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Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo: Episode 19

Love is a fickle thing indeed, and that love is put to the test this hour more than ever before. Does it pass that test? Not exactly. Su seems to have made up her mind when it comes to So, and any attempts to convince her to the contrary fall on deaf ears. Now all that’s left for us to do is hope and pray that we all come out of tomorrow’s finale unscathed.

 
EPISODE 19 RECAP

So finds Su sitting dejectedly in front of the Damiwon baths, and offers her his hand to help her stand. He’s been wanting to talk to her, he says, but Su rejects the offer: “I cannot go back to that room.”

He knows that this is about Chae-ryung, and reiterates to Su that all Chae-ryung ever did was fool her. But Su remembers differently, and insists that Chae-ryung was always sincere to her. (Really?) So asks if she’s really going to trust Chae-ryung over him, but Su just says she wants to leave the palace.

“What about me?” So replies, an edge to his voice. “Do you think I’ll let you go? You can never leave me.” But when he returns to his room and sees the folded wedding hanbok, he looks more conflicted than ever.

While bathing with an unnecessary amount of candles, Yeonhwa considers So’s proposal for her to leave her family behind and become his only queen. In return, he promised that he would make their future son the crown prince, so Yeonhwa decides that she’ll take him up on it—she wants Goryeo to belong to her son.

Su hands a small box of Chae-ryung’s belongings to Astronomer Choi, asking him to deliver it to the girl’s family. But when ninth prince Won passes by, she tells him in a flat voice that Chae-ryung has died, clearly waiting for a reaction he won’t give.

At his blasé attitude, Su reminds him that Chae-ryung died because of him, and warns that he’ll come to regret it. Won just scoffs that a king’s mistress thinks she can talk to him in such a way, with the “mistress” part catching her by surprise.

Word makes it fast to So, who tells Su that he’ll have to give her an official title as concubine in order for her to be considered more than a mere mistress. She’ll be second only to the queen—and if she has a child, she’ll be considered a second queen entirely.

Su insists that she doesn’t care for a title and simply wants to leave the palace, but So steamrolls over her. “You know that you can’t leave, so stop being so stubborn,” he says. He’s not saying it to hurt her, as he takes her hands in his and calls for an end to their bickering.

“Have you forgotten how long we had to be apart from each other?” he asks tenderly, adding that they shouldn’t let this fight ruin their relationship. But Su pulls her hand from his wordlessly. Sigh.

Meanwhile, Wook tries his hand at political maneuvering, deciding that he’ll act loyal to So outwardly for the time being while planning his next move. Whatever it is, it has something to do with Baek-ah, since both Wook and Won know how much So favors him.

Speaking of, Baek-ah can’t help but wonder why Woo-hee won’t marry him, especially now that they’ve had her registered under a noble family’s name. He guesses it might have to do with her stance on the treatment of people from Later Baekje, but no sooner does he promise to remedy that do they see dead runaway slaves from Baekje displayed for all to see. Woo-hee can barely contain her rage.

Astronomer Choi informs the king that slaves from Later Baekje have been setting fire to the houses of noble families. Wook speaks on behalf of the families being attacked as he asks that So send soldiers to protect them, though So is reluctant to enter a conflict that could bring more chaos.

Under pressure, So finally relents, but adds that the soldiers must use non-lethal force to subdue the slaves in order to avoid bloodshed. Strangely though, Wook proposes that Baek-ah lead the forces, despite Baek-ah never having even held a sword before.

His reasoning is that doing so would dispel rumors that So cares more for Baek-ah (whose mother was of Silla royalty) and the people of Later Baekje than he does for the people of Goryeo, considering that he had a former noblewoman of Later Baekje adopted into a noble family.

It could then be construed that someone close to So (Baek-ah) is being manipulated by someone from Later Baekje, should the marriage happen. Despite the accusations sounding ridiculous, Wook says it would be very easy for them to be spread as rumors.

Baek-ah wants to volunteer to lead the troops despite everything, hating the idea that he and Woo-hee are being used against So. Though So would rather go himself, it’d be seen as him taking sides, so Baek-ah reassures him that he’s not going to die.

We know it’s serious when we get a lovey-dovey scene with Baek-ah fixing Woo-hee’s hair into a bun, indicative of her new status as a wife. Though they aren’t officially married yet, Baek-ah promises that they will be as soon as he returns.

The rebelling slaves of Later Baekje read a posting of the king’s decree that they will not be harmed, and that those forced into slavery or taken from their homes will be reinstated as full citizens of Goryeo. However, the slaves think it’s all talk, and resume their march through the city.

Poor Baek-ah is so nervous as he prepares for the oncoming conflict that he drops his sword, though fourteenth prince Jung is there to pick it up for him, despite him supposedly being exiled to his hometown.

He helps Baek-ah into his armor and tells his brother to come back alive. Baek-ah asks if he received the hairpin from Su, and adds the message only now: “I want it.” He tells him exactly what Su told him, but he knows that it’s a cry for help.

He gets emotional as he asks Jung to remain a friend to Su as well as the king, since he doesn’t know what’s going to happen to him. Jung can only wish him a final farewell and depart, moments before Baek-ah looks up to see Woo-hee standing precariously atop the gates, where a banner reading “Later Three Kingdoms: Reunification of Goryeo, Baekje, and Silla” hangs.

The oncoming slaves stop at the sight of their princess, urging her away from the edge. Baek-ah runs up to confront her, knowing what it is that she’s thinking of doing.

All Woo-hee tells him to do is turn around, and with tears in his eyes, Baek-ah does as she asks. “If you see,” Woo-hee says tearfully, “you won’t ever forget.” And then, she steps off the ledge. Why is any of this happening?

“I thought I could ignore it and live my life,” we hear her say in voiceover as she falls to her death. “I was going to deny my parents. But I can’t turn my back on my people, who look to me as a mother. I don’t think I have the strength to live like that. Goryeo and Baekje, Gyeon Hwon [founder of Later Baekje] and Taejo Wang Geon. I will pay for their sins with my life. Perhaps… this is the reason I was born.” Was it, though?

Su sinks down when she hears the news, and So seems similarly stunned. We find Baek-ah clutching Woo-hee’s lifeless body and sobbing as her voiceover continues to tell him how much she loved him.

Later, he looks at the drawings he’d made of her, and thinks back to their memories together (including that time she stabbed him). Su finds him holding the hairpin he’d given her as he wonders why Woo-hee didn’t say anything to him.

He blames himself for not recognizing Woo-hee’s unhappiness sooner, believing himself to be shallow. But Su says it was Woo-hee who betrayed them, since in the end, she wasn’t selfless enough to care how they would feel.

Now, Baek-ah turns his ire to the king, guessing that he knew everything from the beginning. He confronts So over the deal he’d made with Woo-hee, though So insists that he didn’t know she would die because of it. All he wanted to do was save Baek-ah, and though he claims he didn’t know Woo-hee would commit suicide for it, even if he had, he would’ve done it again if it meant saving Baek-ah.

Baek-ah knows how his brother feels, but he can’t accept it. He gives the king a deep, formal bow, usually reserved for farewells. So recognizes this and desperately admits that he was in the wrong, but Baek-ah takes the blame upon himself. He wishes his hyung a long and healthy life and leaves, despite So calling for him to come back.

So approaches Yeonhwa in the bedchamber, asking if she’s sure about her decision. She says she is, and the rest is left to the imagination.

As he previously discussed with Won, Wook gifts So with a hunting hawk in front of the rest of the court. But when the cage is unveiled, the hawk inside is dead, and the serious music cues us into this being a Bad Omen.

Wook looks more shocked than anyone, having clearly not expected this, as one of the ministers cries out that it’s considered a curse to gift a king a dead hawk. Wook tries to explain that it was just a misunderstanding, but Won makes sure to place the blame squarely on his shoulders.

So asks Wook if he’s committing treason by placing such a curse upon him, and the entire court echoes the sentiment. Wook drops to his knees to beg for the king’s forgiveness, and So smiles grimly: “If it is treason, you will have to pay with your life.” Wow, how is it that I feel sorry for Wook again?

Queen Sinjeong rushes to Yeonhwa with the news of Wook’s predicament, but Yeonhwa couldn’t be more cavalier about the whole matter. She refuses to heed her mother’s request that she save her brother, claiming that she can’t cover up her brother’s crimes for him.

Reminding her mother that she’s queen now, she tells her to let her go as her daughter. She has bigger things to worry about, which leaves her mother trembling with rage.

Wook doesn’t move from the spot where he prostrated himself, despite the throne room being empty now. Su begs So for Wook’s life, claiming he was framed, and even drops to her knees to do so.

That gets So’s attention, since he knows she has bad knees. He kneels to help her up, but she reminds him of his promise not to hurt his brothers. Then, she adds that she knows it was he who killed the hawk and put Wook’s life in danger.

He pulls away from her slightly, asking if there’s a reason he shouldn’t have done so, considering that Wook killed King Hyejong and Eun, chased Baek-ah off, tried to kill him, and tried to separate the two of them. “That’s the kind of person he is,” So argues.

But Su says that whatever goes around comes around, and that if So continues to be too harsh in meting out punishment, everyone will soon turn against him. She doesn’t want him to go down in history as a tyrant, to which So finally relents that he’ll let Wook live. But he’ll be forever confined to his home, and won’t be allowed to take one step out of it.

“He will suffocate in that house,” So all but growls. And now that he thinks of it, he likes this punishment much more than killing him outright. His laugh unsettles Su as she looks up at him in bewilderment, but there’s nothing she can do.

For now, Wook is confined to his library, with soldiers standing watch outside. At the same time, Yeonhwa finds Su near the baths, and strangely admits to pushing Wook too hard. However, she places the blame regarding the change in Wook on Su, since Su was the one who warned him about So. Because of that warning, Wook believed that So would become king.

“He had feelings for you. He hated more than anything that you were acknowledging another man as king. I may have been the one who pressured Wook, but it was you who hammered in the nail,” Yeonhwa grits out.

Su thinks back to King Jeongjong blaming her for everything too, because she helped So to cover his scar. She remembers telling Wook to stay away from So lest he die, and also remembers her prophetic visions about So. “It was all my fault,” Su realizes in the present.

Yeonhwa goes on to say that if Su hadn’t have gotten involved, then Wook wouldn’t have changed the way he did. “You ruined everything. And yet, shamelessly, you still live.” Oh, okay. Right. You’re completely blameless, Yeonhwa. It’s not like Wook had to kill someone and put himself at your mercy because of something you did, right?

Of course Su believes every word Yeonhwa says, and has more heart troubles because of it later. In the meantime, So has his portrait painted because he has a special someone he wants to give it to.

The portrait session is interrupted by Jung, who’s managed to enter the palace despite his exile. He’s brought a decree from the late King Jeongjong, in which he declared his approval of a marriage between Jung and Su.

Flash back to when Jung had been given one wish due to his bravery on the battlefield by King Jeongjong. We never heard what it was he asked for then, but now we know he asked for Su’s hand in marriage. In the present, So throws the decree to the ground, claiming it to be fake.

Jung challenges him to compare the handwriting, but So says that even if it’s a match, he’ll refuse to allow it. So tries to use the “Everyone knows she’s with me” line, but Jung just as easily throws back that she’s not a wife or a concubine—thus, there’s no reason why she can’t be free to marry him.

He throws down the gauntlet by adding that he’s already informed the ministers of the decree, and that they know he’s waiting for the king’s consent. It’s only when Jung says that this is what Su wants that So stops with his threats to punish him.

So goes straight to Su, asking her if she already knew about the decree of consent. So says that Jung claimed she wanted to marry him, but since he knows she doesn’t, he’ll—… “I want to,” Su interrupts.

She mentions how it would only be harmful for So to go against the late king’s decree, and brings up how he’d talked about their longing for each other when they were apart. She admits this was so, but says that now, she sees him daily and sometimes even despises him.

This comes as a shock to So, but Su continues that if they were to keep going as they are, only hatred would remain. Her reasoning is that if she leaves now, she can prevent that from happening, or something. “I will never allow that to happen,” So answers in a low voice.

Yeonhwa tears into So for ignoring the late king’s decree, since he’s not helping his case. She can’t understand why he can’t just let Su go, but warns that she won’t just stand by and let him throw the throne away.

While confined to his library, Wook flashes back to when he was still prostrated in front of the throne. Su had gone to him to say that the king had agreed to let him live, though Wook had worried that people might begin to suspect her.

Su had answered that she would have done this for anyone, and had kneeled before him to tell him to give up his aspirations for the throne. “No one can escape this misery if you do not leave this place. You must give up first,” she said, leaving Wook with much to consider.

In the present, he returns to the letter he’d been writing, only to get an unexpected visit from a disguised(?) Yeonhwa, asking for his help. Well, well.

Cut to: Wook greeting the king in the throne room, which he was only able to do because Yeonhwa made it so. Yeonhwa is sent from the room as Wook confesses to the one thing So has stubbornly not known until now: that he and Su had once promised to marry each other.

He explains that their relationship took place before Su became So’s woman, adding that back then, Su was his. We cut to So confronting an oblivious Su over this newfound bit of information, explaining that he knows all about the bracelet and her secret meetings with Wook.

“Is it all true?” he asks, clearly wanting it not to be. But she affirms it asthmatically, leaving So to put all the pieces together that he hadn’t before. So would rather her lie to him and tell him it was all a misunderstanding, desperate for things to go back to the way they were.

“We said we would not lie to one another,” Su reminds him. “How could you do this?” So asks desperately. “How could you hurt me like this? Why is it Wook, of all people?” He steps back when Su approaches him, a tear running down his cheek. “Wook was the only one in your heart,” he adds, believing it to be true.

Su looks tearful herself, and reaches out to take his hand. So pulls it away with a warning: “After today, I will never see you again.” Su collapses in his wake, crying. I’m so confused. Isn’t this what she wanted anyway?

Su takes her leave of the palace as Astronomer Choi warns So that if he throws Su away like this, he’ll lose a part of himself as well. But then So says the truest statement ever told: “I did not throw her away. Su threw me away.”

Baek-ah and Su share a parting drink, taking a moment to discuss the marriage Su didn’t know about. And while she claims not to love the idea, she’s ready to go through with it just to get out of the palace, explaining that she fell out with So because “there’s just too much blood in our relationship.” (That’s literally what she says, but I have absolutely no idea what she means.)

Regardless, Baek-ah says he’s grateful for their relationship, and ends his farewell there. He tries to chase Wook off when he comes to say his farewell, but at a nod from Su, Baek-ah relents and takes his leave.

Su thanks Wook for what he did, though he clarifies that his intentions were far from righteous. She believes that statement to be false, knowing that he would never have said those things if he thought she didn’t want to leave.

“Jung will be good to you,” Wook manages to say, along with a well-meaning wish for her to forget the past and think only of the future. He looks like he’s just barely holding it together as he takes a long pause, and then sighs.

“Su-ya,” he says, returning to the endearing way he used to say her name. “I think you understand me,” he adds, reaching an uncertain hand out to gently grasp her shoulder. Pulling her in closer, he tells her that this life is now over.

He smiles when he pulls away, and Su watches him go for a very long time. After a brief cut to So looking to the wedding hanbok Su only ever got to try on, we return to her as an inner monologue begins:

“If I had not met him, I would not yearn for him. If I did not know him, I would not think of him so much. If we had not been together, I would not have to disappear. If I did not treasure him so much, I would not have so many memories. If I did not love him, we would not need to throw each other away. If we had not crossed paths, we would never have been together. Perhaps, if I had not met you at all…”

And then, we find So holding the wedding hanbok in shaking hands as he cries.

 
COMMENTS

In the vein of Su’s inner monologue, we could say that if we had never watched this show, we would never have had to try to understand an indecipherable heroine. If we didn’t love seeing Lee Jun-ki on screen, we wouldn’t have gotten this far. If things made sense, we wouldn’t have to yearn for explanations. If we knew what Su was saying, we would have something to go on.

But alas, there’s been this permeating sense of malaise ever since So took the throne, because things only started to go downhill from there. What’s strange is that I thought that the throne would be the grand goal we needed to reach, but it was treated with such little fanfare that it felt like just another day in the life. Which meant that the only story left to tell was Su and So’s, and we can all see how well thought-out that part of the story is going.

I’m honestly confused by Su’s motives and her ever-shifting loyalties, since it didn’t take much for her to go from “I’ll help you” to “Never mind, I’m leaving you.” Even if we tried to see things from her perspective, i.e. that So is a ruthless murderer and killed her friend for no reason, he actually tried to talk things out with her, which should really count for something. For her apparently thinking him an unreasonable monster, he was the only one speaking sense, and it was Su who willfully decided to believe only what she wanted to be true. Instead of taking all the evidence So presented to her and thinking back to the times Chae-ryung has been shifty, she thought only of the time Chae-ryung held her hand and staunchly refused to believe that she could ever have been insincere or false.

So instead, she’d have to believe that So was the one lying to her, and it was beyond aggravating to see her just shut down. At that point, I threw my hands up, because her misery seemed self-inflicted, and her path to ignoble idiocy firmly secured. Granted, So isn’t exactly an angel to be with, but after an entire series about them finding each other and discovering their love, was this where it was all going? I feel cheated.

I suppose all isn’t lost since there’s still one episode left, and I don’t want to think that we’ve been hoping in vain. I’m not even sure where I’d want things to end in an ideal world, since everyone’s paths have gotten so twisted and crossed. As of right now, I don’t think a marriage between Jung and Su would be the worst thing that ever happened, if only because he deserves props for being true to his word. After this episode, I’m kind of sad that they didn’t develop their loveline to its fullest potential however one-sided it is, because out of everyone, Jung has been selfless in loving her and has never asked for anything in return. Marriage was just the only way he knew how to honor her request, and he planned ahead enough to make it so that even So couldn’t argue the point.

If things had been left there, they would have been moderately better, but then it felt like the show was throwing everything and the kitchen sink in as reasons to drive Su and So apart. At least Wook’s confession had an ulterior motive that wasn’t awful, so I appreciated that they gave that couple a bittersweet sendoff, which worked in its own way to ever-so-slightly redeem Wook. (Does he not know that his sister betrayed him, though? Or does he not care?)

But then we come to all the nonsense Yeonhwa spouted, and the fact that the show could’ve actually gone somewhere in having Su believing herself to be responsible for the way historical events turned out. It’s only that we were given that scene with Su believing everything to be her fault, and then… nothing. They went nowhere with it. It didn’t influence Su’s decision to leave, nor did it seem to weigh on her conscience for very long. Somehow, it seems worse that the show dropped in actual, real reasons for Su to be conflicted, but it chose to go with her just being over it all instead. C’mon, Moon Lovers. You’ve got one last chance to be the show we all wanted you to be—don’t waste it.

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[1] I would love to hate Yeon Hwa for blame-shifting Wook’s exile on Hae Su except she is factually correctly. HS is the king-maker, and WW is out. YH is playing the Game of Thrones by the rules of 10th Century Goryeo, but since HS is not, I guess HS could be considered disruptive to the whole process. But, isn’t that just because YH doesn’t like the outcome?

Also, for everyone who keeps complaining that HS has no agency: the fact that HS is the cause of GJ’s rise is powerful agency. What makes her unique is she’s not playing the conniving, palace politics, but simply acting consistently with who she is: a very loving and forgiving person who strives for unity.

Whether it is WW, WS, or WJ, they all seem to want her on “his side”, partially because she IS so unconditionally loving. But, by asking her to choose sides, they invariably drew her into their own toxic political game of division and death, the very thing she is trying to help THEM avoid.

Even after YH has the power, prestige, and position of queen - even when she got Gwangjong to sleep with her, she STILL finds Hae Su a threat.Love really is a threat to the throne/power. I wish there could be a prequel featuring Taejo, Lady Oh, and Queen SMSS.

[2] Some of the role reversals and arcs closures are just bittersweet, for example:

Wang So and Hae Su promised never to lie to each other -
WS says he is being truthful when he breaks up with HS in episode 16
Now, HS repeats it to WS re: her past relationship with WW

[3] I wonder how HS found out that GJ framed WW. The change in GJ’s face when HS confronts him about his politicking was masterfully done by LJK: from loving concern over Hae Su’s health, to remorseless, cruel and calculating smile at the unmasking of his scheming: so chilling. He really can self-justify his own heinous actions: like in ep. 18 when he prevented Jung from seeing his dying mother, and ep. 7 when he justified killing those monks to General Park. I’m sure he’s even justifying lying (by omission) to HS about what he really does on the throne.

[4] I know Wang So can somehow separate what he has to do as Gwangjong (sleep with Yeon Hwa) from his fidelity as a man (towards Hae Su), but my heart nonetheless hurt that he slept with Yeon Hwa. I know, I know: history, progeny. But, the hopeless romantic in me died a little bit in that scene.

It'll be interesting to see if WS can maintain a separation (in his mind/heart) between himself as a man and as king in episode 20. My guess is he will lose Wang So, the man, to be fully Gwangjong, the king, until he realizes he has lost Hae Su forever.

[5] With #4, I’m finally ready for a full on tragedy. Unlike previously when WS said the opposite of what he meant, I truly believe when he told HS that he would never see her again, he was foretelling his future. @Seltzerwater

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TQ - u took the words right out of my 'fingers'. And I definitely agree with HeadsNo2 about the reasons why HS left the palace - there's so many reasons but it was not shown to its potential. And definitely Yes to previous comments about this show could have been BETTER, could have been GREATER should the writers/PDs gave a little bit more time to some of the story line. It could have been MUCH MUCH MORE....

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*WE COULD HAVE HAD IT AAAAAALLL

I think that's what has kept me hooked to the end (but also hugely frustrated) by this drama - behind the stupid directing choices, some of the even stupider story choices, and flaws in production, there is what could have been a great show. What we've got is addictive, but it really hurts to think how much MORE it could have been.

/sigh

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There's a fire starting in my heart
Reaching a fever pitch, its bring me out the dark
Finally we're down to the final ep
Go 'head and sell me out and I'll lay your shit bare
See how we leave with every piece of you
Don't underestimate the things we viewers will do

There's a fire starting in my heart
Reaching a fever pitch
And it's bringing me out the dark

{Chorus}
The scars of your love reminds me of us
They keep me thinking that we almost had it all
The scars of your love, they leave me madness
I can't help feeling
You could have had it all
Rolling in ratings
You had our hearts inside of your hand
And you played it, to the beat

Baby, you had much story to be told
But at your PD's hand
We ended up so confused
Think of us in the final episode
No more confusing cuts
So we won't flip tables

{Chorus}

Throw your noble idiocy out the door
Count your blessings that you have smexy wang so
Turn our frustrations into treasured gold
You'll pay us back in kind and reap just what you sow
You could have had it all
You could have had it all
It all, it all, it all

{Chorus}

But you played it
You played it
You played it
You played it to the beat.

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/snort

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Wow! You've expressed so eloquently what so many of us have been thinking, feeling, living.(I have only just finished ep 19, did't want to make the last journey if it wasn't going to be a happy ending for So and Su) But the spoilers and hints (yearnings) for a Ryeo 2 have pushed me over the edge.
Your poetic contribution has made me smile and cry, thank you!

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Agree with you that this could have been EPIC.... shame on the production team for letting the cast down!

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Honestly I think the fault lies on the fact that we don't understand our heroine at all.

Her choices seem utterly stupid to us. If this story hadnt been about Hae Su and her utterly pointless story but about Wang So and how history had misunderstood him I'd have enjoyed it much more I think.

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I love the Rolling in the Deep (pain and frustration left by the Scarlet Heart: Ryo) that dabbs wrote.
However i do not blame the PD the most. I think he is the least guilty on of all this mess. I think the poor guy had to deal with what the writer threw at him and the editing team killed whatever was there to like. The re-editing of the material is my argument. The writer created an ilogic and un-relatable character - I won't say heroine, because she has nothing heroic about her. She started quite decent, but spiralled into this schizophrenic woman (with symptoms like hallucinations, disorganised thinking, loss of ability and enjoyment in life -almost by the book, which is scary).
At least this team managed one thing - they created quite a buzz with the drama. There is no bad advertising, is it?
I chanting her a quiet cheer for the HeadsNo2 who has the terrible mission to recap the last episode. You are the real heroine in my eyes!

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Maybe that's it, Scarlet Heart Ryeo 2016, mental health awareness campaign.

I echo the cheer for HeadsNo2! Thank you for all the recaps, especially that first paragraph in your comments :'D

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About So sleeping with YH, to make things worst, he did so to make her agree to let him kill her dear brother.
The two of them are a good paring with their alike twisted mind.
OTP it's them finally.

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The queen in the original was so sweet. There was no evil character in the other one, everyone was simply a result of their circumstances and other than 9th and 3rd no character was truly selfish.

I miss having a drama where all the characters were actually sussed out.

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I hadn't seen the original, but in this Korean version, I would have preferred for the queen to be sweet, and just of victim of circumstance, as you pointed out.

It just sickens me that it looks like YH will be the only one happy and getting what she wants in this drama. And that just isn't right. Never heard of a villain (especially one that remains cunning and evil to the very end) coming out on top at the end of a drama. Ugh! .

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oh, she's totally shaping up to be another Queen SMSS now that the OG is dead. I just hope she doesn't end up stabbing any of her kids in the eye now.

I mean, she even echoes Queen SMSS' exact words about how Goryeo must go to her son, in the bath.

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Yes, no one would doubt if anyone says they are mother and daughter.. This is something even Queen SMSS cant argue on

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I did not see the C version, I am waiting for the Korean one to end up before starting it.
But the choice to make the queen sweet/ not demonic is the more judicious. Most of the past queens in the History was really just victims of circumstance: married at 13/14 and sent alone far away from home to men who almost always totally did not care about them.

YH's evilness is too much. Since her first apparition, she was portrayed as a sadistic, violent and perverse person with a penchant for whipping and make people died.

While she suffered during her childhood, she arouse no compassion unlike So or even Yo. Many person are saying that the actress is better than IU, but I find she has been unsuccessful to show the complexity of her character which had suffered as much as the others in this palace.

Most of the time when a vilain has mitigating circumstances explaining his/her machinations, I am able to put myself into their shoes even if I am not ok with their doings, but not here.
The actress who interpreted the mean Eunji's best friend in Cheer Up is a good example of that, she made me feel how the character was damaged and understandably unhappy.And while she was constantly bullying Eunji, I wanted to hug her.

In comparaison YH is just an annoying and vain vilain instead of being a flamboyant and useful one. Like the unbearable and ridiculous crazy ex-girlfriend or chaebol mum or dad.

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I hate YH too. Though it might look like she is the only one not injured, she actually lost something.
Firstly, she lost a brother who shield her, by refusing to help him.
Secondly, she lost a caring, protecting mother, by refusing to help Wook.
Thirdly, she lost her honor. Come on. You know the guy you love only slept with you because he wants to kill off your brother and attain support from your supporters? They are not a couple. They are...business partners. Once business is done, each go home to their own homes. Only difference is that, she no longer has a family. After throwing away your mother and brother like that? All you have is your office. No one to talk to, no one to cry with. Good luck with that.

On top of that, she learnt that Wang So slept with him doesnt change the fact that Hae Su is still the first one in his heart. Big ouch.

It may not being the novel, but one can really start to go crazy with thatkind of situation. Being alone and loveless.

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@Bunny.

Yes!

I feel comforted after reading your com! Indeed YH has created her own personal little hell, and she is totally responsible for that. Giving up her mom and bro for a man who doesn't even appreciate her.

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Thank you Deedee you nailed YH and did service to all the Queens. You stand by UI's performance as YJK has recently said her acting ability and nuances stood out and surprised him as surpassing some of the professional actors and assisted his role portrayal. Like you after viewing final episode I shall be able to watch BBJX - I already downloaded the first ten episodes! Maybe it will ease the loss of a truly worthy Korean SHR???

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It depends on which queen we are discussing here. YH and Wook's mom was the epitome of a neutral character up until her daughter got power hungry and her son was forced to be the same way. Queen Yu, Yo, Jung and So's mother (if you can really call her that) however was not. She was either power hungry like YH (I think that is why I hate YH) or she was driven by fear and entitlement up until the moment she died. really if we want to say anything about the characters and being self serving there were only 3 really self serving characters through the whole thing. Won, YH and Queen Yu. Yu is at fault for Yo being the way he was. Won was just a manipulator and YH wanted the throne as much or more than Yo did but for personal reasons and not to appease a constantly displeased mother. Wook was driven mad with jealousy, So with paranoia, and then there were the ones who were just innocent bystanders like Eun, Jung and Baek who were denied their happiness whether it was really Su's doing or whether the blame falls on their brothers race for the throne. Honestly it isn't that YH is evil. She is just smart. She and Won are both smart and that is the only way they survived this long. Mu died because he was too tolerant. Eun because he was too naive. Yo because he was too ruthless. The ones that were left only were spared because of Su or because of their own cleverness. Wang So included. If Su hadn't been there how long would it really have taken Jung to remove his brother from the throne or wook to do it for that matter. Su saved So's life just like she did with Jung and Wook. The thing that irritated me most about this ep though is probably the way that So accuses Su of throwing him away for something that happened before she was his. I guess its because of the realness of that point in the story. It brings So down to being nothing more than what he is. A man who has overstretched himself for love and power. It makes him jealous and childish to the point that he does the very thing he accused her of. he tossed her away because she had a former lover. He even told her once that as long as it wasn't Baek Ah he didn't care who it was. And then he eliminated the other brothers by asking. Is he really that dumb to think it could've been anyone else? He already knew it wasn't Jung, Baek Ah, Yo, or Eun. All that left was Won (ew), Yeon Hwa (not likely) or Wook. The directors/writers made So a bit of an air head where that was concerned. it could have been better executed but it is what it is. I still loved this drama until its very last moments and I hope that we get the closure of a 2nd season. also (slightly off topic) it has one of the best ost's in any of the dramas I have watched.

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It's a real shame they could have made it more interesting if YH was a more sympathetic character and maybe even have had the audience rooting for her.

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So sleeping with Yeonhwa was what really marked the end of Wang So, in my mind - now he's Gwangjong, and he'll do whatever needs to be done to hang on to that throne and consolidate his power. Even if it means sleeping with a woman he hates. It's been chipping away at him bit by bit and he's been letting it, and I kind of get why Su would leave..... only the show doesn't seem to really let her follow that logic, and the ostensible reasons (or at least some of them) are things that don't make sense to a viewer at all (like her wanting to leave the palace for the sake of a woman whose loyalty to her was a pack of lies).

I agree that Su has that one lone piece of internal logic in her head, which is wishing to avoid bloodshed. But the way she's written just comes off as excessively naive, even after several years in Goryeo. And I don't know that it's even consistent with how she was when she found So at the prayer stones after killing the monks in episode 4.

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My sentiment exactly.

Wang So lost my interest the time he even offered Yeon Hwa the chance to bear the crown prince. When your last defense is giving up on you (first, he marries her, then he offers her the probability for her to get pregnant with his child, and with that, he promises her to crown the child as crown prince, and other than that, the big finale is that hereally slept with her. I know the era accept it as norm, but he lost me there, to tell you the truth.) When your hero slept with another woman, whether or not she is his official wife, you are left with yourself, that you are now hero-less, defenseless, and hence have all rights to do what it takes to survive (Hae Soo's case: to marry other guy).

I watched BBJX, and I have a hunch on how it will end up but I watch this nevertheless because of LJK. Now that his character slept withthe character I hate the most in this drama, I honestly feel numb, and had been replaying Ryeo's requiem song over and over again on my head as if someone died. It is simply sad that they part. We know he chased her like crazy. But I guess we have to cope with sadness and unwanted endings and move on.

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Yes, yes yes!

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Thank you so much for summing up what I have been feeling.
#4 hurt me a lot, as a woman, no matter what the reason is. Yes, I died a little inside too.
This needs a MLSHR series 2 to mend my broken heart... one can only hope🙏🙏🙏

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tbh I knew what soo did in term of making a king who if we followed logic, we'll go to wang so anyway, without soo there's gonna be the whole mo->yo> wangso gains support -> gwangjong

I just didn't find what hae soo did appreciatively, or even comes from her,
it all just the plot required to make as many unreasonable decision as they can but keeps portraying soo as this right and wang so as pitiful,

moon lovers is like the article than convince you to believe in the real epic love and how awesome soo is when she isn't and this isn't a love story ---> that's what I didn't like about this story, it's how this story is being told

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I do agree with most of the points except Hae Su's character.

Loving?
Forgiving?

Honestly I think she's cold hearted and selfish and puts herself first always.

Maybe she's forgiving and warm and hopes for unity for everybody but honestly when it comes to So It's always the worst she sees ....UGH!

I mean don't even get me started on this Chae Ryung conflict. When Chae Ryung justifies doing whatever she did for the sake of love it's alright but when So justifies the same after all he has done everything for her it makes him a monster.

what the hell?

I understand she's tired of the palace but when she said she wanted to leave the place she could have been like I need to get away from here for a while not you. I mean it's hard for So not to panic when she says shit like this because the palace is him.

And then she's going ahead and kneeling for monstrous traitorous Wook. Look what happened to wo Hee and baek ah. How come she knows that it's So who framed Wook but is still oblivious to all the crap the latter has done.

Can you blame So for pushing her awayy? She's calling him a monster and then begging him to forgive Wook who has destroyed everything of his and on top of all of that she'd been involved with him?

Of course he feels she's still in love with Wook

Moo, Eun, Wo Hee even Yo to some extent it's all on Wooks hands. If someone deserves to die it's him. Followed by Won. Please kill the extra now.

Well Su can obviously be a noble idiot and say that Wooks actions are all justified by her warning. Seriously? She warns him about So and he kills everyone else brilliant job Wook want a cookie for that?

I loved this show but now I'll be genuinely okay without a happy ending because So doesn't deserve Su nobody except Wook and shady sideburns deserves her to be honest.

The last episode will be a heartfelt romance between shady sideburns (Jung) and Noble Moron (Su) probably.

Yay! Can't freaking wait after all of us watched nineteen episodes to see it end with this crap.

I'm still hoping for redemption although it seems tough.

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Agree with you.. at this point am not even sure y she wants to leave him... I don't think even she is sure... it appears as if the writer is inventing reasons and killing people right and left to make sure nobody is left with Wangso and so that he can go totally berserk....

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Lady Oh too, because of Wook does not expose Yeon Hwa...I thought he want to tell Soo when he said "I hope you understand me" but till the end he did not confessed.

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I totally agree with you. At first i try to understand in Soo perspective after Chae Ryung death how depressed and hurtful after seeing CR been beaten to death. I can relate to Soo when someone we cherish been hurt by someone we love. Its really take time to forgave

But when she knee down to So in order to save Wook and told him that she known its all his plan, I just "What the Heck??!!" Come on Soo, Wook kill all of the princes indirectly. He's the mastermind and then she just forgave him like that.

I really hate the fact Yeon Hwa gets everything eventhough she the devil one.

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Thank you very much for pointing this out! My thoughts exactly! Honestly, I never hate Hae Soo character sooo much until this latest episode. She doesn't deserve Wang So's love and he is right for thinking she is throwing him! Because she did!! She said she would trust him no matter what the situation is. And now she is back blaming him when everything happened because of her foolish actions? Pfft.. Seriously, I never hate a main heroine as much as I hate Hae soo.. I feel sorry for all the casts for the bad writing. If the writer did a good job, this drama would be epic with all the castings.

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Same here, the unlogical part presented related on how Su judged So's punishment toward CR ruined this story.. in the end I dont find this story is a true love story at all. It merely about a man who is hungry with love and a woman who cant appreciate a love - - the happy ending isnt suitable..

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Totally agree! Your summary is spot on..hae soo is actually a hypocrite..she used noble reason to justify her needs..she needs to left the palace but use chea ryung for her reason..she just shut down to reason that is not alligned with her desire..
Poor wang so..the entire plot failed to convinced me that hae soo is indeed in love with Wang So..i feel she just used Wang So for her own sake..

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About her leniency towards Chae Ryung she is quite clear so. She sees CR as she is: a non educated and pitiful slave without any say about her futur and craving for love.

While So as a free man with influence ans some education could choose to act differently. He has freedom of action, freedom of conscience and freedom of choice. He could have take a non bloody path if only he wanted too.

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That’s very idealistic for Goryeo. Wang Mu tried it and failed. He was nonbloody and was murdered for it. It’s a dog eat dog world. You either eat or get eaten. If that’s truly her thought process, then she has learned nothing during her time there.

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About begging for Wook's life, she is just against the capital punishment like many people in the 21st century. She is not against punishment, but not the death sentence.

She said something like if So decides to kill Wook, his karma will fire back him. And he will be seen as a dangerous monarch and so run the risk to be overthrow because of the fear he provokes. It's accurate and wise actually.

She is not naive but not revengeful either.i I would dare to say that she has a Catholic tendency to give the other cheek

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I could not agree more with you about Su and how her character has become ridiculous. She has this terrible double standard that allows others to be forgiven but she wants So to suffer and feel bad for decisions or mistakes he makes. Her BFF and little sister as she likes to call he is responsible for the death of a King and Lady Oh but she did it for love so give her a pass.

She knows exactly what Wook has been up to yet again he is given a pass. There have been very few times where I don't like the main female lead and this is one of them. Eun her first friend there was killed because of his plans and she forgets it.

The most ridiculous thing has to be is that she knows the history of the thrones yet she still gets involved and causes trouble. What did she think would happen when she started saying So is dangerous.

She's gotten way too luck to end up with Jung. SUre he was a pain in the ass, but with years of his mother saying he's evil and what not would colour his thinking. But he seems to be stepping up and doesn't need to be saddled with the sad sack and jinx that SU is.

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I do feel we've been sold a lie this show is suppose to be about how everyone has misunderstood So and the only one who understood and loved him was Su but the person who seems to understand him the least is Su and she's always the one causing him the most pain.

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Heartily agree with most of your sentiments. Have Su isn't allowed any sensible character development and there are many relationships glimpsed at but not given their just deserts. Su is treated like a saint when really she is a schizoid, at one moment intelligent and in the very next a bimbo! Oh how many times have I wished for characters in this to die (early) but not quickly or easily, Queen SMSS, YH and Yo but most of all I think Woo's punishment is fitting and it is , after all, deliciously ironic - as a gift to Su because she begged for it. - She is surely still harbouring some feelings for him, if not quite love, close to it?

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Wow. I could not agree with you more. I just don't get why people do not understand HS. She is from present era for God sake. She can't understand them. She is constantly afraid. Being adraid does not not make you a "not heroin ". So please stop blaming and hating the poor girl.

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Exactly! Could you imagine one of your close friend, whom you've been treating like a sister got brutally killed for being deceitful? Well, in our modern world, particularly in such a civilised society as South Korea where HS originated from, people just don't go around killing another person for betrayal. Even for political spies though, the punishment would not be as brutal and inhumane, and never mind that because HS was just a common citizen. Now, in Goryeo, she was embroiled into the politicking and machination in the palace, but still, her modern sensibility as a commoner in modern day SK probably explains why she could not come to terms with the brutal and inhumane punishment Gwangjong seemed to be meting out left and right to everyone around her.

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Yo, her poisoning the previous king isn't enough to justify death? I don't understand how anyone is okay with that. I get even if it was your closest family or friend but come on, she ended up killing the KING

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Whether that justifies death or not, in the modern society work, it is the function of the judicial system to judge. Even so, those close to the perpetrator would wish for pardon and leniency. As a lay person, HS is not used to having the death sentence being issued by someone so close to her, she would have wanted So to spare Chae-ryung as it was within his control to grant mercy, but far from that, So ordered for her to be brutally beaten to death, therefore, Su was aghast.

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I agree with you 1000 %. Let's say we look past CR spying and lying to Su all those years the girl killed the king. That's an automatic death sentence. The girl was on borrowed time. If she didn't poison Moo, Su would not have been used against So for his brother to steal the throne and had Hun and wife killed. All that stems back to CR.

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@Pebble - it's a really odd place for Su's 21st-century sensibilities to assert themselves, though. I mean, we know she doesn't know much about Goryeo and that is fine, but this show can't make up its mind about whether Su has actually just settled into Goryeo life or is her 21st-century self but living under rules and restrictions. I mean, she gives up the chance to marry So in the interest of him keeping his throne, even as he marries someone else (a circumstance that would be unacceptable to most modern women), willingly resigns herself to the position of side chick, but then this?

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@Koua - exactly, it's like Su doesn't even register that part. Or get the idea that the punishment for regicide is death, "little sister" or no.

So crossed other lines in this episode, ones I can perfectly well see as justification for Su pulling back from the relationship (Yeonhwa, for starters). But a stinking unrepentant traitor is the hill she wants to die on?

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@Pebble
I understand what you are saying, but as the King, Wangso could not show leniency to Chae Ryun for her crime. She killed a King. Doing so would show weakness from his part. However, he tried to cover up her crime by dismissing her from the palace, for Hae Soo's sake.

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That's the thing, Su is not in the modern world. She could have easily faded into the background but instead somehow kept coming forward. Look at everything that happened with Wook. She knew he was married and went along with spending time with him acting naive. Even after Baek Ah called her out on it she still didn't act like she cared that much.

She can be against the punishment all she likes but Lady Oh was hung for Chae RYung's crimes. Su has a constant double standard and is a hypocrite.

King Taejo told her to stop all that she was doing and she didn't. SHe could have easily left but instead she stayed and inserted herself whenever she could. She certainly knows what she's doing when she asks for things of So because she knows how he feels about her.

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Yes exactly ......schizoid

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I wouldn't say with certainty that political spies today don't face death tbh. There is a lot to the political world that is not visible to the public eyes. People kill, and get killed, and only a few within their circles know for sure whether or not the death of a political spy/ assassin is natural.

What some viewers can't buy is HS's defence of CR. Well, apart from countries that have dropped death penalty, many murderers today still face death depending on the severity of their crimes. There's enough news in the media about that and seeing that capital punishment is still in place in SK, it is generally expected that a modern day person like HS would understand as common sense that death penalty is unavoidable for some offenders. I, however, can give her credit for the trauma from witnessing the death of CR. Yet what is left unsatisfied for many is HS's reasoning, the lack of credibility of her and CR's sisterhood/ friendship, and the way CR's offense was written. CR's love toward the 9th prince wasn't well portrayed either, for many to actually believe that she was acting in desperation and vain hope for a reciprocation of feeling from her love interest.

Now if HS had used her 21st century modern sense and said something along the line of, 'Yes she committed grave crimes, but why couldn't you just put her into prison? Wasn't a prison sentence enough to pay for her crimes? Why did you have to go to such extent to punish her?' perhaps it would make a more plausible defence than the 'just a girl in love'/ 'just born a slave'/ 'she's like my sister' excuse. Those excuses are weak because the build-up has not been convincing enough to give them any actual weight.

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people understand that she is stupid but it baffled me that he is stubbornly stupid,

at least make it "her own fault" to leave and not because So punished a traitor,

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I know you have a good intention for trying to defend hae soo, but using 'she is from the 21st century' to justify her naivety is just a prove that you are naive as well.

She is blaming Wang so for killing Chae Ryung. It's 21st century and everyone knows what is the punishment for a traitor, who conspire to kill a King! Let me make it clear in 21st century term, its as if the girl help in killing the President! And because of her, another PRINCE was killed as well. Not only does she lied to HS and used HS for her benefit, she conspired to kill the late King, the Prince and his wife and becoming a spy against the current King? Not enough reason to eliminate her eh? Even in this 21st century, this kind of person will be eliminate first. Heck, I don't even want such person close to me. So, yeah, if she is not foolish and naive, I don't know what else to call her. But I don't blame her, I blame the writer. Clearly the writer did a good job of potraying a foolish and naive 21st century girl.

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In the present we still have the death penalty. People are still sentenced for hard labor so that is not an excuse for the double standard Su throws around.

Did her modern sensibilities not think after her cousin died let me leave instead of staying here. No She stayed and the used her flashbacks as an excuse to justify things.

She certainly didn't seem afraid when she defied King Taejo and kneeled hoping Lady Oh would be spared. No problem doing it again for Wook.

You'd get the death penalty if you killed a monarch in the modern world too, and the methods for it may not have to be that humane if the laws for it are still old.

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But at this point she has lived in Goryeo for years, and she is still letting fear drive every action. Hae Soo has learned nothing, has not grown or matured or even really figured out the world she lives in. I could pity her, if she hadnt dragged everyone around her into death or disgrace. At this point shes supposed to be a grown woman yet she is still ruled by misplaced loyalties, misunderstood relationships, and her constant unthinking plunges into conflicts. A greater actress could g ve perhaps made something of this steaming pile of dramadung, but that is far beyond IUs capabilities.

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Waah @Pineapple so happy to be amongst the mentally sane. yeah on [5] you are dead on. He will never see her again. And that's WS's cross to bear.

I disagree with Heads No2's reading of HS. Because I think she has been very motivated this episode.

I'm in the camp that believes HS owes him nothing. She already gave him everything she had: body, mind, King's fealty when she knelt before him so that he would be king. She said to Wang So back in episode 17 that she trusts him. Do you know what happens after episode 17? She's his woman. She fools herself into thinking that her love with WS is enough to live on. (If that's not trust, then I dunno what is). She entered the palace, she NO LONGER FREE because here's the sequence of events that happen immediately:

1. He tells her not to know too much about him. (withholding information)

2. He tells her that she does not have permission to see who HE doesn't want her to see. (control of behavior)

3. He tells her that she should start thinking about children. (control of future actions)

Idk, but that kinda sounds like someone's controlling my life.

Again, autonomy over everything else. As modern women, we understand how important this is. As a Goryeo woman, the protection of WS would be more than enough to sustain a relationship (many ancient women enter into marriages for the protection of the men so they can be safe from rape, murder etc). For GJ, this is the grandest gesture he can offer. Protection of her life. But not for HS. This fundamental difference will always split them.

Do I feel bad that WS is in complete shambles; in doubt about HS's love? Sure. I feel bad. But I'm not going to spare Hae Su's ability to live because WS felt bad and abandoned. Boy has some serious abandonment issues, and HS should not have to lay herself down at the alter of his emotional issues to be sacrificed.

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Some of you applaud YH for being ruthless, but when HS does the same thing, you flay her for being too cruel to WS.

This episode is HS with the most agency:
At the beginning of the episode 19, HS had a clear goal in mind: she wanted out of palace. HS asks WS once that she wants to leave. He refuses her. Jung brings the decree, HS asks to leave the palace with Jung. WS refuses again. Finally, when WS confronts HS about her relationship with Wook, she doesn't deflect to save his feelings, she finally has her goal within reach. She leaves the palace! Is it painful and awful to leave WS? Yes. But she has to do it. Because he's not WS anymore, he's GJ and that's not who she loves. There's this moment when GJ is talking about how HS made a better punishment for Wook and he does that 'zone out evil face' thing. You can see HS face and she's thinking, 'This is no longer the man I love.'

If that's not someone who is determined for her end goal and ruthless in protecting herself, I don't know what is. The real issue is of course, viewers can't stand any pain happening to Wang So. Kudos to the PD and writing team for making such a sympathetic male lead and throwing HS under the bus. I'll try to answer some interesting perspective questions here:

1) Why is HS so cruel to WS??

Because he refuses to let her go. This isn't healthy. Their relationship is more than dead. He's married to two different women for gods sake. Not to mention, he wants her to have a kid? Clearly, dude does not know about her real health issues or he wouldn't have brought up the child at all. He needs to let her go so she can live outside of the palace. He's being selfish here, because he's desperate to hold on to her, without a thought to how she's actually faring, mentally or physically. How many times have we seen her keel over with stress and pain now? I think the show purposefully avoids the moment where WS sees that HS is really ill (other than the fainting with CR but WS seemed to dismiss it really quickly), for probably the tragic reveal. WS has massive abandonment issues. Is it romantic to have someone with abandonment issues desperately hold on to a relationship that's done? Nope nope nope.

2) Why do I hate HS??!!

Idk really. Systematic internalized misogyny? No matter how much you hate HS, WS will always love her and that is a bitter pill for viewers who can't get behind a female character who decides her own fate away from her clearly destructive romantic partner. I blame the show's lack of perspective for HS so that we understand her motives more.

3) Why is Wang So's pain so much more real than HS's pain? (i.e. why you dgf about HS)

Because he has been given endless chances to explain himself. His perspective. His injuries, his vulnerabilities. HS has not. Bad PD! Bad Writer!

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*claps*

Bravo!

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#3: I think one reason is because LJG is a way better actor, you can feel his pain and desperation... IU's expressions are always vague and confused and you can't really relate to her

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In her defense, she definitely has potential and could have gotten there. Just not on on this type of editing and production timeline. Meaning her weaknesses as an actress would have been less pronounced if there weren't so many shortcomings with this show to begin with. She needed way more direction; and not in her defense, she needed the ability to convey more complexity toward the end of her drama, when her scenes felt shorter and more screen time was left to LJK. As someone else mentioned, there's quite an imbalance coming into the last quarter mile of the show's run. There's a lot one has to fill in, in order for the show to make sense in general - let alone her character. Sloppy editing, and laziness in writing & production due to the fact that they relied heavily on the source material meant that they weren't necessarily looking at this from a standalone narrative viewpoint. I think that's where most of what has gone wrong.

Geez, I wished they would have spent less on costumes and more on time necessary to get it right. Or whatever it is that they needed to not rush the making of K-BBJX...it certainly shows, and now it blows.

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Some of you applaud YH for being ruthless, but when HS does the same thing, you flay her for being too cruel to WS.

....except that Yeonhwa and So have NOT been presented to us as an epic love between two people who came closer to understanding each other than anyone else has. So and Su have. Ergo the disappointment.

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Here is a cookie for that one.
Honestly you've pointed outt what's wrong with this entire show perfectly.

This is supposed to be about an epic love except it's not. It's So 's one sided devotion and Su's dear hat drove this entire show.

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*fear that

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Also, I I strongly doubt that the fact that So loves Su is the reason why everyone is frustrated with Su.

It's that the writing does everything it can to unbalance the relationship and make it look like this relationship isn't a reciprocal one when it comes to trust or even desire. It's undermined Su at almost every turn and made it look like she's only still with him on sufferance and willing to trust people who've done far worse to her, while she can't trust him.

How is anyone expected to see that point of view? Heck even her issue over that lying snake of a Chae-ryung wasn't framed as "you're cruel, you're becoming someone who isn't the man I fell in love with", it's "she was sincere, it wasn't her fault she was a snake since she was only a slave, how could you do this to her" despite a gathering mountain of evidence presented by both So and Baek-ah. (it doesn't help that Su and Chae-ryung never seemed like more than casual friends to begin with).

It's terrible writing, and it's not IU's fault - I think she's made a heroic effort with whatever she was given to work with, and she's not to blame for my frustration with Su.

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Granted, this was the episode where So finally went dark and I would tell any sane girl to get the hell out while she could.

But Su's problem with trust predates that by quite a bit, well before So even did anything to justify that distrust, and the reasoning presented to us (Chae-ryung) defies belief.

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"viewers who can’t get behind a female character who decides her own fate away from her clearly destructive romantic partner." Interesting and spot-on observation, I really like your analysis. I'm on Su's side and who knows, as crazy as the plot is being, I would like her to end having a happy marriage with prince Ji Soo (I would like him as her husband, hehe!)
That said, the script is not really helping and the edition is quite bad. I think with these actors and the gist of this show, an expert team could have produced a gem...sadly it has not been the case.

On a more superficial note, let me finish while I fangirl about how beautiful is Baek-Ha, this boy is really gorgeous! 💕
Regarding the leading men, I can't help but feel that KHN magnetism and sexiness is wasted here, he needs to star in a romantic drama soon. :)

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I still hate YH but I'm applauding her for being intelligent and having common sense, not for being ruthless. I don't agree with how YH got to the throne or her ways of doing things. She shows no remorse for poisoning her brother, ratting Eun and his wife out, or betraying Wook.

I hate HS for not using her brain or having common sense. I just can't understand any of her actions at all. She's blinded by what she only wants to see. Okay, maybe she's under a lot of stress from years of being tormented in the palace. Just like what you wrote, we can't understand her motives due to the lack of perspective the show is giving us.

For me personally, I love seeing intelligent cunning female leads that are fast problem solvers and are 100% true to their emotions. I don't know if Koreans like child-like female leads b/c MOST of the dramas I've seen, they are all written like this.

Let's just hope ep 20 gives us a satisfying ending! :)

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I think one of the reasons people are finding a disconnect with Hae Su is because the writers have made her somewhat of a flip flopper. I've noticed a lot people target the fact that CR is given a pass for regicide and other crimes yet having her beaten to death was too far for Su. The writers should have had Su acknowledge what CR did was wrong. Instead they made it into some sort of weird denial that anything happened.

Su seems to have a very forgiving nature and the writers seem to show that with the way she interacts with everyone but then they totally forget that when she interacts with So. It's like they had no real cohesive vision with how the couple will turn out. With the amount of time they spent on Wook/Su they could have easily developed other parts of the story.

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You explained it so well! I could always relate to Soo but could never explain why exactly.

To me, from my 21th century perspective, killing CR was understandable by the law, but if I was in Hae Soo's shoes, it would be extremely difficult to see Wang So the same way after killing one of my best friend, even if she's lied to me the whole time. I remember Hae Soo saying after reading the letter ''her only fault was to be born as a slave''. It's just an accumulation of bloodshed and over controling her life that made her leave, not just CR. She loves him, but their relationship cannot be.

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Well done this is very cogent to me, but also tells us why UI - not a professional actress made a very fair fist if a badly drawn and very flawed character ... very poor writing not PD's fault. Thank you!

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SPOT ON: Boy has some serious abandonment issues, and HS should not have to lay herself down at the alter of his emotional issues to be sacrificed.

Also, looking back on everything that has transpired since So became King, Soo did lose a lot of her freedom. Even if she says she doesn't want to be tied down to a title and to all the customs befitting the title (should she be Queen, or Royal Concubine), she's just no longer free to move about with So's love. It controls her, you're right. He repeatedly tells her, "I will NEVER allow it." "I will not let you go." and so on. It's because He is the King, after all, and while their relationship may still be intact, the position in which he stands on to make these decisions, affect their relationship.

He says I will never see you --becomes a Kingly decree as already pointed out.

Also, Yeon Hwa was right. The relationship between So and Soo will be a point of weakness for the king. It will be used as a threat over and over again. He'd have to perform his duties as King and have his Queen beside him, and where does that leave Hae Soo? Even if she has his love, the same way with Court Lady and King Taejo, it simply won't be enough to ensure happiness or survival, even.

I think, with all these, leaving the palace seems legit the only way, really. SACRIFICE.

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I think you are misconstruing what he said. When he told her don't try to know everything he said in it a joking tone, from his posture to his tone it was a joke and he was prefacing it with we aren't even married. She was acting the role of wife but she's not.

When he told her to think about children that wasn't about control. They are in a committed relationship with the plan of marriage obviously he assumed they would have children. Sorry to inform you but that was a womans duty at that time, care for the household and provide an heir.

When he told her to not go see people, he meant it to protect her. Su had no rank she was a "mistress" people of higher rank could order her around hence the queen mother ordering her presence and then harassing her. He was telling her she didn't have to listen to those commands anymore. By saying that she needed his permission she would not get punished for refusing a higher ranking persons request. The king outranks them all so if he says no then she wouldn't have to. Obviously since she was able to wander about freely to see Chae ryung, Woo hee , beakah and others he obviously was not stopping her from moving around. She also was able to see Jung and contact him.

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See how easily those three things when said by a person who was NOT a King could be much lighter, but when they ARE said by a King become a decree?

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It's a pretty easy hop and skip to go from "You cannot see people unless you have my permission" to "You cannot see anyone that I don't want you to see."

It's limitations, no matter what.

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Thank you Pineapplegongzhu. I could not agree with you more.

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I like everything you said... And in my mind, Soo wanted to leave the palace because she knows that her misery will not end unless she leaves the palace. It's exactly what she said to Wook, unless you give everything up, your misery will not end. I think she's made up her mind in that sense.

But does anyone know why Woo Hee had to jump to her death ?

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I really dislike how everyone blames Su for everything. She did not force anyone to do anything! At what point are we no longer holding people accountable for their own actions? I wanted to throw my laptop when Yeonhwa blamed Su for Wook changing. no my dear I do believe the "nail the in coffin" was you committing treason,but no lets blame Su. Nobody wants to be held responsible for their choices they just blame her. Yo always wanted to be King, that did not start when Su came around.His mom had already tried but failed to kill Moo.Wook was just better at it. Wook wasn't even trying to be King until Yeonhwa pulled her stunt and he decided to try for the throne. He wanted to be King to protect his family and his love but if she hadn't tried to kill Su he wouldn't have had to do it. Yeonhwa is also the one who told everyone where Eun was hiding but for some reason no one blames her. Yes, Su should have told So but again other people acted not just her. Yes, Su did move thing along in terms of So but everyone else simply reacted to his changing. You can't blame her for their actions. I still think So flipping out about Wook and Su is silly, he knows first hand that Wook betrayed Su and was going to let her hang. Why would you throw her away after he did that? If lady Oh hadn't saved her Su would be dead. I understand he doesn't like Wook but come on So you are smart enough to see Yeonhwa was trying to get rid of Su. Yeonhwa "insisted" that you speak to her brother so he could randomly confess about a verbal agreement made like 5+ years ago. Yeah thats not weird.

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Right on, Hana. The nerve of Yeon Hwa calling out Su takes my breath away

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I loathe YH. I wish her a miserable long life with a man whose heart will belong to her long dead rival, Hae Soo.
I saw a preview of the final episode. I did not pity Wang So when he got a letter presumably announcing Hae Soo's death. (I'm guessing that is what the missive contained based on his reaction.) She died waiting and hoping for you. Grrrrr
Despite her many faults Hae Soo tried to stay as long as she could with Wang So and endured YH etc solely for him. She loved him but she needed to get out of the palace.
She had become a liability to him, she no longer had a place beside him after he married YH and she needed to leave to save herself.
I can understand her. It is hard to remain together if your relationship gets little support from family and friends and if one of you has to take a subordinate role to meet society's expectations.
As the years go on, it is easy to become resentful and even hate your partner. From personal experience I can tell you how devastating it can be when the person who matters the most to you suddenly changes into someone you no longer recognize.

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The problem is Su did not take an active role in the relationship. She never tried to protect it, like yeonhwa said *grr I hate agreeing with her haha* Su is more than happy to sit in a room waiting for him. If she truly thought she could marry him and be his one and only queen how did she think that would happen? She would need help and support. While he was doing everything he could to not only protect his throne but also keep her safe , she sat in a room and blamed him for everything. If she wanted to be his queen she should have been active in trying to gain support. She could have used her knowledge of history to help him.She also shouldn't have been blind to the palace drama. After all the death she has seen she above all should know whats at risk. She could have tried to reason with Jung and used their friendship to help repair the relationship between brothers. With that families support So would have had more power and could have resisted Yeonhwa's power play. He could have threatened to marry Yeonhwa to Khitan to strengthen his throne. My point is if Su had been actively planning other options things could have been different. As we see history can be influenced she could have changed the outcome.

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IDK if you remember this in Episode 17 after she enters the palace as WS's woman there are several things in play.

1) WS tells her not to know too much about him (i.e. stay out of my business)

2) WS tells her she does NOT have permission to see anyone other they have HIS permission.

3) WS tells her to have a kid when she tells him she's too lonely all day - basically stay out of my way, raise my babies.

Not that Hae Su has to do what WS says, but GJ is the king. So there's a huge difference in power play now because GJ is king. She was also never the political type, which has always been her problem palace. Do I wish that HS would rise up and ruin YH? Yes. But the central theme of the show women who give themselves up for their men are doomed and that's what we see HS going through here.

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I think you are misconstruing what he said. When he told her don’t try to know everything he said in it a joking tone, from his posture to his tone it was a joke and he was prefacing it with we aren’t even married. She was acting the role of wife but she’s not.

When he told her to think about children that wasn’t about control. They are in a committed relationship with the plan of marriage obviously he assumed they would have children. Sorry to inform you but that was a womans duty at that time, care for the household and provide an heir.

When he told her to not go see people, he meant it to protect her. Su had no rank she was a “mistress” people of higher rank could order her around hence the queen mother ordering her presence and then harassing her. He was telling her she didn’t have to listen to those commands anymore. By saying that she needed his permission she would not get punished for refusing a higher ranking persons request. The king outranks them all so if he says no then she wouldn’t have to. Obviously since she was able to wander about freely to see Chae ryung, Woo hee , beakah and others he obviously was not stopping her from moving around. She also was able to see Jung and contact him.

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I so agree with your post. Unfortunately, it's the same in the chinese version but they did a fantastic job in flashing out Ruoxi's modern age senstitivities vs political climate of the Qing dynasty. She understood and conscienciously stayed out of politics because she knows that it will change the course of history. The only thing she allowed herself to do was to warn 8th prince against 4th prince., because she let herself give in to her emotions because by then, she had fallen, or was about to fall for 8th prince. She didn't realise it would set things in motion for the tragedies. The k version was not able to bring that across.

I think at the end, k version is remaining faithful to the original version. You will find that HS does love WS very much, which no one realised, not even WS. The reasons for her leaving WS is loaded, not just because of her guilt or the death of CR, it is so much more.

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To borrow from another saguk she should have been put in a tea chest / rice box and left until death she is even more evil than her mother and brother!!!!!!!!

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I still think So flipping out about Wook and Su is silly

People always do things in a fit of anger which make them regret for the rest of their life. More so for So whose emotional scars and traumatic upbringing made him very sensitive to any kind of betrayal, imagined or real. The fact that Su did not tell him about her prior relationship with Wook, and of all people Wook, and to learn that from the mouth of that man whose guts he hated the most! So's cruel streak turned him into such a headstrong and stoic man who could endure extreme circumstances even to the extent of being cruel to himself by denying the only love of his life he so yearned for.

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I meant plot wise but I understand why he thought the way he did, especially after he said he's the one in your heart all along. He now believes Su never truly loved him and whats funny is how easy it is for him to believe that because she doesn't act like a person who loves him above all else. He does try to reason with her and talk to her. She alone has seen the devastation he goes through when he kills someone. She should know he's not a cold blooded monster but she so easily throws him away. I truly felt for him in that moment. He kept flashing to all the times she stood up for Wook but how many of those moments did she do that for him?

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The more I think about it, the more I began to understand why WS dumped Hae Su over Wook. He's already said before in Ep 8 that he did not believe in different types of affection, and that all love is the same. So when it's revealed that Hae Su was engaged to Wook before, it is a devastating blow to him. He's incredibly emotionally immature; blame that on Mama Yoo. This is a man who killed a temple full of monks just to get mother's attention. To say he's a little warped when it comes relationship is kinda of saying like gasoline is a lil' flammable. Sure HS was able to open him up a lot more and fall in love with him, but at the end of the day, when he's cornered, he reverts back to his old ways. Which is possessive, jealous, fearful of losing the one person who has given him love. He does it to Baek Ah. He does it to Hae Su.

Explaining HS's complicated relationship with WW to WS would be nearly impossible for someone who does NOT distinguish between the different kinds of love. HS was in love with WW, but also fell out of love with him. She made sure before she moved on to WS that she was completely over WW. WW even says to WS that their relationship was LONG before HS was his woman. But of course, that simply doesn't matter in WS's mind. Again, all affections are the same he and he does not distinguish the difference. As soon as he says he will not see her again, there was no point where HS could explain herself to him. He had given a king's decree. Only when he sees HS' letter and her room full of the memorabilia of their relationship will he begin understand that there was no one but WS in her heart. This show is all about not knowing what you have until it's gone.

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That's right, you've nailed it @Seltzerwater, when it comes to love, WS is so pathetically one-dimensional, one type fits all, and nothing else.

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Maybe if Su didn't give him emotional whiplash every 12 hours he could understand her more. She loves him one minute and runs away the next. She's been doing that for a long time. She claims to trust him then doesn't or goes behind his back. If their relationship was built on a more solid foundation then he wouldn't have reason to act that way.

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WS's love mantra is "if you love me, standby me regardless". His love demanded absolute loyalty and in return, he also loved intensely with full devotion and conviction. Everything he did, whether right or wrong, HS would have to condone and be supportive, such that Su can no longer be true to herself anymore. The good thing about loving someone so one-dimension and straightforward is the unwavering faithfulness, but it can also be stifling, even for those leading a simple life, what is there to say for HS who was unwittingly embroiled in the cruel game of palace politics, and when she could not have all of WS to herself? He was not even her husband so to speak. Should she just loved WS blindly and gave up all her values and beliefs just to be a concubine who patiently waited on him day and night? WS was making things very difficult for her too. Though I winced when seeing LJK in so much pain, I could also sympathize with Su and her predicament.

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I doubt it. This is why. Wang So is psychological damaged person. Bar none. He is a damaged Momma's boy who kept his little brother from his mother's death bed. He's not EVER going to be well adjusted.

He has this crazy possessive streak since the beginning of their relationship, when he declared that Hae Su was his, even though, they had only talked maybe 3 or 4 times. His possessiveness, his jealousy, are all in line with the character we've seen since Episode one. Pair that with serious abandonment issues and you've got a recipe for a romantic partner who's controlling and suspicious. I don't know about you, but that sounds pretty unhealthy to me.

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some people think, that unconditional love and acceptation
can help overcoming psychological damages and issues, but it's not true - it can be romantic, but wrong and unhealthy for both persons...
loving somebody is easy, loving somebody in the way that good for both it's more difficult - the classic, selfless romantic love can be poisonus sometimes

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You've explained it well. Wang so cannot understand that soo is over wook but still has good feeling for him. This reminds me of ta hwan from empress ki. Although he knew that ki even had a child with another man but he still loved her and didn't even confront her about it.

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I do believe that So can distinguish between the love of relative and that of a lover. He loves both BA and HS, but the way he shows his love to them is different.

We, as the audience, are privy to information about HS that WS isn’t privy to. We “know” that HS loves WS. But from his perspective, he is not too sure. Love is not only about words, but it is also about actions. Her actions seem always to contradict her words. She loves him, but she always acts as though he is a monster that she is afraid of. I understand that she is distraught by CR’s brutal death. She considered her to be her sister. But WS explained the reason behind CR’s punishment. BA also told her. She reads CR’s letter and discovers that CR had deceived her since day 1, but she still doesn’t cut him so slack. In one of the earliest episodes, she told him that there was nothing wrong in trying to survive, or that killing the monks were his way to trying to survive — I don’t remember the exact quote. But CR’s punishment was a matter of survival for him. He had to make an example out of her. CR committed regicide. It’s not a petty crime by any measure. And during this era, it is punishable by brutal death. If I were using my modern sensibilities, I would have advocated for life in prison rather than the death penalty, but even that would have been naive. Anyone in our era who is guilty of murdering a head of state will mostly be subjected to the death penalty. She is clouded by her love for CR —understandable. But what about WS? He has to survive. He can’t show weakness.

Also, when replaying the scenes between WS, HS, and WW, WS realizes that HS has always been more protective of WW than she has been of him. Imagine being in his shoes. Remember the face-off between WS and WW, after Taejo’s death? HS asked WS not to hurt WW. Anyone in his situation, after the big reveal, would have serious doubts about her love. She didn’t ask him to take care of himself or to return safe and sound. She asked him not to hurt WW. It was before their relationship, but her recent plea for WW’s life isn’t helping the matter. He is already insecure about his place in her life since she always seems to prioritize everyone else over him, and now this discovery is very hard for him to digest. She has never stood up for WS the way she has stood up for WW. I can’t recall one moment. She covered his scars and consoled him on several occasions, but she would have done the same for any of the princes.

I don’t want her to stay with him and be unhappy. No one deserves that fate. However, I can understand WS. Love is complicated. We don’t only need to hear that we are loved, but we need to feel it. We live for the special kind we get from our lovers. I don’t fault WS for wanting it from HS. We know she is capable of giving it. We’ve seen her give it to WW. But treats WS as she would his other siblings — excluding skinship. But a relationship is more than skinship. It is trust, comprehension, and support...

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Cont'd

But a relationship is more than skinship. It is trust, comprehension, and support. We, the audience “know” that she is in love with WS, but she is so guarded with him that he really doesn’t know how she truly feels. If we were to compare her relationship with WW to her relationship with WS, we would have to deduce that the person she actually loves in WW.

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I truly feel like Su was a plot device and not a character. In terms of So, within a span of an episode she goes from " you can trust me I'll never betray you, to You're a monster and should leave!" then she tells him I won't ever leave you, I'll stay with you to next day This palace is killing me, I need to leave. Seriously what human functions like that? How can you call that love? She has never for one second trusted him. She showed more trust and persistence in her relationship with Wook then she ever did with So. Wook openly betrayed her and left her alone and she was cool with it but So has time and again risked his life for her and then risked the throne to try and marry her but at the drop of a pin she turns on him. I honestly believe he would have never touched Yeonhwa had Su not turned on him. Up until that moment he had not fulfilled that part of the marriage. And he even told Su he would make her a queen and thats after he used Yeonhwa and said she'd be his only queen. He doesn't care about Yeonhwa he knew she'd betray Wook so he used her. I cheered when he said I didn't throw her away, she threw me away. YASSSS! Then she wants us to feel sorry for her because she "loves" him ummm how?

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+1000000000000000000

What aggravates me the most is Soo's insistence about chae ryung. She trusts CR's sincerity? What the.....it seems that Soo can trust everyone except So. Even when she knew that certain someone was the reason for her torture, weak knee and the deaths of people that she held, supposedly, held dear. I wonder whether she ever really loved So because so far I am beyond not impressed.

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Agree with you, Hana & Ira

That is my main question, does Su REALLY LOVE So?? Iam not felling it at all... Not in her expression, emotion nor her words/voice over. Is it because of the acting? The writers? The editing??
I feel so cheated.. I thought Su supposed to falls madly in love with So (based on the drama's description), but from what I see, Su doesn't love even half of the amount of So's love to her...

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Thats what I feel too.. her expressions, emotions dont really convince me to see that she loves the 4th prince...she seems more suitable with Wook than So.

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It seems like.. despite the late King Taejo told her not to get involved, she is still too focused with her vision of Gwangjong being a bloody monarch.

Every single time when Gwangjong decided to kill someone, she would only think he is ruthless and pushing those people to the corner which is exactly what her vision was. Then she would blame herself for not being able to change him.

It seems like she trusts her vision more than she trusts So =/ Too much that Gwangjong is really becoming the same as her vision =/

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True. Her actions are probably turning him into Gwanjong. Like she created the monster that she was trying to prevent.

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THIS.

Haesoo doesnt seem to have her own motivations/intentions and there's nothing to root her character. she just does whatever to move along the plot and the story arcs of other characters. she doesnt feel like a female lead at all.

also re: her relationship with So. in the earlier epis i found their interactions refreshing and fun. but it's pretty clear (to me at least) that she's never really fully loved So and never really trusted him and has never been 100% committed to the relshp. i feel like she's very precious about her feelings and her friends feelings but doesn't treat so the same way. that's not really love to me

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That's what kills it for me. It's supposed to be that when she loved 8th she loved 8th. Then when she decided to choose 4th, it became all or nothing with him. That love ran deep into her bones and his, so deep that she even left the palace for him and his humanity.

Soo just rolls over and plays dead when commanded.

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Precisely. I don't get this "all or nothing" sort of love from haesoo. i mentioned in a previous episode that she seems to have one foot in and one foot out of the relationship - ready to bail whenever something happens. So's always bending over backwards for her but she never does anything to that level for him.

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Go back to the very first episode. She says it then, and again and again, in a few different phrasings... Su has said "I thought if I didn't change, the people I loved wouldn't change" or "as long as he stays constant, I will stay with him."

So has changed as king-- and Su doesn't like what she's seeing.

I don't think it's unreasonable for her to throw him away at this point. The (literal) heartache he's causing her now, with his need for violence and revenge, has changed her feelings for him.

I don't agree with everything she's done (believing so much of CR rather than talking about it with So, for example), but I do see how his personality as king is frightening, vengeful, and violent, and how that would appall Su.

You know who has been constant? Baek Ah and Jung. I'm hoping she finds happiness with Jung. It's not the story we wanted, but it's the one that makes the most sense. Can you really see Su staying and being a part of palace life, when So is this type of king and Yeon Hwa is always around causing pain? Nope. Su knows herself, and she knows this is no longer the place for her.

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or maybe, we feel like Soo is changing her mind every 12 hrs because that's how the the story was edited. We have 8 episodes to build-up Wook and Soo's relationship, 5 episodes to tear it down completely and 7 episodes left to finally begin the relationship between Soo and So, add in the the politics and the play for the throne and killing majority of the characters. Maybe Soo wasn't changing her mind every 12 hrs, maybe its supposed to be months in between for every key plot to happen but we, together with Soo and So, never really got that time to flesh out every plot points...

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Hana We are kindred spirits ......

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I think that because they spent so much time trying to match the original while also being different it's caused a loss of sense and meaning.

On the original you can clearly see how she was the trigger for what 8th does to 4th and 13th prince which leads to everyone's eventual demise. There was logic in how she loved 4th but had to leave him because she couldn't bear his cruelty.

There are aspects that work better in this version rather than the other but overall this version has me wondering why I'm torturing myself. I think part of the problem is that IU simply can't pull off the depth of the heroine. Her strongest characteristic was her fierce loyalty and ability to love. Her battle with 4th was so he maintained his humanity while also protecting everyone she loved. His battle was getting revenge for all that happened to her, 13th, and himself. All of this happening while he didn't realize that the trigger was the woman he was trying to get revenge for. IU just looks confused and LJK while an amazing actor, wasn't quite given the same motivation.

Honestly the Chinese version had me sobbing at this point. I feel nothing for this version.

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I have to admit i agree with your opinion on IU. I actually like her and in the earlier episodes, i thought she was doing fine. But as of the last couple of episodes...i feel like I can't read any sort of emotion or whatever from her. She always has this same blank stare. i dont know if it's the writing or it's her or both or what. but i can't connect with her post ep 11 and it's pretty frustrating cause i really want a heroine that i can root for. i found myself not caring much about her story arc for awhile already.

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The original has this ending scene that rips your heart out feeds it to you on a spoon. The emotion you feel with the heroine at seeing him again and all the emotions of seeing a lost loved one makes you just ache for days.

There is no way in hell IU will be able to pull that off.

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I literally was going to wrote the last part of your comment.

Well then it is impossible for her to portray that since up to this episode I barely feel all of the emotion she tries to show us.

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I don't know, I thought IU did episode 18 really well - I actually bought her heartbreak during the proposal and in the scene where she looks at herself in the wedding hanbok, and the suppressed sadness behind her going to So with the masks to propose the lantern festival outing.

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She is good at some crying and teary eyes scenes..but yeah, I noticed too, her blank stare most of the time in the last episodes are irritating. Somehow it builds a gap of LJK acting and her acting..

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Thank you! That very first line of yours is what I've been wanting to say to every comment that says not to compare the two versions.

Honestly, in the beginning when everybody was confused and angered about what the heck was going on, I was appreciating the twist Moon Lovers was taking the source material through. It was refreshing, the head shots annoying but the difference in direction and timing of some scenes brought a new tale separate from the source but still keeping key scenes from the novel and drama.

I actually like IU's take as the main girl but agree that we needed more of her inner monologue to fully understand and empathize with her by this time. The mood swings without explanations though was what annoyed me but I blame that on the writer and director rather than actress following the script.

Also, Chae Ryung was the first person Su met and interacted with besides her cousin and the one remaining as her company in the palace after Lady Oh died. So unfortunately, since we were not given the chance to see the importance of such closeness, we are not able to feel sympathy for either parties.

The problem I feel, is that the story could not stick to one theme or have cohesive intertwined plot lines, so in the end we all are left confused and wanting more. In all, this felt like an opportunity missed.

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IU in the beginning was fine because she didn't depth. She was a silly girl that was learning the world she was in, she was a child of the time.

The later episodes she stopped being a child, she's been in love and betrayed by love. She's seen the cruelty of the world and understands the need for survival. That equates to a tenfold layer of conflict between love, protection, survival, and morality.

IU missed the layered conflict memo and stuck to doe eye confusion.

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To begin with, is she even a child when she first transported to Goryeo? IMO, both LSS and IU did quite bad in the beginning, actually IU was so much better. For goodness sake, Ruoxi/Haesoo is a 20+ woman only that she is trapped in a 16 years old body. They acted this role like Jamie Lee Curtis in Freaky Friday when based on the mindset of 20+ adult, the behavior displayed by both actresses totally not relevant.

Came the emotional part and towards the meaty plot, this is where LSS excelled (given that her Ruoxi was written 1000x better) whereas IU failed. I tried to be lenient judging that Haesoo is a poorly written character, but there are some straight-expected emotions from her character like despair and she did not succeed to convey enough for viewers to feel and eventually understand her.

Take Wook for example. A spiteful character. But KHN gave depth to that character, and we could feel his desolation, his motivation because he made it worked for us with the little that he was given.

So here I am, feeling that IU was miscast and probably not suitable for character as heavy and layered as Haesoo.

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@Questions I so agree with your post. I blame not just the production team, but IU. She simply not right for this role. She always looking confused and goggly-eyed. She doesn't have the skills needed for this role, whereas Liu Shi Shi in the chinese version was fantastic, she nailed the character's constant struggle between love, understanding and forgiveness. I cried buckets at the end because I realised how much she loved the 4th prince.

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Liu Shi Shi isn't a even great actress, the original Bu Bu Jing Xin just have the better, more logical and reasonable storyline to make you feel for Ruo Xi and understand her reasons for leaving Yong Zhen.

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I'd say YH blames Su because of the warning she gave Wook. She said So is dangerous and now he sees the two of them are a couple. Wook cannot justify his actions, but the fact he feels spurned by her has aggravated the situation. Su had plenty of opportunities to leave the palace yet remained there in the thick of it.

There is a big dislike for Su because of the character's hypocrisy. Wook planned all of the horrible things that caused so many deaths yet she still has a tender moment with him and a connection. That same courtesy is extended to CR for her regicide and the fact that Lady Oh payed for her crimes. Lady Oh was like a mother to Su yet CR caused her death and there isn't so much as a flinch for what she did. Su justified it because she was in love. Wang So loves Su and did what he did to protect her. Sure it wasn't the best way to go about it but he did it out of love. Su is forgetting that So lost what seemed like the only brother who has always loved him. Baek Ah didn't grow close with him until recently.

Overall I'd say the writers have done a piss poor job of having a consistent and coherent character in Su.

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Nice job!!., keep killing all our fav charactors!!!

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#EveryoneEventuallyDies

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Woo-hee was definitely not a favourite character. I was just scratching my head along with Heads, like 'why is this happening and does she really deserve the death song?' Poor Baek-Ha, but maybe he'll find a nicer girl who doesn't stab him

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what did baek ah do to ever deserve this.. :(

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Cinnamon chose the wrong girl to begin with.

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Omg they emotionally broke cinnamon roll (no idea why he's called this) and ugh Wook at the end with Haesoo :( I guess Yeon Hwa is the only one who gets her happily ever after

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Lol I was wondering why a week or so too! After great lengths of research some kind souls informed that it's a reference to a tumblr meme that is ML related, but upon further research the cinnamon roll thing has been around for a while:

http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/beautiful-cinnamon-roll-too-good-for-this-world-too-pure

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haha omg that's too funny 😂 Thanks for the info

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OMG that made me laugh out louddd

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I have a solution for this mess - just kill everyone except Yeon Hwa. She can run the country by herself.

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"Weighed down is the head that wears the crown."

This quote from Shakespeare's King Henry IV rings so true for Wang So, who lost everything precious to him because of the weight of the crown, and even for Woo-hee, though she was just a princess, the weight she bore eventually led to her tragic death.

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I really can't pity So. He brought this upon himself with his greed for the throne. He lost all his loves one and he was warned.

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I have to disagree on this one. So was never power hungry. He never desired the throne. He was forced to desire the throne because of the circumstances in which he was thrown in - having to kill his own brother to protect his loved ones and now all the people he loves turn their back on him including my last standing hope that is Baek Ah.

Wang So is not noble but speaks senses. People around him failed to see his intention but could clearly see the side of Haesoo no matter how dumb her action is.

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I heartily disagree. Great tumblr entry about this because I am too lazy to regurgitate it:

http://overthinkingkdrama.tumblr.com/post/152546803617/scarlet-heart-ryeo-episodes-16-18