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The King Loves: Episodes 35-36

Some great performances highlight these episodes as our trio tries to navigate their way through perilous times. Even though it’s been building for a long while now, Won’s descent into darkness comes at the worst possible time, but a certain poisonous relationship may just offer some hope. Rin and San struggle with what it means to be Won’s friend as his vortex of grief and anger threatens to consume all of them, but an impulsive decision by Won may settle things once and for all.

 
EPISODE 35 RECAP

As Rin waits on the bridge for San, we hear his narration, “Ever since I was young, I was always one step behind. It was not because I was slow. I chose to stay at the back… It made me happy to see you happy.”

The doors to Princess Wonsung’s chambers open, and Won slowly makes his way to his mother’s body. When he sees her, Won’s face crumples as sobs of grief overcome him. A physician explains that Princess Wonsung had been ill for some time, but Won grabs him and screams, “That is not why she died!”

When Won calls for Court Lady Jo, Eunuch Kim informs him that she was taken for interrogation on Rin’s orders, so he yells for Furatai and learns that he died guarding Princess Wonsung. A female guard kneels before Won and tearfully explains that all of the guards who accompanied his mother to the king’s palace were killed. She makes sure that he knows that when Princess Wonsung emerged from the king’s palace, she specifically mentioned that Boo-yong was there.

San makes her way through the palace grounds but hides when she hears Generals Ko Sung and Lim Chi-young approach. She hears them discuss a rumor that the king murdered the queen and that private armies are on the move. General Lim Chi-young worries that in the event of a civil war, he isn’t sure whose side to support, but their conversation is cut short when they learn that Won is headed for the king’s palace.

Rin races along the palace grounds but hides when he sees Minister Song on his way to meet Song In. After Song In dispatches Moo-suk and his men on an assignment, Minister Song chastises him for making his move. Song In assures him that he wouldn’t have killed Furatai without a plan in place—he just didn’t expect Princess Wonsung to die so soon.

Boo-yong is with the king when Song In checks on his condition and tells Minister Song, “I need you to bring either Wang Jeon or Wang Rin to hear the king’s will.” Uh-oh. Minister Song can’t believe his ears when Song In confides, “The king will never wake up.”

Song In explains that he intends to make use of Won’s desire for revenge and orders the agitated Minister Song, “Just bring one of the Wang brothers. We need a king.” Once she’s alone, Boo-yong prepares more incense for the king to make Song In’s plan a reality.

Song In sees Won approaching and manages to get away, but Minister Song walks right into him. He falls to his knees and pretends to know nothing about Princess Wonsung’s death, but when Won places a sword against his neck, Minister Song admits that Princess Wonsung visited the king and became angry when she saw Boo-yong.

Won doubts that Boo-yong’s presence alone angered his mother, so Minister Song lies that the king shouted at Princess Wonsung and had her guards killed when they tried to protect her. When Minister Song informs Won that the king is in his bedroom, he only wants to know, “Is she with him?”

Boo-yong places some incense in a container next to the king and then immediately drinks a cup of tea. She freezes when Rin enters the room and proceeds to hurl the container across the room.

Boo-yong runs right into Won as she escapes from the king’s room. Like his mother had done herself once before, Won drags a sword along the ground as he walks, and when Boo-yong stumbles and falls to the floor, he simply announces, “Here she is.”

Won demands to know why Boo-yong did what she did to his mother, but Boo-yong protests that she had nothing to do with Princess Wonsung’s death. The tip of his sword grates along the floor as Won steps closer and tells Boo-yong that she should have at least waited a few days.

Numbly, Won recalls that he refused to meet with his mother because he didn’t trust her, unaware that it was his last chance to see her. He points the sword at Boo-yong and softly chides, “You should have given me another chance to see her and to talk to her. I have more things to say to her.”

Suddenly defiant, Boo-yong looks Won in the eye and stuns him as she claims, “Her Highness brought this upon herself. If she had left, she would be alive… she should have lived a quiet life. Why did she come and meddle with me?”

Won swings his sword, and blood sprays across a screen as Boo-yong falls back. San yells out when she arrives and she hugs Won from behind as she begs him to stop. Won pries San’s hands from his waist and pushes her to the ground so that he can continue on to his father’s rooms, dragging the sword along the way.

San joins Won in the king’s empty bedroom as he yells out, “Why did you kill her? Why? What did she do so wrong?” San pulls Won into a hug, but he eventually pushes her away, throws down his sword, and screams out in anger and grief.

It’s nighttime when Goo-hyung is admitted to a heavily guarded house and reports through a set of closed doors, “Around midnight tonight, they will begin the mourning. They could not wait around for His Majesty anymore.” Inside, Rin, Teacher Lee, and his trusted assistant sit with the still unconscious king.

Teacher Lee examines the container that held Boo-young’s incense and affirms that it smells like poison. Rin confides that the incense was always burning in the king’s room and is convinced that it weakened the healthy king.

When Rin asks for a way to revive the king, Teacher Lee informs him that with Boo-yong dead, they must consult a royal doctor. He sends his assistant to bring his friend, who happens to be a royal doctor.

Teacher Lee sits with Rin to confirm his theory, “The original plan was for you to begin the deliberative council and… while I wrap the council up, you were going to run away with my assets.”

When Rin admits to the plan, Teacher Lee kindly urges that there’s still time and advises that they should run away before dawn. Rin looks at the king as Teacher Lee encourages, “When you run away, you should never look back. Just look ahead.”

Later, Teacher Lee finds Rin in the courtyard and asks, “Why are you still here?” Rin admits, “It feels like I have a stone tied around my ankle,” then adds, “I am sure Lady San is with His Majesty right now… she would not be able to leave him alone at a time like this.”

When Rin worries about Won being left alone, Teacher Lee realizes that he’s the stone that’s holding Rin back. Rin decides it’s not the right time to leave and promises, “After I get rid of this stone. After I take a load off of my ankles and heart, then I will go.”

Song In somberly approaches the spot where Boo-yong was killed, her blood still pooled on the floor. He recalls that he was just on the other side of the door when she protested that Princess Wonsung’s death wasn’t her fault.

Boo-yong saw him and gave him a small smile before she defiantly blamed Princess Wonsung for her interference. Song In squeezes his eyes shut as he remembers the moment that Won’s sword struck Boo-yong, while he did nothing.

He wanders into the king’s chambers and imagines Boo-yong greeting him with a hug as she shares how much she missed him. He drops to the floor and screams as he shakes with rage and eventually vows, “Crown Prince Wang Won. You did something you should not have. You must pay the price.”

While Won is dressed in a white robe for his mother’s funeral, San meets Bi-yeon outside with a message for Rin, “I apologize for not being there. I am not being detained. It is not yet time to leave, and that is why I cannot go.” When Bi-yeon wonders when San will rejoin them, she decides, “When I see the crown prince smile, I will go.”

Still dressed as one of his guards, San joins Won as Princess Wonsung’s funeral begins. Court Lady Jo sets a bouquet of peonies on a table and then places Princess Wonsung’s shoes in a fire. Accompanied by Yuan chants, Won waves his mother’s robe in circles as Rin witnesses everything from the rooftop.

Won stands in the middle of the king’s chambers as his guards conduct a thorough search. San enters the quarters just as Jang Eui brings in a guard who testifies that a carriage left the palace at noon. The guard admits that the carriage wasn’t inspected because it was driven by Rin, so Won concludes that he took the king.

Won’s guards haven’t found what he’s looking for, and a detained minister confesses that he delivered the king’s seal that morning. Won assumes that Rin took the king’s seal as well and orders Jang Eui to have guards monitor Dan’s chambers in case he contacts her. When Jang Eui hesitates, Won reminds him that he was just given a royal command.

Once the guards leave, Won confronts San about her disguise, “Did you sneak out and return, or are you about to leave?” When she admits that she came back, Won coldly explains that she’s now his hostage, since Rin is sure to return for her.

Rin confronts Song In about Princess Wonsung’s death and demands to know his plan. Song In eventually admits that he contacted the emperor and requested the king’s abdication, since he’s too weak to manage his duties.

He adds the Won isn’t a suitable successor because he killed someone considered to be his other mother, “He must be deposed. We will suggest that you become king.” Rin also learns that Song In isn’t concerned about the king’s approval, since he has the king’s seal and can do whatever he wants.

San enters Princess Wonsung’s chambers and discovers the fallen peony. Won finds her gathering its petals and confesses, “I thought you had left because I could not find you.” San explains, “When I was young, you relayed me my mother’s last message. I remembered something to tell you: [Princess Wonsung] told me how she grew to like peonies.”

When Won admits that his mother never told him her story, San explains that his mother often stole the glances of the crown prince of Goryeo (future King Chungryeol) when he visited and that one day, he offered her a peony. San offers Won the petals and explains, “Right before she died, she asked for a peony. They gave her one, and she held it to her heart. I guess it was this one.”

Won takes the petals of his mother’s last peony as he admits that he was all that his mother had, but her attention burdened him, so he acted out and avoided her palace, where he felt suffocated.

Won sadly notes that his mother chose death because the king and his people planned to humiliate her. San takes his arm and urges him to stop thinking about her, but Won tosses it off and warns, “I will pretend not to know your feelings for Rin. Give it up as fast as you can. If you do that, Rin will get a chance to live.”

With that, Won walks away and leaves San alone to consider his words.

 
EPISODE 36 RECAP

The royal doctor determines that the gravely ill king was poisoned with a slow acting toxin and likely experienced nightmares and hallucinations until he absorbed enough poison to cause organ failure. An antidote is his only hope, and the doctor explains that it’s usually made at the same time as the poison, in case the culprit experiences accidental exposure.

Bi-yeon exits the guarded house during the night to meet Moo-suk. He wonders what all of those men are protecting, so Bi-yeon volunteers that it must be someone noble because they sent for a royal doctor.

A badly battered Eunuch Choi lies on the floor of Won’s chambers whiles General Ko Sung explains that he was locked up in Princess Wonsung’s palace after she interrogated him. With San present, Won demands to be told everything that Eunuch Choi knows, but he says nothing until he’s about to be taken away.

Eunuch Choi looks at San as he confesses, “I just did as I was told. I had no idea how that would affect anyone.” He admits that Boo-yong gave him her father’s medicine: “She told me to leave the medicine in the queen’s room and to make sure that you saw it there.”

Won grabs Eunuch Choi and demands to know who was behind the murder, and learns that Minister Song and Song In were involved, among others. Eunuch Choi asks for San’s understanding as he confesses, “I did this for the pure-blooded prince and for the next king of Goryeo. I only did this for the sake of this country.”

Won tosses Eunuch Choi aside as he realizes that he falsely accused his mother of Minister Eun’s murder, while San comes to terms with the truth that her father’s death was designed to implicate Princess Wonsung.

General Ko Sung leads a raid on the king’s hidden palace and finds Prince Gangyang in a sorry state, while General Lim Chi-young arrests Wang Young in place of his missing sons.

When Won’s guards raid Song In’s teahouse, Jang Eui finds one of the co-conspirators that Eunuch Choi named in Minister Eun’s murder. Won sees San on the upper floor and notices when someone passes behind a curtain and catches her eye. And then, he loses sight of her when some guards bring him a chest filled with silver and scrolls.

Inside the teahouse, Rin pulls San into one of the rooms. After he makes sure that she’s all right, he admits, “I had a lot to say, but I cannot remember anything.” San tells him that Princess Wonsung didn’t order her father’s death and that it was the men around the king, but Rin admits that he already knows. When San asks Rin if he’s joined those men, he admits that he has and promises to explain everything to her soon.

San urges Rin to explain himself to Won, who she is sure will understand, but he sadly shakes his head in reply. When Won calls out for San, Rin takes her hand and explains that because he can’t get inside the palace, he needs her to search Boo-yong’s body for an antidote.

When San walks into the hallway, Won brushes past her to look out of the window just as Rin turns around. He runs after Rin and sees him at the end of a busy street, where he lingers for just a few seconds before he disappears from sight. San catches up and looks on sadly as Won yells out, “Wang Rin! Show yourself!” Then he quietly wonders, “Where are you?”

As Rin runs away, he bumps into two young boys in the middle of a race. He remembers his boyhood escapades with Won and his declaration: “As of now, you are my friend. Treat me as such. That is an order.”

Rin also remembers his father’s warning: “Do not try to be a real friend. The crown prince will be king. He cannot have friends.” In the present, Rin stands alone as he admits to himself that he never understood, “How are real friends different from any other friends? Where should I draw the line?”

Song In prepares ink and admits that he was never really interested in Goryeo and its people. He turns to the chair beside him to confess to an imaginary Boo-yong, “The world is a board, and the people are my chess pieces.”

Minister Song runs up after hearing that the king was found and urges Song In to bring him back. He’s horrified when he learns that the king will only live a few more days without the antidote, since that means that Won will become king.

Minister Song panics, certain that they’ll be killed, but Song In acts unconcerned as he addresses the empty chair and explains to Boo-yong, “The crown prince will soon find out how it feels to see someone you cherish die.” Song In’s words stop making sense, and a bewildered Minister Song watches as he prepares to write a letter. (The king isn’t the only one who needs that antidote.)

Teacher Lee turns down the offer of a carriage from Goo-hyung and opts to travel to the palace on foot. Along the way, Teacher Lee explains to his assistant that Won doesn’t like to drink, but they’re interrupted when they suddenly find themselves surrounded by Moo-suk’s men.

Wang Young’s voice is heard asking Won, “How many people are you arresting? Generals, ministers, officials, and now, even the eunuchs.” Won reminds his father-in-law that he was brought to the palace to be interrogated, but Wang Young argues that while the men that he’s after are guilty of abuse, there are still rules that need to be followed.

Won is alarmed when Jang Eui returns alone, and then recalls that San asked to be excused. He checks a string at his waist and notices that his emblem is missing, which is what San uses to get into the building where Boo-yong’s body is stored.

San steels herself to pull back the mat that covers Boo-yong and apologizes for the intrusion. She searches the pocket in Boo-yong’s sleeve and becomes anxious when she finds nothing, but a search of the second sleeve produces a small bottle.

Won exits his rooms just as Jeon is escorted to the palace after turning himself in. Jeon kneels before Won and confesses, “I know where the king is. He is with my brother, Rin.”

Wang Young urges Jeon to share what he knows, so he presents Won with a scroll and says, “It is the king’s letter announcing that he will abdicate in Rin’s favor… I am sure Rin threatened him and stole his seal.” (How are he and Rin even related?) Won tears open the scroll and reads the letter that bears his father’s seal.

Without an explanation, Moo-suk walks into the house where the king is hidden and pulls Bi-yeon away.

Rin and the doctor are with the king when they suddenly hear a noise outside. Rin grabs his sword as he runs out, only to be confronted by Jang Eui and Won’s guards, who check the room and discover the king inside.

When Rin prevents Won from approaching the king, the guards, with the exception of Jang Eui, point their swords at Rin. Rin wants to know what Won plans to do to the king, but Won ignores him to order a search of the house and orders that anyone who resists will be killed.

Won declares, “Wang Rin. His men killed the queen and abducted the king to plot treason.”

Won steps closer to Rin to ask menacingly, “Why are you still standing? You should kneel and await my command.” Rin dares to asks for a promise first: “The King has been unconscious for a while. He needs healing.” To this, Won just angrily hisses, “I will look after my father.”

Rin tries to warn Won as he says, “The men you spoke of are spread throughout Goryeo. Even if you eliminate a few, they go so deep that it will not be easy.” Won takes the words as a threat, even as Rin adds, “If you wish to do this, eliminate them at once without hesitation.”

Won presents the letter of abdication as Rin narrates, “I was always a step behind you… only then could I see you clearly.” Won insists that Rin wanted the throne for a particular reason as his narration continues, “If I so much as got distracted, I feared that you would be crushed completely.”

Won orders, “Get out of my sight. Do not let me see you again,” but he’s interrupted when San cries, “Move! Get out of my way.” The guards block her, but when San looks at Rin, Won grabs a sword and warns her not to step forward or make a sound.

Won draws the sword and approaches Rin as he demands, “You need not yield to me. Cut me down if you can. Become king.” With a savage look, Won points his sword as Rin remembers, “You were always on edge.”

Rin pulls out his sword and moves into position as he looks over at San and realizes, “Despite your situation, I must now leave you. I am sorry, dear friend.”

Rin breaks his gaze with San and turns his sorrow-filled eyes to Won as he raises his sword. He yells as he swings his sword, and when it clashes with Won’s, he’s surprised by the intensity of the contact.

Won’s eyes are cold and hostile as he pushes Rin away and raises his sword over his head, but Rin allows his sword to fall to the ground just as Won brings his down, slashing him.

Dazed, Rin tries to look for San as he struggles to stand, and Won watches as he falls to his knees. San pushes past the guards to run to Rin’s side and manages to catch him as he falls. She cradles Rin’s head in her lap as he bleeds from his wound, while Won stands alone.

 
COMMENTS

Strong performances by Im Shi-wan and Hong Jong-hyun anchored these episodes as Won unraveled in the wake of his mother’s death and swallowed the lies fed to him about his lifelong friend. Won’s emotions were all over the place, and Im Shi-wan was spectacular as he cried, raged, and quietly threatened one person after another. Right there with him was Hong Jong-hyun, who embodied a Rin who remained steady until the end, even though his heart was breaking. That final confrontation was incredibly sad, and I can’t see how these two can salvage their friendship (that is, if Rin survives), because Won was all about burning bridges.

With all of Won’s sword swinging, it’s almost miraculous that only one person is confirmed dead, but Boo-yong was asking for it. I have no idea what her reason was for baiting Won, but I’m suspecting that she and Song In may have been affected by that poisonous incense. While it’s true that Won is falling apart at the most delicate time, the same can be said for Song In. His hallucinations, along with the antidote that San recovered, may just be enough to undermine the plot to kill the king and depose Won.

The characters that we met as children have grown up, and at this point in the drama, we see their relationships come full circle. While Won was the one to deliver her mother’s final message to San, she in turn delivered the petals of Princess Wonsung’s final peony (the symbol of her lifelong, one-sided love for the king) to her only child. Rin has always struggled with what it means to be a friend to Won, especially now that he’s accepted that it’s time to leave him. Rin has been prepared time and again to bid Won farewell — as a tribute to Yuan, inspector general to Jeolla, to escape to Saracen with San — and every time, he’s been held back because Won won’t let him go. Now that Won is finally ready to release Rin, it’s on his terms, and in his current state of mind, that means death. Because of his guilt over loving San, Rin is ready to accept that fate and finds some peace in the fact that, in the end, he placed no limits on his friendship with Won.

While Won has been more than happy to be on the receiving end of his friends’ loyalty, he hasn’t been able to return that loyalty in kind to either Rin or San. I’ve never understood how Won could value Rin so highly, yet fail to realize that a woman might prefer Rin over him. On top of that, Won falls into the same trap that his father did and believes the duplicitous words of Minister Song, Song In, and Jeon over his lifelong friend. If San can put her faith in Rin and trust him unconditionally, why can’t Won? Does he need to discredit Rin so that he can justify taking San for himself? Rin found himself in an impossible situation as Song In squeezed him with threats to both San and the king. Rin had to distance himself from Won to keep them safe, and rather than stand by him, Won was quick to believe that his friend had abandoned him for the throne and a woman (although Won chose San over Rin way back in Episode 10). Likewise, he turned on San this week as he made her a hostage, threatened Rin’s life unless she gave up her feelings for him, and warned her not to make a sound as he challenged Rin because he might kill her. Not cool.

Won has never grasped the self-giving aspect of pure love, but Rin and San both have that capability. As Rin told Won, he’s no longer a child, and it’s time for the prince to grow up. Won acknowledged his regret that he wasn’t a beautiful flower for his mother — instead, he was a thorny bush and responded to her pain by causing her more pain. The king’s warning to Rin was frighteningly accurate: “Stay close and they will prick and poison you.” Yes, Won is grieving, but that’s no excuse for his behavior, and his father-in-law told him as much. It’s possible that his attack on Rin will knock some sense into Won and that he’ll realize that the most selfless expression of friendship will be to let both Rin and San go — after Won’s recent actions, he can’t honestly expect San to embrace a life with him at the palace.

As Won faces the after effects of his reckless actions and learns the truth about Rin (and hopefully San’s true feelings), he will have to ask himself if he ever really knew Rin at all. Rin’s focus was always Won, and after these episodes, if Rin survives, Won should grasp the opportunity to focus on his best and oldest friend.

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This episode was intense. I wonder how it will all end...

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Please Rin don't die :( This drama really makes my heart ache so much.
I'm with Won , even though, I don't know what will happen for the last 2 episodes. cross my finger for happy ending

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Thanks for the recap TeriYaki, loved your commentary. Let's hope the finale doesn't hurt us too much.

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I think Boo Young died intentionally. By killing her Song In could persuade Yuan that he was unfit for the throne, as he killed his fathers concubine, his 'second mother.'

Loved that they clarified again, the story arc of Won's character: "Rin also remembers his father’s warning: “Do not try to be a real friend. The crown prince will be king. He cannot have friends.” "

His controlling treatment of San was nothing more than a desperate attempt to hold on to some normalcy. And by alienating him from his mother, the King and Rin, Song In turned him into a cornered animal, fighting alone for his very life. Sure to do something rash.

The writer has done such a fabulous job developing rich subtext for each character, that cleanly drives each episode.

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I couldn't figure it out but think TeriYaki hit it. Both Boo Young and Song In have been affected by the hallucinogenic poison. That makes total sense.

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I like the child actor who play young-Rin... When his father said he should never hope to be real friends with Won... Somehow young Rin looked like he wanted to cry. He really does like Won and want to be his friend.
I hope the story will also tell why Rin offered his hand of friendship first to Won. Did he feel sorry to the crying and lonely young Won? Rin's heart is just so kind and his instint is always to protect the person he love (Won, San, Dan, his family)... I think he acknowledged that Won needs someone and that was why he approached Won... To help him and makes him happy.

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Yoon Chan-young is definitely one to look out in future. He was much younger in Mama but he could match those senior actors including Song Yoona. His emotional scenes there really got me.

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Yoon Chan Young is brilliant. Loved him in Mama! The director for TKL also directed Mama and I like to think that he was one of the reasons why HJH and YCY are cast.
Anyone noticed the resemblance between young Rin and his father? They are so alike but once Rin grew up he turned into a prince and made me wonder maybe he got it from his mother haha. I wonder why we never know the story behind Rin's mother. She was never mentioned even by Dan.

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Oh really same director? Thank him to bring YCY and HJH together again although they didn't share scenes in TKL. They had such great chemistry in Mama. Every time YCY character called HJH 'hyung' I just felt happy idk why.

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I wonder about Rin's mother too!! What happened to her? Are there any possibility that Jeong maybe adopted?? ??
Wang Young (Rin's father), Rin and Dan seem like a good-natured and kind person... Only Jeong who has different personality ??

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The director also did Glamorous Temptation, which is why I believe they cast Jang Young Nam, Kim Ho Jin and Kim Bo Ra (the Queen's younger version). I remember before Jung Bo Seok it was Jung Jin Young who was rumored as the King.

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Those young actors are very talented. I think the one who plays Won is especially well-casted, his voice is even the same pitch and timbre as Siwan! When I hear Siwan's internal monologues, I think it's him.

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You can tell he's phenomenal...the other two young actors look quite a bit like the adult actors playing the same parts, but he look literally NOTHING like HJH...he was obviously not hired for his looks. :)

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I also had the same thinking. Boo Young was scared in beginning, but after she saw Song In, she went all out in challenging Won. I think she died intentionally to prove her love for Song In, and help Song In to further his scheme on dethroning Won. If Won killed Boo Young, it works on Song In's favor to spread the rumor to Ministers of Goryeo that he's not worthy of being the King as he killed Queen Mu, who was supposed to be like his second mom. He also practically comitted treason for killing the King's Royal Concubine and he did barge in to the King's room with the intent to kill him. More and more reasons why Won should not be the King.

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I think so too. Song-in had tried from times to times to make Won lashed out, hoping his rage will give them a reason to dethrone him. And to achieve that, Booyoung put her own death sentence by challenging Won... proving her blind devotion to Song-in.

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With the injury, I don't think Rin will die, I've mentioned that Rin moulded as the sacrificed 2nd lead but it still feels bad to see the story comes to this stage.

It kind of fascinating to see that San trusted Rin despite everything she had seen and where she is standing right now while Won can't see it.
Won is full of rage that the king must be the one to kill his mum and never really investigate what had happened.

I think the confrontation is a bit over the top. I can understand it if you see how Won behaves and believe that Rin knew him best but the story gives just a little prove about Won distrust on Rin. He is quick on believing Jeon and how he wants San to dismiss her feeling is the proof but I feel like I need more to see how deep Won's feeling about Rin shattered.

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Won was so emotional he wasn't thinking straight. I too hope that Won really reflects on his behavior and what love truly is. That would be a powerful message this drama could bring.

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actually this is not the first time Won do not trust Rin. He always has that little distrust in Rin. He always ask his men to check on Rin if Rin doesn't show up in time or when Rin when mising for days. Like every Rin's actions must be reported to him. In his defense it may look like he is making sure Rin is safe, but if he really thinks Rin as his friend he won't be too suspicious if Rin.

Eventhough Rin always said RIn is his bes friend, his Rin but there are still part of him that treats Rin as his subject. As his bodyguard and his loyal follower. Like everything he ask, Rin will do it. And Rin will never and can never like the girl he fell for. Even though that girl love Rin back. He is possesive and he should reflect on that.

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I noticed that too,
that if you see it really clearly, Won didn't trust Rin that much and Rin realised that too.

I just hope the story will kind of confirm that since most of the time, it's those small moments of anxiety, demands and wish he said to Rin that can easily be brushed off as "not that big of a deal" because of Rin's acceptance.

I think I need the story to really highlight that part of Won, not because I hate him and I want to trash his character but I think I saw that in him. I saw his possessiveness, how he doesn't seem to fully believe Rin's word and how he guards Rin by spying on him but the story never goes deep into that and just give us the view from Rin's side rather than highlighting those small moments from Won.

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Isn't it funny though?I agree with you that Won did somehow seem to distrust Rin, but at the same time we saw how deep in denial he was about anything that might make it seem like Rin has gone against him or at least against his will. He won't hear listen or believe and called everyone who said otherwise idiots, drunkards and liars. I wonder why that is? Does he want to believe in Rin unconditionally but can't? Maybe it's really a kind of inferiority complex like somebody said in the comments before?

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How I saw it was not just Won not being able to trust Rin, not because of who Rin is, but because of what he has been fed all his life: that friends to people like him do not, and cannot exist. It's almost like brainwashing, in a way, just that Rin has proven this false time and again. I saw Won sending spies to keep tabs on Rin not so much as a lack of trust in his friend, but the need for reaffirmation of what he desperately wants to be true - that Rin has, is, and will be who Won hopes he is.

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@autumnlights you said it beautifully

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Oh, wow, your comments are so spot on, I almost cried. Such depth of emotion and powerful performances. But the nuances you brought out I'm so thankful for reading.
Can't comment on the rest yet (work again) but I was telling a friend about this drama and she immediately said "It's Camelot". Oh, no. I hope not. But I still wonder if Won is by himself and either reflecting "after all these years" or writing his memoirs, whether or not Rin/San are gone from his life or have died. And why is the ending scene (according to HJH) so emotional and memorable?

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Oh, and I'm binge re-watching from the beginning without prejudice. Things are so much richer and more clear.

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I did that this weekend as well. I found I have more sympathy for the CP than I did before, which is coupled with even MORE annoyance every time he tried to cage San or manipulate Rin because I expected better!!!

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This episode is by far the best episode. We got to learn that Rin was never turn dark (as some said he is turning bad just like WangWook in Moon Lovers). Rin loyalty and love for Won is too pure that he doesn't care if he has to die at his sword if that will make Won happy. Both Siwan and Hong Jong Hyun nailed this episode but what surprise me more is Hong JongHyun. He really can potray Rin with mixed emotions in this episode but Rin still remains as Rin. The calm and composed Rin.

i do hope Won will relized the meaning of true love and friendship and let Rin and San go. Only then he can be happy and not repeating the same mistake as what his mother did.

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Only then they can be happy and he won't be, but he will come to realize that it's more important for them to be happy and save than him not being lonely, I believe that is the meaning of "I came to love you more than myself".

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I've always felt that HJH was better than he came across in many of his dramas. I feel vindicated! It's hard to portray these kinds of complex emotions in a character who is as sturdy and, in some ways, predictable as Rin. I may be alone, but I actually think Siwan has the easier job here because there is more range on the surface, but a lot less seething underneath.

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My fave scene: when Won chased Rin on the street and called his name...
This scene makes me sad.... Won is like a child (with the way he dressed and the way he ran) wanting desperately to grab his friend. Despite his rage, in this scene he looks so sad, miserable and lonely. When he said "where are you Rin", I can definitely tell that he never really mad to Rin... Rin is his only best friend and childhood friend. He is just that desperate for Rin's loyalty and love.
Kudos for Im Si Wan... I think just like HJH is Rin... ISW made Won as his...

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Yes I love that scene! So well executed and conveyed so many feelings of the two best friends. Won was so longing for Rin. Oh I feel for him. And Rin I knew he so love Won and he's doing what he though he must to protect Won. It's just beautiful.

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Agreed! The way Won chasing him, that look on his face, it wasn't anger. He longed for Rin and we saw how Rin stopped few times, looked back and gave away his position to Won. The two friends missed each other very much. We as viewers only wanted them to be friends again. Sometimes I wish they never met San. At this point, I don't care who San ended up with. I just want Won and Rin together.

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I tried to upvote this for five times or so but it only worked once D:

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My heart breaks for both Won and Rin in this episode. It's heartbreaking to see how Won's emotional after the death of his mother. He didn't meet up with his mother for few days and couldn't be there when his mother died. And Rin, Gosh, Rin. ? How pure is your heart for being so loyal to Won for all this time. I hope he doesn't die, because if he does, I don't think I could bring myself to watch the ending of this drama. No happy ending would justify my heartbreak if Rin dies.

Am I the only one who doesn't feel satisfied at how easy Boo Young died? Haha. Maybe because she asked for it and she didn't fear for Won after she saw Song In and proudly died for her love, Song In to help him in his plot to dethrone Won. I hate Boo Young and Song In to the point that I feel annoyed to see Boo Young again though it's Song In's hallucination. Like woman, you're dead. Stop smiling like how you used to.

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Thank you for the recap, TeriYaki!

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This scene was not mentioned in the recap, but I saw a clip of Won and Rin when they had just become friends and I laughed at how that scene is typically what happens between the main female and male leads in a drama. Rin is untying Won's clothes from the front so he has to hug him to get it done instead of doing the logical thing and doing it from the back, hahaha. How many dramas have I seen that very scene in? And then their banter, Rin's "it's my first time removing someone's clothes too!" HAHAHA. Moment of comic relief in this very sad episode.

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So that's what they were saying. LOL!

I just rewatched the first 4 episodes, and that scene was missing the subtitles, although I got the gist that Rin was astounded that Won didn't know how to dress himself at that age. (Duh, because that's what eunuchs are for, Rin!)

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That was a really funny Scene! It's such a pity many meaningful or funny Scenes were deleted in the MBC Version.

And you're right, Won said as much :D Rin brought him clothes to Change into because obviously he couldn't sneak out of the Palace in his princely Robes.
Won: ...
Rin: Could it be that you...
Won: WUT?
Rin: ... can't Change your own clothes?
Won: That's not my Job!
Rin: ... *awkwardly tries to fumble Won's clothes off him while Won stands there awaiting his Service XD but it doesn't really work because Rin is just pulling at his sleeves lol*
Won: That hurts! You jerk!
Rin: This is the first time I've tried to take off the clothes of somebody too!
Won: *picking up the clothes* I'm doing this myself!
Rin: *trying to take back the clothes* You can't! You are going to get it all wrong!
*the Boys continues fighting over the clothes* XDD

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@winter,

Daebak! Thanks so much for the translation! It's even better than I thought.

"Not my job" -- Har! Shades of the late Freddie Prinze's catchphrase ”Ees not my job!”

I get a little implication of "can't tie his own shoelaces" -- but Rin would NEVER EVER say such a thing. ;-)

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Well when Won got embarrassed? frustrated? and decided to dress himself despite not having any idea how to do it, Rin did take away the clothes from him and told him point blank that no, he will not be able to.

Young Rin was much less a subject but more a normal friend, he treated Won with less deference and more normalcy XD

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Terrific review teriyaki. Loved all of what you said and yes, Im Shiwan and HJH are killing it with their performances.
I think you might be right with song in's hallucination, he looks dazed but I'm glad karma is paying off.
But coming to the main point, I kind of get where Won is coming from. This is Rin we're talking about, they have been friends since childhood. Rin is Won's only friend, his partner, comrade, his refuge and support system all these years. Remember how he waited for Rin to come to him for days, then he didn't, and then he got to know how he became allies with song in and the king. Won married Rin's sister to protect both him and his family, even if for him, it was always San. It would take immense self control to marry your best friend's sister, when your best friend loves the same person that you do. And after avoiding his mom for his love, her death must have hurt like hell. All these events, kind of built a wall of emotions in Won. He was devastated with the absence of the people in his life, so his expectation from Rin, the shattering of those expectations when Rin didn't return to him for days, and when his mom died, finally he lost his sense of right and wrong. Because of this, I kind of understand Won and what he must be going through now. This is the first time he's acting actively after being passive for so long. To add, this is Won we're taking about, a prince after all, so he is used to get everything by default since his birth right. Like how he held out his hand thinking Rin is going to assist him wear the dress back then when they were 12. So it's a given, he needed these many events (and rather grave ones) to realize finally that you don't get a person just like products. That you need to appreciate those who will be there for you unconditionally ( like his mom). For Rin's part it was wrong of him to not make Won privy to his plans and stay silent all these time. It was wrong of him to stay silent when he fell for San , and giving Won the assumption that he's okay with letting her go. Also it was wrong to avoid her for the sake of his friend, only to claim her back later on. He should have declared his love for her from the start, without hurting her either by evading her questions. So I think both of them were at faults. Tbh, I was kind of sad and surprised that, Rin was planning to just leave when Won lost the only family left in his life. Though I understand they already had so much baggage that they both lost the place to demand or expect anything from each other. Like you know how it is with friends lol. Anyway so sorry for spamming the space here lol. ? Must say the writing really deserves all the praises. And the two powerhouse actors.

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I like what you say, but as far as Rin telling Won. Won made it clear very early on when he gave Rin the ribbon to give San to go to the ribbon ceremony that he trusted Rin as a man to not fall for his woman. In so many words and looks. Siwan did a fine job acting that little scene. Rin knew he couldn't possibly tell Won his feelings. Won had not liked the way San looked at Rin when Rin was telling her to make a memory.

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I'm not Rin but I think it would have been better he said something anyway. Won was being quite childish about this imo, but still if Rin realized he couldn't not love San he could have said something. To me it would be a sign of trust, if you have something to say to your friend he might not want to hear but it can't be changed, say it anyway. Give him a chance to maybe come to terms with it after all, if he doesn't, then I (as his friend) would feel disappointed, but I would have tried and have a clean conscience (this is all based on the case of Rin really not being able to suppress his feelings, on top of that San loves him back imo). Imo it's the worst case for him to discover by kissing San after making sure Won was watching.

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Not sure if I am understanding you right - are you saying that Rin should have told Won he loves San and San loves him back and give Won a chance to come to terms with it? Also, you think that Rin let Won know of their love by kissing San in front of him?

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Yes and yes.

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I think Rin couldn't bring himself to ask Won to come to terms with the love Rin and San have for each other because he feels guilty or that he has no right.

However that kiss in front of Won was to make him give up on San because of the political repercussions and to free San.

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I can't type a long essay using my phonebuy I just want to say
1. Rin didn't know Princess Wonsung had passed away while he was planning to escape with San. He found out only later and even then he could only grieve with his friend from afar.
2. Rin has been denying himself of his love for San. In fact i think he feels so guilty that at that moment when he fought with Won, he was ready to die for it. Rin's taking away San is because he wants to honor her father's wish as well as give her freedom. Rin telling Won to let them marry is because he knows its not good for Won to keep San with him. His mistake is not knowing that Won would not understand him and let San go.

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I wonder if anybody would though. I mean first you fall in love with a girl and can't stop telling your next friend about her every day, then you suspect that something is going on between the two without you knowing and tell yourself nah no way in hell this is happening, then you suddenly after a year or so see your friend look at you and kiss her, a few hours later he tells you that you should be sensible and realize it's best for you when he married the girl.

Um would anybody understand that because I wouldn't.

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I suspect Rin doesn't know that Won had known of Rin's love for San all this time. He only knows that Won's love for San is not reciprocated.

You can say it's naive of him to expect Won to let San go because he(Won) loves her. It's something Rin would do but not Won. He had also miscalculated that Won would risk his throne because of San.

The kiss and his proposal of marriage set Won in a completely opposite direction to what Rin wanted.

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That's why I personally think that the recent portrayal of Rin is not very well done. On the one hand it looks like Won misunderstood him which led to tragedy, on the other hand he did say he doesn't want Won to understand him right now and it seems he is creating misunderstanding intentionally to achieve his doubtless nobel goals. But both at the same time is just not logical. And who knows Won better than Rin? He reads him like an open book normally.

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@winter The writer could have given us more insights to Rin's plan. Although we were given Teacher Lee's conversations with Rin which helped but there's still gaps which we as viewers have to fill in.

When Rin said he didn't want Won to understand, it could mean that Rin anticipated what Won would do if he had known the truth and Won's actions would jeopardize things further or he felt that Won's mistrust has gone too deep.

I don't think Rin anticipated Won turning up(thanks to Bi Yeon!) and having a final showdown. Rin was trying to revive the King so the throne is safe from Song In. After which he will fulfill his other mission which is to bring San away.

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@outofthisworld
why i think Rin does not want and hope won to understand his intentions... cause he has to keep the tussle between him and won real amd heated. so that Won's wont waver while looking at Rin (when. ideally he should hate him to death).
and if that happens it would have spoiled Rin's plan to have Songin's trust on him intact instead of looking for a backup (which he did anyway..).
still Rin was all soul, body and mind in his plan to save Won,king and double crossing Song In and he wanted to keep it on til the end.

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I have created an account just to like your comment. Finally, there is a person who has same opinion with me :)

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Did Rin really not know that Won would not understand his actions? When San asked him to explain everything to Won so he'll understand, and Rin shook his head sadly — that seemed to me like Rin knew Won would not be able to see his true intents in his current state. And I see that as the tragedy of their friendship — even though Rin knew Won "was always on edge", he always just gave his all to their friendship. I also think Rin knew that Won would never let San go, which is why he had to turn on his friend by taking her away.

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I doubted myself again and again about this. At first I was sure this was all just part of Rin's plan to make Song In believe he has betrayed Won when he has not. Then I thought he's actually had enough and gotten to the point where he will not think about Won anymore and instead do what he really wants to do for once namely protect San and be with San, far away from Won. Then last episode his monologue "I was afraid you might break should I let you out of sight even for a moment, I'm sorry for leaving you, my friend." and I was confused yet again...

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I had my moments of doubt too! Sometimes I wonder if the translations have anything to do with the clarity of their thoughts being conveyed, and other times, I think this means Rin is actually human?? I mean, no one this perfect could possibly exist? He's been pretty consistent otherwise so I'd like to think we can continue to root for, and count on him to be genuine to the end (I admit this is coloured by my bias for HJH)

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I also think Rin knew that Won would never let San go, which is why he had to turn on his friend by taking her away.

I also felt that way, that Rin isn't completely selfless. But it 'is' okay to be selfish, I don't blame him for that, we all are..But he should have come clean with his feelings earlier.
About Won not understanding his actions, I must say I really hate this approach. To hide information, because it won't be good for him is a weak approach. We don't know what is good or bad for someone, and we can't tell for sure, whether it was gonna help him eradicate Song in and his evil tactics in the long run. Rin thought taking Won's help would be a bad idea, and if that's the reason he tried to deal with it on his own, then I can't say it actually helped. He did all that and still look what happened. The queen died out of shock and now Won is again alone and helpless, weak, and hitting back like an injured tiger cub. If Rin knew Won any better, he would realize Won functions best and is in his best positive self when he's with his friends and feels useful by using his talent and intellect. By Rin trying to solve everything on his own, the result isn't satisfactory at the end.

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What I didn't really understand was why Rin had to aggravate Won's mother in that scene with San's master. My memory of the timeline of events is a little fuzzy, so correct me if I'm wrong, but I think at that point in time, he already knew the queen was innocent in the death of San's father, so I was wondering what his rationale was for making the queen believe he's no longer helping Won. Was it to make his plan more foolproof? Could the queen not have been a source of help to him?

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Yeah it baffled me too. At that time he must have known already that the queen was innocent, but I think he acted as the queen's enemy since song in's army was still out side the room and they could have passed that information to Song in. Maybe he wanted to keep it as real as possible to not give anyone any other thoughts. :/ But even if this was his intention, he still could have done something to make the situation known to the teacher and the princess. I thought upsetting the queen was not necessary. I kind of blame Rin for the queen's death, he was being irrational with this move, and honestly all those interrogations, and then calling the queen to the court, 'even after that meeting with the teacher and the queen,' totally uncalled for.

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Yeah I can only guess he didn't know her condition was that bad, I mean if even her own son didn't know.

But also I believe she was called to the court to testify so that they'd be able to prove her innocence in front of all the generals. Master Lee was supposed to finish things up while Rin and San escaped but they miscalculated and the Queen died before they could do anything.

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@esj000 September 16, 2017 at 7:50 AM,

"But also I believe she was called to the court to testify so that they'd be able to prove her innocence in front of all the generals."

As soon as I heard Rin summon Princess Wonsung to testify at the deliberative hearing, I assumed it was to clear her of murdering Finance Minister Eun. So often we expect that evidence is going to be used to prove guilt. If it is not outright inconclusive, it can just as often establish innocence. Although it may have appeared to be harassment of the Queen, it was her best shot at clearing her name, IMHO. ;-)

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Rin telling Won to let them marry is because he knows its not good for Won to keep San with him.

See I don't understand this part. Why is it a bad idea for San to be with Won. I do want to take time to mention here that I am on the side of the girl, and it's up to her to be with whomever she wants. But I didn't like especially how Rin-Won's dynamics changed over the course of time.
Also, until this episode, I was really at dark about Rin's true intentions. For some time, we have seen he kept his distance from Won. Won kept waiting, and we saw how he vented time after time, sitting in his cold chamber, thinking Rin will come today, or next day or the day after tomorrow, but in vain. I am talking from the perspective of this lifelong friendship, and I think he always thought that Rin would come back and seek his advice, tell him what's wrong, what made him act the way he did. Also, since the start, Won has been very clear about him liking San. Yes, he did tell Rin to keep his hands off San, and that's why I said Rin should have confessed way back at that time that he can't let her go. That he's not just there because his master loves San. Sure Won would have sulked or burst out at him, but at least apart from the romance department, they would still have each other's back. When these two have been comrades all these time, through thick and thin, then why did Rin suddenly feel the need to keep the plan all to himself and kept Won in dark, when Won could have made it so easier for him since he has the power in his hand now?

Also I feel the show could have reached to Rin's feeling, a bit earlier. Even in the last episode, we saw how he was anxious because San won't leave without saying goodbye to Won first. That made me think that Rin is scared that San might leave him, and he even mentioned 'the thread of fate'. I thought it was more about him not wanting to let San go, and he never mentioned Won either at that time. So yeah, IMO, more than San, Rin should have been the first person desperate to meet Won first. Since he is his best friend, Rin should miss Won more rather than San, isn't it so?
Anyway, maybe Rin and Won's friendship is a lost cause now. It's always sad when the tie of friendship breaks because of a lover, but both Rin and Won didn't have enough trust in each other, to make sure that a girl won't be able to break their friendship. I blame the writer too, for not giving us more insights into Rin's thought process until this episode.

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and for not telling us until today, about how much Rin loves and cares for Won! We needed that affirmation earlier dammit. My comment was meant for @outofthisworld. :)

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[See I don't understand this part. Why is it a bad idea for San to be with Won.]

For San, because even Won knows she's in danger at his side in the palace, so many bad things have already happened to her because she wasn't able to leave when she wanted to. She and her money are just another chess piece for Song In and co. and even for his mom when she was alive.

For Won because he was ignoring the reality around him while chasing San and trying to keep her next to him. He even knew the ministers were already talking about him but he didn't seem to take the threat it presented to his position in the palace seriously. Him killing Mubi next was the cherry on the top.

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do u think if Rin confessed earlier will make a difference. Won is a crown prince. He used to get whatever he demands. He even tested Rin time and again to bring San to him. He tested him to know how far can Rin sacrifice for him. During those time you cannot love/like the person CP love/like/crush. Since Won has said it out first, that is why he back off. Do you see how he broke down when he told his father San is not the girl he can have feelings for? And how he told jang eui that he regret he told San that he protects her under CP order which is not the case. But little that he knew love is not something easy to back off from.

He is not anxious about San not leaving Won. He and San are alike, he too thinks that is not the right time for them to leave Won. He knew San will stay for a while until he calm down coz that is what he will do too.

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@fay17,

For Rin's part it was wrong of him to not make Won privy to his plans and stay silent all these time.

I've interpreted Rin's silence as a means of (1) giving Won plausible deniability, as well as (2) preventing him from intervening in Song In's plot. Song In has been running circles around the King and Princess Wonsung for so long that Rin figures Won would be hard-pressed to prevail against him on his own, and that it will be difficult enough even with Lee Sabu's assistance.

I suspect that Won has something up his sleeve that involves neutralizing Jeon. Now that I think about it, the Wang family has a boatload of karma heading its way in return for Jeon's treachery. As if Dan's heart isn't already broken enough over Won, I shudder to think how she'll feel if her new hubby kills her brother. Would it be better for Rin to clear the family name by doing away with a traitor?

As I see it, in order to thwart Song In's plot, Jeon has to die or be exiled. Or be discredited. Are we finally going to find out that Moo Suk of the Red Snake Tattoo is actually a double agent loyal to the King all along? He's the witness who can discredit Jeon...

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Could you explain this part to me, 'I've interpreted Rin's silence as a means of (1) giving Won plausible deniability,'? I am not sure I understood what you meant. :)

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"Plausible deniability" is a term that is used in politics and espionage in the USA; it was supposedly coined by the CIA. It means withholding information on one's activities so one's superiors can credibly claim they knew nothing about it in the event something goes wrong. ;-)

Check the Wikipedia entry for it.

Because Rin has not told Won what he is up to in his dealings with Song In & Co., he is setting himself up to take the blame. It is one of his strategies for protecting Won. ;-)

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Thank you for the heads up. :) Like I said, I don't understand how it served any purpose for the viewers, if all these time Rin meant to help the prince, only we were never given the information. It's like watching a drama, where a boy likes a girl, but the girl gets to know it only during the denouement.

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Yes! That way Won can deny culpability with a clean conscience. Although, I don't think he cares about his own conscience at this point. Striking Rin down without Rin giving up so much as a wimper was the wake up call he needed to ground him again.

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You're most welcome, fay17! ;-)

The plausible deniability mindset is on display in the news every day, and is the province of PR types and spin doctors. But back in the bad old days when three generations of families were exterminated on incredibly flimsy pretexts, I'm not sure that deniability did much good. I've watched far too many sageuks in which innocent parties are tortured until the "correct" answer is extracted and they're executed or die during interrogation. :-(

I was frustrated, too, that we've gotten so little insight into Rin's plans, which have been repeatedly messed up by such factors as the timing of Princess Wonsung's sudden death and Won's going on the warpath against Concubine Mubi -- which in turn prompted San to not leave Won.

Plausible deniability might have come in handy during the hearing that Rin was appointed to chair, I suspect. But Rin's carefully-laid plans have been knocked into a winged cap [cocked hat], so to speak.

@Ally, I totally agree about the last-ditch wake-up call Rin delivered by allowing himself to be struck down. So many factors went sideways when the King's hiding place was betrayed by the anencephalic Bi Yeon, dammit! Rin was forced to punt when Won went ballistic after San arrived and he saw the looks passing between her and Rin. I've got to hand it to him, he was as cool as a cucumber when Won threw down the gauntlet. He totally faked Won with that feint.

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@pakalanapikake I am still laughing at "anencephalic Biyeon". ? San should ship her off to Saracen all alone. I blame Minister Eun for Biyeon's stupidity, though. He should've at least educated her when she was serving as San's double.

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@DoubleFault September 17, 2017 at 6:09 AM,

Har! Glad you got a kick out of "anencephalic Biyeon." Never use plain English when a highfalutin medical term will do. ;-)

I now know why Minister Eun did not educate Biyeon: She is the Scarecrow's umpty-ump great grandmother from the Emerald City. Shikata ga nai. ;-)

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@pakalanapikake
Haha! I did wonder why Minister Eun didn't educate Bi Yeon. I was so frustrated when Song In discovered she wasn't the real deal just because she couldn't read. I mean she had years to be taught and it was unbelievable that she wasn't.

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@outofthisworld,

Biyeon's heart is in the right place (she's not the Tinman!). Alas, her front porch light is on but nobody's home. ;-)

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on Rin's defense,i think in order to outmart SongIn and penetrate their organization,he have to fool everyone that he change side most specially Won in order to succeed in his mission. Didn't fool an and teacher Lee tho. And there is a need for Rin to expose the traitors because as long as they're alive,they will not stand still until Won is dethrone and pester to change side.

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*outsmart

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While many are wondering who San will chose, I'm here for WonRin. Won is so in love with Rin. Did you see how he chased him on the street? Won longed for Rin. Won misses Rin so much. That's love right there.

#WonRinForever

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Yeah, can you imagine a kdrama going that direction!

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Sadly not, and not because it doesn't, but because it can't. I believe that wouldn't be accepted by the public which is sad...

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+1000 this.

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To me, the only happy ending is if WonRin get to restore their precious friendship back. San could be with either of them or even with choose no one. And San being San, she always adores and puts WonRin's friendship first -- she'd want to see that too.

As long as WonRin managed to overcome this, then it'll be a happy ending for our trio.

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I think this episode best captured the tru essence of this drama, that, at its heart is a beautiful story of friendship and selflessness. I really loved Rin's voice over in this episode and also when he recalled the first time that he met Won as the Crown Prince. Right then and there, Rin understood how lonely Won must've been growing up burdened with the responsibilities of being Crown Prince and future King and how much Rin wanted to alleviate that loneliness and do his part for Won to be a good ruler by exposing him to the world outside the Palace and just being there for him not only as a friend but as a bodyguard to keep Won safe. Before he met San, Rin lived his life for Won. It is why Rin feels guilty for loving San, even though he knows how much Won loves her.

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I definitely felt in this episode how it was really Rin's love for Won driving all his actions, that while he cares for San, his relationship with Won is at the center of his life and will guide his actions. The intensity of this was palpable! I don't think it needs to be romantic. (I think it's a little late to establish. That! Unless a deathbed confession? !) I agree #wonrinforever

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Thanks, TeriYaki, for your recap and commentary.

I'm turning blue from holding my breath. Is it truly curtains for Rin as well as his friendship with Won?

Something Won said in one of last week's episodes has been bugging me. He complained at one point about all he has sacrificed for Rin, but that's just it: I don't think Won has ever really sacrificed anything of substance for Rin. Yes, he's had to grovel in front of one or the other parent when Rin was falsely accused and jailed, but that's ultimately because Princess Wonsung has never trusted her son's friend, and the King fears and distrusts his own son. Rin has been collateral damage since day one. It's even worse for San, who has lost both of her parents because her path randomly crossed Won's when he was goofing around on a lark. Regrettably, Won doesn't understand that sacrifice entails giving up something good and vitally necessary instead of merely letting go of something that doesn't really matter that much. He still has a lot to learn in the School of Hard Knocks.

Oh, The Irony Deparment: When Won goes to see his mother's body in her quarters, he places his hand on the red and white bedspread, directly over a rebus of two bats facing each other. The motif is used to express “double happiness,” which is the exact opposite of her marriage with the King.

The coloration of Wonsung's final peony (pink and light yellow) echoes her robes of soft rose and gold. The color pallet in her final scenes is exquisite. Although the colors express softness and tenderness, Wonsung's last scenes with the King convey her ferocious concern for him.

I appreciated seeing Princess Wonsung's funeral ceremony. Now I know what Yeonsangun's grandmother wanted for her son the King in REBEL: THIEF WHO STOLE THE PEOPLE. Honey Lee's solo version of the dance was stunning even without the context of the Buddhist funeral rites.

The scene of San attempting to comfort Won after he cut down his father's two-timing floozy concubine nicely mirrors Rin's consolation of San after her father was poisoned.

Rin's flashback to his boyhood adventures in the streets with Won clearly shows how the prince was always charging ahead. Rin brought up the rear, the better to keep Won in his sight and protect his back. His preferred vantage point could be misunderstood by others as subservience.

Rin answers Lee Sabu's question as to what is preventing him from leaving Goryeo as the feeling that he's shackled to a stone. Ah, Won is his ball and chain. And San's as well. What's really telling about the situation is that Rin immediately knows that San will not leave Won when she learns of his mother's death. Rin has no problem with it, even as he recognizes it as another opportunity for Won to “protect” her with house arrest.

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It's kind of hard for Won not to distrust Rin afterall Rin hasn't given Won much chances to believe in him. Won's trust for Rin didn't start unraveling in a day. Won waited for Rin for a very long time. Rin had numerous chances to come to Won to explain to him but failed to do so each time. And I've read comments saying that Rin's explanation to Won would do more harm than good. I fail to see how that is possible. Won is a strategist. Every piece of information he has would better help him fight against SongIn. It seems the writer just chose to create unnecessary misunderstandings by obfuscating things.

Even when San begged Rin to go to Won that he would understand, he still chose not to do so. Won even chased after Rin, but Rin ran away. Rin is more than capable of making Won see reason. He's done it many times before. This time he didn't bother. Why?

So I fail to see how Rin should be the unsung hero for his loyalty to Won, unless I'm watching a different drama. I'm not privy to his thought processes beyond the fight scene. I can only surmise that he tried to protect the king from SongIn's machinations and was unwilling to leave Won in his time of grief.

But loving in silence is not love at all, when failure to express oneself creates more harm than good. Rin's decision to sacrifice himself by allowing Won to stab him is senseless and quite cowardly to my mind. What's the point? If he was so loyal, did he not consider the damage to his friend's psyche when Won later realizes he erred by challenging Rin to a duel? Won's already scarred enough by his mother's death, so now they want to add another death to his conscience?

Although I don't think Rin will die, more like Won will eventually learn to let the two people he loves the most go, and stop clinging to them - that is real character growth, the sign of true maturity.

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@Adal,

Rin's decision to sacrifice himself by allowing Won to stab him is senseless and quite cowardly to my mind. What's the point?

I don't see Rin's decision to drop his sword as senseless or cowardly. Even in the past, he never fully opposed Won when sparring, IIRC. To me it's more that he's at his wit's end trying to get Won to quit obsessing about San to the detriment of his position as crown prince. Won is obsessing over San while Goryeo burns.

Rin knows part of Song In's plan and his own role in it. I could see him being willing to sacrifice himself if it were the only way to save the king and avoid being used by Song In.

It's also possible that Rin is counting on this duel to be the wake-up call that Won cannot fail to heed. The prince doesn't have relationships so much as hostages. Being in thrall to friend, no matter how dear, is no way to live.

Just my $0.02.

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???

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I think it was a spur of the moment thing for both of them, Won instigating the sword fight and telling Rin to "kill him and become king if he can" and Rin letting Won cut himself by throwing hours sword away in the moment Won charged. They were both being stupid imo = =

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Won was willing to let Rin go into exile -- until San showed up, and then it escalated to a pissing match. Her arrival was like waving a red flag at a bull. Won lost it.

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Exactly my thoughts.

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It's also possible that Rin is counting on this duel to be the wake-up call that Won cannot fail to heed. The prince doesn't have relationships so much as hostages. Being in thrall to friend, no matter how dear, is no way to live.

THIS. Won needed a wake up call. and as the recapper pointed out his grief doesn't excuse his actions. i don't imagine San being so sympathetic with Won after this too.

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It's kind of hard for Won not to distrust Rin afterall Rin hasn't given Won much chances to believe in him. Won's trust for Rin didn't start unraveling in a day. Won waited for Rin for a very long time. Rin had numerous chances to come to Won to explain to him but failed to do so each time. And I've read comments saying that Rin's explanation to Won would do more harm than good. I fail to see how that is possible. Won is a strategist. Every piece of information he has would better help him fight against SongIn. It seems the writer just chose to create unnecessary misunderstandings by obfuscating things.
Even when San begged Rin to go to Won that he would understand, he still chose not to do so. Won even chased after Rin, but Rin ran away. Rin is more than capable of making Won see reason. He's done it many times before. This time he didn't bother. Why?

This, I felt the same.

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I think the writer is responsible for the unfolding of the plot. Like she kind of acted whimsically in terms of when or when not shed light on either Rin or Won's mental thought process. Also it sounds a bit illogical too that Rin won't share this big a masterplan with Won, when they have done everything together till now. At times I even thought, the reason he didn't want to tell Won is because his love for San got in the way. But that's not the case either as we saw in this episode. I think the writer didn't think it through. We got to know how Rin feels but too late in the game.

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Thank you very much @teriyaki for the recaps. You summed up what's on my mind regarding Won. He needs to grow up and realize about the value of love given by people who cares about him. He failed to see her mom's and now sank in guilt of her death. His feelings for a woman deceived him to doubt his only friend ever so loyal to him and now he's about to loose that friend. I hope Rin will make it through and while he's unavailable to support Won, Won better wake up and make up his mind to be a stronger man for the people he cares and moreover for his people of Goryeo.

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I don't get SongIn's obsession with the dead Boo young, to me that's shoddy writing, right there. He was fully content to prostitute her to the king; didn't care two hoots about her devotion to him when she was alive, in fact he was halfway in love with San.

And now he's suddenly unhinged and heartbroken by her death, when he ran away and left her to fend for herself after he realized Won was coming to wreck vengeance?Makes no sense! I fail to buy into the fact that her death made him delusional, unless he too was inhaling the same poison Boo young fed to the king.

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In some ways, Song In appears to me to be very much like Won, but more honest. He uses people like chess pieces, and throws them away as soon as they no longer serve his purposes. And he makes no bones about it. He uses Boo-yong atrociously, but I think on some level he does love her without realizing it. Or maybe it's merely professional admiration from one snake in the grass to another.

I heartily concur that Song In has been inhaling too much of that funky incense. The protectant tea seems to no longer be working. Or maybe now that Boo-yong is no longer around to make it for him, there's nothing to block the poison that may have already accumulated in his tissues. Serves him right. ;-)

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"Or maybe it's merely professional admiration from one snake in the grass to another." HAHAHAHA THIS!! I didn't buy his reaction towards her death either. I agree with you that perhaps he only realised his fondness for her after she's gone.

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I actually did buy Song In's immediate reaction to Boo-yong's baiting of Won. He was horrified when he realized what she was doing and what was about to happen. And I don't think he expected it to hit him as hard as it did.

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The immediate reaction at that moment, yes, but I thought he was more upset over the fact that he was going to lose someone useful to him, as opposed to someone he genuinely cared about.

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Ok, I was engrossed in Siwan this whole episode. I was still wavering on whether to finish this drama, live, and then I saw Siwan act the hell out of that death scene and I knew I had to finish it. I don't think I could express that much pain at my own real mother's death. I also knew I wouldn't be disappointed in it, and was even looking forward to it.

Is it sadistic that I'm kind of looking forward to seeing Siwan portray this agony?

http://www.dramabeans.com/2017/08/the-king-loves-episodes-23-24/#comment-3025225
His acting pulled out better acting in his comrades as well and this was not lost on me.
But every freaking scene he was in, he elevated the story. It's almost like he was holding back because he knew Rin and San's characters needed to be developed and he was unselfishly sitting back until this episode. And it was the best episode by far.

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Ikr, while waiting the TKL episodes i watch him in misaeng and the merciless, he is one hell of actor! But he is quite underrated because he is small and too cute for a hero.

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I like the won scenes walking while dragging the sword, I wish he could slash Song In and Booyong all at once. song in is a coward, he hid while Boo-yong drove her life
I imagine Won's regret, for ignoring his mother. I cried because of it. (that's why I called my mom right away)
I know Won does not really want to kill Rin, I'm sure Rin is not dead. (hopefully) please don't

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Regarding Won and Rin's friendship. Rin is pure kind in nature and being raised well by the Chancellor. He came to Won first giving his hands to the lonely prince and Won took it. They could be normal best friends but Rin's father advised Rin that a Crown Prince couldn't have a real friend. So even though Won has said to call him by his name, Rin always addressed him "Crown Prince". Since then Rin has been a loyal friend to Won but with Won is a crown prince in his mind, he treated Won as a master. Won shared his feelings with Rin but not vise versa. It's not because he could not trust Won or what but more like he didn't want to burden Won, he's too selfless. That's why in all his actions to protect Won and all the people he loves Rin always did it in silence he never wanted to charge others. That's just Rin. When he begged Won to stop Jeon's marriage because of San, he's very desperate. Again he didn't come to Won first because he knew it would harm Won to be against marriage that already approved by the King. He's thinking of Won first. Rin never expected Won to understand him because he loves Won unconditionally. I think that's why Rin never bothered to explain to Won why he's doing what he's doing.

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But doesn't Won deserve a chance to understand?

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Agreed. I think Rin was desperate, and tired. But he should have listened to San and at least try to explain everything to Won. When San urged him to talk to Won, Rin said he wished Won doesnt have to know (but why???)

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The short answers:

If You Don't Know Me By Now - Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbaSh8i5eyE

"It's easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission." -- Rear Admiral Grace Hopper

Given that Won has already put San under house arrest in the guise of protective custody (but not without cause, owing to Song In's habit of kidnapping her), I don't blame Rin for keeping mum and even avoiding Won. Rin has been run ragged, and simply cannot afford to risk being incarcerated by Won when he has so much he needs to do to thwart Song In -- and protect the King.

Rather than waste precious time getting into an extended argument with Won, Rin does what needs to be done to protect Won -- and to prevent him from turning into a loose cannon that threatens to foil what I expect is Rin's plan to double-cross and expose Song In & his cohorts.

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It's easier, yes, and it's not fair.

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(My comments are awaiting moderation for hours, weird. So please excuse if you see same three reply comments)

Won should figure it by himself if he loves Rin as much. If he couldn't, like teriyaki said did he know Rin at all? It's not like Rin is gonna be like "I did this and that for your sake so that this" or be like Won's " Don't you know what I must do because of you?" That ain't gonna happen.

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Love between ppl is fragile. You have to talk to each other and Show your care often and repeatedly, because ppl do Change, and if their behaviour changes one or both parties might suspect that the heart changed too, it's natural. You can't blame Won for not blindly trusting Rin forever especially after Rin deliberately showed him that he will not do what Won wants anymore, he has been blindly trusting, even in unhealthy denial that Rin might go against him for too Long already.

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You see I believe Won already knew the answer to these two questions:
1. Does Rin love my woman (San)?
2. Is Rin going to snatch my position?

He knew but he denies them. This is the part where Won is immature. I know it's mostly due to his insecurity but like I've said he must grow up and think about more important matters like his people.

And I don't think if Rin does sit with Won talking about those would clear the misunderstandings. Didn't Rin asked Won to let him and San get married? They wanted to leave the country but Won wouldn't let them. At this point no talking is going to make Won understand.

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You see I think Rin should have tried seriously, and no telling him that suddenly he's going to marry San is not talking it out with a friend. And you think Won wouldn't have cared anyway so he needn't have tried.

I think communication is important between friends and a sign of care and trust even when it's hard, you don't (?), I don't think we can agree on this so let's just agree to disagree I guess.

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And btw, interestingly I have been thinking about whether Won knew Rin at all and I wasn't sure he did. Sometimes I get the Feeling that Rin is more a Symbol to him, faith and Religion, perfect, selfless, flawless. Rin was his whole universe, but not a Person made of flesh and blood. And now he has woken up from the Matrix XD

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Can someone please enlighten me? I think Won truly believed in Rin. He was in denial, calling Rin "foolishly loyal" when people around him started feeding him with lies about his dear friend. He even trusted Rin more than he trusted his own mom. Also during those times when he ordered people to spy on Rin, Rin only needed to come to him... One look at his friend, and he instantly realized that Rin's actions were only to protect him. Even San knows this and mentioned in this episode. Remember that time when Won finally asked Princess Wonsung to help him rise to power? That was because he wanted to protect RinSan, right.

To be fair though, I believe the only hint of distrust started when Won saw RinSan secretly talking during that masked festival episode. But then again, that's because of the heartbreaking -
headaching mistake of not communicating. Won knew that San is falling for Rin maybe even before San knew it herself, that was where Won's insecurity came from. Why is Won getting questioned when Rin intentionally kissed San in front of Won? He chose to reject all those lies hinting Rin was after the throne because he trusted his friend, and now he sees that Rin's priority is no longer him but San. Won was in denial even when Rin was persistently asking him to let RinSan go, he only had Rin all his life, and then San.

Won has his flaws, that is true, he is written that way. He might not be able to fully grasp the self-giving aspect of love, but he also had his sacrifices.

Anyway, these boys have a lot of talking and communicating to do. I hope this isn't the end for WonRin, cos they clearly are the OTP here.

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I think Won believed in Rin as much as he possibly could. Trust was not a luxury that the royals had. It's a huge risk which always meant life or death.

Rin had intentionally kissed San before Won hoping that Won could let both of them go for everyone's sake. Won in fact had seen Rin looking at him just before walking up to San but he took it to mean defiance instead of suspecting otherwise.

When it became clearer to him that San loves Rin and the final blow of losing his mother in such tragic circumstances, Won descended into paranoia. I'd be very surprised if he remains calm and cool headed in such a situation.

Even in the last scene, Won didn't plan to kill Rin. Yes, he did threaten San about killing Rin but I don't think he really meant it. He wanted Rin out but San appeared and that's when he really lost it. First, he realized that San knew all the while where the King and Rin was. But it was the look on her face that drove him mad with anger.

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You do have a point...i think Won felt betrayed when he saw San..probably thought they were in cahoots against him..how did she know where they were?

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I think Rin told her about the King when he asked her to find the antidote.

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Rin as a character has been misunderstood as not speaking up enough or cowardly even. While I think he wasn't 100% correct on Won's reactions, Rin still knows Won best. While Won is obviously smart and scheming, Rin is quietly intelligent and strategizes in his head. The two shared a mutual understanding, often unspoken until now.

Song In had stepped up his plan to replace Won with Jeon/Rin and San came into the picture. Rin banked on Won’s trust but he slowly realized that Won is losing it. He never blamed Won though because he knows that Won will always be on “the edge”, it’s the burden of a crown prince. Rin lets it happen so that he can fool Song In more assuredly and to make Won give Rin up for good. Towards the end, Rin does his utmost best to be there for Won. As he puts it:
““I was always a step behind you… only then could I see you clearly. If I so much as got distracted, I feared that you would be crushed completely.”

Do not mistake these words as belittling Won but rather that Rin knows that Won is always in constant danger. He holds himself responsible and yet he never ‘steps in front’ of Won not just because he knows his place as a servant but as he beautifully puts it – to see Won clearly.

Rin hid the king to protect him and also Won. He knew that Won in his immense grief and anger might kill the king which would mean the end of Won. Killing Song In there and then would also not be enough, Rin needed to know the extent of his power and how deep and wide the rebellion is. The only way was to go along and be a double agent. I think Rin did consider telling Won but when Princess Wonsung suddenly passed on, Rin could have been afraid that Won would go and confront Song In to revenge his mother and then Song In would use the King’s seal to get rid of Won. After all, Won had already killed the Boo Yong.

When Won appeared, Rin wasn’t planning on dying. He had unfinished work – to protect the King and San and also Won. He even left a piece of advice to Won except that it fell on deaf ears. He could have explained himself first but clearly, Rin was just being Rin.

When Rin thought to himself " “Despite your situation, I must now leave you. I am sorry, dear friend.” I felt that he was saying this both to Won and San. Faced with having to cut Won down, he was caught between a rock and a hard place. If he dies, he fails in protecting Won and San. If he lives, he will always be seen as the true blood successor to the throne. Rin was tired. He was already burdened by guilt of daring to love the woman his friend loves. Thus, driven to the edge, he let go of his sword.

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yes he is tired. Adding to that, if he dies, Won can have San all by himself (whether San reciprocate her feelings for Won, that is another story). Because he knew, San makes Won happy and he wants him happy. He also knew their friendship is so hard to be salvage. Like you said, Rin is a pure blood. That fact alone is enough to draw rift between them as the people prefers pure blood king. he thinks loving San is a sin as those days you can never love/like the woman king/CP love. So better he just sacrifice and ends those misunderstanding between them. It's easier that way.

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I have really appreciated how Rin's inner monologue shed light further on his character: he was always one step behind Won, not because he wanted to defer to the prince, but because it encapsulated their friendship dynamic: Won was the leader while Rin enjoyed being the supporter, the adviser and the observer. It gave Rin the opportunity to know Won so well, both his strenghts and his unsecurities. And because this dynamic has been so potent for over a decade, it really unsettles both of them when it changes: now Rin needs to make his own decisions, he must take the lead and it is a painful growing process for him as well. And I really appreciate how the actor is portraying his inner struggle as he goes against his very best friend for his own good.
The last scene sent me crying in feotal position for a while. I hope this will be the wake-up call Won needed to stop doubting Rin and team up against the big bad baddies.

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I'm surprised some people see Rin's action as cowardly.

It is as teriyaki has said - the meaning of love for a friend.

How can sacrificing one's life for another can ever be viewed as cowardly?

Perhaps those said it is a cowardly act has never really known love in its purest form - putting someone else happiness before our own.

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Typos :

How can sacrificing one's life for another ever be viewed as cowardly?

Perhaps those WHO said it is cowardly...

...putting someone else's happiness before our own.

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I'm not saying Rin acted cowardly because I think it's insulting, but imagine this (sorry crude comparison): if you let yourself be killed in whatever way because somehow you thought your mother would be happier without you, would she be grateful to you forever or would you have ruined her life? No matter the conflict or situation, I'm not talking throwing yourself in front of her when she was being shot at our something like this, it was no life saving act in that moment, and you lost your life, because of her (in Rin's case even by Won's hands) do you think her life will ever have meaning or happiness to her again?

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@winter, you did use the word 'cowardly' so I just used it too.

In my honest opinion, the writer Song Ji Na is too smart and experienced a writer to write a character that is as important as Rin to ever be considered as simplistic. Song Ji Na is renowned for writing complex, layered and nuanced characters and none of her important and central characters can ever be considered as cowardly or acting cowardly or can ever be labelled so simplistically.

There are many layers to her characters and to their actions.

Rin is no exception.

This drama is titled The King Loves and I think I understand what it means now.

It is the story of a King who LEARNS the meaning of love and who ultimately IS able to love in the proper way a person should love.

And Rin is THE character Won learns that from.

At this point Won is to me someone who has not learnt the meaning of love - between friends, between family, between men and women. In short Won has a lot of growing up to do.

And in order for him to do so, he needs to learn it the hard way - through heartbreak. It is only when we feel our heart breaking over another person do we really know the meaning of love.

But I don't mean a heartbreak in a negative way but a constructive and life-affirming way.

It is when our heart breaks over losing someone we treasure and cherish do we really learn the meaning of love.

Won needs to learn how to love through the heartbreaking process of losing his one true friend.

And through Rin's sacrifice, hopefully Won finally learns the meaning of love and learns to love.

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I'm afraid you did not really read what I said except for the first sentence of which you read exactly one word.

I feel the need to clarify that I will NOT describe what Rin did as "cowardly" even though I disagree with what he did.

Um but I said it in the above comment already.

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Re: self-sacrifice as cowardice

"13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
-- John 15:13, King James Version

I can easily see this applying to Rin.

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❤❤❤

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Well-put.

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I don't think Rin would die from the wound. Though the new stills are pretty worrying. Have anyone seen them? Most of the stills are not new, only the last two are. One where Won was riding his horse and the other a man (I believe is Rin due to the clothes, I saw a picture of him wearing it), on the ground (kneeling or fallen) and surrounded by men pointing their weapons at him. That last picture shook me. If it's Rin, please don't hurt him. I hope that picture was not part of the twist.

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Where did you see the stills?

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TKL official twitter account

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I have looked at it over and over again... But, my Rin detector thinks it is not Rin. It looks like Jeon..

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It could be Jeon but there is another still (from twitter and instagram) where Rin was wearing blue and silver outfit. He was on his horse, holding his sword and the outfit looked the same as the fallen man in the still.
But yes, it could be Jeon too. I wish it was him instead. :)

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"Rin detector" (patent pending), LOL!

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Now... On a less serious scene. I am curious about something...
According to Biyeon, San said he likes the man who she usually enjoyed have a drink with.. Many commenters in IG said it is Han Cheon (Won).
But!! In this episode, teacher Lee said won doesn't like to drink. Hmmm... So this breaks the theory about Han Cheon as the person San likes, right?? ???

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I've read this being discussed but I pretty much figured who San likes by her eyes, her expressions, her body language and behavior more than what she says. That's why all those 'red thread', 'peony flower petals' and even what she says(open to interpretation) all fly over my head.

I've post on my fanwall the scene where Rin and San were looking at each other that night before they were to embark the ship. If I had just watched that scene without any knowledge of the story, I'd thought that the pair just made love for the 1st time. As a woman, I'd never give a man that kind of gaze if he's just a very good friend. If Won ends up the one who San really loves, I'd kick the PD and Yoona ?

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Yeah that night scene made me sure it's Rin whom San loves. No word needed, her eyes confirmed it as much.

"I've read this being discussed but I pretty much figured who San likes by her eyes, her expressions, her body language and behavior more than what she says."
Yoona mentioned on an interview that she's careful that San won't come across as playing the field. Implying that just like in the novel, San only consider one guy as a (potential) lover. I think she did well because San always reacted differently towards Won and Rin, since the very first moment the trio were together. San was more receptive and lady-like around Rin, and seemed disappointed whenever he said he only helps her because of the Crown Prince.

But if turned out it's Won all along, then Yoona, girl, we need to talk lol.

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agree. You can tell who San love by her body language. Actions speaks louder than words. She acts differently when the 3 of them together and when she is just with Rin alone. While with Won, her actions are indifferent whether the 3 of them together or just the 2 of them. More friendlike. Some claim she looks more comfrtable with Won. she is, you always be more comfortable to your friend rather than to the guy you have romantic feelings with.

" If I had just watched that scene without any knowledge of the story, I'd thought that the pair just made love for the 1st time. As a woman, I'd never give a man that kind of gaze if he's just a very good friend" - i think you just wrote what i have in mind.

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gosh.." If I had just watched that scene without any knowledge of the story, I'd thought that the pair just made love for the 1st time. As a woman, I'd never give a man that kind of gaze if he's just a very good friend"
this line is what we should make a banner for TKIL, RinSan love and post it wherever there is that "so called" confusion..btw i loved that line... thanks for bringing it up.

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That part was so random, imo. Like a sort of confirmation about which of the two actually likes to drink. Even though I still think Won likes to drink, Master Lee's words cannot be totally ignored. He is the wise one in this drama.
But I don't get the vibe that Rin likes to drink too. He drinks tea a lot, we saw him making it more than once.
Anyway, I don't want to rely on BY's words. I don't trust her lol.

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Ah but it was BY who assumed that San would like a man whom she can drink comfortably with, she never said any such thing. If it should be true (if) it would be Hancheon, but we don't know whether it is true. The teacher was certainly right about Won not really liking to drink, but he acts as if he does. To me Hancheon is a persona of Won of who he would have liked to be and who he thought would be liked my others too, funny and stupid a lover of wine, a happy child. But Won was never Hancheon, he doesn't really like to drink and has never been simply happy and carefree.

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@winter,

To me Hancheon is a persona of Won of who he would have liked to be and who he thought would be liked my others too, funny and stupid a lover of wine, a happy child.

Hancheon = Won's alter ego (Latin for "the other I")?

Interestingly, in literary analysis, an alter ego is the best friend of another character! ;-)

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That's why I don't know whether it would be right to call Hancheon his alter ego? Hancheon imo is the projection of Won's desires, of who he has always wanted to be, and with Rin's Support, he could be him, just for a Little while.

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@winter September 16, 2017 at 11:10 AM

Hancheon imo is the projection of Won's desires, of who he has always wanted to be, and with Rin's Support, he could be him

That's a much better interpretation than "alter ego," and more accurate, too. The hail-fellow-well-met Hancheon is who Won would want to be if he hadn't been born a crown prince.

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When Rin went to see Dan when Won asked to marry her..Dan did ask if Rin was drinking and he said he would like to..

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@Sher,

"Dan did ask if Rin was drinking and he said he would like to.."

During that scene, I seem to recall thinking that when Rin said that, it was as if he needed a good, stiff drink -- which would be out of character for him. I do recall him making and drinking tea, but not putting away the hard stuff the way San does. (I'm actually amazed she still has a functioning liver.)