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The King Loves: Episodes 31-32

Won becomes more vulnerable than ever as he tries to defend himself from multiple threats and preserve the friendships that mean so much to him at the same time. Rin ends up in a unique position to better understand what is behind all of the chaos that threatens Won’s future, and he makes a bold decision meant to help not only his friend, but the people of Goryeo.

 
EPISODE 31 RECAP

Won hands Jang Eui the letter for San and orders him to deliver it and bring her back safely. Meanwhile, Princess Wonsung instructs Furatai to kill Rin and San if they refuse to be taken into custody.

As he follows the funeral procession, Furatai realizes that he won’t be able to arrest the pair until they near the outskirts of the city, while from his hidden location, King Chungryeol orders Song In to bring Rin there to ensure his safety.

That order is passed down to Moo-suk, but he’s forced back by the crowd of mourners as the funeral procession makes its way through the city.

With Rin and San in sight, both parties move at the same time — but the cart puller, Gae-won, blocks Moo-suk with a broom while Furatai gets stopped by a swinging basket, courtesy of the Geumgajeong cook. Furatai rips off Bi-yeon’s veil to confirm that San has disappeared, and Moo-suk retreats before he’s recognized.

Jang Eui tries to find the funeral procession, but a small carriage catches his attention on its way out of the city. Just then, Gae-won runs by as he escapes Furatai and is forced to hide after Jang Eui delays him with questions. When Jang Eui promises Furatai that he’ll report his actions to Won, he runs off, and Jang Eui detains Gae-won.

Won enters Geumgajeong to find the cart pullers and Goo-hyung waiting. Distressed that Rin and San disappeared during the funeral, Won asks Gae-won and Yeom Bok for details, since he heard that they were involved.

The cook explains, “[Rin] said there would not be a chance once they got to the cemetery,” and Gae-won adds that Rin asked, “If you see anyone with a sword near the procession, stop them.” The cook stopped Princess Wonsung’s soldiers while Gae-won blocked the assassin who had him steal the arrows.

Goo-hyung shares that San knew of the plan and met with the household servants before the funeral. She had explained about the plot to discredit her father to seize his properties and warned the servants that they would be forced to give false testimonies. They had been given money, and San sent them to homes throughout Goryeo as she instructed, “After they carry my father out, you should leave as well.”

When Goo-hyung mentions that San is with Rin, Yeom Bok asks Gae-won if they will get married after the funeral. Gae-won tries to silence him, but Goo-hyung explains that Minister Eun met with Wang Young to discuss his final wish: a marriage between Rin and San.

Won can’t believe his ears and drops heavily into a chair. When he asks his guards about Jang Eui, Gae-won volunteers that the bodyguard followed the carriage with Rin and San to deliver something.

Won laughs that Rin is making him crazy, “He does not know how to scheme. I am the schemer. He should have come to me. I would have helped him. I would have played dirty or been evil to help him.” Won then informs Yeom Bok, “The wedding you hope for will not happen. My foolishly loyal friend, Rin, is protecting my woman.”

Moo-suk finds Bi-yeon in the marketplace before she leaves town with Goo-hyung. Moo-suk wants to know if San will join them, but Bi-yeon confides that she’s traveling east. Before he leaves, Moo-suk tears the veil from Bi-yeon’s face and tells her that if he doesn’t care about her face, then it shouldn’t matter what others think.

San leads the way through a wooded area while Rin keeps a close eye on her. When she loses her footing, he’s there to offer a steadying hand. As the sun lowers, San points to an area where they can rest for the night, and Rin realizes that she’s familiar with their surroundings.

San admits that she traveled this way with her father, and when she falls silent, Rin encourages her: “Go on talking about him. I will listen.” San eventually shares that her father traveled often and that she accompanied him on a few trips. Rin smiles when San confides that she posed as a servant and called her father “Master” in public, but in private, he ignored her until she whispered, “Father.”

Meanwhile, Eunuch Kim is relieved when Won finally returns to the palace and explains that his mother is waiting. When Won turns away, Eunuch Kim reminds him that his bride will be the one to pay if he avoids Princess Wonsung.

Princess Wonsung greets Won with the order, “Cancel your wedding plans.” Won wearily implores, “Stop scheming, and stop harming innocent people.” Before Princess Wonsung can claim, yet again, that her efforts were meant to keep Won alive, he challenges her, “No. It was to keep you alive. You were so bored each and every day that you used me as a toy. To give you a reason to live.”

Won instructs his mother to leave Dan alone or he will make her pay before storming out. A tear trickles down Princess Wonsung’s face, and then she experiences another violent coughing fit.

Boo-yong updates the king on the growing rift between Won and his mother. When she urges him to return to the palace to attend Won’s wedding, King Chungryeol foggily asks, “Is the crown prince still alive?” King Chungryeol remembers what a happy child Won once was and tries to figure out what went wrong between him and his son. He thinks that perhaps Won’s mother made Won hate him but then asks, “Or is that what you whispered? Right into my ear. ‘Your Majesty, your son dislikes you. He hates you. He wants to kill you.'”

Boo-yong hesitates briefly, then asks the king how he could say such a terrible thing. As Boo-yong pours tea, King Chungryeol remembers that San had challenged him to his face for not believing in his own son. When the king mumbles, “The crown prince. Is he still alive,” Boo-yong just lays him down with a satisfied smile.

Once he has a fire burning, Rin produces a small bottle of wine that he brought to help San sleep. When San shares that her father wasn’t very good at drinking, Rin suggests that they offer him just one cup. San approaches a large boulder to apologize to her father for leaving his funeral as she pours out a cup of wine. Rin pours another cup for San to drink, happy to see how much she enjoys it.

San addresses her father again, “Once we get to the ocean, I will get on the ship you prepared and go to the place you prepared. Do not worry. Rin is escorting me until I get there.”

Rin corrects San and explains that not only will he accompany her on the ship, “I will go wherever you go. And I will stay wherever you stay. I will stay with you for a long time.” When San looks at him blankly, Rin shares, “That is what your father wanted. Did you not hear?” San says nothing, and Rin asks if it’s because she has thoughts of Won.

Dan meets with Won, who immediately guesses that she’s been crying. When she insists that no one made her cry, Won decides that Dan must be scared to spend the night in the palace, but Dan explains that she won’t be getting any sleep because of the wedding preparations.

Won apologizes for the the absence of honored guests and an elaborate party due to the rushed wedding. Dan reminds him that the purpose of the wedding was to remove her name from the tribute list and becomes serious when she asks, “Your priority is still not me… and I will never be your priority, right?”

Won ignores her question and summons Jin Gwan to tell him, “You do not have to follow me around anymore. Protect the crown princess from now on.” With that done, Won walks away and leaves his sad bride behind.

Moo-suk’s party thrashes through the woods while Rin throws a robe over San. Rin notices her staring at him as he tends their fire and when she closes her eyes, it’s Rin’s turn to look at her. Eventually, they share a long gaze, broken only when a self-conscious San throws the robe over her head.

In the morning, San finds herself alone, along with a dying fire. She discovers Rin knee-deep in the river trying to catch a fish with his dagger. To his dismay, San drops a large rock into the water as she teases, “Goodness, I do not see anything. Where are all the fish?” San makes fun of Rin’s failure to catch anything, and when she sabotages his efforts with another rock, they playfully splash around in the water.

Rin is the first to see Moo-suk’s party when they appear on the riverbank, and though he and San run away, they’re surrounded by the time they reach a nearby pavilion. Rin reminds Moo-suk that he told him to wait, but the assassin confesses that he didn’t believe that Rin would return.

Moo-suk has orders to escort Rin, and if he refuses to cooperate, “Then I will get rid of the person who is distracting you.” On cue, Moo-suk’s men unsheathe their swords and point them at San. Rin tells her to continue her journey on her own and ignores her offer to fight alongside him as he vows, “Whatever it takes and wherever you are, I will follow you.”

Rin lowers his dagger and agrees to go with Moo-suk, who falls to one knee. The other men immediately follow suit as Rin adds, “I will only leave after I see her leave safely.” After a nod from Rin, San runs off as Jang Eui observes them from a distance.

San returns to the campsite and confronts the person who followed her. When she sees that it’s Jang Eui, she pulls him toward Rin and explains that Moo-suk took him. Jang Eui argues that it didn’t appear that Rin was taken away and then presents Won’s letter. He explains that he must return with San’s answer as she holds her mother’s ring in her hand.

Teacher Lee is escorted by Generals Ko Sung and Lim Chi-young to see Won, who assumes that he’s there for the wedding. He’s actually there to discuss Won’s unnecessary decision to forgive the charge of embezzlement against his friend, because Minister Eun and Wang Young were innocent all along.

General Ko Sung explains that even though the grain had supposedly been in storage for months, the ink from the stamps was fresh. Teacher Lee adds that not only did Minister Eun die in the palace, but so did the court lady who was sent to remove the incense that killed him.

One of the palace doctors testifies that he was told that the court lady hung herself, but an examination of her body revealed that she was poisoned first. Teacher Lee reminds Won that the day after the deaths, an anonymous letter was sent to accuse Minister Eun and Wang Young of stealing the grain.

Teacher Lee concludes that the plot originated within Princess Wonsung’s palace and wants to know Won’s thoughts. Won chooses to ignore Teacher Lee’s grievances and has him sent to a place called Naksujae with orders that no one is to be allowed near him.

 
EPISODE 32 RECAP

The soldiers of the king’s secret palace bow before Rin as Moo-suk leads him to Song In. Boo-yong serves a tea designed to block poison and Rin is understandably reluctant to drink it until Song In explains, “I can only have my tea once you have yours. You are not just Master Rin anymore.”

Rin drinks the tea and reminds Song In that he’s there to see the king. Boo-yong excuses herself to check on him while Song In explains that the king’s health is failing. (I’ll bet it is.) Song In lies that King Chungryeol made up the excuse of a hunting trip to hide his illness so that Won wouldn’t ask him to give up the kingship permanently.

Rin wants to know why Jeon is no longer the choice for crown prince, and Song In explains that because of his drinking and womanizing, “We had a lot of complaints.” When Rin questions his use of the word we, Song In divulges, “The powers behind the curtain who actually run this country. Some of the families go back to the establishment of Goryeo, and there is a general who survived the great war.”

Rin asks Song In if they plan to replace Won with a crown prince of their choice while hiding the sick king. Song In admits to something like that just as Boo-yong reappears to say that she couldn’t wake the king, but Rin refuses to be stalled and goes to see him anyway.

Rin kneels before the king’s room and announces his presence, but when there’s no reply, he parts a door and becomes alarmed at what he sees. He rushes to King Chungryeol’s side and offers to summon his physician, but the king grabs Rin to ask, “The crown prince, is he still alive?” Rin can only stare at King Chungryeol with concern.

A frustrated General Lim Chi-young confesses to General Ko Sung that he wants to confront Won. General Ko Sung urges him to wait until after his wedding the next day and suggests that they go for a drink.

Minister Song runs up with gifts that he claims are from Won, boxes full of silver bullion, with the explanation, “The crown prince said you have been through a lot and that you should cover it up. He shall take care of the rest.” General Lim Chi-young angrily demands to know if Won means their investigation and is asked, “What were you investigating that he would pay so much to make you cover it up?”

Song In next meets with the ministers who regularly work in Won’s office and lies that Generals Ko Sung and Lim Chi-young confirmed that Minister Eun ended up dead because Won wanted his money, as well as his daughter. Minister Song has the ministers hanging on his every word when he claims that San refused Won, who then retaliated by framing her in order to ruin her family.

Won tries to work in his office but notices that the ministers keep staring at him. King Chungryeol’s voice is heard saying, “First, the mother, and now, her son is killing my people.” We then see Rin support the frail king during a stroll in the courtyard with Song In and Boo-yong close behind.

King Chungryeol acknowledges that Minister Eun quietly sent grain and money whenever he heard that the royal finances were in trouble and never asked for anything in return. The king sways when he thinks of what happened to Minister Eun, and Rin looks around for a place to sit.

King Chungryeol studies Rin and admits that he reminds him of his first wife (Rin’s aunt). He observes, “You look most like her… her grace and loyalty. You have them as well.” Rin asks about her, but the king admits that he couldn’t bear to see her again.

King Chungryeol grabs Rin and pulls him closer to warn, “The crown prince is like his mother. They were born with thorns all over their bodies. Stay close, and they will prick and poison you. Then they will hold you even closer. ‘You are mine. You must stay with me. Do not look elsewhere.’ Your blood is spilling everywhere, but they will not let go.”

Boo-yong escorts the king away so that Song In can ask Rin to accompany the king to Won’s wedding. Song In promises that Rin’s appearance will please many officials, and when he adds that the generals are turning against Won, Rin walks off without a word. When Song In follows after him, we see that one of Won’s guards listened to their exchange.

Won reads a scroll to his mother, “Appoint Eun Young-baek’s daughter, San, to take over the financial duties her father once held.” Won explains that because the order falls under her jurisdiction, it requires her approval. He sets the order before his mother and orders Court Lady Jo to bring her seal.

Princess Wonsung warns that the ministers believe Won defended a criminal. He admits that they really think that he’s committed murder, for either money or love.

Princess Wonsung warns Won that San’s presence in the palace will confirm the rumors and cause him serious damage, but Won tells his mother that she should have thought of that sooner.

When Princess Wonsung calmly asks Won to give San up, Won accuses her of framing Rin, but she argues that Rin isn’t his friend. Won evenly explains, “San will stay close to me here. I will keep her close and protect her. If you do not want that, you can leave.” With no choice, Princess Wonsung affixes her seal to Won’s order.

Outside, Won asks Eunuch Kim about Jang Eui, who has yet to return. His other guard returns just then with news about Rin.

Rin sits alone with King Chungryeol as he sleeps, and when Boo-yong offers him a room of his own, he dismisses her. For the first time in a long time, there is no incense burning in the king’s room.

Rin keeps vigil over the king as Won’s guard reports that his father isn’t hunting and that Rin and Song In are with him, as well as Prince Gangyang. When Won learns that San isn’t there, he’s certain that the guard’s report is wrong.

An excited Court Lady Jo announces to Princess Wonsung that King Chungryeol has returned to the palace in time for the wedding. When asked, Court Lady Jo admits that Boo-yong is with the king and informs her that Rin is with him as well.

The king makes his return to the palace with the aid of Boo-yong and Rin. Minister Song runs up and takes Rin’s place to help the feeble king back to his rooms.

As Won is dressed for his wedding, Eunuch Kim reports that Rin arrived with the king. Won starts to leave, but Eunuch Kim explains that Rin is no longer with the king and is probably with his sister.

Rin walks through the palace grounds as Jang Eui escorts San to see Won. Before they can reach him, they are blocked by Furatai and Princess Wonsung’s men.

Rin is surprised when Generals Ko Sung and Lim Chi-young find him to ask if Won had Minister Eun killed. General Ko Sung explains the rumor while General Lim Chi-young worries that the man that they swore to serve killed someone for love.

When Furatai escorts San and Jang Eui to a courtyard and announces their presence, a set of doors opens on Dan in her wedding gown. San assumes that she’s there against her will, but Dan explains she was asked to speak to San on Princess Wonsung’s behalf.

Dan admits that she didn’t believe that San would come to the palace and asks, “Why are you here?” When San doesn’t understand the question, Dan waits until Jin Gwan steps away to explain, “The crown prince and I will be married today.”

San confesses that she was away and didn’t hear the news. When she admits that she’s there to see Won, Dan asks San to leave without meeting him. San explains that she has to keep a promise, but Dan warns that San’s presence will put Won in danger and begs, “I want you to stay far away from the crown prince. I do not want him to see you.”

Rin passes Furatai and his men as they leave the courtyard and runs in that direction to find Dan. When his sister covers her face at the sight of him, Rin thinks that Dan is happy that he made it to her wedding, but Dan tearfully confesses that she sent San away.

Jang Eui meets with Won just as San approaches a small bridge on the palace grounds. Rin finds her and is about to approach when he notices Won in the distance, dressed for his wedding, as he meets with Jang Eui.

Rin seems to make a decision and calls out to San as he recalls his question for her the day before, “Is it the crown prince?” San had admitted that she felt as if they were connected by a thread and that Won was always in her way.

San had worried about what would happen to Won if they both left him and lamented, “I should not have tied this thread with him to begin with.”

A frantic Won starts to run off, but stops when he notices Rin and San on the bridge. Rin steps closer as he confirms that San feels connected to Won and concludes, “It must be the red thread of fate. I will cut off that thread for you right now.”

Rin surprises San when he places his arm around her waist and pulls her close. Rin proceeds to kiss her, and San pushes him away as Won witnesses the scene from a distance.

Eventually, San closes her eyes and drops her arms as Rin continues to kiss her. Won, meanwhile, struggles with the reality that his best friend just shattered his world.

 
COMMENTS

This episode gave us a lot of Rin as he found himself thrust to the front of the plot to depose Won. That cliffhanger kiss was not at all what I expected, since Rin’s motivation has more to do with the knowledge of an impending coup than with his love for San. As the one chosen to replace Won as crown prince, Rin has seen firsthand the grave danger that threatens not only Won, but the king and the entire country of Goryeo.

By shifting attention to Rin, the plot to depose Won picked up steam because he doesn’t present the problems that Jeon did. Plus, Rin has excellent character and is well respected. He’s also loyal to Won, but his feelings for San and the knowledge that the king is being held hostage put a strain on Rin that can’t be minimized. Even if Rin remains rock solid, the rumors that have been created to undermine Won are only growing stronger, and he’s edging ever closer to that cliff that Princess Wonsung alluded to.

Since Won’s priority is having San by his side, he brushes aside the threats to his position as crown prince, but Rin can see that Won isn’t the only one who will be harmed if he’s eventually deposed. Once Song In mentioned that King Chungryeol’s health is failing, Rin understood that it’s a setup for his eventual demise (and we know that Boo-yong is capable of making that happen). His meeting with Prince Gangyang served as a peek into what could be waiting for Won once he’s deposed, since it would be foolhardy to kill him and risk an attack from Yuan. Even though the story is that Princess Wonsung was responsible for Prince Gangyang’s poisoning, Rin is shrewd enough to know that it’s possible to divert blame to an innocent party since his family was just falsely accused in that embezzlement scheme. Who can say that Song In wasn’t behind that plot to build support for his plan to control the throne?

Rin is more influenced by what is best for others, and I don’t think that has changed. He realizes that San has become a dangerous liability for Won, who has the potential to be a good king. If Song In’s allies successfully depose Won, Rin would be made crown prince, something that he’s never wanted, and he and the king would be managed by the very people who set up Won. That would hurt the people of Goryeo because Song In’s faction is dangerous and corrupt, and they would only grow in power. Won is trying to eliminate corruption, but the rumors and suspicions are crushing him, and he will never sever ties with San in order to continue what he has started.

Rin knows Won better than anyone, and he recognizes that San is his fatal flaw. By kissing her, Rin is setting into motion a plan that he hopes will prevent Won from keeping San next to him. I don’t think that his reasons are selfish ones, rather, I think that they are desperate and dangerous ones because he risks making an enemy of Won. It’s a sacrifice that Rin is willing to make for the greater good, but for his gamble to have a prayer, he’s going to need some help, and I can only guess where that could come from. I’m hoping that the king has figured out his dangerous situation and will soon have a clearer head. Hopefully, Rin will be able to reason with the generals — and, of course, there’s still Teacher Lee. Once he figures out that Princess Wonsung isn’t guilty of Minister Eun’s murder, he can help to squash the false rumors. Finally, San is sure to do whatever she can to help Won become a good king, and she has the wealth needed to make a difference.

There’s so much to resolve in the episodes that are left, especially since we still don’t definitively know how San feels about the two men after her heart. With political intrigue and Won’s reaction to his friend’s move on his woman, the pending wedding promises to be memorable for all the wrong reasons.

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For this episode I'm especially thankful for your review and comments. It put a whole different perspective on many of the things that happened. One subtitle I read said it was the red thread of a relationship which was confusing, and you called it a thread of fate, which puts an entirely different meaning. One thought about Rin spending the night with the King and him not being under the influence of whatever drug she was giving him. Before that scene, the King had a lucid moment where he realized she might be whispering things in his ear to make him hate his son. So I'm wondering if a scene we haven't seen yet will be the king becoming lucid when Rin is there and telling him what's going on. The writer does this a lot, where things are more fully explained in a flashback. And things are never as they seem from one episode to the next, so many assumptions we make from one episode and especially the previews, can be very misleading.
Thank you for the details on Rin's motivations and the complicated conspiracies that they're dealing with. I hadn't thought of all these ramifications. I want to re read your review and comments first, but now I have to go to work...

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For the first time in this episode, I had my sympathy towards the King. Maybe because I think he's another victim in Song In's plot. I like how the King asked Boo Young if it's because of her whisper that he mistrusted his own son. Though it was just for a moment, I still love to see how shaken Boo Young was at that time. As much as the truth hurts, what the King said about Princess Wonsung and Won are true on how they'll cling onto someone they called theirs even though that person is bleeding, they won't still let go. I think that motivates Rin to kiss San too: to make Won despises both of them by feeling betrayed and let them go. Rin just wanna make sure that San is safe and Rin's idea of San's safety is her going out from the capital.

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It was clear that that scene was there to show us that the king does doubt his snake-tongued advisors and women sometimes. BUT I still felt disgusted that even in his lucid moments he would wonder how that happy child who was always laughing became estranged from him. Has he forgotten how he treated Won since an early age? I will never forget that he called his own son who was 11 years old a mongrel and left him to stand in the cold alone and crying, and there can be no doubt that that was not the only time he treated his son like that. And he has the guts to ask himself or anybody why Won has stopped being a just cluelessly happy person? Did he think Won was deaf and stupid and would not understand it when his own father tries to hurt him again and again since early childhood???

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My take is that the King loved his former Queen and former Crown Prince and after Princess Wonsung dethroned both of them, the King despises her and Yuan's influence, which is why he had a hard time accepting Won as half-blood. He hates Won for having Yuan's blood and as time goes by, he sees Won more and more like his mother than him. It's like he expected that Won would go against him someday, and when Won did, he didn't think of why Won did it, but simply think that he was right all along that Won is just another Yuan who's trying to rule Goryeo. I'm not saying what the King did is right because hating and abusing your own son are definitely wrong, but I understand the King's POV just like how I understand Princess Wonsung's loneliness that make her ruthless. With the King's currently drugged, I see that he's another victim of Song In, for Song In to achieve his own goal.

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to me its not Won that the King hates but the queen. He hates that Won has the Yuan blood in him from the woman that had send his first queen and his elder son away. Remember Rin dad once said that the first queen is like his best friend. Tho they were married by arrangement but the king love and respect the first queen. He married Queen Woosung to save Goryeo. But little that he knew that Prince Wonsung will use the Yuan power to dethrone his first queen and CP and send them to exile. And ever since that he is like a shadow/puppet king as Goryeo is undr Yuan's influence.
I think by seeing Won, it reminded him of his grief mistake. Reminded him how powerless he is coulbnt protect his wife and son. And seeing that everytime he tried to descipline Won, he will always being backup by Yuan emperor (Kublai Khan) makes he detest more.
Seeing the king treatement to Won reminds me of TaHwan in EmpressKi. He hate his first son as he thought it is his son with his evil wofe Tanashiri. But when he learn that kid is not theirs he treats the child well. Bcoz it is not the child that he hates, its the mother.

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Rin is an arshole hole, he does not have the capability to resepect anyone and does
not resrepect anyone, either.

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It was great to finally see the smirk wiped off Boo-youngs face even for a moment. I still can't find any sympathy for the king, because long before Boo young he used his queen and the crown prince solely as pawns, good only for the power and stability they would bring him not as people in their own right.

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FYI The legendary Red Thread of Fate ties lovers though, regardless of its title. It is also called The Red Thread of Marriage.

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First, allow me to be shallow and say that Rin looks dashing in his blue outfit! :)
I also appreciated that he addressed the big elephant in the room: San's (complicated yet very human) feelings towards Won. I consider that she likes him (how not to considering the things he's done for her?) and therefore does not want to hurt his feelings, yet cannot return them.
I am a little conflicted about the kiss though: I understand why Rin would do it (protecting San, also asserting his feelings to both San and Won who are both trying to avoid them), but it is a little disappointing that this first kiss is made to prove a point rather than share his love.
I am also a little disappointed that it had to be a forced kiss (although Rin was fairly gentle): I know I cannot expect all drama first kisses to be as consensual as Strong Woman Do Bong Soon or as passionnate as Chicago Writer, but could you please drama writers stop forcing kisses? Interestingly, the 2-episodes version insisted more on San's resistance than the 1-episode version (is the latter more exportation oriented?).
But overall I am very satisfied with this episode (and this love story really) and I cannot wait for the next episodes!
(should we begin a drinking game about every time Rin tries but cannot leave the city ? to become a tribute, a circuit commissionner or to travel the world?)

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First, the important things: I don't know if it was the camera angle or what, but it didn't really look like he kissed her fully on the mouth. And it didn't look like either of them were really "kissing" as really into it, ya know what I mean? Talk about parsing tidbits!
Neither Ran nor Sin has ever really gotten to leave, have they? I don't think the writer intends for them to ever be separated.

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I do agree that the kiss looked a little weird, but I thought it was either an acting flaw, or Rin's nose is too big and he missed her mouth (i love his nose, I swear!!). Do you think it was a ruse?

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I've no idea! Did you see the behind the scenes of the kiss scene? It was cute and funny. And I've seen that kind of kissing before in kdramas where one or both don't move their lips...
As many takes they did of the kiss I was kinda surprised too it made his nose look a little large, but then he's tall and she's so small it was probably perspective. Oh how shallow can we be!

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Shallow is fine by me! ?

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they are kissing alright, the PD asked for their kiss to be really connectd, check their Making VD and the translation from breathlessurvival :D :D :D

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@juni asat,

Thanks for your pointer to the breathlesssurvival blog. There are several recent posts on THE KING IN LOVE with provocative takes on the string of fate that Rin is really cutting with that kiss, as well as another conspiracy that is afoot -- and an interpretation of a deleted scene from the maypole dance that blows my mind. Not to mention the previews for next week.

I'm acutely aware that lots of information can get lost in translation. Heck, I feel like I've been watching a different show. On the other hand, the subtle points are illuminating, and address some of the misgivings and misunderstandings that I haven't quite been able to put my finger on, or wrap my head around.

Ah, one other very useful pointer: the discrepancies between the two versions of the drama. The international version contains scenes missing from the one that aired in Korea. We already knew that. But according to breathlesssurvival, it significantly affects the story. I randomly read a couple of recaps and was startled by the differences. -- Thanks for confirming that. I think I'll have to read these recaps from the beginning, too. I have a feeling it will help my comprehension a lot.

Dang it, another case of MOON LOVERS Syndrome. When the plot doesn't make sense, look on the cutting room floor. I'm relieved to learn that it ain't necessarily me. And thoroughly frustrated by this state of affairs. Thankfully, I feel as if someone just handed me the Rosetta Stone. ;-)

PS: Also on the blog is a nifty set of English translations of excerpts from the two extant volumes of screenwriter Song Ji-na's novelization of FAITH. Very nice! I read the whole shebang in one sitting, and loved how well it illuminated the inner worlds of Choi Young and Eun-soo. Alas, no further volumes were written, so I'll never get to learn more about the tragic little former king, Kyeong Chang Gun. But I'm grateful for these translations and the lovely trip down memory lane I enjoyed while reading them. When I first watched FAITH about two years ago, I sat through it 4 times and read every DramaBeans recap and comment to try to follow the exposition, which at times drove me batty. The OST had me totally hooked, however, so I kept watching even when the plot lost me. I surely wish I'd know about these translations back then. ;-)

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I read @breathlesssurvival and I thoroughly enjoyed the writer's gushing over HJH and over the off-the-charts chemistry between HJH and YA on- and off-screen.

I also enjoy reading the writer's take on the plot and am waiting to see how the TKL's writer, Song Ji Na, write the plot finally. ;)

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Talking about the kiss (Me being shallow):
It was forced... But then San eventually closed her eyes, didn't she? She knew that Rin was going to kiss her and she could have kicked him (she knows how to fight, right?) if she didn't want him to do it. But she didn't... So, can it be concluded that she accept his kiss? ??

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I also had the same thought. If she really doesn't accept it, she could've pushed Rin harder, but she stopped and accepted the kiss at the end. But then again, my judgement might be blinded by the ship I'm on right now.

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Excuse me how hard are you supposed to push somebody who is sexually assaulting you for it to actually count? Do we measure it with kilograms or dalton or something? If the girl says no, then it's honestly just no. If she does not fight him until one of them dies it doesn't mean she was actually ok with it.

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The kiss was forced: yes we know Rin loves San, yes we can assume she loves him too, yes we can hope that they live happily ever after together (I do!!) and have many other occasions to kiss (I'd love to see that!!), but, in that scene, she tried to resist and he persisted, therefore I cannot consider it was consensual, even if she accepted it eventually.

I am not too mad at it because it is such a classic plot device in Kdramas: from Tamna the island to Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim, I've seen it time and again and I usually roll with it.
But I am under the impression that dramas in recent year are more atuned to the principle of the partner's consent: I am thinking DOTS or SWDBS. And I do think that regular guys from the real world would rather prefer that their partner agreed to the kiss and enjoyed it too.

Therefore this plot device (the guy forces a kiss and, after some resistance, she gives in) does not sit with me as well as it used too, but right here I tend to consider it as an old-fashion plot mechanism rather than a sexual assault. I think it was a missed opportunity in the story, to create a really squee-worthy moment.

I would really appreciate if some drama subverted this plot mecanism, for instance Age of Youth 2: but when Ji-won corned Sung-min in that parking lot, he braced for impact rather than resist it!!

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"should we begin a drinking game about every time Rin tries but cannot leave the city ?" Call! It can also work for every time Rin takes a step back in putting others before himself.

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So drunk. I would be so drunk ...but honestly as nice as it was to see San and Rin have a few moments by themselves, I can't imagine anyone thought they'd actually get anywhere eandering in the eeeds, no helpers/guards and a mini knapsack with apparently nothing but wine? If it was a contemporary drama they'd have pulled out their brightly colored ppl tents and camped for a whole 4 hours

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Lol. Tht was wandering in the weeds

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I also was thinking that blue outfit was quite dashing! Ditto on your kiss concerns.

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Wow. I really thought it was clear that San loves Rin, but these last 2 episodes are messing with me... I don't like Won's obsession with San. I'm hoping that Rin and San will be clear endgame.
The red string of fate...eff you lol

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Rin San is end game it was from episode one, its not about love or obsesion is about purity a korean woman must marry a korean man, Won being half mongolian is out of the picture.
What the writer messed up was the feelings of frienship love and of romantic love, and went cliche San is the prize Rin is the winner and Won is the loser and their friendship is broken.
Every one loves their friends and considers them as one`s people it is not an obsesion, its similar as love between siblings a pure kind of love (as the greek αγάπη agapi) not to be mixed with romantic love (as the greek έρωτας erotas).

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The novel and the drama writers also aimed to tell a story about all kind of love, agape/agapi and eros/erostas. Love in the sense of filial, friendship, and romance. They said so on the drama press release.

I don't think think they went cliche yet. So far the trio has shown their love by sacrificing themselves to protect each other. I suppose it's hard to handle that when the story is sold as a romance drama. Viewers demand San to decide whom she loves, or argue about who is Rin and Won's first priority. She loves both men, but differently (eros and agape). So do Won and Rin, they both has eros for San and agape for each other.

Since the writers intended to do so, I still believe the three-way love between the trio will still be intact (As it was on the original novel. Or else it would be so disappointing to turn an interesting novel into a cliche story).

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Their intention was good but they failed in the execution the cliche (the better guy gets the prize the girl in this case) is set up we only have to wait it play out.
The confusing part is does Rin loves San because of herself or is it a competition, Won wants her and Rin has to take her for himself, cause Won always put Rin first but now wants somebody else more.
San`s character is the weakest link, the writer is objetifying her that is the cliche, she was set up as a independent woman who suffered the trauma of her mother`s death making her want two things safety for herself and revenge as way to deal with the fear and guilt of her mothers death. But now she is noting but a puppet being played with by every one Song In, Won, Rin, we see what they want of her but she is passive she goes with the flow letting herself be influenced of what other people think or tell her to do, and has not made one decision by herself for herself. I dont think she loves Won or Rin as men she showed only friendly concern for both of them, it is them that push and pull her between themselves.

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i don't know why should be confused about Rin. He does love her whole heartedly. Eventhough he saw her first but since Won approach San first, he keeps his feelings to himself. He try to reject his feelings for her so many time but failed coz the love for her just become deepen especially lately many misfortunes happen to her. He wants to protect her for herself and because that is her father's wish. for the first time he took a step to do things without Won's command what so ever.

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@jess,

The novel and the drama writers also aimed to tell a story about all kind of love, agape/agapi and eros/erostas. Love in the sense of filial, friendship, and romance.

Thank you for pointing out the various aspects and manifestations of love that are part and parcel of THE KING LOVES. Loyalty, devotion, and service are also in the mix, on a communal as well as individual basis. I have a feeling that the friendships that have grown up among the trio are essentially of a spiritual nature.

The King's statement to Rin that he reminds him of his aunt, the deposed queen who was his loyal, gracious best friend, caught my ear.

I'm reminded of a scene in THE KING'S DAUGHTER wherein the Queen discusses the nature of loyalty, and prepares gifts of scented sunflower oil. The sunflower is the king of the garden, owing to its height. Rin reminds me of a sunflower himself, and it's not only because of his stature and radiance. The plant tracks the path of the sun across the sky, and that is what Rin does. He freely gives his self-effacing attention and devotion to Crown Prince Won, who will become the Goryeo's sun when he ascends the throne.

"Anam cara" (literally "soul friend" or "friend of the soul" in Irish) is a phrase that has been on my mind of late, especially after reading the TKIL articles on the breathlesssurvival blog. See my comments in thread 2 above. "Anam cara" sounds very much like what Bernice Lewis is driving at in her song "Isle of Spirit" on my fan wall, along with "Only Good Times" by the Beamer Brothers. Both conjure the mysterious heart connections that make life worth living.

I can't help but wonder if Rin's kind and steadfast temperament has influenced Won to grow into a better person than he would otherwise have been as a result of his emotionally-deprived childhood. San's unassuming and unvarnished camaraderie with Won is a far cry from the stratified sterility of palace life. She is acutely attuned to Won's sensitive nature, but is capable of administering a whack upside the head if he needs one.

Even as they provide uplifting moral support, Rin and San keep Won grounded. More importantly, the two accept Won unconditionally. According to Elbert Hubbard, “A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.” For someone like Won, this is a gift more precious than gold.

Twice in this episode the King asked if Won were still alive. That got my attention. I'm beginning to suspect that the King has had something up his sleeve for a long time. I'm getting yet another echo of SEVEN DAY QUEEN, and cannot help but wonder if the King has been dissembling for many years to fake out the disloyal opposition in Goryeo. Could it be that he has been quietly identifying the treasonous leaders? Has he been putting on an act all these years as a way of somehow protecting Won?

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I wonder when and if Biyeon will ever find out that Moo suk was responsible for slashing her face when she was a child? What would her reaction be then? Would she feel betrayed and used, or sorry that she confided a lot of her beloved mistress's business to the enemy?

Will Won ever find out that his Queen mother was framed for the murder of Minister Eun? How bad will he feel accusing her of a crime she didn't commit?

I suspect that there are some scenes they haven't shown us which would probably be shown as flashbacks. This drama has an uncanny reliance on flashbacks.

I like Rin and San together, I just don't appreciate him kissing her to prove a point to the Crown Prince. Not cool, Rin. It'd have been better for him to declare himself openly to Won, all this underhand business reeks of deception.

And...I officially don't like Dan. I think she's very manipulative, will be more so as the years go by, and will probably be easily manipulated in turn. I don't buy the innocent girl act she tries to project.

Why burst into tears in front of her brother after telling San off and preventing her from seeing Won? If she's going to be mean, she should own it like the Queen who makes no apologies for being mean and is spectacular.

4 more episodes to go. How will they untangle all this? Things are quite a mess right now.

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I rolled my eyes when again biyeon blabs her mouth to Moo Suk. Seriously, even minister Eun's trusted servant doesn't give information to Won where San's going to. I wonder why Biyeon is not suspicious on Moo seuk keep asking about San's whereabout. A guy who always wear a sword and all black clothes should at least makes her curious, right? Or love clearly blinds her eyes?

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And runs off the instant she tells him where San is. Arrrggggh. For a brief, happy moment I deluded myself she was feeding him misinformation. But nope. She's just that flippin stupid

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Unless I missed a scene, I still don't quite understand how Biyeon and Moo suk's relationship came to be. Did she just need someone to talk to and he happened to be there?

Also really need Won and his mother to clear the air between each other (before she kicks the bucket), because there won't be emotional fulfilment if she goes before this relationship is mended.

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Thanks for the recap! I still am enjoying the show but this episode was frustrating. I get the feeling Rin has some grand plan, but it has to be guessed at. Flashbacks to tell a story are fine, but it feels more like important scenes are being left out too much to have a "gotcha" later. It works in some shows but here it just feels clunky. It seems like they are trying to make Rin turning bad a believable possibility, but it would go against everything we've seen about him for the whole series. And I feel like Won's suddenly ignoring the generals and Teacher Lee, and becoming cruel to his mother (who is definitely crazy and sometimes cruel) is a bit out of character as well. Its like they want him to go dark but didn't have the guts to. Even if he doesn't betray his friends in the end, I don't buy him becoming a good king and that makes me sad.
On Rin/San - she hasn't shown Won any interest up til now, and now we are supposed to believe she might love him and not Rin? I hope that it's more that she feels a strong friendship bond that she can't break, especially since she understands his feelings towards her and his loneliness.

Overall, I wish we had some internal monologues (i miss Won's!), or have the characters confide in each other. At this point a lot of the plot and motivations feel incomplete. This episode was the first one where I felt like that, so hopefully it's the only one and things get better!

And superficially - I think Hong Jong Hyun is getting hotter every episode :)

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I keep waiting for it to all be a grand plan between Rin and Won to bait Song and the truth be revealed in the end. But somehow, umm, nah. Probably not.
May Hong Jong Hyun continue to do more sageuks. I can't say he's getting hotter because he's my daughter's age, so I'll just say he keeps getting more adorable. I think he would also make a great con man in a redemption drama, because his smile is so charming he could convince any female of anything.

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"I think he would also make a great con man in a redemption drama" - This. This has to happen. He was such a good villain in Scarlet Heart too.

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Oh my God, that made my day :D He is getting more adorable :D :D

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So, are we ogling now? Because if we are, I'm next in line! Hong Jong Hyun would outshine the sun. I couldn't take my eyes off of him this episode--so, if he were the actual sun, I'd be blind, and ironically, never be able to see him again. Ugh, what I wouldn't do for a pretty face.

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@Ally, join the club - the HJH-ogling club. Hehehe!! :)

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"I think Hong Jong Hyun is getting hotter every episode :)" -@rosetyler

"his smile is so charming he could convince any female of anything." -@linda-palapala

"Hong Jong Hyun would outshine the sun. I couldn't take my eyes off of him this episode--so, if he were the actual sun, I'd be blind.." -@ally-le

???????
I don't know what to say anymore.?

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There is a thread on IG dedicated for HJH's hands... I found comments everywhere praising his handsome hands and long fingers. LOL... (I think I keep mentioning his hands in every DB's TKL recaps)
For me, HJH should always do Saeguk with mane of glory hairstyle. Ow... And he should smile more... I swear his smile could make any women swoon...

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I think the drama has realized this and has full use of HJHs hands whenever they can.

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Long hair really does suit him well! His hands were commented on in his V app with Yoona as well

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I'm all about the hands too, being a pianist, and all. Actually, most young Korean actors and actresses have beautiful, long, tapered fingers. (I've spent an inordinate amount of time looking and people's hands--it's weird.)

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Couldn't agree with you more, @miselpo.

HJH is a dream.....hehehe!!

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Hmm wondering how Won thinks he can keep San by his side when he is getting married to someone else. Must be due to the warped and twisted mentality back then where polygamy is considered normal. If he is serious about marrying Dan then he needs to let San go since no way she would be happy in that sick little threesome.

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I always thought polygamy in those days had to be normal because the king had to ensure their would be enough heirs in case something happened to only one son.

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This is the most ridiculous and judgemental thing I have read in a long time. The fact that polygamy used to be normal is twisted and warped and sick? No respect whatsoever for other cultures and times! Are you watching kdrama so that you can lay down such incredibly rude commentary when you see something that's not common in today's time and your culture?

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Don't you think it's more ridiculous to say that one should respect ancient times customs? The most you may request from anyone is some knowledge of those customs when watching historical series so that they don't get confused.
As for other cultures and their present customs, again respect isn't a requirement. Tolerance, when they do no harm to anyone. For this particular case, polygamy, I happen to agree that it's outrageous, because it is unfair and it has always been unfair. In Goryeo, women weren't allowed to be polygamous. In present times, as far as I know, in those countries that allow polygamy, only men can have several wives, women aren't allowed the same right. You have to agree that it's an obvious example of double standard. That is unfair and ridiculous and you can't ask anyone to respect it. Mere tolerance is more than enough.

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No, I don't think it's ridiculous to expect respect towards other cultures.
And no, I don't think it's tolerance to insult other cultures either. And tolerance happens to be the minimum I expect of anybody.

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Weren't we talking about one particular custom, polygamy, and not entire cultures? But fine, if you want to generalise, I'll tell you that while all cultures could be interesting, I don't necessarily respect them entirely. There are customs like polygyny stemming from gender inequality that I find nonsensical. At most I can tolerate that, because tolerance is something given freely, like charity.

In this drama, polygyny, though common in that time and expected from royalty and the upper class, isn't necessarily appealing to the character San. She had been brought up to be more independent than other girls, she had almost the freedom of a man and she seemed way ahead of her time. Young people of her age like Dan, Won, Rin and even the bodyguards are more conditioned to accept polygamy as a way of life. They do accept it, though they don't seem too happy about it. But that seems to clash with San's character and even with the idea of a great love, one that would turn children against their parents and vassals against their sovereigns.

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Thank you and I completely understand the context and usage of polygamy back in the time this takes place but my only point is that if Won is supposed to be so in love with her than he should never subject her to the pain and suffering she would endure being a concubine and sharing him with others. He should see that even if he is forced to have many wives that it would be her best interest to be with Rin who would never be forced to take multiple wives.

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What kind of sick person are you to defend polygamy and why are you SO defensive of it??? I am NOT attacking any culture but rather the idea of polygamy which for your information has been in probably every culture that ever existed so are you accusing me of attacking the whole world? There is no argument you can make that would defend polygamy. Marriage is a sacred union between TWO people and if you truly love someone you DO NOT bang another person period.

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BTW I also abhor slavery which is very prevalent in historical korean dramas so am I also a horrible person in your eyes for calling slavery evil and wrong or should we just say it's wonderful and perfectly fine and accept it since it was normal back then. I love watching historical dramas including this one but not sure why you are villainizing me just for giving my OPINION that polygamy is sick and wrong. Also San may love the king but she also knows how much Dan also loves him which is why I believe she is holding herself back since she knows how painful it would also be for Dan if she was with the king as well.

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Unless its to leep Rin close?. But nah, he's been weird about San from the first

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Why show, first you made our hearts joy for the girl and the guy, watched them escaping together possibly not coming back. Then you sank us when the guy confessed he’d be wherever the girl would be just to show that she was thinking about the guy’s best friend. Later you brought us back to cloud nine when the girl and the guy held their eyes at each other and smiled. We then took pleasure in their happy moments of playing around. But of course, you just had to ruin it when suddenly the guy was taken but the girl decided to go back to the place where the guy’s best friend was.
What were all those about? I fully agree with Ally that this show seems to be going nowhere. I understand that all San wanted was Won and Rin’s friendship and to be in romantic relationship was probably the least on her mind. But both guys eventually fell for her and she knew it. She might not want to choose one over the other but she did ask herself who makes her heart ache more. Wasn’t it implying that she also wanted to know who’s the man she loved? And what the drama gave us until episode 16 was San still doesn’t know who that guy is?

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I know right? Frustrating isn't it? We're spinning wheels and San is beginning to look wishy washy. For someone so articulate and determined in other matters, she's annoyingly passive in matters of the heart. Any other heroine would have cleared the air by now "I like you as a friend but I'm obligated to you" or "I really like you", somehow that message should've been conveyed by now. We've only 4 episodes to go.

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Well, I guess I changed my tune a bit after this episode--maybe the writer has righted the ship a bit--I'll give him/her the benefit of the doubt for another week. But like I said in the open thread, if things crash and burn next week, I may not be back until the end. I wish there were more symbolic things (maybe there are and I'm just too dense to see them) like the red thread/cord, the birds/falcons, etc., because it would make the story more compelling for me.

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I thought San already made her choice pretty clear in this episode. It's just that she still doesnt want to hurt Won. The way Rin and San shared a prolonged longing, smiley gaze at the night after the conversation (and confession)... I don't think they'd do that if either of them think her heart is with Won.

Unless the writer is really on full on trolling mode lol.

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I don't really sit well with flashback over flashback, sometimes the drama holds the clue that we never know existed just for the sake of "plot twist" which for me is half way to fool the viewer.

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Yeah, there's too much flashback in this show. I get why they did it, but it doesn't sit well with me too.

And compared to the international version, the korean version cut so many RinSan related scenes. I wonder if they do that to keeping the "suspense" of who the girl will choose a la Reply series :/

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yeah this development for me hurts San the most, or San's character the most,

she is been so straightforward and wanting to be happy, she got the happiness today by being free and I get that she wants to meet Won if she read the letter. It just why she looked so sad and didn't say a clear revelation. It's okay for her to choose someone but it's less okay to not choose someone after this long awaited episode.

My best guess is the writer hides it for another flashback revelation.

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If I'm being optimistic about the writing, then San cannot choose between Rin and Won because she values their friendship and does not want to ruin it by choosing between them. That's the reason for her being passive. I personally still am not convinced of her feelings for Rin .

If I'm being the cynic that I usually am, then this writer is just trolling the audience to make us shocked in the end by a surprise 'twist' where it ends up being Won not Rin. This way, it really does affect San's character negatively. She does come off as wishy washy, but also kind of selfish - towards everyone really. Rin because at this point she has to know he loves her and if she does not return his feelings she needs to make that clear. Won because her lack of a firm stance is also affecting him. She never clearly rejects him if I recall correctly, and this emphasis that she keeps placing on the importance of their friendship may be doing more harm than good, and she is just in denial about it. And Dan because from the beginning San was the one who told Won to pick Dan, but she keeps going back to Won in the name of friendship.

I know it seems like I'm being hard on the characters, and they're 'human' so they're 'flawed.' But really I never complain about Princess Woonsung and all her flaws as a human because as a character she makes a sense and has been consistent from the beginning. It's not so much their flaws I'm concerned with as how they are portrayed. Make it make sense writers.

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??

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I want a refund! What kind of kiss was that?! Sigh....

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After this ep, so many people said that they are disappointed with Rin's (supposed) betrayal... But I believe that he has a plan and would never betray Won. Rin might be too upright and not a schemer, but all this time everything he does is what he thinks is the best for everyone. So, I am sure he wouldn't go dark.....
On (super) shallow note.. I rack my brain for any other dramas that show so many romantic moments (including first kiss) between the heroine and the second male lead but ends up with the first male lead. Jealousy Incarnate and Hwarang are dramas that crossed my mind. But, in those two dramas, the heroine clearly shown to only love the first male lead. Scarlet heart next, but we know from the chinese version that the heroine will fall in love with the 4th prince (first male lead) in the end... While in TKL, those who read the novel will know who san's heart belong to... So, I am just not sure anymore....

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I'm sure Rin won't betray Won. Even when he's with Song In, he always confront him for Won's sake.

I'd be so disappointed if they make him dumb enough to believe the slanders against Won. As Won said, Rin is not the scheming type. But now he'd forced to act on his own to protect others. It could ended badly, but not because he suddenly resent Won.

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I was wondering lately why Im Siwan was promoted as the lead actor when so much of the drama has been HJH. Unless they totally flip the show 180 and have the last 4 episodes all Won?? Doesn't even make sense.

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Despite the title, I heard the novel equally spotlight the trio. And I guess Siwan is heavily promoted because he was the only respectable actor out of the three haha.

HJH and Yoona actually got praises from their respective recent drama and movie... But a combo of two idol actors and a model actor could be a recipe for disaster when it comes to public interest (case in point: Manhole. Jaejoong, Uee, and Baro were never considered bad, right? But the idols combo turned ppl off from watching). That's my guess.

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I came across this article previously and the director says that the story "asks about how much can one sacrifice for love". Does this mean that Won, being the lead, will be the one doing the sacrificing? http://m.yna.co.kr/mob2/en/contents_en.jsp?cid=AEN20170703010000315&site=0200000000&mobile

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This is a bit off topic...After watching this drama, I thought I have not watched any dramas where Hong Jong Hyun played so I searched and started watching' Mama, nothing to fear 2014' and ended up marathoning the drama for less than two days. The drama is heart breaking but I enjoyed watching very flawed people in there to see how they developed into more human and how an adult female friendship formed despite of a very thorny background and misunderstandings. I find this drama a slice of life and thought provoking for our life. I highly recommend it to everyone. Hong Jong Hyun has improved since then. His character in this drama is the only one whom I cannot find a flaw but his portrayal of this man makes him seem a genuinely good caring person rather than 'he is too good to be real, he only exists in dramaland.' It's nice to see a young actor developing his acting skills. He was also good in Moon lovers.

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I'm enjoying his turn in White Christmas right now, although I'm only half through it. He's definitely one to watch as an uptight and lonely student.

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Yeay more warm reviews for Mama. Despite only watched it for Hong Jong-hyun and Yoon Chan-young (our adult and young Rin?) it got me all emotional with those many relationships. Mom and mom, mom and son, noona romance, ex husband and wife, so on pretty much all types of relationship were displayed and explored. And HJH was great and believable as the caring co-worker to the 10 years older noona who eventually landed feelings for her. As for Moon Lovers, I think he killed it as Wang Yo. Every time he showed up on the screen it got me very nervous because knew that something bad would about to happen.

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I loved his character in Mama, even though he didn't get that much screen time. I really enjoyed him in the movie Alice: Boy in Wonderland, especially the last scene. He's also in a silly movie called Enemies in Law (Netflix).

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Alice was chillingly good!! He really has improved tons since Her Lovely Heels. But then again, that show was just a bunch of tropes stringed together across 10 short eps. It would be a miracle for any actor to have saved that kind of script.

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Ahh you guys make me wanna watch Mama because of him. I watched Her Lovely Heels because I couldn't get enough of HJH, and I'm also currently watching White Christmas, again, mainly because of him. So I guess my next watch will be Mama then.

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The model avengers in White Christmas are really just the cherry on top of a good show!

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I think this episode actually confirms that San likes and prefer Rin romantically.

Rin confessed to her then asked what's holding her back, she confirmed it's Won. She worried what will happened to Won if they were to leave him all alone. She would to run away with Rin if it's not destroying Won. She still cares for him as a friend, and lamented that she shouldn't have given Won (false?) hopes, or so to speak.

Remember, AFTER this conversation happened... She kept staring at Rin dreamily, they shared a long gaze and he smiled, until she got shy and covered herself with the robe. Unlike before, where they used to avoid each other gaze out of awareness. Then the next morning they played happily in the river. My take is, they finally knew the feelings are mutual and kind of embracing it a lil bit more - while still holding back for their dear friend Won, that is.

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I agree with your analysis. However it seems that WonSan shipper disagree. If San takes Won’s hand as a lover in the next episode, it would defy any logic.
I hate this drama's Reply 1988 style trolling.
I also like to say that since Rin is way taller than Won, it automatically makes Rin look mature than Won. I find that sometimes Won' clothes are ill fitting, rather big for him, but is it intentional for him to look more childlike? I can see why they prefer taller men as leads in Korean dramaland. Taller actors can really command the screen presence. yet it may give a hard time to get a good lead for an actor who has a small statue.

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Now that I think about it... You're right! Won's clothes do look big on him. Even his commoner clothes in earlier ep and his hairstyle kinda make him look chidlike. Maybe it does intentional? To emphasize that he may look pretty and innocent (like a child) but underneath his appearance, he might not that innocence and he does have a brain of a manipulator and a schemer? (Which are the criteria fit for a king/politician)

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I've been trying to find the scene where Won runs to San and kisses her. Which episode, first or last scene or a preview? I can't seem to find it. Driving me crazy because I want to know what clothes they're wearing. Will it be in the next episode, or will it be one of the last scenes of the drama?

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It's on the drama intro, I believe? I sometimes watch it on channel One and I vaguely remember ach episode started with an intro that includes that scene. Rin was watching from afar while Won was about to kiss San?

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If you look at Hancheon, his character is more childlike too. Chirpy and dorky and always doing something funny and stupid. I do think it's meant for Won to look more childlike. At one time I even got the feeling that Rin and San are taking care of him like a child.

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This!!!!
If San said she love Won, then why she stared at Rin longingly (and Rin to smile knowingly at her) and the next day played happily with him? What is with all the romantic BGM and soft-lighting slow mo kiss scene from many different angles?
Thb, I have prepared myself this ep, waiting for the moment when San clearly reject Rin and the drama to shift the her attention to Won. But nope!! More romantic and swoony scenes between Rin and San!! I am seriously gonna flip some tables if they make Won San as the endgame without proper reasons.

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I hope the way San look at Rin because she imagine Won sit front of her?

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Right? The longing staredown and them being playful after the could-be-ambiguous conversation made it feel that it's not a rejection, it's an acceptance of their mutual feelings.

Speaking of those longing gazes... HJH and Yoona once again deliver with their off-the-chart chemistry.

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It took me around 5 days to watch episodes 31 and 32 and my friend "spoiled" me in that she feels depressed that San has now chosen Won over Rin and the reason why she doesn't want Rin to leave was so that he can continue to be Won's moral compass. However, after watching the episodes myself, I am now thinking that this overly dramatic friend of mine may have jumped to conclusions and misunderstood everything. ? Are you trolling us, writer-nim?

Allow me to be shallow but, seriously, Yoona and HJH's chemistry is off the charts! I'll just continue to ship them in real life if RinSan do not end up together. Their behind-the-scenes together are just too cute for words. MBC's Twitter account is having a field day with them. I also started following several castmembers on IG and I practically jump and squeal everytime there is a picture of Yoona and HJH beside each other.

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Totally agree with you. HJH and YoonA have sizzling chemistry on and off the screen. The BTS videos attest to that. I won't be surprised if they become a reel-to-real couple. :)

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Thank you so much for the recap, TERIYAKI! You were able to elucidate so much more than I gleaned from this episode. I can't figure out how much you interpreted on your own about the plot, or if everything you said was there, but was just lost in translation. That's the main reason I read these because I feel that I only understand things superficially until I read everyone else's interpretation. However, these episodes were infinitely better than the first two this week. I'm getting the feeling that the first hour of the week just sets things up to be explained in the 2nd hour. And I'm waiting for all the flashbacks too. I still want to understand how Rin left the King the first time the night that he took the Minister's body to San's house and what the King may have told him. And the split second the King was lucid--what was that about? Do we see flashes of maybe reconciliation with Won and with the Princess even?

I doubt Rin would totally trust his brother, and I do think the kiss with San, purposely done in front of Won, is instrumental to kicking Won into gear and taking control of the throne at last. Because right now Won is flailing, in denial of everything presented to him. How he kept saying that it could not be Rin next to the King, even with his "GPS" eyewitnesses (I love that description of those two by the way), I thought was too much. He looked really weak this episode to me, going against his mother (who was amazing this week--I really believe she's near death), kind of like a spoiled brat, (paraphrased), "Either you let her in or you're out???"

Thank you for the translation of the red cord--although, I should have noticed this. Red has always symbolized destiny, which now I understand why Won is so obsessed with San and why San is so conflicted herself. I'm giving the writer a pass, trusting that she is not purposely frustrating all the shippers out there. I do hope our writer can pull all this together; I have my own ideas about how it might all work out, but people will have to start confiding in each other (I love a good caper and when a plan comes together), and Song In and "Mu Bi" need to go, like really soon. Why can't someone slip them some poisonous ginseng cookies?

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I want to know how Boo-young/mu-bi can sit with the king night and day in that cloud of god- know's-what smoke but have no ill effects??

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what a wonderful interpretation of the episode! Rin is not the kind to betray anyone, even at great personal cost. I think what he's trying to do by kissing San is getting Won angry at him. Rin is the only contender to the throne apart from Won. Won is naturally competitive. But he's never been interested in ruling. (Even the real guy, gave away his throne in two years back to his father and then had to be forced to be king when his father died. Then he abdicated the moment his son was old enough to rule. So, historically, Won isn't interested in the position) Rin, I'm guessing, wants to bring out that competitive spirit in Won so Won himself fights for this position.

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Did he really give away his throne back to his father? From what I've read on the internet (might be wrong though). Won's Yuan wive made a big ruckus coz Won keep prefering one of his consorts than her, so Yuan exciled him and his wives to Beijing (?) in the hope that the fight would resolved. Yuan then put Won's father back to throne. After his father died, Won refused to leave Yuan's land so he put his son as King in Georyo.
Well, I guess in both stories, he didn't rule that long..

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I thought he spent time in Beijing because he enjoued it. And he was exiled to another place, long after his son took over. But then again, I too got this info from the internet, so I have no idea whether its right or wrong. But I just feel sad for a king who obviously wasn't comfortable in his own country.

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I think you are both right. Won was forced to give his throne back to his father because of the ruckus his mongolian queen caused, and him being half mongolian Yuan wanted him and his queen to reconcile and got them to move to Beijing. However afterwards he didn't want to leave anymore despite Yuan telling him to go back, instead he gave the throne that he regained to his son so that he will have no obligations to fulfill in Goyreo. He practically spend the rest of his life in Beijing but for an exile to Tibet, then returned to Beijing after he was pardoned and died there.

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My heart aches for Won, I can feel the pain. San ?why you close your eyes when Rin kiss you... do you looking for an answer who the man you loved ?

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What frustrated me the most is that, while the trio is suffering, including the King and Princess Wonsung (yes, they're the victim in this scheme as well), the one who's benefited from their sufferings is Song In. He's just sit back and enjoy the show between the fight, the argument and the snap between the trio plus the royal family. Gah, I hate him so much.

As for Won, I find it sickening when the Goo Hyung said that Minister Eun's last wish before he died is to marry San to Rin and let them escape to other country. Then Won just snapped that San is my woman and Rin is just helping my woman blablabla and the wedding that you hope for is not going to happen. What the hell, Won? First of all, you did steal San and her father moment to be together, then now when her father died and wish for San's safety and happiness, you just bluntly deny her father's wish. Good Lord, I was swearing at you, you with your obsession toward San.

Anyway, I'm mad at that kind of kiss. Oh Rin, you could've done better.

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Watch the behind the scenes takes of the kiss on YouTube.

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Watched it already. My take is that HJH's just being respectful towards Yoona.

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i've watched it and i think he's just being considerate to yoona as well.

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If you look at HJH in WGM videos with Yura, you may better understand why HJH did the kiss that way.

HJH is a painfully shy, soft-spoken, gentle and respectful gentleman.

And in the BTS of this drama, you will better understand how he treats YoonA.

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Can i be shallow for a sec and comment on how gorgeous HJH in his varieties of beautifully made sageuk clothes? With his broad shoulders and narrow waist and hips,the costumes fit him to perfection. I shall not talk about his face and hands cause i'll just go on and on.
I had to watch the show 2 times to focus on him first then subtitle the second time.
As an actor,i'm pretty impressed with him both for his role as evil Wang Yo and pure as snow Wang Lin. I wish he gets a job with dual role as villain and hero(as twin or someone with multiple personality)next time cause i know he'll rock it.

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@Teriyaki,you're one smart lady. I wouldn't know how deep in shit Lin is until you mention that aside from his family,Won and San,now he have the king and his country to consider. I just wish he don't bear them alone and share his worries with Won.

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You are not being shallow. You are just being human.

HJH is a dream to look at in the best-looking saegeuk outfits I have seen so far. You are right. He has the build, height, long, slim limbs and high and graceful neck that can carry the saegeuk outfits to perfection. Plus his facial features are the perfect cross between strong yet delicate - in short good-looking without looking pretty like a girl. Hehehe :)

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Teriyaki, thanks for your wonderful POV, written in a clear and logical manner. I was so mad at the writer thinking that she's purposefully making Rin the bad guy, but now all your observations make sense, it can't be that Rin saw all those signs of Song In behind all the conspiracies, and ignored it. The incense, the allegation that princess wonsung gave the order to kill San's father, and Song In's dubious claim that he's doing all these for the people of goryeo, maybe Rin finally saw the reason behind Song In's motives and want to exterminate him from the scenario for good.
Or else it doesn't make any sense to Rin suddenly take 180 degree turn from his usual character. The guy who never got mad even if Won chose San over him, when they were both taken to jail, or when Won took San's hand and took her away in front of him, even if Rin is the one who rescued her.. and then when Won told Rin on face that San is his woman, and pretty much to get his hands off her. So he didn't get mad at Won all that time, even if Won's intention has been clear from the start. I guess we are in for a lot of flashback, which will unfold Rin's plan to save Won. I would be happy as long as both the boys are together and can finally finish that song in, who has been having his ways since God knows when. It has been extremely tiresome to see his triumph over everyone days after days, and my patience is wearing thin.

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I read another recaps about this ep from breathlessurvival (kindly check her blog)... Her interpretation makes me worry for rin.
She thinks rin actually kissed San goodbye. What he try to cut is not won and san's thread of fate, but both his own thread of fate with won and with san. He is going to help won become king but he needs to make sure won is focusing on that (and so he needs to make sure san doesn't know his plan either). By kissing san (won's achilles), he entrusted san to won coz he believe won will protect san while he helps to protect everyone including the king and goryeo. Rin, in the end, will be the one who sacrifice everything for the peple he loved... ??

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I am sad read this. ??

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I really can't shake this feeling that Rin is polished to be the sacrifice type of character.

Idk if it because I've seen too many saeguk but I can't help that this is how I remember every fallen 2nd lead at the last episode is moulded.

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I get exactly what you mean. I've been feeling that way for a while about his character. It reminds me of Moon Embracing the Sun. The second lead there and Rin have eerily similar storylines. So I can't shake the feeling that Rin may not make it in the end.

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Ooooh I'm worried about this too. I can see him dying, then San and Won finding out he had a plan and didn't betray anyone. I keep hoping his line to San that he will always find her is foreshadowing that he won't die.

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When Rin said that he would always find her, I got an inkling that the plan to escape overseas had suddenly gone out the window. If San stays near Won, Rin will always know where to find her.

I have a feeling that she won't leave the country out of concern for Won's well-being. Although after Dan's refusal to let San meet with Won, I'm not sure how that will work out in practice.

I recall that Won had said something to San earlier about official appointments, and she had blown it off. He browbeat his mother into approving San's appointment as de facto Minister of Finance, and I'm sure that's why he requeste she come see him.

Maybe her official title would be inspector general for finances, and she'll tramp all over Goryeo with Rin? Won had said something long ago about making a huge cage for her. Could that mean an undercover job taking the pulse of the Eight Provinces?

When Won keeps saying he wants to keep her near him, he may not mean that in the romantic sense. I think he's drafting her for his cabinet. She's honest, and he can trust her with the kingdom's finances. In his pursuit of power, Won knows he needs not only money, but reliable people to acquire and manage it.

This wrinkle reminds me of Gil-dong's scholarly brother becoming an inspector in REBEL. He was not tied to a desk at court. That sounds like something San would appreciate.

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That would actually be awesome. But I don't think Won is all that rational when it come to San...

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Except that this drama seems to be too pure and good. There's hardly any violence, Won was supposed to turn dark, but so far he really hasn't unless that happens the last 3 episodes and I don't think it will. Other things the PD told us haven't happened either. This drama is just too pretty to change now.

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Stuff that makes me shake my head:

Bi-yeon is still obliviously singing like a canary and spilling the beans to Mr. Red Snake Tattoo. I cannot believe that she's blowing her mistress's escape plans -- to the very guy who killed San's mother and sliced up her own puss. With friends like her, who needs enemies? She's also endangered the poor butler with her loose lips, dammit! I seem to have missed the scene wherein she was lobotomized.

Worst getaway ever!!! Rin and San manage to pull the old Escape In A Carriage From Dad's Funeral Trick, and then goof around in broad daylight trying to catch breakfast in the river instead of getting up before first light to hustle off to the ship. Rin brought the booze, but no food? Not even rice balls from Won's inn HQ?! What the hell was he thinking?! This is brain-dead beyond belief!

I felt terrible for Jin Gwan being assigned to protect Crown Princess Dan (or whatever her new official name is). How inhumane can you get. The poor guy who's guarding her has been smitten with her in a way that Won has never ever been. Not that Jin Gwan would ever have had a snowball's chance in hell of ending up with her. What a crappy next-best deal. Or maybe in Goryeo this is as close as you get to hitting the jackpot if you're a commoner.

Has anyone else developed an overwhelming urge to punch out Ok Boo-yong's / Queen Mu's lights? At one time I used to feel bad for her that she was a toy of Song In before he sent her off to canoodle with the King. Now her often-vacant expression makes her look as if she's been inhaling too much of the poisonous fumes she whips up for the King. (Or maybe she's forgotten to inhale and that's hypoxia we're seeing.) Of course, I'd love to wipe that smile off Song In's face while I'm at it... He's long overdue.

On the other hand, they are representative of the sub rosa Goryeo political establishment's attitude towards the Yuan interlopers in the palace. Perhaps their despicable and underhanded machinations speak to their desperation to rid the country of Yuan domination. They are just as bad as Princess Wonsung, whose ruthless Mongol habit of "kill and plunder now, ask questions later" has come back to bite her in the butt. Because of her horrid treatment of the King's first wife and son, no one would be surprised if she did, in fact, have Finance Minister Eun murdered in her palace.

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Just one thing. Mubi is not a queen, she is only a consort. I keep reading queen Mu and thinking who? lol

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Oops! I think that's how her rank was translated in the subtitles I've been reading. ;-)

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I only think bad words/names any time Boo young is on screen.

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OH NO! I'M FEELING A SCARLET HEART RYEO VIBE HERE GUYS! that kiss tho was like Hae Soo and Wang So's first kiss. Don't go scarlet heart ryeo all over again to me kdrama... I don't want to be heartbroken just like Wook and Soo's ship huhuhuhu

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My Rin and San ship is sailing! I hope Hong Jong Hyun gets the girl this time. HJH's character is capturing my heart... a great way to forget his feisty character in Scarlet Heart Ryeo!

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It’s really sad that the writing is so muddled down that even dramabeans commenters have a clouded sight on what's going on depending on which OTP they ship. It’s either Rin being an all loving pure angel and the demonization of Won as the obsessive villain but no in-betweens for complex characterization anymore. And I can’t blame it on them because ‚Who gets the girl?‘ is what the writer made the central point of this episode. Observant viewers may have noticed the big loses at stake but they were so much in the background that you really had to be willing to see them and dig deep. The main leads keep getting more and more stupid in the name of love.

I will start with Won. Like I complained before for a guy who is supposed to be the main lead he gets toyed around a lot both emotionally and politically. I can see the complexity of his character thanks to Im Siwan’s great facial expressions but the writing didn’t do him any favors because the writer has forsaken his character progression from complicated anti-hero to whiny clingy love puppy for shipper baiting purposes. He had no agency this episode from his dumb denial about the Rin/San situation, throwing a tantrum at his mother to being oblivious about the political situation around him. And I call it bs and totally out of character for him. Won is cunning and smart you could see it in the first episodes when he acted drunk in front of the king. Yet he’s getting so lovesick and dumbfounded by the San situation this episode that he could just throw childlike tantrums at his mother and everyone around him about the situation without planning or doing anything. He just patiently awaits Rin’s return and thinks the situation resolves itself like that. Nah that’s just not believable for me.

Rin’s first trait was his absolute loyalty to Won. And even if all the recapper said about him this episode was true it’s annoying and out of character that he only realized it after he wanted to run off with San. Rin while not a schemer like Song In or Won still has the capacity to realize the political situation around him like that time in the forest when he foresaw the danger for the crown prince immediately and shot the second arrow. No way he wouldn’t have known that Minister Eun’s death wouldn’t lead to people in the palace turning against Won. He also knew that Song In had the king and wanted to depose Won. Yet he wanted to leave his friend behind in this severe situation and run off with San because of love. Yeah no. He might have accompanied her to the ship but loudly declaring he wants to be with her forever while he knows Won is in danger is just not believable for me. Also not bringing food but alcohol with him? Playing around the river when they’re escaping enemies? Don’t turn stupid in the name of love.

San well she’s still the reason while this drama keeps getting into ship wars territory so I can’t say I have a positive outlook on her. Not only did she destroy the flow of the drama with...

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her indecisiveness between the boys her character doesn’t seem to have an arc either. She’s just the trophy waiting to be claimed by Won or Rin as the winner will get her. I also want to say again that the boys’ love for her was never understandable to me. She doesn’t feel like an genuine love interest but more like a catalyst the plot tells me to get over with since without her none of the main guys seem to have life goals to achieve and would just sit around drinking with each other.

Princess Wonsung the saving grace of this drama and a character with clear motivations in her actions. Why did she suddenly want San gone? Because San’s presence endangers Won’s position with his subjects and she’s seen first hand how irrational Won can get when it comes to San. Now that gaining Minister Eun’s riches can’t be attained through marriage with San anymore the girl has become useless in her eyes and disposable. Keeping her around only means trouble so that’s why she went to Dan to talk to her. Dan from a powerful family is still less dangerous than San around who not only makes Won’s subjects question him but also has the potential to make him do dangerous things that could eventually lead to his disposal as crown prince. Jang Young Nam continues to bring her A-game. Her scenes with Won were great to watch. The pity and sadness she felt for Won as she realizes the downfall coming towards him was wonderful to watch. Im Siwan is great with showing multiple emotions in his face but this woman is even better at making them appear simultaneously at the same time on her face.

Things that made me roll my eyes:

Bi Yeon talking freely about super secret plans.

Minister Song making it too obvious with the presents. Wouldn’t Won have told his generals that man isn’t on his side and therefore not to be trusted? Even if Won wanted to silence them why would he entrust it to Minister Song of all people?

Dan stop crying and acting like you regret things you literally did 5 minutes earlier without concern only because your big brother showed up.

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Agreed agreed agreed. Except I think San's character was more than a plot device at the beginning. Her character has been central to a lot. The show has somehow just ruined their original purpose and turned her into a plot device/prize for the last couple of episodes in my opinion.

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I don't think Song-In and his faction are fighting for the good of Goryeo, maybe that's what it set out to be, but Song-In himself just seems to be after power for himself now.

That being said, I can't say with any conviction that Won deserves the throne. He does not seem to care about the people, or even about ruling. He just has the seat and lays claim to it because it is his birthright. In the purely political sense, I would have been rooting for Rin's claim to the throne, because like princess Woonsung herself said, Rin could make a great king. I wish the writers would show more of Won's political savvy rather than just having him focus all his energy on having San. Maybe that's what we'll see in the upcoming episodes. There's a lot to resolve in so little time.

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On Won, I do so sympathise with you. How can decency and justicewin when the 'world' is composed thus?

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Rin/Lin has much to commend him but it is in his shortcomings, wether with Won or San, that his true self is seen. Surely, whatever his personal desires, he has a fillial duty to protect and cherish Wong Dan. If he cannot do that, how can he cherish any woman, or the product of their loins? Had he been entirely truthful or honest a long time ago, then nothing would have come to this sorry state. To love the same perso as Won was not a crime and I believe Won himself would understand this, the real crime is not to diferentiate his family from the threat and the conspiricy eveloping all.

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I like Rin, but he is too stupid and also too conflicted. If nothing else he should understand that one of the principals joining him and his master (Won) is that they each love San, that in saving, protecting her, they fulfil a mutual destiny. So long as they do their utermost to protect and keep her, then they have fulfilled their most sacred duty. I ship won's bodyguards for they have a truly amazing loyalty, which should humble us all. Rin is too conflicted, nothing he does is a mater of substance and principle, sadly. He has somehow lost his finest values along the way. Shame !!!!!!!

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Yeah Jang Eui bodyguard in blue on my radar now. He witness love line WonSan- RinSan-WonRin even JinGwan (bodyguard in red) and Dan. He saw everything& understand what going on there better than us ?.

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Oh man. I never thought I'd be sad that Rin kissed San. Why did he do it for the purpose of showing Won?! Why didn't he do it when they were alone, give a real confession, and tell her how he loved her since she was crying and saying goodbye to her guards the night of the attack? ? I feel robbed.

I do not like Bi Yeon anymore. She is too foolish, (to put it nicely), always giving away important information that should be top-super-secret. I don't even feel bad for her upcoming sadness to learn that she loves the guy who slashed her face. I feel bad saying that now.

I still think Dan's behavior is understandable and she hasn't turned completely dark, though I thought she'd be more sinister by now!

This drama is still very interesting and keeps me wanting to see what will happen next!

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Also- if they all just talked it out! For goodness sake, the misunderstandings are killer in this one.

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I think he might have kissed her while they were traveling alone but when asked if there was an impediment to her seeing him by her side beyond getting her to the ship, she mentioned Won. I think her not wanting to leave Won permanently and be wiith Rin is about guilt since Won has no one he cares about except her and Rin

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I am uncomfortable with the way Rin pulled San into his arms. It is so out of character because he was rough and forceful, when the Rin we have seen, gotten to know and fallen in love with is gentle, considerate and respectful.

And I wouldn't call that a kiss.

Both the rough and forceful way Rin pulled San flush against him and the 'kiss' are Rin's tactical strategy for Won's eyes. What Rin is trying to do will probably be revealed soon enough.

So my take of this scene is it is a ruse for a purpose which we will know soon enough.

I refuse to believe that the Rin who pulled San so roughly into his arms is the REAL Rin. He was acting in front of Won and San.

Am I right? We will know soon enough. :)

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The only reason we aren't able to predict the ending is because HJH is second male lead. That's it.

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However the ending will be I'm sure San won't end up with Won if the writer follows her own script. The metaphors about San being a bird that is always leaving and Won's voice overs about how he was betrayed indicate that much. Either Rin will die or San pulls a Kelly Taylor at the end.

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I thought that Rin actually had a secret plan last episode but it really seemed like he only wanted to run away with San and live happily ever after far away. He knew Song In is after Won and still wanted to ditch him for a girl. He could've just accompanied San to the ship but no he wanted to come with her. For him to just realize the stakes after meeting with the king doesn't make him noble and caring but just extremely stupid. Why would you need that to see the danger surrounding Won and the nation? Song In had made it clear that he wants Won gone and had the king under his control.

I don't share the reviewer's opinion about Rin just finding out and realizing the stakes. He knew very well but choose to ignore it so that he could run away with San. It was a moment of selfishness and his anger for Won and desire for San took over. But then he got caught and had to face reality again.

Even his "plan" for saving Won's Crown Prince position is dumb as well. After witnessing how possessive Won is of San what did Rin thought a kiss between him and San would do? That Won would have an epiphany then give up on San to be a good ruler? Definitely not. Won will freak out and become irrational to do dangerous things. And when he will do them Song In's faction will have a legitimate reason to dispose of him.

The truth is Rin was not brave enough to profess his love for San out loud to Won and demand a fair fight for her heart. Instead he drowns in indecision between acting on his feelings for San, being Won's trusted companion and doing what's best for the country. I know it's making him a tragic figure in this story but I can only shake my head with his stupid behavior. I don't see a heroic best friend trying to fix everything by himself but a distrustful friend who can't be honest with himself and his friend so he makes matters worse by acting on his first thoughts.

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You're way off base. Rin is not only devoted to San but it's his duty per her father's wish for him to protect her. A moment of selfishness? He has done nothing in the whole drama but be selfless, giving way his desires for his friend. Rin is very brave and walking the edge. I think he will save the king as well. He isn't the tragic figure either. Won is, Won pities himself and wants others to pity him. He wants both San and Rin to hold him up.

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I was surprised when I watched the episode, and realized Rins motivation wasn't just his own brand of possessiveness. Teriyaki I really liked your logical break down of this episode, since I've just been reeling scene to scene prey to my emotions and irritations. Lol

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I'm assuming no one will see this at this late date so I'm giving my theory as what's to come. There really is a rebellion and Rin places the King back on the throne. Won is sent to China and San decided to go with him as she's his only ally. That's where Won kisses San while Rin looks on. Whether or not Rin temporarily becomes CP I won't theorize, but I still don't know who San ends up with.

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I prefer Rin with San. If they can be couple, maybe rating to this drama will be high. I Trust it. They match and I like their scene so much. I hope producer can change it ?????

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