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Hwarang: Episode 19

Just as soon as Ji-dwi finally takes his destiny into his own hands, multiple forces are conspiring to take it away from him again. And Sun-woo has a choice to make – does he follow the path that others have paved for him, or does he forge his own path? History will hinge on whether these two become friends or enemies, and whether they decide to wage war or band together against those who would control them.

 
EPISODE 19 RECAP

Ji-dwi, dressed in his royal robes, enters the throne room and approaches his mother. As she trembles in fear, he turns to face the royal council and announces, “I am the king of Silla, Jinheung.” After a moment of confusion, the council bows their heads, even Minister Park.

Sun-woo follows Ah Ro to Nam-mo’s shrine, unaware that Hyun Chu has followed him with an entourage of archers. He tells Ah Ro that he will follow her anywhere and approaches her, but she suddenly gasps and rushes past him to take the arrow meant for him.

Sun-woo cradles Ah Ro’s body as several more arrows fly his way, but Pa Oh arrives in time to knock them away with his sword. He tells Sun-woo to save Ah Ro and stays to handle Hyun Chu while Sun-woo picks up Ah Ro and runs.

Pa Oh and Hyun Chu face off, each claiming they have the moral right to be here — Hyun Chu on orders to kill the usurper to the throne, and Pa Oh on orders from the king himself. When Pa Oh tells Hyun Chu that attacking him will be the same as attacking the king, Hyun Chu hesitates.

He decides to take on Pa Oh anyway, but he’s stopped by a well-timed arrow to the knee. He looks up to see Princess Sookmyung, who tells him to obey the king’s orders.

Ji-gong sits thinking about the fact that Sun-woo is Hwi-kyung’s son, when Sun-woo suddenly runs to him carrying Ah Ro, arrow still embedded in her chest. They take her in, and Ji-gong tells Sun-woo to wait outside. Sun-woo doesn’t want to go, but he gives in to Ji-gong’s authority as a doctor and her father, and leaves.

Ji-gong removes the arrow, and as he tries to stop the bleeding, he begs his only surviving child to live. Outside, Sun-woo remembers how Ah Ro has always been kind and supportive, and he pales at the thought of losing her.

Eventually, Ji-gong comes outside, and he throws down the bowl of bloody water he’s carrying and stalks towards Sun-woo. He grabs Sun-woo, but at the sight of the abject terror in his eyes, he softens and says that Ah Ro will live. He asks what happened, and Sun-woo tells him the arrow was meant for him, sent by the queen regent.

He worries that Ah Ro will continue to be in danger if he’s near her, because she’s the key to getting to him. He goes inside and caresses Ah Ro’s face with a trembling hand as he tells her that lying still this way isn’t like her.

He says that meeting her made him feel like he was grateful to be born for the first time in his life. He tells her, “I’m sorry, and I love you very much.” Then he kisses her and goes, leaving his many-sided dice behind.

Queen Regent Jiso finds Ji-dwi sitting on his throne, and offers to cover up his mistake of showing his face. He says it wasn’t a mistake, and she grows emotional, saying that the officials will eat him alive when they realize he’s not prepared.

Ji-dwi sits through his mother’s screeching, then calmly informs her that he is already the king — all he’s done is make that fact known. The queen regent says that was just an excuse to remain in her shadow, and Ji-dwi doesn’t disagree, admitting that he’s alive thanks to her. He says there were even times he was glad for that shadow, but he wasn’t happy living that way.

He says he intends to stand on his own now, without anyone standing in front of him. He says that he means to create the Silla he dreams of, but his mother spits that he will regret it. Ji-dwi counters that that regret, if it comes, is also his burden to bear.

Sun-woo goes to Hwi-kyung with questions, wanting to know about his mother. He’s so nervous he can barely ask about her, and Hwi-kyung answers simply, “Joon-jung.” He says she was a Wonhwa who was greatly loved by the people of Silla, but the royal family was weak and a strong Wonhwa was a threat, especially one pregnant with a sacred bone child.

Sun-woo realizes that he’s gone from being a low-born, to a half-breed, to a sacred bone, yet he’s still the same person. His eyes plead with Hwi-kyung to explain, and Hwi-kyung says that he knows it must have been difficult, but he won’t apologize for wanting his child to live freely.

He says that he always watched over Sun-woo, and now the preparations are ready to make him king. Sun-woo looks stricken as Hwi-kyung explains that nobody understands the people of Silla better than him. He calls Sun-woo a new kind of king who can change the future of Silla.

The queen regent paces her chambers nervously, and calls to her attendant Mo-young for her tea. Mo-young brings the tea, and watches the queen regent drink it with a calculating look in her eye. She’s up to something.

The queen regent rants to Minister Kim, Su-ho’s father, about Ji-dwi’s irresponsible actions threatening the Silla she’s worked so hard to create. But then she gets an idea, and asks Minister Kim for a favor.

Minister Park, meanwhile, seems a bit unhinged as he cackles to himself in front of all of his royal council lackeys. He calls out to someone, and Mo-young enters the room. Minister Park asks after the queen regent, and Mo-young says that symptoms are finally appearing after ten years of drinking poisoned tea. Wow, talk about a long game.

She explains that the shaking hands and fainting are clear signs, and that she believes the queen regent is hallucinating. Minister Park sighs that it would have been so much easier if they had succeeded in killing the king, then when the queen died nobody would have opposed his taking the throne for himself. Interesting, how some of his “loyal” men get a bit eye-rolly at that.

The Hwarang are all aflutter at the news that it was Ji-dwi who was the hidden king all along. Yeo-wool worries that he wasn’t nice enough to Ji-dwi, and Ban-ryu just sighs at him.

He notices Su-ho sitting with the queen regent’s fan, which he kept after she rebuffed him at the palace. Yeo-wool asks Su-ho if he was surprised to hear that Sun-woo wasn’t the king after all, but Su-ho just gets up and walks away.

Hwa-gong’s assistant Bu-jae finds him readying to leave the Hwarang grounds, dressed like a commoner. Hwa-gong doesn’t seem upset, he just chirps that he was fired and leaves laughing. Bu-jae addresses the Hwarang, informing them that Hwa-gong has left and thus, they have the day off.

Sookmyung goes to tell her mother that Ah Ro survived the attack, and the queen regent screams at her when she says that it was the king’s command. She says that she makes the royal commands, and her out of control behavior scares Sookmyung. The queen regent suddenly collapses, unconscious, and Sookmyung calls for help.

As Sun-woo walks the streets in plain clothes, he hears children chanting, “Among the Hwarang, Ji-dwi is the best… Among the kings, Sun-woo is the best…”

Yeo-wool finds Han-sung’s glass (the one he used to look at the sun) in a local shop, and he stops for a moment to remember his friend. He hears the children outside chanting about Ji-dwi and Sun-woo, and wonders what it means.

Ji-dwi is dressed in his formal royal attire, looking every inch the king. Pa Oh looks at him like a proud papa, and Ji-dwi asks him about Ah Ro, having sent Pa Oh to watch over her. Pa Oh tells Ji-dwi that she was shot by an arrow, but that she didn’t die, and Ji-dwi looks as if it’s killing him that he can’t go to her.

Hwa-gong gets sloppy drunk and rides shopkeeper Joo-ki’s wooden horse, then picks his nose until it bleeds. Joo-ki tells him to stop acting like the first person to ever get fired, but even the news that the faceless king has appeared can’t calm Hwa-gong down.

But when Joo-ki says that there’s talk of a new king, Hwa-gong sobers up fast. Joo-ki tells him about the song everyone is singing about Sun-woo being the best king, and they’re both shocked when Sun-woo walks into the room at that exact moment.

Ji-dwi finds Minister Park in the throne room and asks him where the other officials are. Minister Park says he needs to speak to Ji-dwi alone, and asks if an old man could please sit while they talk.

He walks up to the throne and sits down as if he owns it, and Ji-dwi bellows at him in his most kingly voice. But Minister Park ignores his fury and muses that if he’d known the seat was so comfortable, he’d have claimed it years ago.

He asks Ji-dwi how it was living in the real world, and whether he got to learn things like justice, loyalty, and compassion for his subjects. He says that kings who get used to that become indecisive, like him. He actually has the nerve to lie down across the throne, and says that he plans to change who will be king.

Sun-woo asks Hwa-gong if Silla would become a better place if someone like him became king, and whether he has what it takes to be that king. He asks if he could be the kind of king that walks a path for his people to follow, and Hwa-gong sighs heavily.

Later, Minister Park tells Ho Gong that he plans to “catch the enemy by using the enemy.” Ho Gong asks who he means to use, but Minister Park only says cryptically that he will find a way.

Ji-dwi kneels in the throne room after his confrontation with Minister Park, realizing that he is still weak in the face of strong opposition. Sookmyung finds him and says that he became the king all alone, and he ruefully agrees.

Sookmyung mentions that their mother is in a rush to get the two of them married, even though neither of them wants it. The queen regent wants to secure their family’s sacred bone line, but Sookmyung admits that what she wants is Sun-woo. She asks Ji-dwi to use his position as king to convince their mother to call this marriage off.

Hwa-gong chuckles at Sun-woo’s question, and says that he might be a better king than Ji-dwi, for some. But he adds that becoming king without justification would be rebellion, and would end up harming the people more than helping.

He asks if that’s the kind of king Sun-woo wants, and Sun-woo says it isn’t. He says that he wants a king who will protect the people who need protection. So he states that if he has the justification to be that kind of king, then he wants to try.

Hwi-kyung looks pleased when Minister Park comes to see him, and asks if he came because he wants to make Sun-woo the king. Minister Park doesn’t answer, but only glares at Hwi-kyung.

Ji-gong takes care of Ah Ro as she sleeps and recovers, feeding her broth and never leaving her side. He thinks about Hwi-kyung telling him that Sun-woo is a sacred bone, and that it was no coincidence that their children grew up together.

Ji-gong remembers that night that Joon-jung, after promising queen regent Jiso that she would make sure her child never became a threat to the throne, had stumbled into Ji-gong’s home. She’d told Ji-gong that she was dying (from the stab wound Queen Regent Jiso inflicted on her), and had begged him to save her baby. After she’d passed away, Ji-gong had cut the baby from her stomach.

Su-ho goes to the queen regent to fulfill the request she made of his father to become her bodyguard while Hyun Chu heals from his arrow wound. The queen regent stumbles, and he catches her, and when she tells him to let go, he asks her to allow him to help her.

She asks how a child like him can help her, and he says he’s not a child, he’s just young, and admits that just looking at her makes his heart race.

Eventually, Ah Ro wakes, and Ji-gong rushes to her side to ask how she feels. The first thing she does is ask after Sun-woo, and she only relaxes when she hears that he’s okay.

Sun-woo goes back to give Hwi-kyung his answer, but before he says anything, Hwi-kyung tells him that he has no choice, since the choice is Silla’s. He tells Sun-woo that someone wants to speak with him, and Sun-woo enters another room to find Minister Park waiting.

Minister Park says that he knows Sun-woo doesn’t like him, and Sun-woo smirks and says that actually, it’s much worse than that. Minister Park laughs and says that this is why he believed Sun-woo was the king.

Sun-woo tells him to cut to the chase, and Minister Park says that he’s thinking of making Sun-woo king. Looking mildly amused, Sun-woo asks if Minister Park really thinks he’d accept help from him, and Minister Park says that he does, because he has power, and Sun-woo doesn’t.

He asks if Sun-woo isn’t ready to hold power for once, and Sun-woo says that it’s his choice to make. He observes that Minister Park seems desperate, and that he appears to need Sun-woo more than Sun-woo needs him. Smiling, he says that it feels like he already holds the power.

Recovering now, Ah Ro holds Sun-woo’s dice and pouts that he said he wouldn’t leave her side. She’s visited by Sookmyung, who says that Ah Ro always puts Sun-woo in danger, and that she, Sookmyung, is the one who saves him. Ah Ro guesses that Sookmyung hoped she would die, and Sookmyung admits that she did.

Angry, Sookmyung says that Sun-woo is a more precious person than Ah Ro thinks, and that she could protect him if Ah Ro were out of the picture. But Ah Ro says that she will survive despite Sookmyung, because she knows that’s what Sun-woo wants. Sookmyung retorts that Ah Ro talks big, but that only she can actually protect Sun-woo.

Su-ho stands guard as Queen Regent Jiso paces in her chambers, nervous after calling Ji-dwi to her. He arrives, and after Su-ho gives him a tiny nod, he notes that his mother looks pale. She gets right to the point, and asks why he took his throne only to let Minister Park treat him this way.

Ji-dwi says simply that he’ll prevail, though he refuses to marry Sookmyung. The queen regent insists that the marriage will prove that their family is set above the others, but Ji-dwi tells her that he plans to show his strength not through marriage, but through the Hwarang.

His mother says that Ji-dwi has no idea what the Hwarang are to him, and informs him that Sun-woo is Hwi-kyung’s son. Ji-dwi looks shaken as she tells him that Sun-woo is a sacred bone who plans to try and take his throne.

Having learned from Joo-ki that Ah Ro is awake, Sun-woo rushes to see her. She’s still complaining to herself, wondering if he thinks her a burden, so she’s surprised and relieved when he runs into the house and grabs her in a tight hug. They stay that way for a long time, and Sun-woo breathes that it’s a relief to see that she’s okay.

He finally pulls back when Ah Ro complains that he’s squeezing her wound, and he just looks at her gratefully. Finally he says that he knows who he is — why he has no name, where he came from, and where he needs to go. But he’s not sure if it’s the right thing for Ah Ro.

She tells him that she trusts him more than she trusts herself, and asks him to trust himself, too. She says he’s someone who will find his own path, and that whatever choice he makes, she’s always on his side. She tells him that whatever path he takes will be the right one.

Pa Oh tells Ji-dwi of the song being sung in the city, calling Sun-woo the “king of kings.” Ji-dwi remembers how royal Sun-woo seemed when he claimed to be the king in Baekje, and he asks Pa Oh to bring Sun-woo to him.

He waits for Sun-woo in his throne room, but when Sun-woo arrives, the throne is empty. He takes a few steps towards it, recalling Hwi-kyung saying that the preparations have been made for him to take the throne. He suddenly finds a sword at his throat and turns to see Ji-dwi, who asks, “Do you want to sit there?”

Sun-woo whirls and draws his own sword, and both men stand with their weapons aimed at each other. Sun-woo asks his own question of Ji-dwi: “Do you think of yourself as the owner of that throne?”

 
COMMENTS

While that last line of Sun-woo’s sounds like a challenge to Ji-dwi for his throne, I think it’s misleading. Knowing Sun-woo as we do, I think he’s giving Ji-dwi one final test to find out if he means to be the king he says he wants to be. I think he’s actually asking a genuine question: Does Ji-dwi truly believe the throne belongs to him? If Ji-dwi says yes, I’m betting Sun-woo intends to throw his and the entire Hwarang’s support behind him, and fight those who are trying to take control from the king who rightfully owns it. He’s never been the kind of person interested in what others want him to do, and he’s never wanted to be king. I can’t imagine that the discovery that he’s a sacred bone would change his fundamental nature.

At first I thought Hwi-kyung’s story — losing his claim to the throne, the woman he loved and his child — sounded tragic, and I felt badly for him. But after his talk with Sun-woo in this episode, I now strongly suspect that he’s been setting Sun-woo up from the very beginning. He knew he could never get his throne back, so he placed his son in a situation where he would be raised as “one of the people,” thereby hopefully gaining their support when he eventually used him to wrest the monarchy from Queen Regent Jiso and the hidden King Jinheung. I don’t think any of Hwi-kyung’s plan was accidental or simply coincidental… I think he saw where things were headed long ago, and took advantage in order to set his own son up to take control. I hope that Sun-woo is smart enough to figure it out, and that he refuses to be a pawn in someone else’s political games ever again.

I can’t help but be disappointed in the lack of actual Hwarang boys in this penultimate episode, though by this point I really shouldn’t be surprised. This show has consistently been less about the Hwarang than it has been about Ji-dwi and Sun-woo’s fundamental differences in how a country should be run, and while I do enjoy the moral and ethical questions it’s raised, I think I will always pine a bit for what could have been. There’s nothing wrong with the story we’ve been told, it’s just not what I thought we were going to be getting — a fun drama about friendship and loyalty, about youths growing up and learning to be upstanding, honorable members of their society.

But even though Hwarang has been a very different drama than what I thought it would be, it still would have been fine if it had just known what it wanted to be about. But it feels as though the show tried to be too many things, and in the process, it ended up disjointed and meandering. We had a little bit of everything, enough to show that if the show had decided to be that or even that, it could have been great. But because it couldn’t settle on what story to tell or how to tell it, I’m left feeling sort of vaguely dissatisfied and confused. I’m still curious how it will wrap things up, but at this point, I’m not hopeful for an ending that will make all the wandering story lines into something more cohesive.

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What is Seonwoo's Sickness - the forgotten plot.

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This episode feels empty for me. Maybe coz V's character died last ep? The Hwarang boys were just wandering around, only SuHo is on a secret mission, whatever. It's too late for Sun Woo to be king and we cannot change history. What's that logic by his prince-father that he left sunwoo alone and roam like a wild animal just so he would be free from the pressures of the palace life and so he won't be killed by the crazy queen, okay. But now you want him to be king? Yes, he is strong and more like a people person but he is not as educated as Ji Dwi is, and he doesn't really want it. Only Ahro for him, tchk, such an easy guy! well, just one more ep, waiting for the frigging subs so we can end this misery. Argh, Go Ara, pls, stay away from Kdramas from now on, ok? I didn't watch Reply 1994 coz you chose the wrong guy there, but the logic of the writer was that, ChilBongie deserves a better girl, not in 1994 but in 2016 where he became a doctor and probably will marry one, too.

I don't want to be hatin' or anything but who do we blame for Ahro? Is it the character who was written to be this drama queen or is it the actress who lacks the charisma to sell this character no matter how weak?

And I even find Choi Woo Young to be overacting his scenes like I don't know if he is truly conflicted or just constipated. Half the time I just want him to run away with the Queen coz I feel like they are actually dying to be with each other. And the queen is always livid! I thought she will have a heart attack any moment there. Drinking poisoned tea for ten years and still alive, whoa, her ambition kept her alive,indeed.

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I agree with you Magenta about Go Ara. She doesn't know how to act period! I know I only watched the show because of the pretty flower boys, but I can tell good acting from bad. She simply doesn't know how to act.

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Yes!! I'm so glad to read these comments about the female lead! I couldn't watch Seonwoo and Ahro scene because she's too weak (and desperately wanting to be cute) and I don't feel the chemistry at all. Tbh i prefer the princess more than Ahro. And i personally like Banryu and Suhyeon love story ?

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lovesickness

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I think that'll remain a mystery til the end.
that impudent old man is just annoyingly cute.

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Til the end of the episode or til the end of time? I get the feeling we'll never find out.

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I wonder if the sickness was a glitch in his neurological development because his mom's body was dying when An Ji Gong performed the C section?

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justs...i feel so numb. also, i just want it to end already...such wasted talent...

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I keep waiting for the bromance and all, but it never came, or never to the scale they promoted it would be. Bring 2 months of my life back, show.

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^^^THIS!!! I had hoped for a lot of bromance and fighting scenes. I adored Queen Seondeok and her Hwarang. I was hoping this would have been an in-depth look into the bromance. And so many questions left hanging!!!

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From start to finish, the story's plot is completely lackluster. Never have I ever used the FF button so much lol. Sunwoo's character is this underdeveloped two dimensional character that annoys me more than anything.

Him and Ah Ro furrow their brows so much, I realized that watching them do it all show long made me knit my own brows too.

I still watched for Ji Dwi. Let's get this over with and hopefully all talented actors will move on to better projects.

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AGREE. Them eyebrows were on-point though, let's admit that. Secondary to the mane, it's the next glorious thing about the Hwarang aesthetics. It's like they have this Silla version of eyebrow templates included in an eyebrow grooming kit you buy at drugstores. How did they kept it perfect was beyond me.

ANd Hyun-shik has Strong Woman Do Bong-soon that'll start it's broadcast this week. I'm putting my cards down for that show. Let us all forget about this one.

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Yup, can't wait for Strong Woman Do Bong Soon, Park Bo Young never disapoints and neither does PSH.

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I said this before, but I have tired of this "romance". If Ah Ro was a mermaid, with all the tears she shed in this drama, she would have been one of the richest half-breed ever. She needs to learn from our Chung!

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This was probably the first drama I've ever seen where literally everyone other than the main couple had an interesting story, like Jinheung and his path to the throne, Ban Ryu and his conflicts, Han Sung and Dan Se...there were so many thread they could have woven to make a better story, and instead they made it all about Ah Ro and Seon Woo's romance. There were so many moments towards the end where I kept going "If only....*sigh*"

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At this point I have just turned my brain off. If I keep on mulling over the 'what ifs' I will go batty!! I am just enjoying this show on the most superficial level. Brain cells not employed for my own good. I have left the "if only" wagon. I have sighed too many times already with this show. We would need pages to write about all the problematic elements this drama has - ain't no one got time for that!!

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Dont forget about uri most beautiful hwarang yeowool. Maybe he's the late king secret son. I bet minister park would be frustated. Lol.

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forget eyeblows, maybe this show would have worked better if they all just drew faces on their knees and put on a Shakespeare tragedy with them. Starring: Park Seo Joons´ Knees.

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LMAO

You killed me with your comment

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Sun-woo is no usurper. I'm certain he will turn the tables on the rebels and end up supporting Ji-dwi.

On a side note: Oh this show had so much potential to be great. But it took all that potential and flushed it down the toilet. So much potential for bromance and it wasn't utilized. And I still don't know what purpose Han-sung's death served.

But on a positive note: Ji-dwi looks darn good in his royal robes :D

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Yup. Everything you said is what I feel, too. Rats.

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I was worried for a moment they weren't even going to mention his death at all this episode. I was hoping it was going to be some impetus for his grandfather to do some crazy political machinations or for his brother to do something crazy within the plot. Nope. Are we even gonna see his brother again????

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The show began well, but I feel that it doesn't know how to end well. This is the second to last episode, and we still have all these unresolved plot points with the exception of Sun Woo's parentage. I think there are too many characters for a show of twenty episodes. All the characters we got invested in get pushed to having a couple of lines each episode because of the stupid love square they're still desperately trying to promote and the conflict between Ji Dwi and Sun Woo. I want Ji Dwi to rap Sun Woo on the head with the flat of his sword and go, "History says I am the king, so there!"

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Know what? I would LOVE to see Ji-dwi do that, even as a BTS clip!

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"But Wikipedia says I am king!" LOL

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"I want Ji Dwi to rap Sun Woo on the head with the flat of his sword and go, “History says I am the king, so there!”"

Exactly. I second you on this.

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I've enjoyed this drama regardless of everyone else's expectations. The only thing I haven't enjoyed is the acting from Goo Ara. I think she's a one note actress. Otherwise it's just a drama and there will be others to critique right behind it.Although I do agree that they tried to pack a lot of plot and a lot of characters into a show that just wasn't long enough.

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I agree. This show has a lot of flaws but for some reason, it pulls my heartstrings just right. You can see how clearly committed the actors are to their roles, and they're doing a spectacular job with the not-so-great plotting they're given. Ah Ro, however...*sigh* Go Ara seems like such a sweet, fun person but she really can't act. if her character had been given to Seo Hyun Jin, you can bet we'd been rooting for her. Certainly, shaking our heads at how many times she's been put in danger, but there wouldn't be the added poor acting to deal with.

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I feel like this drama was epic at the start but now ...I just want Ji dwi to remain the king. Sunwoo suddenly popping up doesn't sound that great to me...Also, this makes it clear that the queen never wanted Sam Mek Jong to ascend to the throne. She was very upset when she heard the princess.
This drama is cringe worthy. I'm watching it only for Ji Dwi right now.

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It WAS pretty epic at the start, and for proof I offer just one of the OST videos :
https://youtu.be/KyvcTIX0wi4
Although they all work very well to remind one of how right we were to have high hopes when we started this show. So sad for all the actors who did so well.

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Considering that this show is called 'Hwarang', there's just not enough scenes of the Hwarang to justify the name. Maybe I would press the ff button less if they put in more of the bromance and the growth of the Hwarang (or even Ji Dwi)...while cutting out AhRo needing to be saved for the 1000th time or Minister Park scheming away or Queen Jiso yelling at people.
At least we're at episode 19 now so PLEASE just put JiDwi on the throne already and stop the repetitive fighting over who's king.

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It felt weird he was claiming Hwarang as his, when he barely talked with anyone but SUnwoo. His classmates just referred to him as that "pale kid". Writer, did you know you did wrong?

This drama is called Hwarang, but it's filled with everything else but the Hwarang. In addition to a romance that gets less convincing by the episode (the Aro and Sunwoo warmness I felt in the beginning is chilling out), we're getting all these dumb palace machinations and the Queen objecting to SMJ taking the throne for the infinite time even after he revealed himself. Lady, it's done! They could have emphasized more that the poison was messing with her mind instead of making her seem like the worst mom in the world. HwiKyung took over half the episode. He always seems so annoyingly smug. At least we get Pi Joo Ki back.

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Hi ar. I need you to hang on to the Ah Ro-Sunwoo ship with me. We seem to be one of the few who ship them so hang in there. We've got 1 episode left to see this ship sail into the sunset. You don't need to be on deck, you can hang on to the sides of the ship. I'll give you a buoy/life preserver/any flotation device just so you can hang on. lol

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I am also on Sunwoo - Aro ship! They were cute in the first half ot the drama.

In fact I watched this drama for Park Seo Joon only since I'm no idol fan lol

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"It felt weird he was claiming Hwarang as his, when he barely talked with anyone but SUnwoo. His classmates just referred to him as that “pale kid”. Writer, did you know you did wrong?"

Yes whatever bits of goodness that we found here and there have all been completely nullified because of this. I was promised a storyline on how Ji DWI becomes this epic king and instead even after 19 episodes, he gets referred to as 'pale kid'.
PHS deserves better!

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I agree that SunWoo does not want to be king, he will do things his way. He wants change, and to improve Silla, but there are many ways to do that. Plus if he wants to be with Ahro it may not be possible if he is king. I actually felt this episode seemed more together than the last ones. It finally had one focus and the events flowed rather smoothly. I am glad we finally have some answers, as flashbacks of course!, but at least we have a better understanding of everyone's motivation and how they relate to each other. Just can't believe we had to wait until the second to last episode!

I am looking forward to the conclusion and have a feeling it will be a good ending for everyone. In the end, everyone will be in their right place, fulfilling their destiny, stronger together. Suho with the Queen! SunWoo with Ahro helping Jidwhi. Jidwhi with his throne! The princess may not get Sunwoo but she has shown that she will be a great partner for Jidwhi! She seems to have the backbone he is lacking. I can't believe they made Jidwhi so weak in this episode. I understand it is to show his struggles, and that he needs power through Hwarang if not the officials, but he could have taken on Minister Young Shil! I hope next episode he teaches him a lesson. Fighting King Jinheung!

I have been rewatching some earlier episodes and have been reminded that this show did have some fun and good scenes...yes it could have been so much more, but I don't regret watching this show at all! It was overall a good watch hopefully with a good ending! My wish for the ending...i want to see SunWoo and Ahro running after a little MakMun! Or the spirit of MakMun seeing that his wish for his friend to become his sister's husband came true! This show has made me appreciate Park Seo Joon! He was really good here! Thank you for recapping!

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I was totally surprised Jwi Di showed so little backbone when confronted by Minister Park. He wasn't afraid to go after him with a knife earlier. I was glad then when Sun Woo was able to one up the minister and reverse the power dynamic.

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I wanted to yell at Sunwoo for most of this episode, but during that scene, I wanted to hug him and high five him. It was brilliant! It was what I wanted from this series. For the young folks to show up the old folks. It was the one scene that I felt rang true. The others seem like copy and pastes or were nonsensical.

I wouldn't say that Ji Dwi lacked backbone, but I think it hit him that being king isn't just about improving the lives of people, but about making hard decisions and fighting the ministers. Because mommy dearest refused to teach him anything. And to be fair, he didn't do any research himself. I wish they had him reveal himself earlier in the series and encounter this obstacle earlier.

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Another Pre-Produced drama failure, since DOTS all the pre-produced ones were shit in ratings.

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My friend usually watches this after me, and whilst watching it she sends me the most amazingly funny screenshots with sarcastic comments written over them via facebook.
When I started this episode I literally did a minor double take because I forgot what happened at the end of last episode... apparently that's how little I care about this show anymore, oops. However, it made me wish I could send HER all the great lines going through my head whilst watching, so I hand wrote down a commentary for this ep... Number of Fire Lord Jinheung scenes, number of flashback scenes, number of awkward music cut off scenes etc. - which made watching it a lot more tolerable and it barely seemed like an hour!
That said... there was a lot sarcastic comments to write down.
Would highly recommend this method of getting through boring eps. ;)

Everyone has pretty much covered everything I am disappointed in so I'm not gonna go into that today.

All I'll say is that Mo Young and her ten years of highly dedicated poisoning is clearly in the wrong drama and Scarlet Heart is thataway :)

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Lol at the comment at Mo Young. Does that mean we have to trade her for Soo's friend? Ugh!

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Sorely disappointed in this one.

I don't understand why they brought in Ureuk if Seon Woo's parentage had nothing to do with Gaya. So that he could give the hwarang boys a music lesson? That's like bringing in Luciano Pavarotti to tutor a bunch of high school students to put on a school play.

There was so much potential and this writer thoroughly failed to deliver it.

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Yes, and where is the musician by the way? It's like he went off to Chief Kim's office ages ago. Random character.

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Lol... same thoughts here. The musician disappeared after villagers cured of disease. Chief Kim needs him more.

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I will look on the bright side for a moment and appreciate Pa Oh. Pa Oh was so bad ass in the opening scene! He was looking all regal and suave; he wasn't messing around.

If I were Ji Dwi I would of marched up those steps and grabbed Minister Park by the collar and thrown his old ass down the steps. "Get off my throne bitch!"

Nice cliffhanger- even if we can all guess how it ends.

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Ji-dwi didn't have his sword with him for the confrontation with Minister Park. Otherwise he could/should have just stabbed him and left the body pinned to the throne as proof of his treason.

Tip of the day: when involve in a royal power struggle, don't forget the sword.

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Seriously!! No justification needed for that death - I could totally picture him pointing to the throne and acerbically stating "but the man was in my seat" Hahaha.

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I like your bloodthirstyness!

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That guy deserved to die right there. It's not like he had an entourage of guards around (seriously, nobody has soldiers in this drama, weird).

Park Young Shil lounging on the throne represents about the same amount of respect the writers have given King Jinheung in this drama *gives an Ah Ro style frown*. Well, I'm off to watch the final episode and hope for an acceptable ending.

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you know, when our visitors complain about unfulfilled expectations and lament hard at the front desk our marketing assistant gets them gift certificates and mugs and stickers and stuff. Shouldn´t the drama get us something for the uncategorized agony it caused us? I want some Ban Ryu smiling stickers, a set of wigs and a vacation in Phuket (though with the actors, cause the poor guys have deserved a compensation, too).

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Be careful or your complaints might just get you a sequel instead :)

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if they pull a sequel on us, I volunteer as a back-up archer. If they are fine with my main of glory being red.

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You could be a mercenary from Mongolia... I read somewhere some of Ghengis Khan's line had red hair. (although he's the wrong era shhh)
Plus the Mongols would've been better archers than this lot...

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main problem is, I would most likely hit the wrong person. so I have to use the aid of a wormhole that works as a kind of bob sleigh tunnel for undeadly Silla arrows and debilitates the target in the time BEFORE they had deserved to be shot. Like, an arrow going back in time just rendering the character unable to act stupid.

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Hwarang 2 : The Girl Who Just Doesn't Die

The story revolved around a girl named Ah Ro and several attempts to assassinate her by incompetent minions of even more incompetent evil villains. And we're still keeping the Hwarang title because we can.

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- Or you can say, "We can keep the Hwarang title because we need to falsely advertise this with pretty boys just like they did in Hwarang 1. That'll work. "

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@yhang Haha, I'm sure somewhere in KBS building is whispering these very words.

"Bet they will fall again for this one."

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The shows I want a season 2 for never get one and the ones I could care less about, do.

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Ooh!! That's a great idea! I'd totally watch it...again! Hwarang 2: the actual story! Or Hwarang 2: the start! If they bring back Park Seo Joon and Park Hyungsik, I am in no matter what happens or doesn't happen!

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lol

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Just wanted to give a shout out to Lollypip for her unbiased recaps that made more than the most of a weak drama. I watched this because the earlier episodes had so much promise. Then I continued to log through this because I kept waiting for that moment when Jinheung would claim his throne, the Hwarang brothers would all band together, Banryu would lop off Minister Park's head, and Jinheung and Sunwoo would walk off into the sunset together. But that still hasn't happened and this drama is one big mess filled with filler scene after filler scene.

I think if it were me trying to recap this drama, my bitterness and disappointment would come through strongly. But kudos to Lollypip for keeping the recaps on point.

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Hear, hear! And three cheers for lollypip ??????
She was still ??
When we all went ?‍♀️
Girl, I don't know how you did it. ?

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Hey, at this point, I'm just in it for Park Seo-joon's purty, purty face...

LOL, thanks!

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Well, we couldn't tell! Well done. (I knew you you were a girl after my own heart! ????PSJ Club ❤❤❤)

At least we got his purty song out of it as well, I like waking up to that every morning now.

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I do love his singing voice, very smooth and mellow :)

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we were separated at birth, right? I've seen the party pictures and we even look alike, LollyPip! He's not a professional singer but I could sure listen to him sing all day long ?

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Thank you for your patience, insghts, and appreciation of Park Seo Joon!

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Well, I usually watch kdramas based on the speed the recaps are being done and how the story unfolds. For me, 'unseeing' things which I don't want to see is more difficult than forgetting what I have read.
Thank you and great job to all bts dramabeans recappers, who must go through so much joy (or at times pain) for our reading pleasure.

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Honestly their interviews before the drama was 10 times more fun than the actual drama.

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Oh man the bromance was ALIVE in the interviews.

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then they should have stopped at the interviews...

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Hwarang: the Variety Show

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lol

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YASSSSSSSS I fully support this idea! All the Hwarang boys need their own mini variety show together cause' they're all so precious :')

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They were a blast as guests in 1n2d. PSJ and his constant bad luck were soo funny.

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Oh wow, they really were! The interviews and variety gave the drama a lot of energy for me that it didn't really have, as it turned out.

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During the first half of the drama, I watched and rewatched their interviews. But now I feel a little upset with them for overselling it, even though that's their job. But maybe they had so much bromance behind the scenes that they didn't realize that they didn't get scenes together. I really like the drama, but am also very disappointed. I'm sure for those Hwarang boys who did watch the drama, they're probably disappointed as well. But at least it seems like they had a fun summer filming it.

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are you me?! lol
I loved their interviews in the beginning but now I just feel cheated and disappointed because we didn't get even a small part of that. they're always saying how fun it was and how close they got because they spent a lot of time together and I'm like "WHERE IS ALL OF THIS?" I believe they're close, but I still feel bitter about it lol

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I need my daily dose of the hwarang hyungs teasing Taehyung all of them are too adorable together

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Early episodes were so interesting... fun, warm and fluffy, with nice touch of drama, bromance, romance and action scenes in right proportion. I used to enjoy this drama.. when did it start going wrong?

I guess my enjoyment went down around the 8th episode and stayed deep down until suddenly jumped high during the Baekje episodes. The beasty fight between Sunwoo and Baekje Prince was epic. Then it started sinking again and never recover.

Nothing much in this episode. How come Ji Dwi didn't do anything when Park Yeon Shil sat on his throne?? If he is that weak then he doesn't have what it takes to be a king. But then he got the guts to put his sword on Sun Woo's throat? What a scrambled character.

Feel bad for Park Seo Joon and other actors. Hope they will get much better gigs than this.

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Early episodes were so interesting… fun, warm and fluffy, with nice touch of drama, bromance, romance and action scenes in right proportion. I used to enjoy this drama.. when did it start going wrong?

Same thing I felt and asking myself. I feel like because the relationships were so weak, when the action and hijinks were good, they carried the show on their back's. When there's not action, the show gets bad. In addition, when the show started off, there was an interesting weaving of dark and serious tones mixed into the fun not so serious face of the show. Then, in the end, there was blah.

Ji Dwi's ascension to the throne seems more impulsive than well thought out now. It's like he doesn't know how politics works. This is only my third sageuk and I know how politics works in these things better than he does. Argh!

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The beginning had a little bit of everything and I agree in the right proportion. I don't get why there couldn't be more action. The Hwarang are warriors. There should be a cool martial arts/fight scene in each other as they learn to improve mind and body. Maybe go on missions all the time (but not the diplomatic kind involving a violent Baekje prince)

Yeah, I think once you've watched other sageuks, his modern, youthful idealistic version of how government works is sort of befuddling. Like almost 10 years ago, I saw a pre-teen Yoo Seung Ho as Damdeok in Tae Wang Sa Shin Gi offer up the head of a doctor who was poisoning his father to his aunt, I believe, who had hired the doctor. He outmaneuvered her so she would kill herself. I know TWSSG isn't a youth sageuk. But look at MDBC whose prince outsmarted his enemies, proving himself worthy to be king and assured the audience that he is more than ready. Now I'm just worried for Ji Dwi all the time even though I know as Jinheung, he would go on to accomplish a lot!

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Lee Yeong is my favourite royal thus far. The way he handled politics was pretty badass even though he wasn't able to get everything we would have wanted in the end. But I guess the whole point of Ji Dwi's character is to show how unprepared he is given his sheltered life.

Will give The Legend a try when I can. Sounds and looks interesting.

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I guess Sunwoo was more of a "threat" because Sunwoo supposedly has a claim to the throne, but Park Young Shil was just an asshole.

Or maybe because the writer thought it looked cool.

I think it's the latter.

The Baekje tour felt like a waste, but that beasty fight scene was awesome.

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So so disappointed.... I want BROMANCE!

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You're not the only one. Sigh.

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Come on Ah ro, you couldn't just die . At least I would have gotten more screen time for the hwarang boys. But no even if she died we would have gotten more of sun woo moping around.
I guess my bromance thirst is never going to be satisfied. I think it's time to rewatch school 2013 where I would get bromance never interrupted by romance.

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Even if she died, it would have been a horrible distraction and do we need a third person to die on Sunwoo. He's getting to be like a grim reaper!

Even if she died, that screen time would have been given to:
smug Hwikyung talking with Sunwoo + every middle-aged/elderly character in the drama.
Queen arguing with Ji Dwi in that throne room
Queen arguing with the ministers
Smirking Park Young Shil
Weird Queen + Suho romance.
An Ji Gong and his over-intense expression (usually I love this actor, but he's getting a little too much in this series)

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I know you are right. But I just feel cheated.

And I think you just mentioned everything this show is doing wrong in massive amounts.
This show had many compelling story lines that just got sidelined. For one thing what is up with that queen and su ho romance. It would have been better if they had gone full fledged with it where the Queen manipulates his feelings for her gain and his conflicts or something. Urgh I don't know. Waiting for the final recap.

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At this point I keep watching just to enjoy Park Hyun Shik scenes...he really has the looks to be a king of Silla. I'm loving his acting too and can't wait for his new drama to start, the trio with Ji Soo and Park Bo Young is sooo promising :)

Regarding the rest, only the new make-up of Ah Ro caught my attention. She is far more interesting now that she uses heavy eye liner and takes arrows to protect others. Sadly for us, I do not think this will last.
Anyway, let's hope that we get more of the boys and the alternate couple (Ban Ryu and Soo Yeon) in the last episode.

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i still don't understand why Sun Woo is considered as a Sacred Bone ? Shoudn't both his parents be Sacred Bones for him to be a Sacred Bone too ? Or did i miss something ?
And if he is "only" a True Bone, how can he be a contender for the throne ? Where does he rank compared to Yeo-wool for example ?

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I don't recall them saying what kind of bone Sun-woo's mother was, but the only way it makes sense is if she was a sacred boner too.

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in episode 18 recap, there were these lines :

"Ah Ro is dressed in the uniform of the Wonhwa, and Princess Sookmyung comes to collect her for their pilgrimage. They go to Nam-mo’s shrine, [...]
After paying their respects at the shrine, Sookmyung says that Nam-mo and Joon-jung were just like her and Ah Ro — one was a princess, and one a half-breed."

i don't know why (i think i read it somewhere ?), but i thought that Nam Mo was the princess, and Joon Jung (aka Sun Woo's mother) was the half breed, but it doesn't make sense with the whole "Sun woo is a sacred bone" thing ...

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It's a massive plot hole/stupid inconsistency/brain fart by the writer, whatever you want to call it. Sookmyung clearly said that the two original Won-hwas were a Princess (who died) and a Half-breed, just like herself and Ahro. So if Joon-jung (Sun-woo's mother) was a Half-breed, how does that make Sun-woo a Sacred Bone? I DON'T UNDERSTAND

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Writer brain freeze perhaps.

I think we had a more rigorous idea of what constituted 'sacred bone' than the drama. I thought it was that both parents had to be sacred bone. But if we follow drama logic, it doesn't matter who Joon Jung was, and the fact that Sun Woo's father was sacred bone is all that was required.

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I don't think the sacred bone thing was written in stone at that time, considering the crazy queen dowager Jiso and her father King Beopheung were the ones who came up with this stuff to make sure that only their descendants inherited the throne.

At the time of King Jinheung, there must have been a considerable number of sacred bones walking or hobbling around still. Only that can explain how Park Youngshil and Banryu were sacred bones, too, and the two sons Park Youngshil's daughter bore Sammaekjong were sacred bones, too. Sammaekjong's second son with Park Youngshil's daughter was the next king of Silla (King Jinji) and his grandson from the first son was King Jinpyeong, Queen Seonduk's father.

So I have no problem with this wonhwa Joonjeong being a sacred bone (even though there is nothing supporting this historically). But if that's what they were going to do from the beginning, why all these useless clues like Ureuk of Gaya, fainting spells etc.

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- Continued

Also, it doesn't make any sense that Queen Jiso felt compelled to kill her to get rid of the baby in her womb. Because hello, there are tons of other sacred bones in Seorabeol?

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That makes sense... that sacred bone wasn't a set thing back when the boys were born. It's the only way to explain this apparent mistake in writing.

Sacred bone + half-breed = Dog-bird? That is some impressive evolution.

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At this juncture, we are going by the "Delusional Writer's Bone Rank System" which is the fundamental law of Hwarang, the drama. The first instant that Ji Dwi should make upon becoming king is to exile this writer to Baekje and never to return ever again.

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And ask the crown prince to lock her up in his prison. You can bet there won't be any Hwarang around to rescue her.

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If there are those of you who are as disappointed as I am at the lack of BROMANCE in this episode, you should do what I did and watch "The Behind Story of HWARANG" produced by KBS World. The actors in this show have enough bromance to last a lifetime. I loved watching them interact (lots of laughs, cheers and teasing) and share stories about filming this show. I promise you it's worth the watch.

I also watched Park Seo Joon (Sun Woo), Park Hyung Sik (Ji Dwi), and Choi Minho (Sun ho) in the two episodes of "2 Days & 1 Night" and I haven't *squee'd* or laughed that hard in a very long time. These boys are hilarious! (and such good sports!)

This is my heartfelt recommendation for those of you missing the BROMANCE as much as me!

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That's episode of “2 Days & 1 Night” was extremely funny!.

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The jump-roping challenge - everyone. has. to. watch. it.

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I watched both - worth your time IMHO. Also, I'm cheering for PHS here but if I watched 2 Days and 1 Night first, I would have cheered for PSJ more. He was hilarious!

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And Minho wanted to avenge HyungSik was totally cute and the one that got him into the water.

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I laughed so hard at PSJ's bad luck. And just when I thought the morning will ended quietly, PHS threw the stone and swishhhhh!

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thank you for the recap!! ^__^

I can see Sun Woo only wishing for a King who would protect the people and change Silla's rotten systeme and if Meak Jong show him that it's what he wants for Silla and its people he'll support him till the very end!! Sun Woo have no desire for the throne!!

Park Seo Joon was great in his emotional scenes with his father asking about his mother and with Ah Ro being unconciously wounded, I cried with him!! and loved his confidence with the evil minister!! that was awesome and he shoxed him how it's his choice to make and he's the one in power!! woaw

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I really want to reach inside the screen and save everyone from this writer. The only character that seems to fare well till the end is Pi Joo-ki. Good for Kim Kwang-kyu.

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symptoms are finally appearing after ten years of drinking poisoned tea. Wow, talk about a long game.

Or, talk about needed a better poisoner. Wouldn't a competent one have been able to make something happen in, say, 9 years? :)

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Maybe it's a reflection of just how bad a judge of people/character that guy is. Then again, maybe I'm trying to find a deeper meaning to this drama in an attempt to justify my spending 19 (soon to be 20) hours watching this show and NOT EVER using my FF button.

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they should learn from Goblin's Park Joon Heon

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Despite some weakness in the plot, I REALLY enjoyed the show. It is light, funny, makes me laugh and Park Seo joon is here :).

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Thank's LollyPip for the recap. It really helped me coming to terms with this episode, and we are pretty much on the same wavelength on the overall show--what could have been.

There’s nothing wrong with the story we’ve been told, it’s just not what I thought we were going to be getting — a fun drama about friendship and loyalty, about youths growing up and learning to be upstanding, honorable members of their society.

The bromance that could have been. The relationships that could have been. It would have been so awesome if Sun Woo remained a brother and Ji Dwi became Ah Ro's love interest. For all the bonding that was supposed to happen in the Hwarang, like the relationships outside of it, everything seems superficial. It's hard for me to come to terms with this given that they had 18 episodes to flesh things out and much of this episode felt that a dog trying to catch it's own tail. Pacing, advancement of plot, and development of characters and relationships really suffered hard in this show.

The reason I feel like Sun Woo and Ah Ro's relationship should have been platonic is because I found it hard to believe that it was romantic. The build up was fine, but everything after felt like I had nothing to hold on to. They like each other, the say they like each other, but I just don't see it. Heck, I would sooner get behind Soo Yeon and Ban Ryu than these two.

Ji Dwi feels like such a minor character half the time, living in Sun Woo's shadow. I cared so much for him in the beginning, but then his character just got swallowed by Sun Woo. Saying that doesn't make any sense since we know that Ji Dwi is the King and wants to be the King, and Sun Woo is not the King and does not want to be the King.

Argh! As much as I liked Hwarang at times, I can't believe that this show is doing better than Tomorrow With You. I feel like I'm rambling. I'll just leave it with the following. If at the very least the Queen Regeng Jiso and Hwi Kyung don't get some satisfying comeuppance, I will be sorely disappointed. Well, maybe not all that disappointed given that I'm already disappointed with the show so it's not that much further to fall.

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I think Aro and Sunwoo's relationship would have been stronger if they were doing things together this past month and have dialogue that was more than "Don't get hurt" "I believe in you". They had chemistry during their studying scene early in the series and when Aro was talking about her dead mother - so when they're sharing, when they're complementing each other's strengths and weaknesses. Not when they're just saying stuff that has already been said before.

I got behind Sooyun and Banryu, but I'm still mad at Banryu. He doesn't have enough screen time to prove himself a worthy person. Sooyun deserves better. But the heart wants what the heart wants!

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Agreed on the relationship. It felt like they had nothing to say anymore after they confessed their feelings besides variants of 'are you sure you are ok, what with all that rescuing?' It was those little moments like teaching him to write that made the relationship cute and real.

But the lack of dialogue is a weakness felt across the show. The writer tried to keep suspense by having someone ask a question and the other person would just laugh or look smug in return... and we wouldn't hear the reply. This happened in literally every other scene. It is a typical sageuk strategy (and it drives me nuts), but at some point someone usually spills the beans. Here it's overdone to the detriment of meaningful dialogue.

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Yeah, I lost track of questions I wanted answered a while now.

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"He says that meeting her made him feel like he was grateful to be born for the first time in his life."

I suddenly remembered Seo Eungi's confession to Kang Maru in "Innocent Man."

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Historical question, does "sacred boner" really exist in Korean history?

I would like to know more because it sounds strange in my culture, so I want to know when and why some people have been told to be sacred boner?

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I am hardly a Korean Historian, and don't know an awful lot, but from what I understand, the Sacred Bone system was indeed a thing.
Someone who has better access to information on those eras might be able to tell you more.

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It is probably the 3-year-old in me but whenever I think of the Sacred Bone, I see a literal dog bone floating, and glowing with a halo. Always. For the last 19 episodes.

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'dog bone floating, and glowing with a halo'

You mean: how everyone in Silla sees our Dog-Bird?

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Lol. He's basically a Silla Mary Sue, isn't he?

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ROFL at "dog bone floating, and glowing with a halo"
+100000 likes

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Sacred boner would sound strange in any culture, I imagine.

The sacred bone system did exist in korea, though. Lot of inbreeding to maintain that as well. Basically people of royal line were sacred bone. And so if you married another royal, your kid would be special and unchallenged for the throne, which is why the real queen Ji So married her uncle.

This is of course was hundreds of years ago. Different time, different practices.

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Thanks for explainsion. Then why does there many people are a sacred boners in this drama? For example I notice that Minister Park is also sacred boner but he is not a royal. This is the same for the rest of hwaeang?

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Minister Park comes from a line of royals who didn't get a chance to rule (similar to hwi Kyung's descendants.). I don't know if Park is a sacred bone, but he would have a claim to the throne if the current king were inept.

The hwarang are mostly true bone (noble, rather than royal) so wouldn't have right to the throne. Sun Woo get his claim from his father's side.

But Ji Dwi has more right from a bloodline perspective, since both his mother and father are sacred bone.

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The Ah-ro Arrow thing didn't get better the 2nd time:
After all the "why only one arrow" fun last week, we see FOUR archers, with extra arrows in quivers.
If Dog-Bird-Brain had brought his sword, he probably could have blocked all all their arrows himself.
The one arrow that hit didn't go in very far. Look closely and you can see the back of the arrow head sticking out from her clothes. Of course it's no longer visible when Sun-woo gets her to her dad. From a production point of view, they'd take the arrow out for the scene change instead of having her travel with the silly thing still attached, and prop guys did a better job of putting it in the 2nd time. But in-story, it almost looks like Sun-woo pushed it in farther. :)

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That arrow scene was badly implemented at the end of last episode, but I agree, it doesn't get better this time around even with the added scene of all 4 archers.

Yeah, you can definitely see how the writer and director rushed that scene. Aro gets hit with arrow. Instant unconsciousness. Cue inappropriate music for the scene. Music gets cut off suddenly. Pa Oh rushes to save them. Very little blood. Couldn't even set the arrow in correctly.

It was supposedly not a critical wound, so why was she unconscious for so long. It's not like she suffered a head injury when she fell.

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Lol yes, but I think it's funnier that only 1 out of 4 arrows hit its mark, when their target was a sitting duck. It was like a competition of who's the worst shot in Silla.

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I legit rolled my eyes at that scene. And they're within shot distance, at that. Really, Hyun-chu, you couldn't find better archers?

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4 Incompetent archers. Government waste! He could have probably ambushed Sunwoo on the road or before he walked so close to Aro.

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Maybe they're the Silla version of Strom Troopers?

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Who else was weirded out that they used Ban Ryu and Sooyun's musical cue for the Suho and Queen scene? Please don't tell me we're going to have an actual Queen and Suho romance after all?

Someone mentioned the Hwarang interviews. There was one scene in which Park Hyung Shik, I believe, commented about how the characters fall in love so easily, since Sunwoo, Ji Dwi, Banryu, and Suho all fell in love.

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I read comments on instagram, youtube etc.. It really amazed me about how rude JD's fans are. They keep bashing on sunwo (and PSJ).. Asking him not to take the throne or not to pretend to be king (calling him fake king, annoying and other rude names..). Saying that JD doesn't have anything if he doesn't have the throne while SW has everything (the girl - ahro). Heloooowww.... SW was raised without name, without parents and as a poor low born.. His father left him there, his mother was killed by the queen. His only friend was killed (also by the queen), the royals keep using him by threatening the girl he loves! And if you actually watch the show, you know that SW doesn't want to be king from epi 1. He only want people to leave him alone and be free with ahro.
While, JD actually is not alone.... He has PaO (his loyal suporter), a mother (yes.. She is complicated), a sister and he also has money. He was raised definitely not in a poor condition.
I am not convinced with JD being king. He is weak!! I watch GoT and you know there are lots of types of kings/queens. Not all born with characters as a leader such as cersei and khaleesi. But what makes people respect them is they persevere as a good strategist/schemer/manipulator and they know the importance of having (strong allies)!! JD, on the other hand, live in Hwarang house where it has all the sons from important families in Silla. Why didn't he make friends/allies with the boys!! No wonder the hwarang boys are suprised thet JD is the king. JD practically did nothing in hwarang house!! It was actuall SW who gain respect from hwarang boys, being half breed and all.
JD really need to proof that he is a GOOD king. He should gain the throne with his OWN power and not as a consolation price because he didn't get the girl (smh). Even if SW gives up the throne and support JD, still the people and the hwarang will only follow because they respect SW. JD needs to get respect and approval from his people by himself!!
Sorry for the rants... The bias for JD is too strong in social media and I don't think PSJ deserves to be bash like that.

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I don't want to read those comments. I cringe at anyone who views the throne as a consolation prize. Look, JD is not inconsolable because Aro rejected him. He made peace with it and now they're friends. These "fans" need to give him more credit. He is a weak king, but like the chief instructor says, recognizing that is important. he will become stronger and more worthy, but probably not in time for the finale.

And it is unlikely because of history that Sunwoo will be king, so really Sunwoo and PSJ are not threats. Both guys actually need to work together to make a better Silla.

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Lol don't worry about thay. Sun woo is a class above for surw. The writer made him that way lol.
A strong contender for the throne, in fact already proven. If it was Ji Dwi who stepped out and fought Baek Je prince, I doubt he would won it. Sun Woo had indirectly protected him from being killed.

Way to go Sun Woo!

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Aaaaand Ah Ro STILL doesn't know Han Sung is dead...

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Shows how disconnected the Hwarang scenes are. It's like two dramas in one. One mini one about Hwarang and the other about the fight for the throne. Poor Hansung. :( I haven't watched the last episode yet. I hope he gets a mention.

(I bet she got told offscreen, just like all the Hwarang training was happening off screen)

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Take me off screen to that drama. I still don't know how Hansung's 1000 sword-strokes fight ended. :(

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I think Hansung did finally get his hit in since Dan Se was still around in ep 18 to screw up the assassination?

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I think he was just saying it to give Han Sung that push to complete their exercise. Older sibling things.

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"I think he’s actually asking a genuine question: Does Ji-dwi truly believe the throne belongs to him? If Ji-dwi says yes, I’m betting Sun-woo intends to throw his and the entire Hwarang’s support behind him, and fight those who are trying to take control from the king who rightfully owns it."

This is my biggest problem with the entire show. While I was expecting development for each character which clearly isn't happening, I am totally upset with the regression of Ji Dwi, who came off as the promising character in the beginning.

The way this show is going, Ji Dwi could not even earn his throne out of his own merits. Without Sun Woo's support, his throne succession is considered not rightful and not worthy. Without Sun Woo, Hwarang won't rally behind him. This is purely pathetic.

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i think the messsage is that no one can truly walk alone on the path to success. You need allies, and different kinds of allies. Teacher, protector, friends, even loyal servants. Getting people on your side to help you is a sort of power. Look at Park Young Shil vs the Queen.

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I truly understand that no government could be made stronger alone. It's all about teamwork.

The basis of dissatisfaction here is that Ji Dwi could not get any support out of HIS OWN MERITS. Indirectly to say, without Sun Woo, no one will stand behind him.

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"The way this show is going, Ji Dwi could not even earn his throne out of his own merits. Without Sun Woo’s support, his throne succession is considered not rightful and not worthy."

I didn't see it completely this way. Walking into the throne room was entirely Jinheung's doing. He had to speak up sometime, and he did it without any help. His succession is considered rightful and worthy... nobody questioned his right. The problem is that without actual backing he has no power.

The drama has insisted on selling us a story in which Sun Woo is a born leader, and that the Hwarang end up looking to HIM, while Ji Dwi never made an attempt to bond with them and was always a loner. And that is where I agree with the comments above: Ji Dwi never tried to get support. Lucky (or unlucky) for him he became friends with Sun Woo.

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While I agree with you, proclaiming himself as the true king is still not making others feel that he is deserving of the throne and doing it all by himself, still not getting him any support from others. Sure, his ascension is legit, rightfully the throne is his but a king whom is powerless is still a useless king.

The point is, without Sun Woo, he could not have any backing. The backing will only come if Sun Woo led the people and the Hwarang to back him.

This is still my basis for dissatisfaction. If I put Sun Woo in the place of the king, he won't need Ji Dwi or We Hwa to get the backing for him because the Hwarang will instantly support him based on his own merits, being seen as the one fit for the throne.

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@Del. Yes, I am as dissatisfied as you with the way they've built Sun Woo's character into the powerful one. Sun Woo is the real kingmaker, which is not something uncommon in history - though it probably does a disservice to the historical Jinheung.

The tension between nobles who have the power to make kings, and kings desperate to become more powerful than their nobles, is an enduring theme in historical dramas. It has been dealt with only superficially in Hwarang, mainly because prestige and power came accidentally to Sun Woo, and because Ji Dwi never took active measures to gain supporters.

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Whereas if Sun Woo is the king, the entire Hwarang would be there to support him because they feel he deserves the throne.

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Does anyone know any backstory to this drama? It's a serious question because as I watch it, I keep thinking that this drama plays like a shoot-as-you-air drama, not a pre-produced one. Especially towards the latter end you get constant replays and other filler stuff as opposed to real content.

And, I wonder what the deal is with airing dramas. I know that they have to shop for a timeslot and all, and if this was pre-produced and I was an exec at one of the stations, I would have watched it, then demanded compensation for wasting my time. And, if I had a slot that I desperately needed to fill because some other drama fell through, then I would buy Hwarang, but only at say a 75% discount. But, if I bought this after only being given the first 4-6 episodes to preview, then I would have sued the writer, director, producer, everyone except the actors for false advertising. Because instead of Hwarang, I got the 10 Trials of Aro.

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why is sunwoo claiming the throne as if his physically fit to become a king. he is sick. my gosh jid wi is the rightful king

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Am I the only one who's wondering what the hell happened to Go Ara? I mean, she was great in Reply 1994 and good in You're All Surrounded. I haven't seen yet her movie with Yoo Seung ho, so I cannot comment on that. I seriously thought she was finally improving. I know the character Ahro is just badly written, but still....... Urghhh!! I wanna root for her so bad but she's not making it any easier for me. Or should I just give her more chances since 2 or 3 dramas/movies are obviously not enough to finally say she's a good actress? Or maybe she's only great for comedic roles? Or am I the one who's just expecting too much?

Anyway, despite all the flaws of Hwarang, I'm still thankful for this drama since I get to discover Park Hyungsik, Lee Kwangsoo, Kim Taehyung and Do Jihan. :) I know Park Hyungsik and Lee Kwangsoo are actors but I didn't know they are good ones and have so many potential to be great ones. So I'm really excited for Strong Woman Do Bong soon.

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