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109

The King Loves: Episodes 9-10

The baddies make bold moves forward in their plan to oust Won, and one of those baddies comes closer to the truth behind San’s true identity while also casting his spell over the frustrated and jealous king. Song In’s scheming successfully pushes Rin and Won into a potentially fatal corner, and forces Won to make a choice he would rather not make.

 
EPISODE 9 RECAP

Having heard the rumors of the witnesses (those involved with the prince’s stolen arrows) dying in the custody of Won’s men, Princess Wonsung knows her son is being framed and sends out Furatai and his men to retrieve him.

When they arrive, Won motions for Rin to stay by pointing to the staircase with his eyes. Rin seems to get the implication, and so Won sets out on horseback with Jin Gwan and Jang Eui.

Before Rin can go upstairs to wake San, he’s called home, and he can only look up toward the second story window with a worried look in his eyes.

Not long after, San falls off the bed and wakes to a thundering hangover. Finding only a taciturn maid in the inn, San asks about Rin and San, but the maid ignores her questions and makes sure that San knows she can’t leave by physically blocking her way.

Meanwhile, Won arrives at his mother’s quarters, where she proceeds to ignore his snappish mood and tell him about the lovely evening they definitely spent together last night, talking about her childhood and playing baduk.

At home, Wang Young fills Rin in on the current situation with the murdered witnesses. The implication of the situation dawns on Rin and he begins to panic, knowing his brother, Jeon, is behind this. Wang Young asks if Rin can think of anyone loyal to Won that might kill those witnesses.

Rin argues that it is all conspiracy, but as he denies it, he pauses mid-sentence, as if something’s occurred to him. His father reads Rin’s hesitation as doubt, and believes Rin has someone traitorous in mind. Rin doesn’t refute the assumption, but also realizes the entire setup is a trap for Won, and he’s about to walk right into it.

Wang Young tries to calm Rin, and says that Jeon will sort everything out, and if he can’t, then Princess Wonsung will protect Won. Rin shoots back that Won won’t avoid the danger if he knows “that child” is at risk.

Back at the inn, San waits outside for Rin and Won to return, but she’s off when she spots Moo-suk in the marketplace. He seems to sense her following him, but allows it.

At the palace, Song In is hard at work whispering into the king’s ear about Won’s visit to the metalsmith. Song In notes that Rin was also reportedly at that meeting, along with an unknown woman.

He adds that he also saw a mysterious woman on the hunting grounds the day of the king’s incident, and based on the physical descriptions he received, he believes that it’s the same woman.

Meanwhile, San draws her dagger as she follows Moo-suk into a gated home. She searches the grounds for him, but instead, she comes face-to-face with two freshly slain metalsmith apprentices. She flees, frightened, but is stopped shortly thereafter by royal guards.

The guards see the dagger in San’s hand and the dead bodies, then put two and two together. Panicking, she drops her dagger and tries to escape, but there’s an infantry of armed soldiers waiting for her, with Jeon doling out orders at the head.

Back at the palace, Song In informs the king of the growing situation involving the witnesses and the successful capture of the mysterious woman as the main culprit in the murders.

The king asks what household the woman is from, which appears to catch Song In off guard. The king points out that the woman is supposedly close with both Rin and Won and thus, must be of nobility. Song In looks nervous, like it hadn’t occurred to him before, then says that she is nothing but a nameless commoner.

The king can’t believe Song In overlooked such an important detail, then impulsively decides to investigate the matter himself. Song In tries to talk him out of it, deeming the task beneath the ruler, so the king promises to only watch the proceedings without making his presence known.

When this king’s back is turned, Song In smirks to himself, then casts a glance sideways to a nearby Minister Song, who nods at Song In.

San is taken to the investigation bureau for questioning. Fearful, she immediately offers to tell them anything they want to know, but the guards prepare their various (spiky, or molten-hot) contraptions silently. Jeon and the captain of the bureau enter, and San immediately recognizes him.

San tries to get him to vouch for her by mentioning her friendship with Dan, but Jeon just looks at her coldly. The captain suggests a couple of torture methods they can use on San, but Jeon isn’t satisfied, and pushes for even crueler tactics. But first, he needs to interrogate her.

The king arrives with Song In and observes from above and behind a screen. The king expresses his surprise that such a wild-looking woman would know his son and Rin, but Song In confirms that San is the woman he saw on the hunting grounds.

Minister Song visits Princess Wonsung and Won in her chambers and describes the ruckus involving San through the closed door. But Princess Wonsung interrupts him and chastises him for bothering her and Won’s game of baduk.

Won sides with Minister Song, and implores his mother to let the official in. She tells Won cryptically that every breath she takes is for him. However, Won doesn’t pick up on her inference (or perhaps chooses to ignore it), then calls out for Minister Song to continue with his report.

Minister Song recounts the capture of a woman, and how she killed off witnesses under Won’s order, but he is soon quieted by the guards. Unfortunately for Princess Wonsung, Won has heard enough to get him out of his seat.

When Won refuses to stay, even when his mother tells him that it’s a trap, she has no choice but to order her guards to stop Won from leaving, even if it means hurting him physically.

Won gives his mother a chance to withdraw her order, but she refuses, and so he calls out Jin Gwan and Jang Gui, who immediately pop out of the shadows.

The bodyguards make quick work of Princess Wonsung’s men, until only Furatai remains. Furatai proves to be a worthy opponent, but our boys have numbers on their side, and they outsmart Furatai by having Won jump over them.

Back in the courtyard, Jeon proceeds with his interrogation and shows San her dagger, which he claims was found on the hunting grounds, and thus proves that she’s the murderer.

San contends that the dagger was found in the gated house, and those guys were already dead when she got there. Jeon changes his tactic and asks why she was there in the first place if she’s so innocent.

San replies vaguely that she was following someone, and Jeon asks if the crown prince ordered her to kill the men, since only he and the guards knew those witnesses were there.

San is totally baffled by Jeon’s claim, since she still has no idea about Won’s true identity. She argues that it would be unimaginable for someone like her to know the prince, but Jeon isn’t deterred and promises that if she doesn’t tell the truth, then she’ll die.

San insists that she doesn’t know the crown prince, so Jeon slaps her hard across the face and threatens to snap every bone in her body until she tells the truth.

His threat gets her thinking, and she realizes that he’s trying to elicit a specific answer from her, since, as she points out, he wouldn’t go through such lengths for a person who is telling the truth. San proposes Jeon just tell her what he wants to hear so she can avoid a mangling.

Her audacity doesn’t work, and the guards are ordered to commence the torture. Won arrives (unknown to San) and admits to his father that San does not know that he is crown prince.

In disbelief that his son would know such a lowly woman, the king continues to question him, but all Won can think of is stopping the hot iron from touching San. He begs his unmoving father, until finally Won discloses that he was near San because he loves her and couldn’t be away from her.

Rin finds Princess Wonsung outside her quarters, and she tells Rin that Won is walking into Jeon’s trap. She then tells Rin that if he is truly Won’s friend, then he will fall into the trap in Won’s place.

At the investigation bureau, Jeon continues to push San for a confession. She examines his crazed face and tells him that everyone says the second Wang son is handsome, so she wanted to see if his personality matched his face.

However, now she knows what he’s truly like and compares his character to Teacher Lee’s drunken vomit. Jeon’s nostrils flare at the insult, and the captain orders a guard to burn her with the iron.

Rin enters the scene and shouts that he ordered the men killed, moved the bodies to the house, then ordered San to be there.

Suddenly, Rin declares that San is his woman(!), and it’s only natural that he’d intervene to protect her. He walks over to San, whose eyes fill with tears as he dabs the blood from her lips. Won watches wide-eyed from above, hearing all, while his own confession remains unheard.

The king calls the entire spectacle an embarrassing farce, and Won points out that Rin is clearly sacrificing himself to save him. But the king has seen enough, and orders both Rin and San imprisoned.

He looks directly at Won as he shouts that he’ll deliver his decree on the fate of their lives soon. He then tells Won that he’s come to hate the sound of Won’s voice, so he should be silent.

Won protests his father’s order by kneeling in front of his chambers all day and all night. Inside, Boo-yong massages the king and asks him if he’s worried about the crown prince.

The king laughs in response, but his expression grows hard. He’s frustrated and grumbles that he instructed Won to investigate his case, only to find out he was fooling around with a girl.

Boo-yong asks if the crown prince has truly committed a punishable crime, and the king sighs that even if Won had, there is nothing he can do because Won is protected by his Yuan bloodline and his powerful grandfather.

Thus, the king knows he can’t punish Won without good reason. He provides an insightful example, and says that if Won were to suddenly fall ill, then the Yuan emperor would send a special agent right away to care for Won and reprimand the king for letting it happen.

King Chungryeol adds that Won was born with so much more than him, and is not only fortunate in blood, but also has a loyal friend who will die for him, and now a woman he cares for. Whereas, the king has neither of those, nor does he have more political power. Boohoo?

The thought seems to give the king an idea, and so he runs down the steps to where a weak Won sits in protest, then tells Won that he must choose who will live: San, or Rin?

 
EPISODE 10 RECAP

At the investigation bureau, Won spots the guard he saw dragging San roughly off to her cell. Initially, he draws a sword against him, but he changes his mind and violently beats the guard instead. (Wait… what?)

He then screeches out a warning to the guard, vowing that if he ever lays a hand on one of his people again, then he will die.

Won finds Rin in his cell, and Rin asks why Won came, but Won corrects him and says that Rin should be asking Won why he is coming only now.

They sit together in the cell, and Rin asks Won if he saw San’s bleeding lip. Won replies that he did, adding that he knows Jeon is responsible for it, adding that watching San’s abuse made him sick.

Won advises Rin to keep Jeon out of his sight because he isn’t sure what he’ll do to him, and Rin just tells Won to go ahead and do as he pleases. Ha.

Won then tells Rin the deal his father made with him about only letting one of them go. Won confesses that he’ll probably release San and leave Rin, since he hates the idea of San being mistreated.

Rin says that Won had told him before that he was his only friend, and the only one he could trust. When he asks if Won is giving up his only friend for a woman, Won’s voice cracks, but he still confirms it. The air is awkward afterward, but then Rin laughs suddenly, and Won can’t help but join in.

Late into the night, the guards let San out of her cell, and are noticeably more careful (and extremely respectful) in their treatment of her. On her way out, all she worries about is Rin, who she hasn’t seen since they parted.

She wanders out alone, when snow begins to fall around her. Nearby, she spots Won waiting for her. She sprints over to him and tearfully demands to know where he’s been and if he knows that his friend has been taken away.

She’s guilt-ridden for getting Rin involved in her business, but Won can’t take his eyes off the cut on her lip. Full of consternation, he cups her chin and touches the cut, then pulls her into his arms.

San tries to wrestle herself away, but Won asks her to pretend that she slipped on some ice and fell into his arms. “So lean on me for a bit,” he says, and while he closes his eyes, San widens hers.

The next morning, Won and San wake in Won’s favorite inn. They start bickering over a letter San is writing, because Won wants to read it. San sasses that a mere guard wouldn’t be able to read, but Won grabs her hand to steady the paper and peers over her shoulder.

San experiences a moment of awareness when Won’s hand firmly grasps hers, and she momentarily forgets he’s reading her secret letter. She orders him to back off, feeling a bit shell-shocked and unsure how to process her reaction, and he complies.

Won has gathered that the letter is addressed to Minister Eun, and points out how strange it is for a servant to be writing letters to their master. San explains that she merely needs to tell Minister Eun that she is safe since he’s probably worried, and also, she’s hoping he can help Rin get released.

Funnily enough, San hasn’t yet committed Won’s fake name to memory, and she continues to use both his and Rin’s name interchangeably. Therefore, Won complains clarifies that he’s Han-chun, staring at her straight in the eyes. The direct eye contact is a little too much for San, and her gaze starts wandering away as she tries to change the topic.

The kids from the orphanage show up to sell Won some information on the two cart pullers. They want their money first, and so San also gives them the task of delivering letter to Minister Eun on Won’s tab.

With the tip from the kids, Won and the boys wrangle the cart pullers, who dressed in drag in an attempt to escape. Thinking of Rin in jail, San becomes impatient as asks the cart pullers who ordered them to steal the crown prince’s arrows.

When they refuse to answer, San asks Jang Eui and Jin Gwan to break their bones. The threat gets the cart pullers to name their customer: a salt merchant in the marketplace.

Later, San and Won sit down at a restaurant across from the salt merchant’s stall, but all San can think about is their hug from the night before. Won stares at her all expectantly, a wide smile on his face.

San whines about watching the salt merchant do nothing, and so Won explains they have to see who is really pulling the strings, since there is no way the salt merchant planned everything himself.

San suggests they grab the man and beat a confession out of him. (Really, girl? You don’t see the irony here?) Won finds her new, violent tendencies odd and wonders aloud if jail changed her. She shoots back a question of her own, asking Won if he’s even worried about his friend in prison.

Won laughs at her concerns, and San erupts, telling Won of all the horrors that occur in prison and asserting that the only reason he can be so indifferent is because he has no idea how bad it can be in there.

Won assures her that Rin has powerful connections and that he’ll be absolutely fine. Their conversation is interrupted when someone approaches the salt merchant at last, but San just groans when it appears to be a mere customer.

We cut to Rin in jail, and see guards bringing in a giant bucket of water for Rin to wash his face, along with other amenities. Rin is confused, so the guard explains that they are acting under Won’s orders.

Not long after, the guards return with containers filled with rice cakes and food for Rin to eat. He’s told they are from his father, but Rin recognizes Dan’s handiwork right away.

At Minister Eun’s, Moo-suk intercepts San’s letter to her father and takes it to Song In for examination. Song In infers from the letter that San and Minister Eun have a much deeper relationship than is visible from the outside.

He claims that the language San uses (although formal) is similar to how a mistress might speak to her master, or a daughter to her father. He also notes San’s graceful penmanship, which would be rare for anyone below noble status.

Moo-suk adds that he noticed that not a single servant currently working for Minister Eun has served the household for longer than seven years. So Song In orders Moo-suk to find anyone who was close with the daughter in the past, while he’ll meet with the daughter personally.

We return to San, who explains that she feels ill at ease about Rin’s situation because she hates the idea of someone getting hurt or dying because of her, since it isn’t a new feeling.

Won then directs her attention to the salt merchant, and adds that he’s set a trap, which will soon lead them to the mastermind. San is confused, so Won reveals that the customer who came earlier was actually Jang Eui dressed as a nobleman.

He had discreetly given a letter to the salt merchant for the man’s master, claiming the message was urgent. So now, all Won needs to do is wait for the salt merchant to deliver the letter. His plan goes off without a hitch, and soon, they find themselves in front of Song In’s teahouse.

Meanwhile, Song In observes Bi-yeon praying at the temple. He approaches her by mentioning San’s cover name, So-hwa, and hands her the letter he stole. He lies that he was instructed to deliver Bi-yeon’s response back to San.

Bi-yeon grow nervous, then asks Song In what the letter is about. He lies that he hasn’t read it since it would be rude, then insists that San is anxiously awaiting Bi-yeon’s response to her letter.

However, Bi-yeon’s masquerade falls apart because she can’t read, and so she slowly turns the letter this way and that, unable to make sense of it. This doesn’t escape Song In’s notice.

Won and San sneak into the teahouse, unaware that Moo-suk is walking around nearby as well. He isn’t alone, and has completed his mission of finding a former servant who worked in Minister Eun’s house more than seven years ago.

The former nursemaid is certain she can recognize San even this many years later, and her opportunity comes much sooner than anyone could have predicted when she sees San and Won a few feet away, unaware of her presence. She follows them upstairs, but is grabbed by Song In.

San asks Won if they can trust the crown prince to save Rin after they find the mastermind. Won confirms it, and replies that the crown prince may be lazy and awful, but he’s a man of his word.

They boldly walk through the empty teahouse, and San shows Won all the places she and a masked Rin hid that night when she followed her father. She’s nostalgic and acts like she’s reliving fond memories, even as Won expresses his concerns over their lack of discretion.

She shows him the room where she saw Jeon, unable to resist adding some commentary about how evil Jeon is. She lumps the other two sons with Jeon, and figures that the siblings can’t be so different. Won disagrees, but doesn’t push his views.

He then becomes pensive as San cheerfully describes the masked man she thought was her enemy, but who turned out to be her ally. She’s grateful, and wonders who he could be.

She crawls back into the hiding place she shared with Rin, which prompts Won to asks vaguely how she can do “it.”

She doesn’t know what he’s talking about, so he continues and asks, “How can you look elsewhere in front of me? How can you think of another guy while you’re with me? I can’t do it.”

 
COMMENTS

I’m taken aback that the love lines advanced so much in these episodes. I wasn’t ready to move out of the friendship phase, because I really liked the rapport between each pairing, and as a trio. I don’t necessarily feel crackling chemistry between Won and San, so even though that hug scene was supposed to be this pivotal romantic moment, it didn’t exactly work for me.

I tried very hard to stay in sync with Won’s emotional journey today, but that flash to the dark side really threw me off. If we are preparing for Won to go evil at some point, then I am totally onboard with that. But the transformation needs to be done in a way that doesn’t contradict the most fundamental things we know about the character we’ve come to care for.

At this point, the Won we’ve seen is a sweet, intelligent, and thoughtful person, so if you’re going to tell me there’s this latent darkness inside this teddy bear, then at least give me a compelling reason why it emerged now. The reaction needs to be equal to the action, and thus far, I’m not really seeing what’s so enraging about one cut on San’s lip. I get that it’s the intention behind the injury that matters, and Won is taking out his frustrations and feelings of helplessness on an easy target, but his wanton violent explosion was so disproportionate to the damage. It’s one thing if Won baited some thugs into a fight, but another to attack a man who can’t fight back and only did what he was told to do.

I think the show maybe meant for that scene to be some brave, moving display of Won’s commitment to his friends, and an illustration of what moves Won and what can change him into a cruel or courageous person. Those are all great things, but I just wish the storytelling was clearer. Everything is a little muddled right now, and I feel like I’m doing a lot of guesswork trying to fill in the holes of these emotional building blocks, which isn’t ideal. These things should be shown clearly to the viewer so that we can understand the developments without having to jump through quite as many hoops.

Another character I didn’t understand was San: I’m troubled that she showed such a basic lack of empathy today. Even though it was mostly played for comedy, she acted without an ounce of self-awareness by continually pushing for violent solutions to her problems during their investigation of the cart pullers, then later with the salt merchant.

She explained that she was feeling anxious over having Rin be in danger because of her, which is fueled by the guilt she feels over her mother, but does that mean beating other people up to get what she is wants is supposed to be acceptable? How is she different from Jeon, who did the same thing to her? Maybe we’ll get some revelation from San about the cycle of cruelty later, because I like San as a character, so these moments of thoughtlessness just stick out to me. Hopefully it was just a lapse in judgment.

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I know and I understand why Won decided to leave Rin in prison, but it still made me uncomfortable. What if they didn't found those two? What guarantee did Won had that leaving his friend wouldn't get him killed? Plus, it didn't help that Won barely knows San. They know each other for what? Two weeks?

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I am also mixed about this. On one hand, from his logical and friendly perspective it makes sense. He knows Rin has connections, he won't suffer in prison. He doesn't know San also has connections, so he thinks she will be treated horribly and perhaps even assaulted. So he decides to protect the weakest of the two and partners up with her to help release the stronger.

However, when he makes it sound like he chooses his girl crush over his best and only friend, when as you said he does not really know her, I honestly don't know what to FEEL. But I think that is mainly the writer's fault, if that makes sense? I felt in these episodes more than anything that there were moments where I didn't know what the writers wanted to convey (which Murasakimi points out), and this was one. Did he mean that he chose her because she was the weakest, like I think? Did he mean that he is forsaking his friendship over a girl? Am I supposed to support Won's decision if he chose his crush over his friend, or am I supposed to feel for Rin and wonder what the hell Won is thinking?

Just like with Won beating up that defenseless guard, I'm left thinking, "Wait, should I… admire him wanting to defend his friends, or should I worry about his impulsive choices…?" and I don't know if that is intentional or not.

While I don't necessarily mind the two-weeks-love or instant infatuation, I just want it to be pointed out and achknowledged. I feel it could be a great plot point not only between the two buddies, but for San as well, that her presence is destroying this great friendship, but she cannot control it. Because at the end of the day, WON is the one who makes these questionable decisions, but I fear many will end up blaming SAN for them instead.

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probably that's the story,
San didn't do anything, she just appears and Won's act is the one that ruins things.
Won always go to what he wants from the 1st episode and be stubborn but maybe he is not the man for San.

Kdrama always have the 1st male lead always get the girl but as I read the drama 1st news, it said that the pairing is Rin and San while Won suffered the heartbreak.
That's why I get interested, Won is the lead of the drama and the central character but he is not the one for San.

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Rin might as well get the girl because Won, as crown prince, will be required to have a Mongol queen. The best San could hope for with him would be consort and a life of palace feuding.

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Oooh, I didn't really pay much attention to the news before the series went live; all I knew was one boy would apparently not get the girl and end up going a bad path, and I automatically assumed Won, as the male lead, would get the girl, because as you said, such is the rules of dramaland. But it would definetely be interesting if they made Won the male lead, but in the end not get the girl. It wouldn't be like "ZOMG A REVOLUTIONARY SUBVERSION!", but for this story so far, where Won has made some... weird choices regarding San, I wouldn't really mind if the love triangle status quo was challenged.

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> What if they didn't found those two? What guarantee did Won had that leaving his friend wouldn't get him killed?

I think it mainly because the one who captures San is Rin's brother. Family wouldn't go that far to each other and Rin is a minister's Son, the king wouldn't do that since what the king wants is Won.

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It was a logical choice. Rin is of royal blood and from a powerful family, so powerful that one of the sons are plotting to get the throne for himself, even the king admires rin. No one would dare harm him. San, as he knows her, is a commonor with no fmily connections.

It's awesome for me that Rin understood his reasoning, and was even able to joke about it. It show a lot of trust

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Wow the (love) story surely picked up in this episode.

1. So Daddy has inferior complex towards his son? Sigh, it was too makjang for my taste. I bet he can't wait to have another son and have another Yeon & Yeok rivalry like in 7DQ.

2. I think the writer would think it's funny and want to emphasize her masculinity yet failed to see the irony about torturing people for confession.

3. Still not liking Won and currently preparing a camp for Team Rin though I didn't warm up to San character's yet...I just want the guy to be happy without being dragged into his brother's mess.

This drama reminds me of C-dramas but lacks something that keeps me addicted...I wonder what.

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This drama really reminds me of Chinese drama, the slow build, the set up, the bro code, the honest conversation about choosing the girl.

It's uncanny but I think it because they behave like themselves with all the bad and the good part. Idk if it just me bur Kdrama tends to make their protagonist as the better people in the drama, like hero and angel without any wrong but Cdrama is more about what the character did, even if it's grey as hell and you don't know where it comes from.

The lack something is probably because ... it's Korean but this is the closest Cdrama-like for me more than the beginning of Empress Ki or Moon Lovers.

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Maybe that's why I like it? Cdramas mostly have better intrigues while kdramas are better in the romance department, and until now this show has shown more political intelligence than any other kdrama I've ever seen (at least saeguks).

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Ha! Now it boggles me why the King only has two sons (children) and he let go his first pure blood son just because Princess Wonsung told him to?!

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That's because Goryeo was under Yuan rule therefore the Yuan princess was influential enough to pull that, it happened in history too.

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Ah I just saw your reply after typed mine below.
Thanks!

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I love the pace of this drama and the OST which compliments the cinematography. I like the fiesty, tomboyish San but I'm not sure how convincingly her character can transition to romance. I'm rooting for Rin and Won and felt so relieved when the latter came up with a solution to the dilemma the King posed. I'm trying to come up with a bad end for Song In and Jeon that would be fitting and slooow. I loved the scenes of the children enlisted to find the snake man!

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I could not care less about Song In and Jeon but I just want to wipe off the smug look on their faces. They need a good bad end. lol

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I want to hate them but I can totally understand their resentment toward Won who they view merely as the bloodline of foreign ruler their enemy.

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@miselpo Yeah. Good point. I often overlook that fact when I watch the episodes.

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Omo .. Omo .. San please dont marry with Wang Jeon .. Song In and Wang Jeon have a secret plan ... They so much dangerous people ..
I cannot if Next Week episode San confirm marry with Wang Jeon .. I cannot ...

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So far this is the BEST Yoona DRAMA ... Seriously ... All fans super excited waiting what happen next episode !!! Fans Siwan , Fans Hong Jonghyun and Fans Yoona support each other :)
And i love friendship between Won , Rin and San ... Chemistery Perfect / Great :')

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how dare u Wang Jeon slap my Eun San !!! U wanna die ??
This episode Eun San go in the trap make by Song In and Wang Jeon !!!

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Ask me how many times I watched this episode. It was exactly 3 times. One when it wasn't totally subbed, one with my mother, and the last time with my husband. This was, by far, the most beautifully executed episode in my opinion. The snow added some cinematographic interest, I think. And the wide-shot on the bridge when San was running towards Won was gorgeous! Still loving everyone in this, even our villains. Everyone is portraying their characters convincingly and beautifully.

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agree chingu, my fav scenes is when won beat that soldied, OMG can't you imagine "innocent jang geu rae" doing that? Siwan really doing a good job here, wkwk

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*soldier

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Yeah, when his face contourted in rage I really couldn't keep my jaw up lol

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Umm Yes ! San & our Prince's romance is blatantly forced down our throat, it seems precipited, we were not ready for it and it is quite uncomfortable to watch, and I think this is very metaphorical of how the Prince is trying to push San into a romantic relationship, when she clearly does not seem to share his feelings and look more uncomfortable than besoted.

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I honestly hope that is part of the character development. I would be really interested if that was a plot point. Won confuses his feelings of guilt and fascination for love/lust and, in his teenage hormone-body, makes bad decisions both to his friend and to her. And either his character story will be to move away from that and develop true, genuine love for her, or the story will go 180 and have him turn into the bad guy.

I just don't want these weird decisions to be a result of clumsy writing and rather have them be made into the story! ^^:

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I just realized that the actor for the king is the same actor for King Seonjo in Goddess of Fire. Both of the roles have the kings be fairly weak in personality (as a character trait), which makes me wonder if the actor chose this role deliberately. Although I got to admit, I liked King Seonjo in GoF during a second viewing, where I found him smarter and kinder than I initially thought. While this king seems all around weak, cold and maybe self-aware, but not to his strength. Hopefully we will see another angle of him as well.

I don't know how experienced the writer is, but maybe that could explain some of the weirder character points? Like with Won's violent scene and San's violent tendencies? I can't find an excuse for Won, but for San's, if the writer is not very experienced, it could be that they are trying to make San appear like a Strong Independent Woman™ or at least not weak, but the only way they think they can do that is to have her be tomboyish, and as we all know, masculinity=violence. So the writer ends up going to that corner to establish her tomboyishness, instead of maybe have Won show violent urges and have San refrain him from it, showing how she can be both the source of his violence but also a support against it.

Personally I'd LOVE it if Won's initial character development goes negative, and he either slowly becomes the antagonist we did not expect while Rin becomes the protagonist, or he realizes the errors in his ways and manages to atone. From what I gather, San and Won will be endgame, while Rin will be the one to gradually become evil. And, I'm usually the one who says unpredictable does not equal quality, but after so many dramas where the endgame couple is obvious from the start and never changes despite the Obligatory Love Triangle giving better options, I would find it interesting if we were actually left to wonder if Won really is worthy being a romantic lead, or if he will manage to rise above it.

Or all his weird/creepy dark moments so far are just clumsy attempts to make him seem peculiar and sheltered. I don't know, we'll see.

But, San's Dad. My man. My dude. I get that in olden times there were classicist rules about who could learn what. But if you planned to have a servant pretend to be your daughter, the least you could do is teach her to read in secret. Or plan ahead of time how she will act in public to avoid that kind of confrontations. She's been in that role for seven years now, what did you have her DO during that time???

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My thoughts exactly about Biyeon not learning how to read. Ugh. Why?!?! In that scene I had a bad feeling that she would not be able to read, but I was also hoping that she would surprise Song In by reading the letter out loud to his face, but no. Why?! For seven years she IS San. Why?!

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Yeah! At the very least, I wished she would act haughtily and be like, "Very well, thank you and goodbye." And if he tries to tell her that it seemed urgent, she could say "Did you read this letter to know it is urgent? No? Well then, leave me alone and I will deal with this myself." I still think that would tip him off enough, like asking her "so you are not surprised a mere servant can write?" or something. I don't know, just... have them be smart about this switch, and STILL fail. That is how you build up your villain's danger, by having the good guys do everything right, and still the villain is so capable he can fool them. This way does not make Song In look smart, dangerous and capable, it makes San's Dad and friends look like idiots.

I mean, I thought he would never let her leave the mansion, and when she did, she would be escorted by people that knew the secret so they could help her. But no, she's alone, clearly not used to talk to people as a young lady, and cannot read. Just.... good job, San's Dad. Good job. You go sit alongside Yeok and Yeonsangun's Dad from Seven-Days Queen and exchange notes in how to be Dramaworld's Best Dad.

At the same time, I almost want to laugh that I kind of sit here grumbling "SEVEN-DAYS QUEEN wouldn't make this sort of dumb plot hole..." XD

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actually didn't know how to read wouldn't outed her as the fake San, many people can't read and she is a noble lady with the scar on her face, not that shocking to not be able to read, even San asking why Won as bodyguard can read that,

what outed her is that the letter she supposed to read is to her dad from her and the evil guy know it,
if it's any other letter and she didn't know how to read - it's fine,

the evil bad guy is just smarter than the fake San since he is able to steal that letter,
in ancient times, they didn't teach the servant to read so they can guard the secret, so even if you give them the letter to send and they saw it, they wouldn't know what it means.

so for the fake San to be able to read, it needs more premise for her character.
Since we always know she is a servant and will be undesirable to get married, it makes sense for her to not knowing how to read.

I hope that makes sense, I just feel like there is a whole another culture in the period drama that the norm of what we have here is not working, just because there is no way to have that norm at that time.

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I am so glad that as each week passes by, the quality of the show keeps on getting better. I am waiting in anticipation when things will get little nasty between the two actors. But honestly San's chemistry is off charts with the second lead. I love Crown Prince as a character and rooting to see his true unleashed colors but I don't want him to get the girl. I will like if show gives proper justice to his character by giving him a nice redemption at the end of the story. He is the central character but doesn't necessarily mean he should get the girl. He is infatuated with her, let him find the true meaning of love and happiness.

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Completely agree! He seems infatuated, with little regard for how she actually feels. There are little hints here and there of his darkness. I'm hoping that's the route the show takes, and he can be redeemed at the end by letting her go and becoming a good king.

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I think his behavior is typical of a young man lusting over a girl, not really thinking about how the girl feels, at least initially. His character is that of a cheeky devil. Immature? Sure. But smarter than anyone gives him credit for, I think.

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I kind of agree with everyone about the writing issue, but I have say that I think it's actually gotten much better this episode and the one before. The first few were disjointed with jarring moods, but I like the trajectory it seems to be going on with more darkness in Won and San not really returning his feelings. If she falls for Rin all the better (love him!).
I actually think the hints at darkness in Won have been dropped all along. He's been selfish and immature since the beginning (although also highly adorable), and has had some red flags. For example, just watching San's mother's group get slaughtered (which he has admitted to), the comment about building a birdcage for San, the beating of the guard, even leaving Rin in prison, which sort of makes sense but wow. I really hope he unleashes the crazy a bit!
Regarding San being a bit bloodthirsty, I do think this was just a way to show how tough she is. She has also spent years in the mountains with bandits, so it kind of makes sense. There's also the recurring theme that she's a wild spirit/bird.
Overall, it took a few episodes but I am now fully invested in the story and where I hope it's going.

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I have the same sentiments about Won's darkness. From day one, he has shown glimpses of that side of him and we've seen more and more with each episode with his questionable statements/comments, side looks/stares, and excessive actions. Hence, I never saw Won as a "teddy bear" and his full-on rage in this episode was not surprising. It could have been toned down, but him having dark tendencies has been suggested before.

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@ 11 RoseTyler,

There's also the recurring theme that she's [San is] a wild spirit/bird.

This is exactly why my hackles are up over Won's dopey birdcage crack. When he was a kid, he tried to liberate his father's falcons. Although now that I think of it, he let them go to promote domestic harmony between his parents -- not for the raptors' own sakes.

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I think its rediculouse to think the crown prince with one friend would risk himself against a band of "special forces" troops. Modern sensibilities are getting in the way of things, Royals were brought up to see themselves as above everyone else, call that selfish but be honest this modernist egalitarianisum is just inapropriate in this context. As for Rin he was safe in prizon and treated better that he dared to expect. If that wasn't a clever and thoughtful action on the CP's part I'd like to know what is. Also be thankful this isn't written by Ruler's writer. Not saying this one is perfect but I will easilly forgive a few plot holes.

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The show knows how to capture feelings through good directing and adding fitting background music. It's almost enough to make you oversee the inconsistencies in plot and character.

1. Minister Eun's carelessness. Bi-yeon not being able to read makes little sense since she had seven years to learn and literacy was basic noble 101 ability. You tell me he would have never foresaw or think of a situation where she would have to read? What about all the time she sat besides him when they had guests? Maybe someone handled an invitation or something else to read? Even if you overlook it by saying he had her staying in the house all the time then how is it even possible for her to walk out alone where she could have been able to meet people like Song-In who could have discovered her. At least a trustworthy bodyguard by her side. That whole meeting was very clumsily written. Bi-yeon acting obviously stupid by turning that letter around all the time was too stupid to believe. If she acted that dumb all the time the question would rather be how it took that long for outsiders to become suspicious.

2. Like mentioned above San's amnesia towards torture. So she says it shows bad character when Jeon wanted to do it but has no reason to not do it herself. And honestly all her actions reek of stupidity and impulsivly this episode. From writing a letter in front of Won when she's supposed to be a maid and easily letting him see it to giving the letter without further instructions like giving it to a special person to ensure it can't be stolen that easily. I really don't get what these boys are so smitten about given that they saw her for a short time in childhood and know her for 2 weeks in the present.

3. The 'deep love' both boys feel for her. The time was too short for real love to develop. Guilt should have been the prime motivation for them to help her. The show should have them feeling guilty and always thinking about her because of that guilt in all those years. They were sorry that she was outcasted because of them and that's why they helped her. And AFTER spending time with her in the capital they got to know her better and fell in love with her. Instead we have Rin storming in like a thoughtless idiot and save her because he loves her so much. And Won acting like an obsessive stalker demanding her attention and turning 'dark' because she hurt her lips a bit but not really caring that his best friend can be executed.

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lol Nobody even thought about making sure that Bi-yeon can actually pass as a noble lady. :)

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> she had seven years to learn and literacy was basic noble 101

I don't think they care about biyeon at all, I mean all the time they just emphasise that she would be the flesh of San with her clothes but never put her in anything and it doesn't seem like they'll continue it forever cause I think her father just doesn't want anyone to take a like in his daughter.

Also reading mandarin is way harder and many people still think that someone that isn't par up the class should learn their class, maid shouldn't learn to read cause that's not a maid [at that time]

> I really don't get what these boys are so smitten about given that they saw her for a short time in childhood and know her for 2 weeks in the present.

In writing pov, I don't think San understand either,
in my pov, it's the magic of 1st love

> Instead we have Rin storming in like a thoughtless idiot and save her because he loves her so much

I think Rin do that because he needs to save Won, the suddenly appeared is for the King and saving Won from the king cause Won is the impulsive one, just like what the queen asking him, his brother wouldn't kill Rin if the girl connected with Rin,
Rin also knows that cause he seems to know more, like his brother part in the San mum death and what his plan for San's family.

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Idk if Won is a writing issue, just like San.

If you came here without knowing who is the OTP or get confused like me, the trajectory of Won is what presented. He never really cares about other people except for San, he always self-absorbed and behave for himself, like lying to San and do it till now.
When you watch the hug the 2nd time, I don't think it means to Wow the viewer and "scream OTP" because even San, didn't want the hug or hug back, it seems to me that the director wants to emphasise how much Won likes San, that's all.

Then I remember what if San didn't like Won but feel different to RIn, it all makes sense. Won acted on his feeling for San with all the over exaggerated gesture just like San in her quest to helps Rin, this is the 2nd time she becomes the cause for someone misery and she didn't want it.

So I think it makes sense if you didn't fix your choice who is the OTP for the drama because there is none and we don't know who, we just see the prince who is really in love, a girl who is trapped because he didn't know them and a loyal friend.

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Okay Won, I really want you to get together with San, but you gotta take things a little more slowly boy. Did you really just choose San over Rin, even though you have known Rin since you were 12? You might be played by Im Siwan who is so good looking and has a heck of a disarming sile, and the gestures you made to get close to San could have been cute but right now it just looks a little creepy, because I don’t think San sees you in any other way other than as a friend right now. Calm down fam; maybe she’ll come to love you in the future, but right now you gotta keep them boundaries.
Now I think I’ll understand why San might choose Rin over Won in the future, because right now I’m also not sure whether his attraction towards San is out of love or just out of a moment of interest. And no matter how much I want the WonxSan ship to sail, it’s hard to look away from how he treats San a little possessively (and they’re not even in a relationship yet!)
Other than the way he is acting around San, I still very much enjoy his character, and it’s also a good break to see a hero that is not always upright and righteous. The dark flashes we see of his personality (when he beats the guard up violently for hurting San) makes me more interested to see how his character will develop in the future episodes, especially when more people and things turn against him.
(Can we also say how well the scene when Won escaped from his mother’s chambers was executed? That jump though. And the hug scene – sans mildly creepy Won – was shot beautifully.)

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I guess I'm on the minirity, but I think the character development is actually pretty good here. I may be influenced because I've seen the next episode, but I think Won knows the power he has. He knows who his grandfather is; furthermore, he has the Khan blood in him--ruthless to the core. We're seeing flashes of this, but I think he keeps it under wraps because he has to. If his father suspects that Won is aware of the immense influence he has, all the way from the Khan dynasty, Won's life would be miserable. His father is intensely jealous of him already.

As for Rin, he has great influence as well. Not a hair on that boy's head would be harmed with two conniving brothers who still need him to implement their coup. I'm pretty sure Rin being close to the Crown Prince was planned from the beginning. That first master is gloriously evil. And Rin knows this. And the Queen is understandably suspicious. What mother wouldn't be? Never mind that she is also paranoid that she can be replaced as well--which seems unlikely now that we know how scared the King is of her father. Anyway, Rin has a heart of gold, and gets why Won has to choose the girl, but does he really? I'm pretty sure Won was joking when he came to see Rin and told him that he was going to choose San to be released. Of course Won is going to save the both of them and had a plan to do so all along. But I'm sure their relationship will be tested to its breaking point. And Rin's real sense of pain when he saw San being tortured was well-done by HJH. He also feels no loyalty to his brothers at this point. His love for Won trumps any blood relation, as he so eloquently stated to Won last week.

And finally San. She is the most clueless of heroines, but why shouldn't she be? She's been raised in the mountains. Or in my part of the US, the equivalent of being "raised in a barn." She chews with her mouth open. She's uncouth and a diamond in the rough. But she's strong and independent. Independence is something both boys have no clue about, and it's sexy. On top of all this, she's pretty and young. You don't need much else to catch the eye of a prince or a nobleman. And she had no intention of torturing those poor souls, or breaking any of their bones. Empty threats just to get the information they needed. It was meant to be comical, I believe, and I laughed. But maybe that makes me a horrible person, which I knew already.

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maybe you can make the two of us.

I feel like I understand what the characters do and yeah the drama reveal their intention usually in the Thursday ep.

The King's jealousy totally makes sense, Goryeo is under Yuan Dynasty and the father feels owned by the higher.

I think it's unfair for San to behave any other way or actually to be involved, she doesn't know that Won is the prince and nobody can tell her, she doesn't know how she gets involved and she never intended to have anything related to the palace things. She always acted alone bc her father controlled her so much and this 2 guy appears and say they will help.

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agree, character development is good, but some viewers who didn't really care about this drama maybe a little confused about their characters, story, and hero's motivations since his character the most complex here... time jump is too fast, and they decided to stick 20 eps for 3 books,, but most of novel reader thought drama version is better than novel version LOL XD

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*in the minority* (typing on a phone sucks)

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I have similar sentiments, especially in relation to the characters. I did not read too much into San's supposed sudden evilness. The situation was obviously for comedy. As for Won, that evil aspect of his personality has been there before. The question is, how much of that side of him will take over? He still has goodness in him, but truth be told, he is leaning toward the dark side for me. I think the next episode will show more of this.

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Happy to know you like HJH's acting :) First his best buddy Kim Young-kwang. How about the other three model avengers squad?

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I guess I have to see everyone else now! I didn't mean LAN it this wat, it just happened! Don't you love fate?

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*for it to happen*. Auto text fail! ???

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Well talk about typo I'm worse, grammar error, misplace words order ?

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Definitely check White Christmas. You got all 5 of them in one package!
To warm up maybe try the recap epi 1 first.

http://www.dramabeans.com/2012/07/white-christmas-episode-1/

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I am enjoying HJH's acting too (what a big turnaround from his role in ML). And I am loving his look here. So handsome.

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Wow, clapping hands together, you put it vary well.

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story keep getting better and better, I really like im siwan as won, but after finished eps 11&12 I like rin more than him, his feelings towards san seems a little bit childish to me... Rin's love more deeper than I thought, my hurt feel hurt with him, this is the first time SL makes me cried T.T

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*my heart

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Won’s character development is very subtle which I really applaud the writer for doing so. If you look closely from the previous episodes, Won were slowly dropping hints of his two-faced personality. Now you must remember Won is the son of a selfish king and a Queen who is very manipulative, cunning, and greedy (remember when the queen was younger she kicked out the King’s woman out of jealousy). Also, Won lives in the palace which is a very scary and lonely place to be. Now, it is possible that Won would somehow inherit some of their personalities after all some personality traits can have genetic basis. Some hints that I noticed which Won gave off to indicate that he may have acquired some of those traits was when he jokingly said to Rin that San was like a bird that he likes to look at all the time so he might build a huge bird cage for San in the palace. tho he said it in a very friendly manner it was an indicator of his possesiveness over San. Also, he was once asked by Rin that when is he going to let San know of his true identity to which Won responded “when it is no longer fun” (doesn’t it make him sound like a douche lol). Another hint is when Won beat up the interrogation guard until the baton/wooden pole/scabbards broke!! (I was not sure what he hit him with lol) anyways, to me it was a bit disturbing and shocking for him to do but I think it was because of all his frustrations that he could not save San and also because he heard Rin’s confession toward San. At that point Won probably started having doubts about Rin’s real feelings toward San (but he could not confirm it yet). Another hint is when he told San that he does not like it when San thinks of another man in front of him and that it just doesn’t wok for him that way, that remark showed Won’s possessive side. Im si-wan is doing a great job portraying Won’s character so far, all those subtle hints are starting to come together and make sense of Won’s soon to-be-revealed two-faced personality. This drama has so much depth in terms of each characters’ personalities that some viewers may never catch up on. I admire the writer’s work so far and will definitely keep watching! episode 11 and 12 have some more hints about Won and ofcourse my RinSan ship is sailing sooooo hard! can’t wait for 13 and 14!

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siwan is jjang wkwkwk I can't imagine other actors played won XD

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I actually think his ZE:A's mate Park Hyung-sik would totally kill Won's role. His charisma and screen presence are commanding while I find Si-wan is a bit soft.

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yoona is really improved a lott, we can't deny it..and she is the only female lead here.. her character is my fav XD

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*yoona really improved

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lool I took the test, and obviously I'm team Wang Rin!! lol he's the man for me! loool

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lool forget Yoona I'm about to fly to SKorea and steal HJH's heart! looool

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bhahaha LOL XD

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I think part of why you (and most people) are confused is because you have a set OTP in mind and expect the same OTP scenes for them when at this point it's not clear who the OTP is, and it's actually been shown that San does not feel anything more than friendship (and worry) for both Rin and Won. She had flashes of awareness for both (when Rin came to save her and when Won read the letter) but nothing more yet. Having an expectation and pegging actions or reactions to fit that expectation may convolute what the story is actually trying to show.

Also, Won's outburst against the guard was surprising but not totally out of character. He's always been selfish. But he's also always been hiding himself from the people around him. At that moment, when he couldn't save both Rin and San, he just snapped. I think this is more clearly explained in the next ep.

Rin saved San to save Won from the trap while also being able to convey his true feelings for her, wow.

Actually one of my favorite scenes from this ep (which was not highlighted at all in the recap and which is why more people should watch this drama) is San's confrontation with Jeon and their intense stand-off, even while she was bloodied and tied to a torture chair. San is intelligent, but reckless, and she doesn't know when to back down. But this ep also showed how she was consummated by her worry about Rin that she was impatient to save him. Her violent tendencies were a manifestation of that worry, but clearly, as Won said, she wasn't a truly violent person anyway.

The characterizations in this drama seem obvious, but actually have very subtle nuances, which are shown more through actions and throwaway comments of other characters, rather than exposited about. And this makes me appreciate it more because the world feels so lived in. For example, San's love for alcohol is played for laughs, but it's shown that before she sleeps, she always, always drinks alcohol and she sleeps curled up like a child. She actually needs the alcohol to sleep to ward away the trauma of her childhood. Her happy, carefree mien cannot totally hide her intense loneliness and guilt. In other shows, this would have been expounded on through words, but this show prefers the subtlety of deftly showing her pain. Reading only the recaps will definitely make you miss it. And even some viewers may not appreciate such nuances.

Also not to nitpick but since it ties to the next episode, the maid does not block San from leaving, but blocks another passageway that San was curious about.

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there is two highlight part for me, one is how fast San knows that Jeong trapped her to say certain words, she didn't back down and shouted that she didn't remember the word.

The other is Rin laugh when Won say he released San. It's like Rin always knows that would be the case, even if they are close like brother, Rin knows that releasing San would be Won priorities.

What I really like the director that shoot the drama beautifully and also highlighted moments that show the character behaviour, like when Won grab San hand while waiting for the rice guy. It is subtle but plau smoothly.

I am with you that there is no disrepency in the character if you didn't set your mind that Won and San is the couple.

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Oooh yes I agree I loved that jail scene as well. They don't need to expound on how close they are to each other because how they interact with each other already shows how close they are. To me, that is some masterful writing.

Close friends know what each other is trying to say without having one spell exactly what'd on their mind. Won feels guilt towards Rin because he knows that his action of choosing San will mean Rin remains in jail, but he does it anyway without needing to explain to Rin coz he knows Rin will understand, and Rin is hurt but he accepts and understands because he knows Won. The whole point why Rin went running to the palace in the first place is Won. I love love their friendship.

Also notice how Rin immediately reports to Won about San.

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At first, I was not really that interested about this drama because first off I never heard of Im si-wan and I’ve seen a bit of Yoona’s acting from K2 and was not really into it. BUT, historical dramas or history in general really interest me and I really like to see what kind of character HJH will portray and how he would pull it off, so out of love for history and curiousity I started watching it, I stopped after 1st episode and after few days for some reason (out of boredom I guess) I continued watching it! and let me tell you now I can’t wait for the next episodes!!! I even spent hours trying to find the actual novel so I could read it myself! lol. Cinematography is great, depth in the character’s personality also great, and I love how this might not be the typical love-triangle story where the main lead get the girl. Plus, HJH is a good actor, all three of them are!

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Won is showing more and more of his darkness with each passing episode. I wonder when and where he will finally unleash that to his friend. He's greedy. He's selfish. He knows he has power and I see him wielding that power even to Rin. I do not doubt Won cherishes Rin, but I also do not doubt that when it comes to something he wants and yet cannot have due to his friend, he will turn his back.

I did not have an OTP a week before, but now I am leaning toward RinSan. I still want Won to defeat those who want to take away his rightful place (those villains need their comeuppance) and somehow get a happy ending.

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I agree about writing problem, the thing that scene wasn't downplayed in the beginning. King didn't look like he was joking and Won wasn't begging him for few days in prison. Plus, Rin's reaction to that decision wasn't exactly carefree. I understood it as "I'm kinda happy you have to take care of more people than only me" or "Oh well, choosing girl over good friend like me, what ridiculous situation".
I actually expected it would be harder to get him out of prison, we would get a bit of drama and few more tears, but the ton suddenly shifted and we are left with rom-com where Won doesn't even look for a bit bothered.

I thought beating the guard was more understandable, it wasn't that much about few scratches the guard left, but more about him somehow harming San. He had something to do with that and Won was simply to helpless to take his anger on someone who deserved it.
Plus, the only scene where Won was shown as a good person to people outside his cycle (San and Rin) was in first episode when he tried to help his father (and he was 12 at that time?).

I was mad on San for not being clear about her feelings, but I realized that San is the only one with normal reaction. She has heard max.15 words from Rin and Won says and does questionable things after every two sentence.

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I really confuse about Rin's laugh over Won decision. What does it mean? And then Won join in as well.

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the only thought I can gather is that
"it's silly, we are both silly, I help her, you help me, I choose her"

or another bro code
"ofc woman is 1st"
or
"she is innocent in this, no reason to be in jail"
or
"we have the same thought, you didn't need to tell me why, I'll the same if I was you"

I hope we get a real thought but I guess it's in the line of
"it''s okay so let just laughed of all this things"

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Ouch, my mistake, I should have replied to @pensola

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Thank you for your recap and comments, murasakimi!

If episodes 9 and 10 had even one more moment of irony, they would have been covered in rust. In no particular order:

1. Wang Jeon has been lusting after San for seven years, and when he unknowingly meets her again, he smacks her in the mouth and is gung-ho to torture the crap out of her. I cannot wait to see someone permanently wipe that smarmy smirk off of his face. I'm crossing my fingers that it's San who dishes out the payback -- with interest. Rin probably feels like he's got cooties just from being related to the SOB. Grrr.

2. King Chungryeol's sour grapes rivalry with Won is pathetic. Get over it, Mac! Your father-in-law is The Khan and you aren't. Don't take it out on your son. Oh, and by the way: Has it ever occurred to you that your court might be full off homegrown enemies? As for the source of Won's more irritating personality ass-spects: apple, meet tree.

3. I may not like Princess Wonsung's heavy-handedness, but she's always got an ear to the ground, which seems to be more than I can say for her husband, who is seemingly oblivious to the snakes hissing in his ear.

4. Fake San is illiterate. WTF?! Surely you jest, Finance Minister Eun. Couldn't you have homeschooled your fake daughter so she wouldn't blow her own cover?!

5. San turns into a bloodthirsty SOB after being being roughed up. Pssst. Don't you remember how your Mom was murdered? Why are you carrying on like the bad guys?

6. San, have you developed wet brain so soon? Lay off the sauce already. If you still have working gray matter, please engage it before running headlong into traps, dammit! I'm having flashbacks to Shin Chae-kyung's youthful bullheadedness (and lack of political savvy thanks to being raised in the boonies) that led to all kinds of trouble in SEVEN DAY QUEEN.

Is it too much to hope that San would learn her lesson after heedlessly chasing the Man In Black into the Not So Secret Safe House where she stumbles upon the two junior arrowsmiths' corpses and gets herself framed for their murder (even though no one bothered to bloody the clean blade of her dropped dagger!!!)???

Answer: A resounding "Nope!" She next goes barrelling into the Teahouse of Doom to take Won on a sentimental journey that rings his chimes and blows her cover when evil Song In gets her old nanny to identify her. It's bad enough that Won himself is impetuous and needs Rin to keep him reined in. Oh, right. Rin's still in the lap of luxury in the slammer. As it is, Won cannot hold San's horses. She's like a terrier in hot pursuit of a rat.

Bonus Question: When did the two arrowsmiths get whacked, and how was their location discovered? Maybe I've slipped my clutch, but the last thing I recall is their having been spirited away to witness protection by Won's bodyguards. I guess I have to assume that assassin Moo Suk tracked and killed them before luring San into following him. Won didn't...

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iirc the arrowsmith location track down easily bc the mask man had followed won and that's a known place.

Idk what to say but San will learn in the next ep. She learned. If you put yourself in her perspective, this is the only time she can know something about her mother assassination, it's not much of a decision for her cause she needs that info badly. No one is on her side, not ever her father so she will not think twice.

Can I ask what makes you think San is bloodthirsty??

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@xiao jingyan,

I was under the impression that the two apprentice smiths who had transported the purloined arrows had been hidden in a safe house by the bodyguards who hilariously leaped off the roof to take custody of them. Was assassin Moo suk spying on them when they headed off? My apologies if I missed that. ;-)

I understand how San is compelled to discover the identity of the dude with the red snake tattoo on his forearm. I truly do. But for someone who has supposedly hung out with hunters in the bandit-infested Doota Mountains for seven years, San seems to not even consider the possibility of traps. She seems to be so much more with it than Won and Rin when she is on her home turf. Perhaps it's meant to show that she's really out of her league in the big city?

It makes me mad as hell that Won is continuing his stupid masquerade. As if she's not going to be pissed that the young jerk who stood by as her mother and their servants were slaughtered turns out to have been the Crown Prince out on a lark?? Grrr.

I agree that San has a woefully limited opportunity to ferret out the perpetrator(s) of, and diabolical reason for, her mother's murder, and I think that drives her to underestimate the risks she takes.

As for my assertion that San has taken a turn for the bloodthirsty, perhaps my humor detector was on the fritz while watching the scene where she threatens the two bumbling geoin in drag. I'm also live-watching SEVEN DAY QUEEN, and my nerves are kind of hair-trigger these days. ;-)

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I'll try to rewatch for a better understanding

about San , it's fine, I just kinda confused about the expression since the recap also mentioned that ^ ^

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I love that you mentioned Seven-Days Queen in your initial comment, because as I watched some of those scenes you mentioned, I could not help but think "7DQ would NOT have created these dumb plot holes." 7DQ has its faults (though apparently it's the writer's first drama, so a lot can be forgiven), but most of the time I felt the decisions the characters made were true to their personalities and made sense. Not to mention that, when 7DQ's villains fooled the protagonists or got the upper hand, it was absolutely a scary or even impressive moment, exactly because the heroes are doing everything they can. They do everything as right as they dare, yet still lose. That is how dangerous (and infuriating in Park's case) the villains are.

In The King Loves... come on, San's Dad. If you are going to let Fake San out of the mansion, let escorts that know the secret shield her, or tell her to have a haughty personality to avoid conversation. Or, yanno, TEACH HER TO READ.

When Song In figures out the secret, it is not dreadful, it does not make me realize "oh crap, Song In is dangerous, they have to change their game!", it makes them look dumb. I try to compare it to Yeonsangun in 7DQ, who always surprised us by just what he knew and what he had prepared for, yet at the same time it made sense to have him know or be prepared for everything.

I don't know if TKL's writer is also new, but I do hope they will manage to do like 7DQ and not have the heroes be COMPLETE idiots.

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idk if the dad needs to tell fake San to read, maybe this bc I watch much chinese historical drama too but it totally makes sense. I don't think this just "dumb writing trick" but this the trick that only works in that period of time.

It's this one view that a servant is a servant and had no right to not be one and her father isn't known to be some "perfect angel" either. It even makes more sense if his goal is to make fake San undesirable, she not knowing anything will make every contender go away and San isn't supposed to be in town.

This way, fake San will never go into the palace, the plan didn't work out because the enemy finds out the real San. The dad might underestimate the enemy but I can't say that illiterate is the pinnacle of his failure or even the writing as it's the norm and it makes fake San can't go to the high office at all.

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lol.

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@xiao jingyan August 3, 2017 at 10:40 PM

"It even makes more sense if his goal is to make fake San undesirable"

That's a very good point. I've seen other dramas (most recently, SAIMDANG, LIGHT'S DIARY) in which yangban families without male heirs educate the eldest daughter in lieu of a son. SAIMDANG is set in Joseon times, not Goryeo. Oh, I just remembered that in SHINE OR GO CRAZY, the daughter of the merchant family was a much better business person than her dopey brother, and she was the one who did a lot of high-powered business dealing. It was set in Goryeo.

Anyway, you raise a good point that it may not be negligence on the Finance Minister's part that his fake daughter was illiterate. It could well be intended to make her less attractive to prospective suitors. ;-)

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? So witty and all valid points, but let me enjoy my pretty. Pretty please?

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@Ally,

I'm enjoying the pretty, too. My rhapsodizing got truncated. I was able to retrieve and post my Raves. ;-)

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So agree with point no.6: I hate it when the heroine always acting recklessly, causing troubles and having to be saved that's pointless. I'm rooting for San from the start cause she's energetic, independent, brave and all but why like you said she doesn't learn her lesson and falls in the trap easily.

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Rants and Raves, continued:

Bonus Question: When did the two arrowsmiths get whacked, and how was their location discovered? Maybe I've slipped my clutch, but the last thing I recall is their having been spirited away to witness protection by Won's bodyguards. I guess I have to assume that assassin Moo Suk tracked and killed them before luring San into following him. Won didn't leave any trustworthy guards to protect them?

7. Is it still fun, Won? You know, the whole silly fake identity ploy that you're still playing on San? And it honestly never occurred to you that she'll feel betrayed by your fakery??? Grrr.

Stuff I really liked in these episodes:

A. Rin to the rescue! Unlike Won, he trumpets to the heavens his reason for barging into the interrogation to save San. I'm not sure which I enjoyed more: his brother Jeon's gobsmacked expression, or Won's sudden realization that he's not the only one carrying a torch. Or that slight flicker in San's eyes. Or King Chungryeol's crabbing that the royals are carrying on in an unseemly fashion. Har!

B. San opens Door #4 and comes face to face with the scary innkeeper when she tries to sneak out after Won and Rin are summoned away. ROFL.

C. After Snake In The Grass Song In whispers his pack of lies in the King's ear on the verandah of the palace, there's a gorgeous shot of him standing under the eave silhouetted against the sun, with a rainbow halo subtly emphasizing the polychrome decoration of the roofing members. Why couldn't it be one of the good guys who gets the rainbow halo treatment?!

D. Won's acrobatic escape from Mom's clutches. Give him a 10 for that vault over Furatai. ;-)

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Speaking of Rants, I hope Rin has a plan on how he's going to out his brothers, because he's known for 7 years that they are behind the ambush and murders and hasn't even told his best friend, let alone the girl who is self-loathing and now is being punished because he's kept this secret. I'm sure he thinks he should be punished as well--but he keeps a lot of his emotions as well as this traitorous secret bottled up. This might be what breaks his and Won's friendship as well.

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Yes, he should have used his sward on them.

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@ally-le I dunno... but I feel that Rin will be loyal to his family. He is aware of his scheming, but he does not do anything about it. The same for his father. They all seem to just let Jeon do whatever. Either it is out of family loyalty or they do really have an ambition to get the throne.

Maybe Rin will do something because he now knows that his brother is forcing San into marriage.

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To out or not to out, that is the questionl, especially when there allegedly is widespread support for a full-blood Goryeo royal versus a half-blood prince -- even if his grandpa is Kublai Khan.

Rin is also the youngest brother, so that is probably an inhibitory factor as well. He may be in Give 'Em Enough Rope to Hang Themselves mode... but I suspect celine below is right about Rin getting incentivized to do something when he learns that Jeon is gunning for her.

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Oops! celine is really UP there! ^

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Regarding widespread support: isn't that short-sighted? Even if, somehow, a full-blooded Goryeo ascended to the throne, he would be required to marry a Yuan princess and if they would have a son, history would repeat itself. So Rin has the most influence here: he's well-liked by the king, he's the son of a nobleman, and his brothers are the ones staging the hostile take-over. I have not read the books, so my theory is probably way off, but Rin holds most of the cards and as I see it, has the best hand of all of them--for the girl, keeping his best friend on the throne, and throwing a serious monkey wrench In his brothers' plans. However, he will have to sever his friendship with Won in order for any of this to occur, and Won will help do this in turning as ruthless as he can and protecting his own place in the palace. I'm looking forward to that. I really want Rin to grow a spine too!

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It feels like the viewership largely questions Won's character at this point and is experiencing SLS for poor Rin. Oh Rin, you deserve your own happiness too!

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So no more Yoon Chan-young and Nam Da-reum? T.T

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You never know when there might be more flashbacks to childhood. ;-)

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wishing hard there's more :)
off topic: did you receive notif I tagging you on fan wall post?

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@miselpo August 2, 2017 at 10:53 PM

Thanks for asking. It's weird -- I don't see a notification in the list or on the fan wall. I checked all the posts on the fan wall. Zilch.

Is DramaBeans.com now saying "Feed me, Seymour!" a la Audrey II from LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS??

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I think I can understand the King bitterness as well as Jeon & Song-in with their followers’ grudge toward Won. No one wants to be ruled by stranger. Won is not only a half-blood Goryeo but the grandson of none other than their enemy, the ruthless Khan. If Won becomes King then Goryeo will keep being under Yuan for years to come or maybe forever. I believe the King cares or even loves Won since he’s still his son. But he is also aware that Won has Khan’s blood in him and people of Goryeo obviously despise Won because of that they sure he is brutal just like his grandfather. Princess Wonsung is a perfect example of the vicious Yuan empire. Poor Rin’s humble caring aunt and cousin have to be secluded. If they’re the Queen and Crown Prince sure thing the royal palace would be living in peace now.

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I can't stand to watch the actor playing Jeon. There is no subtlety in his acting at all.

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We already saw a smudge of darkess in Won when he sparred with his bodyguards, back when he was angry at San and was beating his sword so hard at his opponent that he had to be stopped by his trainer.

The way he beat the guard is understandable mentally and politically. He had to show an act of power, this is a person who disrespected San, and because San is his person the guard disrespected him. So he had to show people that touching what's his is a bad idea. You have to take note of his precarious position. He is a crown prince but has no power as a crown prince. His job is to be invisible, to drink and play with women, the mere mention that he is trying to play politics will get him killed by either his father or anyone else plotting for the throne. There is a reason that he has a house outsidr of the palace. Would he like to beat up rin's bro, he would but that would be dangerous move. So he beat up the guard because that's a show of power that he can do.

I knew he was going to free san than rin. Good move on his part. Rin is of royal.blood and came from a powerful household, he wouldn't be mistreated.

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Would it really be Won and San? I'm sorry but my heart goes to Lin. I like how he sacrificed for his bestfriend and at the same time saved San from danger. The story gets more interesting because we have Lin who fell in love with San but still guarded by the fact that his bestfriend likes the same woman. On the other hand, we have Won who loves San also but he's very open about it regardless of what his bestfriend might feel.

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I think it was a mistake for me to watch this right after the latest ep of 7DQ. The storytelling and emotional impact felt underwhelming in comparison.

Biyeon not being able to read seems illogical (after 7 years in a rich household standing in for her mistress...). Maybe the writers randomly added that just to give Song In a reason to conclude she wasn't San...

Besides Princess Wonsung, I don't find the characters that compelling for me to keep watching thus drama in the long run. So I do welcome the continued hints of Won's darker side. Would be interesting to see him become an antagonist or anti-hero.

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"I think it was a mistake for me to watch this right after the latest ep of 7DQ. The storytelling and emotional impact felt underwhelming in comparison."

To be honest, very few dramas can hold up to the intensity and overall excellence of SEVEN DAY QUEEN. It's a tour de force. ;-)

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I totally agree with you wit the illogical of Biyeon not being able to read after 7 years. If the Minister of Finance, which is San's father is clever enough to cover things up and ask San to go to mountain for her safety, he should be clever enough to actually make Biyeon believable as his fake daughter. It does seem like a force scene just to make a reason for Song In to conclude that she isnt San.

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Thanks murasakimi!

I find this show generally a fun watch and pretty to look at. There are some things that pop into my mind though ... like how immature Won still is after all these years. He realised his error of 7 years previously, but it has not really made him more responsible. While Rin is still in prison, and knowing that there was a trap set and more possible traps to come, he's still out trying to romance the girl, while running his investigation.

Perhaps he will become a little more 'grown up' as the show goes on.

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Thanks for the recap, murasakimi!

Knew Songin would catch on quickly that there is more to San's identity.
Jeon disgusts me.
I don't really like Won choosing San over Rin, but I guess he will figure out a way to get Rin out.
I'm surprised how quickly Biyeon gave herself away. No one in the Eun household thought to teach her to read and write as part of her cover?!?!

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I think the real question is: Was Siwan standing on a platform/box during the hugging scene? Lol

On San's defense, I think she has showed violent (or maybe just reckless) tendencies even before this. Remember, she chased and planned to attack (or maybe kill) Moo Suk in the forest? Though, when I watched that I was like, Gurl? Really? Alone?

I read somewhere in the comments about the boys being infatuated with San's independence and free spirit. I couldn't agree more. The boys were raised rich surrounded by delicate women and servants and all but they are adventurous so living the noble life is a bit suffocating. So maybe they found San's independence and feisty attitude as refreshing and attractive.

I really like this drama and it's so much better hearing people's understanding of it. So it's sad that it's not rating well in Korea :(

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