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Bride of the Water God 2017: Episode 16 (Final)

Despite my expectations, this finale actually turned out pretty well. Some surprise revelations are made, and all of the puzzle pieces come together in unexpected ways that even manage to wring a few tears, leaving me contented with the way things turned out for everyone.


 
FINAL EPISODE RECAP

Yeom-mi informs So-ah that she finally deciphered the rest of her dream, where So-ah says that the person who saved her will be her god of death. She interprets this to mean that So-ah will die.

But she tells So-ah that that’s not the most shocking part. The twist is that it’s not Ha-baek she’s talking about in the dream. Yeom-mi says that it was an older man… then she suddenly stops and picks up a picture frame.

It’s the picture of So-ah as a child with her father, which Ha-baek has switched so that it’s featured in the frame. Yeom-mi says that this is the man from her dream, the one who saved So-ah.

A ring at the gate reveals Joo-dong, back with a brand-new hairdo and information. So-ah walks Yeom-mi out, declining to explain who Joo-dong is, just telling her friend that it’s best if she doesn’t know too much. A little upset, she says that her father never once saved her, and practically pushes Yeom-mi out the gate.

Upstairs, Joo-dong tells Ha-baek that his search for his missing tablet was unsuccessful. He deduces from Ha-baek’s grumpy attitude that he’s been summoned back to the Realm of the Gods, and Ha-baek confirms that he only has six days left.

Joo-dong asks if Ha-baek is thinking about not returning, warning him that it would be a terrible decision. Ha-baek admits that he knows he can’t stay in the human realm.

So-ah starts to put her pictures back the way they were, but she lingers over the photo of her father. Ha-baek brings Joo-dong down to say goodbye, and he sees the photo and clucks his tongue, asking cryptically if the father made the daughter carry his burden.

Joo-dong asks So-ah gently if she wants to find him, which upsets her. Ha-baek rushes Joo-dong out, then goes back to stop So-ah from hiding her father’s picture. He puts it back in the frame, musing that when she says she’s forgotten someone, and that she hates them, it means the opposite just like everything else she says.

He apologizes for not being able to make her wish to see her father come true. He tells her to keep trying to find him, because even if he’s the worst man in the world, she deserves answers. He adds that it makes him crazy to think of her still in that darkness after he leaves, and holds So-ah while she cries.

Mura is on pins and needles, worried that Ha-baek will decide not to go back to the Realm of the Gods. Bi-ryum assures her that Ha-baek knows what will happen if he doesn’t, certain that he’ll go.

Joo-dong shows up to report that he didn’t find his tablet where he thought it would be, but that he knows who took it. Confused, Bi-ryum says that humans can’t even see it, but Joo-dong counters that some humans can. He asks if he can crash at Bi-ryum’s for the night, and both Bi-ryum and Mura shout, “NO!” then exchange awkward glances, hee.

Joo-dong calls Namsuri next to ask him to let him into So-ah’s place. Namsuri says that he’s working all night, and when he hangs up, he jumps a foot to see Yeom-mi standing right next to him. She tells Namsuri about her dream, and thinks that his powers would help boost her abilities… and then puckers up her lips. Namsuri goes running for his life.

In the morning, So-ah creeps upstairs to find Ha-baek still sleeping. He surprises her by grabbing her hand and pulling her down next to him, and he says he was waiting for her to come wake him up. So-ah asks why, and Ha-baek says sweetly, “Just because.”

So-ah shows Ha-baek a new suit she bought for him, and although it’s simple, Ha-baek looks moved by the gesture. She asks him to wear it and take her on a date, just because.

They spend the day doing simple things like running in the park and playing cutthroat games of rock-paper-scissors. Poor Ha-baek is terrible at it, and suffers countless forehead-flicks and wrist smacks from So-ah.

She takes Ha-baek for cold noodles, even though she doesn’t eat cold food, saying that she should solve at least this one problem for him. She struggles to take a bite and drinks the broth straight from the bowl, ending up with a soup mustache which Ha-baek wipes off for her. When they finish eating, So-ah surprises Ha-baek by calling him by name for the first time. She confesses that she’d worried he’d know her feelings if she said his name, so she tried to hide them.

She takes Ha-baek to a portrait artist and tells him that if he wins a game of rock-paper-scissors against the artist, he’ll draw their portrait. On the third throw the artist’s wife steps on her husband’s foot and makes him lose. Hee, Ha-baek is so amazed that he won.

Something is up, because the wife hustles So-ah away, leaving Ha-baek with the artist. The artist says that his wife and Ha-baek’s bride seem to have a plan, and Ha-baek’s head whips around at the word “bride.”

So-ah returns, and when Ha-baek sees her, he loses every last wit he possesses. She’s stunning in a wedding dress with a coronet of flowers in her hair, and she approaches him and asks if she looks pretty. Speechless, Ha-baek can only stare at her in wonder.

As they sit, Ha-baek’s eyes still locked on So-ah, she says that photographs fade. She tells Ha-baek that in this portrait, his face will remain more vivid than in photographs.

The artist’s wife brings So-ah a bouquet of flowers, and Ha-baek can hardly tear his eyes away from her. He eventually looks up to pose for the portrait, which turns out beautifully.

Joo-dong visits with Hu-ye and says that he’s looking for the person who saved him when he first arrived here, thinking that this person may have the tablet that he lost on the day that he saved Hu-ye from lightning and lost his memory.

Joo-dong says that the man who was with Hu-ye’s stepmother that night found him and took him to a hospital. He thinks that the man found his tablet and kept it, and he asks Hu-ye if he knows where that man went.

Hu-ye remembers that the man had just returned from being abroad for a year, and that he said he was going to visit his wife’s grave nearby. He does recall the man saying that he needed to find his daughter, and that his name was Yoon Sung-joon; they looked for him but never saw him again.

Joo-dong goes to So-ah and asks if she remembers where she was on December 20, 2004. Ha-baek clocks So-ah’s distress and drags Joo-dong upstairs, angry with him for upsetting So-ah, and asking how So-ah is linked with the day that Joo-dong went missing.

Joo-dong says that he believes that So-ah’s father took his tablet, because as a descendant of the gods’ servants, he would have been able to see it. Joo-dong believes that he intended to give it back when he woke up.

Ha-baek asks again what this has to do with So-ah. Joo-dong says that the tablet must have recognized a servant, even one not “awoken,” but Ha-baek is still confused. Backing up, Joo-dong tells him that before saving him that night, So-ah’s father saved Hu-ye, and that he’d said he needed to find his daughter.

Things start to click into place, and Ha-baek remembers that the tablet has the power to grant the servant’s most earnest wish. Joo-dong continues that the tablet must have taken So-ah’s father to her, and he asks again where So-ah was that night.

Joo-dong goes to the spot where So-ah jumped off the bridge that night thirteen years ago, the same night that her father saved Hu-ye. Looking out over the river, he says, “There he is…” He calls Ha-baek and says that he found him. Oh no.

Ha-baek goes downstairs and finds So-ah planning more fun dates with the help of her stuffed dragon Yong Yong. She tells Ha-baek brightly that he was right, and that she’ll keep looking for her father and make him apologize. Ha-baek says he has to go out for a bit, and that he’ll be back soon.

Hu-ye thinks on what he’s learned about So-ah’s father, and how Joo-dong asked him not to say anything if he discovers who Yoon Sung-joon is. He calls So-ah and asks her to meet with him.

At the river, Joo-dong points out to Ha-baek where So-ah’s father lies, along with his tablet. He thinks that So-ah must have survived her fall into the river that night because of her father.

Ha-baek is stricken, remembering how badly So-ah wants to see her father one more time. He says that he’s going to get So-ah’s father out, and dives into the river.

When So-ah arrives at his office, Hu-ye tells her that this will be his last session, and that he’s going to tell her the rest of his past. He’d mentioned previously that the night he came to the human world, he followed a light out of the woods, which turned out to be a car’s headlights.

Cowering in the road, Hu-ye had been terrified. So-ah’s father had covered him with his jacket and hugged him, saying that it would be okay. Hu-ye tells So-ah that it was the first time he’d felt the warmth of a human body, and learned the power of someone saying, “It’s okay.”

He says that if that man hadn’t been the first person he’d met that night, someone who told him it was okay and hugged him, he doesn’t know what he would have become. He tells So-ah that he’s met three gods in his life—that man, his stepmother, and So-ah herself. He asks to thank her with a handshake, and she readily holds out her hand with a smile.

Still soaked from the river and weighed down by his terrible burden, Ha-baek hesitates at So-ah’s gate. When he sees her, he struggles to speak, and she asks why he looks like he’s about to cry. She hugs him, worried, and he finally says, “Your father… I found him.”

She knows immediately that something is wrong. So-ah asks where her father is, and Ha-baek tells her that he’s still in the river that she jumped into that night. So-ah doesn’t understand what he means, so Ha-baek tells her that her father came back to Korea that day.

He explains that her father picked up Joo-dong’s tablet on his way to her mother’s grave, and that the tablet granted her father’s dearest wish: to see her. He catches So-ah when she starts to collapse, the truth hitting hard—that her father never abandoned her, and in fact wanted to see her more than anything in the world.

We go back to that night, and this time we see the events from So-ah’s father’s point of view. While trying to make his dead phone work, he’d looked up to see So-ah standing on the bridge railing. He screamed her name, but she didn’t hear him as she plunged into the water.

Her father jumped into the river right after her and saw her sinking, unconscious. He swam down and grabbed her by the waist, pushing her towards the surface. But the further he pushed So-ah upwards, the further he sank. As So-ah woke and swam up towards the light, she never saw her father below her, sinking to the bottom of the river.

Ha-baek takes So-ah to the river’s edge, where she collapses, crying. She starts to scream, “Dad! Dad, come out, please…” So-ah clutches at Ha-baek, begging him to save her father, wailing that he can’t die like this.

Ha-baek kneels and hugs her, and he reminds her sadly that he can’t bring the dead back to life. So-ah sobs that she always thought she got herself out of the water, but now blames herself for killing her father and spending so many years hating him. Ha-baek holds her, repeating that it’s not her fault.

So-ah tries to follow her father into the water, convinced that he’s there waiting for her to save him. Ha-baek holds her back, begging her not to do this as she fights and screams.

Joo-dong tells Bi-ryum and Mura that Ha-baek tried to retrieve So-ah’s father’s body, but it wouldn’t move from its resting place at the bottom of the river. He tells them that because of the tablet, his body is perfectly preserved, so Ha-baek left the tablet there.

Ha-baek stays up all night, keeping vigil as So-ah sleeps. He thinks about So-ah saying that a god is a being that grants a human being’s deepest wishes, feeling helpless to do anything for her now. He never takes his eyes off of her, until Namsuri finds him the next morning and calls him up to the roof.

Bi-ryum and Mura are there, as is Joo-dong. Bi-ryum tells Ha-baek that he and Mura also tried to retrieve So-ah’s father’s body, but it wouldn’t move for them, either. Ha-baek tells them that So-ah wants to go after him herself, but Mura asks why they can’t just leave him there.

She grows angry, reminding Ha-baek that she’s known him for millennia and that she knows what he’s thinking. She says that Ha-baek is planning to use his one burst of power to help So-ah, instead of using it to get himself home.

Ha-baek’s silence is all the confirmation they need, and everyone objects, reminding Ha-baek that he’ll die if he doesn’t go back and become king. They all refuse to allow it, but Ha-baek tells them that So-ah believes it’s a god’s duty to protect humans.

He asks them, “How can I call myself a king if I can’t save one woman?” Mura counters that So-ah wouldn’t want this, adding that if Ha-baek dies, he’ll disappear from the memories of humans, including So-ah. Before he can respond, they all turn at a noise.

It’s So-ah, who ignores them to stare incredulously at Ha-baek. She asks him what this means, but he can’t look her in the eye. He follows her inside where, crying again, she asks, “How can you think of doing such a cruel thing to me? You’re going to die? You’ll disappear from my memory? I’ll forget about you for the rest of my life?”

Ha-baek pleads with her to understand that it’s because he’s been unable to do anything for her. He begs her to give him a chance to grant her a wish as a god, and to let him keep his promise to protect her. So-ah sobs that she never asked him to sacrifice his life for her.

Frantic, Mura desperately searches for a way to make Ha-baek go back to the Realm of the Gods, but Bi-ryum says they can’t force a king to do anything. Mura orders him to use his own powers to help So-ah, but he reminds her that none of them have enough power to do that.

Bi-ryum talks to So-ah, telling her what will happen if Ha-baek doesn’t become king. He explains that Ha-baek exists for one purpose—to be king—so if he doesn’t become king, there’s no reason for him to exist. Bi-ryum asks So-ah to tell Ha-baek that she’s willing to leave her father where he is.

She agrees, and Ha-baek tells her that he’s been selfish by asking her to live with her memories of him. He makes her promise that she’ll cherish her life after he leaves, and says that her father will be at peace where he is. Ha-baek swears that as the water god, he’ll look after her father forever.

He asks So-ah to go with him to see her father and takes her back to the river’s edge. She apologizes to her father over and over, so Ha-baek tells her not to worry. She answers that they’re just following their original plan and asks where they should go now.

Ha-baek just takes her hand and looks at her sadly. He whispers, “I love you,” and kisses her. But his kiss is desperate, and So-ah senses something wrong and tries to push him away.

When Ha-baek finally breaks the kiss, he tells her that the kiss was a god’s grace, bidding her to live a happy and full life. So-ah starts to panic, realizing that he just gave her his power, understanding dawning that it’s too late to reverse it.

Ha-baek calmly tells So-ah to find someone to love and live her life in happiness. A tear slides down his cheek as he says that happiness is what she’s always wanted most, but So-ah refuses to listen, accusing him of planning this all along.

Ha-baek hugs her fiercely and says that he can’t leave without doing anything for her, because he knows she’ll go to her father and die after he leaves. So-ah fights him, calling him foolish and asking what she’s supposed to do now. Ha-baek tells her to go to her father now, asking one last time, “Let me do something for you while I’m still here.”

Bi-ryum, Mura, and Joo-dong materialize nearby, and they instantly sense that they’re too late to stop Ha-baek. Mura buries her head in Bi-ryum’s shoulder as Ha-baek tells So-ah to go.

Finally accepting his decision, So-ah dives into the water, with Ha-baek following right behind. With Ha-baek’s power, So-ah doesn’t need to breathe as she swims deep to the bottom of the river, where her father’s body lies. He almost looks alive, protected by a magical bubble of power created by the tablet still in his pocket.

So-ah looks at her father, asking why he’s here all alone, and why he didn’t call her sooner. She takes his hand, his body rises easily at her touch. So-ah pulls him to the surface, saved by his daughter as he once saved her.

So-ah has her father’s body laid to rest under a tree, and she promises to bring her mother here too, in time. Ha-baek is still with her, his time in the human world not yet up, and as he hugs So-ah, she says sweetly that she’s never going to forgive him. She promises to hate and resent him, and to regret meeting him, and he agrees to it all.

Then So-ah tells Ha-baek that she’s going to put everything back to normal before any of that happens. Ha-baek asks what she means, but it’s Mura who pipes up, “I thought she was stupid, but I guess she was smart enough to think of this.”

They turn to see all of their friends there, and Namsuri giggles that So-ah has come up with a solution to their problem. Joo-dong holds up his recovered tablet, and So-ah tells Ha-baek that she’s going to use her wish to help him return to the Realm of the Gods. Mura urges them to hurry before she gives in to her desire to kill them both, ha.

Ha-baek stares at So-ah, moved to silence, as Joo-dong hands her the tablet and begins the ceremony. But a voice interrupts, calling out, “So this is where you were!” and they all look to see the high priest approaching, dressed in modern human clothing.

The high priest says that he came to catch an escaped servant, holding up a baggie with a goldfish inside. In the process, everyone notices his distinctive silver ring. The taxi driver who gave So-ah advice was wearing it, as was the old man who paid Ha-baek to help him pick up cardboard. They realize that the high priest has been watching over Ha-baek all along.

Joo-dong begins the wishing ceremony again, and again the high priest interrupts to ask what’s going on. Mura snappishly informs him that Ha-baek used his last power on So-ah, so he can’t go back on his own.

The high priest asks So-ah if she’s really going to waste her wish on such a useless thing. Bi-ryum says that Ha-baek will die if he fails to go back, but the high priest is all, He completed his mission, why wouldn’t he go back?

Ha-baek finally speaks, suddenly understanding what the high priest means. He says that his new mission was to discover the reason for hiding the divine stones in the human world. Taking So-ah’s hand, he repeats his own question: “How can a god save the world, when he can’t even save one human being?”

The high priest nods proudly, then he advises So-ah to use her power on something more valuable. He leaves, taking his goldfish servant with him.

Joo-dong begins the ceremony again, and the tablet shines in So-ah’s hand. She hesitates, so Joo-dong tells her that this is her chance to be happy for the rest of her life.

So-ah thinks carefully, then she looks at Ha-baek and says, “I wish that you would leave a little later. Please stay by my side until I die. Please live with me until then. You can go back and become a good king after I die.” With tears shimmering in his eyes, Ha-baek nods over and over.

Mura disappears after snapping that she’s too angry to watch any more of this. Grinning, Bi-ryum follows her, pulling Namsuri with him. Joo-dong also goes, leaving Ha-baek and So-ah alone, not that they notice anyone but each other. They hug and tell each other “I love you.”

The high priest finds Hu-ye watching from a short distance and tells him that because he did a good deed, he’ll be happy in his next life. Hu-ye argues that all he did was tell So-ah about the tablet’s power, but the high priest says that taking risks is Hu-ye’s greatest gift.

He formally introduces himself, and asks Hu-ye to teach him how to use fire. They make plans to see each other soon, and Hu-ye leaves, contented.

The high priest goes back for Ha-baek, who tells So-ah that he has to go to the Water Realm now. He promises to return soon, kissing So-ah gently on the forehead. Then he vanishes with the high priest.

Back at Hu-ye’s hotel, Jaya corners Secretary Min to tell him that she’s figured out what he meant when he told her to become a human being. He actually smiles (and it’s beautiful!) as she presents her proposal to start a foundation for single mothers, orphans, and elderly people.

Secretary Min says it’s not a bad idea, but first she should make a list of the people she owes apologies to and get them to sign it; then he’ll go back to being her church oppa. He says that if she gets a little closer to full humanity, he may even become “just oppa.” Heh, I love how committed he is to making her live up to her potential.

Sometime later, So-ah stands on the bridge and tosses a white flower into the river. We see her fall into the water, but Bi-ryum’s voice calls out, “No, no! Don’t even think about it!” He tells So-ah that if she jumps, Ha-baek won’t be able to come save her, but So-ah stammers that she wasn’t thinking any such thing.

Mura fusses at So-ah for polluting the water with her flower, heh, then informs her smugly that Ha-baek won’t be coming back. Alarmed, So-ah asks if a messenger came, but Mura says she just has a feeling and saunters off arm-in-arm with Bi-ryum, who tells her to focus on their relationship and asks if she really doesn’t like any of the rings he’s given her.

Back at work, Sang-yoo tells So-ah that he’s decided to marry Hyung-shik, the friend he’s always ditching So-ah for. So-ah is shocked, but Sang-yoo says that as long as two people love each other, that’s all that matters. [Hyung-shik is traditionally a boy’s name.]

So-ah tries to talk some sense into Sang-yoo, saying that he can’t marry Hyung-shik, but he’s determined. He tells her that Hyung-shik is here to see her, and calls for his friend (cameo by Park Hee-bon). As it turns out, Hyung-shik is a girl and So-ah already knows her. Hyung-shik apologizes shyly for not visiting more often, admitting that So-ah scares her, ha.

As So-ah walks home, she complains on the phone to Yeom-mi about Sang-yoo’s harebrained decision to get married. She turns the corner to her alley and stops dead, nearly dropping her phone in her shock.

Under the streetlight, as if he never left, waits Ha-baek. So-ah meets him under the light, and he fusses at her for staying out too late like he always does. She asks what took him so long, and he complains that the process for deferring his enthronement was complicated.

So-ah laughs and steps into Ha-baek’s arms. They hold each other for a long moment, then head inside for something to eat. So-ah asks if Ha-baek will keep getting hungry and he confirms it, adding that he wasn’t allowed to bring his powers or his driver’s license with him, either. HA.

As they walk though the gate and into the house, the names they wrote in chalk on the wall so long ago float away like little while clouds. They reform as a plaque on the gate, spelling out their names side by side.

So-ah narrates: “People can survive anything with the strength they have. But if that strength were love, it would be even better.”

 
COMMENTS

Well, that was actually a lot better than I expected. I thought that this finale was one of the better episodes in the drama, with some interesting surprises (I didn’t expect So-ah’s father to be dead, and the scene where he saved her was both gorgeous and heartbreaking). I only wish that the good parts had been spread out more evenly—I’m left with the impression that the writer had some very good ideas, but just lacked the ability to flesh them out into a full sixteen episodes. The general story outline was good, and elements such as Hu-ye’s dilemma, So-ah’s complicated relationship with her father, and Bi-ryum coming to terms with his grief were quite unique and compelling. They just seemed to come in clusters, leaving gaps between the interesting moments that felt really dull and flat. And while it’s nice that everyone got their happily ever after, my disappointment comes from the fact that I never really worried that they wouldn’t.

I have a lot of small complaints about the way this show was executed, but I thought about it, and I realized that they boil down to the show breaking one of the most basic of rules—don’t tell me, show me. So much of the backstory was just told to us, when I would much rather have seen it play out. Add to that the fact that when we were shown the Realm of the Gods, it felt like the show gained a vibrancy that it didn’t have in the modern-day scenes (and I’m not talking about color, because the cinematography was beautiful throughout). Something about those flashback scenes really felt alive and interesting, and I wish we’d gotten a lot more of them.

I know I said that I would judge the drama on its own merits, and I’ve tried to stick to that. But you take a risk when you adapt a show to be so different from the original, especially when the original is so good. Whenever you allude to the original story, it’s bound to be more interesting, particularly when the source material has such a loyal following, as the Bride of the Water God manhwa boasts. I don’t mean to imply that I don’t think a modern-day adaptation of the original manhwa couldn’t have worked well—there were many moments when I thought, “Yes, this is good! Give me more of this!” The disappointing thing is that those moments were few and far between, and that they usually involved Hu-ye’s storyline, which was a completely new invention.

I do believe that the drama had a lot going for it; it’s just that it didn’t seem to know what to do with those good things. I even think (and I may be in the minority here) that the show was cast well… the gods were beautiful and portrayed effectively, and I found the characters mostly engaging and their personalities interesting. But so many of the things that drew me in early on just seemed to have been forgotten, like whatever happened to the fact that Ha-baek’s powers returned every time So-ah’s life was threatened? The show could have mined so much from that fact, both in exciting scenes and in exploring why Ha-baek’s powers had disappeared in the first place. Instead, everyone just stopped caring about his powers at all.

Which still would have been fine, if the show had been about Ha-baek learning about humans and how to care as much for them as for himself. Or if it had been about what makes someone human, using Hu-ye’s struggles to highlight the differences between gods and mortals. Or even if it had been about the gods learning how to love in a way that changed their attitudes about marriage and fidelity. So many interesting themes that were touched on that could have made such a great, introspective drama, and yet what we got instead was a lot of arguments about land and coffee mugs.

Oddly enough, it’s the casting that worried me most at the beginning, but the characterizations turned out to be my favorite part of the show. I thought Ha-baek was delightfully arrogant and haughty, and I loved that while he softened under So-ah’s influence, he always stayed fundamentally himself. So-ah changed the most during the course of the show, going from someone who’d almost entirely cut herself off from the world, to someone who deeply cared about others. Bi-ryum and Mura were both hilarious and emotionally volatile, and I felt that they were played well by Gong Myung and Krystal. And Im Joo-hwan gave his usual strong performance as Hu-ye, whose deep longing for acceptance and love were so well-realized that I would happily watch a whole drama centered on his quest to find his place in the universe.

In conclusion, I come away from Bride of the Water God 2017 feeling like it was a cute drama, but that’s about it. There was very little real conflict, and what there was didn’t even involve either of the leads. The love stories were sweet but inevitable, though at least the resolution wasn’t predictable and actually surprised me a bit. It’s not that the show wasn’t enjoyable as it was; it just feels like there was so much wasted potential. It makes me wistful for what could have been, and the epic magical drama we could have had. I think I’ll just view the drama and its source material as being unconnected, and go re-read the manhwa to remind myself of what an amazing story Bride of the Water God truly is.

 
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Shallow, unfullfilling ending. Habaek is useless. The OTP chemistry is non-existend and the love plot is empty. What did he do to deserve any love from So-Ah? He saved her once. All the other times he's been petty with a terribly assholeish character. No idea how the author of this recap consideres the finale one of the better episodes of this series.

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Hi Disappointment! I thought Habaek's decision to bestow a god's grace on her so that she may find her father quite epic.

But why did Soah just wished for Habaek to stay with her? She could have wished for herself to stay with Habaek. Then they would have an eternity together instead of just a lifetime >.<

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It was like the director woke up to realise that only two episodes are left...
I mean I would love to see protest in the deity land, would love to some more angst over father dying ... For 14 episodes they just cried over each other being and not being there ...
If u see the first episode and directly jump to last two episodes ... U will save time

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hahaha... yes totally! This drama reminds me of the movie "Dumb and dumber", why didn't so-ah wish to stay with Habaek forever in the Water World? Why ask for 60 years instead of 600000000 years of togetherness... He is the king of goodness sake... so-ah is so stupid right from the get-go, same for the writer... stupidest drama of 2017! Thanks for the recaps as I wouldn't want to rewatch this drama ever ?

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My thoughts exactly. He'll still have to miss her forever after!

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I guess I can kind of see where the writer is coming from: if So-ah were to make the exact same wish (eternity with Ha-baek in the Water Nation), she would've appeared to be exactly like Nak-bin. One way to sharpen the contrast between Ha-baek's ex and So-ah would be in their different attitudes: where So-ah was at first unwilling to start the relationship because it had to end, she gradually learns it's better to settle for what you can get.

That being said, I feel like you could still establish a convincing contrast since Nak-bin used an extremely bad strategy (betraying/backstabbing Ha-baek) in order to gain eternal life, whereas So-ah used an acceptable route (the servant's tablet.) More importantly, even if the 'she's not Nak-bin' thing is important, it's a meta-concern. It doesn't really make sense in-story, and I don't think contrasting So-ah to Nak-bin mattered because Nak-bin never mattered except as the reason why Bi-ryum was so darn cheesed off with Ha-baek and Hu-ye.

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Help @aisling! How did Ha Baek bestow his power/grace on her when he didn't have any in the mortal realm? Or was his power one he retained somehow: the ability to swim to the bottom of the Han River without breathing? (But somehow he also kept it, as he too swam to the bottom with her?)

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Hi Jamie! In episode 13, the high priest kept Habaek's powers locked up when he went to the human world the second time, granting him the use of it only once to open the Gate of the Gods when it was time for him to return. But instead of using it to open the gate, he chose to give it to Soah so that she could retrieve her father from the bottom of the river.

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The reason she was the only one who could move dad is because she was his daughter, not because of the power she was given. That's why the two other gods, with their full powers, were unable to.
The power was only to come and go safely in the deep water, but a diving cylinder, a mask and fins would have done the job beautifully.
By the way, HOW DEEP is the Han river at that spot? It looked like a pitless abyss.

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Thanks, aisling and irmar! That is very helpful!

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I think Soah wasn't interested in eternity. A normal lifetime was her perfect. It also would allow Habaek to go thru a lifetime of love.... to then grieve, remember and cherish. This would make him a much better King and I believe Soah also thought of this. Soah really had no patience for the God's realm and all that went with it, for her because she was too human and that is a good thing. Habaek really needed to know much more about human life, its ups and downs, joys and sorrows. Though I did wish he had some more power so that money would not be an issue in their life together... perhaps we need a sequel!!!!!!! Thank you Lollipip for such excellent recaps.

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I'm more interested with the supporting stories.Mura and Bireum hate-love relationship and those kissing scenes excites me.( I would gladly watch if they make another drama starring these two because their chemistry is so evident).
Ja-ya and Secretary Min were also hilarious.

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So I wonder what ever happened to kang ha neul???

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He went to the army.

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But he doesn't enlist until September

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Hahaha that's the question on my mind also! Did KHN even appear? I swear I did my best to look but I couldn't even find him O.O

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Went to my place and never want to leave... hohoho

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Haha I'm sure that's what happened 0.0

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Friend says he's the painter. I'm not sure though.

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Thank you, Lolypip!

Ummm story was all over the place. Lead couple had a cute little bit, but it was greatly overshadowed by Nam Joo Hyuk’s greeness in the role of Habaek. He just doesn’t have the acting chops to pull off a role like this yet. Supporting characters distracted from 
the main story. I spent most of the drama rooting for Shin Hoo Ye. His arc certainly showed the most development and care. Really wanted a better ending for Hoo Ye! #happyendingforhooye

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Lee so hyuk maybe fit to be Habaek... With his arrogantly (hmmm... Is that a word) aura and low charismatic voice... NJH seems too young to be Habaek.
Agree.. Huye's storyline is what 'save' this show. IJH is definitely not dissapointing here...

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Unfortunately, LSH is in the army already. ?

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I never thought about that but THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN AWESOME! He convinced me once upon a terrible drama that he can play really well somewhat dark, arrogant but smexy god-like characters that just can sit on a rock bare-chest to earn forever entrapped hearts. (The proof, if needed.) And he can do more, much more than just smexy. I just wonder if Drama Lords are ready yet to give him a leading role or if he is trapped in the eternal second lead dungeon.

Regarding BoHB... Warm and Cozy. Just warm and cozy and... it really felt a tad lazy. The drama in which almost nothing happened. I used it as a sleeping pill.

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Holy hell, YES! I remember him more for Deep-Rooted Tree than Scholar Who Walks The Night, but a thousand times, yes - I would like to see that casting happen.

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That video is hilarious!!! I agree with the title haha

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Oppa can also do sad puppy eyes like no ones business. The very first drama I saw him in was High School King of Savvy and it was love at first sight. He widens those big brown eyes and pout his mouth ever so slightly, and I die every single time.

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OMG, that would have been perfect!

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I agree with your comment about NJH to an extent. I don't think NJH was capable of some of the nuances the character of Habaek required. Habaek is a difficult character to portray--at least the version they were going for. Probably there may have been other actors who may have done a better job. Having said that, one of the ways you become a better actor is through experience. Also, you're not going to always choose the best role or show every time. Yes, NJH had some near cringe worthy moments in this show, but I honestly think that he had many others that were really quite good. Hoping for the best for him going forward.

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Right from the start, I knew Nam Joo-hyuk was a bad fit for this role. I'm really glad Moon Chae-won declined this role in favour of Criminal Minds, though I'm not watching that show nor have I actually seen her in anything, but she would have completely buried Nam Joo-hyuk if she was his co-star. Oddly enough, I really enjoyed him a lot in Scarlet Heart and I actually cried because him and Seohyun couldn't be together no matter how hard they fought to be together.

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Actually I think NJH was a good fit with SSK. I love LSH but I can't imagine him with SSK in this role. Whatever the plot and outcome, I will always be glad for this show that introduced to me this pairing. Towards the end, they really did look like they were reluctant to part with one another and I find So-Ah's wish convincing.

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Thanks for the recaps, @Lollypip, and being so positive about this drama! Even when there were things to complain about, I loved how you always focused in on the positives, and brought our attention back to Habaek & So-Ah.

Personally, I think the ending could have been worse. I’ve seen worse endings, I can’t think of any at the moment, but I’m sure there are worse ones.

So-Ah looked very sweet in her bridal dress.

I wouldn’t mind a spin-off on Hu-Ye’s continued quest for perfection and acceptance, but my guess is that the ratings were so low it’s just a #fangirlfantasy for me

Until next time, Beanies <3

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Personally, this ending wasn't thattttt bad because at least it wrapped things up and answered all my questions in a "realistic" way. I hated the way Lookout ended, for one.

I'd describe this drama as a glass of lukewarm water. It sustained my drama-addiction and need for some fluffy romance, but it was bland and plain from start to finish. I'd been hoping for something tangy with a kick.

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My bad sex analogy is still valid. Thanks Lollypip, you've worked really hard on these recaps.

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Agree.
We'll continue to search a better partner then... Uh-oh, I mean better drama and storyline. ^^

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That's... it?

I'm in a little bit of a dilemma over the ending. I can't decide if I like it or hate it. On one hand, the first half of the episode was a blow to my emotions. Oof, what a thing to find out - that her dad had actually died trying to save her, and she'd spent all those years resenting him for not coming back. It must have been such an emotional blow to So-ah, because I think those years of resenting him had also been spent desperately hoping she would be able to meet him again... and then she realized she would really never be able to because he'd drowned in the river. I've never had a positive memory of SSK's acting, but I'm glad to say that she did sell the scene for me. She has improved a fair bit.

On the other hand, I feel like the second part was a letdown. It was almost... too easy. Like as though the writer was too lazy to think of something else. When the High Priest appeared to say that even though Habaek had given his powers to So-ah, he would be able to return and wouldn't die, it was just too predictable for me. I'd expected that to happen, but the scene felt like such an anticlimactic drop for me. It felt like in the last 20 minutes, everything was wrapped up too easily.

Part of me wonders how come So-ah couldn't have wished to be able to live with hm forever in the Water Kingdom. Would that have been too greedy for a human? I just think that Habaek would have to live with her and watch her grow old and sick and die while he remains healthy and young (and will return alone after she passes), and that in itself is cruel to me. Maybe I'm just a diehard hopeless romantic.

Side note: how in the world did So-ah change into the bride outfit and do her hair so quickly? I need to learn some tricks from her.

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"Part of me wonders how come So-ah couldn't have wished to be able to live with hm forever in the Water Kingdom. " - I have the same thought!!

Then we could've been treated to an epic ending scene of Soah in Water Kingdom fashion with Habaek in his blue-haired glory... I loved the Water Kingdom scenes the most.

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Me too. Wondering if they could do a spin-off of this drama only in the God's realm. :)

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I thought about that too. I would have loved to see So Ah in the god's realm. It definitely could have been set up for a spin-off. The new antagonist would have been the queen mother, because she probably doesn't like human women after what NB did to Habaek. There also could have also been conflict with the sky king who originally tricked NB, to gain power over HB. It would have led back to the adventures of the original manhwa. Although I don't like how the manhwa ended.
BUT, I from the way This spin off was written, I think I remember it being mentioned that when Habaek becomes king, he and nature would become one? (I'd have to go back and rewatch that part to confirm this.) So according to this writer's take, SoAh wouldn't have been able to live forever with the physical Habaek in the god realm.

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OH I would love that script... fighting for power HaBaek and the sky king... queen mother as your typical human chaebol mother in law (but godess version.....don't know which one would be the scariest...) so much potential!! can we have this spin off please?!!?

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She didn't do her hair, she just put that flower crown. That's why her hair looked so shabby for a bride.

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I agree with every single word you said. And I also thought about it while I saw it.
Too easy resolved, plain and lacking emotional breaking anything, wether it may be up or down.
But on the other hand, if she spukt have wished to go and live with him eternally, for me, that would have been even more convinient and easy and shallow.
Don't get me wrong, I love happy ends, but sometimes some would make me cringe, because then they are too much unreal to be handled.
On the other hand, wishes come from the heart, you cannot even phrase them well with words. It would have been better if he could have read the wish in her heart, and if the Show would have found another way to "show" us, how it would become true.

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I'm grateful of a few things;

[1] Huye gets to be happy in his next life.
[2] Nobody died. Except Soah's dad, RIP.
[3] This drama has ended.
[4] We have an ending, no matter how anti-climatic it was. Oh, the cast was great in their roles.

Now, the things that crossed my mind as I invested 16 hours of my life into this drama;

[1] That ending. So fluffy. So lacklustre. So-so.
[2] So many questions left unanswered; I mean, ARE THE FISH FAUNA OKAY? Who is the Sky King?
[3] I'm a bit bitter at this drama for stringing me along and enticing me with the potential to shine before dumping my ass in the disappointment pile.

Overall, it feels like I'm waiting to be served a wonderful dish after seeing all these quality ingredients and skilled chef. But then, halfway through the cooking session, the chef realised the ingredients may not work and it's too late to change. So the end product is a dish that managed to not taste bad, but it still retain the weird consistency to it. LOL, I got lost in trying to explain my metaphor. Apologies in advance.

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Know what ever since you mentioned the fishes I've been wondering about it every episode. Unfortunately, the most any god in this dramaverse cared about the water fauna is when Mura reprimanded So Ah from throwing a rose in the river... Which isn't even trash ?

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True about the fish and what exactly was the deal with the red water?

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Did anyone else wonder why Habaek has to give his last remaining power to Soah just so she could meet her father? Just get some proper diving gear, that'll do the trick as well, no?

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The body wouldnt budge, must be some supernatural power holding him down, because even Mura and Bi Ryum couldnt retrieve it, so Habaek's power was needed. Although I did wonder, its a dead body, why did they have to retrieve his body? Its a different story if he would still be alive after they pull him out.

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why did they have to retrieve his body?

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cause it is a human thing to do.
alive or dead, family or not, you didn't leave human body laying on the river bed. human needs to be buried properly.

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but thats a hell lot of sacrifice just to retrieve and bury the body. the god of gods will die?

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Exactly my thought. But why did SoAh needed Habaek's powers when even he couldn't get SoAh's father's body out when he tried?

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because of yeom mi's premonition?
that so-ah would get her soul taken away by her father... (aka dying)
maybe breaking thru the barrier needs a human soul sacrifice or whatnot lmao

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Hahahahaha. Logic for the win. I'm guessing they needed the combination of a her and a god's power to breach the barrier. And Habaek wanted her to live on and not get herself killed/kill herself. Love makes you do stupid things. Love for the win!?

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Me too! I was thinking of the same thing - why Habaek has to give up all his powers to So Ah? And can a God give powers to a human? I thought Habaek doesn't have any powers in the first place. I am confused by so many things in this drama! They shouldn't have left many loopholes. It spoils the whole drama eventually.

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At one point in this episode I said out loud, "I am sooo in the dark here!" Lots of unclear cause-and-effect ?

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Because writers can't think of any other way for there to be double whammy of deathly angsty love? No offense for dead bodies, but it won't do much difference. So Ah can still hold a funeral.

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Actually there is in fact a big difference: at the bottom of the river, his body would remain untouched, undisturbed, perfectly preserved. After the funeral, isn't she going to cremate him? Or if he does get buried, he's gonna rot and return to the earth. Not too bad if you want to be one with nature and all, but then again, being preserved in an eternal godly coffin isn't such a bad thing either.

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You know...I cant even moves past from 'Habaek actually have some power?' point. I didnt even know about that..

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"The ending was a lot better than expected"
Really???
Am I the only one who find this drama to be useless, dissapointing, without any plot and many unresolved question??
Sorry if I sound too harsh... But really.. I love the manhwa, I love manhwa Habaek and Soah. But if they going to modernize it, then do it right!! At least show a real conflict for Habaek and Soah, why they are the star-crossed lover. Habaek fell in love with a human girl before, and it didn't turn well. Don't you think the drama can show this potential storyline, with Habaek's mom tries to prevent his son from doing the same thing over and over again? And what about Soah's family supposed curse? Does Habaek really can just stay in human world easily like this? What about.... Okay, I am tired. So many questions and 'meh' factors.
I am really just going to stay out from this writer and NJH's dramas (after School 2013, I had a serious SLS with Yook Seung Jae and ended up disliking NJH. I tried to give a second chance with BOTWG... But I guess I was wrong).
Sorry for the long rant... The dissapointment is too real. ????

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hi just alee, do you mind sharing the manhwa ending? am super curious cos im kind disappointed with this one. i was hoping she wld at least end up with habaek forever in the water kingdom after the 16hours i wasted.

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Well.. The story in manhwa is so complicated with all the political fiasco in God realms.. Long story short, Habaek wants Soah to eat the eternity fruit (which is a very very very rare and hard to get fruit). But she refused because she didn't want to live an eternal life.. She have 3 daughters with Habaek (if I am not mistaken) and she died in the end, leaving Habaek & his daughters.
Please correct me if I am wrong, other beanies... I read this manhwa a long time ago, I kinda forget the ending.

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Yes the eternity fruit only produces once every 3000 years. I remember that Moo Ra tried to destroy it so that SoAh couldn't live eternally. The daughter- the one So Ah always speaks of in the drama had powers to keep the tree alive, because I believe that But it was draining her to do so. So Ah was badly injured by Habaek's mom. So when she saw how much energy it was taking her daughter to keep it alive, she refused to eat of it. The daughter blamed Habaek for not trying hard enough to convince SoAh to eat the fruit.
Sad- not my kind of ending

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What a horrible ending. Why on earth? I was planning to read it, but if it's going to end like this I am deleting it from my hard drive.

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thanks so much @JustAlee!

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As far as i know.. you're not alone... This drama is far, no not even far..it's nowhere near to be called decent.
If it was me, i would've tripled my rant.

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My overall guess goes something like this: if you love NJH, everything's fine and dandy, and you'd probably consider this drama a 'meh'; nice enough, won't regret watching, probably not on your Greatest Hits list.

If, on the other hand, you're not particularly sold by the romance thread, then you are less likely to be able to overlook the flaws of this drama. Three guesses as to which camp I fall into. The first two don't count.

Disclaimer: As I've mentioned before, I went in as a IJH fan. Strike one against me. Second, romance is a genre I generally dislike, although I do enjoy some dramas/films in that genre and am able to close one eye to others. Strike two against me. (I watched for the urban fantasy and stayed for Hu-ye's moral crisis, so sue me.) And strike three--I could not get on the main ship. Just couldn't. (Again, no craps given, we can't get on all the pairings all the time.)

It's not that things weren't done well--it's that while some things were done well earlier, other things were done...well, they weren't crap, but they really seemed lacking. It was all the more accentuated by the things that were done well.

1. I feel like BOTWG really lost steam by the fourteenth episode and I stand by that claim still. Maybe it would've been better to have approached it as a slice-of-life type thing, except that it got plotty at points. The overall result was somewhat schizophrenic. I've mentioned before that I felt the Hu-ye/gods tension was overdeveloped at the expense of...pretty much everything else. I was invested in seeing how that tension got resolved. Once it did, what was left? The hints that Joo-dong was up to something? The thread concerning So-ah's father? Ha-baek's powerlessness?

2. Characters fell into: well-developed or meh. It's like this drama doesn't do things halfway. I think Geol-rin was well done, and I've made my opinion on Hu-ye abundantly clear. I am 50-50 on So-ah (this one has to do with the tropes used; I found it hard to buy 'strong and independent' other than people telling me that's what she was, and it's nothing to do with SSK as I enjoyed her in other dramas.) Ha-baek fell into meh territory for me: partly because the romance didn't excite me, and partly because I felt that there was so much more that could have been done with the Nak-bin backstory that didn't get done, especially since we're supposed to infer it left a big impression on Ha-baek, and for a while, he just didn't seem to have any big motivations, which made him harder to click with. At least he ended with character growth, so that's something. Ja-ya and Secretary Min were a lovely, hilarious aside. Mu-ra and Bi-ryum. Oh god, I have no idea what I am expected to think about them. The late episodes did a good job at giving them surprising depths...which were more or less walked back in Episode 14 onwards when Mu-ra goes into simple jealousy mode again, and apparently may or may not be on with Bi-ryum,...

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Ok, I forgot about comment limits so DB swallowed my comment. Serves me right for being so verbose. Anyway.

3. Plot broke a cardinal rule of writing: don't break your promises to the reader/viewer. When you introduce a plot strand/hook, you're promising your reader this will be explained later/dealt with later. You don't always have to keep the promise exactly: sometimes, what BOTWG did really well was in terms of subverting my expectations. But there were lots of broken promises too, like the whole Ha-baek going to die if he doesn't become king thing suddenly becoming 'lol haha sorry we were mistaken.' That's not subversion: that's outright breaking the promise made to the viewer. It was first introduced as a way of raising the stakes--suddenly it's a big deal, because if Ha-baek doesn't become king, he will be dead. Breaking the promise by walking it back just weakens the overall impact of the story. Sometimes, BOTWG does it well (subversion). Other times, it just does it by trying to clumsily convince me it made a different promise altogether, or just outright breaks the promise.

Then there's the bit with So-ah's father. On one hand, it's nice and neat: it ties the ending back to the beginning and it gives us a good way to make sense of things. Except that while it was sad, it sort of came out of nowhere. And that's the part where the show was bad at developing/juggling plots that wasn't Hu-ye/gods tension. At the start, I was invested in this thread--it was apparent to me how much So-ah was hurting at the loss of her father. By this point though? I had to struggle to remember it was still a deal for her.

Stuff like the whole curse on So-ah's family thing? Welp, I guess we'll just forget about it. This was less a promise and more a plot element that got dropped.

4. Finally, I'm not really pleased with the ending, but I'm not really displeased with it, either. I find it pretty...thin. Of all the endings, I'm most pleased with Hu-ye's, and I would say it's because we see him working--with the assistance of friends--to directly earn that ending. Next best would be Ja-ya and Secretary Min. My issues with the So-ah/Ha-baek ending pertain back to my comment on broken promises. I can't get on the feels-good train with them.

In any case, thanks to Lollypip for your hard work recapping and putting up with us grouchy commenters. Fellow commenters, thanks for being awesome people to enthuse about the great moments of BOTWG with. While I've been grouchy and occasionally rather unimpressed by the drama, I've also had moments where I was deeply invested and engaged, and I don't regret picking this one up, after all. Hope to run into you guys while commenting on/watching another drama! So long, and thanks for all the fish! (And please please IJH get first lead soon...)

Final comment: A. I consider this episode sufficient to validate my joking statement that Ha-baek might remain mostly powerless for...

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Oh dear god not again.

Final comment for realz: A. I consider this episode sufficient to validate my joking statement that Ha-baek might remain (mostly) powerless for the finale, and B. Holy hell guys I see more powers in a single episode of Running Man than I got to see in this entire drama.

-Kaoren out.

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"Holy hell guys I see more powers in a single episode of Running Man"
LOL (also lololol)

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I think Secretary Min is making Ja-ya go through a 12 step program similar to AA to make her a good person. She is so taken with him that I think the process would make a decent rom-com.

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I would watch that, TBH.

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I would have liked more of their interactions tbh.

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I still have no idea why that was part of the drama, but it was super cute and I would have liked to see more of it ;)

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Yeah, I would loved to see a drama just with Ja-Ya and Secretary Min as the second lead couple, with Mura and Bi-ryum as the first lead couple.

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The writer threw us a curve ball by purposely mixing up the timing of that fateful night. HY said he was here for 10 years, JD disappeared 12 years ago after breaking up the MR & BR fight, and when SA jumped from the bridge, I'm not sure if that was ever stated. If we had known all of it happened almost 13 years ago we could have figured it out 5 episodes ago.
Half the fun of reading the recaps and comments were the speculations about the realm of the gods mythology and how the drama would tie up all the loose ends. I will miss that more than the drama.
On a more fun note, the costuming was always great to see, SA with her practical wardrobe, MR and her fabulous dresses, HB & BR in their modern hipster male fashions, and HY, did he ever wear the same suit twice?

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The women's costuming was fabulous. I saw a drape-y dress the other day and thought, oh that's a real MuRa dress! While I enjoyed HB and BY's wardrobes, I did start thinking of the show as Blouses of the Water God.

Hu Ye was always simply impeccable ?

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First of all congratulation to the production team, cast & crew of Bride of the water God. I was a bit sad that the show ended but all things must come to an end.....
Agree with you about those small complains but then again the writer & the director must have a hard time squeezing the story in just 16 episode.
As for the rating, agree it may have the lowest rating but I still believe that this show will be receive well by the internaltional audience.

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seeing the disgruntlement on BOWTG makes me wonder, is it worth my time to watch this drama?
i wonder what when wrong in the first place? is it the idea to modernized the manhwa? or is it pressure from top management to make it more slick and modern? or is it, the actors limit, make it this adaptation does not live to its expectation?
to know the team behind this drama make me speechless. Misaeng writer and QIHM Man PD?! what went wrong with this combo?

im joo hwan probably need to go back to weekend drama or chungmuro. i still love him in ugly alert. at least everyone can enjoy 100+ episode of im joo hwan great acting.

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I think it was a combination of all. But I think the biggest problem was that habaek had no real conflict that we cared about

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I actually agree with the Lollypip on the flaws of the drama and what also worked (even I noticed they were breaking the rule of show don't tell). I think the realities of budget didn't allow for a historical setting and also didn't allow for a lot of CGI or special effects. This didn't worry me because this writer wrote Arang which is a well done fantasy drama. To me they went all in on romance over story whereas Arang took almost half the drama to build the story before the romance really kicks in.

I didn't believe the hype so I'm fairly middle of the road...don't love it but not bitter about watching it. If you decide to watch, just know it doesn't have a lot of intensity because they didn't even make getting the three stones to get back to the godly realm something to sweat about. Just weird story decisions.

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It's disappointing that this drama was disappointing since that same writer not only wrote Arang, but also Misaeng. It's almost like the writer tried to fuse the two together and the plot fell apart. I agree that there isn't a lot of tension in this drama and when they do attempt to insert some tension, it's feels out of left field and over the top.

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Alternate Endings Game: she gets the tablet/amulet, wishes real hard - and teleports to Vanatu.

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And we'll finally see Habaek yield his powers as King in the Water Kingdom. And the Fish Fauna is saved! Yay! ?

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HaBaek didn't feel like a god till the very end!!! He was the most helpless , poor and pathetic God I have ever seen in dramaland!!! I was expecting some water powers like the one when he saved her... And that's it for the whole drama??? Are you kidding me!! And Mura-Biryum, this couple had more potential but it was wasted.. The only one that did justice to the drama and had me hooked up till the end was HuYe!! Couldn't you guys give a better love story for the guy!! For he is the only one who really suffered and went through so many trouble and difficulties!!!

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Did that tablet have a mummification app? Refrigeration app? Freeze-dry app?
Either that or the (oddly transparent) pollutants in the river are very effective preservatives.

Decomposition aside, I don't think bodies remain undiscovered for years in such clear water.

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Joo Dong's tablet is only visible to the Gods and their servants. Having it in his possession must have concealed So Ah's father's body from regular humans. The same tablet must also have some magical powers that suspended decomposition. I don't know... the mythology in the drama is all over the place.

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Either that or the (oddly transparent) pollutants in the river are very effective preservatives.

Hahahaha. Underwater, everything crystal clear blue. Above water, silt like, brakish looking water.

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Must be the power of that tablet! Lol

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lol. Must be.

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Dunno, it seems like such an easy, unsatisfying ending. I mean they are together (it was kind of a deus/High Priest ex machina though), but I don't feel anything except for emptiness. I was so excited when I heard about this adaptation, and now that it's finished I regret so much that they decided to update it to modern times. Manhwa had good conflict, characters and the setting (and the environment, Water Country was ?), but in here, everything seemed shallow.
I couldn't really get in tune with the characters. Acting-wise, it was mostly good (Im Joo-hwan!!!), but as many of you noticed, the role was to heavy for Nam Joo-hyuk. The drama did have some good ideas, some scenes were pretty nice and it looked gorgeous, but overall, I'm disappointed.

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When they were both in the river, the long shots have them swimming down and sideways, which makes sense, but the closeups have them swimming up (you can tell from the bubbles).

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Worst fake underwater scenes ever. It was distracting!! How hard is it to throw the actors in a large tank of water??

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haha, sorry, I just repeated what you said. I should real before writing in a fury :)

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It was such bad CGI it distracted me from the scene.

It can't be that hard to film it in real water, there has to be a watertank always ready for kdrama-productions somewhere in Seoul. Drama Heroes and Heroines are always drowning & saving each other...

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your comment remind me of han hyo joo in W2W where she suddenly pulled under Han River. that scene is seriously awesome, eventhough they filmed it on water tank.

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Not to forget mermaids...

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Thanks LollyPip for the fast and great recaps!!

My first question after the ending was "Can Habaek and SoAh have kids? Would their kid turn out like Hu ye?"

While I was watching, I did think it was quite stupid that Habaek would risk his life just to retrieve SoAh's father's DEAD body. Its a different matter if retrieving the body would make SoAh's father alive again. Couldnt SoAh just promise him that she would not jump into the water and kill herself again? but I guess he knew her well enough and was worried that he wouldnt be able to protect her once he leaves.

Other than that, I think the ending was great! SSK and NJH's performances even made me cry when they realised what her father had done. I'm a NJH fan after Weightlifting Fairy and I think he did better than I expected in this drama. This drama had its ups and downs, I loved it after episode 4 up til maybe 12, and after that, they kept going in circles until it finally ended.

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Actually my understanding was not so much to just retrieve the body. He knew that so ha blames herself for her fathers death, and the one thing she yearn for she will never get, she was so desperate and likely will stay that way and follow her dad into the water aka lose the will to live or kill herself

So the moment he leaves, that's the end for her. Hence why he needed to help her.

Tell me if I'm wrong? I thought this was one of the strongest story point of the last episode. I was actually quite moved

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No you're right. It just seemed like a waste of a deity's life at that point but it does make sense.

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Yes, but when she was concerned and devastated that he was thinking of giving up his own life for that, she should have not only promised but sworn that she will not do this irrational thing (or if she does, she will have a couple of professionar divers with her, including all the necessary gear=.

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I think so too! So ah said in the premonition dream that the one who saved her will be the cause of her death.

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Yes I was thinking that. They'd have a little half-god baby!

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But who is the mother of Habaek's daughter that SoAh keeps mentioning in the drama then? And why they have never explained Habaek's marital status? I should stop taking this drama seriously

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Ikr?! So many initial clues and plot points underdeveloped, logical closure is futile. ?

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I am right there with you in taking this drama too seriously, marimari, because that point is driving me crazy.

Do you think So Ah and Ha Baek will have a daughter? Or will he have one in the far future, after So Ah dies and he goes back to the Water Kingdom? Does the mythology exists in a realm that is outside time?

It is driving me bonkers. Show brought it up twice. >.<

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A happy ending for a bad story line... Ok. I'll remember the good and swoony scenes and forget the rest. As I said in the last ep, I like to remember this drama the way I remember L2M. At least, this ending make it possible for me to do so.

Thanks for your prompt and wonderful recap, @lollypip. Hope next drama would be better, and we can gather to exchange hilarious and meaningful notes happily.

Time to pop up the bottle now, and celebrate the end of messy story! *cheers to us all*

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Oh, is it drinking time again? ?

Thanks, lollypip for the prompt and insightful recaps!

Thanks, everyone, too! This is the first time I've ever participated in the DB forums, and thanks to all (despite BOTWG turning out to be just so-so and rather disappointing), man, I discovered that talking to beanies is SO MUCH FUN. ? Til the next drama to dissect and play drinking games on. ? Cheers!

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This is the second drama I watch just to see Im Joo Hwan... trying to ignore the plotless rest. His acting is just on the point, greatly emotional, such a gem in those muddy waters. And I even came to realize that even a so-so story could be saved by experimented actors.
I always remember the drama I discovered him in, "What's Up". There was a stellar young cast (Jo Jung Suk, Kim Ji Won, Lee Soo Hyuk, Im Joo Eun, Oh Man Suk, and many others...), it's a shame this drama never had the recognition it deserved.

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It could have been much better if they have followed the story of manga as it is.Such a waste of the opportunity.Thanks for the recap.

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The ending is not that great but this drama showed no matter who you are ,love will find you,no matter you already are heartbroken you will still find love,love has no boundries,love has no condition.

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Thanks for the speedy recaps as always @lollypip. It means a lot to be able to post when everything is fresh in my mind. Unfortunately, I don't have much to say about this final episode. lol.

The episode was definitely one of the better ones of the series. I think everything ended as well as it could have. I gained a new likeable actress in Shin Se-kyung.

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Sigh. Thanks for the recap. I think I'll skip this episode. It doesn't sound like I'm missing. Rip show- that -could -have -been.

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Did you watch episode 15? If so, I would definitely recommend watching this episode. It's wort it imo.

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I did watch it. Maybe I'll check out 16. Thanks

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Nice and sweet drama.... but I feel the finale was a bit rushed, they could have given us some time to process what was happening and more scenes for Mura and Bi ryum and showed us the development of their characters.......
It was good travelling with you drama..... bye ???

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I liked the ending. Those two are so cute! Honestly it was a very simple story, the writer is really good with slice of life scenes and should stick to writing those. She was very weak with the fantasy aspect. I watched it on a surface level so it was very enjoyable for me. I really loved the characters and relationship of so ah and habaek and I would never call myself a romance fan so it's really surprising that that's what made me stick to the show. Also liked huye, the actor is really cute. It was my first time watching any of the cast and I enjoyed all their portrayals. Njh can definitely improve further but he's someone I've got my eye on now. I hope him and ssk can reunite, they had amazing chemistry, atleast for me.

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And also for me. Ssk and njh are good together!

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So.... she couldnt have asked for immortality? She will grow old but he will stay young, outlive her, and move on anyways?

Its sweet but you gave up what Nakbin only dreamed of having to be with habaek forever.

Whats up with dramas like Habaek and Legend of the Sea? So much potential yet so so flat

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Yes my thoughts exactly. If thats not possible, they didnt really explain that its not possible either.

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The only thing I can say I truly loved about this show was Moo Ra's wardrobe. Her clothes were to die for!!! I want to raid her closet!!!!

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For me Moora can be wrapped up from a line from the movie A Cinderella Story: "Hate her, love the dress" lol

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Considering there are many dramas that I watch a few episodes, lose interest or never bother to watch till the end - this drama was one of those I finished.
(It's supposed to be a compliment LOL)
That aside - I did like NJH in his role , I felt he was way miscasted at first but I think he did well enough. And I do think his interpretation of habaek was nice for this adaptation. And ok he kisses well - that's always a plus!

SSK was a surprise, I never did warm up to her previous works and here in earlier episodes I felt the same and couldn't really connect with the female lead. But in the 2nd half, I could identify with her and like her actually a lot. In fact I felt she carried most of the last episode as her desperation at losing her dad and feeling the guilt did pull my heartstrings

What I didn't like- I don't fancy amnesia on the writers part. I agree about why did we lose the plot on him only having powers when she's in danger. Did we somehow lose the funding for the Cg effects or something so this thread could not be fulfilled? And I felt the writer had great ideas but the pacing was wrong so perhaps it's the PD who's messed up here
They were lucky that the OTP sold the story and were cute together
I don't mind squeeeing at their cuteness and did get why they like each other enough so that all those lovey Dovey how I am going to live without you lines didn't make me roll my eyes or cringe.

It's a shame as the story could have been more epic and better. But somehow this slice of life approach was also ok with me as I enjoyed the ride. It was an easy watch - somewhat reminds me of LOTBS, easy to watch, easy to like but ask me 3 months I won't remember anything abt the story other than ..yeah they were cute.

Habaek is cute and likeable - I like how he stayed the same yet really not the same with his love for Soha. I probably sound like a broken recorder but it's just so wierd for me that the one thing that I felt would spoil the story end up being the one that made me stay LOL

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Why was the servants' tablet with Joo Dong? Wasn't it given to Habaek?

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Wow!!!!!! This was an awesome episode.
I had tears in my eyes but I didn't like So-ah's last wish. Otherwise I found the show really touching my heart.
And now that its over, I feel so empty and sad and don't even feel like commenting.

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Very dissapointment with the ending , any way I already feel bored since ep 14 too much filler . Even at ep 15 there's no angst at all . I only care about Hu Ye, he is the saving grace for this show. Habaek is kind meh for me, can't really warm up with his character . I thought Shin Ja Ya will have any relation with the story but until the end I don't understand why even she is in the series

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This is probably the only Korean drama series I really watch diligently and keep up with closely, since the last time I watched a Korean drama! ? If not for the actors/actresses, I wouldn't have watched this drama series until the end! Their great acting skills and great looks was what kept me motivated to watch even though I don't really like Shin Se Kyung's acting. Nam Joo Hyuk got me like ? ! He really suits his character as Lord Habaek. He is way mature for his age plus he is soo handsome too! ?? Overall, I would say the plot is still confusing with many questions not answered. Ironically, the ending is fairly good but not the best. It can be soo much better if the writers/producers didn't rush this drama series.

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The last episode was very disappointing for me, and I didn't watch all of it. I actually skimmed through some parts because I was bored, and it felt like the sudden drama with her father, was just added for the sake of drama. So many questions left unanswered (like why Habaek lost his power to begin with), or left hanging (like the Nakbin story-line). Also shouldn't Hu Ye's curse of being reborn been broken? This is the first time were I felt that I wasted 16 hours of my life. The only two who really got a happy ending were Moora and Bi Ryum (basically the two most unworthy characters, got the happily ever after), it just felt so annoying. This really was a bad drama.

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The only good thing about this show was Im Joohwan and Krystal's fashion.

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I'll be happy trooper also, but I want, you want, in the end, who will write?! :O

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Unfortunately I'm on baldrick's sausage story level with fanfiction, so.. we in real need of fic writers here. Maybe they even exist somewhere ?

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I think I am feeling the same way lollypip, in that I am not so disappointed in how awful the drama is, rather than I am most disappointed in what it could have been, because we had so many wonderful glimpses into the more meaty storylines, just that it was not executed correctly. All in all, I still enjoyed it, just mourning a little for the story that never was. And the God's realm...I so wanted more of that beautiful world.

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I stopped midway of this drama because the pacing just wasn't doing it for me. It seems that it did not improve at all. Reading all the comments here, I feel that I can skim-watch BOTWG when I have free time. It'll be easier that way. I do want to see Soah and Habaek get together. I read that their relationship is one of the better things in this muddled story. I will have to be contented with the cute. Hehe!

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I'm sorry...but what was the point of the drama? I don't mean 'why does it exist', but what was really the takeaway? There were so many things happening, but then really no linear line from beginning to end. I don't get how the main couple fell in love (it happened way too quickly), backgrounds were not being explained until basically the last half, no motivation...it all felt like a filler drama. The beginning was fine, with HB trying to figure out how to get his powers, the stones, etc. But then what? Lol, I honestly don't know how to feel about this one. I am not even upset that it didn't follow the original because it literally is nothing like it.

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That's my problem with this drama too. I don't understand why all of sudden so ah fell in love with habaek, when just a few days before she wanted nothing to do with him and his God problems.

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Thanks for the recap. I always liked to see what others think of the drama when I watch it. Sadly, I think I built up too much in my head that the finale seemed flat. Too much swimming time, sleeping time, and I get it he was keeping watch, but that's what time lapse is for. Love the cast. I think IJH did a wonderful job with emotion, so did NJH. I think they under-utilized Krystal, she has more range than being an ice queen. Was kinda sad that to see that they didn't close the loop for Yeu Mi but closed the loop for Sang Yoo. I liked the little twists along the way, but the end really fell flat. It had such great potential too. Would've loved for them to have built the background where Haebak is a child during the day and man at night. Totally just glossed over in half of the episode. Guess you couldn't fit everything in there.

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Reading the recaps I had a thought maybe they closed the loop for Yeom-Minbt suggesting she was an escaped servant (or the gold fish). Since she kept puckering her lips up the last few episodes.

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Wow, I would never have considered that possibility. I hate to think of HuYe going forward in life without his little companion.

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A. They always have an interesting plot of the story but it always turn out to be whatever! There are a lots of twist and turn but it didn't developed, they should even continue it because it would be an epic story. I don't get it why, I love this series but I am not satisfied with all of my wondering, they didn't answered our why's! I was not full and did not get what i want with my hungry creative mind. But still I appreciate their dedication and hard work for the show. Ssk and njk are so adorable, if it was just all about romance they hit me right! Njk just do it right, for me he did justice to the character, it suits him from his cold, not-so-energetic character lol god like him are laid back! And ssk is breaking my heart. I can relate to her character. I felt the pain. If I have given the Chance to end up the story there should be a war of gods, hu ye couldn't take what the gods do to him so he will make a revenge and fight against them, habaek is there but moo ra didn't allow him to fight with them, so ah also went to them to stop the fight and when the fight is on later on so ah got struck to hu ye's fire power so habaek got mad release his strength! Moora and buryeom is shocked when his power fully went back! He nearly killed hu ye but Moora stopped him. Hu ye can't forgive himself and he is regretful to what happened. Days have past habaek should gi back to his kingdom but could not stand it knowing his love will be alone he could not protect her. He was hesitating and so the queen mother from their kingdom go to the real world to see him, and when she saw habaek with so-ah she was mad for habaek was in love with the same woman from a long time ago. The queen mother recognize that so ah was the reincarnation of nakbin. She was mad. When habaek knew it he remembered what he says to nakbin before that she will have an eternal life through an reincarnation, he could nt believed it. The queenmother wasn't glad at all and tell habaek to go back to their kingdom but habaek remembered what so ah had have said that he didnt fight for nakbin so he tried to be fearless to their Queen mother telling her he will fight for their love. The queen mother got mad and promise to them they will not be happy together and she went back to their kingdom and think new plans. Then they make memories together, but days have past what they have said habaek will die if he will not go back to his place becomes nearly true, he felt uneasy and got heart aches. So ah couldn't stand it. She felt hurt all the time she saw habaek hurting just to be with her, added the pain from what she have learned about his das. So ah decided to talk to the queen mother with the help of moora, she doesn't want habaek to die, so she make a decision to let habaek go. So ah tricked habaek saying they will just have picnik but she's bringing him to the door to their kingdom, habaek got angry but so ah said she don't want to let her love die because of her just like what...

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My god, you even managed to include a (re-)birth secret! Hats off to you! Makjang bingo!!!!!

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It was a good ending. I enjoyed everything...

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I have to share my confession of how I teensy-bit ruined this drama for myself. Since its announcement, I thought this role was made for Lee Soo Hyuk. Especially after seeing him in all his glory as Gwi in The Scholar Who Walks the Night! It was difficult for me to imagine Nam Joo Hyuk as this character after seeing him in such "Boy Next Door" type roles. Well honestly I thought NJH did a really good job! He was fun and I completely bought into him being Habaek. BUT, early on I saw others comment about Lee Soo Hyuk, which reminded me of my original thought that he'd be the perfect Habaek. From that point on, for many of the scenes, I couldn't help but imagine each one acted out by LSH and how it'd be then. Hence, viewing this show was at times a bit of an exercise for me! ?

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I love this show!
My first time watching Korean Drama, and need to wait for the eng subtitles before I can understand what they are saying. Never watched the actors in any other shows before, but I find that they portray the characters very well.
Good job, I enjoyed the show.

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SPOILERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay first off thank you LollyPip for recapping this series. I have alot of things to say about this series and the fact that it was just a huge let down for me. After reading the manhwa I was so excited to hear that they were making this a series with nam joo the main character. This show was a huge let down in the book. Why name the title of the series the bride of the water god if they never got married or was arranged married like in the manga. They should have named it the Water God or something. Like that pissed me off that right away they were engaged to be married in the manga and they never even got married at the end of the series. And what happened to Habaek getting his powers. That would have been so cool to see more of his water works since hes the flippin king of water country. He should have been able to help so-ah get her father back from the water with his help without giving her his "power" that I didnt even know he had because he never got his powers back in the whole 16 episodes. I was hoping by ep 10 or something like that when he went back to the country he would gotten them back but he didnt. Its like wtf. And I dont understand why they had to go down there and save her dad I was surprised he was dead down there but come on they had to save a dead body? Just hold a funeral for him and say what you want to say then. Why sacrifice his life for her to be happy when she still is going to be sad that your not in her life. And I was more upset of they way they used nam joo. He was amazing in Weight lifting fairy and he had alot more emotions portrayed and he talked more I just loved him that show. But in this show...he was just like a brick wall who was always angry it seemed like that hardly showed his emotions. I dont know I didnt like the way he seemed uptight if thats the right word. Overall this show was very slow and didnt bring up to the hype that the trailers showed. I was hoping we would see a little more of the gods country cause that would have been beautiful! Like why not have half the show of him trying to find the god stones and at the end have his powers back have him go back to the water country, so-ah feeling depressed and then go jump off the bridge in her red coat, to where hakbaek would save her and then the towards the end of the series have the rest of the plot play out there with the high priest, and the grandma and such. See how she fairs in god country since we saw what habaek had to go through in the real world. There was just so much more the show could have done with the whole supernatural romance theme that I was highly dissapointed and frankly mad that it never happened. I hope they will continue this show in some way with where people are but I know they arent cause they left it off with a "happy ending" of them living out their lives together but still...just this whole story and plot line was slow and it didnt start getting good...

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Sigh for all the things this show could have been.

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You know that quote from "10 things I hate about you"? "You can be overwhelmed and underwhelmed but can you just be whelmed"

That's how I feel about this show & finale, I was just... whelmed...

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About halfway through the episode, when they were talking about the effects a gods death has on humans, I somehow thought that the writer would grow some balls and give us a bittersweet ending. AKA, actually killed Habaek. Which just made the actual ending even more of a let down. "Oh, he left. Oh, he might not come back. Oh look, he came back. what a surprise.". It was the exact same thing done over again. Plus, it's kind of useless because he is probably going to leave in about 50 years anyway.

So let's delve into the fantasy ending, Habaek gives his grace to SoAh, and together they go and retrieve her fathers body. As they swim to the surface, the tablet falls out of the dads pocket, and SoAh grabs it. As they exit the water, Habaek starts to disappear. He tries to say something to SoAh, but its to late and he is already gone. An earthquake happens (because a god just died, something huge has to happen) and during it she clutches onto her dads body and the tablet sobbing. We then see all of the traces of Habaek disappear from the human realm, cut back to the tablet glowing, and the screen fades to white.
We fade in to some time later, and SoAh is just going through her regular life, we see that a couple of the gods are keeping a lookout on her, making sure she is safe even though she doesn't remember anything. One day while cleaning, she finds the wedding picture, but it has only her in it, she thinks that it is weird that it is only her- that someone else should be beside her. HuYe stops by a couple times, and he has a super awesome girlfriend which makes him the happiest half god on the planet (Or just something that makes him happy, because he needs happy).
She walks home one night, and sees something that she hasn't seen before, Habaeks name scratched onto the wall, something that wasn't there the night before. She starts to cry for reasons she does not know, and rushes to enter her house and she narrates: "I did not know why, but I expected something to be in there waiting inside, like some part of me had been waiting for forever to see what was on the other side of that door."
And the episode ends with her opening the door to her house, and looking at something with an unreadable expression.

The one thing I thought was lacking in this series was actual conflict, nothing really held much consequence. In the ending that I thought, something actually happens. there is actually a result in the negative. And the ending is open ended enough that we don't actually know if he comes back, like maybe it was just a god who wanted her to remember him, or maybe she wished him alive with tablet. I'm not saying my ending is good, or the best suited, but it gives something the original didn't, something.

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I would have really liked/preferred this ending.

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Duuuude this moved me. The rest of the episodes would probably be worth watching if that were the finale.

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Now imagine having that finale in mind when you watch the actual one for the first time. This episode was really hard to get through when I realized they were just going to go with the safe route ^^

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It actually ties up better because in the earlier episodes the priest (or someone) was saying that a god isn't really immortal - when nobody believes in him anymore, he's good as dead. I can't help but feel that maybe the finale was one of the things rewritten as the PD said?

I actually stopped watching around Ep 12 because I felt like walking in circles (also, no more water dragon CGI stuff?). Gah, like Javabeans said, I truly love this story on paper. So much potential.

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I really loved this show in the beginning, because even though it wasn't the greatest, it still seemed like it could be. So I kept waiting for it to get better, but it didn't.
I stopped watching early on (about episode 8?), only catching the rare episode, and reading up what I missed on the recaps. I actually missed a whole two episodes, but because nothing happened, it felt like I just forgot a couple minor details as opposed to missing major plot points-which didn't happen.

Maybe the writer wanted to do something different, because there was literally any way the story could go, but they probably felt to much pressure and decided to just play it safe

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