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Arthdal Chronicles: Episode 2

With the world of Arth established, it’s time to get to know our hero, a young man caught between worlds. Life is beautiful when you’re young and carefree, but soon the outside world encroaches, and the young man has to determine where he belongs. He has a lot to learn about his true nature, which may be much bigger and more dangerous than he ever imagined, but the question is whether he’ll be able to overcome it, or if he’ll succumb in the end.

 
EPISODE 2 RECAP

Eunseom wakes from a dream with a start, screaming for his mother. He startles the men watching him, since as humans, they don’t dream. Yeolson, leader of the Wahan tribe (the people that Eunseom has lived with since his mother died), angrily demands to know if Eunseom had a dream.

There’s a tribal council to discuss the fact that Eunseom can dream without extensive shaman training. Meanwhile TANYA (Kim Ji-won) is a child of the Azure Comet and is to be their next “great mother,” but even she can’t dream, so the tribe suspects that Eunseom is stealing Tanya’s dreams.

Tanya is Yeolson’s daughter, and she’s also the girl who found Eunseom and his mother, back when they first came to Iark. She defends Eunseom, saying that dreams don’t work that way, but Yeolson still asks Eunseom if he’s stealing Tanya’s dreams. Eunseom says that it’s true he dreams, but repeats that dreams can’t be stolen.

He says that the Wahan people don’t know what a dream is, so he tells them: “I lie down at night, and it happens while I sleep. Someone suddenly appears, or I end up going somewhere.” He says that things happen in dreams without his knowledge, so he can’t possibly steal someone else’s dream.

He also tells the people that he’s been having dreams since before he came to Iark, which is proof that he’s not stealing Tanya’s dreams. A tribesman says that Eunseom and Tanya were both born when the Azure Comet appeared, but the current great mother, Mother Choseol, says that’s not completely true.

Eunseom is also accused of dancing one of Mother Choseol’s dances, which can only be done by a great mother. Eunseom looks guilty and says he only saw Mother Choseol dance once, and Tanya tells the people that Eunseom can copy anything he sees, even if he only sees it once. Further, she confesses that he learned it so he could teach it to her, because she’s having difficulty.

The people point out that Eunseom is strange in a lot of ways, such as his purple blood and the scales on his back. Tanya continues to insist that Eunseom isn’t stealing her dreams, but a hunter accuses him of stealing a horse that they hunted, and Eunseom just shoots a guilty look at Tanya and ducks his head. LOL.

He leads the people to the horse, but just as he’s about to incriminate himself, Tanya yelps that Eunseom didn’t steal the horse to eat it himself, he hid it here because… but she can’t think of anything, so she looks at Eunseom and says, “Tell them.” HAHA, his face.

All he can think to say is that he was trying to ride the horse, and now everyone, even Tanya, stares at him like he’s gone nuts. LOL, even as he talks, he’s thinking, “Does this even make sense??

After laughing their heads off, the tribe present this as more proof that Eunseom is weird and a thief, and propose that he be banished. Tanya says that sometimes Eunseom’s strange ideas are useful, and they have to agree. Yeolson and Mother Choseol decide that Eunseom is to learn to ride the horse before the next full moon, but if he fails, he’ll be banished.

Later, Mother Choseol seems troubled, but all she tells Yeolson is that it’s something the former great mothers said. They go into his invention workshop, which Yeolson says is his favorite place because he doesn’t have to worry about spirits there. They discuss Eunseom, and how Tanya led them to him the day they found him, saying that she sensed someone in the woods.

It was the day Tanya had her first dream, which was also her last dream. Yeolson asks if Tanya can become the great mother if she can’t dream or do the spirit dance, but Mother Choseol tells him to have faith in his daughter, who’s the child of the Azure Comet, and who was foretold by prophecy.

Yeolson seems unsure of the prophecy, which says, “The one who breaks the shell shall appear on the day the Azure Comet appears, along with death. And the Wahan tribe shall no longer be the same.” Mother Choseol says it simply means that something big will happen, but not to be afraid because one among them will be prepared.

Eunseom never planned to ride that horse, and he whispers an apology to Tanya then prepares to end its life. But Tanya is nearby, and she nails him with a stone thrown with her sling and accuses him of planning to leave without telling her -she knows he needs horse leather to make sturdy shoes for crossing the Sea of Tears, and meat for the journey.

She winds up another stone, so Eunseom flees through the forest yelling apologies. He hides in a tree and pounces on Tanya, but she knees him in the butt and shoves him off, then resumes chasing him down.

She finally beans him in the head and he falls. But Tanya sees that the scales on Eunseom’s back have finally fallen off, and she pulls aside his shirt to get a better look. They remember Eunseom’s mother telling him to go back to the field of flowers once his scales fell off.

Eunseom says that they just recently came off, and Tanya realizes that he really did mean to leave. He says he saw his mother in a dream, but that all she did was look at him then disappear, just like she died without an explanation. Tanya says that his mother was sick and called him “Aramun,” as if that excuses him from following her orders.

But Eunseom says she was always sick, and yet she never rested or stopped looking for a way into Iark. But as soon as they arrived, his mother said he manipulated her and to go back, then died. Crying now, he says in a shaky voice that there’s nobody to ask his questions, but he can’t forget what his mother said.

Tanya says that she saved Eunseom’s life and she’s his friend, and that she wishes she could dream so she’d know how he feels. But she also says she knew he’d leave because his mother told him to. She gives him advice on which part of the horsehide makes the best shoe leather (the rump), then walks away.

Tanya’s upset makes Eunseom rethink his plan to leave, but Mother Choseol appears out of nowhere, reminding him that he promised her he would leave. She tells him to go before he’s too attached to this place, and he asks why she hates him so much when Tanya’s dream led him here.

Mother Choseol retorts that they don’t know if his presence is a benefit, or if he’ll bring calamity. She tells him that the Great White Wolf, the first great mother of the tribe, passed down three laws to every generation of great mothers, though Wahans don’t know of them because being told not to do something only makes people want to do it more.

Since he’s leaving, Mother Choseol tells Eunseom the three laws. First is not to cross the Great Black Wall, yet Eunseom already did that. Second is not grow seeds, but Eunseom once tried to grow a tree from an acorn.

The final rule is not to tame animals, but today, Eunseom said he was planning to tame the horse. Mother Choseol says he cannot ever be one of the Wahan tribe, and Eunseom asks what he can be, if his years with his mother are gone and now his years with Tanya are gone.

He tells Mother Choseol that his mother said living among people makes one a person. He asks who he is if not one of them, but Mother Choseol just says that perhaps his fate is to learn the answer to that question.

Eunseom cries as he races through the forest, then flings himself off a cliff into a lake. As he sinks underwater, his eyes glow as he asks be allowed to stay just until Tanya learns the spirit dance. Mother Choseol replies in his mind that he may stay until the Flower Spirit ceremony, but he must leave immediately afterward.

Tanya trains with Mother Choseol, at a sacred tree in the middle of a lake. Standing on the surface of the water, they practice the spirit dance together. Tanya performs the steps perfectly until the very end, when she falls to her hands and knees instead of striking the final pose.

Mother Choseol says that this is why Tanya still can’t dream, and that she can’t learn the spell of the Great White Wolf until she learns the spirit dance and begins dreaming. Watching from a distance, Eunseom hangs his head in disappointment for his friend.

Tagon’s men complain that they spent ten years wiping out the Neanthals, then quelled the Ago tribe rebellion. Now they’re being sent south to bring back Doojeumsaengs (their derogatory term for the people of Iark) as slaves to farm the land they stole from the Neanthals.

One of them asks YANGCHA (Ki Do-hoon), the young man who always wears a mask over his mouth, how much further it is to Iark, but he’s being punished and isn’t allowed to talk. The men joke about him, but it’s clear they’re all scared of Yangcha’s fighting abilities.

They finally arrive at their destination — a large elevator that’s being built to reach from the top of the Great Black Wall down into Iark. They greet Moobaek, but oddly, Tagon isn’t there to meet them. The slaves laboriously raise the elevator platform, and there’s Tagon, gazing over Iark greedily.

Tanya keeps practicing the spirit dance, but she always falls during the complicated final move. Mother Choseol joins her, and Tanya says sadly that she can’t hear the spirits’ voices, or perform the spirit dance, or even dream. She asks why she can’t run away with Eunseom, so Mother Choseol explains, “Because you’re tied to your name. Tanya of the Wahan tribe, Yeolson’s daughter, the next great mother, and the child of the Azure Comet prophecy.”

Tanya asks if Eunseom wants to leave because he’s also tied to a name, and Mother Choseol says that everything has a name, and Eunseom is no different. She says that he needs to go back where he came from, but Tanya points out that the Great White Wolf supposedly also came down from the Great Black Wall, and she never went back.

Mother Choseol reminds Tanya that Eunseom’s mother’s last words were to tell him to go back. But she says he won’t leave right away, because something is holding him back.

Eunseom is having a serious discussion with his horse about its unwillingness to stand up just because he tied a rope around its neck, ha. Tanya finds Eunseom trying to lift the horse to its feet himself, and she asks why he’s still here. Eunseom says he’ll leave once she learns the spirit dance, dreams, and becomes the great mother, lying that it’s too hot to go now, anyway.

Suddenly, Eunseom realizes how he can solve his problem of the tribe’s opinion of him — he could sit on the horse while it’s lying down, with is technically “riding the horse.” But Tanya snaps that he needs to take this seriously, and he adorably admits that yeah, it’s a little fun, hee.

Tanya says that if he fails to ride the horse and gets banished, he won’t be able to reach the Sea of Tears and other tribes will kill him. But Eunseom fires back that he’s been through a lot and he’s still in one piece, so Tanya gives him the carrot she brought and turns to go, annoyed.

But she turns back when she hears a voice in her head say, “Give me a name.” Wondering if she just heard her first spirit, Tanya silently asks the horse if it spoke to her. She recalls Mother Choseol saying that names tie things down, so she gives it a name — Helper, in the hopes that it will help Eunseom.

She cuts the rope, telling Eunseom that she tied the horse with something else. The horse stands, and Tanya tells Eunseom that his name is Helper before sauntering off.

Eventually the day of the Flower Spirit ceremony arrives, and the Wahan tribe is a flurry of celebration as the people all paint their faces and put flowers in their hair. Eunseom is still trying to ride Helper, who dumps him on the ground every time he climbs up.

LOL, at one point Eunseom is hanging upside-down with his arms and legs wrapped around Helper’s neck. Dalsae (Eunseom’s main accuser) and his buddies laugh as they watch, though they do wonder why the horse never runs away. Yeolson passes nearby and Dalsae and the others join him, on their way to trade with the Anja tribe for food.

Back at the village, Tanya follows Mother Choseol around, trying to work up the courage to ask if Eunseom can be allowed to participate in the festival. But before she gets the words out, Eunseom bounds over asking why Mother Choseol called for him, and Mother Choseol tells him to get ready. Awww, she’s a big softie.

Tanya and Eunseom go off together, where Tanya paints Eunseom’s face. He watches her closely as she moves on to paint his chest, and he clumsily tries to get a kiss. Just as his lips are about to touch hers, she growls, “I’ll kill you,” so he backs off pouting, hee.

When she’s finished, they admire themselves in the calm lake water, sharing another charged moment before Eunseom brings up the spirit dance. He makes Tanya practice the part where she always makes a mistake, and she warns him never to do the dance where anyone else can see him.

She insists stubbornly that she can master the steps by the final day of the ceremony, but it reminds them both that Eunseom will have to leave soon. He says there’s still a few scales left on his back, so Tanya makes him show her. She paints the scars left behind as Eunseom tells her that last night, he had a recurring dream of being locked up in a place surrounded by rocks, with walls covered in hides with strange drawings on them.

He changes the subject and ties a jade amulet that he made around Tanya’s neck, telling her to wear it every day once she becomes the great mother. Tanya scoffs that it won’t win her over, but she mutters that it’s pretty.

When Yeolson and the men arrive at the meeting place, they find the Anja tribesmen dead.

Eunseom goes back to Helper, who still won’t let him ride, so Eunseom petulantly threatens to rename him, ha. He chases Helper through the forest until they run into a badly injured Anja tribesman, but Eunseom only knows enough of the Anja language to understand that someone came to steal the land.

An arrow strikes the tree over Eunseom’s head, the first arrow he’s ever seen, then a Saenyeok warrior shows up and grazes Eunseom with another arrow. Eunseom runs, losing the warrior but running smack into another one. As they grapple, the warrior sees Eunseom’s purple blood, and gasps in surprise that he’s an Igutu (a cross between a human and a Neanthal).

Eunseom throws him into the first warrior, whose sword goes right through him. He tosses the first warrior into a boulder, smashing his skull and killing him instantly. Eunseom picks up the sword, wondering what it’s made of.

Yeolson leads his men back to the village, where they tell their tale of the dead Anja men. They believe the Wabi tribe broke their treaty, and while they’re arguing, Eunseom staggers into the village and says it wasn’t the Wabis.

Meanwhile, Moobaek finds the two warriors that Eunseom killed, and wondered who did this. Not far away, Helper watches the men.

Eunseom reports what happened, and that the Anja man said that someone came to steal the land. Yeolson and Mother Choseol say that nobody can own the land, and Dalsae accuses Eunseom of lying again, but this time Eunseom snaps back that he’s not lying.

He shows them the sword, and says that he even heard the warriors speaking their language. He runs off to bring back the Anja warrior so they can hear the story from him, and Helper follows right on his heels. While he’s gone, Dalsae continues to claim that Eunseom is lying, and he demands that Eunseom be banished, or he’ll leave himself.

His temper tantrum ends abruptly when the Wahan spot the Saenyeok warriors riding into their village. One little boy calls out that Eunseom was right, you can ride horses, and the warriors are surprised to hear these people speaking their language. The boy approaches Mugwang (one of the more hardened warriors) and reaches up curiously, and Mugwang cruelly kills him without a thought.

Moobaek orders his men to fire flaming missile into the Wahan huts. Finally understanding the danger, the Wahan try to escape or fight, but they’re overmatched, and before long most of them are dead or captured. Mother Choseol hides the children but is captured moments later.

Tanya struggles, but she’s quickly captured. She watches with horror as Mugwang draws another burning arrow and fires it into the hut where the children are hiding, which explodes in a ball of flames.

Tagon is at the Saenyeok base camp studying a map intently. One of his men tells him that he was excited when they first traveled down the Great Black Wall, because the legend of Aramun Haesulla says that Aramun might be in Iark, and the man was hoping to see Kanmoreu, Aramun’s otherworldly horse.

The Wahan people are bound, and we see that Tanya, Yeolson, and Mother Choseol, are all still alive, though Mother Choseol is badly wounded. Tanya looks around, but she doesn’t see Eunseom among the living or the dead. The Saenyeok warriors lead the captured people away from their home, leaving the village to burn.

A short distance from the village, Tanya spots Eunseom heading their way on Helper’s back, looking like an avenging spirit. Another villager sees him and they all start calling to Eunseom, and as he leaps off Helper’s back and fights the Saenyeoks, the villagers fight back against their captors.

Eunseom wordlessly frees Tanya and hands her a knife, then helps release more villagers. They scatter and run, and Eunseom pulls Tanya along as he joins the fleeing Wahans. A warrior nearly kills Eunseom, but Dalsae, who somehow escaped the initial attack, runs the warrior through with his spear.

Eunseom jumps onto Helper’s back and pulls Tanya up behind him, wrapping her arms around his waist tightly. He aims Helper directly at Yangcha, and the horse leaps impossibly high over Yangcha’s head. They nearly make it, but Yangcha yanks Tanya off Helper’s back with his chain whip, so Eunseom goes back for her.

He tries to free Tanya’s ankle, but she tells him to leave her. She says she’s the child of the Azure Comet and must stay with her people, and Eunseom looks around and sees that the Wahans are losing badly — even Dalsae has been captured. Tanya begs him to save himself, so that he can come back and save them one day.

Eunseom hesitates, then tells Tanya, “Give me a name. Give me something so I can keep going, so I won’t give up!” Yangcha pulls Tanya away and a volley of arrows stops Eunseom from going after her, and she screams to him, “Dream! That’s your name. Because you’re my dream as well as Wahan’s!”

She passes out, and Eunseom runs back to Helper and they flee, with Moobaek, Mugwang, and Kitoha, another warrior, close behind. Mugwang closes in and tries to impale Eunseom, but Eunseom grabs his spear and shoves him away.

Moobaek comes up on Eunseom’s other side, but Helper’s eyes gleam, and the Saenyeok’s horses suddenly slow down, allowing Helper to carry Eunseom safely out of reach. Moobaek realizes what’s happened and thinks to himself, “It can’t be… could that horse be Kanmoreu?”

Back at camp, the warrior tells Tagon that Kanmoreu is not just any fast horse — he’s the direct descendant of firstborns leading all the way back to the first horse. He says that no horse in the world can outrun Kanmoreu, but Tagon murmurs that it’s only a legend.

But as Moobaek watches Eunseom ride away on Helper, he thinks, “If that horse is Kanmoreu, then he is Aramun Haesulla.”

A voice narrates, “In ancient times, mankind came down from the trees, learned to use fire and began making sharp blades, invented wheels and started paving trails, and finally learned to plant seeds and settled in one place. But they did not have a nation or a king. People didn’t dream and had not yet reached the top of the great pyramid of nature. The glorious land of our ancient mothers. This place, Arth.”

 
COMMENTS

Interesting! The first episode ended with Eunseom’s mother realizing that the boy in her dream was Aramun, and that his face was her son’s. She accused Eunseom of being Aramun and tricking her into bringing him to Iark, then later, Aramun’s legendary horse finds Eunseom. I still don’t quite understand the lore of Arth’s gods yet, but it seems clear that the show at least wants us to think that Eunseom is the earthly incarnation of a god, come to destroy the world. Given that he seems such a sweet, innocent young boy so far, it raises a lot of questions about Eunseom’s true nature, and if he is Aramun, why he’s come back and for what purpose.

I love the concept introduced in this episode of names being a calling and a tether, something that directs a person’s life. Tanya’s name tied her to her people and her destiny, reminding her of why she was born and what she’s meant to accomplish. She named the horse Helper, and he lived up to his name, helping Eunseom when he needed it most. Then she gave Eunseom a name, Dream, that defines him as her dream and the dream of the Wahan people’s freedom. I’m sure the name Dream will come to carry more significance as Eunseom seeks out his own destiny and place where he belongs. I wonder if Tanya giving Eunseom a new name full of hopeful meaning is enough to counter the possibility of his being a malevolent god — I guess we’ll find out.

I was very impressed with the first episodes of Arthdal Chronicles, pretty much for all the reasons dramallama mentioned — clear, concise storytelling, rich world-building, and fantastic casting. But I loved the second episode for a whole different set of reasons. Much of it was less intense, more light-hearted, giving us a chance to learn about Eunseom and his struggle to fit in somewhere. That’s such a universally human desire, to want to belong, and yet Eunseom is a melding of two worlds but part of neither. He doesn’t know who he is, and his mother’s words just before her death confused him so much, and the only person who makes him feel understood and accepted is someone he’s not supposed to be around.

Which is heartbreaking, because I pretty much fell for Eunseom and Tanya right away, and their friendship is the cutest thing ever. I found myself laughing out loud several times during their bickering exchanges, and I loved the way Tanya threw Eunseom under the bus with the horse situation. You can tell they’ve been buddies for years, but there’s something deeper evident in the way Eunseom is reluctant to leave Tanya, and I can already sense the chemistry they’ll have later as their friendship grows into more. I suspect that Tanya’s inability to perform her great mother duties had a lot to do with knowing that once she becomes great mother, Eunseom would leave. But now they have a much bigger problem, with the Wahans’ being dragged off to slavery and their only hope being Eunseom, the boy they ostracized.

I really appreciate how richly built the world of Arth is, with its lore and cultures. The different tribes and their customs feel fully-realized, with deep histories and customs, and there seem to be secrets that could come into play later. For example, there are interesting clues that the Wahan tribe may actually be descended from the Saenyeok or another allied tribe — they are the only tribe in Iark that speaks the same language as their captors, and their founder, the Great White Wolf, is said to have come down from the Great Black Wall. I’m also interested to learn more about the Igutu child that Tagon saved, and to know why Tagon saved him and if he and Eunseom are truly the last remnants of the Neanthal left in the world. I also like that the show doesn’t back down from showing the cruelty of the world, which worries me for Eunseom and Tanya’s future, but also promises that this story will be raw and unpredictable.

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This Episode is full of Song Joong Ki, I'm so bless. I think this drama will be him as a center of the story, might be one of the reason he assigned to this drama.

All In All, I'm fangirling too much look at SOng Joong Ki with that outfit the whole time LOL

Welcome back to the small screen, Joong Ki.

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I had a hard time getting through eps 2 although it was more grounded than the first. This show is not going to be in the front row for me.
To be honest I hope Joong-ki will go back to more critical roles like in TREE WITH DEEP ROOT and WEREWOLF BOY. He is already popular but I do understand his relationship with the writers.
I'll check in for more Kim Ok-bin. Hopefully, she'll have the staying power. I'm just not into boring goody two shoes born with power. I want a love/hate relationship with her character lol.

Thanks to ARTHDAL I found season 3 of THE LAST KINGDOM on Netflix. Now that's more like my kind of show.

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Yes I'm in the same shoes with you. I actually abit tired with this heroes has special one kind of plot. I was eat up all this kind of story when i was a childhood and still do. He is trapped in this kind of character for how long already. I was just read his old interview, that he would want to act a character like Kim Myung Min in White Tower, cold and a selfish person but inside, he is so lonely. Full of layer that will showcase his acting. Oh how I wish that kind of character get offer to him.

But I take what I Got. I think there is an interesting element in this setup, about depiction characteristic each tribe and how they live, which I don't know if the writers will give it justice.
The ending of episode make sure the focus is on another theme I don't like. Haha.

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Kim Myung Min was mind blowing in WHITE TOWER with PD Ahn Pan-seok at the helm so I totally understand why he would want to play that kind of character. Unlikable power hungry a-hole but he owned it. He'll always be remembered for that role for the rest of his character.

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oops career.

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He will be amazing with that kind of roles. Perhaps that roles will come when he gets older and his popularity go down abit. I think There is little pressure on him that make him still consider a roles that will maintain his popularity.

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TWDR was what made me fall in love with Song Joong-ki's acting. He was so awesome in that role he managed to leave an impression after he left, even with a major powerhouse like Han Suk-kyu as his older counterpart . Still my favourite performance by him (followed by Werewolf Boy).
I'm still hoping his character won't be a boring goody two shoes born with power, since the main characters of the writer duo's two previous sageuks were layered and complex (even the Great King Sejong). Come on writers, I know you are capable of writing interesting male leads, lol.

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I hope you are right. Haha
We will have more angst to come.

One thing is for sure, my complain not taken away his acting in this drama, because even with that kind of character. He is fantastic. Totally nail Eun Seum, a human in ancient time and his naivety.

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I love how he's portraying Eunseom's existential crisis. I do remember the writers mentioning they had him in mind from the start, no wonder the role fits him so well. Also, I love me some angst, so bring it on show lol.

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Damn, existential crisis sounds weird lol. I meant his conflict about where he belongs and stuff.

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He also benefit from going against a strong antagonist in his father.

He almost work with Bong Joong-ho in SEA FOG but he turned it down and enlist in the military.
It's too bad, that would've been much better than his role in BATTLESHIP ISLAND.

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I'm still bitter with that one. He almost worked with Bong Joong Ho but he turn it down and enlist 😰😰. It will be always haunt me for the rest of my life.

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Wow, didn't know about that! That's such a pity, it would've been a great opportunity for him (I agree, way better than Battleship Island).

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I am not sure but I googled sea fog and it is not bong joon ho's work. I might be wrong though

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He was the exec producer and co-writer. He is probably the reason why Kim Yoon-Seok was part of the cast because this was Shim’s first time directing a film.

Shim co-wrote MEMORIES of MURDER with Bong.

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Oh thank you for the clarification.

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All kinds of story genres exist. One doesn't have to watch a genre that one doesn't like. It'd be like me watching a slasher pic and saying that i am tired of all the gore, blood, etc that are in all the ubiquitous slasher pics. I would just say that if something is not your genre, that doesn't make it a bad story. Nor does it make the story non "critical." Right now there are many tribes in the Amazon rain forest who are battling imperialists who want to take over their land. In the USA there are many tribes who are losing their rights to their ancestral lands because Big Oil wants their land. There are cities in the US and in the world where Nestle has taken over the water rights of local tribes and counties so that Nestle can sell bottled water. If the problems of tribes is being dealt with and you don't care about aboriginal rights and the struggle that non-white non-technological societies are dealing with at this present moment, you can choose not to watch but i don't think you should say the story is not critical. Such stories resonate with Native American and black folks like me. Of course what is critical to westernized white folks can also be critical to westernized non-white folks but often it's not the other way around. Minorities learn to identify with the story themes of the imperialist or larger cultures but so many times there are folks from the majority culture who ignore or diss the stories told about universal tribal struggles. This does not say that stories of tribes are not "critical."

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I was just replying to another fangirl about Song Joong-ki's character but thanks for the essay.

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The way i see it actors can play whatever part they want to play if they want to say something important about their own society and the world. I'm sure he will do smaller stories made for those who like "critical" stories. But for the moment, he has put his heart and soul into this and as a fellow creative I admire him for doing that. As for essays, I used to be a teacher so essays are my default language. Mercifully, i didn't talk about Burning, Parasite, the nature of greed in modern Korean films, and my joy that this screenwriter is dealing with the issue of global take and the haves and havenots. Am thankful for your thankfulness.

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My favorite SJK is Innocent Man/Nice Guy.

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Me too... Kang MaRu is still my fav of SJK 😝😅

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This is the second episode and itcontinues to impress me. I loved the relationship btw Tanya and Eunseom. Tanya is like the only person who believes in him and they have a crush on eachother. I cant believe that ugly warrior struck down a kid. I thought they needed slaves, why kill half of them.
You know that habit of song joong ki sniffing, he did this here. When i saw it, i smiled.

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“I thought they needed slaves, why kill half of them.”
IKR. And they built a mega elevator off the Mother of All Cliffs of Doom, crossed a burning sea, only to kill half of the people they intended to enslave.” The unnecessary cruelty of it all.

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Yeah. That was so over the top. Dramatically villain-ising the Saram’s.
A simple ‘surrender to us or fight and die’ would have been a good start. And then a. Few casualties of those to fight or escape would have been a Sensible thing to show.

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I'm guessing they couldn't take all of them, so they only spared the ones they would enslave and killed the others to avoid retaliation. They were struggling to keep their prisoners after Eunseom appeared out of nowhere after all. They also didn't seem to think much of the Iark people (they even refer to them in a derogatory way), so it's not surprising that they were so unhesitant to cruelly mass-murder the ones they consider 'worthless' and 'inferior'. I wouldn't be surprised if some of them actually enjoy killing innocent people (like that ugly braided dude who killed the children, he sure seemed to be having a blast). Still, it's kind of dumb that they went for the Wahan tribe out of all the ones they could've enslaved, since they don't even seem to do agriculture. Either way, plot-holes aren't really a new thing with this writer duo, so I'm kind of used to it already.

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And yeah, them building that mega elevator and crossing the sea of tears just to enslave some 'inferior' tribesmen that don't even plant stuff seemed a bit too extra. Like a poorly planned plot device to make Eunseom head to Arthdal and Tanya grow as a character. As I said, I'm not really surprised by the plot-holes, since I've been watching this writer duo's dramas for a while. Though to their credit, they do know how to make interesting stories and characters. Tree With Deep Roots remains the sageuk I enjoyed the most.

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the tribes in iark were the only available workforce for them. it doesn't matter that they can't cultivate the land because humans learns fast, if necessary.
the saenyeok use the classic mongolian tactic - obedience trought fear.

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@tarotaro
Yeah, that makes sense. I didn't hear them saying the Iark tribes were the only ones available, so maybe that's why. I'd also gotten the impression that they only captured the Wahan people, which would be weird because there seemed to be other tribes who did agriculture in Iark. Maybe they didn't show them? Either way, it's gotten the plot to move forward, so I don't mind.
I do agree that the Saenyeok tribe using violence as a means to subjugate the Wahan people, not only physically, but also mentally, makes sense. I wasn't too bothered by them being so bloody cruel, because they were presented that way from the start (not to mention the Wahan people did fight back, which probably gave them another excuse to be brutal with them).

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This is the first time they crossed the sea of tears. So I doubt they knew about the tribes. I expected some reaction once they heard Wahan tribes speaking the same language.
well damn, I could use any expression coming from Moobaek. he really looks like he hates his job ; )

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@mayhemf I was dissapointed that Moobaek led the capture/killing of the Wahan because he seemed against Tagon’s cruelty, but I guess he’s just a warrior who follows orders. I wonder if he has a limit...he’s an interesting character.

I also wonder if he felt smothered by those furs in the summer heat of Iark. 😄

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It may be "over the top" but the reality is that this happens NOW in real life! That is why the show was so hard for me to watch. Many scenes I just turned away from the screen and glanced back until it was done.
One time I had to turn off the sound it was so hard.
But I think they are re-telling the story of what is happening right now. @scifiwritir explained it well in her essay above.

This show reminded me of how I felt watching "The Mission" years ago. A movie about how the Spaniards went to a mission run by Jesuits for some indigenous people in the Amazon - and killed many of them and made the rest slaves. I cried for days after that - however the music in that was superb.
Anyway - I'm not sure how long I'll be able to watch this series but I'll give it another weekend. It is simply a reminder of how horrible greedy men can be.

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And they killed young and able ones and enslaved old and wounded, I guess no one teach them rules of efficient recruitment of forced laborers.

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Well, they didn't seem very bright lol. The only reason I can find for them sparing Mother Choseol is that they needed her around for a while longer. Wouldn't be surprised if they ended up killing her off, judging from the way they emphasized on her injury, and that would serve as some sort of catalyst for Tanya.

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By *they needed* I meant the writers of course. Not the captors.

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It couldn't be more obvious they needed her character some more, the execution of some plot points it's too much "in your face" sometimes.

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True, one of the things I wish for this drama would be more subtlety with the execution, but I cut the writers some slack for all the intense, Tolkien-level world-building they've been doing. Their dramas tend to require an alternation between suspension of logic and intense usage of brain. I'm sort of used to it, so I don't mind it too much (doesn't mean I can't point it out lol).

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I’m still getting into this show, but I don’t think it’s for any reason related to the quality- I think it’s just the typical fea to have going into adventure and fantasy shows: I’m worried they’re going to end up shafting the female characters, and use them less as individual protagonists/antagonists and more vehicles for the male characters’ progressions. Fingers crossed Show proves me wrong!

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*fear

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From my experience with this writer duo, they might have a lot of flaws, but one thing I like about them is that they do know how to write strong female characters and how to treat them, even in male-centric shows like Tree With Deep Roots and Six Flying Dragons. I got the impression that they have something bigger planned for Tanya, so here's hoping she won't be simply Eunseom's love interest and a plot device for his character development.

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Both Tanya and Eunseom were born under the Azure Comet.(I've forgotten what i wanted to write)
I look forward to how Eunseom is going to deliver the people of lark from Tagon and now that tacos has seen his face, it definetely wont be easy

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Did you mean tagon has seen his face? I’m sorry but from now im calling him tacos 🌮 😂😂😂

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🤣🤣🤣. I meant Tagon but tacos will do

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Thank you for the recap!

I enjoyed ep 2 more than ep 1. There are so many characters, I don't think I can remember them all 🤣.

My hope is super horse lives a long life in Arthdal and out runs all the arrows shot at him.

I plan to watch ep 3 to see who purple blood sibling is.

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It's the guy with the mask.

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I suspect him too. I want to see him without the mask. Do we know who the actor is?

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The Daekan warrior with the mask is Yang-Cha, portrayed by Ki Dohoon. He wears the mouth mask as a symbol of the punishment of silence which he is serving. I've translated the tvN character synopsis which goes into detail about the Daekan troops and their personalities, check it out to learn more about them!

https://beyondmikrokosmos.wordpress.com/2019/06/04/arthdal-chronicles-character-synopsis-saenyeok-tribe-daekan-forces/

My guess is that Yang-Cha knows Tagon's secret, and maybe when he was young, he spoke of it outloud once, and now he's condemned to never speaking ever again.

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That link had too many details (which may be spoilers for some) so didn’t read it.
The masked boy was present even before Tagon took the child. So it can’t be him.

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I like this theory about him knowing a secret of Tagon's.

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That guy was there when they killed ragaz but I was also wondering why he has a mask on. I thought he might be another igut as well and that his lips are more purple and that the mask is the only way to hid them.

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It's not him...He was present when they killed Ragaz,EUnSeom's Dad...I suspect maybe Tagon maybe saved him in one of his missions while being sent to wipe out a Igutu tribe and the guy betrayed his own people and thus saying he is being punished...He might be another species as well but it's early too know..He looks young but he surely isin't...

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Yeah. It’s not him. He has a story but not the brother we are looking for

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In any case he has some wicked chain lassoing skills.

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@wishfultoki ha ha. Yes. At least our 🐎 knows the tackle :)

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I'm more curious if Jo Byun Kyoo might be playing the Hyung

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I thought that at first, but mask dude is a grown fledgling warrior in the "10 years ago" part when purple blooded brother would have only been 12ish years old. So, probably not, unless puberty hit him early and with full force. :)

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Mask dude was also present when the Daekan troops killed Ragaz after he hid his actual child (though I think it was his younger version?), so it's impossible for him to be the long-lost brother. Also it'd be way too obvious lol. I don't think it will be someone we know as of yet.

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My bet is a twin brother.. LOL. too far-fetched but good reason to hide the brother for 2 episodes.

Also, how many people were born during this comet. Both EunSeom and Tanya were born at the same day/time?
How did the tribe know he was born during the comet? Did the mother say that before dying?

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@mayhemf so Song Joong Ki is playing double duty? He is actually 2 characters? That would be interesting.

But..I expect the sarams know how Tagon adopted child looks like. They should recognize Eunsom if they are identical twins.

About tanya/eunsom birth history...maybe the tribe dreamt about it without realising? 🤣

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@mayhemf
The Arthdal page does mention Eunseom and Tanya being born in the same day. While it doesn't come in the subtitles, from the way they spoke during the judgement scene, it is implied that Eunseom was the one who told the tribe that he was born under the blue comet.

@katakwasabi
While I doubt it, it would be awesome if Song Joong-ki really played double roles, innocent twin vs. evil twin, ala Yeo Jin-goo in The Crowned Clone; he did mention he wanted to try a less likable role :)

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@katakwasabi @moonrabbit
Tagon is hiding the other kid. I don't think any of the warriors have seen him. Doesn't the woman mention this while they are in his room?

The reason am leaning towards the twin brothers is because its a classic troupe - siblings separated when young and one of them ends up with the villian. This can be a very dramatic set up in this genre.
The downfall prophecy can be from the bad twin who was also born during the Comet.

am just throwing a wild guess here. if he were playing double roles I think the spoiler would have come out by now right? anyway. we will know in another episode.

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Oh boy,i loved the second episode even more than the first and i wanted more because it went soooo fast...I really wanted to see for such a long time a fantasy drama including mithology and chosen one that rignt now i'm right in the sky level happiness!

Don't know about u guys but i found EunSeom soooo beautiful when he dived in that water and his eyes turned pink and his pale purple lips,i really hope it won't be the last time we see him with his special eyes!Anticipating so much his bounding with his horse,his friend...The last moments when we saw him riding the horse and Mubaek realized who the horse is and who is the one riding him were soooo awesome!I can't wait for all the others to see that the Legend is real!Hope he will be able to hear the horse voice as well...

Hope we'll dwelve more into this legends and all the mystic of it because they are sooo beautiful along the custom's of this tribes because they are facinating...The show doesn't hide the brutality and oh boy,what brutality!(at least not that wide in kdramas unlike other shows) and i'm really invested in the journey of this characters and what will they bring,their rise and the others well deserved fall because that much slaughter and blood can't end well...Can't wait for Eun Seom to find out who he is and were his path leads him,to discover his porpose in life and his home...

I wanted to say this since yesterday but i really love the detail they put with the Igutu and making them have purple blood as the mix of both races and not just plain blood(and telling us they are mixed),it makes it quite special along the pale purple lips... i was also curious if EunSeom's pink(fuchsia) eyes color are a trademark for his Igutu lineage and all Igutu's share the same common tragemark or is just him because he is Aramun...Also how beautiful is the detail they added of the Lonicera Flower on his back(the flower that the GOD is mentioned to be carrying)…I'm a bit sad that Asa Hon didn't realize(or maybe she did in her last moments) that her son even if he is the reincarnation or chosen one by Aramun was meant for greater things,to be a hero and not a calamity or bad omen and she wasn't cursed for betraying her people back then,yet again I guess he is a calamity for those greedy people so it is a matter of how one sees it...Also, i hope all this bad people last to see EunSeom conquer Asadal and be his King,that the one that has that filthy blood,blood of a monster,the kind that they hunted and slughtered rules the land that they cared so much;I must say Gods are fickle and cruel and will surely punish them...

I'm also quite curious if we'll get to her more of the Neanthal boys,that they actually escaped the Great Hunt and that they weren't just a cameo,would be sad...Even more when those children knew Asa Hon and Ragaz and their story and what happened in those days and what Asa Hon told Rottip about the said curse upon her and the two brothers...It would be a...

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Cont ---
It would be a great opportunity for EunSeom to know more about his background and what happened back then from them…

I'm also intrigued if that dream that EunSeom always seems to have is his or if he is chanelling his brother and sees what he does...Quite intrigued if EunSeom will be able to "dream" about his mother and see his father",if this dreams limit themselves only to the future or it can also show the past...
Hope we'll also get a glimpse of the past again and what actually happend back then when the snake(more likely Aramun in god form)came to EunSeom and looked like he was attacking him..I think he was then the reason he got magically cured...
With just two episodes and the Legend of the grand Aramun Hesulla is starting to take shape and I for one quite understood it jajja,like mentioned more likely like Asa Hon said in the night of the slaughter,Aramun stopped looking at them as the ones worthy of his Kingdom(the rats) and reincarnated once again having two voices(aka Eun Som and Tanya) to conquer once again the land and get rid of them and make Arthdal a nation,an Empire with a worthy ruler...

I think that if the tribes didn't break the peace and didn't loose to the greed the God wouldn't have turned his back on them and see them as the enemy that needs to be vanquished and him starting once again like in the legend to create a new Arthdal...(the ending naration of Asa Hon being quite in sync after the 1st ep started with Ragaz)

Aramun Haesulla: God of Harmony and Unification who brings Arthdal together...

In some sense this premise really reminds of a book i adore and really recomand if u adore fantasy,myths,chosen one and elements that are here : The Last Namsara

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*Seal Claps* SJK enters the story

... however my mind completely drifted away during the second half of this episode. Need to rewatch.

One thing for sure: they need to tone down that dreamy filter. Why spray tan the actors just to make them bright and blurred? 🤦🏻‍♀️

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I think the dreamy filter is supposed to add to the fantastical, mythical vibe of the drama (reminds me of the first The Hobbit movie), but yeah, I do wish they'd tone it down a bit.

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I think the dreamy filter is supposed to add to the fantastical, mythical vibe of the drama, but yeah, I'd prefer it if they toned it down a bit too.

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Oops, accidentally wrote the same comment twice. I should really just register or something lol.

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The name thing reminds me the books The Kingkiller Chronicle , when knowing the real name of a thing or a person let you "control" them (and the teacher of this discipline is really funny :p)

One of my issue is I don't feel the korean "vibe". The places looks too much exotic. Their clothes and style are a mix from different civilizations. I can't see the futur Korea in this.

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It doesn't have the korean vibe as it is a fantasy drama.
Plus it was filmed in jeju that technically is a separate entity to korea ahahah. I visited jeju and it does not really have the same vibe as the rest of the country.

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But it's a fantasy drama about the mythology of Korea.

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It is? wow...did not know that.

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😍😍😍O.O I LUB Kingkiller Chronicles and Master Elodin!!! But I think that type of naming is based on a completely different philosophy right? When you master the technique and concentrate enough, the name comes to you in a flash, and after you have your way with it, the name goes away. The second time summoning that name us supposed to be easier, tho.
Here, Tanya can just see deep into the soul and just recognise what the core purpose/concept of that person, aka the "name", and she informs that to the said person so he could know about his potential and adjust accordingly. It doesn't look like the names LITERALLY tether itself to a person and grant control over him, just hypothetically so.
As in, I believe Tanya can leave or decline the position of Mother if she doesn't feel like it. That's what I got from it. It's not like she'd die or be cursed if she doesn't want to do something predetermined, right?

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I was more thinking in the power of name. In the both case, name are not just name.

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Aha aha. I understand now.

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Interesting 2nd episode. I wonder if the fact that he might be the earthly incarnation of a god is a good thing. As we can see the people in arthdal are quite corrupt and happy to enslave people just for their own profit. Ok, they needed land to feed the growing population and they tried to bargain with the neanthal but the effort was not really big. They behaved like the americans with the native americans. Now they even enslaved the people...
Eunseom will be the new breaker of chains...ahahah
I am still curious to see what happens to Eunseo's older brother. How he grew up.

I was hoping to see some more young Tagon and how he fell for his badass lady. ;p

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It sure isin't a good thing for the corrupt ones as he did reincarnate more than sure to wipe them away after he betrayed him and slaughtered innocents on his land...That night of the slaughter like Asa Hon said,the GOD turned their eyes on them and after he came back to vanquish them unworthy of his name or land and get a proper ruler...I think they always desired the land and used the oportunity for their own greed....

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They behaved like the americans Europeans with the native americans.

It reminded me of that too.

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My personal guess to aramun is that eunseom and tanya together is aramun like since in the first episode each of them held one of the symbols of aramun.

But anyway, I'm liking the show so far in terms of what i has to offer, at times it seems abit generic but most times I could see what the writers were trying to do and it worked. I feel like the writers for this drama are the best at just giving enough suspense and intrigue for you to go back and continue each episode.

Now the only problem is that they're airing the last 6 episodes like in the 2nd half of the year and not directly after so what am i supposed to do in that time frame?

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Love the second epi. Song Joongki own this episode. Hope the momentum continues.

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Great Recap. I agree, I think the pacing of ep 2 was excellent and really draws people into the rich world that the writers are setting up for us. I think SJK and KJW look great on screen together so the eye candy factor is certainly there. Moreover, the scenery is just beautiful. I'm not sure how much was CG (I think the sacred tree and pool was CG), but I wonder if the Cliff/lagoon where Tanya paints Eunsom is real or CG as well. Either way, very visually pleasing episode and it does move the story along.

I think part 1 will mostly be about Tagon's takeover of Arthdal, and then part 2 will be where Eunsom rises to challenge him. But what will part 3 be about??? Will there be some supernatural threat that they have to all band together to defeat in order to assure the survival of all races (saram, igutu, neanthal, farm animals and all?)

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I really love the way this drama is exploring the origins of human nature. Unlike other sageuks, Arthdal actually takes place at the beginning of true civilization in Korea, so it can justifiably reflect on why modern society has developed into what it is. The depicted violence and greed, as well as the community and love, have clearly evolved into the same themes we see in dramas illustrating modern stories.

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and now we have some shamanistic elements in the show 😊 and the 3 rules are important: the wahan tribe is problaly from one of tre saram tribes, but they tried turning back from farming to an earlier phase:to huntering-gathering.

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Here’s my theory on that! I think that Asa Sin and Risan the father that fled over the black ridge in that story about Kanmoreu are the ones that founded the Wahan tribe and that’s why they speak the same language. The same Asa Sin lady was probably the 1st great wolf mother. She probably gave them the rules 1) To worship & To never cross the black ridge : because it kept the Saram who were becoming greedy & evil on the other side 2) Not to grow seeds: because this leads to wanting abundance and being greedy rather than learning to live off of what the land naturally provides (this leads to a sense of ownership of the land when it belongs to no one). 3) Not to tame Aminals : maybe Because animals like horses are used as instruments of war.

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the scene where Tanya asked Eunseom to let go...OMGAHHHHHHHH....so heartbreaking.

I love kim ji won. she's fabulous!!!

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I'm also really interested to hear what the origin legend of Arthdal is... I love that this rich backdrop of Arth has a world construct behind it that we're learning about as the drama goes along. We're given a glimpse in the conversation between Yeonbal and Hae-TuAk, who were talking in front of the map with Tagon...

So far, we know that there was the original father "Ri-san", and the original mother "Asa-Shin", who escaped to into the area now known as the Iark lands. Aramun is actually Asa-Shin's envoy. He seems to have gone looking for them, since Yeonbal says that Aramun probably tried to follow Asa Sin, and that's why Kanmoreu, Aramun's sacred horse, may be in Iark too. But why did Ri-san and Asa-shin flee though?!

Also, SJK said in the ep 0, that the Wahan tribe is the representation of what is most pure, innocent, and the lovely sides of mankind. It shows in that they are a tribe without currency who lives by what they can get by with nature. It also is interesting that unlike Arthdal, where there is a clear hierarchy, when the Wahan gather, everyone has a right to speak.

Others have taken note as well but the 3 pillars of the Wahan are meant to prevent them from becoming an agrarian society, but why? it's like telling them not to aim for advancement of their civilization.... My thought is that... could it be the Great White Wolf wanted to keep Wahan a clan of hunter/gatherer to prevent them from developing greed and ambition because she's really Asa-Shin who fled from Arthdal where SARAM started to settle into agrarian lifestyles and became concerned with ownership of power and land?

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I guess Great White Wolf wanted to keep them away from greed and power struggles as long as she could. Also because sooner or later the gods will punish you for it. I think it was quite wishful thinking because you cannot prevent progress in a society. It is just impossible...

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Yeah it does look like she started a tribe with some rules and boundaries to keep them good humans.

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I didnt watch ep0. There's no sub for it

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I have been curious about the language Neantals were using? does anyone here know if it was based on a real language or completely made-up?
it seemed familiar to me, similar to ancient Persian or Sanskrit.

p.s. cant login :(

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i read it online that it was deviced by a Korean linguist professor and it actually is hangul spelled backwards.

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That makes sense. It did sound to me like Ragaz said “Saram” backwards: “Maras”

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I am here for Horse, the helper and his side glances :))

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That horse is an incredible actor.

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He deserves an award

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And to think he almost got eaten and used for shoe leather :D

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Helper the horse is definitely the scene stealer :)

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The horse is the star of this episode

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Thanks for the recap @lollypip! I liked this episode much more than the first because it was less intense, and because I love horse stories. I wasn’t expecting a thrilling horse story to be part of this drama, but bring it on! 😍 I think I replayed the chase scene several times.

The only thing that bugged me was the narrator’s voice at the end, forcing us to remember that this is not set in vague mythical times but a sort of prehistory: “after our ancestors cane down from the trees... but did not yet have nations or kings.” It was the mention of _homo sapiens_ which made chuckle in ep. 1. I don’t think the drama needs the pseudo history and Stone Age vs Bronze Age stuff. It’s much stronger if it sticks to the Aramun legend.

But anyway, I have no complaints about ep. 2. I almost dropped the drama after ep. 1 but I’m glad I gave it a chance.

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I am going to pretend this is fantasy. It’s much easier to enjoy that way. Otherwise, will be nitpicking too much. Like the elevator was world class :)) or the pedestrian roadway on the geo thermal land. I wish they had shown some crudeness or struggle in these. At least show that Tagon lost some men before he came up with the bridge or something like that.
Also I like it when the story keeps everyone in a grey zone. This entire good vs evil is oversimplified. I hope Tagon’s Character is More layered than what is shown so far.

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Exactly. If they cut out the narrator it would be easier to consider Arth a fantasy world in its own right, but the show also wants us to see it as sort of prehistory leading into the foundation of Gojoseon. It’s confusing to have both.

I actually started this drama because of the Gojoseon angle. The dream Eunseum had about about a room with books reminded me a lot of a similiar scene in SIX FLYING DRAGONS, where a young man found a map and a plan to establish the new nation of Joseon.

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Yes, this so much, evil = black leather and eyeliner, good = flower crowns, Burning Man/Coachella face and body paint. And if you had any doubt, look they kill children and laugh about it, subtle af.
They seed up too much through world building and it leads to such a blunders.

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LOL at eyeliners vs flower crowns.. exactly.
The whole wiping out Neanthals didn't look so bad since it started with talks and then war. It seems like a war between two tribes, with one of them using a bio weapon.
The Neanthals were too powerful and made Sharam's insecure so it was understandable.
(I still am rooting for Neanthals though.. I loved them and hope the boys survived and are living somewhere)

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I believe the boys did survive. Knowing these writers, I don't think they would waste such a golden chance for more drama and simply kill off all the Neanthals, after all the thought they put into them. Should be interesting, since Neanthal boy Rottib seemed to be aware of Asahon and Ragaz' history, as well as the fact that they had two sons. I think he'll play an important role later on.

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@moonrabbit - please consider registering.

Rottib seemed like a very advanced kid with knowledge, so I too expect him to make a comeback.

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I'll just pretend that they've been working on it for a long time, after they acquired the lands of the Neanthals, and that they've gone through a lot of struggle to get it done, since it's not mentioned otherwise anywhere.
If anything, these writers do know how to write grey, layered characters. I think Tagon will be interesting, 'cause Jang Dong-gun mentioned in the special epiosde that, while he has a hard time trusting and relying on others and can also be pretty merciless, his loyalty for his people is sincere. I also want to believe that there's more to Eunseom than just the cookie-cutter chosen hero based on the writers' previous sageuk male leads; from the way they spoke of Song Joong-ki and his character, there seemed to be more. Taealha should be interesting, and I remember Writer Park mentioning he found Tanya the scariest out of all the main characters. The main cast sounds promising.

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From the special episode, I get the impression that the writers wanted to do both an all-fictional high fantasy piece and an epic sageuk about the founding of Gojoseon, so they went for alternate legendary/mythical version of the founding of Gojoseon lol. I'll just consider this show an ancient legend about Gojoseon so that I can properly enjoy it. For some reason, the pre-historical angle doesn't really bother me, maybe because I went in with no expectations regarding the historical accuracy and it's set so back in time and told in a mythical tone, unlike the writer duo's other epic sageuk, Queen Seondeok, whose blatant historical inaccurancies were a major turn off for me. It gives me major The Lord of the Rings vibes, which has a similar kind of story-telling.

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Yeah, a mythical/legend tone really works.. I agree. I am enjoying the ride and don't want to get boggled down by details of historical accuracy - that will be the end of our entertainment ; )

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I'm also really enjoying this show after a very long drama slump. I like that the writers are trying something different and atypical, even if there's a lot of flaws with their execution. I'm also enjoying talking about it with my sister, who's a huge Song Joong-ki fangirl, since we never watch the same dramas due to our wildly different preferences lol.

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I wouldn't worry about pre-historical accuracy, besides there is no historical records past the 3 kingdom's era.
The foundation myth that this drama is loosely based on was written by a monk during the Goryeo era.

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Yeah, that's probably why I'm not so bothered by the historical setting and the accuracy (or lack of thereof), unlike the writer duo's other works.

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stirrups, they are using stirrups and saddles with a tree... (the inner almost archaeologist cried in me)

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JUMONG is the closest to Gojoseon. Most of it was fictional but based more on traditional myths and legends.
Sadly I don’t feel the Gojoseon connection with this show. One thing I was looking forward to.

Oh gosh, QUEEN SEONDEOK was written for Bidan’s fans lol. I got nothing out of it but pure entertainment.

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Maybe the third part of ARTHDAL will be more about Gojoseon, but I dunno, the drama feels modern and not very Korean at all. It’s entertaining though.
Lol I was one of the few who didn’t like Bidam it seems. I watched for Mishil, and when she was gone I got bored.

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I went in knowing the historical version of it so I was expecting Bidam to be this old fart who wants to overthrow the queen but got the opposite lol.

Mishil was the star of the show for me, thanks to Go Hyun-jung.

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I'm really loving the worldbuilding in this drama. This episode was an interesting combination of peaceful Edenic and tension because we just sat around in despair knowing all this was going away. And yes, the mom gives birth to the savior/destroyer who is also a god. I am so trusting this writer and this worldbuilding. So far, we know that the regular saram don't dream. When does this ability become part of all humanity? We know that names mean something, at least to the little village of saram people. But why is this village of saram people separated from the more technological sarams? How did they escape past the sea of tears in the beginning to become separated from the larger saram tribe? Are there other offshoot tribes like the wahan out there that speak the same language as the saram? That other tribe that was killed by the techno-saram didn't speak the saram language. It's all very interesting and am loving it. Thanks so much for your recap and analysis.
We now have two iguthi. Will they come to bond when they realize who they are. I wish we knew what he looked like under that mask. But what happened to the full-blooded neanthal kids who were with our hero's mother from the first episode?

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I can't believe that THIS is the drama that has brought me back to drama land after "Goblin." I'm normally not a fan of shows that require a spreadsheet to keep track of all the characters and relationship, but there is something really captivating about this show. Watched it on a whim since it showed up on Netflix, did not have any expectations (expect maybe some interest in seeing KJW and SJK in a drama together), and was shocked by how much I enjoyed this fantastical world. In my opinion, the 2nd episode is better than the first, particularly because SJK and KJW are so good in their roles (individually and together). I'm really rooting for this one.

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From what i can recall, in their wiki page, Kim ok vin is described as a last living neanthal. Isint that ragaz people. What's her story. She's kinda hiding in plain sight or does tagon know??

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I wonder if they dropped the Taealha being a Neanthal idea? Her dad isn't a Neanthal either. She could be an Igt, but then again she wouldn't be the last surviving Neanthal because Eunseom is an Igt too (and some people suspect Tagon's secret is that he is an Igt, so that would make 3/4 of the main cast being Igts lol). Also there's a huge probability of the Neanthal children Ragaz and Asa Hon saved surviving as well. Or maybe that's going to be a Plot Twist.

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I think they changed her character but wiki hasn't updated it yet.
Read @mpa555's translation. It makes more sense.
https://beyondmikrokosmos.wordpress.com/2019/06/04/arthdal-chronicles-main-character-synopsis/

Sounds like she is from another human tribe (Hae). Her father is the one who figured out how to get to Iark.

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No its not neanthal. She is the last of her race noeanthal. Its different, so we'll see...

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i am in for the ride! i am really excited to find out the story behind these characters. the only thing i don't like is all the fighting deaths. i don't like seeing arms on the ground without their bodies etc. his blood sure is pretty though.

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I watched both episodes last night. I like first episode better. I wish we have more back story of Arthdal especially Neantal people. I hope we see the older brother soon. I am gonna continues to watch to see how it goes so far in the drama.

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I feel like one of the reasons why this episode was better-received than the first one because it allowed more time to build an emotional connection between the audience and the characters, instead of rushing to set the backdrop for the remainder of the show, like the first one (no wonder it felt more tonally even). I didn't expect to grow attached to Eunseom and Tanya so fast. Also, I personally felt like the highlights of the show so far were all in the last part of this episode; the destruction of Wahan and the enslavement of the people, the separation of Eunseom and Tanya and the last horse chase scene, that was some good directing. I also preferred the CGI in this one over the first episode; the dance scene and the Eunseom and Tanya one looked really pretty. Here's hoping the show keeps on improving, now that the real story has begun.

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Is it worth watching people? Tell me your impression. I’ve never liked fantasy drama before so i have my doubts...

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I have my doubts too, so that's why I'm reading others' comments! Seems it's getting mixed reviews.

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Lol. Mixed review but the good outweighs the bad😁😁

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It is worth watching. The story line is fabulous, the character are delivering their roles Well, the backdrop is beautiful and it's not predictable

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My problem is according to the schedule, there's a break between parts 2 and 3 from the beginning of July (?) until Sept. I'd rather wait and watch the whole thing at once.

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I dont like the schedule too but if I only read the recaps, i won't understand a damn thing. And it's SJK and KJW. I love them

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I'm liking the show better than I thought I would based on the promos, but I'm still not 100% sold. Episode 2 felt more grounded and character-centric than the first episode, but I don't feel totally invested yet. Although I didn't dislike them, during both episodes I paused multiple times and almost forgot to finish. I'm kinda surprised since I'm actually a bit of a fantasy geek. There's enough to keep me interested for now, so hopefully it'll hook me in the next couple of episodes.

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same here. I love fantasy and world building. There was too much story in the first episode. The second got better since we had time to invest in characters.
I hope now that the tone is set, things get better from here.

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I liked this episode as much as the first one. Both did a good job of building the story towards the tension/cliffhangers. It was interesting to see the Wahan tribe and seeing Yeolson showing the tools he created to help his people, but I was a bit antsy & worried about them because I knew they were going to be targeted soon.

Kim Ji Won & Song Joong Ki look cute together. SJK has such a youthful, boyish appearance. I'm glad to see them back on my screen.

I'm curious about Yangcha! He looks so alluring. The mask certainly helps lol.

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I said it earlier but I think that Asa Sin and Risan the father that fled over the black ridge in that story about Kanmoreu are the ones that founded the Wahan tribe and that’s why they speak the same language. The same Asa Sin lady was probably the 1st great wolf mother. She probably gave them the rules 1) To worship & To never cross the black ridge : because it kept the Saram who were becoming greedy & evil on the other side 2) Not to grow seeds: because this leads to wanting abundance and being greedy rather than learning to live off of what the land naturally provides (this leads to a sense of ownership of the land when it belongs to no one). 3) Not to tame Aminals : maybe Because animals like horses are used as instruments of war.

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The lake that Eunseom flings himself off a cliff into is BEAUTIFUL. Is that actually in Korea?
I really want to love this show but I feel like I’m not emotionally invested. Each scene just a tad too long and I found my mind wander to something else ....

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thanks for the recap...i haven't seen too many of SJK's shows so I'm happy to watch this show for him but also so far i'm enjoying the storyline...:-)

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welp. the second ep is better than the 1st. but I do understand why knets were laughing at the CGs of this drama.. I mean it's a billion won(?) project they could've shot the whole thing in another country if they wanted the best sceneries, Ireland maybe? lol let's just say historical/epic fantasies isn't one of kim son suk's strengths. he's more known for his modern poignant dramas. I appreciate the bg music though, it gives a kind of mystical, fantastical feel.

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Nice drama... so sad only two episodes per week.... Can’t wait for more episodes

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I didn’t plan to watch this because I don’t fancy the theme and setting of the drama. Sure, it’s something different for kdrama land, but I guess I was more of a person who loves the same old recipe of kdrama. BUT, I gave this drama a try and this drama surprised me a lot! I almost gave up in ep 1, but ep 2 surpassed my expectation and I’m hooked at the moment! I wonder what other prophecies will be revealed later and loving the guessing game at the moment. Hope this drama stays great until the end! 🙌🏻

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Hi! Thanks for great recaps as usual. For this show though, is there any possibility to give a recap of the legends/lore section that comes after the the preview for the next episode? This portion seems to be cut in the Netflix version but I've seen a version where it's included and I'm really want to know about the lore/legend that they bring up in the show.

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I feel very forcefully spoon-fed with all the flash backs, monologues, and extreme close-ups of facial expression that is almost invading my personal ability to interpret and understand what is going on.
It's pushing me to feel "certain ways."
I enjoy the not knowing element and confusion when watching dramas. I like trying to connect and going back to re-watch an episode if needed. I love my crazy lady research. But, this is unfolding like a silk that is buttered to become more smooth..

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