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Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People: Episode 7

After a whirlwind of events that seemed determined to condemn our family to misery, we get a quick break from the family tragedy to get to know the talented Nok-soo. She’s not the Nok-soo we were initially introduced to quite yet (she even goes by a different name at this stage in her life), but she’s still a rich character at this point with plenty to share. She’s complicated and beautiful, and we see how she becomes entangled in Gil-dong’s life, for better or for worse.

 
EPISODE 7 RECAP

Chased to the edge of a cliff, Gil-dong fearfully looks down at the water and tells Eorini to close her eyes. He takes one last look at his enemies, and as arrows flies towards them, he shields his younger sister from three of the arrows and falls off the cliff.

Unconscious, Gil-dong and Eorini slowly sink underwater, still tied together at the wrists by the cloth. Gil-dong’s family flashes through his memory, and at the memory of Eorini’s desperate call for her orabeoni, Gil-dong’s eyes jerk open underwater. He holds his sister in his arms and swims upward towards land.

Amogae lies on the floor of his cell, beaten to a pulp and barely alive; Gil-hyun limps up the hill, having survived his fights, and calls out for his brother and sister. Though he doesn’t find them, Gil-dong and Eorini are both alive. Gil-dong passes out with three arrows in his back after checking that his sister is breathing, and his sister wakes up to find her brother barely conscious.

Eorini tries to wake her brother, but he can only whimper out: “Water.” Determined to help her brother, Eorini tries to stand up to find water, but she’s pulled back down by the binding cloth. She uses her teeth to rip the cloth and set her wrist free, but something about that makes me nervous.

Eorini finds a frozen pool of water, where she uses a stick to hack away at the ice. She smiles when she finally reaches the water beneath, and a shadow from behind appears. She looks back, hoping to see her brother, but her falling face indicates otherwise. She call for her brother, and that quiet call stirs Gil-dong awake.

Gil-dong opens his eyes and looks shaken to find the undone wrist bondage. He immediately stands up and yells for Eorini, embarking on an urgent search with the arrows still stuck in his back. Gil-dong’s search continues as night becomes morning, and he hopelessly asks a pair of hunters if they had seen a young girl. They shake their heads but look alarmed to see three arrows stuck in his back as he passes.

Clearly losing his sanity, Gil-dong walks through the village seeing every young girl as Eorini, and the villagers are frightened by the sight of the walking dead. He sees a group of girls ushered by Ga-ryung into the gisaeng house, and Gil-dong stumbles along to follow them. He calls out for Eorini as approaches the gibang, pushing and throwing the guards to break entry.

Inside, the gisaeng WOLHAMAE (Hwang Seok-jung) plays a traditional stringed instrument, and the young girls dance to her music. Their dance is interrupted by Gil-dong’s manic search for Eorini, and they all scatter away from him. Nok-soo sees this disturbance from the building across, but it’s quickly ended when someone smacks him on the head with a wooden beater and knocks him unconscious. He falls over the rails, and we see Ga-ryung holding the beater.

Everyone gathers around the unwelcome guest, and when the guards flip him over, Nok-soo and Ga-ryung gasp in recognition. They remember his playful words about their fateful reunion and look at him with worry.

Nok-soo brings Gil-dong inside to treat his wounds, but he seems to be dying, according to the doctor. They clean him up, and Ga-ryung begins to share her reading on Gil-dong’s unfortunate fate, only to be silenced by Nok-soo. Ga-ryung mumbles her thoughts on her way out anyway, and Nok-soo gently smiles at Gil-dong, telling him that they’ve met again.

Ga-ryung retrieves hot water and brings it to Nok-soo, who argues with Wolhamae about taking care of Gil-dong. Wolhamae sees no use in caring for a dying person, but Nok-soo takes the tub of hot water inside for Gil-dong anyway. But she stops in her tracks when she sees Gil-dong awake and upright.

Ga-ryung and Nok-soo watch with surprise as Gil-dong stands up and repeats the same words about his upcoming sister’s birthday and his gift of shoes for her. As he takes small steps forward, he begins to remember everything that’s happened, and his past flashes to the most current events with each continuing step. Overwhelmed by the memories, Gil-dong faints and falls unconscious yet again.

Gil-hyun continues to wobble down the hill calling for his siblings, and he comes upon a small home. Seeking refuge, he enters the home and finds an old man reading at his desk. He tries to shake the man to grab his attention, but the old man simply falls over. Gil-hyun looks alarmed, and we’re unsure of whether the old man is dead, or simply unconscious.

As Gil-dong snores in his deep slumber, Ga-ryung tells Wolhamae and the group of gisaeng that the stranger sleeping in that room is none other than the famous crafty merchant, rumored to help women bear children and achieve the impossible. Cue Gil-dong walking out and scratching his head. He’s completely clueless about where he is.

Under the watch of Nok-soo, Wolhamae, and Ga-ryung, the doctor pokes around Gil-dong to check his vitality. He’s amazed at the miracle of Gil-dong’s survival, but Gil-dong doesn’t seem to remember a thing. He sheds a tear, and Ga-ryung asks why he’s crying. Confused, he wipes his tear and claims that doesn’t know why he’s crying, other than that it’s a symptom of his aching heart. The last thing he remembers is meeting with the other merchants before entering the tiger-infested forest.

Ga-ryung determines that Gil-dong has been bewitched by the tiger and thus, has been turned into an idiot. Gil-dong adorably takes offense to this, but Ga-ryung insists that his memory loss nominates him as an idiot, ha.

Outside, Ga-ryung gossips about idiot Gil-dong, who’s completely lost his memory. A loitering merchant at the house entrance overhears the conversation. Back inside the room, Gil-dong asks to see the arrows that were shot into his back. Nok-soo retrieves them and offers the space to him until he recovers his memory. Wolhamae actively disapproves of this offer, and Gil-dong tries to appease her by calling her “noonim” (the formal version of “older sister”) and then “elder,” but that only angers her more.

As Gil-dong continues to get scolded, Nok-soo thinks back to a conversation with the loitering merchant, who sells mats. As the gisaengs looked over the items, he told them of people who are quicker, stronger, or recover faster than others — people known as the Mighty Child. Wolhamae dismissed such fables, but Nok-soo listened to the merchant’s claims intently. Back in the room, Gil-dong tries calling Wolhamae “halmae” (grandma), which obviously exacerbates the situation even more.

Later, we see Gil-dong working his crafty merchant magic again with the gisaeng ladies while Ga-ryung and Wolhamae shake their heads at his lies. They approach the group, and Wolhamae accuses him of infatuating women with fancy perfumes, but he shakes his head that it’s all a misunderstanding — men won’t fall for women just because of their luxury items. Ga-ryung urges him to continue, and he explains that men don’t look at individual items, but rather the overall aura of the person.

Nok-soo looks amused as she watches from afar, and she’s approached by the loitering merchant, who asks about this new stranger. He’s heard rumors that he recovered after near-death injuries, but Nok-soo lies that the quack doctor didn’t assess the injuries correctly. But the loitering merchant already knows the extent of Gil-dong’s injuries and passively wonders aloud if he’s a Mighty Child who survived.

Flashback to Nok-soo asking about the Might Child to the loitering merchant. He told her that the Mighty Child has “wings” that symbolize varying powers, some even difficult to articulate. He also adds that most Mighty Children die, as it’s as difficult for a Mighty Child to born as it is for one to survive. “However, if one does survive, a Mighty Child is fated to someday change history.”

Back in the present, as Nok-soo watches Gil-dong, we hear the continuing voiceover from the loitering merchant that a Mighty Child may exist somewhere, hiding his wings. She looks over at the merchant, who looks pensively at Gil-dong.

As she’s washing the clothing, Ga-ryung asks Nok-soo if she should throw out the cloth that was wrapped around Gil-dong’s wrist. At first, she tells her to throw away the scrap of cloth, but she ends up taking the cloth to return to Gil-dong. Except, she doesn’t return it to Gil-dong. Instead, she stores it in a jewelry box, sensing that it could be important to Gil-dong’s memory.

Gil-dong decides that he’s going to find the owner of the arrows and asks permission from Nok-soo to leave. She assures him that she’ll still house him and asks if he remembers what he said to her the last time they met (that the next time they meet, it would be fate). He doesn’t seem to remember, so she doesn’t linger on the issue and sends him on his way.

After the armorer tells Gil-dong that the arrows are used to hunt animals, Gil-dong finds a group of hunters and asks if they know who these arrows belong to. They can’t identify the owner and laugh at the idiot who can’t remember who shot these arrows at him. Gil-dong laughs along sheepishly and requests to follow them temporarily to find who shot these arrows.

At first, the hunters refuse to adopt him, since they (correctly) presumed that he was seeking revenge. But Gil-dong insists that he just needs to know what accident this forgetful idiot caused. To sell himself, he even shows them how fast he can run. He runs down the hill and looks back with a goofy grin, only to look forward and run into a tree. Haha, what a klutz.

As they unpack gifts from a recent guest, Wolhamae praises Nok-soo for her great work in entertaining their patrons, which has made their house even more vibrant. Nok-soo promises to continue her good work, under the condition that Gil-dong be her drummer. Gil-dong doesn’t seem too confident in his drumming skills, but Nok-soo doesn’t seem to mind. She tells Ga-ryung to come along as well, and she follows along with excitement.

Before Nok-soo begins her singing performance at the patron’s home, they overhear the nobles questioning Nok-soo’s skills as a singer. But as she performs around the room, the men are captured by her song and dance, and one even tries to embrace her before she finishes her song.

The patron requests that Nok-soo sit down and pour alcohol, but Ga-ryung steps in to explain that Nok-soo doesn’t pour alcohol until she finishes her song. Nok-soo explains that alcohol can alter her singing, but the eager friend of the patron tries to force her to join. Gil-dong steps in with a threatening glare, but eases his attitude to provide his version of entertainment.

Gil-dong ends up telling a funny story about a pregnant woman and her suspicious husband, hilariously playing both roles. Ga-ryung and the patrons look amused by the performance, but Nok-soo doesn’t seem to appreciate his intervention.

After their time is done, Nok-soo scolds Gil-dong for stepping in. She claims that she can handle her patrons, but Gil-dong says that he doesn’t like seeing her comply with the patron’s requests. She’s an artist, he says. Nok-soo is more self-deprecating, as she calls herself a gisaeng who simply sings and dances, but he claims otherwise.

Ga-ryung challenges him on how he would know, and he says that he’s traveled the land of Joseon and danced to the song of the birds. He knows why the Jirisan tree blows, and he knows why the river is so blue. So blue, in fact, that it’s sometimes called Nok-soo.

She asks, “Nok-soo?” Gil-dong responds that it’s all because life is unbearably sad, good, and sad again. He walks away with that poetic line, and both Nok-soo and Ga-ryung watch him for a moment, probably swooning inside.

Gil-dong lives busily, working with the hunters and drumming for Nok-soo. He arrives to follow the hunters one day, and they update him that there are new hunters in the area today. Gil-dong readily carries the baggage and heads off, while two hunter thieves sneak up from behind. They’re the same ones that saw Gil-dong walking through the hills with the arrow in his back, and one of the thieves seems to recognize him.

The entertainer trio heads home from another trip, and Gil-dong sees Nok-soo and Ga-ryung struggling to climb down steep stairs in their dresses. He offers to piggyback Nok-soo, and he pulls her onto his back despite her hesitation. She clearly enjoys and appreciates the ride, and jealous Ga-ryung pouts at his gesture. Noticing this, Gil-dong climbs up the stairs to offer her a piggyback ride, and she adorably latches on with the widest smile. So cute.

Back at the gibang, Ga-ryung watches the dancers as Wolhamae plays her string instrument. She mutters that she could probably dance like them, but Wolhamae shakes her head and says that she’s too ugly. Gil-dong shows up and disagrees. He says that Ga-ryung is probably the prettiest in the whole house. Ga-ryung silently watches him leave, alarmed by the sudden confession.

As Ga-ryung empties the clothes to wash, she finds a mirror in the pile and thinks back to Gil-dong’s compliment. She giddily smiles to herself and fixes her hair in the mirror. Still flattered by the compliment on their walk from another job, Ga-ryung asks Gil-dong if he really thinks she’s pretty. He looks at her blankly, and she starts to babble on about what exactly he finds pretty, but when she turns around, she’s talking to herself.

Gil-dong left the conversation to follow Nok-soo, and they hum along to a song. The exchange lines as they sing the song, and she begins to dance as he begins to drum. It’s a beautiful harmony between both voices and a wonderful gift to the ears. Ga-ryung admires her unni’s beauty, and the song continues until Nok-soo sees a young child up the road. The child calls out to her, “Mother.”

Back at the gisaeng house, Nok-soo silently takes off the decorative ornaments in her hair and hands Wolhamae a pouch to relay to her son. Gil-dong takes the pouch to deliver, and he hears Nok-soo say that she does not have the heart or will to be a mother. At that comment, Gil-dong stops at the door and looks to her. She notices his gaze and asks, “Why? Do I seem like a monster?” She looks at herself in the mirror and acknowledges that she is, in fact, a monster.

Gil-dong delivers the money pouch to the young son outside the house, and he tries to offer his scarf to the boy before sending him off. But a greedy man, the son’s father, grabs the money pouch and drags the boy away before Gil-dong can offer anything else. The gisaengs crowd at the entrance of the house and gossip about how Nok-soo has to run from house to house trying to avoid her greedy ex-husband.

Gil-dong enters Nok-soo’s room and reports that he’s delivered the money. She’s cleaning her gayageum, and she tells him that her mother was a head gisaeng. Every time the house owner would change, her mother would serve him, do his laundry, and sleep with him. If the owner liked her mother, they were well off; if he didn’t like her mother, they would starve. So, pleasing the owner was the most important thing to her mother.

She continues her story as Gil-dong stands and listens: One owner had his eyes on Nok-soo, not her mother. So her mother took her to the owner. It was a cold winter, and her mother’s hand was full of sweat. Fascinated, she asked her mother about the tears on her hands. Her mother advised her to treat the magistrate well, in hopes that her daughter wouldn’t live such a difficult life. But Nok-soo could never forgive the shameless men who ordered her mother to sacrifice her daughter like that.

Nok-soo explains that she needed power to throw those bastards into the flames of hell. In the process of hating these people, she says that she’s become empty. Even if her child calls out to her as a mother, her heart is frozen. “I am a monster. I became a monster.”

Gil-dong approaches a crying Nok-soo and comforts her. He pats her shoulder and says that she isn’t a monster, seeing that she’s crying. He pulls away from the embrace and reminds her of what he said when the first met — that the next time they met, it would be fate.

She looks surprised at his memory, and he leans in for a gentle kiss. Gil-dong pulls away, and they look at each other with tearful gazes. He goes in for another kiss, and they hold hands fondly.

The next morning, Nok-soo looks at the wrist cloth as Gil-dong sleeps in her bed. She looks hesitant about what to do with it. While she’s out, the loitering merchant sneaks into the room and uses a glowing piece of coal to scorch Gil-dong’s side. He yells in pain as he jerks awake, and the merchant pretends that he made a terrible mistake and runs out to get help.

The merchant’s run becomes a walk, and Nok-soo follows him to find out why he would do such a thing. He says that he’s heard the rumors, so now he can see for himself whether this person is actually a Mighty Child who could change history.

Later that night, the merchant looks through a hole in the door to the bath, stealthily watching for Gil-dong’s injury. He sees that the burn is almost completely healed, but this peeping Tom is caught red-handed by Ga-ryung. She scolds him for watching someone bathe and checks to see who he’s looking at. She sees that it’s Gil-dong and looks enamored for a moment before she snaps out of it. She turns around to scold the merchant some more, but he’s disappeared.

Ga-ryung turns back to look through the hole, but she doesn’t see anyone inside. Someone grabs her ear and pulls her away from the door — it’s Gil-dong! She tries to explain that it wasn’t her looking (technically, it was), but he doesn’t believe her. In her escape, she bites his arm and sticks her tongue out, saying that there was nothing to see anyway.

After Ga-ryung runs away, Nok-soo comes with a new set of clothes. She covers him up and tells him to wait for her in the room. They look at each other lovingly, and Ga-ryung watches curiously.

As Gil-dong heads to the room, the merchant asks him about his injury. He tries to pretend that he’s just a merchant who sells mats, but Gil-dong can see through his disguise. So the merchant explains that someone requested for him to find some strange things — things that the heavens mistakenly spit out, possibly something like a Mighty Child.

Nok-soo watches from afar, and Gil-dong tells the merchant that no such thing exits. The merchant grabs Gil-dong and asks him to answer one last question. We don’t hear the conversation, but we see a satisfied merchant talking his leave from the house. As he heads out, Nok-soo asks if he got his answer, and if Gil-dong is indeed the Mighty Child. The merchant simply shrugs and says that he’ll tell her during his next visit. Then the skies begin to thunder, which can only mean that bad things are ahead.

At the palace, Prince Yeonsangun rushes to his ill father’s side with his clothes robe barely on him. His weak father tells the prince to properly wear his robe, and Yeonsangun follows orders through his tears. Outside, rows of officials bow in mourning of the king’s deathbed, and the king tells his son how he must navigate the throne.

The king says that the officials are the pulse of Joseon. Yeonsangun doesn’t seem to agree, asking if they must believe every ridiculous claim that the officials make. The king sits up and tells his son that he’s been suspicious of his officials, but Yeonsangun doesn’t let him finish his argument. He asks if it’s the will of the officials to kill off the queen.

He leans in close and asks his father if he really thought that his own son wouldn’t know about his father killing his mother. He’s proclaims that he’s the son of the late dethroned queen, and the king begins to throw up blood, close to death.

In the woods, Gil-dong sits with the hunters and tells them that he should look elsewhere for information on the arrows. Suddenly, a hunter spots thieves taking their animals, and Gil-dong voluntarily chases after them. He grabs one, and the thief’s pleas are quieted upon recognition of Gil-dong. The recognition stirs Gil-dong’s memory, and the pieces have finally come together.

Gil-dong walks through the village in a daze, numb to the pain that he’s finally remembered. The villagers in the town rush into the streets dressed in all white, signifying that the king has passed away. They run into Gil-dong, but he’s too shocked to process anything else happening around him.

We see a wrist with the cloth, and it’s Eorini. She’s alive! She sits in the corner of a room, looking hopeless and bedraggled. The door to the room opens, but we don’t see who it is.

Gil-hyun looks through the old deceased man’s books and finds the man’s will, which asks for any passerby to fulfill his wishes. Then we see Magistrate Eom dressed in all white as he approaches an isolated home. He tells someone inside that it’s him and that there’s nobody around. He gets a snore in response, so he opens the door. A man with his long hair undone looks up. It’s Amogae.

 
COMMENTS

The family lives! It’s incredible how hopeless this drama can make you feel about life, and then it comes back with an amazing miracle that makes me believe that this family is invincible. I didn’t believe that anyone was dead yet, but I wasn’t keeping my hopes up here. There’s was a very small chance that Eorini was saved, a very slim chance that Gil-hyun survived his outnumbered fight, and an impossible chance that Amogae would escape Choongwongoon’s wrath alive. Yet, here they all are. Alive. It’s a pendulum of emotions, and I’m bracing myself for the downward slope of this ride. This family is going through their nine lives pretty quickly, and they’re really testing me on how much tragedy I can bear.

Though the ending really captured my attention with that plot twist, I appreciated the focus of this episode. Again, I’m enjoying how this show knows how to prioritize storylines, so that we’re not constantly bombarded with everyone’s tragedies all at once. I loved the background we got on Nok-soo (including how she got her name) and especially loved seeing how she was portrayed in this episode. She’s flawed and hurting and with subtle selfish intentions, yet she’s full of elegance and beauty. I also enjoyed seeing how she became involved in Gil-dong’s life with this “fated reunion” that kept getting hinted at. My favorite part about the paring was the duet, which was full of chemistry and sounded sooo beautiful — enough so that their harmony alone would have sold me on their romance. Honey Lee is perfectly cast for this role (she sings, she dances, and she oozes with elegance), and I love seeing her thrive in her strengths.

And while I am a huge Nok-soo fan, I really can’t wait for more adorable bickering between Ga-ryung and Gil-dong. Ga-ryung is immature and a bit petty, but I love how honest and straightforward she is. The show’s still stingy with Ga-ryung’s scenes, but I do hope we get a full and lengthy introduction to her, as we got with Nok-soo. She’s really a riot, and I want enough time to fall in love with the Gil-dong/Ga-ryung pairing before we’re given a heavy load of tragedy and sorrow and regret. I’m just really thirsting for all the cute and beautiful things this drama has to offer because I know they’ll soon be throwing us into a desert full of blood and despair. Savages.

 
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Savages indeed. Thanks for taking care of us, dramallama.

This drama is gonna kill me. I can tell already!

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Dramaland taught me so well that I wad choking up when I saw the lovey-dovey atmosphere between Gil Don and Nok Soo. It happened the same when everybody was dancing happily in the village before. I knew the family is going to have a really rough time. When people look happy in episode 3or 5, you know that in the next episode they will be on the brink of their death. They won't die, but your heart will go through a shredding machine.
Drama lessons 101.

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I know exactly what you mean. Those scenes were so beautifully perfect and happy, drama land loves to play with out emotion. When I saw that level of happiness that early on in the show, I knew they were going to go through some horrible stuff in the next episodes

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Our*

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It weirds me out how quickly I can go from having a major crush on Gong Yoo to having a major crush on puppy-dog Yoon Kyunsang. His singing voice was so dreamy...

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Ikr! I didn't know he can sing this well! Honey Lee is truly elegant when she's performing.

I didn't think Gil-dong will see Nok-soo as a love interest. For one, it's rare to see noona romance in a sageuk. I get that Nok-soo can fall for him because he is the only person who understands her pains and passion but I was totally caught off guard when he kisses her!

Nok-soo's backstory is horrible though. But I also feel sorry for her son that is too young to understand that he's being used by the ex-husband to get money from Nok-soo.

Hurrah for Amogae still living! And Gil-hyun! And Eorini! I hope Eorini is not being sold off as a prostitute somewhere to people like Chongwoongun! Her brothers need to team up ASAP and find their little sister!

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The synopsis clealy stated that Noksoo is his first love, so I didnt surprised when he kissed her. I think later there will be some betrayal which turn the love to hatred. And alongside, there will be Ga-ryung and then they later realize they are in love. For now I just see Ga-ryung like a girl who has a crush with Gil-dong.

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I knew they will be each other's' first love but I didn't see the kiss coming at that moment lol. Thinking about the scene again, the usually cold and charismatic Nok-soo crying must've woken his protective instinct, and that's must've been how he fell for her.

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LOL I know right.

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@enkeys,

Thinking about the scene again, the usually cold and charismatic Nok-soo crying must’ve woken his protective instinct, and that’s must’ve been how he fell for her.

Agreed!

I just watched the episode with yet another set of subtitles, and this time it really hit me. You're right. It was Gong Hwa's tears that finally moved Gil-dong. All along he was listening intently to her tragic life story, and watching her closely in a non-judging way.

When she laments that she has no maternal feelings for her child, and that her heart is a block of ice, he slowly goes over to her, puts his arms around her lightly and gently, and gives her a shoulder to cry on.

He leans back, looks at her, and tells her that she cannot be a monster because he sees that she is capable of crying.

Then he asks her if she remembers what he said the first time they met: That if they met again in the future, they would be destined to be together.

[When she had asked him earlier if he remembered his first visit with her at the other gibang, he said he did, but recalled nothing else. I think he might have been fibbing about that.]

Then the smooch. And another.

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Moohyul sang the Six Flying Dragons 1st OST (Muiiya) before on a SBS special live with a girl(i forgot the name) and he sounded really good :)

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Really? Tall, handsome, good voice, good acting, has cats...Sigh what can't he do *swoon*

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I envy Lee Sung Kyung too who are multi talented. Urghh too bad these two were not paired in Doctors.

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but as long as I remember, he sang the song with famous young trot singer Song So Hee. I was so surprised the first time I watched the performance too. Made me fell in love with him harder than before ><

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I think that's her :) I remembed her face when she joined King of Masked Singer a couple of episodes ago.

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Eureka!

송소희( Song Sohee) 윤균상(Yungyunsang) 무이이야
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKqdb12EA5M

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and here's the link with them actually singing:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8by6g8B2wU

Thank you @PakalanaPikake!

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She has such a beautiful traditional voice. She should've been in "The Sound of a Flower."

Byun Yo-Han has his own version that was used in the drama.

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@lunatic4KD,

You're welcome! And thanks for another view.

Two beautiful voices, that's for sure. If only they'd brought up his mic a tad...

Here's the recording session for the male choral version used in the OST, which I love to pieces:

육룡이 나르샤 2회 엔딩곡 무이이야 합창 오리지널 버전
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KT9JIwTKcjo

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suddenly missing Byun Yo-Han, any news about him?

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Soo Bin is getting cuter everyday. Honey Lee is perfect. I just wonder how long kim sang joong gonna last.

This drama is good. Everything is good: directing, music, acting. But its a drama you watch when you have time, not something you need to catch up weekly.

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i am literally in love with every single character in this drama. SO glad Eorini is alive!

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Everyone alive!

I am huge fan of Nok-soo too, Honey Lee truly born for this character. I love the bickerings between Garyung and Gildong. I know some viewers dislike Nok-soo because they thought the love interest supposedly between Garyung-Gildong, but Nok soo-Gildong wont last long. This show still have a long way to go and I believe it will offer us more than typical love triangle.

Lets us enjoy the moments before the tragedies happen later.

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I am really loving this show, it feels sorrowfully nostalgia and I haven't seen that much in Korean drama.

I also like that there is no unnecessary screaming, no unnecessary dialogues and background music sounds wonderful. They let the silence speak which is only possible with great actors.

My favorite part this episode was the duet it was just so wonderfully done.

This is the first drama that I am following weekly and i have watched dramas for few years. Everyone is playing their part wonderfully especially Yoon Kyun-sang in his first lead role. the way he is saying his dialogues are amazing not too loud and not too low (it's hard to explain) and rest of the cast as well.

Thank you Dramallama or your wonderful recaps. :-)

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obviously I just wrote my comment quickly and without proofreading.
Please ignore the typos.

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savage. indeed.

wait. one question. maybe it's because i'm confused or what but as i watched this episode, is Ga-ryung literally Nok-soo's sister or am i missing something here? help this confused beanie >.<

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I think Ga-ryung is not her sister by blood, but probably she took her in when she was young and take care of her like her sister. We still don't know much about Ga-ryung's past story that much, and i think it will reveal soon.

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I'm just genuinely amazed and amused at how well produced this drama is, considering the poor quality of recent sageuks. Everything is great, including the cinematography and music. The acting is uniform across the board and there's no apparent weak link. I love everyone and am onboard with their respective journeys. There's so much story left to tell and I can only hope that this quality production will be maintained throughout.

The chemistry between YKS and LHN is sizzling during the singing duet and they make the noona romance work. I know they won't be the ultimate OTP in the end but the connection they shared now is so special I was hoping they would give these two more time together before Gil-dong eventually moved on to Ga-ryung.

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"Poor quality of recent sageuks"

Hmmmm......I know that Hwarang and Moonlovers: Scarlet Heart were quite disappointing, but in 2016, Six Flying Dragons and Moonlight Drawn by the Clouds compensated for them.

If you haven't watched them, you should.

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Yup, I was referring to Hwarang and Moon Lovers (they qualify as recent). I didn't want to name and shame them initially but I guess there's still some bitterness left from watching them religiously till the end yet being left sorely disappointed at what could have been.

I love Six Flying Dragons (and Tree With Deep Roots) with all my heart, but dropped Moonlight halfway through (too artificially sweet for my taste). I am now enjoying Rebel, so all is not lost.

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I also didn't enjoy and left 2016 sageuk and like you Moonlights also not my taste. Glad in 2017 Rebel is in the list and I am looking forward to Ruler too. So far Rebel doesnt disappoint and hoping the same for Ruler too - main casts already great.

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The fact that Moonlight was DB's best sageuk for 2016 tells you how crappy sageuks were last year.

The only thing that stood out that is sageuk related was Yeo Jin-goo and Choi Min-soo's fantastic portrayal of King Sukjong and his son Prince Yeoning/King Yeongjo in Jackpot.

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Same here! I know they're not endgame but I was kinda hoping too for the Gil-dong/Gong-hwa connection to last a bit longer. (Like for more than 1 episode.) Theirs was like a brief interlude, gone too soon.

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i'm so curious about garyung and how her story is going to play out. isn't it stated in the promotional materials that she's a widow whom gildong saves and is out to seek revenge for her husband? anyway i 'm just so excited to get to that part although i know we still have a long way to go.

thanks so much for the recaps!

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this is really random but i hate the way the logo on the top left has a black outline to it and it looks blurry as well. i liked how it looked without the outline

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I agree. However, it would not stand out in a white background. Perhaps they can do a shadow instead of a definite outline, that may look less harsh.

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i understand and yeah maybe a shadow would've looked better but i always loved the way it looked against the sky

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I thought I'd read every recap, but which episode shows Nok-soo meeting Gil-dong for the first time?

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Epi 5 if I am not mistaken.

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Amogae told his wife once that he had super strength when he was a child but he subjugated it till he no longer has it, even though he is still considered a strong man. Can I rightly deduce that he too is a Mighty Child? Who beget another Mighty Child?
If so, does this explain how he managed to survive a near-death torture, and will he also regain his powers like Gil-dong now that his family is in danger?

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I like this theory! It seems likely since almost everyone who throw up blood in sageuk is destined for death but Amogae survives :)

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I second that theory. Amogae really looked like a goner, but I wasn't going to believe it unless I actually saw his index finger go limp.

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It's possible.

What are the odds of having two mighty child in a row instead of rarely, like in 100 yrs or something like that.

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Well, they said that the Mighty Child(ren) don't live out their full lives. So since Amogae had to repress his Mighty Child-ness and lived he was able to bear a Mighty Child?

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The subs in the version I saw have suspicious merchant asking "Is getting hit by 3 arrows a minor wound?"

Well, according to Hwarang, maybe 3 minor wounds (?)

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Let's just say that the Hong family is composed of Mighty Children. They all seem to survive the worst kind of ordeal, superhuman or not.

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you know i went back to the first episode today and during the scene with garyung tied at the stake, gil-hyun was also there so i guess i worried about him for no reason, but i'm so so glad eorini is alive but i hope her being alive isn't worse than death (i'm scared what's going to happen to her)

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Thank you for the recap, dramallama!!

Like the others, I'm trying to soak up as much lighthearted moments as I can before everything turns truly tragic. It almost feels bittersweet watching how things unfold before we get to where things are supposed to be.

Honey Lee! <3 I love how her artistry just shines in this episode. She is indeed perfectly cast in this role. I wonder how many episodes more til we get gayageum-playing scenes. On a shallow note, how gorgeous is she in this? Haha!

Will rewatch the ep and be back with further comments.

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Honey Lee is such a show stealer with that kind of role in sageuks. I'm glad she took the supporting role here just like Ko Hyun-Jung did in QSD.

I didn't think they'd go into more details about her past but I'm glad they did because her motivation for wanting to be the king's woman is clear.
Those yangban rats needs to pay and not just because of what was done to her but for her mother, sister and for the other gisaeng too.

I thought we'd get more on Ga-ryung's background first but I guess the writer is trying to stick with the historical timeline so it won't be confusing.

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@Kiara

True! I was pleasantly surprised that they gave us a backstory for Noksoo and not just have her pop out of nowhere and be the evol seductress of doom.

I'm looking forward to where Honey Lee is going to take this. We have one layer down, which is the pre-Noksoo persona. I'm loving everything we got on her so far that I need more space than this for a proper character analysis though. Haha!

Ga-ryung's might be up next!

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dramallama ~

Thank you for the recap. What a pleasant surprise this show has turned out to be. The script is tight, the actors are doing well.

Looking forward to the next episode and recap.

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This is NOT a spoiler (I hope) but I just watched the next episode and I swear it was only ten minutes long. (When it was over I thought, "no! It just started." It was so good!

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Omg i'm having a goosebumps right now! This is exactly what i wrote as a rant in my twitter! How could the episode feels like just a 10 minutes episodes ㅠㅠ how do i wait for another week ㅠㅠ

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I went back to episode 1 and noticed the guy who had Ga-ryung tied up and lead the army of men against Gil-dong is HeoTaehak's right hand man (sporting a moustache so I had to double take). I think it wont be long till the battle (probably to defend Ikhwari) will take place because Gil-dong is gathering Dad's men again but I really couldn't imagin Ga-ryung marrying someone else especially since she's with Gil-dong right now.

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*since she's with Gil-dong right now, and having a crush on him too

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Nice catch!

I can't really imagine GaRyung marrying someone else too but my guess is that perhaps she got sold off in marriage? I mean she does servant work at the GiSaeng House so it's possible to be married off?

That's what is so interesting about this drama though, right?? So many unanswered questions with a good feeling that they will be answered in the writer's good timing :)

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She might gets sold off in marriage IF she's still a servant with the Gibang...but it seems like she's been set free by Nok-soo? That's why she can follow Gil-dong around. I don't think Gil-dong can sell her off too, he and his Dad value "their people" highly.

I'm guessing someone asked her hand in marriage later...maybe someone in Gil-dong's clan so she had to accept. Maybe that will be Eop-san. I don't think I see him in that opening scene? So if it's Eop-san, Gil-dong can't really object to the marriage whether he likes her by the time or not.

I agree with you though, I have a complete faith that writer-nim will reveal everything in a timely and satisfying manner :)

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Maybe she is not actually a low born. Maybe she married a nobleman and he died by order of the king. There were 2 main purges during Yeonsangun's reign.

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Omo. The First and Second Literati Purges (1498 and 1504, respectively). The latter being the one depicted in THE KING AND THE CLOWN.

Maybe it's a good thing Gil-hyun isn't gung-ho on taking the civil service exam.

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@enkeys,

HeoTaehak’s right hand man

Heo Taehak's right-hand man is his son. ;-)

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Wow this drama takes me by complete surprise. For once I wouldn't mind if this would turn into a weekend, long-haul drama series. The costumes so far are not eye burners either, which matters a lot to me because I tend to have specific aesthetic taste when it comes to sageuk costumes.

I also agree with a previous comment that the acting is uniformly good. The acting style has been modernised to a certain extent, but that is the same with other recent sageuks too, so who am I to blame? But somehow the drama still manages to convey an authentic feel to it, which adds to my viewing experience. Call me an odd ball and whatnot but a sageuk is not defined only by actors speaking in sageuky tone and accent, and donning costumes specific to that era. Thank god Rebel is more than just a cosplay with scripts and I'm so thankful I chanced upon this series. This one and Voice completes my week's drama dose ^^

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@Hye Mi,

Wow this drama takes me by complete surprise. For once I wouldn’t mind if this would turn into a weekend, long-haul drama series.

If you are craving a loooong version, then you might want to watch Writer-nim's earlier daily drama set in the three Kingdoms era, THE KING'S DAUGHTER, SU BAEK-HYANG, which clocked in at 108 episodes. I blathered about some of the parallels of tree and animal imagery between it and REBEL in the episode 6 recap (and about other aspects of KDSBH, such as memorable characters, in earlier ones).

Admittedly, you might not be as happy with the costuming of the Baekje royals, but the peasant duds are suitably subdued. I took a couple of courses in using natural plant dyes on silk and wool, and the hues and saturation looked pretty good to me.

KDSBH is the show that put Seo Hyun-jin, Jo Hyun-jae, and a passel of solid veteran actors on my radar, and kicked off my magnificent obsession with Kdrama, in particular sageuks. The cinematography and terrain are gorgeous. I survived DR. JIN, then watched KDSBH, and the rest is history. ;-)

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Ah Mo Gye Lives!!!! HE LIVES!!!!! We are in the happiest timeline!

Absolutely loved the romance between our hero and Nok-Soo. The fact that she is clearly the older of the two adds an interesting dynamic in that the worldly gisaeng, who's profession is to seduce other men, is herself seduced by the innocent peddler.

What I DIDN'T love, though I can grit my teeth and accept, was the use of the 'greatest' (read: worst) trope of all time; TEMPORARY AMNESIA!!!!! Ugh. Whatever, it lasted an episode and is gone, hopefully never to return.

The romance was great, but here's hoping we get back to Hong Gil Dong tricking the rich and beating the snot out of their goons!

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Well, I think this amnesia is connected to his power. Maybe it's the result of trying to suppress it. When he is on tiger mode it's like being taken over by something or someone else.
I think he just doesn't remember or he is confused because it him but it wasn't really him.

I'm with you with beating the snot out of them but enough with the crying snot ew. It maybe realistic and it's freezing cold but we get the point.

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I honestly didn't think of that. THAT'S actually an interesting take; every time he uses his powers, he temporarily loses his memories. Perhaps a defense mechanism to make sure that he stays in one place and heals. The more damage done, the further back he 'resets'.

Still not sold on it being 'temporary', but I can grudgingly put it under 'powers heal brain-space, too.'.

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@Kiara, @gambitfan3000,

Aha! He's tripping his circuit breakers! Better to blow a fuse than one's mind. He might have to update his BIOS and reboot while he's at it. ;-)

On a less-frivolous note, perhaps Gil-dong's consciousness alters like a Norse berserker's, or his Inner Tiger causes a power surge that results in the kind of missing memories that people with epilepsy experience. It's been a dog's age since I thought about this.

Back in college, one of my cronies occasionally had petit mal seizures. She'd sense the "aura" coming on, and then zone out for a spell before regaining "normal" consciousness. The first time it happened in my presence, I was alarmed until she told me what she had to do until the episode passes. IIRC, her limbs became rigid, but she did not convulse. Laying her down on the floor so she couldn't fall and hurt herself comes to mind.

IIRC, in ancient times, people exhibiting symptoms of epilepsy were considered to be "touched by the gods" or something along that line.

It could be that as Gil-dong allows Tiger's expanded consciousness to flow through him, he learns how to intuitively handle it -- and in essence increases his bandwidth. Maybe he will also start astral traveling and dreaming lucidly. Or maybe he needs to confer with a mudang.

Isn't the tiger the emblem of the military? I think generals might have worn them as insignia. Dang, it was in SIX FLYING DRAGONS that the general staff commissions of Goryeo were finagled away and replaced with copper tigers when Joseon was founded and the military forces were reorganized -- after a loyalty oath was exacted by King Taejo.

Anyway, I think Tiger consciousness has a bearing on Gil-dong's burgeoning leadership capabilities as well as his memory.

Speaking of Berserkers, FYI: Sci-fi author Harry Harrison co-authored a dandy alternate history trilogy that starts out in the British Isles at the time of the Norse invasions. The first book is entitled The Hammer and the Cross, and gives fascinating insights into the Celtic and Norse worldview and sagas. It posits a realm in which Celtic Christianity prevailed over the Roman flavor. It is riveting, and made my Irish and Viking ancestral genes very happy. The shamanic aspects of the two cultures are nicely interwoven, including "mythology," supernatural beings, and spiritual practices such as communing with the gods. It's a bit off the beaten track, but I think it deals with Western analogues of sanshin and other levels of reality. My $0.02 worth.

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I think the temporary amnesia is quite necessary and consistently appeared whenever Gil Dong faces a traumatic event, whether as a child or as an adult like now. So it's okay, imo :)

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@keiru, @Kiara,

Considering what HGD has been through, it's no wonder he loses the pointer for a while.

I agree that it may also have something to do with his operating in tiger mode. The tiger spirit may be almost too strong for his being to contain.

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@gambitfan3000,

The fact that she is clearly the older of the two adds an interesting dynamic in that the worldly gisaeng, who’s profession is to seduce other men, is herself seduced by the innocent peddler.

In his first meeting with Gong Hwa/Nok Soo, Gil-dong facetiously(?) propositions her because he likes her audacity. After Ga-ryung smacks him, he leaves for his little sister's birthday -- which could be interpreted as playing hard-to-get.

When their paths next cross, his memory is kaput. Ga-ryung opines that the tiger he met in the forest stole his soul, rendering him stupid. From what I see in this episode, Gil-dong's Inner Tiger is a stealer of hearts.

I think what sells Gong Hwa on him is the non-judgemental way he bears witness to her distress after she meets her son. Her statement that she is a frozen-hearted monster without feelings for her own child is a riveting scene. It reveals her own tragic history as well as Gil-dong's raptly empathetic attention.

Maybe he wasn't kidding after all when he told her she should take up with him. Joking around as camouflage? Check. His earlier statement that if their paths cross again in the future, they are destined for each other now comes into focus. It is revealed that Gong Hwa moves often in an attempt to escape from her greedy ex-husband. Add to that Gil-dong's amnesia after falling off the Cliff of Non-Doom, and what are the chances of their meeting again?

I can see why Gil-dong has such a sterling reputation with ladies all over Joseon. In contrast to the boorish yangban for whom Gong Hwa performed, Gil-dong listens deeply and with care. He takes after both his parents, and is dignified underneath his unassuming appearance. He is quietly tenderhearted, like Amogae, but as his interactions with the kids in the street show, he doesn't hide it. He is compassionate, and his heart is touched by Gong Hwa's story. I think he sees parallels between himself and her son, as well as between her and his mother. He knows the feeling of powerlessness only too well.

Gil-dong is an artist whose repertoire includes pansori drumming, low-brow Chaucerian humor, and singing. A wandering poet intimately in tune with the ch'i of the land and its people, he doesn't write poetry down -- he carries it in his heart. He looks like a klutz, but that's just the Tiger's camouflage stripes. It's only after Gong Hwa's performance before indifferent listeners that he gives voice to his poetic soul. Their duet in the tea garden sounds like the plighting of troth to me. Watch their eyes.

For such a big guy, he is very gentle, not to mention thoughtful and well-mannered. And he looks downright angelic the next morning after that meeting of the minds with Gong Hwa. No wonder she falls for him.

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Finished watching 2 latest episodes. Favorite scenes from ep 7 :
1. Gil Dong and Nok Soo duet (great chemistry right there)
2. The piggyback ride (so much cuteness)
3. The unexpected kiss (it's the first time I watch Yoon Kyun Sang's on-screen kiss scene ><)
4. Gil Dong ran into the tree (I LOLed so hard at this)
5. Naughty Ga Ryung outside the bathroom (I might do the same if I were her, kekeke~)

Gosh, 1 hour episode of this drama is not enough for me..

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GAH and I love our not-so-obvious sassy pants GaRyung in her one-sided love! I really thought that GilDong would like her first from the way he remembered her slap but I guess we'll just have to see their love bud in later episodes.

A lot of people seem to be surprised at the kiss between GilDong and NokSoo but the tsundere way of GilDong saying that GaRyung was the prettiest girl in the whole house got me squeeeelllling ❤️

One question... I know people in sageuk era tend to have many different names especially since she is a gisaeng but NokSoo is called GongHa so many times and never NokSoo?? So did NokSoo change her name to NokSoo because of her yearning for GilDong? That duet song does have the term NokSoo and no spoilers but even in ep 8 that song is sung with the "NokSoo" part emphasized!

This drama is seriously so good at keeping me on my toes and wanting more! The more we find out, the more questions I have! After a drama drought Rebel is the cure!!

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Yes, she goes by the name Gong-hwa in the Gibang, maybe later changed it to Nok-soo in the palace. I don't know if it's common for them to change their names though...although Nok-soo means "a river so blue" if the subtitles are correct. She might still yearn for Gil-dong, thus chose Nok-soo as her new name.

The song is absolutely beautiful though. Gong-hwa/Nok-soo is the blue river, Gil-dong is the mountain (according to the lyrics).

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Right she currently goes by Gong Hwa. Her father's name is Jang Han-pil so later on she would known as Lady Jang Nok-su.(Trying not to write an essay on her to avoid spoiler lol)

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Historically her name has nothing to do with Gil-dong but it might be in this drama.

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@Kiara,

Speaking of fathers and other relatives, I noticed that Ga-ryung's surname is Song, and can't help but wonder if she's related to Song Do-Hwan (Ahn Nae-Sang). If so, is that why head gisaeng Wolhamae won't train her to be dance?

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That's why I thought that she might not be a low born servant. Ahn Nae-sang's character is a scholar so I won't be surprised if she is his daughter. Either that or through adoption?

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Ah -- great minds on the same wavelength. ;-)

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Hardcore sageuk fans haha.

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WOW... I love this ❤️❤️❤️

This is why I love Sageuks too...Tried to figure out one thing and learned so much :) Thanks guys!!!

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Thank you for the recap and commentary, dramallama!

Writer-nim is indeed skilled at interweaving the subplots of the story -- or maybe it's more like plucking shimmering harmonies on a gayageum, trading off motifs in turn as the action progresses, then circling around for another refrain as characters' backstories peel off in layers.

This episode enthralled me in a way that none of the other dramas I'm watching at the moment have managed to do -- nor many others I've seen, period. The sheer lyricism of the dialogue captivated me while revealing an artistic side of Gil-dong.

Hong Gil-Dong to gisaeng Gong Hwa/Nok Soo, omitting Ga-Ryung's interjections (transcribed from DramaLove subtitles):

HGD:
You are an artist. You sing and dance like one. Did you not know that you are an artist? Those scum may look like yangban, but they have zero taste in art. [snip] I have walked all over this land. I have danced to the birds in Geumgang Mountain. I have cried looking at the setting sun over the sea. I know why the huge tree on Mount Jiri fights against the wind all through the night. I also know why the Amnok River is such a dazzling blue. Amnok river is so blue that people also call it Noksu, the blue water. [snip] That is because they are in sorrow. Living is so painfully sad, then it is good, then it is sad again.

Transcription from Viki:

HGD: Of course you're an artist when you can sing and dance like that. Don't you even realize that you're an artist? That bunch wears noblemen's hides, but they do not know anything about rhythm or fine art.

Ga-Ryung: And you do?

HGD: I do. While putting my footprints all over the Eight Provinces of Joseon, I've danced to the songs of the birds of Mount Geumgang, and I've cried at the setting sun of Daesang Beach. I also know why the big tree on Mount Jiri wrestles with the wind all night long. I also know why the Amnok River water is bone-chillingly green as well. The Amnok River is so green that they call it Nok Soo (Green Water), don't they?

GH: Nok Soo?

HGD: That is all because of sorrow. Living is bone-chillingly sad, and yet joyful and sad again.

Viki's subtitles rendered Nok Soo as "Green Water," which vividly reminded me of the startlingly light green waters of the River Inn in Austria when I visited Innsbruck many years ago. You can see a similar shade of green in the footage of Salzburg in NAEIL'S CANTABILE; the River Salzach enters the River Inn at Salzburg, which is downstream of Innsbruck.)

Linguistic Query:

I recall hearing that some languages (such as ancient Greek, IIRC) do not differentiate between the colors blue and green. Is that the case with Korean?

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i totally agree, this conversation was truly beautiful.

And to answer your question, green and blue are differentiated in Korean but there are some terms that don't differentiate between the colors blue and green. Usually, it is to describe something normally green as blue and not the other way around which makes NokSoo or Green Water not a typical term used.

For example, the same term to describe the blue sky or blue ocean can be used to describe green fields of grass or green plants in general.

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Thank you, acacia!

So if I understand correctly, a mountain would normally be described as green because of the vegetation?

In English, a mountain is sometimes described as blue if it is far away, or maybe because of the particular trees growing there, such as blue spruce or larch.

In the American West, mountains can appear purple because of purple sage's flowers; they belong to genus Salvia. The silvery foliage of sagebrush, which belongs to genus Artemisia, reputedly appears purple at a distance, as in the lyrics of "America the Beautiful."

I transcribed the lyrics of the duet in the tea garden. Although verbal words catch my ear, I can visualize much better when I read them.

From DramaLove subtitles:

HGD: It is the mountain.

GH: It is the mountain.
My love is like a blue mountain,
Your love is like Noksu.

HGD: Noksu will flow,
But the blue mountain will not change.

GH: Perhaps Noksu
Will never forget the blue mountain,
It will go around and around
The blue mountain.

Together: It is the mountain,
It is the mountain.

GH: A person may live
But they may not live for hundreds of years.

HGD: On this long and winding road
There are no men, women, old, or young.

GH: While we live,
Let us sit together
And have a great time,
Just the two of us.

Together: It is the mountain,
It is the mountain.

From Viki subtitles:

HGD: It's a mountain.

GH: It's a mountain.
My affection is a blue mountain,
and my love's affection is green water.

HGD: Green water flows,
but would a blue mountain change?

GH: Probably green water cannot
forget blue mountain,
so it will flow back.

Together: Uh huh, it's a mountain.
Uh huh, it's a mountain.

GH: If people live, how many centuries can they live?

HGD: While traveling that long road, what difference among man, woman, young and old?

GH: While alive, in this life, we two, together,
should we enjoy ourselves with all manner of fun?

Together: Uh huh, it's a mountain.
Uh huh, it's a mount--.

I'm tickled to bits to see and hear old-style music, dance, and storytelling. Honey Lee has a gorgeous voice, and YKS's is well-matched with it. With her traditional performing arts background, she could be a modern-day gisaeng.

Gil-dong's impromptu duet in the tea garden with Gong Hwa is marvelous, with call-and-response and a bit of drumming. Is this piece a spur-of-the-moment improvisation, or perhaps a famous old folk song?

The mood is abruptly interrupted by the appearance of Gong Hwa's young son on the road ahead of them. Suddenly I felt as if I were watching HWANG JIN-YI, the story of a gisaeng who strove to become a true artist.

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I am Korean American so it's kind of crazy but I remember coloring mountains in shades of purple in elementary school not knowing why! Makes total sense now!!!

I also loved the drama HwangJinYi!!! I would say it was one of the few dramas I would rewatch! Which reminds me, I LOVE NokSoo's hairpins and gisaeng-wear. I think it's the first time I've seen colored baby's breath as part of the hairpins and it looks so beautiful. As much as I love the storyline and characters I also can't help but look forward to every new look that she wears ??

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Howdy, acacia!

Are you acacia as in honey locust? -- My favorite kind of honey, along with tupelo and manuka. ;-)

LOL! I'm so glad you discovered why you colored the mountains purple in grade school. Doesn't that beat all?!

I'll fess up re: Purple Mountain Majesties

I looked up the lyrics of "America the Beautiful" when I got thinking about mountains being called blue here in the Northeast, but never seeing them referred to as purple in these parts. Wikipedia gave background on the lyricist, Wellesley College English professor Katharine Lee Bates, who traveled by train to Colorado Springs to teach a short summer course at a college before before returning to Massachusetts via Chicago to visit the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition a.k.a. The White (alabaster!) City.

While in Colorado, she went up to the summit of Pikes Peak, and must have gotten a dandy view of the Garden of the Gods and the Front Range of the Rockies. She was inspired to begin writing the poem "Pikes Peak" while at the summit, and saw that the mountain itself was purple. Holy moly! She must have seen lots of amber grain in Kansas on the way to the Windy City.

I got thinking about why mountains out West would be purple, and remembered the country rock band New
Riders of the Purple Sage, who took their name from a Zane Grey novel. Doggone. Many of the native Salvia species have purple flowers... etc., etc., as per my earlier post. I drove up Pikes Peak in September a bit over 25 years ago, and as I recall, it was brown -- but by then the sage would have been past blooming. Heck, the high passes get snowed in in October or maybe even September, IIRC.

What the heck happened to my brain?! -- Oh, yeah, under the influence of Kdramas. And sleep deprived. ;-)

As for HWANG JIN-YI, I really enjoyed the show. Ha Ji-won is one of my most fave actresses ever. Loved her to bits in DUELIST with Gang Dong-won!!!

Re: Nok Soo's hairpins with baby's breath -- Are those the things that look like little springs sticking out? I had no idea what they were supposed to be. Color me oblivious. So embarrassing. I am beyond help. ;-)

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Hi PakalanaPikake!

LOL yes! I'm not sure exactly what made me choose this name but it rolls off the tongue so well and the tree and flowers are quite unique :)

I love your thought process just for purple mountains!! AHAHA it's so interesting how our brain works on sleep deprivation eh?

Older dramas with memorable characters make me have a fondness for that actor/actress that is hard to break. HaJiWon in HwangJinYi is definitely one of them hehe so I definitely watched Duelist!!

Re: Nok Soo’s hairpins with baby’s breath: Yes! LOL saguek ornaments and hairpins have always caught my eye so I don't blame you for not seeing it hehe

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And to answer your other question, a mountain is considered green because of vegetation but the description would say "푸른" or blue because of the vegetation. I realized Korean mountains are usually very green so it's a common to deem a mountain "blue".

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Thanks, acacia...

푸른 is the word used in LEGEND OF THE BLUE SEA.

Hmmm. Is calling mountains blue a literary convention? If it's a mountain, by definition it is blue. Always.

Or is it because the vegetation is bluish-green rather than yellowish-green? As in the difference between a blue spruce and a banana plant.

I'm aware that in Chinese Five Elements theory, the colors that correlate to wood phase are blue and green, which are in adjacent parts of the visible light spectrum. Does this have something to do with the way mountains are described?

The logic is escaping me. Maybe I'm trying too hard to understand. I taught ESL many years ago, and it's coming back to haunt me. LOL! Thank you for your patience. If I were in school, I'd be flunking. Auwe! ;-)

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@ PakalanaPikake

Native Korean word "푸른" can mean both blue and green. It refers to that lush quality of those colors. However, in the duet, they use sinicized Korean words "청산" and "녹수". In other words, these words can be written in Chinese characters (靑山 and 綠水 each). Obviously two different Chinese characters are used for the two disparate colors. In that case it makes more sense to translate 청(靑) as blue and 녹(綠) as green. Moreover, I've never seen anybody use 녹(綠) to mean "blue". It means green or the color of patina.

The Amnok River is 鴨綠江 in Chinese. It literally means the Duck Green River. I personally think that is maybe because of the Mandarin Ducks that live there. If you've seen a Mandarin duck, the prominent color of its plumage that hits you first is green.

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@22.1.1.2.2 O_o,

Thank you! -- And thanks to acacia, too!

A picture is worth a thousand words. The green on the head of the male mandarin duck is very similar to the metallic green noggin of the male mallard duck. Which reminds me there's another kind of duck called a teal -- which comes in 2 varieties: green teal and blue teal!

So there's the answer we've been thrashing around for: it's teal!! Deep blue-green or deep green-blue.

녹(綠) = green of oxidized/weathered copper, like the Statue of Liberty, right? -- It's verdigris, and is one of the shades of cyan.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verdigris

Turquoise is in the cyan color family, and can be more bluish or more greenish; the same goes for the gemstone. There's also aquamarine and aquamarine blue.

Re: Amnok = Duck Green River

Nok Su = Green Water

Yalu River = Chinese name for Amnok; meaning?

Note: The color of the River Inn looked to me like a toss-up between aquamarine and magic mint on the cyan color chart on the Verdigris link. ;-)

Thanks again. It's been very interesting exploring color. ;-)

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Thanks O_o!! You explain it so much more clearly than I ever can!

@PakalanaPikake,

To expand on O_o, I believe 녹(綠) in Chinese is just simply green and not a specific shade of green. But the same character is also used in the Korean word 녹슬다 which means to rust/oxidize/pantina so perhaps it may work to mean teal??? This is a really interesting thought to have though!

As O_o says, blue terms are used to describe greenery but not the other way around, so this is a really unique case of the use of color terms.

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I'm in love with the soundtrack of this drama. The casting of Honey Lee is spot on, and I am so very pleased that they are making the most of her singing and dancing talent. Watching her is a delight. Finally, I was captured by Gil Dong's sudden display of artistic sensibility.

It's not often that I can say this of a drama: it's just... beautiful. Sad and painful, but beautiful.

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Me too. There is a lot to appreciate in this drama.

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@WishfulToki,

Finally, I was captured by Gil Dong’s sudden display of artistic sensibility.

Me, too. Although it felt like it came out of the blue, I think it's been lurking below the surface. We haven't yet gotten to see much of his formative years after hitting the road. Perhaps in upcoming flashbacks.

The sense I have is that Gil-dong is a natural-born artist and poet. Scholarly book learning isn't for him the way it is for Gil-hyun. Meeting performing artist Gong Hwa may have jump-started his creativity and talents just as his encounters with the Tiger may have awakened his latent powers.

It takes tremendous psychic energy to suppress one's feelings, awareness, and native strengths. I have an inkling that as he learns to claim and appropriately channel his own powers and the Tiger energy, his creativity will increase.

And yes -- the soundtrack is wonderful. The incidental piano music is dandy.

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Thanks for the recap! So fast, too!

I will keep repeating myself rather than sound remotely intelligent about this show. I love it. Love it.

The time flies by each episode, as I smile when they do, cry when they do, get angry when they do, and listen so gratefully to this lovely soundtrack.

The often poetic dialogue as noted above by PakalanaPikake (thank you!) is refreshing and thought provoking. It all makes me so happy.

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@jomo,

You're most welcome. I just added a couple more transcriptions. One more to go.

Maybe I'm kind of bonkers, but being able to go back and re-read touching bits of dialogue makes me happy as a clam. Same goes for lyrics. At the very least, typing it helps fix it in my memory, which needs all the help it can get. ;-)

Writer-nim is simply daebak when it comes to creating memorable characters I can root for who inhabit an emotionally believable universe. I can't wait to see how she weaves Mugyo into it. Actually, she has already started.

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This show gets better with every episode. But I spent this one worrying Uh Ri Ni. ? it's clear she isn't exactly in friendly hands - or they would have brought her to her brother.

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I'm scared that he might be Master Jo's son.

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Hell's bells!

And here I was hoping she'd been found by a plucky cross-dressing gal who ghost-writes study guides for lovelorn wannabe civil servants. ;-)

Actually, I was kind of suspecting that it might be Shorty the Mat Salesman, based on the color of the leggings.

I trust the little runt as far as I can throw him. His empirical methodology for assessing the rapidity of Gil-dong's self-healing capacity really stinks. And I've been suspicious of the identity of the patron who has him searching for Mighty Children and other freaks of nature.

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PS:
As for that question that Shorty the Mat Salesman posed to Gil-dong, I'm dying to find out what he asked before he left -- and how our hero answered.

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He is kind of shady. I don't like him.

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Six Degrees of Separation: Menaces of Doom and Photogenic Plants and Terrain Edition

Not only does the Cliff of Non-Doom have an agent and appear in REBEL, Mount Geumgang does, too. The Diamond Mountain mentioned by Gil-dong in his travels, or more accurately, its portrait by An Gyeon, is currently starring in SAIMDANG. Sister peak Mount Jiri, topped with the Windswept Pine that shelters several cairns, appears in REBEL. ;-)

The Staircase of Doom makes a non-lethal appearance. Departing an off-site gig, Gil-dong gallantly makes like a human escalator and piggybacks Gong Hwa and Ga-Ryung separately from the top of the steep outdoor stairs down to the landing. I've seen numerous terrifyingly vertiginous Staircases of Doom in Korean schoolyards and Seoul streetscapes -- with nary an OSHA-approved handrail in sight -- and shudder to think of traversing them in snow and rain. Amazingly, Oh Hae-young is the only character I recall ever actually falling down one of the things. [Seo Hyun-jin also played title character Su Baek-hyang in Writer-nim's earlier sageuk.] I take that back. A bunch of thugs on bicycles went flying down an outdoor staircase in Spain in the modern timeline of LEGEND OF THE BLUE SEA. Har. [Lee Min-ho appeared in FAITH as YKS's boss.]

The Tea Garden of Doom also has an agent, but this time it plays a well-behaved hillside with nifty contoured Camellia sinensis hedges. It appears in LEGEND OF THE BLUE SEA as the site where Se-hwa the mermaid is ambushed and Magistrate Dam-ryung comes to her rescue.

Speaking of BLUE SEA, that nighttime fjord scene with the flying lanterns and Dam-ryung's boat sailing around the bend looks like it was filmed in the same flooded quarry -- the Swimming Hole of Doom?! -- where Hae-su's 21st-Century counterpart falls through the portal into the royal baths in MOON LOVERS [starring Lee Joon-gi as 4th Prince Wang So a.k.a. Joseon court jester Gong-gil]. The same location crops up late in CAN YOU HEAR MY HEART? and is visible from the amusement park.

As far as botanical entities are concerned, the Choi Young Memorial Rendezvous Tree from FAITH [in which YKS appeared as one of the Woodalchi warriors, so this isn't totally off-topic -- neener!] has put in the most appearances I've seen so far. Methinks it is a Korean sweet oak, a species whose acorns are eaten as food. I spotted it in CAN YOU HEAR MY HEART? when I watched recently, and had also recognized it at the end of SCHOLAR WHO WALKS THE NIGHT and early in ILJIMAE. [Lee Joon-gi appeared in the latter two shows; Yeo Ui-Joo played Jo Hyun-jae's bodyguard in Writer-nim's previous sageuk KING'S DAUGHTER, SU BAEK-HYANG, and also portrayed No Hak-Young in SCHOLAR WHO WALKS THE NIGHT.]

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Nice!!

I think one of the joys I get from being a long time drama watcher is recognizing certain sets and places that are used and reused for different dramas ;) You definitely have more insight because my reaction is usually just starts and ends with "OH it's that one place from that one drama" hehe

I will also say that the Ikhwari place is probably the same location from the Hwalbindang location from the older more comedic Hong Gil Dong drama as well as for many other sageuks hehe

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@25.1.1.2.1 acacia,

I marathoned HONG GIL DONG right before REBEL started, and the part of the set near the dock looked familiar. I think it was in HYANGDAN -- when Shim Chung is being tossed into the sea. It also reminds me a little of a port location in DAEMANG / GREAT AMBITION with Jang Hyuk.

Hey, I think the dock might have been in HWAJUNG, too. The one where the ship blew up -- as a means of faking the princess' death.

I think I'm officially around the bend. ;-)

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Per WishfulToki, Namgoong Min considered the role of Hong Gil-dong -- so that officially ties in the locations in CAN YOU HEAR MY HEART? with REBEL -- FTW! ;-)

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@PakalanaPikake

Nice!!! I love how we can recognize these places used and reused especially for sagueks. I can also appreciate the effort the staff put in to try to cover up the fact that these places are used over and over again LOL

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I kind of knew that Amogae could not die yet because he had not secured the family name Hong yet. An this point Gildong is still just GD.

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I'm glad Magistrate Eom redeemed himself by saving him. Amogae is better off going rogue.

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@Kiara,

You and me both.

Just because someone is in dire condition, they don't necessarily die. Amogae must have nine lives. Sato seems to have successfully pulled off faking Amogae's death -- but I'm not going to jinx it by saying that out loud!

It looked like Magistrate Eom double-crossed Amogae, but it was really a triple-cross. That has to be quite a story.

Fun Trivia Facts: The house where Amogae is hiding out was the childhood home of Su Baek-hyang, and Kim Byung-Ok (Sato Eom) was in cast. ;-)

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I'm kind of relieved because maybe that was the only way he'd step down and make an honest living like Gil Dong suggested. It's very hard to walk away from wealth and power. Once you taste it, you'd want more and more.

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A not so random observation: Namgoong Min and Ji Sung both considered the role of Hong Gil Dong. I'm so glad they took other projects. Chief Kim is a riot and Defendant is killing the ratings.

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Whoops, this was supposed to be posted at the bottom of the thread... I mistakenly clicked this section because I was also happy Sato redeemed himself.

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It was a really dire incentive plan for career change. Getting beaten within an inch of his life is a heck of a way to kick the habit.

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@O_o,

The deceased scholar whose house Gil-hyun found is named Park, so I guess the Hong surname will have to be acquired elsewhere. -- In the mean time, I'm itching to find out what was in the old codger's last will and testament.

I recall that in CHUNO, Hye-Won's brother, Kim Sung-Hwan, bought the family register of a noble family that had fallen on hard times, and proceeded to become a successful merchant, IIRC.

How else would one go about acquiring a surname?

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Always wondering if such thing really exists back then, you know the name buying 'plot'.

Everytime I read anything related to their period times, the system is so rigid it's not like they can pick any child on the street and make him/her a nobleman. That's what I get from my googling session though, I could be wrong.

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Then it's back to the drawing board, I guess. ;-)

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I think it will only be GH who takes the name "Park". Here is a fun fact for you. One of the prominent leaders of the coup against Yeonsangun was a certain Park. I don't know if there is any connection between him and GH.

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I was thinking about him too but is he dead here or just frozen? haha
If he isn't dead then he is definitely that certain Park.

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Why am I getting visions of a certain ex-parrot?!

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The traditional music and storytelling reminds me very much of THE KING AND THE CLOWN, especially Gil-dong's bawdy tale -- but minus the masks, costumes, multiple performers, and a tightrope -- so far.

The whacked out king is the selfsame Yeonsangun as in REBEL. If you haven't seen the film, do yourself a favor. Or at the very least, check out the OST. "Fate" by Lee Sun-hee gets me where I live every time.

이선희(Lee Sun Hee) - 인연(Fate) [Kor&Eng Lyrics]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPqt_d39dBw

Gong Hwa's song performed for the two obnoxious yangban, transcribed from DramaLove subtitles:

The wind
blows
like
a fierce
earthquake
tonight.
Oh, it is
blowing.
My dear
sent me
a letter
saying
we will
surely meet tonight.
He said so in the letter.
But how will he come
in this wind and the rain?
[drunken yangban interrupts her song]

HGD leaps up and fends off the host and his guest with stink eye, then backs off, and tells a bawdy tale reminiscent of Geoffrey Chaucer's finest.

Transcribed from DramaLove subtitles:

HGD: Shall I get this party started?

(in male voice)
Honey, have you seen our child?

(stroking rucksack as pregnant abdomen, in womanish voice)
Here he is.

Wait, why is our child back inside your womb?

We sold the one I gave birth to during the famine.
This is our new child.

How dare you try to fool me!
Are you sure that is my child?

Of course.
Feel him.
His thing is... (fingers indicating something tiny) exactly like yours.

Wait, wait, wait.
You're right.
His thing is odd... like a mouse's thing.
He surely is my son!

The bickering couple in this story sounds just like characters in vignettes by clowns Gong-gil and Jang-seng. YKS's vocalizations and gestures are right on the money.

Fun Trivia:
Wolhamae, the older gisaeng who plays the lute, looked vaguely familiar to me. Doggone if actress Hwang Seok-jung hadn't played fashionista Kim Ra-ra in SHE WAS PRETTY; Jang Ju-ja in TWO OUTS IN THE NINTH INNING; the restaurant owner in DISCOVERY OF ROMANCE; Department Manager Kim Sun-Joo [Finance Team] in MISAENG; and fortune-teller / ghost in GOBLIN -- among other roles.

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I like it that this Yeonsangun is well aware that his biological mother was killed by his father's order.
He is going to wreck havoc when he ascended the throne. A different kind of rebel.

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@Kiara,

Yeah. I was surprised when he told his father to his face that he'd known all along that Dear Old Dad had put the hit out on Mommy Dearest. This is certainly setting up for a very different freakout from THE KING AND THE CLOWN.

When the dying king crabbed at the Crown Prince that he wasn't properly dressed after being rousted out of bed in the middle of the night, I was astonished that he sat bolt upright in bed before starting to cough up blood. All I could think was: Pops, you should have picked a more convenient time for deathbed visits!

Was he being poisoned? That was the first thing I thought of when I realized his son knew the score. Maybe Dad was getting a little help shuffling off his mortal coil.

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I won't be surprised if he poisoned his dad knowing what he did to his mother.

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