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Hwarang: Episode 8

Our flower boys are beginning to look like a real group, though a group of exactly what is still up in the air. There’s very little fight training going on so far, but that doesn’t lessen the fun as they find themselves bonding through music, of all things. It’s easy to forget that life-or-death political machinations are occurring right outside, when friendship and romance are the real high stakes inside the Hwarang gates.

 
EPISODE 8 RECAP

Ah Ro tells Sun-woo how she misses her mother’s touch, and the lullaby of the wind and the birds. He asks if Mother’s lullaby wasn’t good, and she looks at him in surprise. “Oraboni,” she says, “Mother couldn’t sing a lullaby. Because she couldn’t speak.”

Sun-woo is stunned by his mistake, but before he can think of an excuse, Ah Ro makes one for him. She says he must have forgotten, and pretends that she only knows because Ji-gong told her. Rambling, she tells Sun-woo to head back to the barracks, and leaves him still in shock.

Ji-dwi is the first to get back to the wall after the boys’ night out, and Pa Oh waits with him for the others to come back, fretting like a mother hen. He tells Ji-dwi not to hang out with these lowlife boys anymore.

Ji-dwi reminds Pa Oh that he’s nothing either, at least at the moment. He jokes that when he’s king, he’ll make sure all the guys who treated him badly will be adequately punished.

Sun-woo finally arrives, and Ji-dwi gripes at him for being late before he notices Sun-woo’s dazed expression. Sun-woo asks if it’s possible to forget your mother, and Ji-dwi scoffs that he wishes he could forget his mother. He asks what idiot did that, and Sun-woo smiles ruefully: “Me.”

Yeo-wool finally shows, with Ban-ryu right behind him, piggybacking the still-unconscious Su-ho. Yeo-wool promises to tell Sun-woo and Ji-dwi all about it once they get inside, while Ban-ryu bitches about having to carry Su-ho by himself, ha.

The four boys haul Su-ho over the wall and start to carry him into the barracks. But they’re busted by scary Bouncer, and the next day, they’re back to carrying Hwa-gong’s litter. Hwa-gong alternately complains that they’re carrying him crooked, and crows that they seem closer these days.

The lurching litter combined with the potent liquor Yeo-wool gave him the night before begin to disagree with Hwa-gong, and he starts to foam at the mouth. Oh gag — he throws up all over Ji-dwi and Sun-woo at the front of the litter, then turns around and barfs again on Su-ho and Ban-ryu at the back of it.

The guys hightail it to the showers, all of them looking a little sick themselves. Su-ho is worried because he still can’t remember the night before, or how he ended up unconscious… he just feels like something very bad happened.

Sun-woo drops the dragon-head bracelet on the way out of the shower, and Ji-dwi picks it up. He asks Sun-woo if the symbol has a meaning, then asks if he can buy it when Sun-woo admits that it’s not really his. Sun-woo says it’s not something he’s selling, it’s something he needs to be paid back for.

Ji-dwi watches as Sun-woo ties the bracelet back on his wrist, and Sun-woo asks if he really meant it when he said he likes Ah Ro. Ji-dwi just asks what he’ll do if he was being sincere.

Soo-yeon walks through town and notices that everyone seems to be staring at her and whispering. Apparently, everyone believes that the feud between Su-ho and Ban-ryu is because Ban-ryu grabbed Soo-yeon’s breasts, and that one of them will die.

Feeling weird about the night before, Ban-ryu offers Su-ho a towel after their shower. He gives three Hwarang boys the stink-eye when it’s obvious they know about what happened, silently warning them not to tell Su-ho. He confuses Su-ho by randomly telling him that “everything is a misunderstanding.”

Soo-yeon waves down Joo-ki and gives him a note for Ban-ryu, saying that it’s important. Meanwhile, Su-ho’s memory of the night before starts to return, but all he remembers is his sister slapping someone whose face is still a fog.

Ban-ryu reads the note from Soo-yeon, in which she says that her brother is ignorant and reckless despite his nice appearance. She explains that she’s too nervous to send Su-ho a letter, so she begs Ban-ryu to stay alive until she can explain things to her brother in person. Hee, her desperate earnestness is cute.

Sun-woo finds Ah Ro at the river with a basket of laundry, though she’s mostly just moping at the water. He starts pounding the clothing for her, and she watches him with a frown on her face. She brings up the fact that he apparently forgot their mother, and guesses that trauma can do that, though it seems more like she’s trying to convince herself.

Rather than answer, Sun-woo just goes back to pounding the laundry, and accidentally splashes water in Ah Ro’s face. He does it again on purpose, then just scoops water at her until she splashes back at him. He reaches up to tousle her hair, still trying to act brotherly. But neither of them seem entirely comfortable, sensing that something is off.

Soo-yeon asks Ah Ro if anyone has died in Hwarang, and Ah Ro says that Su-ho hasn’t killed Ban-ryu yet. Busy with her own heavy thoughts, Ah Ro invites Soo-yeon to have a drink, and they visit the liquor vendor who still owes Ah Ro back pay.

Ah Ro admits to Soo-yeon that she likes her brother. Soo-yeon doesn’t understand her true meaning, and sighs that she’s jealous — at least Ah Ro’s brother doesn’t put her in a headlock like hers does. Ah Ro’s voice wobbles as she says that she wishes Sun-woo is her real brother, but at the same time, she also wishes that he weren’t.

Queen Regent Jiso has another dizzy spell and calls for Ji-gong. He reluctantly attends to her, recalling the rest of his conversation with Minister Park, who had said he was thinking of killing the queen regent. He’d enlisted Ji-gong’s help in finding a way to kill her off slowly in order to make it look natural, so that he could choose the next king.

But as he examines the queen regent, Ji-gong realizes that she’s sick. He wonders if someone is poisoning her, and asks about other symptoms. She confirms that she’s experiencing chest pain, and asks if her illness is punishment for separating him from his wife and son.

Ji-gong keeps his true thoughts to himself, and simply says that her illness is temporary. He tells her to have her physician confirm it, but the queen regent says that she doesn’t trust anyone but him.

She remembers the time when they’d promised to be married, and how he used to look at her as if she were the only woman in the world. With tears welling in her eyes, the queen regent asks Ji-gong if he would return to her if she asked him.

He leaves, and finds her assistant pouring her tea in the outer room. He tastes it, and pronounces it clean.

Minister Park and Ho Gong visit Joo-ki at his tea house, and ask why he’s spending so much time at the Hwarang barracks. He says he’s making connections with the future council members, and they ask for information on Sun-woo.

Joo-ki tells them about Sun-woo’s nickname, Dog-bird, and that he seems both ignorant and intelligent. Minister Park shows interest in the nickname, and agrees that he seems unlike his father, Ji-gong.

Ji-dwi waits for Ah Ro to pass by, and when she does, he pops out and gives her an acupuncture needle container filled with fancy needles that he bought while he was out. She asks why he’s giving it to her, but he just tells her to think about it.

Ah Ro arrives in the doctor’s room to find it’s been completely redecorated, with fancy textiles and brand new equipment. Joo-ki is thrilled, and guesses that someone is trying to win Ah Ro’s heart. But Ah Ro is upset about how much all this cost.

Outside, Ji-dwi hears Ah Ro’s angry screeches and glares at Pa Oh, since the redecorating was his idea. Pa Oh runs off before Ah Ro can begin to tear into Ji-dwi. Ji-dwi admits that this was his doing, but Ah Ro yells that he should have spent the gold on food for the hungry.

Ji-dwi remains calm, and tells Ah Ro that he wants to shower her in pretty, unnecessary things. She can’t understand why, and he says plainly, “Because I like you.” Then he gets his feelings hurt and tells her to do whatever she wants with the expensive things.

The Hwarang boys endure some sparring practice with Bouncer, who thrashes every one of them easily. Most of them don’t even get in a single hit before he’s got them on the floor, poor things.

Su-ho is confident when it’s his turn, and he does do a little better than the others, but not good enough. It’s Ji-dwi who’s most impressive, giving Bouncer a good fight while impressing the other boys with some pretty fancy moves.

Sun-woo watches closely, analyzing Ji-dwi’s every move. He gets up next to spar with Ji-dwi, going at him with brute force, and the two end up face to face, swords locked.

Over at the palace, Hwa-gong interrupts an argument between the officials with a quip that there are multiple rulers in the kingdom. He says that there are many with their own lands and guards that could be mistaken for kings, and he shoots a pointed look at Minister Park.

He criticizes them for arguing over nothing, and they in turn take offense that he’s here at all. Hwa-gong asserts his right to be here as a former member of the royal council and current Master of Hwarang.

He invites them all to a musical performance at the upcoming Moon Festival, to be given by the Hwarang members. In private, the queen regent objects to the idea of the Hwarang performing, but Hwa-gong points out that this is a great way to introduce them to the people.

Minister Park and Ho Gong also discuss the performance, aware that the whole point is to prove to the people that the Hwarang belongs to the queen regent. They decide they must stop the performance, and head to the Hwarang headquarters.

They push their way in this time and make their way to the classroom, where the Hwarang are assembled. Minister Park asks to speak to a particular member of the Hwarang, but it’s not Ban-ryu — he wants to talk to Sun-woo.

He sizes up Sun-woo in private, and shocks Sun-woo by asking about his friend’s death. He wonders out loud why Mak Mun was killed, and speculates that he may have seen the king’s face. Sun-woo remembers that Mak Mun thought he saw the king’s face, and that he was killed soon after.

Minister Park can tell by Sun-woo’s face that he’s hit on some truth, and tells him that he’s against the queen regent, as is his “father,” Ji-gong. He says that he wishes he knew what the king looked like so he could repay the debt, but Sun-woo tells him he has the wrong person. He leaves, only hesitating for a moment when Minister Park calls him by his nickname, Dog-bird.

Pale and worried, Sun-woo thinks to himself that if Mak Mun died because he saw the king’s face, then he can’t forgive that king. He looks down at his dragon-head bracelet, wondering if it belongs to the king.

The following morning, the Hwarang are woken by the sound of loud drumming, and it draws them to the classroom. Sun-woo seems to recognize the drumming, and sure enough, it’s his old adoptive father, Woo-reuk, who raised him and Mak Mun in the low-born village.

Hwa-gong announces that the Hwarang will be performing at the Moon Festival as their second test. He introduces Woo-reuk as a master musician, a famous artist who is rumored to be able to play any instrument.

Sun-woo confronts Woo-reuk, surprised that he’s not truly a low-born, but a famous musician. Woo-reuk is frustratingly vague, and he just tells Sun-woo not to fail this test, too.

He proves his musical mastery by playing several instruments for the boys, from the drums to the gayageum. The Hwarang boys are rapt, fascinated by his ability to play incredible music, and soon it’s their turn to give it a try.

They play the drums, create music with the parts of their bodies, and perform impromptu dances to determine what they’ll perform at the festival. Han-sung, Su-ho, and Ji-dwi are particularly good at dancing, while Sun-woo is, in a word, bad. Nevertheless, the five roommates, plus Han-sung, are chosen to perform a dance.

The guys practice their dance number, and Sun-woo hilariously keeps thwacking Han-sung in the head with his staff as he awkwardly tries to execute the movements. Woo-reuk just makes them keep practicing, over and over.

The court officials are insulted that their sons are being made to dance in front of the queen regent. They believe this is a ploy by the queen regent to lord her control over the Hwarang in front of the people.

Pa Oh does Ji-dwi’s laundry while Ji-dwi practices his dance routine by the river. He asks in a snarky tone if Ji-dwi plans to be remembered as the humiliating dancing king, but Ji-dwi counters that he will be the legendary handsome dancing king.

He says it’s no wonder Pa Oh never got married, and Pa Oh puffs up and says he chose not to get married, and that the ladies love him. Ji-dwi snickers that Pa Oh doesn’t know women at all.

Ah Ro finds Sun-woo clumsily rehearsing his dance moves, and tsks to herself. She grouses at Sun-woo that he’s going to get kicked out of the Hwarang if he doesn’t do better than that, and he nervously insists that he’s improving.

Ah Ro takes his staff and demonstrates the proper moves, exaggerating so much that Sun-woo starts to giggle at her. She smiles to see him smiling and leaves him to his practice, but she can’t help but remember how some things about Sun-woo don’t add up.

Woo-reuk practices the drum routine with the other boys late into the night, so loudly that the guys in Sun-woo’s room can’t get to sleep. Su-ho compliments Ban-ryu on trying his hardest at their dance (he’s pretty bad), joking that at least he’s better than Sun-woo, which makes them all laugh.

A bleary-eyed Han-sung enters their room, also unable to sleep from all the drumming. He crawls into bed with Yeo-wool, who caresses his cheek and croons, “Is it really me?” HAHA. Annoyed, Han-sung leaves and climbs down to appropriate Sun-woo’s bed instead, even throwing a leg over Sun-woo comfortably.

In the morning, the guys practice their dance over and over, as Hwa-gong and Joo-ki watch from a distance. Hwa-gong disapproves, but Joo-ki says that dance is popular in the West, and Hwa-gong admits that they do seem to be making an effort.

The boys find themselves tapping their toes and practicing their dance moves constantly, even grooving together in the shower. This might just be the greatest thing ever.

Joo-ki brings Ban-ryu another note from Soo-yeon, along with a letter from Minister Park. He reads Soo-yeon’s letter first, and smiles at her promise to tell Su-ho the truth of their encounter at the Moon Festival. She also asks for a chance to apologize in person, and says she’s looking forward to seeing him dance. But the letter from Minister Park wipes the goofy smile right off his face.

He and Ho Gong are plotting a way to stop the Hwarang from performing, which they fear will increase their popularity, and thus the queen regent’s standing among the people. Minister Park decides that he needs to create a disappointment as big as the expectation, and plans to use Ban-ryu to accomplish it.

Ban-ryu takes the letter to the river and angrily rips it up, throwing the shreds into the water.

Ah Ro approaches Woo-reuk, who clutches his chest in surprise at the sight of her. She tells him she’s Ahn Ji-gong’s daughter, and he asks if that means she’s Mak Mun’s long-lost sister. Ah Ro guesses that was Sun-woo’s old name.

Over medicinal tea, Woo-reuk muses that Ah Ro isn’t much like her brother. He says that Mak Mun was kind, and she says he goes by Sun-woo now. Ah Ro says that she’s always wanted to speak with the person who raised her brother, and asks if her brother missed her.

Outside, Sun-woo passes a patch of flowers, the same chrysanthemums that were in the tea Ah Ro brought him when he was still recovering and mourning Mak Mun’s death. He picks a large bouquet of them, and goes to find Ah Ro.

She looks distracted when Sun-woo finds her, and he gives her the bouquet, insisting that they’re not flowers, but medicine. Ah Ro looks at the flowers, and says she’s glad he’s her brother.

She raises her gaze to look Sun-woo in the eye, and adds sadly, “But they say that you’re not.” She lets the flowers fall to the ground, and asks angrily, “Who are you?”

 
COMMENTS

Well, now she knows for sure. I thought it was sweet that Ah Ro kept thinking of excuses to fill in the holes in Sun-woo’s claim to be her long-lost brother — it showed that despite her worrying attraction to him, she mostly just wants him to be the honest, upfront man he claims to be. She truly missed her big brother when he was missing, probably thought he was dead along with their mother, and it must have been like a dream come true to have him back again.

But now that Ah Ro almost certainly learned from Woo-reuk that her real brother is dead, and that Sun-woo is an impostor (however well-meaning), she’s about to have a hell of a time coming to terms with everything. Her real brother is gone, and she’s going to be mourning his loss that much harder after having thought that she had him back safe and sound. She’s going to be angry that Sun-woo lied to her about being her brother, as well as just plain disillusioned that he lied to her at all. And it’s going to be a particularly hard blow to know that he knew her brother, was there when he died, and couldn’t save him. I think it’s going to be quite some time before Ah Ro and Sun-woo are on good terms again.

On the flip side, it’s nice to see the Hwarang boys beginning to get along, even if they aren’t exactly friends yet. I like how none of them has mentioned the ranking system or their family’s political leanings once in this week’s episodes, and even Su-ho and Ban-ryu have dropped their constant snarling at each other and have begun to actually get along. I’m sure that will end once Su-ho remembers what happened between Ban-ryu and his sister Soo-yeon, but at least then the boys will have a reason to argue that’s actually about themselves and not just silly hand-me-down politics they learned from their fathers. I’d rather see them fight over whether one boy insulted the other boy’s sister than about who supports the queen regent or not any day of the week.

But of course the fathers can’t stay out of it, and I’m sure that whatever Minster Park has planned for Ban-ryu, it involves purposely ruining the performance in order to smear the reputation of the Hwarang in front of the people. I’m still unsure about Minister Park’s exact plan for taking over the regency, but it seems to involve discovering the king’s identity so he can (most likely) have him killed, all the while undermining the queen regent so that once the king is out of the way, Minister Park and his faction can set Ban-ryu on the throne as their puppet king. He must believe that Sun-woo has seen the king’s face and can help identify him, and it’s Ji-dwi’s bad luck that Sun-woo has it out for the (as yet unidentified) king. We can only hope that Ban-ryu finds the strength to go against Minister Park’s wishes, and that Sun-woo finds a way to forgive Ji-dwi for his friend’s death before it’s too late for everyone.

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This drama just getting better.

I laughed so hard when Soo Yeon wrote to Banryu to ask him to hold on till she has the chance to tell Suho that in fact, she is the one who "molested" Banryu. And Ji Dwi brushing off the possibility of going down in history as the humiliating dancing king. How in the world do this drama get me to laugh so much and feeling all fluttering inside?

And I love Banryu's dorkiness that it breaks my heart how Minister Park wanted him to ruin the Hwarang's performance when he has started to find his passion and enjoyment especially now that she has the drive to impress Soo Yeon.

And can I say how much I like Ji Dwi being open about his feelings for Ah Ro? His strategy may not works on her but that extend that he would go for her just win me over that I am scared how the thought of him losing will hurt me now that Ah Ro is free to love Sun Woo even though it may take time for them to be on good term. Oh, Ji Dwi!

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Why a Eunuch Shower Scene???
Doesn't really count for much.

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This show is definitely getting better each week. I am loving the reluctant bromance that is brewing between our roomies. And their dance routine is hilarious especially since Sun-woo is bad. I cringed so much for him! lol

And while I have been enjoying the awkward brother trope between Sun-woo and Ah-ro, I am more excited to move on to the next phase. They both clearly like each other and I actually prefer him with her rather than Ji-dwi. He is just way too freaking aggressive. It does seem like he's backed off a bit but he forced himself on her last episode and that wasn't cool.

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Hahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!! So true. I really love their awkward dance practices. Sun Woo and Ban Ryu is so damn hilarious. Sun Woo looked like a tortoise doing that neck movement during their dance practice in the courtyard. I'm so in love with the budding bromance of our roomies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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I'm not so sure I'm into the idols of Silla portion of this drama, but I'm looking forward to seeing how the knowledge of his true identity will change Ahro's feelings and their relationship. Also, the king will be in a lot of trouble when she finds out her brother died because of him. How will he feel when he realizes what happened to her real brother?

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I'm not digging the modern themes as well. They have fully functioning shower and bunk beds, well,,, modern lockers .... I scoffed at.

Both the guys, will have a hard time when AhRo finds out about the real brother's death.

At the moment, I am digging AhRo with the King,,, they have chemistry,.. well of course,,,, it would be weird to have chemistry with pretend brother... but I wish he stayed as a Brother.

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i actually find the little modern touches funny- except for the indoor plumbing. that made me side-eye it a bit. i wish they'd just take a plunge in the river instead

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Well, it's a fusion sageuk after all. It's makes absolutely no pretense to be historically accurate.

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Yeo-wool "is it really me?", HaHa!! poor Hun-sung... I really love these two...

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So many lovable moments in this week's episodes <3 And I'm definitely loving Ban Ryu now, such a secret cinnamon roll

But is no one gonna mention the fact that no one, and I mean absolutely no one's angry with Woo-Reuk at all? Like apparently the man knows everyone! Even Mak Moon's actual father. And he's not a peasant! Has an actual reputation! And has the resources to get some decent clothes (for Mak Moon and Dog Bird) if he wanted to help people get into the Capital?? Is no one going to mention that even with just a teeny bit of help from him Mak Moon may not have died?? I don't hate the guy because he obviously didn't kill Mak Moon himself but come on, the whole thing's just a big giant WHAT.

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Wait, did I miss the part where Woo Reuk know's Mak Moon's father?

I do think though, that Woo Reuk was called upon by someone - possibly the late king, to take Seon Woo into care so that the Queen doesn't find him (because I do think Seon Woo is the real king, or at least a contender for the throne).

Just like Ji-Dwi has a protector outside of the palace, Seon Woo's protector is Woo Reuk (both protectors seem to have fighting skills as well).

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But if this Woo Reuk is the exact same famous musician from Gaya, why would a Silla king entrust the safety of a Silla prince under him??????????????

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Completely agree with you. Woo Reuk seems to be holding the key that unlocks LITERALLY EVERY FREAKING SECRET this drama has, and it frustrates me how little he reveals to ANYONE. Like, can't you just open up to SOMEONE, so we can know the truth? The one thing he does do, is to go on and tell Ah ro about her real brother. Smooth move, bro. *rolls eyes*

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bringing them decent clothes wouldn't help them get into the capital trough the gates!! they need identity clarification that proves they are not peasant that Woo Reuk have since he's not a peasant to begin with and Moo Myung used (the identity notification of Sun Woo that Ahn Ji-Gong gave him when he got healed) to visit Woo Reuk out of the capital then came back to Ah Ro's home again!!

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I think Woo-reuk's primary concern at that time was to make sure those two boys didn't come to the capital. That's why he refused to disclose his real identity and help them. But then both of them still stubbornly climb the wall and that's why Woo-reuk also came to the capital and assumed his real identity. Because that way, he can continue to protect Sun-woo.

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that's what i think so. i remember that he (woo reauk) said that Dog-bird is someone who doesnt seem to be outside and known by the world.

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moo myung and mak mun ran away from him to the capital- he didn't know they went there. and decent clothes is not enough to enter the capital anyway, they'd need some sort of ID/permission

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the only arc that interests me right now is ban ryu and soo yeon. they be so cute together. <3

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🙃

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:)

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Can't see how Ah ro could be too upset over him impersonating her brother when it was at her fathers urging. Seems to me he's the one responsible for the deception. Also, he's putting his life on the line by entering the palace should he be discovered. All in an attempt to help the family of his friend and discover the culprit behind his death. Since I've seen the preview it looks like the problem is going to be with the young king and his attraction for her. His mother is a cagey one and at this point it's still difficult to determine her motivations. Is she protecting her son until he's ready or is she securing the throne for herself. Without a consort and another child someone has to inherit the throne. I try not to think too much about the silly plot since it would suck all the fun out of watching just staring at the holes.

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Well, even if it was under the father's urging, Sun-woo still actively tried to ensure Ah-ro of his identity as her brother. And also, it depends on how much truth Woo-reuk told her that time.

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I felt empathy towards her.
Especially when she said she had to marry her uncle who was 60 or 60 years older than her? Something like that it said in the translations.
So grouse I really felt bad.

But i saw the previews for the next episode and it makes me feel she is selfish and holding onto her emotions from the past when she could not have Ah Ro's father.
Like she can't have him which she still does so she wants him to suffer.

She could grow and become a better queen.
But to me she is just holding onto the past and what she is doing to the father I feel to protect himself he does have to help her enemies.

Or he will never get her to leave him alone because she can do what she wants as the Queen.

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I am starting to sympathize with Ban Ryu - I think he is a very conflicted and much abused person who lives like a bully because he is afraid. He sees neglect, repression and ruthlessness towards the weak all around him so he is trying to disguise his own fear and weakness behind the cold image, but somehow I feel like he desperately needs another choice in this game. he is the most interesting character besides Sun Woo´s dad. the latter is much creepier somehow, is it because I still hold on to the image of Choi Won Young as psycho in IRY?

I think Minho is trying too hard here, relax, man. just a bit, tone it down. though they are indeed funny in their banter.

I don´t have a problem with Go Ara, her acting has sharp edges, but it goes together with a girl who has had to fend for herself with no back to rely on.

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I'm liking the actor who is portraying Ban Ryu. He's got screen presence. He's not your typical jerk, he is pretty much conflicted and you can feel all that emotion bottled up inside him through his eyes.
He's gorgeous when he smiles.

I'm not here for the acting but I like him and his character is pretty interesting. He would be the key to taking down Minister Park. It's clear that he loves his biological father and he can not stand how Minister Park is treating him like a dog.

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+100
The character Ban ryu is interesting by itself, and it really helps that this actor is making it work. And I can just visualise how cute his romance with Soo yeon is going to be... *swoons*
I came here for tae hyung, but daym, looks like Ban ryu is my favourite Hwarang :')

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Do Ji-han is so good at making us feel his character. I am convinced that he'd rather die by Su-ho's hands than tell the truth to save himself and publicly degrade her.

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This! That's what I so loved about that cute interaction. Because he lets himself be thought of as a pervert, by the other boys in hwarang, instead of just telling the truth. I thought it was so very cute and shows his inner character.

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yeah, he loves his father but he feels powerless in that fight so he keeps compensating by looking for conflict elsewhere. I think the general theme for the hwarangs is they just want to live their own life but they have to carry a different image.

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Yes, it's pretty much difficult to live their own life with this social structure where they are defined by the clans they belong to.
Hopefully they'd at least find their true self in this establishment while they are away from the daily influence of their fathers.

Every time they are doing something together, whether they are fighting, learning or breaking the rules together that wall that used to divide them starts to break down.
If they are going to be the future of Shilla, they have to be united.

I'd hope Sammaekjong is given more chance to prove himself to these Hwarangs over romancing Ah-ro. He is the dang king, he can't inherit his men's loyalty like the throne. He has to earn it.

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Banryu may be portraying a pretty promiscuous and scandalous (by today's standard) practice called the "Mabokja" (literally "son-begotten-by-belly-rubbing") system widely practiced in Silla society according to "Hwarang Segi". It referred to the practice of sending one's pregnant wife to his boss to have sex with and a male child born after such an encounter will be the boss's mabokja, kind of adoptive son or god son. One of the reasons why a lot of scholars deem "Hwarang Segi" fake is because the book is full of these sorts of scandalous materials that the post-Neo-Confucious Korean sensibility finds too revolting to stomach.

Silla society may also have practiced polygamy or group marriage. Its social hierarchy was based on the bone system and in order to be the king, one's lineage had to be royal both on his father's and mother's sides. In order to maximize the royal scion pool, therefore, they had to marry a maximum number of royal males to a maximum number of royal females. That's why you would find phrases like "King Mooyeol a/k/a Kim Choon Chu was the son of Princess Cheonmyeong by Kim Yong Soo or Kim Yong Choon (these two were brothers)" in Samguk Sagi. So he may have been the biological son of one brother and a mabokja of the other brother.

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omo...

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So much controversy on Hwarang Segi that I don't take it seriously as a historical records. How did something that important just magically showed up in the 1980s.
I don't think it'd ever be proven to be authentic.

QSD's Hwarangs was based on a lot of information from Hwarang Segi. Mishil was never mentioned by Kim Busik or even Iryeon.

I'm not going there with Ban-ryu. It's clear that this team are keeping the show light hearted and fun.

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While I agree it will take a lot more to verify Hwarang Segi's authenticity, I don't think the fact it was discovered in the 1980s alone makes it unauthentic. Great archaeological discoveries are being made even nowadays.

Also, I agree they are trying to keep this drama light-hearted. But because they are only choosing to show whatever suits their purpose and ignore the rest, an average viewer will get a very skewed view of Shilla that is as far removed from the historical one as what Hwarang Segi portrays, if it is indeed fake.

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I'm not basing my doubts on the fact that it was recently discovered while every original historical documents from that era and even Goryeo were destroyed.
I used to read translated versions of The Korea Journal/Journal of Korean Studies from time to time. There were a few arguments on the Hwarang Segi and it seems most were against it. It's pretty hard to prove based Bak Changhwa reputation and the fact that he wasn't the original writer.

I hope they'd unite and do more research on it. It can't be all fictional right? There is so much detailed information in it to be ignored.

This is an Oh!boy project production. I think it's obvious that they were not going for the history. I think the only reason we are even getting some is because of the KBS directors and producers behind it.

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is that what it is? I was a little confused at how Ban-ryu has two dads he's close to AND are close to each other like how does that work and I believe your explanation is good

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There is a possibility that Banryu is a cadet relation to Minister Park. In certain circumstances where a powerful/rich/etc man was lacking his own heirs it was acceptable to approach a distant relative to take as an "adopted" son with the expectation that they would eventually take over your position/possessions and etc when you died. In Banryu's case, he may have enough of a royal lineage but not powerful enough family that Minister Park has traced a familial relationship to use him as a puppet and his father has allowed it in hopes of bettering the family status.

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If this wasn't a modernized fictional take on the Hwarang I'd totally go there with a writer like Jung Ha-heon or even Jung Hyun-min.
Sadly the era of real sageuks is probably over.

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Go Ara is a hit and miss. I think she is adorable and serviceable. I don't have in me to complain about another lead actress. The male actors are not any better.

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I see a lot of her Najung in Aro. I don't really mind except I wish they made her brows a little less straight, she looks so angry all the time.

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Go Ara is very pretty actress, yet most of her scenes I only see scowl in her face, she hardly smile. She is not showing any "aegyo."

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Go Ara is just acting as her real self. Can't take it too seriously. Only Park Seo Joon, Park Hyung Sik & the supporting casts are really acting. I must say at least Minho is making little cute expressions with his face, that's an improvement already. It is a fun drama, so I'm just going to sit back & enjoy.

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Lmao at that dance sequence hahaha

So I'm taking back the theory of Queen and MM/Seon Woo being mother-son because of the fainting spells. It looks like she's fainting because she's slowly being poisoned. I find Ji Gong's position (and choices) very interesting; he's a grey character for me. On the one hand, I do feel for the loss of his son (and possibly wife) but yet you know he's playing dirty by possibly withholding the fact that the Queen is being poisoned and also his motives for using MM/Seon Woo as his "son".

I'm hoping Ban Ryu decides to screw the plan and actually make the performance a success.

At this point, the boys need a minor conflict to unite them and work together so that we start to see the formation of the Hwarang squad. I want the boys to see how well they are together rather than fighting each other - their strengths and weaknesses combined could make such an awesome team.

It's like The Avengers: Hwarang style.

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I'm wondering about the fainting and/or poisoning though. When I watched it, the subtitles definitely said Ji Gong thought she was being poisoned, but the recap sounds like he was just wondering if it was a cause because he was suspicious after being approached by the bad guy. So I don't think you should take back your theory (it was mine as well) yet unless someone (anyone?) can definitively tell us what was said in that scene. I was all ready to lay that one in the dust too until I read the recap.

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Don't base your opinion on a recap. It can be biased and can't tell you what really happened. You have to watch and rewatch the scene again. CWY is a great actor you can see his expression change when he tasted the tea. And he already said her pulse is different from last time which means she is getting worse.

I read the recap and was disappointed because there were a few Saemmaekjong scene that weren't recap the way I see it. But I also understand that we have different interpretations in each scenes.

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LollyPip is doing fine with the recaps. She doesn't have to explain every little details in the show.
I'm just glad that she was willing to recap this show so you and I can be here commenting on it and more.

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this drama keeps getting better..and finally i have no more complain about bad music.seems now music director know how to insert a good music.and i love the writer not dragging thing.every episode story is moving.now i'd like to see dynamic between ban ryu and aro friend(i forgot her name)they are cute and didnt expect aro know it fast about her fake brother.its a good thing for sure.

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I like Ban ryu and Soo-yeon chemistry more than the lead couple. I ship them so badly!!! Ban ryu is both adorkable and hot, especially with the messy top knot in the shower!!! kyaaa!!!

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yes! that top knot looked so good on him. i'm shipping him and soo yeon so freaking much

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It's time Ah Ro found out about Sun Woo not being her real brother, and admit her feelings for him. I can't wait for next weeks ep.
I like the friendship budding between Su Ho and Ban Ryul, iam rooting for them, and Ji Dwi and Sun Woo.

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I'm glad she knows - there were way too many clues for her to avoid that. I hope he actually tells her everything instead of some half-truth.

I'm not sure how to feel about her father, Ji Gong. I love the actor, but it's really hard to tell what kind of character he is. His end goals are decidedly unclear, except for maybe revenge, and I'm super irritated that he is lying to his daughter about her having a fake brother back. Poor girl got betrayed all around.

I am loving the growing camaraderie among the boys. I like Ji Dwi the best when he's away from Ah Ro - in fact I love him outside of his interactions with her. He's got enough going on being a charming king in hiding.

My favorites of the boys are Yeo Wool and Ban Ryu. Oh Ban Ryu - don't let me down! I'm thinking he will reluctantly sabotage the performance next week. Can't wait for him to interact with Soo Yeon more, I love her too. Ban Ryu went from being my least favorite character to the one I'm most interested in.

Can't wait to see how the princess fits into all this next week.

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I also can't wait for So Ye-ji's appearance. I hope she isn't our usual jilted second lead. The more unique her personality the better.

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I've seen people complain about Go Ara's acting but I think she truly nailed it this episode. Her torn feelings and her struggle to accept the truth was almost flawlessly injected into every one of her scenes. Her angst was heartbreaking, but not over the top. Especially that scene with Soo Yeon and then with Woo Reuk.

I can't wait for her and Sun Woo to finally get their act together.

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Of course the three actual idols are the ones that can dance. Meanwhile, so much secondhand embarrassment for the other three. I saw an interview where his fellow cast ratted MinHo out as the one who actually put that little dance together, which makes sense because it looks pretty similar to Shinee's Married To The Music.

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And the Sherlock dance!

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Haha, during the dance practices, all I could notice was Han-sung's goofy grin. Then getting thwacked on the head by Sun-woo. Owwww! 😂

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"Our flower boys are beginning to look like a real group, though a group of exactly what is still up in the air"

They are a group of long-lost half brothers (still a theory tho), future step father, and future brothers-in-law. In short they are a group of family. Or going-to-be a family.

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He wonders out loud why Mak Mun was killed, and speculates that he may have seen the king’s face.

I thought The King's Face wasn't especially good, but I didn't think it was THAT bad :)

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*puts up a warning sign:* "Attention! Anything you say or think can be taken as a reference to another drama! You have the right to remain clueless. You may also seek the help of AsianWiki. "

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Hahahaha!

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*chokes on breakfast*

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

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Lol!

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ROTFL that was good!! :)

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Omg. Hansung was so fucking cute in this episode along with Ban ryu!!
I'm loving the 6 hwarang's together more than the love lines.I wish they could show more of the bromance rather than the love lines. It is so much more interesting and cute!

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More Yeowool and Hansung bromance! I also want to see an interaction with Hansung and Banryu since Hansung replied to Yeowool he doesn't like Banryu.

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For a second, I thought the queen was really Sun Woo's mum with all the fainting - turns out she might be poisoned. I want Sun Woo to just be a regular true-born not royalty (or peasant).

Laughed so hard at when the boys were practicing their dance with sun woo hitting hansung on the head and going the wrong way. They could totally start a boyband called hwarang transported to modern day seoul.

I really like that Ji Dwi is honest with Ah Ro about his feelings but unfortunately he is royalty and she isn't a true-born or whatever. Hoping Ah Ro won't stay angry with Sun Woo for too long but understandably she needs time to process everything.

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Loved the dancing as well. They were making fun of boybands when they were talking about the 'sword dancing' (칼군무), which is what they call the modern boyband choreography when they all dance the same moves perfectly in sync with each other.

Good thing my mom's not watching this -- she was already mad from watching snippets of it because they don't speak correctly for a sageuk, the dancing would just push her over the edge!

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"They could totally start a boyband called hwarang transported to modern day seoul."

Pwahahah!!! And suddenly, when Hwarang boyband came to Seoul, V, Hyungshik, and Minho were threatened because their Hwarang lookalikes could dance better than them. XD

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Watching this episode, I realised that girls in Silla had a lot of freedom compared to Joseon. They could drink openly which I have not really seen in Joseon sageuks, and could even learn how to write?

Can someone tell me if it really was true to the time period? And it regressed, why? Due to Confucianism?

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It's true. The women in that era had more freedom than the Joseon women. The drama is exaggerating that freedom with some of girl's behaviors in public though.

Shilla adopted Buddhism as the state religion before King Jinheung's time. Joseon was ruled by strict Confucian ideals from the get go.

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Thanks Kiara, just the person I was hoping to answer my question.

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Confucianism should just be called Confusionism. They became confused about what´s the normal and sensible thing to do

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So the show dragged out the brother mystery a little more to the end of this episode. I’m glad Ah Ro finally knows the truth now. I can understand her being upset at Sun Woo and she needs time to mourn the loss of her real brother. I just hope the angst won’t be too bad and drawn out.

Ban Ryu’s storyline is one of the exciting ones. It has more depth than the others. I haven’t seen this actor before, but he is really compelling. Not sure if it’s his makeup, but he has a strong face. His rare smile was nice to see too.

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The actor playing Ban-ryu looks really interesting. He doesn't look like your usual Korean guy. Wouldn't have guessed he was one but anyway, I like how he's handling Ban-ryu's conflicted character so far and will be curious to know how his story plays out. His y favourite, then JiDwi and lastly, "SunWoo"

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Really? What ethnicity does he look like to you? I think he looks pretty Korean.

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I'm glad they didn't drag the sibling misunderstanding any longer. And it couldn't have happened at a better time, what's with Ah-ro's feeling toward Sun-woo started to inch even closer to icky territory. I guess that last scene also signaled the upcoming separation angst between them, and a chance for Ji-dwi to swoop in and become a shoulder to lean on for Ah-ro.

On to another upcoming angst. I know minister Park would wreck some havoc, but couldn't he just do that without involving Ban-ryu? Ugh.. And he was just started to enjoy the camaraderie and budding friendship with his roommates. I want him to defy his stepfather's wish, but I know it wouldn't end well for him either way. Aughh... these political nonsense, seriously.

On a lighter note, I love Pi Joo-ki the pigeon post. He just turn into Sooyeon-Banryu biggest cheerleader. Haha..

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Ban Ryu should just come clean to the guys and they would come up with a solution together, but maybe it would be too soon, that moment may come a few ep later

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Yes, I expect he'll struggle with it all alone, poor hidden cinnamon Ban Ryu. He has nobody he can trust, though we know the bromance with Su Ho will happen at some point or other (maybe the sister needs to smack a few more heads).

I continue to be fascinated by Park Hyung Sik's strange but beautiful ears lol. 'The legendary dancing king'. Pffff.... And now I have 'Dancing Queen' stuck in my head.

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Honestly even if Banryu do not follow his step father instruction I don't think something will happen to him. What can that old guy do to him anyway?! He needed Banryu that's why he adopted him. And he is in Hwarang and he won't be able to go there to shout at him or hurt him. He could just make up a lie that he wasn't able to ruin the intrument because it was heavily guarded etc. Worse thing that could happen is his stepdad punching him once or shouting at him but he won'tdo anything bad because he still need him. He is the only son from Park Clan that can used to replace Saemmaekjong and reclaim the throne to Park Clan.

I started liking Banryu in Episode 7 so i hope he realized that he don't need to be an asshole and bully the others. That they can be his friend. The only one he may lean on in the future because honestly he should know himself that his stepdad couldn't have cared less for him. He was simply using him. I think Sooyeon will melt his rock hard heart. It's super cute!! But he did fell in love of her so easily. Haha I remember Hyungshik complaining that why do Hwarang fell in love so easily. LOL

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Ah, but evil minister could hurt Ban Ryu's real father if he disobeyed. I think that's really how he exerts control over Ban Ryu, rather than personally threatening him, as we previously saw in that horrific beating scene.

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Am I the only one who completely fell for Ban-Ryu this week? I officially adore all of them now, but this was his week to shine. I already loved how respectful he was to Soo-yeon, despite her butt-grabbing and slap, but now he's even falling for her already! I can't wait to see how this brings him and Soo-ho together.

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Of the Hwarang boys, I only like Ban Ryu, Su Ho, and of course the SML Maek Jong/Ji Dwi, and the male lead Moo Myung/Sun Woo, and the female lead Ah Ro, and also Su Ho's sister. The others I don't care for, and I'm glad that their roles are very minimal, and that this drama focuses on its main characters.

As for the older cast, the ones I am interested in the most are: Ah Ro's father and the queen, and that historical cafe owner (he was also funny in I Hear Your Voice as the judge).

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OMG yes,the Pi Joo Ki actor in I Hear Your Voice was hilarious,esp the scene with the fan under him in the courtroom!!

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That Joo Ki cafe owner was also the bookshop owner in "Sungkyunkwan Scandal." He was also funny as the scheming villain in "Potato Star."

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Oh and I forgot to add, I too am really liking Ban Ryu's developing love line with Su Ho's sister!

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I had always thought that Ban Ryu had a crush on Soo Yeon even before the butt grab incident.

In the previous episode (can't remember which one), when Hwarang boys were first introduced to the public (remember the Hwarang parade on the streets with girls fangirling them and Sun Woo who kept looking at the sides as he walked to catch a sight of Ah Ro), I noticed Ban Ryu looked at Soo Yeon who was in the crowd like a boy with crush. That's why I was not very surprised at Ban Ryu's actions after the butt grab incident. The boy needs an excuse to the talk to his arch enemy's sister, now he got one, albeit awkwardly.

I root for out tsundare Ban Ryu too XD

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*out = our

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yes! i noticed that look it was so cute

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Ban ryu and Sun woo have such great facial expressions that you can really feel what they are feeling..i can understand why ah ro would feel betrayed esp since she has been waiting for her brother for a long time..i totally ship sun woo and ah ro..their efforts just make you go awww..

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Well, this episode was pretty cool. Ah Ro needs confirmation that Sun Woo ain't her brother. Some feelings you can't have for a bro like hers. Anyway, Sun Woo's adoptive father really looks shady. There is definitely one big secret he knows that's going to shock everyone and it has to do with Sun Woo. I'm actually in love with Ji dwi now that he has finally come clean about his feelings. Mehn it's gonna be a tough battle.
Did I just notice that Ji dwi acted The Heirs and High Siciety??????

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i know this is not a six flying dragons episode recap but I'd like to know if anyone knows the kind of clothing bang won wore during the first 13 episodes. Like what it's called. I'm asking bcos I noticed that he was the only one through out the entire drama who dressed like that. Thank you.

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I may stand alone, but I thought the Prince was adorable in this episode. He obviously is clueless about women (and most basic human relationships), but his earnest attempts to prove himself was cute.

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So is this drama essentially Reply 540?

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LOL

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No, because nobody alive knows about what life was really like in 540 CE Silla. Unless we have a Silla goblin living somewhere amongst us...

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unfortunately, the only goblin we know is from goryeo..

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You are not alone girl. Knetz in Naver, Daum, Nate and in Hwarang official page would agree with you. Lots of Ifans would agree too just look at YouTube, Facebook, Twitter etc. LOL I am surprise you thought you stand alone when all I read right now in every viewing site (Korean or international) is all about Saemmaekjong and Banryu.

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I find it quite ironic and funny at the same time when Ji Dwi commented to Pa Oh that he doesn't know women at all--it's like, Eh dude and you do know about women?

All squeals to the blossoming Soo Yeon & Ban Ryu romance--he is suddenly in a place which he never thought he'd be and the political mess outside seemed to be such a faraway dream when all of a sudden he gets a letter from his adoptive dad who abuses his real dad and poof in an instant his castle in the air is crushed.

Sometimes I feel like the boys are in some kind of liberal arts university or college--where they just can't do a single major. It's like they have to be political science majors but have to do courses in theatre arts or in the humanities and I truly get that feeling of "you have to pass this or else your whole GPA will suffer..." Lol.

Glad that the cat is well and truly out of the bag. Hopefully it's not that big a spanner to throw off course the otherwise good relationship between Ah Ro and Sun Woo--even though that relationship was built on a (white) lie.

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Glad that the show is finally picking up...I thoroughly enjoyed this week's episodes and am excited to see what more they have in store for us.

Another good thing is that the comedy is finally on point, many scenes have made me laugh my head off. I particularly love the scene where Sooyeon mistook Ban Ryu for his brother. How she grabbed his butt and the moment it dawned on her that she's got the wrong person...priceless haha. Poor Ban Ryu was so shocked that words wouldn't even come out :D and the way he flinched when she screamed her lungs out and the slap omoooo........... their first meeting was electric? (lack of better words) I'm shipping those two so badly, they might even become my OTP. I'm counting on this couple for the romance. Next episode, Ban Ryu is supposed to ruin Hwarang dance performance, I'm pretty sure he won't go along with his uncle's plan... he will chicken out at the last minute or bump into his lovely Sooyeon hence twarting the plan...she will be the one to bring him out of his darkness. Look at his smile while reading her letters, he's so besotted with her already.

I hate love triangles in general and I hate it even more this time around...SLS is too strong with this one, I can't possibly bring myself to root for Sun Woo/Aro (I don't find their romance appealing either)...love both guys but my heart is hurting for the king and the way Aro is treating him is rubbing me the wrong way. I won't lie, Hyungsik is the main reason I'm watching this drama, I'm of course on his side no matter what. I definitely prefer the bromance over the main loveline. Sorry Go Ara. I'm more interested in seeing Sam Maek Jong/Ji Dwi's journey into becoming this wise king he so aspires to be...that's why it was a good thing he enrolled the Hwarang squad, his comrades will sure teach him one thing or two about real life. He needs to become stronger and make allies in order to reclaim his rightful position as the King of Silla.

Sun Woo is having a hard time figuring out how to act/behave around Aro, even taking advice from Sun Ho (probably not the best idea) tsk tsk ,you're doing it all wrong baby but who can blame him, he probably grew up in a predominantly male environment..he probably didn't much hang out with girls or have to deal with them soooo it's kind of understanding.... Anyway, his awkwardness is so so cute <3 Too bad, she now knows the truth and will most likely give him the cold shoulder in next episode.

Am I the only one loving Sam Maek Jong/Pa-O's banters? They are so fun to watch (and endearing) Pa-O is such a devoted bodyguard/caretaker yet he doesn't shy away from giving him a piece of his mind when it is needed but always in a respectful and playful way. He is kinda like a father figure to him, I appreciate that a lot...

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Lastly, the theory that Sun Woo might be the last prince of Daegaya(Wolgwang)is an interesting possibility, it'd make for a far more compelling story imo. Will they turn enemies or work together for a better future of the kingdom? I can't wait to find out!

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I don't think I read this theory. Do you know what episode thread it's on?

I read that Silla was in the early years ruled by the Park and Seok families back and forth before the Kims more or less took over from about the 3rd century on. But the Park and Seok families were also considered "sacred bone" and supplied a lot of the queens to the Kims. (They all seem interrelated anyway). But it was interesting that the BAD GUY (can't remember his name - Ban Ryu's adopted father) said something early on about the Parks being Silla's early rulers, and why has he adopted Ban Ryu unless Ban Ryu is possibly near enough to the royal geneology to be considered sacred bone like Ji Dwi?

Anyway, all that made me curious that there might be three "sacred bone" possible kings, Ji Dwi (Kim clan), Ban Ryu (Park clan), and Sun Woo (Seok clan? - who needed to be hidden to avoid being killed because he was a threat to Ji Dwi?). But I don't pretend to know enough about it to make this a real theory, just something to keep in the back of my mind.

I do think the Queen is Ji Dwi's real mother and I'm not convinced that she wants to usurp the throne from her son, who really does have a lot of enemies. She seems to me to be establishing the Hwarang for him, to ensure he has the support of the families, and will thus be protected when he begins to rule. I could be wrong - I'm curious as to her intentions though, which do lay themselves open to misinterpretation.

As for Sun Woo, the bracelet around his wrist seems to me a touch of irony to highlight the idea that he is the "real king" probably of some obsolete line and couldn't now claim it. But a threat just the same.

Lots of garbled ideas here, but we've received enough hints that his parentage is complicated to keep the theories simmering in my head.

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han sung is a true bone from seok clan, so if your theory is right then he also has as much right to the throne as sun woo. besides, that doesn't explain woo reuk's involvement since he was from Gaya

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Korean netizens are the one so sure that Sunwoo is Wolgwang. He is the Prince of Gaya. In history Wooreuk (Sunwoo's adopted father) is from Gaya. So it make sense if he is the one to take care Gaya's Prince. This was one of Knetz main theory from the start. They do not even consider at all that Sunwoo could be a King at all because of their history I guess. I actually never either. Until I started reading Dramabeans comments have that as their guess. LOL So I thought it might be a possibility but knowing the spoiler of Hyungshik character ending (I thought the spoiler was kinda reliable) so I cross that theory out entirely.

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I love seeing SamMaekJong and Pa-oh together, and Pa-oh really cares for him a lot. I especially loved the scene in which he corrects SamMeakJong and tells him that he is the King, they know it and the skies know it, and he teared up at that! Aww!

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I was absolutely squealing at the last couple of minutes in ep 7 where soo yeon and Ban Ryu got to meet and I suspected from the previous episode when they pointed out soo yeon and used camera angles that Ban Ryu and her might have a love line and HOORAY! I really hope that they will give Ban Ryu and Soo Yeon more screen time because their interactions and just Ban Ryu's character in general is so intriguing. He has a lot of depth to his character which I think can be explored a lot. Plus there seems to be a lot to work with- forbidden love with his so called enemy's sister, his own cold exterior, his father(s) and his change of personality with the Hwarang boys.

At the same time not really a fan of Go Ara but I do agree with some of the comments here. She is a bit of a hit and miss. Sometimes she overacts and its quite obvious, other times she tones it down a little and that's pleasant to watch. Let's hope it doesn't go too cliche in the next couple of episodes with brother- sister fake relationship forbidden love path.

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I'm honestly adoring every single one of the storylines right now . . . except for the whole queen / Ah-ro's dad subplot. It bores me. Ban-ryu and Soo-yeon are already so adorable, I want more! Like, way more! It's actually a shame that this drama is preproduced, because they can't add more screentime / change things up as according to viewer's wishes or reactions. We'll just have to go along with what's made. I hope they decided back then to give more than just a little importance to that loveline! [As love triangles are not really my thing & I need such a pure and light-hearted romance to cling to when their angst gets too overwhelming!]

Honestly, I think I'm the only one on the side of Sun-woo . . . I like him much more than Ji-dwi. Ji-dwi seems a bit too expectant of others and his views are bit close-minded. Obviously this is due to his sheltered upbringing and terrible mum, but it still rubs me the wrong way a bit. I can't really connect to him the way I'd like to, and his aggressiveness in the romance with Ah-ro is not my style. All of these points are probably just me, though, lol. And then you have Sun-woo, who seems so much warmer and sweeter, and I just really like that. His type of personality would probably be handed off to the second lead in any other drama, and it's such a nice change to see the male protag be . . . well, kind and fuzzy. While still being a badass and not a puppy.

And as for the bromance . . . I'm such a fan! I like all of them. Su-ho, Ban-ryu, Yeo-wool, & Han-sung! I mean they all have such different personalities. Su-ho is the optimistic player, Ban-ryu is the tortured sweetheart, Yeo-wool is the sharp-tongued pretty boy, and Han-sung is the pouty puppy! And then you throw them in a room together with Sun-woo, who's your vengeful cutie-pie, and Ji-dwi, a witty little king! I mean . . . how can you not like all of them together? & With rivalries from before and social standings and all of these little tensions that you already know are going to be overcome! I can't wait until they become grudging best friends, lol, because they are definitely going to be.

Love this show, it's become my pick-me-up. Also, on that note, where do all of you watch Hwarang? The site I usually watch it on is apparently not available anymore . . . so I'd really love to know about a new site! [ With English subs! Thank you! ♥︎ ]

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I'm with you on Sun Woo. I like his approach better than Ji Dwi's--yes, Ji Dwi's improving but he still rubs off on me in the iffy way. *sorry* 🙏 (And I don't like his whistling to Pa Oh--it's like he's whistling to a dog or something! I was wanting more of a mentor-protégé relationship between the two rather than a master-servant even though that is what they are.)

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I am totally on Sunwoo's side as well! He knows when to be strong and when to chill. He is also very kind and warm which is why I think, that Aro falls for him so easily. The King, is of course, a tragic figure but for me, Sunwoo's story is more compelling. I really wish he was actually a peasant but that seems more and more unlikely. Hwarang has fast become my favorite airing show.

I watch it on Kissasian or dramanice

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I like SW too! He's a rare find. Believed to be the only low-born hwarang among them but he's the noblest (in my honest, personal opinion) so far. A diamond in the rough. Hoping after all the angst AR would realize how this fake SW loved her real brother all this while. Melting.

Also liking PSJ portrayal of the character here. SW is simply funny. I think PSJ can live-action an anime character including exaggerations and all yet make it not so cringe-worthy nor me getting annoyed. Again my personal opinion. Haha.

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On youtube, kbs world- streaming live - it have a lots of reruns and marathons 2 -3 episodes at the end of the week. The schedule is on kbs world site - seoul time - you need to "reconverse" on your country official time ( for me it's a 7 hour decalage) .( and I dont know if kbs world on youtube is available in any country...)

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8 episodes later and I can fully say that I am in love with this show. 😊

Love love love the Hwarang boys' characterizations and interactions. I am so looking forward to see their growth from boys to real soldiers. (*cue "I'll Make A Man Out Of You" from Mulan as the BGM*)

Ji Dwi/Sam Maek Jong is my favorite in termls of character potential and the actor's portrayal of the role (plus I gotta admit it Park Hyung Sik is so beautiful I pretty much melt whenever he's onscreen). Also Ban Ryu is getting more and more interesting. Oh, you precious dork haha.

Sadly Go Ara's acting isn't doing much for me but she's serviceable. Her emotional scenes aren't too convincing. I do like her when she's being comedic though.

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I'm curious about what exactly Wooreuk tell about Sunwoo to A-ro, and even tho the episode is a lil bit slow but I'm enjoying their interaction...! More shower scene please...! Hehe...!

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Gosh, I didn't know it was this difficult to debut as a boyband in Silla.

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LOL!!! :D

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is ahn ji gong a real life character btw? also why does he seem to have a lot of power in court, since everyone seems to know his name

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Well we know he is "true bone", but we also saw early on that there are different levels of "true bone" depending on how close you are to the royal family. Ban Ryu, for instance, is at the very top. If both your parents are royalty, you're "sacred bone", and there were so few of these characters that the males had died out by Queen Soondeok's time. That likely means there weren't a lot of "true bone" characters at the very top level next to "sacred bone" either, and so I suspect people know who An Ji Gong is because he's from that rarefied level of true bone and created a scandal by marrying a servant and becoming a doctor. Just a guess because I wondered about it too.

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Duke Anji is a fictional character. He is a true bone, but not royal. Therefore Queen Jiso had to marry her uncle to produce a sacred bone son, Sammaekjong. The previous king, King Beopheung, was Queen Jiso's father. That makes Sammaekjong (also known as King Jinheung) both the previous king's nephew and grandson.

This may be a bit of spoiler. But Queen Jiso had other husbands including General Kim Isabu with whom she had Princess Sookmyeong (the character to be played by Seo Yeji).

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Pretty much why I wish Sammaekjong was more of a king material instead of love sick puppy. He isn't going to marry anyone who isn't a sacred bone.

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He was already married at the tender age of 7 to a sacred bone lady with whom he supposedly had a very good relationship. And this lady was a daughter of Duke Young Shil, no less! 😱

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Talking about the drama. Doesn't look like he's married here.

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@ O_o

I don't know much about General Yi-sabu. All I know is that he served King Jinheung and he was one of the most well known generals of Shilla before Kim Yushin.

What do you know about his family background? Sacred bone or true bone? If he was a true bone then Princess Sookmyeong would just be a true bone.

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I'm kind of confused that he is a Park in one historical record and Kim in another.

Maybe he was both? That would make him a sacred bone.

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He was a great great grandson of King Naemool. Most likely, he was a sacred bone himself. However, this sacred bone thing might have been something that people like King Beopheung and Queen Jiso came up with to ensure that only their descendants would inherit the throne. Before them, maybe they were all just true bones.

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Thank you! Why didn't I remember that?

At first I thought Moo Myung would be general Yi-sabu but he would be too old.

I would've loved it if he was part of the show but I understand why he is not. He would've been more powerful than Minister Park and his minions combined.
It feels kind of weird having to sympathize with Queen Regent Jiso in this show.

Well, I'm glad this sacred bone linage didn't last very long. Best thing about it was allowing women to rule Shilla unlike Baekje and Goguryeo.

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In love with this show!!!😍😍

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Did anyone else think Sun Woo looked particularly hot after his shower in that white shirt with one long lock of hair hanging down? His looks don't always appeal to me when his hair is raked back but woo boy! he looked good in that shot!

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Yes, he should've stayed with that kind of hairstyle! lol

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To bad, this episode was not a good one for me. It emphasized too much on the flower/idol-boys not the building of the characters. Maybe if it was put together with the previous episode, it would be perfect. Because previous episode already showed how much they grew together through morning workout, eating, washing, showering and broke the curfew.

I'll just try to enjoy it though, cause it still brought smile. But the dance cringed me out, oups.... Maybe I just watched to many Marvel's adaptations (sigh) :)

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I liked this episode, laughed a lot. I wasn't expecting to enjoy Hwarang this much but it really is entertaining. The first music and dance class was hilarious, I was so embarrassed for Ban-ryu and Sun-woo, they are just really bad!

Now that Ah-ro knows for sure that Sun-woo isn't her brother she'll feel lost. I totally felt for her when she was talking to Soo-yeon and telling her that she wanted him to be her brother and not at the same time. She missed her brother, and seeing him in front of her and just back in her life is all what she wanted but he doesn't feel like a brother to her, he doesn't even know how to act like one so all "Is he or is he not?" ended up with those messy feelings and yes, it's going to take a while to get over the reason why he lied to her and why he is impersonating her brother.

I like adorkable Ban-ryu, him catching himself tapping his feet was so cute. He just started enjoying himself and I really don't want him to ruin the performance but knowing how Minister Park is I don't think he'll have another choice. Aww, feel sad for him!

And Pa-oh, he's such a softie! Him telling Ji-dwi that he's not nothing and he is the King, and tearing up at that is just aww!

Thank you LollyPip for the recap.

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sun woo seems to have a sense of deja vu when he watched ji dwi sparring with bouncer. maybe JD's unique style of swordfighting reminds him of the man he fought with in the carpenter's house. there's something different in his face when he sparred with JD next- i think he's beginning to get suspicious of JD

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Smart comment! I saw SW's reaction and felt that SW became aware that JD's sword fighting style is same as the one he fought in the carpenter house. That's why I saw SW practicing sword fighting with JD with rage. I think he somehow had a feeling that JD might be the one he was looking for.

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I agree. I thought that would be the cliffhanger, that he would connect the dots and realize Ji Dwi and the masked guy were the same person.

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This is just an easy breezy romp for me and I'll break it down to the really important thing in my opinion. I've always enjoyed SHINee but Oh. My. God, now I've really discovered Minho. Thank you Hwarang!
This is important stuff because four years ago when I started watching k-dramas I saw this show called IRIS and got intrigued by the villain, looked up his real name, found out it was T.O.P..who was this BigBang thing? Googled them and the very first k-pop MV I watched was "Fantastic Baby". I thought, where have I been all my 60 years? T.O.P is still me ultimate bias. Will miss him so much when he leaves for the military next month! Then I watched a show called RoomMate and fell in love with a guy named Chanyeol...and then EXO. YASSSSS. Then came Jaceson on RoomMate and Got 7. Bring it on, people, bring it on! Then Eric on Oh Hae Young Again and now I love Shinwa...but, wait!WAIT just a goldarned minute...this beautiful young noble on Moonlight Drawn by Clouds is also a singer, writer producer named Jinyoung with B1A4?? Oh My God, how can I ever forget falling for Siwon on She Was Pretty and Taecyeon on all his dramas? I am not going to mind the retirement nursing home in 20 years as long as I have WiFi!!
So, yeah, I'm liking Hwarang.
Questions?

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How about adding V unto your list too? He's Hansung and he is a member of BTS. Then your list would be complete ahah Oh wait, the king is also a member of an idol group, i don't know which group though, maybe you can add him too lol

I actually discovered Shinee through Minho's first drama (at least i think it was his first drama) and that's how i first knew of kpop. Now i'm a huge BTS fan, and i love Shinee too and other groups as well.

On another note, loving this drama. I can't wait to see the bromance between the boys growing. I bet we are in for a fun ride, but i bet tears will be involved by the end. I don't know if i'm ready lol

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Hyungshik is from ZE:A.

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I find myself skipping everytime aro appears.. I just couldn't connect with her character..
I fell in love with park hyung shik, he's so charismatic, I squee like crazy everytime he appears, those winks, oh my god!! >_<

and anyone notice banryu laughing when sunwoo dance?? haha.. I ship banryu x su yeon and banryu x suho.. please makes banryu smile more..

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I want Banryu and Sooho bromance too!

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Can I just say that Sunwoo hair after shower is super hot & sexy?

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Loving this show too! I didn't really care much about the other characters in the beginning, just the three leads, so I really like how at episode 8 suddenly everyone else has come to matter too, and am looking forward to getting to "know" them more as the stories develop. I really like how so far the show is piecing everything/everyone together. I like the reintroduction of Sunwoo's adopted dad/guardian as this musical genius... with a past and path of his own. In the first episodes he didn't seem like he would be an important figure so it's interesting how he is actually quite vital to the story.
Yes, I am in love with Hyunsik, and love his portrayal of JD.. he is handsome, of "quality" and upbringing... but I also love the rawness of Sunwoo... he is rough around the edges but has such charm and quality of his own too...really like the contrast of the two and yet similarities as well.
I don't have any problems with Go Ara and her acting, I think she is great as Ah Ro! Maybe I just have a soft spot for her too ever since Who are you!
But poor JD, his love is doomed because of being the cause of her brother's death...as he said himself... he "killed" him... I can't imagine the guilt he will feel. Oh well, looking forward to a crying and broken Hyunsik! He is good!
Ah Ro's dad is interesting because he is walking such a thin line between good and evil... can't wait to see what happens as I feel there will be unexpected twists to who is who and ends up doing what!
Thank you for recapping...when unsure about a show I'd read the recaps first to see if it's interesting...so glad you got me to watch this!

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1.
I don't think Woo Reuk told Ah Ro the truth but since Ah Ro asked him if his brother missed her, he told her about Mak Moon, the real Mak Moon, how he always talk about his sister and remember all details about her. Ah Ro would istantly know from the story that there is 2 person, her brother, which is a talkative and cheerful person and another person that known as her brother, the cold one and never smile, He Se Rang.
2.
In the 1st episode, Hwa-gong is in jail because as the king best friend he had affair with king's concubine?
What if it is not true? What if the concubine is pregnant the king's son but because the situation is not safe for this unborn child so the king made plot with Hwa-gong to save this child by pretending to blame him having affair with his concubine, put him in jail and get rid the concubine out of the city. Hwa-gong will be safe if anything happen because he is in jail, but he hold the key for the child.
Hwa-gong and Woo Reuk friendship is definitely no coincidence...

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Omooo! finally someone said this possibilty of the birth secret...woo reuk appearance is a surprise for me,

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Ban Ryu & Soo Yeon are so adorable!! More screen time for them & their love story please..

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But have you guys heard seo joon sing? *thumbs up*

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I used to play his song that he sang for Witch's Romance OST on loop. His voice is dreamy <3

And he's a pretty good dancer too! Saw some of his clips from Dream High 2.

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i had thought that during the practice fight of jidwi with sunwoo watchinge, he'd find the moves familiar, recognizing him from the fight in the warehouse and the owner of the bracelet..the bracelet is a symbol of the king..and somehow, sunwoo is now the one wearing it...hmmm..

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