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Hwarang: Episode 17

There’s only so long you can hold a grudge against someone before things blow up, and Sun-woo and Ji-dwi are quickly approaching that moment. Both are angry and resentful of the other and unwilling to back down. But a situation arises that will force them to work together or declare themselves enemies forever, and their decision will determine the shape of their future, as well as their country’s future.

 
EPISODE 17 RECAP

Ban-ryu helps Minister Park’s assassins find Sun-woo in the Hwarang grounds, but luckily Su-ho, Yeo-wool, and Dan-se are there to help Sun-woo fend them off. They refuse when he tries to make them retreat to safety, and its a good thing, because Sun-woo suffers one of his attacks and slumps to the ground.

Meanwhile, Ji-dwi breaks into Minister Park’s bedroom and steals his dragon-head bracelet back. He wakes Minister Park with a wicked dagger aimed at his face, and informs him that he is the rightful owner of the bracelet — the king.

Minister Park tries to get away, but Ji-dwi slams the dagger into his bed, shallowly slicing Minister Park’s neck just enough to make his threat clear. Ji-dwi warns Minister Park that the next time he’s here, it will be to kill him.

Queen Regent Jiso enters the throne room to see a black cloud envelop and dissolve the throne. She screams then wakes from her nightmare, and finds a flower by her bedside. It’s Ji-dwi’s signal to meet him in the throne room, and when she arrives, he’s seated on the throne dressed in kingly scarlet.

In a strong voice, Ji-dwi tells his mother that it’s time for him to become the true king of Silla. She sneers that he doesn’t even know what that means, and reminds him that it’s only through her perseverance that the throne still belongs to their family. Ji-dwi says that he knows, but it’s not her name that will remain, “Because I, Jinheung, am the king of Silla.”

The queen regent persists, arguing that he’s king because of her. But Ji-dwi says that she was only using him as an excuse to feed her own greed. He invites her to resent him if she wishes, but in the end, all she’ll have left is her resentment. He concludes that this is his country, his Silla.

Later, in her room, the queen regent has another nightmare… this time Ji-dwi is strangling her. She sits up gasping and calls her lady guard, Mo-young, and asks for Ji-gong. Mo-young informs her that Ji-gong is in the low-born village treating the plague victims.

In the morning, Yeo-wool and Su-ho are still watching over Sun-woo, who hasn’t woken yet. Yeo-wool tells Su-ho about Sun-woo’s tendency to pass out, which seems to be news to Su-ho (though he’s seen it before when Sun-woo fainted on the archery field).

Things are looking very bleak at the low-born village, where most of the population is ill and Ji-gong and Woo-reuk are beginning to lose hope. There’s no news from the palace regarding medicine, and it’s starting to look like the entire village could die.

One very sick woman comes to Ji-gong, begging him to save her son even while dark blood gushes from her own mouth. He prepares a poisonous herb and feeds it to her, desperate for the small chance that she could survive and it could help. But the woman dies, and Ji-gong looks as if he’s going a little bit mad.

In the city, Ah Ro tries her best to find medicinal herbs to help, but all of the merchants have been cleaned out. A cart goes by and she sees small dried star-shaped herbs falling from one of the bags it’s carrying. She recognizes it as star anise, the very herb needed to combat the plague.

The cart makes its way to Minister Park’s home, where he’s stockpiling medicine to sell at a huge profit once the plague makes it into the city. He complains that it’s taking too long for the city folk to become ill, and frowns when Ho Gong attributes the slow spread of the plague to Ji-gong’s efforts in the village.

Hwi-kyung angrily confronts the queen regent about her plans to revive the Wonhwa, who were warriors and spiritual leaders. He reminds her what happened to its leaders Nam-mo and Joon-jung, and she says that they fought, and Joon-jung killed Nam-mo, then Nam-mo’s followers killed Joon-jung. Hwi-kyung says that she seems to be remembering things incorrectly.

Hwi-kyung orders Queen Regent Jiso to step down and relinquish her family’s claim to the throne, and to leave the Hwarang untouched. The queen regent screams that he’s in no position to tell her what to do with her crown and her Hwarang, but he says that if she had left well enough alone, so would he. She’s not sure what he means by that, but Hwi-kyung bellows that everything that will happen is her fault.

Ah Ro goes to the Hwarang grounds and finds Hwa-gong, who is looking distinctly uncomfortable as he gingerly makes his way to the lavatory. Just like last time, she’s too preoccupied to notice his distress, and she rattles on about needing to talk to him while he tries not to have an accident. He sends her in to wait for him, but she hears the loud rude noise he makes as he fails to hold it in. Again, ewww.

When he makes it back to his office, Ah Ro tells him about the star anise she found. She says that Minister Park is hoarding it, and begs Hwa-gong to do something. Joo-ki asks if Ah Ro has seen Sun-woo, and she rushes to the infirmary when she hears he passed out again.

Sun-woo is gently woken by a soft hand on his face, and he grabs the wrist and pulls the person closer for a kiss. But he opens his eyes and, instead of Ah Ro, he sees Princess Sookmyung. Neither of them realizes that Ah Ro just saw the cozy scene from the doorway, and ran off again.

Sun-woo sits up, and the princess asks who he thought she was. He refuses to say, and the princess haughtily informs him that she’s betrothed and in no way sees a half-breed as a future husband.

She does want to know why she feels this way about him, but Sun-woo just apologies for confusing her. When he stands to go, she says that she still wants to know, and orders him not to run away until her curiosity is satisfied. Well, how very romantic.

Ah Ro paces outside and awkwardly approaches Sun-woo when he comes out. Remembering how the queen regent plans to use her as an incentive to make him pretend to be the king, he avoids her concern and quickly walks away. Ah Ro’s lip wobbles to see him shutting her out again.

The princess is still in the infirmary, and she tells Ah Ro that she was right that her brother was in the Hwarang. She names Ji-dwi, and when Ah Ro is concerned that someone else may know, Sookmyung calls her greedy for the fact that her “brother” is posing as king, and that she wants to protect Ji-dwi as well.

Growing a bit angry, Sookmyung asks if Sun-woo is really Ah Ro’s brother, since she certainly doesn’t treat him that way. She accuses Ah Ro of stringing along both men, but Ah Ro calls Sookmyung the greedy one for wanting someone who isn’t interested.

Sookmyung says that she sees why the queen regent chose her, and Ah Ro asks what she was chosen for. But the princess just walks out, leaving Ah Ro worried.

At mealtime, Ban-ryu sits with his former cronies instead of his roommates, which annoys Su-ho. He asks Ban-ryu where he was last night when they were all fighting assassins, wondering sarcastically if Ban-ryu’s absence was a coincidence.

Ban-ryu tells Su-ho that he doesn’t care what he thinks, nastily calling him the queen’s dog. Hurt and angry, Su-ho asks if Ban-ryu plans to be the bad guy again, warning that he’d better not have been involved with what happened last night, but Ban-ryu just tells him to stop acting like they’re friends.

Sun-woo walks into the middle of this scene, and everyone grows even more tense. He sits with his roommates who also act strange, and Han-sung chirps that everyone thinks Sun-woo is the hidden king. Yeo-wool shushes him, and Su-ho struggles again with whether to speak formally.

Yeo-wool asks if it’s true, but Sun-woo just gets up and leaves, having lost his appetite. Everyone glares daggers at Yeo-wool, ha.

Ji-dwi goes to speak with Hwa-gong and ask what else he should do if he wants to be king, and Hwa-gong says that he needs to gain followers. He says that Ji-dwi needs someone strong, someone like Minister Park, to gain all that power to his advantage.

Ji-dwi asks if he should kill Minister Park if he can’t make him his person, and Hwa-gong’s silence speaks volumes. Ji-dwi then asks if he has Hwa-gong on his side, and Hwa-gong says he is because Ji-dwi has justification — in other words, the ability to at least make the least bad decision.

Lost in thought, Ji-dwi nearly walks into Sun-woo, who grabs him when he tries to pass. He asks how long Ji-dwi plans to avoid him, and Ji-dwi asks with a sneer how it feels to pretend to be king.

Sun-woo punches Ji-dwi, and says that he should already know how it feels. That gets Sun-woo punched in return, and Ji-dwi asserts that he never pretended to be king. Sun-woo snaps that he’s never been the real king either, and Ji-dwi yells that he’s fighting as hard as he can.

Laughing in Ji-dwi’s face, Sun-woo scoffs that he calls this fighting, when he’s just hiding and avoiding his responsibility. Ji-dwi says that it’s a fight to improve Silla, to make it so that the people no longer die because of Silla’s rules.

The queen regent has a worrying cough at the next council meeting, where she struggles to pay attention as the council discusses the plague threat. Her vision swims and she hallucinates them demanding that she step down. But then everything clears up and she gets herself together enough to refuse their real request, to ask neighboring Gugoryeo for aid.

Hwa-gong calls for both Ji-dwi and Sun-woo, then brings in Ah Ro, surprising all three of them. He has Ah Ro tell them about the plague decimating the low-born village, and about finding the medicine that Minister Park is hoarding. She explains how he plans to sell the medicine for its weight in gold once the epidemic reaches the city, but by then, the village will be gone.

Hwa-gong asks what they can do about this situation, while Sun-woo struggles to hold his emotions in check, worried about the people living outside the city walls that he’s known all his life. Hwa-gong tells the boys that they need to solve this problem together, because he knows they’ve both been struggling with the question of what makes a king.

He tells them that this is not a test, and that they can walk out of the room and pretend this conversation never happened — it’s up to them. They go out to think, while Ah Ro yells at Hwa-gong for potentially setting the two at each other’s throats. Hwa-gong says that you can’t change the world without shaking things up a little.

The boys sit outside, where Sun-woo says that he doesn’t believe Ji-dwi is capable of solving this problem. He says that Ji-dwi has no idea how those people live or think, or how beautiful and worthy of protection that place is.

Ji-dwi argues that he knows that hoarding medicine and endangering people’s lives is worthy of death. He tells Sun-woo that he’s not the only one who gets angry at injustice, but Sun-woo counters that he can’t trust how strong that determination is. But they both have a solution in mind.

Preoccupied by memories of watching Sun-woo nearly get killed by the assassins, Ban-ryu is surprised when Soo-yeon tosses a rock at him from over the wall. He listens quietly while she says that she’s missed him, and that she understands if he’s had a change of heart.

She thanks him for showing her that not all men are like her brother, and says that she just wanted to see him one last time before letting him go. But her eyes well up with tears, and she says that seeing him just makes her miss him even more.

Her tears finally loosen Ban-ryu’s tongue, and he admits that he wants to hurt her so that she’ll get over him faster. But he says that he can’t think when he looks at her, so he begs her to run from him. He insists that he’s a bad person who will hurt her, but Soo-yeon puts a gentle hand on his and says that she knows that he’s a good man.

Ji-dwi and Sun-woo take their plan to Yeo-wool and Su-ho, asking for their help. Su-ho agrees quickly, just because it’s the right thing to do, and Yeo-wool sighs that he’ll do it even though Minister Park might be his father. Su-ho jokes that Yeo-wool has too many fathers, ha.

Ban-ryu arrives at the door just as they’re discussing whether to ask him to help, and he listens in while Yeo-wool says that it’s too risky, since he’s Minister Park’s adopted son and would tell on them. But Su-ho says that it’s because it might hurt Ban-ryu to ask him to choose, which makes Ban-ryu think.

After dark, Hwa-gong steels himself at Minister Park’s door, then suddenly begins acting very drunk and hollering for the gate to be opened. He puts on a loud show about finally showing up to drink that wine with Minister Park, and sizes up the courtyard shrewdly once he gains entrance.

This is all part of the boys’ plan, to have Hwa-gong distract Minister Park’s guards so they can slip in the back way. He makes a big scene wandering the grounds, and the guards are all occupied with trying to get him out of there.

While this is happening, the queen’s female guard shows up at Ji-gong’s home, and they take Ah Ro away by force, and without explanation.

Hwa-gong is taken to see Minister Park, where he continues the ruse that he’s here to share that old bottle of wine. He does his best to keep Minister Park occupied, while Minister Park looks hilariously annoyed.

A bigger, louder commotion arrives at the front gate in the form of a very drunk Ban-ryu, swinging a lit torch and bellowing. Gambler-turned-hired-thug Doo-woo has the torch taken away and Ban-ryu escorted to the house, where he kneels and begging Minister Park to kill him.

He slurs that he’s in sooo much pain after ruining Minister Park’s grand plans for him, and loudly mentions the assassins Minister Park sent to Hwarang, confirming Hwa-gong’s suspicions. He’s totally doing this on purpose, isn’t he?

Dressed in black and wearing masks, the boys creep in and quickly find themselves in the storage room with all the medicinal herbs. They’re stunned by the sheer volume of gold and medicine, more even than the royal family owns. Ji-dwi assures Sun-woo that this is not how this country is supposed to work.

Inside, Ban-ryu holds his sword to his own throat, then turns it on the guards when Minister Park tells them to remove him. He informs them that he’s the future king of Silla, giving away the rest of Minister Park’s plans to Hwa-gong, who just sits and laughs. HA, Minister Park looks like he just swallowed a toad.

The boys liberate four huge bags full of medicine over the wall, but Doo-woo and a massive guard stop them. Sun-woo sighs like This jerk again and steps forward to fight him, but Ji-dwi stops him, saying that he has a score to settle. He takes down the giant with a couple of well-places kicks, then disarms and knocks out Doo-woo in about three moves. Very nice.

In the morning, a cart piled high with medicine is delivered to Ji-gong at the low-born village. He finds a note which says “Drink and laugh out loud,” and Ji-gong knows it’s from Sun-woo, recognizing the phrase from his many-sided dice.

Sun-woo tosses his dice idly, feeling pretty satisfied with the night’s work. Yeo-wool wonders why Ban-ryu was causing such a scene while they were stealing the herbs, thinking it a pretty big coincidence. Ban-ryu enters the room and Su-ho thanks him, and though Ban-ryu doesn’t answer, a quick smile flashes across his face.

The queen regent thinks back on her conversation with Hwi-kyung, when she’d wondered if she’d have had to give up so much if he’d taken the throne. We see a scene from twenty years ago, in which she’d sobbed while she’s held a sword on a kneeling woman, one of the Wonhwa.

The woman had pleaded for her life, reminding Jiso that they used to be the closest of friends. But the queen regent had insisted that she must die and take the blame for Nam-mo’s death — ah, this must be Joon-jung. Still crying but saying this is for her son’s sake, the queen regent had thrust the sword into Joon-jung’s heart.

Ji-dwi bursts into the lecture room to find Sun-woo, and tells him that Ah Ro was taken to the palace. Sun-woo immediately panics, and demands to know when she was taken.

Ah Ro is already in front of the queen regent, who steps close to her and tells her that her son has decided to take the throne. She asks if it’s Ah Ro’s fault that he’s no longer biddable, angrily asking if Ah Ro confused him somehow, “As your mother did to your father?!”

Ah Ro stammers that nothing like that has happened, but the queen regent says that it doesn’t even matter. She tells Ah Ro of her plan to make her a Wonhwa, and make her meet the fate of a Wonhwa.

 
COMMENTS

First of all, I have to talk about Ban-ryu and his wonderful change of heart. It’s been obvious for some time that he’s just never had a strong father figure or real friends who like him for more than his status, so it’s no wonder he has a hard time trusting anyone. It was lovely to see him come so undone in front of Soo-yeon and finally tell her how he feels, even if it was to admit that he’s scared he’ll hurt her. Then to overhear Su-ho say that he doesn’t want to cause him more pain, even knowing that he probably helped the assassins get into Hwarang, was the final straw. He’ll probably never be all buddy-buddy with the other guys, but he’s beginning to find some self-worth in the fact that there are people who do genuinely care about him. Mostly I just want him to be happy, so seeing him realize that someone thinks he’s worthy of concern and love is a beautiful first step.

I was also excited to see Ji-dwi finally stand up to his mother, and declare his intentions to take his country back. He’s still learning and probably will be for some time, and he’s not quite ready and he knows it, but he’s made his intentions clear — soon, he will be reclaiming his throne, and while his mother can fight him if she likes, he will be taking his rightful place as king.

This show’s biggest weakness, I believe, is its inability to properly convey the characters’ motivations, and while I hoped for a long time it was just withholding information in order to create suspense, I have to stop hoping and just realize that nope, this is all we’re gonna get. So when it comes to things like the queen regent’s behavior, all I can do is extrapolate from her actions why she’s been so reluctant to give her son his throne back when she claims that it’s her only wish in life to protect it for him. She certainly uses him to justify of her most bloodthirsty actions, including killing the Wonhwa leader, for some reason. Nam-do and Joon-jung did exist as Wonhwa leaders, and the way the queen regent related their deaths is how history remembers it, so I’m curious to see how the show will twist those events to fit our story. Jiso certainly seems to be setting up Princess Sookmyung and Ah Ro as the next Nam-mo and Joon-jung, and to use the situation to get rid of Ah Ro.

My confusion with the queen regent has mostly come from the fact that she seems to want to protect Ji-dwi and his throne, yet every time he tries to behave as the king, she belittles and delays him. I do think that, at first, Queen Regent Jiso had her son’s and the country’s best interests at heart, when she sent Ji-dwi away and ruled in his stead while he grew up. But it feels as though she’s enjoyed that power too much, and that she’s done such terrible things that she’s convinced herself that she deserves to rule. So now that the time is approaching for her to hand everything over, she’s reluctant to see that he’s nearly ready.

And frankly, if he’s not ready by now, it’s the queen regent’s fault for not teaching him how to rule a country. The poor guy hasn’t been taught a thing other than maybe swordsmanship and fighting, and while he’s good at that, he should be learning diplomacy and other things a king needs to know. It’s no wonder Ji-dwi is growing angry as he’s having to learn these things on his own, though at least he has Hwa-gong to turn to for solid, no-holds-barred advice. It puts Hwa-gong in the interesting position of having the power to shape the future, as he’s the only person Ji-dwi can trust, so it makes me glad that he’s an honorable person who doesn’t seem to be interested in Hwi-kyung’s plans to take down the monarchy and rebuild it their way.

I did love Hwa-gong’s plan to make Ji-dwi and Sun-woo work together, and solve the problem of the hoarded medicine as a team. He knows that no matter what happens, they need to stop butting heads and learn to at least get along, as the two most potentially powerful Hwarang. Forcing them to come up with a solution together was a brilliant way to have Sun-woo and Ji-dwi bond over a serious issue, one that affects Sun-woo personally and Ji-dwi as the king who wishes to protect his people above all. If Ji-dwi wants to be a king for all of the people, the best thing he could do was to risk his own life for those that most would consider expendable, at the same time proving to Sun-woo that he truly cares about even the lowest of his subjects.

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Soo-yeon and Ban-ryu scene, I need to super glue my heart back.

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This episode was actually half-bearble - mostly because there was some actual action and a lot less Ah Ro. Sun Woo/Ji Dwi mow make my heart flutter, and them working together was kind of like my dream team. <3

Park Hyung Shik looks so majestic in his royal robes - and the way he sits on the throne just kills me. Please someone just make him the king already. The show kind of killed his character arc but I still see glimmers of redemption and just...pliss don't make Sun Woo the king? Pliss Show?

Also totally agree with LollyPip; Queen Regent is so hard to read. What does she actually want from life? *shakes head ruefully*

Also, Ban Ryu's single episode leap to the dark side was so...OUT OF CONTEXT I CANNOT EVEN! WHYYY did he shed all that character development and srsly whyyy did he immediately return to the right side? He was the ONLY three dimensional character in this series and the writer KILLED HIS SOUL! WHYYYYYYYYYYYY? WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY?

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I was wondering at first too but I think his leap to the dark side was just an action of sudden fear (that letter). This episode clearly showed even though he helped assassins his heart was never satisfied , he looked so conflicted and sad seeing hwarangs fighting those black masked men. And with sooyeon calling him a good guy and sooho showing worry for were probably the reasons he came back to the good side lol

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Lol, I get your rant.

For many many weeks, I have been giving the show a free pass because all I cares about was Ji Dwi. For him to be the great king he can be.

And this week came and went, his arc has also become a mess.

And now am mad at the show! I can understand what the show wants to say, it's all good things but it just sucks at showing them on screen. Due to mixture of bad writing, editing and directing!

It's always almost just there, close enough to getting it right and making a mess every time!

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I found today's episode to be really messy (which I expect from odd episodes..usually the evens are bette), like some of the scenes should have been inserted into previous episodes. Yeah Ban Ryu's week on the dark side is confusing. Why, Ban Ryu, why? He went to a total 180. The dark side was pretty much betraying his countrymen and "sic the assassins on Sunwoo". Like there wasn't something less deadly to do? Now he's acting like he cares.

When I see how Sooyun and Suho believe in him and care about him, I'm like that is one undeserving jerk. I was sort of upset when Sooyun bad mouthed Suho. Suho may be a player and an idiot but he is a good person.

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Well being honest, if I was Suho's sister I wouldn't want to get with a guy like him. Sooyeon didn't really mean it in that way like he is a bad guy, just not someone who she would fall in love with. Think about it, she literally had no friends because her brother dated then broke up with all of them, and she sees the aftermath as well as how he didn't really care for the majority (all?) of them. Not a dude she would wanna date. She still loves her bro and believes he is a good person, just not exactly her type.

Not to mention him "toughening" her up by putting her in head locks. Which, yeah, gaver her that spunky personality we all love, but not exactly helping his case either.

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Way to go, Ban Ryu! He's been tormented for too long and Soo Yeon's belief in him was the light he needed to get past his evil stepfather. Though I didn't expect it to come in the form of drunken reeling...it was faked, right?

Sun Woo and Ji Dwi (and the other Hwarang boys) working together was great. Though it's a little weird to have them resolve one conflict and immediately jump to another, which involves Aro...again.

I've given up on trying to understand the queen regent's motives and actions. I'll just go with the idea that she's slowly going insane from poisoned tea.

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According to webtoon I think it wasn't, he really drank lol

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There's a webtoon?? Do you have the name? Link? Please and thank you!

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The queen was extra confusing here. Like why make Aro a Wonhwa. Just kill her if feel you feel like it or marry her off to someone's who lives far away. I mean, I hope she doesn't kill Aro, but she's making this super complicated situation to orchestrate Aro's death by trying to recreate this historical situation that we just heard of just now. Aro really isn't anyone politically important and she's a half breed. If I also blame the poison. I did feel bad for her a little when Ji Dwi was like no one would remember her. She's just the regent. Yes she worked hard and made sacrifices and so far protected Silla from Baekje and Goguryeo, but she is screwing up the future of Silla, of her son too, by not prepping him and by using that excuse to hold onto the throne.

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I know it seems kinda messy, but remember she's using Aro as bait to get Sunwoo to do what she wants. That's why she can't just kill Aro right away. She told Sunwoo to pose as King to buffer against any attacks that might endanger the real king Jidwi. But Sunwoo would only agree that if Aro's life was on the line. Then Queen Jiso probably made the princess the other wonhwa so that after Sunwoo served his purpose for her, the princess would kill Aro, thus creating the same fate the other wonhwa experienced. So I think the Queen orchestrated things in this complex way so that she could get everything she wanted: she keeps her authority, the King is protected, she tortures Ahn Ji's "son," and gets rid of Aro, the one "confusing" her son.

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Banryu oh my Banryu, I was so disappointed last week but damn! I'm so glad he has the courage to admit that he is a bad person (not in my eyes no you are not bad :p) but i'm glad he has the conscious and I so like the KIM siblings these two are the one who brought banryu to the right path, esp sooyeon, I love her! she just chose the perfect timing to tell him that he is a good person it really moved his heart along with sooho's words of not wanting to hurt him, I love how suho is so caring of banryu despite all the rivalry, he totally cares about banryu and probably the only one in hwarang who genuinely cares about him and he looked super annoyed when banryu joined his gang again lol. I really hope a happy ending for banryu, many will disagree with me but I don't want his biological father to die or anything, banryu loves him and it's time this scared baby bean gets some fatherly love. Sooo looking forward to his happy ending <3

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Ban Ryu the Baby Bean is my new fave phrase. Thanks. :D <3

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hahah np :) <3

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Seriously, the queen could just dispose of Ah Ro quietly once and for all, rather than make her a Wonhwa just to kill her... other than that I liked to see the boys working together in this episode.

Princess on Valentine's Day: 'Stay with me until my curiosity is satisfied. This is an order. Don't run away.'

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Now I'm imagining the Hwarang getting five-page long valentine letters from all their fangirls in the capital and Sun Woo just gets "Stay with me. This is an order." Lol.

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Maybe the queen wouldn't have gone bipolar if the writer did everyone a favor and reveal Sammaekjong's identity earlier. We know, she knows, he knows, even my cat knows .....

Princess.... Say what?

Lol I don't even want to go there.

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But she knows Ah Ro is a good pawn for BOTH Sun Woo and Jwi Di...there's no way she would get rid of her so easily

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yeah better kill go ara character here. i'm so fed with her frowning face. i cringed everytime i see her face. i better stop watching this drama than to die of constipation because of her acting. she is the cause of my cranky mood.

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Ha! First to comment. ??

For the past few episodes, somehow I've grown tired & started to find SunWoo to be quite annoying. He is so selfish n absorbed in his own revenge that he refused to look from other people's perspective. He's stubbornly doing as he wishes with no clear thought of the consequences. Compared to JiDwi who slowly try to build himself n even doubting his own strength. The development of his character is more realistic. How reality crash with his fantasy yet he's willing to take few steps back to plan his step ahead. Hyungsik deliver the desperation and determination of a king who's learning his rope perfectly through his eye. SunWoo character is like a loose bull who refuse to calm down & take a second look. He is so blinded by revenge that he refused to think that there are two side of everything. His mockery of JiDwi style of king show his stupidity on the real struggle of being one. His declaration of being King on last week episode anger me as he simply shout & declare himself as one without much thought compared to JiDwi who have more on his plate than just simply stated of being one. So far I'm getting tired of SunWoo being arrogant and acting like the-know-it-all. Luckily JiDwi balance his arrogance with his constant reflections of his action and consequences. For the romance, I totally dont care bout AhRo & SunWoo. They are so repetitive on the I-love-you-then-pretend-i-dont-care-bout-u and getting tired of AhRo who always need to be rescued. I'm more interested with SooYeon & BanRyu loveline. They are the typical Romeo Juliet scheme with a spunky Juliet & a smitten Romeo. Please get a happy ending & let the drama be at least satisfying for the last week. Less SunWoo being blockheaded fool for revenge & more to the bromance. Please please less fury n more bromance.

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Meh..forget bout me being first.

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What was Sun Woo supposed to do? Hesitate and let AR die when AR according to him is his only reason for living.The Baekje prince has already killed the first set of slaves even before the time limit was up. But I do get your frustration with his character because I was also expecting him not to act so rashly at least by episode 10 but it seems there's no character growth for him. I have the same frustration with JD. Hide, bid for the right time to be king but when and what has he been doing to gain supporters? Shouldn't he be making friends with the other hwarang? I have given up on this drama to make sense but I'll hang on since there are 3 eps only.

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I think there are serious problems with the writing. It would've been awesome if they wrote it so Ji Dwi became a better leader of the boys, that would make viewers more on board with him being a king. The drama totally could've written them as 2 different leadership styles & it would've been much more engaging to compare

Still, I'm also really frustrated with how brash Sun Woo's character is... I wish he'd slow down and consider different perspectives, he's too 1-dimensional of a character for me to cheer on. I don't really buy into SW& Aro romance either, SY & BR are so much cuter with less time

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It would’ve been awesome if they wrote it so Ji Dwi became a better leader of the boys, that would make viewers more on board with him being a king. The drama totally could’ve written them as 2 different leadership styles & it would’ve been much more engaging to compare

This was what made me pick up the drama in the first place, only to be served with early 2000's drama style of weepy heroine that needs to be saved every other episode. Why they need "need to rescue Aro" as a way to move the plot? Once or twice maybe acceptable, but this is too much.

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I share the same sentiments as you. I am really disappointed in the storyline... The writer really has messed up the development of the main characters. I am also frustrated with the Kings character. By this time in the drama I hoped that he would have gotten all of the Hwarang on his side and devised a clever way to gain his throne back. I don't know why the writer is still developing his character so slowly. Also, the whole push and pull thing with SW and AR is just so old already. I really wish the writer made AR more clever so she could figure out ways to save herself rather than having SW and JD always coming to save her. The only reason I still follow this drama is I want to see SW real identity...

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I still like Sunwoo as a Hwarang, and I think he and Aro do make a cute couple, but week after week, I'm starting to wonder why Aro is still in love with him. Even in this episode, he was shutting her out again without explanation and Aro even commented on it. He is incredibly rude to someone who worries about him. i don't think I can live my life with a guy like that. I'm guessing he likes Aro since she is pretty, gentle, and takes good care of the people - especially poor people. Aro and Sooyun need better boyfriends.

i think sunwoo has let up on his revenge. He understands Ji Dwi a little more now, but given their different backgrounds, I think both Sunwoo and Ji Dwi are right and wrong and they need to push each other's buttons in order to find a happy realistic medium.

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my exact thoughts! sun woo is getting increasingly annoying, and while ji dwi isn't perfect, his character, ban ryu+ sy and soo ho redeem the cringey ah ro + sw +hidden king love "triangle".

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agree completely with your thoughts about sunwoo, jidwi, and the bromance! :'(

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I really dont understand the queen regent.But the screen of the boys working together was awesome.And finally My favourite jidwi start to act like a king

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I wish, wish, wish this show would have been about the relationships between hwarang, how they became an amazing fighting force and supported the king on his rise to the throne. But no it's about Ah Ro getting put in harm's way. Honestly the Park bros are being wasted here. They are so damn talented and could have had a bromance for the ages.

At this point I'm only hear for the pretty and the small hope that I might see the king holding court with Hwa Gong as chief advisor, Sun Woo as military chief and all the other Hwarang as the new council. But this show hates me so I won't have such nice things.

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Agree. It's called Hwarang, after all, and not "The Multiple Rescues of Aro".

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'Fated to Rescue You'

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Other title suggestion:

Answer Me AhRo
Fated To Save You
Chief AhRo
Weighlifting AhRo
Legend Of Stupid AhRo
Tomorrow With Ahro
AhRo: Dansel who have to be save

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???I don't know why this made me laugh so hard but it did!

Great titles. I can't say I will watch any of those dramas though.

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Hahahahaha !!!

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how about Dal- the bitter jealous to Ah ro
Dal* the villain and 101 Dalmatians
Dal the more stupid *** (Don't know what creature it was
Dal the dullest **** (Don't know what creature who learned to use internet to bash people who didn't do anything bad at *** (again what creature is this to have a gender?)
Dal make your own drama already. I'm sure all the haters will support you. Make sure it is shown in Hell.

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how about Dal- the bitter jealous to Ah ro
Dal* the villain and 101 Dalmatians
Dal the more stupid *** (Don't know what creature it was
Dal the dullest **** (Don't know what creature who learned to use internet to bash people who didn't do anything bad at *** (again what creature is this to have a gender?)
Dal make your own drama already. I'm sure all the haters will support you. Make sure it is shown in Hell....

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Hahahahaha !!!

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It legit puzzles me. Why the sodding hell would you make a show that's promoted as being about friendship with flower boys and then focus on the romance instead. I can't even.

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Because it's kdrama, everything will lead to romance.

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This is why it's hard to get friends into kdramas. like over 90% of the time, there always has to be some sort of loveline. Even in serious revenge or action/thriller dramas, they always make time for romance and jealousy. Like shoudn't you be busy drawing up plans for revenge? Some asshole took your fortune/killed your family. I love romance, but I think some dramas can really do without it or do with less of it. Now they're getting the princess into crazy clingy second female lead territory (another terrible kdrama trope). My only consolation is that Aro calls her out on her terrible-ness instead of letting her completely boss her around. And the ladies do have some great dialogues with each other.

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@yukari: I know, sigh. I'm just bitter because I don't see the point of focusing on romance in a show that's marketed as being about male friendship. It just annoys people who signed up for the awesome friendship.

So I'm not opposed per se to the show being about romance - just that if it was supposed to be Saving (Private) Aro, then it probably would help from a marketing perspective to be clear it's meant to be romance...

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Hahahahaha!!!! You made me laugh with your comment.

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I had thought Sun Woo would end up as the military general too, but Sun Woo' latest fainting spell made me reconsider that. It seems that he tends to faint when he's under extreme pressure. If this is indeed the case, then he is no military general material. It would be very bad if the general suddenly faint in the battlefield.

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The drama will likely end on a happy note and Sunwoo may just end up being a doctor's assistant and living the simple life with Doctor Aro and her dad (who still has no idea that Sunwoo and Aro are making out. Not enough episodes to have An Ji Gong go "no way, kiddoes! that's weird."). Royalty and politics screwed up Aro and Sunwoo's families. Probably will be glad to stay out of anything related to the palace. Ji Dwi will probably stop in disguise by every now and then to have dinner and go swimming with Sunwoo.

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"Ji Dwi will probably stop in disguise by every now and then to have dinner and go swimming with Sunwoo." Lol. That would be a hilarious twist.

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I completely agree. This type of group task should have been happening in episode 6-8. Then we would have gotten to see the guys bond as a team & Learn how to work together as a unit. Instead, we got a mopping UNNECESSARY love triangle.

It's so sad how this story has been wasted.

The coulda,woulda,shouda's for this drama will never end.

(I'm praying that in the future a writer with better skill will give us what we want in a remake but this show hates us so....)

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That Banryu and Sooyeon scene hurt my heart so much in all the right ways. These two are the true OTP. And aww, Suho showing he cares about Banryu was so sweet. Maybe this will change his mind about accepting Banryu and Sooyeon together? If Suho can date all of Sooyeon's friends, why can't she date the one frenemy of his that she geuninely likes? Pfft double standards.

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It just occurred to me than Sung Dong-Il is once again playing surrogate father to a bunch of young people.

Reply 540: Silla Hubby-Hunting

Answer Me 540: What's My Motivation?

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does aro count as one of his surrogate kids? if she does, they're once again playing another father daughter role. :D

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I've never wanted to meet a grim reaper in real life who could erase memories of bad sageuks until this show. Thanks a lot KBS.
Is it too much to ask for Jung Hyun Min or even even Jo Jung Joo to write a decent sageuk?

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It is a real shame, but at least Park Hyung Sik looks good in mane of glory. I'll ask the reaper to let me keep that memory.

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At least there is that one good thing about Hwarang. Park Hyung-sik needs to act in a decent sageuk to erase my memory about his almost non-existent arc here.

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i'm getting tired because almost every single plot point has been dragged out this entire series. will ban ryu finally choose a side or continue wavering between his father & friends? will sun woo ever decide to openly like ahro or ignore her for her protection? will saemmaekjong actually start to lead or just continue saying that he's gonna lead... any minute now?

this drama has just been so many threats & no one following through to me. maybe episode 18 will change that. but i definitely think this drama could have been 16 episodes.

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The thread of this drama should have been how Hwarang come together as a group and helps Saemmekjong take his throne. We have 3 episodes to see this but there are still too many unspoken motivations and side stories hanging in the air.

The team homework that Hwa-gong gave them this episode is the kind of thing I expected a long time ago... but maybe he wasn't as smart as I thought and never really had a plan.

One positive development: I think Sun Woo finally looked at Ji Dwi with some respect when he yelled that he is fighting to improve peoples' lives.

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you make really good points. they sold this drama as if that were the plot, but it has turned out very different. so little bromance.
about time sun woo gets a glimpse into ji dwi's thoughts... not any fault of sun woo's, but because ji dwi never offered up any real reason for sun woo not to hate him! saying, "maybe the king didn't know people were dying after seeing his face" is not clearing up the misunderstanding that you killed his friend -__-

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We needed more team homework and less cafeteria, charming as they are, and less strolling scenes. I was sort of disappointed how easy the homework was this week. Aro did all the investigating (somehow....wish we could have seen investigator Aro one last time). I knew the plan was to sneak in and steal the medicine. They got their teacher to distract the guards. And seemed like they only stole enough for the village. What is the plan to stop Young Shil from hoarding again? those goons even caught them in mid theft, so was this really a successful venture? There was no clever twist. They could have riffed on the heist genre

Complaints aside, I had a lot of fun watching them sneak in with their handsome black uniforms and seeing Ban Ryu help them out,

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Yeah, I thought that would bring about Young Shil's downfall... but no. How about steal part of it but leave enough, report him, get him arrested?

Ji Dwi should just hire Mei Changsu. He needs someone to help think long-term. Hwa-gong is supportive but not very smart.

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I totally agree with you here. I will watch the episode you just outlined again and again. If It's so easy for us (on the forum) to come up with these story plots/lines what excuse does the writer have?

How hard is it to do what Ar just did?

I desperately wanted to see Aro follow that cart & charm her way into getting more information.

I wanted to hear the guys actively outline their plan & think of how to overcome the obstacles properly.

why did nobody think of emptying the storage or stetting it on fire, or stealing half of its contents as a punishment for the evil old man?

Why why why? Where is the justice? Sigh.

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Super duper agree with you!

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I continue to enjoy this drama, but I have to say that it seems to me that the commenters who complain the most are Ji Dwi fans. However even though I like SW more, I feel like JD will be the king in the end regardless of how deserving or undeserving he is of the throne, and I think that is the only reason that the writer gave SW those fainting spells because otherwise SW would be the rightful heir (that is the way I am seeing the story unfold). I also think that even if SW decided he wanted the throne, he won't go through with it, because he wants to be with Aro. Now would I like SW to become the king and abolish the bone rank system, and marry and be faithful to Aro, of course! However no historical drama writers have veered away from history that much, even when the dramas are tagged as fiction.

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Lol, I mean I won't be surprised if the writer does some kind of twist in the last two episodes. I do think SMJ will be King and Sun Woo isn't going to, and the fight between them is going to be pointless because we all know SMJ is and will be the King...But regarding historical drama writers veering away from history, I mean this drama does a pretty good job at it. This writer completely, I mean completely veers away from the actual history with Jinheung. So if there is one historical drama writer that veered away from history so much, it's this one.

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There is a disclaimer at the beginning that all the characters are fictional, so this is like alt universe SMJ? Yeah,The changes in history are really random. It's more like a change and not a clever twist.

Say what you will abt Scarlet Heart, the writer managed to follow history very well when inserting her own take.

I'm also like 99 percent sure SMJ will be king. If the wacky writer changes that fact, I will go nuts. I feel like there are some things you shouldn't change in history and this is one of those things. I even got angry at the end of MDBC.

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I don't mind the changes if the writers was able to read between the historical texts and make some valid points.
What if this history was written by the winners? Does it make sense to create a rivalry for the great King Jinheung as the main character? The title "great king" was earned and not just given out to any king. It was also well known that King Jinheung was the only sacred bone.
Let's not even get started with the Hwarangs and these so called wonhwa lol. What the heck was the Hwarang created for again? Does it make any sense for the king's only sacred bone daughter to be a wonhwa? What was the purpose for continuing the Wonhwa after the original was eliminated? Who qualifies to be a wonhwa?

This writer .... aargh

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Yeah I don't get why she wants her daughter to be a Wonhwa. Seems like the Queen wants to repeat history and have Aro be killed the same way one of the Wonhwas was killed, but in the story about the Wonhwas, both women met tragic fates. So does that mean she wants her daughter to meet a tragic fate too?

This reminds me of how Sookmyung was calling for that death match a few weeks back. Like can you really do that? Is that wise? Have high ranking minister's sons kill each other?

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What do we know about the writer? I was not expecting this mess from the director of Gaksital, though I haven't seen The King's Face.

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I'm mostly disappointed with those directors and producers. They have been involved in many sageuks before and this is what we are getting?

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Waaa exactly my thought. My heart goes to Sun Woo all the way but I know I shouldn't expect the writer will make him the king. Sun Woo... what is your destiny... really...

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Sunwoo's destiny is to live as Ah Ro's Dog-Bird. As long as she's breathing he will too. If he has any fainting spells, never fear for Ah Ro will be near.....
Anyway, I think even if the writer make him out to be the rightful heir, he will not want the throne and the story will end up with Jinheung being the king made wise by all the experiences acquired when he lived among his people and the loyalty he acquires during his stint as a Hwarang.

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Didn't a King killed all the threat to the throne? If either one of Ji Dwi or Sun Woo wins, they'll killed the loser right? This is to ensure there's no threat to the throne in the future. This is the fate of Sun Woo coz we know who won as in history.

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WHOA! Ah Ro got kidnapped again???? I've already lost count of how many times she got kidnapped. Isn't there any other story line?

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Aro is also another greatly dis-serviced character in this drama. I came to the conclusion she is the main prop. The director could not find a tree to shoot the arrow, get Aro. Could not find a gold to rob, kidnap Aro. No budget to find an extra to be threatened for a kill, get Aro. It's like Hwarang was established to save Aro.

Be warned, you will get to watch her as again a prop in the coming episode.

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I agree totally with you...

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Was she really kidnapped or just royally summoned and why in the middle of the night??! And how did Ji Dwi get the news first??? It was driving me nuts!

I was mad that the queen took Aro again. Mad at the writer! And this dumb Wonhwa business! Aro was doing really well in this episode looking into what happened to the medicine and what that evil minister was trying to do.

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This episode was so anti-climatic. I ugly cried when Kwangsu as Mak Mun died so I was waiting for JD & SW's confrontation about this but I guess that was it. Even if SW will confront JD in the next eps, I'm already disappointed. SW was hellbent on revenge and he still acts rashly so I was really waiting for him to let loose once he got the confirmation that JD is indeed the king.

I aso stand corrected about JD & Banryu planning the whole assasination. I guess JD somehow manage to evade Yung Shil's goons, knows which room to enter and the hwarangs just happen to be nearby when the assasins attacked SW. Pffft. This show. The first 2 episodes gave me so much hope that it will heal my ❤️ after MLSHR.

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I was thinking that Ban Ryu had told Ji Dwi the bracelet's whereabouts, and he gave Ji Dwi enough time to leave Hwarang House and alerted their roommates, before he let in the assassins. That would have explained how Ji Dwi knew where to find his bracelet and why Soo Ho was carrying an extra sword. But apparently the writer decided to leave that hanging.

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I agree with this, now without the Ban Ryu angle it just doesn't make sense that JD would know where the bracelet is, etc.

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I've chosen to believe Ji-dwi has GPS on that bracelet and knows exactly where it is at all times...

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Lol. Along with their showers, locker rooms, and bunk beds.

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And I don't know who mentioned it before, but Sung Dongil (I never know his characters' names) definitely said "Briefing" to Ahro so she could brief the boys about the medicine situation.

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Lol! He's really obsessed with his bracelet and I don't know why. Does it hold sentimental meaning for him?

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@Ar:

The bracelet had the Sillla King's seal decorated on it. As the situation stands right now, the bracelet is the item that can confirm the owner as the king. They can't exactly do DNA test at that time...

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@transient Doing a facepalm at the thought that only means of identifying Ji Dwi as king is a bracelet. And a bracelet you attach to your wrist by tying a rope. Was wondering if it was some childhood trinket.

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@ar

Well, the only other means they have is probably if the Queen steps up and confirms him as her son. The fact Sun-woo held the bracelet for a while probably only muddies the waters further. (I guess Sook-myung could also back him, since she's now convinced of Ji-dwi's true identity.)

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See that's what I thought as well but the confrontation between Suho & Banryu says otherwise. Also there are no scenes in this episode to explain how JD knew where he was going unless there's a twist/big reveal in the last 3 episodes but I've given up hoping for something to make sense.

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At this point, I care so little abut everyone in this drama. I'm basically still watching cuz I've invested way too much time. I need to see how this all goes out, lol. If they all die, I wouldn't even care -.-

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Ha ha ha.. Have to agree with you on that one.
I stopped watching altogether after episode 9/10 (was it 9 with Aro and Sun Woo kissing?) Been rereading the recaps only and comments here (which are more entertaining than the drama, IMHO)

I will eventually watch Ep. 20 for the heck of it.

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There was so much potential with the show because the characters and set-up was so awesome but now I'm just wading along in this pile of muck because I've gone in too deep, I need to see this to the end.

Also, because I love V/Hansung.

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I am with you there, also Taehyung!!! ? (ARMY for life). So much potential with very little payoff. This is a show that is very easy to watch, but doesn't have a lot of substance. When it does get those moments right though it really shines - there just isn't enough of them! I wonder how the show would have differed if it wasn't preproduced? The coulda' shoulda' woulda's.

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Maybe even worse, but less flashbacks. I seriously think they didn't film enough footage for a full 20 episodes. Why else are there so many flashbacks? The other explanation would be that flashbacks maybe became more of a thing with Goblin? They've gotten worse in the last month.

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@Ar: I'm with you thinking they didn't film enough footage for 20 episodes. This is one drama where I wouldn't mind KES to have collaborated and padded it out with more interesting dialogues.

If anything, I'm guessing the merits of pre-produced dramas will again be subject for discussion once this drama is over.

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Did you notice in the cafetaria scene how Han Sung looks so happy just because his beloved Sun Woo hyung is back in the Hwarang house?

That kid is cute is every scene.

...and I'm still bitter over the fact that the drama has forgotten to show us the conclusion of Han Sung's 1000 battle with his brother. I want to know whether he succeeds or not!

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I was super proud of Ji Dwi in this episode!

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I care more about Ban-ryu and Soo-yeon than anyone else, right now. They are sooooooo cute. And Ban-ryu, so proud of you!

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There was so much energy/chemistry between them in that scene. I kept thinking how they would go forward in life as a couple, so differently than all the convenience-marriage older couples in all the sageuks who barely know each other. These two would be sneaking kisses and holding hands under tables into their old age. Fingers crossed that it can still work out for them.

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Ok, the Queen is going insane and delusional! Whether it's the poison or all her hardships/sacrifices that have brought her to her unstable state, or inbreeding, I am afraid she will do something crazy! Like kill the king/her son she has so sacrificed to protect! She lost it 20 years ago...

Loved Banryu and Sooyeon's moment! It is so important to have someone believe in you! Especially for Banryu who is struggling between good and bad...but if he knows he is a bad man then he is good, because bad people don't think they are bad..,they just are! As they say behind a good man there is a good woman...so hoping he sticks to her.

Still loving Suho! So steadfast, knows what is right or wrong, as long as he is not lured away by a crazy Queen! Hope nothing happens to him.

So everyone wondered where Banryu was but no one noticed Jidwhi was missing too the night of the asassination?! I think Jidwhi and SunWoo were a little weak in this episode...we are circling around again, you vs me, so hopefully the story moves along.

Can't believe it's almost over! I will miss this show, with all the good and bad! Thank you for recapping!

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I wondered about that too! Ban Ryu missing was suspicious but not Ji Dwi, this guy no one really knows anything about and hangs around Sunwoo like all the time?

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The best thing in this episode has to be the part where they took the medicine out of Young shil's shed. Especially, drunk Ban ryu. His previous turn to Young shil felt that it had little build-up so I was glad with the direction his character took. Ah, Su ho and Soo yeon believed in him. Maybe Su ho threatened Ban ryu because of trust. With Soo yeon, Ban ryu finally DID talk to her. It was Soo yeon and Su ho trusting in him and considering his feelings that made Ban ryu's drunken outburst all the more beautiful and gratifying too watch. The cold and controlled man suddenly letting himself loose with alcohol? Haha,too much to be a coincidence. The teeny--weeny smile he makes at the end is too cute.

I like how respectful Wihwa is to Ji dwi and how he believes in him, and guides him like a real teacher. It is so good to see Ji dwi calling his teacher.

Ever since Sun woo confronted Ji dwi about being the king, the dialogues felt a bit vague. I am not kinda sure if Sunwoo is certain of Ji dwi's identity but it feels that he is.

About the birth secret, so is Sun woo, the son of Ji soo's brother? And the mother is the Wonhwa Ji soo killed?

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I believe so, too. Sun Woo and Ji Dwi are cousins, and if Hwi Kyung was not removed as Crown Prince and SW not sent to live out in the village and raised in anonymity by the royal musician, HK would be king by now and SW the crown prince.

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Ditto on many of the comments above. So much potential, but so little actually explored and developed.

That being said, why isn't there an uproar in the comments section on the forced kiss that Princess Sookmyung forced on Sunwoo and her "order" afterwards? Weren't her actions as forceful and wrong in the modern sense as Jidwi's forced kiss with Ahro on episode six? Why aren't there comments accusing Princess Sookmyung of sexual assault or dismissing her character as unworthy to root/ship for as there were with Jidwi on episode six?

Is it because the Princess Sookmyung is a woman and Sunwoo is a man? Granted, the kiss wasn't as long as the one Jidwi/Ahro kiss, but a kiss is a kiss. Why do both the drama and the viewers/commenters brush off the Princess Sookmyung's kiss when they made a big deal about the previous forced one?

Is this lack of reaction due to a skewed viewpoint on men and women and their relationships?

Or is it just a result of everyone starting to not care much about anything in this drama?

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I think you are right in calling out a double standard here.

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The princess was gross! Kissing Sunwoo while he's recovering and while she knows he doesn't like her. Ordering him to be on her leash while she figures out her feelings while looking down on him for being a "half breed" the level of entitlement! what a hypocrite for accusing Aro of leading the guys on.
in response to the princess, Sunwoo did give the best "this jerk again" expression , to quote lollypip's description of a Sunwoo reaction. But I wish he would speak up and clarify. Like yes you have an attraction to me. Attraction is when one person has feelings for another and feels drawn to that person. Usually a mix of emotional and physical. but you're upset because you see me as a lowly half breed and even more so, I don't like you back. I am rejecting you. Go marry your brother and run your country!

Don't know what the writer is thinking making the princess a romantic rival. Her arrival and her coldness toward her mother and the mysterious illness that sent her away could have been a great way to explore Sookmyung.

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I take your point about equality in objecting to forced kisses but the Princess touched lips with SW because he pulled her to him, thinking her hand was Aro's. It in no way resembled the scene when JD overpowered and forced himself on Aro after yelling at her and frightening her. It was creepy as hell that the Princess was hanging over SW like that and thinks she has that same privilege as JD to expect that someone do whatever they say.

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true true! What the princess did was wrong, but Ji Dwi was frightening Aro and kissing her even though she was obviously not having it. But the sense of entitlement in both scenes were equally offputting. If you have complicated feelings, deal with it instead of blaming other people, you royal siblings!

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I love your comment by the way! Thanks for bringing this up.

I ignored the princesses actions because she is such a half baked character that I have given up on understanding her motives. It's easy to dismiss her because she doesn't make sense - never has & at this rate, never will. (She's even more poorly written than Aro)

Her "order" to SW belittled her actions & betrayed them as foolish & selfish.

If she had explained that she desperately wants to understand her feelings for SW & that she had never felt this way about anyone else then I would have pause to understand her actions & feel some sympathy. But like SW, 3 seconds later, I had already forgotten what she just did.

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*princess's* actions....

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Oh, that is SUCH a good point that I often miss in my own reactions- when a character is "half baked" (love that) like the Princess, I also barely take note of what they do. It just sort of glances off my brain and is gone a second later. Good catch. She and what she does is all so 'whatever' because she has little weight as a character. Sawry, Princess!

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There was no actual kiss. The Princess was drawn to kiss him for some reason she couldn't herself explain - as she pointed out, and this troubled her. SW drew her wrist towards him bringing her close, believing/imagining her to be Ah-Ro (whom he was dreaming of) but opening his eyes he realised his mistake and held back. He didn't want to admit he was thinking of Ah-Ro for fear of putting her at greater risk. Was the compelling attraction of SW to Princess S significant? Hard to say. It kept SW and AR apart so they missed a private moment. Is it to up the tension on the arc about wonhwa? As so many other point out this writer director combination has trashed the drama leaving a mess, only some very loveable actors trying their damnedest to redeem things has kept us watching!

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Thanks for the recap, LP!

Really enjoyed this ep and how SW and JD had to work together. Also loved how they all teamed up, even BR, to raid the storage room. BR is redeeming himself! Yes! It was so wonderful to see him finally realizing that SY loves him and SH cares about him like a friend. It made me laugh and fist pump while he went on his drunken act and completely outed Minister Park's plans.

JD stepping up as king and confronting his mom was a welcomed scene. Been waiting for that for so long.

I don't get the queen regent and she's just been so used to the power that she doesn't wanna relinquish it to JD. Not to mention, she's just trying to justify her actions, claiming it's for the sake of her son when it's probably her own greed. Having killed JJ would surely come back to haunt her as she tries to create the Wonhwa again.

I think MY might be someone placed near the queen regent for revenge? She's always feeding her that tea, which seems to make the queen delusional.

The princess does nothing for me and she is so unreasonable with her requests of SW.

Anyway, waiting for the next ep!

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all i want is a remake of this drama with the same cast (sans go ara) but with a better writer. maybe Song jinah. or park hye-ryun for a lighter fare

park hyungsik definitely, definitely needs to be in another sageuk, preferably keeping the mane of glory.

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I am getting so over saturated with Joseon sageuk. May be that's my reason for not checking on "Rebel" yet despite how much I adore Yoon Kyung Sang.

I am with you on this, Park Hyung Sik should do another sageuk not in Joseon to redeem this mess. I may be wrong but his sageuk speech is impeccable and gosh, he looks so pretty with that mane of glory.

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This is supposed to be a Silla sageuk, but you bring up a valid point that we've been saturated with mediocre historical dramas... Rebel is working like a healing potion for me, after watching this mess :)

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A remake of the drama with a better writer is what I want, too. And Aro and Sookmyung can get the boot.

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i vote for a new Queen!

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Pfff me too, her lisp is driving me insane! She doesn't have the gravitas of a queen at all (though yeah, I suppose other queens throughout history have been shrill, bipolar creatures)

I'd keep Sookmyung but give her a decent story line, not as queen's minion and crazy second-lead. How about looking for her faceless brother?

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I can get on board with that.

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A remake of this written by Kim Eun Sook will be perfect.

We know she can do complicated relationships with heavy backstory/history, we know she writes a bromance like no one else can.
(DOTS & Goblin are my evidence for this) &&&&&&& her heroines don't ALWAYS need saving!!!!!!!

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I also vote for a remake with another writer. I agree with Del about the oversaturation of Joseon, but then again Joseon has a lot more info to build off of. I'm guessing part of the reason I'm drawn to Hwarang is because it takes place in Silla, which I had previously known to be an artsy era.

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"And frankly, if he’s not ready by now, it’s the queen regent’s fault for not teaching him how to rule a country. The poor guy hasn’t been taught a thing other than maybe swordsmanship and fighting, and while he’s good at that, he should be learning diplomacy and other things a king needs to know. It’s no wonder Ji-dwi is growing angry as he’s having to learn these things on his own, though at least he has Hwa-gong to turn to for solid, no-holds-barred advice."

Thank you for mentioning this LollyPips. I could not agree more.

And the thing about this show is the laudable effort of the writer to make Sun Woo the grand hero. While Ji Dwi has to struggle to learn and master the qualities to rule, Sun Woo is being portrayed as someone whom is born to learn and master anything and everything at lightning speed, along with the miraculous case of his hair. The fact that this writer went all out to destroy Ji Dwi's character arc is what really frustrates me the most. Each characters introduction and set up were done so well in the earlier episodes that I could see all their potentials but down to episode 17, most are barely scrapped off their surface. Now, I do not even know if the remaining 2 episodes are enough to redeem those hours of screwing the entire plot and characters in Hwarang. And let's not even forget the dis-servicing of potential characters like Yeowool and Hansung.

I am staying with this drama because I have invested 17 hours on it and gosh, Park Hyung Sik still remain consistently the best actor of the entire cast that I want to see him badly sitting on the throne as the true king of Silla.

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Speaking of him sitting on the throne of Silla, every time we get to see him doing that I think ... just how does he continually sneak into the palace, drop off the flower in Mom's room, get to the Throne Room and change into the king's robes like that? That takes some talent! And btw, where's Pal Oh (sorry if that name is wrong) lately?

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If you want to talk about the nonsensical plot and device in this drama, there are just too much to mention.

I guess it's pretty similar between Silla and Goryeo as in Scarlet Heart where the palace is pretty much empty, no guard, no lady in waiting and anyone can roam in and out freely. It's like the royal robe is always on standby mode for him to wear it anytime. And with the frequency of him sitting on the throne and wearing his royal robe, it is even more amazing none actually noticed the so-called "faceless king".

I don't even know where did they exile Pa Oh, when he is one of those bright sunshine in this entire gloomy production.

And while Ji Dwi kept talking about his fight for a better Silla but always ended up brooding, I am getting frustrated that Sun Woo's fight is all about Aro.

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Lol! I've noticed that and have rolled my eyes at it, but have a hard time complaining since Park Hyung Shik looks so freaking good and manly in kingly robes. And can you wear your kingly robes without help? But he always looks impeccable in them. And does he wear them for like an hour and then take them off. I'm a lazy dresser. I can't phantom changing into a new cumbersome outfit just to wear it for such a short period.

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@bbstl. Ji Dwi has a cape of invisibility. It lets him sneak into Young Shil's bedroom and leave flowers in his mother's room a la Iljimae.

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All the comments above have me cracking up! ?????

Just glad it wasn't just me wondering how he gets those clothes on and off all the time!

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*smacks head* oh, right! I missed it because it's been . . . invisible!
it's still doing one helluva job hiding the character's backstories ?

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whoop! you said exactly what I wanted to say about why I am still watching this drama.

While watching episode 17, I was like, why am I still watching this? And then Jidwi came on with his royal garb sitting on his throne and i was like "oh that's why!" argh so shallow >.<

good news. there's a new Jidwi-in-royal-garb-and-throne DB header! <3

http://i1266.photobucket.com/albums/jj540/zunairaghazal/header_zpsfmawvjfn.jpg

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it should come with a slogan
"because a good drama is King."

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OH! You guys! I finally saw that header and went to find who made it --- THANKS, zunairaghazal!

There are so many gorgeous new headers made in the last year or so and I, at least, hardly ever see them! They are on pages 10 and 11 of the Headers thread, starting around posts 490- on. Special call outs to zunairaghazal, jomo and blu_blu_skye. I wish I could see those more ❤

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When Hwa Gong asked those two to find a solution, I was expecting a grand political scheme that is going to bring down evil ministers & make him surrender his loots willingly. I wasn't expecting the half-righteous Hwarangs to become thieving Hwarangs.. But then, what was I thinking, such high expectations!

My cat meowed & turn away (from the screen) when Aro's lips was quivering, I told my cat 'I know.' haha. Such golden moment.

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I know right! This was after Ji Dwi was saying how he wants a world where people aren't forced to be thieves and here they are thieving. face meets palm. Any idiot can think of looting the storehouse. Please, Ji Dwi and Sunwoo, you're smarter than that! Aren't you...? They pretty much snuck right in while their teacher is making a distraction. And they got caught. It's so obvious that the Hwarang boys were behind the theft! Not even ninja uniforms that assassins wear, but black ones with matching decorations that I'm sure are Hwarang trademarked.

I enjoyed the teamwork but wish it was more of a heist. take advantage of this drama's penchant for modern era stuff, and make the theft more like an Ocean's Eleven expedition

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hahaha I noticed that about the special Hwarang ninja outfits too, but only right after they showed up in black and I thought well of course every rich young man in Silla has a ninja outfit, right?

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Probably from the Silla version of the Elite uniform brand purchased at a Silla Lotte.

At least they snuck in wearing black. When they went on holiday earlier in the series, they snuck out wearing their Hwarang uniforms. Like wouldn't word get out that the Hwarangs were gallivanting about when they should be tucked into bed at Hwarang house? And then they - Ban Ryu and Suho- went on to make a big commotion. When they rescued the Silla peasants, they wore their red uniforms. I wish they had worn the black ones from the very beginning. They look so much better in them. The blue ones aren't that attractive - like they're really the Silla version of gaudy high school uniforms.

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Hahahahaha, I really like your cat! Even it knows that Aro is annoying :p

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At this point I have given up on the hope of finding out about the mystery that surrounds Yeo Wool. I feel so cheated.

I also feel sorry for the actor. They promotes him and V as one of the main characters only to relegate them to minor character throughout the drama.

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Yeah, I totally agree with you. They are not treated equally in this drama and seems just like minor characters.

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Even Dan Se - whose actor is the same age as Park Hyung Shik, Do Ji Han, Jo Yoon Woo, and Minho- had more development and screen time than Yeo wool. Poor actor didn't get to participate in the promotional round. I can understand V's limited screen time since he has to do concerts and events with BTS- which is why it seems like sometimes he's not even around in the background and his dialogue heavy scenes seem to be with either Dan Se or Aro when they're alone. But this was Jo Yoon Woo's only drama this year. Props to his and V''s gameness to promote a drama that barely gave them anything to do.

I'm guessing everyone signed onto the drama on the basis of the character description, the freshness of the proposed plot, and probably the first 4 episodes. I'm sure by the end, they were like @[email protected] At least there is something entertaining enough about Hwarang to garner 8% in ratings. Sort of bad, but not abysmal. And it looked like the actors had a ton of fun filming it.

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I had thought that there was something to uncover about Yeo Wool considering how the actors hinted about it during the cast interview/special episode. It might be the case where it was filmed but ended up on cutting room floor, in favor of other scenes.

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*"...but ended up on cutting room floor, in favour of even more scenes between Sun-woo and Aro."

FTFY. #bitter

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Yeah, i feel you too about Yeowool. I really wanted to know him more but the drama doesn't do justice to him. Even if i didn't know about his background, i wanted him to have significant contribution (just like in this episode where he assist to rob Master Youngshil house). But even that scene made me sigh. I thought it will be handled in a smart way. They just bust in while only using Wewha as a distraction. To me, Wewha & Banryu distractions are the worst option. They can poison them with sleeping potion or sumthing. Knocked them down for a few hours. Then, Youngshil is not angry at all? That's weird (unless they show it in the next episode).

Jidwi reaction when Sunwoo asked did he really fight for himself. The answers were a fight for his people & subject right? His reaction when answering that question was really cool & priceless. He convey that emotion effectively that I do feel him. Preview for next episode really made me disappointed. If Sunwoo really takes the throne, i will be reallllllllllllllllllllllllllly T-T disappointed because Park Hyungsik really nail it in portraying the hidden king suffering.

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Haha, it may seem a little bit off the topic but maybe Minister Park is Yeowool's father? I'm like, come on, where's his storyline? It's been 17 episodes recently and there isn't still any sign that his storyline will be in the few upcoming episodes.

Ahhh, and Hansung! Please don't die! I just get the feeling that any cute and bubbly character will die in kdrama, just like MDBC.

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Queen Jiso's forever flat botox-ed face haunt me forever... *cringe*

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And not to mention her lisp too lol *cringe together*

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Oh mah gawd yes, her lisp ; _ ;

It's okay, 1 more week of Go Ara's horrible acting and Jiso's haunting appearance. Though I will miss Banryu and Sooyeon a lot.

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meh, I think the only horrible thing is your bitter jealous face ;p

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i don't like the lead actress. i don't like her acting. and she is always frowning. i really hate her face

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park hyung sik looks regal in sageuk attire...wish he''ll have another sageuk in the future...and the hwarang boys look lovely in their manes of glory...my gripe is that most of the time, make-up artists forgot to apply cc cream/bb cream/foundation on their necks that the hwarangs look like gays to me...am not against gays lol it's just my observation....i read somewhere that this is a low-budget drama that's why even the queen regent had a limited wardrobe

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*hatches a plan to steal Ban Ryu and hide him*. I feel like he is going to die. what to do?

I am at a point with Ah Ro that I am routing hard for the Queens evil plans to finally work. How hard is it to get rid of one girl omg such an incapable queen. I volunteer to help, cmon. how many episodes is it going to take?

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I have faith in Su Ho. He's actually become my favourite Hwarang: loyal, simple, steadfast, warm-hearted. Saying he'd help take he medical supplies simply because it's the right thing to do made me give one little whoop of victory. Whoever gets to rule Silla will have a faithful subject in him. :)

Let's just hope show doesn't kill that bromance, literally. We should hide Su Ho and Ban Ryu somewhere together ok?

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Su Ho is pretty much the only hwarang who lives up to the image of what they wanted the hwarang to be. and his lines are better written than Sun Woo´s. He spills many truths that others need to hear

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I'll help! *pulls out black ninja clothing and mask*

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GGGGGuyyyysss idk why but DBs tells me what date a post is published in the time zone it was published in NOT my time, so am I right in assuming that this was posted 14 Feb 9 AM ish, American Pacific Time?
And if so is that usually when Lolly Pip updates Hwarang???

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I think they dragged out some scenes. I even think the writer had change of heart with respect to some scenes.

That is why ban Ryu's character is not consistent, the Queen regent's character is not consistent, even some of the Hwarang members.

Ji Dwi's character as king has been too weak! I don't see many fantastic upcoming scenes where he'd reclaim his position. If he eventually does, it would almost be like he was just given the kingship on a gold platter.
Frankly, he did better loving AhRo than being king. I really liked their chemistry more than SunWoo-AhRo but it's okay (part of the inconsistencies i saw). Anyway...i liked seeing them pretty buys but I have been somewhat disappointed.

All in all...My fav characters for Hwarang: Ji Dwi; Han Sung; Su Ho; Yeo Wool...I may even pick Ban Ryu before AhRo...I hope they all do better in future.

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What are the issues related to economics in this episode?

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Sun Woo
"i'll kill you for killing my BFF tho it wasn't really your prob but still"
"WHERE IS MY SISTER! WHERE IS SHE?!"
"omw to save Ah Ro x1938202"
"gazing into the distance with a stoney expression"
"Ji Dwi is my friend!"
"Jk tryna kill him now"
"Aloof towards everyone: The Grand Opening"
"You suck at being king man, I would know tho I know nothing of your life or your struggles, I like to pretend I do but if you try to relate to my problems you're a condescending jerk"

Ah Ro
"Where is my brother!? TELL ME NOW"
"Big sad eyes, pouty face"
"Contemplative gazing at the pond + numerous flashbacks"
"He better not be hurt! + tears"
"Tears"
"TEARS"
"He loves me...is he kissing that other girl!? HE LOVES ME NOT"
"BRB just getting myself into trouble real quick... AGAIN."

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Okay, I know it's months later but this legit made me laugh until I cried! ACTUAL TEARS RIGHT NOW.

*snort*

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how about Dal- the bitter jealous to Ah ro
Dal* the villain and 101 Dalmatians
Dal the more stupid *** (Don't know what creature it was
For commenter Dal and those who hate the female lead
Dal the dullest **** (Don't know what creature who learned to use internet to bash people who didn't do anything bad at *** (again what creature is this to have a gender?)
Dal make your own drama already. I'm sure all the haters will support you. Make sure it is shown in Hell.

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standout performance from do ji han this week.
and phs as always never disappoints. He's been so consistent..

I do think the script has some plot holes. It's been more than a few eps since Master Ahn Ji found out there was a plague (he mentioned a few eps ago that he had to treat some patients from the plague and that's why he couldn't treat the queen)... but he looked so shocked in ep 16 when he was treating the patients. What is with this show?

And the whole Su Ho not remembering Dog-Bird fainting thing.. That's ridiculous.

And the queen.. honestly.. let's not even start.

Does nobody proofread the script?

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