157

Arthdal Chronicles: Episode 14

The quest for power can be very different depending on a man’s intended use for that power, and the right man can amass power without even knowing it. But a lifetime of plans can undone in an instant, and nobody can predict whether this will lead to prosperity or catastrophe. As the moment nears when the new leaders of Arthdal are to be installed, opposing factions scramble to stop the momentum before things go too far.

 
EPISODE 14 RECAP

Xabara Karika, leader of the Momo tribe, informs her warriors that her life, and that of her infant son, were saved by a stranger with purple lips and that they have a debt to repay. She and all of her warriors make a blood pact — they will not rest until they find the purple-lipped stranger, and until they do, they will march under a purple flag carrying the same marking as as Eunseom wears on his back.

Yeonbal, who’s in charge of the Daekan warriors looking for the Doldambul mines escapees, overhears Karika’s speech and intuits that she’s looking for Eunseom. He and his men continue to track Eunseom and Ipsaeng as they flee, unaware that Eunseom is amassing a loyal following.

Back in Arthdal, the city celebrates the confirmation of Tanya as the descendent of Asa Sin, and Tagon as Aramun Haesulla incarnate. Chaeeun runs into her adopted (and full-blooded Neanthal) sister, Nunbyeol, and they find little Doti teaching people how to paint their faces and passing out flower crowns like the Wahans wear for celebrations.

Suddenly, pandemonium breaks out as a bull rages through the middle of the marketplace. Chaeeun pulls Doti out of its path in the nick of time, but Chaeeun and Nunbyeol’s father, Harim, is directly in the bull’s path. The bull attacks him from behind, but just as it’s about to gore him, Nunbyeol’s eyes flash Neanthal blue and she grabs the bull by its horns with her bare hands.

She snaps its neck and tosses it to the ground, dead, then passes out. Harim and Chaeeun take Nunbyeol to Chaeeun’s storeroom, and Chaeeun asks how this happened when Harim said he severed all of Nunbyeol’s lineages. He says they’ve somehow been reconnected, and that Nunbyeol’s fear disintegrated the blocks.

Chaeeun is worried that so many people saw Nunbyeol kill a bull with her bare hands, plus she’s mastered martial arts (which could be dangerous with her Neanthal strength). Harim decides to sever Nunbyeol’s lineage links again.

Tagon accepts the adoration of the heads of the tribes with feigned humility. The last to offer him fealty as Aramun Haesulla is Mihol, leader of the Hae tribe and Taealha’s father. Mihol gloats that he knew Tanya would find the star bell, and Tagon belly-laughs, then sneers that Mihol is stupid to think he fooled Tagon.

Mihol just says that Tagon will greatly benefit by replacing Asa Ron with Tanya, but he reminds Tagon that he’s irreplaceable because of his knowledge of how to work bronze. Tagon tells him to kneel before him, and Mihol takes his sweet time, then offers him the greeting they give the king in Remus, his homeland.

He says it’s appropriate since Tagon will soon be king, and Arthdal a kingdom. He offers to teach Tagon what it means to be a king, and to stay loyal to Tagon so long as he’s the most powerful person in Arthdal. Tagon counters that Mihol will be the first to betray him if his position slips.

Their conversation turns to the gohamsani, the upcoming ceremony to inform the gods of the recent changes in hierarchy. Mihol warns Tagon against holding the gohamsani at the White Peak Mountain as planned, since it’s Asa Ron’s stronghold, but Tagon just scoffs and says it’s too late.

Asa Ron is already at White Peak Mountain, and his right-hand man, Asa Yon, worries about the White Mountain clan’s loss of power. He says that the gohamsani is their chance to take their power back, but they find themselves facing several Daekan warriors outside their sacred cave, led by Moobaek.

Moobaek says he’s here on Tagon’s orders to start preparations for the gohamsani. Asa Sakan, the elderly “mother” of the White Mountain tribe, tells Asa Ron that there are Daekan warriors stationed all over the mountain and at all seventeen clans, to make sure they don’t revolt.

Back in Arthdal, Tagon addresses his most trusted warriors, the ones who have been with him since he hunted the Neathals to near-extinction. He thanks them for their trust and loyalty and says that their last hurdle is the gohamsani.

He tells them that he has a secret — he hates killing people. The warriors look at each other in confusion, then they all agree that they really hate it, too. Tagon also reveals that he has a son, and that Taealha is his mother, and it’s interesting that masked Yangcha is the only warrior who doesn’t congratulate Tagon.

Speaking of Taealha, Hae Tuak tells her that her dress for the gohamsani is ready, but Taealha continues painting on some leathers she’s had spread on the floor. She asks about her father, and is unsurprised that he kneeled before Tagon.

Saya is at the Great Shrine informing the priests and priestesses that he’s Tagon’s son, believes in the teachings of the White Peak Mountain Hearts, and will be assisting Tanya from now on. One of the new priestesses is a former Wahan, and she gapes at how closely Saya resembles Eunseom.

Saya puts Momyungjin in charge of having the shrine pillars engraved with the teachings of the White Peak Mountain Hearts. He kneels to Tanya, hand outstretched, and leads her from the dais, something the priests and priestesses haven’t seen before. As they slowly walk out of the shrine, Saya tells Tanya to get over her discomfort because it’s proper protocol.

She asks when the enslaved Wahans will return to Arthdal. Saya asks why she cares so much since they aren’t her family, but Tanya counters that the Wahans are family. Pretending innocent curiosity, Tanya asks what Saya would do if he learned he had a brother. He says a brother he’s never met wouldn’t mean anything to him.

Tagon’s men witness Tanya and Saya returning hand-in-hand, and Moogwang stiffens at the sight of the woman who foretold his death. When Tanya asks after Moobaek, Moogwang tells her he’s at the White Peak Mountain preparing for the gohamsani. As soon as they’re gone, Moogwang throws a full-on hissy fit.

Asa Sakan advises Asa Ron to lay low until after the gohamsani, then they’ll decide what to do next. Asa Ron argues that Tagon will be worshiped as a god, but she harshly reminds him that Tagon is destined to prevent a great calamity from befalling Arthdal.

Asa Ron says that he can no longer meet with the gods without access to the Sacred Smoke, and asks if Asa Sakan can. We don’t hear her answer, but the question angers her. Later, Asa Ron sends a messenger to someone called the Children of Shahati: “Tell the Black Tongue to come.”

Taealha leads Tagon to her rooms, where she’s finished the leather painting she’s been working on. It’s a dragon fighting a horse, and she tells Tagon that it’s their flag. She offers to stand on the front lines with Tagon, sword in hand, as they unite the entire continent under the name “Tagon Taealha.”

She confesses that she had faith in Tagon, but she was also anxious, since he’s always been powerful but also hesitant. She complains that he wants to be liked too much, but Tagon counters that leaders who aren’t well-liked don’t last long, therefore, the people need to like him in order for him to be a leader that brings happiness and peace.

Taealha agrees that Tagon has gotten where he is because of the people’s love and support. He adds that the two of them kept their promise not to die for each other nor did they betray each other. With tears in their eyes, they clasp hands and agree that they’ve earned their success.

Eunseom still isn’t speaking to Ipsaeng after he tried to steal the reward medallion from the Momo tribe. He softens when Ipsaeng gives him his vest, since Eunseom tore his shirt to bandage Karika’s arm. When Ipsaeng pouts for forgiveness, Eunseom reminds him of the pledge they made to the gods when Sateunik died.

Ipsaeng says that he’s not in Iark anymore, and trusting people to keep promises will get him killed. Eunseom snaps, “That’s not how I was taught,” and continues on, with Ipsaeng calling after him.

While Ipsaeng wheedles Eunseom to sell the medallion and split the profits, Eunseom notices something rustling in the bushes and tells Ipsaeng to run. They barely stay ahead of the massive bear that chases after them, until Ipsaeng trips on a root and falls. Eunseom grabs a large branch and uses his Igutu speed and strength to launch himself into the bear’s path, but he only slows it down.

As Eunseom tries to help Ipsaeng up, Ipsaeng slices Eunseom’s leg with his knife then runs away, leaving Eunseom to face the bear alone. Eunseom limps a short distance before tumbling down a steep embankment, and the bear follows. Eunseom holds it off by shoving a branch into its open jaws, but the bear crushes the branch and attacks again.

Suddenly the huge animal stops, backs away from Eunseom, then flees. Eunseom looks up to see two men approaching — it’s Yiseuroob and Rottib! Eunseom doesn’t know them, but he sees their blue lips and veins and realizes that they’re Neanthals. He thanks them, which Rottib translates for Yiseuroob, then they continue on their way.

They stop when Eunseom asks if they’re Neanthals and shows them his purple Igutu blood. Surprised, Rottib runs and grabs Eunseom’s face to stare at him closely, but he lets go with an expression of disappointment. Rottib thinks to himself, “This is all meaningless. I can’t believe your son survived and grew up so much, Asa Hon.”

When Yiseuroob asks, Rottib tells him that Eunseom is Asa Hon’s son. Yiseuroob only knows Asa Hon from Rottib’s stories of how she saved him as a child, and he realizes that Eunseom is also Ragaz’s son. But Rottib says it’s pointless to tie themselves down with unnecessary connections and they continue on their way.

Ipsaeng runs until he has to stop for air, and he justifies what he’s done by telling himself that Eunseom would have gotten himself killed sooner or later. He congratulates himself on cheating death yet again, but he’s struck by guilt, so he decides to go back and give Eunseom a decent burial (and coincidentally retrieve the medallion in the process).

But he’s soon found by Yeonbal, who’s been tracking them, and he shoots Ipsaeng in the leg with an arrow. Yeonbal says that Olmadae is the only escapee they care about and promises to free Ipsaeng after he helps them find the White Peak Mountain Hearts leader. Eunseom hears Ipsaeng’s cries and goes back for him, but he wilts when he hears Ipsaeng promise to help Yeonbal.

More Daekan warriors are searching a different part of the mountain, and they run into Karika with her Momo warriors. Karika asks for their leader, Goldu, by name, so he steps forward and says that he’s done nothing to offend the Momo tribe.

But Sateunik’s wife, Tapien, she screams her dead husband’s name in anguish. Goldu pleads for mercy, claiming that they didn’t know Sateunik was of the Momo tribe, but a Momo warrior strikes him down. Karika asks his men where to find the man with purple lips.

Yeonbal grows suspicious when Ipsaeng seems to be leading him the wrong way. Ipsaeng stammers that he’s taking a longer route to avoid the Ago tribe’s lands, but Yeonbal orders him to take a faster route. The men are so busy bickering that none of them notice Eunseom following at a short distance.

When Yeonbal’s men camp for the night, they leave Ipsaeng tied to a tree whining for food. Yeonbal orders him fed, so one of his men stands over Ipsaeng taunting him with food. Eunseom swoops down out of the tree and wraps a rope around his neck, and he hands Ipsaeng a knife to cut himself free as he holds the man hanging in the air, threatening to kill him if the others move.

A Daekan warrior throws a knife and cuts the rope holding his comrade in the air, but Ipsaeng and Eunseom manage to run off. Eunseom is shot in the arm with an arrow, and he and Ipsaeng tumble down a hill and right into Ago territory. Yeonbal and his men stop, unwilling to take on the tribe with the violent reputation.

Ipsaeng pleads with Eunseom to get up so they can escape Ago territory, but Eunseom says he thought Ipsaeng was the chief’s son. Eunseom asks if it’s also a lie that Ipsaeng is Tagon’s stepbrother, but Ipsaeng snaps that fleeing is more important than talking.

Eunseom accuses Ipsaeng of tripping on purpose in order to use Eunseom as bear bait. Ipsaeng yells that he just wanted to live, and Eunseom snarls that he’s a “shit-bastard.” Ipsaeng asks why Eunseom keeps trying to save him when they both know he’s a horrible person, admitting that everything he’s told Eunseom is a lie.

He makes a full confession about hiding in the straw mats while the rest fought for freedom, how he planned to steal the jewels, even his plan to steal the medallion. He asks again why Eunseom risked his life to save him, and Eunseom finally answers, “I needed you. I wanted you to become my subordinate.”

Laughing incredulously, Ipsaeng asks what Eunseom needs a subordinate for. Eunseom replies that he needs power, and he elaborates: “I have no power. If I were powerful, would I have let my precious people get dragged away, and gotten locked up underground? I want to save them, and to do that, I need power.”

He says that in Arthdal, power is determined by how many subordinates one has and how powerful they are. He wants to gain followers, use them to save his people, and protect all of them. But he says that he doesn’t know how to make someone his subordinate because his people believe that everyone is equal, so all he could do was keep being nice to Ipsaeng.

He says he was wrong and suggests they part ways. Ipsaeng asks who he’s fighting against, and Eunseom tells him wearily, “Arthdal itself.” Ipsaeng reels, but he follows Eunseom and tells him he’s going the wrong way. Eunseom doesn’t believe him, but Ipsaeng says that he really is the third son of the clan leader of the Ago Tribe.

By morning they’ve found a small boat and are floating down the river, but when they wake, Ipsaeng immediately panics. They’ve drifted too far, and they spot some Ago warriors at a camp on the river bank.

In Arthdal, Saya wakes and wonders why he dreamed of the Ago Tribe. Momyungjin informs him that the gohamsani is in two days, so Saya guesses that Asa Ron must have returned. Asa Ron is with Tanya, telling her with fake joy when and where the gohamsani will take place.

Saya joins them and introduces himself to Asa Ron, who’s shocked to hear that Tagon has a grown son. When he, Asa Yon, and Asa Mot are alone, Asa Ron says he shouldn’t be surprised that Tagon has been raising a son in secret. Asa Yon tells him that the Black Tongue have arrived along with the Children of Shahati.

Taealha has a jewel-studded sword and hammer set made for Tagon as a gohamsani gift, and she asks the maker to rush the other bronze gift she ordered. As a warrior herself, Hae Tuak marvels over the beautiful weapons, though she makes the mistake of mentioning that Taealha hasn’t wielded a weapon in some time. Taealha notices the new maid, and notes that she’s pretty.

Asa Mot teaches Tanya what to do during the gohamsani while Saya watches. Tanya drops a cup and apologizes to the young priest, who says it’s his first time doing this, too. Saya tells Tanya that her father is with Tagon, and something nasty flashes in the young priest’s eyes.

Tagon is surprised to learn that Yeolson still wants to work in the Fortress of Fire now that he’s the father of the High Priestess. He asks if Yeolson has figured out the secret to working bronze. Yeolson says he hasn’t yet, but that he’s been wondering if iron could be used, instead. Tagon says it won’t work because after being smelted, iron can’t be hardened well enough to be of use.

Yeolson says it’s because the iron wasn’t pure enough, but that iron is more plentiful than tin or copper, which means the same amount of resources needed to make one copper sword could make a hundred iron swords. Tagon gives Yeolson credit for his idea, but he says that if it could be done, the Hae tribe would already be doing it.

The remaining Wahans gather in the Sacred Shrine. They’re all stunned by how much Saya resembles Eunseom, but none of them say anything when Saya notices their stares. He tells them they’re no longer slaves, and that the Wahans who were taken to the mines will be returned to them soon. Moongtae looks nervous, knowing that there will be consequences for his betrayal of his tribesmen.

Taealha carries her gohamsani gifts to Tagon’s room, only to be told that he went out alone. She correctly assumes he’s visiting his father’s grave, and on his way, Tagon recalls a day when he was very young and his father led him down this same path.

Sanung and Tagon been separated, and Tagon had wandered crying through the forest. He’d eventually found Sanung, and had sobbed apologies for getting lost. But instead of being glad to see his son, Sanung had grabbed Tagon by the throat and choked him.

In the present, Tagon arrives at Sanung’s grave. He says that his father should be happy that he’s going to become Aramun Haesulla as Sanung wanted. He remembers that Sanung had abruptly stopped choking him, and had apologized profusely.

He had told little Tagon that someday he would become Aramun Haesulla, but that until then, nobody must discover that he’s an Igutu. Tagon’s best friend had seen his purple blood soon after that, and Sanung had slaughtered the boy’s entire family to keep Tagon’s secret. The next time a friend had seen Tagon bleed, Tagon had smashed the boy’s head in with a stone, crying bitterly that he did it to save his friend’s family’s lives.

Later, when Tagon was a young man, Sanung had told him to leave Arthdal because negotiations with the Neanthals had failed, and the people would start killing Igutus. Tagon had wailed that he had killed his friends because of Sanung’s promise, and had offered to exterminate every last Neanthal and Igutu.

Sanung had been unable to understand why Tagon would kill his mother’s people just so he could stay in Arthdal. Now, at his father’s grave, Tagon thinks of the vow he made over his friends’ bodies — he would become Aramun Haesulla, so that their deaths would be an honorable sacrifice instead of a waste.

He’s surprised when Asa Ron makes his presence known, having thought he was alone. Asa Ron mocks Tagon when he nervously scans the area for White Peak Mountain warriors, since Tagon’s Daekan warriors are stationed everywhere. Tagon says he only did that because he’d have to kill Asa Ron if he revolted, which would ruin everything he’s worked for.

He tells Asa Ron that he wants no surprises during the gohamsani. Asa Ron croons that he never understood why Sanung disliked his own son so much, and Tagon says it was about power. Asa Ron muses that if Sanung had fully accepted Tagon, he wouldn’t have died at Tagon’s hands, and things would be very different now.

Tagon disagrees, because a son killing his own father is never a good thing. Asa Ron says he’s right — a son who killed his father should never be leader of the Union and revered as Aramun Haesulla. Behind him, all the tribe leaders come out from where they’ve been listening, and Asa Ron gloats that now all of Arthdal will know the ugly truth about Tagon.

Warriors surround Tagon, and Asa Ron declares it his duty to cleanse the union. He tells Tagon that Taealha and Tanya will join him in his punishment. Tagon screams at Asa Ron, asking why he’s doing this.

Taealha is readying herself for the gohamsani ceremony, and the new maid offers to brush her hair. Taealha asks where the maid is from, and the girl says she comes from deep in the White Peak Mountain.

At the same time, the young priest carries a tray to Tanya’s quarters, but Saya intercepts him and offers to take it himself. The young priest insists that it’s part of his duties, but Saya firmly dismisses him. The priest’s eyes go hard as he refuses to obey.

Instead of answering Tagon, Asa Ron orders him arrested. Tagon thinks about how hard he tried, and of Taealha saying that he’s too eager to be liked. She’d congratulated him on his success, but now he whispers, “No, Taealha, I failed. This was a path I couldn’t take without spraying innocent blood.”

Suddenly, a lone figure flies through the air behind Tagon and lands on him, stabbing him before flipping away. As Tagon doubles over, the figure introduces himself politely as the Black Tongue of Shahiti, and informs Tagon that what he’s feeling is the poison paralyzing him.

But Black Tongue’s confidence fades as he realizes that Tagon is bleeding purple blood. Asa Ron, the tribe leaders, and the warriors all see it, too, and as Tagon looks around at their horrified faces, he mutters to himself, “My efforts were never going to be enough. If only I had known that sooner. I’m sorry for those who died because of me.”

Snarling, Tagon tells everyone watching, “Just know that you brought this on yourselves. I never wished to sit on a bloody throne. I didn’t want to kill.” He launches himself at Black Tongue and knocks him out, then with his eyes burning bright purple, he turns to Asa Ron.

He growls that if this is what they want then he’ll kill them all, and lets loose an animalistic roar.

 
COMMENTS

Well, so much for Tagon’s carefully-guarded secrets. In only a few minutes, everything he’s worked for his entire life has been wiped away as the people he’s tried so hard to impress learn that he killed his father, and that he’s an Igutu. I don’t blame him for falling into a blind rage — when you spend your whole life trying to convince people that you’re not what they think you are, yet they refuse to believe you, at some point it’s easier to just say, “If you believe I’m a monster, I may as well becomea monster.” Asa Ron made a huge mistake in pushing Tagon to his breaking point, and now what could have been a peaceful takeover looks like it might become a bloodbath.

I had forgotten what an enigma Tagon is — he seems to genuinely want peace, happiness, and prosperity for the people, and his desire to be liked is not feigned and is backed by sound reasoning. But then he’s willing to do the most underhanded, dishonest, tricksy things to achieve his goals (including killing his own father, blaming an innocent man for the murder, then killing another innocent man when he needed someone to publicly execute), and I get all confused… am I supposed to like him or not? I think that his backstory of killing anyone who learned of his Igutu heritage explains Tagon’s philosophy of killing a few to prevent the deaths of many, but it’s tragic to think of who he might have been if he’d been allowed to nurture the kinder, more sensitive facets of his personality.

Tagon’s hubris in believing that he can be Aramun Haesulla will probably be his ultimate downfall. Because I still think that the true Aramun Haesulla is Eunseom, who’s achieving everything Tagon wants without even trying, simply by being the person he is. Where Tagon tries to hard to win the love of the people, Eunseom collects the love of everyone he meets just because they can sense the goodness within him. Where Tagon uses tricks and lies to amass power and build a kingdom, Eunseom will find himself leading a kingdom before he even understands what a kingdom is. He’s far from perfect and he makes mistakes, but his intentions are always to help others and that shows. If Tagon is right that a leader must be loved in order to be successful — and I think he is — that love must be genuine and most importantly, it must flow both ways. Tagon loves himself first and foremost, but if ever there was a person who loved others more than himself, it’s Eunseom.

Strangely, the character that crossed my mind most often during the break was Yangcha — is anyone else wondering what Yangcha’s story is all about? For a character that doesn’t speak at all and who hasn’t done much of note besides his one big confrontation with Eunseom, Yangcha gets a lot of lingering camera shots. I’ve suspected him as an Igutu for a while, since he always wears that mask over his mouth, which could be to hide purple lips. At first I thought he was might be of the Igutu children that Tagon mentioned rescuing, but Yangcha was already a warrior when Saya was a baby, which means he’s not actually much younger than Tagon himself. But there’s something going on with him… he’s been wearing that mask as “punishment” for decades, and the look in his eyes when Tagon mentioned his son was quite interesting.

I’m in full agreement with @dramallama that the two-month hiatus enforced by Netflix did Arthdal Chronicles no favors. The story and world-building are so rich and complex, and the characters are numerous with so many connections and shifting loyalties, that the only reason I was able to remember the simplest things like names was due to several pages of copious notes. I do feel that the intensity and momentum of the show suffered during the break, but it picked back up relatively easily, and I found myself as entranced as before (once I was able to recall who was who and what they were all up to the last time we saw them). There’s still a lot of story to cover in the last four episodes, and I’m most looking forward to the union of the sword, the bell, and the mirror… and their impact on the future of Arthdal itself.

RELATED POSTS

Tags: , , , , ,

157

Required fields are marked *

You know
I just feel like if your aim is to show an amoral but sympathetic leader who is trying not to be a tyrant but turns into a monster tyrant anyway... Maybe don't introduce him in his first scene as someone who committed the genocide of his own people? Just a thought...
.
.
.
Tagon's character is very strangely written and I was kinda waiting to the end of this show to comment on both him and Taelha and how there’s something off in their directing and writing but I can’t wait anymore.

When were first introduced to Tagon, like I said... He murders an entire race of people and doesn't look like he cares, and then steals a baby whilst whistling a creepy song. He's thrilling in a really messed up almost psychotic way.Then when he's older he's portrayed as this brutal warlord type figure who revels in death and partying and conquest, in hopes of gaining favour with people. And I didn’t just watch it wrong: he’s constantly shown as this as throughout all of Season 1.

And then I got the feeling during Season 2, and the start of this Season, that we're supposed to sympathise with him? Like he's sorta morally ambiguous but we're supposed to be on his side? Because he just wants people to like him and he's been so outcast and abused by his father and he's a half breed.
And that does strike a very tragic and complex image. So does his relationship with Taelha. By all rights it has all the pieces in it to make a very unique and compelling “love” story; that of two highly ambitious people who won’t even be blackmailed by the other for their end goal. That is such a fascinating dynamic and is something I’ve noticed this writer excels at- because they did it in TWDR too; Sejong refused to give up his work for his son's life. This isn’t a concept I see done in many if any storytelling anywhere, usually the focus figure caves if the loved one is threatened so I really applaud the writers for being able to write these kinds of stories, because it’s something I have wanted in much of my storytelling for a long time.
However. With Taelha and Tagon, their stories by all means have everything in them that I should be rooting for them and llatching onto them but! I just don’t care.
There’s some kind of disconnect between the actors and the script I think, and also possibly the directors and the script, that means what should be epic, tragic and complex and brutal just falls flat and doesn’t pack the punches it should.
And I honestly can’t figure out exactly what this is, but I haven’t been able to connect to many if any of the main characters in this show (Minus Carrot Boy and he’s a whole other kettle of wtf) for the entire duration of it. I can see the pieces of themes I would enjoy and an epic fantasy show that would be a bit campy but I would also enjoy, but the final result just doesn’t deliver for me.

So when it tries to make Tagon sympathetic, and tries to drive home him as a leader, as a central complex character,...

8
54
reply

Required fields are marked *

So when it tries to make Tagon sympathetic, and tries to drive home him as a leader, as a central complex character, when it wants me to care about his inner turmoil (à la TWDR and SFD), I just don’t get it. I feel like his acting his wooden and one dimensional even (I don’t know the actor for love or money elsewhere) and his plight I couldn’t give two shits about.

And THEN. On top of introducing him one way, pushing for him to be seen another way, they go in this episode and make a grand deal about how he just wanted to be accepted and to gain power without shedding blood...
What. The Actual. Crivens.
Let’s do a body count shall we?
- Half the Wahan tribe including their leader
- Half every other tribe from Iark
- Tagon’s father
- Tagon’s Brother
- Several guards in that tower like I can’t remember but people died
- The random stranger they boiled alive cos they couldn’t find Eunsom
- Those people that died from the chicken feed?
- Asa Hon
- Oh wait and ALL OF THE NEANTHALS BAR THREE

wITHOUT BLOOD SHED WHERE. Or does it not count if Tagon himself didn’t kill them, only ordered and planned their conquest/death? *but patricide* *and genocide*

Like I mentioned previously there’s a weird dichotomy going on where I THINK he's supposed to be that fallen figure who struggles with his methods and tries to do the right thing, and is ultimately juxtaposed against the true Hero, that is Eunsom, in that Tagon has to resort to tyranny and bloodshed, but Eunsom will gain a following out of loyalty, kindness and forgiveness, but gosh it just comes off as wrong. Especially because Tagon has never once tried to do this WITHOUT bloodshed, so if we were supposed to see his uh descent to the dark side as it were, that kinda backfired dramatically, since such a descent seemingly never existed and we are shown his backstory in completely the wrong order for it to be an effective empathising tool.

And now Tagon goes full vampiric Igutu, prepared to wipe out half the Union in order to maintain his power. Which honestly, I don’t think any of us were surprised at and have probably been waiting for that to happen for a long time.
I, for one, welcome Vampire Overlord G-Dragon; he's far more interesting than Passive Negotiations G-Dragon no matter what his son story is.

I find his character writing strange. I also find the direction of him, and how his pieces are revealed strange. Because they’re contradictory to each other and don't build a clear or compelling picture of him at all.

What’s interesting though, is that One-cosplaying-as-Gdragon aka 19 year old Tagon, I absolutely do find compelling. I wanna know about pretty traumatized elf boy Tagon who looks evil and not at the same time;he has the draw and the edge and the complexity that I could get behind, genocidal maniac manchild or no.
Alas when translated to older Tagon, he just feels one note and his pity points don’t work on me.

9
22
reply

Required fields are marked *

(of course this could be not at ALL what they were trying to do, but either way holy carrots are the mixed messages annoying)

4
reply

Required fields are marked *

n.b. My translation of subs during the Giant Leather Flag scene with Taelha and Tagon said "You pulled it off without Bloodshed". Another translation said "you pulled it off without causing a bloodbath in the Union".
So whilst possibly I think what they meant here was that Tagon just didn't brutally murder ALL his opponents outright to get what he wanted (which no, he didn't correct), however he still caused A LOT of deaths and yes blood shed to get what he wanted anyway, so I still stand by my original points for why who and what they're trying to portray him as is just WTF worthy.

5
10
reply

Required fields are marked *

When he stood before his group of men and said he hated to kill people, I half expected him to then burst out laughing. Like you wrote the first part of the show did not do anything to give us an indication that he was a peaceful loving kinda guy.

6
7
reply

Required fields are marked *

He was dead serious, but I burst out laughing. I didn't think I had anything in common with Mukgwang but we laughed at the same time at such a joke.

Tagon is a delulu character, Sic. Or he has amnesia. That's the only way this makes sense to me.

6

Gosh I almost forgot about that scene.
If I remember correctly some of him men almost DID burst out laughing.

@wishfultoki Delusional indeed. Maybe he ate uh... one to many mushrooms when he was younger you know?

3

honestly thought he was saying that as a joke, i was expecting him to start laughing, can’t believe he was serious

6

@stpauligurl,

My jaw just about hit the floor when Tagon said he didn't like to kill people. It simply did not compute. I'm beginning to wonder if he has a split personality or something. Considering how Dear Ole Dad throttled him when he was a kid, he could well have some kind of dissociative condition or PTSD.

Writer-nim seemed to be doing an homage to Kim Kang-woo's thoroughly twisted character in THE SLINGSHOT. Sheesh.

5

Okay, so I just went back and rewatched that scene - and Tagon really looked like he was being completely sarcastic when he said that.
Like "yeah I really hate killing people" wink wink
Methinks that he trolled us all with that stupid line and scene.

1

@stpauligurl but he was dead serious in the antechamber with Taelha and at the end of 14 about hating bloodshed! So... \o_o/

1

@sicarius - yes he was pretty harsh in the antechamber wasn't he? But he keeps thinking "I tried to be nice but you made me be this was"
hmmm he sounds like more like an abuser, monster, dictator than someone who just wants to be liked.
this gets curiouser and curiouser.....

0

Taelha is a huge hypocrite that said that mainly as she considers herself above all the others and those lives were nothing to her,like we clearly know she doesn't consider slaves and all the other less high class pleople as such,so in her view he didn't do much damage as those lives weren't important from the start...Both are horrible and unfit to rule from the very beginning,one is an entitled woman who thinks is above all the others and the Tagoon, a dude that enjoys killing but he uses all excuses to make himself look pure and tosses the ball on other people and BOTH don't value human lives,just like sadly Saya was also taught till Tanya told him otherwise...So,if we look at it plainly objective,no he didn't cause a bloodbath because he killed the "right" person and took the leadership insted of forcing his way to it,subjective Arthdal is inself full of sin and no wonder that the Gods are mad at it...

4
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

@miky88,

Good point about Taealha's highfalutin' opinion of herself in comparison with the sub-humans at the bottom of the foodchain. It doesn't matter if you kill them. It made me mad as hell. I loathe her. I felt bad for the cockroaches who had to share a dungeon with her. Pffft!

4

Sadly, Jang Dong-gun is not at the level of Han Suk-kyu's King Sejong (TWDR), Kim Myung-min's Jeong Do-jeon (SFD) and even Go Hyun-jung's Mishil in (QSD).
These writers depend on their own interpretation of their script without much direction. These 3 had to improvise and add layers to their characters even if it wasn't on the script.

3
6
reply

Required fields are marked *

No, no he not. Not at all. And because I'm watching TWDR and this at the same time, it's very apparent both that and what flaws these writers do have.

Bit confused here--
"These writers depend on their own interpretation of their script without much direction"- the writers depend on the actors for their [actors] interpretation of the script without much direction? Is that what you meant? Then that's a directional flaw/choice.
These 3 had to improvise and add layers to their characters even if it wasn't on the script.- but this is a writing flaw.
And I would almost disagree because I've seen shows where the script has NOTHING in it, and what comes from that even with a good actor, and I've seen enough of TWDR to know that it's still written well, on top of being acted phenomenally, and that it's not good just because of the actors interpretation of the script.

0
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes that's what I meant. They cast talented actors they trust to do more than what they are given.
I get the writing flaws but I'm also talking about the acting from Jang Dong-gun whom is not at the same level and talent of the previous actors. He is probably confused about his character as we are.

Based on past interviews, if something is off with the writing Go Hyun-jung would say something. I can understand why she got fired from RETURN.
Han always come up with ideas on how Sejong would have reacted in certain situation. Han is a dream come true to some/most PDs.
Kim Myung-min (known to be a perfectionist) puts his own spin on Jeong Do Jeon previously played by Jo Jae Hyun with rave reviews a year before SFD.

What I meant without much direction is they make the director's job easy/easier with the level of experience and passion they have for the art.

What I enjoy most about these two writers, is the creative way they connect the past politics to the present with most of their sageuks especially SFD.

2

Ahh yes I see.
I also just don't think this is the writing teams best work. I think they do better when they have real history to go off.

I didn't realise they're also the writers of QSD. When I finish SFD I want to focus on a few more Silla sageuks so I might start with that.

2

I agree, @kiara. I couldn't find anything in JDG's portrayal that elicited any empathy for the character. When I think of how sympathetically Kim Ji-suk portrayed Yeonsangun in REBEL -- and how Lee Dong-gun did likewise for the tyrant in SEVEN DAY QUEEN -- Tagon comes up pitifully short.

On the other hand, waiting until this late in the game to show flashbacks of Sanung strangling his own son did Tagon no favors. By then he'd done so much heinous stuff that he's officially beyond redemption in my book. I just hope the saintly Eunseom doesn't blithely give him a free pass. *facepalm*

I don't think Tanya would let him, actually. She's already put the whammy on Tagon and his troops.

2
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Don't worry I think he's gonna massacre a lot of people tomorrow, enough to make this show R rated again, so I don't think you've aNYTHING to worry about when it comes to redemption arcs.
I vote for Magic Horse to kill him in the finale.

2

I can't remember what episode but they did show Sanung strangling his son before. What was new was him trying to abandon his son and be distraught when he finds his way back.

1

Tagon's father raised him to hate himself for being igutu and showed him that his survival lies in killing everyone who knows about his true identity. His own father tried to kill him when he was young, then sent him to lead the hunt aiming to eliminate all Neanthals (which is like sending him to death). When he came back, his own father tried to kill him again. He grew up in Arthdal where he saw what people are willing to do to gain power and prominence. I am surprised he hasn't gone crazy at this point. Asa Ron and Mihol would not stop plotting evil plans to oust Tagon. If he shows inconsistencies in his actions, I absolutely understand. I think no one would come out "purely good" given his history.

1
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Ya missed my point. It's not that I don't get what they were TRYING to do with his character, it's that it's written and shown backwards and isn't sympathetic at all no matter how much they tell me so, due to the acting, the writing and the direction.
"Oh look he's been through so much!" yeah I know and I don't care because it's not convincing whatsoever.

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

we've seen the same episodes right? i'm convinced and you're not convinced... The point is: to each his own.

0

I heartily agree, I have nothing against JDG but he's doing mediocre job portraying Tagon, he is too soft around the edges and make him look like Taelha lackey, there is no ambition in him that would match her. And people made fun of One's acting but imho he did better job at making Tagon ruthless but complex character. Old Tagon is middle aged man who only dream about couch and beer but his overly ambitious gf push him to the throne,

11
6
reply

Required fields are marked *

Idk man I think if you can make someone seem ruthless and complex with only like 5 minutes of screen time in the first episodes you're not doing too badly at acting...
LMAO at your last line on Tagon. Yet another aspect of his writing that is weird. Tagon With A Plan of the first 5 episodes vs Tagon with the OP Villainess GF... *sigh*

5
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

I think it's just typical "idols can't act" nonsense.
And like the writers forget that between One to JDG transformation, Tagon supposed to spend 20 yrs pillaging in the name of Arthdal greatness and cheap labor.

4
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Do we not have countless idols who have proven this wrong already? Aissh.
The writers have conveniently forgotten a lot of things shach... lol

6

Old Tagon is middle aged man who only dream(s) about couch and beer but his overly ambitious gf push(es) him to the throne.

HAH This is a good and apt overall description of Tagon for me.
No matter what the writers have been trying to do (and @sicarius has written it very well) but the actor seems to be doing the old man role despite himself.
thank you!

5
reply

Required fields are marked *

“Old Tagon is middle aged man who only dream about couch and beer but his overly ambitious gf push him to the throne,“

True through out the story of human evolution. Your basic male would have been happy sitting around the fire telling each other tall tales about “the one that got away” but the women realized there had to be something better... and a few hundred thousand years later we have ... tada, our civilization with indoor plumbing, running hot and cold water, and central air conditioning and heat. Now the men sit around a giant HDTV telling each other tall tales about “the one that got away” until their better halves kick them out to do better...resulting in ?????

5
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

@hebang FlyingTool,
You're killing me here! ROFLMAO at your woman-powered push for guys to invent better housing than caves and toilets that don't clog, instant ramyun, and -- Kdramas! ;-)

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

He also killed his mother because the woman shown in episode 1 at the Negotiation between the Union and the Neanthals was his mother...It is confirmed as well in the little extra stories in cartoon form that were also shown after each episode from ep 1 till now(like many other stories,like Aramun Hessula being killed by in Asa Clan Priest,the As Gods,Konmaru mistakening Saya for Eunseum and being aftain of him)

4
21
reply

Required fields are marked *

Just leaving aside the tiny fact that Tagon killed his mother also... but WHAT THE CARROTS, when did Magic Horse mistake Saya for Eunseom? *grabs smelling salts while falling on the leather couch*

Do you have a link by any chance?

5
13
reply

Required fields are marked *

Comment was deleted

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Here,it's just small clips but i'm still sad this was not included in the drama,very few know about this clips after the episode ends,u can find the other backstories that the uploder has on her channel as well(give a way better picture about many things)
The subtitles are not the best but bearable,u can catch the meaning(if u understand korean even better)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nmwk_SLMT5M
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MqltyC9FJ7Q

3
5
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thank you! I always knew there was too much story to fit into 18 episodes... what could have been! I'll go hunt more of these down.

This reminds me that @kiara posted two of them on her fanwall, in the comments section of a fascinating post on bronze bells in the Bronze Age:
http://www.dramabeans.com/members/kiara/activity/870403/

3

And yet... we have to go find obscure side comics to get the rest of the story!??! Just plan your show better from the beginning instead why don't you.

4

@wishfultoki, @sicarius,

Perhaps these little animes are supposed to be some kind of trendy multimedia whoop-de-doo.

I agree -- they should have been integrated into the drama. Although they do remind me of the little Joseon interludes at the ends of each episode of SASSY GIRL CHUN-HYANG. Those helped explain what was going on. Alas, some of them were chopped off, and left me hanging.

2

@pakalanapikake
yeah so multimedia story telling done RIGHT: The Lizzie Bennett Diaries.

multimedia story telling done WRONG: almost everything else that tries.
And that includes not only the MCU, but also the Star Wars EU because even though I know it's been public domain for forever and that some good comes out of that, a lot of not good does too.

I just really object to *shit we don't know how to write a good concise story in one medium better explain it away in these arbitrary extras in another*... *sighs*

2

Thanks for that. Ignore my question of where I can find them below. :)

1

So we are missing part of the story by watching on Netflix? No wonder we're lost part of the time.

1
6
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm watching on both Netflix and another site with the tvN version, and the latter has never included the cartoons. Perhaps they got amputated.

2

I watched the cartoons today @pakalanapikake @ndlessjoie
You're not missing much. They honestly just made most of the myths MORE confusing.

4

I watched them too @sicarius. The subs are BAD. They really don’t clarify more than 5-10%. And now I’m not sure how Asa Sin could have escaped from a corrupt Arthdal and had a son Aramun Haesulla who founded Arthdal. 🤔🤔🤔

4

@WishfulToki It's not their her son it's her messenger,mainly Aramun Hessula is the "son" of the God Isodunyoung that has that snake form,just like how Eunsom was chosen when he was born more likely Aramun was as well..Asa Sin more likely was the vessel that gided the man back then,but yeah,the subs are bad and confusing and the backstory too little as well but some things are more into place with this little stuff...Either way, personally i found really intresting the fantasy stuff about the Gods,how the Neanthals were born with the dreams,how the God "ate the evil moon etc...

3

But @miky88 what we couldn't work out was if he's just her messenger, her envoy sent from a higher god, how is he an igutu? They didn't explain that. What is he just magically an igutu? But why? Why isn't he actually someone's son then? It would make more sense if he did.
I'm not actually looking for an answer per se, because I find this show to have far too many plot holes for me to keep track of and still stay sane, and I'm not expecting everything to have answer but that was one of the myths that probably should've been interesting but just confused me more.

2

@sicarius He isin't her son per se aka flesh and blood,he was just like Eunsom chosen to be the God's messenger and per se Asa Shin's that was the direct contact between the land and Skies(as at the time only Asa Shin's bloodline could hear the gods)...We don't know exactly why it was an igutu,can be many reasons:strenght or just the fact that he is the resolt of an union between two different species,aka special and seen as a gift not a monster,who were his parents isin't the point nor was important,it was his identity asan igutu and the fact that the gods looked upon them as a gift(he was named the God of peace and unity after all)

1

@miky88,

Tagon killed his own mom? How the heck did I miss that?! I guess I didn't know that she was his mom. I thought she was a translator or whatever.

The bigger question I now have is how the heck did Tagon's parents end up together in the first place? I shudder to even consider it. If anything, I'd expect Neantal romance to resemble the Klingon variety. Brain bleach, please. ;-)

Thank you for the links to those little clips. I could kind of follow what they were driving at. But I'm really confused as to why these interludes are not more clear from the show itself. I'm usually pretty good at reading between the lines, but these two little scenes completely evaded me. I've been wondering if it's the subtitles. I've been watching it on Netflix in the US, and on another site because sometimes I'm not keen on the Netflix ones. I hate it when the subtitles suddenly pop up to the top of the screen. Talk about "follow the bouncing ball." Sheesh.

3
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yeah if his dad hated Neanthal's so much how'd he sleep with one...

I don't think it's the subs Paka...

4
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thanks for the reality check, @sicarius.

Maybe Sanung only came to hate her later. Perhaps after someone like Asa Ron conducted a disinformation campaign or something.

1

Or maybe he too ate the magic Shrooms.

1

@pakalanapikake @sicarius According to the nifty cartoon, they met when she saved Sanung from wild animals and they had A Moment. Why Tagon lived with his father is not explained. She just saw him from afar.

2

Where can I watch those cartoon bits with subs? I usually download the episodes and most of those don't have these. But trying to deal with the darkness of the drama I downloaded a few 1080p versions and they had these cartoons with no subs and I was very frustrated to find no subs for them. They must explain a lot in this complex story.

3
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

@sicarius,

Tagon and Taealha -- and virtually all the Arthdalian bigwigs and their sycophants from the very beginning, aside from Asa Hon and Moobaek -- have struck me as evil and/or sociopathic. It seemed to me that they were being set up as horrid villains who were eventually going to have to pay for their gruesome sins. It felt as if Writer-nim were out to convince me that there's probably not a single righteous person in the whole country. I have been practically waiting for plagues of locusts, vermin, and disease, along with hordes of fire ants, a flood or two, and Mt. Baekdu to blow its top -- following a blizzard in July. It's almost as if there were a contest between the honchos and their minions to see which was more sadistic... and it really turned me off. I've been under the impression that Tanya's curse upon Tagon's army applies to him as well as his troops, and the bill was going to come due in a most satisfying way. Maybe the poor-but-decent commoners would be spared, but the clan leaders and politicians would end up getting their heads handed to them. Taealha and her lackey are both sadistic pieces of work, and have treated Saya abominably. They have no redeeming qualities whatsoever.

Imagine my surprise when an apparent campaign to rehabilitate Tagon & Taealha ensued. The character exposition has been bass-ackwards. If we're supposed to empathize with T'n'T, they shouldn't have been introduced as murderous maniacs. It's too late for them. No way am I inclined to cut any of the Arthdal Overlords the least hint of slack. They're beyond the pale. End of story. -- Whew! Had to get that off my chest.

I just hope that Eunseom doesn't engage in monumental heroic idiocy and give all these baddies a free pass despite their evil behavior. Send 'em into exile. Or give them lifetime employment in gem mines and salt mines far, far away.

4
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

It has turned me off a lot too. Why should I care what elaborate nonsensical scheme our bunch of greedy sociopathic sycophants have dreamed up this week in order to backstab each other thrice an episode?! I don't!! At all!
It's tiresome and it makes no sense, because none of them get anywhere time and time and time again throughout the whole run of this thing!
And here we see why I favour Carrot Boy and his wayward Magic Horse over everyone else in the show. Ugh.

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

IN OTHER NEWS!!! IPSAENG IS OFFICIALLY ON MY *people in Arthdal Sic stans who are not main characters and who the show SHOULD be about instead of everyone else except for Carrot Boy* LIST!
And Kim Sung Cheol? Bleeping fantastic. I've only seen three episodes of Wise Prison Living (because time) and he automatically became my favourite character in his limited 3 episode screen time so I think this dude just has a gift for making little shitheads endearing.
is Ipsaeng a traitorous little narc with no loyalty whatsover and has he stabbed Carrot Boy (metaphorically for now) in the back like THREE TIMES in the last two episodeS? YES. And yet I love him and I laugh every time he's on screen. Also shout out to Naive Carrot Boy who is gonna take over the world by being nice. You go Carrot Boy.

7
12
reply

Required fields are marked *

I want a makeover of this series with a 50% focus on Carrot Boy.

7
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes! And then the other 50% can be split between The Moon Children, the Momo Tribe, Mubaek, Ipsaeng, and of course 200% more Magic Horse.

6
reply

Required fields are marked *

I am still loyal to Saya, who is reduced to a hand-holding sidekick in Part 3. I guess both twins can't be active a the same time. *sigh*

Or are they are the equivalent of twins Castor and Pollux? One gets to shine while the other is in the dark. And they are both associated with horses.

6
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

... Knowing uhm... this shows affinity for uhm throwing "remus" around all the time... maybe they ARE Castor and Pollux...

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

You loved him so much he decided to stab carrot for real so you could fall head over heels. How's Asdal world earth feeling sic? Since they can't decide what time or season of the year it is, you'll have a blast 😂😂😂

2
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Oh it's amazing Shay. I'm having so much fun. I thought I would pop out of my Winterous Mountain abode, just lolly on down the river to the Summer Retreat of Agol. Twas quite splendid.

1
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Don't get caught by the net & lace while gazing at Tanya's splendid wardrobe.

2
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'll try not to XD

0

Sic, can I be snooty and just refer to my comment re Ipsaeng in the episode 13 recap?
http://www.dramabeans.com/2019/09/arthdal-chronicles-episode-13/#
I am with you. Kim Sung-cheol Is doing a fantastic job with his character.
I will reiterate. Note to Ipsaeng. Listen up. “Learn from your bro, do the right thing”!

3
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Apologies. Technical difficulties. The link is not specific enough and I don’t seem to be able to delete my comment so here is my comment from the recap for ep. 13:
“Speaking of characters @scifiwritir and @pakalanapikake, a word about Ipsaeng (Kim Sung-cheol). When I finally got caught up to episode 13 and we are down in the mine with Eunseom and Ipsaeng is cozying up to Eunsoem I kept thinking, “how do I know this guy (ie the actor)? Especially with his distinctive voice.
Then it hit me, he played “Jailbird” in PRISON PLAYBOOK! In a way in AC he is playing a similar character. He is not mean but he’s always looking out for number one.
I enjoyed the Eunseom/Ipsaeng “road picture” part of this episode. I will watch episode 14 tonight so I don’t know how long the E/I team will be together but I enjoyed their adventures in this episode. Great pic of them huddled together.
Note to Ipsaeng: “Learn from your bro, do the right thing”!”

3
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

You can be snooty! I'm glad someone else enjoys him as much as I do hehe

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

@marcusnyc20,

That's not being "snooty," that's being helpful. You're providing a pointer to a late-breaking comment that earlier readers of the ep. 13 comments would have missed. Consider it a handy PSA for Ipsaeng fans. ;-)

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

The show is hard to follow. Their clothes and the places, is the weather is cold or warm? Or it's like in GoT and the characters can teleport? It's like Yiseuroob and Rottib are just there, in the middle of the forest like they were passing. I was hoping for this meeting for Eunseom to know better about himself... and nothing. What the point of this scene? Saya is just there now, being pretty?

The bull and bear scenes looked pretty great.

8
11
reply

Required fields are marked *

I was actually very impressed with the Bear!! Maybe that's where all of the budget went... kekeke

6
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

May I ask for a saber-toothed tiger for the next episode? :D

6
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

We can only hope it's the mascot of the Momo tribe.

6
reply

Required fields are marked *

That meeting with the Neantal was SO disappointing!
1st: I cheered when the Neantals saved Eunseom, thinking to myself "Yes, this is it!! They will train him and teach him how to use his Neantal powers!"
2nd: I thought "this is weird" when Rottib moved in close, almost like smelling Eunseom.
3rd: I was left wailing like a Wahan because Rottib decided it's better to not get involved even though he recognised Eunseom as Asa Hon's son. WHAT. WHYYYYYY. HAVE YOU NOT SEEN STAR WARS. *sob*

10
6
reply

Required fields are marked *

Honestly, since the beginning I would like Eunseom to learn about his Neantal side because it played a big role in his life. So when they met, I really hoped he could learn about it and take advantage of it for the future battle.

6
reply

Required fields are marked *

@wishfultoki,

#2, Rottib was indeed sniffing Eunseom to catch his scent. I was wondering how his schnozzola was handling the remnants of the eau de corpse.

I, too, was jumping up and down when the Neantals just kept walking after they scared off the bear.

It just occurred to me that Eunseom would have at least seen the bear's response to the Neantals, who only gave it massive stink eye and hissed a bit, IIRC. With his idetic memory, he'll know what to do the next time he encounters a predator. I hope.

2
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

This is when I started to wonder if this was becoming a bizarre comedy.

5
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Lol unintentional but yes.

5

So many good opportunities missed in this story. I'm not optimistic that it will end well.

5
reply

Required fields are marked *

I am with you @wishfultoki that was a strange scene.
I probably have it wrong but there are like what 3 Neantals left (including young Nunbyeol who barehanded broke the neck of a charging bull) and
the 2 guys come upon Eunseom (a half Neantal) and then just keep on going. Disappointing!

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

I guess the only point was for Rottib to learn Asa Hon's son is alive.

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

I couldn't stop laughing at this episode, it was finally high on action but equally high on usual silliness. Random Neanthal sighting, I feel sorry for actors who spend hours on make up to have 1 minute screentime, and why Nikchun look like they dipped him in a flour? Bear attack, seriously bears don't work this way, they are no dogs, they have claws for reason. Mihol again with this Remus textbooks nonsense, what's there to learn about being king? That people can't tell no to king without fear of being annihilated? Tagon already doing that and more. But on the other hand Euseom could use some lessons because his reasoning is bonkers, what kind of power is having subordinate who tries to kill you at least 3 times a day.

10
16
reply

Required fields are marked *

That's frakking Nikchun? Where have I BEEN this whole time.
*also bears can run at up to 70km an hr SO DON'T RUN AWAY FROM THEM* *lol*

And yet I have a feeling Carrot Boy's reasoning is gonna work. 😂

7
9
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yep, Nikchun, I wonder if his contract demanded for him to be fair and lovely all the time, he looks to different from the other Neanthal.
You can run if you, like Ipseang, have someone you can outrun ;)

4
8
reply

Required fields are marked *

I feel like this whole time I've been meaning to look up who played the Moon Children and I just haven't lol.
Maybe he's a specific sub race of Neanthal. Doesn't tan. Can't be left out in the sun for too long. Starts to sprout little white hairs and sparkle like a vampire onion...
HAHAHAHAHA well... yes.

6
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Please draw it!!!

5

ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ Stay tuned for Sunday (As long as nothing more interesting happens in 15 lmao)

5

Maybe he is there to make his partner look especially bleak and awful. But he is so white and pale it's distracting.
But now I like the idea of a Vampire Onion!
yes. please draw this Sic!!!

5

He's the one who looks most like a vampire in this series.

4
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

You are NOT wrong!!!! If I call someone in this show a vampire long enough do you think it will just happen?

5

@sicarius September 13, 2019 at 2:10 AM

If I call someone in this show a vampire long enough do you think it will just happen?

Yes, it will! But only if you use the Sacred Secret Naming Protocol (TM) that uri Wahan wahine used to hang a moniker on Magic Horse to bind him to Eunseom as "Helper."

Calling something or someone by its/their "true name" gives you power over it. That's why selecting a name that conveys a person's essence is so important and demands care and mindfulness. If you don't want all hell to break loose, bestow a name with positive connotations for them to grow into.

For example, there's the concept that you will know a tree by the fruit it bears. My Babel Fish informs me that "Ipsaeng" translates as "Double-Crossing Punk" or "Greedy Pickpocket," depending on the subdialect, in the lingo of his people, the Ago tribe. Talk about a self-fulfilling prophecy...

4

@pakalanapikake
Well look I've had a pretty good year of naming things, and them coming to be, and naming them all in good faith.
The Fish Cult is of course, the best example of this.
Magic Horse and Carrot Boy, whilst a bit different in their essences, have indeed become how almost everyone on this thread thinks of them.
By the powers bestowed upon me, I think I got this.

(p.s. I'm sorry I'm still hung up on your lovely use of the word wahine ♥)

4

Carrot Boy and his reasoning - this is why Magic Horse is still missing. Magic Horse is still waiting for Carrot Boy to wise up.

7
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Honestly I think Magic Horse really is waiting for Carrot Boy to grow up - we've seen him watching from a distance many times.

this show is *something, I don't know what* on so many levels!

5
reply

Required fields are marked *

Magic Horse is exercising his horse sense, which is more than I can say for some of the other characters.

4
reply

Required fields are marked *

Mihol chanting "I'm irreplaceable" is going to end abruptly the day that Tanya's father ushers in the Iron Age.

Right. Tagon is already doing what a king does! He doesn't need textbook lessons. He already holds power as Union Leader (which in my opinion is a more advanced government than monarchy), and he's already sitting on a throne for goodness' sakes! He has basically been king since episode 6, with only the opposition of the Asa Clan.

5
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

@wishfultoki,
On my fanwall I've posted an interesting assortment of items on making bloomery iron, which sounds like the type that Daddy Yeol-son was describing.

This is the last one in the series of 4 videos by Black Bear Forge. There are 3 more, including one on building the bloomery furnace itself out of local clay bricks made at the forge:

PakalanaPikake
September 13, 2019 at 8:38 PM

ARTHDAL CHRONICLES, Ep. 14

Final thoughts and recap of the bloomery iron smelt
http://www.dramabeans.com/members/pakalanapikake/activity/874845/

The two blacksmiths who did the project are excellent speakers, and terrific teachers. The methods they used are well within Dad's capability. If he has a good team operating the bellows, he has a good chance of even producing high-carbon steel, not just the weaker wrought iron.

Highly recommended.

I've included comments on iron and steel technology addressed in such other Kdramas set in ancient times as JUMONG and THE STORY OF THE FIRST KING'S FOUR GODS.

I agree with you about Tagon not needing lessons in governance.

As for Hae Mi-hol, his other mantra, directed at Yeol-son, is "Not Invented Here." I can't wait to see the look on his face when his bronze swords are cleaved in half by the iron ones. o.O

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

This weird obssesion of writers with naming things and change it will ensuing, like yes maybe from perspective of hundreds of years but here and now? It doesn't matter if he calls him self union leader, king, emperor or whatever.

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Miss the magic horse the most !! Arthdal is the only one that attracts me right now but with only little eps to go, and three main chars (Eunsom, Tanya, Saya) havent even met, i wonder how the writer can tie all loose ends. I think this story of Arthdal should be told in many more episodes.

5
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I believe @sicarius said it all. The entire situation was strange, from his speaking apparently loudly enough for the Union to hear him, but not for them to be seen. To him having any convo at all with Asa Ron. It didn't make sense at all. He is supposed to be smarter than that. I believe the writers wanted to get to a point in a rush and didn't really think of the details. I didn't like it.

How big or small is this mountain? Everyone is just close enough. Anyway, I hope more focus is on Eunseom and his adventures because the writing and characters are more interesting. Except for Tanya, I do like her scenes. Satan's crush on her is kind of sad because she is paying no attention to him, poor guy.

Finally, I want to know what lipstain/lipstick SJK has on because it does not move and I like the color.

9
15
reply

Required fields are marked *

It is a nice color, isn't it?

4
reply

Required fields are marked *

Hehe, that typo: "Satan". I knew Saya was a psycho, but I thought he wouldn't go that far. This reminds me that HORSE AND HIS CARROT BOY is a great title but it leaves Saya out. That must be corrected asap. Alternative titles:

Hell is Another Gojoseon
When the Elf Boy Calls Your Name

5
9
reply

Required fields are marked *

Lol, I didn't even catch that. Also lol at "when the elf boy calls your name" I would venture:

Horse and his carrot boy, plus the other one

If that is too long: H& C + 1

Or: Lusicious, lips, and beautiful. ( luscious for Saya's terrible wig, Lips for Eunseom's purple hue, and beautiful because the Horse is gorgeous)

4
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

THAHCB + 1.... kekekeke pffahahahah
No wait I got one better...
The Horse And His Carrot Boy, Plus Saya, the Moon Children, Ipsaeng, Mubaek and Xabara =
THAHCB + 6

4
reply

Required fields are marked *

See if you'd read my review of the last two seasons (lol review) you would know that The Horse And His Carrot Boy is now merely one chapter of the vast Chronicles of Arthdal... ;)

4
6
reply

Required fields are marked *

I did read it but I have amnesia. Plus we had a hiatus and you went to the beach with Magic Horse. :P

So, if this is the Chronicles of Arthdal and we already have The Horse and His Carrot Boy, the other chapters could be, in no particular order:

1. The Snake, the Flower, and the Great Black Cliff
2. Prince Elf Boy
3. The Voyage of the Slave Traders
4. The Leather Flag
5. The Horse and His Carrot Boy
6. The Neanthal’s Nephew
7. The Last Laugh

6
5
reply

Required fields are marked *

Pfahahahaha
Wait we must combine the best of both versions when this finally ends:
The Neanthal’s Nephews
The Horse And His Carrot Boy
The Great White Wolf, The Witch and The Cliff
Prince Tagon
The Voyage of The Moon Children
BOOKS 6 AND 7 COMING TO STORES NEAR YOU THIS SPRING

5

(also I see you titled them in published order not chronological order, very fitting for this show that makes no sense)

4

FOR ARRRRRRTHADAL!

C.S Lewis must be rolling over his grave lol.

4

@kiara I'm rereading TCON right now and yeah... he would be lmao

5

Brilliant @wishfultoki.

1

I wasn't sure if Tagon actually confessed anything in his conversation with Asa Ron. Also, i do wonder if Asa Ron knows that the real Haruma was iguthi. That fear on his face seemed a mix of iguthi fear and somethng else...like maybe...just maybe he began to understand Tagon was an appointed anointed one. We shall see. I have to watch this weekend's episodes. And yes that lipstick is majorly good at staying put.

2
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Tagon said he killed his father, it's why those Union members were so aghast. That was the "confession" I meant. Asa Ron already knew, but was prompting Tagon to talk about it.

4
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

I understand but i thought the conversation was pretty cryptic and non commital. Kinda like O J's "If i did it" scenario. I don't remember Tagon actually coming out and saying "I Killed my father." More like, "if i killed my father." B ut i should go look again to see.

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Ahhh, I see. I dont actually remember if it was cryptic, so you may ne right.

1

Maybe Magic Horse is the only one who knows why Yeonbal is looking so desperately for Olmadae .... because I certainly don't. Anyone else know?

While the gothic look is not really a look I embrace, I do have to say that Xabara Karika and her goth-warriors do make quite the impression.

And is Saya now being reduced to just looking at shelves and wondering about his dreams? Why?? What happened?

7
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

My skin would be a wreck if I wore the gothic look make-up that they're wearing. I feel a little sorry for them each time I see them and wonder how long it takes to put on.

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

No, we have collective amnesia over Olmadae. As I mentioned in the last recap discussion, I vaguely recall that Tagon wanted him back in Arthdal, but I forget why. Maybe to use him against the Asa Clan. Olmadae was a rebel leader in Arthdal once upon a time.

I don't know what happened to Saya. He's so insignificant now *cries* Maybe they couldn't have Song Joong Ki working full-time on two characters? I've noticed that dramas with doppelgangers usually focus on one at a time, and their meetings are brief. In a way it's karma for Carrto Boy fans because Eunseom spent the entire Part 2 slaving away in the mud.

6
reply

Required fields are marked *

Mubaek holds a secret to youth fountain that he only shares with his fellow warriors except for Tagon.

And Eunsom, when he comes back, will get everything that Tagon, Taealha, and Saya want the most: power, loyal follower, kingdom, and the girl (Tanya). He can win Mubaek too if Magic Horse finally takes a pity on him and decides to let him ride on its back again.

6
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Ahaha Yangcha has been drinking from that fountain of youth for sure!

5
reply

Required fields are marked *

I think others have covered what I think of Tagon, mainly that he suffers from inconsistent writing. Or maybe One (Young Tagon) got a different script than JDG. I don’t sympathise with Tagon, but I am ready to see him do something other than talk.

A few other points:
- Taelha’s flag: @lollypip good catch on the flag design of a dragon and a horse! I’ll trust you on it, because to me it looked like splashes of random colours. I did see the horse but the close angles and dark-lit room did not help. Taelha could have chosen the throne room for her art session; that way the camera could film from above and we would have had a nice aerial view.

- Eunseom’s Merry Men: Has anyone noticed that the group of fugitives includes the old one, the young one, the strong one, the monk, the warrior, and the (for now unsuspecting) leader? I can’t wait for Euseom to reunite with the other Doldambul Fellows.

- Ipsaeng: he should have died once or twice or thrice already, the traitorous little rascal. But he keeps the story entertaining, so I won’t complain for now (I will if he keeps this up). He also has a birth secret.

- Nunbyeol: I am seriously worried about her. I freaked out when Doc said he has to do the “procedure” again.

6
13
reply

Required fields are marked *

I think I'm gonna do a spam of all the recap screenshots that prove the lighting in this show is literally straight out of the Bronze Age. -_-

6
7
reply

Required fields are marked *

Did they blow the production budget on the CGI and run out of money for light bulbs?

3
6
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yeahp. All the bear's fault.

5
reply

Required fields are marked *

@wishfultoki, @sicarius, @pakalanapikake Ugh! So true about the lighting in this show! I swear, many scenes require NASA equipment to make out the details!

3
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

It makes me angry every episode, korfan. EVERY EPISODE.

3

It must be even harder for you, @sicarius, since you are wearing sunglasses.

2

ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ yeah everything has this weird pink tinge? Maybe that's why I think everyone is a vampire.

2

@korfan,
More like NSA equipment!

2

@wishfultoki,

Re: Eunseom's Merry Men, if you include Ipsaeng aka "Double-Crossing Punk" as a replacement for Sateunik, that gives a total of 7, but not all of them are dwarves, in particular the Purple One. I could make a case for Tanya being Snow White. ;-)

I'm concerned about Nunbyeol, too. Here's hoping Doc Dad wakes up and realizes after the way she slung the bull that he should leave her danged meridians alone. Just tell her to keep her powers under wraps. She's been practically dying on the vine up until now. I'd wager she's strong enough to take care of herself after she learns how to control her ch'i. So let her. Weakening her is no guarantee of her safety. Just the opposite, in fact.

Re: Taealha's flag design -- Methinks she's putting the cart before the dragon and horse. If anything, a bear rampant would be more apropos, especially when you think of Mama Bear. Do not mess with her.

Using their own personal names as the name of the country? Egos the size of China, Mongolia, Manchuria, and Siberia combined. Puh-leez! It sounds tacky and narcissistic. It's going to be Gojoseon ("ancient land of morning calm"?).

4
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm going to be disappointed if we don't find out the truth about Ipsaeng, if that's even possible. He lies so often I'm not sure if he knows, so perhaps he has no idea who his real parents are?

Numbyeol needs a new place to live where she doesn't have to hide and worry. Maybe the revolution will hit before he has a chance to take her powers away again?

3
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

@ndlessjoie I agree with you regarding Ipsaeng and all his lying. He seems to be making stuff up on the spot, just improvising and whatnot. Wasn't this the same guy who also claimed to be Tagon's brother? (Or was it one of the other guys in the mine? It's all a blur at this point .... and with all the scenes being so darkly lit! *laughing*)

4
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes, I think he claimed to be Tagon's son. He's nothing but a pack of lies, and I agree we can't know anything for sure right now. But judging from the way he panicked when he saw the Ago rainforest tribe, they might know the truth about him. Maybe he double-crossed them so often that they sold him into slavery. :P

4
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

@ndlessjoie, @wishfultoki, @korfan,

On AsianWiki, it shows two different factions of Ago tribe: Myossi and Taessi. How much do you want to bet that the Ago warriors on the riverbank are members of the other faction, not Ipsaeng's? He's such a congenital liar that I'm having a dreadful time taking him seriously in any way, shape, or form.

3

the comment section is more entertaining than the drama itself

7
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

That’s what I love about DB 😊

5
reply

Required fields are marked *

We try. ;-)

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Part 1 of 2

Thank you for your recap of episode 14, @lollypip! To answer your question: Yep, I cannot figure out for the life of me what gives with Yangcha. I’m suspecting he’s an Igutu, but have a sense that there’s something else going on.

To bone up on ancient Korean creation cosmogeny in preparation for ARTHDAL CHRONICLES, I watched THE STORY OF THE FIRST KING’S FOUR GODS / LEGEND last winter. The drama consists of 24 episodes, and is truly epic. (The ending is a bit muddled as lead actor Bae Yong-jun was seriously injured while filming the final episodes. Even so, it’s a great production with a dandy cast.) LEGEND is based on the story of Hwanung, a younger son of Hwanin, Lord of Heaven, and his own son, Dangun, by a woman of the Bear Tribe. Owing to a disastrous love triangle, Hwanung returns to heaven, while his son grows up and founds Gojoseon. Thousands of years later, when the stars of the land of Jyushin align in a certain way, Dangun reincarnates as Dam-deok simultaneously with his male cousin – a prince of the royal family – and a girl born to a noble family. After much travail involving the three, Dangun grows up to become King Gwanggaeto the Great of Goguryeo. ARTHDAL CHRONICLES contains random bits and pieces of the Dangun story.

One of the aspects of ARTHDAL CHRONICLES that has been bugging me is the drama's inability to make up its mind as to what it wants to be. Is it a Tolkienesque epic action flick wannabe? Is it a character study that became fixated on the gratuitous violence and medieval cruelty of the Arthdalian bigwigs and their minions? A metaphysical morality tale? Or something else again? I cannot help but feel that Writer-nim never got around to having a clear vision of the story to be told, and as a result, the drama has lacked focus and purposeful action.

As for pacing, it feels as if valuable time has been squandered in parts 1 and 2 on pointless hoopla and gratuitous terrorism that could have been better invested in developing characters and their arcs, and interweaving the subplots so that main characters do not go missing in action for excessive intervals. (Oh where, oh where has the Magic Horse gone? Oh where, oh where can he be?) There has been too much fiddling while Rome has been burning. At times, action has dragged as slowly as shackled Wahan slaves trudging across the sulfurous badlands towards the Black Cliffs.

- Continued -

3
9
reply

Required fields are marked *

Part 2 of 2

With four episodes left, I'm wondering how the heck the whole shebang is going to be brought to a satisfactory close, especially as we've just been introduced to two more tribes of fascinating natives. (Hint: With as many plot holes as a wheel of Swiss cheese, and a boatload of unanswered questions.) The just-introduced Momo tribe got the bum's rush in two episodes, but we don't know much more about them now than before Eunseom and Ipsaeng the Greedy Backstabber arrived at Sateunik's widow's lodging. I have a feeling we'll be lucky if we see Xabara Karata, Warrior Princess, again before the end of the show. As for the Ago tribe, according to AsianWiki, there are two factions. Is Eunseom going to drop in on them and referee their annual soccer death match?

I feel as if I've been watching a series of movies stuffed full of so many characters that it's impossible to get to know them as well as I'd like to. It's too bad, because I am really curious about some of them, to wit: Rottib, the now-grown young Neantal raised by Ragaz and Asa Hon. How did he manage to survive after Ragaz was killed and Asa Hon left with baby Eunseom? What is the story with his adoptive brother? Even with episodes approaching an hour and a half in length, a story of this scope needs more time – and better use thereof. By way of comparison, NOKDU FLOWER, which stunningly depicted the eventful lives of rural Koreans against the backdrop of the Donghak Peasant Uprising in the run-up to the Japanese annexation of Joseon, ran for 24/48 episodes, with not a moment wasted, and smooth, skillful switching between the numerous subplots and characters. Fantasy sageuk THE STORY OF THE FIRST KING’S FOUR GODS also ran for two-dozen installments. REBEL, which featured a huge ensemble cast, was a 30-episode sageuk. Eighteen episodes just aren’t enough for ARTHDAL.

-30-

3
8
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thank you for the detailed in-depth explanation of the show's issues @pakalapikake. I completely agree with you.

Issue 1: Pacing
The drama wasted a lot of precious time in Part 1 & 2, but it keeps having "non-scenes" where things should happen, and yet they don't. For instance:
- Ep 13: When Tanya summons Mubaek to talk about the young man who looks like Eunseom, and yet both say "It's too long a story to tell" and end up saying nothing. I know nobody trusts each other in this drama, but at least they could try to get to know each other and probe the other with questions.
- Ep. 14: How The Neanthals saved Eunseom (in a place that is far from their usual haunts in Arthdal, ahem) and then walked off saying they prefer to not to get involved. If nobody wants to get involved, and if nobody wants to volunteer information, then the story goes nowhere.

Issue 2: The drama's inability to name itself
I remember watching the special episode before the drama started airing, and the writers defined Arthdal Chronicles as "a historical fantasy". Thus, I think they were going for a Tolkienesque mythology of ancient Korea, in the way that Lord of the Rings is supposed to be a mythology of ancient England (But even Tolkien said, at the end of the day, that Lord of the Rings is just a story). The special episode even showed, if I recall correctly, a nifty map of the lands of Arth, which so far has not appeared in the drama, to our detriment and confusion over the hodgepodge of climates and peoples. That would have indeed given it a Tolkienesque character.

The problem is that ARTHDAL CHRONICLES started out by trying to proclaim itself as a grand narrative of prehistoric times: "when homo sapiens first came down from the trees." It alternates between this vision of prehistory, based on some archaeological data, and Tolkienesque fantasy, which is due to the fact that we don't know much about Gojoseon. We only know about Gojoseon from the 13th century Samguk Yusa (@kiara please correct me if I'm wrong!) So the writers are within their rights to imagine Gojoseon as they like.

However, purists like me are unhappy with a mixed-worldview: it should either be fantasy set in a remote and ancient land called Arth, or there should be some hints and clues that this story is a reinterpration of the Dangun myth. Perhaps the writers are assuming that their audience knows the legend of Dangun so well that they will appreciate a reinterpretation, but they certainly should not do so for an international Netflix audience.

The part that does not compute for me is the name of the drama. It is called ASEUDAL Chronicles - Asadal was the name of the capital city of Gojoseon founded by Dangun. Does that mean Aramun Haesulla is the equivalent of Dangun, and Eunseom/Saya probably his reincarnation? Why then would Tanya curse this civilisation to ruins and lead us to expect its downfall? Doesn't it mean the writers are...

3
6
reply

Required fields are marked *

Oops I got cut off almost at the end of my post!
........
Doesn't it mean the writers are cursing their own ancient myths?

As usual, I ended up with more questions than answers. My apologies. *does the little Arthdal forehead flick*

2
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

@wishfultoki September 14, 2019 at 3:19 PM, cc: @sicarius

I think you hit the nail on the head when you referenced "prelude to all legends" as the title of part 3. When I saw that, it gave me a twinge that everything we've seen thus far is just the lead-up to what will eventually become the foundation legends of Korea. In the mean time, all these earlier events in Arthdal have been lost in the mists of time. At the rate thin