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The Lonely Shining Goblin: Episode 4

I find it endlessly entertaining that our goblin is a mercurial god who feels so many feelings—you’d think that a millennium would give a guy some perspective, but he feels everything so acutely, making for some hilarious highs and gloomy lows today. In a meta sense, the character is perfectly in step with a drama that swings wildly from wry comedy one minute to melancholy soul-searching the next, and I enjoy the unexpected emotional twists of starting a scene in a dark mood and undercutting it with humor, or starting with light comedy and suddenly dropping a two-ton weight of emotion on the scene. You never know where you’re headed, which is the fun.

 
EPISODE 4 RECAP

Thunder claps and lightning strikes, as Eun-tak points at the sword embedded in the goblin’s heart. She admits that she’s seen it from the start and asks, “What am I now? Am I still not the gobin’s bride?”

Shin stares at her in wonder for a long beat and says, “I think you are.” She can’t help but smile, not really understanding what it means to be the goblin’s bride, and asks cheerily if she’s become useful now, and if this means that Shin won’t leave. He says he won’t leave for the time being… “Because I might have to prepare to go someplace farther away,” he finishes. Nooo, not the death talk already!

Shin asks why she didn’t mention the sword before if she really saw it the whole time (yes, suspicious that), but Eun-tak says she was trying to be polite at first, and then got scared about the consequences later. “What if you ask me to get married right away? What about college? Do I become a goblin?” she asks.

She wants to know her first order of business as the goblin’s bride, and Shin suavely tells her to wait right here… and then ruuuuuuuns into Reaper’s room flailing like a big geek. “She sees the sword! She pointed at the sword, like this!” he shouts, unnecessary demonstration included.

Reaper tells him to get out, but Shin is freaking out: “She can see the sword! She’s my bride! I’m going to die!” Naturally, Reaper is unfazed by death and counters, “So what, isn’t that a good thing? Weren’t you looking for the bride in order to die?”

Shin deflates and stammers, “I… was… nearly my whole life.” Reaper asks if he’s happy or scared that he found the bride, and Shin starts pacing around the room saying that he is relieved at the thought of ending this immortal life, “but I’m not always sick of it either…” Ha. He admits that part of him wants to live, and Reaper jumps on that to say he’ll just take Eun-tak then.

Reaper complains about the paperwork involved, but he figures that she was meant to die, and Shin quickly starts backpedaling. Eun-tak gets sick of waiting outside and rings the doorbell, and Shin turns into a drama queen and declares, “Death is calling me.” Ha. Reaper: “If it’s ringing the doorbell, it’s a kind death.”

Reaper points out that it’s not like Shin said terrible things to make Eun-tak resent him and want him dead, and Shin sighs, remembering all the cold things he said to her, “I’ll just die. That’s cleaner.”

Reaper and Goblin head out to answer the doorbell together, and Eun-tak launches into a rehearsed sob story about her sad life, now abandoned by Aunt with nowhere to go. She’s hilariously bad at it, but Reaper takes her side, especially when he hears that Shin plans to stick around.

Eun-tak asks to live here, even if Shin has to adopt her (oh because THAT’s going to make this less icky), and swears that she can grow up quietly on her own, like a cactus. Reaper consents immediately, and Shin glares.

She continues her comically bad sob story, and Reaper whispers into Shin’s ear, “I know this story. I saw the drama!” Eun-tak concludes that once she was abandoned by Aunt, she knew there was no god, looking pointedly at Shin. She begs him to save her.

He rolls his eyes and asks how a girl wanting to be saved could knowingly ask to live with a grim reaper. Thinking quickly, she says that it’s always darkest under the lamp, “so you be my lamp from now on, so this ajusshi can’t take me.” Reaper starts to say that his friend Shin is going to let him take her, but Shin interrupts him and sends Eun-tak inside. She doesn’t need to be told twice, and gapes at her surroundings.

Goblin and Reaper bicker about outing each other’s secrets, and Shin gets mad at Reaper and says his friendship lasted for all of five minutes before threatening the poor girl. Reaper counters that Shin is the one who left her out there in the cold.

Shin comes up with an idea to get rid of Eun-tak, and slides her an envelope of money. It’s the 5 million won she’s been praying for, but she slides the envelope right back and says it’s too late—she’s already seen his house. She calls it perfect for raising children in, and asks what type of wife he wants, doing her best to be coy and flirty.

He reminds her that she doesn’t like him, and she takes it all back, and then thinks in her head that he’s handsome and cool and his eyes are like stars. She assumes that he can hear her, and Shin admits that he was lying about that. He doesn’t know exactly how he heard her when she was kidnapped, but he thinks it might have to do with her birthmark.

Eun-tak immediately drops the sweet act and calls him a con artist, angry that she spent so much energy trying not to think of him, and making herself think other thoughts just to justify thinking about him all the time.

Shin: “Why are you sneaking in a confession that you were thinking of me? It’s confusing.” She doesn’t really get his meaning and asks if she’s supposed to unpack her bags or not, and Shin tells her there’s another solution.

Cut to: Grandpa showing Eun-tak her new suite room in the hotel where Deok-hwa lives, just one floor down. Deok-hwa is surprised to run into Eun-tak again after the bookstore, and Grandpa doesn’t ever explain why he’s speaking to Eun-tak in jondae and offering Deok-hwa’s services like he’s a butler.

Deok-hwa argues that Grandpa has an army of secretaries for that, but all Grandpa has to do is offer to maybe unfreeze a credit card, and Deok-hwa is at her service with a bow. Grandpa says that Deok-hwa isn’t trustworthy, and hands Eun-tak a business card so she can call him if anything happens.

She gapes to realize that Grandpa is a chairman, and Deok-hwa happily adds that this makes him a third-generation chaebol. Grandpa drags him out by the ear and bids her goodnight.

Eun-tak takes in the giant suite in awe, and then runs around screaming, “Daebak!” and trying everything out. Her fun doesn’t last very long though, and she realizes how lonely and scary it is in that giant room all by herself.

Downstairs, Deok-hwa asks who that girl is, and Grandpa just says to treat her well because something very important is in her hands. When Deok-hwa asks what, Grandpa says it’s Deok-hwa’s credit card.

Deok-hwa stomps over to Uncle Shin’s house to complain about Grandpa, but finds Shin sitting glumly in front of a row of pill bottles, for everything from depression to insomnia. He’s back to speaking in sageuk tone, and says he’s become very sensitive, and his mood keeps changing from happy to sad to lonely to shining. As if it’s a deathly affliction to have feelings.

Shin pops the pills and shuffles away, and then Reaper shuffles over to take the same pills, saying that he has the same symptoms, and wonders what it means when you cry the instant you meet a woman.

At work the next day, Eun-tak folds napkins while listening to a TV program about mental health, and the guest expert is none other than Samshin Granny, talking about the telltale signs of manic-depressive disorder.

As she describes the symptoms—sudden shopping or bouts of over-confidence—we cut to Shin buying everything he sees on the home shopping channel, and then suddenly flexing in front of Deok-hwa and Reaper, challenging, “Who wants to go to the sauna with me?” Pfft, so that’s the source of your confidence, is it?

Samshin Granny says the biggest sign is obsessing over ailments like a hypochondriac, and we see Shin complain to Reaper that he might have stomach cancer. Reaper is unsympathetic and says he still wouldn’t die even if he had no stomach, and says that the bride is supposed to pull out his sword anyway.

Shin’s mood flips instantly and he screams, “Oh, so I should just die? I’m the bad one, I’m just being sensitive and I should just go and die because I don’t deserve to live! Why don’t you go and tell her that?! Tell her to go pull out the sword and kill me!” Reaper asks if he’s going to cry, and Shin whimpers back in a broken voice, “I’m barely holding it in.” LOL. Depressed goblin is hilarious.

Eun-tak heads out to go to school and pauses at the gloomy weather and sudden downpour, wondering if Shin is depressed. He’s sitting in his garden staring at the maple leaf she gave him, and Eun-tak stares up at the sky and gets a little huffy, assuming that he’s unhappy about her being the goblin’s bride.

She’s doubly annoyed at the inconvenience of rain on her way to school, when Deok-hwa rolls up in a fancy sports car and offers to give her a ride. She asks him to speak in banmal, but he refuses (still actually using half banmal anyway, as is his habit), knowing that he’s being watched. Sure enough, Grandpa’s secretary is on his tail.

Deok-hwa makes a big show of rolling up to the front door of her school and opening Eun-tak’s door in front of all her classmates, while she makes futile attempts to hide. He threatens to do it again tomorrow if she doesn’t get out of the car, so she complies.

The mean girls sneer and talk about her, and that’s the first time Deok-hwa hears her name. “You’re Ji Eun-tak?” he asks, remembering her name from the background check he did. He realizes now that the goblin book she bought wasn’t a coincidence, and that she knows his uncle.

Deok-hwa is dying of curiosity to know about the punishment [beol] gold [geum] that Shin inflicted on Aunt, but Eun-tak doesn’t know what he’s talking about and assumes that her aunt had to pay a fine [beol-geum].

Aunt and her kids take those gold bars to a jeweler to exchange for money, and they’re so cagey about where they got them that the jeweler calls the cops, who say these gold bars were stolen.

Aunt swears to the detective that they didn’t steal them from the bank, and that they belong to her niece. But when asked for this niece’s name or their home address, they can’t seem to remember, like that memory has been wiped clean. Well that’s satisfying.

Deok-hwa is lightning fast on the uptake, as usual, and asks Reaper why Eun-tak is the goblin’s bride. Reaper just muses that it’s a joke of the gods, and Deok-hwa interprets that to mean that Shin’s depression is caused by Eun-tak not being his type.

Reaper is plenty depressed himself, and Deok-hwa points out that the plate he’s freezing with his bad mood is one that his uncle particularly cherishes, but at the mention of Louis XIV, Reaper breaks the plate out of spite.

Deok-hwa gulps and says he won’t tattle, and suggests that Reaper try talking to the woman who made him cry. He figures that maybe it’s not their first meeting at all, and even though Reaper doesn’t remember, that woman might remember him.

But Reaper says it was definitely a first meeting, reenacting her hair flip and her puckered lips. Deok-hwa is riveted by the lips and wants to know where the story goes, but that’s all he gets. Afterwards, Reaper goes back to the bridge where he met Sunny and stands around hoping to run into her. But don’t you have her phone number? Do you not know how to use it?

Elsewhere, an elderly man dies in a hospital bed, accompanied by a woman who holds his hand until the very end.

Shin gets dressed in a black suit and ignores Reaper’s teasing about whether he’s headed to a wedding or a funeral. (“Is that why they call marriage digging your own grave?” Reaper wonders aloud.) Shin asks Reaper how his English is, and says that he needs his help today.

Eun-tak heads home to her giant suite and looks around, hoping to see Shin. She tries to focus on her homework but can’t stop wondering why he’s suddenly cut off communication, and finally ends up on his doorstep, demanding for him to stop avoiding her and let her in.

She threatens to light the ginormous candle she’s carrying with her, as if the size will somehow give the summons bigger impact. She doesn’t light it though, and wonders in a shaky voice if she’s still supposed to do nothing but wait, and how long.

The old man who just died approaches the Reaper’s tearoom, but it’s Shin who sits there waiting for him. As he comes through the door, the old man transforms into a young boy—the same boy that Shin helped in Paris in the sixties. Shin says it’s been a while, and the boy marvels that Shin hasn’t aged a day.

Shin asks why he didn’t write down the answer that he gave him for the math test he was taking the day they met, and the boy says that no matter how he tried to solve that math problem to get the answer, he came up with a different one every time. So he wrote down the wrong answer anyway, saying that it was a problem he couldn’t solve. Shin replies, “No, you solved it well. Your choice alone is the answer to your life.”

The boy smiles to finally realize what that meant, and Shin praises him for becoming a lawyer and helping lots of people in need. The boy says he wanted to repay Shin for the sandwich, and says simply that he didn’t really have another choice once he knew that Shin existed.

Shin counters that he gives lots of people sandwiches, but very few progress the way he did. He says most people just linger in the miraculous moment and demand another miracle once they know he exists. “You are the one who changed your life. And because of that, I always rooted for you,” Shin says warmly.

The boy smiles and says he always knew, and then asks where he’s going next. Shin instructs him to go back out the way he came: “The afterlife is a U-turn.” The boy reaches out for the door handle and turns back to look at Shin one last time, back in his old man form. And then he walks through to the other side, where a staircase that stretches up into the heavens is waiting for him.

Shin thanks Reaper for the help today, and Reaper asks why he bothers doing stuff like this, when it’s not like someone makes him do it. Shin says, “Because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be cool.” Ha.

Shin stands around waiting in what looks like Eun-tak’s lobby, when his hands start to smoke. Eun-tak puts down the candle she just blew out in her suite and asks where he’s been and why he’s avoiding her. “Am I an abandoned wife?” she asks. He insists that he was busy, but she calls him out on being avoidy, and tells him to go ahead and try to run away. “I’ll blow all of these out!” she cries, pointing at the hundreds of candles she’s got lit behind her.

Shin just asks where she got all these candles without money, and she says Deok-hwa oppa bought them for her. He grouses at that. She asks why she can’t live in one of the many empty rooms in his house, admitting that Deok-hwa oppa told her they were empty. He grouses again, and I can’t tell if it’s because of what Deok-hwa did, or the fact that she keeps calling him oppa.

Eun-tak argues that she’s been waiting for days, and asks if the rain was because she made him depressed. He lies and says no, but she says she’s prepared herself to hear anything from him. He counters that he’s the one who needs to prepare himself, not her.

He pops open a beer and asks if she’s eaten dinner. Eun-tak ignores him and muses, “I said I can see the sword, and now I can’t see you. This isn’t why I told you.” She asks if they can’t prepare for whatever is coming together, but again he changes the subject and suggests room service.

She finally relents and agrees to dinner, though she turns down fancy room service in favor of convenience store snacks. He finds it adorable and offers to buy her everything in the aisle, looking tipsy after a second beer.

He insists on walking her home afterwards, and Eun-tak asks about her wish to get a boyfriend—can she not date other men if she’s the goblin’s bride? Still drunk, Shin says that he’s not really behind the idea, and tells her not to expect a boyfriend in this lifetime. Lol, that’s mean. Eun-tak: “Why not?” Shin: “Because I don’t like it.” Oh, I like drunk goblin.

She gets mad and asks why: “Do you like me?” He hesitates and gives the world’s most half-hearted “no” in response, and Eun-tak counters, “Your no is quite often not a no.”

She asks how he’s lived up until now, and he says, “I lived waiting for you.” Taken aback, Eun-tak changes the subject and wonders if it rains when he’s depressed, what happens when he’s happy. Perhaps his good mood makes flowers bloom, she wonders, but he quickly denies it. He confirms that he can fly though, and promises to show her next time.

Eun-tak asks how many brides he’s had before her, and he stops to look at her and says, “You’re the first and the last.” She says that even if she were the first, how would he know that she’s the last? “Because I’ve decided that you are,” he answers. Swoon.

She asks what happens to him if she decides not to be his bride, and Shin says he won’t be able to pull the sword out, because only she can do that. “I have to pull the sword out in order to…” he can’t say the truth, so he ends with, “To be pretty!” You want to be prettier than you are now? Also, should you be telling her this stuff?

Eun-tak says it must be like all those old fairytales, where the prince finds true love and so the frog becomes a prince, the beast becomes a prince, and the goblin becomes… a broom. She doesn’t like that one, and decides they’ll wait until they need a broom to pull out his sword.

Shin bursts into laughter and says that he’s crazy for laughing in his current situation. He agrees not to pull out the sword just yet, and to spend today laughing with her. She suggests the first day of snow (of course, because this is a drama), since you’d need a broom when it snows. He grows a little somber at that, but agrees to have her pull out the sword on the first day of snow. Noooooooo.

On her way to school the next morning, Eun-tak sees people milling about taking pictures, and looks up to see her street lined with unseasonal cherry blossoms. Ha, that liar, he totally blooms flowers when he’s happy!

Deok-hwa greets Shin with a stack of morning papers, all announcing the bizarre spring bloom in the middle of autumn, and says tauntingly, “Something good must’ve happened in the night.” He guesses that Shin was drunk, and yells at him for causing yet another inexplicable weather change.

Shin is embarrassed and hungover, but covers up by arguing that Deok-hwa is still using banmal, and snarks that they should just be hyung-dongsaeng from now on. Deok-hwa doesn’t mind that at all and steamrolls ahead, “Hyung, who were you with last night and what did you do?” Shin bellows in his god voice and blames his actions on the sedative, not the beer, and hides in bed like a coward.

Deok-hwa takes him out for hangover soup and leads Shin to an empty table at a restaurant, not realizing that Reaper is sitting there (wearing his hat, making him invisible to Deok-hwa). Reaper says he’s here to catch the last episode of his morning drama, a typical makjang that’s playing in the background.

As they eat, Shin suddenly asks Deok-hwa if he bought him snacks last night. Dude, do you not remember anything? Reaper asks if he forgot everything after two cans of beer again, and Shin yells, “It was the pills, not the beer!” scaring Deok-hwa, who thinks he’s talking to an empty chair.

The morning drama ends on a shocking birth secret, and everyone in the restaurant except for Shin turns to the TV in unison, jaws on the floor.

Deok-hwa sips on a yogurt on their way out, and sight triggers a sudden memory for Shin: Eun-tak sipping on her milk last night as they were walking. He screeaaaaaams like he’s seen a ghost, and Reaper asks if he’s just now reacting to the birth secret in the drama.

It starts to come back to him in little bursts, and Shin remembers telling Eun-tak about pulling out the sword. He grabs his hair and goes into a flown-blown panic in the street like a crazy person, and tells (still invisible) Reaper about the drunken sword-talk.

Reaper says he can’t do anything about it now and that dying now would still be considered a reward, and Shin flips his lid, yelling that he’s going to light Reaper’s hat on fire.

The whole time Deok-hwa only sees his crazy uncle talking to nobody, and starts to worry after his mental health. A man passes by and gives them strange stares, and Deok-hwa whispers that Shin is a stranger. Reaper goes on his way with a chuckle, and Shin is about to light his hat on fire when Deok-hwa interrupts. Shin gets petty and asks, “Do you know me?” and walks away, and Deok-hwa is amazed that he heard that and trails after him.

Sunny gets her makeup done by her friend, who asks if she’s got a new boyfriend to get pretty for. Sunny sighs that she’s hoping to snag a new boyfriend, and is getting pretty to wait for his call, except he’s not calling. The friend guesses that he’s playing push-and-pull, but Sunny wonders why he’s been pushed when she made sure to pull. She hangs out waiting on the bridge where she first met Reaper, but he isn’t there today.

Reaper clearly has Sunny on the mind though, because he walks down the street and every single woman he sees has Sunny’s face. Even the blonde-haired, blue-eyed woman he passes is her, and he gasps.

Sunny and Eun-tak sit in the empty chicken shop just staring out the window, and Eun-tak asks why she’s always looking out there. Sunny says she’s waiting, though she doesn’t know for what: “I’ve spent my whole life waiting for someone.”

Eun-tak asks if it’s a prince on a white horse, and Sunny says she doesn’t like younger men, and would prefer a king on a white horse. They look out the window together, both waiting.

At school, Eun-tak contemplates Grandpa’s business card and thinks back to all the graves she saw Shin visiting in Quebec, all with the surname Yoo.

The mean girls snatch the card out of her hand and ask if that rich guy who dropped her off gave this to her, or that ajusshi from last time, accusing her of sleeping around. While the bully is talking, someone slips a cigarette between her fingers, and she doesn’t even seem to realize it when she brings the cigarette up to her lips.

The teacher catches her red-handed, and the bully swears that this is Eun-tak’s, and she was trying to get her to stop. Thankfully the class president speaks up in Eun-tak’s defense, and after the bully gets sent to the office, Eun-tak looks up to see her four friendly neighborhood ghosts waving at her with a pack of cigarettes. Ha, that’s cute.

The ghost girls follow Eun-tak out after school, proud of themselves for a successful revenge plot. At first it seems like Eun-tak is trying to ignore them, but she finally turns around and whispers, “Thank you for earlier!”

Suddenly the ghosts freak out when they see a car approaching and vanish, and Eun-tak turns around to see Shin pull up in his car. It’s not a white horse, but it’ll do. He gets the whole slo-mo treatment as he gets out, and Eun-tak tries hard not to smile.

She asks why the sudden car, and he says simply, “I wanted to brag about having a car.” He asks if he made any mistakes last night, though he seems to already know the answer to that. He agrees to dinner and suddenly pulls the car over in the street.

He comes around to open her door, and when she steps out, they’re magically transported back to Quebec. She jumps for joy, and he says it’s to thank her for the maple leaf she gave him. She asks, “Is this our honeymoon?” and he orders her to get back in the car, so she quickly takes it back.

At dinner Eun-tak picks up her steak knife and waves it in front of Shin, calling it a sword. He backs away, and she enjoys teasing him. He brings up his sword and tells her not to misunderstand, and asks her what his sword looks like.

Eun-tak guesses that he’s doubting her and stabs her steak for emphasis. She says the hilt has a tiger on it, and Shin says proudly that it’s a white tiger and it’s super cool. Well I guess that takes care of that doubt.

Eun-tak says she did some reading about him, but nowhere does it say anything about that sword of his. She asks how it got to be there—did he stab himself, or was it someone else? “Someone I never thought would do so,” he answers.

She withdraws the question, realizing that it’s a painful story, and then asks how old he is. He says he’s 939, and she feels bad for asking that too, since it’s another sad story. She figures it’s nice to have a long life and not age though, and he asks if she’d like to live a long time, “Even if you stop in place and everything passes by you?” “You’d be there,” she points out, “You’d still be there, so I think it would be nice to live a long time.” The answer surprises him.

As they go for a walk, Eun-tak says he seems cheerful for someone who’s lived so long, and Shin says he can’t very well be sad all the time, for a thousand years. He calls himself a strong goblin who accepts his fate and lives well, and she chuckles at that.

He figures that there’s no such thing as ten-thousand-year-old sadness, or ten-thousand-year-old love either, hence no reason to be sad for a thousand years straight. But Eun-tak says she thinks there is, and he asks which—sadness or love? “A sad love,” she decides, and asks if he wants to wager on it.

She tells him all the things she learned about goblins in her “research,” like the fact that he gets lonely easily, is ill-tempered, quick to change his mind, and likes dank and dark places. He pouts and wants to hear some positive traits, and she says he gives humans blessings, and wrath, and doesn’t ever make a family for himself. She thinks that’s why he neglects her in the hotel, and he counters that it’s to give her a chance to think things over.

He tells her that she could still choose not to be the goblin’s bride, and Eun-tak gets hurt all over again, thinking that he doesn’t want her to be his bride. She asks if maybe he has another woman lined up, or dislikes her so much that he’d rather have no bride than her. “I’ll just pull the sword out and prove that I’m the bride then!” she declares, and reaches for it. Ack, no!

Shin jumps back in alarm and she chases him around and around, and demands gold with his goblin club instead then. He says he doesn’t have a club, which she finds suspicious since all goblins have one, so he reaches his hand into the fountain behind him… and a sword materializes in his hand. Ah, so that’s how he does it.

She’s so thoroughly impressed at his coolness that he gets all puffed up like a giant dork, and he explains that the sword is his club. They get into a cute water fight at the fountain, and she gets annoyed when he keeps poofing away just out of reach. She asks how come she doesn’t have any powers like him, thinking it unfair. She wishes she could make gold appear and asks him to do it, and he lies that he can’t.

Eun-tak says she has something to do because she doesn’t know when she’ll ever be back here, and leaves him with a book of poems to read called The Stars Might Take Your Pain Away. She goes to the hotel to write a letter, and sends it down the mail chute, hoping that it gets delivered.

Shin reads the book of poems and sees that Eun-tak lovingly transcribed her favorite ones, and when he sees her calling out to him from across the street, smiling so brightly, he thinks of one of the poems and begins to recite it in voiceover.

As she crosses the street, Eun-tak notices the yellow paint in the crosswalk turn to orange whenever she steps on it, and he smiles to watch her light up and run to him.

He has flashes of dying in that field a thousand years ago, then Eun-tak smiling back at him. She runs up and asks if he made that red carpet crosswalk just for her, but he’s still lost in thought over the poem as he looks up at her, mesmerized. A single maple leaf falls on the page.

“The Physics of Love”
by Kim In-yook

The size of a mass is not proportional to its volume
That little girl as small as a violet
That little girl that flutters like a flower petal
Pulls me with a mass greater than the Earth
In a moment, I
Like Newton’s apple
Mercilessly rolled and fell on her
With a thud, with a thud thud
My heart
From the sky to the ground
Continued to swing dizzyingly like a pendulum
It was first love

 
COMMENTS

It’s nice to finally get some truthy confessions from the goblin, never mind that it takes an ill-advised cocktail of sedatives and liquor to get him there. I did crack up to see that the goblin’s changing moods have been reduced to modern-day bipolar disorder, which is actually pretty fitting once we see his mood swings, complete with changing weather forecast. I could’ve watched that for days. But then we get the complete flipside of the goblin when he’s with that boy in Paris who grew up to be a good man, and when I saw the goblin’s deep respect for humankind and a life well-lived, it reminded me again of how much he’s lived through, and how much his humanity is a part of him, despite being a god.

I didn’t expect him to be so hesitant about death from the start, namely because he’s been searching for his bride his whole long life, which made me think he was desperate to be rid of this mortal coil. But I found it so endearing that he was scared and doubtful from the start, and debating the pros and cons of staying alive the minute that the bride became a reality within reach. And of course it’s all the funnier when you give him a grim reaper as a sounding board, making the goblin seem petty for wanting a little more out of life. I just love this bizarre combination of real gravitas, fake gravitas, neuroses, ego, and childishness in the goblin, who somehow makes it believable that he was once a war god who spends his days punishing evil humans, but is more sensitive than a high school girl and cares a great deal what other people think of him. He seems human in so many ways that it seems natural for him to want to live, and I’m saddened every time we’re told that he’d wanted to die for centuries.

Obviously love will change that, which is the point, but I like that he’s conflicted already and that he’s actually a well-adjusted goblin, like he said, who lives well and has pretty normal reservations about dying. I thought that Eun-tak might have more of an uphill battle to convince him to live—she still might, given his moodiness—but today we already saw the stirrings of first love, which makes me think he might just choose to live a little longer all on his own. I mean, what’s an eternity with a giant sword through your heart, right? Speaking of which, I’m glad the show finally made it clear that the sword stuck in his heart isn’t he same one he uses to smite people and summon gold with. We still need to know so many more rules, and I sincerely hope they’re not going to wait until the last minute to give us the complete picture in drips and drabs. We could be angsting with you if we knew all the rules! Just sayin’!

I’m warming to Eun-tak’s character, who’s always been easy to like, but often hard to take seriously. But the more we see her through Shin’s eyes, the more she becomes lovable and thoughtful, and her brightness in and of itself becomes something to admire. It’s almost too simple that the sunny character is the perfect foil for the gloomy one, but when we see just how much sunshine she brings into his life, written all over his face like that, it’s hard not to think that there’s something magical about the marriage of darkness and light, sadness and love.

 
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1. ET was not lying about the sword - can see
2. GR is the king and sunny the queen
3. Goblin's firs tlove is ET so queen definitely a sister

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Grim reaper was definitely the king.

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But why his face changed? I thought that too, but this one stops me. Or, the growing up hwang?

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They mentioned in the last episode that only once in a while are you reborn with the same face as in your previous lives

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The King grew up before he died. And his corpse was wrapped. So it's really possible that he was the king. As for Sunny, maybe she was the older version of the queen, or could have been, if she didn't die young.

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No, no, no, Sunny is the King

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We don't see King face when he is older. I think they'll show this later.

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Shin said he was too late when the king died so the king was well beyond 17 when he died, so probably have aged into a different looking person than what Shin remembers...

The queen would've looked like Sunny if she grew old...but she was probably just 15-16 when she died, knowing that kings married young.

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Remember in epi 3 when GR list all the sin he probably committed that turned him into a GR and then Goblin came and blurb that among all the sins written then, he ONLY didn't commit crime against obedience. I think that was a great clue on GR's identity, but I don't know what. Brain's too fuzzy to think.

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I thought he was the Queen and Sunny was the King.
I thought the give away was the crying when he saw the ring.

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You make a good point...
I think that grandpa may be the king, given that his spy has Iago's face. And when he said that something important hinges on ET's existence, it may mean that he knows she is the key to relieving his family from servitude?

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Grandpa's family has been in service to the goblin for generations. His ancestor was still alive during the evil King's reign.

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I thought that at first too because when Shin was looking at the idols even the reaper asked how does he know if the King was born a male. But then on the other hand what great sin did the Queen commit to make her into a GR? And we already know that the King betrayed a loyal servant and killed his whole innocent family due to jealousy and who knows what other acts he committed after that? But I don't need to know yet and I think it'll be enjoyable reveal when they all find out who is who!

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It was mentioned that to be a grim reaper you must have committed a great sin in your past. That rules out the grim reaper as reincarnation of the queen? Makes sense if he was the king though. Also sunny said she prefers a king on a white horse (instead of a prince). Can that be a clue too? :)

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That would be an interesting twist. Maybe that's why the two bicker like siblings every time?

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Do not forget that grim reapers supposed to commit a mortal sin. I don't think Grim Reaper is the young queen

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I could swear they said you only become a Grim Reaper if you did a lot of bad in you life? So wouldn't that make him the King, because he messed up and killed all those people?

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Why I think YIA characther is the eunuch?
Why would fairy godmother say they need to be punished...
The queen didn't do bad ????

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The King has reincarnated become Nurse Park in the drama Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim. ??

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best description of the kings reincarnation.

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yes, very much so Nurse Park

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I'm with you on this one. I've been inexplicably attracted to Grim's brooch over the past few episodes (he's the only reaper with one) but only looked closely today.

Guess what it's shaped like? A crown.

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About the sword. Are the one he conjured from the water and the one he was stabbed the same? If so, how is it possible?

I'm pretty sure Grim Reaper and Sunny are the king and queen. Ohhhh that's going to be very complicated once the goblin finds out about that.

Another thing, I love this drama to pieces but I just can't get over the fact that goblin falls in love with a high schooler. I don't care about the age gap. I mean he's 935 years old and unless you got a female vampire around or other mythical creatures, I don't see how any human can be his bride.

But at the very least, make her a colleague students or someone in the mid-20s. I'm fine with that. I watch The Vampire Diaries and I'm super cool with Klaus romancing Caroline. In fact, I will go down with that ship.

But here, watching Eun Tak doing that cutesy voice, calling him ahjusshi not to mention her sometimes immature antics, there's this ickyness feeling that I couldn't shake off. It just felt so wrong imo.

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But in most parts of the world, 19 is college student.. i think ET just joined school late..
19 is firs tor second year of college..

plus medically, a woman is fit to be a mother post 8.. so am not so psyched about the age difference.. its legally adult and that's all..

******
The swords are different.. the one is chest is perpetually stuck there..

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18 not 8

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ET is 19 in korean age. that means she may be 17 or 18 international depending on when her birthday is.

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exactly, korean age is 1+ .. because they age on 1st jan.. so she is 18 by intnl stnds.. legal still..

Also, it seems they are nearing december in the drama.. and ET is not even in 'love'.. so she would be 20 before anythign happens.. or 19 by intnl age

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@EZ korean age is more complicated than that lol. so you are already 1 when you are born but then you are +1 on jan 1st also. that's why i said "depending on her birthday." it seems as if eun tak was born in december which makes it more likely that she's 17 international age - because if you're born dec 30 in korea then you are 1 & two days later on jan 1 you become 2 years old. thats why you can be up to 2 years older at some points in the year.

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No,she's in third grade and almost graduate,so she is at least 18 in int age.And 19 is an adult in korea.

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I mean she is an adult whether 18 or 19.
Despite being in high school,she is about to graduate and I don't see being in college will make any difference.Still 19.Still ADULT.

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Hello ! I just wanna say that i love your blog !

And I wanna ask A question : The Book that Eun -Tak gave to Shin to reed , did the Book really exist ? Because I really Want to read it ?
( And i'm sorry for my bad english )

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it is really exist. if i'm not wrong, its written by poetry Kim In-Yook

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Yes, the book is called 어쩌면 별들이 너의 슬픔을 가져갈지도 몰라 (The Stars Might Take Your Pain Away). It's a collection of poems by 김용택 (Kim Yong-taek)

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I hope his books sells like hotcakes. He is brilliant , just like Kim Sat-gat from Moonlight. Too bad they didn't bother to use any of his poems in the show.

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@girlfriday - thanks for the recap, and for info about the poet!

I was just reading through some english translations of his works(https://jaypsong.wordpress.com/category/kim-yong-taek/).

"...standing in front of me in the bright, shining light
that only someone who has passed through darkness can make."

The wistful tone of his poetry fits this drama so well I thought.

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Any link where we can read this in English? Thanks in advance.

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I'd love to read some poems by this author, but my Korean is not at that level...

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I remember that book from one episode of 1 Night 2 Days, from when 1n2D members got mission to go to friends who lived alone. The book indeed sale like hotcakes--if my memory served me right--from 1n2d members' conversation with its author.
I remember it because the members fan boying over the author and said that every man beneath age 50 in Koreas have read or collect the books, yet the author still lived in rented apartment.

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I said in my post

Drama: Even if eun tak was 70 there will still be a huge age gap. Also, she's growing up

Real life: KGE and GY age gap is not icky

But if it makes you feel icky who am I to judge

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And like I said in my comment, I don't care about their age gap whether in real life or in the drama. I'm fine with it. What makes me icky is the fact that she's a high school student talking about raising kids with the goblin, their honeymoon, and all those marriage stuff while still dressed in her high school uniform.

I'm ok if she's in her 20s because let's face it, he is 900+ y.o so u need to have another supernatural being to match his age. But, he looks like any other mid-30s man so if she can get rid of her uniform and mature a bit then they can be a match made in heaven for all I care.

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Him getting hearteyes while she plays on the light up zebra crossing really doesn't help with the ick factor.

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I feel the same way as you! i keep hoping they'll flash forward to make her 21 (ok maybe not) but at least have her birthday next episode LOL

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When I was ten, my best friend (who lived next door) and I were both in love with a TV star (who was probably in his mid 30's.) We were not aware that our infatuation was inappropriate.

ET has been told her whole life she is the Goblin's Bride. She's probably both feared this and fantasized about it, (because of her terrible home life.) It doesn't seem "icky" to me at all, that a high school girl (who was naive about love--remember, she's never had a boyfriend. And possibly never even had a friend,) would have unreal expectations about love, marriage, and raising a family.
It's her character. She is not a role model for how a young woman should be in real life. She is a fictional character, and her views, emotions, and actions make sense in the fictional world she lives in.

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I don't get it why in love with a star who was 30s is inappropriate lol.I've been fan of several 30s actors when I was in elementary school.

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+1 to what @clairie said.
I've mentioned this before. It doesn't mater what age he is, its her age that is the problem. And sure, legally she might be old enough, but as far as practical and emotional maturity is concerned, she is very much still a child.

The other thing being that she has been told all her life that she is the goblin's bride. Get told something often enough, and you'll believe it. We don't know if she has assessed if being his bride is what she really wants or is it something she has accepted as a fact of her life willingly or otherwise.

That fact, combined with her age raise some serious questions about consent.

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+1
I kind of like the drama. But I can't get over her being of school age. It looks too much like a 35/40 years old pervert taking advantage of a lonely and lost teenager.
Big Ick factor.
Would have love it he had saved her, met her, gone and came back when she was adult. The way it is, I find her, a delightful child to adopt, not a bride to marry. Must be the first time I do NOT want to see any kind of skin-ship.

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+ 100 to what the ladies are saying about Goblin's bride being a high school student.
It's not about being 18 and in love. And it's not about the age difference. Nothing wrong with with a man or a woman being older than the partner, as long as the said partner is an independent adult. It's the whole cutesy-uniformed-naive-virgin with no money being paired with an older-rich-and-powerful man angle. It feels wrong and unnecessary. Just like it felt wrong in the King of Savvy. Get them out of high school uniforms before selling flawed morals as love. What kind of audience are they pandering to? Gives me shivers.

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1000+ this. It is not her age that is the problem. It is that they write her extremely young. She is a child that acts like a child. They haven't explained why it is necessary for her to be in highschool. The Goblin comes off as a creepy uncle lusting after his niece. It takes away from what could be a great drama. I am honestly still hoping they age her in terms of actual age and maturity.

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If you speaking real life, actually KGE's boyfriend age is 5 years more old than GY

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I don't think the age gap is icky. GY whether in the drama or in real life doesn't look old at all. There are more older men in Hollywood who marry much younger women than KGY. I'm enjoying the drama too much to think about ick factors.

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Look the sword is clearly the same. The carving on the hilt is definite proof. The one in him is dirty and rusty, and the one he uses is shiny and well maintained. Ergo the one in him is the ghost of sword present and the one he uses is he ghost of sword past.

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I think the real issue here is not that ET is 19 y/o, but because she's still acting, talking and thinking younger than her age. When I was her age I stopped acting like a kid; I was in college.
If, for example, ET acts like Sunny at 19 I think most people will be more comfortable with her pairing with goblin

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I took that childish and immature side of her as her overcompensation of what she lacks. We saw ET in her normal daily life (with her aunt and cousins), she's not exactly the ET that's been hanging around the goblin. She's a gloomy kid, but when confronted by the idea that she's a Goblin's bride and she could be of value to someone, she immediately becomes this immature/childish and bright kid who doesn't want her candy to be stolen. We have to also remember that it's her first time having a serious crush on someone and I doubt she had experience with it before which explains why her relationship-handling is not really great.

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If she didn't have that bouncy, coltish personality, she would be an angry emotional wreck having had to deal w/losing her Mom and ending up w/and Aunt and cousins who abuse her and tolerate her presence because of her upcoming Insurance payout. Her personality has helped her endure and not become like those nasty girls at school.

The Gob has a well of silliness in him also, he just hasn't shown it to her; while Reap has seen gobs of it. Her youth and his wisdom of the ages balance each other out. The age difference is a big nothing. She is "of age", he is not being lecherous and their relationship is destined, it even has a purpose. There is no ick factor, unless, you are compelled to find titillation even where there is no intent and has no purpose.

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Agreed. She's obviously a very smart and thoughtful kid who is like this for survival methinks. I love her.
I also don't really love that she's a high schooler, so I'm hoping to see a year or two lapse. But Shin is just 35 in my eyes, or.....is it 39? I watched on DramaFever, and some things were translated differently. Like I thought repeat said if Gonlin was scared he'd accompany him, not take Eun Tak....anyone else?

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Let's talk about issues when she summons him while he is taking a shower.

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Opps sorry, thinking out loud.

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*gets candles*

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LOL. Goblin might get more hyper if that idea got to his head. He might never go to shower again.

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Then that underwear song would make sense lol.

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LOL......i definitely won't have any issues IF that happens!

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okay..... what episode did Kim Shin (Goblin) say that??

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I guess the writer chose a high school character for a reason. The way I see it, ET ways of looking at a "bride" title, or how she imagines getting married (having children, honeymoon etc.) is very child-like. It's a little bit shallow, I suppose, if you compare to twenty-smt girl's way of looking at marriage and being someone's bride.
And at least the writer acknowledges that physical 'age-gap' between them by referencing the goblin as her sugar daddy (according to her high school friend, and she actually refers to him as ahjussi all long. Imagine if ET calls the goblin 'oppa'.

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Or Daddy Long legs :-)))

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I dont rly mind the age gap, as this is not a normal relationship between two people and theyre not really at the romance stage yet. I think both of them are seeing each other as their potential savior, at least so far..

One is a highschooler, who sees ghost, who's technically not a real human. She was supposed to be dead first of all.. So in a sense, she's a mystic being too..

And goblin... is another mystical creature as well..

Girl sees goblin as her pass to a happy life, esp with how he has got rid of her aunt and get her a job and such~

Goblin sees her as the one who'll end his eternal life..

So, at least for me, age gap is not something i'm concerned with... yet...

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Maybe his bride was meant to be kind of a pure innocent like child. She is at that age of transitioning from a teen to adulthood.
I would love to see her out of high school already because they getting closer to that romantic stage.

A time jump at this point would be great. I hope he is going to change his mind about the sword and leave for a while. Let her finish college then return.

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But having wrote that, I gotta say Eun Tak's reactions to Shin is working much better for me than Shin's take on Eun Tak.

IMO there's something relatable and raw about her desperation to plunge into Goblin territory. At this point it isn't even about love (if her naive jokey pleas for a boyfriend isn't any indication). But rather the materialization of Goblin is her "grow up and make my fortune in the world" and "man's search for meaning" moment. Up until now her life has been a random-ish cluster of kdrama misfortunes, but she -- like almost all of us tbh -- is yearning for that ineffable "something" that validates her place in the universe. That trip through the Narnia closet door was everything. It was her escape, her adventure, the consummation of her heart's desires, and the potential for a pursuit of happiness. Even if she died and those scenes of her hopping around Quebec were but hallucinations crafted by her brain, that intense yearning KGE emits every moment she's staring at the Goblin would still be no less relatable.

Shin though ... is (to me) a massive failure in characterization and writing. It's a polarizing watch, because Gong Yoo's acting is A++++++ gold star forever love, and it just makes me side eye KES all the more. It's like she was so concerned giving Gong Yoo a swoon-worthy kdrama hero that she forgot to give him a well written character. Four episodes in, his identity is a house of cards; we get these weaksauce coffee house medium blends of everything:

1. He technically 'sinned' ... but not too much sin. Only because he was good at his job as a general and hacked down enemy soldiers with a sword
2. He's being punished with eternal damnation. But not too much damnation. He's still handsome, lives with style, has servants, and owns a freaking hotel.
3. He's a goblin ... but not too much goblin. More like Guardian ... or really: a messianic Jesus figure with almost unlimited powers (raise the dead, change the course of lives, walk on water, make gold...)

So here's the problem:

1. If his eternal damnation isn't even that bad, how am I suppose to empathize with his "wai am I still alive" angst? Now that he wants to live, it doesn't even feel like a strange ironic twist of fate .. because his existence was already better than 99.999% of people in all history.
2. If he can make gold and interfere with human lives ... then OMG where was he when people starved to death in famines?? the U.N. could use a few more gold bars. Why didn't he strike Hitler dead or liberate prisoners from labor camps? See the problem here? The writer gave him SO much power that he seems obliquely culpable in all that's wrong with the world because he technically has the ability to change lots of things.

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LOL OOPS. Sorry @Klara, the above long rant is not a response to your comment, but just a rambling continuation of my comment below (1.2.6.1.1). Clicked the wrong reply button!!

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Witnessing a younger family member die before you is painful. Not being able to forget it is torture. Having to live through that not once, but eternally, is definitely the worst kind of punishment.

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@Sylvia
No need to apologize. Vent away. That's what the comment section is for.

"It’s like she was so concerned giving Gong Yoo a swoon-worthy kdrama hero that she forgot to give him a well written character."
I felt the same way about his character in Train to Busan.

Kim Go-eun has raw talents with range to go with it. I'm curious to see what she'd do with her character if there is a time skip.

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@klara

Thanks for being so tolerant of my commenting faux-pas!! I was horrified because it looked like I was ranting off topic at your on-point comment.

But yes, I agree.. a time skip would be most welcome in my books. Because as much as Gong Yoo & KGE have this sweet, adoring chemistry right now, it still feels a bit like immortal uncle doting on his hapless kitten niece.

I like that Eun Tak is resourceful, scrappy, and intelligent. Give her a college education and some more life experience, I'm sure she'll give Shin a run for his money (not that she isn't doing that already).

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What can be seen as weaksauce blend, can also be seen as others as a multifaceted character with complexities u know?

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@clara

Yes, I absolutely agree :) What I wrote above is my personal subjective opinion only. I'm sure, unlike me, most people are enjoying KES's characterizations. The show's popularity and the ratings certainly reflect that, and I'm happy for the talented casts' success.

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I don't know how pretentious (LOL) writer KES is, so I may be pulling nonsense out of my butt ...

But in the European arts and literary tradition, the young maiden has always been paired with ancient death. Part of it is the piercing provocation of the juxtaposition, as nothing seems to symbolize the full bloom of youth and beauty as a girl-woman. In the Divine Comedy, Dante's childhood love Beatrice is the one guiding him to heaven. The composer Schubert, suffering a nervous breakdown after realizing he going to die young, wrote a string quartet named "Death and the Maiden". Momento Mori images throughout the ages frequently pair maidens with skeletons and skulls, like Georges de la Tour's 'Magdalene with the Smoking Flame' and this interesting 18th c German thing:

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Memento_mori#/media/File:Gedenck_O_Mensch_sich_wer_Du_bist.jpg

Of course all of the above were created by Old White Men, so figures that they'd want their thoughts of death tempered by sweet young maidens lmao.

But at least from Shin/the Goblin's perspective, it's poetic in this 'momento mori' way that the literal hand of death comes in the form of young, lovely, spring-in-her-steps Eun Tak. It's like she's his Beatrice-- that representation of 'spring' in his winter years, the divine, and ultimate oblivion.

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I love this! That's so true about the juxtaposition of young and old in myth and how Death is normally portrayed.

This is an interesting comparison, like I wonder how Korean folklore interacts with those comparisons.

Dokkaebi are supposed to be inanimate objects, not people though, so I wonder if there's something special about this? Also I wonder if that plays into Eun-Tak's attitude toward the whole thing too. She's still very light-hearted about it, probably because she sees him as not serious?

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She's 18 internationally (we saw her birthday in the drama). She's in her last year of high school and it looks like it's September or October in the drama so her final exams are soon..
If the time that passes in the drama is about half a year, she'll be a college student.

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Did you guys not pay attention to the episodes?

Shin came back to Korea in 1998 and saved ET's mother. ET turns 19 (Korean age) in the first episode. Shin moves every 20 years. It cannot be past 2008 in episode 1-4. It is not present day. There will be a time leap. ET will age at least 8 years until present day (2016). So can you all please calm down with these age gap comments and about how she's 'immature'.

ET's been through a lot. She's seen ghosts since she was born and has been called the goblin's wife since she can remember. She lost her mother on her 9th birthday and had to move in with her aunt to hide from the Grim Reaper. She spent 10 years in that abusive house cooking and cleaning. She's a loner at school and not even her teachers support her. She works to maintain top of the class and went to at least 20 chicken shops to find a job. She's adamant about going to college. I don't think she grew up spoilt or attention seeking and selfish at all. She finally has someone giving her affection, of course she is going to cling onto Shin. Shin is an ahjusshi to her, what else is she supposed to call him? Goblin-nim? She hasn't had the chance to act bubbly and be care free since before she turned 9. Give the girl a break.

ET was obviously made 19 on purpose. If she wasn't a teenager a lot of the plot wouldn't make sense - aunt and insurance money, bullying at school, etc.

The relationship between ET and Shin hasn't even been romantic up till now, how can you call it disgusting. ET and Shin give each other a new perspective on life, show each other a new world. That is their relationship at this point.

Yes, ET talks about raising kids and other cringey things. But she is a teenager. She's been called the goblin's wife since birth. She's not been serious about these things. As far as we can tell, she doesn't even have slight romantic feelings for Shin. For now, he is her hope. She doesn't know what she will do if he disappears. Her best chance is to cling on to him as the goblin's wife - which is why she keeps repeating it.

We will see ET mature. Give her and the show a chance. Pay more attention to the plot.

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If you want further proof that it's 2008 when ET is 19, go back and watch episode 1. They show the calendar - September 1998 with a red circle around the 13th. ET's birthday is Septemeber 13th. She turns 9 in 1998. 10 years later, on her 19th birthday, it is 2008.

There will be at least one time leap until present day, 2016/2017. She will be 27 (Korean age) by present day.

I hope this settles the whole 'the age gap is disgusting' comments.

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Nope, you're the one who isn't paying attention. The first calender at Eun Tak's birthday is a production mistake. Goblin saved her mother in 1998 so 18 years (international age) later is 2016. There is also a 2016 calender at the aunt's house. Plus, everyone is wearing modern clothes and using the newest smartphones (you can see Eun Tak's Samsung Edge when she uses the candle app).

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The show is currently on our time 2016, dont know why some really think that we are watching 2008 timeline. Is all about math 1998 Goblin is back in Korea, save ET mom, ET is born 2008 her mom died on her 19th birthday she summon our Goblin for the first time so if we add 1998 plus 18 means 2016. In addition like some others have mentioned why everyone is wearing trendy current fashion, cars are the latest models as well cell phone and let also mentioned Ikon has just recently debuted so the show is current could there will be a time skip absolutely can happen how many shows have we seen last episode has a time jump.

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I wish you were right but don't think you are for the reasons others have mentioned (I'm starting this drama late so by now you all know the truth about the timeline). But I do agree with you in that we need to get over this age-disgusting comment and just enjoy the show. What they're feeling now is NOT romantic/sexual love. It's more like a yearning for what they don't have - for ET the abused orphan, the goblin is like a benevolent protector with whom she can be silly, giddy and almost childlike - she was never allowed to be these things since her mom passed away. As someone else put it, ET has no one in this world and Goblin is her only friend, family, that one ray of sunshine in her otherwise sad lonely life. Her comments of "raising kids, going on a honeymoon" are all very innocent, delivered in a way not to be taken seriously. She says these things not out of genuine desire but because as everyone knows, that's what all married couples do. Korean is my mother tongue and I watch this drama without subtitles. It's VERY clear to me that these comments are innocuous, said without much thought behind them.
For the Goblin I think there are two things at work. A certain pull due to fate (she was born with that mark on her back and is the only person in over nine hundred years who could summon him at will) and her unbridled joy for things in life that he took for granted e.g. being abroad, eating steak, catching leaves etc. She too is showing him a new possibility/joy in what was presumably a very predictable life. So right now it's just a pull, a yearning for something that the other person represents. For this feeling to develop into a romantic/sexual love as we understand it, a time leap is required (maybe we'll go past 2016?). The conservative Korean society as I know it will not tolerate high schooler-ajussi romance on a prime time TV.

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Yassss, P. I agree.

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Eh? If it's 2008, ET would be still be 10 years old lol. Maybe you need to pay more attention. It's present time. She is 19 years old.

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Just do a simple math, P.
Shin saved Euntak's mom (who was pregnant at that time obviously since Grim Reaper came to her death site carrying 2 cards) in 1998.
Euntak was born in 1998.
Euntak was 10 in 2008.
She's 18 by international standard when she met Shin the 1st time around.
So the show is currently set in 2016 where she's 18 / 19 in korean standard.
I agree on the age gap being not a problem.
He's like a century old guy looking like mid 30s going 40 (a super hot one though).
He can date a 100 years old granny and the age gap would still be too damn far lol.

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Yes, ET talks about raising kids and other cringey things. But she is a teenager. She’s been called the goblin’s wife since birth. She’s not been serious about these things. As far as we can tell, she doesn’t even have slight romantic feelings for Shin. For now, he is her hope. She doesn’t know what she will do if he disappears. Her best chance is to cling on to him as the goblin’s wife – which is why she keeps repeating it.
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Yeah I think she can so easily talk about being a wife and raise kids because all these eye triggering ideas have not got into her head yet, she's still naive, I think and that's why is not hesitant to get to the point, due to inexperience and not having boyfriends in the past. I think we have people from all age ranges here, so may be everyone is talking from their own experience.

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I immediately busted out the calculator to calculate the timeline and yep, the story is indeed in present time.

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It's currently 2016

1998 > (Goblin saved ET and mom)
+ 18years > (ET's age)
= 2016

SMH. just HAD to show it. :p

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They will eventually catch up. They are still in 2008, right? Not 2016. He will still be in mid 30s look while she will be like 25.
BTW the lead actress who is 25 is dating a 42 year old actor in real life, acc. to wiki. Yoo is 37. Just 37. ;) He He.

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As many other people pointed out before, the current time in the drama is 2016, not 2008.

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I think everyone is missing the point as to why eun tak is 18/19...

Cause that's the age she and the goblin meet - he can't have her as his bride if she was a child, being that age makes sure that she isn't. She is mature and can make decisions by herself. The issue is that in our time, 18/19 means last year of high school, and the writer put int he high school drama to make us feel sorry for her .

Plus i really really really like it that she doesn't have a close friend or someone that she could rely on cause that makes Giblin all the more special to her.

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He hasn't even touched her yet. So far, he just enjoys her company. We don't know yet what may happen. Some time may pass and she will get older before there is any physical contact, so it won't feel so icky. It seems they are cognizant of the fact that she's too young for him at this point, since there's not even hand-holding.

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dont worry, the drama is still set in 2008. its going to move forward in time soon (im guessing in the next ep) and she will be 23!

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Have you seen episode 3? When Reaper took the doctor's soul, clearly he said the date is October 4, 2016.
And there's comment above said that the calendar when ET's 8th birthday was production mistake.

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I think the age gap can be forgiven here since our couple transcend the average rom-com couple. Shin seems to personify darkness, cynicism and sadness that comes with passage of time.

So naturally, the embodiment of his opposite is someone who represents optimism, love, light and is justifiably personified as someone youthful.

That's why I can see how the writer might've intentionally chosen this age gap.

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I agree...
If a mature woman (in 20s or 30s) acts youthful, eager, excited at smallest things, fantasy-like view on life, then she would be too naive and can seems to be stupid also.. then it's going to be frustrating instead.
That kind of character can only be found in young people.
Plus, there is no sexual attraction between them, yet.

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Right now in the drama they are in 2008, (in 1998 is when her mom died when she was 9), so she still has another 8 years to grow up to present day. I doubt he's going to be kissing her now, this is just the beginning of his realization of his feelings but he wouldn't act on it now. She is also too young and immature to understand. The drama will definitely flash forward to when she's in her twenties, which is a great thing because a high school senior and ajhussi kissing would cause an uproar.

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I completely agree with you. I love watching this show... the bickering/brotherly love between the grim reaper, the goblin, and his nephew (servant). I also like the goblin's life drama etc. I even like the brewing romance between the grim reaper and the resto owner. But... I just can't jump ship with Eun Tak romancing the goblin. I just can't.

I'm usually not one who would care about age gaps between two people... but there's just something about how Eun Tak portrays the character and how childishly she dresses and looks that just makes me feel bad watching the romance that the writers keep forcing between her and the goblin. I just can't take the romance seriously and it just makes me wish for the other parts of the story to be the highlight of the drama. Do they have to have romance between them? Can't they just be two people who happen to be each other's protector/savior/super hero... without needing to force it as romance/ love partners? Sigh.

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This show oddly reminds of this creepy movie --------->

EunGyo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jphHmAVTmmA

This show is an odd combination of You from another star and Sandman comic book series by Neil Gaiman.

This writer isn't exactly known for originality. 'Not really the first time Kim Go-Eun played a jailbait. :)

http://asianwiki.com/Kim_Go-Eun

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I agree. The whole high school-act cutesy pouts are getting to me, especially when I can't stand such actions in real life. Perhaps the show needs to show her as a young student to show how much she's suffering in school, and the whole inheritance wouldn't work well if she was an older character. I do still feel the ick factor quite a bit these two episodes, and look forward much more to the scenes between the male characters. They are hilarious.

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I still get the feeling that she is lying about the sword ... How she knows the details - the ghost gang ??? ... Or something else ... But I think she is lying .. She just wants him to stay and be around him ..

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I think she is lying to stick around him, too!! It'll be more interesting if she is!! I am sure she is the bride later on but I think right now, it's believable that she would make it up to not be homeless. Survival instincts and all lol

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The ghosts never mentioned about the sword. And they can't see it. If they do see it, they are the brides then.

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Good point.

I believed her when she said she saw it, and I will continue to believe until/unless she forgets and gives him a hug. Or a back-hug, that would be awkward.

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Only the bride could see it, aside from Goblin that is. So no one could tell her what the sword's design is.

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She has already embraced him, after he saved her from the kidnappers and pulled her out of the half-car. She jump into his embrace when the car fell over and she was just weak from the whole ordeal.

The sword is not a solid object, it is ethereal.

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I'm with Violet. Only the Goblin's bride can see the sword so no one else wouldn't be able to see it.

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err *would've*

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Speaking of back-hugs, Reaper-man pretty nearly gave him one too, when they were doing their whole "follow me through this door" thing.

I think Shin, and only Shin, can feel the sword. To everyone else, it's not real - or at least not on him. I suspect the physical sword is in the field of buckwheat flowers where it has remained pinned to the ground for 900 years.

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Agree...ghosts cannot see the sword but ET (ironic name) can because she is indeed the bride.

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funny, i've come across a couple of comments suggesting the same thing--that eun tak can't really see the sword. well, she convinced me (and shin) that she can indeed see it, so i'm gonna take her word, but i do notice how she always kinda hesitated to answer questions about the sword whenever shin asks her and she kinda even dodges the questions and changes the subject. idk. at first, i actually did thought that she knew about his sword problem bc the ghosts around her would've told her about the goblin's mission to find his bride to pull out the sword, but i guess not since she's never mentioned it.

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Ofcourse she can see it, otherwise how does she know, first of all, that it's a 'sword' in the first place? Don't tell me all those fairy tales gave her that valuable piece of information.

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ghosts can't see the sword. no one sees it but for goblin n his bride.. n she described the tiger on the sword .. also noting that no source of information (she admitted her research) mentions the sword..

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if she is lying (her straight up answers for not telling from the start do raise plenty of suspicion) then fairy grandmother might be the one behind this..

if that's the case we'll have a pissed off goblin who will make thunder & lighting..

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hmm. granny telling ET about sword.. that is an interesting possibility

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I had the same feeling too. I was surprised that it was confirmed so early in the drama. To be honest, I was hoping she has not seen it yet and she will only see it when she finally falls in love for real.

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I think seeing it is one thing but having to pull it requires another. Love maybe?

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Or maybe he has to forgive Reaper and set things right between them before it happens otherwise what's the use of all these reincarnations from the past.

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I do like where your thoughts are going. It can't be that easy, right? hehe!

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I agree that seeing it and pulling the sword are 2 different things, for once we are too early in the drama, plus I dont think the gods that created Shim into a goblin will make it so easy for him to die once the bride is found. I think she needs to be truly in love for this to happen or maybe both needs to be in love which we are not there yet, goblin is starting to feel love and ET has a crush. Plus someone mentioned in another blog what if the ring might be needed. Another thought what pulling the sword does not make Goblin to die right away but she become mortal and means that he can die like any human and more faster than someone around mid 30s since over 900 years.

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I agree. I'm still not convinced that she sees the sword. I think the ghost gang knows about the sword the same way the reaper knows about it, like a well/common-known myth among the supernaturals. They are knew the goblin needs a bride, not suprising if they knew what for. Also,They need not see it to know its existence. However, if that is the case, why is she pretending she did not know

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Con't
...what will happen if she pulls out the sword? Also, this brings into question her morality as a character. If she's lying, then she's manipulating him, which is cruel.

I hope she genuinely sees it, and KES will show us a flashback of ET and goblin's 1st encounter where she pauses and stares questioningly at his chest briefly before talking to him to make this whole scenario believable...

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I kind of like that lingering feeling of not knowing for sure lol. It makes it interesting.

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I am thinking how ET can distinguish ghosts from human is the key. Although the ghosts doesn't really look any different from humans in the show to me (unless you take into account shabby dressing and pale faces).

Remember how ET first thought he was a ghost? Maybe she saw the swords, realised he's dead, hence thought he was a ghost and berated herself for having made eye contact in an instant when they walked passed each other on the street in the rain. Or I could also guess that since ET is trained at not making eye contact at ghosts, she must have saw something shocking, like the sword, enough to gaze up and make eye contact.

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@Sunshower - I like this perspective!

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SUNSHOWER,

OMG. Your comment made me convince that ET indeed saw the sword. And like the rest is saying. She confirmed it when she saw the tiger.

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sunshower: i think your comment made sense to me. at first, i was actually hesistant if she did see the sword but after reading your perspective, maybe she did see the sword then.

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In the first episode, the queen mentioned by the king as Shin's significant other. She's his sister in the first place. I dont get why people confused about it. ?

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Subs in Dramafever told "kill his significant other (cue the queen) and relatives" maybe that was one source of the mistake. I usually prefer Viki subs than Dramafever tbh. ?

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The subs on drama fever are flashing way to fast. I don't mind subtitles a bit but it is making the dialog hard to follow and I hate that.

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None is not better than the other in the case of Dramafever or viki.The translators,obviously not being native speakers of English,are prone to make errors often.
I'm not a native speaker either,but did some English editing for viki and I know most rely on textbook English and are not familiar with colloquial speech.
They are mostly volunteers,not professionals,so we accept them as they are.

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I also think Grim Reaper is the king. Though the connection seems almost too obvious now that maybe the show will surprise us? :)

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This writer created secret garden which was gender bender.. there is a possibility of them reborn as opposite gender...

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Nice plot twist if Reaper used to be the Queen.... but what could be the sins committed by the Queen that her reincarnation (Reaper) and chicken shop Sunny are cursed by the old Granny?

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I am more interested in the second story line with the grim reaper and sunny. I really want to understand that granny and the price to be paid.

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The Queen could have said or done something that made the King start to doubt the General, the whispering advisor took advantage and it lead to her entire family being killed and her brother becoming a goblin?

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