 ck1Oz

      This is me this morning. How to cry on cue.

      ” But you’ll always be a part of my heart”
      He turns and looks at her.
      ” Just like a shadow”
      Then he smiles.

      On cue… 🙁 🙁

      • 31.1.1 Duncerblur

        Yup, definitely Kleenex time, that.

      • 31.1.2 kappy

        Yes, on with the waterworks. Time to turn into a blubbering fool, basket case, whatever you wanna call it.

    • 31.2 satsuki92

      @diorama yessssssssssssss can i ^^^^^ your comment up where everyone can see it??? <3
      guy, needs his own drama STAT

    • 31.3 Arhazivory's Zombie

      Agreed! Next drama better be a lead role.

  32. 32 cv

    Thank you for recap!
    First off, I really wished the ending would have gone out with a bang aka assassination of the bad guy or him being killed in prison–make me feel better for all the wrong and hurt he’s caused so many people. Instead, he gets life in prison…..that’s it? that’s like a pat on the head to him. Blah!

    Oh well, we can’t always get what we want—not all dramas will be perfect. LOL

    Otherwise, I am satisified with this happy ending for them. ^^

    • 32.1 Jia Min

      nah… if BG got killed with just gunshots even if they are all over him, I was hunt down the writer(s)… It would be a too easy and quick death for him~

    • 32.2 leslie

      cv, if they do that… they will become like BG. being in prison w/o someone to visit you until u get old isalready a big punishment for me.

  33. 33 otchosais

    gonna miss these show! 🙁


  34. 34 Brenda

    Wow, my drama crack is already over =(

    Admittedly, I was disappointed with the ending. I so wanted the writer’s to trick us and bring Shi Kyung back. Even now I still refuse to believe that he truly did die. Some part of me refuses to acknowledge it.
    I think this is mostly due to the fact that the mourning period for him ended quickly and though they referenced him in the end, it didn’t seem like it was enough.

    I’ve seen Lee Seung Gi and Ha Ji Won’s other projects, but never really gave either of them another thought. I think it was only in here that I truly fell in love with both of them completely. There was so much raw emotion in this drama that I could truly feel the push and pull of all the characters and for that I am truly happy.

    Unfortunately, the ending was a bit anti-climactic for me, but it didn’t dull my overall love and appreciation for this show. Thanks for the fun ride The King 2 Hearts, I will miss you!! . . .

    and a Special Thank you to girlfriday for taking the time to recap this drama !! =D

  35. 35 liter81

    I loved so much about this show, but one of the things I appreciated most were the parents. Can we give a shout out to the Queen Mother and Hang-Ah’s dad for being quite possibly the best parents ever in a k-drama? Seriously, Mom’s reaction when Jae-Ha sent Hang-Ah back to North Korea, or her “That’s my daughter,” or her epic smack-down of Bong-Gu. Then there’s Hang-Ah’s Dad who is always there for her and who was forever helping his daughter out.

    • 35.1 startulle

      yup…..totally agree with you! the parents were awesome!!!!….only SK’s dad had to learn from his son!

    • 35.2 krissy

      I’m with you! I love the parents in this drama!

    • 35.3 Raine

      Yes the parents. The best ones EVER in any kdrama I’ve watched so far. I really want to thank the show for such loving parents <3 I wonder when's the next time we'll see kdrama in-laws/parents like these in K2H.

    • 35.4 maeye86

      yup, best functioning parents ever in kdrama. And they r no dumb or irresponsible! Yeay!

    • 35.5 rearwindow

      Yeah, the parents were daebak. Even HA’s dad’s motivation for bringing her back to North Korea at the beginning of this episode was completely understandable, given that he’s lived through the impact of the first war.

      And the pride in his eyes when the North Korean prime minister said “your daughter’s impudent” was just perfect.

      Love them both.

    • 35.6 Duncerblur

      I think all the family members in this drama are brilliant. Even John Mayo had a dad who cared enough about him to give him all his inheritance!

      Every member of the Royal family was daebak. Hang Ah’s dad stole my heart way before he squealed like Babe and did a Tom Cruise on his living room sofa.

      But I think the stand outs for me are the Queen Mum and Jae Shin. Fabulous, fabulous acting!

      And the sorrowful part of me whimpers … Shi Kyung …

    • 35.7 crazyajhummafan

      Yup! Best kdrama parents EVER! Will probably make best grandparents ever too!

  36. 36 scripted discoveries

    ****And now I have a giant Eun Shi-kyung-shaped hole in my heart, and the show ended without patching it up properly****

    —-same here—-

    my staff were really worried about my eyes being puffy and such.. i told them, I was up all night doing some CAD drawings and bawling over King 2 hearts.. and their faces go ( @ _ @ )…

    thanks for the recap.. as always brilliant..

  37. 37 Ss

    I feel like shi kyung’s death was not justified. His death didn’t really made an impact in the last episode. I thought that everyone was going to forget about earnest bot. When jaeshin talked to the bird, it was heartbreaking. You can feel the hollowness that she felt when she talked to “him” 🙁

  38. 38 JoAnne

    Thank you for the wonderful recaps. It was in your final paragraphs that I figured out the only thing that can make the loss of ShiKyung mean anything for me. Because you’re right – if him dying didn’t keep Bong Gu in jail..what’s the point?

    The point is this, exactly what you said: to be a true leader, he does have to live with the harsh choices and the deaths of his soldiers on his conscience.

    Yesterday, trying to work my way through that loss, all I could think was it didn’t keep the bad guy in jail, and Jae Ha had ALREADY lost half his family – so it’s not like he hadn’t suffered enough to make this a real learning point.

    But when I read what you wrote, I realized that those losses were not because of anything he did, or anything he decided. ShiKyung’s death was. That one loss was a direct result of his decisions and actions, and it was the final ingredient that made him a king who could sit there and say ok, choose now, or kill me and start your war. And then look at the person he loves most in the world and know that she would actually kill him, and that it would be out of the greatest love imaginable, and not even tremble.

    Any other time he acted cool but we knew he was afraid. This time, he was not afraid. He was absolutely, 100%, for all time and no going back, the King. And while Hang Ah at his side is a big part of that, ShiKyung’s sacrifice was the final key.

    anyway…that’s the only way I can accept it. Because I really miss my EarnestBot.

    • 38.1 Saima

      It was Ep 20 that enabled me to see the silver lining in SK’s death. Without SK and HA by his side Jae-ha had to keep his emotions at bay and make rational decisions. He was deeply affected at being separated from HA yet again but this time there was no one around to push/coddle him. This led to him being badass who would sacrifice his life for the greater purpose.

      It was bittersweet when in the flashback he thought of JK and SK’s final words. He sought strength from them and he wouldn’t let their faith in him to be a better person and ultimately king go to waste!!

    • 38.2 shel

      PERFECTLY said, JoAnne.

      Good thing I have this whole case of Kleenex, though.

    • 38.3 A

      Yeah I think in terms of Shi Kyung’s death I guess that’s the one emotional repercussion that Jae-Ha had to learn from. The fact that there are risks that he has to take and sometimes he will lose someone/something dear to his heart

    • 38.4 Florentine Lily


    • 38.5 rearwindow

      I’m running out of synonyms for “brilliant,” so I’ll just give you a standing ovation for this comment.

      I also love that Jae-ha called on memories of those who have believed in him, who have challenged him, and who he has lost in order to get the strength to take that stand (I’m referring to the flashbacks he has when he’s alone in his bedroom, mulling over what move to make next).

      Shi-kyung, Jae-kang, and Hang-ah are now a part of him. They give him the strength to hold it together when he feels he might lose everything. Jae-ha has matured to a place where the power he gets from the people can never be taken away from him. Bong-gu can NEVER beat him, since the love that Jae-ha shares with those around him is not bound by mortality.

      • 38.5.1 reglest

        Why are you so awesome?

        “Shi-kyung, Jae-kang, and Hang-ah are now a part of him” This is a perfect sentence, when people dies they don’t really dies actually, they keep alive, in our heart, and memory. And that’s all that matters. By stumbled upon his beloved death, our king doesn’t just sit back and mourning, he do the best that the passed away wishes he’ll do. As he will remember them, always….

        and Hang Ah, she is truly part of Jae Ha now, noticed that’s how a marriage should do, the pair doesn’t become one, but you are now part of the others. I love thus

        • rearwindow

          Thank you, reglest! It’s truly heartwarming to see how our king has grown.

      • 38.5.2 Minea


        “Bong-gu can NEVER beat him, since the love that Jae-ha shares with those around him is not bound by mortality.”

        so insightful and beautifully worded. i love this sentence.

        • rearwindow

          Thank you! 🙂

      • 38.5.3 JoAnne

        and I return the O to you for your insight, my friend 🙂

      • 38.5.4 Duncerblur

        Forsooth, what words that light our way …

        I have so enjoyed reading everyone’s comments but rearwindow, you brighten my soul with your words. Tell me you watched Anonymous.

        • rearwindow

          Aaah, thank you!! That means a lot coming from you.

          And no, I haven’t watched Anonymous! Is that a kdrama? Or a film?

          • Duncerblur

            Absolutely brilliant movie subverting the legend that is Shakespeare. Had mixed reviews from angry purists and delighted devotees of movies like Ridicule and Moliere.

            I loved it and it’s now happily with my love nest of movies like Red Violin and the abovementioned. Alongside The Expendables, Sin City and 300 … what can I say? I watch dramas & movies that make me wanna shoot my telly …

      • 38.5.5 crazyajhummafan

        Wow rearwindow! Can this ajumma sit at your feet and learn from u?

        • rearwindow

          Of course! But only if I can sit at your feet in return. Seriously, your insights have been some of my favorites on the show.

          • crazyajummafan

            Aw, thanks! I get my inspiration from you and the rest.

  39. 39 Babes

    Thks for a GREAT final recap, Girlfriday! It gave me the closure I badly needed.

  40. 40 Jade Butterfly

    “I would’ve added a knee kick but clearly you are more civilized than I.”
    HAHAAAAHAAA. * Ga…aGGG..choked * Crap ! Girl Friday! You just made water run up my nose ! WHy Oh Why , do I never learn & always drink when I’m reading your recap ?! Yesterday , I was reading epi 19 whilst drinking wine & ..you guessed it , wine cleaned out my respiratory tract fr mouth to nose .Thanks to you!

  41. 41 Yue

    I kept refreshing the site every ten second for the recap. I was like… Recap, where art thou? My co-workers questioned my sanity because I was basically in a slump since yesterday’s episode. Shi Kyung didn’t have to die dammit! I kept hoping and hoping until the end that it was all a diversion. But, when they talked about his grave, my heart broke all over again. I thank the heavens that I’m at the office or I would have cried buckets already.

    To be honest, I cheated a bit this time. I went to watch the episode before I read the recap because I just can’t wait anymore. All the pent up emotion was threatening to spill with each passing minute. I just HAD to know because of that damned cliffhanger yesterday. Viki, I love you so for subbing the episode so fast.

    Okay, the episode was overall satisfactory. I love how they tie loose ends and give closure, something we all needed after that crazy ride. But, show, I am not over Shi Kyung’s death and shall never will. I, too, have a giant Eun Shi Kyung shapped hole in my heart. It was too much that I shall not forgive.

    Still, I loved Jae Ha in this episode, he had significantly mature. I mean, the old Jae Ha wouls have crippled without either Hang Ah or Shi Kyung (*sobs*) by his side. But, this time around, he had grown wiser, thanks to those around him and like Shi Kyung said he would, Jae Ha looked for that 1% and came through. I love how he went all; No, YOU did, to Bong Gu. That was oh-so-sweet cotton candy kind that left me all giddy.

    Parent guilt is high at the beginning of the episode. I was like… Damn, daddy got a point. I want to hate him for a second there, a tensy second but, he showed how he just loved his daughter too much and I caved. Damn you writers, don’t toy with my emotion too much! Still, daddy came through – YAY!

    The ending… I promised I wouldn’t cry, I promise but… Uwahhhh!!!!! The moment Jae Shin had a coversation with really-dead Shin Kyung, the dam broke and came the flood. Show, why did you do this to me? I was really looking forward to Jae Ha and Shi Kyung bickering as in-laws… Why??!!!

    The Crown Prince was just love. I love how Jae Ha commented he took after Hang Ah, that’s why he’s athletic and when the repoter about the Crown Prince take after the Jae Ha, I just went all ‘awwww…’ because this Jae Ha just smiled. Not long ago, he would have been boasting about his good looks. You grew up Jae Ha, I’m so proud of you!

    Again with the Club M, these guys makes me wanna poke them with pencils, loads of pencils. I agree with Jae Ha, there was nothing with the Crown Prince calling his mom whatever he wants and which dialect he wanted! Family moments turned me into goo, happy Secretary Eun broke my heart all over again because I’m sure he won’t stop missing Shi Kyung…

    Overall, the show ended right for me. The show that did loads of right for me. Who cares about rating? Pffttt… Yes shows, I’m looking at you Fashion King and Rooftop Prince for disappointing me!

  42. 42 glo

    Gf, thank you so much for diligently recapping TK2H for us and for providing a place for Hearties to dissect, analyze and share their opinions about this drama.

    I watched this live last night and it’s not a good idea as my husband kept asking why why and why. And he’s not entirely happy that they didn’t kick any a** to capture BG.

    BG was released on episode 19 because he claimed he’s unwell. So obviously, when his health condition improved, the ICC would take him to the court and prosecute him. About his life imprisonment judgement, oh well, life is unfair isn’t it? Maybe he still has so much power & influence which made him “only” receive this judgement instead of the most sadistic death sentence we all hoped he would get.

    The whole meaning of this drama is about “The King 2hearts”. And it has successfully delivered the journey of an immature Crown Prince who didn’t want to become the King but has an ideology that he doesn’t want to become puppets; to become a strong King who loves his woman and his people.

    With SK who believes in his capabilities as a King, HA who shapes him to be the best King by never taking any shortcuts, Queen Mother who tells him the truth (even though it’s harsh), Jae Shin’s courage, HA’s father who does everything for his daughter & JH, Jae Kang who made the WOC happened and believed in him, WOC comrades; these people have built Jae Ha to be the King his country can be proud of, a strong King who has a strong sense of love, power, hope, trust, justice.

    Episode 19 & 20 were shaky, but I’m still satisfied with the ending. Overall, this is not a romance drama, it’s a dark comedy drama which portrays that life is indeed unfair and reality is not as sweet as we want it to be.

    Shi Kyung will forever be one of my favorite character; he’s pure, honest and who can resist his puppy eyes? 🙂

    Lee Seung Gi, Ha Ji Won, Jo Jung Suk, Lee Yoon Ji; they’re all fantastic; kudos to them for bravely tackling this drama project. Kudos to everyone’s involved in this drama because they went to the drama which is not everyone’s cup-of-tea, and I could see how passionate they are with the theme that this drama is trying to convey through their acting, their raw emotions.

    This drama has stepped out of the comfort zone of the K-dramaland, and bravely walking alone. I don’t know when K-drama will have another kind of this type of drama, so I’ll treasure TK2H in my heart forever. It’s been a roller coaster but lovely 10 weeks journey =)

    • 42.1 topper

      Yup I don’t think a drama that tries to step out of the been there done that comfort zone will be attempted any time soon, given the poor return on investment too. Drama making is and will be a business.

    • 42.2 maeye86

      “This drama has stepped out of the comfort zone of the K-dramaland, and bravely walking alone.”

      I should congratulate and thank all the production team for taking this the road not taken. I’ve been craving this kinda drama for long long time and it has finally arrived.

      And for that, The King 2 Hearts, u’ll nerver walk alone. I’ll be ur shadow!

      • 42.2.1 marneh11

        i’m going with you..:)

      • 42.2.2 topper

        YNWA. Haha.

        • maeye86

          haha. liverpool fan? haha

    • 42.3 ravens_nest

      “This drama has stepped out of the comfort zone of the K-dramaland, and bravely walking alone. I don’t know when K-drama will have another kind of this type of drama, so I’ll treasure TK2H in my heart forever.”

      Perfectly worded. Despite some of the flaws, I respect this drama first and foremost for this reason. For 20 episodes I nearly forgot I was watching a KDrama. I just need more dramas stepping out of the classic formulas like this one.

  43. 43 IU123

    I honestly think the show didn’t really have to kill Shi Kyung. I quite agree with you that the show left us with a giant Eun Shi Kyung shaped hole in our hearts, because the impact of killing Eun Shi Kyung was just that huge. There could have been so many other ways to show Jae Ha’s growth as a king without sacrificing Eun Shi Kyung. And maybe it’s because I watched this show mostly for Jo Jeong Suk’s Eun Shi Kyung, I kind of felt like the only one who really wept for him was Jae Shin, and I really hate that his death doesn’t have as large an impact as Jae Kang’s. Because it shouldn’t be so, dear show.

    That said, I still think this is one of the best shows in what has been a while. The plot is amazing though like you said, there’re so many parts which could have been done so much better (e.g. Eun Shi Kyung’s dying). But because there was such a splendid cast, who delivered such splendid acting, I was convinced despite the flaws of the story. I was sold by their performances. They gave their characters so much life. I don’t think I’ve seen such a splendid ensemble of cast for very long.

    That scene when Hang Ah was about to shoot Jae Ha was to me, the best scene of this episode. It just made me believe once again that OTP really do love each other despite the differences between their countries.

    And just a little part of dedication to my most beloved Eun Shi Kyung, I thought Jo Jeong Suk was really amazing as Eun Shi Kyung. It’s so different from his musical personality but yet I was so convinced that this is him. Jo Jeong Suk did a really good job.

    End of another drama, thanks for the recaps! (:

  44. 44 Jen

    “Whatever fake America. You are so weird” is perhaps one the best lines I’ve ever read. Thanks girlfriday for the recaps, they were all really fantastic and fun and insightful.

    I really enjoyed all your comments about the finale and the series as a whole.

    • 44.1 ravens_nest

      I laughed so hard at that.

      Now, admittedly, I think it was less “fake America” and more “fake American general” that decided to jump ship with Bong Gu just like that Chinese general jumped ship when Hang Ah was found a couple eps ago. I think “fake America” was finally wondering what the deal was with this general’s orders and thus he said he’s about to get fired listening to Bong Gu.

      Either way that line from GF was hilarious.

    • 44.2 rearwindow

      Yeah, that was an awesome line.

    • 44.3 Zie

      Hahahahaha Mine is this one:

      “Well, now we know why Romeo and Juliet weren’t given guns. Because then shit like this happens. Everyone just put down the deadly objects!”

      I don’t know why but the Romeo and Juliet thing just make me LoL.

  45. 45 ddenniss


    (but you thought ha ji won was overhyped?! >:( she was never hyped until secret garden imo and was just this pretty popular hardworking actress who could take many roles well… unless you are talking about “internationally”)

  46. 46 crazyajummafan

    Thanks GF for a wonderful recap befitting the show. I love your comments about JH’s journey to be a king and I love that you were objective and fair. That you pointed out the flaws in the drama, and its strengths as well.

    I found your comment so eloquently and sincerely expressed. My enjoyment of this show would not have been so great if not for your recaps and the thread!

    Kamsahamida from the bottom of my heart!

  47. 47 Rashell

    Thank you so much GF for youre amazing recaps of this show. You took a show that I already loved and was invested in and made it that much better. You’re simply wonderful!

    This show just captured me from beginning to end. There were admittedly some misteps along the way, and a huge mistake IMO in the killing of Shi Kyung. But I always felt that the drama was about making Jae Ha a King, and I suppose understanding that there will be loss is part of that. You’re right that this was a journey about Jae Ha growing into his potential. He’s the character that changed while those around him were already awesome and were the catalyst for that change.

    I loved this OTP. Of all the kdrama romances out there this one felt the most real. Yes they loved eachother and had some romantic sweet moments, but the relationship was deeper then that. It had a foundation of trust and friendship and real faith in the other person. And that is what sustains a relationship for the long haul when the bloom of passionate love dims.

    Shi Kyung is missed and will never be forgotten. He will always be one of my favorite, if not my very favorite Kdrama character. I hate that he died. Its the one thing that this drama did that I felt wasn’t justified enough. But maybe that was the point. That sometimes people do die in vain even while trying to make a difference. But what a crappy way to learn that.

    To focus on this last episode, I thought it was wonderful. I loved that this couple was strong enough together to be apart while their country’s decided whether or not to go to war. That scene in the meeting room was fabulous. The emotion they showed while preparing to die for their “cause” was beautiful.

    Jae Ha’s meeting with Bong Gu was perfect too. I like that while one man is behind bars and one villain is stopped, it’s acknowledged that there is always another out there to watch out for. That is also sadly true to life. But this couple knows that they can and will face anything together. They’re strong enough.

    And how much did I love to see their little boy. So sweet. And I love that their still fighting for acceptance until every citizen is on their side. The last shot is them showing their united front, and you just know in your heart that they always will be. They’ve faced their worst demons and come out stronger and more together. Just love.

    Oh King 2 Hearts, I’m going to miss you! And I’m going to miss this amazing group of people who’ve taken this ride with me. The hearties are just the best! Thanks everyone. I mean it. This has been a great experience and sharing it with everyone is what has made it so special.

  48. 48 Giddy

    Girl Friday, thank YOU so much for giving us one more thing to look forward to after watching K2H each week! Because just watching it once was never enough, to read thru your recap plugged any holes and gave us the opportunity to voice out thoughts and feelings, and heightened that sense of satisfaction.

    Even going into this ep., had a glimmer of hope that we’d see Eun Shi Kyung again (talk about denial). Tho’ we did get to see him via Jae Shin, stilled a hard time coming to grips with it. But other things were tied up nicely and now I only have to find a ”
    new go to” drama again…

  49. 49 Funkypicklez

    Bittersweet ending.

    The King 2 Heart was a great drama but it will forever remain in my heart as a thorn that constantly causes pain.

    Yes. Soldiers are jobs that require men and women to sacrifice their life at certain times. And as a King – no matter what – the King must be willing to make a sacrifice if it is for the bigger picture.

    Yet BongGu was caught, handcuffed, and everything had ended. If you were going to kill him off – why not do it in a epic manner where he literally takes the bullet on behalf of JaeHa?

    I was hoping today’s episode would help clear up the death which has unfortunately has come to define the drama for me but it didn’t. It only added to more confusion and disappointment.

    And yes. I felt betrayed when JaeHa never gave his goodbyes and final respect to ShiKyung.

    Rialsjfkaldjflalajslajs. To have such a great drama end on such a bitter taste. WHYWHYWHY? Huge mistake by the writers. I’ll probably never watch a rerun again or recommend this series to anyone.

    Anyone else feel the same? Am I just overreacting? :O

    • 49.1 reglest

      No, you don’t over reacting…I can understand you, even though my view is totally different with you 🙂

      I just hope you’ll give the drama chance…this drama was made for rewatch and discussed. As I speak above, I was ranting last night, but at the discussion I nod my head…’Oh so that’s really is…’ And I came back with better light of what happened inside the show.

      As a bit enlighten, I’d like to say, Bong Gu want Jae Ha to suffering, not death like his brother but suffering. Thus he kill (gosh, I write this!) Shi Kyung, because when he can’t get it, neither do Jae Ha.

      About Jae Ha didn’t mourn to Shi Kyung much, I agree with you, and Girl Friday, they should allocated time for him to mourn, just a voice over after the cemetery scene is enough I think.

      I just want to say to you dear hearties, give the show chance to show its true face to you.

    • 49.2 californiagurl

      I feel the same way. It’s lucky that I’ve had the last three days off work. I’ve been in my pajamas for two days straight, sobbing, unable to get my head around the fact that our darling ShiKyung is really, really dead!! And yes, to add insult to injury, the writers have the Ah-Ha couple go on a date! Where’s the sadness, the tears, the angst? JH even was trying on new clothes! I could not enjoy anything after our earnest bot’s death.

      Maybe after a suitable length of time, I will be able to view the last two episodes, but meanwhile, I’m crying my heart out for SK and JS. Soooo sad……..

      • 49.2.1 Sonjie

        Cheers ! It wasn’t really like they dated right after the day ESK died. Many events passed before that day, so we didn’t really know the time period before that Ah-ha date scene. The couple deserved also this romantic scene after going through a lot themselves, and they were not the lead stars of this drama for nothing. There was a need for this scene to happen in that same episode as shown in the ending where the couple had to separate again. And life has to go on for these characters. I hope the writers write another drama wholely dedicated to and starring ESK to appease you. He did well in this drama and he had been receiving love offers as I read in one article.

        • Sonjie

          a little correction … “main characters” instead of *lead stars

        • reglest

          Apparently some time has passed, I noticed that Sec. Eun didn’t use the black tie sign of mourning, so yes..time has passed. They show us Jae Shin to imply that she still doesn’t recover from that shock, while others has regained their composure

        • californiagurl

          It would have been better if the drama had an extra episode to convey that time had passed. I would have enjoyed the dating and all the cute-ness that the Ah-Ha couple had…because I did so much want to wallow in their happiness! I was looking forward to all the happy times and I couldn’t because I was so sad for SK and JS!! I know that k2h is labeled a black comedy, not strictly a romance, but I felt like I was suckered in by the writers. They gave us such a lovely OTP and STP. Show us a little pity here, writers! At least give us enough time for us to grieve for our earnest bot, then show us the all the happiness of our OTP! Is that too much to ask?

          • reglest

            I’ve watched episode 19 with subs..so I’m ready now..

            -“It would have been better if the drama had an extra episode to convey that time had passed.”
            No dear, an extra episode couldn’t make it to covering all grieves for Shi Kyung, it need MORE. That, is probably the reason the writer prefer airing the so-called-date, it’s bitter because how can the lead don’t mourning over him? Their friend who sacrifice his life for them..

            What about the date? Truthfully, the date is additional scene, it shot later than any others. I was wondering my self..why do they need this scene? Its emotional impact does not much necessary.

            But, now I realize…the writers know that viewers will mourning so much for Shi Kyung, an extra episode won’t make it, so they need to cut the sadness, risky act indeed. Wishing it’ll ease the viewers.

            Though, I won’t mind if this drama get extension that they’ll give us proper mourning time, or better, he is Alive. Yes, that is my wish too, but the deed has done, and I truly respect the writer to their decision

        • bern 75

          i’ve always thought it was an editing mistake to cut straight from funeral to Bong Gu in ICC court then to cute scenes… they should have fade to white then go into those other scenes. at least let us think time has passed.

          Maybe they’ll clean this up in Director’s cut? (still hoping like mad for Director’s cut DVD to be released…)

    • 49.3 Jia Min

      I recommend rewatch actually…
      For me, I enjoyed the rewatches more and more each time…
      I was SHOCKED at the characters’ transformations esp. JH when I rewatch the drama and came to love the drama even more!

    • 49.4 bern 75

      @Funkypicklez – did u just watch ep 19 and 20? i agree with reglest. give it time, the drama and its key points will keep replaying in your head and you’ll get an epiphany some time later and understand why.


  50. 50 annashee

    So, I have faithfully read all your recaps from each episode at least twice! thanks so much for providing these insightful and entertaining posts! You seriously made me love the drama even more and see it in a different way. I loved how you appreciate substance and quality in kdramas, which I value too 🙂 Gah so it was so refreshing to read what you wrote bcus you conveyed my thoughts into real words! wheeeee looking forward to reading more from you^^

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