Rating:
Average user rating 3.6
66

Arthdal Chronicles: Episode 11

Our sheltered and isolated hero Saya, finally makes the bold checkmate move on his father, and it completely changes the game. Saya challenges the fate of Arthdal with a gamble that he’s been waiting his whole life for, and it’s simultaneously brave, empowering, and ominous. Our Wahan heroine Tanya, is at the center of this gamble, and she slowly comes to realize the ancestral power she holds.

   
EPISODE 11 RECAP

Tagon finds a message from the White Peak Mountain’s Hearts, the rebel Asa group, that summons him as the Igutu Aramun Haesulla that will save them. He quickly pulls down the plastered message and anxiously wonders how the rebels found out about that he was an Igutu. Little does he know, that message was written and planted by Saya, who’s disguised as a woman.

At the medicine storage in the woods, Moobaek pulls his sword to defend Nunbyeol and Harim against the two Neanthal visitors, Yiseuroob and Rottib. Yiseuroob says that he recognizes Moobaek, and Moobaek asks in their tongue if they killed the Daekan warrior. Yiseuroob responds that the Daekan warrior killed someone and attacked them first, but Moobaek doesn’t believe them.

Yiseuroob further vows that since the day in Atturad to the day in Manteiv, they’ve never attacked the humans first. Rottib shares that Asa Hon refused to believe that Moobaek was at the front lines of the Neanthal genocide, and Moobaek flinches ever so slightly at the mention of Asa Hon.

Moobaek asks why the Neanthals entered Arthdal, and they explain that they were looking for someone. They haven’t found them yet, but they seem determined to find them soon. Moobaek warns them not to return Arthdal, and with one final glance at Nunbyeol, the Neanthals depart.

As Moobaek approaches Harim and Nunbyeol, he notices a blue mark on Nunbyeol’s neck. He rips the back of her garment to reveal the blue scales of a Neanthal. Moobaek draws his sword, but Harim pleads for mercy and explains the story.

Harim had been a doctor during the Manteiv War and found Nunbyeol while wandering in the woods. Young Nunbyeol had been tightly holding a rabbit and was coughing up blue blood, so Harim brought her home. His wife had prohibited them from keeping this Neanthal child, but Chaeeun adored this young girl, naming her Nunbyeol because of her twinkling eyes.

Moobaek remembers Nunbyeol practicing her swordsmanship and asks Harim how she was able to mimic human movements. He knows that Neanthals are unable to blend in with humans because of their unique movements and strength. Knowing this, Harim had cut off all eight of her blood lineages to eliminate her Neanthal powers.

To test this, Moobaek attacks Nunbyeol, who swiftly avoids his swing and grabs her own weapon. But when Moobaek knocks her down, she falls down weakly and can’t get back up. Harim runs to her side, and Moobaek asks why the Neanthals visited. Nunbyeol reveals that they asked her to consider joining them, but she doesn’t want to be separated from her family.

Embracing his daughter, Harim begs Moobaek to keep this a secret and trusts that he understands because he saved an Igutu. Moobaek resigns to this agreement, though he looks reluctant.

After cooling down, Harim notes that Asa Hon’s death has motivated their actions — Harim raising a Neanthal and Moobaek saving an Igutu. Harim asks why Moobaek saved the Igutu, and Moobaek responds that he wants to set things right in the world. He wants to dethrone the fake high priest and punish the union leader who murdered his father.

Harim asks if Moobaek is behind the White Peak Mountain’s Hearts murder of the Asa priest, and Moobaek denies this. The real culprit, Saya, admits to Momyungjin (the White Peak Mountain’s Hearts’ spiritual leader) that he committed that murder. He explains that it was time for the Arthdal people to overthrow the fake rulers and follow the real teachings of Asa Sin.

Shaken by Saya’s confession, Momyungjin grabs his collar and angrily reminds him of the Olmadae incident that was sparked by a mere drawing and resulted in slaughter. Saya calmly lists his first of three reasons: The Great Mother, the descendant of Asa Sin, has returned.

Tanya demands to know how Chaeeun knows Eunseom, and Chaeeun explains that she helped Eunseom when he first arrived in Arthdal. Then, Tanya asks if Chaeeun saw Eunseom die, and Chaeeun thinks to herself that Tanya has the wrong information. Tanya hears this thought and wonders what she just heard, since Chaeeun wasn’t speaking.

Chaeeun clears up the misunderstanding by explaining that Eunseom didn’t die that day. Although she doesn’t know where he is now, she knows that while the fake Eunseom died, the real Eunseom was recovering in their medicine storage hideout. Tanya falls to her knees in tears and thanks Chaeeun, and Chaeeun comforts her.

Saya urges Momyungjin to share the truth about Wahan’s Great Mother being the direct descendant of Asa Sin. Momyungjin asks if this Great Mother knows where Asa Sin’s star bell is, but Saya says that it doesn’t matter because they will gather power, as Aramun had when he became a god. He identifies that as his second of three reasons: Arthdal’s strongest and most realistic power, Tagon. She doubts that Tagon knows Saya, but Saya promises to let her meet him.

Tagon tries to track down the person who posted the divulging message, but he’s confused by the soldier’s report that an unknown woman (Saya in disguise) entered the space. His thoughts are interrupted by Gilseon, who arrives to escort him to the Great Shrine.

At the Great Shrine prison, Mihol visits Taealha, who looks furious upon realizing that her father trapped her in this prison. It’s a tortuous place with shallow water, so prisoners are forced to stay awake and standing until they succumb to lying in the cold dirty water. In response, Taealha immediately sits in the water (and bugs scatter across the cave wall ewww), saying that she’s used to enduring dirty things, as it’s the way that her father raised her.

Mihol tries to persuade Taealha to admit that the vengeful spirit killings were actually ordered by Tagon, saying that he couldn’t bear to lose his precious daughter. Taealha refuses to betray Tagon and clarifies that she’s not Mihol’s precious daughter. Mihol says that Tagon and Taealha will tragically never overcome the Asa clan’s sanctity.

Tagon meets with Asa Ron and assures himself that Asa Ron doesn’t know that he’s an Igutu because Asa Ron wouldn’t bother to meet with Tagon if he knew the truth. Tagon requests that Asa Ron release Taealha and offers to return all power to their original place, but Asa Ron refuses. He still intends to convict Taealha according to law.

Tagon threatens to ruin the union and Arthdal if Asa Ron punishes Taealha, but Asa Ron isn’t convinced. Asa Ron is satisfied with either outcome — Taealha betraying Tagon, or Taealha being punished. He’s relying on Mihol’s assessment of his daughter as someone who wouldn’t sacrifice herself for Tagon.

In the prison, Mihol tries to manipulate Taealha by questioning her trust in Tagon. He doubts that Tagon would start a war over Taealha and reminds her that Tagon did everything for Sanung’s approval. Now that Sanung is dead, Mihol identifies Tagon’s new target for approval as the Arthdal people, not Taealha.

Taealha stands up and desperately asks why Mihol is torturing his daughter, not allowing her to be with the person she loves. She believes that Tagon can win, but Mihol disagrees. He knows that Tagon can never win.

As Tagon leaves his meeting with Asa Ron, he convinces himself that Taealha would never die for him. He wouldn’t have loved her if she could die for him and believes that Taealha can betray him. In the prison, Taealha thinks the same thing. She knows that Tagon can betray her and seems certain that Tagon knows that she can betray him.

In their youth, Tagon and Taealha had pitied themselves for being pawns of their fathers, and they promised each other that they would never die for each other. Taealha remembers this agreement and knows that they can betray each other, but in order for them to win, they must not betray each other. If Tagon is able to appoint Tanya as the true high priest of the Asa clan, then they have hope.

Tagon is in a time crunch before the sacred court hearing, and he asks Gilseon how long they must wait for Olmadae (the rebellion leader from 12 years ago) of the White Peak Mountain’s Hearts to arrive from Doldambul. It’s too far and will take too long, so Tagon needs to make a decision.

At Doldambul, Eunseom continues to work tirelessly in the mines and thinks about his dream of Tanya. She had told Saya that she shouldn’t have met him, and Eunseom thinks that she’s talking to him. He agrees that they shouldn’t have met.

From behind, Ipsaeng joins Eunseom and calls him Purple. Eunseom accepts that he’s no longer Eunseom, Wahan’s dream, and smirks that he’s just Purple. Ipsaeng sees him smile and considers it a hopeful sign for their partnership in escaping the mines.

Sateunik approaches them and says that he saw Eunseom cry last night, as if he had committed a great sin. He tries to comfort Eunseom by saying that there is only one sin in the world. As he walks away, Ipsaeng reveals to Eunseom that Tagon is his older brother.

That makes Eunseom pause, and Ipsaeng blabbers on that he used to wipe Tagon’s red blood whenever he got beat up. Huh, curious. Is this guy a fraud? Then, Sateunik collapses behind them. He starts to cough up blood, and Olmadae assesses that Sateunik has blood disease.

While Dalsae takes a dump outside, Seuchun (Moobaek’s friend) whispers to him from behind the shrubbery to ask if Eunseom is alive. Dalsae nods in confirmation and tries to wave him away, since Syoreujagin is in earshot. Instead of fleeing, Seuchun makes himself known and greets Syoreujagin as a fellow servant.

Syoreujagin insists that he’s only a servant in Arthdal and claims to be a leader in the mines. Seuchun continues to disparage him and offers money to buy back all the Wahan people, including the Igutu, under Moobaek’s orders. But when Syoreujagin looks at the money, he demands more.

In the mines, the slaves seem irritated that Satenik will only be dead weight as he wastes away with blood disease. Olmadae assures them that it isn’t contagious, but another slave, Badoru, wishes that it were contagious. Others discuss how Syoruejagin is so committed to mining for jewels that he wouldn’t let any slave die and spread infectious disease. He even came down to the mines to salvage the rest of the slaves from the disease.

Ipsaeng pulls Eunseom aside and shows him a larger collection of jewels. He offers to share the jewels if Eunseom shares the rest of his food, and Eunseom hands over his food, his mind clearly elsewhere. As the wheels turn in his head, Eunseom thinks, “Tanya, something must be wrong with me. This is fun.”

The Daekan warriors bust into Momyungjin’s dye shop with a tip that Momyungjin is an elder of the White Peak Mountain’s Hearts. She vehemently denies this, but the Daekan warriors discover her secret prayer room with evidence of the White Peak Mountain’s Hearts’ symbol.

Momyungjin is dragged into a dungeon, where she meets with Tagon. He asks if she knows who he is, and she lists of all his titles — Union Leader, son of Sanung, conqueror of Iark — but that’s not what he’s asking for. Momyungjin remembers that Saya promised her facetime with Tagon and wonders if this is what he meant.

Realizing this, Momyungjin reveals that a new person joined the White Peak Mountain’s Hearts a year ago and was extremely faithful, especially to the idea that Asa Sin sent an Igutu in her stead. She shares that this new member set up this meeting and asked her to share with Tagon that Asa Ron’s power is fake while Tagon’s power is real. And this mysterious lad wants Tagon to share his real power with the rightful leader of the Asa clan, the true descendant of Asa Sin, whom Tagon knows.

Tagon storms out of the dungeon and immediately searches Saya’s room. He finds women’s garments hidden away, and he realizes that Saya must have disguised himself to enter the fortress to plant the incriminating message. Then, Saya enters the room and confronts Tagon. He tries to calm his racing heart, but he continues to shake because he knows that Tagon could kill him for this.

Saya tells Tagon that he committed this deed because this was the time. He knows that Tagon needs Tanya, but he’s hidden her away in the treehouse. Tagon puts a knife at Saya’s throat, but he can’t kill him because he would never find Tanya.

Saya predicts that the most that Tagon can do is negotiate with Asa Ron after stopping the White Peak Mountain’s Hearts, and he criticizes Tagon’s weak plan. He instructs Tagon to support the White Peak Mountain’s Hearts to defeat Asa Ron and collapse the fake leaders of the Great Shrine. They will bring down the fake leaders and bring in the real descendant of Asa Sin to rebuild the Great Shrine. Tagon will receive blessing as the king, and Saya will be the heir to the throne. And then, they will reveal their purple blood.

Tagon calls Saya crazy, but Saya demands to know why Tagon saved him after slaughtering all the Igutu, why he saved him despite being so ashamed of being an Igutu. Saya says that he suffered in isolation, agonizing over the reason for his existence.

Tagon scolds Saya for his pride in being an Igutu, and Saya shares his initial rationalization that Tagon, an Igutu who is Arthdal’s hero, saved him so that he could one day emerge out of the shadows. But he soon realized that he was foolish for believing this.

Tagon argues that Saya grew up too sheltered as an Igutu and shares that his father had tried to choke him to death at just 7 years old. He says that this is the reality of living as an Igutu, but Saya argues that they can just kill their enemies to instill fear. Tagon says that he could instill fear but would have to kill all of his people: the Daekan warriors, his tribe, and all the citizens under the union. He’s certain that the Arthdal people do not want their leader to be an Igutu.

Saya says that they don’t know what the people want, and Tagon asks if Saya does. Saya shows Tagon the coin of Aramun — one side symbolizing peace, the other symbolizing punishment. He says that they won’t know what side will face up once they flip the coin, but he’s willing to gamble. He tells Tagon to make a choice between the White Peak Mountain’s Hearts and his beloved Arthdal people.

Tagon refuses to take his chances and draws his sword to stop Saya, but Saya is prepared with poison. He threatens to kill himself if Tagon makes any moves against him, and then, he flees.

Meanwhile, Chaeeun’s mother finds out she has been a part of the White Peak Mountain’s Hearts, but they’re interrupted by more important news about the Neanthals trying to take Nunbyeol. Harim tells Chaeeun to take Nunbyeol into hiding.

Tagon returns to the dungeon and tells Momyungjin that he’s ready to join the White Peak Mountain’s Hearts, and she looks surprised at his offer. That night, Saya enters Magpie Cave, where the White Peak Mountain’s Hearts conduct their ceremonies. He addresses the members and confirms that their elder Momyungjin has been captured. In the back, he spots a familiar face — it’s Tagon.

Saya takes Tagon outside the cave and asks how he learned about the cave. Tagon reveals that he’s decided to join the White Peak Mountain’s Hearts and says that the Igutu reveal must come later. Saya agrees to Tagon’s terms. Saya thanks his father, and Tagon apologizes for the suffering. From afar, Daekan warrior Mookwang overhears this conversation and watches this interaction curiously.

As Saya walks to the treehouse, Mookwang follows closely behind. Tagon returns to Momyungjin’s dye shop, and he’s met with his Daekan troops, including Moobaek.

In the treehouse, Tanya questions if she actually has psychic abilities, since she’s sure that she heard Chaeeun’s thoughts. As she takes a closer look at the candles, the light refracts and smoke begins to accumulate. But when she shakes her head, her vision returns to normal.

When Saya returns to the treehouse, he finds it empty. No Tanya. He immediately begins to search the surrounding forest, and the Daekan warriors keep watch. Back at the dye shop, Tagon orders the Daekan warriors to be fully armed and ready to mobilize in their attack of the Great Shrine. He orders everyone in the huts to be killed, and he also orders someone, preferably someone with musical abilities, to go to prison.

Then, Mookwang arrives and reports that Saya may have lost Tanya. Tagon orders a picture to be drawn so that the rest of the Daekan warriors can search for her. Moobaek then realizes that Tagon wasn’t keeping Tanya afterall. When Tagon orders the Daekan warriors to kill anyone in their way of finding Tanya, Mookwang seems alarmed that Tagon would even kill his own son.

When Saya returns to the treehouse, he finds Tanya silently hiding. He sighs in relief, but Tanya insists that she can sense someone outside watching them. Saya assures her that there’s nobody outside and tells her the good news of Tagon’s alliance with them. He says that Tanya will soon become the High Priest of the Great Shrine, but Tanya seems doubtful.

Tanya is still skeptical that Asa Sin was the Great White Wolf of the Wahan people, and Saya asks if she knows where the star bell is hidden in the Great Shrine. If Tanya found the star bell, that would prove that she’s the descendant of Asa Sin. Tanya has no idea what this is, but Saya remains hopeful and assure her that she’ll gain immense power.

Before Saya leaves the treehouse, Tanya asks if this power will allow her to liberate the Wahan people, even those who have been dragged away far from Arthdal. Saya confirms this, and Tanya looks intrigued by the possibility of saving Eunseom.

At Doldambul, the slaves hand a knife to Eunseom to kill Sateunik. They’ve all done this once before and claim that it’s to everyone’s benefit to kill the weak dying link. Eunseom slowly approaches Sateunik with the knife, and images of Teodae flash through his mind. He’s overwhelmed and haunted by the voices telling him what to do, telling him who he is.

Then, Sateunik takes Eunseom’s hand and tells him that it’s not his fault. Sateunik says that killing him is not Eunseom’s fault, and neither is everything he’s suffered. Eunseom asks why this savagery isn’t a sin and argues that Sateunik knows nothing about the sins he’s committed. But Sateunik stays resolute and says that there’s only one sin that deserves punishment. Then, he whispers this in Eunseom’s ear, and no one else is privy to this secret.

Sateunik encourages Eunseom to commit the deed and claims that he deserves punishment, but Eunseom can’t do it. He breaks the wooden knife and says that he can’t act like an animal. Badoru angrily reminds him that he entered these mines announcing that he was more lowly than an animal, and Eunseom confirms that he acted like an animal, mindlessly living because he could breath.

Eunseom likens his animal-like behavior to the rest of the slaves, and Badoru angrily attacks him. But Eunseom strikes back and knocks down a couple other slaves. His strength is back! Badoru asks if they should die of hunger with Sateunik so that they can live like humans, and he argues that Eunseom isn’t even human. Eunseom doesn’t care if he’s called an animal and proposes that they escape.

When Eunseom looks to Ipsaeng, the blabbermouth suddenly takes back his word about knowing an escape route and blames another slave for not sharing this knowledge. The other slaves laught at Eunseom’s naïve trust in a notorious liar, but Eunseom then suggests that they escape using his idea. He scopes the tunnel and asks the slaves how many days they can last without food.

The Daekan warriors search the streets for Tanya, showing a drawing of their wanted subject. When Chaeeun sees this, she denies recognition but immediately runs off. Yeobi observes the Daekan warriors and senses something unusual about this search.

Taealha meets with Mihol and asks if she will lose her title as tribe leader when she betrays Tagon. Mihol looks satisfied and assures her that she will keep her position. Then, a loud prisoner hums a familiar tune, and Taealha recognizes this as Tagon’s humming tune, whenever he gets excited.

Yeobi interrupts them and reports to Mihol on the Daekan search for this Wahan person. She starts to put together the pieces: Moobaek recently sought out Yeolson looking for someone, and the Daekan warriors are now looking for Tanya, who’s Yeolson’s daughter. There’s even suspicion that the Wahan people are humans, descended from Arthdal ancestors.

Mihol heads to the Fortress of Fire and grabs Yeolson for questioning. He threatens to boil his daughter to death if he doesn’t answer the questions, and Yeolson begs Mihol for mercy. Mihol asks about the information that Moobaek requested, and he shares the origin story of the Wahan people. He explains that the Great White Wolf started Wahan 200 years ago and that Tanya was her direct descendant. With this information, Mihol realizes Tagon’s plan.

Taealha meets with Asa Ron and shares that she’s made up her mind. Asa Ron look assured that her decision will be in his favor, but Taealha requests a sacred court hearing for her sins. He grabs her neck in fury, but Taealha calmly offers herself as a sacrifice for Tagon, as she’s been reassured by Tagon’s tune.

Moobaek asks Tagon about Tanya’s whereabouts, and Tagon says that she may have run away or been kidnapped. Moobaek offers to search for Tanya as well, though he seems to have different intentions.

Yeobi forces truth serum into Hae Tuak’s mouth, and Mihol asks for Tanya’s whereabouts. Drugged Hae Tuak reveals that Tanya is likely in the treehouse. At the treehouse, the Daekan warrior keeps guard but hears rustling around him. When he turns to attack, he’s immediately killed by Yeobi, who slices his throat in one go. Damn.

Sensing something ominous, Yeolson runs through the streets to find Chaeeun, as Moobaek referred Yeolson to her if anything bad happened.

Chaeeun prepares to hide away with Nunbyeol and asks little Doti to relay the message of Tanya’s whereabouts to Moobaek. Then, Yeolseon bursts into the medicine shop and asks for Chaeeun. He desperately asks her to help save his daughter, Tanya, as she seems to be in danger. Little Doti recognizes Yeolson, and they embrace in reunion.

Yeobi holds Tanya hostage and escorts her with Mihol behind them, marveling at Tagon’s plan. They’re intercepted by Mookwang, who’s determined to follow Tagon’s orders to kill anyone who tries to take Tanya. He battles Yeobi in a sword fight, and when they stand at an impasse, Tanya makes a run for it.

Tanya runs through a tall hayfield, and she’s stopped by Chaeeun, who unties her roped wrists. As they start to run, Nunbyeol directs them away from Yeobi, but when they exit the hayfield, they’re met with Mookwang. Both Chaeeun and Nunbyeol try to protect Tanya, but Mookwang easily knocks them down.

Holding his sword to Tanya’s throat, Mookwang goads that he’s survived Tanya’s curse. As Tanya looks afar, the smoke from the treehouse begins to blur her vision, and she firmly tells Mookwang the last words he will hear, “It’s too late.”

Mookwang tries to hurt Tanya for her ominous prophecy, but Nunbyeol attacks with a sword. She manages to hit Mookwang, but that only provokes him further. She’s knocked down, and just as he approaches her for a fatal attack, someone grabs his hand. It’s a Yiseuroob.

On his way back to the treehouse, Saya discovers the dead warrior. He runs to the treehouse looking for Tanya, but she’s gone. He checks the dead warrior and unveils the Daekan symbol on his wrist. He angrily blames Tagon.

   
COMMENTS

Yes! A Neanthal appearance! I’m a fan of the Neanthals and really hope they’ll have a greater presence in this story moving forward. They’ve got a vigilante superhero quality to them, and that’s always a draw for me. I do hope that a community of Neanthals exists, and I think there were some implicit clues that these two Neanthals are not the only two alive. It seems like they’re actively recruiting, hopefully to make some major moves. I knew something was different with Nunbyeol, but I was not expecting THAT. I kind of wish that she still had Neanthal powers because Nunbyeol could have been one badass Neanthal. I hope that there’s some way for her to restore her Neanthal powers or feel more connected with the Neanthal community. Her family definitely takes top priority, but there’s an interesting story to be told in that in between of humans and Neanthals.

There was a lot of build-up for the season finale in this episode, and while the major events have yet to happen, there were some highlights in this episode. Most of the politics involving Asa Ron and Mihol bore me to tears, but I loved the Tagon/Saya argument sequence. The thick tension and intensity of their acting was incredible. I could feel their passion through the screen, and both actors executed that scene with charisma bursting at the seams and powerful chemistry. The topic of their argument was also more universally relevant than I had initially thought. Taking out all the Arthdal jargon and unnecessary politics, the argument drew on themes of marginalization, self-hatred, and a desperation for acceptance. It was so clear that the characters’ backgrounds had framed their understanding of the world, and even though they were both Igutus, their different exposures to the world had diverged their perceptions of themselves.

I’m amazed at the pool of talent in this show, and I don’t know how they got all these actors to sign on and align their schedules for these shoots. They seemed to have casted every popular rising star, a solid group of recognizable veterans, and our internationally renowned leads. I would think that their budget would run dry from just paying these folks and the staff a decent wage, but I guess that’s the power of Netflix? Maybe they’ll use this break between season 2 and 3 to ring in the streaming bucks and replenish their budget. It was an interesting choice to divide up the seasons this way, and I’m not sure if this will help or hurt the show. While I’m not thrilled about this season break, I’m going to be optimistic and say that we’re in a good place to come back rejuvenated and ready to experience the final piece of this Arthdal epic.

RELATED POSTS

Tags: , , , , ,

66

Required fields are marked *

Gahhh I was ranting soo much about how just when things really started getting fun in Arthdal they give us a season break ! X-/

but theories on what Sateunik told Eunseom for him to get his zeal back ?!

Also I love that Nunbyeol is a Neanthal brought up by the humans - although she doesnt have their powers, she is their race but has human values. maybe I should wait for ep12 recap before writing more on this.. cuz could be spoilers.

2
7
reply

Required fields are marked *

Also who else whooped with excitement when finally Eunseom felt like Eunseom again.. I was patiently waiting for that turn around to happen.. but they gotta go put that in as a secret. >_<

3
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

@irishrah Rainbow Unicorn,

I may not have whooped, but I was glad to see that Eunseom is back to his old self. I wonder what the heck Sateunik said to him. It must have been a doozy for him to buck up so much.

3
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I ranted so much at my screen because we have to go on break just when things are getting interesting!

And then they have to make Sateunik’s pep talk a secret. Why?? We need something to keep up hope as well. Did he say “Aramun Haesulla was an Igutu?” Agh. I can’t. #frustrated

4
reply

Required fields are marked *

With Nunbyeol survives, I do hope that she would be able to prevent Neanthal from extinct.

I love Neanthal and its tribal traits and attitude to the nature, and I feel so bad when they were massacred during the Great Hunting...

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

@irishrah Rainbow Unicorn,
Maybe Sateunik whispered to Eunseom that purple is the color of royalty. ;-)

4
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Hahahaha! Agreed!

2
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

@irishrah Rainbow Unicorn,

But Saya is the one who will be hearing it in his dream! He secretly covets Taealha's purple hooded cloak. ;-)

He might be the first igutu fashionista. ;-)

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Harim had cut off all eight of her blood lineages to eliminate her Neanthal powers

How? Genetic engineering? Tourniquets? Scissors?

12
10
reply

Required fields are marked *

Exactly! An explanation would've been nice.

4
6
reply

Required fields are marked *

Ofc it was the fancy Arthdal equivalent of acupuncture & meridian blocking! C'mon guys! We veteran kdrama watchers ought to know that! Hehe

6
5
reply

Required fields are marked *

The Arthdal equivalent of acupuncture is with those fancy new high-tech bronze swords :)

5
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

The more I think about it, the more I want to see at least one of those lineages.

3

@irishrah Ah, but of course! It makes sense that this is what it would be. I should know better by now! Heh!

3
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Watch the wise old man Olmadae locked away in the pits work his genius and unlock her channels in the future!
Cuz I can't imagine at her current weak state she could even attempt to help continue their lineage.. the Neanthal strength would probably kill her......... and we all know she _will_ wanna help Neanthal not go extinct.. gosh as long as its not another twilight Bella pregnancy ridiculousness... *shivers

2

Yeah, he must be from Hyûga clan and did it thanks to his Byakugan ! A cousin from Hinata and Neji :p

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yeah. That was just a bit too magical without some explanation 🤦🏻‍♀️

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yeah, that was the weirdest thing this episode. I was also perplexed that Moobaek had a civilised talk with the Neanthals and seemed to feel guilt for being part of the genocide (and I clarified something: he speaks their language), but then he went into a frenzy when he realised Nunbyeol was a Neanthal and wanted to kill her. Not very cool Moobaek.

5
reply

Required fields are marked *

Let’s just say that they did it offline and we use our imagination of how he did it. LOL

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thanks, @dramallama for the recap! What?! There's a break! Aw, shucks. Anyway, I was glad when the Neanthals came to save the girls from Mookwang's attack. I think with Saya believing that Tagon is behind the kidnapping of Tanya, there's going to be another fight between 'father and son'. Yes, I like Saya's reasons for having power - so then he wouldn't have to hide his being an Igutu. Eunseom lived in Wahan even if the people knew he was different from them. Yes there were those who looked down on him but still he was accepted by most people. On the other hand, Saya was caged albeit comfortably, yet still a cage. Eunseom plans to escape and I hope he finds Tanya soon.

2
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Now I understand so many things , if Nunbyeol is a Neanthal. That explains why Chaeun was not scared of Eunseom when she met him and that she helped him even though he is an Igutu.I remember she said something that now makes total sense when she gave him the lip balm to cover up his purple lips.She actually said she made it for her sister. Wow, I am sad we are going to have tow ait for the next season, the suspense is killing me.

6
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I feel part of the reason is also Chaeun is in the White Peak Mountain's Hearts which says Aramum is an Igutu.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Chaeeun too is a neanthal

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I don’t think so... but she is the most tolerant person in Arthdal and the connection between humans and Neanthals in this story.

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thank you for your recap and comments, @dramallama!

Enough with the gratuitous maltreatment of the Wahan slaves already. Maybe it is to emphasize how much of a fight Eunseom put up before caving in to thirst and starvation. Even so, it’s just too much, and doesn’t really add to the progress of the story. More interesting to me is the group dynamics of the gem miners in Doldambul. (Doldam = "stone walls" -- at least in ROMANTIC DOCTOR, TEACHER KIM, in which is was the name of the hospital.) I was suddenly reminded of Tagon's rallying cry/victory toast: "To the end of what is long. To the bottom of what is deep." Might this have something to do with the mines? It actually sounds more like Asa Hon's and Eunseom's pathfinding through the caves down to the bottom of the cliffs as they fled Arthdal. I wonder what else it might refer to.

Interesting that Ipsaeng claims to be Tagon's sibling, but it sounds bogus when he says his brother has red blood. On the other hand, he really might just be Tagon's dongsaeng -- who is unacknowledged and thus did not grow up with him. I'm not sure what to make of him. His affinity for gemstones is such that I half-expect to hear him call them "my preciousssss."

The presence of a couple of blue-eyed dudes is a nice twist. I can’t wait to see what happens when they encounter a certain few igutus. I wonder if they will be able to recognize Eunseom and Saya after all this time, as they separated as infants. (Perhaps by scent?) Will there be fireworks when they encounter Tagon, the mastermind of their race's genocide – and kidnapper of their dongsaeng?

Oh where, oh where has my little horse gone? Oh where, oh where can he be?! I was expecting Mind-Reading Horse to come charging out of the reeds at the end of the episode. It's not as if he hasn't already met Tan-ya, dang it. Has he been hanging out with the Blue Boys?

What's with Sateunik's "blood disease"? Is it malaria or some other infectious illness? Or might it be a vulnerability of Arthdalians, just as the Neanthals and horses were susceptible to the plague? Do igutus and their Blue-Blood brethren have an advantage over Red-Bloods in this regard (akin to the tradeoff between thalassemia and greater resistance to malaria)?

Now we know why Chae-eun’s sis, Noon-Byul, is so frail and sickly. I’ve got my fingers crossed that adoptive dad Hae-rim’s desperate measures involved some kind of reversible blocking of meridians, akin to Xena’s patented whammy. (A cursory look at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meridian_(Chinese_medicine)#Eight_extraordinary_meridians reveals that these 8 meridians are "storage vessels or reservoirs of energy" of importance to qigong and martial arts. Hmmm. Sounds plausible.) I wonder if the Blue Dudes know how to deal with it. The other burning question: Are there more crypto-Neanthals to carry on the species?

Random Trivia: site of Arthdal attack on Neanthals, Manteiv = Vietnam...

6
6
reply

Required fields are marked *

Random Trivia: site of Arthdal attack on Neanthals, Manteiv = Vietnam backwards.

5
5
reply

Required fields are marked *

Ooh interesting catch on the Manteiv=Vietnam! It sounded like Russian to me 😆

Thanks for shedding some light on the mysterious way of reducing Neanthal powers. I hope Nunbyeol’s state is reversible too, just because I’d love to see her use her sword-fighting skills to some effect. Her adopted father’s idea of teaching her sword fighting to protect herself wouldn’t work if she can’t even party blows.

I’m so done with the mining and the mud. You have seen deeper into it than I could have. I’m ready for Magic Horse to show up.

3
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

*parry blows

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

@wishfultoki,
I thought it sounded like Russian, too! Well, that must mean that Siberian shamans can't be far. Or maybe the ancestors of the Jurchens! ;-)

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Omg you may be on to something: the Jurchens are descended from the Neanthals! That puts my Joseon sageuks in a completely different light ;)

2

Oh Snap!!! I did not catch that!!! Thanks...

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

So if the kid is a girl the super hot neanthal genes do not work and you end up looking normal and have no powers? Only boys get the hotness and the x-men powers?

3
11
reply

Required fields are marked *

It was mentioned both in the drama and the recaps, her adoptive dad said he cut off her eight blood lineage or whatever which has something to do with her powers!

3
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thank you.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

@tesshan,

At the beginning of the show, the adult female free-range Neanthals looked like the guys (blue lips, flashing blue eyes, etc.), and presumably were stronger than human females. I expect they had roughly the same powers, but owing to sexual dimorphism, were not as strong as the men.

When she was a child, Nunbyeol's adoptive human father chose to curb her physical powers so she could not pose a threat to humans and thus, he hoped, be allowed to live. See my comments above for how I think he did it.

I'm wondering if the Neanthals and igutus who have survived the plague have particularly robust immune systems -- since they were the ones who apparently overcame the infection, which is presumably still killing horses. As a result of drastic natural selection coupled with genocide, the survivors are tough birds who know how to make themselves scarce.

3
8
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thank you. Too much info in each episode!

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

I wonder if that’s why there are few horses in Arthdal. It’s such a different world from the sweeping grasslands and horse-riding culture of JUMONG.

2
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Ah, good question, @wishfultoki. You might be right as to the dearth of horses in Arthdal. And in Iark, people laughed at the idea of Eunseom actually riding a horse, as if it just weren't done.

As much as I love Horsey Helper, they really should have cast a small, stocky Mongolian-type horse in the role. The current equine actor belongs to a type that didn't exist back then in that part of the world.

You know what bugs me? Poor Helper is still saddled and has a bit in his mouth. It must be a pain for him to eat.

3
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes, a blood sweating Mongolian horse would have been cooler.

2

I was quite surprised they added wuxia and Qi elements into the story. I don’t think I’ve seen any Korean sageuk do that.

2
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

@geliguolu sph_7,

Re: wuxia elements, IIRC the joint Korean-Chinese drama production BICHEONMU / THE DANCE IN THE SKY / FLYING HEAVENLY DANCE aka FEI TIAN WU (2006-2008) had wuxia elements in it. It was directed by Yoon Sang-ho, who co-directed the blockbuster THE FIRST KING'S FOUR GODS. Beautiful cinematography, with flying robes and scenes of fluttering cloth in a dye yard reminiscent of DUELIST. Ju Jin-mo plays the scion of a lineage of Goguryeo swordmasters in China or Mongolia (Won), set at the end of the Yuan Dynasty. Alas, the Korean version was cut down to 14 episodes from 24, while the Chinese one has 33. The missing material would have made the Kdrama's plot easier to understand. I'd give my eyeteeth to see the missing footage. As with DAMO, there are some nifty battles in the tops of a bamboo grove. I enjoyed it despite the truncation. It has a gorgeous OST.

2
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

That’s all before my kdrama years. No wonder.

2

@geliguolu sph_7,
July 12, 2019 at 4:29 PM

I've only been watching kdramas since about 2013 myself. I watched BICHEONMU in 2016. IIRC, it had subtitles by Written In The Heavens Subbing Squad (WITH S2), JavaBeans's old outfit.

BTW, the whole drama was filmed in China, so the panoramas are endless. Armies on horseback crossing arid, treeless prairies. Fantastic.

2

When I watched this episode, I felt confused how Harim eliminated Nunbyeol's Neanthal powers. I awaited for the recap to explain this, but it only says "Harim had cut off all eight of her blood lineages to eliminate her Neanthal powers." Can anyone explain this to me?

It took me a while to pick up part 2. Loved this series part 1, but somehow, I couldn't keep watching because I wasn't desperate or eager to watch the rest. But when I picked up part 2, I watched all 6 episodes in just two days!!! Awesome show and thank you for bringing my excitement back!!!

3
6
reply

Required fields are marked *

Sorry, I've all beanies comments here. But, wished they explained it better in the drama about her vanished powers. Maybe she can bring them back if she stays with the Neanthal?

2
5
reply

Required fields are marked *

Comment was deleted

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

If my wuxia knowledge is applicable to this Arthdal world, she will need a master acupuncturist and someone with Qi manipulation powers to unblock her 8 extra meridians.

4
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

@geliguolu sp_7,
You're reading my mind. I used to go to an acupuncturist, and this is the first thing I thought of.

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Oh, interesting! With no details, I was thinking he had removed something like tentacles from her 😆

6
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

@bbstl,

ROFLMAO at tentacles! Now poor Nunbyeol sounds like Doctor Zoidberg in FUTURAMA! ;-)

I got the impression that it had to do with blocking/throttling ancestral ch'i -- in this case, of the Neanthal variety. Since she doesn't look hamstrung or obviously physically crippled, I figured that interrupting ch'i flow and accumulation was the only other option -- short of shaman stuff. Since Dad isn't privy to magic stuff, it's probably ch'i-related.

2

haha @bbstl

Since daddy doctor is the one who cut off the 8 meridians or whatever I guess he is the only one with enough knowledge to reopen them. Come to think of it he has unparalleled knowledge on Neanthal physiology. He discovered they were susceptible to an illness that also kills off horses...

As long as it doesn't require a blue blood transfusion that kills off another Neanthal I'll be ok.

1

- Tagon was smarter this episode.
- Saya flailed a bit- his weak point is starting to become obvious: Tanya. Whoop. Will he become a villain if he is the spurned second lead? Don’t go that way show! *offers up garlic and mugwort*
- Eunseom: just get out of there ASAP please.
- Tanya: Her powers are becoming stronger. Just when will she figure out that she can read minds?
- Asa Ron and Mihol: the less I see them the better.
- Taelha: she was more dressed for the weather.

Highlight of the episode: when I finally realised that Tagon’s humming tune is the OST 😆 And the Neanthals are back!

6
10
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm seriously hoping they don't turn Saya into a villain due to jealousy. He's such an interesting character, and I don't want to see him reduced to that. I'm looking forward to seeing how he and Eunseom will react to each other when they discover their relationship, and I'd rather not have that impeded by a stupid love triangle.

4
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

Same.. they would make such a powerful team. I know it’s harder to produce scenes with both twins in them but hey, this show is supposed to have a big budget.

I don’ gave much hopes though because the last time I wished for an original and the doppelgänger to cooperate it didn’t happen. I’m still cross at ARE YOU HUMAN TOO? for making one of them the villain.

3
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Agreed. I'd love to see them work together to take everyone down. I think they'd complement each other well. But like you, I don't have much hope in that happening. I guess we can be pleasantly surprised if it does 🙂

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

@wishfultoki,

Yeah, I hear you. Bah, humbug on the Nam Shin debacle -- although Evil Grandpa and Robot Scientist Mom were really to blame for that fiasco (if we're not blaming Writer-nim).

On the other hand, maybe igutu blood is thicker than water. Wouldn't that be a refreshing switch?! Purple blood FTW!

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

I got the feeling that budget went to stroke stars egos after they found out how miniscule their screen time will be ;)

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

@wishfultoki,

Ah, thanks for mentioning the tune Tagon hums being the OST. I have not been paying enough attention. I have NOKDU FLOWER's "Bird, Bird, Blue Bird" on the brain.

Here's hoping there's a nice consolation prophecy for Saya that will take the sting out of Tan-ya being his brother's girl. If Eunseom is the elder, he may have birth order on his side. Or, it's Tan-ya's call. Or, Saya gets the message in a dream... and Tan-ya introduces him to one of her cute friends. ;-)

Maybe Saya will turn out to be the reincarnation of Aramun Haesulla, and will end up with a spiffy equine bromance with Helper, who doesn't seem to be in much of a rush to bust Eunseom out of the mine. ;-)

1
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

My mind can't stop thinking of NOKDU FLOWER's "Bird, bird, blue bird". It's a very catchy and sad tune, while Tagon's humming tune isn't that memorable. I like it, but I forget it after I've heard it.

Since we're on the subject of OSTs, the only one that has been released so far is "The Poem of Destiny" by Ailee. I usually like her songs, but this one doesn't quite work for me. It's different from her usual ballads, and the drums make it sound ancient and savage, but still. Here it is, for your reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RojdvJwNFXE

1
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

@wishfultoki,
Thanks so much for the link. That piece caught my ear the first time around. It's unusual to hear didgeridoo nowadays, let alone with a symphony orchestra.

The drumming reminds me a bit of the music of the late American frame drum scholar, performer, and teacher, Layne Redmond, http://www.dramabeans.com/members/pakalanapikake/activity/827173/
and the late American dancer and musician Gabrielle Roth.
http://www.dramabeans.com/members/pakalanapikake/activity/827152/
Some of their music sounds as if it's straight out of the Stone Age. I was shocked to learn that they died within about a year of each other in 2012-2013. Both were active in New York City. RIP.

One of my friends, who had wanted to play drums when she was young, had been diverted into playing flute and piano instead. When we were in our thirties, she drug me off to a partially-flooded old limestone mine in the Hudson Valley to hear Layne Redmond and the Mob of Angels perform, possibly on Lughnasa. The Angels floated into view on boats from the darkened gallery, and proceeded to drum up a storm. The cave-like mine was cool, light, airy -- and very comfortable on that summer day in the 1990s.

It just occurred to me that restoration of Nunbyeol's strength might be achieved by raising kundalini -- perhaps by dancing herself into an ecstatic state (for which Gabrielle Roth was famous).

2
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

When we were in our thirties, she drug me off to a partially-flooded old limestone mine in the Hudson Valley to hear Layne Redmond and the Mob of Angels perform, possibly on Lughnasa.

Umm... what?

2

@leetennant ChinguMode,
It was the 90s, when everyone was getting empowered by joining drum circles, especially women. (I wasn't one of them, but I do enjoy listening to good percussion.) Layne Redmond was one of the prime movers in the US, and researched Western drumming traditions involving women. She documented her findings in When the Drummers Were Women: A Spiritual History of Rhythm.

She also taught drumming. Her students, dubbed the "Mob of Angels," often gave concerts with her on Celtic/Pagan holy days.

Dang, the Widow Jane Mine is still hosting concerts. You can see how its room-and-pillar entrance is open to light and air in the photo:
https://hudsonvalleyone.com/2019/07/11/taiko-drums-to-reverberate-within-rosendales-widow-jane-mine/

2

This is why we should have 30 episodes because I want to see more of Neanthals back stories, magic horse, and more HOTNESS of Neanthals men. 😉😉😉

3
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Preach, @trina! It's finally getting me interested. I guess we'll have to rewatch before part 3 airs in September. ;-)

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Every time Saya is on screen, I don’t have enough eyes to read subtitles.

4
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I am still liking season 2 so much better than season 1. Besides the shift from the lengthy setup and introductions to actually delving into the story the major difference is the existence of Saya. Eunsom is pleasant but so far ineffectual whereas no matter what he does Saya is very compelling. I can’t take my eyes off him for a second when he is on screen. His interactions with every other character no matter how insignificant (for example Hae Tuak) are fascinating. He has no qualms of using and sacrificing anyone and everyone and his personal ethics (or lack thereof) fascinate me. He is not evil, he has a sense of purpose for everything he does whether taking revenge or gaining power. I am watching his journey with curiosity and interest. While Eunsom is a typical Kdrama hero, Saya is a fresh character we haven’t seen the likes of very often.

Saya made major moves in this episode and really took on a gamble. Whether he is right or not doesn’t matter. He has the guts Tagon lacks, that’s why he is a much more compelling character than antihero Tagon. @lollypip called him a wildcard, that’s what makes him fascinating to watch because we never know what he will do next whereas Tagon mostly reacts.

I am still trying to understand Tagon’s feelings towards Saya. While one moment he looks like he can kill him he also shows affection at times. Saya is also similarly confused. He clearly despises his father’s lack of action and shame of being an igutu, but also still wants his approval like every child. He learned the important lesson of not even trusting his own father by the end of the episode. I also wonder about his firm belief of being Tagon’s heir. After all the power politicking (I agree with @dramallama about how boring Asa Ron and Mihol are) it doesn’t come to his mind at all that Tagon and Taelha may have heirs of their own blood one day.

Season 2 also had several pleasant surprises in store. One of the best was the reemergence of the Neanthals who we thought were extinct. The reveal of Nunbyeol being a Neanthal, not even an igutu but a full fledged Neanthal was a twist I definitely didn’t see coming. There is hope for their race yet if females also survived. I was puzzled by what “cutting off all eight of her blood lineages” means though.

I still don’t understand the power of igutus. Didn’t they have super hearing? How come Saya was clueless that he was being followed when even Tanya could sense someone outside the hut?

I found Tagon’s message to Taelha to trust him very clever.

I am curious about the single sin Eunsom has committed.

Flipping a coin or even having one and drawing a picture of a person you are looking for felt very anachronistic.

2
0
reply

Required fields are marked *