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Rookie Historian Gu Hae-ryung: Episodes 33-36 Open Thread

The romantic angst takes a backseat this week as our young prince and historian work together to uncover the secrets of the past and make sense of what’s happening in the present. It’s also the penultimate week, which means a lot of lies and facts flying at us from every direction. Good thing we have an inquisitive historian determined to get to the bottom of it. (Note: this is for the previous week’s episodes, the finale week’s Open Thread will post later.)

EPISODES 33-36 WEECAP

Sa-hee and Jin’s private overnight chat leads to an avalanche of petitions to fire her for improper conduct and punish the Office of Royal Decrees for letting their female historians run amok. Jin stops the complaints by claiming that he was the one who liked Song Sa-hee and spent all night trying to seduce her, to no avail. It’s obviously a ridiculous lie to protect Sa-hee (can you imagine Jin begging for kisses?) but the king almost dies of embarrassment to hear that his two sons are embroiled in a very public love triangle. He stops Rim’s wedding preparations and blames Councilor Min for endorsing a problematic bride.

Councilor Min must really be a terrible person because even his daughter, the crown princess, is now worried for Sa-hee. But in true evil genius fashion, Min “forgives” Sa-hee, refusing to release her from his evil employ. Despite her father’s protests, Sa-hee prepares to return to work. But not without hinting that she has dirt on Councilor Min too. In flashback, we see that she promised Jin that she’ll make sure Min doesn’t get his way when it comes to Rim’s marriage. It’s her way of paying for the damage her spying has done.

The happily single Rim celebrates his twentieth birthday outside the palace with his grandmother. He’s confused when their entourage makes a stop at the grave of the deposed king. But what’s more curious is the dowager queen asking Rim to perform funeral rites.

During Rim’s birthday lunch, he announces that he has no intention of marrying. The dowager invites Hae-ryung, still assigned as her historian, to dine with them and convince the prince that he would make a great husband. (Girl, that’s what he’s been trying to tell you!) Cue the most awkward meal in fictional history.

That night, Mo-hwa takes Jae-kyung to the dowager queen. Orabeoni can only kneel in guilt as the dowager reminds him that the late king and everyone in Seoraewon died due to his betrayal. However, she allows him to live and help their cause. For now.

Rim is still bothered about being asked to pay respects to the late king. The same king whose death coincides with his birthday. He asks Hae-ryung about that hushed up part of history, but she only knows the rumors too. That Prince Huiyeong was a heretic who tortured his own people.

The next day, a group of archers ambush the entourage on its way back to the palace. Hae-ryung risks her life to escort Rim to sturdier cover. He notices her hands shaking in fear and holds her close until the attack is suddenly called off. Because they finished what they came to do. Rim has been shot in the back!

The entourage returns to the royal villa to regroup and tend to the wounded. Jin ignores his advisor’s warning and leads a group of soldiers outside the palace to bolster the entourage’s security. Meanwhile, the king rages at Councilor Min for daring to attack the royal family. Councilor Min blames the king for keeping Rim’s lineage a secret. He reveals what his spies have told him about the dowager queen leading the survivors of Seoraewon and taking Rim to his real father’s grave. She’s obviously planning a rebellion and Min is furious that the king is letting her get away with it.

Hae-ryung notices something strange about the arrows used for the attack and returns to the ambush site to look for clues. She reports her findings to Jin and Rim. Based on the injuries of the guards, the type of arrowhead, and the design of the bow, the ambush was targeting Rim, but only to injure, not kill.

Everyone is baffled why an outcast prince disinterested in politics would be the subject of a well-planned raid. Rim tells Jin that the only unusual thing he did lately was perform funeral rites for the deposed king. Jin understands the significance of this and visits the dowager queen to beg her to stop commemorating the late king’s death. He reminds her that his uncle was sentenced to death for high treason. The dowager’s benevolent mask cracks a little bit as she warns Jin that he should stop talking when he doesn’t know the whole story. She then dismisses him, but her remarks and actions raises Jin’s suspicions.

Meanwhile, Rim tells Hae-ryung about another time he was attacked while searching for a book called The Story of Ho Dam. He mentions finding a foundation stone inscribed with Ho Dam and Yeongan’s names, and Hae-ryung recalls that the writer of the variolation guide was a certain Yeongan. Rim also remembers a dream where a king who is not his father calls his name fondly (Rim, not the more formal Dowon) in this exact royal villa.

Rim and Hae-ryung look for the building in his dream and find a locked room. They break in to find a portrait of the late king. The portrait jogs Hae-ryung’s memory of growing up in Seoraewon and meeting the same man who kindly helped her choose books and called himself Master Ho Dam.

The clues are coming together quickly now. Hae-ryung tells Rim that Ho Dam was the late king and Yeongan is most likely her father, the dean of Seoraewon. She reveals that she’s living under a different name after her father died, falsely accused of treason. She’s been living a quiet life because she was told that’s what her father wanted, but she can no longer ignore the connection between her father’s unfair death and the mystery around the late king. Rim and Hae-ryung vow to learn what happened around his birth, in the year of Gyeongo.

When Sam-bo won’t answer Rim’s questions about his past, Rim rushes to the palace to look at the records himself. The dowager is alarmed to hear that Rim traveled alone in that state, so the whole entourage follows after him.

Upon their arrival, the king greets the dowager queen with pleas of ignorance regarding the attack. He sounds almost desperate to not look bad in front of her and we find out why: she’s not her actual son, though it looks like he’s tried his best for years to gain her favor. There’s disgust in the dowager’s face as she blames the king for secretly wanting Rim to die, hence why Councilor Min is left unpunished. She reiterates her threat from twenty years ago that if anything happens to Rim, she’ll kill herself and cast a dark mark on the king’s reign.

And the acting award goes to… the dowager queen! Apparently, Mo-hwa, Jae-kyung, and the survivors of Seoraewon plotted the raid to form a rift between the king and Councilor Min. Sneaky.

Even sneakier is Hae-ryung who uses her brother’s absence to search his room. She spotted him and Mo-hwa talking in the royal villa and remembers that Mo-hwa learned variolation from Seoraewon. Hae-ryung finds old documents regarding a historian, Kim Il-mok, who refused to surrender his sachaek of the deposed king’s activities. Kim Il-mok was eventually executed for high treason.

Jin also starts looking at the palace records for the year of Gyeongo. He’s alarmed when his advisor informs him that Rim requested the same information earlier. Jin rushes to Nokseodang to convince Rim to stop digging up information on their uncle but Rim says he’s actually searching for himself. There are records of their father overthrowing the heretical king, placing his trusted advisors in important positions, and Jin and the queen moving into the palace, but there’s no mention of Rim’s birth at all.

Jin is visibly taken aback, but he recovers quickly and fabricates a memory of waiting for his younger brother to be born. They both know it’s a lie but he begs Rim to believe it anyway. It’s no longer enough though. Rim goes directly to the king. Despite his injury, he’s made to wait, kneeling the whole day and into the night before the king (who’s busy drinking his own problems away) acknowledges him. My heart breaks when Rim’s only question turns out to be, “Have you ever loved me as a son, even for a short moment?” The king dismisses Rim’s nonsense and heads back inside, leaving the question unanswered. Which kind of answers the question.

That night, a group of sneaky people in various palace uniforms leave books all over the place. By morning, everyone from the guards, maids, scribes, even to the councilors are greeted with their own copy of The Story of Ho Dam. The palace tries to do damage control by recalling all the books. Which, if you’ve ever been a teenager, you know is a surefire way to get everyone to read the books in secret. By noon, “all” copies have been retrieved for disposal and no one has “read” the book but everyone seems to know its contents. The king threatens to execute anyone who talks about it but Councilor Min says the king should be strong and punish the distributor, even going so far as to name drop the dowager queen in front of the other ministers.

Jin wonders why a fictional novel would alarm the king so much, so his advisor explains that the Seoraewon in the story actually existed. It’s where the deposed king performed strange rituals and taught Catholicism! *gasp*

As Rim and Hae-ryung read their copies in their respective rooms, we watch The Story of Ho Dam unfold.

Ho Dam was a great king who loved his country but also feared it being left behind by other nations. They needed new knowledge for progress. He and his friend Yeongan established Seoraewon, “a place where dawn arrives.” It’s a school where rich and poor, young and old, men and women studied together. But outside Seoraewon, their strange practices (like performing surgery, or noblemen conversing equally with peasant women) were considered scandalous. Misunderstandings became rumors and rumors came back as truth. Until one night, the members of Seoraewon were seen as traitors and killed on official orders. Ho Dam and Yeongan died. And with them, the dream of changing the country for the better.

Hae-ryung confronts her brother for keeping the whole story a secret. She only knew that her father died unjustly, not that the current government she’s working for are the same people who slandered Seoraewon to gain power under the new king. She knows Jae-kyung is plotting something and wants to help, but Jae-kyung wants to send her away to safety to keep his final promise to her father. (So it was an open secret between them that they’re not truly related?) But Hae-ryung refuses to leave and risk losing the only family she has now. Aww… you’re making it hard for Jae-kyung to finish his suicide mission!

When in doubt, go to the library. Hae-ryung’s research brings up a disgraced but surviving historian from Gyeongo. It’s their only shot at finding Kim Il-mok’s hidden record. Hae-ryung and Rim visit the hermit historian in his hut. He drives them away, tired of Councilor Min’s men harassing him for information. But his drunk, angry act disappears when Hae-ryung says her father was the dean of Seoraewon. The historian wasn’t a member of Seoraewon, though he knows Hae-ryung’s father to be a good professor from Sungkyunkwan and remembers Kim Il-mok as a steadfast workaholic who recorded the late king’s visits to Seoraewon. (Kim Il-mok sounds similar to Woo-won. DON’T DO THIS, SHOW!)

The surviving historian tried to convince Kim Il-mok to save his life and reveal where he hid his sachaek, but Kim warned him that Councilor Min will rewrite history, so he’d rather die to protect his records. On the morning of his execution, he told his fellow historian to go to the island of the green forest to seek the truth. Unfortunately, the surviving historian has been unable to find it all these years.

Rim’s eyes grow wide to hear the final clue and returns to the palace in a hurry, taking Hae-ryung right back to Nokseodang. And wouldn’t you know it? The hanja for his gilded prison spells out “island of the green forest.”

All this plotting on Councilor Min and the dowager queen’s sides in a race to find Kim Il-mok’s sachaek, and here it was inside the palace all along, with a drunk old historian holding on to the final clue.

Makes you wonder how fragile history is, right? In just a single generation, Min and his men have managed to paint good people into savages and traitors. And the only person who can help is stuck, powerless outside the palace. If it weren’t for tenacious survivors like Mo-hwa, Jae-kyung, or the ruthless dowager queen, the records would’ve been scrubbed completely and the truth lost in another generation or two.

Of course, someone could unearth Kim Il-mok’s records during a palace renovation a hundred years later. The truth could’ve been revealed eventually. But that’s a hundred years too late for the surviving members of Seoraewon or the dowager queen. And Rim would’ve lived and died an outcast prince, not knowing why his father hated his guts so much.

Rim really is the Cinderella of this story, complete with an evil stepfather who can neither get rid of him nor love him as a real son. So they’re stuck in a relationship where Rim keeps asking for affection while the king keeps kicking the sad puppy away. But what’s interesting is the reveal that the king is in the same situation with the dowager queen. I’m assuming he’s a concubine’s son, so not 100% legitimate. It would explain why he’s a bit obsessed with being seen by history (and the dowager) as a good ruler. He probably feels like a fake, especially since he started his reign on dubious terms and is practically a puppet for Councilor Min. We’ve seen flashes of him wanting to do the right thing, but he doesn’t have enough strenght of character to follow through. So he’s stuck in a cycle of guilt and self-hate, wanting to be a great king but choosing the easy way out (i.e. relying on Councilor Min’s schemes).

At least Rim has a loving brother in Jin. Though it will be interesting to know where the love for his baby brother ends and the fear for his position as crown prince starts. It’s still unclear how much Jin knows about Rim. Did he take care of Rim out of guilt? Or is he just desperate to cover up the truth for fear of another bloodbath? And now that truth is about to be blown into the open, will he still prioritize his little brother’s safety above all else like he did when he released the Catholics and took Sa-hee out of the bridal race?

While writing the recap, it struck me how obtuse Rim is with his repeated questions about his birth. But I realized that his reactions are pretty normal. You don’t assume you’re adopted just because your parents seem to play favorites. There could be a thousand different reasons for it. It’s great that Rim approaches the growing theory with skepticism because it forces him to keep digging for the truth and counter-checking his sources. Because only when he’s exhausted all other possibilities can he be sure that his conclusion is the right one.

Speaking of birth secrets, I feel confused about Hae-ryung’s character and how she’s been written this week. Her awareness of her father’s tragic end and adoptive relationship with Jae-kyung doesn’t make sense compared to her previous actions. She’s always struck me as a bold character, fighting goons to save a slave boy and risking the wrath of all palace clerks to protest late wages. She’s not the type to stay quiet knowing the great injustice done to her father. BUT if the promise to live a quiet life mattered so much to her, then why become a historian? And a meddling one at that? It feels inconsistent. As if the writer implanted a whole set of memories in her at the last minute to get the revelations coming.

Since @Laica will be doing the final recap, I’ll say goodbye to this gem of a show now. It isn’t perfect (heh, I just complained about the writing of Hae-ryung’s character) but it’s a wonderful homage to history. The people who fight for its accuracy, why they fight for its accuracy, and the dangers when Evil messes with it.

The message resonates a lot with me right now, what with the proliferation of fake news and my feeling of helplessness as we watch proven facts and injustices being overwritten by lies. We’re not official historians, but we can all be Hae-ryungs by refusing to swallow those lies (or even apparent truths!) whole, doing our own research and speaking up when we see villains attempting to twist the truth for nefarious purposes.

It’s ironic that a fusion sageuk would teach us the value of preserving facts, but I love Rookie Historian all the more for it. We’ve all seen how stories are weaponized to peddle lies, so a K-drama that does the exact opposite is a wonderful way of fighting back against the encroaching darkness. Though I’m still waiting for our Hae-ryung to acknowledge that stories do have their place in history. Maybe the impending revolution sparked by her brother’s novel about Ho Dam will finally convince her?

 
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It's hard to look back at these episodes when I'm full of warm feelings over the finale. One thing they accomplished was to bring Hae-ryung and Rim back together as a team, romance aside. Some beanies have complained about the birth secrets, but in this case, I think they work. Their fathers were at the center of the tragedy 20 years ago, and that makes them a natural team to work toward uncovering the mystery and setting things right. That common bond makes me so much more interested in their relationship than their romance.

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Also, although it was not particularly realistic, I liked that HR was the one who risked her safety to rescue Rim from the archers, and that Rim in turn was the one who sheltered her. I know the story needed him to get shot, but I couldn't help silently shouting, "Get more under cover! Get away from the edge!" I guess the fact that the queen was sitting sedately behind her curtains should have been a clue to who orchestrated that display.

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The birth secret was not unnecessary and added a lot of meaning to Rim’s growth.
The show didn’t go the ‘fated To be’ route thankfully. No childhood trope :)

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I love this show.... Muaks muaks

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I basically binged these two with the finale episodes which I think made the emotional impact of these episodes stronger. Rim really had no idea he was not the true son of the current king and that realization changed his whole life’s entire trajectory. He expounds on this more in the finale, but this was the start of his existential crisis. In real life, it would have taken more than a couple days to grapple with this so I appreciated the quiet mourning that he had with Hae-Ryung when he realizes he’s never been loved by the current king, nor has he ever really had a family. That was heartbreaking.

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He never had a mother or father, but he had Grandma (though he would have made different choices for himself than she did) and he had Jin (though he wasn't his brother by birth). They both loved him and looked out for him. That's actually more than Hae-ryung had. She just had her brother who wasn't her brother, and whom she even secretly knew was not her brother.

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Hae-Ryung knew she was loved by a parental figure and her adoptive brother doted on her. And although Rim was protected, never was he shown affection by a parent in my opinion. Only the Eunuch raised him and loved him, which although important, not the same and Rim felt abandoned all his life.

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He has desperately craved for his father's approval since he was a kid and tortured by the thought that he is hated because he's not good enough. He constantly had nightmares and that thought has been eating him alive (and as he later said, he'd rather die than suffer from it). Having a father who despised you, for me, is worse than having no father.

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Excellent observation, Mary. Especially the comment about how relevant this show is to the times we're living in. And even better because BOTH sides (although, there is probably many more than just the 2 opposing sides) believe the other side is using fake news. So you've managed to make us think without alienating anyone. Because (and I hope I don't alienate anyone) both sides spread fake news. Both sides close their eyes to truth when it doesn't fit their agenda.

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A very good drama with beautiful visuals and a satisfying ending. I am happy. All characters are very well written, realistic, with their own weakness and flaws (even the noble Crown Prince). Their actions even apply into today's world with all the surrounding cover-ups and fake news. I totally like Rim's choice to live his own life, travelling, writing (hope he earns some money there), while enjoying his relationship with HR - this is what young people are doing nowadays. I wish they could show some reunion scenes of Rim with Jin and Grandma.... a sequel with more bromance will be nice.

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Yesss, they really should’ve given us a scene with Rim and Jin happy together again. He could’ve stopped by the Palace, even if just for a hug from Hyungnim!!

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I wish Prince Dowon has a better actor. Each time i see the actor, i get pissed off. I can't get into his character. The side actors are better than him.

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I’ve been constantly surprised and pleased by the guest appearances in this show. Some examples: Lee Jong-Hyuk of CHUNO antihero fame turned into a scammer here (Ep.1-2), Kim Hyun-Soo as Rim’s thwarted bride to be, and of course Alcheon Rang from QUEEN SEON DEOK as the progressive dean of Soraewon. This is also the first time I’ve seen Yoon Jong-hoon in a likeable role - he was the hateful intern in MISAENG, but he really impressed me with his gravitas and kind heart as the deposed king.

About the attack: Queen Dowager is more ruthless than I thought if she is willing to get Rim shot to create a rift between the King and Minister Min!

Finally: “Can you imagine Jin begging for kisses?” I’d like to imagine it, but I can’t @mary! He’s such a righteous prince-bot. 😆

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The deposed king, for so little screentime left a lasting impression on my mind as a great leader and also a loving father in that one smile he gave Rim in the dream.

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I agree, in the last couple of episodes it was as if Hae Ryung was written by someone else.... Beacuse had they shown that her encounter with the soraewon woman & seeing her father's name & writing, &/or eavesdropping on her brothers conversation with that woman jogged her memories, it would have been a bit cliché, but more believable.
The last episode also glossed over some things, & while fitting, things ended too conveniently.
The crown princess getting divorce - as if being a divorcee daughter of a traitor was no big deal. It'd be different if they showed that the Saeja met her in secret & promised to free her when he found a way, that maybe somehow they portrayed to the world that she helped in bringing her father down, that she had a saintly but pitiable image for the peasant public.
That would make her future possibilities sound brighter even without any love angle.

The grandma planned for 20 yrs to topple the regime & make Yirim a puppet king, I doubt anything less than his suicide attempt would make her deviate from her plans. I don't buy that just a talk could change her mind.
Also she was ready to kill Jae kyung - so the orabeoni remaining alive doesn't make sense unless people pour in petitions for it, or Yirim pleaded for him.
However since she never treated Yirim as more than a chess piece, so even that explanation I can't totally gel with.

I feel like if the overall pacing of the story was better, the end could have been wrapped up much better.
It was a little too idealistic & unbelieba for what had been a pretty rooted drama till then.
Also they never explained YiRim's dreams - I don't buy divine intervention, unless he heard stories under a hallucinogen in sleep.

Had the writing filled in these gaps, this could have been an easy 9.5 (-0.5 for Eun Woo's acting) for me; as it is I give it an 8.

This is still one of the best period pieces I've watched so far (I haven't seen that many, maybe that's why 🤷🏻‍♀️)

What surprised me - that they didn't get married even after 3 years & were almost in a live in relationship. Ha maybe the writer is more courageous than I thought they would be, or I'm more orthodox. I never imagined they'd leave that marriage bit open. I thought they'd subjugate her by the end of the drama, & in the epilogue we'd see her pregnant or travelling with him & recording history around the country ; or maybe Yirim as king finding his feet with her as a Historian, no to queen, saeja dead & historian Min alive or Saeja on throne, Yirim going off & writing novels & taking social responsibility or some official post in remote areas, with GHR as a writer of secret opinion pieces in some local newspaper while still working as historian - groaning about her two jobs but enjoying them at the same time.
The third end scenario I thought was ML & FL as king & queen, finding their footsteps & struggling to wrest dowager's interference & the show ending like we...

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.... We started off as rookie historian & rookie novelist but now are rookie writers of the future of this country. The end.

Maybe I put in too much thought into this? I feel like I could rewrite some of this, make a fan fiction & turn into a perfect piece of gem. It's like an unpolished diamond in the rough.

Still Good, but it could have been amazing.

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Yes, while I was happy that marriage was over cause they were forced into it. It still made me feel bad for the former Crown Princess because she can't get married again while Yi Jin could. Yes, I agree about there should've been a scene between the former Crown Princess and Yi Jin about him helping her. So she could get married again or have a future doing whatever she wanted.

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I think Rookie would've done better with a few extra episodes to develop the revelations they raised at the 11th hour. But overall, this drama gave me all sorts of happy feels. Like a tray of lasagna, it could've used more time in the oven, but I'll take the cheesy goodness any time.

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Nice imagery!

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A wonderful, extensive recap .... Finally Rim discovered his true identity and made his existence known. Watching the finale made me want to watch more. Perhaps another season awaits next year?

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Agree. I hope so too. Haven't watched a saguek so excellent and beautiful in years.

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As if the writer implanted a whole set of memories in her at the last minute to get the revelations coming.

Preach.
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But as always, Rookie Historian will be getting a free pass from me, because there have been worse Disney Princess plots. And the only reason I'm not dissatisfied or angry about historical inconsistencies of this drama is that they seem to be done blatantly purposefully.
I consider Rookie Historian to be the ultimate Korean Disney period drama! It's a beautiful illogical Alternate Universe! \^0^/

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Exactly! I‘ve called it a 19th century utopia, but Disney period drama fits better.

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What historical inaccuracies? Could you please elaborate? I'd love to know.

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Oh dear, where to start? I was going to discuss that in the final recap thread, but the important thing to emphasize is that it did not detract from my enjoyment of the drama at all. It's pure historical fiction.

I was hesitant to start this drama because there never were female historians in Joseon to begin with , but that fictional premise didn't prevent the show from addressing some interesting historical issues.

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Anywhere & everywhere. I really enjoyed your posts regarding maps, books etc for RH, they multiplied my enjoyment!

So you can start with what all is historically accurate, what's inaccurate & what is a fictional premise created for the narrative of the drama ; & if it fits.

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Lol, that will require an essay-length post. @peony can comment on the accuracy of royal customs and dress better than I can.

I'm glad you enjoyed my posts. What seems clear to me is that the writers did their research and used lots of historical details to flesh out their fictional premise. More on that in the final recap.

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OMG Toki wrote about maps and books for RH?
I never knew! Thanks for the hint @maybemaknae
Off to read now....🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️

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This is my post on the map in Hae-Ryung's room: http://www.dramabeans.com/members/wishfultoki/?page=fan_wall&acpage=2#

Just scroll down my fanwall for the rest. (It is a hilarious mix of serious historian posts and carrot rantings).

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Haha you know me so well! Even before I saw your reply I was busy typing an "essay length" answer😂.
It indeed is utopia, compared with the life shown in non-Disney sageuks.

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Of course.
1. There actually weren't any female historians in Joseon dynasty. After Goryeo, with the spread of Confucian ideals, women's roles were greatly reduced. We hear instances of first female potters and painters and such here and there, even "myths" about female doctors, but never female historians. And it's highly unlikely there would EVER have been too, even when given chance, because it's highly unfathomable for them to handout an important "Holy Recorder of Holy History" to girls.
2. In this fictional universe, even though we say becoming a female historian is possible, the way their job is handled is unbelievable. They went all up in arms about apprenticeships and the seriousness of work blah blah, but within mere DAYS we see our four girls setting foot inside the VERY royal court and recording the most important of conversations.
In reality this would take years and they'd have to record minor conferences for practice beforehand.
3. Women in general, seem to have MUCH more easier life in the world of Rookie Historian. Crown Princess can just barge into her Royal Husband's quarters, not even alone but purposefully with recorders in tow and just yell and yell and yell. That sort of behaviour would have caused SERIOUS damage to her in a more realistic Joseon Sageuk.
Also, we see apprentices go around talking back and showing very little respect to the seniors they just met, and the seniors too wouldn't reprimand them much.
HOWEVER, I believe Queen Dowager character was consistent, they were the only people who could treat the King the way they did.
4. Historians had way too much fun bending the words and law, always saying "You can't punish a historian for doing her job" and such. I think it was quite the offense when Hae-ryung evesdropped on king, and would actually have resulted in lotsa bloody torture for DAYS, while she only had to sit tight until her workplace buddies made a dramatic rescue.
Now, if she was arrested because she tried to make an OFFICIAL entrance to King's convo, that'd be fair grounds for all that strike and wailing protest.
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That's all I was able to recall. Hope this helped☺. Please do note I'm not a History expert, all this little knowledge was gained from the Sageuks I watched, and this is how the life of government workers(not only females) was shown in workplace Sageuks like Dae Jang-geum, and Dong-yi, Yi-San, Horse Doctor and such.
I love those dramas in one way, and I love Rookie Historian in another way. I grant it the excuse of "Alternate Universe", and all is well with me.😄

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I see, thanks for pointing things out!
As for GHR eavesdropping & being jailed, the whole protest thing happened because she gave the excuse that she eavesdropped to do her job, & the king assumed she'd written stuff down in the Sachaek.
Technically the historians protested because the king ordered them to let him read the Sachaek, it wasn't over him imprisoning GHR.

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Ahh yeah right? Thanks for correcting me I quite forgot that part.
Then Historians did nothing wrong in that incident. But still the King had chance to punish Hae-ryung and when he gave up the fight, he gave up completely and wrote apologies even.
Honestly the reason nobody respects the king is he's so incompetent and whatever the leverages he kept, it was just thanks to Councillor Min, not because he thought for himself and took action.

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I’ve been quite touched by this show. The scene of Rim asking the king if has ever loved him was particularly touching.

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i liked these 2 episodes more than the last 2 episodes. i thought it was kinda sweet how they didnt need the two of them to have another conversation about their relationship after their initial "breakup." it was more like he knew what she was thinking, and she knew what he was thinking, and they were on the same page. esp after all those hurtful things she said to him after he literally confessed his love for her lol

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