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Seven Day Queen: Episode 6

Ahhh, I love everything about where we are right now—this episode is a perfect representation of my catnip, with the lovers reunited only in technicality, one doing his damnedest to preserve his new identity while the other is convinced that her heart is telling her that this is the one she fell in love with. Every exchange of hurt and angst cuts into that hope of hers (and ours), but in the most satisfying (but also sadistic) way.

 

 
EPISODE 6 RECAP

Shoved together in that small confessional with one wall slanted over their heads, Yeok kisses Chae-kyung. She freezes in shock, and then Yeok breaks the kiss when his friend Seok-hee comes by to check on the commotion.

Chae-kyung comes back to her senses and kicks Yeok in the leg while he’s distracted, then runs off. Yeok hops around in pain clutching the leg, bumps into the wall, and sends it toppling again. Hee.

Chae-kyung runs outside with her heart beating madly, forgetting all about Nanny waiting outside, and stomps home in a high temper. Seeing a stick lying around in her front yard, she picks it up and wields it like a sword, swinging it around furiously while cursing the jerk who couldn’t possibly be the prince after all. She’s pretty bloodthirsty with that thing. I’m thinking Yeok got off easy with one kick.

Her father finds her in the yard and asks why she’s practicing swordfighting. She tells him she thinks she’ll need it and asks for him to teach her, and he obliges, picking up another stick to engage her in a mock fight. As Chae-kyung swings fiercely, they have a silent conversation of sorts, as her father laughingly wonders what happened to get her so worked up, and Chae-kyung thinks in reply that it was absolutely nothing at all.

But she can’t shake the memory of the stranger who looks so much like Yeok, and wonders who he is. At one point, her father knocks aside her stick and bops her on the head, chuckling at her reaction, and that lightens her mood.

While the memory of their kiss keeps her awake that night, Yeok sits up with his ring—Chae-kyung’s promise to wait—which he keeps on a string like a necklace. Seo-no asks why he’s still up, and Yeok replies that he did something he shouldn’t have, which has brought up pointless feelings.

In the morning, Chae-kyung stirs awake to see her mother at her bedside, wearing a smile that frankly looks ominous. Her mother says she was talking in her sleep, saying over and over, “You’ll get a beating. You’ll get beat.” (Ha, was she imagining beating Yeok in her sleep?)

Her mother asks how she knew, and Chae-kyung gulps to ask what that is. Mother: “That you will be beaten.”

She smacks Chae-kyung on the back and wails about her continuing to wander around at night, and decides that she will have to be married straightaway. She declares that they’ll see the queen today and solidify marriage plans, and Chae-kyung begs for a few days’ time to prepare herself. She gets down on her knees and gives her mother her best puppy-dog face, saying that she just needs two days to take care of something.

At court, Yeonsangun’s ministers argue against his recent decision to send aid to the citizens who suffered from floods in the south, arguing that no region should receive preferential treatment over another. Yeonsangun sneers that they would ignore the plight of southerners to protect their own jobs, saying scathingly that they only oppose for the sake of opposition. Man, I love when Yeonsangun yells at his useless politicians.

Yeonsangun fumes over this as Nok-soo dresses him in his nobleman’s disguise. He rages at how the politicians who usually bicker amongst themselves manage to band together to oppose him. After he storms off, Nok-soo quietly tells Secretary Im that the timing is not right to press the king about increasing the tributes. Secretary Im sets a rendezvous for later to discuss the pirates who stole those tributes.

Chae-kyung returns to the pawnshop with another sack of rice (lol, does your mother know what you’re doing with those?) and barges right in, calling for the owner. Yeok and his two friends freeze, not knowing quite how to react, while Chae-kyung dumps the sack on the table and indicates that Yeok meet her at the confessional booth.

Yeok just walks out the front door, leaving Chae-kyung exclaiming, “Hey, Ghost!” She chases him outside and tugs his sleeve, and he asks sarcastically if he’s so attractive that a nobleman’s daughter would ignore shame to pursue him.

Chae-kyung actually steps closer and freely admits that he’s handsome, and that she likes his voice and gaze, which is “just like our prince.”

She asks earnestly if he’s the prince, and whether he was injured and perhaps lost his memory. Yeok looks conflicted for a moment, before he puts his mean face back on and tells her she’s spouting nonsense. Not swayed, she challenges him to convince her that he’s not the prince.

Yeok replies that she should think hard about what to do when a woman wants an answer out of a man. He indicates the prettily dressed gisaeng nearby, scoffing at Chae-kyung’s plainness.

Chief Secretary Im meets with Nok-soo privately at their appointed spot, and stares up at a portrait of the former king. He hands over a drawing of the pirate’s face, saying that he can’t shake the feeling that the pirate felt familiar, even though he’d definitely never seen him before. And then he realized that the pirate resembled the previous king.

Nok-soo’s eyes widen, but she argues that it can’t be, because the prince died and his corpse was brought to the palace. Secretary Im reminds her that the face was disfigured from injury, and they both compare the two pictures with growing suspicion. Nok-soo warns nervously that if Yeok is alive, they will die. Secretary Im replies, “If he is alive, he can just be killed again.”

At the pier, Yeok and his team note the officers milling around, inspecting boats and travelers closely. Seok-hee says it’s not as bad as it could be, having expected the king to send a lot more officers in wake of the pirating. Myung-hye says it’s because the king has been acting strangely lately, even sending aid to the south.

Seo-no wonders why the king would be ruling properly now, and Myung-hye asks if anyone has a hunch. Yeok just says he must have gotten the sudden urge to playact the role of a good king.

In his nobleman’s guise, Yeonsangun arrives at a gibang, where loud laughter from a nearby pavilion catches his attention. A group of gisaengs is gathered around a table with a young nobleman…

Or rather, Chae-kyung dressed as a young nobleman, asking for advice on how (s)he can help one of his concubines improve her appearance. Omo, is this how she’s going about Yeok’s challenge? I love how she’s going about this all sideways.

Chae-kyung eagerly jots down their tips on how to make cosmetics look natural, what kinds of dresses the men love, and what hairstyle is all the rage these days. She’s patting the hair of one gisaeng when she looks up to see Yeonsangun staring at her, looking rather disapproving.

She quickly recovers from her surprise to invite “Lord Lee” to join her, and gets in the playful jab that she thought he’d be busy working on behalf of the nation, only to find him out and about for entertainment. Yeonsangun says he is out for work, and she notes, “At a gibang?” Ha.

As Yeonsangun works on a painting of flowers, Chae-kyung hovers in the background admiringly. She recognizes the flowers as China roses and dips a brush in red ink to add the color to his painting, but Yeonsangun stops her, saying that he’s using a particular style of painting that doesn’t use color.

She backs off in disappointment, so he takes the brush from her and paints in the red petals. She points out that he was only painting in black and white, and he points out that she was insistent on a rose having color. It brings a wide smile to her face and a teeny one to his own.

At the pawnshop, Yeok’s team assembles to decide where to send food relief to those most in need; because the king is sending aid to the south, Yeok’s team can focus their efforts in other areas. Aww, you’re Robin Hood!

Seok-hee wonders if they have enough snail shells, which they leave as a signature so the people can thank the Snail Bride for helping them. Moreover, when Yeok is king, those people will be grateful to him and a source of support. (The Snail Bride is a classic children’s tale about a lonely farmer who helps a snail, who ends up turning into a beautiful woman whom he marries. When the king tries to take the bride for himself, he issues impossible challenges to the farmer, and it’s the bride who helps the farmer win with the aid of magical gifts from her father, the sea king.)

Yeok is preoccupied with the question of why Yeonsangun is acting differently these days. He recalls hearing Chae-kyung encouraging Yeonsangun to become a good and wise king and mutters, “He wants to become a good king because of that.”

And then, into the shop walks the most awkward gisaeng you ever did see, stumbling over her feet while attempting a graceful glide. Omg, I love Chae-kyung. This is awesome. I can’t watch!

She lifts her veil to reveal her made-up face and asks coyly if this is enough of an improvement for him. Yeok’s buddies gape at the pretty lady, and Yeok looks momentarily stunned too, before his face stiffens.

Then he recoils at the smell of liquor and asks if she’s been drinking. Chae-kyung replies, “Not liquor, medicine. The kind of medicine to erase embarrassment, shame, and the like.”

Chae-kyung wants Yeok to go somewhere with her, but he tells her to settle this here. So Chae-kyung props up a foot and hikes up her skirt, baring a few inches of leg. “Even now?”

Well, that does the trick and Yeok decides to go out, stopping to change his clothing. His friends warn that it’s risky to go out in the daytime like this, and that associating with Chae-kyung is dangerous given her closeness with the king. Yeok replies that he knows from childhood that she’s not likely to give up when she’s intent on something, so Seok-hee proposes a surefire way to get rid of a woman: Make her sick of you.

Yeok comes out dressed in full aristocrat’s threads, and Chae-kyung openly admires him. Putting on his coolest act, Yeok tells her in a deep(er than normal) voice, “Do as you like. For today, I am yours.”

They walk through the city streets attracting a fair amount of notice (probably because of her conspicuous getup), which seems to make Chae-kyung a little uneasy. Then he sees the king’s officers heading toward them and quickly veils her face and grabs her wrist, leading her down an alley and around a corner until they pass.

Then he unties her hat and tosses it to the ground, and steps closer, eyes fixed on her lips. Omo omo. She tenses in anticipation… and then he wipes the lip color off with his thumb, saying that’s better. He pulls off his outer robe and places it over her shoulders, then walks away, leaving Chae-kyung to hurry after him.

Myung-hye oversees her men loading goods, which Seo-no records in his log. Gwang-oh warns her to be careful when opening the packages (they’re stolen goods from Secretary Im), but she assures him that she’ll wait till they arrive in Ming. When she asks where Yeok is, his friends get nervous and fidgety and change the subject.

Chae-kyung takes Yeok to that bridge where she’d once sworn friendship with him, intent on stirring his dormant memories. She says that he’d immediately liked the idea of being friends, and Yeok scoffs to himself that he only agreed because she whined so much. He doesn’t betray outward recognition, though, so Chae-kyung takes him to the mountain stream where he’d once carried her on his back.

She explains how he’d pretended she was heavy so she’d whacked him on the back, and Yeok thinks, “It was the back of the head.” She crouches by the water to dip her fingers in, and they both think of when he’d agreed to marry her because he liked her, not because it was arranged. Now, Chae-kyung tells him of the proposal she’d received here, to live as friends even in marriage.

Yeok crouches next to her and reaches down to the water, but suddenly Chae-kyung grabs his hands and looks all over, then notes with disappointment that “it” isn’t there. Then she looks toward his neck and practically tackles him, sending him backward and landing on top of him. He’s confused, and she exclaims that he could be wearing her promise ring around his neck.

In response, Yeok flips their positions so she’s lying on her back, then pulls aside his collar to reveal a bare neck. She’s disappointed once again. (But I’m not. Eeee!)

They get back to their feet breathing a little unsteadily, and he asks if it wouldn’t be okay for him not to be Grand Prince Jinsung. (As in, can’t he just be somebody else?)

Chae-kyung hurries to follow as he walks on, and in her haste she loses her balance and starts to flail backward, toward the water. Pwah, you can play these skinship games alllll day long, I don’t even mind.

Yeok races forward to catch her, and as he looks down at her face, he thinks again, this time with wistfulness, if it wouldn’t be okay for him not to be the prince. He pulls her arms from his neck, leaving Chae-kyung all aflutter with feelings.

When the ministers arrive in the throne room, they’re greeted with the unusual sight of flower paintings set out on the ground. They take their usual positions looking confused, and Yeonsangun tells them he took their words deeply to heart. He indicates the paintings and calls them a small expression of his affection.

Yeonsangun instructs them to sell his paintings, so that he can use the proceeds toward disaster relief for the people. The ministers balk that they couldn’t dare affix a price to these, but he calls it a royal order, forcing the ministers to each take a painting while exchanging alarmed looks amongst themselves. When Deputy Commander Park picks one up, Yeonsangun claims it back, saying that it was set out in error and is meant for someone else. It’s the China rose piece.

The queen dowager arrives just as the ministers leave, and she trades a few words with Chae-kyung’s father, Minister Shin. She’s polite in tone but her words seem barbed as she wonders at the ministers’ unhappy faces and whether the king has forgotten that they are also citizens of the nation. Minister Shin replies that as long as those ministers do not themselves forget that they are citizens, the king will not, either.

Walking through a field, Yeok declares that it’s only fair that he decide where to go now, and when Chae-kyung complains about his overly quick pace, he stops and extends a hand. Seeing her hesitation, he starts to withdraw his hand, which makes her panic and grab it tightly. Aw, he even smiles, and then he adjusts their hands to get a better hold.

Yeonsangun rides out of the palace thinking of the China rose painting, intending to give it as a gift. To Chae-kyung, perhaps?

Yeok brings Chae-kyung to a gravesite—his own. Suddenly his demeanor turns mean and vulgar as he “thanks” the prince for allowing him a fun day out with a minister’s daughter, and Chae-kyung glares daggers at his now-rakish attitude. He refuses to let go of her hand and tells the prince that the lady has already shared her feelings with him—and body heat, and breath. Aw, I know why you’re doing this but I hate when you’re being an ass.

Chae-kyung tries to slap him, though he grabs her arm and prevents it. “You should be wondering yourself,” he says, “whether you are doing this because you believe I am Grand Prince Jinsung, or if you are using him as an excuse to harbor feelings for me.”

His voice grows harder as he adds, “And even if you were to meet him, did it not occur to you that pretending not to know him would be to his benefit? To you, he is a childhood first love and betrothed. Would it be the same for him? What guarantee is there that he would want to see you?”

Her chin trembles and she glares with tear-filled eyes. Yeok says firmly, “My name is Nak-chun. I have a woman. No, if you truly are thinking of Grand Prince Jinsung, do not chase other men while mentioning the name of the dead. It just makes the dead pitiful.”

As he walks off, he thinks to himself that the prince she liked is dead now. Left behind, Chae-kyung sinks down to the ground as it starts to rain, staying there long after darkness falls.

Yeok walks through the rain back to the pawnshop, and while his friends give him space, Myung-hye asks what happened with Chae-kyung, having heard the gist from Seok-hee.

She presses him for an answer, and he admits that he got angry: “While I was living in hell, she was close with my hyungnim of all people, and it made me angry! So I wanted to torment her.”

Myung-hye asks caustically if his revenge is to spend all day with Chae-kyung and kiss her. He tries to dismiss that as nothing, and then she grabs him and kisses him.

And that’s the sight that greets Chae-kyung when she arrives at the door. She turns and leaves silently.

Yeok breaks the kiss, and Myung-hye says that even if he calls his kiss with Chae-kyung nothing, she wants to erase it. That’s when they both notice the open door, and Yeok finds his outer cloak on the railing, which he’d lent Chae-kyung earlier.

He runs out into the street looking for her, but stops himself from following. Instead, he watches her back as she walks away.

At a tea shop, Yeonsangun eyes the rose painting and has it prepared as a gift. He looks out over the railing to see Chae-kyung walking in the street, drenched in the rain, and goes out to meet her with an umbrella overhead. She barely even registers him, walking past numbly, and then loses strength in her legs and falls to the street.

He rushes to her side, and only now does she recognize him. She cries that she doesn’t know what she’s done or why she’s acting this way. Yeonsangun helps her to stand, but as soon as she does, she slumps against him, unconscious.

That’s what Yeok sees when he comes running up the street, and he’s so intent on the scene that he barely pays Seo-no any heed when he urges him to run and puts a hat on his head.

It’s a good thing for Seo-no, though, because Scarface spots them in the street and calls for his men, who chase them through the streets and into the woods. The two friends dive off a cliff into the water below, while Scarface’s men shoot arrows into the water.

Yeok sinks into the water, knocked partially unconscious, and hears both young Chae-kyung and adult Chae-kyung calling out for him. He stirs awake as Seo-no grabs him, and they swim for the surface.

Once indoors and warmed up, Yeonsangun asks Chae-kyung what tonight was about. She tells him that she saw someone who looked like the prince, named Nak-chun, and that he was the man at the inn. He was so similar in eyes and voice and mannerisms that she mistook him for Yeok.

Yeonsangun asks if she’s crying because she realizes that man isn’t the prince. She shakes her head in confusion, not knowing whether it’s because of Nak-chun’s harsh words, or because she’s shocked that he’s not the prince, or… She thinks of the kiss she just saw, but doesn’t mention that aloud.

She just calls herself crazy, saying, “I do not even know if I have the right to cry like this. I’m so sorry to the prince.”

Scarface reports back to Secretary Im, who is irate to hear that the pirates got away. Scarface vows to catch them now that he knows they’re in the city, and Secretary Im tells him not to bother with capture: Kill on sight.

Back at the pawnshop, the other three are on edge with worry until Yeok and Seo-no return. Myung-hye confronts him about how reckless he’s being over that woman, asking if he’s got a death wish and wants everyone to find out who he is. She warns that if Yeok can cut the tie, she’ll step in. “Don’t ever forget what it took for us to get here,” she says.

He doesn’t answer her, but he doesn’t argue, either.

Yeonsangun falls asleep on his throne that night and dreams of seeing the corpse of the young prince when it was brought to the palace. With trembling hand and fearful eyes, he reaches up to pull back the cloth covering the face, but squeezes his eyes shut at the last moment, unable to look. We see what he can’t, that the face has been badly injured.

As he sleeps fitfully, Yeonsangun hears Chae-kyung’s words about seeing a man resembling the prince. Meanwhile, a man silently creeps into the room and approaches the throne—Yeok, who pulls a dagger from his sleeve.

Yeonsangun stirs awake, and as his eyes come into focus, Yeok thinks to himself, “Death is too easy. You will feel a pain even greater than death, hyungnim.”

Yeonsangun leaps to his feet and immediately clutches at his head as a ringing sound overtakes him and ghostly whispers fly through the air. When he looks around again, however, there’s nobody there.

But a shadowy figure sneaks out of the building, dodging passing officers—so Yeok really did come to the palace? Wow, ballsy.

He’s dressed in eunuch’s uniform and bows to the passing queen, hoping to go unnoticed. She calls out to him, but is in turn interrupted by another voice—the queen dowager, Yeok’s mother.

The queen dowager happens to catch a glimpse of the passing eunuch, and her smile freezes in immediate recognition. But she keeps her composure to exchange pleasantries with the queen.

Once the queen’s entourage passes, the queen dowager meets eyes with her son, and it’s clear that she knows this is him. Yeok gives her a small nod, and she continues on her way.

He finds her a bit later at her own quarters, and it turns out Myung-hye had tipped her off about Yeok possibly heading to the palace. The queen dowager calls his actions rash and tells him that right now they should be biding their time. Yeok counters that while waiting, she lost him. “I am thinking to find my own way,” he says. “I have just confirmed that hiding and running away is not my way.”

He turns to go, but pauses to tell his mother that he missed her. Then he makes his clean escape from the palace and rides off. Inside, his mother cradles his prince’s clothing to her chest, while Yeok thinks, “Mother, just wait a little longer. I will return to your side.”

Yeonsangun is in a dark mood as he draws a picture of Yeok, or at least Yeok in his current guise as Nak-chun. Secretary Im’s eyes widen the moment he sees the picture, but feigns ignorance when the king asks if he also thinks this man resembles the dead prince. Both Secretary Im and Nok-soo look alarmed, though they remain silent.

Yeonsangun tells them of the man named Nak-chun who looks like the prince and met Chae-kyung. He tosses over a wooden badge that signifies the king’s authority and tells Secretary Im to use whatever resources he needs, whether it’s the police or the military.

Secretary Im promises to find and eliminate him, but Yeonsangun tells him to bring him before him instead: “I must see with my own eyes.”

Nok-soo and Secretary Im are worried that the king has already caught wind of this, and it puts the pressure on them to resolve it quickly. Even having the king’s badge comes with risks, as using it will alert the queen dowager, which would complicate things. Secretary Im decides that they can use Chae-kyung: “It seems he still carries old affections—he will fall into a trap.”

Chae-kyung returns to Yeok’s grave the next day, bowing before the grave and thinking, “Your highness, you were very disappointed in me, weren’t you? I have come to beg your forgiveness, so please do not be too angry.”

Eyes welling with tears, she tells Yeok, “I’m sorry for confusing you with someone absurd. I missed you so much that I must have lost my mind.”

Time for our pirates to make their move. That night, Gwang-oh instructs their men to avoid notice: “We are not trying to be heroes, we are trying to offer hope, that the heavens have not abandoned the Joseon people.” Seok-hee chimes in, holding up the snail shells: “All we have to do is convey the message that us Snail Brides are at their sides.”

Yeok surprises his team by declaring that he’ll join them. Seok-hee tries to tell him that he can’t, but Yeok just asks, “Am I to hide behind you forever?” Oh, this can’t be good. I have a bad feeling about this, and Seo-no looks worried. So does Myung-hye, but I don’t care about her so whatever.

Chae-kyung walks home alone and startles at a sound nearby, which makes her quicken her pace. From a distance, we see that it’s Scarface and his henchmen, here on orders to keep an eye on her. Chae-kyung becomes aware of being followed, although every time she turns around, she sees nobody. Finally she breaks into a run, and Scarface follows suit.

Gwang-oh and Seok-hee awkwardly jump a wall with a sack of rice, not quite catlike with grace. They leave the rice and shells outside the house, then jump back onto the wall—except right as they do, Chae-kyung happens by and locks eyes with Gwang-oh.

Gwang-oh shakes his head at her as though willing her not to scream, but then Seok-hee joins him and she runs with a shriek. The bumbling duo hurries to chase after her before she gives them away, and as Chae-kyung rounds a corner, another man grabs her and claps a hand over her mouth—Yeok.

He chides, “Have you forgotten what happens when you get wrongly caught up in others’ business?” She recognizes his voice and calms, so Yeok turns his attention back to the street where his team carries out their deliveries. Chae-kyung’s mind flashes to a string of memories: teenage Yeok denouncing their friendship to spare her his punishment, him taking the blame on his own, and them running from Scarface in the village.

She’d asked then why they were running when they did nothing wrong, and Yeok had told her that even if they did nothing wrong, they could still die. So now, Chae-kyung repeats those words: “Why are we running away, when we have done nothing wrong?”

Yeok says automatically, still fixated on his crew outside, “Even if we do nothing wrong—”

“—we could still die?” Chae-kyung finishes. Suddenly he realizes what he’s said, and turns to see Chae-kyung looking at him with this light in her face. All he can do is walk away, but she runs after him and grabs him tightly around the waist.

“It’s you,” she cries. “Why are you lying? Why do you say it isn’t? It is—it’s you.” She sobs into his back, Yeok fights his own tears.

Down the street, Myung-hye steps out and sees the couple, looking stricken.

 
COMMENTS

Oh yay, she knows (again)! And has confirmed it (again)! More than the fact that she knows, I’m encouraged by the way this drama has handled these twists, keeping the characters constantly guessing and assessing each other and shaking up the status quo before things have a chance to stagnate. Dramas can lose a lot of punch (and crack factor) when they unfold as we expect, when we expect it to. Those dramas aren’t necessarily unenjoyable, but I always wish they had one extra trick up their sleeves, and am thrilled when shows do the opposite in remaining one step ahead of us. Just when you think you know where they’re taking this story and thinking it’ll stretch out for a couple more episodes, the show decides to reveal it now and let it happen immediately, and that sense of excitement is not something I take for granted.

I recall the excitement I felt at the same conflict in Joseon Gunman, with the hero thought dead and returning with a new name, and the heroine just desperate to believe it was the same man. I liked that drama a lot, but it was one of those predictable ones, when all along it was this that I wanted, this show with all the feeling and stakes and quick tempo.

This episode is probably my favorite part of this setup of the trope of the hero coming back with a new identity, and there’s such delightful tension in watching her fish for clues and him doing his best to shut her down. It’s what makes even his hurtful words oddly enjoyable, because we know he doesn’t mean them and that he feels just the opposite, but he’s doing everything he can to get her to give up. And, having known her as a child, he knows how much it takes to get her to give up on something she’s set her heart on. That quality is something I really love to see in grown-up Chae-kyung, who’s all honest admissions and straightforward intent. Part of me cringes a little when she’s so forward about falling for Yeok (er, Nak-chun) right away, but it also endears her to me, and I remember how sweet she was as a child, declaring that she would marry him over and over again.

I know a lot of the repeated skinship scenarios were a little much, especially so one after the other, but I have a lot of affection for the way they were used in this episode. It’s partly fanservice and partly a wink at the audience, and on that front I found it hilarious. It’s also a really nice way to shove the two together (literally), almost like a collision of physicality could prompt a collision of memories. Yeok can lie as much as he wants, and there’s no denying that his cutting words are pretty effective at doing as he intends. But then you have all these accidental falls and forced clinches, and it’s like we’re testing his resolve on all fronts, and every time he finds it harder to stick to his story.

It’s almost enough for me to wish we had a little longer before Chae-kyung figured out it was him (I suppose they could always backtrack on that next week, but for now it’s pretty clear her belief has grown stronger), because I enjoyed his struggle in a perverse sort of way, and would have loved to see more breaks in the facade.

I find Yeonsangun’s conflict as fascinating as ever, too, as he cares for Chae-kyung as she’s longing for Yeok. I appreciate that it doesn’t seem fully romantic to me—the feelings are complicated, and tied up in issues of family and trust as much as they are his guilt and jealousy. We’ve seen Yeok admit his anger at seeing Chae-kyung with Yeonsangun after all these years, and I both fear and anticipate what will be Yeonsangun’s reaction when he’s put in the opposite scenario. I do think he would be glad to know Yeok were still alive, but also expect him to tamp down that tiny flash of humanity deep down under his layers of paranoia and defensiveness, and Chae-kyung, as always is the complication in the middle. It’s both sweet and heartbreaking to know that she’s the one who brings out the best in both men, individually… but I suspect that she’ll also be the thing capable of bringing out the worst, too. I just hope she can bring out more good things than bad, because I love everyone too much for anything else.

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I love how smart most of the characters are. They didnt drag the mystery of his identity and people just added all the clues together.

Also I loved that scene between mother and son. It was just so loaded and want to hug them both. They missed each other so much.

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Thank you for the recap javabeans!

Also I want to add how much I care for both Yeonsangun and Yeok. I wish in another life they get to cherish each other sans political factions.

Now, I do understand why Nak Cheon have to hide his identity. But does he need to be such an ass to Chae Kyung?!?

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I guess part of the reason is the anger in him after finding out the two people who were his strongest drive to strike a comeback got so close to each other. Especially when one was for revenge and the other for love.

I also think it's because he knew CK being on such friendly terms with the King meant that it posed more danger for him, as right now he's probably unsure whether he can trust CK. Knowing her personality he knows he has to go to the extremes to get her to back off

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Thats true. CK can inadvertently get him in trouble. He doesnt trust her and from what he saw came to the conclusion that CK is very chummy with his brother.

And trouble is brewing based on the trailer for the next episode

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To be fair he used to be an ass to her in the King's chamber too before it dawned on her that he did just that for her to put the blame on him and thus save her and her family from the trap when they were still teenagers. I personally find it necessary for the story to make him do just that again (partly out of jealousy too) because it is what gives Chae-kyung the final clue to detect and blow up his noble idiocy. And I love her for that.

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Yup that scene. CK can be relentless and poor Nak Cheon wont be able to push her away.

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Haha. I admit, I made this exact distinction and hope it's a sign that his attempts to push her away in the future will be entirely without success! No more noble idiocy for him, now that it's in her character description for him, lol!

And this means we can get back the begrudgingly sweet guy that exists underneath the harsh exterior soon, right? Heh, I'm hoping since this drama moves so fast, Chae-kyung will get to see more genuine glimpses of him soon.

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I can't wait for him to be sweet to her again. I miss their interactions as they were younger so much. These two make up very quickly so here's hoping they will get a less bumpy road in the future (but who am I to go against the might and will of Yeonsangun when he's set for destruction? 😱😱😱), because we'll heading toward tragedy anyway. A little sunshine please?

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That's one of the main reasons I keep watching this drama. Everything is to the point and they don't drag out parts. I agree with you fully with the way he treats Chae Kyung. He's so rude to her and there are misunderstandings after misunderstandings that don't make it any better...

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Those misunderstanding will just make this show all the more interesting. As they sort out the truth from the lies.

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I mean it makes sense. I would be rude to her too. He took the punishment and nearly died for her, and in his mind the king tried to kill him. And even tho we know that's not the case, the king still banished him. Chae Kyeong knows ALL of this, but still decides to be all friendly with the king. There's probably two things going on in his head. 1. He gave his life for her, and she's getting all chummy with his known killer (ouch, talk about betrayal) and 2. He did EVERYTHING in his power to get the king to be good and love him, yet the king still tried to kill him on multiple occasions, Chae Kyeong is says a few nice words and all of the sudden, he's a good and sage king.
On top of all this he still has feelings for her, and probably hates himself for that. Yah I'd be rude too.

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So true. I think the smartest one of them all is Chief Secretary Im who could recognize Yeok from a portrait drawing which barely look like him. LOL.

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The funniest part was how deadpan serious Secretary Im looked when he was comparing the paintings off Yeok and the former King (which don't resemble each other at all)... Which made it all the more ridiculous / hilarious...

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Well, to be fair, Yeok and The Former King do resemblance each other in those paintings... (even though not so much in real life... :P)

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yes in the paintings they do look alike. they just draw the "bigger eye"(I don't mean it in a bad way, I know maybe it's a minor condition in the actor's eye, don't mena it in a rude way), but those paintings look alike.

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Those little unspoken interactions between them? Like his little nod as though to say "yes, it's me. I'm alright, mom" and the way she dragged her feet when she was walking away like she was fighting tooth and nail against the urge to run to her baby boy and hug him to death

That scene was so powerful.

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I agree. I don't feel for her as a possible villain, but I do feel for her as a mother pining for her son.

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Help! Here comes the recap and I haven't watch this episode yet 😭

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I feel you. 😭

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LOL, it's such a struggle. I'll probably be on this recap all week ,though, to help me survive the wait!

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If only Seven Days Queen also airs Seven Days a week!

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It seems only fair with that name! Lol, I feel cheated...

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so true.... it's really hard to wait for Wednesday to come.

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Six days is too long for my endurance T.TTT

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ohhh, like other crack dramas, i just spend the week rewatching all of the episodes over again...
; )

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The part when Park Min Young was sitting in front of the grave, choking on the food and holding back her tears... I wanted to cry along with her! She's such a good and natural actress whom I've grown to like more and more over the years... And I also like how she exudes elegance and class... but still possess the friendly and approachable image...

This show moves at such a breakneck speed. I never expected Chae-Kyung to be able to confirm on Yeok's identity this episode... but she did at the ending... And its so amazing how I get sucked into the story every single episode! Yeon Woo-jin is so so so handsome... Though his all-too-pearlie-white-teeth are a little distracting from his tan face... Haha

Sigh... Another week of miserable wait again...

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IMHO she is at her best in this drama. I have grown to love her more more as the drama progresses

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Yeah, she really shined this episode and showed her range. It's small, but I love that moment when he looks down at her right at the end (after she catches him) and her face & eyes just instantly lit up. It's an incredibly endearing little look, considering all the pain he put her through this episode, and so in-tune with Chae-kyung's character.

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She fits in sageuk so beautifully.

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Yep... his teeth are brighter than my future

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Hahaha that's funny!!

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I was laughing so hard hahahaha

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Omg! I just can't. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

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I am awed by the director and the writer balancing and mixing sadness and comedy sometime all in one scene, and that Park Min-young, Yeon Woo-jin, and Lee Don-gun shift between emotions so effortlessly. It is just such a delight when all elements of the show converge so harmoniously painting such a rich and nuanced world.

Oh the anticipation! Oh the wait!

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No lie; I keep forgetting to breathe while I'm watching this show. How on earth is my heart going to take it when it gets really tragic? I want to be intellectual about it but the truth is that I love both Yeonsangun and Yeok and I sway toward each when they're onscreen. I love that so far everything, even the smaller moments, has emotional resonance and warmth. But *wow* is it going to make this harder to watch as the episodes get darker...

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Right? I couldn't breathe as I watched too! I was like wheezing.

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the feeling is mutual here

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Haha, seriously, though. Whether heart-fluttering or heart-wrenching, it's always hard to breath!

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This show urghh. It's hitting ALL the right notes for me and now im just like can I have all the episodes already pls?? That preview tho

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I'm seriously willing to pay to watch the next episode now.

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Hahahaha. I feel you

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I know how you feel

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SAMEEE

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Yessss. I'm also willing to pay people in Korea to watch this, just so it can get all the ratings and popularity it deserves! Lol, seriously though. I'd do that. I promise my priorities are completely in place, hehehe...

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so Yi Yeok is sort of Hong Gil Dong and the gangs?

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It would seem so. Personally I'm seeing this drama as complementary to Rebel, so I'm slightly offended on Hong Gil Dong's behalf that Yeok is taking over his protection of the people :P

Being serious now, Yeok is handing out rice as part of his long-term plan to gain the power. Gil Dong was a tad slow when it came to romancing Ga Ryung, but I now appreciate his disinterested fight for the people. Yeok has become cunning and ruthless (yes, I know he's a suffering marshmallow inside too) but he's not above manipulating the people to get the throne. I should probably lower my ethical (?) expectations of Yeok and take this story more as a game of chess where no one is the real hero and characters are deeply flawed. Except Chae-Kyung. She's awesome.

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this drama was perfect, i watch this 1st than Ruler, ruler seems become boring to me idek why ;/

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I'm feeling the same way. For me, it's because for this drama there aren't many or any plot holes and everything is to the point. While in Ruler, they drag out parts over the course of multiple episodes and there are many plot holes. 7DQ is amazing and I love the story because of the emotion with each episode.

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plus in Ruler, they more focus in every characters, and Yeah i agreed, there has a lot drag scenes.

compare to SDQ which they more focus on the main OTP. (Yet im not ready for the 'storm' in the upcoming eps next week) ;(

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Oh how I love this episode! The angst of everyone ~ whew! Im so emotionally invested in this already! 5 years seemed to be a short time for me but boy, look atdem unlocking those emotions, the hurt and even the love they've had before. Gah. Cant wait for tonight's episode!

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Oh my!! Now this has just the right amount of tension and mix as I am hoping for. Honestly, this is the best that I have seen of LDG. He is just the right amount of capitivating, evil, awful with a hint was a desire to be better. I like the part where he made the ministers buy the paintings. I thought that was clever and I like it when a king can outwit his ministers in at least one or two things. I have seen too many weak kings.

This drama really had me at YWJ since I rather liked him in all his other dramas and will pretty much watch everything his is in, at least casually. But it's LDG's acting and the way that the story has unfolded that is keeping me in. I just felt like LDG is a match for YWJ, which really ups the stakes for me. I know history and I know that yeonsangun is the worst tryant in joseon history so I can't root for him. But there is a part of me that enjoys their easy interactions with each other, especially the cross dressing.

I do feel like the Prince hasn't changed much at all. He was always harsh towards her and would also be purposely harsh towards when it was necessary to protect her. As adults, it's the same way too. First loves is of course my biggest catnip apart from secret relationship. So the more the Princes holds onto her, the more I will love it. LOL Too bad they can't have a cute secret relationship on the side just to satisfy my catnip and fulfill all the cliches out there.

PMY has good chemistry will both but dare I say, she has almost better chemi w/the king than the prince. Goodness, the title says it all... it's going to be tragic.

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*I mean sell the paintings, not buy.

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I love this drama so much with it's romantic, fun side and all the emotions that are encased in the hour episodes. I don't want this drama to get close to the end because I know that I'm never going to stop crying and it's going to be really harsh because I'm already bawling from the moments that have already happened...

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It was hard for me to watch him in this drama. If the drama is full fiction, I may freely root for him and his good will to be the sage king instead, but since it's partly historical, and YSG is depicted as a tyrant amongst tyrant, pfffftttt....I am so in trouble. But, as @javabeans said, YSG's feelings towards CK (and his brother) is complex. He cares for her, but perhaps not in romantic way that we have in mind. He might thought of her as his good conscience rather than his love interest.

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Yeah, after seeing so many weak kings, I can't help but cheer when Yeonsangun maneuvers his useless politicians into doing what he wants. There's a nagging worry in the back of my mind about such strategies though, since he is in effect threatening to make the greedy ministers contribute for a good cause. Or maybe it's the sadistic voice and smirk.

*sigh* Yeonsangun is clearly no saint, but is it strange that I am more scared of him failing at his attempt to be good than just seeing him go down the normal villainy path?

Like javabeans says, the show is ahead of us, which feels great: Chae Kyung hanging out with gisaengs in boy garb, dressing as a gisaeng herself (Sungkyunkwan Scandal feels!!), Yeok's road of revenge, and Yeonsangun's fragile attempts at being a wise king. I'm holding my breath. I don't really care about the secondary characters, but these three will make my heart bleed.

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I love Chae-kyung, I love this type of character and I'm glad she's our leading lady otherwise I couldn't stand these two brothers who love each other get apart for a girl, well politics but the girl was the catalyst.
My heart aches for Yeok and Yeonsangun.

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I loved her character from the moment we got introduced to her. Her innocence is what I love most about her. I ship her mainly with Yeok but her moments with Yeonsangun get to me and the way she makes him light up is so cute and nice to watch.

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Here is a rare instance in dramas that I can wholeheartedly understand why two leads will fight to their death to win the girl! Chae-kyung is one of the most awesome heroines in Dramaland. She has spunk, determination, intelligence, and wit. She is honest and not afraid to voice her opinions. It is wonderful to see the continuity of her personality carrying through from childhood.

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Ahhhh I've watched this raw earlier because I couldn't stop myself. I literally had to pause many times because I was running out of breath. For real. My mom thinks I'm crazy but I'm just THIS passionate with my dramas.

I love that the chemistry between the leads is off the charts although I know that would break me by the end of the show. It makes me care and feel the longing they have for each other. But then, I also feel for Yeonsangun. He is evil in many ways but I still feel bad for him and what we've been through. It's too bad the one person who can bring out the best in him can also make him unleash more of his evil side.

Drama, please stay awesome! I loved Joseon Gunman too but it fizzled down towards the end. I wish SDQ will keep it up. Now, the wait begins.

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*what he's been through

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I love most of the characters oh so much because of their backgrounds. Their pasts have shaped them into who they currently are but with the whole time skip they haven't changed. Just their motives and goals have.

The whole love triangle isn't really love-based at all. Like you said, the leads are amazing together and that's fine. But, Chae-Kyung's relationship with Yeonsangun is more of a sibling one, at least that's the most that I'm going to bring it up as.

As much as I want to see how their story progresses, the ending is going to be the end of me and I'm not going to stop bawling....

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I love the casts and characters so much!! I hope more people will watch it!

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This drama is playing around with my heart too much. One moment I am so happy for all the adorable acts of our OTP and the next moment my heart is breaking all over their angst! And I must really be a masochist to love it all the more :D

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This drama has more emotions packed in hour episodes that I do on a daily basis XD

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*than

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I don't think Yeonsangun ordered Yeok's death, all evidence point to Nok Soo and the minister acting on their own. However that doesn't mean that Yeonsangun will welcome Yeok back with open arms, their relationship has soured too much for that.

While part of me enjoys Chae Kyung's shenanigans its cute and funny and all, another part of me recognizes that her stubbornness, audaciousness, and openness could compromise Yeok's safety. While I understand why she's so effusively wanting Yeok's to acknowledge that he's the Grand Prince, I can't help thinking that someone more circumspect or politically savvy might realize that there must be a reason why he's keeping his identity secret and keep things a tad quiet. I mean, hasn't she learned anything from the past events that led to the Grand Prince's banishment from the palace, that she should interfere in matters with care? But she throws herself headlong into things without thinking of the consequences. It's why she's lovable, but it is also dangerous and in the palace, such an attitude could even be fatal.

Btw, how realistic is it, for a daughter from a noble family to walk alone on the streets late at night without a chaperone or body guard?

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My issue is how oblivious Chae Kyung is about the kind of man Yeonsangun is. She must have attributed all of his actions in the saga which led to Yeok's banishment as a judgement from a righteous ruler. Indeed the act itself was grave enough but she inferred nothing from it.

Could her being raised in the rural outskirts and being sheltered from all politics by her parents be the reason for her lack of awareness?

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I do think she knows Yeonsangun is a volatile ruler, but she's sympathetic to him because she knows first-hand how lonely he is. She encouraged him last episode to be a wise king so she knows he has his shortcomings.

It also helps that her family is closely allied to Yeonsangun. Whatever negative rumblings she may have heard about him from the common folk would have been filtered. And I'm sure a village as secluded as Geochang seems to be isn't that concerned with the larger world.

So far, she seems to be keeping the Yeok/Nak-chun thing a secret. She only told Yeonsangun because she trusts his love for his brother. It's a gross miscalculation on her part, of course, but she feels a sense of kinship with him because she believes that he loves Yeok deeply and would never hurt him.

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To add to this, she only told Yeonsangun after she "confirmed" that Nak-chun isn't Yeok. She still should've been more careful with Yeonsangun, but I understand why she felt she could share the info with him.

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I don't have issue with her telling Yeonsangun if in the first place she has no idea of the animosity between the brothers. As it is, she might even think the King would be so delighted that his beloved brother isn't dead after all.

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Chae-kyung's parents also have kept the ominous prediction about her future secret. It was a heartbreaking scene when Chae-kyung's father explained the political machination to her on the day of Yeok's banishment but she was able to understand. I hope her father would be able to guide her to thwart off the schemes coming their way.....but knowing how the history unfolds....sob.....

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Chae-kyung's ignorance of the palace politics will lead to all their sufferings! I just wish his father educate her more. Ever since she met the prince, she made things difficult for him. Now its happening all over again.

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As for your last question, I'm not really sure but I don't think it's realistic. From several historical dramas I've watched a noble lady is almost always accompanied by her personal maid or nanny. I can recall Princess's Man, Moon-Sun and Arang off the top of my head. I think we've got to live with the show's setting that Chae-kyung has the habit of sneaking out without the knowledge of her nanny or parents. Nanny doesn't seem to be very effective when it comes to keeping a close eye on the girl's whereabouts either 😆

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Thank you. That's what I thought. Realistically, as an unmarried noble lady, my guess is that the family would take care to protect her from danger in form of sexual assault, or being mugged by siccing her with a bodyguard or a maid.

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I think @kiara mentioned somewhere that noble ladies back in the day would carry with them a small dagger for defensive purposes and might even resort to committing suicide to protect their dignity. I think noble ladies in my country in the old days did similar things. Only they used their hairpin rather than a dagger. Anyway a company of a personal maid or nanny would make sense for a lady of noble birth in some historical East or South-East Asian countries. Due to the not-mixing gender rules most likely a noble/ rich girl would be accompanied by a female servant, and a noble/ rich boy would have a male servant to follow him around.

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I really love the build up of tension in this episode... makes me want for Wednesday to come soon. I also love how the story flows.... everything was just at the right pace. No drag, no unnecessary or repetitive scenes just to make the episode longer than should be, which I find insulting to my intelligence. Even the flashback scenes was rightfully injected. I am totally hooked. Well done 7DQ

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Although perhaps we can all agree that repetition of skinship is does not slow down the pacing but rather serve a narrative purpose as Javabeans points out that the "collision of physicality could prompt a collision of memories." :)

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well said

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Thanks for the recap, JB!

This drama continues to get better and better! It just knows exactly how to melt my heart with sweetness before twisting everything in a moment. And the pain is akin to an ice cold dagger to the feels! This is only the beginning!?

And, really, Yeok is to thank for all the heart-twisting this episode! As much as it hurts, the conflict is so delicious I can't help but relish every moment. What I found so interesting and complex about his character this episode is that, even though a part of him made the decision to push her away because of his need to protect his identity, a part of him admitted that he enjoyed bothering her because of how betrayed he felt. Obviously, he didn't TRULY enjoy it, but a part of him genuinely wanted to inflict pain on her this time and that is so sad. I enjoy that complexity though and how even he has the self-awareness to admit that weak, disappointing part of his motivation.

Who knows how cruel he would have been if the misunderstanding about Chae-kyung marrying the King hadn't happened. I have a feeling their walk down memory lane could have broken him, but it's possible he would have still felt the need to treat her this way regardless.

Unfortunately, it would have been safer to bring her into his confidence so she would take care not to mention him at all, but his harsh behavior made her vulnerable and had the opposite effect. Of course, this is something that can't be helped when he thinks she's so entwined with his brother-turned-enemy. But now our pair are already going to face so much strife before they even get together!

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I also adore this part when one part of the OTP is trying to uncover the other's identity. This is really the best way to do reunited lovers, which can be pretty hit-or-miss when involving just your average breakup. But the epic stakes to these sorts of doomed romances! It just can't be beat.

I love how his noble sacrifice from years ago was able to help her see through his cruel behavior now. How novel is it that the act designed to push HER away, ended up giving HIM away ultimately?

I also love how quickly she was able to take advantage of his slip-ups as soon as his guard was down. She got all the definitive, little signs she needed. There's no turning back now! Her heart already knows. It just shows how well you know the one you love, no matter how the years pass :)

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YES to everything you said! Gosh I've got so much pain from Yeok's harsh words. It almost feels like we were in Chae-Kyung's shoes for a moment.

As for Yeok and Yeonsangun, we've got bromance, and now it looks like brenemy is looming upon us.

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Park Min Young you slay!

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I couldn't agree with you more! Oh my! She is a joy to watch!!!
Keep it up PMY! ❤️

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Gahh this trope is so commonly used but for some reason this drama is really tugging at the heart strings! I just felt all the emotions so deeply, in no small part due to Park Min Young. I'm not a huge fan of hers so was hesitant to start this show, but she is knocking it out of the park.

Can't believe I'm wishing for it to be Thursday again instead of Friday so I can watch another episode!

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There are very few dramas that make me wish it was next week so new episodes can be released and this is one of them. I absolutely love everything about this drama!

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I am loving 7DQ so much that I want this to be a 50-episode saguek, but then I am not sure if I can manage all the angst for 6 months! Is this the eternal dilemma of a true fan?

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I admittedly find this episode not as strong as the other five, and that they linger on the gisaeng antics a little too long for my liking. However, I must say the ending was the real highlight for me, and gave me reason to look forward to the next part of the journey.

I can sort of understand Yeok's reason to be so harsh to Chae-Kyung. It's in part his jealousy, because he keeps finding the connection between the King's out-of-character behaviour and Chae-Kyung's influence. At certain times it might feel too much, but then I remember that he used to be an ass to her too, in the life-threatening situation in the past that eventually tore them apart. I like that the show plays with this side of him and make it peculiar to him, so much that Chae-kyung now is able to recognise it and puts all the pieces together herself and detects his noble idiocy. I love it that she trusts her gut instinct and is persistent about uncovering the truth. The ending scene where she tests him and finally breaks his facades offers a lot of satisfaction. It shows how much she understands him no matter what appearance or attitude he wears on himself. This is what makes the bond between them strong and that hardly anyone else can come between them.

Just go home Myung-Hee, it's going to be PG-rated and bound to break your heart into millions pieces. You need parental guidance before diving headlong in.

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I love everything you said! Yeok's noble idiocy feels more noble than idiotic since it stems from a real need to protect himself and others around him.

Your sentiment toward Myung-hee is reflected by one of the best lines in Javabeans' recap: "I don’t care about her so whatever."

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Lol I guess I'll have to learn to live with her being around and forcing her way into Chae-kyung and Yeok's story from now on. Oh well just when I think I can sympathise with her she has to declare intervention into Yeok's way of doing things 😅

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This is why I'm so glad @javabeans and @girlfriday are doing recaps. Thank you ladies!

By the way, I thought Myung Hee was related to the doctor who 'operated' on Yeok, but then she turned out to be a minister's niece who runs an undercover business scheme. What?? Actually, I shouldn't bother making sense of this. #noonecaresaboutMyungHee

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Yes, I'm still wondering about that too. Not sure if the show would care to explain later, but I hope they do.

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Maybe the old doctor who she referred to as grandpa isn't really blood related?

I don't like Myung Hee but I do care about the character in that she is more than the typical jealous 2nd lead and actually plays a part in the story.

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AAAAAAHHHH! So mean! So hot! So mean! ㅠㅠ

(but so hot)

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I know... I'm confused as well... I mean, this drama even makes me swoon over the worst tyrant in Joseon history!

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Yaaaassss! I hate jerks, but I love them. Jerks are the worst, but cannot stop thinking about them.

Oy vey, the ultimate bad boy conundrum (curse myself)

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Omg I am loving this drama more and more each week! I honestly got Joseon Gunman vibes from this drama too: heroine sees the dude who looked like her first love etc. I just need Yeok to admit that he is indeed the prince and unite with Chaekyung. So much heartbreak already and this is only episode 6.

I find Myung Hye to be petty and possessive, just because she saved the prince's life now he belongs to her... riiiiight. I can totally see her plotting to dethrone Chaekyung and then put herself on the throne to be queen (which she eventually does become the 2nd queen until she dies during childbirth...)

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What!!? Oh noes, I've been spoiled historically. I guess she'll be hanging around... And here I was hoping she would fall off Cliff of Doom.

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Cliff of Doom is the arch enemy of Truck of Doom. The latter takes your life, the former grants you longevity (with perhaps some minor physical wounds and temporary unconsciousness as a side effect :P).

Shall we send a Truck of Doom back to Joseon? Lol.

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No one dies after jumping off the Cliff of Doom though. Despite stab wounds, arrows bristling like quills, a plunge never seems to do the jumpers in. Often, they're "reborn" down river and miraculously make a come back .

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Who is Myung-hee, btw? I mean... did she actually exist in history? Or is she just a fictional character? She's not going to be the queen who'll replace Chae-kyung after her dethronement, right? I don't think I can handle it if this is the case T_T

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There was indeed a Yoon lady the last time I looked up her name, but I don't know whether her maiden name is Myung-Hee. If this drama stays true to history, we're all doomed for heartbreak T.T

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In dramawiki, she is supposed to be Queen Janggyeong who became Queen a year after Queen Dangyeong was deposed.

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She was known as Lady Yoon before she became Queen Janggyeon.
She was raised by her uncle, Park which means that her parents passed away when she was young.
She was also Yeok's concubine before Park pressured him to dethrone Dangyeong and crowned her as his next queen.
She died after giving birth to Yeok's heir. That's why her reign as queen was short.

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Can I ask you if this love story between king and his deposed queen is all based on folklore? Just curious.

Anyway, I accept that all these love stories in saeguk are fictionalized and romanticized. Kings and noblemen have concubines, it was never one woman one love. Something which we in this generation and culture find it hard to understand.

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Dangyeong was known as Jungjong beloved queen. So he did love her.

The details of their relationship would not be written in the official historical record.
The historiographers only focus on the details about king, politics etc.
That's why she was briefly mentioned as Jungjong's beloved.

They were married young (in their early teens) and lived outside of the palace because Yeok was not the crown prince but Yeonsangun's oldest son.

I guess it was well known among the common people for their story to be told in a form of a folk tale for generations.

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I'm waiting for her to become the next Queen if they follow the history. I don't know how manipulative /evil she can be, but her character is kinda intriguing and I'm up for it.

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I think her character is written as being forceful as an indication that Yeok was forced to take her as his queen even though his love was always Chae-kyung whether she was with him or not.

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Yes. I thought the same as well. Somehow I like the actress and curious to see more of her. Hopefully she is not just being so forceful/ clingy,& full of jealousy and in the future can help Yeok in some ways, in which Chae Kyung isn't able to.

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Thanks, guys. I dug up the part about her becoming the second queen after Dangyeong was deposed, but last time there was a beanie who was upset at someone spilling the beans of history so I was not sure whether or not to post the details here XD.

King Jungjong sure had a very rocky marital life. Not sure if any of his women had any part to play in the political fight, but it looks like they were more pawns in the power play between the different clans.

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Understandable but if someone was asking a question about the history then the answer should be about the history.

By now we should all know that the details is fictionalized. It's a love story between a king and his queen but history doesn't provide details of how they come to love each other.

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SPOILER ALERT!
She exists, her royalty name is Queen Janggyeong. Unfortunately yes, she'll be the successor of Queen Dangyeong who is our seven day queen. Interesting fact is according to history, Queen Janggyeong died really young at 23 years of age because of postnatal disease.

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From what I read, the next queen after Chae-kyung was Park Won-jong's niece and in this drama, Myung-hee is that niece. I hope they won't follow the history closely because we won't survive the heartbreak that's bound to happen if they do that :(

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They kind of have to because she is the mother of the next king after Yeok ( Injong ) unless they pull a Moonlight and totally ignore it.

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T_T

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I feel like this drama would follow history.... sadly :(

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Yes, even though I'll be in a complete mess in the end of this show, I prefer them following history in this matter. I'm fine with fictionalized historical drama, but just don't change anything regarding birth, death, and marriage of historical figures. That's just too much.

BTW, thanks to all beanies who took time to answer my question!

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If it's any consolation, I've read somewhere that it was King Injong (Jungjong and Janggyeong's son) who helped Dangyeong during the later years so that she can live well (but then again, his reign was really really short, and it was rumoured to have been poisoned under the orders of Jungjong's third wife, the infamous Queen Munjeong—but that's another story).

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Yup, many believed King Injong was poisoned by his step mother Queen Munjeong so her own son could become the king. Apparently she offered him some dessert and he ate it without a doubt and after that he fell ill. Man Yeok and his wives.

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Yes, it looks like true since there are 2 queens after Dangyeong which are coming from maternal clan. We all know the sad ending for this drama but I'm not ready yet ( for now 😂).

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I'd like to think that Yeok was able to sneak out of the palace to visit her.
If he was able to see her skirt from the palace (according to the folklore) then she wasn't so far away.

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Hahaha...that's a good one! I remember this typical plothole of distance in final showdown between Yeonsangun and Gil Dong in Rebel.

But Queen Dangyeong died childless or was there a secret child at large?

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"plothole of distance.." Yes lol.
History goes with geography for me so when I watch a sageuk I have the map of the whole country in my head. It's pretty crazy but I like following the characters around and where they go in the story.

Sadly Dangyeong didn't have any children.
Once you are the king's woman you are his for life. No chance of remarrying.

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I don't mean she remarried. I was just wondering because you said Yeok might have been able to sneak out to visit her. Surely, they didn't spend those times playing baduk?

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That's all me trying to find a way for them to keep in contact lol.

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Myung-hye is Yeok's 2nd queen, from the famous Papyeong Yoon clan (they birthed a lot of queens in Joseon) not sure if that's really her real name in history though. I feel like a lot of period dramas they make up their given names, but that's ok lol. Don't worry she won't live long, she gave birth to King Injong and dies.

Just realized that Yeok is kind of related to his 2nd and 3rd wife. Yeok's grandma, mother, 2nd and 3rd queen all came from the Papyeong Yoon clan.

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..freely admits that he’s handsome, and that she likes his voice and gaze..

You and me, both, dear... I love his handsome face, voice and gaze too... *sighs*

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Hahaha. She was so charming there. I adore how forward she is!

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She's indeed charming and bold. And still in love with her prince. *sigh* Such love they have...

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That scene at the grave was painfully beautiful <3 I hate and love Yeok at the same time in that scene. More episode like this please!

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I have a few questions:
1. Did the young Chae Kyung have any inkling of the tension/relationship between the two brothers?
I have this feeling that she didn't. Otherwise she wouldn't have been this friendly with Yeonsangun, right?
2. This is about 2 years before Yeonsangun's reign comes to an end. I'd thought his tyranny would be full blown by now. I am wondering why Chae Kyung hasn't heard of this yet?
3. If Myung Hye is the 2nd queen of the future King, I wonder how is it plausible that a noble lady of her background freely engages in these underground activities.

I kinda understand why Yeok is so harsh on Chae Kyung. Isn't it because he thinks she's married to the King? Perhaps it didn't occur to him that she couldn't possibly be officially married because otherwise she would be living in the palace instead of roaming outside. Or was it common in those days for kings to have 'wives' outside the palace? Whatever it is, he thinks Chae Kyung is the King's woman.

Who knows how much he had been thinking of her all these 5 years and she being one of the primary reasons that kept him going. So can you imagine how devastating their first reunion encounter was to him? To find out that his love became his arch enemy's woman. The betrayal must have stung so much. Regardless of what the answer to my first question is, Yeok must be totally conflicted.

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3. I think it'd make much more sense if they move the scheming to the court, as Yeok would have more support there judging from his Queen mother's connection. Yet that would make it hard for the romance to develop because Chae-Kyung wouldn't have easy access to the palace, and Yeok's mother would certainly make sure that she won't see him. Which leaves me wondering: how did these two end up being together in real history and her becoming his queen no less since her father was against their marriage?

2. I guess the show intentionally delay his madness to build it upon rivalry in power and in love. Right now the writer wants us to believe that Yeonsangun still has some humanity and sanity inside of him. Judging from next week's preview I'm sensing a volcano erupting soon T.T Just wondering how they will build up upon that, since I do feel like the conflict within Yeonsangun himself has quieted down a bit in these two episodes. I must say I like the depiction of his temperament better in the first four episodes.

1. I'm rewatching ep 1-4 to see if the issue between both brothers have been brought up. Looks like both confided something to Chae-kyung, but neither of them seemed to be specific as to which brother they've been referring to. It doesn't help that the last time Chae-kyung saw Yeonsangun after Yeok's supposed death in the prince's chamber he showed deep grievance, which I think misled her to believe that Yeonsangun was still fond of Yeok, plus she was too young back then to fully grasp the idea that Yeok posed a threat to Yeonsangun's throne and was his greatest threat and rival.

I really hope the show would go back to its original track for the first 5 episode because that's what I love most about the show.

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3. I would love if there's more information I can get my hands to with regards to this couple. It seems like little was written and their love was told in folklore more than history. As for Myung Hye, I think she will be doing the political scheming soon enough once she knows other ways are futile.
2. I don't mind that Yeonsangun has quieter or saner periods. Perhaps it explains why he wasn't removed earlier? I just need to find that timeline of his bloody purges and acts of monstrosities.
1. Thank you for your answer. I remembered vaguely too but have no time to check.

What is this original track you are referring to? I find myself not very attentive whenever a drama focus a lot on romance. I need a balance. It's the same reason why I liked Moonlight less once the couple got hooked up. I am one of the few who prefer to watch couples bantering than kissing and moony eyed.

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The Second Literati Purge should happen soon in the show, since it happened in 1504 and it's that year in the show now.

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Ah, my bad, I wasn't clear enough. By original track I meant exploring more on the conflict within Yeonsangun and between him and other characters. They touched upon that in this episode since he's now aware of Nak-chun's existence and his uncanny resemblance to the late prince, and I hope we'll see more of that in later episodes. I would also hope that the issue of the priest's prediction would be brought up again soon and that Chae-Kyung will discover for herself what it really means and the real reason why her parents have kept her confined and away from the capital and oblivious to politics all this time.

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That's what I thought at first too, maybe Yeok thinks Chaekyung is just the king's woman and not officially married. But then in ep 3 before he kissed her she said she's a married woman which got me confused. Didn't he see her hair isn't pinned up like a married woman would? I hope someone next week explains to Yeok what the heck is going on

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I watched ep 3 again and during the scene where they sat in the hut waiting out the rain, Yeok did confide in CK about his relationship with the King, though he only said that it would hurt his pride and make him look bad if he accepted the King's order of marriage. I don't think she's fully aware of the deep-rooted love-hate relationship between the brothers and especially from Yeonsangun considering the last impression she had of him was his quiet sorrow while visiting Yeok's chamber after sending him to exile. So yeah, I think she's pretty been left out of the issue and will only catch wind of that later (erm, soon-ish, if what we see in the preview is happening next episode 😛).

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🎵Reunited and it feels so good...🎶 *squees*

Too bad Yeok didn't get to see Chae-kyung-the-nobleman chatting up the gisaengs for tips on how to be more alluring-- he would've gotten such a kick out of it. I love that Chae-kyung's plucky and resourceful, but also a bit of a goofball. I got extra enjoyment mileage out of that scene because it felt like Sungkyunkwan Scandal's Yoon-hee was making a cameo.

Lol@ JB's dissing of Myung-hye: "So does Myung-hye, but I don’t care about her so whatever."

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Is it just me or Park Min Young in that screenshot at the top of the page looks so much like Chae Soo Bin?

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I love love love this drama that it's affecting my job lol. I can't focus at work cause what I think about is to go back home and watch the subbed episode (I watched the raw episode at 2 in the morning that I woke up late today and was late for work lol) but idk. This drama is making feel stuff. The acting, writing, directing, plot, pace all are perfect in my opinion, and I haven't felt this way for a drama for quite some time. It's like the princess' man all over again for me.

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And the music!!! I'm pretty much loving the ost that goes along with those scenes.

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That English song has grown on me a lot.

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omg dont even let me start about the music! listening to love again by dear cloud can make me cry buckets! so goood!

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Queen Dangyeong after she was deposed.

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I was looking forward to this drama for the tragic romance, but so far, it has been the same old rehashed tropes. Chae Kyung, while she has some spirit in her, is the typical "my life revolves around my love" type. She does not have any other arc besides pining for her lost lover or much sense for that matter.Even if he treats her really harshly, she runs to him as though that is all that is to her life. She does not follow politics though she is deeply embroiled in it and her father is a Minister. It is just too much of a bright and clueless character for my liking. For a woman who is supposed to become the titular queen of seven days and will be embroiled in court politics, I find her really lacking. I can see why she fell victim to the court ploys as she is so naive. I don't find such typical characters written for women attractive as though having a deep love for her lover makes up for all the lack of characterization. Have seen so many sageuks like these before, so don't have the patience any more.

Yeok's character is yet another "loves her, but is harsh to her for her and his good" kind that abounds in kdramas, both in sageuks and modern dramas. When it is a male character, there can be a hundred reasons why he is so tormented and everybody is quick to defend the unnecessary pain he gives the girl. I had some sympathy for the first kdrama male lead I met like him, but down the years, I have become disgusted with such characterization. If you have a reason why you can't reveal your identity to your ex-lover who has been pining for you, just stay away from her. Don't kiss her and then make her feel really bad for it. He knows how his brother is, so don't buy the whole "he really thought she was his brother's woman" trope. If he wanted to, he could have made enquiries or asked her point blank about her relationship with his brother. Don't do the kiss, then the huff and puff and pointless torture of somebody else if you are so tormented. If you are not that level-headed when it comes to her, stay away and make up your mind. Tell her like a gentleman and then move on. I like passionate relationships in a drama, but when they are emotionally abusive like what I see with Chae Kyung and Yeok, I draw a line. There is every chance he will do the same "I am not who you think I am. Stay away from me, but yes, I will try to make you squirm with my antics" thing again. I did not enjoy the forced kiss at all. She clearly was uncomfortable and felt angry with him later. Physical intimacy is fine if you both are ready for it, not when someone is unwilling. Again, they have both changed over the years, so he has no right to force kiss her before knowing what kind of a girl she has become. It is rather juvenile to have your male character force kiss the girl who was pining for him just to punish her as he thought she was with his brother.I wonder when these tropes will change in kdramas.

The only arc of Chae Kyung I like is her...

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friendship with the King. She seems to have something more to do there and has some character. He is really manipulative of others, so don't know how long it will last. But among all the three, I like the King's character better since his villainy is there visible to everyone. He is promoted as a grey-shaded character, so that is still fine.

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I will agree that Chae Kyung as of now is very politically unaware, however, I don't think she is the typical 'my life revolves around my love' type.

In the first place, I doubt women in that era do anything much. They are brought up to be filial daughters, virtuous wives and honorable mothers. I've already voiced my suspension of belief that women like Myung Hye and Chae Kyung could be running outside their homes doing what they do. Recognizing that dramas need to take liberties in this aspect, what I demand is consistency in character and I must say SDQ delivers in this aspect.

About Yeok, I never thought his anger or pushing her away is because he wanted to keep his distance for her good. I think he did all those nasty acts because he was angry, felt betrayed and also to avoid being recognized. I don't see any noble idiocy. You can say his head is telling him to get rid of her at once and his heart raw with hurt but it won't be easy as we can see.
I never saw anything romantic in that kiss, it was a forced one, plain and simple. That's why I find kissing so overrated in kdramas. Seldom are they done right. I hope the PD didn't intend this to be romantic at all. Rather it was a display of Yeok being a jerk to force himself on her no matter how he felt justified in his anger and misunderstanding.

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The kiss wasn't supposed to be romantic. Yeok even says himself when speaking to his friend that he did something he shouldn't have done.

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Agreed. Noble idiocy requires making a sacrifice in the name of protecting someone, no matter how idiotic or unnecessary that sacrifice is. Yeok in this situation isn't being mean to protect Chae-kyung. He's actively pushing her away because he's hurt and spiteful, and also because his cover is in danger.

Agreed that that kiss wasn't romantic at all, and I don't think it was supposed to be. Thank goodness Chae-kyung got in a kick before she ran away in a flurry of confused feelings.

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This episode makes me more attached and invested to this drama. I love the grave scene when Chae-kyung apologized and cried, and I cried too (hope I am not the only one who cried hard, kk).
And of course I love the last scene when Chae-kyung back-hugged and confirmed that Nak Chun is Yeok. It's like he couldn't deny it anymore cos Chae-kyung is being so sure.
Pls continue to be good, Show.
Javabeans thanks for the good recap.

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