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143

Hwarang: Episode 3

The search for Hwarang candidates begins in earnest, even as the country’s officials protest the queen regent’s plan to take their sons to use for her own purposes. Moo-myung only wants to get his revenge, but it turns out to be more difficult than he imagined, as his search threatens to involve him in political events he’d much rather avoid.

 
EPISODE 3 RECAP

Moo-myung searches the room full of screens for the man who (he thinks) killed his friend Mak Mun. He focuses on Sammaekjong’s voice, vowing to kill him today, and lunges. But instead of seeing his enemy at the point of his sword, Moo-myung is horrified to see Ah Ro instead, looking at him with wide, scared eyes.

Looking around for the man he’s chasing, Moo-myung walks towards Ah Ro, and she backs away from his sword. Sammaekjong assesses the situation and sneaks around behind Moo-myung, then takes a flying leap at him, sword raised high.

Moo-myung grabs Ah Ro and whirls around to face his opponent, flinging her to safety. He attacks Sammaekjong and their swords flash as they fight, until Sammaekjong flees to a safer position. As he goes, he thrusts his sword through a screen and manages to slice into Moo-myung’s sword arm before running out of the building.

Moo-myung is left behind, injured and furious. But he spots a flash of gold in the straw, and sees that in the scuffle, Sammaekjong left his dragon-head bracelet behind.

Ah Ro makes her way outside as well, but her legs have gone to sleep, and she’s stuck sitting in the dirt. She hides her face in her skirt when Moo-myung runs past her, then grumbles at the insanity of sword fighting in broad daylight.

Sammaekjong meets his bodyguard Pa Oh for a drink, and tells Pa Oh about losing his bracelet in the fight. Apparently the bracelet is special and may only be worn by the king, though Sammaekjong isn’t that concerned.

They overhear a pair of men at a nearby table discussing why the king never shows his face, and Sammaekjong’s ears perk up. One man gossips that it’s because the king is a eunuch and an idiot, and Pa Oh rises as if he plans to confront them.

But Sammaekjong stops him, and sadly says that he would rather be a eunuch and an idiot as he thinks about his mother forbidding him to reveal himself. He also recalls Moo-myung’s taunt that hiding must be his habit, and he tells himself that he can’t let that happen.

Merchant Joo-ki cheers up a morose Hwa-gong by telling him that the private information he’s been collecting on the nobles is on its way. Hwa-gong is skeptical, when suddenly Ah Ro shows up and dramatically slams down the book containing all her written notes.

Hwa-gong starts to open the book, but Ah Ro smacks his hand away, explaining that it’s nearly illegible because she was so rushed. She offers to give the information as a verbal presentation — for an extra fee, of course.

Ah Ro launches into her presentation, and explains that in Silla, there are three kinds of authority — the queen’s men, those opposed to the queen, and those in the middle, the “centrists.” The highest social rank possible, the True Bone, have authority equal to that of the queen regent.

Ah Ro starts with her nomination from the centrists, a young man known to be the most beautiful in Silla. His name is YEO-WOOL (Jo Yoon-woo), and he’s famous for his charm.

Ah Ro reports that Yeo-wool has a lot of authority, but he’s uninterested in wielding power. Yeo-wool’s mother was sister to a former king, but Yeo-wool doesn’t know who his father is, only that he’s among the True Bone.

Ah Ro moves on to her next recommendation, one of the most talented young men in Silla: Ban-ryu, who is Master Hong’s biological son and minister Park Young-shil’s (the leader of those opposed to the queen regent) adopted son. Ban-ryu is known for being handsome but cold, though that doesn’t dampen his popularity with the ladies.

We see Ban-ryu and his rival Su-ho engaged in a soccer game that looks more like a fight to the death. Ah Ro continues that if Ban-ryu is known for using his head, Su-ho is knows for using his body. He’s the son of Kim Seub, one of the queen regent’s supporters. Su-ho is also famous for being a terrible flirt, as we see him being slapped by a succession of women.

Ah Ro describes her final nomination as someone who wouldn’t know if the world were turned upside down if he happened to be concentrating on something else. We see Han-sung, the calm young man who read the Hwarang notice first, as he studies the sun through a protective film.

Han-sung has an older brother, DAN-SE (Kim Hyun-joon), who watches over him. However, Dan-se and Han-sung have different mothers, and Dan-se’s mother is a servant, so they’re not considered to be of the same social status. They’re also in opposite political factions, though we’re not specifically told which they belong to.

We switch back to the soccer game, which Ban-ryu and his team have won. Ban-ryu reminds Su-ho that this means he buys the alcohol for the next month, and Su-ho screams in frustration. He grabs his friend and demands to know why he can beat Ban-ryu at everything but soccer.

Ah Ro tells Joo-ki and Hwa-gong that that’s it for the noble sons in the capital, except for one person. She thinks about her encounter with Sammaekjong, and tells the men that they don’t need to know about him. After Ah Ro leaves, Hwa-gong asks Joo-ki about her, and is surprised to learn that she’s the daughter of Ahn Ji-gong and a servant.

Ah Ro skips home, and hides behind a bush when she sees Moo-myung standing outside her house. He’s gone when she peeks out again, then he startles Ah Ro by speaking from right behind her.

She’s so scared of him she can barely speak. He frightens her even further by raising his voice to ask why she’s here, and he grabs her by the shoulder as he asks if she knew that other guy in the carpenter shop.

Ah Ro shakes her head and stammers that this is her house. Moo-myung realizes that this must be the sister Mak Mun always talked about at the same time that Ah Ro realizes he’s the injured man her father brought home. She drops to her knees and starts fumbling with his pants leg, startling Moo-myung so badly that he falls.

Ah Ro says that she made these clothes for her brother, and asks why Moo-myung is wearing them. He tries to crawl away, but she sits on his chest, demanding to know who he is. She’s stopped by her father’s voice, and Ji-gong takes Moo-myung inside to talk privately.

Ji-gong tells Moo-myung that if a low-born like him is discovered in the capital, not only will the low-born be killed, but the one hiding him will also be punished. He tells Moo-myung to take on his son Mak Mun’s true name, Sun-woo, and to tell Ah Ro that he’s her brother.

Moo-myung objects and grows angry as he asks why Ji-gong wants him to do this. Ji-gong says that his fainting problem will only get worse without treatment, and the only way for him to be able to stay is to take on Sun-woo’s identity. Moo-myung is finally convinced when Ji-gong says that it would have been Mak Mun’s wish for him to stay.

Ah Ro peppers her father with questions about Moo-myung in her attempt to tell him that he’s a dangerous person. Ji-gong says that he’s her brother, and shows her the wooden necklace that matches her own.

Ah Ro goes outside to talk to Moo-myung, who regards her warily, nervous about her reaction to the news that he’s her brother. He recalls one of the times that Mak Mun told him about her, and how the love shone on his face when he talked about his baby sister.

Ah Ro checks Moo-myung’s leg and shoulders for scars she knows of but sees nothing, and Moo-myung says that the scars wouldn’t still be there. Ah Ro asks if he has any other scars, and Moo-myung tells her that old scars can’t be seen if you receive a bigger wound on top of them.

Ah Ro examines his face, finding nothing that matches her own. Moo-myung reaches a tentative hand to touch her cheek and looks hurt when she flinches away, but he agrees. Ah Ro starts to cry, though she doesn’t know why, when she’s still unsure as to whether whether he’s real or fake.

Ah Ro tells him that someone else came once pretending to be her brother, so she can’t easily take his word for it just because he has the necklace. Moo-myung reaches out and pulls her to him, but he’s not trying to hug her — he pulls her collar from her neck, revealing an old scar.

Ah Ro pulls away and says that everyone has childhood scars, so this proves nothing. Fully taking on the role of Sun-woo, Moo-myung tells her to ask him if she wants to know anything about her childhood, because he remembers everything she’s forgotten.

That night, Ah Ro thinks about Moo-myung, and seems to tentatively accept that he’s her brother. She thinks that he looks familiar, and when she accidentally kicks off her shoe, it reminds her that he was the one who saved her from being trampled when she was drunk.

Moo-myung sits in his room, contemplating the dragon-head bracelet that he retrieved after his fight. He puts the bracelet on, and hears Mak Mun’s voice asking if he’s sorry. He sees Mak Mun sitting next to him, who asks again if Moo-myung is sorry he’s about to sleep in his room.

Moo-myung says he is, and Mak Mun smiles, asking, “My sister is pretty, right? And she’s nice?” Moo-myung quips that Mak Mun doesn’t know his sister very well, saying that she’s strange and cries easily. But he does agree that she’s pretty, and Mak Mun reminds Moo-myung to take care of her.

Moo-myung asks what he’s supposed to do, and Mak Mun smiles and tells him to just be himself. Moo-myung whispers, “I’m looking at you, but why do I miss you so much?” Mak Mun only smiles, which is when we see Moo-myung fast asleep.

Ah Ro makes a big meal the next morning, and breakfast is awkwardly silent. Ji-gong says that he doesn’t feel well and excuses himself. Ah Ro can’t help but stare at Moo-myung/Sun-woo as he eats (we’ll call him Sun-woo from here on out, now that he’s taken on his friend’s identity), and he tells her to knock it off.

He informs Ah Ro dryly that she unknowingly seems flirtatious at times, what with getting drunk in the middle of the day and all. Ah Ro glares, but later sits with her friend Soo-yeon in the teahouse, banging her head on the table and thinking about how she does and doesn’t wish that he’s her actual brother.

Soo-yeon says that brothers are like that, but wonders how Ah Ro could be feeling this way about him so soon. Ah Ro bangs her head again, cringing at the thought that she might have drunkenly flirted with her own brother.

The scarred gambler is still looking for Sun-woo, and tracks him down to his adopted father Woo-reuk’s home. Scarface doesn’t buy Woo-reuk’s story that he’s dead, and not-so-casually mentions that Sun-woo was looking for the owner of a necklace. He figures he only needs to find that necklace’s owner to locate Sun-woo.

Sammaekjong watches from a distance as Ah Ro gives a man some medicine for his cough. He gets called a pervert again when he shows himself to her, and when she asks why he’s here, he gives a hilariously weak little cough.

Ah Ro gives him the stink-eye and asks if he’s here to sleep. He says he was worried thinking about how she was nearly hurt during his fight with Sun-woo, but he tells her to just consider him sick.

He lies down, and Ah Ro says she’s too busy preparing for the royal procession tomorrow to deal with his shenanigans right now. Sammaekjong scoffs at the mention of the planned procession, since the king can’t even show his face, but he’s surprised when Ah Ro hotly defends the king for being young and weak.

She says it must be terrible for the king not to be able to show himself to his own people, adding that Sammaekjong should be more understanding. She clucks at him and leaves him thinking.

Hwa-gong listens to the court factions argue as they discuss their reservations about the Hwarang. Hwa-gong thinks that these people are the reason Silla is the smallest and weakest of the kingdoms, regarding the noisy men with disdain.

Silence falls with Queen Regent Jiso’s entrance. She announces that the king’s consent won’t be possible (the condition the factions imposed to grant their agreement to send their sons to the Hwarang), so they refuse to agree.

Minister Park Young-shil surprises everyone by saying they should wait and see if the king shows up to participate in the royal procession. Until now, the walk has always taken place with the king’s empty seat, but Minister Park muses that the king may be in the city already.

Later, Hwa-gong privately advises the queen regent to cancel the royal procession. She refuses, saying that it’s a chance for the people to meet their monarch, and if they cave to the officials, then the royal family will lose their authority. She’s insistent that they must form the Hwarang, or the Silla royal family may be harmed irreparably.

Hwa-gong promises to make it happen, and goes to Merchant Joo-ki’s back room to plan a rebellion. He pens two letters by using his left hand to obscure his handwriting and sends out two messengers to deliver them — one to Ban-ryu, and one to Su-ho. The letters each look to be from the other rival, inviting them to meet the following night.

Queen Regent Jiso prepares for the royal procession the next day, dressing up in her finest clothing and jewels. She steps outside to find that Minister Park and most of the officials are claiming to be ill, though it’s obvious this is actually a protest. Unfortunately for them, it only makes the queen regent that much more determined to form the Hwarang.

The queen regent is carried through the streets in her palanquin, followed by the empty palanquin of the absent king. Sammaekjong and Pa Oh watch from the street, and Sammaekjong wonders what the people would think if they knew he was among them — and on his birthday, no less. He thinks of Ah Ro’s words that it’s no sin to be young and weak, and growls that that’s not true today.

Ji-gong sees Sun-woo leaving the house with his sword in hand, but he only tells him not to be back late. He follows Sun-woo from a short distance as he finds his way to the crowd watching the procession, wondering what all the fuss is about.

Ban-ryu is stopped from crossing the street by a guard and is led to a spot where he can wait until the procession passes. He grumbles to see Su-ho already there and reluctantly stands next to his rival. They each threaten the other that they’d better show up to this meeting, thinking that the other one sent the message.

As the queen regent is carried past, her guard points out Su-ho as the son of one of her supporters, and Ban-ryu as Minister Park’s stepson. Su-ho seems particularly struck by her, and can’t keep his eyes off the queen regent as everyone else bows their heads.

Hwa-gong isn’t interested in seeing the procession, and Sammaekjong finds him at Joo-ki’s store. He asks to speak to him privately to discuss joining the Hwarang. When asked, he introduces himself as Ji-dwi, and says that his family isn’t important.

Sammaekjong spins a tale about wanting to join the Hwarang so that he can form connections and become a merchant later. He apologizes for not using jondaemal (the truth is that as king, he would never have needed to form the habit).

Hwa-gong sees right through his lies, and tells him to get out if he won’t tell the truth. Sammaekjong smirks and asks if he wants the whole truth, or half of it. Hwa-gong laughs and asks for the half-truth first, and Sammaekjong says he wants to bring the queen regent down.

Sun-woo only half-watches the ceremonial walk until the queen regent’s palanquin draws close. Her bodyguard Hyun Chu catches his eye, and he recognizes him as the man who killed Mak Mun. Sun-woo starts to shake with fury, and from across the street, Ji-gong sees him and realizes that he’s about to do something very foolish.

Images from that horrible night overcome Sun-woo, and Ji-gong’s warning comes too late — he’s already drawn his sword and is charging towards Hyun Chu. He cuts his way through the guards and leaps over the last few to attack. Hyun Chu fends him off, and swiftly kicks him to the ground.

Even though he’s dropped his sword, Sun-woo jumps up and charges again, but the guards stop him and hold him in place with several swords to his throat. Hyun Chu prepares to kill him, but the queen regent steps down from her palanquin and approaches.

She asks Sun-woo who he is, but he’s so far gone he can only roar in fury. She asks again, and when he still doesn’t answer, she orders her guards to kill him. But Ji-gong can’t let that happen, and just as Hyun Chu raises his sword to strike Sun-woo dead, he calls out.

The queen regent freezes, almost as if she recognizes Ji-gong’s voice, and he pushes through the crowd to throw himself to his knees. She slowly turns to look at him, and the sight of his face recalls a memory. On a dark night long ago, the queen regent had gone to Ji-gong and tearfully begged him to take her and leave the capital city.

Now the queen regent slowly turns to look at Ji-gong’s face as he says that Sun-woo is his son. He blames Sun-woo’s actions on growing up without a father’s influence and begs her to kill him instead. The queen regent says cryptically that Ji-gong always commits crimes that are punishable by death.

She turns and grabs Hyun Chu’s sword and holds it to Ji-gong’s throat with a shaking hand. She says that the father should be punished for his son’s sins, and Sun-woo starts to insist that he has nothing to do with Ji-gong.

He begs to be killed instead, and the queen regent looks at him as she says that the father will be punished in the son’s place. She tells him to watch closely to what happens to his father because of him, and she raises the sword high in the air as Sun-woo screams. Ji-gong holds the queen regent’s gaze bravely as the sword comes down.

Ah Ro is late to the procession, and she hears from a bystander that Ahn Ji-gong’s son ruined it. She panics and asks what happened, whether Ahn Ji-gong was with them, and where those people are now.

Outside the palace, Sammaekjong sits in his discarded palanquin, thinking about his conversation with Hwa-gong. Hwa-gong had asked what he hoped to gain by pulling down the queen regent, and told him that by forming the Hwarang, he was trying to change Silla. He’d refused Sammaekjong’s request to become a member of the Hwarang.

Sun-woo sits in prison until the queen regent comes to talk to him. She says almost conversationally that she’s thinking of killing his father and sister — oh whew, she must not have killed Ji-gong. Yet.

Sun-woo says he has nothing to do with those people, but the queen regent doesn’t believe him. Sun-woo bows his head and begs her not to hurt them, but to kill him instead. She kneels and tips his face to hers as she says that he’s weak, and weak people can’t die or live on their own. She says that whether his father and sister die is up to him, and tells him to go and wait.

Ah Ro waits outside the palace in tears, having learned that her father was taken there with Sun-woo. Sammaekjong sees her waiting for news, and marvels that he’s seeing her when he didn’t even look for her today.

Eventually the gates open, and Sun-woo staggers out alone. He looks dazed and exhausted, and he looks at Ah Ro without a word. The approach each other as Ah Ro asks what happened to her father, but Sun-woo doesn’t answer.

Ah Ro asks again why he came out alone, but Sun-woo only stares at her. He walks forward a few more steps, then suddenly tips forward into her arms, unconscious.

 
COMMENTS

Okay, what in the world is causing him to pass out like that? It happens mostly when he’s stressed, but not always. Whatever it is, according to Ji-gong, it could kill him if it happens when he’s not otherwise healthy, and I can’t for the life of me think what could be wrong with him.

I hadn’t really found Queen Regent Jiso to be terribly interesting — until this episode, anyway. That brief flashback showing her begging Ji-gong to take her away piqued my interest, and made me wonder if there was something between them. Clearly they have a history that she’s not over, judging by her highly emotional response to seeing Ji-gong again. Did they have a romance and the queen wanted to run away with him? Was she in danger and asked a friend for help? Why did Ji-gong give up his high status and become a lowly doctor, and was it even his choice, or was he forced? All of a sudden I’m curious to find out more about their past and whether it caused his separation with Mak Mun, and what happened between them that made the queen regent so willing to kill Ji-gong with her own hands when they saw each other again.

My heart is just breaking for Moo-myung/Sun-woo in the last couple of episodes — he has so little, and has lost so much. Mak Mun was all he had in the world, and his death broke something vital inside Sun-woo. Every time we see his blank eyes it just hurts all over again, remembering that the only person he had in this world is gone. A large part of what made him the person he is was Mak Mun, and the way he died was so traumatic and painful that I’m not surprised that Sun-woo seems to have just been destroyed. Then to have to see Mak Mun’s father nearly killed in his place — the guilt Sun-woo feels must be beyond overwhelming.

I imagine that it won’t be easy for him to take over the identity of Sun-woo, both in his social interactions and his relationship with Ah Ro. He’s spent so many years hearing about Mak Mun’s baby sister that I’m sure he can pull it off, given that it seems she was pretty young when they were separated, so probably doesn’t remember enough about her brother to debunk Sun-woo’s claims. But it’s going to make things super awkward when they begin to have feelings for each other, and I only hope the show finds a way to handle that without it becoming so icky that it turns the audience off to their romance.

As much as I like seeing Sun-woo’s origin story as it unfolds, and I’m finding Sammaekjong’s conflict regarding his inability to take his place as king very interesting as well, both of their trajectories are beginning to spin their wheels a bit. We get it, Sun-woo is bent on revenge, and Sammaekjong can’t tell anyone he’s really the king and he’s upset about it. It’s time to move forward now — I’m ready to get to the Hwarang part of the action, and to see the boys interact with each other on a more personal level. Not to mention, there are at least five other Hwarang-bound young men to get to know, and we’ve barely seen anything of them in three whole episodes. I understand there was a lot of background that needed to be laid down before we could get to the formation of the Hwarang, but it feels like now’s the time. I think things will get a lot more fun and lighthearted once these young men are forced into reluctant cohabitation, and I’m more than ready to lighten things up and see some youthful hijinks.

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Not really invested in the Show yet and just like you, LollyPip, I want to see the boys in one place already.

And I really hated Sun-woo when he just jumped right off the bat to kill that guy, I mean, it almost caused the death of Choi Won-Young's character! I haven't seen him since IRY so he's one of the reason why I'm still watching the Show xD

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I agree. Choi Won Young is such a good actor and I found myself holding my breath when it wasn't clear if he was killed or not. I love his voice!
I'm liking the show but I'm eager for Hwarang training and the bromance to properly start. I also want to see more of Kim Taehyung; I wonder what his relationship with his older brother is like? From that one scene, it seems like it's his job to guard his younger brother.

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I know! I was really mad at PSJ's character! It's amazing that he's that good when he started acting quite late in life, I think it was late-twenties.

Btw, loving your name hihihi

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I watched all three episodes of Hwarang past midnight, so I wonder if it's just me being sleepy or there's [are] plot hole[s] that make the whole narrative rather weird?

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I don't think there's a narrative at all if what you mean is one big archaic story that centre around one journey.
From the get-go, the story is about the beginning of hwarang so it's all about the characters and how they became hwarang, the compilation of their journey and how they will build the country with hwarang.

That's why the show introduce the character separately before gather them together,

The cut seems a bit abrupt in some scenes but if you realised that it doesn't have a formulaic story that makes everyone linked from birth to the hero and they knew each other since young, it just a story of different people who don't know each other that is forced to join hwarang.
Almost all of them has no relation or motivation to join hwarang at this point and the drama said they would, I think that's what the drama want to show.
How hwarang is made,

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Ah, yes, that explains.
Thank you.

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I fall asleep watching this show. It just isn't captivating.

On a side note: does the queen have a weird lisp or is it me? I cringe when she talks.

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so how did you know that the story is captivating if you fall asleep, we don't know if you are tired and force yourself to watch a drama just to said you are asleep while watching it,

I am sorry but the feedback without watching or seems like not reading the review is a thoughtless action and show that you just want to say bad thing about the story,

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I sometimes can fall asleep while watching the show, but if that show really intriguing, i'll try as best as I can not to fall asleep regardless how sleepy I am! ;) But that is me, i don't know about the others.

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If it's a good show, doesn't matter how tired I am. I will wake up at 3 am to live stream it.

I keep trying just to watch once for this one and find myself dozing for half the episode.

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what I really want to say is
saying that you fall asleep mean that you didn't watching so you don't have the right to comment or get your comment take seriously,
the fall asleep comment is unnecessary and because you include that, how we know what you know what you are talking about?
you are asleep after all

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Haha chill, friend!

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Relax. That person is just stating his/her opinion that the story isn't captivating so it made him or her fall asleep. It's THEIR OPINION.

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Boah chill. In other words "I think the show is boring that I fell asleep." How is that even an issue to dispute.

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I know the meaning but put it better than just mock it with sleep,
I honestly take issue with commenter that think all the drama put them to sleep just because it wasn't their genre, or they didn't like it,
just say it boring and not sleeping on it like you watch it live because it's disrespectful to people who make the drama, any drama,

most people watch it on subtitle here mean they choose it themselves, when they can stop whenever they want and not continuing it,

it's free opinion just like mine that thinks they way h/she put it is not respectful,
"it put me to sleep" make it worthless and what's the harm of saying it boring?
at least it makes you sleep but still I don't think people who literally "sleep" can know the difference of a good/bad drama

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it's not like she can change it...

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She does. I think she can't help it. She was the same way in King Geunchogo which drove me nuts.

There are plenty of actresses from the fabulous 40s who would rock this role. Kim Sung-ryung has been in a lot of sageuks. Lee Il-hwa, Oh Yun-soo, Yoon Yoo-sun, Shin Eun-kyung, even Choi Myoung-gil and Lee Mi-sook in their 50s.
Leaving Go Hyun-jung out cause she is Mishil when it comes to Shilla. Chae Si-ra is at her own level of fabulousness.

I guess she's fine for this type of sageuk.

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Good to know I wasn't losing my mind. Between the lisp and the weird hat on her head masquerading as hair...I just cringe when I see her

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Kiara, are you enjoying this drama?

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Haven't watch it yet :).

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Just reading the recaps and comments.

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I don't notice Queen's lip but she has a Botox on her forehead. Part of her forehead has no wrinkles but upper part does have some wrinkles when she winches.

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The reason the Queen's lisp really bothers me (and, yes, she has it in every role - it's a speech defect) is that royalty throughout all of the sageuks I've seen are mandated to be perfect and scar-free. I can only imagine that a perfectly lovely and intelligent royal woman in the old days of Silla, Goryeo or Joseon eras would have been rejected as a queen, unless the daughter of a king. Her lisp just doesn't fit the role she's playing and it distracts me every time. In her other roles I haven't minded it a bit.

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That's what it is. I think in sageuks it's more pronounced because of their speech patterns and dialect.

Not so sure I would have noticed in a modern drama.

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Can you imagine Shin Eun-kyung, Choi Myoung-gil or Lee Mi-sook in this role? What a sight to behold. Minister Park and his clan would be put in their place.
This is the era of the Kim clan's sacred bone....... "Bow down you lowly true bones. Watch me make true warriors out of your pretty boys".

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Actually quite enjoying the show. It is the only one I am waiting for each week. Not sure why so many are finding it boring. And I am seriously developing a case of Second Lead Syndrome. First time seeing Park Hyung Sik in anything and not great fan of Park Seo Joon, so may start to loose interest once the romance hits hard and heavy if at all. Overall, liking the show very much...

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Is it weird that I am watching the show for Choi Won Young solely??? I mean yeah there is a lot of eye candy but I am not really in it.. I had decided that I will watch any show with CWY in it after watching IRY and I am gonna keep doing it!

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Me too!!!

Watched him for the first time in IRY--creepy neighbor.
And watched him again in Twenty Again :-)

If there's a lesson we can take from 2016 Kdrama is that we should not easily believe in drama full of eye candies.

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I am with you! Aside from PSJ, his acting is also so fuckin great, and just now I googled him and found out he was in Come Back Mister and Kill Me Heal Me wth.

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CWY was great in Kill Me, Heal Me. That was the first drama I watched with him in it, and ever since I find him an absolute joy to watch. There are a few veteran actors I love purely because of their talent and charisma, and not necessarily based on looks. (Although CWY is a pretty damn handsome ahusshi.)

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He was in Heirs too.. and I think he had the only good kiss in that show :P

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He was great in KMHM but not so much in Come back Ajusshi..

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This Ahjusshi also in weekend drama Laurel Tree Tailor!

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I haven't seen that one. 50 episodes is a big commitment! How is it? Do u recommend it?

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Just watching it to fill your time. My strategy in watching weekend drama - no need to follow each scene / each episode. for 50 episode drama, for sure some parts are dragging , repetitive etc.

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I think if I ever do watch a 50 episode drama I should start with Six Flying Dragons!

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I SO recommend it! I am very very very picky with week-end dramas, the only one I watched until the end was Ojakyo Brothers YEARS ago. (I dont consider sageuk as " week-end drama", Week-end dramas are a genre on their own)

And this one is just a WINNER! I started watching it because I tried Father, I will take care of you on dbeans recommendation, but it was just the typical w-e drama that I can't suffer, I just fastforward non-stop xD

But, I thought since I tried FITOF, just why not watch a drama who broke 30% in viewer ratings. May be there is a reason ? And there is, or more like there are multiple reasons.

1/ The first one, this drama has heart, a lot lot lot lot lot lot lot of Heart. Never, as a w-e drama viewer I have experienced these kind of involvement in a w-e drama. You feel for them, you laugh with them, you cry for them, you feel overcome with happiness when they are... Probably because there are a very beautiful family even if most of them are not linked through blood.

2/ I always had issue with w-e dramas because I really can't stand multiple pov/characters be in books/dramas/movies. But, all of these characters are so enticing on their own, so loveable, you just want to follow their stories.

3/ Every characters, even the least likable, goes through growth of character. ANd that amount on kdrama standards as a MIRACLE!!! I mean ALL of them !! Yoohoo ! So we never end up going around in circles with never ending conflicts or situations. They act and react like normal human beings and are never overly dramatic, it is a breeze of fresh air.

4/ This drama is Incredibly funny !!! I mean there is Ra Mi Ran, how can it not be funny ? Truthfully, everyone ( except Ji Yun) brings his/her share of laughing moments and situations. And CHoi Woo Young's character, dont even get me started on that xD

5/Like Db said in her FITCOY article, w-e drama's enticing capacity heavily rely on the main couple. ANd in TGWTS, THe main couple is just so funny, giddy and lovely. There was not endless and useless angst. It is so beautiful and rewarding to see them together. But, for me FITCOY & TGWTS are good exemples that you can't just rely on the main couple ( especially if you gave them so little time, yes I am talking about you FITCOY), other couples or lovelines have to be enticing too, and in TGWTS there are. Every one of them in their one way and dynamic make you care for them.

5/ THis drama is in no way a makjang, so no birth secrets, switching at birth, chaebols maniacs, amnesia,....... YAY for that!

I just love this drama too much for words, I just started watching it without any expectations, and found myself falling in love episodes after episodes.

I mean, brace yourselves beanies for what I am gonna say next, it even dethroned Weightlifting faire KBjoo in my heart.I know, I know , I know, forgive my cheating heart. WFKBJ was my Jae-yi and TGWTS has become my Jung Joon-hyung.

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Woah! That's high praise indeed! :) I will check it out for sure.. But we are talking abt Laurel Tree Tailors right? What is TGWTS? Shouldn't it be LTT??

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@obsessedmuch ^^ I am watching it on KissAsian and it is referenced as The Gentlemen of Wolgyesu Tailor Shop. That's why I wrote TGWTS instead of LTT^^

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Gosh ! I love it too !!!!,I haven't seen anyone else talking about it Here I thought I might be the only one ,it's so cute :),I like the other couples more than the main couple tho

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@Rose Oh okay... ill definitely check it out :)

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WOw. i am surprised to see this long praise. Maybe I am a different opinion, because i just see this drama as a normal KBS weekend drama, just like Five Children. Well, enjoy yourself! ;)

MBC is well-known in their makjang drama.

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CWY is a very good actor and i have enjoyed his many roles. I have been enjoying his role as Sung Joon (the aging rocker role) he has in the weekend drama "Laurel Tree Tailor".

I LOOVED his rocker look before he cleaned up to become a trot singer! CWY truly pulled off that rocker look with the hair style and clothes SOOO WELLL - i was very pleasantly surprised. Made his character so cool!

Am enjoying this fusion suguek so far - which is a miracle because i have only finished 1 saguek in all these yesrs (Iljimae with Lee Jun Ki the beautiful) - the rest of them i have dropped half way - including the recent Scarlet Heart (featuring the beautiful Lee Jun Ki).

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So it seems like with ever meeting we see every person backstory that is unfolding.
Everyone has their own history they buried and with the appearance of sun woo, it comes again.
I think dogbird has some birth story too and sammaekjeong is alredy flesh out enough,
I really like the scene between Aro and seo joon/sunwoo when she didn't believe they were related,
I can see how they aren't related, the chemistry didn't match and seo joon illness probably something inherited so can be used to know his origin, perhaps he is the queens nephew or something,

All of the hwarang candidates is a boys that act like a boys with the boys spirit and they all seems to be related in one way with another.
Suho and Banryu is a frenemy,
and sunwoo/seo joon now is not alone and realised he couldn't be reckless anymore,

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I remember laughing at the beginning of this episode because my mother was sitting there with me watching as the guys fight and are slicing up doors. Slightly bitterly, she goes, "ah yes, the doors must die." I thought maybe all the renovations have caused her to have empathy for doors and carpentry. I said, "wood shall be shed!!"

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😆 tee hee hee you and your Mom are funny! Thanks for that.

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I can't wait till the boys actually train and start fighting together as one…there's something about that superhero squad feeling I'm waiting for…I think each of the boys will have some strength that'll bring them all together when trying to knock out the evil guys…

I'm actually quite enjoying the show - yeah, it's got some plot holes and inconsistent directing sequences BUT I like that we've got a story we can follow, we've got characters with legitimate motives and we've got pretty decent pacing as well. There is a reason for it all, and I like how we're not spinning in circles so far, each episode progresses the story forward. With some of the current drama's I'm watching, I'd say this is hard to come by these days, so I'm appreciating it.

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i am also enjoying this, especially after the fourth episode. definitely agreed about the fact that we have a good story going, which is why i am still watching (also the prettiness helps too hee). i feel like we have a very solid storyline going forward, in terms of Hwarang and its purpose - whether it is what the queen wants or if the boys can change all this - as well as seeing how the boys will interact and where their allegiances will align in the end. as i watch, i'm seeing many possibilities unfolding, which makes me wanting more! side note, there hasn't been any cringeworthy acting (yet) by anyone so also a plus there!

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Yes! I'm also very impressed with the acting so far. I was afraid of what might happen because of Moon Lovers, but I think so far, almost everyone is delivering with their parts. Yes, some of the accessory boys haven't had a whole lot of time to shine, I think they'll do a solid job when it comes down to it. Also helps the main 3 are very good, esp Hyung Sik - he continues to impress me with each episode.

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I agree. Everyone seems to be doing their parts rather well and those whose acting skills are not yet as good seem to be given very little speaking lines and any backstory has been delivered for us by someone else.
I like the potential (grudging) friendship between him and MooMyung/SunWoo and what will happen when the latter finds out that the king was the reason his friend died.
Its great to see CWY again on tv. I was not pleased when they made him crazy in NightWatchman so its nice to see him in another sageuk. Hopefully we see him until the end of the drama. Im so intrigued with his background. A lot was revealed in episode 4 on his and the queen's relationship but I still want more.
The show is hitting all the right buttons for me and I hope it would be consistently good until the end.

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Realised my comment didnt make sense. Lol! I meant I like the potential (grudging) friendship between the king and MooMyung/SunWoo and what will happen when the latter finds out that the king was the reason his friend died.

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I think what I like is that the plot does not actually have any plot holes because the show focus on each character,
so what we don't know is because the character haven't met or suspected it all,
plot holes are when the explanation doesn't make sense but we don't have any explanation from them cause the question even hasn't been asked by them.

I think the story is quite simple and the drama wants to give backstory 1st for the boys and not used that as something that happen in the past ala kwangsoo/sunwoo,
everything for the boys is treated as the present time and how it's actually them who choose their own life.

Tbh I actually like that they have a lot of fight here and there,
the physical contact is a lot and it means that they are all boys before became hwarang and we probably can see how they gonna change inside of the hwarang academy,

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Ditto. I do like the show and its current trajectory. There is so much potential in the storyline. I can't wait for the badass scenes and bromance in the suceeding episodes. I feel that they will mature in front of our eyes as the story unravels. Oh and all the eye candies --- My goodness! Kinda hard to complain. Haha.

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Well, so am I the only one enjoying the heck out of this? Someone mentioned in a previous comment that the show was like Power Rangers, which I loved, so maybe that's why.

Although I will echo the above comments and say, please don't kill Choi Wonyoung.

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i'm enjoying it too, i recognise it's flaws but i feel that once the boys assemble and it get's to the heart of the story it'll be really interesting

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I am enjoying this show too. It does kind of remind me of Sungkyunkwan Scandal minus the girl pretending to be a boy.

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I haven't watched "power rangers" but I am enjoying the heck out of this show as well. I find it refreshing and well-paced. The show is reminding me a bit of "A Knight's Tale" but with more romance and intrigue, and a Disney touch.

I have already watched episode 4 as well, but won't mention any spoilers. I will only say that I am really liking this show so far. I really like the three main leads, they are well-drawn out so far. I'm warming up to the two quarreling Hwarang supporting characters. I like that the queen is not a one-dimensional cartoonish villain, but rather it seems like she has depth (hopefully). I also like the heroine's father, he too is a character with depth.

I just hope that this drama won't fizzle out, and will remain interesting. I also want to say that the chemistry of Ah Ro with both male leads sizzles, even though everything is so PG so far.

I also have a theory that perhaps Moo Myung/ Sun Woo is the king? I mean what if he was the king's son from a mistress? I don't know, I just felt that Sun Woo wearing the king's bracelet was kind of a foreshadowing to a twist that could happen. Then again I could just be reading too much into it.

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you mean "the switch at birth" type of foreshadowing?
so sammaekjong and sunwoo is switched at birth and no one knows,

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Well I didn't think of switched at birth, but that could be one way the twist can happen.

I was thinking more of Moo Myung being the deceased king's son from a mistress. While Maek Jong would be the queen's son (either from the king or from a lover of the queen).

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I need to explain it more,
I think sunwoo/kwangsoo is switched at birth with sammsaekjong, and that's why sammakjeong care about aro (wow this is some makjang counter attack)

and I agree sunwoo/seo joon can be the king's son that get embezzled out of palace, and his rare illness probably the clue

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Yes, the "switched at birth" thing would be just... WOW

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Sammaekjong is the real King Jinheung's given name so he is the king.

What would be the reason for a baby switch?

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Am i the only one that suspects that Moo myung might be an illegitimate son from the queen and ji gong? Cause there was probably a time when the queen stayed with him so they may have had a son which ji gong didnt know about. Once he was born, she obviously couldnt keep him in the palace and therefore got abandoned at birth? I dont know, just guessingXD

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nice guess and if that's true then he is aro's brother,
wooah we can have some makjang trap here and there in this drama,

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She is quite scandalous for a king's daughter.

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I thought of it too.
1- There has to be some birth secret somewhere, and Moo myung doesn't know his parents
2- There's obvioulsy a lot between the queen and ji gong
3- I want sammsaekjong to get the girl. Their interaction is so much funnier.

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I agree. Since moo myung doesn't know his parents there has to be some secret/twist. I just hope it's not something that makes things too icky or too makjang.
About pt.3 I'm glad I'm not the only one rooting for sammaekjong and ah to; I like the chemistry between both the pairings but I find myself hoping the king (we know so far) gets the girl. Maybe I'm just a sucker for SLS!

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I was putting off watching this show for a bit. So maybe I lowered my expectations by the time I marathoned just now, but all I know is I'm loving it too, far more than I ever expected to! It totally reminds me of "A Knight's Tale" and it managed to engage me in the heart right from the start. Couldn't ask for more at this point. I'm also loving the leads!

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“A Knight’s Tale” <3. Fond memories of Heath Ledger <3 <3.

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I'm TOTALLY loving it. The only mis-fire for me is the fairly aggressive use of music. It feels a bit forced, hen the scene could be acted with a nice bit of silence....but I'm surprised how much I'm enjoying the drama. Ready for more!

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When it comes to sagueks this year, I am enjoying "Hwarang" the most (so far, and hopefully it won't disappoint later on). I agree with you that that OST songs are not that good, but they are not distracting from the drama so far. However I do hope that the song selection for this drama will improve.

When I compare this drama to "Scarlet Heart" and "Moonlight Drawn by Clouds", this is what I am seeing so far:

Directing/cinematography: The directing in "Hwarang" is better than the directing of "Scarlet Heart" (with its excessive closeups). However it is on par with the directing of "Moonlight Drawn by Clouds" which was well-directed.

Visuals/Styles: "Hwarang" and "Scarlet Heart" both beat "Moonlight Drawn by Clouds" when it comes to clothing styles and hairstyles.

Chemistry: All three sagueks have leads who have good chemistry.

Storyline: So far I find "Hwarang" to be the most interesting storyline-wise (and I hope it won't fizzle out later on), because there are no one-dimensional villains (so far). Unlike lady Yoo in "Scarlet Heart" who was cartoonish, here the queen seems to have depth (hopefully). In second place, when it comes to storyline is "Moonlight Drawn by Clouds", and lastly "Scarlet Heart" (because I wanted a happy ending, and I felt that the story could've been much better executed overall).

Characters: When it comes to the main characters, all three sagueks have good and interesting main characters that make the viewer care. When it comes to supporting characters, I feel that "Hwarang" beats the other two sagueks.

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Nah I don't think there is any baby switch or the King having a brother or whatever because in history Saemmaekjong really is the name of the King and the only sacred bone. And King Jinheung (Saemmaekjong) is one of the greatest King known in Korea because he is the one who made Silla bigger and stronger kingdom. He conquered lots of land including the Han River and created Hwarang and lay the foundation for the unification. I can't see them messing around the history of such a well known and great king. And if you read King Jinheung history it is on the same trajectory as Saemmaekjong in this drama. He became King when he is 7 years old but the Queen Regent role in his stead and it wasn't until he is off age that he took over assuming his role as King.

I think Moo Myung is the real Yoo Sabu (?) in history who the King put as the head of military when he assume his role as King. In fact it was his very first order as a real King after he ended his mother (the Queen regent) reign. He later on become such a great general and warrior who led the conquest of lands and Silla becoming bigger. I can see him having this ending and Aro as his wife and they can lived happily since it's impossible for Saemmaekjong to have her anyway. She can never be his queen because she is considered low born because of her mother status.

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It's highly possible that Moo Myung is the real General Yoo Sabu. IIRC he had a hand in Shilla conquering Gaya and Kim Yushin grew up as a Hwarang because his mother was a Shilla princess.

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I should say based on General Sabu. In reality General Sabu was way older than King Jinheung.

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I'm also enjoying this, dunno why.

Honestly, I really really wasn't interested on this since the beginning. I'm not a fan of a pretty-boys drama kinda thing, so I had been reading the news without interested in watching. Then, I read the recaps on the 2nd episode (just picked it randomly) then got surprised because the story seemed to be quite serious. So, I watched them anyway and .. well, the plot was not bad at all. I like the taking-of-identity thing. Usually, in dramas, this was done by the female lead, but now, it's the male lead who is taking other person's identity.

And the fact that the Queen and Sun Woo's dad knew each other was quite surprising too. I thought that the dad would be killed there, but he wasn't

In conclusion, the plot is interesting. And PSJ is likeable, and I'm not talking about the pretty here. I just like his character and everything, and I wanna know what kinda disease that he has. GA is likeable too.

Can't wait until epi 5!

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I'm sticking with the show, because come on--manhwa esque flower boy warriors with the promise of bromance?? YES PLEASE. It's like the Shinsengumi--if the Shinsengumi were noble and elegant and every one of them was Okita Souji. (So, not like the Shinsengumi at all....)

As for the romance plot--I really, REALLY wanna root for fake!Sunwoo and Ahro (to avoid disappointment and heartache) but the icky complication that's faux-incest can't stand up against the lure of Sammaekjong and his chemistry with Ahro. I hope they make the main OTP work, but man, I have major Second Lead Syndrome right now.

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i don't really have SLS more like i just really love Sam Maek jong and PHY's portrayal of him, the character is just so captivating and interesting that all i hope is he gets a happy ending romance be damned

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Yes, I really hope that Sam Meak Jong will at least get a happy ending, and a good love-line of his own. The way he looks at Ah Ro makes me melt, but I want him to find another girl because we know that as SML he won't end up with Ah Ro.

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i was going to say, i'm not sure how i feel about the overall plot but i'm really loving park hyung-shik. i haven't seen him in anything since "heirs" because i didn't watch "high society," & i'm really proud of how he's improved (even tho he wasn't terrible to begin with!)

i'm honestly disappointed with choi minho so far. i had recently read an article where he said he knew he deserved criticism for "to the beautiful you" but that he'd been working hard to improve his acting.
4 episodes into hwarang, i'm not seeing the improvement...

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Minho's acting is that great but he did improve compared to his acting on TTBY. He was really bad in there. But he was atleast okay now.

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Oh I love shinsegumi,
yeah the boys interaction reminds me of shinsegumi when they have their own interaction between themselves but they also work together as a comrade,
I think each character is fleshout enough,
I like the story of sammaekjong but I also like sunwoo as himself,
I like him already because how he behave while I can't really know what sammaekjong really is despite knowing his backstory,

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I cannot believe I am hearing about Shinsengumi here in DB. Okita Souji, oh god. <3

Major SLS here as well! Park Hyung-sik does weird things to my heart.

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After watching the 4th episode (no spoilers) I really hope to see more action and more of a "purpose" or conflict in the story. I hope that there's some end goal and it's not just a training camp with some petty conflicts. I'm not sure how Go Ara is going to fit into the plot-line after everyone goes off training, so I'm interested to see how the writers will incorporate her.
There's also a lot of things I want addressed but still haven't been addressed. After watching the 3rd episode I was really confused until now about why Moo-Myung collapsed, because I completely forgot about his "mystery illness". I really wish that they would've finished laying the groundwork by now, but I feel like we've barely scratched the surface with most of the characters. I really want the show to focus on the actual present storytelling.
That being said, I'm still excited to see where this show will go in the future. I really hope a clearer direction will be established and that the show really brings the story and characters together.

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Why do I feel like Moo-myung has a scandalous backstory? In the previous episodes, it was mentioned that he was left by his mother and no one wanted him alive. When he left his caretaker, he mentioned about him not being able to avoid his destiny? Is he by some chance Sacred Bone or a contender to the throne? Is he the threat that was kept by the queen? I feel intrigued by the fact that we don't know much about Moo-myung's personal history. Where the heck did he come from? Why does he keeps on fainting? Is he seriously ill? If he is, is it probably the reason why he was "kicked out" to become a slave? Or his fainting episodes the result of a past serious injury? Argh so many questions!

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Pls see Sancheezy comment #5 above; I agree that Moo Myung will definitely turn out to be somebody important's son (and probably also the brother of somebody important) and the illness will be a big clue. Plus there's a whole lotta mystery fathers-adopted sons and stuff like that already.

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I like everything about the drama so far. I enjoy that it has a modern feel (the bar scene) to it. Dont think there are noticable plot holes. Also think MooMyung's fainting spells could be hereditary and one that will reveal his birth lineage. I wont be surprised if he will be revealed later on to be a sacred bone.

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so I was reading up on wiki and apparently King Jinheung (Sam Maek-jeong) was the previous king's nephew, not son. So would it be a possibility that Moo Myung is related to the previous king? lol. But definitely since episode 2 I kept thinking Moo Myung's backstory is definitely going to play a large role.

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Maybe he is the former king's son which makes him the true king? They probably make it seem he is dead because he's already sickly and sent him far away even refusing to give him a name so that he won't be traced. I remember in a scene in a previous episode, when the king died there was some sort of violence going on. Was there a coup'd etat or something?

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The former king obviously did not have any sons and that's why Sammaekjong ascended the throne as King Jinheung. It is true that his mother ruled as regent because he was too young to rule.

Since this is a fictional story they could make him the former king's son and Sammaekjong's rivalry. His condition would make him unfit to be a ruler but it'd make the story more interesting.

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My current theory is MM had some sort of head injury as a child - perhaps to cause some sort of amnesia? Hence we don't have him ever talking about his childhood or his past with Mak Mun, it's just Mak Mun talking about his sister/father. It makes me think MM doesn't remember his childhood.

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That's an interesting theory, I think it is very plausible.

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Nice theory! Would be a little bit of Iljimae but i dont mind.

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What if he really is the queen's son and sammakjeong is just a stand-in? lol. Makjaaaang.

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Sun Woo is too hot-headed. Did he seriously think he could kill Hyun Chu during a royal procession? And no one in the crowd found it odd the queen regent would personally kill someone? Is there any chance Lord Ahn Ji's son is the queen regent's?

I'm repelled by the fauxcest, so thank goodness Ah Ro doesn't believe it. Ah Ro and Sammaekjong have really good chemistry. He was adorable being worried for her. The exposition on the nobles was enjoyable.

Thanks for the recap, LollyPip!

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Sunwoo is too impulsive & emotional kinda reminds me of the male lead in Princess' Man (Perhaps losing someone you greatly value makes you that crazy) And with regards to the Queen killing someone in public, I find it odd at first but then realized that it is a sageuk where one can be killed by just touching even the tip of the hand of the royal family (sacred bone)what more to wave a sword towards them.

I'm holding myself back to ship Sammaekjong & Ah-ro because I know it will sink. Their chemistry is just too strong or maybe it is park hyung shik's stares? The main leads also got the spark just not enough to make my heart flutter. It may be build up on the next episodes.

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Have to ask - does no one on show actually know how to handle a sword?... The last scene where they were both attacking each other, i was like

'its not a stick.. Its a sword... Go practice a little.. Not becoming a hwarang with these skill sets guys'

....

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I recognised that too and I think it because they weren't a warrior at this point so they are all reckless and used the sword just like that,
they didn't become hwarang because they already good but because they have the potential to be good,
even the boys fight is just like how a healthy boy fight with brute force and not based on technique or practice,
they will practice in the academy just like no one is understand the whole dynamic before entering sungkyungkwan

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you mean the scene between SMJ and SW in the carpenter room? i know nothing about swordfighting so am curious about your take on it. i felt like i was watching a kendo match tho with the overhead strikes and thrusts and not so much slicing motions- so maybe they used kendo techniques?

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Funny you're mentioning kendo since Park Hyung Sik is a level-four black belt holder. Hyungsik has been praised for his sword fighting and sparring skills. He had been practicing it for two years with his musical 'The Three Musketeers' as well (2013 and 2016). He's also pretty skilled at horse riding.

Regarding the carpenter room's scene fight, maybe it was made on purpose, to show their "rawness" when it comes to fighting (they used brute force instead of technique as Sancheezy rightly said). What do you expect? One comes from the slums and probably never wield a sword in his whole life, the other has been in hiding and has bodyguards to fight on his behalf (still he's good)

They will become extraordinary warriors in due time, don't worry...They are the future of Silla after all :)

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Moo-Myung/SunWoo and Ahro loveline works for me. For one, Sunwoo never acknowledged that he is her brother. He merely said that he can remember things about her childhood. She also dont believe that he was her brother anyway. She was willing to play along for her dad but she hasnt yet acknowledged MooMyung is SunWoo. Hopefully the truth is revealed at least to her before the plot thickens.

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idk if it just me but Go ara know how to stop the feelings, so it all seems one side,
when sammaekjong fangirl over her, she really looks disinterested on whatever he did,
like she doesn't change or impressed by him and the tone doesn't match up so I clearly know it is a one side love,

when sunwoo wants the brotherly love, she totally rejected that,
her action is not because he needs to be her brother but because she cares of him,

I think aro that still by her own theory help the romance forward, it's like she knows that he wasn't her brother by heart

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I love how effectively Wi-hwa pointed out to Sammaekjong the naivety and simplicity of his plan. He needs to think big and far ahead to be able to reclaim the throne from his mother. I fully believe that he has the capacity to do exactly that, it's just that he has become too accustomed to hiding and taking the easy way out.

He already has a compassionate heart and down-to-earth attitude due to living in exile with Pa-oh. So I'd like to think that he can completed that with excellent political manouver and extra lesson on how to wield power in all its potential under Wi-hwa's guidance. Here is hoping for a smooth sailing for our first generation of Hwarang.

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I love Park Seo Joon and i think hes a brilliant actor. However I think his wire stunts need more work. Every wire scene was awkward.

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I might be in minority here, but I think wire scenes are ALWAYS awkward. They are always exaggerated and I always want to shout at my screen that it is IMPOSSIBLE to jump+run+caught someone in a few seconds (or jump so high)

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Im an avid Lee Jun Ki fan and i love how graceful he looks everytime he jumps those unrealistic heights and flies towards the opponent. I can easily tell when an actor is awkward on the wire. PSJ looks so unfomfortable, he also admitted it diring the interview.

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The show haven't got interesting yet but I'll keep watching cuz it's park seo joon...and hopefully the story picks up in ep 4, which I haven't watched yet.

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It did. Episode 4 was brilliant. I watched it twice. :)

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on to the oblig
SAMMAEKJOOOONG!!11 <3<3<3

he's becoming like a second yoo sijin for me- as in i watch a drama largely for him alone lol

anyway, 4 eps in and i'm still enjoying the show. most sageuks bore me to sleep but this one is quite engaging and the characters are interesting.. kinda reminds me a bit of sungkyunkwan, which i love. the boys are pretty, but the costumes are even prettier <3

the story do meander a bit in ep 3/4 tho so i am very ready for us to get to the hwarang part which should happen next week thankfully. i still don't like go ara's acting here, her severe frowning expressions is pretty overdone and distracts me a lot from the scene

my theory is that SW is either a True/Sacred Bone (maybe even sammaekjong's half brother?) and actually a contender for the throne (probably why he was chased out of the palace and ended up as an orphan)

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He has to be a sacred bone to be a contender for the throne. If he is just a half brother then he is only a true bone.

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the OST from the last scene is awful... it sounds old fashioned and the female vocalist is very weak. Overall the OST selection could be better.

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I actually thought her voice sounded really haunting and beautiful at points, which is weird because it is actually quite girly. I don't know, there's something unique about it.

As for the song, it actually reminds me of an OST off My Girl so I definitely agree with it being old-fashioned, but maybe that's why I enjoyed it, haha?

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@javabeans
i just noticed side bar on currently airing Prime time shows
Wed-Thu (December 27-28)
but it should be
Wed-Thu (December 28-29) ?

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Thanks for this! (Sorry for the late reply)

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I'm quite liking this show, to be honest. It's intriguing and interesting, and though there are a few holes/gaps in understanding, I think it will form a part of the larger mystery. The show is up against some serious competition from Teacher Kim though, and I don't see the ratings increase until that show ends.

- Lollypop, a lot of your wishes and queries about seeing the boys together will sort out by Episode 4. Episodes 2 & 3 were slow paced, but 4 was overall quick in pacing and introducing more characters and interactions.

- As released in character descriptions, the Queen and Anji Goong were former lovers (possibly before her marriage?). The Queen's character is also growing on me- I was irritated because I felt the actress was lifeless, but then I realised in the flashback scenes, she acts well with emotions. Maybe it is to signify that she has become harsh with her experiences? She's a very grey character, although a better actress would have done much more justice.

- Choi Won Young is such a dreamy older man. His acting is so on point that entire scenes are carried by him. All love Sung Dong IL and Kim Young Kyu, they are a hilarious pair.

- Despite it being a flower boy story, I like how the main leads are melancholy. Park Seo Joon is definitely very captivating as the distressed Moom-myung, while Park Hyung Shik is balancing out his lighter moments and his convictions as King well.

- No spoilers, but I liked Episode 4 a lot. I think Ban Ryu/ Do Ji Han will shape up very interestingly, as will Han Sung.

- Also, as everyone said- the sparks between Ah-Ro and The young king are strong, but I'm glad they spent time on her and Moo-Myung in this episode, because their interactions are more cute. Also, the strong protectiveness that Moo-Myung has for her in place of Mak Min is very endearing.

- I can't wait for the boys to meet and sparks to fly. :)

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I just googled it and from what we've seen so far it appears to be vasovagal syncope - the heart and brain don't communicate properly in reaction to a trigger. The trigger can be different for different people. Stress, blood, too abrupt physical activity, phobias, etc.

So blood pools in the extremities instead of reaching the brain causing loss of oxygen and voila a fainting spell that usually resolves in a few minutes.

It can be hereditary.

Poor health or in Moo Myung's case recuperation from wounds would leave him weakened and more prone to these spells.

People who suffer from the condition need to drink more water, caffeine and salt than people who don't - keeps the blood circulating better.

Thought I would share!

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I'm waiting to see how he is going to be cured because there is no cure for vasovagal syncope and B.O.T.S based on friends and family members who suffers from these condition.

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ooops P.O.T.S

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*take a note*

Thank you for sharing this.
I also thought it's probably some hereditary illness that will reveal his parentage later on.

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Coffee solves everything. Did they have coffee in Silla?

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thank you so much for sharing!! :) I was wondering what could it be!!

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I admit to be watching this solely for PSJ as its hard for me not to be eventually drawn into his characters. And I am starting to be more interested in SW as each episode passes. PSJ is captivating as always. And since his character is the lead, I am certain that his character will be well developed.

That said, I am surprised that I am more interested in SMJ's character by far than SW. I keep thinking to myself that they need more SMJ scenes!!! It feels like his scenes lack some sincerity, they deserve more meat to them. I am hoping for the best for a second lead development.

I still feel like Go Ara lacks a certain type/bit of chemistry with both leads. But I think it's just the way her character is writtn.

in any case, i am certain that I will like this drama. So fighting!!! i agree that birth secrets are a bound - definitely for SW.

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I am in love with the costumes in this show. The boys look especially dashing in their Hwarang uniform. And thank goodness Park Seo Joon's hair finally got the treatment it deserves. He looks so much better without all the rat hair covering his face.

I've yet to completely warm up to the main characters - especially A-ro - but I do think the show's shaping up quite nicely.

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Whoops, the comment regarding PSJ's hair and the Hwarang uniforms was supposed to be for the end of the 4th episode! Sorry (spoiler-ish?)!

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wish this could progress faster..

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This show is a guilty pleasure. Plot holes, terrible wigs, but it's quite entertaining. And I'm delighted that I cannot choose between the 2 main leads. At the beginning I thought I had fallen for the allure and sexiness of the king, but Moo-myung is scaling positions very quickly and I can't ignore his charm anymore :) If I was her, I'd try to keep both men for myself :D

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PSJ has this condition called narcolepsy, I think. Meanwhile, the king is insomniac...

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yup. I have 101 reason to hate the show especially when its come to its cliche and costumer. but i have no idea... why i still want to watch it....haha

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I really like the show so far but I feel it is slightly too slow-paced in my opinion. Like we've barely seen any scenes with all the boys together in the 4 episodes,I need more action and scenes of them together!! Now I have to wait till next week for the next episode *sighs*

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Weirdly, I find the show somehow quite enjoyable, which is far from the cringeworthy ambience the promotional posters shown. It is quite decent, to be fair. Choi Won Young is delightful to watch, the scene where he held the queen's gaze and sword was just intense. I mean, his stare was intense. PSJ brought it well, and yes, who couldn't blame him for being so lifeless to loose a friend as precious as LKS? Even Song Joong Ki will react the same, heh. The backstory of other boys are quite intriguing too, but not sure if the show could neatly weave them altogether to make a coherence plot. Others may look handsome, but Minho is so cute and hilarious I want one too ^^ Ah Ro is one odd mystery though. Hope for the character to have better improvement later.

Hwarang, fighting!

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I'm still unsure if I'm enjoying this show or not. Might be too early to tell. And what's up with the color or cinematography? Something seems off...or this show kind of looks a few years old.

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Ban Ryu is so freaking hot.

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Hell yes. I think I lost count how many times my mom mentioned how handsome he is. Lmao.

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+1

That is what i said out loud when 1 saw him the first time in episode 1!

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Was i the only one laughing like crazy at Suho's frustration for losing in soccer? It's so meta I just couldn't. Minho is generally known as a good soccer player and Do Ji Han earlier starred in a basketball show so to me that scene was really funny!!!

Loving Hyung Shik in his role. Ah Ro I cant get a good grasp on.

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thank you for the recap!! :)
Moo Myung's sadness breaks my heart and having the father of his newly dead friend to almost getting killed in his place whould be too overwhelming for him!! Park Seo Joon and Choi Won Young are doing a great job!!
now we know why Moo Myung took his friend's identity and will join Hwarang which is bittersweet!! his scenes with Ah Ro were sweet but sad and a constant reminder to him of his friend who always missed and talked about his little sister but didn't get to meet her (more than few seconds) and everytime we had Mak Moon and Moo Myung in a flashback or imagination scene I end up crying!! but I'm happy that Moo Myung had abeoji to care for his safety and trying to protect him!! I was so happy when he said that Moo Myung is his son!! I was terrified of what's to come for sure but I loved that he was there for him and thankfully abeoji didn't die!! whew
and can I know what's wrong with Moo Myung and what's causing his fainting?!! I freaked out when abeoji mentioned it again and said that he's not healed yet!! WHAT?!! and how is he supposed to be a Hwarang with such a condition?!! oh my!!
on a fun side, I was laughing out loud when she was noting on his grumpiness only for him to note on her drinking flirting habit!! LOL I love his chemestery with Ah Ro and things will get really hard for them when they'll start having feelings for each other!!
I love how Ah Ro comforted Sam Maek Jong without realising it and how Moon Myung's words for his habit of hiding his face helped him to start making a change about it!! and for some reason I feel like the bracelett geting lost and found by Moo Myung and wearing it was a hint that he's actually the rightful Crown Prince/King but was Sam Maek Jong took that place as they got rid of him and was sent out of the capital since he wa a child!!

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Thanks for the recap, LP!

Interesting to see how things are developing with MM adopting the role of AJG's son and AR's older brother. And I'm glad he remembers the actual killer's face. Maybe he will rethink about what really happened the night his friend died and realize that it wasn't the king.

I'm glad that SW and AR finally know each other. But I also agree that I hope they make things not so awkward as their romance develops later on.

I'm also ready for more Hwarang action as the boys get enlisted. I want to get to know more about the other characters.

Jong's trajectory is interesting and I'm waiting to see how he can convince HG to let him be part of Hwarang.

I'm really curious about JG's past with Queen Regent. That might explain a lot of things about what happened with Mak Mun and why JG is now just a doctor with the citizens instead of serving in the palace.

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I wish they hadn't use fauxcest. I would like it if Ah Ro knew the truth about Moo Myung, but still kept his secret and pretended he was her brother in public....

Anyways, this episode was okay. Episode 4 was loads better. It was frustrating to see MM being reckless and putting Ahn Ji Gong and Ah Ro in danger.

I like seeing Choi Won Young in this drama! He is so handsome and striking.

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Thanks for the recap LP!

While watching the scene of Ah Ro at the back of the shop to explain her flower boys observations - i noticed that she was drinking water out of clear GLASS - with a nice GLASS decanter on the tray too!

So did they have clear GLASS during the Silla era (1500 years ago)?

This show is easy watching - kinda fun and not too serious seguek (as long as the political maneuvering doesn't get too complicated).

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Am I the only one who actually loved LKS seen. I mean I kept tearing everytime he appears .. I really hope the flashbacks will keep coming in the future

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I love d movie it really got my whole attention and moo myung is quite amazing ..tae hyung is just so cute

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