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137

Mirror of the Witch: Episode 7

Mirror of the Witch continues to deliver in this episode with breathtaking visuals, a perfectly scored soundtrack, and a tightly written story. We get heart-warming moments with our two leads, and while the many of our questions remain unanswered, the plot continues to develop and the drama remains as riveting as ever.

 

 
EPISODE 7 RECAP

Yo-gwang returns to the temple and panics when he realizes Seo-ri isn’t there, especially when he finds that the talismans guarding the temple boundaries are burning.

Seo-ri kneels by an unconscious Jun as she remembers the first time they met. She reaches out to him, but pulls back as she remembers Jun taking the arrow in her stead. Relieved that he survived, she turns to leave. Jun rouses for a moment, barely making out Seo-ri’s profile before passing out again.

Seo-ri turns back and notes the bag Jun had been clutching as he fell. Inside is a familiar bell, whose twin Poong-yeon had given her five years ago. She gently rings it.

The effect of the bell is immediate. In the forest, the shamans suddenly stop in their tracks, while back in Hong-joo’s lair, the jar containing the prince’s spirit begins to shake. Hong-joo rushes to the jar, gleefully realizing that the princess has emerged from hiding. Behind her, Hyun-seo begins to slowly move one finger.

Yo-gwang also hears the bell and rushes off to find Seo-ri. Alerting to the approaching danger, Seo-ri tries to lift Jun when a hand clasps her shoulder. The shamans approach the place where Jun had fallen, but only his bag remains.

Addressing the shaking jar, Hong-joo asks the prince to wait a little longer. A shaman informs Hong-joo that they were unable to capture the princess, but Hong-joo orders that they continue the search. The princess must be captured alive immediately.

Yo-gwang dumps Jun, still unconscious, in the temple cave. Seo-ri asks if Jun is okay, but Yo-gwang lectures her for leaving the protection of the talismans. If she’s caught, their efforts would have been for nothing. Yo-gwang insists that Seo-ri never leave the temple again.

Then he asks who Jun is and if she knows him. Seo-ri denies knowing Jun, but Yo-gwang questions why they were together. Seo-ri deflects the question, saying that there was something she wished to ask Jun, and that she’ll send him away once she’s satisfied her curiosity.

Remembering the burning talismans, Yo-gwang runs to check the protections. He’s bewildered to find them completely unharmed.

At the bottom of the cliff, Ok oversees the search for Jun, while Poong-yeon also looks for clues. He recalls seeing Jun’s face during their horse chase, and how Jun had protected Seo-ri the night that she had gone missing five years ago.

Ok saunters towards Poong-yeon, asking him if he’s certain that Jun had fallen here, his tone bordering on belligerent. Calm, Poong-yeon merely asks if Jun is really Red Cloak. Ok scoffs at this and smacks Pong-yeon with his sheathed sword, demanding to know who Poong-yeon is. This time, his tone is definitely offensive as he takes issue with Poong-yeon’s interference in his case.

Sol-gae attempts to intervene, but Poong-yeon keeps calm and offers Ok his credentials, informing Ok that he is the captain of the royal guard. Ok does a double-take, suddenly deferential and nervous at having put his foot in his mouth.

Poong-yeon states that he’s also chasing Red Cloak and asks Ok to confirm whether Jun is the criminal. Ok stammers defensively that all the evidence from the latest victim points to Jun, though Poong-yeon doesn’t appear to quite believe Ok’s explanation.

Performing their own search of the area separately, Sol-gae finds the bag that had been left behind. Poong-yeon discovers to his dismay that the bell is missing.

Still unconscious, Jun relives the memory of the horse chase, accompanied by the ringing sound of the bell. Just as he relives falling from the cliff, he startles awake.

Looking around, Jun begins to explore his surroundings and finds Seo-ri’s workstation where she prepares her potions. Jun comes across a jar labeled “Memory Potion” and reads the corresponding entry in the Mauigeumseo: Once seen, never forgotten. Jun scoffs, laughing that the creators of the potion are worse than him, assuming that the Mauigeumseo is part of the sham.

His curiosity overcomes him as he examines the memory potion, sniffing it once and then taking two large swallows. He grimaces… and then downs the whole bottle. Jun begins to walk away again when all of a sudden his ears ring. He shakes his head as if to clear it, then notices golden letters rising from the Mauigeumseo. Jun grabs the book, fascinated, and the letters light up in a gold haze as he reads feverishly.

Meanwhile, Seo-ri ties a white veil around her face, leaving only her eyes visible.

Jun comes to the end of the Mauigeumseo and reads aloud that before the Northern star disappears, all the candles must be lit and the curse dispelled. He notes that there seems like there should have been more, his fingers feeling the edge of the page that had been torn out.

In his fascination with the book, Jun has unknowingly moved too close to a candle. His sleeve alights, and in his alarm, Jun accidentally drops the Mauigeumseo on top of the candle. Drawn by Jun’s shouting, Yo-gwang runs in to try to help put out the flames and grabs a bucket to fill with water. Jun just picks up the Mauigeumseo and tosses it in the creek itself.

Yo-gwang freezes in shock while Jun apologizes, relieved that the fire wasn’t bigger and grateful that there was a creek present. Jun fishes out the Mauigeumseo, while Yo-gwang gapes in horror. His hand slowly reaches out for his sword.

Jun continues to check the book as Yo-gwang stands and brings his sword to Jun’s neck. Yo-gwang tells Jun through gritted teeth that even his life cannot compensate for the sin that he’s committed. Just then, a veiled Seo-ri walks in.

It’s a funny moment when Yo-gwang tries to prevent Seo-ri from finding out what has happened to the Mauigeumseo, pushing Jun behind him and downplaying the situation. Seo-ri smells burning, and Jun pops out from behind Yo-gwang to show Seo-ri his burned sleeve.

Unconvinced, Seo-ri pushes Yo-gwang aside and advances on Jun, asking what he’s hiding behind him. Yo-gwang frantically signals at him not to answer. Jun attempts to redirect her attention, but then the Mauigeumseo falls in pieces from Jun’s hands, and Seo-ri takes in the sight.

Cut to: Jun tied up with a rope around his neck, struggling to balance on a barrel. Jun begs for a chance to talk this out, but a furious Seo-ri accuses him of repaying the favor of saving his life by destroying a very important item. Jun sobs in fear, but Yo-gwang growls that because of him, someone is in danger of dying.

Jun begins to thrash, scrabbling at the rope around his neck. Yo-gwang angrily kicks the barrel out from under Jun’s feet, and both he and Seo-ri begin to walk away — but then, as he gasps for breath, Jun starts reciting the instructions on how to brew a potion for invisibility, then to see ghosts, and then a love potion.

Seo-ri and Yo-gwang stop in surprise. Jun gasps that if he dies, the contents of the Mauigeumseo will vanish with him. The barrel is placed back under Jun’s feet and he explains that he’s memorized the entire contents of the book. Yo-gwang is suspicious, but Jun appeals to them by explaining how he drank a potion from Seo-ri’s workstation and then the contents of the book somehow just entered his brain. Jun entreats them for a chance to right his wrongs.

Yo-gwang looks ready to kick the barrel away again, but Seo-ri stops him. Jun recites the last line of the Mauigeumseo: “Before the Northern star disappears, all the candles must be lit and the curse dispelled.”

Seo-ri tells Jun that she’ll give him one day to reconstruct the book. If he is unable to complete the task within that time, she’ll make sure he drops off the cliff again.

Ok reports to his superior officer that they were unable to find Jun. The superior officer flips a table in anger, having already informed King Seonjo that Red Cloak has been caught — their lives will be in danger if that’s not true. He demands that Ok deliver Jun by the end of the day.

At home, Ok flings himself down before his mother, worried about what to do. His mother calmly informs him there’s an easy solution, spelling it out for him: If there’s nothing to be found, then something can be made up instead.

At Cheongbing Temple, Yo-gwang leads Jun to an alcove where he’ll be staying, and doesn’t take kindly to all of Jun’s questions about Seo-ri’s name and how she seems familiar. Yo-gwang retorts that there’s no way Jun could have ever met Seo-ri before. Jun asks whether the contents of the book are real. Yo-gwang warns him not to be curious about anything in the temple cave if he wants to live.

Seo-ri hands Jun a blank book to write down what he read of the Mauigeumseo. Seeing her veiled face, Jun flashes back to when they first met, and how Yeon-hee’s eyes had peered out over the edge of the pot lid.

Seo-ri snaps Jun out from his trance, and when he takes the book from her, their hands brush. Seo-ri pulls away first but before she can leave, Jun asks why she covers her face. He asks her to lower her veil for just a moment, explaining that he wanted to see her face while expressing his gratitude for saving his life. He smiles winningly up at her, but Seo-ri remains impassive.

Instead, Seo-ri takes out the bell, asking Jun if it is his. He’s never seen it before, and she asks why he had it then, he has no answer. She tells him to document the Mauigeumseo quickly, eager to be rid of him.

Acting on his mother’s suggestion, Ok presents a corpse to Poong-yeon, declaring it to be Red Cloak. Half of the corpse’s face has been driven in so that the man is no longer recognizable, and Ok explains that the man’s face hit a rock upon falling from the cliff. He’s certain that this is the man, regardless. As Poong-yeon inspects the body, he does not find evidence of the shoulder wound he inflicted in his encounter with Red Cloak. He leaves without a word, however, and Ok heaves a sigh of relief.

Poong-yeon reports to King Seonjo, informing him with certainty that the body does not belong to Red Cloak. There is no evidence of the sword wound, and the man’s build is not a match for Red Cloak. The king sighs with regret; he had been happy to hear the news of Red Cloak’s capture.

Yet in court, the king promotes Ok to captain of the royal guard (Poong-yeon’s original position) as a reward for capturing Red Cloak. Poong-yeon remains stoic.

King Seonjo also orders that the criminal be dismembered and displayed in the city so that the citizens may be reassured that the murderer has been captured and punished. Soon-deuk happens upon the sight, startled to discover what has supposedly happened to Jun.

In a private meeting, Poong-yeon questions the king’s decision when he’d known the body wasn’t the right one. The king responds that whether the body was real or fake, the important thing was to stabilize public morale. Given the current political situation, the people’s support for his rule would decrease even if the people knew Red Cloak remained at large. Poong-yeon argues that this deceives the people, while the king retorts that the people just want a scapegoat, something to appease their fear of Red Cloak.

Poong-yeon asks what happens if there’s another victim, but the king just wants to deal with that issue when the time comes. Poong-yeon says that he has always respected the king but he cannot follow his decision in this case. He asks the king to reveal the truth.

Then the king seizes in pain and blood begins to drip from his hand. He falls to his seat and Poong-yeon runs up to support him. Poong-yeon urgently calls for help, but the king quiets him.

Suddenly, the entrance of the queen dowager is announced. With no other recourse, Poong-yeon kneels to cover the blood on the floor and positions his body to hide the king’s bloody hand from view. The queen dowager is taken aback by Poong-yeon’s proximity to the king and demands to know how dare Poong-yeon approach the king.

The king forces a laugh and tries to deflect her concerns by saying that he and Poong-yeon are close friends merely having a conversation. The tension is palpable, as the king struggles to hide his pain and the queen dowager looks suspicious.

The queen dowager orders Poong-yeon to move away, but the king grasps Poong-yeon’s arm, preventing him from moving. The queen dowager approaches the king, and he attempts to stop her approach by smiling and saying that it’s truly nothing, but she isn’t appeased. The king tells her that he merely wanted to have a quiet conversation to rest from the burden of political matters and offhandedly wonders if he should take a retreat soon.

The tension mounts as the queen considers his words. Finally she agrees, saying she has been worried about the color in his face for a while. The king smiles and places Poong-yeon in charge of security during the retreat.

Hong-joo sprinkles black ash over a brazier. Tendrils of black smoke make their way to Hyun-seo’s body, still lying prone with a talisman on his chest, and enter his nostrils. A shaman reports that the king is once again in pain. Hong-joo remarks that the king’s illness is getting worse and he must get better soon.

Jun writes the last line of the Mauigeumseo and leans back with satisfaction. He goes looking for Seo-ri, making his way through the temple cave.

Wandering through town, Soon-deuk muses to herself that Jun didn’t seem like he was Red Cloak. Ok spots her just then and orders his men to capture her, since she’d double-crossed him the last time. She tries to run, but gets cornered by Ok and his officers.

Ok questions Soon-deuk about her relationship with his brother. She denies all knowledge and turns the questions on Ok: Isn’t it too much to quarter and hang your own brother, even if he’s a murderer? Ok is offended that Soon-deuk dares to compare the two brothers and accuses her of conspiring with Jun, calling for his men to arrest her. Soon-deuk fights them off and hops over the wall to easily make her escape.

The queen dowager speaks with her eunuch, who confirms that the court lady with him is trustworthy. The queen dowager orders the court lady to closely monitor the king during the retreat, and to observe his body in detail and report his whereabouts at all times. After the attendants are dismissed, she says to herself that the throne is her son’s, and that she must protect it.

King Seonjo leaves for his retreat, where he soaks in a tub under a tent, pain evident on his face. The queen dowager’s spy prepares a tea tray to bring to the king, but is prevented from entering the tent by Poong-yeon, who blocks her path. He looks at her suspiciously before he moves again, blocking out the view of the king.

Jun finds Seo-ri at her workspace and he smiles at the sight of her preparing a new potion. She comments that he adjusts well to situations and he replies that he’s been living off of his wits and observational skills for a while. Jun follows her around as she works, and Seo-ri wonders if he’s done with his writing. Rather than admit it, Jun says jokingly that there are a few pages he can’t quite seem to recall.

Seo-ri says that it’s impossible since he drank the memory potion, but Jun calls it just an herbal potion that helps boost memory. He insists that it’s a good thing that he was smart to begin with, otherwise the contents of the book would have disappeared forever. Seo-ri retorts that it was his fault that the book ended up in that state to begin with. Jun says leadingly that perhaps he’d remember better if he ate something, looking up at her with puppy eyes.

Seo-ri tosses a wrapped bundle at Jun and he opens it to find rice balls. She asks if he’ll be able to remember a bit more now, and Jun teasingly comments that the rice ball is salty. Ignoring her indignation, he says shamelessly that he might remember better with meat, adding that he can just live here until he recalls everything.

In a huff, Seo-ri gets up and glares at him. Unperturbed, Jun just tells her that she needs to treat him like an important guest. Seo-ri’s gaze falls on Jun’s burned sleeve.

Yo-gwang is indignant when Seo-ri asks him to run errands to feed Jun, through she asks him to do what Jun wants until he completes the Mauigeumseo.

Walking past Jun’s shelter, Yo-gwang spots Jun still happily munching on his rice balls. Caught mid-bite, Jun guiltily lowers the ball and reopens the book to continue working on the Mauigeumseo, making a face at Yo-gwang’s backside when he leaves.

Seo-ri flashes back to her conversation with Yo-gwang, who had asked what would happen to Jun once he finished writing down the Mauigeumseo. Jun would still remember all the contents of the book, as well as his time at Cheongbing Temple.

So now in the present, Seo-ri asks Jun for his help, needing the instructions for the Oblivion potion. Jun begins to recite the instructions, but falters at a point as he looks at her thoughtfully, and Seo-ri asks if he can’t remember again. Jun pauses, wondering wistfully, “Why can’t [I] remember?” Though he doesn’t specify what he means, it seems more likely he’s asking why Seo-ri can’t remember him.

Jun gazes tenderly down at Seo-ri for a moment, so she impatiently calls for Yo-gwang, and Jun spills out the rest of the instructions in a rush. Seo-ri heads over to gather the rest of the ingredients, but she’s unable to reach an item and stretches up on her tiptoes with difficulty. Jun reaches from behind and easily retrieves it for her, startling her with his proximity. He looks at her gently and she quickly averts her eyes, returning to work.

Potion complete, Seo-ri flashes back to her conversation with Yo-gwang, who’d advised her to dose Jun with the Oblivion potion. He’d impressed upon her the importance of breaking the curse so that everyone can live. In the present, Seo-ri says to herself that Yo-gwang is right, and Jun must forget everything.

On Seo-ri’s orders, Yo-gwang brings meat to Jun and feeds him by hand. He’s also brought clothes to replace Jun’s burnt ones. Jun asks why the Mauigeumseo is missing the last page, which gets Yo-gwang excited thinking Jun is done writing already. Jun backtracks and replies that the book was originally missing the last page. Yo-gwang looks disappointed to hear that Jun isn’t done yet, but Jun blusters that he’ll tell them right away when he’s finished.

Jun asks for privacy to change, and Yo-gwang turns to leave when he notices the scar on Jun’s chest. Yo-gwang recognizes the shape of the scar but can’t recall from where. Jun is thrilled, having been curious himself for the last five years. There’s a funny moment of Yo-gwang squeezing and generally manhandling Jun’s chest to get a better look at the scar, at which point Jun realizes the awkwardness of the situation and smacks Yo-gwang’s hand away. Affronted, Jun pulls his top over to cover himself, and Yo-gwang belatedly realizes what he’s thinking and insists that he likes women.

At the retreat, Poong-yeon keeps guard outside of the king’s tent. Sneaking up from behind, Hong-joo’s shamans approach and place a brazier in the grass, and black smoke begins to seep out. When the smoke reaches Poong-yeon’s nose, a mark flashes behind his ear (in a similar location to where the curse tattoo once appeared). Poong-yeon’s eyes roll back and he stumbles. Sol-gae notices.

Suddenly, Poong-yeon sees Seo-ri (as she was when she was Yeon-hee) and follows her into the dark. When he catches up to her, he spins her around to embrace her — but the voice that responds is Sol-gae’s. The mark on his neck flashes again, and he comes back to his senses to find himself holding Sol-gae.

Shamans enter the king’s tent, and he wakes with a jolt. Poong-yeon and Sol-gae rush back to the tent, only to find the guards incapacitated and the tent empty.

In the forest, the shamans bring the king to Hong-joo. He demands to know who sent her, suspecting his father-in-law and the queen dowager. Hong-joo informs him that she’s here to save his life. She knows the cause of his illness and she knows that all over his body, his flesh rips and thorns appear. She tells him she can rid him of his illness, but the king laughs in disbelief, asking what she really came for.

Hong-joo asks for his arm, and after a moment, he bares it, showing the bloody mass of thorns and scars. She passes her hand over the brazier and black smoke comes out, swirling around the king’s arm. When the smoke dissipates, so does the open wound and the thorns. She tells the king that though his arm is healed now, the symptoms will reappear if the cause of the illness is not eliminated. She asks again to be allowed to cure it, and he asks again what she’s after.

Poong-yeon searches for the king and finally find him in the forest. The king tells him that he merely went for a walk, but Poong-yeon is unconvinced.

The queen dowager’s spy watches in the shadows, but she’s captured by the shamans. She feigns ignorance, but the shamans threaten her with blades and she admits to working for the queen dowager.

Hong-joo gives the order to kill the spy, which is carried out just as she receives the report that Choi Hyun-seo has disappeared. Returning to her headquarters, Hong-joo finds an empty bench and a burnt talisman. She orders the shamans to immediately search for Hyun-seo.

Seo-ri carries the completed Oblivion potion and places it on the altar next to the candles. Returning, she sees Jun asleep in his shelter and makes her way down to him, kneeling beside him as he sleeps.

She slowly reaches out to touch Jun’s face, only to have him grab her wrist and pull her close to him. Jun opens his eyes and says, “It’s you, isn’t it? Persimmon.”

COMMENTS

There is so much to love about this episode. I especially loved all the interactions between Yo-gwang and Jun, as well as between Seo-ri and Jun. Major props to Kim Sae-ron for acting nearly the entirely episode with just her eyes and her voice. Jun also finally voices what I’ve been thinking this entire time, which is, “All these candles and no one’s worried about a fire?”

Everything about this drama is so well-crafted, from the detailed construction of mythology to the breath-taking visuals and perfect musical scoring. The instrumental background soundtrack is really just so on point. The scoring of the scene when Yo-gwang and Jun are trying to save the burning Mauigeumseo really helped to delineate the quick tempo shifts between the comedic and dramatic beats, which might have been confusing otherwise. The same goes for pretty much any scene with Yo-gwang and Jun together, as well as when Seo-ri and Jun are together.

It’s interesting how despite the name changes that Seo-ri has undergone — from princess, to Yeon-hee, now to Seo-ri — Jun identifies her as Persimmon, the young girl straining against her confinement and yearning for the sweet taste of something so simple as a persimmon. He sees her simply as herself, someone who’s longing for something we all take for granted: freedom.

In this sense, I am so glad to see Jun finally by Seo-ri’s side. There’s a very easy rapport between the two of them and the chemistry is evident: His gaze is always so tender when he looks at her. Other than the all-to-brief scenes shared between Jun and his bestie Dong-rae, Jun doesn’t seem to have many opportunities to let down the facade that he’s has to wear when he’s around his brother. However, he is anything but opaque or guarded when he’s together with Seo-ri; in those moments we get wonderful yet rare moments of Jun being light-hearted and emotionally transparent.

While the plot made many strides forward in some areas, particularly with regards to bringing Jun and Seo-ri together, there are still so many questions that remain. We still don’t know who is Red Cloak, or whether the King’s illness is caused by the curse or by Hong-joo. I’m also curious about why Hong-joo has kept the prince’s soul — is she using his soul as a sort of spiritual compass for detecting the presence of his twin sister? There’s so much complexity in this drama left to explore, I’m glad that we still have many more episodes together!

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Mirror of the Witch is my first sageuk drama ever, and I'm glad that my first experience is the best one. The visual is simply breath taking and the casts are all amazing. JTBC outdone itself with this one. A good follow-up after Ms. Temper.

This episode makes me more interested what will happen next. And the cliffhanger! I can't with the cliffhanger D:

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How about making Six Flying Dragons your next sageuk? Yes? Yes? :3

Back to topic, those cliffhangers! Every even episode I'd be screaming at my screen "NOOOOOOOOOO CAN'T WAIT ANOTHER WEEK NOOOOOOOOOOO!"

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I heard a lot of good things about Six Flying Dragons. Is it worth watching? Because 50eps is hard. Need a lot of commitment first. And I really never watch anything sageuk, not even the famous Dae Jang Geum or even Queen Seon Deok.

Yeah! Those cliffhangers are evil! I already watch episode 8 and I'm frustrated that I have to wait another week for the next episode. It's just too cruel D:

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Oooh yes! SFD is definitely worth it! I was worried about that too at first but I loved every moment of it. I watched it while it's run, six month went so fast I wished there was more!

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I wish I did watch it weekly D: I'll give it a try then after Mirror of the Witch ended <3 I hope it's really good since I'll be the only one watching sageuk in my family (usually watch K-dramas with my mom so watching it alone would be hard for me lol).

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It's historical, but totally far from boring, especially with the strong characters and beautiful cinematography.

But I think it is also watchable for those who watch saeguks for their first time for the reason that you can get the satisfaction and clarity just by watching one episode, every single time...until it's suddenly reaches 50 eps.

It feels like each episode can stand alone. Each episode has one theme (for instance, the first ep is to tell a story about the first dragon, and second ep is about the second dragon, and so on, until they interact and their path intertwined with one another in the course of history.

The creator of six flying dragons put their effort into making us first timers (in korean history as well as korean saeguk and drama) understand who is who, what is what, and what's going on (with the footnotes and all).

But you have to watch it yourself to believe how good it is. I think, you wont regret it. :)

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Thanks for the explanation! More than ratings, I simply believe the feedback of the viewers and their comments, and so far I've heard nothing bad about Six Flying Dragons, so I'll give it a try once Mirror of the Witch ended. I need to put a closure on this series first before I take another courageous step to another sageuk land haha

I'll definitely try it because it sounded good already to me. I love complex stories.

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Oh I feel you. I also don't watch long sageuks just because in my mind, they're boring. But Dragons changed my mind. You might want to watch Tree With Deep Roots first since it's only 24 episodes. It's basically a sequel to Dragons but I feel like you'll enjoy Dragons more if you start with Tree. It's just fun to connect the dots.^^

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I've been wanting to give Six Flying Dragons a go, but i'm always wary about going into drama's that are 50+ episodes long. The only one i've ever accomplished was Empress Ki.

Plus, as much as I love saeguk drama's, I'm really only into the fantasy sort...

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This is actually my concern too. My reason for watching Mirror of the Witch is simple, because I love the premise of the story with some fantasy mixed in.

Is Empress Ki good? My friend loves it so much but since I don't watch sageuk I never touch it at all

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Yes, and i'm also watching it for Yoon Shi Yoon. Hehe.

I can't remember much about Empress Ki, other than the basic premise. Lol, guess that goes to show how much of an impression it left on me. You should try Arang and the Magistrate if you haven't already. Can't go wrong with Lee Jun Ki.

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Well, if you like romance mix in with political thriller, I think Empress Ki is good for you. It has love triangle, it has some pretty awesome battles (not just war but battle of strategy), and it's addictive! You won't know maybe you'll finish it all in 2 days just like my friend.

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Well, I was hopelessly addicted to Empress Ki for the 6 months that the show was airing. Saeguk is not my favorite genre, but I could not stay away from this. The best point for me was the badass female lead: she went through hell, but in the end she prevailed over her enemies and took over an empire *-* I cheered for her so hard... I also became a huge fan of Ha Ji Won and Ji Chang Wook who were absolutely awesome in their roles.
I can tell you that the only posts in my tumblr that are still alive after a couple of years are the ones from Empress Ki, so people are still watching and getting hooked. :)

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my first sageuk was Sungkyunkwan Scandal...that drama holds a very special place. :)
try watching it too.

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oh and watch Arang and the Magistrate...I was so scared watching that drama, I only watch it during day time lol.

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I don't really like the "girl disguise as boy" type of story so I never watch it or even considering to watch Sungkyunkwan. Is it that good?

Arang, I'll try watching. Thanks for the recommend!

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Try Sungkyunkwan please. *puppy eyes*

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You HAVE TO watch Arang and the Magistrate! It was one of my first fusion saeguks and I became OBSESSED while waiting for new eps! Like this one, it was built around a whole creative universe, the music was beautiful and the acting was quite good (Leads had lots of chemistry too! :D). Watching MOTW reminds me of those days, I hope they don't mess it up, it's so good already it'd be such a pity to regret it later.

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SKKS is worth it just for the bromance between Yoo Ah-in and Song Joong-ki. :-D

Btw whenever I see Jun's brother in those colorful hanboks I'm always reminded of SJK's character and think...dude, who do you think you are..Gu Yongha?! XD

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@Ari
Oh, sounds promising. I'll put it on my to-watch list first then! Since I love Lee Jun-ki too, I hope I can enjoy the show as much as I enjoy Mirror of the With at the moment :)

THanks for the recommendation!

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@harunomasu Oh really? I became his fan while watching him in there, yeah I was late to the Jun ki party x'D Such a hardworking, talented actor!

How great it would had been if Arang had the cinematography of MOTW! It'd have been even prettier :D

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You must also watch "Moon Embracing the Sun" -- really good.

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Despite my eternal love to Kim Soo-hyun, I have to admit that melodrama is not really my thing. Heard the stories from people around me who watch it, and I've decided not to watch it rather than hating it ^^''

Thanks for the recommendation though!

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I loved Sungkyunkwan but Yoo Ah-in stole the show for me. I couldn't root for the main lead at the end when I was suffering such severe second lead syndrome

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Not a Korean drama but give Nirvana in Fire a shot if you enjoy a visual feast with great acting and a fantastic story. Don't hate me when you are left empty after watching it.

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I've heard good things about Nirvana too. 54 episodes. Quite long. Is it good? I'm still new at sageuk so I will need a lot of recommendations from you all :)

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I'm watching it at the moment..am at episode 8 and so far it's really good, a lot of characters which can get confusing at times but so much eye candy haha.
And although it's 54 episodes, each episode is just about 40 minutes long so it goes by a lot lot faster than Korean ones.

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Tell me if it's good until the end! Maybe I will put it in my to-watch list <3

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I was amazed at how good it was. I was expecting the usual bad green screen and winding plot lines, but it was the total opposite. I wanted to live in that universe and be his bestimate so yeah, watch it.

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If you love fantasy sageuk, try Arang and The Magistrate, recommended! You can try some sort of fictional sageuk like Sungkyunkwan Scandal or Tamra The Island too.

For cross-dressing sageuk and simply being all-round good sageuk, I'd recommend Painter of The Wind. My all time favorite sageuk.

For political sageuk, you can watch Six Flying Dragons and Tree With Deep Roots (from same production team), Queen Seondeok or Jung Do Jeon.

For more romantic sageuk, try Dong Yi, QIHM (not exactly sageuk), TMETS, The Princess' Man.

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I wholeheartly recommend you Return of Iljimae (2009) if a superhero show with well rounded characters, gorgeous cinematography and great character development with an historical background is what you're looking for. Set around the 1650's is one of the best Korean Sageuks around.

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Okay. She has officially made me forget that she is so much younger. (She's that good of an actress.)
And, (if anyone wants to know,) I watch this K-drama through my fingers.
(I'm a big scare baby.)

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I was thinking about watching this drama but is it scary? I can not handle scary things LOL :/

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For me, personally, I don't think it's outright scary. It's just quite creepy. The background sound does give me shivers, though. Still, watch it. You'll be missing out if you don't :)

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I'm a scaredy cat to but this one doesn't scare me as much. More like gives me shivers because of the ambiance and background music. The makeup team is good though so I was watching through my fingers whenever they show the king's wounds.

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It's not that scary but the mood is quite dark and sometimes it can be a little bit creepy. But other than that, I think it's not that scary at all :)

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I definitely feel you! She is doing an amazing job!!

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I don't find it scary, but then I don't scare easily. It does have a creepy vibe and the music sets the mood perfectly, specially every time the shamaness appears.

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She's much younger, but the styling and her height make her looks more mature while Yoon Si Yoon still retains baby-face.
I'm still creeped out by their age difference, but for this show, I'm willing to ignore and forget.

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...she says to herself that the throne is her son’s, and that she must protect it.

Huh? I thought her son died? Is she expecting him to come back a zombie?

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Peeps, this is my answer to your question: Watch the next episode ashdhdsfhgashkdjfkljgfhddgbjnhfmewhkf

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Yes, OMG!! the next episode sent chills down my spine!!

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No spoilers but the next episode...getting mindfucked is an understatement right? Lol

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OMO next episode is super SUPER awesome! I especially love the cliffhanger! Oh and yes, mindfu*k indeed :D

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Believe me, certain scene in the next ep is FUCKING MIND FUCKING but you won't stop watching... props to the director for keeping us glued despite of the effin creeps!!

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Oh my goodness... Yogwang and Jun are hilarious.. I want more of this reluctant bromance. Also Lee Jihoon is so good as well..I think everyone in this show is amazing. I love that we are still wondering what will happen next but I have to give credit to this show because I felt assured that they will provide us answers to our questions.. but in the meantime I'm having fun not knowing.

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That scene between Yogwang and Jun made me laugh. I kept expecting Seo-ri to walk by and spot Yogwang being all handsy, then give the boys a stink eye for being so strange.

Seriously Yogwang, did you need to squeeze the symbol on his chest that many times to try and recognize it? That would just distort the shape anyway.

I still want to know who brought Yogwang back to life. I have no idea who would have the power and motivation to do so. They haven't told us who it was yet, have they? Or did I just miss something in those earlier episodes?

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I really want to find out who saved yogwang too! Hopefully it's gonna be a new awesome character

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Yep! It's nice to have so many mysteries to solve :) seems it will be an entertaining ride till the end, fingers crossed!!

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That bromance is hilarious. That scene w yo kwang touching jun's chest is priceless. N uo kwang insistence that he likes women is the cherry on top kekekeke

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Thought he is a monk... then again he is human after all.

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He's a taoist priest and like CHS (Poong Yeon's father) they do get married.

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Since MOTW, my love for Yoon Shi-yoon knows no bounds. I just adore him to bits. One minute he's playful and funny, the next he's emoting the deepest depths of despair, sorrow and loneliness.

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Are u watching 2d1n? the first part of this ep, esp reminds me of the real him in 2d1n. I love the comedy side of him.

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Oh yes, I definitely want to check it out! At which episode does he first appear and are there english subs?

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there you go! i might be bias, cause I am obsesses with 2d1nS3. but give it a try! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gM-hrL3wZCg

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Thanks D! I'm definitely going to check it out!

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I think almost all of us who love YSY watches 1n2d just because of him. I still think of him as Enrique sometimes. He has that side of him that is so Enrique-like especially that optimism.

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You are NOT ALONE I swear! God bless the day I watched Flower Boy Next Door, I adore him since then. Now in MOTW he looks much more mature, handsome and his acting keeps getting better. They just need to show his body more and I'll be even happier hahahahahaa

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I've only seen YSY in FBND and MOTW and thought he was good in the first, but he's absolutely wowing me with his range in MOTW.

Yep, the military takes them in as innocent puppies and spits them out as worldly tigers, including the choco abs.

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Including FBND and MOTW i watched him in Me Too Flower a long time ago

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No one watched King of Baking KTG?? I became a big fan of him back then, he was absolutely awesome. Kim Tak Gu is a character you cannot easily forget, YSY is indeed an amazing actor.

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That's when I saw him too, I got so invested in that show watching him, you're not alone.

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I watched it. It was a good show. Even my hubby really likes it. ^^

But I haven't been his fan back then. I started to become his fan after watching FBND because I could never get enough of Enrique. xD

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Yogwang's subtle fetish. I was laughing my head off watching that! This show is totally showcasing Yoon Shiyoon's body. Not that I'm complaining.

Yoon Shiyoon's eyes though. Ack! I just can't when he stares at Yeonhee. He's in this thin line between sweet and cheesy yet manages to balance both.

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I know I let out a string of curse words every time someone leaves us due to enlistment but gotta appreciate the post army bods (especially if they weren't buff before e.g. SJK or YSY hehe)

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I don't usually like abs or shower scenes and the like but there's something about YSY body that I like seeing (for some reasons unknown lol).

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This show is both beautiful and breathtaking!
Thanks so much for the recap

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My favorite show right now, of the ones that are airing. Loving so many of the actors. I'm off to watch 8 now!

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Kim Sae Ron truly did amazing job in this episode, I know the age gap had me a bit worried but I can see the chemistry flowing with an ease between the two in this episode. This episode had a good balance between all aspects, humor, suspense and romance. I hope it can continue to do that. And the cast truly is wonderful and the music scores.

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I also don't watch saeguk but Mirror of the Witch is my first ever saeguk drama and it's all thanks to Donggu. I found him so adorable and cute in 1n2d and I've seen him in the drama with Yoona but he's the second lead and I thought he deserved some recognition because he's such a good actor.

I'm still on episode 3 and I still come by and check drama beans for some recap. I'm just looking at the screencaps, not really reading anything because I don't want some spoilers but thank you very much for the recaps Opensesame. You make me look forward to watching the next episodes.

By the way, Kim Saeron is really pretty.

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We're on the same boat! Mirror of the Witch is also my first sageuk ever and I really enjoyed it :)

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Another one to check if you like MOTW is Arang and the Magistrate! It was my first fusion saeguk and was favorably considered here in Dramabeans. It's not perfect, not as dark as MOTW, but it's totally worth the ride :D

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Seriously, this show!! I have no words for it. YSY is so great with expressing his emotions with his eyes...ughhh.

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So basically Hoong Joo is luring the king to her side by healing him from something she actually caused, wow. If that isn't a first notch evil-villainess-slash-master-puppeteer, i don't know what is *claps hands
Letting Jun loose in the temple is like The Sorcerer's Apprentice enactment, of course he has to burnt his sleeve and the most important thing in there, hahaha.
Also, even tho Seo Ri shud be able to just flick the box in the top rack with her telekinesis, am glad we can see Jun's melting action!

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I couldn't stop laughing at Yo-gwang squeezing Jun's chest, his face when he realized what was happening and the look Jun was giving him was just hilarious.

This show is doing an incredible job, it's just so beautiful. I can't get enough of it.

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This ep was so funny XD

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I love lee ji hoon (the king) performance here!! i've only seen him in not so serious roles before (lee soon shin is the best and school 2013), and his role here as a stern serious king is really unexpected esp with a tiney bit of mystery and dark side. but really hope he won't turn as a totally bad guy or die at the end.

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He's also in Six Flying Dragons! His role wasn't huge but he was still fantastic there.

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Yes, LJH is simply shine in sageuk. He must only play sageuk from now on.

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It must be the dark & creepy tension before that led me to laugh so hard at the comedic duo in the cave... more comedic relief please!!!

I'm dying to know the third force - who revived the dead monks and Joon. Technically, all the people in this show are dead before ..

Who re-constructed the barrier?

Why thorns grow on the King's body (yiiikes..)

Why Hong Joo needs the King's help to get back to palace (hello, she is the super villain here!)

What power does Queen Dowager has to stop Hong Joo from coming back, we are talking blowing dark smoke and hypnotising zombies & living people, scary isn't it, she should know..

Why is it Poong Yeon, the son of Taoist leader, living in the world of ghosts & spirits seems to be acting like as if he is in another drama (I can't believe he is not the least suspicious that the King's wondering, guards murdered and bumping into an illusion Yeon Hui, it can't be something normal)

But I'm so totally into this show despite every episodes produce more unanswered questions and hope Ok will get his upcomepance soon.

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Oops.. * comeuppance. haha.

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"upcomepance,"
Kidding me, you are!
(If you haven't seen the running skit on GAG Concert, it will just look like I'm mocking you. But I'm not. I LOVED your typo.)

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I'll go to Mojito and have some Maldives!

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I am hopelessly addicted to this drama. The leads' chemistry is so good that the age gap doesn't bother me anymore. I can see now why they cast KSR even though so many people were against it.

Thank goodness the humor is back this episode. I laughed out loud many times (the scenes of Jun and Yo-gwang together were adorable- I smell a bromance brewing there).

One thing that bothered me this episode was when they strung Jun up for destroying the book. Would they really have killed him over his accident? And would Yeon-hee really have let him die even though she knew who he was and that he had taken an arrow for her once before? What did you guys think about that whole situation?

Anyways, thanks for the recap and I can't wait for the next one! (And next week needs to get here faster ?)

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Honestly, that bothered me too, I kept fidgeting and couldn't watch it, don't do that to our Jun, not him!

but Seo-ri did hesitate before she turned away, I'd like to believe she'd have stopped it. Yes, she's turned cold but she was glad seeing him alive so, no, she wouldn't have let him die!

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Yees....
That really bother me too, what if jun doesnt drink the inteligence potion?
They really going to kill him?
Really?
Because seo ri did hesitate, but she still walk away from jun.

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I just love it, love it, love it!
You just know who the boss is when Yoh Gwang tries to cover Jun and the burnt book from Seo Ri...

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..It’s you, isn’t it? Persimmon..

I'm floored by the emotion reflected in his eyes. He did miss his persimmon.

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That scene was breathtaking, so beautiful :)

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I haven't watch this drama, but planned to. Based on the commenters, looks like I have to start it soon :)

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Yes, start and join the comments party! LOL!

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DO NOT MISS IT! It's worth it so far, the visuals, the music, the acting, the creeps... everything!!

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I love how more people keep watching this, this show does deserve the numbers.
On a completely unrelated note, somebody needs to recap Baek Hee has returned, its so much fun in a zany way.

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Oh yeah Beak Hee is so fun I really enjoyed the first episode, reminds me of warm and cozy

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This show is so beautifully made, I can see all the love the crew have for this drama by the set designs, sound engineering, costuming and so many more.
I hope the ratings will continue rising, and that people who were sceptical at first about the age difference (like me) will give it a chance.

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Jun's eyes are killing me, there are just so many emotions in them.

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Yoon Shi Yoon is extremely expressive with his eyes. It's beautiful *O* He's doing a fantastic job here

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Was Sol-Gae acting a little suspicious in this episode? Could she be one of Hong Joo's minions in red?

Really like the sound effects in this show, birds chirping in the hideaway and the little sound effect when Seo Ri uses magic or when the potion starts working etc

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i just love jun and yo gwang's funny moments..i burst out laughing when the two boys trying to figure out how to put out the fire(in panic mode) and the look on yo gwang's face when jun hurled the burning book into the stream..hahahahahaha. he simply looked stumped.. and jun is grumbling about how all those candles can caused big fire while fishing out the book.. not even noticing the look on yo gwang's face.

am so glad to find some sunshine in this dark drama and can't wait to see if jun will get his persimmon to smile again.

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If you think this cliffhanger is good, oh boy...wait until you see episode 8's cliffhanger. It's freaking awesome!!! Can't wait to read 8's recap soon!

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I CAN NOT WAIT for friday to come! The cliffhanger was on point!!

I love your username :D

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This episode was practically exploding with chemistry. Everything was crackling whenever Seori and Heojoon share a scene together. I feel that it's worth the wait all those 5 eps they spent away from each other.

Am I the only one who suspected Hongjoo as the culprit of the King's sickness? I kept thinking she deliberately cursed the King so that she would be the only person who can cure him later. That's like a sure way to gain his favor and rebuild her power at the palace. And with the prince's soul within her control, I can't imagine how horrible it would be when once again, she does become a powerful figure behind the royal family.

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So so true, they are wonderful as separate characters, but they are literally slaying every other pairing I remember from this year's dramas (from the ones I watched ofc) when they are together.

Age gap never really bothered me, since they are both just actors, but the chemistry between Seo-ri and Heo Joon is just simply fantastic. I won't spoil the cliffhanger of the next episode, but man, even then in that pretty weird situation the sparks were flying if you already watched it. :D

My favourite drama of the year so far, the same goes for pairing. I'm anticipating the recap of episode 8, I can't wait to share some more elaborate thoughts about this week's episodes (which were simply brilliant).

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Agree, great actors and the best combo this year for sure :)
Maybe it is my imagination but YSY seems to be a warm person (apart from a talented actor), :) I think he has to help KSR a lot in their scenes, she shines in her role too, and looks very confident playing an adult. They are so good that I completely forget about age gaps, I hope they get some recognition for their work here.

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i first saw YSY in FBND and i loved him since. Even in BTS, he looked like a nice person.

I have a confession to make. I'm still rewatching the FBND's ending. For me, it's the best ending in KDrama. And the soundtrack.. I downloaded all of it in itunes. Haha!

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Man that girl means business! One moment she is happy Jun is alive and the next she leaves him hanging, literally.

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I love love this show!
I've waited for yoon shi yoon's comeback and he didn't disappoint us. I didnt really bother by the age gap because they really good in their performance. Kim sae ron is very pretty and mysterious here. Yoon shi yoon makes us love heo joon really. Of course, i love all the characters and their interaction. Oh, the bromance between joon and yo gwang is definitely good! Waiting for friday again! Thanks for the recap :)

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One thing I love about this show is that when it comes to the curse everyone is at a disadvantage. Evil Shaman because the princess is alive and Seo-ri because Red Coat is sabotaging the lighting of the candles. Esp after watching Jackpot and the all knowing and never worried Injaw it is very refreshing and believable. Which is another reason I love this show. Everything about the mystical part of the show is believable. The way its so far has woven together is seamless and makes their world seem real and leaves a sense of mystery because we don't know all the rules their magic or the limitations they will face.

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I'm happy this drama is getting good ratings! The sets are gorgeous and the music is fantastic, there are still so many questions unanswered to fill the remaining episodes. I wonder what this team would be able to do with a bigger budget in one of the Big 3 stations.

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Does noone find it weird that it seemed like she was pretty chill with him hanginger... I mean it looked like they only released him cause he memorised the book.. would she have killed him otherwise or what??

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*With him hanging

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I also noticed it... but in saeguks they don't bother about human life and all... it like 'kill, problem solved' mentality... but I'm thinking they only meant to scare him out of his wits...well hoping actually..

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I didn't expect the new king to accept Hong Joo back into the palace so easily, did he have no clue what went down the last time she got her foot in the door?

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I dont think it was an easy decision. Imagine whole your body bleeding with awful lot of thrones sticking out....and enduring it for a long time in secret with no pain killers and no cure at sight... and suddenly it all vanishes in the blink of an eye... but the pain will return unless he takes hong ju back to palace... I think the king was in no position to refuse. I also think the illness itself was hong ju's black magic doing, so that she can create this situation to return to the palace.

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Did his happen in episode 7.....?

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First, let me say I love the look, mood, and actors, but . . . the pacing of this drama seems sooooo slow. We're already on eps. 7-8 (no spoilers), which is the midpoint (?), and yet I'm still wondering what is this about? Where are we going?

That being said, it's purty to watch so it is what it is.

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I've got a several theories on who Red Cloak could be: Hyun-seo, doing Hong-joo's bidding mindlessly; the king himself, under Hong-joo's influence; some random person, like Dong-rae perhaps; or even Seo-ri's twin brother, but just his soulless body. It could be one of them, or none. I'm eager to find out, regardless.

This show is just so wonderful, seriously. I freaking love it, and everything about it! Looking forward to episode 8's recap!

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Well, the Red cloak is bringing the heart of his victims to Hong Joo, isn't it? I'd bet on Hyun, who's under her control, but I dislike the idea so much, I hope is not him...

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I'm loving MotW so much!! :) Like most people here my favorite points are the splendid cinematography, the perfect soundtrack and the great chemistry between the cast members, specially YSY and KSR. Whoever is in charge of this, is doing a great job, I want to hug them :D

The story is also good so far and I expect more action in next episodes, now that the leads have met again. I hope they do not disappoint and give us some surprises in the way, there are some mysteries to be solved and I cannot wait till next episode!

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I don't really have much to add here, but I do have a small question. I thought that the potions Seori concocts only work when the ones imbibing them believe in their efficacy. Heojun drinks the memory concoction on a whim, without believing in its efficacy, and yet it works. Did I miss something? Perhaps this concoction is different from the types made for those who wish on the 100 year old tree.

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Maybe it works differently in every situation. It is also possible that he was earnest in his desire to become more intelligent, haha! and this is why it worked :)

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Thanks for the replay, Elena :)!

I'm not sure if this was an oversight on the writer's part or if there is an explanation. Maybe we'll find out...or maybe we won't ;).

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Maybe potions for the wish tree are different since they are also used to light the candles (I'm thinking that maybe Yo gwang tells people they have to believe, in order to be able to light the candles and keep them alight)

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Yes, that was something I was considering. Hopefully, those differences will be explained.

Thanks for your response, nmaxx :).

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Just wait for Ep 8. And you'll find out why...

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I watched episode 8, but I don't remember the differences being explained. I guess the memory potion was just a different type of concoction not dependent upon the belief of the drinker but again, I don't recall that being expained. Thanks for your reply :)!

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WAIT? Nobody saw that Seori changed the potion with water?

And i thought HJ just pretended that it worked?

Or i just misunderstood it?

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I don't want to spoil things on this thread, but the potion that was switched was not the memory one. So yes, there was some switching, but not of the memory potion. As you can tell, the memory potion worked since Heojun was able to recall the contents of the book that he inadvertently destroyed.

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Ooopps.. My bad. I totally forgot that there's another potion. I thought you are talking about the other one. I had to reread your original post. Sorry about that.

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That's all right. Thanks for your thoughts all the same :)!

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the potion will work, despite the belief... but the candle can be lit by yeon hee only if their wish is earnest...

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Oh, okay. I didn't think about that. For some reason I thought that the efficacy of the potion depended upon belief, and that that belief would in turn ensure that the candle stayed lit. But you're saying that the belief only had any impact on the candle (the potion would have worked anyway). Thanks :)!

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Thanks for the recap, opensesame!

Really love this series and so happy to see Jun and Seori reunite! I love how this drama balances intense and comedic moments. Seeing Jun and Seori interacting again was great. He obviously notices that it's gotta be her and the final scene was just to see whether she would be honest with him. Also, I think when he went up to where she would rest in he cave, he might have spotted his kite though that wasn't shown. But I think that would be the final confirmation that he needed to know that this was Yeonhee. The Jun and Yogwang scenes were too funny, especially the manhandling. XD And since we know that the mark on Jun's chest is the same as the one on the ripped page of the book, that must explain why the talismans that were burning got restored. Jun must be carrying some protective/healing powers within that mark that he isn't yet aware of.

I guess when Poongyeon went to see Hongjoo last time, she must have embedded something in his neck to be able to control him as well as cause him to hallucinate. I definitely think the crown prince's soul is like radar for Seori. Interesting that Hyunseo woke up and caught Hongjoo off guard.

Anyway, will catch up on the next ep soon. ^^

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I don't even want to watch this at first because of I think Yoon Shi Yoon and Kim Sae Ron age gape making me hard to imagine them as a couple. BUT! Since my friend keep on telling me to watch this drama, I'm thanking her for pushing me. This is awesome! I love it!!!!!!

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Muy agradable el drama la química entre los protagonistas es de diezla escenografía excelente la música es CF adecuada para cada situación en fin el drama es excelente esperando que el rating suba más ??????

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THANK YOU so much for your recaps, you are helping me immeasurably to understand the narrative of the drama.

I just want to correct that Hyun-seo is actually lying SUPINE, which means "face up" because prone means "face down" .

"Tendrils of black smoke make their way to Hyun-seo’s body, still LYING PRONE with a talisman on his chest, and enter his nostrils."
The talisman was on his chest, which means he was face up, and therefore supine.

from wikipedia:"Prone position (/proʊn/) is a body position in which one lies flat with the chest down and back up. In anatomical terms of location, the dorsal side is up, and the ventral side is down. The supine position is the 180° contrast."

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