Rating:
Average user rating 3.6
87

Ruler–Master of the Mask: Episodes 39-40 (Final)

Many lives have been sacrificed for our hero, but the burden only makes him stronger as he faces his final foe and overcomes the obstacles that come his way. Sun’s journey from masked prince to rightful king comes to an end, and though this may be where we leave our hero, Sun’s quest to become a true leader is only just beginning.

 
EPISODE 39 RECAP

Ga-eun and Woo Bo struggle to make the antidote for the poppy pill when a voice suddenly tells them to use the root of the flower. Hwa-goon’s father appears, much to their surprise—and even more astonishingly, he hands over the instructions for making the antidote.

Woo Bo reads the instructions and deems them to be real, but Ga-eun questions Hwa-goon’s father, confused as to why he would help them. He tells her that it’s none of her business since he made a deal with the king.

The chief of the Water Bureau addresses the water deliverers, telling them of Dae-mok’s persecution. He riles up the crowd, reminding them that Dae-mok gave them jobs while the king did nothing for them, and the water deliverers roar in agreement.

Adding fuel to the flames, the Water Bureau chief adds the fact that the Water Bureau will be disbanded, and the people worry about their livelihood. They ask the chief what they should do to survive, and he instructs them to protest at the palace gates.

Moo-ha reports to Sun about the protesting water deliverers and the false rumors Dae-mok has been spreading about Sun. Grimly, Sun recalls Dae-mok’s threat about the people turning on him. Though his advisors warn Sun to stop the brewing rebellion, Sun is sympathetic towards the protestors and understands the people’s worries.

In the courtyard, the ministers gossip about the rebellion and express their concern for the antidote—their anxiety increasing with every passing moment. Meanwhile, the chief state councilor informs Dae-mok that his message has been sent to the ministers, and Dae-mok confidently says that they’ll come crawling back to him. Then he’ll have the masses burn the palace and murder the king, which will be the perfect opportunity for him to recreate the world again.

Armed with new knowledge, Woo Bo begins to make the antidote and adds the final ingredient to the solution. As everyone waits with bated breath, the liquid turns white, and the group erupts in cheers.

Sun orders Moo-ha to use the peddlers to spread the truth about Dae-mok and Pyunsoohwe. He wants the water deliverers to know that they won’t be fired, and instead, will all be hired to work on restoring the palace walls. Suddenly, Woo Bo interrupts their meeting and shares the good news with them: They created the antidote.

Ga-eun presents the antidote to the sick, but an unforeseen obstacle appears: no one wants to take it. Despite Woo Bo’s arguments that he made the antidote, they all know Woo Bo received instructions from Hwa-goon’s father, and believe this is all a ploy by Dae-mok to kill them.

Woo Bo shares the discouraging news with Sun, telling him of the prisoners’ requests to go to Dae-mok. To make matters worse, the court officials gather at Sun’s door, and when Sun comes out to ask them what’s wrong, they beg him to send them to Dae-mok.

Moo-ha lashes out at them, disgusted by their display of cowardice and doubt, but Sun looks at them sorrowfully. He explains how he became king to save them, but if they don’t trust him and wish to find help elsewhere, he won’t stop them.

The ministers begin to stir, still distrusting the king, and Woo Bo calls them worthless fools. Despite the protests, the ministers shuffle out of the courtyard, choosing Dae-mok over Sun.

However, before they can leave, Ga-eun blocks their path and declares her intentions to make them believe. She holds out two poppy pills for all to see and then proceeds to swallow them. She topples over from the effects of the poison, and Sun rushes to her side.

Now that she’s poisoned, Ga-eun takes the antidote, but then faints. The ministers gasp, convinced now that the antidote was a fake, and Sun cradles Ga-eun in his arms as the court officials scramble passed him.

Checking her pulse, Woo Bo says that Ga-eun is still alive, and Moo-ha comes to report that all the prisoners have escaped, too. Chung-woon advises Sun to stop the ministers from leaving, but Sun refuses to block their path since he thinks it’s fine as long as Dae-mok saves them.

The court ministers march towards Dae-mok’s place, and Dae-mok waits for them outside, having already predicted this turn of events. He looks down at the ministers who have gathered and tells them that he can only save a few. Thus, the first to come and beg will get an antidote.

Dae-mok smiles smugly as he waits for the madness to ensue, but to his disbelief, the ministers only glare up at him. Dae-mok and his group finally notice that the ministers have no spots, and the truth dawns on them. Right then, a guard announces Sun’s presence, and the ministers part ways to allow their king to march forward.

Flashing back to the palace, we see that Sun did stop the ministers from leaving, but only to reveal Ga-eun, alive and cured. In the present, Sun informs Dae-mok that they made the antidote, which means he can no longer threaten people with the pill.

Despite his loss, Dae-mok refuses to admit defeat, saying that he’ll find another way—Pyunsoohwe won’t be uprooted by a light breeze. Sun says that a breeze becomes a typhoon, which will pull out Pyunsoohwe from its roots.

Dae-mok asks if Sun is ready for the final fight, but Sun says that he won’t shed any more blood. Stating Dae-mok’s crimes, Sun declares what Pyunsoohwe’s punishment will be, but he says that for those who surrender in the next hour, he will forgive them and spare their lives.

Sitting in his chair, Dae-mok realizes that all his plans have been thwarted, and only after fifteen minutes, a slew of his men escape and yield to Sun. By the halfway mark, the Water Bureau chief reports that nearly all the swordsmen left, and the chief state councilor suggests that they leave, too.

Once the hour is up, the guards out front all surrender, and Sun walks onto the grounds with ease. However, the Water Bureau chief remains loyal, and prepares to die protecting the man who allowed him to live like a human.

Both sides charge at each other, swords drawn, and Sun parries and strikes the enemies around him. In the midst of the battle, Chung-woon spots the chief, and then cuts him down in one stroke. The chief falls to the ground with a thud, signaling the end of the fight.

Sun approaches the main room where Dae-mok waits for him upon his throne. Standing in front of Dae-mok, Sun tells him to surrender. But with bloodshot eyes, Dae-mok laughs. He wonders if Sun is trying to save him, but Sun tells him that he’s only trying to keep faith: The one condition Hwa-goon’s father placed in exchange for the antidote was for Sun to spare his father’s life.

Though Sun can never forgive him, he acknowledges Dae-mok’s role in molding him to become a king who stands with his people. Dae-mok asks if he’s thanking him, but Sun explains that he’s apologizing since the nation and the king pushed him into the depths of despair, forcing him to become a monster to survive.

Dae-mok questions what Sun will do when the people are suffering, asking if he will spew about morals and give advice from his throne. Sun says that he’ll jump into the depth of despair and give the people his shoulder to lean on in order to not make any more monsters like Dae-mok. His response stirs the jaded man, making him reply, “If I met a king like you sooner…”

Spitting up blood, Dae-mok shares his last thoughts with Sun before dying: Water flows from the top to the bottom, and though he tried to fight against it and failed, he doesn’t regret anything. Staring at Sun, he tells him that he’ll watch how he changes the nation from the afterlife, and draws his final breath.

Sun and his group return to the palace, where Ga-eun and the rest have been anxiously waiting for him. Chung-woon announces the deaths of Dae-mok and the Water Bureau chief, but Sun ignores everyone and walks straight to Ga-eun. He embraces her, and everyone in the courtyard turns away—though Woo Bo and the Minister of Justice sneak a peek at the lovebirds.

Sun thanks her for saving many lives today, and then suggests that they go together and save their friend. That evening, Chung-woon brings Lee Sun out of jail and in front of Sun. With a smile, Sun offers the antidote, but Lee Sun just glares at him in response.

 
EPISODE 40 RECAP

Seeing his hesitation, Sun tells him to trust Ga-eun, so Lee Sun swallows the pill, willing to even take poison if Ga-eun gave it to him. Gasping, Lee Sun falls to the floor, but watches in amazement as his spots disappear.

Crouching down to meet his eyes, Sun apologizes to Lee Sun for not realizing how dangerous his idea was, but Lee Sun tells him not to ask for forgiveness, since he won’t either for trying to steal the crown. Sun accepts this for now, believing that their misunderstanding will resolve itself one day, and tells Lee Sun that he’ll always be his first friend.

As Lee Sun leaves, Ga-eun stops him, pleading with him to return to their old lives as friends and family. Unfortunately, like an overturned bucket or a fallen petal, things cannot be restored as they once were, and Lee Sun prays for Ga-eun to be well. They watch Lee Sun leave, and Sun says that they’ll wait together until he returns.

News of Lee Sun’s release causes the ministers to beseech the king to reconsider his actions. However, Sun informs them that Lee Sun was still a king and deserves to be treated as one. While they concede to this, they bring up the issue of Ga-eun and beg him to dispose of her. Just outside, Ga-eun listens to their pleas.

Lee Sun trudges down the city streets, lost in thought, as he wonders why Sun gave him the real antidote. He recalls when he first started to distrust Sun, and then realizes that Hyun-seok planted the first seeds of doubt.

Elsewhere, the chief state councilor is escorted in his jail cart, when Hyun-seok stealthy appears next to him from the shadows. He asks the minister if he should assassinate the king, but the minister orders him to attack someone else.

Ga-eun returns to her old home (which has been destroyed), and the place stirs memories of Sun. She narrates her letter to him, telling him of his great duty to the people and her worry of becoming a hindrance. Thus, she asks to be let go so that she can watch him from afar.

In his room, Sun clutches the letter as he learns of Ga-eun’s departure. Soon after, Sun calls for a meeting where he declares himself unfit to be king to all his ministers. He reminds everyone that the sacrifice of one woman saved them all, but now they’re asking him to ignore her. When the ministers continue to beg Sun to heed their advice, he finally takes off his crown and tells them to find someone more virtuous and wiser to take the throne, since he completed his duty to save the people from Pyunsoohwe.

Ga-eun watches as the wells are opened, and the people celebrate as they reclaim the water. She wonders if Sun can see everyone laughing, and tells herself that Sun is for everyone, so she reaffirms that her choice to leave was the right one.

Out of nowhere, Sun calls that preposterous as he walks up to Ga-eun. He reminds her of how she always treated him sincerely regardless of his changing identities, and asks why him being the king should be any different.

Ga-eun tries to convince him that she’ll cause him harm since she was selected as the fake king’s queen, but Sun tells her that the real harm would come from losing her. He recounts the time when Ga-eun was captured and everyone told him to protect himself. However, Sun says that if he had chose his life over hers, he would have truly lost himself.

Sun understands how easily the throne can corrupt a person and implores Ga-eun to stay by his side to keep him from becoming another Dae-mok. Bringing out the old necklace, Sun says that he wishes to be with her forever like the sun and moon: “As deep as my soul can reach, as wide as it can be, I love you.”

He asks Ga-eun to be his wife and the mother of the country, protecting the people with him. With tears pooling in her eyes, Ga-eun accepts, and Sun places the necklace around her neck before hugging her. From the streets, the people recognize Sun and bow to him.

Lee Sun questions a farmer about Hyun-seok, but when he learns that Hyun-seok lied about his father, he runs off in a hurry. Back on the pavilion, Sun reluctantly separates with Ga-eun, who wishes to say farewell to everyone before returning to the palace.

Lee Sun runs through the woods and serendipitously meets Woo Bo. He quickly informs him of Hyun-seok’s true identity, and worries about the king’s safety. However, Woo Bo grimly notes that Hyun-seok is currently with someone else.

As Ga-eun says goodbye, Hyun-seok watches her as the head guard, and once Ga-eun boards the palanquin sent by Sun, he leads the procession through the woods. Away from prying eyes, Hyun-seok stops the group and orders the guards to open the palanquin.

Stepping out, Ga-eun wonders what’s wrong, but right before her eyes, Hyun-seok kills all the guards in a matter of seconds. He turns to Ga-eun and explains that since she’s the king’s weak point, she must die.

Before Hyun-seok strikes, however, Lee Sun jumps in and stops his old bodyguard. Hyun-seok orders Lee Sun to move aside since he doesn’t want to kill his old master, but Lee Sun takes up a sword in a feeble attempt to push him back.

Hyun-seok easily disarms him and pushes him to the ground. Facing Ga-eun, Hyun-seok brings down his sword, but Lee Sun hurls himself between the blade and Ga-eun at the last moment. He tells her to run before falling to the ground, but it’s too late. Hyun-seok raises his sword again.

Before he can kill Ga-eun, Sun arrives with his loyal guards, and Gon throws a small dagger while Chung-woon chucks his sword. Hyun-seok deflects both and proceeds to strike Ga-eun before they can stop him.

Accepting her fate, Ga-eun closes her eyes as the sword comes down, but once again, her life is spared—this time with Sun standing in between, his hand stopping the blade. In one fluid stroke, Sun slashes Hyun-seok, instantly killing him.

No longer in danger, Ga-eun drops to the ground and holds Lee Sun, apologizing through her tears. He tells her not to cry and thanks her for giving him a name and a dream, saying that he was happy.

Then, addressing Sun, Lee Sun asks for forgiveness for resenting him, and admits that Sun was also his first and last friend.

With his dying breath, he tells Sun to live happily with Ga-eun and to become a true king of this nation. As Lee Sun closes his eyes, the scene switches to the night the three friends stared at the field of fireflies, happy and carefree. Returning to the present, Ga-eun and Sun mourn the loss of Lee Sun as he leaves them behind.

One year later.

Sun stands with Ga-eun on a bridge and tells her that he’s still searching for the answer as to what a true king is. He believes that this is the only thing he can do for all those who sacrificed their lives for him, and Ga-eun promises to be with him forever.

In the palace courtyard, Sun crowns Ga-eun the queen of Joseon, and the two unite as king and queen before all the ministers. In the crowd, the late Deputy Magistrate Han appears and watches them. Sun silently promises to make Ga-eun happy, and he tells Sun to become a king loved by his people.

From the back, the late Hwa-goon walks in, and Sun wonders how he’ll ever repay his debt to her. With a smile, she tells him to be happy, since that’s enough for her. Then from another corner where Kko-mool and her mother stand, the late Lee Sun appears. Sun calls him his “friend,” and Lee Sun tells him to become a true king.

Standing side by side, Sun and Ga-eun face their nation as the crowd chants, “Long live the king and queen!”

 
COMMENTS

It’s finally over. It’s been a bumpy ride with some ups and downs, but the show pulled off a satisfactory end that left me content. The last few episodes have been fast-paced, and while I appreciated the quick plot movement, I felt that the ending seemed a bit rushed as a consequence. There were a lot of hasty revelations like Lee Sun discovering Hyun-seok’s identity and finding Woo Bo, but the overall ending was quite emotional and made up for it.

I was surprised by how much I actually enjoyed the final scenes of Dae-mok and Lee Sun—especially the latter. I found Dae-mok’s last moments to be quite poignant, and thought the acting, writing, and cinematography were all amazing in that scene. It’s a fitting end for a prideful man, so unwilling to admit defeat that he chose death over surrendering. Though it’s also a moment of triumph for our hero, it was mostly a forlorn farewell since Dae-mok died in his chair like a lonesome king on his throne. The way the camera panned away as light streamed in from behind was beautiful and accentuated his solitude.

Dae-mok’s final message suggests that he may have finally recognized Sun as a worthy king, and it reminded me that though Dae-mok became an indisputable monster who sacrificed innocent lives for his own gain, he may have started off as a soul thrown into the pits of despair when he truly wanted to bring about change, much like Sun. In the end, he only brought more pain and suffering to his family—the very reason he turned into a monster for in the beginning—and though he claims to have no regrets, I sincerely doubt it.

The other memorable end to this episode was Lee Sun’s. Much like Dae-mok’s, it was a fitting swan song for the fake king who wallowed in self-pity and hurt those he most loved near the end of his life. Lee Sun died saving Ga-eun, which acted as a nice bookend to their relationship. He started off with undivided devotion and adoration for his lady, which then morphed into an obsession, and in the end, he gave his life for her, almost as if his final act was his way of atoning for his sins. From beginning to end, Lee Sun was about Ga-eun, for better or for worse, and his ending brought some resolution to the character and his relationship with Sun and Ga-eun.

The tiny “noble idiocy” arc that occurred at the last minute wasn’t the most exciting or thoughtful plot device (especially since it happened before in the show), but it did serve its purpose nicely, which was to unite the lovers once and for all. It acted as a catalyst for Sun to share his true feelings with Ga-eun, and it also forced Ga-eun to truly ask herself if she’s happy living apart from Sun. I enjoyed Sun’s profession about needing Ga-eun to keep him on the right path, but I wish more of that was actually shown through action, rather than words. It would have been nice to see their relationship actually grow, but for most of the time, the two of them have been kept apart and there weren’t too many interactions between them that showed how they needed each other. However, like Lee Sun said, the petal has fallen, and what’s done is done. While Ruler will probably disappear into the chronicles of dramaland as time passes, for now, I say farewell and thank you.

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At least it has a happy ending. Better luck next project for these talented actor/actresses!

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I'd love for YSH and KSH to work together again in modern setting. ? No tragedies, no murders and no pot jars. ?

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Yes please!!! Can someone make that happen real soon? ! I would love to see it.
PS lol at no pot jars.

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Yes please palli palli!

Such a visual treat they were!

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I can't believe it's already over, though I am very satisfied with the ending (Sun and Ga Eun can finally be together forever in dramaland!!!). I cried when Lee Sun died and I was a teeny bit upset when Dae Mok passed away (okay, I admit it, I was genuinely sad). I will agree that both deaths were fitting for each character, but it's still hard to say goodbye to characters, even if they are evil. Thanks for the wonderful ride, Ruler!!

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Finally its over. Not the best but not the worst either. For all its flaws Ruler had its golden moments. Too sad that the most compelling characters came from villains' camp from daemok to hwagon to hwagon's dad. Farewell ruler.you di not rule our hearts but thanks nonetheless for a decent attempt to correct wrongs literally and figuratively.

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Yay lovepark!!!! We made it!!!! ;)

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I share your sentiments! Midway through, I realised all I was interested in was getting to the end......

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Thank you for the great recap!!! Not the best show but definitely you guys rock with the recaps that it's even better to read it than watching the show itself.

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Thank you @hanshimi and @lovepark for the well-written recaps. I must admit I didn't watch the mid-parts where the plot lagged and just relied on your recaps. Appreciate your work so much!

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We did indeed!!

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Thank you to both of you @lovepark and @hanshimi for all the recaps! You guys are the best for making it through! ?

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Thank you guys for your hardwork! I stopped watching few epi ago and just relied on your recaps!

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And so it finally ended. It was a roller-coaster ride. I stuck with it until the end and I'm just happy that the final quarter picked up and turned out to be better than the previous ones when I thought it was not possible.

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Too many cringe-worthy scenes, but since it's the finale, I'm just gonna let it go. I can't believe that I actually finish watching this drama until the end. For the writer, please write better drama next time or I won't bother to watch your drama at all. Goodbye Ruler, you will not be missed.

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I cant believe even till the end .. they made Lee Sun a man who would give up his nation for a woman ...

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Ikr! I cringe when he wanted to step down from the throne just because the ministers don't agree with him making Ga Eun, the Queen.

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I knoooow! His "the sacrifice of one woman saved them all" speech was juuuust ?!

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The only excuse I can come up with for that is 'He is madly in love with her' which isn't exactly a plot point but when has this drama ever had a plot. Well at least it's a happy ending. I'll take what I can get.

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I came back to check on last 3 episodes to see the happy ending, but dear lord, so many people died I can't even process it...

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I was expecting the death of Daemok and the two second leads: Lee Sun and Hwagoon. As I said on another comment, 'two suns and two moons can't exist on the same sky'. That's from a diff sageuk though ?

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Uh-oh. That made me wants to re-watch Moon Embracing the Sun. :P

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Then you are very experienced about sageuks because I really never expected Lee sun to die, his life is just so sad.
And your 2 suns quote reminded me of vin Diesel's MV pitch black I think(?) because there were 3 suns in the sky of that alien planet or something(don't take it the wrong way, I understand your point, but those words just reminded me of that multiple suns scene?)

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In my opinion, the last episode is a little bit choppy and either not well-narrated, or well-executed or well-edited.
The scene where Dae mok ends his life is scary--he's suicidal, red-eyed, hate-filled and everything. Good actor.

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Thanks for great recaps that were probably better than this series actually deserved. Hoping the cast goes on to better things, though this definitely wasn't without fun moments.

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despite the flaws I still LOVED this drama and I'm So Happy with the happy ending we got ^__^ and King Lee Sun has a really great way of using words, he gave us the most swoony confession/proposal I even heard!! squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

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It was cheesy imo but given the time period and YSH's eyes, voice and conviction, its swoon-worthy. No wonder KSH also admitted that she swooned on-set haha!

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Despite so much hate or distaste for this show from others, I truly enjoyed every moment of it. I found it to be one of the better dramas in terms of plot, acting, cinematography and pacing. What I enjoyed most was the central struggle between good and evil played out in the interchanges between Dae Mok and Sun. I enjoyed their scenes together immensely as they argue their point of view back and forth. Although on opposite sides, they made me see and understand their motivations, and it truly moved me. This show did not need excessive skin showing (looking at you 7DQ), kissing scenes or romantic pining to be effective in getting the message across - that of loyalty, integrity and faith. Thank you and I shall not forget you anytime soon, show!

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lol you dare to put down 7DQ, compare to Ruler?

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Funniest thing I've seen today!!! I understand how you love this show and fully respect that but it is just so sad that you need to make Seven Day Queen look bad to paint a good picture of this show.

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People, you need to chill. Not everyone has to love Seven Day Queen just like not everyone has to love Ruler. Down voting just makes you look petty. Let the person voice their opinion and you voice your.

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Ooops. Too bad I have time to spare at the moment so I will reply since it's a direct reply for my comment. First, isn't that the same as to what I've said? Respecting each others' choice of show but not to make the other one look dark to bring light to your preferred show. Second, I don't do downvotes. Instead, I make comments to voice out what I want to. And third, like what you said we always have the freedom to speak up about our opinion which what I did. So there, thank you for your advice anyway!

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Aww~ I thought I was the only one who enjoyed the show >< good thing to read this one. I love the characters because it showed realistic sides such as the weakness of the crown prince at times and how he can be a total freak when it comes to love? if that makes sense. And Ga Eun ~ I just love her sweetness and stubbornness <3 though some think she's annoying :( sad part. I'm going to miss this show <///333

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Thanks for the recap. I have dropped it early on but kept reading recaps.

The drama maybe flawed and all, but DM's final scene with blood shot eyes would be a good memory.

Now, can we have a YSHo & KSH in a modern drama, with better writer/s please!

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Well, good for Ga Eun, she takes a brave risk to try to mollify understandably mistrusting subjects, who ask “why should we believe the antidote is real?” after all, up until now the Crown Prince has made a total hash of everything he’s done unless others, notably Hwa Goon, have saved his ass. But heretofor everyone who has taken poppy pills has vomited blood soon after ingestion. So why not now,when Ga Eun’s sweetly virginal immage would have made so persuasive and moving scene? So what’s up, property department fresh out of blood? Actually it’s noteably also out of fake tears too. This scene totally bombed for me. I would just like to quote, if I may, how this episode is critiqued on Hancinema. It does not suggest to me that, not withstanding reasonable ratings in Korea, it will stand as a decent drama. -

“I knew from the last cliffhanger that the final stretch "Ruler: Master of the Mask" was going to be irredeemably stupid. So when Prince Seon and the other Seon have to go into this really complicated stretch of rules lawyering to suss out who the real king is supposed to be I wasn't surprised. Nor was I particularly angry. Mostly I just felt sort of downtrodden, that a political culture complicated enough to require several dozen ministers has no legal culture to determine royal legitimacy.

With all the discussion we've had about how Prince Seon isn't really legitimate either, since Dae-mok put his father on the throne, it's a wonder "Ruler: Master of the Mask" doesn't just state the obvious. That the entire construct of royalty is completely arbitrary and imaginary. The king is whoever the ministers collectively choose to believe the king is. Well no, technically the king is whoever the army collectively chooses to believe the king is, but no one seems interested in their opinion for some reason.

So Prince Seon becomes King again. Dae-mok's political powers that we've seen have included tacit threats, control of local infrastructure, and his massive criminal enterprise. Yet apparently, upon taking power, the only real problem Prince Seon has with Dae-mok involves the poison. I'm not sure whether the poison everyone has is a chronic condition that requires regular treatment, or just something Dae-mok gave them recently to insure their cooperation in the royal succession.
It's not that I particularly care about what kind of poison it is, it's more that the unnecessary vagueness on this question leads to the most chronic problem "Ruler: Master of the Mask"- how the obstacles the characters run into are never clearly defined. They practically have to solve them before we can figure out what they were. It's one of the reasons why the resolutions in this drama are so unsatisfying. There's no tension.

Well, there is the recurring point of how Hwa-goon is the only character competent enough to solve these problems, but Prince Seon doesn't even know she's on his side, so Hwa-goon has to give improbable secret aid...

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Next time please cast a lead ind lady who can emote adult passions.

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I got that you are Kim So Hyun's antifan, but it's the truth that she acted Ga Eun to the best with limited & humiliating materials that those terrible writers gave her.

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Being a good actors not always depend on your role that you are playing it is how you deliver your character....be versatile.

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Yea watched so many dramas involving her but never really liked Kim Soo Hyun since The Moon That Embraces the Sun.. cant connect with her acting ever for some reason.. Kim Yoo Jung's much better actress for her age!
Yoo Seung Ho and Hwa Gun are the highlights of this drama.... Hwa Gun outshone her not just in terms of way character was written but in terms of delivery.

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Kim Yoo Jung received criticism as well for her acting in Moonlight because the entire 2nd half was just a damsel in distress plot. Stop trying to compare the two. They are only teenagers and have decades to go.

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Next time please cast a leading lady who can emote adult passions.

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I just finished this drama and I have to agree. There were times when I couldn't tell if KHS was reacting to someone telling her Santa isn't real or that her lover killed her Father. It expressions stayed the same and, for the most part, this role swallowed her whole.

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I've been seeing your comments for a while now and I don't know what you have against Kim So Hyun but she played her part perfectly and her expressions were completely on point. There is no passions for her to emote since she basically just cries dejectedly for the most part and Ga Eun is only 22 at the end so not much of an adult per se. She did a fabulous job with material given to her.

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Just ignore. Some people do think it's important to put down one actor in order to elevate their own preferred actor. Imho, both actresses did their best with what they were given. There are also viewers who dislike HG's character and/or think that Yoon So Hee still has much room for improvement although it's a lot more muted on this forum *shrugs*

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Yoon So Hee still has a lot to improve, it is her character that some viewers love because there are no other things /persons that viewers can love aside than her. Yoon So Hee also received much love from her character, and she got new fans. Now it is her job to prove if she is really good actress or not in the future. She is likely to get her first lead role after this, so it's time to really depend on her own acting skill and roles.

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SHINee and EXO drama MVs, and a whole string of minor parts where she was adorable, Wild Chives and Soy bean, Marriage,not dating, Beloved Eun-dong, Memory, Lets Eat, The Day After We Broke Up,Running Man and at 23 she has already already overcome her (rich) parents, particularly her mother, who were said to be strongly against her decision to leave academia and become an actress. Oh and how many young women get into Korea's premir university to read engineering? She got one thing right (which my 6 decades confirm ... to hell with what seems sensible follow your heart, there is no coming back no what ifs, but one life: never have regrets. She has balls and is keen to improve her acting. I am sure she has a fine career ahead of her.

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If you read her own comments about her character she didn't understand it and felt lost with how to portray it, which understandably made her upset. I am not an anti-fan of hers but simply think this was a very bad part for her to have accepted because for the most part it is one of a 'bimbo'. That is why I feel the direction, or lack of it was so poor. The director not just the writer hung her out to dry. There were other character arks which lacked development but they were not the main lead. There was no tension between YSHO & KSH in their love, just as when other plot lines the writer arrived at a moment for real tension and then promptly dropped the ark. I get that a large number who watched or read the recaps are loyal fans of YSH & KSH, their primary reason for watching but this bias prevents your being objective about their performance. Having said that I am glad you enjoyed them. I once worked in a music conservatoire. Singers there were told 'go and get a lover' you cannot express passion you have not experienced. The same applies to actors KSH needs to take that lesson to heart.

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This is a link for KSH's inteview where she opens up about Ga Eun.

https://twitter.com/KSHPhilippines/status/886113013211607041

That's pretty much how she came over to me. More than ever I think the direction was lacking.

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You do know that actors normally won't get full scripts right? Actors normally will get maybe around first few epi. Just like the rest of us who were also fooled by the synopsis of her character at the beginning. Her character was still good/useful in first few epi, but after the 5 years gap, everything started to ruin. Well for me not only her character, even Yoo Seung Ho's character was poorly written. If the shooting is already started, it would be unprofessional if suddenly she bow out due to disagreement of the script. Actors can discuss to understand their characters and suggest a bit here & there but they can't change the entire script. The job of actors are to act, not to write the script.

Anyway, I don't mind with your opinion about her because it is yours. No comment about the romance in this drama since everything is a mess and romance is the slightest thing that I care. Sure she has things to improve, she is still young. But blessing in disguise, now I'm curious about her more compared to before.

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It's her management company I find fault with. I have a relative who is in this business and I know one does not leave anything to chance. This drama was intended to better MLDBC it didn't come anywhere near that, though personally i didn't rate that very highly either. She is getting too old to hide behind her child actor efforts. SidusHQ let her down

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I think you are trying far to hard to put down Kim So Hyun. Her and Yoon So Hee are not even contemporaries. They are more than half a decade apart. The generation gap between them is quite big. YSHee contemporary are NJH, CSB, GSY etc and frankly she's not even close to their level. She got lucky with this character. But her acting as various recappers have noted, is beyond lacking. And engineering degree means zilch to an actor. Tell her to just pursue engineering then.

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It is normally the actor's agent who reads the script, normally the whole script and reccomends it to their client. It is a very complicated area but also one of fundamental importance, since obviously if the agent does't have their client actor's interest at heart it can have damaging consequences. Far from running KSH down I am saying that someone messed up. I acknowledge she is a prommising actress but she has no adult roles and although young, is too old totag along on past performance even with a vocal and loving fan base. People like yourself who seek to support the indifensible at any cost are simply very loyal but your fan service misses the point entirely. She was in crisis over her part and she was given too little or the wrong directon over her part. A more assured response to this would have been to insist on more talks with the writers, producers. The recappers on this site are self congratulatory and all follow a line (their choice) in that they are very harsh in their criticisum of any actor they don't happen to like. One can hear this loud and strong in their podcasts. I Am not suggesting YSH or KSO are contemporaries. They are after all worlds apart.

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Also, you should register.

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Despite the many flaws, I still really liked this drama and followed it from beginning to end!

I was in it for Yoo Seung Ho and Kim So Hyun, but it was the secondary characters of Hwa Gyun, Dae mok and Lee Sun that really shined.

In terms of plot movement, I really enjoyed the first few episodes and the last few episodes. The middle was bleh, but enjoyable. It kept me watching until the very end. I'd rewatch it again someday...

Hope YSH and KSH can be in another drama together, but a modern day one :)

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The secondary characters really were the most interesting part of this show and I cried when they died. I liked the beginning and the end too. Hope everyone moves on to better projects after this.

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Yes my point was that, people should voice their opinion not down vote. I was replying to the above comment. Was it reply to yours? Forgive me, I didn't realise!

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Oh, okay. Not a big deal! Accepted. :)

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Yes please! Palli palli!

Such a visual treat they were!

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Wait...I am kind of lost here. Is Hyun Seok always bad, or...?

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The question is where does KSH and YSH's career go from here?

We all know that everyone involved (MBC, the writers, director, production, probably the actors) was hoping for a kind of repeat of the Moonlight magic. A dramatic Moonlight sounded like a shoe in an who better to get than these two former child actors? If they could pull it off then perhaps they could shed their child actor image forever. Unfortunately, the writing just wasn't up to par.

I think KSH will be fine eventually, she'll just have to find another project that will get her there. YSH will be fine too, but I do wonder how long they can survive off of past hype. The good thing is that they have critical acclaim of their skills so they'll never really have to worry about not being able to get booked. But YSH especially has already been passed over in the popularity department by actors who've gotten huge hits to their names and I do wonder if YSH will stay stagnant.

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He won't. Not sure if you noticed this but both remember and ruler were mon-thurs highest rated dramas and in fact since coming back from the military, he has been scoring hits. Not monstrous but steady. Seondal made a killing at the box office too. Not Train to.Busan numbers but steady. While the current list of IT boys face incredible pressures to measure up to their success before heading to the army (Kim soo hyun, Lee Jong seok
park bo gum) he's all dusted and done and can take his time. Internationally he might not be that big but in Korea, China and Japan he is a massive star. He is careful and prefer melos but when he is prepared to step into romcom, scary success awaits him. He's nearly every a list actresses most wanted co-star as he is known to deliver solid acting every time.

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Yeahhh.. I agree with this opinion. I do believe he will find his time. YSH, in my opinion, born to be a characteristic actor not same like other young actor such Bo Gum. There something inside him where i dont understand but that such special felling he become great actor for future. As long as he improve and consist in acting world, i do believe he can get more. It likes Leonardo Dicaprio, who win oscar after got fail 5 times cause he always challenge himself to try diffrent role, i hope YSH do the same.

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They are by no means hits, but they aren't flops either. His projects scored decent ratings and box-office, though The Magician is a flop. But, at the same time, they don't generate that much buzz. He got the biggest attention in Ruler but it came out with criticisms for the production itself. And he was overshadowed by (the great) Namkoong Min in Remember.

And sorry to burst your bubble, but he is not a massive star in China, nor Japan. He has a fanbase, but even Seo Kang-joon is bigger than him in both territories. He's loved in SoKor sure, but a mere look at his Wikipedia page views would show you that overseas viewers aren't that interested in him, unlike say, another 93-liner Park Bo-gum who's another hit away from solidifying his Hallyu superstar status.

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Uhm he's not a massive star in China and Japan, though. Even the blander than bland Nam Joo-hyuk is more popular than him.

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... in China and Japan.

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This should change after the disaster that was Bride of the Water God. (If it doesn't, it means the fans are blind and deaf)

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I'll give my 2 cents as a non-fan of YSH and KSH.

I only discovered recently that YSH is 24 this year. Somehow I had the impression that he is 19. Compared to actors around his age, he gives a less mature vibe. It could be that he isn't tall and very petite. In short, you'd think 'boy' instead of 'man' when he comes to mind. This may or may not be advantageous depending on the type of roles he desires. He is appropriately cast here because he plays a young crown prince and his co-star KSH is only 18.

Actors like Kim Soo Hyun, Lee Jong Seok, Lee Min Ho all have their successful 'mature' roles by the time they reach 24. But these are not YSH's peers. Current or upcoming popular actors around his age would be Park Hyung Sik, Park Bo Gum, Nam Joo Hyuk, Ji Soo, Seo Kang Joon and Yang Se Jong just to name a few.

Frankly, I don't care about popularity and ratings maker. An actor can only attract me with good acting. If he's good at playing certain roles, it will be great. If he's versatile, it will be awesome.

I hope that YSH gets a fantastic PD for his next drama, someone who can rein him in and change his style.

For KSH, I hope she gets a better role. She is so young and there is much more to explore and challenges to savor. Don't get pigeon holed into the dime a dozen candy girl or damsel in distress roles.

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Don't worry. He has ben always a lowkey actor from day one, yet still makes tons of halmeonis, ajummas, noonas, dongseangs love him. His acting skill is widely appreciated by both fans & industry participants. We all knows that YSH (& other casts as well)'s acting saved this show from horrid writings even kept it no.1 in ratings for the whole running time. He doesn't show up a lot between two projects, and even doesn't use SNS to interact with fans / promote his name. But still I just love the way how he remains loyal to his principles.

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Since this is the last episode I want to send our characters off with a warm goodbye. Ruler you surely are the drama with deep and interesting supporting characters I wish you had written them even more beautifully. Though I am angry with you for many reasons I surely won't resent taking this ride since I came to see such amazing characters. From hwa-gun and gon I learnt love really means wanting the other person'$ happiness and it'$ really simple as it. Dae mok taught me that sometimes the society itself creates a monster. It would have been an master piece if the story was written around the central plot I doubt if sun has really grown from the naive Prince to the mighty king....

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"Dae mok taught me that sometimes the society itself creates a monster." I so love this!!!

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I started out watching the show with excitement and then I lost interest. I would read the recaps to see what was going on. But Ahhh. What could have been. It had a great premise and a story to tell but it fell a little short of its promise. I think I'm mostly disappointed that Ga Eun was relegated to the back seat and basically reacted and didn't do much else. It's such a shame since she is a WONDERFUL actress - she can do so much more than what the writer's gave her. On a positive note, I can't wait to see what these lead actors do in the future though. Hwaiting!

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Glad to see they have a happy ending. This show had so much potential, I'm sad that the writing could've been better.
Wish YSH, KSH and the rest of the cast better future projects!

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The scenes between Crown Prince and Ga In made me cringe because it was just too cheesy. I wonder how these actors could do it because I was laughing each time they said their lines.

Lee Sun is a good person, but he is not a good king. He puts a girl above everything else. I'm sure Dae Mok would have facepalm in shame of what he said before his death if he was watching.

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Just did'nt know whether it was the direction or the plot which made the show lag. This was a highly anticipated show for both our leads and it is a shame that most of the fans were disappointed.
Farewell Ruler..... goodbye ??

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like i said before.. Lee Sun's end is dead

BTW, I still don't know who Hyun Seok is? Is he Dae Mok's people or? what is his background?

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It's finally over. I was actually satisfied with the ending even if it was a bit rushed & all those plotholes, flaws, whatever. And is it just me wishing Ga-eun would die by Hyunseok's sword? I was really waiting for it. Hahaha! Too bad Sun grabbed the edge at the last minute. Lol. I've had a love-hate relationship with this show & I'm glad it ended well (& not so well).

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Thanks, lovepark (and hanshimi), for recapping RULER. It's been quite a ride. Kudos for sticking with it even as the plot lost the plot. ;-)

It's finally wrapped up with a mostly happy ending. I was really hoping that Lee Sun would have caught a break after all the travail he's been through.

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All I can think about after learning the ending was that Lee Sun's life really, really sucked. I know he ended up sort of "bad" and possessive for a few episodes and I expected him to die, but I just feel really bad for him.

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Finally the end....thanks for recap I enjoyed reading this drama because of sun and gaeun

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wow it's over. For us who stuck until the end was rough. For me it was, because I started watching this one with huge expectations, it went wrong in many ways but lucky us it got a bit better at the end.

I liked the final scene of Dae Mok, but idk I didn't like that much that he killed himself, I would've prefer he died in a battle. My preference though.

I also liked Lee Sun's death, not the way he died but his final scene, I didn't like his death because once again Ga Eun needed to be rescued *zzz* .

They left plot hole , which to me was important, the little girls from the poppy flowers field they must be dead. I mean they took forever making the antidote, they are all dead. Hwa Goon sacrificed herself so Sun could scape with the girls and they're all dead. *facepalm* . Also I don't remember that the chief who was out to return with warriors to avenge Sun's death, when the DQ poisoned him, came back. Did he ? Or is that another plot hole?

I really liked a lot of things about this show almost all performances, almost all characters. The scenery, the cinematography, the wardrobe. But it added to all that you need a good story with a good writing to be a good drama. I hope YSH and KSH get better roles in the future and for L to keep working to improve his acting skills, he can do it but needs to work a bit more.

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Thanks for recapping this series.

I'm glad everything got wrapped up neatly. The Lee Sun ending was expected and it was good that he finally realized that Sun had been a good friend all along; he was merely blinded when the seeds of doubt were planted by Hyunseok.

I knew Hwagoon's dad would come around. I enjoyed the character transformation and how he fulfilled his daughter's final wish.

I'm so happy that Gon is now a palace guard. I had a feeling that he would become the king's left hand man with Chungwoon as the right hand man.

Farewell to this mess that somehow ended up OK.

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I love kim soo hyun and yoo seung ho but I am proud with the performance of Yoon so hee and L .... congrats guys!

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Well i stopped watching at episode 22! The scenes got me bored i just read the recapsand started watching episode 33 till the end! Thank you for the wonderful recaps that saves me nd urged me to finish watching this. It wasn't great but it wasn't that bad either, it's just that the story got me bored af at the middle and just made me want to just finish all of it. Nonetheless it was a good drama tho.

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I did that too...I just watched it again when the real Crown Prince is about to prove that he is the real one.

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I totally agree with the part that the couple of this dram was always kept apart, and seems like their love story wasn't built up that much...but overall it was a nice drama...it was a joy to watch YSH handsome face!!!

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