The prince casts off his mask to fight for the people in Ruler—Master of the Mask
We’ve made it beanies! We are now 5 days away from the premiere of MBC’s Ruler—Master of the Mask, and the show is busy in its last promo spurt. The drama has just released an extended trailer, as well as some more pretty stills of our main cast on the set. I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’ve been waiting for this drama for foreveerrrr.
The teaser begins with the prince’s birth in the palace, and Dae-mok, the villainous head of the shadow organization Pyeonsoohwae played by Heo Joon-ho (Beautiful Mind), boldly ordering the king to bring the prince before him. Huh, well, at least we know where we first stand in the power struggle between the royal family and Pyeonsoohwae. The king gravely requests of his son, “You must grow the strength to fight against them. One day, I pray that you will take off this mask and become a true ruler.” We see the military strength Pyeonsoohwae wields, and the king placing the titular mask over the face of his infant son.
We fast-forward to grown-up prince Lee Sun—portrayed by Yoo Seung-ho (Remember—Son’s War)—who is constantly hounded by rumors that he has to wear his mask because he’s cursed or diseased. As mentioned in earlier reports, he leaves the palace in search for answers, and while running away from the guards, he bumps into Ga-eun, played by Kim So-hyun (Bring It On, Ghost). Can I just say, I LOVE how she literally catches him in her arms, all reverse damsel-in-distress. That made my day.
The meet-cute scene was in a previous teaser as well, where the prince asks her whether she thinks he’s handsome and he flirts with her, but I have absolutely zero complaints about watching it all over again. *Rewind, play, repeat* Ga-eun is initially unimpressed with the prince and takes issue with him speaking down to her, to which he replies, “I’m someone who can do that.” Yeah, prince or no prince, you’re kind of asking for it when she stomps on your foot, hee. I have to admit, I squealed a little when the prince looked mighty pleased to find that Ga-eun isn’t betrothed. Great, now I know this drama is gonna tear my heart out when the eventual tragedy strikes.
Ga-eun and the peasant Lee Sun—portrayed by L (She’s So Lovable)—lead the prince to Woo-bo (played by Park Chul-min of Moonlight Drawn By Clouds), who is the first to inform the prince of the existence of Pyeonsoohwae. We see the king outnumbered in political allies in his own court, and that Dae-mok controls a vast army of warriors and politicians. The king rages at Dae-mok for his plan to privatize Joseon’s water supply, and Dae-mok says to his followers, “That water will supply our coffers!” The prince launches an investigation into Pyeonsoohwae’s efforts, but it looks like the king is threatened with the prince’s life, so the king orders the arrest and execution of Ga-eun’s father while ignoring the prince’s tear-filled protests. Eugh, the heartbreak is hard to take already. I’m gonna be a mess.
It looks like Woo-bo and Dae-mok also have some history together, as Woo-bo laments, “I see you have given up on being human and have become a dog.” We get a glimpse of Yoon So-hee’s (Memory) Hwa-goon character, when she asks her grandfather Dae-mok what would happen if she steals the prince’s heart. He replies, “Then you will have to make him watch his tongue.”
We see the prince lead his pauper into the palace and inform his father of his intention to make the pauper take his place. Flashes of intense fighting are shown as a woman asks offscreen, “Has anyone in this kingdom survived a fight with Dae-mok?” And the prince cries to his father, “I never asked to be the crown prince!” Hmmm, it looks like it’s still peasant Lee Sun behind the mask when he ascends the throne; I wonder whether that’s another power struggle the real prince will have to overcome.
This trailer promises epicness and heartrending angst in spades, and I am so ready for this show to start already. Take my tears, Ruler, I will gladly hand them over. Ruler—Master of the Mask will begin next Wednesday, May 10.
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