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Hwarang: Episode 6

Tempers among the new Hwarang members are running high now that they’re all concentrated in the same place, and fistfights are breaking out at the slightest provocation. It’s not just youthful exuberance, as the infighting among the Hwarang could have serious political consequences, and unfortunately, Sun-woo is right in the middle of it. I hope he starts making some friends soon, because it’s looking like he’s really going to need them.

 
EPISODE 6 RECAP

Waking on their first morning in the Hwarang barracks, Su-ho and Ban-ryu find themselves snuggled in the same bed. Su-ho jumps up screaming, and Yeo-wool doesn’t help things by asking if they did more than just sleep. Ban-ryu grabs their swords and challenges Su-ho to a fight.

Yeo-wool quips that he loves to watch fights and fires, and the guys start swinging. They only get a couple of seconds in before Sun-woo’s dice ricochets off Ban-ryu’s head and into Su-ho’s forehead, and Ji-dwi complains about the noise.

Ban-ryu charges and pins Ji-dwi to the wall with an arm to the throat, snarling that he shouldn’t be so cocky. He says that he doesn’t want to be here at all, much less rooming with Su-ho, and begins to press hard on Ji-dwi’s throat. For his part, Su-ho tries to tell Ban-ryu to release Ji-dwi.

Ji-dwi looks genuinely scared by the time Sun-woo steps in and punches Ban-ryu off him. With Ji-dwi out of danger, Sun-woo finally picks up his dice, admitting that he’s the one who threw it.

That turns Ban-ryu’s fury on him instead, and he jumps up and swings at Sun-woo. Sun-woo ducks the blows, flips Ban-ryu, sits on his chest, and raises a fist.

Ban-ryu doesn’t flinch away, and spits that Sun-woo is just a half-breed. He calls him oil trying to mix with water, and Sun-woo slams down his fist. He stops just short of connecting with Ban-ryu’s face, and says that he’s like stagnant water, doing nothing.

Ban-ryu throws him off and grabs his sword, but again Su-ho intervenes, yelling for them to stop. He and Ban-ryu go after each other, but a burly man walks into their room and calmly locks arms with each of them, rendering them immobile. Without a word he leads the two into the hallway, where he easily fends off the other Hwarang.

The boys convene in the courtyard, and learn that if they receive three warnings, they’ll be kicked out of the Hwarang. Further, if anyone tries to escape or break the Hwarang trust, they’ll all get a warning. They’re told that the ranking system doesn’t exist here, nor do servants, so they’re responsible for all their chores.

The first chore is laundry, and the boys fumble with the task in a nearby river. Ji-dwi tosses some of his clothing into Sun-woo’s pile, and Sun-woo retaliates by shaking the water out of his clothes right in Ji-dwi’s face. Next, Ji-dwi and Sun-woo muck stalls, and Ji-dwi goes green at the smell of the manure.

The boys learn that they get a day off only once every ten days, otherwise they’re not to leave the premises. They are also required to shower and eat with their roommates, which doesn’t make our five boys very happy.

Pa Oh sneaks in to help Ji-dwi with the laundry, who actually seems proud that he’s capable at it. Ji-dwi asks if Pa Oh is watching over Ah Ro as he asked, and tells him to leave before he’s caught.

Soo-yeon visits Ah Ro to ask if she’s heard from her brother, but Ah Ro sees right through her, since Soo-yeon hasn’t heard from her brother Su-ho yet, either. Ah Ro sighs that she hasn’t heard from Sun-woo, and Soo-yeon notes that she acts like she sent away a lover. Ah Ro corrects that she just had something she wanted to give to him.

The Hwarang boys are still grouchy at mealtime, since they’re being forced to sit together to eat. Ban-ryu is doubly offended at having to eat with a low-born like Sun-woo, and pours his broth on Sun-woo’s food.

Sun-woo just continues eating, and asks if Ban-ryu is upset that he was beaten by a low-born. Ban-ryu snaps back that he heard his sister tells racy stories, and sneers that he heard the half-breed girl is very good at “storytelling.”

Ban-ryu tells Sun-woo that he’s planning on visiting Ah Ro for some “storytelling” on their off day, and Ji-dwi warns Sun-woo not to let this go, or he’ll be torn to pieces. But Sun-woo stands, throws his spoon down, and walks out.

Merchant Joo-ki witnesses the verbal sparring, and reports to Hwa-gong that he’s worried about the boys’ flaring tempers. Hwa-gong just says they’re all good fighters, and orders Joo-ki to scratch his back.

It’s time for some lessons, and the boys file into a large room, where Ban-ryu makes a point to sit next to Sun-woo. He calls Sun-woo an idiot and says he’s willing to fight whenever Sun-woo starts it, and Sun-woo retorts that he’s purposely not starting a fight.

Sun-woo asks what Ban-ryu’s problem is with him, and Ban-ryu says that he just doesn’t like him. He says that he can’t fight with anyone else because they have powerful families, and adds that Sun-woo’s sister is so pretty that he wants her as a mistress.

That’s the last straw for Sun-woo, who lunges at Ban-ryu, but Ji-dwi gets there first. He drags Ban-ryu up to hit him, but Sun-woo throws the first punch, and Ban-ryu laughs that Sun-woo finally started it.

Su-ho snaps at that and punches Ban-ryu, hard. That starts an all-out brawl, with all the boys participating. Only Yeo-wool declines to fight, and just watches with an amused smile on his face. The noise brings Hwa-gong in time to see Sun-woo sitting on Ban-ryu again, prepared to knock his lights out.

For breaking the trust of the Hwarang and fighting in a sacred learning place, the boys are punished. When asked who started it, Sun-woo bravely takes responsibility, and a few of the boys look at him with newfound respect.

The thing Ah Ro meant to give to Sun-woo turns out to be a pot of ointment for his cut hand, and she can’t look at it without thinking how he told her to rely on him. She thinks about the emotions he elicits, like feeling good when she’s with him, crying over him, and hurting for him, and figures that must be what family feels like.

Soo-yeon argues that family makes your head hurt, not your heart, and tells Ah Ro that what she’s feeling is love. Ah Ro starts to protest that she would feel any such thing for her brother, but Joo-ki rushes into the teahouse looking for her.

He takes her to the Hwarang school, and Ah Ro gapes at the crowd of boys groaning in pain from their fight injuries. She says she’s not a real doctor, but Joo-ki says that he brought her here because he trusts her to be discreet, and offers to write off half her debt to him.

Ah Ro is worried when she doesn’t see Sun-woo anywhere, and nearby, Ban-ryu’s lackeys wonder if he’ll be kicked out for this. Yeo-wool and Han-sung overhear their conversation, and Yeo-wool asks curiously who Han-sung prefers: Sun-woo, or Ban-ryu? Han-sung just snaps that he’s not with Ban-ryu.

Ban-ryu and Su-ho argue over who really started the fight, with Su-ho reminding Ban-ryu that he was purposely goading Sun-woo all day. Ban-ryu says that he most certainly was not provoking Sun-woo, not that Su-ho buys it.

Su-ho says that in his opinion, Ban-ryu is the kind of person who would rather die than join the Hwarang. He asks why Ban-ryu is really here, triggering Ban-ryu’s memory of his adoptive father, Minister Park, savagely beating his biological father. Ban-ryu is visibly shaken, but only offers to fight whenever Su-ho wishes.

Han-sung’s face goes a little green when Ah Ro says his hand needs stitches, and Ah Ro notes that he seems young. He protests that he’s quite mature, though not very convincingly.

He initially refuses the painkiller she offers him, but when she calls him “oraboni,” he lights up adorably and takes the medicine. He asks if she’s Ahn Ji-gong’s daughter, points to the boys all milling around, and quips that she’s the more popular sibling.

Hwa-gong visits Sun-woo, who’s currently locked in a storeroom, and Sun-woo asks if he’d still be here if he’d held in his anger. Hwa-gong chuckles and asks if he’s regretting his actions, but Sun-woo says no, he’s just thinking, and isn’t a thinking Hwarang what Hwa-gong wants?

Hwa-gong looks at him with interest, and asks what he’s thinking about. Sun-woo says he’s thinking that nothing can stop him from protecting those he wants to protect.

Ah Ro worries when Sun-woo never shows up, and when Ji-dwi comes for treatment, he’s offended when she asks about Sun-woo first. She ignores him and asks after Sun-woo again, and Ji-dwi drags her by the wrist to a more private place.

He turns Ah Ro and leans against her back, asking her to let him sleep that way for just a few minutes. He grumbles that she’s not so pretty that he’d attack her in broad daylight, and says it’s not even the first time they’ve slept together.

Ah Ro is offended, but she’s persuaded to let Ji-dwi lean on her. He says softly that she may not be a real doctor, but she’s very healing for him, and he nearly instantly starts to snore. Aww.

Queen Regent Jiso approaches the school on horseback, accompanied only by her attendant and her bodyguard, Hyun Chu. Su-ho is the first to see her and is struck again by her beauty (which she notices), and he leads them to Hwa-gong.

Hwa-gong guesses that this visit is due to his assistant’s reports, since the queen regent is not happy. He points out that nobody is dead or maimed, and says that he has to break the boys down before he can build them up.

Hwa-gong asks if she’s here to check on her Hwarang, or his Hwarang. She asks softly about his, and he tells her about Ji-dwi, claiming to be a distant uncle of his.

In turn, he asks why she wanted Ahn Ji-gong’s son in the Hwarang, and she says bluntly, “He’s my son.” But she means it’s only natural to think of him as her son (as in, all the people are her “children”), and Hwa-gong suggests she go meet with him.

She does, and she lights into Sun-woo for behaving badly, since he’s connected with her. Sun-woo says that he thinks she sent him here to be the weak animal, an example to the others of how they’ll also be broken and tamed. The queen regent doesn’t deny it, and she tells him again why he has to stay in the Hwarang — to pay for his sins, so that someone else (Ji-gong or Ah Ro) doesn’t have to.

Meanwhile, Ah Ro lets Ji-dwi sleep with his head in her lap for a while. The queen regent watches them from a short distance, and when Ji-dwi eventually awakens, he sees his mother there and sighs that he’s been caught.

He tells Ah Ro that Sun-woo is locked in the warehouse for starting the fight, and Ah Ro rushes off to find him. He’s alarmed to see her here, and breaks down the door to let her into his makeshift cell. She frowns at him and says she was invited here, and suddenly notices his injuries.

Sun-woo is beside himself as he tries to get her to leave. Ah Ro wants to stay and nurse his wounds, but Sun-woo is practically frantic to get her out. Ah Ro snaps that he shouldn’t have gotten hurt then, and says that his wounds are her biggest concern.

Sun-woo has no choice but to sit and let Ah Ro clean the cut over his eye, and he looks at her with the saddest expression while she works. She mocks him a little when he cringes from the medicine, saying that she only uses the really painful stuff on her bad patients, which makes Sun-woo laugh.

He denies laughing when Ah Ro says it’s nice to see him smile, and she says he should laugh more often. He murmurs that he doesn’t like her being here because he doesn’t like when other guys look at her, but Ah Ro says it’s way too late for that (having treated almost all of them outside). Sun-woo grumbles that she has no fear, and she says it’s because he’s here to protect her.

As they leave the Hwarang grounds, Joo-ki asks why Ah Ro looks so strange when she was able to find her brother as she wanted. She says she’s not sure, and looks surprised when Joo-ki asks if Sun-woo is really her brother.

Sun-woo looks at the pot of ointment Ah Ro left behind, and thinks about her applying it to his cut eye earlier. She’d said it was strange that the last few days felt longer than the ten years she went without seeing him, adding that she seems to be thinking of him more now.

Queen Regent Jiso speaks with Hwa-gong in a more formal setting, and asks how he could say he wants the boys to fight, then threaten to kick one out for fighting. She’s got a point. Hwa-gong chuckles that he thought she wanted his help planning the new country, and asks if she forgot that she gave him authority over the Hwarang.

The queen regent assures him that he’s still in charge, but warns that if his discipline doesn’t work, she’ll withdraw that authority.

Hwa-gong leaves laughing, and runs straight into Minister Park and his entourage. Minister Park guesses that Hwa-gong was meeting with the queen regent, and says that a woman’s mind is difficult to understand.

He invites Hwa-gong to his home, and makes a point to mention his adoptive son, Ban-ryu. Hwa-gong knows it’s a ploy to get into his good graces to push Ban-ryu forward, so he cheerfully declines.

He visits Sun-woo instead to tell him that he’s not being kicked out yet. Instead, he plans to slowly throttle him, then kick him out. But, he advises Sun-woo to do well on the first exam, otherwise it will reflect badly on Hwa-gong.

The boys reconvene for their first lesson, and Hwa-gong shows them the character for “water.” He asks if water is weak or strong, and Su-ho responds that it’s strong, since it beats fire. Ban-ryu argues that water goes around any obstacles, which means it’s weak. Ji-dwi speaks up, saying that water is kind — it brings life, and flows even to the lowest places.

Hwa-gong singles out Sun-woo, asking what he thinks. Sun-woo says that water is exhausted, since it produces things like fish and gold until it dries up.

Hwa-gong reveals the next character, the character for “king.” He says that their test is to debate what water means to a king, and that he expects them to reference a Chinese philosophical text for it.

Joo-ki tells Ah Ro about the test, and she despairs that Sun-woo will be able to pass. She wonders what she should do while screaming in Joo-ki’s face, ha.

As Ji-gong shops for medicinal herbs, he’s approached by a man in a wide hat. The man calls Ji-gong by name, and raises his hat to reveal that he’s Sun-woo’s first adoptive father, Woo-reuk. The men go to Ji-gong’s home to talk, where Woo-reuk says that Ji-gong should have left Sun-woo to live his own life.

He’s angry that Sun-woo was forced to join the Hwarang, and scoffs when Ji-gong says it’s just his fate. Woo-reuk thinks that Ji-gong is using Sun-woo to get revenge for his real son’s death, and says that Sun-woo shouldn’t be revealed to the world this way.

He angrily accuses Ji-gong of ruining Sun-woo’s true fate, and Ji-gong frowns as he asks who Sun-woo really is. Woo-reuk just walks out, leaving Ji-gong with unanswered questions.

Sun-woo does his best to read the complicated characters, but he’s still at “the black is the letters and the white is the background.” Oh dear. He realizes that Ah Ro must be back at the Hwarang barracks by the other boys’ weird behavior, and goes to find her.

He yells at her for coming here again and being seen by all those dirty-minded guys, but she just says he can protect her. She gets right in his face and asks how he intends to pass this test when he can barely read a few letters, and offers to teach him.

Sun-woo doesn’t like it, since it means she’ll have to come to Hwarang often, but he can’t deny that he needs her help. This time, he insists on her guiding his hand, claiming it will be faster. Yeah, right. He sneaks cute little glances at Ah Ro as they work late into the night.

They make a regular thing of it, and Sun-woo is coming along nicely. Ah Ro praises him for being a fast learner and nudges him playfully, making him paint a stripe across his papers. He goes after her face with his brush pen, and ends up painting his own face before he manages to draw a unibrow and several moles on Ah Ro, hee.

They’re having so much fun that they don’t notice Ji-dwi watching them from around the corner. Ji-dwi sits alone later and thinks about a conversation he had with his mother recently, when he’d told her that she can’t be both his mother and his queen.

Queen Regent Jiso had said that without her backing him up, nobody will know he’s the king. But she’d softened and said that as a mother, she had no intention of throwing him away.

Ji-dwi finds Ah Ro later and pushes back her sleeve to note that his promissory note is still inked on her arm. He asks when she intends to repay her debt to him, and says she can pay it now.

Next thing you know, he’s sitting in on Sun-woo’s and Ah Ro’s study dates. So awkward. Sun-woo is particularly cranky about it and starts a passive-aggressive war with their brushes, which Ji-dwi is more than happy to participate in.

One night, Ah Ro sneaks up behind Sun-woo and pokes him in the face, only to discover to her horror that it’s actually Ji-dwi. She recoils, explaining that she thought he was her brother, and Ji-dwi snarls at her to stop calling him “oraboni.”

Ah Ro draws while Ji-dwi studies, and she shows him how the symbol for “butterfly” itself looks like a butterfly. Ji-dwi is mesmerized by the lifelike drawing, seeing it come to life and fly right off the page in his mind. He begs her for one more, and requests she do one for the word “king.”

Ah Ro draws a tree with a large mother bird in the branches and a baby bird on the ground. Ah Ro says this is how she pictures the queen regent and the king — she’s not willing to come down, so he has to learn to fly on his own. She says she feels bad for the king who’s forced to live in hiding, like a young bird fallen from the nest.

Moved, Ji-dwi says that there’s a life that should never have been born, otherwise he wouldn’t have had to fall from the nest. Ah Ro defends the sad, faceless king, and Ji-dwi surges to his feet and asks how she could dare to call the king sad.

He advances on Ah Ro, asking who she is to shake him this way. Ah Ro is frightened and asks why he’s suddenly so upset, but Ji-dwi doesn’t seem to hear her, and asks as a tear rolls down his face, “Who are you to make me insignificant?”

Ah Ro warns Ji-dwi that her brother won’t like the way he’s acting, and he grabs her shoulders and says again not to call Sun-woo “oraboni.” She says the word again, looking for Sun-woo, and Ji-dwi slams his mouth down on hers in an angry kiss.

Outside the door, Sun-woo finally arrives, unaware of what’s happening in the next room.

 
COMMENTS

If I thought Ji-dwi was too forceful with Ah Ro before, I’m definitely not happy with him now. Forced kisses aren’t sexy or romantic, and they’re certainly not going to get a girl to like you when she’s repeatedly shown that not only is she not interested in that way, she actively dislikes you. Just the fact that he’s holding his rescue of her over her head, as if she owes him something, makes me mad at him. And I’m disappointed too, because his reasoning for having feelings for her could be so gentle and sweet (that she relaxes him enough to let him sleep), and yet when he’s awake, Ji-dwi just pushes Ah Ro around like her wishes don’t matter. Especially when he objected to the guy who treated her the exact same way before, so why doesn’t Ji-dwi see that while his intentions are different, he’s pretty much treating Ah Ro the exact same way? I really want to like him, but every time he manhandles Ah Ro, it makes me like Sun-woo for her that much more.

I appreciated getting to see more of the boys’ interactions, particularly between Su-ho and Ban-ryu. Su-ho surprised me by being more insightful than I gave him credit for (when he noted that Ban-ryu must have been forced to join the Hwarang), and that’s why Ban-ryu’s been in such a nasty mood, even for him. It’s good to see that Su-ho does have a serious side, and that he does genuinely seem to like Sun-woo, as he took up for him nearly every time Ban-ryu poked at him. I’m looking forward to Sun-woo and Su-ho becoming friends, mostly just because Su-ho’s sunny disposition and easy sense of humor remind me of Mak Mun, and Sun-woo could use another friend like that. Though I am worried about his attraction to the queen regent and the problems that could arise — I don’t think she would actually consider him romantically, but she absolutely would use his feelings for her to manipulate him.

It’s becoming more obvious to me that Ban-ryu’s constant bad attitude isn’t really about aggression, but fear. He must be terrified, knowing that his father has kowtowed to a tyrant (Minister Park) and that they’re plotting to overthrow the queen regent and put him on the throne. There’s no way Minister Park will allow Ban-ryu to actually rule, so his whole life plan is to be a pawn for more powerful men. That’s got to be terrifying, and it’s no wonder to me that he’s angry and lashing out, and as he says, Sun-woo makes the most convenient target. But the fact that Su-ho seems to care about him, even if just the tiny bit required to wonder why he’s in the Hwarang when it’s not his style, gives me hope. What Ban-ryu needs is a true friend, not just those toadies who say what he wants to hear.

I feel so bad for Sun-woo, who’s finding himself even more isolated in the Hwarang than ever. It’s hard to watch him being picked on by Ban-ryu, but I was still impressed that he didn’t let go of his iron grip on his moral compass, even when he was faced with imprisonment and being kicked out of the Hwarang. And he’s not as alone as he thinks — if he can learn to trust just a little, I think he’d find that many of the other boys — Su-ho, Yeo-wool, and Han-sung in particular — would be willing to be friends. And aside from the romance aspect, I liked seeing him and Ah Ro becoming friends, because he has such capacity for loyalty and for caring for others, and he needed somewhere to put it after losing Mak Mun.

I’m intrigued after the discussion between Woo-reuk and Ji-gong — I’ve suspected that Sun-woo wasn’t just abandoned but actually in hiding, and that Woo-reuk is his appointed protector. It seems as though that suspicion could be right, and I know there are a lot of theories floating around regarding Sun-woo’s true identity. I have no idea what’s up with Sun-woo, but I’m with the rest of you — something is up, and I can’t wait to find out what.

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I absolutely loved V's part when he tried to act all cool and manly in front of Ah Ro. His deep voice is dreamy...He was just too cute!

I am totally intrigued by Su-ho's crush on the queen. I can definitely see how he would like her, for him she is this regal mysterious woman. Little does he know of her true personality and how ruthless she can be with all her machinations. Someone else commented on how he could totally be used as a puppet by her if she ever finds out about his crush. She could totally play him like a fiddle.

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What is the most interesting part about Su-hu's crush is may be its historical accuracy ! I remember my Korean teacher saying that the Hwarang system was also used as a kind of " basket" where "queens" during Shilla picked some of them as, lets put it nicely, sexual partners. I dont know about the kings, though I know that there were documented occurences of homosexual relationship between hwarang members too.

Well Shilla was way more " chill" than the Joseon era.

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That's true but not this queen. The Hwarang was established by King Jinheung himself when he was much older. She was probably dead or very very old by then.

Your teacher was probably referring to Queen Jinseong. The last of the 3 queens of Shilla.

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Thank you for clarifying that! My teacher was very vague about who it was exactly ^^

I thought that may be it concerned Queen Seon Dok too, it is because of QSD drama, which will always be the ultimate hwarang drama for me, that I was brought here^^

Queens and Hwarangs, sigh....

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The first two queens of Shilla, Seon Deok and Jindeok did their best with much opposition from the male nobles in that era. The bone rank system allowed them to rule when there were no male heirs left in the royal family.

Queen Jinseong's male siblings died without an heir so she basically had no choice but take the throne.
I think she was unprepared and wasn't able to handle the responsibilities that comes with being a ruler.
Maybe she did party with the young Hwarangs if they still existed that far lol.

This part of history is questionable. It depends on who wrote and interpret it. It's hard to trust confucian scholars when it comes to the era of Buddhism.

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This drama actually open all types of love and ships,
even master hwarang and joo ki has a good companionship and I feel that it's refreshing to see younger men fall for the older woman,
or have yeowol talk about being called pretty

It's probably not for the long run or real couple but I can see it happen and wait,
now why did I have this weird thought that suhoo will give his life for the queen?

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My mind never went that dark as to where he would willingly give his life for her...let's hope it's not true, but then I kinda want it to be true cuz boy they could make his death epic and tearjerking. I am interested in how his crush will manifest and how they will use it in the story. I love that he, as a younger man, likes her regardless of age.

And I am interested in Yeowol too, is he just a man with affectations, or will they portray him as gay? I like how he just likes to stir things up and watch from afar, no need to dirty his hands. Hahaha. His character kinda reminds me of Song Joong-ki's character in Sungkyunkwan Scandal.

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I think that he will be portrayed as gay or at least "gayish"(?) based on episode 0.

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He definitely gives off a mild whiff of Song Joong-ki's delightfully flamboyant portrayal of 'Yeorim', but it few truly match up to him.

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The oddest thought just came to me. Imagine if Ji sung had a cameo in Hwarang going "ORABEONI!!!!" (yonah's personality from Kill me heal me".

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I died. That image is hilarious!

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Omg! Hahaha, that would be gold.

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LoL...You made my day?

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Because all good looking guys are her orabeoni.

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My reaction to the end of ep 6: "Well that escalated quickly."

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mine : "ooh boy, here it is"

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Mine is O_O

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I actually gasped, really loud, and then was embarrassed for myself ?

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Mine was: "So does Ji Dwi get the girl and Sun Woo the kingdom?" :P

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Ji dwi will surely get the girl. It is always the first kisser that will end up with the girl.:D pls. I dont wanna fell to second lead syndrome again.
And also I'm thinking what if Sunwoo will die at the end? And will sacrifice himself for the King?

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Maybe not in case of Go Ara

Reply 1994.. chilbongie and his drunk (very well aware) kiss

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Ji Dwi is the second lead. Sun Woo is the main lead. No one's dying(I hope) and first kisses don't mean anything. I've seen dramas where the people who first kiss in the series end up with other people. The producer might be veering from cliche scenes.

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Same! I can't believe the second lead got to kiss the girl, it's so rare!

"If I thought Ji-dwi was too forceful with Ah Ro before, I’m definitely not happy with him now. Forced kisses aren’t sexy or romantic, and they’re certainly not going to get a girl to like you when she’s repeatedly shown that not only is she not interested in that way, she actively dislikes you."

^This is exactly what I have been thinking for the past two episodes. And which is why I will continue shipping her with Sun Woo.

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It's not rare, if you not forgot with what happen to Chilbong :""
He got to kiss Najung first even tho she ended up with Trash :""

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lol it's kinda funny that the female character that got kissed by the 2nd lead in both were Go Ara XD

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ahh my reply feels, it ain't over till it's over
let just wait but ara usually don't change her minds

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Most recent was jealousy incarnate....

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I so want Ah Ro and Sam Maek Jong to get together. Absolutely no chemistry between Seon Woo and Ah Ro. I love the King, I haven't liked a character this much since Healer. I didn't find that kiss forceful or violent. She wasn't pushing at him or twisting away. She is acting shocked and confused, not frightened. It has given me a tiny spark of hope that they will end up together otherwise I am going to be really really disappointed with the ending. Anyway, loving this series so far, everyone doing a really good job. Hope Ban Ryo gets his girl as well...

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Same here!!!! I also want Sammekjong to get the girl he wants!!!!!!! To be honest, I really really luv his character way more than I luv Sun Woo!!!

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He was forceful the moment he cornered her and placed her hands roughly on her shoulders. She was CLEARLY frightened - her shoulders were hunched and she was warning him not to treat her like this or her brother would get angry. I don't know about you, but that screams fear to me. She doesn't have to push him or twist away for it to be a breach of consent. And frankly, we haven't even seen the next episode yet so how do we know she won't do the actions you mentioned?

Regarding the chemistry - to each his own. I was also on the Ah Ro x Sam Maek Jong ship initially and really wanted to love his character but he got pushier toward her as the episodes progressed, allowing the sweetness of the Sun Woo x Ah Ro relationship dynamic to shine.

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I sincerely hope Ban-ryu finds a friend by the end of the show. Looking into his eyes you can see someone who has put up with shit for so long that they're on the verge of breaking down

I ABSOLUETLY LOVE YEO-WOOL OMGG!! HE'S STARTS DRAMA AND SITS BACK WHILE EVERYONE ELSE FIGHTS

Also I wish they'd speed the plot up a bit, it doesn't seem like much is happening

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I feel like Yeo Wool is us watching the drama ~ when he was fanning himself while watching them fight I felt very akin to him (he is our sageuk avatar!)

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I totally agree the moment i saw him im like he's gonna be one of my faves because i think i have a personality like his passively watching others but at the same time learning info and what not but i like the way he acts i think he's trying to invoporate feminine gestures into his character which makes him that much more beautiful.

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The alcohol really separated royalty from the rest of the bones.
Both YW and JD have that fine regal elegance.

I wonder how JD got the bed? I bet they recognised each other and YW just said 'take the bed cousin'

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yessssss that is just killing me, why did YW surrender the center bed, how did that go down? LOLOL There's has to be a story there, right?

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Oh now that you mentioned it, maybe Dwi Ji recognized him, remember he looked shocked to see him? Hahaa that's just a crazy idea I have.

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i feel bad for ban ryu, from the little we saw of his family, its easy to assume that he grew up in a abusive home, deprived of affection and healthy relationships. that scene when he was talking to suho and he had the flashback, his face after remembering his father getting beat killed me. he is suppressing everything. well he is getting his own love line so im sure that will help him for the better and also hopefully contribute to him opening up to the hwarang boys as well or get more friendlier with them.

lol yeo wool, that drama stirrer, his hilarious.

i like the pace its going, compared to other dramas i feel like the plot is moving well, its focused on the relationships/dynamic though i think the political stuff will kick into gear more in the next eps

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From the trailer, ban ryu will have a romance with su ho's sister.. and both of them will fighting forever hahhahaha

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LOL I really love Yeo-wool's character. He's just there like "Imma spectate while you guys rip each other apart again"

I do hope we see some friendships soon because everyone fighting 24/7 is getting a bit repetitive and I'm not quite sure how all of the tasks they're doing right now is doing anything to help that.

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I think the task is to make them realised that they are all the same person, after all,
we've seen them gasping when there's no bone-rank system and how they have divided opinion on it,

when they are given the same task, they can realise that just being a noble born doesn't make them instantly a better person than other,

hwa rang master wants to turn them upside down and stripped them from their parents power since they know served king jinheung but they still act like a brat and easily engage in confrontation,
so even if the method is so abrupt, I think that boy need it,

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Ji-dwi is getting on my nerves and not even park hyungsik's puppy face can save it. he's always forcing his presence with ah-ro when she doesn't care at all for him (well, she actually dislikes him as LollyPip mentioned. she calls him master pervert ffs) and that kiss was a terrible ending to a really good episode.

the good points were seeing more from the boys (I'm so intrigued by V's character. he has a backstory that we only got a glimpse of and I'm curious to see how he stands inside all the mess) and I liked how the romance is developing. some people might think it's too fast, but it's so real (?) to me. I can totally understand ah-ro inner conflict to accept the man she's so attracted to as her blood brother that she didn't see for 10 years, but I hope the lie doesn't stand for too long tbh (although I'm not too optimistic about this) so they can freely like each other (with all their cute awkwardness).

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I think the attraction between ahro and sunwoo is clear because they said it,
they already have moments when they are being honest about what they feel about each other, even when they didn't take is further
"don't get hurt"
"I am worry about you"
"you are precious to me"
"I am safe if you are here"
"I think about you"

they literally said all those warm words to each other and to us in inner words so we can see that it presents and they feel something instead of just happy face or bickering,

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The whole 'I'm having inappropriate feelings for my brother' thing is squicking me the hell out. Cause Sun Woo knows, and we know, but Ah Ro doesn't, and that is just...ew. So much ewwww.

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I don't think it can be called 'inappropriate feelings' yet. She has been aware, since their first meeting (when ah-ro was drunk) that he was a handsome guy. She has not really adjusted to thinking of him as her brother and right now he is this white knight character in her life who protects her and cares for her and she is beginning to care for him. But not in a sibling manner, which is what ah-ro doesn't realize yet. I really hope she will soon figure out the truth (I have my hopes pinned on joo-ki on this to slip out that sun-woo was showing around the necklace for his friend) and the conversation in this episode was definite hint that ah-ro might figure this out soon. Or it might just be my wishful thinking. Hopefully it will happen this coming week, or at least before they begin to fall for each other in real.

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I agree with you. I prefer Ji Dwi caring but domineering courtship with Ah Ro over that incest thing she has going on with her brother. That's just wrong. Even though I know Sun Woo is not her real brother the fact that she believes that they brother and sister makes all their flirting gross. Even if she learns the truth about him later their romance is ruined for me because I will always be reminded of the fact that she thought he was her br

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I agree and it sucks because I love how Park Hyung-shik is playing the character most of the time. I really hope they don't turn him into this kind of second lead. I came here for bromance!

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I'm curiously not interested in Ahro's romance with either of them. I feel like the romance scenes drag with both guys. Maybe it's just me. I love all the bromance stuff, though.

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No, I'm right there with you. I'm not interested in the romance either. I skipped all of Ah Ro and Sun Woo's scenes in episode 6 and just watched the rest of the show. It's just not as gripping this time. The relationships between the boys and Hwa-Gong and Joo Ki are much more entertaining.

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Me neither!!!!!! I really love all the bromance scenes and this romance thingy is gonna drive Sun Woo and Ji Dwi father apart!!! And I'm worried about Su Ho too!! That witch queen will manipulate him to no end if she gets an inkling about his crush!!! I really really hope nothing will happen to him!!!! I wanna see all 5 room mates BR, SH,YW,SW & JD becoming best buddies!!!

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Ditto, I don't give a hoot about the romance, I even could live without it! Bromance is all I want, I don't want the loveline to ruin everything...it was the same with Gaksital, Kang-To/Shunji's frenemy relationship was way more interesting than the main loveline. I agree with shinayame, I feel no spark between them, it's flat, their scenes don't give me butterflies and that's a very bad sign imho.

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Are they taking the Reply 1988 route by any chance? ............I wonder if that will be good or bad?

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I would like to ask non BTS fans, what do you think about V's acting? Honestly,I am a bit biased and it would be cool to read non fan's take on his acting.

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Good thing is that I don't think that time spent on his scene could be used better. Plus, I really liked him in the scene where boys were forced to sign for joining Hwarang-it gave his character some depth
In this drama writing is good for secondary characters and it is also a little early to tell, but till this moment I don't think anyone would have complains with his acting

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We still haven't seen enough of him, but so far I am struck by a sort of sadness the character has. He seems absent-minded but really notices a lot of things. I'd say V is doing well.

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is it the half-bone/hansung?
I think he is okay, he doesn't have many scene and each scene is good, it also cute and we can see where his place gonna be in the drama, it seems like he is needed for the long run

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hansung is true bone though.... his brotger is the half bone.... i remember in past episode his brother told him that he really wanted to join hwarang but unable to because he is half bone but hansung is the last true bone of their family.... i think all the boys have interesting back story so far....

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I absolutely ADORE him. He's not a deep character unlike the others (at least not yet) but I've imprinted on him since he looked up at the sun. So cute and endearing! He looks like he could fall off a cliff chasing butterflies that I kinda want to put a leash on him and protect him as my puppy. Maybe that's just how he is IRL, and I guess the role isn't complicated but I love him in it.

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From what I read, one of the casting director's daughters is a huge BTS fan and V/Taehyung was suggested by the daughter. He auditioned and did fairly well how the director said to watch out for his acting in episodes 17/18 - apparently he nailed it.

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As a ARMY, i must say that the way you described the character is exactly how he is in real life! ?

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I think he is doing fairly well with the few scenes he has - his acting has not been cringeworthy or anything, and I really enjoyed his scene with Go Ara where he tried to act tough and it was very cute :)

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I'm a Kpop fan myself,an IGOT7 and I've seen a lot of idols who turned into actors and I think V is going on that lane. He surprised me on this drama. :)

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Not a BTS fan but I think he is cute and as his character suits him really well he is doing fine, tho I didn't paid attention to him till ep 6 anyways

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Can this drama at least not make Sun Woo real king? I would be happy if he was simply abonded boy without any huge backstory, I like him as he is, but I know that any K-drama would never give up on angsy storyline.
On another note, I am really mad at Ji Dwi, girl was clearly scared and he still went for a kiss. She also never indicated she likes him, even when he used her as a pillow her first idea was that she needs to be somewhere else.
After this episode I realised how much I like Ahro, she is such a sweet, honest and nice person, always solving her problems by herself, not having someone to lean on, I guess I simply dislike that someone is giving her a hard time.

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I'm wondering if he's actually a child between current adopted dad and Queen. That whole scene of her trying to get him to run away with her that time might have resulted in such.

Still, I wonder if his (non seen as yet) parents were killed off by the Queen, and thus that's why the former adopted dad was trying to keep him as far away as possible from the palace life.

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Wow, I like second version-Queen doesn't seem to care about her people's life, so she could easly kill Sun-Woo's real parents. Plus, it would give show needed Angst without making it as some sort of fantastic-coincidence

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When I checked Dramawiki for characters, they are some characters that doesn't make appearance yet which are The Queen's Brother and The Queen's Daughter a.k.a Sammaekjong half sister (acted by Son Ye Jin) .. interesting right? ehehehe~
I think Sun Woo is either the Queen's nephew or her illegitimate child with Ahn Ji... ohhohhohho

and apparently some said King Jinheung ended up with his half sister, idk if this true or not.. huhhu

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**not Son Ye Jin but Seo Ye Ji .. OTL

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I watch the special ep before and I remember they said something about Hyung Shik is the king,
even with the current story line,
I think Ji Dwi is fit to be the king even if he is not the real king,
he think about the city, his mom

sunwoo is too carefree,
he is more like general to people and ji dwi feels to have the leadership, he just still didn't pick any side on the story,

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Yes, I love Sun-Woo but he isn't educated, isn't foresighted and would always be rightous, he is simply not cut to be politician.
Plus, I don't want Sun Woo to know that person who indirectly killed his best friend is his mother

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Even though he's not educated, but by Ah Ro's words he's a quick learner. He's able to learned the characters and writing in such a short time, obvious sign of possible royal genes and his thought on the word water was actually quite nice and intelligently well said. Most definitely shouldn't underestimate the nobody.

With that being say I, too, don't want him to be the "real" king, or so to say. I like him being the low-being that potentially will out do all these True-boned sons of royal. He doesn't have to be the king to be the leader. The drama is about the Hwarang anyways. But the possibility is slim given that his caretaker has come to seek him and has given us a hit of his background being some kind of royal subject. Sigh.

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Sun Woo is illiterate but not stupid. He's was living the simple life before.

His actions have shown him to be cool headed. His answer to the water question had the most depth. He is a natural leader. True, he is not cunning as yet but he is not the peasant boy we saw in ep 1. Give him some time and he will suprise us.

Contrast is BR only concerned with power, who has no leadership skills, even his natural allies despise him. He couldn't see the opportunity of the hwarang on his own and had to be forced - no foresight at all.

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My theory is that Sun Woo is the son of the former king, Ji Dwi's uncle. The one ruling before the palace siege. So that makes him the rightful heir to the throne and as well as Ji Dwi's cousin.

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That would make quite the sense even more when his Adoptive Father clearly fears his identity and what happenes if he finds his own place and name...More than sure his background will be something big for him to act like that...

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I think that's it, too.

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If Sun Woo is unknowingly a royal blood in hiding, he must have been hidden when he was very young as he has been living without money and education unlike Ji Dwi. Without the support of a powerful faction it doesn't seem to matter who has the better claim to be rightful heir.

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that would make alot of sense if Sunwoo is not the queens hidden child from the doctor.The funny thing is why Sunwoo adopted father seek the doctor?however if he is the doctors son to the queen he will be a half brother.The thought of her knowing he is his brother now makes me cringe that she is accepting that she is inlove with him. Sunwoo a hidden rightful king is not my kind of tea for these drama story I also wanted him to just be an ordinary man who become somebody in the end. The king is great for me he exudes the amazing king he will become.So I wanted him to be the king up to the end.I also wanted to Ara to feel something for the king. I don't know why but I find them two together really nice to watched as lovers than Sunwoo.

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I am not making excuses for JiDwi's boorish behavior but as the Crown Prince (King) doubt he has ever been denied anything in his life so he would not see his actions as aggressive or hurtful to Ahro.

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I agree. I don't like what he did to Ah Ro but maybe he did it because she touched on a raw spot and he knew she was right. I guess he was feeling angry, ashamed, and moved that someone understood him? Still not an excuse to do what he did, but he wouldn't have known what to do otherwise. Redeem yourself, Dwi Ji!!

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Not sure why I am the only one who apparently didn't mind the kissing scene. I am assuming in the time (500's) in Korea, or actually anywhere in the world, a woman who initiated or invited a kiss would have been considered something of a tramp. I don't think she was acting frightened, she appeared confused at his emotion. And I personally know lots of relationships that started out as love/hate. I don't get the feeling that she dislikes him at all. Maybe wishful thinking on my end, but it seems like the bickering of lovers or people who are attracted to each other but are fighting it. Anyway, hoping Ah Ro and Sam Maek Jong end up together. Just do not feel Ah Ro and Seon Woo at all.

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I agree with what you said. Finally someone said it! :0

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I heard Sun Woo might be a half-brother of Han Sung? (Hence of the Seok clan) Got it from this subbed vid: https://youtu.be/TZk0pe8tD64
I don't know whether the subs are accurate though.

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Our time stamps would have been closer to a simul-post if my cat didn't climb in my lap.

I hadn't seen that video yet, so I wonder if the sub is accurate as well.

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The Seok clan ruled Shilla before the Kims took over. It is highly possible that he is from that royal linage.

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Ah. I had forgotten there was the different family kings dance involved. Thank you for the reminder.

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This poor queen. She is like the royal prostitute with all these half breed children and ex-lover/husband theories lol.

Please let him be from a different royal linage and some other royal's child.

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yikes, this video is adorable!

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I think it actually meant that Sun Woo was a half-breed hyung that he wants to get close to

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I don't think the 'half-brother' means half-brother with Hansung..
The caps said '반쪽형'. 반쪽(half-bone), 형(brother). So it's more like 'half-bone hyung' or 'half-bone brother'. Brother as in not in the family.

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I think the episode highlight what they want to change in Silla and starts it with Hwarang,
the bone-rank system ,
We've seen ban ryu used it as insult to other,
sunwoo who didn't actually care because he never felt it,
han sung who is deeply bother by it because he experience it 1st hand,
yeo wol who actually know what happening in the social dynamic,
suhoo who apparently not a jerk one in the system,
and also the meaning of king's for ji dwi,

They are in learning stage and it's fun to see them actually tease each other in a way that is not physically harming but mentally damaging, it's hurt and make you angry and the character show it,
again it feels so alive for me, they all have emotion and the clearly display it, even with punch and kicking,
come on, I think we all agree that ban ryu deserves all of that punch,
sometimes drama hero tends to be the one who is preserve, even with very bad insult but we have sunwoo who already aware of what he should and shouldn't care about.
That makes him so endearing and believable as a young, outsider warrior.
It's like the drama doesn't afraid of confrontation and fight between the characters, many drama usually play it safe and make them right in a way but this drama take all the insult and make them pay.

The romance took a good development for sunwoo and ahro, they looked really comfortable together and ji dwi is affected by ahro when he admire her.
In the romance, Ahro really show that she is afraid with ji dwi but she is willing to try,
so I hope ji dwi can see that side of her, can see that she always have a hard time with him but always talks to him,
I have this weird feeling that Ji Dwi actually have chance,
(or this is my Reply 1994 feeling talked since we have kinda familiar situation and go ara as the centre lady)

Ji dwi is the precious and always get the highest attention to the people he knew, that's why ahro behaviour that didn't prioritise him gets on his nerves.
She can be a good way for him to realised that not all people can do what you want but that doesn't mean they hate you completely.

~~~~ and the preview looks promising for the romance,

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aah space, I am sorry guys m_m

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Yeah, that Reply feeling... Everything about Ah Ro-Sun Woo screams OTP now, but the king (Ji Dwi for now) might have a change because: he got the first kiss. I was shocked. Now I'm trying to remember dramas where second lead got the girl, though it will take a lot of hard work for me to be convinced that Ji Dwi actually deserves the girl...

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in Reply, Ara is close with his "brother" and the new guy who get 1st kiss also comes, hard battle cause it can be both,

for the chance, sunwoo x ahro coule be a real sibling or half sibling (I can see their interaction change),
but it's a long road for Ji Dwi but the Kdrama plot is like whispering to me
"I think Ji Dwi got a chance"

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I am really enjoying this show, but I have to say if the main purpose of Hwarang is to change the "bone rank" system, then why did they only invite the sons of nobility to be Hwarang? The invite should've went out to all able bodied men, who meet the criteria they are looking for. However just be limiting the invites to only "true bones" makes the purpose of Hwarang remain vague to me. I think their main purpose is to protect the kingdom and be loyal to the king?

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yeah hwarang for the queen is for protecting the kings but in this learning process,
I think the Hwa Rang master and vice want to try to change the minds of the noble (at least in this drama because the document about hwarang original beginning is still can't be found),
they educated the one who has power since they are the future generation and you just can't change all system in one go,

that's why the one who got invited is them, because they have influence and the one that probably will be official for the kingdom in the long run.
If they realised that it brings harm then the other people who are not in the bone-rank will not mind,

The rule is there are no ranks inside them but we see how the rank still play very well in their social dynamic, even in the noble, the lower is the servant of the higher one just because their blood,

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Good explanation

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The main purpose of the Hwarang was not to change the bone rank system but to make their weak country stronger.
Through its establishment they separate themselves further from the lower ranks.
At least they did something good for their country. They served their king and went to war to protect and strengthen their country instead of exempting themselves from any kind of military duties like the Joseon yangbans.

In this drama, I think the queen's main purpose was to strengthen the monarch's power probably before her son took the throne. She knows she can't rule as regent for much longer.

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yeah I agree,
I think the reforming bone system that I see is because in the drama, they have rule to remove the practice in hwarang and it get discussed by other character,
we see them picking side just after they know suho and banryu is on the same room,
we see the injured talk when some of them complain that true bone will always right,
we have yeo wol who is asking hansung side
and we have see how the other people that didn't get accepted in hwarang doesn't like the system and the fault in the system also highlighted in the 1st episode.

Historically it's not but the drama social dynamic seems to be in that direction, especially if sunwoo get recognition and then they exposes him as commoner and not noble (assume that his back story is not revealed or he is not noble born)

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I think she's taking the other the sons of the nobles as "hostages". The Queen knows that there are those who want to overthrow her and so by gaining control of the opposition's sons, having their lives controlled by her, she gains power over them. She's trying to forge a united group to strengthen and protect the throne.

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I really love the way this drama let its characters behave like real people. There are them who got along fairly well, the neutral one, the one who always stirring problem, and also others who will always clash with each other. It lets boys being boys, who sometimes fight and brawl, who is smart but sometimes turn short-tempered, but eventually understand each other in their very own way. Their relationship feels very organoc and I love it.

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The OTP is sssooooo ccuuttteee that everytime they are together, i cant help but smile like a doofus! I love that Aro and Sun Woo are so in-sync with their feelings and consideration of each other; i like that Aro is never cowed around Sun Woo while he's firm and understanding with her. Also, it is absolutely refreshing to see a heroine that i can connect with, that though she's weak in strength, she fights with everything she's got. She's also smart and savvy and downright lovable.

That scene where he found out she was still in the Hwarang premise was hilarious! And slightly thrilling lol

I cant wait to see the next episode!! Monday, please come quick!!!

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yeah I like Ahro too,
I think what I like is that she is honest (don't jinx it sans)
She said what she needs to say and laid back,
she has her job and observant,
I mean she doesn't really complain, she just stating that she is not that good at something,
and she has a life outside of the romance,
even with a little scene, we know that she helps people in the house, her service usually used by the bar owner, she can sew, know a bit of medicine, draw really well, know how to write, ride horse and she has compassion.
It wasn't so big and unique but she did what she can and she is not a genius.

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I agree, I really like Ah Ro, she is a sweet and average girl who tries her best. I like that her character has a lot of heart.

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"she has a life outside the romance"

Amen, sister ✋?

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Agree when you said And she has a life outside the romance Even though she used to be highborn (or partially), she doesnt put on airs and does the job that's in front of her. She's good with people and takes a firm stance when needed without going overboard. I hope she doesn't turn into a hapless damsel later on in the drama coz i love her as she is now and hopes she maintains that smart and spunk (yes, please don't jinx it!)

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I really really hope that she is not highborn, I just hope that she remains a half-breed as she is now. I dislike dramas that make the heroine (specifically in historical dramas) always have to be highborn. I like this show, because for once we have a commoner heroine (an actual commoner).

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Oh God, i can't get enough of this drama every time the ep ends i become curious for what comes next.

I was rooting for Ji Dwi and Sun Woo to become best buddies, but that forced kiss makes me hate him more than i thought i'd hate him.
Iam also starting to like Su Ho, even Ban Ryu.

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There are some things that we find very offensive in our days that were kind of the norm back then. We are more civilized now I would think.

While his behavior wouldn't be condoned by Ah-ro and in our time, his rank in that society kind of make it seems acceptable. No one would bat an eyelash at it. It's hard for me to explain.

I think he is in love with her but doesn't know how to express it properly. Combined with what she said about him (the real king). Maybe for the first time in life, someone understand what he is going through but to pity him hurts his pride.
(Poor puppy king, that's still bad though).

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Exact reason why although I am not in favor of that kiss, part
of me understand why he did it all of a sudden. That scene where ah ro is explaining the meaning of the drawing, I have this thought , "Finally, someone TRULLY understands him" Even though ah ro pity him,at the same time, she believes that he can develop the wings he needs to fly up against the regent.

Sam maek jong lines, "Who are you to make me feel insignificant ?" makes my heart ache. He has been set aside by the queen until now and he is experiencing it again with ah ro.

I think sam maek jong is yet to realize she likes ah ro before that kiss and I hope after he realize his feelings, he'd become more gentle towards her.
Our king has more things to learn both in love and power

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I really want to cut him some slack. I think I'll hold my judgment regarding that kiss until I see his response to Ah-ro's reaction. I'm willing to forgive him if he stop forcing his way when Ah-ro says no.

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I'm surprised they even go there with this target audience.

When this happens in a conventional sageuk, no one says anything.

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The funny things is, what ji dwi do is kinda common for first lead in another drama setting. And i agree with lolly that Ji dwi character is Korean first lead archetype; handsome, mean but actually care, imposing, tortured, and chaebol (king in saeguk).

So for me, this is actually a fresh detour where the nice second lead get the girl... Or third lead? Since sun woo character usually is for the bodyguard of the king (hence third lead). If ah roo end up with sun woo, I applause the writer to try new type of romance despite the kdrama law

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Interesting take :).

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That's a very sound explanation of the King's deplorable actions so far. Kinda like Silla's version of a bodice-ripper. Hee.

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I have to admit, when Joo-ki was asking about her brother if somehow it would slip that he really wasn't, with the short cut meaning we'd find out the longer version later. I'd have to go back to watch the earlier episode scene where he's shown the necklace, but I don't specifically remember Sun-woo saying, "I'm asking for a friend" sort of thing.

The forced kiss...oh, lonely desperate kingling. I feel so bad that she has to put up with your insecurities and complete lack of understanding about consensus. It's harder when fusions do this sort of thing because, yes, the time period can excuse it to a degree, but the modern bits just make it feel worse.

Speaking of modern....there may have been a sort of shower back then, but not at that volume! I had an image in my head of a line of water maids shoulder to shoulder, passing buckets like a fire line to keep that amount of water flowing.

I am having a hard time not comparing the boys to lead and seconds/thirds in SKS since they are formally enlisted now. I keep hearing bits that sound so familiar to me, and it's making me want to watch SKS again.

I'm waiting for the betting pool over who will get three warnings soonest, maybe they'll get one of the cooks to fill in as the money taker/bet recorder?

OH! Speaking of...that huge speech about no servants...but cooks. Yep, can't have the boys in the kitchen even if they can let them play in the water while taking out their frustrations on the laundry. XD

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"Speaking of modern….there may have been a sort of shower back then, but not at that volume!"
Yes! This and the night club scene in previous episode...This drama is so non-Sageuk, that I wouldn't be suprised if at some point Sun-Woo would pull Samsung Galaxy to call Ah-ro

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They might do other conventions like the can and string phones in the betting area during the archery tournament in SKS.

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All the "modern" twists to saguek are quite funny and it's like the show is laughing with us. But if Sun Woo and Ji Dwi starts fighting over sandwiches that Ah Ro makes in a Silla Subway I will start flipping tables!

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you just might get it.. dont forget they already had a Horse O' Doom as a Silla's TOD back in an earlier episode lol

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If I recall correctly he did say that the necklace 'belonged to a friend'... which was the truth but is something that typically kdrama characters say when lying. Haha. I wonder if Joo Ki took it literally? I am pretty sure he reported that conversation to Ah Ro, so hopefully we'll see the full version of that scene soon.

And yeah, that shower has more pressure than my own shower. But we needed a shower scene right? LOL.

By SKS do you mean Sungkyungkwan Scandal? If so, yes, I am reminded of it too. In a good way. I just hope Sun Woo doesn't end up being the son or a rebel general, per usual. I kind of like the idea of a person with no known origins becoming a Hwarang, but obviously that will not be the case and we should get ready for the coming of Angst later on. For now, give me more of that rugby-football and flower boy laundry.

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Ah, so maybe I did remember it right! But, yes, "I'm asking, you know, for a friend..." is atypical joke too.

Yeah, I figure any bathing scene is nothing but a form of fan service, regardless of era.

Yep, I'm referring to Sungkyungkwan Scandal. (It got another mention further up in these comments, but I forget who made that one.)

So far, it's a happy reminder in many good ways for me too. I hope it stays that way. I'm even hoping our adopted would be replacement king character gets a happier development ending than the angsty sourpuss Noron (sp?) in SKS.

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I think the fusion comes because there's no real record about the beginning of hwarang,
it just like they know they are wear make up and exist but the origin is still not clear because the document for the era is hard to find,
I think they are better documented after Silla becomes big which is in the king Jinheung's era but not in the beginning,

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Ahh yess Joo Ki and the necklace! Also, afterwards, he asks Ah Ro if 'she's told him yet' to which she replies 'no but I have to' or something along those lines... I wish the previous scene wasn't cut short because I feel like it's important and I feel like she possibly knows he isn't her brother...

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It would definitely give more weight to the following scene where she tries to hide that she's back in there before claiming she's there to help him pass his first test.

The embarrassment level she was showing was a bit too much for just "being caught where she shouldn't be".

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I loved Su Ho's concern for Ban Ryu, he totally understands pressure and that Ban Ryu's bad mood reflects his position. (Though Su Ho still uses that to hit Ban Ryu when they're fighting, as we've seen)

My theory about Sun Woo is that he is the child of royalty, perhaps the king or an elder child of the queen, who was sent away because of his illness. That would explain why his adoptive dad kept telling him he wouldn't survive elsewhere. If he is the queen's son, that would also explain her weird overprotectiveness of the king (especially if Sun Woo's illness is maybe the after effects of an attack or some trauma in the palace).

I didn't like the king kissing Ah Ro, and am hoping the tea shop owner shared all his suspicions of Sun Woo or sedge hat, so that she really knows he isn't her brother now but is keeping quiet.

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This sounds over-the-top but I don't know, maybe Moo-young/Sun-woo is actually Minister Park's son. His former foster father said to Ahn Ji-gong that he was stooping Sun-woo from his fate. And Minister Park mentioned earlier that his family was supposed to rule the country as, if I understood well, they were its original founders.

Plus, I think he adopted Ban-ryu to substitute his "son", rather than just taking him in since he has no male heir.

Korean dramas tend to exaggerate on the fatality of the romance between the leads due to a past bad riff between the families or the fact they are enemies, especially in sageuks (e.g. Moonight Drawn by Clouds).

But then again, there is no mention till now that he had a son before. And he is SOULESS to be considered as a paternal figure.

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Hansung is going to have such an interesting character arc - if the show let's him that is. He has such sadness to him and his older brother creates such depth to his character. He seems like the absent-minded kind who couldn't care less but he's actually pretty observant and sensitive. His reactions when Ban Ryu talked about half breeds were interesting (like a scene with no dialogue but the actor's facial expression told you enough about what he was thinking; show not tell - an excellent job on the actor's part), he got pretty affected and that creates a depth in him. Really excited to see his character arc take shape (it's starting!) and see what the writers can make out of this bright fun filled character with a sense of sorrow, pressure and depth to him. Also props to the actor for getting his expressions right despite hardly any dialogue and screen time - we feel his character's story rather than see it and it's interesting compared to many other characters in dramas I've seen with "dark background" but you just don't feel it.

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I totally agree, but I must disclosed to being biased. But, objectively speaking he did an excellent job during that dining scene. You could see from his expression that he was hurt and angered by those comments. I eagerly await his character arc and development. We were told he was a minor character, but I hope he gets more than 3min of screentime each episode.

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I thought Sun Woo(Moo Myung) was going to be a regular ol' guy. I didn't think he could be royalty until some people commented about that possibility in the previous recap.

Now that Woo Reuk left that mysterious, significant comment about him, I think it is possible that he has some connection to the king/throne.

It was an interesting moment during the scene between Ban Ryu and Su Ho where Su Ho asked him the real reason why he joined Hwarang. It looked like SH was a bit concerned for him. After seeing that moment, I could totally imagine them being comrades later on and talking to each other about their troubles.

Su Ho's interest in the Queen is also intriguing. He may be a pawn that she will use later.

Hwa-gong cracks me up so much!!!! I loveeeeee the way he replied to Minister's Park offer about the invite and wine. Come over to his house? His reply was something like, "Yes, tomorrow.....plus 30 years". !!!!! XD

I loved it when he was mimicking Joo Ki's high pitched voice in one of their scenes too.
Sung Dong Il is awesome. Perfect casting right there.

Sun Woo and Ah Ro have really cute scenes together. It's great when he can relax and smile a little. The 3 leads all have great chemistry, but I'm on the Sun Woo + Ah Ro ship. They have mutual feelings for each other whereas Ah Ro has no hint of love towards Ji Dwi. I'd rather see Ji Dwi embark on a personal journey to improve himself and learn about others & the outside world before firmly handling the role of king. I don't think I want to see Sun Woo become the king.

That final scene between Ji Dwi and Ah Ro with the king drawing was so moving, but that forced kiss ruined the mood. Awkward and offputting.

"Ji Dwi" makes me think of GD aka G-Dragon (Big Bang).... /random/ LOL

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to be fair ,
he did said that he acquired the name Ji Dwi after he travel from the west,
I think it definitely inspired by GD,
wait GD is named after Dragon,
Dragon usually used as the King's symbol,
then Ji Dwi is really gonna be the king!!

hahaha,

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Hehehe, good connection! ^^

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I immediately thought of GD too. However, thanks Sancheezy for the dragon connection. I didn't think it all the way through. Love it ?

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Also his Hwarang name is Ji Dwi rang hehe

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That last scene was awkward. I don't know why people think that slapping your lips against someone is even remotely sexy. I wish he had stopped her from saying oreboni in some other way, like place his fingers against her lips or something like that. That could have been drawn out and would have had more appeal that this bit.

But I do love Hyung Sik and he did bring all the king's angst to that scene.

I'm very interested in Ban Ryo and wish he'd have a love-line. His character reminds me of Ha In Soo from SKKS. Ha In Soo had an amazing love line with Cho Sun and I hope to see something similar with Ban Ryu. I like his character better than Ha In Soo from SKKS, because it's more layered.

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Ban Ryu is going to have a loveline with Suho's younger sister a.k.a Aro's buddy. That little scene where Ban Ryu's underlings were commenting about her beauty and he glanced at her is a good hint, and, besides, we'd have the Romeo and Juliet troupe. Being completly honest, though, I knew about it because of the promotional material haha.

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lol same, i saw it in the promo material as well, and i even saw how their first meeting is gonna be like and its hilarious. they definitely have the romoe x juliet trope going on for them. makes me excited. although i did love that little glance he gave her, i just like little things like that.

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That's sweet. I don't usually watch the trailers, but this is good news. I like the girl and hope it works out for him. I want to see a smiling Ban Ryu, helpless against the charms of a girl. Right now he's so saaadd and jerk-like.

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lol same, *evil laughter* he wont know what hit him.

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@aoiaheen Yessss, if only he did what you suggested! Something subtle.

@aoiaheen @someone I missed it in the promos, but I definitely noticed Ban Ryu's stare at Soo Yeon in the previous episode. I'm looking forward to their story. They already look good together. Excited to see Soo Yeon have more screentime. And I can't wait to see Soo Ho's reaction to their possible (highly likely) relationship. ^.^

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Me too! I always think he's saying GD. Actually I think one of the outtakes was Sung Dongil saying GD instead of Ji Dwi.

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Suho's love for Sunwoo is the CUTEST thing. The way Suho smiled proudly when Sunwoo answered the water question was just too adorable for words. Could their bromance mirror how his sister is buddies with Sunwoo's fake sister, cause that's just waaaaay cute.

A couple of episodes back, I mentioned having second lead syndrome, but I'm over it now, despite Hyungsik's dreaminess. His continued pushiness is just annoying. I've seen viewers defend it with "this is sageuk and the king gets what he wants, blah blah" but nah. In addition, Sunwoo and Ahro's romance has been building up steadily so I'm now shipping the main ship.

I'm so looking forward to the Sooyeon-Banryu loveline. A cold, brooding, wounded boy falling for a cute, bright, loving girl from an opposing faction and the sister of his personal rival? Add to that how he's a prejudiced jerk and she's an open-minded and friendly angel who could possibly teach him to be a better person, AKA Sinnamon roll plus cinnamon roll? AND she's no naive, shrinking flower, but rather sassy and it looks like she'll spin his world around and leave him speechless! I love it!

I don't want Hansung to get a loveline, cause I want him for myself! Lemme throw myself into a lake during an eclipse and transport me back in time to that cute puppy!

And with Yeo Wool's understated awesomeness, I know feel very much connected to all the Hwarang boys. They're all lovable in their own ways.

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Just let Han-sung get all the bromance. He has cute banter with Yo-wool. And I actually can imagine him being all puppy-like to Sun-woo.

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that's exactly the reason why im also looking forward to ban ryu x sooyeon romance. nothing gets me going more then seeing cold guys starting to melt and fall for someone who is the complete opposite. like you mentioned these two are from opposing families, her family is on the queens side and his family is against the queen, with a long standing rivalry plus his family scares me tbh.

and i agree sooyeon isnt some passive wallflower, she is quite quirky and it will be fun to see how that mixes with a cold blooded jerk who suppress his emotions. he really needs some love. but you know he wont be like sam/king who is very invasive in his approach. i feel like it will be more like how darcy is since both are very prideful,big ego's,all about status, broody etc. they struggle with their emotions and try to keep a distant but cant. plus i wonder how suho will take it. he will probably have a heart attack, lol

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"Lemme throw myself into a lake during an eclipse and transport me back in time"
^ LOL I see what you did there. xD

You described Sooyeon-Banryu's storyline perfectly! I'm so excited for this couple~ ^^

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genki-escapist: A couple of episodes back, I mentioned having second lead syndrome, but I’m over it now, despite Hyungsik’s dreaminess.

Forced kisses=a storm great enough to sink any ship, no matter how sad we may see to watch it go down.

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Edit: no matter how sad we may be to watch it go down.

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Feels.

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Random question, but does the Queen have a lisp? There is something about her way of speaking that bothers me, but I don't know Korean. It sounds irritating for some reason that I can't identify.

Otherwise, I'm just crazy and becoming distracted by little details, like how beautiful Ji Dwi's strange ears are.

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Idk what happen with the queen but I think she talks weird,
there's a moment when it's good but more often it lacks certain energy and charisma since she supposed to be the badass queen

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Yes it's the actress.

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I was trying to justify Ji-dwi, that it is because of his status, that he's forceful like this. Not to mention that I love Park Hyung-sik, so making excuses should be easy.

But what he did at the end... Hell no, bro. Get out of here. I did consider your ship, but you didn't even try to convince me. Sun-woo on the other hand insisted I choose his. So there you go. Sorry, not sorry. Park Bo-young will make it up for you, babe.

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after this episode im more convinced that dont believe the surface like poster,teaser.trailer(it might look silly)and just watch the drama coz the tone imo its pretty dark(but still there is a fluffy.sweet.light to accompany the dark) and so many secrets,layered character that i love to explore more next episode(like who is actually fake sun woo is.is he a rebellion kid or queen kid or king first wife kid?lol)...and for rating wise hmm is not that great tho,hope they can surpass double digit after RDTK ended.and can we talk about PHS acting..his acting was great and i think he will have good future as an actor..
And the negatif thing about this episode is the music stilllllll pretty bad for me...but there is no drama with perfection so......

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I love his acting in that kiss scene. His soulful eyes and tears. I was hoping to see more praises for this boy like the Knets did but there seems to be more bashing of his character.

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Can anyone explain exactly what Yeo-wool said before winding up Su-ho and Ban-ryu? The subtitles translated it as 'the rumour about me loving men is enough' which doesn't really make sense (it's bad enough? There's already a rumour?), so before I get my hopes up for actual representation (even if it's just implied), I'd like to see a slightly more nuanced translation! Although I'm just going to go ahead and take his happy smile during the shower scene as confirmation regardless!

Ah Ro better put pushy prince back in his place, ugh. He needs to learn a few lessons before I'm back on his side. I'd also like to see more scenes between him and Yeo-wool because I'm still hung up on the chemistry they had! I like the idea of Yeo-wool figuring out who he is - he seems like the sharp, observant type.

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I dunno if we can realistically hope for some actual LGBT+ representation from Yeo-wool to be honest- I mean, a fan girl can dream but I think he's just implying that people view him as gay because he's pretty (k-drama's favourite stereotype, of course...) and sharing a room with a gay couple who make out in the middle of the night is just going to enforce those rumours. It's a shame, but knowing s.korea's entertainment industry I think it would be masochistic of us to hope for realistic representation here.
Even so, I'm totally with you- I need more interaction between him and, well, everyone tbh. Plus, even the slight hints (that shower smile was perfect xx) are killing me!! xx

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