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143

Hwarang: Episode 7

I really think the show is gaining in strength as it finally settles into its groove, especially as the Hwarang boys begin to learn to be a unified team rather than individual foes. As they face their first challenge and fight for the right to stay, they will each have to think about why they want to be here. They still have a long way to go, but at least they’re ready to take their first steps.

 
EPISODE 7 RECAP

Ji-dwi backs Ah Ro against the wall, shedding furious tears at the way she pities the powerless king. He accuses her of rendering him insignificant, grows even more upset when she mentions her brother, and soon crushes her lips in an angry kiss.

Ah Ro pushes at him, but he doesn’t seem to notice her objection. He finally ends the kiss and he backs up, then his face softens and he leans in to kiss her again.

Ah Ro’s face screws up in fury, and she smacks him in the head with her own forehead. (That’s my girl!) She hears Sun-woo entering the building and grabs the moaning Ji-dwi, ducking them both down behind a table and warning him not to even breathe, or else Sun-woo will kill him.

Sun-woo sees the empty room and leaves, and Ah Ro takes her chance to shove Ji-dwi and make a run for it. Sun-woo doubles back, suspicious, and finds himself face-to-face with Ji-dwi. In a voice that reveals his barely controlled anger, he asks what Ji-dwi is doing, and Ji-dwi asks sarcastically if the reason he cares is because he’s such an amazing brother.

That earns him a punch from Sun-woo, who warns him not to go near Ah Ro, talk to her, or even look at her. Ji-dwi isn’t scared and makes no such promise, and admits that he likes Ah Ro.

Sun-woo heads to the doctor’s room to find Ah Ro, and she stammers excuses at his thunderous expression. He notices that she’s sweating and gives her a cloth to wipe her face, and tells her that this whole brother thing is new to him. He says that he’s never been this nervous, and promises to be a better brother if she gives him some time.

Merchant Joo-ki walks Ah Ro home, complaining that Sun-woo made him do it even though she’s capable of taking care of herself. She’s horrified that he told Sun-woo she’ll do anything if enough money is involved. He asks again if Sun-woo is really her brother, sure that he remembers Sun-woo saying that he was looking for the necklace’s match “for a friend.”

On his way back to the dorms, Sun-woo runs into Hwa-gong, who reminds him that Hwarang rules dictate that he stay with his roommates at all times. Sun-woo tells him he’s not in the mood, and Hwa-gong asks about his nickname, Dog-bird.

Hwa-gong chuckles, saying that he kind of likes Sun-woo’s attitude. He describes him as so full of anger he can’t even think straight, and says that he finds Sun-woo a challenge.

As punishment, the next day Sun-woo and his roommates are forced to carry Hwa-gong around on a litter, as a lesson that they must do everything together. Later, as they’re doing laundry, Ban-ryu tosses the whole pile at Sun-woo and warns him not to get them all in trouble again. Su-ho asks Sun-woo why he was sneaking out, but instead of answering, Sun-woo asks if Su-ho has a sister.

Ah Ro answers a knock at the door to the doctor’s room to find a grinning Ji-dwi standing there, and he pushes his way in. He’s cheerful and friendly, but that doesn’t make Ah Ro any more pleased to see him, and she palms an acupuncture needle as she backs away from him.

He mentions their kiss, and Ah Ro asks for her apology, but Ji-dwi says it was no mistake. Ah Ro warns him that she could have killed him if she’d wanted to, and suggests they forget it ever happened.

Ji-dwi’s expression hardens as he saunters up close to her, and Ah Ro warns that she knows pressure points that can paralyze him. But he keeps on coming, so she deftly pricks him in the leg with the acupuncture needle. He’s instantly frozen, ha.

Ah Ro finds her friend Soo-yeon (Su-ho’s little sister) to ask her how she can repay her debt to Ji-dwi. She suddenly changes the subject to Sun-woo, wondering if his words last night mean he’s worried about her, and Soo-yeon tells her that it’s not worry, it’s ambition.

In their room, Sun-woo asks Su-ho how a brother is supposed to treat his sister. Su-ho’s first piece of advice is to forget that she’s a girl and handle her roughly. He shows Sun-woo how to grab his sister in a headlock, and Sun-woo adorably mimics his motions.

Next, Su-ho tells Sun-woo to make his sister do everything for him, and Sun-woo looks dubious that Su-ho is actually close to his sister, hee. Su-ho says that sisters are stronger than you think, and that it’s a brother’s duty to toughen his sister up.

A little while later, as Ah Ro is fretting about what Sun-woo will do if he finds out Ji-dwi kissed her, he startles her by popping up out of nowhere. He grabs her in a sudden headlock, which turns awkward the instant she chokes and he chickens out. Instead, he just pokes her in the head and walks off, assuring himself that that was toootally natural.

Queen Regent Jiso hears that Ji-gong answered her summons, and she suffers a small bout of dizziness on the way. She waves it off and continues, but she swoons for real when she reaches his room, and he barely manages to catch her.

As the queen regent lies unconscious, Ji-gong considers placing his acupuncture needle into a pressure point on her earlobe, one purported to cause death. He stops himself at the last moment, and the queen regent opens her eyes. Instead, he places the needle into a point meant to calm her, and she remembers a time he did the same thing long ago.

She’d been distraught, and had begged Ji-gong to run away with her. He’d said with some anger that his place was here, and she’d retorted that he only married his wife (who’d been low-born) to get back at her. Ji-gong hadn’t appreciated the queen regent’s insults towards his wife, and had tried to pull away.

She’d asked if he was just going to throw her away, and he had spit back that she’d been the one to throw him away. She’d clutched his hand and warned that she’d make sure he regretted it if he let go, but he had pried his fingers out of her grip.

Now she asks if he plans to kill her with his needle, but Ji-gong leans over her and caresses her face. But he only examines her eyes, and tells her that she should be well again soon.

He turns to go, and the queen regent calls after him, “He looks like his mother.” She tells Ji-gong that his daughter is acting as a doctor inside Hwarang, and he asks how it feels for her to have a hold on everything he values. He wonders to himself what he can take from her before leaving.

That evening, Yeo-wool sees Sun-woo studying, and asks how many characters he can write. He tells him not to work too hard, figuring he’ll be the first Hwarang to leave anyway, and Sun-woo tells Yeo-wool to keep his nose to himself.

Ji-dwi’s attention perks up when Su-ho wonders out loud where King Jinheung is. Ban-ryu says it doesn’t matter when he has no power anyway, which makes Ji-dwi sigh. The mention of the king gets Sun-woo’s attention too, and he suddenly recalls how Mak Mun had once panicked, saying that he just saw the king.

It’s time for the exam, and nearly all the Hwarang boys prepare cheat sheets. Han-sung worries about Sun-woo’s chances of passing, and Su-ho doesn’t seem to have much faith in his abilities, either. Hwa-gong begins the test, reminding the boys that if they fail, they could be kicked out of the Hwarang.

He restates the question they’re to answer: How does water relate to a king? The brushes fly, and Hwa-gong notices that Sun-woo is only writing a few very large characters. But it’s Ji-dwi who finishes first, after only writing a few characters himself.

Hwa-gong grades the tests, and Ban-ryu’s essay seems to garner the most approval. The rest don’t do so well, and he fusses at the boys for not having any important thoughts.

He comes upon Ji-dwi’s and Sun-woo’s pages, and holds them up. He asks them to explain their short, simple answers, or risk failing. Ji-dwi says arrogantly that the author of the Dodukyung (the Chinese philosophical text they’re supposed to answer from) didn’t always answer on paper. Hwa-gong turns to Sun-woo, who says that he doesn’t know enough characters to write what he wanted to answer.

Ji-dwi goes first, and he quotes a saying, “The law follows where the water flows.” But he notes that some land is dry and some is rich, and that following the flowing path gives strength in harmony. “That is the king’s rule and the king’s way,” he concludes.

Sun-woo speaks up, calling that a load of bullcrap. He says that Ji-dwi’s answer makes the lower class the roots and the foundation. He says that waterways flow high to low, so where does the water at the bottom go?

Sun-woo says that a path must be walked by someone before it becomes a path, and that a waterway can be formed from that path. He says it’s the law to turn away dry and infertile land, so if that dry land is the king’s path, he shouldn’t continue to be king.

Hwa-gong hands out failing grades freely, and Han-sung, Su-ho, and Yeo-wool all fail. Ban-ryu passes, as does Ji-dwi. Sun-woo is failed, not because his answer was bad, but because he didn’t use the proper reference material to back up his answer.

After dismissing the others, Hwa-gong reminds Sun-woo that he only has two more chances, then he’s out.

Later, as he fishes in the pond, Hwa-gong repeats Sun-woo’s answer to himself, secretly impressed. Ji-dwi approaches to ask why Hwa-gong failed Sun-woo, since he knows that Hwa-gong feels the same about the high-borns as Sun-woo does. Hwa-gong asks what king could look up and see things from below, and Ji-dwi counters that a hidden king could.

Hwa-gong scoffs, asking what a sequestered child could possibly do. He has no faith that a young, useless king could oppose strong officials, and he worries that the king will come back soon and create anguish for Silla. He says this is why he created the Hwarang — to protect Silla’s future.

Ah Ro rescues Sun-woo and Ji-dwi’s papers before they’re burned, sees that Ji-dwi didn’t even bother writing an answer, and goes on a manhunt for Hwa-gong. She finds him rushing to find a place to relieve himself, and stops him to accuse him of favoritism and corruption.

Hwa-gong has to go so badly that he can’t even explain, but Ah Ro refuses to let him pass. She threatens to tell the officials that she was paid to secretly investigate their sons, and at the thought of the queen regent’s disapproval if the Hwarang is disbanded, Hwa-gong loses control of his bladder. Ewww.

Next, Ah Ro finds Ji-dwi, and hands him a bag of silver to repay him for the money he threw at her attacker. She tries to wipe off his debt marker from her arm, and says that they have no reason to cross paths again.

She turns back to ask why he was learning to write from her, if he had such strong backing that he didn’t need to write anything at all. She blames him for getting in the way of her supporting Sun-woo, but Ji-dwi twists her words in his favor, saying that she was thinking of him too much to even think of Sun-woo.

Ah Ro says that it’s not like that, it’s just that she felt sorry for him because he seemed lonely. She makes sure to mention that that kiss won’t happen again, and turns to go.

Ji-dwi calls after her, asking what he has to do to make her look at him. He says that she makes him crazy because he becomes nothing around her, that he doesn’t know who he is or what he’s doing. From a short distance away, Sun-woo witnesses their intense conversation.

Ban-ryu’s father Ho Gong, and his adoptive father Minister Park, are turned away at the Hwarang gates. Apparently this is a regular thing, and Ho Gong is losing patience at not being allowed to see Ban-ryu. He’s handed a note which he turns over to Minister Park, and Minister Park laughs to see Hwa-gong’s repeated invitation to share a drink… in thirty years.

Minister Park affably says they can come back later, and goes to see someone else he needs to speak with — Ji-gong. He pretends to be here for a physical and congratulates Ji-gong on finding his son, asking if it’s true that he’s the queen regent’s Hwarang.

Ji-gong ignores him and just prescribes medicine, but Minister Park makes a veiled reference to Ji-gong’s long-ago relationship with the queen regent. He advises Ji-gong not to keep his resentment bottled up.

Ah Ro wonders to herself if “the pervert” really likes her, figuring that he can’t be that bad if he’s Hwa-gong’s nephew. She calls his looks okay (HA), then stops herself and calls herself crazy for even considering it, especially today.

Sun-woo comes up behind her, and asks what she means by “especially today.” She changes the subject and tells him not to be too upset about the test, since nearly everyone failed.

Sun-woo attempts to be brotherly again by tentatively tousling Ah Ro’s hair before telling her to head home. She calls after him that today is their mother’s memorial day, and he looks guilty that he didn’t know. Ah Ro reassures him that their mother will be glad she finally found him, and says she’ll handle the memorial ceremony tonight as usual.

Han-sung quietly invites himself to eat with Sun-woo and his roommates, and they’re all too preoccupied to object. Ban-ryu snarks that it looks like Sun-woo won’t be here long, but Yeo-wool defends Sun-woo’s test answer, calling it the best.

Ignoring the conversation as usual, Sun-woo asks if a “memorial” is something important. They guys all stare at him when he says softly that it’s his mother’s memorial day, and Han-sung says that he should go home.

Sun-woo and his roommates lie awake that night, unable to sleep. Yeo-wool gets up and suggests they sneak out, and though Ban-ryu objects, the others look excited. Are they about to break out? This is awesome.

Yeo-wool even has a plan, and he takes Hwa-gong a decanter of expensive liquor, a gift from his mother. Hwa-gong and his assistant proceed to get astoundingly drunk and pass out, removing the main obstacle to the boys’ plans.

The boys are all eager to get out, though Ban-ryu refuses to participate. They nearly get caught by the burly bouncer, surprised that he’s not dead asleep like the others. Su-ho takes a closer look, and notices that the bouncer actually is drunk when he walks into a post before proceeding to attack it. Ha.

The boys sneak past him and go over the wall. Ban-ryu paces in their room, and it’s not long before he’s following the others out.

The guys split up to enjoy their evening, and Ji-dwi whistles for Pa Oh, who fusses at him for sneaking out. Ji-dwi just tells him to protect him, because he’s going home.

He sends his mother a message, and she finds him in the throne room, dressed in his kingly robes. She asks if he’s strong enough to be sitting there, and Ji-dwi agrees with her that he’s still too small and weak. His mother says it’s a relief to hear him admit it, and tells him to leave the Hwarang.

But Ji-dwi says that while he’s waiting, she’s just gaining strength. He compares himself to a child learning to walk, becoming stronger as he learns how to fall. He thinks about Sun-woo’s test answer that a path must be walked before it can become a waterway, and he tells his mother that he needs to learn how to walk to go on the king’s path.

Ah Ro and Ji-gong hold their memorial ceremony for Ah Ro’s mother, and she tells her father that she’s a little sad Sun-woo couldn’t be here tonight. She asks Ji-gong what happened to Sun-woo just before he came that caused the injuries that nearly killed him.

Before Ji-gong can answer, they hear footsteps and look up to see Sun-woo entering the yard. Ah Ro can’t hide her wide grin, and Sun-woo solemnly steps in and takes over the ceremony.

Ban-ryu doesn’t really have anywhere to go, and he laughs at himself when he ends up at home. He hides around a corner and watches as his father and adoptive father arrive home on horseback, and Minister Park makes Ho Gong bend down to act as his step stool.

Yeo-wool and Su-ho walk around town, attracting plenty of female attention, but the ladies don’t hold a candle to Su-ho’s recollections of the beautiful queen regent. Yeo-wool notices Su-ho’s dreamy expression, but Su-ho just curses at himself.

Soo-yeon is out tonight as well, shopping the street carts for pretty things. She sees her brother Su-ho as he walks past her, but he’s gone before she can call out to him. She gets an impish gleam in her eye, and decides that today’s the day she gets some sisterly payback.

She spots him standing with his back to her, and readies her grabby-fingers. She sneaks up behind him and grabs his butt in both hands, but it’s not Su-ho who turns around… it’s Ban-ryu, looking about as scandalized as you can imagine. BWAHAHAHA.

They gape at each other, then Soo-yeon lets out a bloodcurdling scream. It has the entire crowd turning to look, including Su-ho and Yeo-wool, who points out that it was Su-ho’s sister who yelped.

Soo-yeon attempts to preserve her reputation by crossing her arms over her chest and accusing Ban-ryu of grabbing her, and she silently begs him with her eyes not to tell the truth. He’s too stunned to react, and before Soo-yeon can explain, Su-ho pushes his way through the crowd.

Soo-yeon suddenly slaps Ban-ryu, though she looks like she doesn’t even know why she did it. Su-ho grabs Ban-ryu, demanding to know what he did to his little sister, and behind his back, she begs Ban-ryu not to tell on her.

Yeo-wool pulls Su-ho away, and Soo-yeon tries to tell him what happened. Su-ho stops her and grabs a huge candlestick to bash Ban-ryu. But before he swings, he’s knocked out himself, by a bottle wielded by his own sister.

She rushes to Ban-ryu and cups the cheek where she slapped him, and he stares at her. One look at her worried face, and he’s a goner.

Sun-woo and Ah Ro walk through town, and she asks him how he got out of Hwarang. He says he didn’t leave for good, he just came out for the memorial. Ah Ro says that actually, they just don’t know when Mother died, so they hold her memorial on her birthday.

She reminisces about her mother as they walk, recalling her scent, and how she’d stroke Ah Ro’s hair. She says that the wind and the mountain birds were her lullaby. Sun-woo smiles, and asks why Mother didn’t sing to her.

Ah Ro stops, and tells Sun-woo, “Oraboni, Mother couldn’t sing lullabies… because she couldn’t speak.”

 
COMMENTS

Well, now that seems like something a true older brother would know, now doesn’t it? I wonder if this will finally be the moment when Ah Ro realizes that Sun-woo isn’t her real brother. We know that she’s had little nagging doubts that he might not be, and Joo-ki’s recollection that Sun-woo said he was looking into the necklace for a friend backs up her suspicions. But I wouldn’t put it past the show to drag the whole fake-brother scenario out for a few more episodes, even though in my opinion, it’s done its job and is starting to get into icky territory with Ah Ro’s growing feelings for Sun-woo. Generally, the show doesn’t draw things out for too long, so here’s hoping this particular trope dies a natural death sooner rather than later.

I was glad to see Ah Ro taking care of herself instead of needing saving several times in this episode. She’s been a bit too damsel-in-distress for my taste, especially for a character who seems so independent otherwise, so watching her take control of Ji-dwi not once, but twice, just made me happy. I don’t think that a head-butt and an acupuncture needle will be enough to stave off his attentions, but at least Ah Ro has given him something to think about. She is not some delicate feminine flower ready to swoon because a handsome man looked her way — she’s a spunky, opinionated hellion who’s more than capable of taking him down.

And it seems to be working, because the next time Ji-dwi confronted Ah Ro about his feelings, he kept his distance and just talked. He was (a bit) less accusatory, and more open about his feelings of confusion and hurt. And his change of tactic seemed to be getting through to Ah Ro — he still has quite a ways to go when it comes to talking to girls, but his more respectful approach had her at least considering what he has to offer.

I find the queen regent much more interesting now that we know a little more about her past with Ji-gong. She’s been sort of a stick figure for me until now, a placeholder that represents the formation of the Hwarang and Ji-dwi’s pain at being forced to live in secrecy, but she hasn’t really done much to make me interested in her personally (it’s that whole “show don’t tell” thing — we know she’s done things because we were told, but we haven’t actually seen it). But Ji-gong is a very fascinating character, so the queen regent’s history with him makes me more interested in her by default. I do want to see her do more in the present besides sit primly and glare at people, but at least now I will care a little bit once she does.

While I admit that I didn’t quite understand Ji-dwi’s and Sun-woo’s test answers, I did get the gist of them, and I liked how it reflected their attitudes about the upper and lower classes. From what I understood, Ji-dwi’s answer followed the prevalent thinking of the day — that the king rules when “water,” or the people, are obedient and biddable. As a highly educated yet until-now isolated young man, I can’t really blame him for believing what he’s been taught. But it shows how much he has to learn about people and how to govern them, that his attitude is that they just have to obey and make his kingship easy for him.

Sun-woo’s answer, on the other hand, came straight from the mouths of those very people that the nobility expect to just shut up and not make waves. Why should they trod the difficult path, getting muddy and exhausted, so that the king and the high-borns can have an easy time of it? They’re both correct in that kings are made on the backs of their people, but Sun-woo’s answer makes it clear that mistreating those people isn’t the right way to go about it. I appreciated that Ji-dwi actually thought about Sun-woo’s answer and confronted Hwa-gong about failing him. He may be ignorant about the world — in fact, I’d say both boys are equally ignorant, though in different ways — but he’s not unwilling or unable to consider a different way when he’s shown that it exists. His conversation with his mother in the throne room proves that, while he knows he’s not ready to be king yet, he’s aware that he needs to learn a lot more before he becomes the king the country needs. He looks awfully good in those kingly robes… maybe he’ll be the king that can walk the new path first and lead his people, rather than just follow where they’ve already gone.

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I just started watching this and it is pretty fun, the only complaint I have is about some of the props looking a bit like carnival shop or Ikea (there was the same rug I have at the attick in Viljandi, etc.) Choi Won Young is acting kind of creepy, like his psycho self is dormant but about to wake somewhere there

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The best prop would be Ji Sung's cameo. Because all good looking guys (Hwarang) are his/her Orabeoni.

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Why is aro always frowning..>:\

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I agree. It's my main issue with this drama, hence I always skipped her screen times.

Go Ara isn't particularly a good actress. She is famous for being pretty, not acting.

I am following this drama just because of Hyung Sik.

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I don't find Go Ara that pretty in this drama, maybe because she is not dressed in glamorous clothes... Soo-Yeon is quite pretty

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Yes, not sure why but she is not looking that good here. Maybe it is the constant frowning, and the terrible eyebrow make-up, which I find distracting most of the time, since everyone is getting too much and not in the right places. :P

Also following this because of Hyung Sik. He has the best chemistry with A Ro and I'm getting SLS, so not sure I will watch till the end of the series... I don't want to end up frustrated. As much as I like Park Seo Joon, I'm not invested in the main couple.

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its the straight as a ruler eyebrows that are doing her now favor.

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Agreed! I think she is pretty... in modern clothes. Go Ara looked good during the press conference but not in the drama. Perhaps sageuk drama just doesn't suit her, just like how it doesn't suit Park Seo Joon's look... and acting to be honest! I don't find her particularly alluring here and So Yeon definitely stands out more with her beauty.

I don't know.. despite the good looking flower boys in the drama, this drama is just average. Storyline and acting-wise. I probably stick just for the eye-candies.. Most of the time, the Aro plot, the political meeting and the Queen plot.. I just skipped them all. Thank goodness I'm not watching on TV or I'll be cringing everytime I have to watch A-ro acting silly..

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Same here any time me and my sister is watch this drama I skip her scene so many times and I love the other scenes I look forward to them I hate watching her and dog bird scene so boring and annoying.

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been asking this question since ep 1
the severe eyebrows makes it worse

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I noticed her frowning in this episode and the previous one, but I guess I can attribute it to her being worried and overthinking about how her brother is doing. His health and safety. Her feelings about him. Is he her brother or is he not? Etc.

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My thoughts on the birth secrets:

1. Ji Dwi - Historically, Jinheung was Beopheung (the previous king)'s nephew and therefore Ji Soo (the Queen) might not be Ji Dwi's birth mother. She might have adopted him to consolidate her position as Queen/Queen Mother/Regent.

This would account for their cool relationship and ambivalent conversations. She has manoeuvred herself into power and can cherry pick a successor by keeping him hidden, which is why Ji Dwi feels threatened.

It then makes sense that he married his cousin? and sister by adoption, Sookmyung.

2. Ji Soo's fainting spell = Sun Woo's birth mother.

But then why abandon him?

I'm getting a whiff of eau de Mishil. His genealogy meant he was of no use to her since he was not pure sacred bone and could not be king. As [Read more]

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Aha your connection between the Queen's fainting and Fake Sun Woo confirms one of my theory that maybe Fake Sun Woo is the true King.

The story's picking up but I'm having an increasingly hard time, not getting pissed when Ji Dwi is onscreen. His arrogance and utter lack of consideration for the opinions of others rub me off, in that sense he' s similar to the Queen... the only difference is he doesn't kill those he doesn't like and he has more screen time.
The only thing that makes me "happy" right now is that Ji Dwi is in a way responsible for Real Sun Woo's death. It's gonna bite his bottom down the road and make him wallow in misery.

Did I say I didn't like him?

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@la plume i think (at the moment) his pretty face is his saving grace, hopefully he can work on proving us wrong in the coming episodes!

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Unfortunately his pretty face has no effect on me. He does have 9 episodes to redeem himself counting episode 8... But Fake Sun Woo is already so far ahead there's no hope anymore for second lead syndrome.

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I ship Ji Dwi and Ah Ro, I don't feel any chemistry between Go Ara and Park Seo Joon so the 2nd lead can hv her.

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His roommate has a crush on his mother... his mother had a relationship with his crush's father.. his crush is attracted to her pretending brother.. and her real brother died because he saw his face...

I just pity him..
That also explains the screen time..😜

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i find Ji Dwi as an immature boy, but thankfully not evil/mean-spirited. let's not forget that they are supposedly only 19-20 year olds, full of bluster and self-pride. and he's actually quite open minded, proved by how he kept sun woo's answer in his mind, and openly acknowledge that he's still a long way from becoming a true king, and that he has a lot to learn first.

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Yes.. i had the same thought but the issue with that theor is that it would make our lead couple half siblings

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Not really. There is nothing that hints at the Queen having a child with Ahn Ji. I believe Fake Sun Woo may be the Queen's real son... just not with Ahn Ji.

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If not Ahn Ji then who?

If he is the son of the previous king why would Woo Ruk say he would not be welcomed by anyone?

Would the Queen have allowed the rightful heir to disappear just like that?

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Right, the previous king was the queen's father. She can't possibly have a son with him. That's just going way too far.

Maybe his family is connected to those people who killed the late king.

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If this Woo Ruk is the same as Ureuk of Gaya, the gayageum inventor, Seon Woo's lineage may have something to do with the Kingdom of Gaya.

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@O_o

That would be so awesome, wouldn't it? It would make so much sense in relation to the Hwarangs being taught in music ,art, literature etc. Who else would be the perfect teacher than master Woo Ruk himself. He was also alive during King Jinheung's time.

Why would a Gaya person end up protecting Moo Myung/ fake Sun-woo's guardian? Is he a Gaya prince?

Moo Myung's identity could reveal so much and no wonder they are keeping it a secret for now.

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Oh my goodness, he is indeed Master Woo Reuk of Gaya. This is awesomeness!
Now I'm 90% sure that Moo Myung is a Gaya prince.

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but then why the Queen abandoned Sun Woo if he is not related to Ahn Ji? so confusing...

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Queen Regent Jiso was Sammaekjong aka Ji-dwi's real mother. She was king Beopheung's daughter and she married her uncle, her father's younger brother. (I think she said something about it in this episode.)
That is why Sammaekjong is of pure royal blood (sacred bone) on both side.

I'm not so sure about adoption in those days because they were very strict with the royal blood being pure in order to be the king. That is why her father ordered her to marry her own uncle against her will in order to produce a legitimate sacred bone for the throne.
When the news of the late king's death broke out she told her maid and Pa-oh to protect Sammaekjong, the last sacred bone.

If Sun Woo is the queen's secret son then who would be his father? He has to be a sacred bone if he is supposed to [Read more]

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Thanks. This makes sense.

My only question remaining is why the Queen and Ji Dwi are so cool towards each other. Seems a tad unnatural....

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I think she wants to keep him in hiding probably for his own protection. She grew up around politics and she knows that he is going to be eaten alive by the Hwabaek council.
They were the original linage (old aristocratic) that ruled Shilla from the beginning. The were still very powerful even all the way to Goryeo for those of you who watch 6 Flying Dragons.

I'm guessing Minister Park is the Sangdaedeung, head of the Hwabaek council. They are the ones who keep the king's authority in check and they do have a say in important governments matters like succession to the throne.

She is very smart, she knows she has to acquire power to secure the throne for her son.
I do feel for her because she seems to be fighting them alone. No wonder why she is sick.

I think Sammaekjong doesn [Read more]

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KiarA, can I be your best friend?

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Such scholarly discourse here :P love it!

But I believe Queen JiSoo is sick because there are people secretly poisoning her too. And her son's doubts against her stems from everyone in the capital talking about how the pitiful faceless king can't ascend to the throne due to the queen mother who refuses to let go of her power

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Two words, Kiara. Luv Ya!!!!

Additional knowledge is always a great thing.

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Aw <3!

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Thanks for the explanation! This sheds some light on things!

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Yw :).

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Queen Regent Jiso was actually Sammaekjong's real mother. She was a princess and married her own uncle and had Sammaekjong. Notice in ep 7, in a flashback, Ahro's father called Jiso "gong joo" (princess). It was common to marry your closest relatives back then, eg your half siblings, uncles etc.

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I have a guess that Sun Woo could be the rightful King, or at least a contender for the throne. The previous King was Queen Ji So's 60+ year old Uncle, if I'm not wrong. Sun Woo could be the son of the previous King, not by Queen Ji So.

And Ban Ryu and Soo Yeon are a good match, haha. I like how her sunny personality helped to loosen him up so much in episode 8. And I think he would do well being friends with the Kim siblings. Both Su Ho and Soo Yeon seem to have grown up with a lot of love, and Ban Ryu lacks that.

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Would that mean that Fake SunWoo and Queen Jisoo are half-siblings?
I kinda think Fake SunWoo is somehow the late King's son and has the real right of the throne.

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In history, the late king did not have any sons with sacred bone and that's why Jinheung became king.

They could change it in this drama and say that he had an heir to the throne but I highly doubt it.

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The previous king was Queen Jiso's father. She married her father's younger brother, her own uncle.

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How does Ji soo's fainting spells connect to her being SunWoo's mother? And which Sun Woo are we talking about?

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I think the Queen's fainting spells are because of poisoning. After reading some comments I'm leaning more towards fake Sun Woo being a Gaya prince.

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Overall, I enjoy the show but this modernised - historical drama style (what do you call it) isn't really working for me. Why is that? Any of the awesome commentators on this site have any idea about what is potentially off-putting about it?

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This is a part of the Flower Boy series ( Flower Boy Ramyun Shop, Shut up Flower Boy Band, Flower Boy Next Door etc) by oh!boy project.
They decided to go with a sageuk version this time and historically Shilla's Hwarangs were the original Flower Boys.

It's pretty much a modernized fictional take on the Hwarangs. It's not meant to be taken as a serious sageuk.

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I had no idea there'd a while series of flower boy shows. But come to think of it, what would dramaland be without The Flowerboy?

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One Word: The MUSIC

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yes, it's the music for me too.

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I like the playful music that was played at the very end of ep 1, but can't recall anything else.

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For me It's exactly because they modernize the historical setting. The characters action also sometime feels like they live in the 21st century. This makes me extra aware that the show's not real and the conflict is only fiction. Thus I don't feel emotionally attached to anyone and anything in the show.

This is just my opinion but I think if a story uses historical setting and historical facts as an inspiration (in this case Hwarang and King Sam Maekjong), the best approach to present it to audience is you either go full serious (like Queen Seondeok and Six Flying Dragons) or full comedy like Monty Python.

In the serious approach we can feel the high stakes in the conflict and that makes us feel for the character. Game of Thrones and Lord of The Ring is a fantasy story set in histori [Read more]

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I think you hit the nail on the head with that explanation. Puts into words my feelings exactly.

I'm also with you on Park Hyung Sik. I don't like his (character's) forceful ways with Ah Ro, but do find his character to be the most intriguing of them all. It also doesn't help that he's ridiculously gorgeous. Thank you God, for making that face.

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Me too. I feel that way too.

That's also why some people said It's watchable but they're not crazy about it.

You're right, Sammekjong is the most intriguing character. Actually, I'm wondering why they choose Park Seojoon's character as the lead. His character story is boring for me. Seowoo right now doesn't have anything going for him other than love story with Ahro (They really feel like brother and sister btw).

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I agree, there's no chemistry between Sun Woo and Ah Ro. They're so stiff.

All this commentary is making me wonder why I'm even watching it anymore.

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His behavior toward AhRo is atrocious and worrying. If a girl said to a guy stop, and he keeps on coming until she had to actually defend herself against him, I'm done. He already sexually assaulted her, and I don't appreciate the writers that wrote that it's okay to do that. It's a problem in kdramas.

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It's another Kdrama (sub)trope - the forced kiss, wrist/waist/entire bod grab.

Totally off-putting. And I am Asian.

Even Brad Pitt back in the days when he was THE Brad Pitt (when he was with Ms. Goop) would not make this okay.

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This is a bit of difficult issue for me. I completely agree that his behavior cannot and should not be tolerated or condoned. Yet, I don't want to curtail the writers' freedom to incorporate all kinds of characters in their drama.

That he is forceful with women, and expects things to go his way is a product of his upbringing and education as the prince-in-hiding with a man (his ever-present guard) who always obeys his every command.

I suppose the problem is as you characterized it - that the writers have condoned his actions. Ah Ro did later point out to him that it was against her will, and that one line was the end of that story. He's moved on to wooing her with presents (forced upon her yet again).

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But it's really okay to do that in old days. This isn't 20th century. Ever heard of the rule in Korean kingdoms before that ALL the women in palace or work there belongs to the King. He can pick anyone to be his concubine and they will have no choice but to agree or they will die along with their family. Saemmaekjong is raise like that. Knowing their family is the highest among all and that he is King and shouldn't bow down to anyone and can get what he likes so can you blame him?!

Like he told Ahro, 'What did I do wrong?' he don't know that kissing her is wrong because for him it is not wrong. Ahro did not bother to explain to him why it's wrong she only said because kissing her was a mistake which he misunderstood and say it wasn't a mistake at all because he really like her.

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For me, it's the backdrop/setting/props that put me off. As an example amongst many, clear glassware and pewter goods did not exist in that time. Which is also why it looks very "unnatural" to me. But that's just me being picky.

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Its watchable but Im not crazy about it.

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omg lolly! thank you for the recap again.

the 4 scenes that really caught me

1 - sun woo learning to be brotherly and his most awkward neck-grab + head pat... DIED

2 - freaking hwa gong peeing in his pants. his sudden relaxed face. the wet footprints.. dear me!!

3 - soo yeon's rice cakes.... look really good?!?!?!?!

4 - the bouncer attacking the pole! hahahaha

i find the king slightly more likable in this episode, especially when he actually reflected on sun woo's words while sitting on the throne, knowing he has lots to learn. ( i hope he also continues to learn how to treat a girl!!)

sun woo.... i really have mixed feelings now that he's caught, especially for ah ro. as her 'brother' she had that excuse to love him (and vice versa) in a very obvious in-your-face w [Read more]

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"she’s a spunky, opinionated hellion who’s more than capable of taking him down..."

Is she a dictator or what? This is supposed to be a historical series, not a 21st century flick.

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Heh, according to my nonexistent knowledge of Korean history, Silla and Goryeo girls can have some spunkiness since their life isn't dictated by neo-Confucianism like the Joseon counterparts.

Maybe a traditional, Joseon era sageuk dramas are better suited for you?

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What is wrong with her being spunky and opinionated?

I like that she is the kind of girl who fights for her own agency and capable of taking of herself. It's 21st century, it's high time we stop glorifying the damsel in distress who needs the prince charming to the saving all the time.

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*taking care of herself.

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this sageuk isn't your average fusion sageuk... there are many things the girls in this series do that they wouldn't have in real life in those days

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Like go clubbing at night, drink alcohol in the market in the middle of the day, and flirt with men freely in coffee shops?
These girls (and boys) are like university students o_O

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from what i read women in Silla era actually has a lot more agency towards their self/education compared to Joseon. that's why A ro is depicted as literate in this drama, compared to say, in SKKS where the heroine was prohibited from an education

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Anyone super excited for Ban Ryu and Soo Yeon!?! Dang, the single moment where she asks him if he's okay and the look in his eyes…makes me think it's the first time he's ever felt any true concern from anyone…poor guy.

Haha, that moment where Su-Ho explains how to be a "brother" was really funny.

I have a feeling Seon Woo is the real king and he's lost all memories of his childhood. It's weird how he hasn't had any fainting spells so far though, I'm wondering if the writer just forgot about it or what.

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Meeeeeee! I'm so excited for soo yeon and ban ryu! He's going to be so adorkable!!! Ahhhhhhhhhh! <3

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I AM INTERESTED WITH THE BAN RYU AND SOO YUN SHIP!!! I WAS LIKE SOOOOOOOO GIDDY AND DIZZY BECAUSE OF BAN RYU'S REACTION!!! Looking forward to more of their interactions.

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I watched the special episode, so I was waiting for the grabby hands scene. Honestly, I'm pretty much watching Hwarang for
Banryu x Sooyoung,
Suho x Banryu and
Jidwi x Sunwoo in that order.

My favourite funny scenes were Suho explaining how to be a brother and the guard attacking the post and hitting himself every few thwacks.

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Are you me? Because I am shipping all of them too! :D

Ji Dwi' X Sun Woo is going to be one exciting ship haha!

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I feel you with Ban Ryu and Soo Yeon. I thought they'd be the more dramatic Romeo-Juliet type couple (because she's Su Ho's sister and their families hate each other) but I laughed so frikin' hard at their scene. Ban Ryu's scandalized face was priceless. In that 30 seconds of her stroking his cheek and asking if he was okay had more chemistry then all of Sun Woo's and Ah Ro's scenes put together (sorry to their shippers). Ban Ryu and her relationship will probably get angsty with progress but for now I was happy with Do Ji Han's character showing a different facial expression apart from miserable and pissed.

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I'm completely sold on the Banryu Sooyeon ship! Give me more!

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Ahh, it's beginning! The bromance and the romance and everything in between. I love how Ban Ryu just couldn't stay put and followed all of them out. I wonder if he'd be the one to get them in trouble this time.

I love Sun Woo. He gets prettier and more elegant every episode. Gah, I luff his awkward brotherly advances at ah roh. He's so cute that way.

I also love Ji Dwi. He looked so absolutely REGAL in that throne room scene - I want him to be the king so bad.

OMG Ban Ryu and Seo Yeon are so CUTE! I LOVED HIS SAUCER EYES WHEN SHE GRABBED HIS BUTT! He was so absolutely speechless he didn't even retaliate to Su Oh. It was adorkable!

On the other hand, I want a deeper, more three dimensional back story for Yeo Wool and Han Sung. What makes them what they are and what character dev [Read more]

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Soo Yun grabbing Ban Ryu's butt scene was soo hilarious! I got giddy when she placed her hands on his face and he was like lovestrucked!!' More scenes with the two of them please!!!

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Not sure about Yeo Wool's character yet but I'm already loving Han Sung. He's innocent, sweet and is clearly against the whole ranking system. It was nice to see Sun Woo actually take notice of him when he mentioned that a mother's death anniversary was a must go-to (seemed like all the main characters apart from Su Ho and Yeo Wool were ignoring his very existence). I find myself wanting to know more about him (and his relationship with his half brother). It's also great because V's doing a solid job portraying him even though he's a newbie. He fits in nicely with the rest of the cast.

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That last scene with Su Ho's sister and Ban Ryu was just hilarious! I continue to really enjoy this show, and the 3 main leads. The heroine's father looked a little psycho in this ep, when he leaned over the queen when she had awoken from her fainting spell. I wonder if the queen is responsible for his wife's death, and that is why he hates her.

Also the queen's fainting spell could mean that she is Moo Myung's real mother because he faints too sometimes, or it could just be a coincidence.

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The Queen is actually indirectly responsible for his wife's death. In an earlier episode, it was shown that the wife and son were banished outside the capital due to some intervention by the queen.

And no matter how much the queen swoons over him, she did have his real son murdered, his fake/adopted son punished, and always threatens his family (in ep8 preview she threatens to kill Ah Ro too). I can imagine him going about psycho over her- its like his ex-girlfriend has become a crazed stalker, now killing his family.

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I agree

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I don't think Ah-ro's mother is dead. Banished doesn't mean she was killed. It meant that she was kicked out from the capital never to return.

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Ji-gong wife is really dead thats why he hates the queen. He did say that to her because his mute wife died outside alone and thats how they found her, as Ah-Ro said they dont know exactly when she died but that she is dead.

You dont have memorial for someone you didnt bury.

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I'm just thinking outside the box here. They are only told that she died, no date, no body, no grave at all so they are holding a memorial on her birthday because they don't know when she died.
They didn't even know that Sun-woo was alive after searching all over the country for him
If they don't know that much then there is a possibility that she is not dead.

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If they found her then I'm wrong.

Watching different versions of the show and the translations is confusing. I wish I know how to read the Chinese translation. It's got to be more accurate than the English subs.

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Where's the 6th guy? There are 6 in the picture, but our story seems to focus only on 5. I'm not watching the show, just following the recaps, so I'm a little confused. Can anyone help me out?

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6th guy is the one who has a half brother. The one who was looking at sun through tinted glasses. The one who was trying to act all mature when GO Ara was tending to his wound.

Ep 8 has more of him

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I think the reason why we see more of the 5 guys is because they all ended up getting the same "dorm" room - Hansang (who is the 6th Hwarang) is in another room…episode 8 does have more of him. He pretty much inserted himself into the squad lol

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Sunwoo (Park Seojun), Sam Maekjong/Ji Dwi (Park Hyungsik), Suho (Minho), Banryu (Do Jihan), Yeowool (Jo Yoonwoo), and Hansung (Kim Taehyung/V)...

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Had no idea who V is or which group or whatever... but he is such a puppy.. so not 20 yet.. :P .. he is adorable ... 5 yr old baby..

For a change lead is a sweet guy but I really don't care. The king is hogging the limelight... happened to youtube hyung shik.. and wow... he is the literal example of growing into a b'ful swan...

Can I plz plz plz plz have YW-V love story.. it would be so cute and angsty and wonderful

BR - lol.. n i totally want a romeo juliet tragic arc for him and SH's sister..
He was so confused.. and then the wide eye look at the end when she stroked his cheek..

**********
I still don't get it why is queen being hated or should she be hated. I am still not sure if she is protecting her son by waiting for him to grow up before he takes over the throne.. or d [Read more]

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V (real name Taehyung) is from BTS. What you're seeing in the show is pretty much his real life persona. He's a legit puppy, weird 4D personality and immensely carefree of all problems in the world LOL

Okay, this ARMY will get off her soap box now.

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The Queen is not totally innocent. In a previous episode she threatened her own son by saying something like: nobody knows what you look like, so until I don't specifically confirm you are my son, nobody will believe you and you are just a nobody, who can't become king.

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I'm looking forward to the Soo-yeon x Ban-ryu pairing because they look so cute together and he looked so smitten. He could use some love so i hope it's not one-sided. Though it would be a Romeo/Juliet kind of situation with the way their fathers don't like each other, but let's hope for Ban-ryu to grow a pair and stand up for what he wants (or may eventually want ;)). And let's please have A-ro find out, cause any longer and it will become icky. And man does Ji-dwi look good in those king's robes. Yum!

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Ah Ro handled the situation with Ji Dwi well. Glad she didn't need Sun Woo getting involved.

Sun Woo was really awkward and cute with Ah Ro's headlock!! LOL

I like that Sun Woo's answer about the water and king affected Ji Dwi. His response to his mother was good.

LAWWWWD. The whole scene between Soo Yeon and Ban Ryu was freaking awesome and hilarious!!! His shocked reaction hahaha. He has instantly fallen for her. xD

DUDE. That final scene between Sun Woo and Ah Ro had me gasping. Sun Woo is definitely caught! Right? I hope he confides the truth to her soon.

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ok, so this literally just came to me but was I the only one who had this thought process while watching this episode?

- Moomyung (fake Sun Woo) has fainting spells; why would they show it so much (it was literally in the opening sequence too) unless it was significant & I have always thought that would serve to reveal his true parentage
- Queen had a similar fainting incident (perhaps her condition is more under control as she obviously is a royal and has access to the best medical treatment)
- Master Ahn Ji, after treating the Queen literally thought: "how can I take something from you" which leads to:
obviously Master Ahn Ji knows about Moomyung's condition (as seen in previous episodes); am I the only who thinks it is rather suspicious at how forceful he was that he preten [Read more]

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I thought this was the best episode yet, and I'm glad the show seems to be finding its footing a bit. Some of it's comedy is a bit too slapstick though - the pee thing was just gross.

I have to say Ban Ryu is the most interesting character for me so far - and his (hopefully) future loveline with Soo Yeon. He's such a jerk to everyone, but also hurting with a sad backstory. I want him to be good friends with the boys and have some love and become a good person!

I actually really like our main trio, even if Ah Ro is kinda annoying in her cluelessness. I think she and Sun Woo have a cute chemistry, especially if they ever get the chance to be anything but awkward.

The rest of the plotlines are interesting too, and I like Ji Dwi even if he's terrible towards Ah Ro. His prettiness [Read more]

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I really adore this drama so far. I am by no mean a drama buff and the K-dramas I watched can be counted on two hands. I have always been immensely bothered by the tsundere mainlead winning the girl and I literally squealed when I realised that Sunwoo doesn't fall into that stereotype. I am so happy. I love the interactions between the boys and I just... really freaking love this drama so far. I hope it doesn't let me down like Moon Lovers did.

I've seen several people mentioning a special episode now. Where can I find this special episode? I need to watch it!

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KBS World just uploaded it with subs! https://youtu.be/QiZl2YEwuEo I hope you can access it from where you are. Most of the special previews here have already been revealed in the past 7 episodes, but it's fun to watch the cast's reactions.

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I'm surprised it took this long for the king to come up with the plan to make Hwarang his. It seems such an obvious thing for him to do. If it wasn't his original reason for joining why was he even bothering?

But then again he does immediately show his immaturity by taunting his mother with the idea.

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"Dodukyung" is Korean pronunciation of the Chinese Classic, Tao Te Ching or Dao De Jing, the Book of Laozi. I am no expert in Taoism but Tao Te Ching is famous for a few themes running through it. One is the reverence for water, which is symbolic of the Mysterious Female and yin energy. It talks about how water is humble (because it runs from a high place to a low place), how water follows the course of things (because if it encounters an obstacle, it will flow around it) and how water is life-giving. These are all related to the other important themes of Taoism such as the Mysterious Female, effortless action and powers of nothingness.

I think Sammaekjeong was advocating this female-centered vision of Tao Te Ching as the way a king should rule his people whereas Sunwoo was pushing a [Read more]

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This, by the way, is an anachronism since the book of Tae Te Ching did not enter Silla until the 8th century, some 200 years after Sammaekjeong's time.

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@O_o

Thank you! I'm not as familiar with Chinese history like I do with Korea's.

I know they are not going with the real historical timeline so I'm just guessing.

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I know next to nothing about Chinese history. But Korea was greatly influenced by various Chinese (Han and non-Han) dynasties, thoughts, philosophies, religion, Hanja, etc throughout its history that it must be really hard to write Korean sageuk dramas without referencing them.

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Even the historical records were written in Classical Chinese. So much is lost in translation when it's being translated from Korean to English.
The Annals of King Taejo was translated to English straight from the original. One of my favorite.

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All 6 boys are so fun to watch with all their shenanigans. Sun Woo is the cutest thing ever, he even took lessons from Soo Ho on how to be a good brother...haha. This is true to life, it reminded me of my own brothers reenacting wrestling matches with me. Sun Woo's attempt at putting Ah Ro in a headlock and the pat on the head were so deliciously awkward. Park Seo Joon has the best awkward facial expression.

I also like the king/Ji Dwi with Ah Ro. Poor guy got headbutted when going in for a 2nd kiss...lol. The writer did a good job on keeping Ah Ro's spunk. Ji Dwi's backstory is pretty interesting and am excited to see him grow into a king after the people's heart and learning about a woman's heart. I don't think he will end up with Ah Ro though but their interactions will be good for [Read more]

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Those boys in that dorm are always inviting trouble. But I love them being just boys and I love how the reluctant Banryu actually dying to join them.

Never ever have I ever suffered SLS before but Park Hyung Shik's Ji Dwi is just so irresistible. Sure, he is no gentleman like Sun Woo but there's the charm and the naughty banter between him and Aro that makes me rooting for him to get the girl. Sun Woo is the ultimate nice guy but nice sometimes can be boring. Girl needs to have a little adventure or can Aro just love both at the same time? And Park Hyung Shik has way better chemistry with Go Ara which is what making their courtship more believable.

And Soo Yeon and Banryu are just too cute. I love that evil naughty face she had plastered on her face when she grabbed his butt.

Thi [Read more]

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"And Park Hyung Shik has way better chemistry with Go Ara which is what making their courtship more believable."

I kind of agree with you for now but isn't that because Ah Ro still thinks Sun Woo is her brother? Ah Ro already has feelings for Sun Woo without realizing the truth and Sun Woo has to pretend to be her brother while being attracted to her. Can't wait to see Sun Woo acting cute after the misunderstanding has been cleared up.

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If they have the chemistry, somehow it will show despite the constraint. In most cases, I always find the constraint that making the romantic moments more intense and sexy. They have some possible heart fluttering moments but I don't feel the flutter. But with Park Hyung Shik, they both just exude that intensity. Yeah, you are right, let's just see how the chemistry develop once they wiped out the fauxcest in coming episodes.

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I agree even in Behind the Scene Hyungshik and Go Ara have great chemistry. There are lots of BTS of Seojoon and Ara laughing and making mistake but there isn't a sparks. It almost seem like they are awkward with each other. While with Hyungshik and Ara they have a BTS where they literally just sitting there holding a fan and they already have sparks and chemistry in that alone.

I read somewhere that Ara said she filmed with Hyungshik first and they have to film the club scene. So she said they talk about how to best show the scene and befriend each other fast and that is why they have great chemistry together.

On paper alone and love story Sunwoo is the perfect guy for Ahro. She takes care of her, always put her first, they have fun together, they get along well etc. He literally is [Read more]

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Enjoying this show alot.
I went in with least expectations so I'm satisfied so far.
This is my guess behind the birth secret based on what the show has shared with us:
■ Je dwi is real son of Queen regent ji soo; I kinda believe that she wants to protect the throne 4 her son initially but being in a powerful position for more than a decade has appears to be difficult 4 her to let go seeing how she got married unhappily and thus lived an unhappy life (forced to marry a 60 year old man when she was young, probably a teen). Also looking up the history je dwi is the nephew of the previous king. Therefore, the previous king may not have an heir by the time of deathbed and therefore je dwi was next eligible king to rule from that blood line.
■ Sun woo is real son of the previous king w [Read more]

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I second your theory! The concubine of the previous king is involve here. But it's just one of the theories floating in my head.

I do think that Sun-woo maybe a scared bone but he'll not be king. It will still be Sammaekjong. History also said that King Jinheung had a great general that helped him expand Silla's territory and this, I believe, will be Sun-woo.

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Before this opinion I was so sure that Fake SunWoo is gonna be king. I agree with you, I am just very sure that Fake SunWoo is the late King's son, somehow.
I also want to add that if JiDwi will still be king then FakeSunWooxAhRo will be the final ship sailing. Whoever becomes king cannot have the girl. Lol

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+1. My thoughts exactly!

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Gosh.. Ban-ryu and So-yeon's first meeting was even more histerical and hilarious than what I expected. I love every second, especially since she was so oblivious at what kind of feeling she stirred inside him. His eventual fall would be so delicious to watch.

I didn't expect to like Yeo-wool this much. I don't know whether he purposefully stirred problem because living in Hwarang House was just that boring for him. Or he just loved to use extreme measures to force all his roommates to play nice with each other.

And I can't wait for Han-sung to join them. Nothing like a puppy maknae to brighten that room's atmosphere.

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I haven't watch this but I like to know that ahro can answer ji dwi without sunwoo and the water question is answered.

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This is saguek done A Knight's Tale (Health Ledger, Alan Tudyk, Paul Bettany) style. It's definitely jarring at first because I wasn't expecting it, but I'm kind of liking it. But then, A Knight's Tale is a personal favorite.

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Now all this needs is a soundtrack with Queen, David Bowe and Sly And The Family Stone. LOL

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Who is Sun-woo/Moo Myung (Park Seo-jun)? They guess he is Gaya's (the country conquered by Silla) last prince Wolgang,
or Kim Yoo-sin's (Gaya origin, and Kim Chun-choo's brother-in-law who unified 3 kingdoms) grandfather Kim Moo-ryuk.

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Yes! more history.

My first thought was that he might be general Yi Sabu but he would be too old.

2nd: Kim Yushin who was pretty much a well known Hwarang. His mother was a Shilla princess who ran off and married General Seohyeon from Gaya.
Only problem is, Yushin wasn't around during King Jinheung's reign.

3rd: Crown Prince Wolgwang of Gaya. He would be Prince Wolya's father from QSD right?
Based on the timeline he would be the closest to King Jinheung's age (I think).

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i'm leaning toward the crown prince of gaya. as the heir to that kingdom he would be expected to lead a rebellion against their conqueror and reestablish their kingdom, thus becoming a threat for Silla (and ultimately, King Jinheung). i think that's why he was hidden since birth. besides, his caretaker wooreuk is supposedly from Gaya.

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Thank you for this bit of history! Previous comments also believe that Sun-woo's family was part of a rebellion.

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Pretty much and that's why King Jinheung send Yi Sabu to conquer Gaya but allowed them to keep their royal status.
That let Kim Yushin to become a Hwarang. He was royalty on both side (Shilla and Gaya).

The thought of Ah-ro and Moo Myung as possible parents of Prince Wolya is interesting. Maybe I shouldn't go there lol.

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Knetz are all so sure that he is Prince Wolgang of Gaya because of Wooreuk. Wooreuk is a representation of Gaya so it makes sense that the child he raise is the Gaya Prince. Plus apparently their timeline is pretty close. I don't know much about Gaya unlike other kingdoms since I really read those so I am not so sure. But Knetz knows their history better than us so they probably have higher probability of getting it right.

They are even giving theories that this drama might make Kim Yu Shin as Sunwoo and Ahro's son in the ending since they mess up the timeline already. So they may add that little extra in the finale. But who knows. I heard a lot of spoilers already about Hyungshik's character ending even during the first week and it kinda seem legit but I haven't heard much spoiler abou [Read more]

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We already figured that out. Is there something new?

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There is many possibilities when they messed up the timeline. Ah-ro would have to be a sacred bone to be Kim Yushin's mother. Fake Sun-woo would be General Kim Seohyeon, a Gaya royalty.

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*are*

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Is seo yeji present alrd in this ep ??

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She was not in this episode. She is in the preview for the next one though.

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I'm relieved that u all share my concerns about Sun Woo's birth secret.

Favorite scene was the butt grab. I almost ate my pillow. I felt for Soo Yeong. And yes I also sad for Banryu - to see his dad treated that way.

As for Ah Ro's reaction to the Kiss, I expected more like gut kicking. Honestly, for me it would be nothing less than a kick in the family jewels - jst saying

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By this episode I’m already neck-deep in second lead territory. Not necessarily because I ‘m rooting for Sammaekjong to win the girl. I know he won’t (What is it with Go Ara’s drama and second lead syndrome? Man, I had it so bad with Chilbongie). Somehow I’m just so invested in Sammaekjong’s journey. There’s so much room for character growth and I’m looking forward to seeing how the drama will turn him from a lonely and self-doubting young king to the wise Great King Jinheung that history knows. I’m so happy that by being in Hwarang and in close proximity to Aro, Sun-woo and the room-mates, he learns a valuable lesson every day. I believe those small lessons will build and shape his character in a way that his mother will never be able to do. Be strong puppy, I’m on you [Read more]

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Now that my comment can finally go through, I'd like to express how much I love dramabeans. Honestly, don't know what I'd have done done about my dramas without you. Love you!!!

I'd also like to know who writes the recaps please........ They're just too good. It's as if you're always reading my mind and that you know my exact reaction to different situations.

Love you lots!!!!!

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Somehow I could not shake off the feeling that there is far more truth to what the Queen said when she told Sung do-il's character that Sun Woo is her son--but is it Makmun Sun Woo or Moo Myung Sun Woo?

I know that this is a kdrama and there is bound to be a birth secret one way or the other BUT I am hoping against hope that it better not be Moo Myung Sun Woo. I really want him to rise above everything by using his wits and skills and having a nobility background seems to take away all that and it is as if to say well in general that only the nobility can perform noble feats and common people can't
. Please please.

Ban Ryu's reaction to the fracas was just pure gold--methinks he did not even register Su Ho's presence. It was like WTF IS GOING ON? As for Soo yeon and su ho being sibl [Read more]

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i love this show! everyone's acting is good and the story so far is refreshing as well. Though there's obviously a birth secret, the fact that the lead is not the king was what drew me in this story in the first place..and that he is the sweet and thoughtful kind like the usual second lead in other shows..yeowool is channeling skks' song joong ki's role which is fun! but the sudden cuts in between scenes are weird, you would think that with it being pre-produced, the editing would have been better

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It's about time she realized he's not her brother, so we'll get true romance in the next part maybe...? and... soo yeon and ban ryu were so cute lol, I'm looking forward to their romance!

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I have decided to board the ship of Ji Dwi-Aro.

With fauxcest cleared, means Ji Dwi really have to step up his game to win Aro. On one hand, I am so looking forward to see how far Ji Dwi could go with the courting game but on another end, I am scared that he will get his heart broken. Sob. Sob.

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this show is my current crack. idk what about it is so entertaining, but i find myself wanting more each week. by this point i do hope that the pace will pick up a bit, since there are still so many things left unexplored. how many eps will there be anyway, 20?

sammaekjong continues to be the most interesting character for me, since he is so painfully immature (more obvious in this ep) and still has a lot to learn about life. you can see in this ep that even tho Pa Oh is a good guy, he still treats and raises SMJ like a traditional king. thankfully SMJ seems open minded and able to learn from other people, even those 'beneath' him like sun woo and ah ro.

the hwarangs bond a bit too quickly imo, since they still seem to really hate each other in last week's eps, even tho i guess it's [Read more]

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Thanks for the recap, LP!

I'm really enjoying the progress of these friendships developing and the boys being challenged to think differently than they're used to.

Love SH teaching SW how to treat his sister and him testing things out with AR subsequently was just hilarious.

I really like SW's exam answer and agree with you it's good that JD can recognize the value of that answer despite being different from his. I think it's this kind of pensiveness and open-mindedness that will pave the way for him to be a good king for his people later. If he only remained in his only high-class self-serving bubble, he'd never be a good king.

I like that there are already hints that SW isn't AR's brother based on what JK told her and the big clue at the end. There's no way a real son wouldn' [Read more]

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Wooreuk does seem to be the Gaya genius musician. I have a feeling Mumyung is Crown Prince Wolgwang of Gaegaya

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Who is this prince wolgwang of gaegaya, I can't find him on google lol, I'm curious, might you share a link or at least explain?

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The story is starting to get better in my opinion. Sure the love triangle between sunwoo/aro/jidwi is something to look out for but i'm glad that there's more than this romance that take the centre of the story. I'm looking forward to development of other characters as well.

I always have it bad with second-lead-syndrome but i'm glad i didn't have it with these one (reply 1994 and 1988 is enough torture for me) Ji dwi character is charismatic, he got oozing chemistry (please note on his part) towards the heroine but i dont get the same feedback from ah ro character. Just because there's some intensity in the scene between the two doesn't necessarily mean they both have great chemistry with each other because it seems to me that Ji dwi is just ignorantly pushing himself towards ah ro wit [Read more]

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As opposed by a few others, I love the 21st century elements in this drama, the parodies, and the word play. It didn't take itself quite seriously but it has its dark layers. KBS made an explanation video on the drama that's pretty entertaining to watch.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BklGjX5bbE

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So far, this drama made me wonder a few things:
1. Sun-woo/Moomyung birth secret. Me & my sister theory is he is Queen Jiso another son with Anhji (becus both of them actually bethroth before Jiso married to a 60 year old uncle). I also agree with all of your theory regarding Sun-woo/Moomyung birth secret. I would really love to see it unfold. However, to me, 90% I agree with Sun-woo/Moomyung being Gaya prince.
2. Aro actually from the 1st encounter is doubtful if Moomyung is his brother. But I actually didn't see her actively questioning or forced her father or people around her or using informant (as she is so focus & energetic gathering information of nobles' sons in the 1st few episodes) to tell the truth. I would love to see that. Because Aro personalities is strong & in [Read more]

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Other than Ban Ryu X SeoYeon, I can't fully ship anyone.

SW X Aro is boring not to mention incestuous element (as Aro still thinks he is her brother)

Aro X SMJ. I hope SMJ will get someone more appreciative of him. The one way street love is not healthy.

SooHo X Queen. Yikes.. if that happens, he'll be SMJ's stepfather?

But I love the other relationships:

SMJ X Pa Oh. Pa Oh is more like the father figure than the Queen as a mother to SMJ.

Aro X Pi Joo Ki. Like a bickering father and daughter, compared to Master Ahn Ji who, most of the time, seems to be distance and oblivious to Aro.

YeoWoo X Han Sung. The innocent boy always seeking answers from the wise (sly) Yeo Woo. Yeo Woo reminds me of Song Joong Ki's character in Sungkyukwan.

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The boys are all darling in this drama. I'm not a huge fan of Go Ara. She needs to lighten up. She frowns too much. For someone that's so "nice" she sure as hell ain't into spreading much sunshine. Hyungsik needs a lead role after this, he just oozes charisma and Park Seo Joon already proved he's got charisma for miles. The problem is the girl. She's another Uee. Couldn't get a spark out of her if you doused her with gas and lit a match. How in the hell can you be so flat and bland when you're playing opposite those two? I don't get it. So I'm watching for the boys.

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I love this drama for so many reasons. At first I watched it because of V and it turned well better than I expected the drama to be. The only thing I hate about this drama is ji dwi ah ro and sun woo scenes most of them are so boring and annoying but when the hwarang are together they are awesome. I love ban ryu I really hopes he falls in love with suho's sister that look he gave her I can never forget it.WOW👌👏👍✌

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