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103

Hwarang: Episode 2

This episode takes our story to a very dark place, but one that’s necessary if our heroes are to rise from the rubble. Moo-myung’s life is changed forever in a single traumatic moment, and he’ll have a long way to go to right the wrongs he sees all around him. As the political climate threatens to shift and change, what can one man do to make a difference?

 
EPISODE 2 RECAP

After stopping the bully from beating his friend Mak Mun to a pulp, Moo-myung neatly divests him of his sword and uses it to slice a circle into the floor around him. He announces that if their law is to kill a low-born who enters the town without a pass, then his law is to kill any aristocrat who crosses this line.

Over in the storeroom, king-in-hiding Sammaekjong has cornered a scared Ah Ro — but rather than ravish her as she fears, he instead tells her that he wants her to help him go to sleep with her stories. She takes offense that her stories could lull anyone to sleep, but he asks where else she’s going to make money tonight.

Ah Ro changes her tune when Sammaekjong tosses her a bag of coins before he tries to take it back. She can’t let go, no matter how much he tries to pry her fingers off the bag. She finally says she’ll do it even though he seems like a pervert, but only until he falls asleep.

Out in the main room, Mak Mun’s attacker crosses Moo-myung’s line, and Moo-myung beats the tar out of him with only a blunt club, avoiding his sword completely. During a lull in the fighting, pretty boy Su-ho asks rival Ban-ryu why he’s not helping his friend, which goads one of Ban-ryu’s lackeys into lunging at Su-ho. But Ban-ryu says for them not to get involved, and leaves.

The bully goes after Moo-myung again, and Moo-myung delivers a series of blows that drive him to the ground. He kicks his sword away and steps on his hand, and calmly asks if anyone else wants to fight. When nobody comes forward, Moo-myung gently helps the injured Mak Mun to his feet, and they leave together.

As they leave, Mak Mun jokes that he’d have won the fight of Moo-myung hadn’t come so soon, ha. He gives the building a longing look and tells his friend that he saw something inside, but he’s ready to go for now.

The queen regent’s guard Hyun Chu reports that a low-born (Mak Mun) saw the king’s face on the night the assassin attacked, so Queen Regent Jiso orders the man killed. Men are dispatched with drawings of Mak Mun’s face with instructions to find him.

The merchant Joo-ki goes to see the healer, Ji-gong, and tells him that he met someone who has a necklace just like Ah Ro wears. It looks like the one Ji-gong’s son had, he adds, and Ji-gong asks where he saw it.

Ah Ro tells Sammaekjong one of her racy stories (while wielding a heavy candlestick just in case, ha), and he nods off. He dreams of entering his throne room to find his mother sitting on his throne, and as she angrily asks why he’s here, he reverts to his young self, crying.

Sammaekjong wakes with a start, and breathes, “I lost again.” He looks over to see Ah Ro conked out, snoring loudly. Pfft. He takes her candlestick and chuckles that he’s the one who should be scared.

Ji-gong follows the necklace’s trail to the club, but the matron says that there was a fight, and the low-borns left. She says she didn’t see their faces well but both were tall, which seems to excite Ji-gong as he rushes out to look for them.

Hyun Chu’s men have no luck finding Mak Mun, but one reports that a man fitting his description was seen heading towards the East Gate. Hyun Chu spurs his horse in that direction, intent on killing the man who saw the king’s face.

Mak Mun and Moo-myung make it to the woods outside the city and decide to rest for the night. Mak Mun looks sad when Moo-myung returns his necklace, and he tells Moo-myung that he saw someone wearing one just like it. But Mak Mun just sighs that there are many necklaces like his in the city.

Moo-myung refuses to let his friend mope and says that they still need to confirm it. He pulls Mak Mun back to his feet, and they head back towards town.

Sammaekjong and his guard Pa Oh go for a ride outside the city, and though it didn’t work very well, Sammaekjong says that he thinks he’ll need to see Ah Ro again if he wants to sleep. Pa Oh wonders if she’ll help him again, having heard her call Sammaekjong a pervert, hee.

Sammaekjong asks if they’ve caught the man who saw his face, and when Pa Oh says the guards are handling it, he says, “That’s what I’m worried about.” Just then, Hyun Chu goes speeding by on his horse, and Sammaekjong guesses what he’s after and follows him.

As they walk back to town, Mak Mun tells Moo-myung about the very pretty girl who was wearing the necklace, grinning as he says she looks just like him (HA). Moo-myung suddenly starts staggering and seeing double, and Mak Mun panics.

Moo-myung can’t shake the spell, and as he stares at Mak Mun through narrowed eyes, he sees a rider approaching, brandishing a sword. He whispers to Mak Mun to run, but it’s too late. Hyun Chu dismounts and Mak Mun tries to run, but Moo-myung stumbles to the ground.

Mak Mun trips and falls, and looks back in horror as Hyun Chu slices Moo-myung from behind with his sword. Nooo! Hyun Chu delivers another vicious blow to Moo-myung’s ribs, and he goes down.

Mak Mun finds his feet and runs to Moo-myung, only for Hyun Chu to cut him down as well. Mak Mun falls on top of Moo-myung, and with a shaking hand he smears his blood on Moo-myung’s face, telling him to stay still and survive. Oh my god, this is horrible.

Moo-myung is cognizant of what’s happening but unable to move. He opens his eyes to see Hyun Chu raise his sword for the killing blow, then passes out. He rouses some time later and sees two men standing over him. He can’t see their faces, but one is wearing a blue and gold robe.

Moo-myung hears a voice saying that he killed this man, then the two men turn away. As they go, he sees a dragon-headed bracelet gleam on the blue-robed man’s wrist.

Ji-gong is also looking for the man with the necklace, and he’s followed clues to the road outside town. Hyun Chu races by him on his way back to the city, which makes Ji-gong nervous.

Somehow, both Moo-myung and Mak Mun are still alive, and Moo-myung finds the strength to carry his friend back toward the city to get help. He weakens and drops to the ground, and Mak Mun gasps for him to leave him.

Moo-myung refuses, saying, ”You are me. You are my parents, my brother, and my body. If you live, I live. If you die, I die.” He pulls Mak Mun back up and continues on.

A little while later, Healer Ji-gong finds a trail of blood and follows it to where Moo-myung cradles Mak Mun in his arms under a tree. Ji-gong immediately sees Mak Mun’s necklace, and grabs it with shaking hands.

He asks in a halting voice if it’s Mak Mun’s, and Moo-myung weakly nods. Ji-gong realizes that the dying young man is his missing son, and takes Mak Mun’s face in his hands. “Sun-woo, it’s your dad. Sun-woo, your dad is here.” Oh, this is breaking my heart.

Mak Mun is barely hanging on, and Ji-gong starts to panic when he sees his chest wound gushing blood. He pulls out one of his instruments, then hesitates, and Moo-myung (who isn’t faring much better than Mak Mun) asks why he’s not doing anything. But Ji-gong knows there’s nothing he can do.

Mak Mun is fading fast, but he remembers a sunny day when he was small and he and his father went for a walk. He gasps through a mouthful of blood, “Father, I missed you.” Ji-gong breaks down in tears, and Mak Mun reaches for Moo-myung’s hand.

He starts to say something to his friend, but it’s too late — he’s gone. Moo-myung screams his friend’s name as Ji-gong sobs, but there’s nothing they can do to bring Mak Mun back.

In the morning, Ji-gong carries an unconscious Moo-myung to the city, leaving behind a fresh stone cairn as Mak Mun’s grave.

Ah Ro wakes in the back room of the club, and freaks out to realize that she slept there all night. The club matron tries to tell her that Ji-gong was here, but Ah Ro isn’t listening and rushes out.

She goes to see her friend SOO-YEON (Lee Da-in), who isn’t the least bit scandalized that Ah Ro spent the night with a “pervert.” Ah Ro tells Soo-yeon about the two mysterious men she met yesterday as if it’s one of her stories, describing one who rescued a maiden and disappeared, and the other who made an offer she couldn’t refuse.

Queen Regent Jiso is visited by her political opponent, Park Young-shil, who reports that the people want to see the king wearing his crown. She answers that it’s not time, as there are still assassins going after young men traveling alone.

Park Young-shil retorts that those rumors will be silenced when the king takes his proper place, but the queen regent refuses to allow it until she’s killed all the “rats” hidden within the palace.

Sammaekjong kills time at the club, and the matron asks if he’s waiting for Ah Ro. He takes notice that the matron called her agasshi, denoting that she’s of some status, and he’s surprised to learn that she’s Ahn Ji-gong’s daughter. But that doesn’t mean she shares his high status, since her mother was a servant.

Ah Ro sneaks home, ready to explain about staying out all night, but she forgets everything when she sees her father covered in blood. He says stiffly that there’s a seriously injured patient inside the house, and he asks her not to go in. Ah Ro asks if he’s okay, but Ji-gong just says he won’t be taking any other patients for a while.

Moo-myung is in very bad shape, but Ji-gong works tirelessly to save his life. He stitches his wounds and feeds him while he sleeps, begging Moo-myung to live.

Some time later, Moo-myung wakes from nightmares of seeing his friend cut down in cold blood, and a blue-robed man with a dragon-headed bracelet. He’s still weak and in a lot of pain, but he sits up and shuffles outside. Ji-gong tells him he’s been unconscious for five days, but Moo-myung wants to know about Mak Mun.

Ji-gong simply says, “Sun-woo… I buried him well.” Moo-myung looks stricken and breathes that he should have saved him. He says that if Ji-gong hadn’t kicked Mak Mun out to the low-born village, he wouldn’t have died.

He starts to scream that Ji-gong killed Mak Mun, sobbing that Mak Mun missed his family so much. Ji-gong takes the blame, saying that he searched throughout Silla for his son for years. He tells Moo-myung that “they” took his son away, and all he could do was watch.

Ji-gong has already discovered Moo-myung’s condition, the one that makes him grow dizzy and pass out. Moo-myung tells him it’s none of his business whether he lives or dies. Ji-gong gives Moo-myung the clothes and city pass he was going to give to Mak Mun when he found him, in case Moo-myung wants to go back to the low-born village.

Moo-myung asks about the law making it legal to kill any low-born people who sneak into the city. (Oh, he thinks that’s why Mak Mun was killed.) Ji-gong says it’s the disgusting rule of the country, clearly hating the law as much as Moo-myung. Moo-myung tells him that he saw who killed Mak Mun and says they can get revenge.

Moo-myung descends into a black depression, refusing to eat or sleep, and Ah Ro sees that he’s left his food tray untouched. Despite her father’s request not to go inside, she takes the tray to Moo-myung and introduces herself as the daughter of the household. Moo-myung realizes that this must be the sister Mak Mun always spoke of so highly.

Mak Mun had talked about how pretty and kind she was, and how he always wanted to see her get married. He’d told Moo-myung that once they found her, he’d give her to him (to marry). Moo-myung had hilariously objected on the grounds that Mak Mun kept saying she looked like him, and Mak Mun had bitten him. Hee.

The memory only makes Moo-myung sad now, and he doesn’t even turn around to see Ah Ro’s face. Ah Ro leaves the tray of food along with tea for his headache, and Moo-myung whispers that it’s true that she’s kind.

Moo-myung eyes the tea and decides that he has to live. He dresses in the clothes Ji-gong gave him and makes his way to Mak Mun’s burial cairn, sinking to his knees. He tells Mak Mun to wait, and he’ll exact revenge on those who did this to him.

The queen regent’s rival, Park Young-shil, receives a report from his informant, who just happens to be the scarred gambler that Moo-myung and Mak Mun tangled with. Park Young-shil is interested to hear that the queen’s guards were out looking for a low-born instead of guarding their queen.

He guesses that they must have seen something very important for the queen regent to intervene. Scarface tells him that he saw the low-borns’ faces, and Park Young-shil sends him to look for them.

Mak Mun and Moo-myung’s adopted father, Woo-reuk (the one who was shooting arrows at them previously), hasn’t seen the boys in a while, but he tells his friend that he doesn’t bother concerning himself after they ran away. But he looks up from where he’s panning for gold to see Moo-myung standing there, dressed in fine clothes and looking infinitely sad.

Moo-myung and Woo-reuk go home, where Moo-myung tells him that Mak Mun died. He blames himself, but Woo-reuk says that Mak Mun’s fate was sealed the moment he climbed that wall. Moo-myung vows to discover why Mak Mun was killed and get revenge. Woo-reuk begs him to stay and give up this dangerous quest, but Moo-myung says that he knows what kind of person he is, and he relents.

Moo-myung leaves the low-born village, and promises that if he lives through this, he’ll come back. He gives Woo-reuk a wave and a wry smile and marches off towards his destiny.

Hwa-gong visits Queen Regent Jiso to discuss her plan to create a royal guard. Hwa-gong warns that the royal council will object, and asks for complete control over the project. She agrees, and they decide that it’s time to make the public announcement.

They choose a name: “Hwarang — Boys who are lovely as flowers.” They will be loyal soldiers to the king, willing to lay down their lives for the nation regardless of their family origins. They will be wise and respected, the future of the country.

Announcements are posted throughout the city, and one young man we’ll come to know as HAN-SUNG (Kim Tae-hyung) reads that the beautiful sons of nobles will be selected to join the Hwarang. He thinks it sounds interesting, but Ban-ryu and his posse show up to scoff that the queen regent is looking for “dogs.”

Su-ho also reads the announcement, and he teases Ban-ryu about wanting to join up. Ban-ryu tells Su-ho to go suck up, and Su-ho retorts that sucking up is Ban-ryu’s specialty, as that’s what he does with his stepfather. Oh, burn.

As expected, the royal council is up in arms over the news about the Hwarang. They think that the decision to choose the sons of noblemen is an attempt to hold them hostage, but Park Young-shil thinks he can work with this.

He adds a caveat to the royal council’s approval — the queen regent must get the king’s approval, to show the council that she’s trustworthy. She can’t argue the logic, though she knows that this is really a ploy to bring the Sammaekjong out of hiding.

Sammaekjong already knows about the plans for the Hwarang, having seen the posted announcements. He grumbles that it’s not for him or the country’s future, but for his mother.

Ah Ro takes the bag of silver she earned from Sammaekjong, and uses it to pay off a debt to the merchant Joo-ki. He’s happy to see the silver, and mentions that he has another job for her.

Joo-ki talks with Hwa-gong later and reassures him that he found someone to perform his little “favor.” Hwa-gong complains that he only found one person, but Joo-ki reminds him that this favor requires great secrecy and says that he hired the best person for the job.

Ah Ro’s new job is to secretly monitor the noblemen’s sons to determine who possesses the necessary skills to become Hwarang. She manages to do a thorough job, though her mind wanders back to her encounter with Moo-myung when she was drunk, and she has to shake herself back to reality.

Meanwhile, Moo-myung visits Joo-ki at his shop again, and he’s recognized as the man with the necklace. He doesn’t respond when Joo-ki says he talked to Ji-gong and asks if his friend found his father. He only says that he needs to buy a good sword.

Ah Ro needs to find more noble sons, and she decides to visit the carpenter’s shop to look for guys who like bows and arrows. She doesn’t notice Moo-myung walking right past her, headed for the Daiseo.

Sammaekjong just happens to be there, and his bodyguard Pa Oh breathlessly reports Ah Ro’s location. Sammaekjong steps out to find her, and as he walks past Moo-myung, Moo-myung recognizes his blue robe and spots the dragon-head bracelet he wears.

Sammaekjong finds Ah Ro and follows her, and he covers his face when he senses that he’s being followed as well. Ah Ro enters the carpenter’s shop, and Sammaekjong ducks around to slip in the back way. The shop appears to be empty, so Ah Ro enters the back room, which is full of wooden screens.

Suddenly Sammaekjong grabs her and holds his hand over her mouth. He says he won’t hurt her, but warns her of the assassin that’s following him. Soon, Moo-myung enters the room and calls for Sammaekjong to show himself.

Sammaekjong answers, then steps away from Ah Ro and tells her to leave. But she’s lost in the maze of screens and can’t find the door.

Sammaekjong asks who’s following him, and Moo-myung snarls that Sammaekjong owes him a debt. He says that his friend was killed by Sammaekjong’s sword, and Sammaekjong recalls that night.

As it turns out, he’d arrived in time to stop Hyun Chu from striking that killing blow. Sammaekjong had blamed himself for Mak Mun’s death, which is what Moo-myung heard, though he assumed that meant that Sammaekjong was the killer. Sammaekjong had seen Moo-myung still breathing but left, assuming he would die as well.

Now he realizes that this is the man who lived, but before he can say anything, Moo-myung screams and charges through the screens. Sammaekjong avoids him, so Moo-myung kicks down a line of screens, determined to reveal his target’s location.

When Moo-myung draws close, Sammaekjong says that there are doors that people like him shouldn’t open, and that he’s in front of that door right now. Moo-myung scoffs, asking if he thinks it’s right that there are roads people can’t cross and doors they can’t open.

He announces that he does not, and bellows for Sammaekjong to show himself. Sammaekjong does, leveling his sword at Moo-myung through a gap in the screens, and tells him that he’ll spare his life if he leaves. Moo-myung just draws his sword and says that there’s no need, because he’s going to kill him.

Moo-myung lunges, but almost immediately draws himself up short. His expression turns to horrified surprise when he sees that his sword point is only inches away from Ah Ro’s throat.

 
COMMENTS

If nothing else, this show is visually striking. I was captivated by the way the camera played with light and shadow in the more dramatic moments, especially during that final scene, and how angles are used to heighten the drama and suspense. The show could have gotten away with leaning on the bright colors of the costumes and beautiful faces of its cast for visual impact, so I’m impressed that it’s going the extra mile to make the more dramatic images interesting in different ways. What’s curious is that the first episode didn’t do this quite so well, but I definitely noticed the improvement in the cinematography of this second episode. Let’s cross our fingers that it continues through the series.

Mak Mun’s death was probably one of the most traumatic I’ve seen in a drama — I cried buckets during that entire scene, even though I’ve been expecting it (I knew Lee Kwang-soo was only a cameo, and it’s not the first time a Flower Boy drama broke up a friendship in such a final way). We’d seen Moo-myung save his mild-mannered friend from a beating twice by that point, so I wasn’t expecting to see Mak Mun run into the blade of a sword to help his friend, or for his last coherent action to be to smear his own blood on Moo-myung to make him look more injured than he was.

I do like the character trajectory that his friend’s death is sparking in Moo-myung, and the edge of sorrow and anger he carries now makes his character that much more intriguing. I’ve no doubt that it will be a while before the confusion over who killed Mak Mun and why is straightened out, and that it’s this conflict that will carry Moo-myung to the Hwarang to look for answers.

I really love the king as a character nearly as much as Moo-myung, and I find his conflict regarding his mother and his throne to be pretty compelling. He’s been king for over a decade, yet he’s never been allowed to actually rule, and even now his mother controls his life to the point that anyone who sees his face and knows he’s king has to die. At first I thought the queen regent was protecting her son, but now I believe that she’s simply making sure that nobody knows who he is, to make it easier for her to wrest control of the country from him. It’s interesting that despite her placating words, Sammaekjong seems to know instinctively that his mother can’t be trusted, and I think that his entry into the Hwarang will be a clever move on his part to discover the queen regent’s true motives. But mostly I just like him as a person — he can be a bit high-handed, but he’s remarkably down-to-earth for a king, and seems to be fair-minded and intelligent.

I admit that I’m a teeny bit unclear on the queen regent’s motives. People keep saying she has her eye on the throne for herself, and Sammaekjong obviously fears that she’ll take it from him, but she claims to be forming the Hwarang to protect the king when he comes out of hiding. Her true motive appears to be exactly what the royal council fears — that she’s planning to hold the noblemen’s sons hostage, in order to keep those who oppose her under her thumb. So that’s what I’m going with for now, that the queen regent plans to form the Hwarang on the principle of protecting the king, but when it comes time for him to officially take his throne, that she will use the fact that she controls the council’s sons to claim the throne for herself. I believe she’s banking on Sammaekjong being too young and weak to stand up to her, but I think she has a big surprise in store.

I think this premiere week did a good job of setting the tone and flavor that we can expect in the coming episodes — plenty of intrigue and societal commentary, with the sometimes-silly comedic flare that we expect from a Flower Boy drama. I’m excited to see the boys join the Hwarang and start to interact with each other, and how that affects the palace as factions struggle to take control of the throne. But it’s Moo-myung’s personal battle that interests me most, and I hope that he’s able to make new friends sooner rather than later. Not that Mak Mun could ever be replaced, but a man needs strong support as he sets out to buck the system.

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I have to admit, Lee Kwang-soo's death got me in the feels. Knowing he was a cameo I had a sneaking suspicion he would die (as many did). There were only a few narrative choices available for a character that would not be returning once the cameo was over.

Ok, here is the part where I turn into a crazy fan. VVVVVV!! You spoke but a few lines, and were on the screen for only a few moments - and I loved every bit of it! I sadly will admit to rewatching his scene. Wow. Getting that down in writing makes me seem like a true insane person. I am way too old to fan girl. Oh well. ARMY for life.

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Ikr re kwangsoo I think as obvious and cheesy as it was his death still was delivered with an oompfh.

KIM TAEHYUNGGGGGGG here I am fangirling with you haha the extremely illogical side of me replayed his scene 5 times LOL

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You're not the only one fangirling over Taehyung, I can tell you that much. I'd been waiting to see him and I feel like the writers just stuck him in there to read the sign so that fans wouldn't have to wait another week to see him.
Played his scene many times and I know I'm getting ahead of myself but I'm sure he'll do a great job. His role is obviously not a major one and I don't expect many scenes of him so it's a good thing that I love Hyungshik too! The brooding yet modest King is doing it for me. Sorry PSJ, second lead syndrome got me way too quickly.

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Imagine if Mak Mun's "killer" is just a ploy by the writer to make our main lead into a proper "hero" material. And so, there is really no real killer.....it was just to get the story moving and all the anguish Moo-myung faced was for our entertainment's sake.

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Dont you go all W on me omggg

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Hahaha, I was thinking the same: it's "W"!

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kinda explains why sammaekjeong looks like someone who stepped out of a manhwa

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hahaha. that's funny.

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Me too. I like ep 2 better than ep 1 although i was sad that KS must died. Hope it will be better. And i like the chemistry with second male lead better than PSJ. But maybe later it will be changed.

And the best part of ep 2 is the appearance of Han Sung so i can fangirling.. LOL Same with you too, i'm too old to fangirling but i must support our TaeTae first project.

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haha...ikr...I did the same...I was literally fan girling over taehyung...BTW U r never too old for fangirling esp. wen one a proud true Army...Taetae all the way... ;)

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Haha, I admit to famgirling way harder than I should have as well!! I was hoping that V isn't THAT BAD as an actor, and although its too early to judge, he seems to be doing pretty fine (well, as fine as you can do during a 2 minute screentime). Anyway, I'm going to continue watching this drama to support taehyung :')

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*fangirling lol

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I pray for all the bts fans and those who have him as their bias or their bias wrecker. I have a feeling this show will cause us to all fangirl waaaay too hard XD

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OMG. OMG. OMG. Sam Maek Jong <3

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He is just too swoony.
I agree with Lollypip that he is such a good person, and really down-to-earth for a king. And his voice when he chuckles, oooohhh.... I think I need to stop fangirling now.

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I love the drama..

Its fun.. and yet manages to throw in some seriousness here and there..

Actors don't appear to be worse off..

After kill me, heal me.. seeing PSJ for the 2nd time (hehe.. well.. modern garb suits him more)

THe second lead - he is the same guy from Heirs right?.. the photography guy...
So, I am totally excited.. because from playing an effeminate character to this hot, brooding prince.... that means good acting skills.. RIGHT?

Kind of more excited with the second lead romance story.. and my latest romantic obsession.. choi min ho...

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I think I'm also traumatised from Mak-Mun's death scene 😢 Repeated yelling of NO KWANGSOO NO is probably not good for your health

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I cried buckets for Kwangsoo too, especially when he told his dad he missed him.

The scene with the wooden screens was really cool, although I didn't understand why they would rotate like that. Do they actually make screens that do that? It would make a neat room divider.

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they were in carpenter house, n the screens were doors (thats why sam mek jong said about there r doors that some people can't open) the doors were hung thats why they can rotate. Carpenter... selling doors n all carpentry stuff ... I think. Thats why they were hung.

I watched hwarang twice, n still feel heartache on the man mook death.... so painfull, thumbs up for kwang so

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and also,

is first lead male, second lead, male, first lead female, second lead female, and kwang soo.. characters.. all brother and sister?

Apparently second lead male and second lead female are queen's kids

first lead male is the child of queen with doctor - illicit

doctor;s kids from another marriage are kwang so and first lead female..

All brothers and sisters...
hmm.. not too sure if I want romance now..
but then goryeo had bro-sis marrying..

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uhm.... i got lost on your comment hahah.

idt they r related. the king sam maek Jong is the queen son (second lead male), Myung mo (dog bird/ acted by PSJ, first lead male) is an orphan n was living his life with Man mook who also chased away from the capital n got seperated from his dad n sister because he is a half breed (mom an commoner, father a true bone as in royalty) so myung mo is not related by blood with man mook.
man mook sister Aro, is the first lead female.
so they are not related... please do correct me if i got it wrong tho.... coz so far from the 2 episodes i didnt see any indication that they are related by blood as in brother and sister.

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so as far as I know,
Kwang Soo (cameo) is Go Ara's brother

Park Seo Joon (dogbird) is the male lead, no birth history found, he just get abandon when he was young

Park Hyung Shik is the king, true bone mean the last blood line of the king and queen

Go Ara is the doctor's daughter, as I know both of the doctor's son is half nobleman

if we gonna go to try the later relationship,
Park Seo Joon will take Kwang Soo identity to become hwarang since hwarang should be born noble,
so all 3 of them is not related by blood

and probably no sibling marriage since the king is the last true heir for the throne (said by the drama)
King Jinheung (the young king in this drama) based on history was one of the greatest kings of Silla, and was responsible for expanding Silla territory immensely.

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Sacred bone was the highest rank in Shilla. Only those with sacred bone (royalty on both sides - mother and father) were allowed to be king. The current sacred bone would be King Jinheung. The last sacred bone was Queen Seon Deok.

True bone was below the sacred bone.
I'm not watching the show so I don't know who is who but this bone rank system can be pretty confusing.

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thank you for a complete information,
yeah the king's heir/sacred bone is only jinheung at this drama

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I could hardly agree that Sam Maek Jong is an intelligent king.

The big issue that I have here is that he knows all along that his mother passed the instruction to kill off whoever unfortunate souls who happened to lay eyes on him, identifying him as king yet he has done nothing about it.

Could he not wear a mask? Or a straw hat with a veil? Or a hoodie? Or do something about it? Is he that powerless to not be able to do anything? And yet when Moo Myung was hunting him, he could make a decent effort to cover half of his face? This is the reason why I find him so unlikeable.

The death scene is the highlight of this episode and Kwang Soo nailed it so beautifully.

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Hm I think it's more of the fact that they recognize that he is king, rather than seeing his face, that leads to death. Only Mak mun, the gate official guy who died in ep 1 (who if anything saw the king when he had a half mask so wouldn't have seen his face anyway) and the assassin knew that this pretty boy was the king haha.

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Agree. This is the point that is bugging me. It's like they have to create this point to later create a wedge on a potential friendship between Moo Myung and Sam Maek Jong once they entered Hwarang.

Does it make a difference if that person being killed for laying his eyes on the king or getting killed for recognizing him as the king? The bottomline is he has done nothing to stop this ridiculous instruction by him mom. And don't tell me that him trying to stop Hyun Chu from striking the blow as an effort because he could not possibly arrive at the nick of time to do the saving each and everytime.

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I don't see the need for him to cover his face. Nobody have seen him so he can roam around freely. It was the bodyguard who without thinking called him 'his majesty' and reveal his identity to Mak Mun hence causing Mak Mun's death.

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> he has done nothing about it

I think this is his path on the story,
He has no power in his hand and he still under the queen palms,
he wants to break it out but he has no one,
all the assassins and his protector is the queen's person,
meanwhile, the queen can't trust even one nobleman so whatever info te nobleman get, she can't access it while the nobleman hold the control over the city,

this is kingdom problem as I realised,
the queen that want to secure his son (albeit it probably one of her motive)
a young king that realised that he has no power to people around him

Hwarang is the right place when both of them can have what they want,
a young king can searched for his own people, the new generation and people that also the queen can trust because she build them

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it's not his face but knowing that he's the King is what warrants a killing. so far no one knows how the king looks like outside the select few, because he's been hidden for 10 years. so there's no real reason to hide his face (which could only lead to more suspicion). if the subs were not wrong, even the assassin thought he was only a 'True Bone', which means a nobleman (can be distinguished from his fine clothing), not the king.

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Even if it's not the face, the kills is being ordered on whoever that could recognized him as the King, my lingering problem is why can't something be done on his part to tackle the killing of the innocence. Sure, in this drama, only two has been killed so far but I believe this has been practiced for such a long time, during that 10 entire years of hiding.

I just find this as a lame excuse to warrant the killing and to create the wedge for what to come between Moo Myung and Sam Maek Jong. At least throw me something solid to convince me that yes, the king is powerless and yes, they would be some rivalry between the two main flower boys.

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nah i think the assassin was the first one, because he was just informed of the order by the queen's general at that time. maybe there's less chance of anyone recognizing him outside the capital since most people there are of the lower classes, and his watcher Pa Oh doesn't seem like a trigger happy guy. he did stop the general from killing MM once he arrived at the scene tho. i can't see how he could exempt the queen's order unless he takes over the throne. i guess he could protest to the queen at best, or threaten to announce his identity to the world (idk what's stopping him from this one however)

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>> I just find this as a lame excuse to warrant the killing and to create the wedge for what to come between Moo Myung and Sam Maek Jong<>my lingering problem is why can’t something be done on his part to tackle the killing of the innocence.<<

It explained that the king is not in the city for a long time, he is hidden somewhere the queen only knew,
and the king just now realised how the queen take care of people that know he is a king (based on the assassin killing),
he doesn't know before

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>> I just find this as a lame excuse to warrant the killing and to create the wedge for what to come between Moo Myung and Sam Maek Jong.<<

I don't think this is gonna be lame cause Dog Bird real problem is how the caste system and all those privileges inside the city to the noble born,
he makes himself clear when he fight in the club that he thought it's bullshit,
he is a peasant that come into the city,
one way or another he will face the same attitude from people that know that he is from outside, as been seen in the gamble places before,
he said before that the reason he enter the city is for Moo Myung and he is the trigger in his life,
so even if moon myung didn't die (but he is so reckless that he could die multiple times before),
Dogbird will still have a problem with the noble born, with their privilage and with all of that,

Moo myung is the trigger but not the sole reason why he would behave as a rival to Hyung Shik character,

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Let's wallow some more on that tragedy, shall we? MM-MM bromance got me emotionally invested right off the bat and the inevitable happened. Augh, I need some Ben & Jerry's, Show.

Imma just mention how PSJ nails everything so far, but PHS just takes the entire cake (and dessert table), yo. That intensity. Make him stop. BUT it's pre-produced.. SO~~

The other flower boys are not so bad though.. Quite interesting actually. Hwarang, hwaiting!

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Watching Kwang Soo amazing death scene , make me think about entourage and how the writers and director killed an amazing cast, what a waste.

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Agreed. Watching Hwarang reminded me of what a phenomenal actor Kwang-soo is, to make me bawl my eyes out for a trope-ish character that I have only watched for maybe less than half an hour.

Gold.

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Didn't cry but it was a rather drawn out death scene. I'm enjoying this drama so far. I'm easy to please most of the time anyway. I love Park Seo Joon and Hyungsik. I'd watch a terrible drama up to at least episode 6 if or no other reason than these two. So far the pacing is good and I agree the direction has taken a turn for the better. Seems there's a tad of controversy over remarks made by Kim Ji soo on instagram. She hinted that things go off the rails. I don't believe her remarks are the reason for the lower 2nd episode ratings. I thought it was a solid start for a flower boy fantasy saeguk that obviously is designed to appeal to younger audiences. Time will tell I suppose.

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I agree. That death scene was much too long that it felt like the fist half of the episode. I'm also like you with watching dramas that my favourite stars are in--for better or worse.

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Yeah, I was crying but I was thinking at the time that Kwangsoo was taking a reaaaaaaaaly long time to die.

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TnMS rating is lower but AGB actually just the same with little bit increasing as I remember

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Just curious, but what are the comments from Kim Ji Soo that are controversial? Thanks in advance!

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Yes! I'm curious too and can't seem to find the news. Always have a popcorn ready for a drama within drama.

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oh my gosh i cried buckets when Kwang-Soo's character died. I was not expecting it because i thought his cameo would be longer.. although i suspected something serious would happen to him when he kept having to be rescued by Moo Myung. As for the story, it started off slow for me but is now picking up. I love all the flower boys so far. They're just so pretty!!! And no one is doing terribly yet so am keeping my fingers crossed.

As for the queen, I feel that she is trying to protect her son by holding the nobles sons hostage. When the king died and she called Pa-Oh to protect him she seemed especially sincere and terrified. I bought into that so either she was faking it very well then or she was being genuine. However, I think since then she has let her paranoia trap her and she may inadvertently be the reason her son is endangered in the future... we'll see.

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Yeah, I was also glad that the other Hwarang did quite well. Maybe it also helps that they didn't get too much screentime for now. Hopefully their acting will stay good.

Btw, where is Jo Yoon-woo??

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This episode was a lot better than the first. Gosh, that death scene 😢. I've never scene anything like it.

I'm invested for now. Definitely looking to see more Ban Ryu and Hwarang. Unfortunately GAR hasn't stepped up this episode. It made me think how maybe some other actress suits the character more.

Also, this era in Korean history is fascinating! That's also why one should watch this.

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This is pretty much fiction with fictional characters although it can be confusing with Shilla's rigid bone rank system.

Unlike Goryeo that was basically ruled by the Wang clan from beginning to end and Joseon by the Yi clan, Shilla was ruled by different clans. The Park clan then the Seok clan and the Kim clan. The sibling inbreeding was more common in Shilla than Goryeo.

This show would be less confusing if they keep it light and fluffy.

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I've got second-lead-syndrome bad! I think it might be because of the sizzling chemistry between PHS and GA in that one scene they shared. It was like all of two minutes and that's all I can think of.

Hopefully, PSJ and GA will also have some sizzling scenes together to balance things out. That last scene of them looking at each other did look promising.

I can't wait for the boys to band together.

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I think the actress from "Age of Youth", who had short hair and was the one who told the girls about the "ghost in the shoe closet", would've been perfect for the role Go Ara is playing. However I don't find Go Ara bad, she's just not great but she's decent in her role, and she already has chemistry with both male leads (which is a plus).

The one I find bad and outright miscast is one of the two "true bones" who always argue. I don't know his name, but he looks 13, and is not a good actor. I think he is called "Min Ho" (I just looked him up). I just don't see how he is going to be a warrior.

Interestingly enough, the other "true bone" who Minho's character argues with, is very intriguing and he caught my eye. I hope they give him a bigger role, but then again this is pre-produced, so nothing can be changed.

Anyways this drama so far is giving me Disney vibes, it has the feel of a fairytale. I hope that after this episode, the story will start moving now that the setup is out of the way.

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ah you mean Park Eu Bin. Shes currently filming a MBC daily drama opposite Lee Tae Hwan (the bodyguard from W Two worlds). Im a fan of her too. Currently her loveline in that drama called Father I'll take care of you is very nice- just my recommendation if you are interested

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sorry typo her name is Park Eun Bin

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Park Eun-bin rocks sageuks. I'd prefer to see her in a more conventional one.

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Hahah not surprised about Minho being singled out. He's a Idol actor and has acted in quite a few dramas, as well as being a lead several times. It's true that's he's wooden even though I'm a fan I gotta admit he's still lacking.

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that was a lot of blood... more than i cared to see...

but, i'll watch for the characters whom i have already grown to like... hope the blood and gore are over, for the most part...

bleah. : p

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thank you for the recap!! :)
Mak Mun's death was traumatising that I'm still crying over it whenever I see or read about it!! Park Seo Joon and Lee Kwang Soo made a great job in showing us the bonding between these friends that we didn't need words to know how much they cared for each other's safety and suvival, every second since the attack till Mak Mun's death hitt me hard in my heart!!
the 1st thing that came to my mind when Park Seo Joo and Park Hyung Sik were confirmed was waiting for a bromance between them but things aren't heading that way for now still I loved chemistery they had with each other and they still didn't see each others faces!! can't wait to see more of their interactions with each other and sure thing with the rest of the Hwarang grroup!! :D Moo Myung lost a hyung that can't be replaced but I hope he'll have many dongsaengdeul among the Hwarang group!!
I'm more into Moo Myung's journey to rise from his status and go against the system but I'm happy that the King's conflict is interesting as well!!

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I miss the hairstyle that PSJ had in the first pictures that were released a long time ago. He looked really cool. But that's just me being superficial. But this show definitely has me intrigued. Looking forward to seeing how it all unfolds. And I can't handle all the beauty that is exploding off the screen! *fanning myself* But again, just me being superficial. :D

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So I'm not the only one who think he is really cool in that first picture. He looks like manhua character came to life. Long hair and sharp, manly features.

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didn't see it coming but i cried BUCKETS from the first slash up to when the father-dying son reunion happened. this could be due to PSJ-LKS chemistry too.

and i'm just excited for PSJ-Go Ara now!

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I am so impressed with the scene where Mak Mun died. Both Lee Kwang Soo and Park Seo Joon portrayed it very well. I love Moo Myung being both serious and comical at different times. Can't wait to see how it is going to turn out for him.

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Mak Mun's dead for me amplified the sadness of the planned disbandment of Running Man (andhweeeeee!).
The promise of bromance is just around the corner, think it'll be fun to watch them bond over ancient football and threat of death, haha. The flower boys premise is always (eager/reluctant) bromance saving boys through hardship, and I guess the sageuk setting will make the hardship more real, with death lurking just about everywhere. Here's hoping it won't be go overboard. Hoping also they give ample time for each boys to be fleshed. Su-ho intrigued me so far, just coz he seemed to be the only cheerful one among the broody others; wondering what angst hides under there.
And Choi Won-Young is such a yummy ahjusshi! It'll be a balm to my heart if he is the upright, cool mentor here after seeing him as such a loser, albeit lovable, in Laurel Tree.

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Also, thanks LollyPip for the speedy recap!

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I'm most looking forward to when they all become Hwarang. I hope Moo Myung doesn't recognize Sammaekjong as Mak Mun's killer when they join. He never caught a glimpse of Sammaekjong's face, but he may recognize his voice. And I want to see more of Su Ho and Ban Ryu's rivalry.

I love Mak Mun for sacrificing his life for Moo Myung. Smearing his blood on his face and telling him to play dead. It was so bittersweet when Moo Myung said under his breath, "You were right. She is nice." RIP, Kwang Soo.

Thanks for the recap, LollyPip!

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The death scene was a bit too long. However, it was an important scene that affected a lot of different people and pushed the plot forward.

I almost started crying when Mak Mun was cut by Hyun Chu, but I halted when he fell awkwardly on top of Moo Myung. I thought the acting was over-the-top at first, but it was so sad when I realized Mak Mun was trying to protect Moo Myung to the end.

I couldn't hold back my tears during the heartbreaking father & son scene. I'm glad they were able to recognize and speak to each other during Mak Mun's final moments. Park Seo Joon's ugly crying was bad. I like his acting for the most part, but it just threw me a little when he cried with his wide open mouth.

The last scene was done really well. I like the camera work and the built-up tension between the two leads.

Go Ara has good chemistry with both of them so I'm excited to see how things will shake up when they all get together for the Hwarang.

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I really liked the second episode. I liked some of the artistic choices, like the partitions at the carpenter. We also now have most of the main characters in place and we're ready for the Hwarang to form...

I didn't expect such a horrific death scene and while I didn't cry, I was so attached to Kwang-soo's character that I was definitely moved. I agree that the scene was noticeably prolonged, but I really didn't mind because it was very well done.

Park Hyung-shik is perhaps my favorite character right now, he's nailing the prince. And the tiny glimpse we got of Kim Tae-hyung's character was nice and promising. He certainly looked nice in the blue robe and didn't look terrible at all with the long hair.

If Go Ara can tone it down a notch and all the flower boys deliver solid performances, this might be a great show. Let's hope the story and writing doesn't slide all over the place. Hwaiting!

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Agreed! I was worried about the show since episode 1 doesn't really caught my attention but episode 2 is totally captivating.... I wonder if the same team is editing ep 1 and 2? haha

The scene where Gwang soo died in the woods is totally one of memorable scenes.... I'm anticipating ep3 *fingers crossed*

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I wasn't planning on watching this but the appearance of some of the cast on 2D1N ep 176 piqued my interest. Kudos to Park Seo-Joon for being such a good sport with all the teasing. Park Hyung sik and Minho were also funny and fit right in with the 2D1N cast.

After watching both episodes, the storyline is good so far and no problems with the acting yet even with all the newbies. With the whole Running Man fiasco, Kwang Soo should start acting more. I was hoping he wouldn't die but damn...I guess it adds another layer of revenge and intrigue. Is it just me or did his father purposely not save him? I feel like his father was holding back a bit.

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I noticed that part about his father too. I thought he didn't try to save Mak Mun because he saw the bleeding wound was too severe and then knew it was futile.

Thanks for mentioning 2D1N and the episode number too! I will check it out. :)

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now i have to go watch 2d1n. Thanks for the info!

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I think ep 2 did a good job highlighting the central character as an individual,
I like that it feels like I knew them and I realised what they are trying to do,
it wasn't the mystery of what will happen but how they will react after it,

I really like the setting,
they choose a very good place and the way it shot just feel smooth by far than the 1st episode,
They make a very lovable character, hard not to root and it not just because of pain,
What they did with dogbird is all about self-realisation that he is beaten out by the fact that his life is nothing now and he searched for the answer,
how the young king also aware about the danger but still observing things,
how the girl trapped between them and how she is less care about love and all,
she give the thought but she did all of other things
it seems like the romance will be something like a side story and the journey of the hwarang to reform Silla is the meat of the show,

my complaint probably the editor, I know it is a hard job but sometimes it just too abrupt,

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am amused that sammaekjong falls asleep to the sound to racy stories lmao
still find him stunningly pretty this episode, and love his outfits. i believe he's grown up so down to earth and likable is because he's been practically raised by Pa Oh, who seems to be a honorable man. so his exile from the throne is actually a good thing for his character as a king

one thing i really dont like about this drama is Go Ara's eyebrow game. they're too harsh for her face and most times distract me from the acting

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I usually never fangirl and especially not here but I'm just going to take a moment and let it out…

KIM TAEHYUNGGGGGGGGG…..

He had like 30 second but whatever! I'm so happy cause he did so well and that OST with Jin is such a good song!

I enjoyed episode 2…looking forward to the next episodes!

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I thought this was going to be a cutesy drama with pretty boys and a simple plot line. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it had quite a interesting story line, I can only hope it keeps this pace the entire drama. Kwang Soo's cameo had me bawling my eyes out, I wish it had been longer only two episodes wasn't enough for the bromance. I'm definitely getting so sparks between the king and Ah Ro. I don't really want a love triangle in this drama I'm getting enough of that elsewhere.... can't wait for the next episode and that shower scene I saw in the preview... 😻😂

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I didn't expect to enjoy this show... but, luckily, I am. I like the fusion vibe, the kind of cartoon/manga feel it has with wacky hairdos, etc. Also, forgot how mesmerizing PSJ can be on screen. Thank you for reminding me this, show!

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Mak Mun! That scene! Oh my gosh, that was... I think my heart is in pieces. And then the flashback, of them beneath the tree! Oh, my heart! That scene really mad me feel like they were sort of hobbits, so happy and content with their friendship... and then they went on an adventure and one of them died. Oohh my heart! I can't wait for next week. Thank for the recap!

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omgosh, hobbits! yes! i kept wondering what they reminded me of while watching but couldn't think of anything lol

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i knew kwangsoo was set to die from the beginning but man, it still made me ugly cry.

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Ah-ro's 3rd tale: Moonlight Drawn By Clouds/Love in the Moonlight???
It sounds similar to when the Crown Prince was in Jahyeondang and saw Sam-nom dressed as a girl...

I don't know why in certain parts I get bored tho...

I am a bit unnerved as to whoever said Go Ara must wear contacts.

Punny drama is punny. Also, the fusion-ness is unnerving...
If this drama keeps it up, it will be a matter of time before this will be almost similar to SK Telecom's CF series of last year of a globalized (modern tech & free-moving foreigners) Joseon (starring Cha Seung-won mid!Hwajeong, Seolhyun, Go Su, Junior, Kim Eung-soo, etc.)

It concerns 2 of the "popular hang-outs". Comment if disagree...

Dayiseo (다이서) is just a Sino-Korean version of the statement "다 있어", which can mean 2 things:
1. 다 for tea, which would mean "다(茶) 있어 = We Have Tea", meaning this is a Silla-version of Starbucks. Remember the owner said he has many branches inside Seorabeol.
2. 다 for everything/all, which would mean "다() 있어 = We Have Everything", meaning a department store though actually more like of a Duty Free. Which is weird because is it me or did I just see a Thai royal fan.

Okta (옥타) is just a Silla version of Club Octagon. Aishh...!
I ventured into this theory while in the shower.

For the curious: Club Octagon is (according to some entertainers) the most hip club in Seoul.
Proof of theory: a pic of the club's edifice (Google it) is eerily recreated in "Okta"'s facade (revisit ep.1 if you want).
And recap: Sister's Slamdunk episode 23 was focused on the cast members & guest Kim Yeonkoung performing an edited version of Dynamic Duo's "Friday Night". Even though the club name was silenced out when Kim Sook said it, the editing team didn't even bother to blur out the club's name in their shots.

It's too early to assess Taehyung's acting since it was just one scene, but I'm willing to give the director the benefit of the doubt for now...
I bet I can count the Army's comments here kkk. I already saw a meme of the scene when he was reading the announcement.

In an unrelated note, just right now I saw a post saying Taehyung's character Hansung might die early because his character poster background is a shot of the sky, in contrast to his fellow cast members who all have shots of the green foliage of wherever they shot pictures.
To others it might be nonsense, but since Army's are basically Sherlocks who have become VERY desensitized following BTS's last 2 albums ("HwaYangYeonHwa" & "Wings"), it makes sense.
I saw a post months ago of Hansung's character description as being the son of Seok Hyunjae (one of the ministers I believe), who is said to have planned to usurp the throne, most probably after Sammaekjong reveals himself and acceeds to be the rightful King (the real Jinheung ascended the throne at the young age of 14/15).
So yeah, we all know what follows the...

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...family of a man accused of high treason.

Also, days ago I discovered (after seeing TaeJin do an OST, thank God BTS is moving to OST territory) the man in charge of the drama's music is Oh Joon-sung, who previously did "Master's Sun" & "King's Face".
(Glad Gaemi took a break after doing DOTS & LITM/MDBC)

Already I have counted two BGM's used that looked like it came from his recent work "King's Face" which IMO are just rehashed pieces of tracks "Untouchable Destiny" (main/love theme of Prince Gwanghae-gun & Kim Ga-hee) & "Jade Love".

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But she's not wearing contacts - those are her real eyes.

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I was crying so much during Kwang Soo's scene...and even the scenes after with his father healing Park Seo Joon's character. I will definitely be tuning in!

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Kwang SOOOOOOOOOO : (

Really liking this show so far. My criticism would be why did that guy slash the back and front of the two characters to kill them instead of chopping off their heads or stabbing them? Honestly, that's a slow death and not a very definite one! Was he purposely giving them a chance?

Did anyone else think the executioner guy was kinda hot? I actually thought he was hotter than the flower boys.

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Yes, I did think the exact same thoughts.

He was way(^infinity) hotter than all the flower boys.

Which is another way of saying that our age is showing ...

*Molla*

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You nailed it!

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every time I see this I think it because they were overconfident,
they convinced after so many killing that the people already died, chopping their head in that position are bothersome and undid the appearance of their holy-sword-techniques from the other wounds

I mean,
how big is the chance of a superb doctor gonna pass that path in the middle of the night to find them, cure them and bring them back to life?
not everyone is a main character,

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Plus, I feel like getting a clean cut would be difficult.

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If they had shown it as hasty and difficult I'd have no criticism but they were actually sitting ducks. And the main reason to kill Kwang Soo's character is so he doesn't talk, so why not make sure he and friend are dead? Just a small point but I thought it was clumsily directed.

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tbvh if they just leave the guy there and no doctors come,
they all dead,
Idk how it hards to people to accept that hero also born out of luck when death avoid them,

the reason why they are alive is because the smear blood on the hero neck is seen as his wound and a doctor comes to help,
one in a life time opportunity they will choose to use wisely,

if you really want to talk real,
both of the guy is dead if the doctor wasn't there
the doctor is not in the assassin equation,
the doctor come because they search for him
so because they search for him endlessy, they are saved,
so it happen because of them too,

isn't the king is there to ends the assassin before he finished them off the last time, since he feels bad and know they won't survive without the god-hand doctor? which is also rare?
so before nitpicking because you thought you know better,
why don't you realised that people above is actually make sense on their point,

you didn't check if it's your mouth when you are eating because you know it leds to your stomach,
you have the moment when you put your assignment but didn't check your name because you write it multiple time and you know you won't write it wrong but you apparently did,
how the hell that the assassin know that this one give up - I am too tired attitude is his loophole?

is that so hard to believe?
or you are too haughty to believe and accept the logical answer above?

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what are you talking about, one doeth not kill the Lead off this early in the drama! you'd have no drama left!

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Haha Barbrey no I definitely had the same thought - Queen's henchman is way hotter than the pretty boys. He caught my eye every single time he was onscreen.

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I looked up the actor. Gorgeous. He says himself his looks are considered too masculine for current drama tastes. Not for me!

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I like this drama eventho the hairstyle is a bit of an eyesore...
But what strike me is how tall PSJ is. LKS as we know is one of the tallest guys in k-entertainment so when PSJ is standing beside him, the height difference is not that much, it made me google PSJ height and he's freaking 6'1" ..only 2" shorter than LKS (6'3"). PSJ has been one of my fave since KMHM but he looks not that tall in the dramas i watched untill this.

Too bad Mak Moon died...their bromance wouldve been something to die for if he stayed alive and be his brother-in-law for real...*cry*

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I'm pleasently surprised by how good this is, can't wait for next week :D

The directing is beautiful, I especially loved what they did in the last scene with the doors. maybe it wasn't such a bad idea to delay that drama after all, because this is the only sageuk running rn.

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Yeah, that scene with the doors was excellent!

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I have a pretty strong stomach when it comes to bloody scenes but Mak-mun's death scene pretty much shook me. Thumbs up to the emotionally riveting cameo of LKS. On the other hand, I am truly curious as to what causes Moo-myung's fainting episodes. Is this related to the comment given by his caretaker about him not being able to avoid his fate? Is he royalty-on-exile? I can't say I am invested as of yet to the romance but the story is shaping up really well. I am hooked!

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Thanks for the recap, LP!!

This ep was better than the first and I have to applaud LKS for his cameo. My heart went out to Mak Mun when he wanted MM to survive no matter what and smeared blood on him... ㅠㅠ I thought he wasn't gonna make it to see his dad... Thank goodness Dad found him in time, even if it's to say good-bye... But then he never got to see his litter sister, whom he obviously adored. 💔 I love Mak Mun and MM's friendship, so it gutted me when he lay on top of MM to ensure that he would have a better chance of survival. And then when MM recalled their conversation about Mak Mun's sister, I really felt that sadness when it once used to be fond memories. Dad crying over finally his son was so heartbreaking as well... There's nothing more devastating than being a healer and knowing that you can't heal your son. 😭

I was anticipating AR and MM to meet again while he was recuperating, so it was a pleasant surprise to see that they met at the end of the ep in such a tense moment. I'm sure it won't be long till they learn each other's relationship with Mak Mun. And no doubt, MM will do his best to protect AR for Mak Mun's sake.

Jong is an interesting character for a king. I feel that he wants to make changes to the current world; however, Queen Regent has the reins and he's been kept hidden for ten years already. So, I can see why he'd doubt Mom for wanting to hang on to the throne herself.

MM and Jong's conflict is a great introduction to their relationship, which would likely go from "I wanna kill you for killing my friend" to a friendship and brotherhood of some sort after they join Hwarang. And of course, there will be the romantic conflict later as well...

I quite like Jong's relationship with his guard PO, and it's kinda hilarious that he's gotta run around to track AR down as the one who can help Jong fall asleep.

Anyway, the set-up has given this series its tone and I'm looking forward to next week.

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i hope that's Daiseo for the korean shop Daisoo where you can get everything for a cheap price!!

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Oh, good observation!

I thought Daiseo was just a stylized rendering of "다 있어", I didn't know there was a shop like that.

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I didn't know it was a cameo. I was ready for bromance of 2 country boys in a big city. I teared up. It was so heart breaking!

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I didn't know it was a cameo either until later TT TT

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I didn't either. When Kwang Soo first appeared tripping and foolish I thought he was more playing his Running Man character than a drama role (though that subsided) but it totally explains it if it was a cameo. I love that guy.

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I like the drama overall and can't wait for the next episode but to sum up how I feel after watching two episodes:

1) I'm not liking PSJ's hair, why oh why do they always give the male lead curly ajumma hair... D:

2) The second male lead syndrome is so strong in this one.

3) I'm guessing they are gonna have a love triangle as the story progress? But I hope not? Because it's kinda clear how it'll turns out =__=

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Mak Mun and his father's meeting before the former's death was very devastating. I could not stop the tears from crying. LKS is so good, he should have more serious dramas.

But then, TAETAE!!!!!! Kyaaaaaa!!!! Too much ARMY feels! And his duet with Jinnie!!!! ^_^ I want to see more of Taehyung's character.

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I would like to know what is wrong with Moo-Myung that causes him to pass out.. He needs some kind of treatment.. Is this related to the comment given by his caretaker about him not being able to avoid his fate? Is he royalty-on-exile? I hope his fate is not death. I really don't want to cry my eyeballs out over another death.

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