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Six Flying Dragons: Episode 10

Nothing stings quite like that feeling of disillusionment you get when the person you’ve shaped a good portion of your life around tells you what a terrible idea that was. That’s just the kind of thing that happens when you don’t communicate for six years—time passes, you kill a few people, and suddenly you’re the one with problems. Great historical leaders can be so fickle with their affections, amirite?

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EPISODE 10 RECAP

The second Bang-won exits the dodang assembly, he’s met by the perpetually unwashed Boon-yi, asking desperately how it went. At first he acts all somber to give her the impression that things didn’t go well, at least until he scoops her up in a spinning hug, overjoyed that the border plan passed.

Now that that’s passed, Bang-won claims, there’ll be some much-needed restructuring when it comes to the distribution of power. “We’re the ones who made this amazing feat possible. We did it!” he says excitedly.

But Boon-yi brings him back to reality: what’s he going to do about the fact that he forged his father’s seal? Bang-won pushes that thought away—right now, it’s about enjoying their victory. Life would be depressing if they couldn’t give themselves moments like this, wouldn’t it? Even Boon-yi breaks into a smile as she teases him about his optimism.

Lee In-gyeom tears into Gil Tae-mi for betraying him over the border plan, wondering if his former protege knows exactly what he’s done. Gil Tae-mi feels justified because his mentor sent an assassin to kill Minister Hong… at least until Lee In-gyeom’s firm denials give him a reason to doubt that.

His mentor can’t stress enough how disastrous the border plan is, because it gives the already powerful Lee Seong-gye an autonomous region with which he can exert control over the entire nation. They won’t be able to control him, which is why not passing the plan was critical.

Getting it now, Gil Tae-mi still pouts, “If it was that important, then you shouldn’t have sent an assassin.” Lee In-gyeom: “I TOLD YOU I NEVER SENT ONE!” This is funnier than it should be.

Jung Mong-joo looks to General Choi for clarification on his vote to pass the border plan, suspecting that he made some sort of deal with Minister Hong. Loud enough for others to hear, Jung Mong-joo calls the general out on whether he’s just going to cover up the atrocities Hong committed for land while he’s at it.

They’re joined by an arrogant Minister Hong, who tells Jung Mong-joo that General Choi will strike him down in the end, just not now. But Jung Mong-joo sees through him, and correctly guesses that him passing the border plan in lieu of giving up half his wealth means that he thinks he can get Lee Seong-gye on his side. As to that, Jung will just have to wait and see.

Yeon-hee is happy for Jung Do-jeon now that Minister Hong’s fallen perfectly into his trap, though she’s quick to notice that he doesn’t share her joy. He’s more interested in the mysterious warrior who tried to assassinate Hong—because his calculated equations amount to little with an uncontrollable variable like him.

She promises to look into the warrior’s identity for him, and to retrieve some necessary papers Jung Do-jeon wants from the New Joseon Cave. Maybe she’ll hit two birds with one stone without meaning to.

Lee In-gyeom goes to Cho-young to try and sort out what went wrong with Minister Hong and Gil Tae-mi, since the last he’d heard, they’d agreed to give up half their wealth and not to pass the border plan.

Cho-young says that’s what she heard, but then the assassin showed up. I like how they’re both working to piece this mystery together, with Lee In-gyeom realizing that Minister Hong couldn’t have planned all this. He assumes the assassin was sent by whoever’s controlling Hong, but who?

Then Lee In-gyeom asks the pivotal question, “Who stood to benefit the most from this?” Cho-young thinks for a moment, then gasps. It couldn’t be who she thinks it is, but Lee In-gyeom has the same thought: Lee Seong-gye. Ruh roh.

Lee Seong-gye has to find out belatedly that the border plan he didn’t stamp has passed in the dodang, while Moo-hyul questions the made-up rank Bang-won gave him. He has suspicions that it may not be real, considering that elder brother Bang-gwa told him so, but it’s Boon-yi who shuts that down.

She also wants to make sure Bang-won is on task, though he’s much less concerned than she is—there’s no way his father will repeal the border plan now. It’d make him look like he couldn’t control his own son, and that would make him look weak in front of his private army, or gabyeolcho.

Despite his assuredness, Boon-yi asks, “There’s no way that the Anbyeonchaek [border stabilization plan] will be withdrawn, right?” Cut to Lee Seong-gye being asked, “You’re going to withdraw the Anbyeonchaek?” Whoopsiederp.

Though Lee Seong-gye is dead set on undoing the damage, second son Bang-gwa speaks up to voice his opposition—the border plan can only help his father to help Goryeo by stabilizing its defenses. Lee Seong-gye flips that even this son is disobeying him, until Ji-ran also voices his support for letting the plan stay as it is. He wouldn’t waste the money given to him like those thieves in the dodang, so why not keep it?

But Lee Seong-gye isn’t so sure that he wouldn’t end up like those thieves. He may not be a politician, but he knows enough about politics to understand how things work—and he knows that nothing is free. So to have had this border plan passed, it means he got help from either Minister Hong or Lee In-gyeom, and the rules of politics say he’s now indebted to him.

He refuses to be put in that position with every fiber of his being, unless he were to make that decision. In this case, his son made it for him, so he orders Bang-gwa to withdraw the plan. He also orders that his eldest son bring his most errant son to him for a talking-to.

While Jukryong remains detained in Hamju, Minister Hong and Gil Tae-mi go to his temple to meet with Jung Do-jeon. He tells them that he’ll be going to Hamju and will return with proof of his alliance with Lee Seong-gye, so as a sign of good faith, Gil Tae-mi hands him a gyeongwijongpyeon, a badge that will allow him to enter the capital. (Since men who have been exiled are prohibited from doing so.)

Jung Do-jeon acts awed and grateful to Gil Tae-mi to appeal to his vanity, and it totally works. They think he’s one of them, and he plays them well when he fishes for information about the mysterious assassin. Gil Tae-mi thinks Lee In-gyeom might’ve trained the assassin in secret, but even though Jung Do-jeon knows this isn’t the case, he doesn’t share it with his new friends.

It bothers him that he can’t figure out where the assassin came from or even who he’s affiliated with, which is pretty ironic considering the circumstances. Luckily, Yeon-hee arrives with the letter Bang-ji left for him in the New Joseon Cave, which means that he’s the one controlling the assassin.

The only problem is, Jung Do-jeon has no idea who wrote the letter, or why he’s so angry. “How can a person you don’t know be mad at you?” Yeon-hee asks, which hangs a nice lantern on the issue. Plus, how did he know about the cave and Jung’s master plan? He has no answers.

Bang-won takes Boon-yi and Moo-hyul to see his eldest brother Bang-woo in the capital, since he hasn’t yet heard that his little bro forged his father’s stamp on a nation-changing document. Poor Moo-hyul proudly introduces himself as a Bukdo Guard, Second Rank, prompting the usual response from anyone who hears that: “Bukdo what?

Luckily, he picks up from Bang-won’s face and voice that it’s not something to be pursued further, especially since Moo-hyul is so pleased with himself. (And remember, he saved Bang-won not once, but twice!) Bang-won introduces Boon-yi as someone who’s bitten him twice, and asks his brother to put their happy little family up for a while.

When Moo-hyul jumps in to ask if his family could be lodged as well, Bang-won uses his brother’s inability to say no to also ask for Boon-yi’s family (of villagers) to be accepted too. They’ll earn their keep by working for Lee Seong-gye’s private army, and Moo-hyul’s overjoyed at the idea of being able to train and eat regularly there.

After Boon-yi thanks Bang-won for thinking of her fellow villagers, he takes her to the nearest shoe stall to replace her worn-down straw slippers. When the vendor says the gentleman should choose for the lady, Bang-won has to try very hard to hold in his excitement.

He throws a pair of shoes down for her, acting like it’s no big deal to him (it’s such a big deal), but it’s only when he kneels down to help her try them on that she becomes unsettled. She suddenly sees Bang-won’s face in a new, rose-colored light, and it makes her nervous enough to run away.

Bang-won finds her secretly admiring her new pair of shoes, causing her to turn all business in order to save face. She knows that Jung Do-jeon should be able to re-enter the capital now and wants to see him, but Bang-won wants to meet him first. He hasn’t yet had the pleasure, after all.

So Bang-won goes to the New Joseon Cave, which is also where Bang-ji has gone to see if his letter has been read or not. He gets to watch Bang-won almost beside himself with joy at the historic meeting about to take place between him and Jung Do-jeon. Ah, are we leading back up to the very first scene of the show?

We are, and get taken back to that scene when Jung Do-jeon realizes that Bang-won’s in the cave. He’s curious when Bang-won refers to him as Teacher, considering that he’s never met him before.

He also calls out for the man behind him to reveal himself, prompting Bang-ji to emerge from the shadows. Like Bang-won, he also claims he’s been waiting a long time to meet Jung Do-jeon, but unlike Bang-won who claims to know him, Bang-ji has no idea who he is.

Jung Do-jeon is left with two young men claiming to know him when he knows neither of them, and it only gets more confusing when Bang-ji accuses him of conning him of his life. Bang-won is the only one who claims to know both of them, and introduces himself as Lee Bang-won.

Judging by the fact that Jung Do-jeon doesn’t recognize Bang-ji, Bang-won figures it’s a strange fate indeed that they meet now, which means that Bang-ji wasn’t acting on Jung’s orders after all. He knows Bang-ji as The Viper, having followed him to this very cave the night he killed Baek Yoon.

Now Jung Do-jeon knows he’s found who he’s been looking for, but what he really wants to know is how Bang-ji found out about his not-so-secret plan to usher in peace. Bang-ji claims that’s not important.

“The only thing of importance is that you have a plan, but this nation has been thrown into chaos. This rotten Goryeo is deteriorating and becoming more corrupt. Your plan… was wrong,” Bang-ji grits out.

But Bang-won disagrees: “No. I might not know about this plan to usher in peace, but if it’s to bring ruin to a corrupt Goryeo, then that plan is going very smoothly. It began the day you killed Baek Yoon.” And his attempt to kill Minister Hong is what allowed the border plan to pass, so in Bang-won’s mind, the three of them are in this together.

“Now Goryeo has entered a new phase,” Bang-won adds triumphantly. Offended, Bang-ji asks if this new phase includes the slaughter of innocent villagers who tried cultivating a wasteland only to have it stolen away by the government. Bang-won doesn’t allow for sentimentality, and only says that for every great cause, sacrifices must be made.

This idea offends Bang-ji deeply, since he’s not one to step back and look at the forest for the trees when people are dying. “How many more must die so that we may see Goryeo’s end! But it’s all going smoothly? I started it?” he echoes Bang-won’s earlier claim. “I am at fault. I placed my bets on something I shouldn’t have.” Pretty much.

Jung Do-jeon finally attempts to get a word in, but Bang-ji doesn’t want to listen to anything he has to say, since nothing will change his mind. They won’t ever meet again. “We will meet again,” Jung Do-jeon answers firmly, causing Bang-ji to turn back to him: “If I meet you again, I might kill you.”

Yeon-hee spots Bang-ji leaving the cave, and follows him from a distance as he treks through the forest, crying and singing the lament that Jung Do-jeon used to move the crowd in front of Jangpyung Gate all those years ago.

It’s only when she sees him smiling and laughing with Gab-boon that she recognizes him with horror, realizing that the boy she once loved as a child is the mysterious assassin who killed Baek Yoon. The biggest question on her mind is: Why?

Bang-won introduces himself to Jung Do-jeon as Lee Seong-gye’s fifth son, admitting that he eavesdropped on their conversation back in Hamju. But he explains how he shaped his life around that moment at Jangpyung Gate, and how he entered Sungkyunkwan only to find out that it was full of sadaebu who’d renounced their values in the face of persecution.

He had worried that he might change like them, but finding the New Joseon Cave gave him hope. He dedicated himself to finding Jung Do-jeon, which has brought him here, to this moment. “I wish to do this with you. I wish to serve you!” He asks only for Jung Do-jeon’s acceptance.

But he gets shut down hard when Jung Do-jeon tells him that this isn’t how a relationship should start, and that Bang-won can’t come back to this cave without his permission. But Bang-won says he already took action to follow Jung’s plan.

That’s when he reveals that his father never would’ve approved of the border plan, so he did it for him. Now Jung Do-jeon realizes that Bang-won was another variable he hadn’t taken into account or even realized existed until now, especially in the face of Bang-won’s conviction that he did the right thing.

Jung Do-jeon, however, could not disagree with him more. Stamping the plan for his father defeats the whole purpose of what Jung was trying to do, because it breaks the trust he was carefully trying to cultivate with Lee Seong-gye. The whole point was for Lee Seong-gye to make the decision, not to have it made for him.

Bang-won still defends his actions even in the face of his revered teacher’s outrage, citing the Goryeo version of the adage, “Desperate times call for desperate measures.” Except the times are more chaotic than desperate.

In order to really bring home how badly Bang-won messed up with this one, Jung Do-jeon goes back to the year 1361 to tell him the story of the four generals who saved the capital from an invasion but died shortly after because of a royal command forged by a traitor.

So it was because of one letter, one forged letter, that those four men and more died. Bang-won asks if Jung Do-jeon is really equating his forgery to that one, and he is—he also credits that fake decree with ruining Goryeo’s political structure by sewing mistrust among the king and his court. After all, if the king’s command can be faked, what’s real?

That letter made Goryeo into the monster it is today, Jung Do-jeon claims, but Bang-won still desperately clings to the idea that his forged letter helped their great cause. Again, Jung Do-jeon tells him he’s wrong: He needed Lee Seong-gye’s resolve to join in this fight with him, but Bang-won took that away.

As for Bang-won’s “chaotic times” excuse, Jung Do-jeon says that among the three types of people that exist during chaotic times (the victim, the fighter, and the one who just goes along with it), Bang-won would be the latter. He’s caught the political bug, only he’s allowed his to tell him what to do, and soon he’ll be nothing more than a bug. How is he any different from those who take advantage of chaos by raping and pillaging?

Bang-won’s trembling now, trying as hard as he can to keep his chin up. “How can you say that I am the same as those people?” he stammers. Maybe he hopes that Jung Do-jeon might take it back, but he doesn’t, adding in a rage that Bang-won belittled his father and the government. He’s no different.

That’s the straw that finally breaks Bang-won, who lets out the frightened sigh he’s been holding as he grips his head in his hands. His whole world is crashing down on him, but he still wants to try and fix it. Jung Do-jeon doesn’t want him to do anything anymore. The plan he created in this cave was not to go along with the chaos, but to fight it. “There is no place for you in this room.”

Bang-won leaves, utterly crushed. Jung Do-jeon adds his newly carved wooden figurine to his pile of wooden figurines, flashing back to when he was younger. In the same cave where he created the idea of New Joseon, he’d once taken in orphans during the days after the four generals reclaimed Gaegyeong during the Second Red Turban invasion. He’d made the figurines for those children, and had been friends with one of the generals who’d been fooled by the fake royal command.

When that general was arrested for his unwitting crime, Jung Do-jeon was arrested too, and his pleading cries to be released so he could go back to the children he left in the cave went unheeded. Still battered and bloody from his release much later, he’d dragged a sack of food up to the cave on bare feet.

The gravity of it all doesn’t really hit until we hear the mantra of “No, no, no” Jung Do-jeon kept repeating to himself as he walked up the mountain, desperately trying to tell himself that those children wouldn’t have listened to his order to stay inside. They would’ve ventured outside. They would’ve…

His laughter at the antics he only hoped they got up to while he was gone turns into a heartrending kind of sobbing as he opens the door… and finds all the children lying dead inside. In one child’s hands is the faceless figurine he’d promised to carve features on, which he holds tightly as he cries. That sound is the stuff of nightmares.

In the present, Yeon-hee asks why Jung Do-jeon is allowing himself to revisit such a horrible memory—he started his grand plan in this cave to get past that. He carries the faceless figurine with him as a reminder, but she urges him to think to the future rather than getting bogged down by the past.

While he tells her that it’s Bang-won, not Bang-ji, who’s their real problem, Lee In-gyeom finds out that Bang-won visited Minister Hong the night before the dodang meeting. And he remembers Bang-won Lite calling him an evil man all those years ago.

Remembering Jung Do-jeon’s words about those who go along with chaos and those who fight against it, Bang-won resolves to fix the mess he’s made by turning into the latter.

But now he’s not just a target of Jung Do-jeon’s by being blood related to the man he plans to serve, he’s also a target of Lee In-gyeom, who seeks to hurt his father by hurting him.

As he skips rocks, Bang-won thinks to himself, “Teacher Sambong, please stand guard over my place in that cave. I will make sure to go there.”

 
COMMENTS

Oof. You know, I think if it were any other actor and show, I’d feel just a little bit manipulated by the dead children backstory, but by using Kim Myung-min, it’s like they’re almost challenging us not to care. Show: Huh, so dead children are manipulative? Okay, then you can just dispassionately watch this next scene where Jung Do-jeon finds them in the cave an—… What do you mean, you can’t ignore his brutally realistic cries of unfathomable anguish and despair? Now who’s crying? (Me. I was definitely crying.)

To be fair, Six Flying Dragons most definitely isn’t that mean kid on the playground trying to poke you until you cry, and succeeds where other shows have failed at tearmongering by setting up its characters in layers we can all follow and understand. Getting us to care has been a slow but very worthwhile burn, since it was like a switch turned on in this episode. Suddenly, characters I’d been all too happy to follow with mental investment became characters I found myself deeply and emotionally invested in. And for completely different reasons, no less.

Bang-won hasn’t been the easiest character to like, and it’s difficult when his current iteration seems so far removed from the little boy who would murder three scholars in cold blood because of his own personal sense of justice. He was much more unyielding and rotten as a child, which we can chalk up to him just being born a famous general’s son. But he always had what he believed in, and that idealism hasn’t changed over the past six years. He’s almost no more an adult than he was then, and nothing made that clearer than the scolding (for lack of a better word) that he got from Jung Do-jeon.

What’s still so unsettling about that scene—but in the best of ways as a viewer—is that I was really not expecting that reaction. I don’t know how I ended up sipping Bang-won’s kool-aid, but I found myself wholly caught up in his surprise at having the single person he looks up to most in the world tell him he is an utter and complete failure, and that he’s just as bad as the guy who ruined politics forever in Goryeo. Once Jung Do-jeon explained why forging his father’s letter was so wrong, it was easy to understand and agree, but it became impossible not to feel for Bang-won. Yes, he made a pretty irreversible mistake, but he really thought he was making a difference. He’s the underdog here, isn’t he?

Though I guess points for effort don’t count when playing with fire on this sort of scale, however much I’d almost want to believe that intent should matter. Bang-won’s intent was good, but that’s not the reality of the world they live in. And the truth is that Bang-won will always do what he thinks is right even if it’s not, which is what makes him dangerous. Bang-ji would probably like to think he’s more of a people’s champion, but in the end, he was also willing to kill out of loyalty to a man who didn’t even know his name. Both were just looking for something to believe in—and really, it’s mostly Jung Do-jeon’s fault for being so popular.

 
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:D thanks for the recap ! I've been waiting for this like forever

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Omg, it totally went in a direction I didn't expect! Totally surprised when Jung Do Jeon scolded Bang Won..

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I was so happy that the 3 of them got together in the cave and was hoping that they would join forces and unite to bring down the evil trio. So when Bang Ji walked out, I was desperately hoping that JDJ would stop him and enlighten him that the evil that abounded was going to happen anyway and that it will continue unless they change the whole system and start a new kingdom. But he didn't!!! Boohoo!

Personally, I felt that he was rather harsh on Bang won. BW was prepared to be scolded but not to be rejected and blamed. I think that while JDJ was right about gaining Lee Seong Gye's trust, equating BW to the man who got the 4 heroes killed because of his selfish ambition, and equating him to those who tried to benefit from the chaotic times, is rather too severe.

I'm afraid for BW. He's a bit like a loose canon. He's young, only 16, impressionable, impetuous, reckless but looking for a hero, a mentor he can look up too. To have that very mentor reject him and crush him, after his father 'betrayed' him years ago, might just break him. I once said that BW is walking on the edge between good and evil. It doesn't take much to push him over the edge to the dark side, and I really hope that this rejection will not. The preview shows him being tortured...we all know how that turned Minister Hong. I hope it doesn't turn BW, or I'll be heart-broken.

I feel that JDJ is making a mistake not to have both BJ and BW by his side. They can both cause his plans to fail or succeed. And they are somewhat unpredictable as evidenced by what just happened regarding the stabilisation of the border plans. If he has them by his side, at least, there'll be less surprises, and controlled, they can be of tremendous help to him.

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JDJ is making a big mistake not trusting how well Bang Won knows his father. Frankly JDJ is very lucky right now with BJ, BW helping without him planning on it.

Bang Won is fully correct LSG would never trust a scholar like JDJ when they are mostly of them corrupt politicians. Bang Won knows his father must be drawn in so JDJ is very luck Lee In Gyeom is making the mistake of try to hurt the son of the great general and draw in him in battle for power.

JDJ is genius like with his plans but he is very arrogant not listening to followers, sons of LSG when they know he would never be drawn if he isnt forced. Bang Won might think his father is weak wrongly but he knows how stubborn he is.

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Agreed

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Agreed. JDJ doesn't give BW enough credit for knowing his father MUCH better than JDJ knows him.

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He has seen LSG in the distance how he acts so he thinks he must know him better than BW, LSG right hand brother in arms and co.

Its as understandable flaw though, just like all great historical men like BW he is selfish,very ambitious JDJ. He wants to lead, control the revolution for his own reasons, the flasbhack show that.

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Never thought sageuk could be so cute: the scene of buying shoes for Boon Yi is too cute for words. Who wouldn't look at Yoo Ah In with rosy-colored eyes? sigh, ah these two.

I'm not sure who to root for between Bang-won and Jung Do jeon. I was kinda on Bang won's side when he forged the stamp: it was like you gotta do what you gotta do. But then, listening to Jung Do Jeon, I agree with him that by doing this, it destroyed the trust between Jung Do Jeon and Lee Seong Gye. And all that about determination stuff, I also agree. But I can't help feeling so bad for Bang Won. I mean he just wanted to help. Does Sambong has to be so hard on him?

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Sambong had a good point about getting the trust of Lee Seong Gye, needing that for the revolution, for the plan. But he isnt perfect and he doesnt know LSG half as well as Bang Won. LSG would never trust Sambong, follow him with the plan if he wasnt drawn in to it by Bang Won.

Sure Samong had a good point about Bang Won being arrogant, going with the chaos similar to corrupt politicians but he is very naive about LSG following a scholar like Sambong to bloody revolution.

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Good point. He is very short sighted not to use the resources at his disposal. These men WANT to follow him, damn it! They need a cause they can believe in, if he doesn't recruit them, someone else will and he won't like the consequences of that either. The very thought of Minister Hong making Bangwon his man makes me shudder.

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Honestly, though Bang won was clearly in the wrong, I couldn't help but feel sorry for him when he got a well deserved scolding from Sam dong. I felt really pissed off at Sam dong, not because he was wrong, but because I suspect he felt in some way threatened by Bang won's understanding of the situation, Bang won's perception and his single minded focused doggedness in following a cause he believes in. Here's a man who will act on his own if he believes his cause is right unlike the others who will await instructions and only follow Sam dong's orders.

Sam dong is a Master manipulator, as evidenced by his manipulation of Hong In Bang and Gil Mi Tae. Now he is faced by a youngster, a wildcard he cannot control going off to do things on his own, that will ruin his carefully crafted plans, so of course he is naturally pissed and therefore he scolded Bangwon harder than he would have. I noticed he didn't get so mad at Bang ji for killing that minister, because at this time, he sees Bang won as the bigger threat to his plans. I want to yell at Sam dong to get off his high horse because he is not above getting HIS hands dirty if there is a need for it.

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i think you've nailed it!
"Sam dong is a Master manipulator, as evidenced by his manipulation of Hong In Bang and Gil Mi Tae. Now he is faced by a youngster, a wildcard he cannot control going off to do things on his own, that will ruin his carefully crafted plans, so of course he is naturally pissed and therefore he scolded Bangwon harder than he would have."

BW is not someone that simply follows orders, inlike his brothers. He acts independently - potentially dangerous... that's why JDJ should be wise and keep him close rather than push him away.

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agree @crazyahjummafan

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well said! 100% agree

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The one bit of dialogue that I found really telling with regards to Bangwon's character was when he was celebrating with Boonyi in the marketplace and she said "What are you doing? People are looking?", his response was "Who cares, when I'm so elated?" He is so self-centered and callous of other people’s feelings. I love how the writers give us these character hints of the murderous Taejong that will eventually appear out of the earnest gorgeousness that is currently Bangwon.

And the children in the cave scene made me think of the Sewol Ferry atrocity. Korea now is also in dire need of a Jung Dojeon. I admire how the writers always put subtle political commentaries in their dramas.

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I have a question about timeline. In episode one after we see the grown up Bang-won and Bang-ji together with Jung Do-jeon at the cave (time=n), the time was back to 8 years ago (time=n-8). Then in episode 4 there was a time skip to 6 years later (n-2) when Bang-won witness Bang-ji killed Baek-yoon, and the story continues to today's episode without any more time skip. Was there another time skip of 2 years I have missed out? Or were episode 5-10 happened over two years?

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There have been 2 years since Baek Yoon died so yes ep 5-10 was over 2 years ago since the 6 year time skip.

BW is a kid right now and they must make several time jumps before he is older, as a younger man enough to fight in the revolution.

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There is a reason why the writers don't give specific timeline, the historical events that are being twisted here to fit the story is all over the place. For eg if we go by Queen Noguk's death year which was mentioned in eps 4 we would have been at 1385 back then but the border stabilizing plan is taking us back to 1383 lol.

Episode 1 in my calculation would be around 1375-ish. Bang-won would be around 8yrs old.
Episode 2 Jeong Do-jeon is exiled and it's still 1375-ish.
Eps 3-4:Bang-won goes to Sungkyunkwans and killed those 3 bullies he would be around 10-12yrs old.
Episode 4-5: Adult Bang-won would be around 14 or 15yrs old.
Episode 6: Deong Do-jeon is back from exile 1380-81.
Episode 6-10 happened over 2yrs. We are currently somewhere between 1383-84.Bang-won would be 16-17 right now.
(Historically, Jeong Do-jeon was sent into exile for 10yrs but it's being cut to 5-6yrs here).
This is just a rough estimation. I like my sageuks with timeline related to historical events etc. Since they are not giving me one I'll make one up lol.

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This is regarding the ep 9. The scene where they were voting for the stabilisation of the border, reminded me of Tribal council in Survivor. Boy, was Lee Im Gyeom blind-sided!

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This drama really gives us great insight into the motivations of each of the 6 dragons. This ep was JDJ's. They all have troubled pasts, but while they need their pasts to give them the impetus to start a change, they also need to get behind it, or else their decisions will be tainted by their past. It's already happening to LSG, BW, BJ and now JDJ.

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HeadsNo2 again amazing recap and comments :)

I agree Bang won is dangerous but I love his character. ( I think I'm maybe perverted for liking Bang won character.) His sense of justice, his unpredictable nature and his failures shaped him in a very complex way. ( I love to tame him.) kakaka

oh well HeadsNo2 who ever you are thank you for writing the recaps... DO you have a book or a story? lol I would like to read them hahaha

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me a perverted too maybe... :D i feel that 16year old boy sooo hot.. am i a pedophilia? :D

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ugh.... i mean that THIS 16years old boy.. not every 16years boy! im not a real phedopilia, yoo ah in is 29 old any way

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I am in love with this dram, woooo gave me chills the way narration and direction is made. Simply amazing. Thanks for the lovely recap. I agree Ban Won is like a loose cannon but again his actions was the catalyst for the great movement.

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The epic cave scene of conversation between JDJ and LBW was done in one take without a single NG. It is a 10 minute-long convo and it takes up to 10 pages of script! Daebak!! (cr: SFD soompi forum)

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Correction: 21 pages of script!

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Kim Myung-min is well known for not making mistakes when the camera starts rolling. He is such a committed actor. If his character requires him to be very skinny or climb Mount Everest he will do it.

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And Yoo Ah In too, despite him being younger than Kim Myung Min, he did well in this scene without a single mistake.

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Forgot to mention that YAI is also known as an actor who is capable of completing long lines in one stroke of the knife. That’s why most directors purposefully gave him long sets of lines. He’s an actor whose talent is most evident in long takes and full shots.

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Bang-won is indeed really dangerous. His smirk at the last scene when he found his 'new' motives gave me chill.

The cave scene, when JDJ was taken aback by BW's confession seems like a reminder that we, the viewers, know more the whole thing than the characters. Surprisingly (for me), he is still responsible although it wasn't him to 'mess' everything up. This is the reason why I really like his character because in real life, it's rare to see someone takse the blame, or in this case, plan to repair the 'mess' for something she/he didn't do.

So the following episodes will be about how all the dragons (esp JDJ) carry out 'their' plan. There'll be more obstacles along their journey to achieve their goals for sure. More blood, perhaps. I'm anticipating how each character play more important role in the story. I'm now curious how YH becomes so close to JDJ to the point that she is one of the few people who knows about his plan and his horrible story with the kids in the cave.

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i love characters that are not so one sided that's what makes bang won so intriguing to watch but I am kind of afraid for when he crosses the line and tries to become emperor. At least we're not there yet hope he can JDJ can at least work together to bring down Goryeo.

Why i love this drama: too many awesome characters aside from the 6 main, there's still gil tae mi and i must be crazy but lee in gyeom really reminds me of YODA?

and that scene where he was adamantly denying sending an assassin was downright hilarious.

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Such a strong episode! I have been waiting to see how their meeting in the New Joseon Cave will turn out and what a twist!!!

The show is seriously playing me like a rag doll!! After the triumphant celebration that BW has, I'm gutted by BJ pain in losing everyone he cares about. Then I can't help but feeling BW regret and utter desperation when JDJ scold him and toss him out.

And yet, the show still twist my heart dry with JDJ back story. I can't even....

Gosh, feeling bad has never been so good.

JDJ I think was a bit on the edge as he realises there is more unaccounted players in his political game than he thought of. And so he lashes on BW for his mistake, because he deeply felt the fragility of his plan. All the planning and carefully calculation has gone out of the window now that he has not one but two wild cards in the game.

It's too bad JDJ was not in a clearer mind frame when he kick BW out. Now he will have problem predicting BW and BJ movement. Let alone planning it.

Can't wait for next week!!!!!!

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I love MuHyool. Love him!

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as usual great recap thanx Heads
and if we consider that BW is probably at his teenage years a good harsh scolding can make or break and i hope in this case
make
i dont really think that JDJ is threatened by BW just yet but he doesnt want him to go in the wrong direction
using forgery\trickery instead of persuasion can become a bad habit and needs to be eliminated
making someone think like you is better in the long run

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I am very much in agreement with you. I'd call this episode "HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGONS" thank you Jung Do-jeon.
I think we sometimes forget that the young dragons are still teenagers. They are still immature,rash and reckless etc. They need someone to train them.

Bang-won needed to be taught a lesson. By now he should be well versed in Confucian doctrine but he has been belittling his father without realizing it.
I guess Seong-gye should be blame for his behavior too. He runs free in the capital with only a guard that Bang-won doesn't listen to.

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BW biggest flaw is that he has a kid's view on how little his father became in his eyes after Lee In Gyeom scene he saw as a kid.

He is dangerously sure of his views, his brilliant mind can be dangerous but the reason he will become part of JDJ,LSG side in the revolution is because he is willing to learn from his mistakes, lessons from JDJ.

I liked in the ending he wanted to prove to JDJ he can be trusted, fight against chaos. He didnt stop listening to JDJ just because he was scolded.

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I like the ending too. He is taking Jung Do-jeon's advice and he wants to become a fighter and not just a rider of turbulent times.
He is smart and willing. He just need someone to show him the way.

He has some growing up to do before he becomes the man Jung Do-jeon and his father will use to help build the new nation.
It's too early for Jung Do-jeon to accept him. Seong-gye will eventually enter the lion's den and face off with Lee In-gyeom and then Choi Young and a few more years before Goryeo is overthrown.

We are only at eps 10 so we need to be patient too lol.

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your "How to Train Your Dragon" for BW who is already a dragon made me think of in - not yet a dragon MH hope he gets his wigs soon

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well that too but i meant *wings

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Yea poor Moo-hyul is still in the dark about all this but he'll get his chance soon I hope.

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MH is a warrior who needs a powerful master to serve so he can get better life for his family, his fame. I dont think he will care about the big plans when he finds out as long as BW, LSG can feed his family he will give them his loyalty, his skill.

Im personaly a student of military history and all great generals, kings like LSG,BW got their power for the profissional warrior corps of their, the skill of their warriors. JDJ can have all the plans he wants but he needs soldier,swordsman to create the new dynasty. Someone like MH must kill their enemies for their so called new nation to be created.

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i dont think in general the "small" ppl cared about politics
if they had enough food and an average life they were ok
BY and DS,ina way, are made to care by circumstance but it is unusual and i guess MH will get his wings when he also has a specific stance and is not just following fame and success

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That makes a lot of sense, Lee Seong-gye's best warrior Lee Ji-ran is the real hero in Seong-gye's camp. Seong-gye is a master archery so the frontline of his army is usually led by Lee Ji-ran. He trains his warriors and answers to one but Seong-gye. Great Generals recognizes talents and use them effectively.

Currently the strongest army in Goryeo is Lee Seong-gye's army. Jung Do-jeon knows that and (that's why he chose him), Choi Young knows that, Lee In-gyeon knows that and that's why they'd prefer if he stays far away from the capital (politics).

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Opps...I meant to say that Bang-won "knowingly belittle his father* ...

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Another strong episode. BW and BY scenes are so cute, MH too! Love the cave scene, very intense!

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Soooo... Bang-won alone in nature and thinking (first the light breeze on the reeds, now skipping stones on a river) = some very interesting disaster will follow .

I love this character, he is a shaker!.

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JDJ is upset because he realized that his plan wouldn't have moved forward at all without those two and yet he was completely unaware of them while Bang Won knew everything.

More importantly Bang Won no longer is centering his hopes on JDJ. He was hurt and wants to grow and still work with him but it now definite that the loyalty he had will be loss. Bang Won has been the catalyst for so much since he was very young.

LSG was nevee going to follow JDJ without Bang Won getting involved...you would think he would realize how little he actually knows about him after his own son forged his seal.

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And maybe he is also upset that they are interfering with his plan without his permission?

We will never know if Jung Do-jeon would have been able to convince Seong-gye to approve the border plan or not.

I think what the writer is trying to do is tie these dragons together. All (but one) knows about the plan and all 6 of them were involved directly or indirectly.

SPOILER (history)

This is why the writer changed the actual history. Instead of Lee Seong-gye submitting the border plan on his own like he did in 1383. The writer is letting the other 5 dragons or future dragons involved in it from the very beginning. It'll take 6 dragons to build the new nation right?

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also this is LBW story and the roots to be plant are his
i think the writers wanted his "roots" to form from the start that way he is overriding his father and predicting JDJ that is why that aside from BY he knows everyone and everything
BY is maybe the only active motivation BW has he changes and follow her without knowing bfhand for what exactly

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Well, if he is going to justify claiming the throne later then here you go. This is the beginning.

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@kiara i read what you wrote about LR very interesting
and does Jeoson comes from the word Jurchen?

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nara
It's difficult to get the correct meaning of ancient Korean names because it was written (the history) in Chinese characters.
There are no evidence saying that Joseon comes from the word Jurchen. Just speculations based on how it's pronounced and written.

I want to explain the whole name change from Goryeo to Joseon without spoilers so I'll skip the story between Seong-gye and Taizu until the drama gets there.

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Bang-won is such an interesting character. It's fascinating to see him think of himself as JDJ's pupil and consider himself walking JDJ's path, when it's clear that they have such a difference in ideals and Bang-won is going his own way.

I found some joy in seeing JDJ so out of the loop when Bang-ji and Bang-won were in the cave, lol. I think he needed the slap in the face that he's not totally in control, and that his power/reputation can be dangerous.

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I knew you would use Taeyang's Eyes, Nose, Lips! I was singing it during the scene with the children. HAHAHA

At first I was like, "Whoa, dude. Don't be so harsh on Bang-won. What does the kid know?" but with that JDJ flashback with the children, I understood why he said that to Bang-won. Bang-won has never experienced such a thing and he thinks that he only forged his father's seal for the greater good. What's the big deal? But to Jeong Do-jeon, it equates to a greater evil because he has seen it happen with his own eyes. It traumatized him so much to the point of carrying the wooden soldier with him and coming up with his plan in that cave.

Yoo Ah In plays Bang-won so well. He has the emotions and thoughts of a teenager. So good.

I love that conversation between Lee In-gyeom and Gil Tae-mi. omg. 'Then why did you do it?" "IT'S NOT MEEEE!" HAHAHAHAHA. They don't seem like villains to me. I find myself laughing whenever I see Lee In-gyeom. I'm more scared of Hong In-bang because he's smart and ambitious. Tae-mi is just an adorable ball of eye shadow. Why are swordsmen so adorable?

I can't believe we're already done with 1/5 of the drama. Time really flies, eh? So excited for the next episodes. Thanks for the recaps, Heads!

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Did you catch Jung Do-jeon's power ranking proposal when he was meeting with Hong?

General Choi Young and Lee In-hyeong.
General Lee Seong-gye and Tae-mi.

Do you think Tae-mi and Hong are going to join Lee Seong-gye's camp or Jung was just manipulating him into voting in favor of the border plan?

I'm enjoying all of these actors and I don't want to see them killed off yet although it doesn't look good for Hong
according to Bang-ji.

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It's probably just a ploy by Jeong Do-jeon. He hates Hong In-bang anyway. I want Gil Tae-mi on the good guys' side though coz I'm biased. HAHA

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All the great swordsmen in Goryeo will be on Lee Seong-gye's side then lol. Moo-hyul, Bang-ji, Tae Mi, Bang-woo.

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Question:

If Bang Won known for being not good with martial arts? I don't remember seeing him fight with a sword and he seems to get captured easily.

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History: Bang-won was the most talented in all of Lee Seong-gye's sons. He went to war with his father and was a capable military leader.

In this drama: It's a bit confusing.

His oldest brother in the capital Lee Bang-woo is a master swordsman. Maybe he will teach Bang-won later or maybe Bang-won already learn how to fight from his father while growing up at the military base in Hamju.
He must have been 10 or 12 when he killed those 3 bullies in earlier episodes. (Not sure if he outsmart them into killing each other or he physically killed them).

I think he has some martial art skills but not as good as his older brothers. When he gets into a situation where he is outnumbered he will use his brain to get out of it.

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i like that he uses his brain in difficult situations to me from the end of ep 3 BW have shown that the road he will take would be of logic and intellect over physical strength and violence

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You are the best!

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he is a son of greatest genderal lee sung gye, young brother of a master swordsman, and a fine sword always with him (before he give it fo my) theres no evident yet, but im sure he can fighting.

but his bright brain is more dangerous than his sword i believe..

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Yup. Why use the sword when you can accomplish the same thing or even more with a devious mind?
I still love how he tried to get the "pirates' to turn on each other! Brilliant, dangerous and crazy! This is one man that JDJ should have by his side, and not wandering around doing his own things.

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Sorry, guys, anybody could help me? Where did you watch it in English sub title on line? Thanks a lot in advance.

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not sure if i can post here
but try dramacrazy

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thanks a lot! Nara.

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It works.

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Dramafever and Viki

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anyone can please tell me the song that would play in the background when bang ji have a fight scene?

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"In order to really bring home how badly Bang-won messed up with this one, Jung Do-jeon goes back to the year 1361 to tell him the story of the four generals who saved the capital from an invasion but died shortly after because of a royal command forged by a traitor."

Shin Don eps 41 showed the retaking of the capital and Kim Yong forcing his nephew to write the fake command that led to General Jung Se-woon's execution. If you keep watching it'll also show his failed plan to assassinate King Gongmin and he was executed by Choi Young.

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It's episode10 already and deep inside me still wishing that someone else play SSK character. She improve a lot but I still find her a bit uncomfortable...

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I feel the same too. Her acting still awkward here. I like her in Girl Who See Smell tho... Luckily she's not as bad as Lee Yeon Hee in Hwajung. I ditched that drama halfway because both hero and heroin suck.

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its 10 eps already and i cant think of even one actress that would have played BY better
SSK shot to fame from her portrayal of So-Yi which amazed everyone
even her haters say she is only "good" for sageuk
SSK in known to play ONLY smart female characters
and they needed smart for this part

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I CAN think of some actressese to play BY. But I give SSK the credit for clear sageuk articulation. Not many young actors can do that.

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as i said even her haters think she is good at sajeuk
we are 10 episodes in and still haters come and complain about ssk - what gives
since those who already recognize my "name" can see that im NOT going to other dramas recap and believe me its NOT bc i dont have anything to say and most definitely not bc i have good things to about most of them but i dont
and the thing that bother me the most is that even though ppl say she "improved" she is much better here , still they come to say they dislike her
as if she is offending those haters personally by being good
i really dont understand this tremendous hate

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nara I don't think anyone here hates SSK. We all judge actors differently and some people will not share your high opinion of her and her acting style.

I think Ha Ji-won is gorgeous but I'm not into her acting. That doesn't mean I hate her, I just don't connect with her and I would prefer someone like Jung Yoo-mi's acting style (the older Jung Yoo-mi).
Some people will disagree with me but that's expected. We all have different opinions and preferences.

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that was true if other actors were repeatedly - like SSK - disliked again and again
since its repeatedly only ssk it cannot be as simple as that
since like me until this moment you didnt show dislike it means that those who do cannot hold it in
it means their dislike is so powerful they have to let it out
that is the difference between dislike and hate
hate is too powerful to ignore
therefore needing to show it

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and just for the record i love JYM loved her since Thousands day promise but i do think they have appropriate part
JYM is a bit mature for the part of BY and she feels on level with DS & JDJ
i guess im one of the lucky ones liking all the cast

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i just understood which JYM i forgot there were 2
well JYM you mentioned is a very good friend of YAI
so it stills all in the family

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Just skip comments like that if it bothers you imo.

Yes I was talking about YAI's friend Jung Yoo-mi.

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thanx @kiara but i will probably not skip
i feel ignoring is like agreeing
and just as i know there is a chance i will read bad things about ssk and reply
those who write it knows theres a chance in a recap featuring ssk drama that someone (me)
will retaliate

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I like her in Girl Who See Smell but I don't really like her here. I find her a bit awkward. She didn't play the character as smooth as I am hoping for. The child actress play that character very well, better than SSK

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Kick-ass episode. I just got totally invested in this series after this episode. I think I'll be watching the whole series haha.

I'm just amazed at how well the actors portrayed their characters. You gotta have good acting chops for this, and I think they were able to choose their actors well.

Looking forward to the succeeding episodes! :-)

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JDJ is making a big mistake not trusting how well Bang Won knows his father. Frankly JDJ is very lucky right now with BJ, BW helping without him planning on it.

Bang Won is fully correct LSG would never trust a scholar like JDJ when they are mostly of them corrupt politicians. Bang Won knows his father must be drawn in so JDJ is very luck Lee In Gyeom is making the mistake of try to hurt the son of the great general and draw in him in battle for power.

JDJ is genius like with his plans but he is very arrogant not listening to followers, sons of LSG when they know he would never be drawn if he isnt forced. Bang Won might think his father is weak wrongly but he knows how stubborn he is.

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i think its not a power struggle on JDJ part
he is afraid that fi things dont go according to his calculations or without his knowledge the plan will fail
he put years of planning and he really thought it through, in his opinion, as you can see from the cave
so his fear of BW & DS messing his well thought plan is understandable

and the reprimanding of BW was bc he feared that a recognition of BW behavior will give green light to BW to behave this way in the future - the slippery slope

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Jung Do-yeon is right. He is a loose cannon. This Confucian child is going against what he has been taught. Over-riding his father and the man he calls teacher.

These writers are good at manipulating the viewers. Most are looking at Goryeo from a 21st century point of view. There is no but I did it for the greater good in that era.

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very well put - we do view the drama from our cushioned
privileged 21 century
we can probably never really understand what living a kind of peasant life at that time was like
at least i cant

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Bang won is pretty much a sociopath.

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so·ci·o·path: a person with a personality disorder manifesting itself in extreme antisocial attitudes and behavior and a lack of conscience.

Naah I don't think BW is a sociopath. He maybe a stubborn child with his own definition of judgment, but not a sociopath. In the case that he "killed" 3 people when he was a child, I'm still in doubt if he really did kill all of these grown-ups by his own hands.

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Bang Won is a loose canon, and I think it's good that Jeong Do Jeon scolded him and he realized he was making a mistake an wanted to fix it. But I'm afraid it'll just make things complicated because Bang Won doesn't have anyone (read: adults) to guide him. He's still a teenager after all.

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i had to comment since it is such a great name and great outlet can i use it?
of course its better on ppl who Dont know the meaning bc it sounds more fearsome

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btw - i agree with your comment

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is dere no season 10 bicus the film did not finish in that season 9

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