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Arthdal Chronicles: Episode 6

I’m getting whiplash from how quickly alliances and enemies switch up in this show – you know things are getting weird when your worst enemy becomes your best bet for survival. Our innocent Igutu is becoming less innocent by the minute as his quick mind begins to figure out politics and how to manipulate your opponent. But with his lack of experience, can he somehow manage to stay one step ahead of the game?

 
EPISODE 6 RECAP

Tagon stands on his father’s funeral dais, surrounded in fireflies, which make him look to the people like a deity. Mugwang yells that he’s Aramun Haesulla, and soon the people are all chanting that Aramun Haesulla, god of union and founder of Arthdal, came down to inhabit Tagon’s body.

Eunseom watches the commotion from a distance and thinks, “Tagon, if you hurt the Wahan people, everyone in Arthdal will find out that you’re an Igutu.”

Pretending to speak as Aramun, Tagon calls for the creation of a mighty union, igniting another roar from the crowd. Eventually Tagon collapses, causing even more religious fervor, though Moobaek recalls the shaman Asa Sakan saying that someone killed their father last night.

After everything calms down, Mugwang comes to see Moobaek, still charged up from Tagon’s performance. Moobaek is angry, growling that Sanung dying wasn’t part of the plan, and he demands the truth. Mugwang tells the official story — that Eunseom kidnapped Sanung and killed him.

But Moobaek just visited the doctor who examined Sanung’s body, and he was killed with a skill only possible by someone very familiar with bronze weapons, which a dujeumsaeng like Eunseom wouldn’t be capable of. Mugwang vehemently (and loudly) insists that Tagon is Aramun Haesulla, and Moobaek leaves in disgust.

Outside, Tagon is being escorted home, humbly pretending to be back to himself and not to remember anything. When he finds Taealha, Tuak boisterously greets him (Tagon: “Not you, too…”) until Taealha irritably kicks her out. She shows Tagon the cloth with Tagon’s purple Igutu blood on it, and tells him that the dujeumsaeng was here.

She says that Eunseom definitely knows what an Igutu is, and what it means to be one in Arthdal. She tells Tagon that Eunseom wants to meet, and that no Wahan is to be harmed until that meeting happens.

Eunseom is sure that Tagon will meet with his demands, though he doesn’t tell the curious Chaeeun that it’s because he’s an Igutu. He asks her why she’s not scared of Igutus although she told him that most people are, and even said that Neanthals are pretty. Chaeeun says evasively that she’s heard stories but never seen one, and that she helped him because he looked familiar.

Tagon is up all night brooding over the bloody cloth. Eventually Taealha tells him to get a grip, because he needs to meet with Eunseom today and kill him. Tagon grumbles that Eunseom knows too much and must be getting help, so whoever is helping him will know his secret, too. He suddenly remembers that he ordered the Wahan tribe executed this morning and surges to his feet.

In the pit where the few surviving Wahans are being kept, Yeolson says that it’s time to decide how they die, because if they’re beheaded, their spirits won’t join the Great White Wolf. Tanya says that they must decide as a group, so they look to Yeolson for a verdict.

Above them, they can hear Tagon’s men preparing their executions, so Yeolson starts to say that they will each strangle the person next to them. But Tanya is next to him, and he breaks down, sobbing that he can’t do it. The whole tribe wails, until Dalsae (Eunseom’s loudest detractor) jumps up and says that he doesn’t care if he’s beheaded or joins the Great White Wolf — all he wants is Mugwang, who killed so many of their friends and children, dead.

Dalsae tries to rush Tagon when he enters the pit, only to get smacked against the wall by Kitoha. The Wahans are asked for someone who can tell them more about Eunseom, and Tanya sees an opportunity. She palms a sharp rock and offers to go with Tagon.

Her plan is to free Eunseom from her spell compelling him to help the Wahan, by attacking Tagon and dying for it — since she cast the spell, it will break once she dies. She’s taken to Tagon, who stands on a balcony over the market and tells her that she could have enjoyed all of these fine things if not for Eunseom.

He asks Tanya about Eunseom — if he’s ever been to Arthdal before and how he knew where Sanung would be, how he can ride a horse, and how he knows what Igutus and Neanthals are. Tanya just fixates on Tagon’s throat, knowing that she has one chance at this.

Tagon lunges angrily, telling Tanya that an Igutu is half person, half monster, with purple blood, cursed by the gods and killed on the spot when found. That distracts her so that when she strikes, Tagon easily deflects her hand and lifts her by the throat, demanding to know how a dujeumsaeng from Iark would know all this.

He flings her to the floor, where she gasps that he and his people are cowards who fear those different from them. She says that the Wahans believe that everything has a reason to exist, then she closes her eyes, preparing herself to die. Tagon just orders her back to her people, so Tanya asks why he’s not killing her when she just tried to kill him.

Tagon says he can’t harm even a toenail or her nose, and Tanya remembers Eunseom saying almost those exact words to her once. As she’s led away, she realizes that this is Eunseom’s doing. Back in the pit, she tells the Wahans that Tagon said he can’t kill them, and they understand that Eunseom is trying to save them.

Danbyeok’s people are looking for Taealha, and they arrest Tuak in an effort to find her. Tuak drops a note that Taealha gave her (which she and Taealha planned) for Mihol saying, “Father, please relay your orders as soon as you hear from Saehanmanop.” It does its job, as Danbyeok wonders who is giving Mihol orders.

Mihol and Asa Ron discuss Tagon’s popularity, knowing that if a tribal meeting is held, Tagon will become leader. Mihol tells Asa Ron that his declaration of Tagon’s supposed powers led to this, so they decide to talk to Danbyeok about eliminating Tagon. It’s risky, because Danbyeok’s forces could easily outnumber theirs, but Mihol feels sure he can convince Danbyeok to their side.

Mihol pulls no punches with Danbyeok — they both know that Sanung wanted Tagon dead, and with everything that’s happening, Tagon must be eliminated before he becomes Union leader. But when he mentions Asa Ron, Danbyeok says that his father fought hard against the Asa Clan gaining dictatorship. Mihol says they can worry about that after they take care of Tagon, and tells him to arrest Tagon for the murder of Sanung.

Danbyeok takes offense to that, but Mihol says that through his spy daughter, he knows Tagon killed Sanung. He asks Danbyeok to believe him and they can discover the whole truth later. Instead of answering, Danbyeok asks Mihol if he knows someone named Saehanmanop, and he doesn’t believe Mihol’s confused reaction (he thinks it’s a code name for Asa Ron). He tells Mihol to bring proof of his father’s murder if he wants an arrest, so Mihol gives up, and on his way out he gives orders to deploy their soldiers tonight.

Tagon goes to meet Eunseom in the marketplace tower. It’s empty except for a chair in the center of the room, with ropes tied to each arm. A voice tells him to sit or he’ll leave, so Tagon sits, and puts his arms through the ropes as instructed. As soon as he does, Eunseom pulls the ropes and traps Tagon in the chair.

Annoyed, Tagon easily rips one arm of the chair completely off with his Igutu strength. Eunseom orders Tagon to release the Wahans, but Tagon refuses, so Eunseom promises to take them back to Iark and never return. Tagon asks how Eunseom can trust him after watching him kill his own father.

He says he could just follow the Wahans back to Iark and kill them there, but he promises to give them good jobs (as slaves, naturally), and that they’ll never want for food like they might back in Iark. But he warns Eunseom that if his people find out he’s an Igutu, he’ll slaughter the Wahans mercilessly.

Eunseom asks what’s stopping Tagon from just killing him and silencing him about his secret. Tagon says that Eunseom could have already told someone his secret, so if he kills Eunseom, then he’s really screwed. Eunseom marvels that Tagon’s lack of trust in others actually makes him trust him, and he promises to keep quiet as long as the Wahans are safe.

Tagon agrees to his side of the bargain, but he adds that since Eunseom knows his secret, he’ll eventually track him down and kill him. In return, Eunseom vows to rescue all of the Wahans from Arthdal, but Tagon just scoffs that Arthdal is expanding, so where will they go? Eunseom says he’ll worry about that later and leaves, thinking, “Tanya, you must stay alive. I promise I’ll rescue you.”

Tagon goes home to Taealha, who says it must have gone well because Tagon has a gift for turning problems into opportunities, though she notes that matters involving Igutu make him lose his head. He agrees, so she asks why he brought Saya here, but he doesn’t even recognize the name of the Igutu baby he gave Taealha to raise twenty years ago, since Saya apparently changed his own name recently.

Tagon asks if Saya is still locked in the Fortress of Fire, but Taealha says he’d go mad, so he goes out at night sometimes. Tagon looks wary, but Taealha promises that she raised him to be aware that he’ll be killed if he’s discovered to be an Igutu.

That night, the Wahans are taken to a new place which, by the smoke, Tanya recognizes as the Fortress of Fire. Unbeknownst to Tagon, Mihol and Asa Ron have sent a message to Eunseom — turn himself in for the murder of Sanung by sunrise, or his people will be skinned, beheaded, and hung in the forest.

Mihol is certain Eunseom will show up and blame Tagon for Sanung’s death. If he doesn’t show up, he says, they’ll just hire someone to pretend to be him.

Chaeeun takes the message back to Eunseom, who wonders if Tagon is breaking their pact so soon. But he says he still won’t give away Tagon’s secret yet, because he knows something else — the night Sanung died, he’d told Eunseom that his son wanted him dead.

He tells Chaeeun that he’s noticed her people live together but are divided into cliques, while the Wahans’ enemies all lived outside their tribe. Chaeeun had told Eunseom that if Tagon has one enemy, it’s Mihol. He says he’s planning to use Mihol by giving him a weapon he can use against Tagon, and rescue the Wahans.

Chaeeun marvels that Eunseom has gotten so people-savvy so quickly, and came up with the idea to use power dynamics against Tagon. She tells Eunseom that he doesn’t even have to see Mihol in person, but he’s never seen writing before. His intensity as he studies the writing scares her a bit, as if he’s enjoying this, and he recalls Tanya making the same accusation. He wonders if it’s an illness, but admits that this is a little fun for him.

At sunrise, the Wahans are untied, and Tanya looks around. She sees the smoke continuing to billow from the fortress, and starts to become very afraid of what’s burning. A light shines in her eye from a reflection in one of the towers, but she can’t see what it is.

Little Doti gives a message to Mihol’s lady-in-waiting, which she passes on. It asks how much he’s willing to pay for a weapon that will end Tagon, and specifies a meeting time and place.

Tagon isn’t happy when he finds out the Wahans are gone, scared of what Eunseom will do if they’re harmed. Meanwhile, Tanya tries to explain that, strange as it sounds, the man she met yesterday is trying to save them and someone else is trying to kill them.

She says that Tagon may be able to save them, if he can find them, and that the Great White Wolf may be able to help him. She’s not referring to their deity, but a picture of the Great White Wolf that she carved into the wall where they’ve been kept.

Tagon does notice the picture, and another of the Fortress of Fire that Tanya added to it after talking to him. He gets the message and plans a raid on the Fortress of Fire tonight.

Moobaek has been compiling his own stash of information — Asa Ron probably moved the Wahans, but the dujeumsaeng is likely still in Arthdal. He guesses that Tagon is planning something treacherous, and asks himself what he’s willing to do about it.

He was told by the shaman that the man who killed his own father will fight against the three heavenly objects (sword, bell, and mirror) and keep the world from ending. Everyone else thinks that the dujeumsaeng killed Sanung, but Moobaek still believes that he saw Eunseom riding Kanmoreu, which would make him Aramun Haesulla.

Tanya is woken by the light shining in her eyes again, and she opens them to see a shadowy, long-haired figure in front of her. At first she thinks it’s Eunseom, but the figure motions to her to be quiet, and she notices the ornate jewelry they’re wearing. They gesture to a tower and quickly disappear, and Tanya wakes with a start.

Her gasp wakes up Yeolson, and she tells him that Eunseom was here wearing a necklace and bracelet made of Hard Stone. Yeolson looks at her in awe and breathes, “Tanya, I think you finally had a dream.” But Tanya sighs that it’s pointless now.

Danbyeok agrees to talk with Asa Ron, though he’s still suspicious of his newfound alliance with Mihol and wondering if Asa Ron is the Saehanmanop from Taealha’s note. They’re interrupted by a soldier, who says that armed Daekan warriors are headed to the Fortress of Fire. They meet Mihol at the Fortress, guessing that the warriors are coming for the Wahans, so Mihol orders them locked up and the Fortress barricaded.

In moments, the Daekan warriors are at the gate, and they easily force their way into the Fortress. Tagon says he’s here for the Wahans that he captured and that belong to him, but Asa Ron spits that that’s just an excuse.

He says they brought the Wahasn to capture the dujeumsaeng who killed Sanung, so obviously Tagon is afraid of the dujeumsaeng being caught and the truth being discovered. Tagon counters that the truth should be revealed, but he doesn’t trust Mihol with the job, since he tried to kill Tagon the day before the Sacred Trial.

He says that Mihol is trying to frame him, and even had Taealha try to poison him. From where he’s watching, Danbyeok thinks to himself that Sanung wouldn’t have given such orders, so Mihol must have been working alone.

Since Tagon has broken the law by bringing soldiers into the Fortress, Asa Ron orders Tagon arrested. But Danbyeok hesitates to have his guards arrest Tagon, instead asking Mihol why Taealha disappeared the morning of the Sacred Trial. He refutes Mihol’s claim that Sanung gave the order, since it’s Asa Ron who would have benefited the most if Tagon had died before the Trial.

He orders Asa Ron and Mihol arrested, and Tagon smirks, not having had to lift a finger. Mihol chuckles and signals to someone who douses all the torches, and in the dark and confusion, the guards scream for someone to stop Mihol before he escapes.

The guard watching the Wahans hears the commotion and peeks out the door, and Dalsae takes the opportunity to steal his sword and kill him with it. He proposes that they all die fighting in the name of Wahan, but Yeolson says sadly that Wahan no longer exists. He makes one final decision as their leader — he frees them of their ties to the Wahan name.

He says they may make their own decisions now, and that some of them will die, but they should stop hoping to be together after they die. Instead, he says they should hope to meet again while they still live. The people sob, but they bravely accept this decision, and stand to make their escape.

Mihol’s lady goes to the meeting place and tells Eunseom to follow her to Mihol at the Fortress of Fire, assuring him that they need the weapon against Tagon too much to betray him. They arrive just as Mihol creates his confusion, and the guards realize that the Wahans are escaping.

Tanya manages to slip away from the fighting and make her way to an empty room. It’s full of strange writing implements that she doesn’t understand, and she keeps going up a staircase to the tower the figure in her “dream” pointed to. In her hand she holds a Hard Stone, one she found after her “dream” that matches the one in the shadowy figure’s necklace.

Dalsae and Buksoe, another Wahan warrior, also escape the fighting. They climb the Fortress wall and land right in front of Eunseom, but before they can even greet each other, they’re confronted by Yangcha, Tagon’s masked warrior.

At the top of the tower, Tanya finds a lavish bedroom. The place sounds exactly like Eunseom’s dream of being locked up, with drawing on leather on the walls and rolls of sticks on a table. There’s a mirror in the room, but it’s not her own face she sees in it. Stepping back in surprise, she finds a bell on the floor.

The sight of Tagon’s man incites Mihol’s lady to drop her torch and run. She runs into Moobaek and points him to Eunseom’s location. As Moobaek heads that direction, he remembers the shaman’s words about the three sacred objects — a bell to echo throughout the world, a sword to slay the world, and a mirror to illuminate the world.

Eunseom faces Yangcha and his chain whip, and he urges Dalsae and Buksoe to run. In his hand he holds a large knife, one you might even call a sword.

In the tower, Tanya rings the bell, and in the mirror she sees someone slowly come out of hiding behind a curtain — someone who looks exactly like Eunseom.

 
COMMENTS

So, Saya isn’t just Eunseom’s brother, but an identical twin. This makes things so much more interesting! And now we have a clue as to why Chaeeun helped Eunseom — she must know Saya somehow. She did seem strangely comfortable with Eunseom from their first meeting, and she said that he reminded her of someone. We’ve known of Saya’s existence from the beginning, but it never occurred to me that he’s Eunseom’s identical twin (though I won’t complain about more Song Joong-ki on my screen). I already find the comparisons between Eunseom and Saya fascinating… Saya grew up in captivity, though a luxurious one, while Eunseom grew up in much humbler surroundings, but free. And I love that all three sacred objects — the bell, the sword, and the mirror — all somehow relate back to Eunseom and Saya. Clearly these two have a very high calling.

I’m really enjoying Eunseom’s character arc, though I wish we could see more of him and less of the politics (more on that later). Eunseom started out so wide-eyed and innocent… the worst thing he had to worry about was whether he could tame a horse. Now he’s fighting for the survival of what’s left of the only family he’s ever known, and it’s tempering him into a lethal weapon. What’s amazing is that he’s willing to die for the people who were probably about to kick him out, but that doesn’t matter to Eunseom — they are his people, and he’ll do anything to save them and take them home. It’s sad that he had to harden up so quickly, due to the nature of Arthdal and the people in it, but thankfully he’s been able to rise to the task so far. My only wish would be to see a little less of Arthdal changing Eunseom, and a little more of him using the skills he’s learned while growing up in Iark to foil his enemies. I want to see arrogant Tagon, who’s so convinced that his advanced people and civilization are superior, taken down by the simple ways of a people who still know how to honor the land and its flora and fauna.

For the most part, I agree that Arthdal Chronicles is heavier on the politics than it needs to be, though not in the exact same way that dramallama feels about it. I don’t believe there’s too much politics going on, and what there is, isn’t too difficult to understand once you get the gist of what’s happening. What frustrates me is how the political maneuverings are portrayed in a confusing way — something will happen, or someone will be mentioned as if they’re important, before we know who that person is or what the repercussions of the events might be. So everyone onscreen is reacting like this is horrible, while I’m still wondering who the guy is that they’re talking about and why I should be worried about him, several scenes later. Instead of an explanation leading to an event leading to the consequences, which allows tension to build because we as an audience knows that it will be Very Bad if XYZ happens, we get XYZ first, then we see the consequences, then we get the explanation of why it’s not a good thing. So I spend twice as long watching an episode because I keep having to go back to watch events again, just to get the full impact. It’s an exhausting way to watch a drama (and the episodes are already too long!).

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Here's one thing that I don't get - why the Asa clan & Wahan clan's prophecies about our 3 main characters paint them as the ones who will destroy their civilization & devolve them back into "living like beasts" when, according to the myth that this is based on, Aramun Haesulla (or these three in this case, his seeming reincarnations) was the one who united the various different factions into one single nation, which was a huge evolution. This is puzzling because the magical elements in this show are real & are not meant to be proven false, which they would be if the show ends with Arthdal taking its first steps into becoming Korea because of Le Three.

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I was wondering the same. Maybe the prophecy is just referring to a big war and what will emerge after that will be the stepping stone to a future Korea. A nice purge that will lead to a new era of civilisation?

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I think that a war is pretty much guaranteed & that the only question is which side will come out victorious, which is where the prophecies come in. Because according to them, if Tagon comes out victorious then Arthdal will seemingly continue to flourish, whereas if the "cursed children" were to come out victorious, humanity will be destroyed so to say. And if the "cursed children" description itself wasn't enough, if we recall the premiere eps of this show, the real Aramun Haesulla (not his legend amongst the people) had actually been shown in a more negative light. So I am wondering if the show is planning to twist the whole myth around by, at the end, revealing that Tagon had been the good guy & the other three the anti-heroes. Kind of in the style of Julius Caesar.

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That would be very hard to believe...and I don't think the writers would be able to pull this off. I was reading online about the myth that the show is based on. Dangun's birth may symbolise the arrival of the Bronze Age culture in Korea...

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This reminds me of how the foundation mythology was done in LEGEND of the FOUR GODS.
Hwanung (the son of the heavenly god) brought 3 heavenly artifacts which was related a prophesy of his own reincarnation.
In the end he and and the 3 guardians of this so called heavenly artifacts disappeared (went back to where they come from) and left the real humans to rule their land.

I think this control freak of a god Aramun Haesulla started all this. I'm rooting for a pure human to rule in the end. But who? Taealha?

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The 3 artefacts remind me of the Sailor Moon talismans ahahahah

Saya is supposed to be the mirror, right? will he be the one that shows tagon's real face/identity to the people of arthdal?

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I agree. It could be the "end/destruction," that was foretold in prophecy, could be the end of their civilization as the know it. Who's to say that it would be a bad thing? The people of Arthdal are pretty greddy and bigoted. I would hate think that after this, we'd still be left with the current status quo. Nothing in Tagon's character his indicated that he'd change things for the better, just that he'd have absolute power to rule.

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i guess it really goes back to interpretation of the prophecy. we might question what world it is that would be destroyed. the world could mean the current status quo with certain clans having the most authority and others being forced into slavery and this is the world that tagon is fighting to save. the three objects would possibly create a different world.

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Totally agree.

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I think this prophecies are also meant as an warning to the future generations as the Gods gave the Great Asa Shin the visions of the future....That this people should live by the rules the great Aramun Haesulla(the Harmony and Union) left behind and live in harmony one with the other,that what the Gods gave them he very will take them back...Greed got the better of them and when they killed the Neantherlands for their lands and all that blood the Gods turned their eyes from them and sent the Objects to take the land back and have other worthy people...

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@lollypip - thank you for this recap. I'm struggling to follow it even with your descriptions - and they help a LOT!
Part of me wants to go back to the beginning and watch to see if any of the older eps make the new ones more understandable - but I'm not a glutton for punishment.
Instead, I'll just wait for the recaps to the next to episodes. Maybe I'll understand a wee bit more by then.
But thank you for your hard work on explaining this show!

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Thanks for the recap @lollypip and the brave effort to follow XYZ to Very Bad. I gave up, and frankly I didn’t need to understand all the backstabbing in order to follow Ep. 7-8.
I find this kind of storytelling frustrating too, also because instead of showing us What Happened After The Moment We Were Waiting For we often see it in flashbacks, where they lose their punch.
(I could say anything really and it would make sense since the storytelling is so confusing).
Anyways, Ep.7-8 were better, so I look forward to those recaps. More magic horse please.

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I so agree about Eunseom, we need more of him and less of some of the other stuff. His journey is a far more interesting hero's journey than Tagon's dictator journey. As for Saya, he is a fascinating foil to both Eunseom and Tagon. He has Tagon's ruthlessness and Eunseom's innocence. Who will win the Arthdal games? I'm betting the horse.

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Lol, oh my, I miss Kanmoreu sassiness so much in the latest episodes! (He? It?) has enough wits and sass to win it for sure.

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Thanks so much for the recap, LollyPip. Glad to see you!

Right now i'm in multiculti Asian speculative fiction heaven. I'm now watching Leila, a Hindi dystopian feminist drama on Netflix and on this. Interestingly, both Arthdal and Leila have issues with children of mixed heritages/castes. If you can deal with harrowing, i highly recommend it.

Can i now say that i'm in love with Saya? The three different personalities are perfect points of the prophetic triangle. When Tagon had to meet the dancing prophetess, she mentioned the two brothers meeting. We're told that the god speaks but the humans will interpret it as they wish. But did no one record the prophesy and muddle through it later when everyone else was out of sight? I wish we'll find out later who is writing these chronicles.

I still like Tagon but it does bother me that in order for the world to evolve/unite, we need a ruthless competitive person. I understand that if civilization grew because of humanity's competitiveness rather than human community/love then we have to have an uber manly-man taking charge. But still, sitting here wanting Tagon to escape because the future descendants of the world needs him, feels so wrong. I wonder...do you guys think there is a chance for a redemption arc for him? It's a kdrama after all so maybe he'll find redemption.

Aramun still puzzles me a bit. I know we learn that he "became" a god since great/powerful folks in this world can become gods somehow. A bit like the Roman Emperors? Or did he become a god by attaining some kind of enlightenment like Buddha? Is he the primary god of the warriors/warrior clan and do the other clans honor him as well but not to the degree the warriors do? Or is he the god of everyone in Arth? How does he work with the White Wolf? If Aramun united everyone, why did he separate the Wahan from the Saram? Or was it the White Wolf who did that? Why did the White Wolf decree they shouldn't sow seed, go beyond the black cliffs, etc? What is that about? White Wolf and Aramun seem to be working together and yet not? Am i understanding this rightly? Is there a Creator god or is he too distant to matter? Thanks again for the recap/analysis.

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If I am not mistaken the Wahan are descendants of several escapees( lack of a better term) from Arthdal. The earth mother was presumably a part of the Asa Clan, which why they have the same dance and symbols. Mubaek found the flat stone thing in the tree and asked the Lady head of the Asa Clan about what happened to it. She said a lady(apologies, don't remember het name) took it and they never found it. So the escapees in order to ensure their descendents never wwnt back over the mountain created the three rules and left them in ignorance about their heritage. Hence, their idyllic life.

Aramun was probably part of the escapees, which is why his immortal horse was out there with the Wahan. Maybe the legend of Aramun was a lie used to being the clans together because he ran away from their corruption.

This of course could all be nonsense🤣

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wow! Okay! Thank you!!! I totally missed that. Thanks so much. Your explanation makes perfect sense! Thanks!

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Really hated the contrived drama about wanting to die a different way because beheading would mean they couldn't meet the Great White Wolf. GWW is one of my least favorite characters ever...

...but whoever is responsible for lighting is welcome to get beheaded and have a close encounter of the appetizer kind with Wolf.

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Had to laugh - kept turning up the brightness on my tablet to no avail. Another resemblance to Game of Thrones!

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Yes, I've heard about THAT GoT episode. Photon-deprivation seems to be a thing now.

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Wow! I didn't think it was contrived. A lot of folklore have this idea of not being able to meet ancestors, the gods, etc because of some issue. Clans and being named by one's clan is all part of belonging and having no clan after one has died is problematical. For instance, in some cultures dying in a distant land will make it impossible for one to connect with one's dead ancestors. Because we are affected by westernized ideas and funerals/deaths are not about belonging to a clan, we might think it's a contrivance but in most anthropology and even among many North American tribes now, the idea of being with one's ancestor after death is very important. The Wahan Mother shaman's death and burial was very important for that reason, because the Great White Wolf came for her and to speak to Tanya. I think the writer is also laying a foundation for something to come. This bit of information may seem contrived because the writer wanted to get this bit of culture in and chose that time in the story to put it in, but i really do believe this will come back to affect the story in the future.

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I'm ahead of the recaps so won't spoil. But I'm totally digging the introduction of Saya, the mirror, to Eunsom's sword, and then Tanya is the bell. Thus the prophecy is stating that Tagon has to defeat all three if the Sarem nation as he envisages it will succeed? I think so.

But then there's the other Aruman prophecy and I'm wondering how Saya will fit into this one. I guess we have to see if the horse likes him. Which reminds me, there wasn't enough horse in 7 and 8. I kept expecting him to ride in and save the day!

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Saya certainly surprised me! One gets the typical idea that little prince in the high tower would be a victim in need of saving, but we need not go with the typical trope, do we!

Yeah, i miss Kanmoru

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Where can i buy the second stead ear rings that Tagon is wearing? Does anyone know?

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I am waiting for Eunseom and Saya to meet

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Really interesting how Eunseom hisses when threatened or afraid...

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I'm in awe how bad writing is in this drama, the plot is interesting, and keeps me in, because I'm curious how it'll end, but execution gives me headache, I still can't believe that so many talented people worked on this. And Taelha's costumes look like whoever is responsible for them just stop giving any fucks, they progressively stands out jarringly out of place. They cut wailing Cassandra lady but in her place put wailing Wahans and still waste time on long shots of people just walking, smh. Maybe the crew spends too much time inhaling holy smoke in prophecy den, because ti's hard to take that this is work of highly talented people with proven track record, that's what make it more frustrating.

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It is pretty bad isn't it. I still like it though, lol, however sometimes I'm like WTF. I will say I think the long shots and wailing is the writer's way of showing the "epicness" of the story. As for Taelha's outfits and literally all the intricate jewellry, I just gave up.

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It's entertaining but not in the way creators hoped probably, at least in Kingdom one could see money well spend, but here it's so on budget it looks campy.

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In many ways, this drama reminds me of Abyss where the overview and plot outline are pretty amazing with all the loose ends tied up but the execution from scene to scene and the overall placement of scenes does leave room for improvement. It's imperfect but i can't really say it's bad. No drama is perfect, no writer is perfect. I'm just glad they gave us this story since no one else was gonna give such a story to us. Better to have this story, done imperfectly, than not having it done at all.

As for Taelha's outfits, I keep wondering how she and the holy-clad priest caste keep their clothing so white in a world without bleach but i'm sure the answer to that will come up in a future episode. ;-)

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I just want to squeeeee when I know SJK will play a double roles... Does it means he will have more screen time? Yes pleaseeee

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I would hope so. So far, Eunseom has seemed more of a side character that gets in the way of the main character's goals. At least, hopefully. There will be more screen time for SJK with a dual role.

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That reveal at the end was quite cool but I fear it was it too little too late. There were some debates after the first episode about the brothers but there was so much going on that it got lost and I forgot about it. Initially I thought Yang Cha was Eunsom's brother (the covered lips immediately drew attention) and as soon as Tagon took one brother I was expecting a brother against brother scenario but I didn't expect the brother to be a major player and one of he main leads. It is an unexpected surprise in a good way. I didn’t even think Chaeeun would know Saya!

After that ending my first thought is will Saya fall in love with Tanya as well? I hope not, I don’t want a love triangle (especially between brothers). I thought the light that hit Tanya from the tower was from Saya.

On the other hand, I thought Tanya's comments on Wahans' attitudes towards those that are different would pique Tagon's interest. I am also glad that Tanya didn't blurt out that Eunsom is an igutu as well (she had no way of knowing that Tagon was talking about himself).

Thank you for explaining Saya's name change Lollypip, it was unclear in the subtitles and I thought it was silly that Tagon didn’t know Saya's name as we never heard of him called anything else.

The anachronisms continue to annoy me. The concept of "a god job" at that day and age? And as a slave no less.

I also found Eunsom's turban style headdress amusing.

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Yangcha was a major red herring, as far as i can see. Unless he does turn out to be igutu second or third generation because he is so badass. I did wonder why a writer would waste precious time on having a red herring that makes us think we're dealing with an igutu when Yangcha isn't. But it is what it is.

Saya's personality is the best!!!!! I do like the distinct personalities of our triune heroes/world-changers. I, too, was glad Tanya didn't "blurt out." "Blurting" is one of the major flaws of kdrama protags, or talking to themselves while folks are around. This was pretty restrained of her which..kudos, writer-nim!

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I would hate a love triangle between the brother's and Saya. Especially if Tanya fell i love with Saya. Eunseom would have been through all this stuff to get her back, that it would feel like a big, angsty, let down.

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Song Joong-ki looks so pretty as Saya... :)

I'm curious about Saya, as for Eunseom, we've been introduced to his character since episode 1.

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thanks for the recap and i agree with the comments...show is so interesting but sometimes it's just all over the place...honestly, first i was gaping at Tagon's glorious mane and now i'm like Saya is the prettiest on this screen lol...both brothers reflect their differences in their looks and SJK has done a good job on this. while i'm looking forward for S & E to meet or know about each other...i can't also wait for Tagon to know about S & E, one he is planning to hunt down to kill to hide his secret and the second one thinks of him as dad...lol! Mostly i think Taealha is the ballsy of all of them...the politics sometimes gets in the way of show...On a side note, personally, i prefer not to watch shows that has love triangles amongst the main lead characters so i'm just hoping that does not happen here.

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I'm right there with you on that! I love the politics but the way they are presented is messy and it needs lots of rewinding to get the point. Too many unfamiliar names being smashed together.

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My understanding of the story: AH, The GOD who created Arthdal, was not planning on making it a kingdom in which some people are salves and some owners. So now he wants this kingdom to be destroyed and instead he wants all the people united in one nation where people are equals and the ones who will make the new land are the 3 characters that correspond with the Sword (Eunsom who will be the leader in the final war), the Mirror (Saya coz he mirrors Enusom) and the Bell (Tanya who dreams and talks and will be the shaman).

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