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The King Loves: Episodes 19-20

We’re in for a major shift in the story as Won’s days of appearing weak and insignificant before the king are finally coming to an end. Painfully aware that his weakness has placed those that he cares about in harm’s way, Won makes a decision that will change everything for everyone. With friends that he’s not willing to live without, it’s time for our prince to emerge from the shadows and claim what’s rightfully his.

 
EPISODE 19 RECAP

Won faces the guests at Princess Wonsung’s tea party to introduce the woman who will become the crown princess. San watches tearfully as he beckons Dan to his side and takes her hand.

Rin is outside when Dan emerges, and he asks if she’s all right. Before she can answer, one of the guests congratulates her, and Rin learns that Won chose his sister over San. As the young lady comments on Rin’s close friendship with the prince, we see him angrily enter Won’s chambers to challenge his selection.

In front of Jang Eui, Jin Gwan, and Eunuch Kim, Rin confronts Won about his choice. Won realizes that both Rin and San deliberately kept her identity from him and that she knew that he was the crown prince. Rin shouts, “Of course, how could we tell you?”

Won dismisses everyone before he demands to know how long he was deceived. Rin ignores the question since he’s more concerned about San, who is now marked to become a Yuan tribute. Won manages to control his anger so that he can listen to what Rin has to say.

Rin explains that Princess Wonsung discovered that San switched identities with her maid after the attack seven years ago. Won guesses that he was kept in the dark in order to protect him from being implicated in the scheme.

Won calls Rin and San idiots, but Rin argues that the queen made a personal visit to Minister Eun’s home to deliver an ultimatum: “Become the crown princess, or receive punishment.” Because of that, Won guesses that his mother is interested in Minister Eun’s fortune.

Rin explains that he expected San to tell Won the truth and become the crown princess, but Won confides that instead, she asked him not to select her lady (aka, she asked him not to select her, once her secret was revealed). Rin doesn’t understand until Won shares the reason: San is in love with another man. Rin is silent as the words sink in while Won jumps up to look for San.

Princess Wonsung’s female guards force San into a room and confiscate her belongings — a dagger, a document, and the hairpin that Won gave her.

Won and Rin find themselves turned away from Princess Wonsung’s chambers with the excuse that she’s too tired for visitors. They look helpless when nothing that they say manages to get them past Lady Jo.

Eunuch Choi places San’s belongings in front of Princess Wonsung. She examines the dagger as Furatai informs her that San was trained in martial arts when she was a student of Teacher Lee’s. He adds that Teacher Lee has many students scattered across the nation.

Furatai urges Princess Wonsung to imprison Minister Eun, at the very least. She worries that if his fortune is confiscated, it would be embezzled by state officials who support the king, something that she wants to avoid.

Princess Wonsung picks up the document, but something about the hairpin distracts her. When she reaches for it, she experiences crippling pain, and Eunuch Choi pours out some medicine. Furatai cautions about taking it too often and building a tolerance, but Princess Wonsung explains that they have to move before the king does, and raises her cup to drink.

Another pain overtakes Princess Wonsung, and Furatai shouts to Eunuch Choi to fetch a doctor. The eunuch races away until he’s out of sight and then slows to a walk as a satisfied smile betrays his pleasure over Princess Wonsung’s worsening condition.

Meanwhile, Rin finds Won in the garden, deep in thought. Won surprises Rin when he recalls his meeting with Teacher Lee and confesses, “I asked, ‘Would it not be better if someone like me never existed in this world?’”

Won had presented his story about the wolf-dog who was feared by his sheep and wanted to know if it should be chased away or killed. Won shared that Teacher Lee’s answer made no sense to him, and he thought that the trip was a waste of time.

When Won had confessed that death might be a relief, Teacher Lee questioned his concern for the people: “He who has nothing is reluctant to leave and no one he is reluctant to part from cares for his sheep? That is no use to anyone. When you find something you are reluctant to lose, then ask me again. That is, if you still want to know the answer.”

Won admits that there’s now something that he’s reluctant to lose and presents his dilemma, “I am nothing without power. I can do nothing to protect the people that I care for. They try to protect me, and make me feel even worse. All I can do is complain. I need power.”

Won faces Rin and asks, “Just promise me that you will stay. I need you to be my flagpole. Whatever flag I become and whatever mess I may be in, I need you as a flagpole to keep me grounded.”

It’s nighttime when Won is allowed to visit his mother. Princess Wonsung orders Furatai and a reluctant Eunuch Choi to leave them alone.

When Won asks, “What or whom should I obtain first,” Princess Wonsung suspects that his new interest in power has to do with San. She wants to know why Won didn’t choose her when he had the chance and he confesses, “I did not want to lose Rin.” Won’s mother tells him that he can have both women, but he admits, “If she were that easy to take, I would have let go already.”

Princess Wonsung remembers that Won always looked down on politics and power with disdain. He confesses that after he became crown prince, he never uttered one particular word out loud, only to himself. When Won finally voices it again, Princess Wonsung is surprised to hear him call her “Mother,” as he asks for her help

Outside, Furatai explains to Won that Princess Wonsung granted permission for him to see San. Won declines and explains that he knows that his mother will take good care of her.

Furatai is surprised when Won expresses gratitude for the servant’s loyalty towards his mother. Won confesses that he wants to be a good son to his mother and may come to Furatai for advice. Once Won walks away, Furatai looks up from his bow and follows the prince with his gaze.

Won works into the night as he reads through a massive pile of scrolls. When he rubs his neck with fatigue, he feels the necklace that San gave him and studies it. He approaches a small chest and pulls out the broken bracelet and looks at it thoughtfully.

Boo-young is with Song In his secret room when Eunuch Choi delivers his latest update. Minister Eun hasn’t been arrested but Princess Wonsung has his daughter in custody. He concludes, “It would be safe to say that his riches will soon become the Queen’s,” something that Song In declares must not happen.

Boo-young is surprised when Song In asks for an update on San. Eunuch Choi reports that Princess Wonsung is still trying to decide if she should interrogate her and then he leaves. Song In chuckles as he recalls a visit that San paid him at his tea house.

They sat in a private room and Song In had poured San a cup of wine and asked if she drank alcohol. Ha! She had ignored the cup to explain that she needed to make a deal. Worried that she would be sent to Yuan, San offered to subsidize Song In’s work on behalf of the people for a period of ten years, if he would protect her father. Song In wanted the money all at once, but San reminded him that one must be patient to get an egg from a chicken every day.

Back in the present, Song In chuckles as he recalls the meeting and Boo-young turns away in jealousy. He orders her back to the palace, concerned that she’s been away from the king too long.

When Boo-young begs to stay with him one more night, Song In asks if she’s slept with the king yet. Boo-young replies that the king thinks of her as a friend, which is not good enough for Song In, who demands, “Why do you think you have learned these things so far?”

Desperate to please a dispassionate Song In, Boo-young offers to diagnose the queen and put something in her medicine. When she tearfully clings to Song In, he pats her consolingly, but Boo-young can’t see his cold eyes.

Furatai departs from the palace at dawn with a small party. He explains to the guards that the empty carriage is meant for someone that he’s to escort and orders that they be allowed back inside the palace no matter the hour.

The king sleeps fitfully with Boo-young next to him in his bed. He awakens and scolds her for her long absence while she lies that she couldn’t bear to be away any longer.

The king confides that he had a nightmare that the prince was looking down on him and laughing. King Chungryeol begs Boo-young to reassure him that he just had a bad dream, but her deliberate silence distresses him.

Song In shows up at Minister Eun’s house in the early morning, accompanied by Moo-suk, and demands to meet with Minister Eun.

Boo-young appears reluctant to inform the king that the girl that Won fell in love with is actually the daughter of Minister Eun. She claims that San hid her identity to avoid selection as a tribute and that Won hid the truth from the king. He then chose the daughter of Wang Young to be his wife and caused a rumor that he already has two out of three, news that causes the king’s face to darken with rage.

Song In explains to Minister Eun that because San approached him for help, he decided to offer him one last chance. Minister Eun shouts out to Goo-hyung, “Bring the table you have prepared.” Moo-suk follows Goo-hyung as he carries out his order, but is distracted when he catches sight of Bi-yeon, and follows her instead. It leaves Goo-hyung free to retrieve a chest from a hidden safe in Minister Eun’s office.

We see in a flashback that Minister Eun prepared that chest with San, before she attended the tea party. As he filled it with documents, San explained that the king and Song In stood on one side and the queen on the other, but they both wanted Minister Eun’s fortune.

San had promised to do her best, but emphasized that the only way to keep her father safe was to keep his fortune away from both sides. Goo-hyung had vowed to protect the chest with his life.

When Minister Eun had admired his daughter’s intelligence and beauty, Goo-hyung reassured them that the crown prince would choose San as his wife and solve all of their problems. San told her father, “I really cannot live if you get harmed in any way because of me.” When her father asked San if she would be safe, she looked down, unable to give him an answer.

 
EPISODE 20 RECAP

Song In explains that San is Princess Wonsung’s prisoner at the palace, something that she anticipated. He shares San’s story about the chicken and Minister Eun confesses that he warned his daughter that it would have no effect.

Song In readily agrees that an egg a day isn’t good enough for him and instructs Minister Eun to turn over all of his assets. In exchange, Minister Eun will be allowed to keep his title and manage his former properties, but Song In refuses to do anything to save San. When he threatens exile and voices doubt that San’s father will live long enough to be resettled, Minister Eun responds with a hearty laugh.

Outside, Bi-yeon tries to eavesdrop but loses her balance and falls back — into Moo-suk’s strong arms. When he walks away, a worried Bi-yeon grabs his hand and asks about her lady, who has yet to return from the palace.

Goo-hyung stays out of sight when palace guards overtake Minister Eun’s house.

Minister Eun offers Song In the deed to all that he owns, a small house that he kept after he handed over his assets to his daughter. Song In’s face twitches in rage as Minister Eun explains that the person he should try to save is San.

In a rare show of emotion, Song In angrily throws open the doors and orders the guards to search Minister Eun’s properties for the necessary papers. Goo-hyung manages to escape as the guards arrest Minister Eun and lead him away. Moo-suk notices when a distraught Bi-yeon is pushed to the ground and is moved by her distress. When Song In orders him to find Goo-hyung, Moo-suk hesitates ever so slightly when he passes Bi-yeon.

Minister Song meets with King Chungryeol to review the two out of three that Won has already acquired. First is Wang Young, who will become Won’s father-in-law and is well respected by several ministers who can be expected to join him in support of the prince.

The second is Minister Eun, and the king is convinced that Won pursued his daughter only because of the man’s wealth. Minister Song calls San a walking fortune since her father already passed his wealth to her. King Chungryeol demands to know the girl’s location and Minister Song suggests that she’s either in Won’s palace, or the queen’s.

When palace guards descend on Won’s palace, Eunuch Kim runs inside to sound the alarm. Jang Eui reports that they are completely surrounded with guards at the front and soldiers in the back. Jin Gwan reports that Minister Eun was arrested and his house ransacked.

Won realizes that the king found out about San, who he still refers to as So-hwa. Jang Eui urges Won to escape while he can, but he declares with determination, “I will not move.” He then instructs Jang Eui, “Go to Rin. So-hwa is with my mother. Rin will be able to enter. Tell him to get her and run.”

King Chungryeol places Won under house arrest and sends Minister Song to search his palace for San. If she’s not there, the king will search the queen’s palace himself. The king asks himself, “What does my son want to do with all of Minister Eun’s riches?”

Won sends Jin Gwan to Geumgajeong before his father discovers his personal army, just as Minister Song tells the king about the place. Won then asks Eunuch Kim to help him stall for some extra time.

Won exits his palace with a companion in a gown and a veiled hat just as Minister Song arrives. He informs Won that the king confined him to his quarters and asks for the identity of his guest, but they return inside without an answer.

Rin and Jang Eui race to the queen’s palace, careful to avoid the guards. Still confined, San awakens from a nap to see Princess Wonsung in the doorway. When she jumps to her feet and bows, the queen enters and notes the absence of a bed or chair. After the queen expresses a wish to sit and talk, San spreads her coat on the floor before the attendants can bring a chair.

Palace guards enter Geumgajeong as the housekeeper enjoys a lunch of steamed buns. One guard sees how many she’s prepared and demands to know who they are for. They find the special door, and despite the housekeeper’s best efforts, they enter the training grounds… only to discover that Geumgajeong is deserted.

Across the street, Goo-hyung watches as guards exit Geumgajeong. The cart pullers take him by surprise when they explain that everyone fled. Goo-hyung asks about Wang Young’s third son, who his lady sent him to find. He explains to the shocked pair that the girl that they know as So-hwa is actually the daughter of the Minister of Finance.

Won protests when Minister Song enters his chambers without permission. Minister Song presents the prince with the king’s order, which forbids all entrance or exit from his palace. Minister Song becomes suspicious when he notices the shoes on Won’s companion and rips off the veiled hat, angry to discover that it was Eunuch Kim all along.

Princess Wonsung learns that San didn’t know that Won was the crown prince when they first met. San admits that the queen would hang her upside down if she knew how badly she treated him. Won’s mother shares that Won never liked being the crown prince and San confides that he’s happier outside of the palace.

The queen presents the hairpin and explains that Won had the piece made by a talented craftsman. San explains that she wanted to return it to Won now that he’s about to marry. Princess Wonsung asks what Won said when he gave San the pin, and she admits that he probably teased her, like he usually does.

Princess Wonsung asks San, “Who is the Crown Prince in your heart?” She waits anxiously as San confesses, “I would like him to be my friend forever. I envied him and his friendship with Master Rin. I wished to be part of that.”

The queen doubles over in pain suddenly, and San rushes to her side. She massages her hand and then encourages the queen to take deep breaths. San even massages her shoulders, but she backs away when the queen utters, “How dare you.” Princess Wonsung struggles to her feet and studies San closely before she urges her to take back the hairpin.

The queen calls out for Rin and notices how San looks at him when he enters the room. She tells him, “Take her,” and pauses to look at Rin on her way out.

San assures Rin that she’s not hurt and expresses her surprise that he’s always around to rescue her. Rin hands her a change of clothes and turns to hold Jang Eui’s head against a wall while she gets dressed. Rin explains that Won is looking for Minister Eun and ordered him to find a safe place for San.

The clothes are much too large and Rin confesses that they’re his, all that he had on such short notice. Rin pulls a string from his hair and moves close to tie up a pant leg as he expresses relief that San wasn’t beaten.

It’s late when Furatai’s party returns to the palace and Teacher Lee peeks out of the carriage as the gates are opened. (Could he be number three?) Once inside, a guard asks why they returned with an empty carriage and Furatai throws open a door and confirms that no one is inside.

The king’s guards arrive to search the queen’s palace just as Rin, San, and Jang Eui emerge through a side door. When they are forced to hide, Rin hands San the small sword that she gave him. San thinks that Rin is returning it, but he explains that he’s just lending it to her, temporarily.

When they’re spotted, Rin draws his sword and instructs San to stay behind him, but of course she joins the fight and takes out a guard. Jang Eui blocks the guards behind them, and they manage to get away.

Eunuch Choi motions to Rin, who urges Jang Eui to be careful when he stays behind to fight off the guards. Eunuch Choi leads Rin and San to a gate and explains, “You can go this way.” They walk into a trap and when Rin tries to retreat, Eunuch Choi slams the gate shut.

Rin and San are confronted by the king and Minister Song, who announces, “Eun San the criminal.” He orders San to fall to her knees before the king, and though Rin reaches out for her, San follows his order. Won suddenly appears to kneel next to San, and the king is furious that the prince violated his confinement.

Won offers to explain everything to the king, but he’s beyond listening as he rants, “Many people have told me to be cautious about you and to be suspicious about you. But I did not listen to them. When they said you shot an arrow to my head, I did not think my son would dare to do that. However, what on earth are you trying to do?”

Before the king orders San taken away, Minister Song reminds him to consider Minister Eun’s fortune. The king makes it clear that he’s king even without that money and orders San to be taken as a tribute and branded with an envoy’s mark.

When the guards lead San away, Won stands up and bellows, “How dare you touch her!” San shakes her head at Won as he continues, “Let go of her!” Even though the king reminds him that it’s his royal order, Won repeats, “Let go of her!”

The king rushes at Won and slaps him. Won turns to face the king as he asks, “Do you truly want to die in my hands?” Won stares unblinkingly at the king as Rin and San look on helplessly at the tense exchange.

 
COMMENTS

In this pivotal pair of episodes, Won finally abandoned his meek facade and embraced what it means to be a half-blooded crown prince. For the first time, King Chungryeol is about to have a genuine face to face with his son, and it promises to be a clash for the ages. I know that Won will have to reveal a side of himself that no one has ever seen before, but the stakes have risen exponentially, and he no longer has the luxury of holding himself back. This development comes at just the right time, as the question about San’s feelings for the two best friends is beginning to see a resolution.

You could practically see Won’s spine stiffen as he drew himself up from that slap heard ‘round the world. He has long complained that Rin has held himself back in their friendship, but so has Won, and it was a truth that he finally confronted. These two boyhood friends must either step into adulthood together and work to maintain their friendship, or they have to leave it behind. Won wants to keep both Rin and San safe and hopefully by his side, but that requires him to finally step out from his parents’ shadows. He has tiptoed his entire life around both his mother and father, but no more. Won is highly intelligent and he knows all too well how weak a king his father has become, but he valued peace more than power. Until now.

Strangely, I think Won’s decision to acquire power has more to do with Rin than with San. Won’s fight with Rin unlocked something in both of them. Rin held nothing back when he confronted Won over his choice for crown princess and yelled at him as if he wasn’t a prince. I get the feeling that Won trusts Rin more than ever, and he finally has the confidence that he and his friend can get through anything together.

As excited as these episodes made me for the remainder of the drama, I have to face my growing fears for the characters that I’ve come to care about. Jang Eui and Jin Gwan are at the top of my list — I don’t want so much as a hair on their heads harmed. Their silent communication, knowing glances, and overall good cheer have made them an endearing pair. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for these two.

Princess Wonsung is sicker than she has let on, but it’s becoming harder and harder for her to hide her condition. I wonder if Rin learned how ill she really is when he was confined in her palace. It may be why Won has softened towards her and finally called her “Mother.”

For now, the emerging triangle is between King Chungryeol, Princess Wonsung, and Won. The king has chosen to believe those around him who feed him lies about the prince. Won has finally accepted that if his father is going to mistrust him, he might as well do what’s best for him and his loved ones. Again, Princess Wonsung added so much to the story. Her private conversation with San revealed her wisdom as a mother and as a woman. As disappointed as she must have been that San doesn’t return Won’s affection, she had to value her honesty once she saw how San looked at Rin. As frightening as she can be, Princess Wonsung has endured much to protect those that she values and cares about. It may be the most important legacy that she leaves to her son.

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I'm glad we're finally getting to Won baring his fangs - I didn't care for him at all whenever his character moments were about his one-sided romance. I love that finally everyone is (mostly) on the same page and we can see some real transformations happening, and real conflict as well.

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This episode was INTENSE. I seriously suggest to those just reading recaps to watch the show, at least this ep, because a lot of detail and nuance is lost in not actually seeing the show. For example, I loved that silent montage of San alone in her room-jail, to Rin exercising off some frustration (and newfound knowledge) and Won burning the midnight oil to find a way to help his friends. The transition between the three scenes was amazing (just that shot of the camera panning down to Won, who was squished in by the wooden decor, mimicking his whole world closing down on him), and I love how it's a silent metaphor of their parts in the story: San has done her part, Rin continues to try to do something but is essentially ineffectual, and now it's Won's turn to act. Love love love it.

I also love the confrontation between Rin and Won! Finally, Rin snapped! And the look of anger and betrayal on Won's face when he realized that Rin and San kept her identity secret from him, but Rin not caring because San will be sent as a tribute--GAAAH SO. GOOD. And when they finally sat down to talk with each other--HALLELUJAH. See boys, you can accomplish so much more if you just hashed it out. I love that Won is so quick on the uptake but he still has time to test Rin, and Rin's flabbergasted speechlessness at the knowledge that San loves somebody else, oh my.

I loved San's conversation with the Queen, how she was so honest, and how the Queen, who knows firsthand how to be beside someone who you love but does not love you in return, is so disappointed by San not returning her son's feelings but is visibly moved by how the latter still cares deeply for her son. And when she witnesses Rin and San looking at each other--Won definitely got his smarts from his mother's side.

I also love the parallel between San wanting to return the hairpin Won gave her, and her being so happy that Rin carries the dagger around (did you see the little flower on the dagger handle?) and tentatively asking whether he's returning the dagger, and her small smile when he says he's just letting her borrow it. I love that he tries to protect her, but does not stop her from fighting beside him.

I love that San is smart, she knows that Song In needs the money immediately for his rebellion, so she agrees to give it to him in return for her family's protection, but only if he gets it in small increments--ensuring that her family's money will not be used for an uprising. And I love that she and her dad still had another failsafe to ensure her protection. And I LOVE that she tells Gu Hyeong to go to Rin if all else fails.

I love that Won has realized that he needs the power to protect the people he loves (essentially solving the riddle answer Lee Seung Hey gave to his question) because he has seen how such a big mess was created from the people he loves trying to protect him. I love that he trusts Rin so implicitly to be the moral compass and guiding pole in his new...

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quest for power. To this point, I actually disagree that his newfound want of power is solely because of Rin. It is because of Rin AND San. The two went out of their way to protect him, but he couldn't protect them. He doesn't want their protection but now instead wants to protect them and he can only do that if he starts taking his crown prince role seriously.

And I LOVE that he acts so decisively, going to his mother and then confronting his father. For all his blustering about being insecure about Won, the King is so drunk on the power of his position that he forgets just how strong Won's backing is. Which is why I LOVE Won's smirk when his father hits him. It's like he's telling the King, "lol you just made the biggest mistake of your life. it is on like donkey kong now."

Sorry I was so wordy. So much love for this episode.

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I agree with your point that Won wants power is because he wants to protect Rin and San. I also share the same sentiment because I could see how frustrated Won felt when the two kept secret from him to protect him when he hadn't done anything yet to protect them. So the last part which Won step up and went against the King is like saying to Rin and San, "this is my time to save both of you." AND YES! That smirk, Won has Empire Yuan on his back. If the King cares about his Goryeo people, he better stop messing with Won or else the army from Yuan will come to Goryeo. Gah, so satisfying though I don't support the idea of war, but I just hate how foolish the King is and I want him to step down so bad.

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The music score (the violin) made it so exciting towards the end. I watched it again just to listen to the music.

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Right, that smirk!!! Even the king was startled. Serves him right!

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That a lot of LOVE you have for this drama! But I agree. I watched this episode twice and one of the most heart fluttering scenes was after San put on Rin's ill-fitting clothes, and he had to catch his breath when he finally turned around to see her. It was as if she was the most beautiful thing he'd ever seen, and I melted. HJH did well here. I am loving his very reserved acting that tells me everything I need to know with minimal expression--minimal, but very effective. And the showdown with the king---so, so good. My favorite episodes so far.

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hahahaha yes, I couldn't help myself. Eps 19-20 were just so on point. And yeeeeees, when he had a momentary pause upon seeing San wearing his clothes. <3333 And then San's reaction to Rin tying her pants. And it was so cute seeing San dwarfed in Rin's clothes!

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Boyfriend shirt Goryeo style! :D

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All I can say is I'm missing so much having to read subtitles instead of watching subtle expressions! But I don't mind re watching for expressions...so thanks for your lengthy comment!

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I first watch the episodes raw specifically for eyes, facial expressions, body language, and vocal tone and delivery. Without the distraction of the subtitles, it's easier for me to notice parties skulking in shadows and on the periphery of scenes, too.

Admittedly, I'm usually in the dark about plot developments and often draw incorrect conclusions. What I'm most interested in is getting a handle on the emotional tenor of the scenes. If something catches my eye or ear, I'm better able to focus on it when I finally see the subtitles.

There's also a pragmatic reason for watching it raw: I'm itching to see what happens next, and it makes the wait for subtitles a little more bearable. ;-)

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LOL this is me as well. I watch raw and then wait (impatiently) for the subs, and then, re-watch again hahaha Sometimes I rewatch just to see how beautiful a scene is again

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I usually watch raw once and subtitled once so I can watch their expressions

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"It is on like donkey kong now"

LOL... Yes pleaseeee....!!! Enough is enough.. Hope Won show the King what he is ACTUALLY capable of. Obviously all this time Won tries really hard to keep the peace between him and the King. But the King resolutes to keep cornering and humiliating his own son in front other people!! Hope Won snap real good this time..

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ikr, I am so ready for bad-ass Won!

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agree! it is because of rin and san not only rin or san.. won is really badass, that's why I love his character so much

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That cliffhanger ending! When Rin & San walked through the door led by that eunuch, I was screaming, "Nooo! Noo, don't go there!" And when Won asked the guards to let go of San's hand and went against the King, I cheered for him. It's about time for Won to step up for power as the King is weak and delusional. I wonder when they said 2/3, what's the third thing Crown Prince could get?

Princess Wonsung once again captured my heart when her heart soften after Won called her, "Mom." I almost cried because of her expression. And when her heart broke a bit after she asked San, "who is Crown Prince to you?" and knew how pity and lonely her son is because San's in love with Rin, but she didn't force San to accept Won, but understand San's feelings.

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Some say it's San's teacher

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Yeay for Won!! I am so rooting for him in that last scene. Go for it Won! Make yourself more powerful than the foolish and insecure King. I just can't wait to see Won become King ><

I just want to say I love heroines who can fight and lovelovelove that Rin LET her fight. So not into heroes in dramas who underestimate what a girl can do

Thanks for the recap TeriYaki ! I was confused about the two out of three things, and it didn't even occur to me that Teacher Lee might be the third.

Anyway, that scene where Rin pinned Jang Eui's head to the wall? LOVE IT. Hahaha. Got to have some comic relief in the midst of all these intense situations

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Rin pinning Jang Eui's head to the wall :
rewind
replay
10 times !
:D

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That was soooo adorable!

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Hahaha, yes. This was my favorite.

Poor Jang Eui needs his own loveline. I'll volunteer ?

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Lol, yes! Funniest scene of the ep! hahaha

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Yes I also rewind that scene

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The comic relief every now and then is welcome in my book and that scene is just too cute. I love Won's trusty bodyguards. Also, despite the overall tensed and rather sad atmosphere, the comical moments do not feel jarring to me.

I also wish for the bodyguard duo to be safe. They will surely be willing to sacrifice for Won, but I really hope they make it until the end.

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I really love that moment where Princess Wonsung and San were having a heart to heart. It was really sad to see her heart break a little for her son who she knows genuinely loves San but only not to love him in return. She knows that feeling because she is the same to the king. Like mother, like son. Maybe she felt happy that San not only had money and influence because of her father but she also wished that her son would also get his happy ending from San.

To be honest, it would have made a lot of sense from the beginning if San and Won got married, they would have being the ideal couple because they will have it all- Love and Money. But like Won said, if San was an easy woman to have, he could have had her already but he knows she is not. He is the Crown Prince, he could have his pick of any noble woman. At the beginning I thought he just wanted to possess her because he was infatuated with her, but I am glad to know he actually has developed a lot of respect for her as a human being.

As sad as I am for Won, I am living for RinSan moments. They are swoon worthy. I have to really praise all the camera work in this episode. They really do capture all the tender moments between these two couples. All the emotions that they express with their eyes speaks a thousand words although I wish they both would just burst out and express their feelings for each other. It is starting to get a bit frustrating all the silent talk they are having with their eyes even though it makes me so happy. The wardrobe department needs a special shoutout, all their clothes are so magnificent and extravagant, what you would expect from the nobles to wear. I thought Seven Day Queen had amazing wardrobe but this is on another level. It is so aesthetically pleasing.

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X 1000 on the costume design. This is Goryeo sageuk on crack!

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#stillwaitingpatienlyforRINSANpassionatelykiss. Please.. Please, drama gods..
A girl can hope right? LOL

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That last scene really showed clearly the conflict San faces. I don't think she's fallen for Won. From her body language, I'm pretty certain it's Rin she's smitten with. But because of Won's very direct wooing she probably never realized that she likes Won only as a friend. And now, it's just too late for her to clear the misunderstanding.

It's one thing to say I'm not into you, but a whole other thing to do it when he's just defied the king for you!

But I'm confused about Won too. He seems smart, and its obvious he sees the tension between the two. Why doesn't he realize that they like each other? He seems to be willfully ignoring that San might not like him.

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I'm pretty sure he knows they like each other, which is why he confides in the Princess and says that if San was easy to have, he would have already taken her. He can't sacrifice his friendship with Rin for her. But at the same time, his heart beats for her. I think that's what that line is referring to.

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Oh, yeah, Won knows. But in this he's not willing to let Rin win and he wants Rin to know it. We don't want Won to be that selfish so it's hard to accept.

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At first Won was selfish when he asked Rin to bring him the woman he loves. But I think after he sensed that San has feeling for Rin (in voice over "They don't look each other anymore") he's slowly let the two be together. When he tested San by telling her that Rin is going to be sent to Yuan just to see how San would react, Won then assured her he would not Rin go. It's like he's saying to San "don't worry I'll protect the man you love".

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Agreed, and also, I feel as though Won wants Rin not to give in to him this time (because he might just feel guilty if he ended up with San that way?). And one can only hope that Rin will do just that because Lord knows how painful it is to watch him stand back from his feelings. (The scene in the earlier episode where Rin's father asked if he likes her - damn my heart.)

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I think you nailed it though. He's willfully ignoring it as if it will just go away if he doesn't acknowledge it, because he can't accept it. I actually feel for him in this regard.

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What I find fascinating is that I keep reading slightly different interpretations of how he feels about this and find that they all could be true to a certain point.

I definitely agree that he's having a hard time acknowledging it. But then he'll test them
and have confrontations like he did with Rin, which kind of show that he's probably reluctant to accept it because he already knows that once he does, he wouldn't be able to continue to make them hold themselves back for him.

For some reason, when they finally get together, I feel like it will be Won that sets it into motion.

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I'm up to ep 8 in re watch and have found very interesting things different people have said. After the incident with the king pouring tea over Won, the Queen says she really pities him. But the most interesting thing she says is "What my son doesn't want to see, he doesn't see."

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Ohhh I didn't catch that sentence. Seems to be absolutely fitting for Won.

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Another thing about pity is Won realized he's pitiful because as Crown Prince everyone walks on eggs around him, esp Rin who always lets Won win. And he has to do that. But what's it's done for Won's character is not let him grow and mature and become strong, but he's become rather narcissistic as a result.

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Ooooh. And it seems like he keeps testing them because he wants to know, but then he doesn't want to know for sure or know the whole truth.

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Princess Wonsung is such a scene stealer. Seems like Yoona is unlucky again to be outacted by an older actress. During their conversation she portrayed the pity she felt for Won and yet the respect she had for San so raw and yet subtle. The way she called 'Rin' and that look she gave when San/Rin looked at each other was incredible acting. She barely changed her voice tone and didn't move many face muscles but you could tell the change in mood and emotion straight away. Jang Young Nam has such a presence on screen it's unbelievable. She already played a Sageuk mom on My Sassy Girl and they're so different you wouldn't believe it's the same actress.

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And don't forget Moon Embracing the Sun. She was exceptional in this as well and this was forever ago!

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Jang Young Nam definitely makes the difference. When the younger actress played Princess Wonsung lashing out at the old queen I thought what an entitled bratty b***h. No nuance in showing Princess Wonsung's loneliness and sadness in Goryeo unloved by the king. But when Jang Young Nam acts her out doing obvious evil things like threatening and torturing people I can't help but be understanding despite such hideous deeds.

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@Elenia,

When the younger actress played Princess Wonsung lashing out at the old queen I thought what an entitled bratty b***h. No nuance in showing Princess Wonsung's loneliness and sadness in Goryeo unloved by the king.

I can understand why the younger version of Princess Wonsung was portrayed in such a raw, bitchy way. She was still a teenager, and had yet to experience decades of indifference from the king -- and later, her son. Her emotions were raw, savage, and vengeful as she marked her territory. I'll admit I was taken aback by just how extreme they were.

What Jang Young Nam is conveying with her nuanced performance is Wonsung's maturation and grasp of reality, both political and emotional. For decades, she has channeled her energies -- and her rejected love -- into amassing power, which is the only language the king seems to be able to understand. Watching the two of them jousting away (while embroiling their ill-fated subjects as collateral damage in their power plays) has reminded me of Mad magazine's "Spy vs. Spy" cartoons and the ridiculous lengths to which Black Spy and White Spy go to whack each other.

I have had a hard time empathizing with Princess Wonsung because of her viciousness. Over time I've come to understand her a bit better, in particular her protectiveness towards Won. Whereas the king is content to surround himself with lying sycophants (only to have nightmares every night), Wonsung is a realist who values the truth. I found it touching how she accepted San's definition of her friendship with Won and Rin, and her unwillingness to come between them. The teenage Wonsung could never have understood such a relationship -- and would have been murderously green with envy over the electricity flowing between San and Rin. Older and wiser Wonsung can appreciate their concealing their feelings for each other out of deference for Won, even as she mourns her son's unrequited romantic love for San.

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I agree with all comments about Woosung but you nailed it especially :D

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Ach, I didn't notice the look she gave when San/Rin looked at each other. Another re watch!

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Wasn't she in Glorious Temptation? She was acting a little on the crazy side. But smart.

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Yes, she was in GT, the crazy divorcee daughter of the prime minister. They way she would I had no idea she was so talented, her portrayal here as the queen is a treat.

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Ah, the scene reminds me that Jang Young Nam and Yoona acted as sisters in a movie earlier this year! As a housewife and her jobless freeloader younger sister, to be exact.

They were supporting roles / comedic reliefs to the action packed Confidential Assignment. It's fascinating to see how different the characters and vibes are.

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That ending. I say bring it on. It's time for Won to finally and truly show his other side. He isn't going to win and keep those he cares for safe if he chooses to stay in the shadows and continue to show a facade. Sometimes, what it takes is to level with the enemy. Think like them. Move like them. As always, looking forward to the next episode.

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Want to post this first before I even read your review of this latest episode. I'm re watching the episodes and taking notes (now that we're halfway done) because I've missed a lot and I never noticed before, but there sure are a lot of scenes briefly showing caged birds (mostly two birds). Seeing how the very first scene was Won letting the falcon free, and later saying he wanted to keep San in a birdcage, I'm wondering if this is symbolic of him wanting to keep both San and Rin in a "birdcage". Perhaps the ending will be like the beginning and he lets them free just as he let the falcon free. Just my theory, and now I'll go read your review and make lots of other comments! Thanks.

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The symbolism in this drama is so beautiful.

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That's a nice catch Linda Palapala! I do think it's a repeated motif and a sub-theme that running through the story. Unfortunately, although Won has been wont to run off as he pleased before, it is likely that as the Crown Prince and future King (or if he ever gets to be King), it will be himself who is in the cage. Hopefully though, he will have his friends free and able to have access to him, regardless of how restricted his life becomes with the power he (hopefully) gains.

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I admit, I've been on to this symbolism from the beginning, and, while it's been problematic at times, I'm loving that the overall trajectory could be as you described. Definitely think this is how he truly learns to "love them more than himself", as he states in the beginning.

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I rarely, rarely catch any symbolism! If you see more, please let me know!

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I hope they choose to go with this ending. At least the production team will not feel pressured as to how to end this drama as they are now done filming. We can just sit back, relax and enjoy (or probably get our hearts broken) as to how the story unfolds.

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Where were the two birds? I only caught three in a bird cage and thought "Aah... They are all caged, the three of them, none of them is actually free, but at least the have each other..."

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I thought it was 3 birds too, but re watched and the 3rd one was something else. I didn't count all the birds in every cage. But they didn't continue that. The latest episodes have been about "pity".

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I'm always speculating what will happen to Rin...the times Won has shown extreme, violent anger outbursts when someone hurt San. What will he do if and when he feels betrayed by Rin towards San. He's already suspicious, or he knows, but wants to possess her anyway. Won's feelings are so complicated in a way, but simple in a way too. What will power do to him? So looking forward to how this all plays out. Kind of like a chess game (or baduk?). Since this is all psychologically based for the characters, it makes it so interesting. Sorry, right now my thoughts are all over the place.

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I'm seriously ready to see the break up of this bromance as everyone seems to be walking around egg shells so far. I'm glad that we're now starting to see Won's dark side (cue Darth Vader music) and I can't wait to see how it affects his dynamic with Rin and San.

I love how wonderfully acted the drama is so far. ISW with his micro expressions conveying a lot of emotions, HJH's melting gaze and strong but silent presence, Yoona's heartfelt portrayal. I love this drama so much.

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So much characters I like this episode:
- Furatai. I just realized that he is a good person too and loyal to princess WS. I like his hairstyle and dress.
- Biyeon. Sweet girl
- Princess Wonsung. She may appears cruel, but in this ep I can feel how lonely she is... And how she wants to protect his son from anything.

Honestly... The King has to go. Why does he trust BooYong so much? How long did he know her? 2 months? And he already trust her so much to be suspicious to his son? I don't believe him when he said he didn't want to believe when people said his son tried to shoot him with an arrow. Didn't he ACTUALLY ALREADY BELIEVE that Won tried to kill him? Stupid king... I hope Won finally snap, gain power and claim the throne asap!

My fave scenes as always... Rin-San's moment when he gave her his clothes... I reply those scenes over and over again. (yes, I am that shallow).
I like San and Princess WS's conversation too... If they are not in (the road of) war, san could be a friend and a doughter to WS so that WS wouldn't be too lonely..

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I'm that shallow too.
And every time I see Boo-young on screen pretending to be helpful ( little viper) I just wish I could reach through the screen and slap her.

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Thanks for a great review Teri Yaki!

I'm so glad I stuck it out for Song Ji Nah. After Healer, I wanted to see what she would do with a sageuk. At first I found Won to be not a character I could actually care about and root for. He seemed to be more a character that reacted to things done to him, and who prized his own comforts and wants over the important affairs of court, over the building of relationship and understanding with his father and even over the threats from enemies.

It's great now that even knowing his lack of power, he has decided to be a character of more agency and is taking whatever control he can in order to help others.

I glory in the fact that he is highly intelligent and observant (something that seemed unlikely since he could not even recognise San behind a veil), and that he has already figured out that there is something more between Rin and San than mere friendship. Instead of letting resentment or jealousy cloud his decisions, he has chosen to act in such a way as to save both his friends.

I liked the fact that he chose to stay in the palace, knowing that he'd be under house arrest. He had taken to heart the Master's words about finding what he would not abandon, and was committing himself to his people... first to his immediate friends, and hopefully... to the people being ruled by a weak and foolish king.

As usual with this writer, I find I want to re-watch many scenes to try to catch all the nuances and all the clues that have been placed, which I missed. Onward now, Won, Rin and San!

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RinWon friendship is so beautiful it made my heart ache knowing in advance that somehow Rin's feeling for San would break free someday and might destroy all of them in the process because i don't think won will give way. He has to have them both,San's love and Rin's friendship.

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also RinSan's chemistry blows my mind.they could just be in one room together and do nothing and you could feel the tension from across the room.

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OMG YES. My heart's racing every time they appear on screen together!! Even though they don't say anything and stand so far away apart.

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Why would they do nothing??
They should make out and elope already... LOL *insert 'now kiss' meme here... LOL

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This drama has some very beautiful people in it, but whenever Rin and San are in a room together, I can't help but think, "Ah, so this is what it's like to have two beautiful people together." LOL

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So is there any hope for my wonsan ? T.T tbh I am ok with rinsan. But I already fell in love with won's charm...He is very manly as CP, he loves san more than himself (maybe he would move heaven and earth for her XD), He never gives up defending the woman he loves. I love his character ( bratty, badass, and smart).
Won and San are my ideal king and queen...

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I can't imagine she would ever want to be so confined as to be the Queen. My wish is that Won matures in wisdom and strength, becomes a good King, lets Rin/San be together and they all stay good friends, helping each other. But for Won to not be lonely, may he fall in love with Dan, she loves him so.

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wonsan can't be just friend imo... maybe san will treat him like a friend, but for won it will be very difficult.. and won fall in love with dan ? I think it will not happen..
"this is the story of me who came to love you more than myself" What does it mean if he ends up falling in love with another woman?
rin is also pitiful cause he loves woman that he shoulnd't have.(Man, love cannot be controlled)
I hope he will confess his feelings before it's too late (cough... jung pal XD)
if san loves rin too, I am okay with it..(it's her right)
If won is so easy to let them without feeling hurt, I will be happier...but God... won's love towards san is very strong...
won is FL not SL, this drama is about him, we should understand his feelings too... I am so sad people here tend here tend to treat won like SL T.T

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*I am so sad people here tend to treat won like SL T.T

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Im Siwan has the best part of the drama, he's doing a fantastic job with so much different emotions. It is about him and his journey to love, which might mean he has to let go if she doesn't love him. I don't think people think he's SL, just not in romance. Won loves both San and Rin. We're not slighting Won in the least.

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I do not think beanies here think he is second lead. Siwan's character is clearly the first lead even from the title alone. It's just that he will not probably get the love. However, the story mainly focuses on his journey of life and love.

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I actually don't think any of us treat Won like a SL. Part of the reason I love this drama is because it's essentially taking the story of the guy that (likely) doesn't get the girl and giving it not only just as much weight as the story of the end-game pairing, but arguably more. The focus has always been on how he learns to love San (and Rin, too, actually) more than himself. And so him giving up the girl he loves in the end will never make him a second lead to me.

Honestly, I agree with others that he has the best part and this is why the show has been so good about making us feel his struggle.

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Won is definitely the Main Character and I can vouch for that [at least from me].

No one overshadowed Won but in term of romance, I think people aren't sure if San will be with him.
San also showed that she wants to be the friend.

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Well I understand guyss, I just gave my opinion (can be right or wrong) I am neutral now..I love wang won so much (even love his weakness.).I like rin and san too...sjn makes rin as a perfect guy, so hard to hate him haha
ship war in soompi really worse than here, I hate it so bad T.T

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I never participated on soompi forum, but I read it once and I immediately left the forum because the ship war is just ridiculous when some of them are capable of hating Won, Rin or San just because they're RinSan or WonSan shippers. How can just anyone hate these three beautiful souls? ?In DB, the community here is more rational and commenting more on the values of what this show offer rather than just solely focusing on which couple will be the OTP endgame. ?

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couldn't agree more with you @hannahmustafa ^.^

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really?? sometimes I read the forum when I want to know what happened but I didn't read the daily comment.

I find that Rin and Won are really a matter of preference.
Some people like the direct show of I like you and other people really want it to be sure 1st. Like 1st love or getting to know someone 1st.
Won know he loves San the 1st time he meets her but Rin didn't realise it until he really wants her, he thought it just a fling that will pass but he is wrong.

Some people like Won who will try to get her attention and another people will prefer Rin who like to be there when she needs him.

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some HJH's fans also said (+/-) (BAHAH SO FUNNY)" I watch this drama for siwan and yoona, not HJH and Yoona, I am afraid they will be datting in real life) LMAO i cannot forget her comment...

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*dating

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i hope this is the ending!

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I could never warm up to Won as romance material. He was way to pushy from the get go and San is to used to being able to come and go as she pleases. I think she's find full time residence in the palace with all those watching eyes stifling

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The dramas title is the king loves but who is that king ?.

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We are already half way down? I'm eager to see what's gonna be for every one but kinda sad as well that the show is approaching the end faster (uuh how time flies). This drama is beauty all around. Captivating cinematography, pretty costumes, breathtaking silent moments and of course its beautiful heart characters. I wish more people are watching The King Loves.

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yess agree, I wish more people stop judging their acting before wacthing them.

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i love this drama so much. the actor so great i know this will make me sad and cry but i don't care. i am ready for the worst and going have major broken heart because hope Won will endup with San.

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omg i really wonder how this is going to end!

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Where did Won's army in training go? They disappeared. Wonder if they'll show up in the next scene and there's a coup. Hmm...
And in Ep 5 he told Rin's father he didn't mind a blood bath.

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So I ended up marathoning Mama in 3 days just to see our young and adult Rin shared the same scenes? They're really adorable there. The drama itself is heavy tearjerking and I strongly avoided it at first but I embraced my self for Yoon Chan-young and Hong Jong-hyun.

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Me too...except I ff thru some of the scenes. And the ending was sweet.

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is it any good?i'm reluctant to start this cause i don't want to waste my time but i need my Hong Jonghyun fix now. Rewatching his scenes in TKL on youtube isn't enough.

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I'm telling you it's a terminal illness drama so be prepared. But if you're watching for Hong Jong-hyun it's worth it. His character is trully the hero to the 'poor' heroine. Plus he's like walking the runway all the time so swoon worthy esp when riding the bike, much like Kim Woo-bin in Heirs.

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thank you.that's all the push i need.

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Mama was very good as a whole, but HJH was only in two or three scenes each episode. But as I said, he was her hero in the end. I was so surprised at his selflessness, to love her and not even in a romantic way, but to take care of her because he cared so much.

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thanks.i think i'll marathon this tonight.

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Yay, Won finally showed his inner badass! Go get 'em! These weeks episodes were so good, both in character development and plotwise.

My heart broke a little bit for Won, but I think it's good that we have some sort of confirmation, that what he feels for San is a lot more than what she feels for him (not that we needed it. I mean, we all saw how are Rin and San looking at each other) I feel sorry for him, but I think I low key jumpped the ship long ago, without even realising it, because I was not as affected. I was more affected by San wearing Rin's clothes, though...

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Thanks for your recap and commentary, TeriYaki!

I cannot help but recall that it was Won's insistence on hiding his identity seven years earlier that set this whole tragedy of errors rolling in the first place. Rin later asked him how long he was going to continue his masquerade and he replied, "As long as it's fun." Are we still having fun, Won?

I loved the scene in which Rin finally gives Won a piece of his mind over proposing to his sister instead of San -- and then the two promptly sit down to strategize. The dust settles quickly and efficiently as they plan their next moves. But that look on Rin's face when he learns that San has told Won that she has eyes for someone else... The truth is out.

I hadn't recognized Lee Sabu in the carriage accompanied by Furatai, so now (I think) I understand the cryptic statement that Won "has two of three." The martial arts master escapes just after the carriage arrives at the palace -- which implies to me that maybe Won will be having a meeting with him after all, and will get to ask his wolfdog question again.

Speaking of wolfdogs, I'm getting serious flashbacks to Wang So in MOON LOVERS and Yi Yeok in SEVEN DAY QUEEN. Like them, Won has had to live a low-profile life to merely survive in the political snakepit of the court. And just like the other princes, Won makes his bid for power so he can protect his loved ones -- but at what cost to the two relationships he most highly prizes?

As Linda Palapala August 18, 2017 at 7:31 PM noted, free-spirited tomboy San would not want to live in the palace's toxic environment, a sentiment expressed by Hae-Soo and Ga-ryung in the dramas mentioned above. Oh, and that goes for Wang So's merchant "buddy" Shin Yool in SHINE OR GO CRAZY, too.

Bravo that Finance Minister Eun and San already had a plan to thwart the money-grubbing creeps who are after his assets. This is epic! These folks take risk management deadly seriously, and I love it. I just hope that Goo-hyung was able to spirit the documents away to safety. But where would that be?

Re: the duplicity of Eunuch Choi, seeing him put on the act of running for a doctor for Princess Wonsung was bad enough, but when I saw him open the gate for Rin and San, I knew he was up to no good. Although the King and Song In are supposedly allied against Princess Wonsung, I can't help but think that Song In is on his own side, and that Eunuch Choi is really working for him.

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Oh right, I remember that Rin had asked Won to reveal himself to San whenever the crown prince topic is brought up. Won keep saying later but since he doesn't want to, Rin also can't reveal his own identity.

The thought that Won had said "as long as it's fun" make me grow more concern for him. I mean it can be fun for 1 time and he still hiding it even after she got caught from Rin's brother. In fact, he never comes clean to San about the identity like Rin, San discovers it herself. Won has many chances, like in the bridge or when San comes before the party. I understand that he did it cause he doesn't think it's important but he keeps asking San to realised that she is his priority without telling her why it's important to remember. The fault is also in San by hiding her own identity but her reasoning is more understandable cause that identity is hidden to everyone else and she lived as other people while Rin and Won only hide it to her. I also understand that Rin got the chance to be real from a while ago and Won doesn't bc it only happen this ep but I also realised that Won does bring this chain identity to himself.

Now San's strategies become more active after knowing Rin and Won identity because she finally knows the state of her relationship with them.

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I think it's only because he was afraid that she'll stop acting like herself once she knows and start acting all loyal subject like. He never got his only friend Rin to treat him as a friend instead of as his sovereign, San before she knew the truth was the only person on earth who would make him feel like Won and not the crown prince.

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Thank goodness for comic relief. Rin's enforcement of his "no peeking" order while San changed out of her girly duds cracked me up. It just goes to show that Jang Eui is a red-blooded all-Goryeon guy underneath his professionally detached demeanor as Won's bodyguard. He just doesn't wear his heart on his sleeve the adorkable way Jin Gwan does. ;-)

Apropos of the clothes-changing scene, it parallels the two earlier rooftop scenes between Rin and San. In the most recent conversation on the roof, Rin slipped his cloak over her shoulders in a visual display of the protection he has extended over her since he helped her evade discovery by Song In at the teahouse. It is only when she starts to lose her balance and he catches her that she recognizes his touch from her first rescue, and finally puts two and two together. What a great series of scenes.

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But now that I think back on it, Rin caught San on that rickety footbridge above the chasm in the Doota Mountains, too. Does that ever seem like ages ago! ;-)

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Oooo, now I want a re-watch! I love a show that can make me feel a bit of nostalgia for its simpler times...

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After the rooftop and she realizes it was him who rescued her, I wonder if that influenced her decision in her conversation with Won when she says her heart belongs to someone else. And how did she not recognize Rin's lovely long slender fingers when he held her.

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I think the rooftop is a big clue for her.

She once said that she wants to fall and slip to see if Rin's catches her and now she realised that Rin is always there for her.
San was under the impression that Rin doesn't show any reaction regarding her but it's the opposite, he always reacted and now she realised it.

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There's yet another (icky) parallel, and it's in the scene of the dead parents whose daughter was taken as tribute for Yuan. San is jostled by the passing stretcher-bearers, and Song-in catches her. She immediately unhands him.

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I think there's actually a lot of parallels in this drama. For example, there have been a couple of times Song In and Jeon extend their hand to San. There also have been times where Won and Rin give their hand to San. I think that's a really nice parallel, like the same action can be so different with different people. Another one (kind of) is when San (doesn't) drink with Song In. Compare that to when she drank a ton with Won and Rin.

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I think these parallels are meant to show how close her friendship is with Won and Rin.

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there is so many good moment and Idk how to write it all,

- I like when Won and Rin meet after the tea party, they scream and then talk, they meet eye to eye.
- Princess Wonsung and San conversation is such a bittersweet moment. She realised that San is a good girl and it really shows that she likes San's affection to her but she also realised that San has her own feeling.
- The changing dress scene, when San said that the clothes are too big and Rin used his hair string to tied her pants, that is awesome.
[it reminds me of tying your shoe laces in Descendant of the Sun].
- Won finally raised his voices and try to gain his power. I have a concern when Won asked Rin to be his flagpole and remember that he still wants San as his priority. I don't think Rin and San can do that for more time.
- San's father and San already making their choices and Song-In get greed faster.

Idk what else to say but I love every moment of the ep even if the next ep feels bleak.

This drama makes me think what if San and Rin get betrothed like the 1st plan.
The 3 will grow up together and San will be their friend while both of them grow fond of her from time to time.
It feels like the things that happen now will happen again. Won will fall to San and try to pursue her and Princess Wonsung will still be going against San and Rin.

or

San can fall for Won and now we have Won and San delves in forbidden-like romance unknowingly.

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I'm finding it very difficult to believe that San does not like Won as a man but as a friend

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agree, when I rewatched ep 10, I also feel confused, when they were in spy mode...She looks like a girl just hugged by the man she loves (shy, awkward, and nervous). ***IMO...
if my friend hugged me, I won't be that shy , because we are just friend ..

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and the fact that she still keeps the hairpin (even in wedding day) makes me confused...IMO she has feelings for HAN CHUN but after knowing who he really is, she chooses to give up her feeling that has not grown too deep

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Can San end up with Rin??????

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I didn't care for this show at first because Won was so pushy and immature. It has grown on me as he grew up and matured through the series. The writing is good; non-stop storytelling - kudos to the whole cast and crew.
However, I can't hope but wonder if both the king and queen are being slowly poisoned. The king is being poisoned by that snake who is always by his side. But who is poisoning the queen? Wasn't there a mention of some medication she is taking. "If you take too much it will become ineffective" or something like that?
Overall this has become riveting to me and I'm totally onboard the Rin/San ship. Sorry Won - you deserve Dan because she loves you so much!
And the queen - she is amazing!

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@stpauligurl,

However, I can't hope but wonder if both the king and queen are being slowly poisoned. The king is being poisoned by that snake who is always by his side. But who is poisoning the queen?

Like you, I've gotten the impression that the king and Princess Wonsung are being drugged or poisoned, too. I've been suspicious of the source of the incense smoke, which makes me think of an opium den. I doubt that's the substance that's being burned, however, because the king is too alert. Lord knows what's in Princess Wonsung's red medicine, which makes her look stoned.

Who is poisoning the Princess? I suspect that Eunuch Choi is doing the honors -- at the behest of Song In.

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I think it will be better if I am neutral now .. ship wars in soompi is worse than here T.T I am in team #wonsanrindan now... my ship is still there (wonsan) ....But it would be better to enjoy the story than ship war..
I am sad in DB what we're watching someone said their acting are meh?really? I think siwan, yoon-ah and HJH are very far from meh... poor them T.T

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I just read that about DB saying the acting was meh. Aargh. Plus they said they only watched it sporadically, so what did they expect? I don't speak Korean so I can't say as to acting quality of the spoken dialogue, but the acting here is in the eyes, the facial expression, the body language, the deep conversation and thoughts the characters have.

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agree! I have seen a lot of movies with A list actors in it... But I think sw,ya,hjh's acting are verryyy far from meeh...
this drama doesn't have LJK and KHN but still better than ML imo.. I wish more people will be wacth this drama and not just complaint about actors/actresses past project.....( yoon-ah was bad in the k2, hjh was bad in ML) argghh they have grown in tkl but people won't admit it, so frustrating T.T

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I saw another comment that said they saw a few eps and that Yoona and Hong Jonghyun were bland and stiff. And I was like, are watching the same drama? :/

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what if rin san ends up together in goryeo and won san in modern era bhahaha my winwin solution LMAO XD

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You meant they should to a time travelling where WonSan meet in the modern era and end up together? Wkwk it is a good idea too, well me was hoping to see 2 alternative endings just like one of chinese drama where the it got 2 different ending depends on how the viewer wants the girl end up with guy A or guy B..but, that seems impossible right for this Saeguk Drama? Lol

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In vlive HJH said drama and novel have diff ending (so many plot twist too).. so I still can't predict anything now..

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HJH said drama and novel have different ending? Hmm, I haven't wanted to know any spoilers from the novel, but now I'm worried. Although someone said HJH said our hearts will be at peace in the end.

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not only hjh but pd also said that, I don't expect too much for my wonsan T.T if I ship wondan, I feel bad for jikwang :((

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different ending means a lot of things,
it can be a separation, death, different king, different couple and much more.

This is so vague to draw conclusion, nice move from HJH

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I think what he said was that the ending wouldn't be the usual ending? I don't recall him explicitly saying that the ending would be different o.o

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You know the photo of the 3 of them in a flower field and she's behind one of them. That scene would be a nice ending shot.

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I love it when won saw san for a moment with a worried look before he shouts again to the guards... I can feel his love towards her from his eyes...

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I took it more as she's his possession and how dare anyone touch his possession. Nobody touches his people except him.

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Did you guys remembered the rooftop scene where San's got jealous over Rin's remark that he knew some of the Queen's maids by saying " you know lots of the palace maids " with that jelly expression..kyaa haha

I wonder what is Rin's thought when Won's told him that San has someone else in her mind? Did he knew it was him or become bothered and curious who is it? The scene where he practice his sword alone, looks like he was bothered by something, I guess it must be about how to protect his friendship with Won and how to save San orrrrrrrr, because "San's heart belong to someone else" ??? Kyaaaaa sorry me just too in love with RinSan..every moments of them is very precious..>.<

The moment when Rin looking back at San when he held her waist to stop her from falling from the rooftop, and the flashback scene he was also looking her like that too, make it looks like he was longing her so much but only can watching her from behind..Omo I'm crying for Rin..

At first I think that Rin might be liking Won because he seems jealous or not happy when San catch Won's attention more..(to be honest I felt creepy that time, I can't accept this kind of bromance in the meaning men loves men,euu)..Even after Rin begin to having suspicious over Sohwa and minister of finance's relationship, he kinda treat So hwa coldly and even tried to stop her from keep being around him and Won, so I didn't that like him much either but after he knew So hwa's identity and her sufferings, he begin to really looking into her and find himself attached to her which I believe he might be just like Won, already liking her since their 1st meeting 7 years ago in San's mansion and the second meeting on Mount Duta, it just that he has not realised yet as his priority was and only Won..

Now I just hope to see Rin would be more honest about his feelings to San, but I also do want to see WonSan moment too(not the usual bickering part but romance part)..what should i do?? Afterall i was and still Wonsan shipper from the beginning..it just that I got moved by RinSan so now me is both Wonsan and Rinsan shipper..haha

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in novel won had bisexuality ( he loves rin and san) but SJN has changed it ^.^

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Yeah I knew it when they announced this drama at first but still me is straight lol so I can only accept boy x girl, haha..Bromance is fine as long as it is about friendship not romance..I still can't help but to feel weird each time I see comments rooting for the bromance part..They choose to completely ignore the romance part between the male leads and female lead as if the female lead is not there..Somehow i feel so sorry for the female lead..

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I feel the same in goblin too, bromance here is too strong.. bhaha

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Not really, this was more implied than expressly acknowledged. Won loved beautiful things, and to him, Rin and San were both beautiful physically.

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To be perfectly honest, this drama would make a lot more sense if the deep friendship was because Won was bisexual and loved Rin romantically. I know you would totally disagree, but I've had trouble buying into only the deep friendship. Although kdrama would never go this route it makes more sense to me.

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I know you don't want to be spoiled, so I'll keep this spoiler-free, but to provide context: in the novel, Won was obsessed with beautiful things, and he liked collecting them. Part of those beautiful things were Rin and San. In the drama, they hint on Won liking to "collect" or possess things, but nothing about his obsession with beauty. Maybe it would have had more depth if they followed the novel in this regard.

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Ooh, I like that. Perhaps it would have made Im Siwan look a little too evil w/o a dual side of goodness. Wish the novel were translated to English!

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Well about the obsession of beautiful things, I guess it can't be adapt into the drama maybe because some viewer will not agree that Hong jong hyun and Yoona is beautiful enough to captivated the Crown Prince, some will even bash them and complained what about others like Park hwan hee as Dan is more beautiful or sweet and pure bla bla bla, better than Yoona bla bla bla even though i personally think Yoona is better..Beauty is in the eye of beholder, so it's hard to follow the novel story line..also if most of the story following the novel then people wouldn't get bother to watch the drama as they already know the ending..

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Let me just add so there's no misunderstanding - I wouldn't want the series to go this route at all. If Rin/San don't end up together I'll be heartbroken. Just sayin' some things would make more sense, esp if they're trying to follow the novel at all.

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Haha I love how you interpreted a lot of things to work on your favor. It's actually good though, it can make your heart happy. I love all your points about little things happened between Rin and San. ? As for what happened 7 years ago, I think Rin did has feelings toward San since then because I still remember his voice over saying, "I saw her first." And when they all met again for the first time, we could see how Rin's eyes were shining when he saw San, as if he's saying, "this is the girl I had crush on and we meet again finally" Heeee.

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me too I love wonsan moment because they have cute chemistry, When won was staring at san, my heart was pounding...
rin san also have good chemistry... ^.^

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You're right - Won and San are cute, but San and Rin are beautiful together.

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I love cute and beautiful couple, so can't they have a threesome? LMAO XD

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Lol yeah can they? Make it the exception for this drama haha..

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You're right RinSan is beautiful..The best pairing i've ever ship in Korean Saeguk Drama..all of their little reaction and responses got me swooning over them..

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I've been thinking the same thing, but too timid to mention it.

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When you rewatch Rin, San and Won even from 7 years ago, Rin always reacted.
When little San cry and Won hug her, Rin also moved but he was far away.
When in the wood bridge and San almost fall, Won catch her her hand but Rin also extended his hand.
Won is always closest to San but Rin also always try to help her from the beginning.

I think San also thought that Rin had romantic feeling for Won at 1st cause she keeps trying to get their reaction by mentioning it.

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Actually what was most impressive about the roof top scene was how San got there - they must have used a wire - as her head was below roof eaves leve and yet Rin pulled her boddily up.

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Yup, they did wear wires! I think both of them did? It was in the BTS, which was adorable.

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Btw are we allowed to discuss the teaser at the end of ep 20? I guess no ya? I'm waiting for Monday to come soon even though I hate Monday, the start of weekdays, lol..

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A teaser is a teaser that we've all seen and I don't mind discussing those (although some in past episodes have been misleading). I just don't like people telling me what's in the novel. I'm wondering if Won's Shadow Guard is going to show up, since they disappeared from their training ground, and whether or not the martial arts people from San's teacher will show up. Things are about to change.

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"Jang Eui and Jin Gwan are at the top of my list" - Ahhhhhh, no. Such a horrifying thought never even crossed my mind and now that it has, I'm scared.

Random, but I will still have moments when Won is talking when "no one" is around and I'll be convinced he's just talking to himself like every other drama character does...until one of them appears and nods their head. Then I feel silly, hehe. I love those moments between them.

I have a hard time picking my favorite scene this episode, between San and the Queen's confrontation and Won and Rin's!! Both were just too good. One for being a moment that played out in a way I never anticipated and the other for playing out even better than I could have anticipated! I love when interactions between characters that could very easily be at odds with each other, are instead tinged with a surprising amount of understanding and sincerity. That's precisely what we got with San and the Queen and I love it.

This cliffhanger was such a powerful culmination to all our growing conflicts. Won!!! Loving all the comments on him already. He has actually surprised me with his ability to continue to believe in a very fundamental truth - that no matter how his friends betray him on the surface, he can always trust that they must have had their circumstances. That betrayal - for them- is not something done lightly, with no stakes. He is so quick to move past whatever chasms that form between them.

Also, even though it didn't work out perfectly, I love San and her father for putting in all their best, most clever efforts to hinder Song In's plan for them. Seeing them make him sweat for once caused me a lot of joy and I can't wait for when they take him down for good.

Thanks for the recap!

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Yes, i also find those parts interesting when won seems like he is talking to himself but is actually directing to the guards! Haha. He knows they are always lurking behind. It also shows how he knows they are always there backing him up. This is my first drama with im siwan, and i'm starting to get hooked with him. He's a great actor!

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I find a lot of these story lines unconvincing. It's a problem in Kdrama that convetion/tradition determins tropes are used and its maddening. Someone on a Chinese website praising The King's Woman, said how they cannot stand kdramas any longer because the women portayed are always behaving with such bad manners and talking with their mouths full, and of course drinking to great excess: when Koreans have so much censorship, why don't they have any qualms about showing themselves, especially their women in such bad light?
A little bit of my love for this drama died this episode and the closing preview dismayed. One consolation is The King's Woman has furnished a fitting end for Song In and Wang Jeon et al - lingering death bu dismemberment over 100 days. I liked Im Yoon-A in the General And I, it helped her improve.

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