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The Crowned Clown: Episode 7

When the worst happens, our clown finds himself facing the consequences of his actions while acting as king. He knew what he was risking, but that doesn’t make it any easier for him to accept the repercussions. Meanwhile the true king is running rampant, and it looks like there’s nothing that can stop him from destroying everything that our sweet clown has come to care about.

 
EPISODE 7 RECAP

Both Yi Heon and Ha Sun hear Dal-lae call out in the marketplace, and they turn towards her at the same time. Luckily, some banner-bearers obstruct Yi Heon’s line of sight, so they don’t see each other. Whew. Dal-lae keeps following Yi Heon, thinking that he’s Ha Sun. She loses him in the crowd, and he somehow manages to stumble his way to the palace entrance.

We backtrack a bit to the moment that he woke up in the monk’s hut and found himself tied up (for his own safety, but he was infuriated). Dal-lae has seen him from outside and thought he was her brother, so she’d broken into the hut and freed him with a knife he told her where to find.

She’d hugged him, but he’d pushed her away and asked for water. When she’d returned, she’d found him gone, so she’d followed him, taking along the ornate knife he’d left behind.

Dal-lae hides when she sees Gap-soo and the monk looking for her. When Jung Saeng leaves to ask at the gibang, Dal-lae shows herself, and he’s so angry/relieved to see her that at first, Gap-soo doesn’t even notice she’s talking again. She tells Gap-soo that Ha Sun is here, and that Jung Saeng had been keeping him locked up.

As they continue walking through the festival, So-woon notices Ha Sun staring at some men eating at a restaurant, so they stop for food. She’s nonplussed at the humble stew, and she pokes through it asking about the meat. Ha Sun is embarrassed to have just offered his queen pork heart and intestines, but So-woon bravely eats, shocking him and herself when she actually likes it.

She asks if he’s eaten this before, and after a moment of panic, Ha Sun says that he’s slipped out of the palace in disguise before and had it. He even acts like he’s only pretending to like it, pulling icky faces now when he was just eating with gusto, ha.

Smiling at him fondly, So-woon says that she feels like an ordinary woman out with her husband. Ha Sun plays along, asking her which house she’d want to live in. She picks the smallest one on the street, saying that in a small home, they’d be that much closer to each other, and since it’s at the end of the street, they’d have the longest walk home together.

Touched and pleased, Ha Sun enjoys walking with his beautiful lady as it grows dark and the festival continues. She tells him that she used to love visiting the market when she was younger, especially the different scents. Ha Sun asks worriedly if he smells sweaty after their long day, but So-woon tells him that he smells warm to her.

She stops at a stall selling compasses and decides to buy one for Ha Sun. He protests that he hasn’t done anything to deserve a gift from her, but she says that he’s been considerate and made her happy, plus he keeps getting lost in the “house.”

She chooses a lovely red compass with a lotus design carved into the wooden cover. She starts to pay what the vendor asks, but Ha Sun’s roots kick in and he haggles the price down without even thinking about it. So-woon mentions it later, and he blusters that he’s seen others do it and didn’t really expect it to work, ha.

He promises to keep the compass with him at all times, though he protests that he doesn’t really get lost that much. So-woon tells him that even if he has to take the long way around, he can use the compass to find his way back to her.

Moo-young and Ae-young run over, Moo-young gasping that he’s relieved to have finally found them, and Ha Sun mutters sarcastically, “Yeah, such a relief.” Ha Sun and So-woon both look disappointed, but they know it’s time to go back to the palace.

In the gibang, Minister Lee writes a letter to Lord Gil’s followers regarding the chance to realize Lord Gil’s dying wish. Jung Saeng finds him and tells him that Yi Heon has disappeared. Minister Lee is surprised that Jung Saeng knows the identity of the man he’s been caring for, but Jung Saeng says he’s known for a while.

Putting aside his letter, Minister Lee prepares to see the king, telling Jung Saeng to take Woon-shim and Ho-geol and run if he’s not back by morning. Jung Saeng begs him not to go, scared of what Yi Heon will do, but Minister Lee argues that if he doesn’t go, Yi Heon will kill Ha Sun.

When Ha Sun sneaks back into the palace, he finds Eunuch Jo expressionless. He belatedly realizes what’s happening when he sees Yi Heon, back in his royal robes and reading the official journal of everything that’s happened in the palace while he was gone.

Ha Sun freezes up, then drops to his hands and knees when Yi Heon snarls that he’s forgotten his manners. Yi Heon kicks him viciously while Eunuch Jo begs him to stop. Moo-young barges in when he hears the noises, and he’s stunned to see two copies of the king in the same room.

Yi Heon turns crazy eyes on Moo-young and asks if this clown has become his king, then he grabs Moo-young’s sword and prepares to strike. Ha Sun clutches Yi Heon’s leg and screams that Moo-young didn’t know, but Yi Heon still threatens to kill Moo-young to teach him who the real king is.

Ha Sun throws himself in front of Moo-young, taking the blame for deceiving the guard. When he sees this, Moo-young offers up his life for not recognizing that Ha Sun was an impostor. Instead, Yi Heon drops the sword and orders Moo-young to arrest Minister Lee.

After he leaves, Yi Heon wants to know if So-woon’s vacation was Ha Sun’s idea. Ha Sun stammers that he was following the royal physician’s advice, but Yi Heon is furious that So-woon didn’t report to him as soon as she returned. He bellows to have the queen brought immediately, and Ha Sun starts to panic.

Ha Sun is nowhere to be seen when So-woon enters the king’s chambers. Yi Heon asks how she feels, and she’s a bit surprised since she thinks she just spent most of the day with him, but she says that she feels well again.

Ha Sun listens from his hiding place as So-woon mentions their day in the marketplace, adding that spending time with him was better than medicine and rest. Yi Heon asks what he did to make her so happy, and So-woon says that it was just walking and talking comfortably with him, and that she feels better than she ever has since she came to live at the palace.

She looks up and sees Yi Heon’s expression — he’s trying to hide his fury, but she can tell something is wrong. He says through gritted teeth that he’s tired and dismisses her.

She stops on her way out, and Eunuch Jo asks if something is wrong. She says it’s nothing, but she asks him to tell her if anything happens to the king. So-woon leaves, and Eunuch Jo is shocked to see Minister Lee being escorted in at sword-point.

While they’re alone, Yi Heon points the sword at Ha Sun again as he notes that the queen’s changed a lot while he was gone. Ha Sun says it’s not what he thinks, and Yi Heon demands, “What do you think I mean? What did you two do?!” Ha Sun swears that nothing happened, but Yi Heon doesn’t believe him.

He accuses Ha Sun of planning to meet with the queen outside the palace, and when Ha Sun insists that’s not what happened, Yi Heon threatens to call So-woon back and ask her. Ha Sun stays silent, and Yi Heon laughs crazily and says that he should kill Ha Sun’s family and anyone that knows of him for this crime.

Minister Lee walks in and sees Ha Sun with the king’s sword to his throat. He welcomes Yi Heon back, only to find that sword aimed at his neck. Yi Heon accuses him of having him tied up like a criminal, but Minister Lee stays calm and replies that he took desperate measures to prevent Yi Heon from hurting himself.

Yi Heon looks taken aback for a moment, then he remembers the rice payment law and asks if that was also for his safety. Minister Lee reminds him that he always wanted to reinstate that law, but Yi Heon laughs and asks why he would do it while a fraud was on the throne if that’s true.

He challenges Minister Lee to explain why his actions don’t amount to treason, but Minister Lee says to kill him now if he’s lost trust in him. Yi Heon points his sword at Minister Lee’s heart, and Minister Lee simply stands still with tears in his eyes. Yi Heon decides that Minister Lee would never betray him, but there’s an edge of desperation in his voice as if he’s trying to convince himself.

He blames Ha Sun for everything, and he gives Minister Lee the sword and orders him to kill Ha Sun to prove his loyalty. Minister Lee argues that Ha Sun is just a puppet, and that without him, Yi Heon will never catch the people who are still trying to kill him.

He says they need Ha Sun alive until they have definite proof, but Yi Heon finds it strange that Minister Lee is defending Ha Sun. He tells Minister Lee again to kill Ha Sun, and this time Minister Lee swings at him, slashing his arm, but Ha Sun throws himself out of the path of the sword. Yi Heon orders Minister Lee to stop, and he tells Moo-young to take Ha Sun to the woods and leave him for the tigers.

With a devilish grin, Yi Heon tells Minister Lee to bring Minister Shin to him. Minister Shin refuses the summons, sending a letter instead that says he’s sick and will come to the palace when he feels better. Yi Heon recognizes it as a challenge, but he tells Minister Lee not to summon him again.

Suddenly exhausted, Yi Heon requests Court Lady Kim, and while she’s dressing him for bed she notices the self-inflicted wound in his ear. She starts to ask about it, but Yi Heon grabs her hand and snarls at her, so she resumes her duties silently. He asks when is his next scheduled date to spend the night with the queen, and when Court Lady Kim says it’s next month, he tells her to make it tomorrow.

Worried about Ha Sun being left in the woods to die, Eunuch Jo accidentally refers to him as “His Majesty.” Minister Lee reminds him that the real king has returned, and warns Eunuch Jo not to make such a slip in front of Yi Heon.

Moo-young takes Ha Sun to the edge of a deep pit in the woods. Ha Sun apologizes for deceiving him, explaining that Yi Heon gave him a royal command not to reveal his true identity. Moo-young says angrily that he’s also following a royal command, and he tosses Ha Sun into the pit.

When Moo-young returns to the palace, Minister Lee asks about Ha Sun. Moo-young is so angry that he snaps at Minister Lee to call him by his title and not his name, but Minister Lee says he understands how he feels. He also tells Moo-young that Ha Sun was acting under royal orders, but Moo-young scoffs that he wonders if the king agrees.

He turns to walk away, but Minister Lee calls after him that Eunuch Jo says Ha Sun saved his life. Moo-young says that it’s more like he almost died because of Ha Sun, but Minister Lee retorts that they both know what kind of person Ha Sun is. He tells Moo-young to think about whether Ha Sun deserves to die, and he asks where Ha Sun is.

Moo-young accuses him of traitorous thoughts, but he says it’s too late anyway because Ha Sun is dead. Minister Lee thinks about Yi Heon and how he’s been slowly descending into madness and fear, versus how Ha Sun was so earnest and principled during his time as king.

Ha Sun wakes in the pit in the middle of the night, tied up and injured, but he still has the compass that So-woon gave to him. Scared and alone, he gives in and sobs his heart out.

Jung Saeng tells Woon-shim that Dal-lae disappeared, and he assumes that Gap-soo still hasn’t found her since they haven’t shown up at the gibang. Ho-geol joins them, and Jung Saeng tells them that they have to flee if Minister Lee doesn’t return by morning. Woon-shim asks if it’s about the Daedang Group, and says that she’ll wait for Minister Lee if it is.

After trying unsuccessfully to climb out of the pit, Ha Sun nearly gives up. But he remembers Minister Lee giving him the scar and telling him that he’s the king now, and it gives him renewed energy. He tries again and makes it to the edge of the pit, but an animal (a wolf?) lunges at him and he falls again.

In the morning, Minister Shin learns from an informant that the king asked for the royal journal and kept asking about things he already knew, and that later, Minister Lee was dragged into the king’s quarters. Yi-geom tells his father that he should go to the palace, but Minister Shin says he should wait as long as possible before seeing the king.

Ha Sun is still alive, but he’s weak and hurt. He’s still clutching his compass, and he thinks of So-woon as he murmurs, “Your Highness, I seem to have lost my way again.” He staggers to his feet and tries to climb again, but he’s not strong enough, and he passes out.

Minister Lee tells Yi Heon that he believes it’s the queen dowager and Prince Jin-pyung who have been trying to kill him. Yi Heon goes to see the queen dowager, who serves him tea that he stares at with suspicion instead of drinking. He snorts derisively when she says that all these visits lately make her happy for the future of the family.

He growls at her to behave more cautiously if she wants to continue living in the palace, because if she keeps throwing knives at him, he’ll banish her to the royal villa. The queen dowager asks if he’s threatening his mother, but he laughs that his mother died years ago. He roars and swipes his table away, looming over her as he says that he’s not afraid to be disloyal and unfilial.

As he storms out, Prince Jin-pyung gently chastises him for speaking to the queen dowager that way. Yi Heon just sneers that he knows why Prince Jin-pyung is in the queen dowager’s chambers every day, and he warns him that he can lose his head for being a traitor just like his father and brother did.

After Yi Heon is gone, Prince Jin-pyung tells the queen dowager that he thinks the king must have heard something (about their scheming). She believes that he’s been pretending to be focused on state matters lately to make them lower their guards, and since he’s in such a bad mood, she decides to pray for him – but her words sound more like a threat.

Minister Lee is concerned that threatening the queen dowager and Prince Jin-pyung will have bad results, but Yi Heon says breezily that he’ll just dethrone the one and behead the other. He asks about Minister Shin, and when Minister Lee says that he’ll just keep refusing his summons, Yi Heon goes to Minister Shin’s home himself to ask why he’s ignoring him.

Minister Shin admits that he lied about being sick because he was ashamed to face his king. He asks if Yi Heon truly wants him back at court and Yi Heon says he does, so Minister Shin promises to immediately reappoint the governors and magistrates that were recently found guilty of embezzlement.

Minister Lee advises Yi Heon to let the court discuss this, but Yi Heon defiantly tells Minister Shin to do as he wishes. Minister Shin asks if he can also order the rice payment law suspended, and Yi Heon says that he can do whatever his job allows. When Minister Lee protests, Yi Heon yells at him to shut up, and says that he’ll be punished if he ever says he can’t do something again.

But Minister Lee tries again when they get back to the palace, saying that Yi Heon can’t go against the collective decision of the court or it could be used as ammunition against him by his enemies. Yi Heon says that Minister Shin will take care of those people for him, so Minister Lee asks him not to allow Minister Shin to reappoint the guilty magistrates or the people will lose faith in him.

Yi Heon admits that everything the court decided was correct and appropriate — but the fact that Ha Sun made it happen means that he can’t allow it. Minister Lee says sadly that if that’s Yi Heon’s decision, then he asks permission to resign. Yi Heon refuses, but Minister Lee turns to walk out, and Yi Heon yells that he’ll be back.

As Minister Lee feared, Moo-young arrests Woon-shim and Ho-geol for disobeying a royal command. Ho-geol, who only knows Ha Sun, protests that the king wouldn’t do this, and Woon-shim asks if Minister Lee knows that they’re arresting innocents. Minister Lee goes to see them in prison when he hears the news, and he promises to get them out as soon as possible.

Minister Lee goes to Yi Heon again and gets on his knees, and Yi Heon orders him triumphantly never to turn his back on him again or he’ll kill everyone Minister Lee cherishes. Yi Heon throws a letter in front of Minister Lee and tells him to follow the orders in it, and as he walks away, a tear rolls down Minister Lee’s face.

Before Yi Heon visits So-woon, he tells Moo-young to bring him Ha Sun’s head as evidence that he’s dead.

So-woon greets Yi Heon in her quarters with food and tea, and when he sees her, his expression changes from anger to wariness. She asks him if something happened today, but he asks in return why she’s no longer his “frozen queen.” He wonders if he should be happy or sad about that, and she says that she hasn’t been a good wife in the past, but wants to change that.

She says it would make her happy if he accepted her heart, but Yi Heon shakes with fury at her words. He grabs her and throws her onto her back, looming over her as he tells her to forget any happiness he’s given her. He snarls that he’ll make sure she knows who she belongs to, and he starts to untie her clothing.

So-woon stops his hand and their eyes lock, and they both freeze.

Moo-young goes to the woods to do as he was ordered, but when he arrives at the pit where he threw Ha Sun, it appears empty. He leans down to get a better look, and a hand grabs his arm — it’s Ha Sun, who looks desperate and willing to do anything to survive.

 
COMMENTS

Seeing Yi Heon back in the palace is as terrifying as I expected, and the terrible thing is, I can’t even blame him for being furious. He left of his own accord and made Ha Sun take his place, but he never expected to come back and find Ha Sun being a great king and husband. He thought Ha Sun would die and he’d make a grand reappearance, impressing all of his enemies, but instead he was imprisoned (for his own good, but still) while a clown ran his country better than he ever did and even had an emotional affair with his wife. Any man would be angry, but the problem is that Yi Heon is nowhere near mentally stable, so his way of dealing with his anger is extremely dangerous to those around him.

That said, I’m glad he’s back, because as much as I love Ha Sun and think he’s a much better king, the story is so much more dynamic with Yi Heon on the throne, being unpredictable and making horrible choices. I kind of want to see Ha Sun end up on the throne at the end, but I want to see him really fight for it. Or if that’s not possible, I want Ha Sun’s example to make Yi Heon wise up and try to make himself better, and actually be a king who works for his people, and not just let someone else get rid of anyone who opposes him. Both of them need to be in the palace for either of these scenarios to work out, and while I can’t see Yi Heon allowing Ha Sun anywhere near him at this point, I just want to watch them go head-to-head because whenever that happens, I’m riveted.

My heart really ached for Minister Lee in this episode, because he must feel so lost and alone and helpless right now. Everything he’s done has been out of loyalty to Yi Heon and a desire to make him into a great leader — even working with Ha Sun to re-enact the rice law was to make Yi Heon look like a great king who cares for his people. But Yi Heon refuses to see it and accuses him of disloyalty and treason, and it’s no surprise that Minister Lee is now probably realizing that out of the two, Ha Sun would make a better king. Yi Heon only cares about protecting himself and is willing to commit unfair and horrible acts out of selfishness, while Ha Sun has risked his life more than once for others.

I’ve mentioned that I’ve been a fan of Yeo Jin-gu for years, almost as long as I’ve been watching dramas, and I’ve seen nearly everything he’s been in since his mid-teens. But this drama is the first time I’ve seen him be this horrific — Yi Heon gives me chills, and not the good kind. and somehow Yeo Jin-gu manages to perform across from himself so well that I can really believe that there are two of him (and I should mention that the CGI involved in making that happen is impeccable!). I continue to be amazed at Yeo Jin-gu’s ability to portray two very different characters, and I’m never once confused by which one I’m looking at, even though they’ve both mostly been seen wearing royal robes. There’s something about this eyes when he’s Yi Heon that just gives me the serious creeps, something unstable and almost inhuman. Then he’s Ha Sun and he’s just pure sweetness and earnestness and love, and I have to remind myself that I’m looking at the same person. There are some people who are just born to do something, and this is what Yeo Jin-gu was born to do, and I genuinely feel that we as drama fans are lucky to be able to see such a gift at work.

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I tried really hard to write my thoughts on this episode pretending I don't know what happens in episode 8, but I can't. Everything I would say will change. See you in the next recap!

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I hear you. Brain out of order lol. I can only fangirl on Jin Goo-ya and Kim Sang-kyung. I'm adding him to my good looking and talented ajusshi list. If I didn't appreciate him in THE GREAT KING SEJONG, I do now.

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Oh definitely. I have much to say about the amazing Jin-goo next recap.

Kim Sang-kyung is a total new ajhussi crush. And the thing is, while he's definitely handsome, I'm mad crushing on his talent as an actor really. It takes extra skill and screen presence to stand out above a young and dynamic lead like Yeo Jin Goo, who is effortlessly easy to fangirl over.

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I know! I was sobbing at the end of the next episode. It was heartbreaking. Such an emotionally abused, broken boy, and the comment about wishing Lee Kyu were his father just killed me. So so SAD., I LOVE this drama!!

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I think the Queen finding delight in pork heart and intestines soup is the sageuk equivalent of a chaebol experiencing ramyun or instant coffee (or contemporary monarchy Emperor Shin Sung-rok for that matter 😆) for the first time.

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How many episodes is this drama? Because I'm waiting for it to be over so I can just binge watch it all at once.

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16 episodes. It should be over early March.

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The cancellation of classes due to frigid temperature resulted from the polar vortex finally allowed me to catch up on this drama.

As much as I love Ha Sun , I love that Yi Heon is back in the story. However the hope of his redemption vanished with this episode when we get to see more of his brutality and diminishing mental state. I love the complexity of Prime Minister Lee's motivations and struggles, and am delighted that the Writer is also adding layers to Moo-young's character.

Perhaps other Beanies have already commented (I have not caught up with the past recap comments), I wonder if the Queen has been suspecting Ha Sun as a fake especially after seeing him getting lost in the palace?

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Glad to have you with us! I don’t remember seeing comments on this, but it is strange to me that the Queen seems clueless about differences in the “king’s” behaviour. She did say that the king used to be nice to her as Crown Prince, so maybe she thought he was reverting to his former behaviour? I don’t think she suspects anything so far. The compass seems a genuine gift, with extra metaphorical meaning because it can “guide him back to her.”

I have to say I was disappointed that the first thing Yi Heon did when he got back was plop down on his pillow with a pipe and the same ol’ smoke. It’s the worst thing an addict can do. I wanted his redemption, or to at least to regain some sanity. But no, he marches right over to Minister Shin’s house and throws a fit. *facepalm*

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It takes a little bit of mental gymnastic for me to reconcile with the fact that the Queen might not yet have suspected anything with these immense changes of King's demeanors, even if they were not emotionally and/or physically close. So I am really hoping for a bit of plot twist of possible revelation that she has known for a while and chooses to love Ha Sun instead of her real King, hence giving her character a bit more agency.

I was really hoping to get a glimpse of the King and Queen's backstory because it is really interesting to see that whenever Yi Heon is around her, he regains some of his humanity. You can really see the hurt, the pain, and the suppressed emotion (love?). Although unlikely, hopefully we will still be able to gain a bit of understanding via flashbacks in future episodes.

Yeah, the metaphorical meanings of the compass as you described @wishfultoki as well as PM Lee stabbing HS to be reborn as the King are a bit heavy handed to me, but hey, I am eating it all up without any indigestion! 😆

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I kind of brought it up in eps 5. http://www.dramabeans.com/2019/01/the-crowned-clown-episode-5/#comment-3398277

He's completely lost it this time @Toki. Undermining his authority as king is what sets him off. That's why he ordered his father in law to be executed.
He came back to find Lee and Ha Sun calling the shots without his approval so I think he was going to use Shin to undo it all.

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Thanks, I missed that bit of the conversation. So, let’s hope the Queen gets a whiff of what’s going on soon!

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Perhaps Writer-nim already sent Yi Heon to the land of no redemption when he killed his little half-brother in the first episode in fear of losing his throne, although he suffers greatly for it with his rapid mental health decline and hallucinations.

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I haven't seen any indication she suspects anything. I think that she and the King didn't spend a lot of time together after she first got to the palace. She avoided him and his advisors were conspiring to keep them apart. So for her this is more about his returning to the way he was before rather than being a different person.

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I think a backstory would help us understand their situation better.

They must have been married in their teen like every royal/noble in that era. It looks like they are currently in their 20s. I think it would be hard to avoid each other all these years. They were expected to spend the night together more than he does with his concubines.

I believe they were close when she first entered the palace because she recalls him being kind to her when she was lonely. That's the Yi Heon she probably fell in love with, admire, respect, whatever you call it.

I wonder if her changed of heart was caused by Yul's death. Maybe she advised Yi Heon not to kill his brother but he didn't listen to her.

She sees things from a moral stand point but Yi Heon's advisers sees things from a p[olitical point of view. Yul was a threat that needs to be removed.

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I had the same thought, and it bothered me. But thinking about it, first, when Cray is King, any strange behavior can be chalked up to "Well, he's crazy so...." But also she is clearly a romantic (she rejects the King because she doesn't love him, even though she has an obligation to produce and heir). And also I think her greatest hope for years has been to see the young, kind King she once knew and loved. And so when Ha Sun comes in and has suddenly become that, that's gotta be hard to deny the realization of your greatest dream.

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The face of Minister Lee when Moo Young said that Ha Sun was dead. You can see that Ha Sun was not only a puppet for him anymore.

It's sad to see King in this state, I really want him to see the good they can do if he tries. But all about him is just about destruction and death.

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Thanks for the fast recap @lollypip - this show is so beautiful and painful and emotional and terrifying in so many ways. What a fantastic job on the cgi, music, camera work, costumes et al.

But above all Yeo Jin-gu is breathtaking in his rendition of a barely controlled monster AND a sweet clown.

After the ending last week when it looked like they saw each other in the market I was almost afraid to watch it this week. My heart just wasn't ready for the fireworks to follow. Thank goodness it didn't happen right away - but still, I was riveted the whole time.

Watching the king descend into his drug-induced madness is so hard - he reminded me a bit of Se Ho from Strange Hero - a lost, scared and lonely boy.
But I won't go there.
When the queen and clown were making wishes on the bridge I wondered if she wished that he really WAS her husband...

Moo-young has a stony face most of the time, but I'm seeing the little cracks of pain in his eyes. He must feel so betrayed.

Now I'll wait until the recaps for ep 8 come up. I'm looking forward to the conversation to come.

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To misquote the great man, SeHo is the musical comedy version of this.

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You know, is it just me? Or does anyone else kind of feel bad for Yeo Jin Goo? Like can you imagine the emotional impact that would have on him having to play two completely opposite characters, and even one of them being mentally insane at that? I always wonder what kind of heavy emotional weight that would have on actors who would play more than one character

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I don't want to preempt comments on episode 6 but I have no idea how he managed to play those two roles in the same episode on a live shoot schedule. It makes his extraordinary performance even more extraordinary.

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Eight. I mean episode 8.

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True that. It is tough to do while live shooting... AYHT was pre-produced.

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IKRn? That's just fantanstics. And both Ha Sun and Yi Hyeon require with the same complexity emotion and still can manage to distinguish them is amazing.

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I don’t know. It’s a chance to display their range in one blow, and it might be kind of fun? I was impressed with Seo Kang Joon for his dual role in ARE YOU HUMAN TOO? and he seemed to be having a blast behind the scenes.

The difficulty seems to be portraying the gray areas between the characters- do they always have to be polar opposites? Do they have to be one good and one bad, one sane and one mad? I wanted more completixity from Original Shin in AYHT and I’m feeling the same sense of disappointment regarding Original King now. 😪 More on that in next recap.

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*whispers*
I didn't think SKJ's performance was that great
Don't tell anyone.

I thought he didn't delineate the characters sufficiently. I mean, the performance was fine. But I didn't think it was that amazing.

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That’s fine, sure thing, I may disagree a tiny bit... now where did Yi Heon leave his sword? 😉

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See, this is why I try to avoid saying things like "I don't think SKJ is all that" and "I give the Shinnamon Roll couple two years" around here.

If you do kill me, at least make it Attack of the Cinnamon Rolls.

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Sorry, that was a joke. I’ll try not to bring up AYHT here. I just find some interesting parallels with TCC.

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Oh I agree re Are You Human. Cray cray's reaction to coming back and finding people like the Clown better was similar to (albeit the thermonuclear version of) Shin's reaction to finding people liked the robot him better.

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Speaking of SKJ I am convinced before this drama ends that I am going to write TTC (THE THIRD CHARM) when I intend to write TCC!

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I think the performances of Seo Kang Joon is good. But just not mind blowing. First lets admit it, Yeo jin Goo is clearly the more talent one. Second Ha Sun is way more meatier roles than Nam Shin III ever could.

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I agree with you. In AYHT, the robot was perfect and the human was bad. The human character could have been so more than a jerk, it was pretty disapointed.

In this drama, the King is interesting by how the other characters see him like Minister Lee, the Queen or the guard and his relationships with them. I think he's still interesting even if he doesn't really show any improvement.

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I liked SKJ's performance quite a bit, but I do think it's not as hard to play a robot and a human as it is a human and a human.

I will add some gasoline to the fire by saying I find Ha Sun too perfect of a character (similar to ShinBot), and that while Jin Goo is playing him well, it's not a meaty enough role that if it was the only role I'd be saying much about it. It's that he is both playing two roles AND doing an incredible turn as the Mad King that I'm so impressed with an already impressive actor. Honestly, if the only character he was playing was King Cray, I'd be saying the same things.

That said, do I think Jin Goo could play a Mad King and a more nuanced Clown at the same time?--absolutely. I've seen him try and inject what nuance he can in some moments, but the writing is a bit lacking.

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Well he did that in the first two episodes. That whole sequence of him quickly spiralling down to be a little bit cray himself was amazing. But they kind of dropped that aspect of the story and went with a more standard impoverished doppelganger/ romance tale.

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I think the furious Ha Sun will come back as the politics pulls him deeper into the darkness. I do commend him on the gangsta cray king role playing in the court (ep 8). Like the two characters can throw the exact temper tantrum, but the clown has to add the layer of pretentiousness to viewers and not be obvious to the characters in the drama — that ain’t so easy. On top of that, I expect that touch of Ha Sun pretentiousness will gradually diminish as he becomes more comfortable giving royal orders.

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@geliguolu I loved that scene so much and must remember to mention it when we have an episode 8 recap

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There was an interview about SKY Castle's Kim Seo-Hyung :"Kim Seo Hyung admitted that she often felt depressed due to playing a character with such twisted desires. While reading the script, she would often feel frustrated to the point of running out of her house at 3 or 4 a.m".

It must not be easy to play this kind of character. I guess for Yeo Jin Goo the fact that he played Ha Sun in the same time must balance a little bit the darkness.

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Yes, I would imagine so (without knowing anything about the craft of acting.) Although playing two characters must be challenging in its own way, playing a character with Ha Sun's sunnier disposition would neutralize somewhat the negative mental effect of portraying the paranoid Yi Heon.

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It's really challenging to play this kind of character because we have to potray the dark side of human nature on TV. You must be explore your dark side to a character and translate the emotion On screen. I was reading about acting playing antagonist in some article And it's not easy. People without realising want to showing the good side in them. Playing a twist charactet will make you doing the opposite.

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I was going to comment on this because Yi Heon sometimes gives me flashback from HWAYI: A Monster Boy. It was much more violent and Jin Goo was only 15-16. I was worried about him and hoped that he has some kind of counseling after the movie.

I have seen some bts from the set and they are a delightful bunch. There is smiles and laughter before and after each take. I even love PD Nim for joining the fun. Her comments are hilarious especially after the stabbing at the cliff.

Playing 2 demanding characters can take it's toll but I think he is in good hands.

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Yes, he did! Yeo Jin Goo mentioned it in an interview that the production made him undergo some sort of psychological checkup post-Hwayi, and that thankfully, he is fine.

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Thank you <3.

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I looked up YJG's filmography and decided to stay well away from Hwayi (my heart can't take that much violence). But I gotta know, has he ever played an antagonist before this? All the works I've seen him in are of him as the child version of the MC or a co-MC by a veteran actor's side. Oh, and Circle.

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I believe this is the first.

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I found the excerpt from his interview!

"The condition was that any actor playing Hwayi must have psychology counseling. Fortunately, the diagnosis said that I was mentally strong. The role could have affected the actor even in his daily life, but I was lucky that it didn’t happen in my case. When I act, I quickly immerse myself in the character, so I don’t have many worries. Hwayi’s personality is different from mine, so I think I was able to maintain a certain distance. I did a lot of research to become Hwayi, but I think I was able to recognize that Hwayi and I are different."

Source: https://thesunnytown.wordpress.com/2014/03/02/2014-nylon-yeo-jin-gu-growth-interview/

I won't be surprised if he's also applying the same mindset towards playing Yi Heon.

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Thank you :).

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I think we've gotten a bit over protective when it comes to Jin-goo lol.

The HWAYI director Jang Joon-hwan kind of scares me. When it was announced that Jin-goo was going to be in 1987: WHEN THE DAY COMES I was excited until I saw director Jang's name and that Jin-goo was going to play Park Jong-chul.
I thought he was going to be brutally tortured to death but thankfully it was a short cameo.

To be honest, I am not looking forward to another reunion between the two unless it's something with less core and violence but that's not Jang's style.

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LOL true! Dir. Jang Joonhwan and Jingoo's history together involves Jingoo's roles suffering a great deal. According to Director Jang Joonhwan, he said Jingoo also got scared filming the scene in 1987. Jingoo said even though it was safe, anyone putting their body in the water would be terrified. The director said it was totally difficult to watch on-set. The director also said that he felt really sorry to Jingoo because although it was a short scene, they had to film the crucial scene lots of times.

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@weaselking circulate9oo
You are the best!!!

I don't follow him in any social media but I do watch his films and dramas.

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Since we are going down this path (and I really enjoyed Seo Kang-joon's performance in AYHT) I don't see how I cannot mention Yang Se-jong's incredible performance in DUEL. It was only his third drama and he was required to play 4 parts: the 2 clones (one good/one bad), the Doctor/researcher who created the clones, and he was required (as part of the plot) to play the good clone acting like the bad clone (if that makes sense). He gave a tour de force performance which unfortunately many did not see. I am looking forward to his upcoming sageuk MY COUNTRY (with Woo Do-hwan) later this year.

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I’m kind of sorry I mentioned Seo Kang Joon because I did not intend to start a discussion about his acting vs Yeo Jin Goo, just the fact that both had double roles painted in pretty black and white colours (so far at least in TCC).

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I wrote an entire "essay" on Microsoft Word on the similarities between TCC and AYHT. Both YJG and SKJ are stellar, their performances enhancing the enjoyment of the 2 dramas.

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Why should it be worse to play two characters? I imagine that playing an emotionally unstable character that well would be more of a problem. I still think Hwayi did a number on him... Btw recommend that to anybody who might not have watched it *wink wink *

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I can't help but wonder with Yi Heon how much of his behavior is really him and how much is caused by the damage done by prolonged drug use. There are so many facets to him: the scared king, the husband wanting to be accepted by his wife, a king desperate to find someone truly loyal to him, and deep down inside, he's like a hurt, little boy. Problem is, this little boy wields an enormous amount of power and it hurt to see him hurting others. But Ha Sun definitely isn't down for the count, not when he needs to get back to So-woon. And Minister Lee seems like his heart is breaking to see his king spiraling out of control. I understand that Yi Heon is angry, but he is also out of control. Power + Madness = Disaster.
And if I didn't know better, I'd swear there were 2 different actors playing the king and the clown; YJG's performance is off the charts!

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I think the drug use have made a big negative affect on his mental health, also physically. From what I have read about Opium it is a very addicting drug witch also affect the persons mood, perception, consciousness and behavior. So what he already feel would be twisted in his mind, and he would not able to have rational reflection on other and own behavior. In a way it is physical image of his mental downfall...

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The combination of the drug-induced paranoia and the very real natural paranoia from the danger around him eroded his physical and mental health over a long time. I still can't believe Haksan just stood there and watched it happen. With friends like these...

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I wondered if Minister Shin and the Court Lady Kim somehow schemed to get the king addicted. Was it Yi Heon's choice or did they trick him/dose him until he was addicted? I guess Minister Lee wanted to stop it, but had no control. And if Yi Heon believes Minister Lee is loyal, why doesn't he ever listen to a word he says?!

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Yes they did drug him on purpose so the king would not involve with politics or get in their way. So minister shin can rule the nation as he pleased. He even kept saying that to lady kim in ep 1and 2 i think, to keep the king drugged and was amazed when ha sun didn't ask for it and at first they blamed the king's sudden change on lack of drugs.

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I was curious about this too. Did the Minister just stand there and watch Yi Heon's deterioration happen? He vigorously served the king in his best capacity by focusing on court policies and doing wet work when necessary. There's some intimacy and trust but it only goes so far in their world. By improving the country, did the Minister also hope to heal the king?

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I get the feeling he's an ideologue who never really cared about the King as a person, only as a way to achieve his goals. So as long as he was useful, he stood by him. As soon as he felt he wasn't, he ditched him. The King's personal wellbeing never meant much to him. This does not bode well for his treatment of our Clown.

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I don't think any one could make Yi Heon leave the palace to get help.
He only agreed to leave when Lee Kyu found Ha Sun to take his place.

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Agreed—the physical/mental transformation caused by opium can't be overstated. Before the show took its current path, I had hoped to see how Yi Heon's addiction would be treated, Josean-style. I missed it if we saw the doctor/monk try anything outside of meditation and tying him to a post. It's tragic.

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I think the murder of his younger brother contributed the most to his paranoia etc, especially after his father left Yul's life in his hands.
He failed and did the opposite. Even if he was killed by someone else for his sake, his brother's blood is still on his hands.

That paranoia and guilt led to drugs thinking that it would help but it made him worse.
In the end he traded filial piety, honor, respect and peace of mind etc for the throne.

From Yi Heon's point of view, If his brother wasn't killed, the queen dowager and her supporters would have gotten rid of him. Actually they tried and failed.

I wonder what his father the former king was thinking? He must have known this would happen.
He could've given the queen dowager regent to rule until Yul is of age and the brothers (their followers) won't have to kill each other.

On the other hand.
When the former king told Yi Heon that he is undeserving of the throne I took it as because he is a son of his concubine and not because he is not qualified to rule.
He must have thought that the country would be better off in his capable hands than his queen.

My thoughts are all over the place because I can't begin to put myself in any of their shoes and make the right decision.

(wtb edit button)

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This reminded me of that saying: hurt people hurt people. It's sad but so often true...

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It's so hard for me to contribute something to the conversation story-wise with Ep 8 hanging over my head... so let me first about Yeo Jin Goo's acting ❤ AAAHHHHHHH!!!!! 🤯🤯🤯

The King and the Clown meeting once again was a very intense experience to watch. And YJG doesn't simply act out these two roles as mere polar opposites. He gives each role, in particular Yi Heon so much layers. Even with Yi Heon lashing out on everyone, the hints of loneliness and pain and the feeling of getting betrayed are so clear in his eyes. The way YJG smoothly switches from King to Clown is done ever so wonderfully that I could truly feel fear on Haseon's behalf with Yi Heon threatening not only his life but also his loved ones.

I frigging want to punch Yi Heon really hard for destroying what Yi Kyu and Haseon worked so hard for, but at the same time, with what Yi Heon went through while he was away from the palace. It's really no wonder. He is a drug addict with mental issues who was suddenly forced to go on withdrawal, and was ocked and tied up like a prisoner. It was for his own good, but from his standpoint, it's just so hard to see it that way. And then he gets back to the palace and instead of finding his pawn dead, he finds him doing things he's always planned to do but he got too absorbed in his paranoia, plus his queen is suddenly very warm him, actually smiling at him. Sigh.

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YJG really does add layers to Yi Heon. It's like Yi Heon's desperation is palpable. He pushes people away but at the same time it's like he's desperate to be accepted. And YJG's performance brings out all the nuances of Yi Heon's character.

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Yes, exactly. Yeo Jin Goo manages to bring out Yi Heon's vulnerable state of mind while in the midst of showing his rage. I read someone said, that Yi Heon is such a horrible King but is a very pitiful human, and I agree with it so much.

Yi Heon is someone who longed so much to be loved but received the opposite his whole life, and then suddenly when he returns to the palace, he finds the clown getting the kind of attention he craved so much for. And it shows so well in YJG's performance. When he talks to the Queen for the first time since his return and he suddenly finds her so accepting of him and that look on his face when realization sinks in, and he tries to fake a smile, and there was a mix of anger and sorrow in his eyes. I truly felt the pain behind Yi Heon's character.

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I like how the King is ready to kill anybody but he can't hurt the Queen. He really loves her.

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You'll figure that out for sure in the 8th episode. 😅

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Thank you @lollypip for the recaps. I think for some of us our minds turn to mush after each episode there is so much going on. Some random thoughts , I have not seen episode 8:
1. The ending of episode 6 was a bit of a red herring but that is OK;
2. I was confused about what Monk Jung Saeng knows or didn't know. I went back to episode 3 to re-watch the conversation between Secretary Lee and the Monk outside of Yi Heon's locked room (15.45 min). I thought he knew from the beginning that Yi Heon was under his care but he did not know. Somehow he finds out by this episode. Secretary Lee pleads with the Monk (as a doctor) to treat Yi Heon and that YH was "someone" who saved his (the Monk's) life after the death of Lord Gil Sam Bong by collecting the body and helping the Monk to escape from prison;
3. Moo-young is going to come around and join the forces for good;
4. I loved how Eunuch Jo slipped and referred to Ha Sun as Jeonha;
5. For some reason I have a feeling that at some point there may be an effort to make crazy Yi Heon out as the imposter (would that be a double switch) and the dog bite/scar on Ha Sun's hand will come into play. I don't know how. Both kings now have the scar on the chest.

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1. That ending of ep. 6 was a huge red herring, and I completely fell for it.
2. I was also confused. Monk said he figured it out - I’m guessing by the way that he saw Secretary Lee react to Yi Heon’s self-inflicted injuries. He had said in a previous episode that he hadn’t seen that expression on Lee’s face since Kim Sam Bong (whoever he is) died. He must have guessed that his patient was a VVIP.
4. I went “shhh that’s dangerous!” 🤭

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Reading the comments section makes me itchy to watch this show onscreen already. I have to keep reminding myself how terrifying my first experience was (with MotA) just so I can keep myself grounded.

I am thankful to the beanies here for showing respect to those who haven’t watched episode 8 yet. From the comments, you must be itching to give your thoughts on that episode which makes me look forward to the next recap. Speaking of, thank you so much @lollypip for recapping this show!

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I was terrified when Yi Heon talked with So Woon and Ha Sun was at behind the door. You are not knowing what happen next and Ha Sun was helpless. I'm so relieved when Yi Heon dismissed So Woon, I thought he would jump up to So Woon and rape her 'in front of' Ha Sun!

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Yah. That conversation was terrifying—So Woon all bubbly and warm while Yi Heon seethed at her happiness.

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OMG, this was one of the most riveting episodes of any drama I’ve ever seen on my TV screen. Absolutely fantastic! Yeo Jin-gu Is just killing it in this role -actually these roles, and the on screen chemistry between his characters and the queen are amazing.

This is, no doubt, one of the best Kdramas I’ve watched, and Yeo Jin-gu has catapulted to the top tier of my favorite Korean actors. I LOVE this drama!!!

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Can I also add a note of praise for the director. The actors are killing it, but the direction is stellar. Such powerfully effective “cliffhanger” endings to each episode, and the way there is such clear delineation between Lee Hun and Ha Sun is brilliant. Yes, a lot of it is due to YJG’s amazing talent, but his talent is really showcased by the fabulous directing. This is a top notch drama.

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Yi Heon, not Lee Hun. Damned autocorrect

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It's alright~ both are acceptable romanizations. :D

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Agreed. I love her! She is a talented PD and I'm so glad she got another hit drama.

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She is called as God Heewon for a reason. ♥

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I've seen her in BTS clips and I just love how she interacts with her actors.

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True. She seems to be pretty chill and easygoing on-set but damn when you see the final product on-screen and you actually get to see how amazing she is at what she does. It's mindblowing.

I really love the set atmosphere whenever I watch the making videos. There's always so much laughter and everyone looks like they're having such a great time.

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What other dramas has she directed?

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Money Flower :)

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I want a full sageuk with PD Nim and Jang Hyuk.

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And she is a woman. As a woman myself im quite proud seeing this lady directing and making this such a good drama. I'm not sure but female directors must be rare in korea. Its quite same in other countries in the world as well. But there are so many talented female directors without getting much appreciation

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I have to keep reminding myself that they're the same person, too! The thrill and satisfaction of seeing the same actor as two diff people and never getting whiplash is the same as it was when I watched Are You Human Too! Of course, the diff makeup helps, too (Yi Heon has dark bags under his eyes). I can easily immerse myself in the story and the characters up to the point that them having the same face doesn't even matter.

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Although the writers played us with that gaze meeting at the end of episode 6, that cliff hanger ending combined with the previews for this episode almost told you what was going to happen and made it reeeeeeeeeeeeally hard for me to watch this episode. I started on Tuesday and only managed to finish it yesterday evening, needing frequent pauses and scratchings at the air via my fan wall. It was a well done use of the previews, setting up the emotional tension for this week and I appreciate their use of that in their story telling. Kudos.

One thing that really struck me was Yi Heon's fury during the assault scene when he started to untie So Woon's hanbok because of how warm she was towards him, thinking he was Ha Sun playing him. I read her placing her hand on top of his as a way of saying "Please calm down. This can be consensual and pleasant for the both of us."
Well, we'll see his reaction to that.

It broke my heart how Ha Sun realised 1) The king seriously craycray and 2) This craycray king now in charge of all the loyal and caring people he'd come to care for in his tenure as king. He looked like he would gladly sacrifice his life to avoid So-Woon unwittingly revealing and having to deal with the consequences of having a sweet date with him in the market.

I kind of want to see Ha Sun end up on the throne at the end, but I want to see him really fight for it. Or if that’s not possible, I want Ha Sun’s example to make Yi Heon wise up and try to make himself better, and actually be a king who works for his people, and not just let someone else get rid of anyone who opposes him.

Lollypip, you frequently write exactly what I was thinking in so eloquent a manner! Just having to deal with the consequences of Yi Heon being back in the palace for...what, 24 hours? Seems like a real headache and I empathise with the many tears that the Royal Secretary kept inside and shed in this episode. Even suicide is not allowed as an escape - Yi Heon has made it clear that any turning away means that Woon Shim and Ho-Geol are swiftly, cruelly and unfairly dealt with. No resting in peace there indeed. That part of the episode made me shiver - he wants you there even if you don't want to be there and will make sure it happens, even if it means threatening the ones you love.

I will kill your friends and family to remind you of my loooooove King George (III), is that you? OMG! That song is so perfect for the relationship between Royal Secretary Lee and Yi Heon in this episode: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-P_1RYVTjcA

@tsutsuloo, I agree with you, that seeing how his drug addiction is dealt with in that era would be fascinating and would be a brilliant way of helping to merge their two fate lines. Withdrawal can be deadly and to see a king so afraid of death fight through this in order to win his kingdom and the hearts of his people back would be pretty epic. Especially if he did it in competition against...

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I kind of think it is Woon Shim’s fault that she got caught. Secretary Lee clearly told them to flee if he wasn’t back by daybreak. Heo-gol was all for leaving right then and there, but Woon Shim wanted to wait. Only Monk left and (fortunately for his head) avoided being arrested.

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I was thinking the same thing! At first, I thought: "Why are you still there??"
THen: "Oh, she said she was going to wait for Secretrary Lee. I guess that's honourable."
Followed by: "But did she tell him she would wait for him? She doesn't have all the answers! He told her to go for a reason!!"
Gah. This show plays with my emotions....

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I had the impression that Woon Shim stayed with full knowledge of the risk, because of her feelings for Secretary Lee. However, the math genius is openly cowardly, and he would have never stayed on his own!

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There is a big problem when it comes to Ha Sun taking the throne for the rest of the drama.

The royal house of Yi were the only family that ruled Joseon during it's 500+ yrs existence. That's a line every sageuk haven't crossed even if it's pure fictional.
Unless there is some kind of birth secret and Ha Sun is actually a royalty then I can kind of see him on the throne till the end.
IMO he might end up living with the queen as commoners at that small house that she was talking about. That would be a happy ending. Far away from the bloody politics and suffocating palace life.

Prince Jin-pyung is the only other prince in the drama from the royal house of Yi.

Having said that, I still don't know if the writers will risk it. Keeping Ha Sun on the throne and probably getting threats from some Korean viewers.

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I've been reminded, repeatedly, that this drama is not depicting any historical person or event, but is entirely fictional. However, I'm pretty sure I've noticed those disclaimers in prior dramas, in which a character was inspired by, or loosely based on, an actual historical figure/person. For example, while MDBC was clearly fictionalized, the Crown Prince (PBG's character) was based on the historical Crown Prince Hyomyeong (aka
Lee Yeong). The story of him falling for a woman disguised as one of his eunuch's is obviously total fiction, but the author of the novels on which the series was based, or either the writers for the screenplay, changed other parts of the story. In RL, the Crown Prince became regent when he was 18, and died 3 years later at age 20. He had married, and he and his queen had a son, who later became king. So while, arguably, the series ended prior to the date of his death (he's still 19, or just turned 20 at the end of the series), and thus didn't address that event, the writers clearly veered from historical accuracy, by having the royal marriage never being finalized/formalized or consummated, the potential queen leaving him to seek a new life, and with the implication that he ended up with Hong Ra-on.

I just checked the opening credits to MDBC, but on my computer they weren't translated, so I can't tell if there is a "disclaimer" there or not. If not, I think it's significant that there *is* a disclaimer at the beginning of The Crowned Clown.

There are many examples of characters in novels being loosely based on real people. For example, in "To Kill a Mockingbird", the character Dill is based on Truman Capote, who was a childhood friend of Harper Lee's. And in Mario Puzo's "The Godfather, the novel is based on the real life "Five Families," the Mafia organization in the NYC area, and several characters were based on real people. The most well known was probably the character Johnny Fontane, a singer/actor character who was based on Frank Sinatra.

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I believe they put disclaimers on most historical dramas.

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Yes, but this king is inspired by gwanghae and gwanghae's son by his queen was not able to become a king. They all were deposed. So if they goes by that the house of Yi's bloodline is safe. But i am not sure if they are going to show them being deposed in the drama

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I don't see the queen having a baby unless we are doing a time skip.
I'll hold comments on this till the next episode. I don't want to be a spoiler.

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That's my understanding, also, and that specifically, this series is a series based on the film, Masquerade, which was the same story, inspired by Gwanghae.

I saw another series - I think it was called "The King's Face," maybe? and wondered if it was yet another version of this same story.

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Jingoo has stressed (in the special episode) that this adaptation will not follow Gwanghae. It’s a made up king with completely made up history (or more like a mash up of several different king’s history). Gwanghae was crown prince like forever, became king shortly and was overthrown.

FYI @kiara @vespertyne

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I know that and when I talked history I always mentioned that it's an inspiration from Gwanghae's era.

It's more like a mash. I don't base everything on the movie or the history. There is similarities to the Goryeo King Wang Won who left the throne and came back too.

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@vespertyne

I know I have crappy English so forgive me if my comment wasn't clear enough.

Every sageuk kings last name is Yi and Park Bo-gum's character in MOONLIGHT was called Yi Yeong. He was a son of a king from the royal house of Yi.
It didn't matter if what changes they made in the drama. They kept his royal family name.

Ha Sun does not have a last name because of his low status. Like slaves they were not given a last name. Clowns were poor and most of them were unmarried because they couldn't afford to get married.

Ha Sun's status is going to be a big problem unless there is proof that he is royalty.
If no one ever finds out that he is not Yi Heon then I guess they can get away with it but I do think there is a reason why the other royal prince is in the drama. He is the prince that queen dowager wants to put on the throne.

I know this is fictional but if it takes inspiration from Gwanghae;'s reign (like 80% of the background politics) then Prince Jin-pyung would be the fictional King Injo. The king that replaces Gwanghae.

Like @geliguolu sph_7 said "almost all of historical dramas have a disclaimer on it except for maybe a few like "500 Years of Joseon Dynasty" based on the Annals of the Joseon Dynasty, King Sejong the Great etc.

I don't know who is going to end up on the throne in the end. I'm just speculating.

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This is hands down the best drama running right now.

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I agree. It's one of the best overall, too, IMO. I hope it continues to live up to its current level of excellence.

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Jin goo looked really hot in that very last scene, when he was removing her outer clothes haha. I mean the way he did it. And i watched the bts as well and they were having so much fun. Jin goo was practising throwing her on to the bed but he was really gentle as treated se young as if she is a kid. That was fun to watch and cute, contrast to the hot and furious vibes in the drama scene.

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Their clothes are really not convenient for this kind of scene :p

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You obviously haven’t seen some sageuk porn😂

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Ha!!

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I don't think so but I was talking about the throwing part on the bed when they practised in the BTS.

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...

I actually kinda wish they could've kissed in this scene. I know there will certainly be a future kiss scene with Haseon and Sowoon in the future but... gah Yi Heon looks like he'd be a passionate kisser. 🙈😂

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Yi Heon has the passion. Ha Sun is still in an innocent crushing state . He's being chased and kissed by the queen but maybe that dusty library will change things lol.

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I certainly look forward to how he will develop from being a cute puppy who gets hiccups after a kiss. 😄

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I wanted a kiss too. He needs her love so desperately😔

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TheTalkingCupboard said it well on her blog, Yi Heon badly needed someone to reach out to him, unfortunately when Sowoon finally decided to open up, it was already too late because it was already Haseon at the receiving end. What if Sowoon had seen how fragile Yi Heon was after the assassination attempt in the first ep (Yi Heon was only staying at a temporary palace when it happened). 😢😢😢

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I think Sowoon had her share of feudal pride that made her unapproachable by Yi Heon. She was grateful for his understanding when they were young but doesn’t seem like she was attentive to his misery. His paranoia wasn’t just because of the attempted assasination. His trust issue obviously dates way further back. And he mentioned her nagging is annoying. Sure she wants a kindhearted husband but a kindhearted man will only be chewed up in the palace. I guess rather than siding with him to convincing him to do good, she chose to condemn him with her righteous principles. Not blaming her, but she has added to his displease of “doing the right thing”.

While Ha Sun is just ... oblivious to her chilling aura. He marched right into it and made himself comfortable 😂.

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@geliguolu This is why I find Sowoon falling in love with the King for the first time through Haseon believable. Yi Heon and Sowoon's personalities are just not compatible romantically. They've been together for quite sometime already and Sowoon was uncomfortable with the stifling palace life but Yi Heon himself grew up in that strict culture and it's already a part of him. While Haseon grew up in a carefree life so it's no wonder that Sowoon, who always yearned for freedom since entering the palace, would gravitate towards Haseon's warm and happy-go-lucky nature.

And this is overall very tragic for Yi Heon who obviously truly fell for Sowoon but he was also chained to his inner demons. He needed someone to reach out to him, but Sowoon had her own principles and that is why, unfortunately, these two just won't work. 😢

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Aargh, formatting my nemesis!!

This is going to make me insanely unpopular but throughout that whole scene and comment thread, I thought thus:

1) Um. This feels like assault (that's putting my thought kindly) and

2) Why has everyone forgotten that Yi Heon gave the mandate for the execution of her father? He even pondered in the cave "Will she hate me?" before ordering it done. For someone who seems to love her deeply, his way of showing it....yeah, no, I don't want that sort of love please. One of So Woon's initial interactions with Ha Seon was when
she was attempting to kill herself in protest of her father's impending execution, at which point Ha Seon sweetly and passionately jumped in to stop her

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@saner Nope. Valid concerns.

1) Yes it is totally assault. Still, as he was about to kiss her, I just hoped she’ll soften up during the kiss and let him feel some love that would spark some flashback or something.

2) Did not forget that. Yet just like Minister Lee’s decision, in the face of politics, the decision maker must separate the title and the person of whom he intends to alienate. Which actually saddened me a bit when he said “She will hate me”. What he does to secure his throne has often been against what his heart wants. Like his decision to kill his brother is eating him because a part of him probably liked the brother a lot. He definitely deserves the pain, but watching it as a drama, we yearn to see him change.

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New beanie here! I've followed dramabeans for a few years now but never got the courage to comment until this show came out. I guess this is the power of Yeo Jin Goo and a very nice story.

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Yes join the fan club :).

I'm already thinking about his next sageuk. I'm a YI SAN fangirl so I'd love it if could he play him next.

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Hi @k1000a and thanks for registering. Welcome. I am looking forward to future comments.
The power of Yeo Jin-goo indeed.
This is my first Yeo Jin-goo drama and I can’t get over the performance he is giving in TCC.
Already at age 21 he has a tremendous body of work under his belt and many have watched him grow up on the small screen. TCC Is turning into something special. It has such a wonderful cast and YJG is not having to carry the whole load/drama on his shoulders. He is shining in TCC.

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*ninjas in*
I am not here, but this was my favourite episode of the show so far.
*ninjas out*

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This episode was really spectacular in itself that I can write a whole lot despite knowing what happens next episode.

I suspected the end of episode 6 to be nothing but a tease. No way my druggie Cray👑 can see that far — with or without that sudden parade of color guards. (Weren’t you guys just on the bridge?)

I loved that he finally came back. Yi Heon’s rage was expectedly intense but he was unexpectedly way more frightening than I imagined. I can’t even see Jingoo anymore — and I’ve watch him as Hwayi! I seriously thought he was gonna kill someone in his chamber. In his pov, he had all the right reasons to be furious. He wasn’t supposed to be locked up, his double wasn’t supposed to be respected more than him, and his queen wasn’t supposed to be outside of the palace with his double.

He read the logs so he knew she was unattended and alone with Ha Sun. At first he was just mad at Ha Sun for stepping beyond his lowlife boundaries. As the guard, eunuch, and minister all treated Ha Sun with the loyalty and respect that took him mounts of power trips and killer tantrums to attain, he grew increasingly jealous. He may not have thought his queen cheated before she showed up. She was cold and unapproachable before. I think he summoned her to see if she’s ok, for the sickness or any inappropriate behavior that Ha Sun may have shown. In my mind he has loved her all along. Unfortunately he lost her while gaining his throne, or fighting for his survival — probably had to do both concurrently. While the queen showed him her warm affection towards, well “him”, I was both worried for her life and saddened by his heartbreaking expression. Kudos Jingoo for showing how to love and hate her simultaneously. The illusory sounds I heard was either his cracking knuckles🤜🏻 or his cracking heart💔, or both.

I don’t know if they ever consummated. I’ll assume they haven’t since they make it seem like a big deal (and it’s a Kdrama). Not realistic, but given she married him at a young age when he wasn’t logged for every intercourse, I’ll take it that he gave her an exception from “duties”. And normally after a few years the crown prince is forced to make other party leaders’ daughters his concubine. So their relationship just never grew closer despite his feelings being so deep. He has gotten impatient in the past but he hasn’t forced himself on her. This time it’s different. He suspects that she cheated, or been cheated to, deceived to give up herself physically. His only way to be sure is sleep with her, to see if she still had her virginity. And if she wasn’t a virgin, she’ll die secretly. That’s my take on ___ .

I must compliment the director for the great split screen editing. Although the CGI is still slightly noticeable, the editing is unbelievably well done in terms of camera angle and acting continuity. From a production standpoint, these scenes are very difficult to film. A reason why I didn’t think they would meet outdoors in the village is...

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A reason why I didn’t think they would meet outdoors in the village is because it is 100x more difficult to shoot split screen outdoors than on set. The weather and sunlight must match when they film both characters. With the longer time it takes to switch makeup and costume for sageuks, it’s not wise to write a long confrontation scene of both characters out in daylight.

And of course Jingoo’s acting is mind-blowing, AGAIN!

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When Sowoon said being with him is better than any medicine, and that this is the first time she has felt so at ease since she entered the palace, you could just feel how painfully Yi Heon died inside at those words. What a slap on the face.

But ohhh, I get it now thanks to your explanation.😮😮😮 I've always assumed they have already consummated their marriage but with the turn of events these past 2 eps, your explanation on his motives (sudden night with the queen, the decree) makes perfect sense to me now.

I've always liked how Yi Heon, despite how terrible he can get, knows consent (except when he's about to kill someone 😅).

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Thank you for sharing! I didn't think about Yi Kyu's diary. Yi Heon is pretty smart even in his current condition. There is a reason why his father left the throne to him. It's too bad that he wasn't the legitimate heir. None of that power struggles would end with a dead sibling.

I do prefer the more realistic approach to their marriage and consummation. I just can't imagine them going against palace tradition/rules for this long.
But, anything is possible and I love you take on it.

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I'm not exactly sure, but usually they consummate the marriage pretty young i think around when they are 15, 16 or so. And Yi heon was good before so i think the queen (or crown princess at that time) did not have any reason to reject him before. Its quite odd if she's still a virgin after being married for so long. I think he specially wanted to see how she'd behave in such an intimate moment. He wanted to make sure ha sun wasn't intimate with her of course. But not by her virginity but by her reaction. And he exactly got what he feared. A happy wife who is willing to spend the night with him. not the rejecting wife he left behind.

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The monarchs had regularly-scheduled conjugal nights set up in advance - they're definitely been having these nights for years, not sleeping together wouldn't have been allowed because they need to produce a legitimate heir. They even had a whole conversation in the first episode about why they haven't had a child yet. So-woon thought the gods weren't allowing it because Yi Heon was not being a good king who works for his people. Plus it's been heavily implied that the queen dowager was having Court Lady Park feed the queen a tea that prevents conception.

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Of course realistically she would have been forced to sleep with him years ago. But this is a Kdrama. If she is to have any real relationship with Ha Sun, chances are they kept her a virgin.

As Prince he didn’t live in the main palace. They don’t log or calculate (by numerologists) his conjugal schedule until he becomes king and he only became king recently.

Over the course of multiple scenes, their reaction towards each other (his rage, her bashfulness and later her thirst towards Ha Sun) just makes me think he never had her even for one night. When he said only his queen’s child will be his heir, there was bitterness underneath all the rage. He said in her ears (that’s important) that everyone thinks he doesn’t want her but who would guess he’s the one being rejected. Thus he could have used his temper and displeased attitude to shield her from being charged for disobedience. Pushing that thought further, he could have accepted his concubines to allow her to live comfortably in solitude.

About heaven not giving him a child, when I rewatched her words again later, it suddenly meant something different. That his personality is not helping her fall in love with him, not convincing her to accept him as a husband thus she cannot willfully bear his child like a wife should.

I also thought the queen’s tea was meant to prevent her from conception (thanks to the awesome jump-to-conclusion timed commenters), until she got really sick, then it seemed like a slow reacting poison that will kill her undetectably.

Anyway, that’s just all my random thoughts. The beauty is they never really say what Cray 👑 wants or feels towards her. I actually prefer it this way than having the full story behind their matrimony. I will probably feel resentful of Ha Sun stealing the unloved king’s wife.

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I love reading all of the random thoughts. I'm starting to see things from the queen's perspective. I really didn't understand her in the beginning.

Anyway, I'm not sure about being forced to sleep with her own husband. There is no indication that she rejected him from the beginning. She has been day dreaming (recalling) about the past and how thoughtful and kind he was to her when she first entered the palace.

I think their fall out happened after Yul was killed and Yi Heon was already on the throne or maybe it started early on.
She is a proper Joseon girl and the way Yi Heon treated his step-mother the queen dowager always made her angry because he is not being a filial son and king. He is being a bad example to their people.

If we break up eps 1 and analyzed it, we'd probably understand where they are both coming from.
Maybe that's why the writers are not giving us much backstory. It's right there and we just need to figure out why they are both frustrated with each other from their own point of view.

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@kiara The Cray👑 ‘s desperate search for a trusting individual by his side suggests he’s been lonely much longer than the show began. So their fallout didn’t just happen because of Yul.

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@sph_7
I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.
Why would she be recalling fond memories of him if their relationship didn't start off on a good term?

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@kiara They started off fine. Just not as lovers and not intimately.

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@kiara They are both very unapproachable and lack the warmth the other yearned. Even if they did consummate the marriage, they were oblivious unhappy for quite some time. He has already turned from a young teen prince to a grown man with enough political power that his father must unwilling crowning him over his legitimate but younger son.

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They didn't have to be in love to be intimate though. If that was the case then 98% of Joseon kings would not have an heir to the throne.

Sorry for keeping it going even though it's clear that we have opposite take on this.

This is a fictional take so I could be wrong.

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