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Rookie Historian Gu Hae-ryung: Episodes 29-32 Open Thread

This week is all about the price of devotion, and what one might have to sacrifice for believing in—or loving—what society says is forbidden to someone like you. For our protagonists, falling in love was easy, but what do you do with those feelings when one of you is a sheltered prince and the other is a female historian who is fiercely protective of her hard-won independence?

 
EPISODES 29-32 WEECAP

Woo-won petitions to impeach Historian Seong, and Jin approves it—a move that shocks and dismays the other historians. Hae-ryung even yells at Woo-won a little for putting principle over people, saying she doesn’t wish to understand such a mindset. But Sa-hee reveals that Woo-won actually apologized to Jin and begged that he only be fired and exiled for daring to threaten the royal family.

I’d feel warmer toward her about this if she didn’t also copy the record of Rim’s visit to the king, in which he confessed to harboring the Westerner, and then send it to Councilor Min—who then takes the king to task for not telling him about it. I’m beginning to wonder how dark the dirt Min has on the king is, given how completely under his control the man is.

Woo-won visits Seong to say goodbye, asking if his faith is so great that he’s willing to give up his life’s work. Seong plans to devote his life to teaching and defending regular folk now, and says that his faith isn’t so great, which is why he plans to protect it. He promises to write to Woo-won.

Hae-ryung and Rim, meanwhile, are enjoying the early days of their love affair a little too publicly, which causes them to be discovered by Ah-ran and In-im, who protectively interrogate Rim about his intentions and how long this has been going on (he answers without hesitation that it’s since he first met her, aw).


They’re mad at Hae-ryung for not telling them, but delighted to discover such a juicy secret, and needle her mercilessly for details.

But The Angst has arrived, because Councilor Min the king has launched plans for Rim’s wedding. Both Rim and Hae-ryung are devastated by this news, but she congratulates him for finally being able to leave the palace. Rim declares that he’ll marry no one other than her, but she asks if the price of her feelings for him is to be consigned to the role of a prince’s wife.

Unable to accept this, Rim all but drags her to the dowager queen’s chamber with him, where he declares that he’s deeply in love with a woman already and asks his grandmother to retract the order for his wedding. The dowager queen doesn’t even want to know who the woman is. She tells him to bury that feeling in his heart, and accept his fate—a prince does not marry for love, but according to the demands of his station.

When they walk out Rim asks Hae-ryung how she can be so calm, and she says she’s holding back her anger. (I would be too, after being forced to write all of that down.) If the queen had agreed, would he have pushed forward their marriage, even though she’s already told him she doesn’t want that life?

Rim tells her to do it anyway, because otherwise he’ll lose her. He begs her to tell him that she doesn’t want him to marry anyone else, that she’s not all right, but she simply says, “It’s a royal order. Follow it.” He walks away from her without another word, and waits until he’s in his room to weep silently.

Hae-ryung keeps it together, though—until Woo-won reassigns her to the dowager queen’s rooms to record the marriage preparations. Ouch, dude. Day after day, she gets through the parade of ideal Joseon beauties with a stiff drink before she goes to bed, until she finally admits to herself that Rim was right: she’s not all right.

The dowager queen has hand-picked a bride for Rim in preparation for this day, but Councilor Min’s plan is to marry him to Sa-hee. When Sa-hee finds out, she refuses, but Min asks what on earth she expected when she started working for him if not to be placed where he needed her, and tells her not to bother with being a historian anymore.

Ignoring Min’s orders, Sa-hee shows up for work the next day. Jin sarcastically congratulates an already miserable Sa-hee, disappointed that she turned out to be grasping for political power despite all her pretty speeches otherwise.

She responds bitterly that she thought working for Min would give her the ability to make her own choices; she feels wretched at the realization that her life is not her own. Jin replies that he knows the feeling, and asks her to stay.

Sa-hee does—until dawn the next day, and is spotted coming out. OMG. When the scandal breaks, Sa-hee goes straight to the furious crown princess, who warns that this could ruin her life. Sa-hee says that she knows, and doesn’t regret being true to her feelings.

Sam-bo takes Rim to look at houses, hoping to cheer him up, but finding the perfect home only causes Rim to imagine an idyllic married life with Hae-ryung. Suddenly desperate, Rim runs all the way to her house and declares that she doesn’t have to be a prince’s wife; he promises to leave it all behind if only she’ll run away with him.

Hae-ryung says that’s only a happy ending in a novel. They’ll tire of spending their days feeling chased, and eventually come to resent each other. He promises he won’t, but she asks what he’ll do if she comes to regret it. Would he be able to bear that?

She tells him to find someone better than her, who will love him unreservedly and share his life. He says, “Hae-ryung, you know you’re everything to me.” She says she’s sorry but that’s not the case for her.

They both cry their eyes out once they’re alone. Oh, my babies. Me too.

We certainly knew this was coming, but that doesn’t make it any less heartbreaking to see Rim’s hopes of an idyllic marriage to Hae-ryung shatter so soon, and to watch Hae-ryung be put in an impossible situation with no real solution. Here’s where the rubber hits the road when it comes to their opposing outlooks on life; both of them know that reality isn’t all sunshine and roses, but Rim is still willing to dream anyway, whereas Hae-ryung is far more pragmatic, and knows that while taking risks might lead to happiness, it can also end up in devastating loss.

I can understand her reservations about becoming a prince’s wife, especially after witnessing that parade of prospective brides told her exactly what qualities the dowager queen is looking for in a granddaughter-in-law: obedience rather than education, poise and decorum rather than a woman who speaks her mind. Not Hae-ryung, in other words. Which is probably the lesson Woo-won wanted her to learn when he assigned her to the queen, but that doesn’t make it any less cruel, knowing what he does about her feelings.

I am a little befuddled about where Hae-ryung imagined this going though, given her well-established practicality and the fact that she already knows there’s likely no long-term future in it for them. Did she simply get carried away by her feelings for Rim, and forget to consider what he might expect—or what kind of scandal might result? It’s a small character inconsistency I felt while watching these episodes, although I certainly don’t blame her for falling for Rim, and I agree with her conclusion at the end. She has never wanted the kind of married life that she’d have to lead as Rim’s wife, even if by some miracle the court accepted her, and running away is a dream that would most likely end in misery. But it’s still very hard to watch their poor hearts breaking.

I’m still confused by Sa-hee’s character, although I suppose we did get an answer to why she decided to spy for Min when she was so adamant about taking her father’s corruption to task. It’s not an answer that necessarily makes sense to me, and I have slight whiplash from Sa-hee suddenly having such an epic love for Jin that she’s willing to ruin her life, but spending the night was certainly a brave and clever scheme to avoid the marriage (if she did it on purpose, which I’m guessing she did). These two actors are also killing it, even if their relationship doesn’t always make sense to me. Those tearful looks they gave each other—guh. (Also, who knew I would love Beardy Crown Prince Park Ki-woong this much? Not I.)

Min’s plot for the wedding has been thwarted, but I’m guessing the marriage preparations will go ahead anyway unless Rim takes some drastic action. The poor puppy’s just had his heart crushed, though, so I’m guessing next week will be devoted to finding out what exactly the story is behind Ho Dam, the dowager queen, and Seoraewon. Things might get a little bloody, given how ominous Min’s demeanor has gotten, and his now open threats to the royal family. *puts arms protectively around Jin and Rim and wishes for a little more time in dreamland*

 
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*applauding my way through this recap* yes yes yes! thank you laica <3 <3 <3

"I am a little befuddled about where Hae-ryung imagined this going though, given her well-established practicality and the fact that she already knows there’s likely no long-term future in it for them. " <-- this. this is such a big deal to me. we've talked a lot on the fan wall about what the future may hold and how unlikely their happy ending is, and how GHR doesn't want marriage...but this is what i can't get my head around. GHR kinda initiated their romantic connection (he withheld the poem; she found it, kissed him; and even later told him to get used to such things). Where did she think that was going to end up? And knowing Rim as she does, how could she not think he'd want a fairytale wedding? (I kinda wonder if it's a fumble on the writer's part...wanting to make GHR as independent and assertive as possible, so she is the one taking the lead in the romance...but the writer forgot to reckon with how that would play out later maybe?)

"Also, who knew I would love Beardy Crown Prince Park Ki-woong this much? Not I." Girl, same. Is there a prince jin spinoff in the works, because i 1000 percent will watch.

"Min’s plot for the wedding has been thwarted, but I’m guessing the marriage preparations will go ahead anyway unless Rim takes some drastic action." I think the Dowager will pick someone, and that frustration to Min will be what finally forces all the secrets to come out. but not until i've had my heart wrenched out again in a thursday-cliffhanger ;)

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“I am a little befuddled about where Hae-ryung imagined this going though, given her well-established practicality and the fact that she already knows there’s likely no long-term future in it for them.”

To put it tritely... the heart wants what the heart wants. No amount of practical mindset will protect you when/if you fall under the spell.

Sahee’s bridal candidacy will need a replacement. It would be an interesting twist if HR’s birth secret finally becomes known to the Dowager Queen who puts her into the bridal pool!

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@hebang - I think you hit the nail on the head "the heart wants what the heart wants" and though HR is an independent woman who wants to create her own future, she still fell under his spell.
then again, who wouldn't fall under the spell of that puppy?
Oh I missed this show last Wednesday and Thursday and am so looking forward to the coming episodes.
Thank you for the great recap @laica!

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I'm inclined to agree that it's a fly in the ointment of the writer's plot construction.

But if I were to ascribe an in-universe reason, I would say that Haeryung expected Yi Rim to continue to be ignored by his family, so they would be free to enjoy themselves and each other with no strings attached.

Of course, she should have considered the Prince's romantic nature and realized he would eventually want to marry her, but I guess she hadn't thought that far ahead.

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"Haeryung expected Yi Rim to continue to be ignored by his family, so they would be free to enjoy themselves and each other with no strings attached." ahh yeah ok this makes a lot of sense to me!

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Plus 1000 on Prince Jin spin-off!!

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@anothernicole Helloooo I’m finally caught up! I was also puzzled at first about where Hae Ryung thought this was going, but I recalled that girl talk with the other two historians, where she confessed she’d like a passionate love affair. I don’t think she thought of the consequences of falling for Dowon, or she chose to follow her heart as is her nature, until the reality check of his marriage hit her. But still 💔

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"but still 💔"
yesss *sniff*

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What do you think happened in the Crown Prince's chambers overnight and what feelings do you think she was referring to when she was talking to the Crown Princess? I'm not at all sure she was talking about her feelings for him. I think she may have been talking about her feelings about wanting to determine her own life, something she and Jin share. And I'm not at all sure anything happened between them other than a plot to ruin her virtue so she couldn't marry anyone else.

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Also, what secret does Councillor Min hold on the king? Probably exactly what he did to become king = the untimely demise of the king before him, Rim's true father. Somehow Rim was a bargaining chip between the dowager Queen and the current king. Maybe she accepted the situation on the condition that he raise her grandson.

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I don’t think Councilor Min knows Rim’s birth secret. He has asked the king several times whether the king has something he is not telling him about Rim. Min knows some secret is there, just not what it is. Or so it seems to me.

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Right, I don't either. But I do think that his hold on the king is knowing what the king did to get rid of the previous king.

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“And I'm not at all sure anything happened between them other than a plot to ruin her virtue so she couldn't marry anyone else.”

The Crown Prince is, I think, an honorable man. I also believe that nothing happened, and that it is all a plot to get Sahee out of the bridal pool. The cost is unfortunately, her virtue.

Sahee’s feelings for the CP may well be real. There is a scene where Sahee opens her box of personal mementos, there is only one item - the hair decoration (I have no idea what they are called) that the CP bought for her on their day out. I noticed that at the end of that day when Sahee put the decoration into the box, it looked empty. It is, except for this one item.

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She seemed sincere when she answered to Officer Yang that was not "that".

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I do think she at least likes the Crown Prince and was talking about her feelings towards him (hence the flashback with the ribbon). It wouldn’t be the worst thing to be thought of as a prince’s concubine and we’ve seen several instances where this happens (or tries to happen) in saeguks (I.e. Splish Splash Love 💕 ).

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I guess you can’t have a concubine until you’re king though— 🤔)

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They can😄. Prince concubines too have multiple ranks just like king's ones.
I'm curious about the non-royal lady who sat on the right-side to the Crown Princess. She's so old to be a Prince concubine, so is she Mama Min? I saw a similar lady sitting left to the Queen, which would then make her King's mom-in-law.
Was it because a royal marriage is something overseen by the ladies of the immediate Royal family?🤔 Grandma, Sister-in-law, Daughter-in-law, Her sister-in-law and Daughter-in-law.

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I agree @lindag - personally I don't think anything happened. But they agreed for her to stay so that everyone would think something HAD happened so she didn't have to get married.

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I can now join the chorus of beanies saying “Whar is going on between Crown Prince and Sa Hee?” Lol

I don’t think anything happened, Crown Prince decided to help her avoid the bridal selection knowing her reputation would be ruined. I still don’t sense romance between them, just understanding and sympathy.

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"I am a little befuddled about where Hae-ryung imagined this going though, given her well-established practicality and the fact that she already knows there’s likely no long-term future in it for them. "
Prince Dowon was ignored by the King and nobody knew who he was, so I guess it was easy to think things won't change. But she knows how Rim is romantic, so it's more this fact that could make her hesitate.

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I was surprised to see Kim Hyun-Soo as potential wife for Rim. I like this young actress :)

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"I am a little befuddled about where Hae-ryung imagined this going though, given her well-established practicality and the fact that she already knows there’s likely no long-term future in it for them. " for me..noboby can denied or turn away from luv.when we fall in luv..sometimes we forget everything.or maybe GHR know that yi rim has been hidden at nokseodang his entire life. A Prince that never get to live his life as a Prince.so who thought thing like arrange marriage can happen to a Prince 'like him'.or GHR simply just can't help but falling in luv until reality snap her to the fact that yi rim is a Prince although he is unknown all this time.

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Hae-ryung is a modern woman and she is giving me Bae Ta-mi vibes from Search Query: WWW. She wants love but doesn't want marriage. I really liked how Hae-ryung is still in character and she still stands for what she wants (no matter how selfish it is) although this can get out of hand easily and get tiring so I hope Rim's marriage gets resolved (marriage or no marriage) next episode because we don't want him to be a sad puppy.

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Same perception here. Sahee gave me GaYoung feels. I was trying to think of a fantasy Joseon equivalent of the riding off into a bright future on a convertible Maserati... I hope the creative team is a LOT more creative than I am because I’m having a hard time seeing a happy ending where our characters are true to themselves.

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THIS^ I can see them riding horses but nothing can replace the convertible Maserati because it is legendary! And I couldn't see how this show would end the romance aspect except for it to do the same thing Seven Day Queen did (haven't seen the whole show but what they did with the ending was really great imo).

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Hmmm I think it's not about Hae Ryung's character inconsistency. It'a way for the writer to actually tell us that no matter how realistic, practical, smart and pragmatic we are, we love who we love. It's the way for the writer to humanize Hae Ryung's character once again. I won't even consider her selfish at the very least.

For sure she wants to marry her only love, Lee Rim. But she also loves herself so much (which is right in all it mighty right) and for me this is very empowering for women. This is something most women face. And I'm just sad that some people call Hae Ryung too cold and selfish while in fact, she just also loves herself and her dream so much. Clearly she's hurting as much as Rim does. Probably more because she knows when she agrees with running away with him, she'd also take away so much from Rim.

This show has definitely solidified my love for Hae Ryung and as my fave female lead of all time.

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Rookie Historian is the only K-drama I’m currently watching, but I didn’t realize how invested I am in it until I bawled at the end of last episode..

It is extra heartbreaking for Rim as we saw how he has no purpose in his life after he’s banned from writing novels, so when Hae Ryung came to him she truly became his everything. He’s been living up above the clouds with his love for her, only to get falling and crushing hard to the ground when this reality hits.

At first I was also bothered with how Hae Ryung didn’t seem to think far ahead to where their relationship will go, but I can’t blame her for being carried away by her feelings when there’s Rim who pours his whole heart out for her. For a while she lets herself got pulled into Rim’s fairy-tale and probably didn’t expect the reality to hit that hard so soon.

At this point I don’t really know where the show is going and I’m sure it’s not gonna be a happy ending for everyone, but I just hope it will be a satisfying ending.

Thank you for the recap, Laica!

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Thank you so much for the recap. I watched till rim took Hae-ryung to the dowager queen and then I S.K. t know what happened. I just.... couldn’t watch anymore. I’m so ready for the ho dam plot to take centre stage. Thanks again for the recap- I think I’ll pick this up from the next week

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I don't feel bad for Sa Hee. Her tears did nothing for me. For her to be that smart she didn't realize one day the Second State Councillor would try to use her. The Crown Princess should've called her out.

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The fact Yi Jin knows Sa Hee is spying for the Second State Councillor and giving her a pass but treats his wife like she is the plague, has me smh. I like Yi Jin but I am giving him the side eye at the same time.

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I'm sorry, Hae Ryung and Yi Rim do nothing for me. I still say they wasted the chemisty between SSK and LJH.

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*chemistry

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Okay. I read all the comments and nobody has written about my question. In the beginning of episode 31 (I think) Rim surprised Hae-rung at her home and they went on a "date." Then, nothing else was said about it. (Except I think it was used for montage video.) Was that a flash back? A flash forward? Just a teaser to say that the two of them have had more together time than has been shown on the drama? It was so confusing because I kept thinking that the writer would allude to it at sometime in the next two episodes. Did I miss something? Did it seem as out of place to anyone else? Thanks.

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At the beginning of ep 29 when Sahui secretly went through the records room, the subtitle “15 days ago” was written, so I’m sure the whole thing happened within 15 days before Rim’s marriage announcement.

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Lovely recap, thanks! Like some other beans here I don't necessarily find GHR's decision to enter into a romance with Yi Rim inconsistent with her free spirit or her moral compass. She is saddened but unsurprised when the wedding announcements come; at every stage she encourages Rim to face reality and follow through with the court's expectations of him. Love can have terrible consequences, but so can denying it, and GHR is enough of a woman of the world to know this. So my guess is that she's thinking: We'll always have Nokseodang.

Absolutely loved Sa-hui's moral entanglement and her agonised and drastic decision. She shouldn't have copied GHR's notebook, but I think Sa-hui's besetting sin is pride, and even at this stage she's too proud to dishonour her deal with Councillor Min. It takes his diktat to put her on the marriage lists for her to see that submitting to the most powerful person in the room only allows them to leech whatever little power you have, never to transfer some of theirs to you. Can't wait to find out what she and Jin talked about that night. If there's any character moment that seemed off to me in this episode, it's Crown Prince Righteous going along with a plan that puts a woman's honour in danger. (Love ya, Yi Jin!)

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Sorry I also have to give voice to my now-weekly anxiety about WHAT'S HAPPENING TO OFFICER MIN? I think we're well on our way to bidding him goodbye now, unfortunately. His chat with Seong and his clear interest in forbidden theology were great character moments for him -- I love how completely unafraid this show is of depicting both Min U-won and Goo Hae-ryung as intellectuals first and foremost -- but his persistent habit of defending his principles at the cost of his life is just leading to mounting consequences, I feel.

A small, throwaway moment in the last ep really twisted my heart: it's when the Crown Princess's summons arrive for Sa-hui after the scandal breaks, and Officer Min, contrary to his hatred of personal influence and love for the rule of law, instantly steps up and says: "Sa-hui's not going, tell her Min U-won forbade it" to HIS SISTER'S underling. Yeesh!

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Oh man, what an ominous thought about Officer Min - and totally something I didn't even consider. Iiiiiinteresting.

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Each challenge gets a bit harder. He is on his way to meet Universe Boss! Fight well Officer Min, we're all rooting for you!

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I’m ok with the CP’s action because I think he left the decision, the agency, with Sahee, and only acted to support her desire to not be in the bridal pool, to have some control over her life.

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Yes, absolutely okay with it too! On the subject, though: I was clearer on the idea that Jin had budding romantic feelings for Sa-hui in the earlier episodes. For all that he's done since they had their outing -- including giving her the ribbon -- it feels less like sparks flying, the way they did in the earlier episodes, and something more unresolved and fragile. But whether or not he's attracted to her, he's in deep as far as she's concerned, whether out of duty, responsibility, a non-romantic affection or something else. Fingers crossed that it's all squared when we find out what transpired between them that night!

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I agree, even if he doesn’t really love her, by duty and custom he’ll have to take responsibility and she might have no choice but become his concubine.

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On GHR and the "What did she expect" factor when it comes to the outcome of her and Rim's relationship - I'm definitely in the "Love is love is love" camp. I don't think it's a character flaw. I also wonder, as smart and well-read as GHR is... she was still raised in an upstanding, principled environment. I don't think she's so well versed in matters of the heart and romantic relationships - I think it's totally possible that she unknowingly let her heart run away with her feelings for Rim, letting her very rational brain take a break for a moment. First love is exciting and thrilling and without previous experience to learn from, how would she know how wonderful it feels? And how much it potentially clouds your judgment in some cases?

Beyond that though, the previews for the next episode have been taking over my thoughts for this whole week. Haven't been able to consider much else from these past episodes, because the future just looks so bleak... WTH IS GOING TO HAPPEN?! HOW WILL THINGS LOOK ON THE OTHER SIDE?!

The curiosity is lethal for sure.

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First, let me enjoy the delicious irony of Sa-hee's intel being the one thing that pushed Rim's marriage forward, destroying Sa-hee's "independence".

That being said, I actually think it's not so bad for her to be a concubine..?

Yeah, Sa-hee may be the "top scorer" and the best historian in terms of writing (Yang always says her work is the passable compared to other rookies). But Sa-hee has never exhibited that sort of passion and reverence for maintaining the sanctity of the records. Unlike Woo-won's and Hae-ryung's ongoing debates. Sooo I don't think she's that attached to the job as much as having a sense of purpose.

Sa-hee chose to be a historian for independence and to accomplish things outside of her dad's dictates. Plus Sa-hee is highly conscious of the pride of nobles. She hates that her dad sells government positions or hoards medicine during a plague. She's not charming or likeable, but then, the best leaders don't always make the best of friends. I can totally see her being an equal partner in ruling the kingdom with Jin.

(Because in my head, I want Jin who's a decent crown prince to rule the kingdom. Rim abdicates and does... something useful that doesn't require him being a king, so he and Hae-ryung can be together without complications.)

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I agree with this. 110%!

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Exactly. I can't see Jin as anything but the future king!

Was there divorce in Joseon? What happens when councillor Min is exposed for his bad deeds? Is there a way his daughter gets disqualified from being crown princess (short of getting executed of course!) Because I really don't think poor Jin deserves a political marrige.

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I hope she doesn't get disqualified. I like the Crown Princess. It would affect her and Officer Min. I am hoping there is a way they can expose him but not hurt the Min siblings. I'm sorry, Sa Hee shouldn't get rewarded for spying and giving the Second State Councillor information by making her the Crown Princess and future Queen. She has giving information that could potentially hurt the Queen Dowager and Yi Rim.

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I am not looking at it from Sa Hee getting rewarded point of view. I don't care about what happens to her or the princess as much as I want Jin to have a choice in something as personal and important as who he will share his life, future and kids with. So I don't want him stuck in a marriage forced on him. Whether the princess is a spy or not (we don't know that she is not, she was never given the opportunity to be) is beyond the point.

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I get wanting him to have a choice but if his choice ends up being the one who was actually doing the stuff that he is rejecting his wife for, then what sense does that make? Her father is just as corrupt as the Crown Princess's father. In the being it was assumed she was the spy but it was shown Sa Hee was the one spying.

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I agree about Saehee. I felt Rim was avoiding the poor Crown Princess for fear she would spy for Min, but then he aligned himself romantically with Min's real spy!

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No divorce will be needed, if councillor Min is found guilty his immediate family will have to face the consequences as well. Crown princess and officer Min will be deposed from office at the very least according to my understanding of saeguks.

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I wish it could be done were it wouldn't harm the Crown Princess and Officer Min. They don't like the stuff their father does either. It is funny people are wanting the Second State Councillor to be found guilty so the Crown Princess loses her title. The Second State Councillor deserves to be punished but not his kids.

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I agree wholeheartedly but that's how things happen in saeguk land. We can still hope this drama would bring a controvercy in that aspect as well though.

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Eek! Don’t touch Officer Min show!

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I just see the irony in the whole thing. Her father is just as corrupt as the Second State Councillor and she is the spy for the Second State Councillor but Yi Jin is okay with being around her and not his wife. As for her being an equal partner with Jin, maybe but were does that leave the Crown Princess? I wish we had the Crown Princess's POV of her father. We know Officer Min's POV but not hers.

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I think the show gave what you wished for in the latest episode!

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Here's my prediction: the truth about everything is found out. The king is removed and Rim refuses to become King, instead handing the job to Jin. Rim marries GHR and they become Prince and Princess. But instead of living in the palace, Jin sends them out as defacto embassadors so they can travel around the world, making everyone happy. The end.

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*waves* Hello @mary! I managed to catch up in time for the finale. 😄

The only thing I didn’t understand is that if Sa Hee is as clever as they say, she wouldn’t have needed Minister Min’s help in becoming a historian. ..But then we wouldn’t have had female historians entering the palace and therefore no story, so I let it go.

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@laica
I loved the bearded Jin at first sight! And I do agree their acting is top notch. Loved the reversal of Sae Hee crying in front of him mirroring the time he cried in front of her.

Sa Hee definitely has feelings for Jin but dare I say she also has too much self-respect to be his concubine. I also think that's not on Jin's agenda either. I think the night they "spent" together was to purely prevent the marriage. Jin may have his reasons for keeping his marriage on paper (considering he had absolutely no control over his own marriage as a crown prince I understand him trying to control the personal parts of that relationship that was forced on him) but he does feel bad about the situation this puts the princess in. He is not intentionally trying to humiliate her. So I think that night didn't have to do with love on either side. Sa Hee's "being true to her feelings" might have less to do with staying with Jin out of love than doing what she can not to marry where she does not love.

Regarding Hae Ryung and Rim, I don't know where the story is leading with this whole Hae Ryung's independence thing. Because I fully expect her to be eligible and end up marrying Rim once her birth secret is out. How else can a romcom end? I think her contribution will come as being not the expected kind of obedient bride who has poise and decorum) but rather one that has education and who speaks her mind and contributes to the ruling of the land.

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The thing is Yi Jin is humiliating the Crown Princess. That could lead her to become resentful and then hatred. I hope not because I don't want them to villainize her to push Sa Hee and Yi Jin.

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I have watched so many breakups in kdramas so far but nothing was as heartbreaking to me as that last scene when GHR said she did not feel the same when Yi Rim said she is everything to him. It was so heartbreaking because it was true. As much as i like GHR and still do after her seemingly heartless reply we have to acknowledge that she values her independance as much as her love for the prince if not more, while he loves her disregarding his sense of self even. I wish the next episode gives him some other purpose in his life other than his love for GHR and at the same time i wish he would still continue to be the most devoted lover in dramaland ever. Same for GHR, her to be as ruthless in her view as ever and wishing she would go and comfort our dear prince. She is a symbol of women power for saying 'no' to that face though! Speak of contradictions..sigh..

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It will never work between them, I fear. You cannot have a relationship where one person is the world to another, but the opposite is not true.

I think that not only is GHR not willing to commit to Yi Rim the way she would need to as a princess, but I honestly don't believe she is capable of doing so. She values her independence to the point of selfishness.

Is that a negative thing? I don't know - maybe. It's a trade-off. On the one hand, she will most likely get to be as independent as she chooses. On the other, she may never find deep, true love. Love is at least partially about sacrifice.

It depends on what she values more.

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It depends on her priority list i guess.

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The Historian is the lost princess, they are siblings? Her brother had been taking care of her, because he killed her father the king? The 2nd prince is the real crown prince from the dethroned king... made them brother and sister?

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I'm down to the last episode and I have to say.... won't one of the directors coach that lead male actor to stop staring off into space as if he were blind. It drives me crazy when he does that and he does that all the time (so I'm bonkers by now)

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