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Rookie Historian Gu Hae-ryung: Episodes 13-16 Open Thread

Palace life is challenging enough, but now Rim and Hae-ryung must face the reality outside its walls, which they no longer have the luxury to ignore. Rim faces both true danger and the chance to finally prove himself in the eyes of the king. As it turns out, however, there may be those he wants to please more than his father—and perhaps Rim is capable of more than anyone around him imagined.

 
EPISODES 13-16 WEECAP

As a smallpox epidemic hits the northern provinces, the kingdom is in crisis—and Councilor Min manipulates the king into sending Rim to do a ritual in the affected region, which of course takes no arm-twisting given how much he hates him. Jin is distressed, and the dowager queen is outraged; she threatens to reveal that Rim is not actually the king’s son. OH. That explains a lot.

Hae-ryung and Woo-won go along in Rim’s entourage, because they’re brave and loyal idiots, and we’re treated to Rim burning with jealousy at Woo-won’s awkward kindness towards Hae-ryung. Rim is also shook to find out that Hae-ryung was previously engaged (she says offhandedly, “He used to be my husband,” ha!) and offended on her behalf that the guy broke it off: “How could he not like you, given that he has eyes?” I am dead, y’all. How is this boy so adorable.

Once they receive word that all is under control, Hae-ryung even accompanies Rim to his first ever visit to the ocean. But their barefoot frolicking on the beach doesn’t last long, because they find out that the officials lied to them: countless people have died, local officials stole the medicine and food sent by the king, and quarantined villagers are starving to death. Rim resolves to go where it’s worst, despite the protests of his entourage, and even though he initially has misgivings, agrees to Mo-hwa’s idea to vaccinate the villagers. In fact, he volunteers to go first so the people won’t be afraid.

Rim recovers and soon people begin lining up for vaccinations, but the king hears of this “barbaric” Western practice and forbids it, ordering Rim to come home at once. Rim ignores the order and returns home ten days late. The king greets him with a slap and seems ready to mete out the ultimate punishment—until Jin reminds his father that the historians are watching.

So far we’ve seen Hae-ryung transform from a frustrated noblewoman doomed to an unwanted marriage into a working woman carving out her own place in a difficult but fulfilling role. We still had some of that in this episode, particularly in her guilt for the little girl’s death, which led to her determination to save every life possible by convincing Rim to agree to the vaccinations. And when Woo-won objected, I especially loved how she referred to his own, earlier advice that she be able to take responsibility for her righteous actions (after the debacle with the clerks).

I found Woo-won’s objection to this frustratingly illogical; I understand that the historian needs to be an unbiased recorder of events, but Hae-ryung acting according to her conscience doesn’t mean that she’s “a novelist twisting history to her own whims.” There’s no such thing as a truly unbiased historian, anyway—that’s why there must be many of them, each providing their particular perspective. Hae-ryung was right to say that it’s a waste of their education to simply be voiceless scribes who know their place. The issue of agency versus passivity, acting versus recording, comes up for both Hae-ryung and Sa-hee this week, and I’m fascinated to see where the show goes with it.

The star of this arc, however, is Rim, who’s finally developing beyond an idealistic, sheltered prince with a crush. As Hae-ryung learns not to take the world on her shoulders while still fighting the battles she can win, Rim is finding out that despite his isolated life so far, he can be of use to his people, and even save them. He has an unexpected core of steel: he didn’t protest the royal order, even though it might as well have been a death sentence, because for the first time the king was sending him on a mission, a chance to prove his worth.

My heart breaks for the poor kid. It’s so clear to see how much he both fears the king and yet thirsts for his love and approval. And tragically, although Rim clearly showed that he’s more than an ornamental prince fit only to perform a superstitious ritual, the king’s poisonous ego is unable to see anything but betrayal and disobedience.

I appreciated how even with all the serious stakes the characters were dealing with in these four episodes, the drama was able to maintain its humorous, whimsical tone without causing a feeling of emotional whiplash. I think my favorite scene was Hae-ryung ordering Rim and Woo-won to make themselves useful, and then telling them off when they repeatedly failed at anything remotely practical. Hae-ryung and Sam-bo clicking their tongues and shaking their heads at the two men as they awkwardly tried to feed children and stoke fires was the actual best. (Rim: “This firewood clearly has splinters. Be very careful not to get hurt.” Woo-won: “Yes, Your Highness.” *both gingerly pick up one piece of kindling each*)

I’m a little sad that they’re already back at the palace and in their rigidly defined roles again; it was delightful to see this little group growing closer away from the watching eyes and restrictive protocols that normally bind them all—including Woo-won, whose careful camaraderie with Rim was honestly adorable to watch.

There’s something so extremely buttoned-up about Woo-won that makes me want to see him flustered and off-balance—he reminds me a bit of Im Joo-hwan’s Park Kyu in Tamra the Island. I love his dynamic with Hae-ryung, because she pushes him in a way that no one else does, while he takes the time to explain his position to her, a privilege most people don’t merit in his eyes; the mutual respect in unspoken but palpable, and it just gets me. (I have a feeling that these might be the beginning signs of a painful case of Second Lead Syndrome. Dangit.)

I’m less conflicted about rooting for Jin and Sa-hee, though, despite her spying, because it was so refreshing to see her stand up to her father and speak her mind to Jin in these episodes. Sa-hee is like a banked fire, seemingly cold but strong and ready to flare up when she needs to fight. I think she’s perfect to hold her own side by side with the lonely crown prince. I’m definitely here for a story that gives the coming-of-age narrative to its heroine, and the redemption arc to its second female lead. Please live up to your name, Show!

 
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I actually agreed with Woo Won on the place of historians. They are privy to the conversations of the most powerful people in the country - those who run it. So if they had any influence at all, that is a very dangerous road. So I thought Hae Ryong's actions were justified and saw nothing wring with it, but I totally understand the principle that Woo Won is trying to get her to understand, he's not wrong.

Sa Hee I do not trust at all. I don't know if I've interpreted her wrong, but I found it hypocritical of her to tell her father off for going after personal gain when she herself is an outright spy. Does she not see the moral ambiguity in using her position as a recorder of private conversations to tell someone else who is in power the content of those conversations?

What I'm looking forward to seeing is how her relationship with the crown prince will play out seeing as the crown prince's wife is the daughter of the man for whom she is a spy. And I don't want the crown prince to be hurt by her betrayal either, he's nice.

Rim is very adorable, but I will enjoy seeing him learn and grow. Hae Ryeong is just a delight to watch so far.

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Good point about Sa-hee being somewhat hypocritical, though I wonder if she believes her reporting to the Councilman is more out of obligation to country than personal gain. As though she's doing what she can in the best interest of Joseon, despite not realizing (yet) that it may actually be the opposite.

I can only assume she'll get to flip flop at some point, presumably as she forges a deeper bond with the Crown Prince.

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I think a Woo Won has been protecting himself from getting involved in politics by using his position as ‘historian’.
I think it’s his way of protecting himself from his father. And he has been doing this for long and now it’s ingrained in him.

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I just finished binging last week's episodes and thought the same about Woo-won! He seems reaaaally insistent on how historians must distance themselves from what's happening. Almost like it's his way of avoiding having to do something about his father while hiding behind "his duty".

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I just came back here to say how wrong I was about Historian “Frownyface” Min and his reason for being strictly objective about chronicling everything. :’(

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We were all so off chart!!

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I think the crown prince knew right from the start that the idea of having female historian is for spying on the royals but nevertheless, that still wouldn’t make him hurt less if he finds out what sa hui is doing.

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I really enjoyed the episodes this week albeit the lack of our lady historian team goodness. The biochemist in me was really happy to see a historical drama use variolation to combat smallpox!

It was fascinating to see jealous Rim but I understand him because Hae-ryung is just lovable you can't help but like her. Really glad to see that he is still taking baby steps because development doesn't come overnight but those steps mean A LOT.

Do we even have a word for "???" because that is my reaction to Woo-won this week. I get it, he has his principles but doing nothing by being silent is almost the same as doing something bad because you do not, in any way, help those who are in need.

Sa-hee might be confused as to who she wants to be right now (an ally or a spy), seeing that her background is not the best as it sounds so I do understand her. I can still see her growing both as a person and as a historian so a "redemption arc" for her might be coming on our way soon.

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I haven't actually watched the latest episode yet but I did sneak-watch the preview, and I just had the thought that the dilemma that Woo-won's role represents is not unlike journalists who report on humanitarian disasters and warzones. On the one hand, reporting (and in the historians' case, recording) is their job, it's what they're their to do, and it's vital - but is it more important than helping the individuals in need before your eyes? I've never been able to come to a satisfactory conclusion, I'm curious about others' position on that.

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uhh whoops, meant this as a reply to @natana above. Somebody is still awake at 3am when they should be very, very asleep XD *waves at liar song*

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It's okay! Haha *waves back*

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I don't think the act of recording events and interfering in events is mutually exclusive. Perhaps the ambiguity can be waived if Hye-ryung were to record her own intervention - that she gave the Prince a book that convinced him. Honestly what she did wasn't that bad. The Prince needed more information to make a properly considered decision on the line of treatment, and she facilitated that.

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Yeah, I might change my mind after watching the episode!

Also, I am inordinately bothered by my 3am mis-type which proves either a) I definitely do not know the difference between 'their' and 'there', or b) I started off writing one thing, and changed my mind mid-way and wrote something else,

or c) go the eff to sleep.

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HAHAH hope you chose c. Eventually.

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I think the two may be different though. Because in the journalists' case where there is a humanitarian disaster there is a clear need to help people in the practical sense and it would not involve biased influence by one group on people who make decisions that afftect the lives of people in a country. However, if we take the specific case of historians in the Joseon court, and the case with Hae Ryeong, we could argue that using vaccination was Hae Ryeong's opinion. Even though she had evidence and personal experience and science on her side - opinions are dangerous in that specific position, whether or not they are based on evidence - evidence in itself can be fabricated. I just think neutrality is the best for them because they are close to the most powerful people by virtue of their jobs, and they shold not be able to influence those people in any way. Hae Ryung did it for good, but what about those who would use that influence for evil?

Sa Hee being a good example of how dangerous that position can be. Her sharing what she heard almost got our unorthodox doctor captured by people who I'm sure do mean her harm. Those actions are based on her own interpretation of what is right and wrong, and therein lies the problem.

Sorry for the essay and for hijacking your comment @liar song :)

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No problem! It is actually really nice to see discussions under my comments so it is fine.

I didn't see anything wrong with Hae-ryung and her opinion on variolating people because she still did her historian job while trying to help those in need. The decision will still be on Rim's shoulders and whether or not he considers Hae-ryung's opinion will be his choice. So I agree with both @greenfields and @saya's comments above.

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I see what you're saying, but I disagree. Their job is to record neutrally not live neutrally. As long as they record events exactly as they occur, they are doing their jobs. I think it's wrong to forbid anyone from sharing their opinion. That leads to the dangerous territory of saying only qualified people are allowed to give their opinions to those in power. Hae-ryung has every right to share her opinion with whomever she likes, so long as she is not using her position as a historian to assert undue influence. She was careful to say nothing when she was working and went to Rim after hours as Hae-ryung the woman not as a historian. She shared her personal opinion, which is her right as an individual. Should she no longer be able to have personal conversations with anyone who happens to have power?

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This is my point of view too. The only error Hye-ryung has made perhaps, is not recording the opinion/literature she shared. It is not as though she has fixed "working hours" or such hours existed back then. That's a modern day conception of labour. Her job description is to record peoples' interactions with the prince; and in so far as her own interactions with him are not recorded, or the fact that he snuck out to go check out the beach - she is being untrue to her role. [But this is a drama haha]

Nat makes a fair point about the possibility of someone abusing the historian's position; but the recording of an event vs the interfering in an event are separate things.

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Furthermore every court has a custom of going in disguise among the public and getting their opinion on issues every once in a while. No decisionmaker should ever only rely on the advice of the "qualified people", whoever they may be. In fact that's where the true danger lies because usually those are the people with vested interests and in dramas and real life those are the people who constantly exert undue influence and pressure for their own interests rather than for the good of the public and country.

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There is a historical medical drama where the characters used vaccine to combat smallpox. The drama is called Jejungwon and I recommend it highly.

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I will check it out. Thanks!

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Also, didn't we see Woo-won going beyond his neutral codes when he's at home, writing down his honest and dangerous opinions abt the court which he can't write in official records?
So I feel like he's not actually against Hae-ryung's rebellious streak, he's just trying to rein her in a bit and stop her when she goes too far.
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On a completely different note, glad to see Rim finally actively paricipating in a large part of the plot. Finally it feels like Hae-ryung and Rim are fairly and squarely sharing their screentime!😍
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P.s.- The hidden cinnamon roll is the nice Historian Seong. His dozing off was the most unexpected and hilarious thing this episode.

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Hum... My favourite part is our female historians squad. So far from the Palace, I could see them so much.

Now that Prince Dowon can take an active part in the story, I'm not convinced by the acting of CEW... I can see him acting and it makes me hard to be focused.

For the debat about the historian's place, I don't think she did wrong. I don't think giving informations is bad, at the end the Prince Dowon could take a decision with all the current informations and not blindly.

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Are you sure youre not just distracted by his face? 😂 But honestly I actually think CEW's acting has gotten a lot better. That expression of the last scene of episode 8/16 was really on point when he was with the king. And I thought he did well during the meeting w/ the officials. He still has his childish side but thats to be expected because its not realistic to lose all those characteristics overnight even when he is showing maturity as well. Its not an easy character to protray in the slighest. I will say hes not perfect. But the thing is I'm not looking for him to be perfect, this is his first Saeguk after all, I'm just looking for him to be better w/ each episode and I do see that.

But to each their own :)

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In Shopping King Louie, Louie was one of the most useless and hopeless character but Seo In Guk made him lovely.

In Moonlight Drawn by Clouds, Park Bo Gum really found the perfect way to act his character, between the humor and the charisma. He was lucky, he could refilm the first episode after he found the good "tone".

CEW is handsome but his voice is monotone and his acting is not subtil. He's cute in some scenes but as a lead I'm kinda disapointed.

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Comparision is the theif of joy. One of my favorite quotes because its true. Sorry but I can't relate to your criticisms. Anyways I'm enjoying the show and his acting and im going to keep on doing that. And you keep on doing you. After all the world be boring if we all agreed wouldn't it?

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i completely agree with you, i'm immensely enjoying this drama .sometimes it's not how "technically" good an artist is but how they connect with our emotions.sometimes an awkward ,imperfect and inexperienced actor can connect with our emotions more than a good veteran actor.
for me eunwoo is doing justice to prince yi rim and totally closed out the last scene of episode 8/16 with a fantastic performance .from his verbal response to the king ,his body language and his facial expression. he was subtly defiant but still respectful, he was on his knees but stood tall and unashamed. you could see the hurt in his eyes and i think the realization that something was not quite right with his assumed father's attitude towards him .i suspect he is going to start digging into his past .i loved that scene.

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RE: kurama
i really can't take people seriously when they use such phrases like " x's acting is not convincing, cringy, cringey,bad expressions, " etc . they either just got on the hate bandwagon and have no clue what they are talking about or can't properly express themselves.

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I can't take people seriously when they don't accept the opinion of the other people.

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Haha, wow. That comes from you commenting/ sidelining other comments/opinion. Lols.

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@ironB But I accept the comments of the others. I said I don't agree but I don't critize them for having another opinion than me. It's how works a conversation...

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The fact that Rim is not the king’s son has been mentioned in an earlier episode but it sounds like it’s in the king’s interest to make him look like his son. I wonder whether his claim to the throne is stronger than the king’s and that’s why he hates Rim. The dowager Queen’s actions and protection of Rim makes me think that. I don’t even think the king would have acted differently if Rim obeyed his orders. There is nothing Rim can do to please the king as the king seems to be looking for excuses to punish him. And it doesn’t look like the poor boy knows the truth.

I really enjoy Rim’s jealousy of historian Min as well as Hae Ryung’s almost husband (which was a concept he had difficulty wrapping his head around due to Hae Ryung’s vague answers. LOL)

I did like the beach scene and Hae Rung showing Rim how to enjoy it. As unrealistic as it was her bossing around Rim and Min to help around in the village and their incompetence was also hilarious.

I agree that the whole biasing the history argument is flawed. Historians are supposed to write the history objectively as it happens rather than taking a biased account of it but there is a vast difference between taking a biased account versus changing the course of history. Min’s argument sounds more like the argument of angels not interfering with human life. But historians are different. They are people who have opinions on what should happen and as long as they record the events accurately they have every right to interfere with the course of events like everyone else. They are not robotic recording machines.

On the secondary couple front Jin and San Hee all the way. I think they can be a lovely couple who is honest with each other, supportive and loving and it is clear they can both use a person like that by their side.

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They are not robotic recording machines.

I agree with you here. As they're portrayed in the show, are the historians really "historians"? At this point, they all seem like glorified stenographers. I yearn to see our historians actually writing history— using primary sources and other histories to put "history" in context. So, if they're really historians, they should be analyzing and synthesizing the records—court documents, art work, census data, economic reports, weather reports, personal diaries, letters, etc.—as they write their histories of key events.

Every work of history has a hypothesis and presents data to support it. And our understanding of our past—whether it's the geological past or a recent military conflict—shifts with our culture.

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I think i don't need to write my own comment because you have said everything i wanted to say in almost the same tone 😅 It's always a blessing to see a like minded person when it comes to drama i enjoy😃

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I was just writing about that- I’m wondering whose son he could be- maybe the king’s brother by a young concubine? They’ll make us wait until the end to find out. I prefer watching these series when they are over to binge watch,the suspense is too much😩

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I also thought he may be the son of an older brother who was the king (which would make Rim directly on the lıne to the throne). I have no idea why they would make him look like the current king's son. Whatever happens I hope they maintain the brotherly bond between Rim and Lin.

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I really think this show is an absolute gem right now. However, the whole smallpox epidemic bothered me from a medical standpoint. Unfortunately, it takes weeks to achieve immunity from any vaccine or illness. And it sounded like this was an overnight (3 day) thing. Also, those with the infection already would not achieve anymore benefit getting it. It doesn’t cure an ongoing infection either. Although, it did look pretty real how they were cutting the skin in those scenes. Prince Rim has my heart and I’m pretty sure Jin is going to die. His father will have to lose something very precious to him. I can’t decide how he will, but I’m getting my heart ready. The historians back at the palace are really annoying me as they are our Rookie historians as well!!! But I could watch Rim and Min’s odd couple shenanigans all day! One question: what term of endearment is Eunuch Sam-bo calling Mo-Hwa? Netflix puts “dear” or something similar which made me think she was his wife, but that can’t be right.

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Oh no! I don't want a King 2 Hearts remake!!!! The brother has to live >_<

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I think Sam-bo calls her "buin" which would indeed mean wife? And Sam-bo does have a wife as Rim mentioned in an earlier episode.
Now I'm curious about the background of their marriage, was it a set-up by the Queen Dowager to plant Mo-hwa as a spy and to protect Rim? Sam-bo seems to sincerely care about his wife though.

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Hmmm. I remembered that he had a wife, but I guess he married up! She’s a very accomplished woman!

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My understanding is Mo Hwa is a fugitive and is in hiding. The king was surprised she wasn't captured 20 years ago. So I am guessing she was married to Sam Bo for protection. Nobody knows Sam Bo's wife is Mo Hwa. That identity allowed her to remain hidden for all these years.

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She is his wife. When she visited the court to see the Queen they talked of her as Sam Bo's wife.

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Kamsahimnida! I missed that!

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Thanks for clarifying how long it takes to build immunity. Why didn't the scriptwriter used the medical book's narrator to explain who benefited from variolation? Don't shows have medical consultants for this kind of thing? Luckily we have you and other healthcare Beanies to set us straight.

(Growing up, I used to watch medical shows with my mom, an oncology nurse. She harumphed a lot. There much "Jesus! That's not even sterile!")

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Prince Dowon has been the star of the latest episodes. We have seen how adorable he can be with his crush on Hae Ryung, like, how can he write and give that poem to her (he's really a romantic), or give her the precious pork that the eunuch had saved for him...that was SO.CUTE. At the same time we could see a more mature prince coming back from the trip, he opened himself to new knowledge and risked his life to save people, he is proud of what he did, and he asked the king for forgiveness but never said he was wrong.
I'm also loving Goo Hae Ryung and that she initiated the vaccination idea. I disagree with Historian Min about impartiality. You can be an impartial writer while registering facts as a historian, but later as a person you can have your own opinions and take action based on that. I'd really like if it's Hae Ryung the one who uncovers what happened to the former king and helps to put an end to the current king and his evil minions. I'm fine with either Jin or Rim taking the throne and I'm sure they will not fight about it. Hopefully all the good guys will team up together.
Btw, seeing prince Dowon and Historian Min going around and failing at doing everything was hilarious. Hope we can see more of this comedy duo in coming episodes. 😃

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I truly enjoyed this drama so far! The show has mantained a great balance of the sageuk politics, romance and comedy and I hope it will continue to the end. I'd love to see the princes, queen, and the historians team up to overthrow the king.

I love that Rim is SO whipped for Hae-ryung and it's so adorable that now whenever he finds something that he wants to experience (the beach, the boiled pork), his first thought is to share it with her.

I'm still a bit confused about Rim's name. I know Yi Rim is his actual name so is Prince Dowon his title or something? But the Queen keeps calling him Dowon as if it's his name.

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Yes, his title is Prince Dowon but his given name is Lee Rim. Royals tend to use their titles with each other, which is why the Queen calls him Dowon instead.

And I totally agree with your thoughts on the drama!

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Watching Haeryung adjust to palace life and figuring out the best ways to use her skills has been a delight, and now that it's Lee Rim's turn, it's been equally as delightful. He really is like Rapunzel being let out of the tower for the first time and realizing there's more to the world than he's been taught. His chemistry with Haeryung gets better every episode, and I love watching them just be happy together - plus I love that she's in control and is the one teaching him.

I was really surprised and thrilled with the vaccination (variolation?) plot, as it felt like something relevant even now while also tackling social issues in Joseon that I don't think I've ever seen a saeguk do. Granted, I haven't seen that many, but it's always in-fighting about who will be king with barely anyone caring about The People. Crowned Clown probably came closest before this one, but I love that both Jin and Rim genuinely care about what's best for their country. There's also the fact that while Haeryung may be privileged, she's also gotten a chance to see how the people of Joseon live and is in a position to speak for them.

Finally, Sahui and Jin... I'm onboard. Just intense, fiery gazes and misunderstandings galore. Loved how he called her out for spying and she called him right back out for doubting. More please!

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These episode were a big a U turn for Prince Li Rim. He became a person he was meant to be. Always nodding to other ppl requests, today prince came out of his cacoon to become a beautiful butterfly. In the last scene, the look he gave to king. He was on his knees still he looked mighty.

Also, I could see the kind of influence GHR has on him. He respects her & that's why he at least looked upon on her suggestion.

And can I say how much I loved Lee Rim & min hoo bromance. For the first time ever, I saw Min ho actually listening to anyone or even agreeing with the person. With others he always act superior even if he doesn't not talk back but his eyes say that he give richard simmons about the king and even a little bit of crown prince but with Lee Rim, I saw his soft side. It's like he respected him for real. Agreeing to what he was saying

I always used to think that crown prince will be the one who will rebel against the king, but now, I think Prince Lee Rim will sooner than later will stand against him for welfare of ppl. Loved this character development..

And I am loving everyone's acting and Cha Eunwoo is doing a great job

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Did anyone else find "how" our dear prince and historian tried to start the fire a bit weird or is my mind very,very dirty?!😅

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Ok enlighten me- whose son is Prince Dowan? Clearly not the king, his brother sticks up for him too much more like a father or uncle. That’s what I’m waiting to see unfold, Mo-wha and her husband know something as well..any ideas anyone?

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The theory is he's the desposed kings son which would also make him the true hier to the throne and which would explain why he's been isolated all this time and not allowed to interact w/ anyone. So its thought the deposed king is the older brother of the king now and overthrew him and killed him. But whether it was his idea or done because of the strange influence the second state councilor has over him remains to be seen.

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I'm still leaning on my theory that Prince Dowon is MoWha's son and a deposed (Crown Prince) 20 years ago.

1st Hint: The Queen Dowagers flashback. When the current King and HaeRyung's brother maechwd in with a bloody sword asking her for an announcement of succession
2nd Hint: When MoWha pulled out that tombstone.
3rd Hint: When she was so concernwd about Prince Dowon after he was summoned by the king about being Maehwa.

As the others say, Prince Dowon has a stronger claim to the throne than the current King. Him being 20 years old right means he was just born then.

I still believe the Book of Hodam will help these questions. :)

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With what we have right now i also think Prince Dowon is a son of the dethroned king from a young concubine, what i'm not sure about is if the dethroned king was the current king's father or elder brother. I remember in a previous episode, in a flashback of 20 years ago the second state Councillor, then a general i think addressing the Queen Dowager as Queen Dowager. Was she already the Queen Dowager or did she just become the Queen Dowager after the dethronement of the King? Anyway I think the Queen Dowager had much political influence to trade with Prince Dowon's life, that's why he was spared and adopted by the current king as his son. Also either way he has a higher claim to the throne than the king and definitely more than the crown prince so that's why he was isolated and not allowed to marry, so that he won't be able to have any political support or be able to continue his lineage.

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In Prince Dowon's nightmares he's wearing the crown prince robes. So its either his father was the crown prince or maybe it's foreshadowing that he's the crown prince. As for him coming from a concubine I'm not sure about that because the Dowager Queen said he's legitimate. But yes she no doubt a big reason hes allowed to stay there and she clearly adores him. Cant wait until this weeks epiosides to finally see scenes between them. So many questions :)

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I think a prince from a concubine can be made legitimate if the first wife, in this case the queen adopts him legally. I saw something like that done in Dong Yi.

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@laica: I love his dynamic with Hae-ryung, because she pushes him in a way that no one else does, while he takes the time to explain his position to her, a privilege most people don’t merit in his eyes; the mutual respect in unspoken but palpable, and it just gets me. (I have a feeling that these might be the beginning signs of a painful case of Second Lead Syndrome. Dangit.)

We-eeeell if I didn't already have a severe case of SLS, your words just gave me one. (Rim is still cute though.)

And I'm MAD jealous you got the episodes where they're outside doing normal-people and saving-people things. T___T And you even had the "rich fish out of water" montage too! For both guys! *pouts*

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Heh. #sorrynotsorry

In fairness, you got Rim sleeping over at Hae-ryung's house, and that gorgeous scene when she tearfully confesses how sad she is that he can't be an ordinary friend to her in the palace. So I think we're even. ;)

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I'm actually torn. We all know they're the intellectual match... but how can you not love a guy who feeds you?

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I'm a water kind of girl...

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I like GHR dynamic with officer min too. But mostly i feel sunbae hoobae vibe from them. Something like the connection between Guem Jang Di and her Ji Hoo sunbae after the main couple started their relationship in BOF.
That being said i love our main couple moments i always like dominant female leads with cute male leads and CEW has cuteness in heaps if nothing else which is well and good since i'm watching this for the sweet moments not for epic ones.

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I love how this drama has such strong women characters who prove time and again that Women Get The Job Done. But at the same time, they like dressing up, and a glass (or pail) of soju.

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Question. What actor is the one playing the Historian Min? The one who also came to this trip to the affected area?

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I think cha eun woo's best acting this week was the very last scene with the king. He nailed it, approaching the king with optimism while hiding his trepidation, not being too surprised when he was not received well (he didn't look surprised with the slap even, hurt for sure but not shocked), resolution that he did the best for the people and unrepentance for doing that. Even on his knees he looked resolute that he did the right thing. He was only asking forgiveness for disobeying his father and king but not for what he did for the people. I loved that spine of steel.

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yes , it was a very poignant scene .just like the scene where he allows hae ryung to cry in his room and he expresses understanding of her hurt and his empathy when he cries outside . in both scenes his emotional expression and acting was brilliant .
there was a complete change from the wimpy ,simpering,terrified pen writer who had been caught out by a hateful father /king and this young courageous prince who had positively sacrificed and helped his people ,who was confident of the decision he had taken,apologetic for disobeying his father and hurt at his father's negative outburst but emotionally defiant . he nailed that scene

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I hope Laica (or somebody at DB) continues this recap storage otherwise where would I go to ask: Who is the actor who plays the hottie guard who winks at Apprentice Goo (in Rim's jealous imaginings) and then dunks himself in the water?

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Real life kepeing be sooo busy still I couldnt resist being here just cause GHR is the BEST FEMALE character I ever watched in a kdrama.... she put both the males (Dowon and Woo won) in tough spot asking them to do tasks... and when they struggle she did that with ease like cakewalk. This was the crux of females have to work/struggle in real world when male counterpart thinks they this world owes them everything. Even if this drama finishes I am going to suggest this one drama to each and every friend of mine to just see and try to feel how it looks like....

rest eveything is going well and I am enjoying this drama so so much.

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