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75

Tale of Nokdu: Episodes 11-12

No one ever said first love was easy and unfortunately for our hero, wrestling with new feelings is the least of his troubles. Now that his secret has been discovered by his romantic rival, Nokdu will have to tread carefully if he wants to continue living undercover… or living at all.

 
EPISODE 11: “Yul-moo Knows Nokdu’s Secret”

Having learned Nokdu’s secret, Yul-moo is further enraged to discover him leaning in to kiss Dong-joo (a second time). Dong-joo kicks Nokdu away, quickly telling Yul-moo that it’s a misunderstanding. Yul-moo’s attention is on Nokdu, however, and he orders him to come out. Just then, they hear the Virtuous Women Corps and Nokdu and Dong-joo yank Yul-moo inside.

The women call fro Lady Kim and Yul-moo fumes when Nokdu calls out to them in his feminine voice as he quickly dresses and joins them. Nokdu lies that Dong-joo is sleeping and the women tut that they should make up (after their “fight” over Yul-moo). He promises to do so and ushers them to bed. Afterwards, Dong-joo explains the situation to Yul-moo, adding that what he’d seen when he arrived was a mistake.

Nokdu argues that it wasn’t a mistake, but Dong-joo shushes him. She assures Yul-moo that Nokdu isn’t bad and reminds him that she’ll also be punished for hiding him. Unable to argue, Yul-moo begrudgingly agrees to keep quiet. To avoid another fight, Dong-joo promises to sleep at the gibang and she and Yul-moo depart.

That night, Dong-joo can’t stop thinking about the kiss and Nokdu’s confession. Her tossing and turning annoys her roommates so Dong-joo heads outside. She’s startled from her thoughts by the appearance of Nokdu. They sit together, but every time Nokdu opens his mouth, Dong-joo cuts him off from talking about the kiss ,asking which man she likes, or mentioning coughing. Hee.

Nokdu instead asks why she isn’t curious about his lie or the woman she’d mistaken for his lady in Hanyang. Dong-joo says she doesn’t care to know because she’s not interested in him. Stung, Nokdu tells her not to lie, but Dong-joo says she isn’t. Nokdu thinks she’s mad he kissed her without asking but Dong-joo coolly replies, “One kiss won’t wear down my lips.”

Adamant, Nokdu argues he’s sure he sensed she felt the same way but Dong-joo guesses he’s never dated before. She explains that this is why he was mistaken and chasing the wrong person. Dong-joo tells Nokdu to stop being clingy and sashays off. She stops however, and looks back to see Nokdu wiping tears from his eyes…. and then turns and leaves.

Prince Yeongchang is carried out to the city gate as the ministers look on. He begs to see his mother, knowing he’ll never get the chance again, but his cries fall on deaf ears as he’s loaded into a palanquin and exiled. Afterwards, Minister Heo meets with King Gwanghae, who asks if the prince cried. Minister Heo replies that the boy was brave after leaving the gate.

King Gwanghae remembers there was an uproar when his brother left and wonders bitterly if anyone had done that for him in the past. Minister Heo assures the king that he had and King Gwanghae agrees that Minister Heo is the only one that cared. “Even my father refused to acknowledge me,” the king says, “That’s why he left such a cruel dying wish.”

King Gwanghae continues that he may have never been king had Minister Heo not gotten rid of it. He says that’s why Minister Heo is the only one he trusts. “I am truly grateful, Your Majesty,” Minister Heo bows with teary eyes. However, when he returns home, we see that he didn’t actually destroy the past king’s command.

He flashes back to the night he’d taken the document from another minister — Dong-joo’s father! Minister Heo asks why he hadn’t revealed the document sooner and Dad admits he’d been waiting for the right time because King Gwanghae had taken the throne and Prince Yeongchang was still young. Minister Heo says Dad will be punished and Dad replies that Minister Heo will regret taking the royal order.

As we know, that night Dong-joo’s family was killed and Minister Heo had walked past the corpses as he exited the house. He’d paused next to a fire, but decided against destroying the document. Yoon-jo met him on his way home and proudly reported that King Gwanghae’s son was growing up well and suggested returning him now.

Minister Heo immediately dismissed the idea and showed him the royal order. The previous king had wanted to dethrone the Crown Prince and put his younger son, Prince Yeongchang on the throne. Minister Heo said he, Yoon-jo, and the child could end up dead. He ordered Yoon-jo to return and warned that if they met again, he wouldn’t show mercy.

Back in the present, Minister Heo’s lackey, Chil-seong, informs him that the Muweol Corps they’d had tailing Yoon-jo were dead and Yoon-jo is missing. Minister Heo asks if he’d retrieved the bodies of the women. Chil-seong shakes his head and says the body they do have is of a woman that was found dead at the village for widows. She’d been tortured and he thinks it was likely by the man that had been reported for sneaking into the village and fleeing to Hanyang (aka Nokdu).

Minister Heo orders Chil-seong to find both men, adding that they should bring Prince Yeongchang back. As Chil-seong rides off, he doesn’t notice Yoon-jo walking past.

Master Hwang meets with Nokdu, who admits he has yet to find the leader. He’d overheard them mention and island and suspects the kind is involved somehow. Nokdu worries whether he should continue digging if it turns out Yoon-jo had done something bad. However, he denies the possibility of Yoon-jo being caught in a conspiracy, recalling his mother blamed him on her deathbed. He resolves to investigate further. Master Hwang notices Nokdu’s been crying but Nokdu just mentions he hasn’t seen Aeng-du in a while.

Turns out Aeng-du has been crying nonstop since she outed Nokdu to Yul-moo. She’s pouting outside when Yul-moo happens upon her . She shouts that Nokdu is her sister, but Yul-moo cuts her off. Aeng-du starts sobbing again, asking if Nokdu is dead and saying she should die too. “Really?” Yul-moo asks, his face impassive, “All right, then. Let’s go.” He flings Aeng-du over his shoulder and she cries out for her father as he carts her away.

Nokdu returns home just as Dong-joo is leaving and Dong-joo says she’ll be working in the gibang kitchen starting today. Meanwhile, Yul-moo has brought Aeng-du to the kitchen. She asks if he’s not going to kill her and Yul-moo replies if she’s dead, who will eat his food. Aeng-du asks where Nokdu is and Yul-moo grumbles that since two ladies want to proctect him, he’s sparing Nokdu for now.

In return, Yul-moo wants Aeng-du to do him a favor — although we don’t hear what it is — and as Yul-moo smiles, the sun shines behind him and Aeng-du’s affections have officially transferred. Nokdu chases after Dong-joo to beg her not to go to the kitchen. Dong-joo already knows Yul-moo intends to keep her away from Nokdu and points out she needs to make money to pay Nokdu back (for buying her out of being a gisaeng).

Nokdu offers to give her a discount and Dong-joo barks at him not to be clingy. With sad puppy eyes, Nokdu says that he’s going to continue being clingy. Vowing to make her like him, Nokdu asks her not to go to Yul-moo. Dong-joo asks how he’s going to do that and walks away when Nokdu doesn’t have an answer. Nokdu scoops her up and starts running home… only for Dong-joo to walk back moments later, Nokdu trailing behind with a pouty mouth and a bloody nose. Hee.

She orders him to leave and Nokdu shuffles home. Dong-joo heads to the kitchen and as they work, Yul-moo promises not to say anything about Nokdu’s secret, but complains about them sharing a room. Dong-joo cuts him off and says Aeng-du lives with them and nothing will happen. Yul-moo drops it and asks instead about her drunken confession.

He wondrs if Nokdu is the person she likes and Dong-joo snaps that she has standards. Unable to hide his grin, Yul-moo tentatively asks if that means she likes him and is sorely disappointed when Dong-joo bites his head off. At the same time, Nokdu sneak up and spies on them from the gate, fuming at Dong-joo and Yul-moo’s close proximity.

Aeng-du pops up next to him and chides him for badmouthing her “dear Yul-moo.” Nokdu balks and Aeng-du says, “One thing led to another, and it just happened.” Nokdu is confused and Aeng-du repeats Dong-joo’s words about marriage and says she decided Yul-moo is better than Nokdu. Offended, Nokdu storms off.

Yeon-geun drinks with Master Hwang, exitedly calling him father-in-law. Yeon-geun asks Master Hwang to give him advice on winning Lady Kim’s heart and Master Hwang giggles that he’s a master of winning hearts… but only women. Heh. As Master Hwang starts to impart his wisdom, Nokdu bursts in to listen as well.

Dong-joo takes a basket of dishes to wash in the river and Nokdu watches her, thinking back to Master Hwang’s advice to be indifferent and kind, simultaneously. Nokdu chases after Dong-joo and snatches the basket away, following Master Hwang’s instruction to the letter as he scoffs at her, “Just go kill yourself. You’re so bad at this.”

Dong-joo is baffled and Nokdu pushes her down, explaining that he’s only helping because he has to. Annoyed, Dong-joo cracks him on the head with the basket and Nokdu whines that he’s being indifferent, yet kind. Hee. Pouting, he asks, “Why are you looking at me like that if you don’t like me.”

Looking away, Dong-joo asks what he’s talking about. Nokdu gently tilts her head back to him saying, “Like this.” Flustered, Dong-joo leaves and Nokdu shouts after her to be home for dinner. She doesn’t reply and he sighs that she never listens to her mother.

Minister Im tells King Gwanghae his plan to use the assistant captain of Ganghwa Island for some nefarious plot. The king worries that many people like Prince Yeongchang but Minister Im waves away his concern and King Gwanghae agrees that this will be a chance to discover who is willing to betray him.

The Muweol Corps trio discuss their next mission to assassinate the local functionary who planned the exile. His father is celebrating his birthday and security will be tight, but the women will be employed to cook. Sook says that afterwards, she’ll see if anyone has heard from their missing assassin before heading over to Ganghwa Island with the rest of the team.

Nokdu returns to the village, grumbling about Yul-moo, and runs into the women leaving. They tell him they’re going to cause trouble in Hanyang, but deny his offer to join them. Jeong-sook lets slip about the king and the island, but the others cut her off and shut down any questions as they depart. Meanwhile, Yoon-jo finally appears before Minister Heo, holding him at sword-point.

EPISODE 12: “Yul-moo’s True Colors”

Chil-seong meets the king on his way out and is forced to bring him to Minister Heo for a surprise visit. Meanwhile, Yoon-jo demands to know why Minister Heo sent assassins after his family when he’d kept his promise to disappear. Minister Heo sneers that he should’ve hidden himself better. They’re interrupted by the sound of the king approaching but when the king flings open the door, Minister Heo is alone.

The king eyes a partition where Yoon-jo is hiding suspiciously, but when he pulls it back, Yoon-jo is gone. Turning back to a shaken Minister Heo, the king suggests they play a game. Outside, Yoon-jo’s escape is blocked by the king’s guards outside the gate so Chil-seong leads him out the back way. At the same time, Muweol Corps spy on the house where Prince Yeongchang has been exiled.

At her hideout, Dong-joo has completed her bow and knows that the time has come to leave. Back home, Nokdu notes that Dong-joo is late for dinner. Aeng-du quips that his meal is nothing compared to what Yul-moo makes and Nokdu almost goes out to find her but stumbles back when Dong-joo comes through the door. She doesn’t even look at him as she grabs a pillow and lies down.

Nokdu asks if she’s going to eat and when Dong-joo replies she already has, Aeng-du nods, knowingly. Hurt, Nokdu loudly eats Dong-joo’s portion as she sighs heavily. The next day, Yul-moo eats with the king who asks what he thinks about when he cooks. Yul-moo says normally nothing, but he was happy this time because he was cooking with a girl he likes. King Gwanghae guesses a gisaeng and Yul-moo is forced to agree.

The Muweol Corps are busy working undercover, preparing for the birthday celebration, while Nokdu examines horse tails, trying to find the one he’d seen a few nights ago. When he returns to the gibang, he sees the arrival of the assistant captain of Ganghwa Island. Recognizing the name, Nokdu follows and listens in as the man drunkenly brags that the young prince was exiled to his island, resulting in his promotion.

Dong-joo’s gisaeng friend asks how the two things are related, but the man catches himself before he can do more than mention the feast in Hanyang and waves it off. When he gets up to use the bathroom, Nokdu tails him. Nearby, Dong-joo is selling her possessions to a merchant when she sees Nokdu pass by. When they’re in a secluded area, Nokdu pulls a knife and demands the assistant captain explain about the feast.

The captain refuses and before Nokdu can press him, Dong-joo calls out to Nokdu and he quickly hides the knife, allowing the assistant captain to escape. Nokdu yells that he’s a pervert and tells Dong-joo to get help as he gives chase. He corners the man again only to be interrupted once more, this time by Lady Cheon.

The assistant captain tells her Nokdu attacked him and LAdy Cheon wrenches the knife from Nokdu… and turns it on the assistant captain, repeating Nokdu’s questions. They discover he was hired to kill Prince Yeongchang and Lady Cheon slits the assistant captain’s neck. Nokdu guesses she’s the boss but she says she’ll explain later and orders him to find Ssook and warn her of the trap. Nokdu runs off and when Lady Cheon turns around, her eyes widen as a man steps out from behind a tree, though we don’t see his face.

The Muweol Corps ladies grow restless at the eerie quiet and suspect something is wrong. A man bumps into one of the women and her sword clatters to the ground, setting off a battle. Nokdu arrives in the middle of the fracas just in time to help SSsook out of a tough spot. He explains he was sent to warn them and she orders him to go ahead to the temple and buy them time.

As he rushes off, Nokdu smirks that just buying time isn’t any fun. The guards at the temple block him from entering and Nokdu simpers that if the place is off-limits, they shouldn’t have let their guards down… before knocking them out. The Muweol women finish slaughtering the men that attacked them and head off to the temple , unaware that one man had survived.

They rush inside to find Nokdu calmly waiting next to an already subdued local functionary. As they walk home, Nokdu asks why Ssook took on the role of the Muweol Corps. She says because they’re the only ones who live in freedom. She reveals she’d also escaped horrible in-laws after her husband died and says many of the other women suffered worse. Their boss allowed them to live better lives, but the situation outside the village is unchanged.

She explains that they help widows, because no one else will. Nokdu asks if killing the local functionary was because he harmed widows and Ssook admits that’s not the case, but remains firm that they’re striving to make the world a better place for those without power. Back home, they report to Lady Cheon and she agrees to induct Lady Kim into the Muweol Corps. She then sends Nokdu out to discuss something private with Ssook.

The next day, Dong-joo recalls some men discussing the assistant captain. They say he wasn’t a pervert and has mysteriously vanished. Elsewhere, Yul-moo eats with Aeng-du and we discover their deal was for Aeng-du to spy on Dong-joo and Nokdu and report back any developments in their relationship. Unfortunately, Nokdu didn’t come home last night so she doesn’t have gossip.

Instead, Aeng-du whines that Dong-joo kept her up all night, sighing and waiting for Nokdu to return home. Yul-moo’s face hardens.

That night, Ssook sends Nokdu home after his orientation, shooting down the suggestion that he stand watch tonight. At home, Dong-joo waits for Nokdu and perks up when someone enters the house only for Yul-moo to step forward. She warns him he can’t be there, but he replies ominously that he’s allowed.

Minister Heo meets with his other conspirators. With the trap, they know the king is aware people are trying to protect Prince Yeongchang. Minister Heo says he’d sent someone to bring him back and that they’ll carry out their plan the following day. Meanwhile, a figure approaches the village and Yul-moo exits Dong-joo’s room. Nokdu sees him leaving.

The conspirators argue whether now is a good time to put Prince Yeongchang on the throne while others point out waiting too long isn’t good either. They freeze when Yul-moo enters, a wicked smirk spread across his face. He tells them not to bother, as he’s already taken care of it and tosses Prince Yeongchang’s bloody robe onto the table.

A flashback reveals he was the man that approached Lady Cheon in the forest. She’d shakily asked if he’d keep his promise and he’d told her her job begins now. Then we see the previous night that the Muweol Corps at Prince Yeongchang’s exiled home were blocked by Yul-moo’s lackey, who pulled out a note written by Lady Cheon. The women had stepped down and he’d gone in to kill Prince Yeongchang.

One of the conspirators rushes Yul-moo in a rage and he mercilessly cuts the man down. At home, Dong-joo hugs herself tightly. Nokdu arrives and she smiles in relief, but he orders her to follow him. He takes her to the gibang and Dong-joo asks why he won’t look at her. Nokdu tells her to stay in a bright room and she asks about the missing assistant captain and the real reason Nokdu came to the village of widows. He promises to explain later and walks away.

Back at the meeting, Yul-moo tuts that he hates noise. “Grand Prince Neungyang!” Minister Heo bellows at Yul-moo — it’s his real name and he’ll later become King Injo. Yul-moo tsks that they shouldn’t bicker and that their plan can continue… only with him succeeding the throne instead of Prince Yeongchang. Nokdu, who’d followed, peaks into the door but slinks away when the mysterious figure that had entered the widows village walks up.

Minister Heo says he’s not threatened by Yul-moo and Yul-moo says he’s not issuing a threat (yet), he only came by to say hello today. “So you want to be king?” Minister Heo asks, “”Do you think you have what it takes?” Nokdu steps out to meet the figure and is stunned to come face-to-face with the king.

 
COMMENTS

Ooooooooh, y’all I love a good twist. Yul-moo was a sweet second lead, but his character was really nothing we haven’t seen a million times over and I’ve been growing more irritated with his intrusion into Dong-joo’s life as the drama goes on. She’s explicitly stated that she doesn’t want a relationship with him and has asked multiple times for him to leave her alone, and yet he persists. He says he respects her choice and yet his actions would disagree. It was fair for him to be upset upon learning Nokdu’s secret, but enlisting Aeng-du as a spy was a bit much.

So I’m thrilled to find out that his gentle demeanor was simply a mask for a sick and twisted lunatic. Grand Prince Neungyang is waaaaaaaay more fun and now his toxic behaviors fit better into his character, because he is controlling and crazy and I love it! He makes for such an interesting villain which is great because the king and the ministers just weren’t doing it for me. Yul-moo has a solid agenda and has no qualms straight up murdering a child to do it. King Gwanghae didn’t have much of a soft spot for his younger brother either, but he still hesitated for fear of backlash by the people.

Yul-moo gives zero rat patooties and that ups the stakes going forward. I do like this setup of multiple people/groups all opposing each other because apart from Nokdu, who just wants to uncover the truth, everyone else’s motives are murky and the king and Minister Heo in particular are hard to pin down because they often appear conflicted and unsure of their choices. It’s a fun study of good and evil because most of the opposing forces are floating around in a gray area. Yul-moo, on the other hand, has pretty much solidified his “badguy” role with the whole child murder thing.

But as they didn’t show Prince Yeongchang’s death, there’s still a teensy bit of wiggle room where he could turn out to not be a psycho… but I’m kinda hoping he is. He’s just more fun this way and a far more compelling opponent for Nokdu when he has more on his agenda than just convince a girl to love him… because frankly that was a losing battle. Fun as it is to watch Nokdu get jealous, there’s real conflict to be had. Like two men vying for the throne.

I’m still not convinced Nokdu is the king’s son. It seems too easy and I still like @lollypip’s theory that it could actually be his brother. Either way, Nokdu is in the middle of it and he’s caused enough trouble on his own to make himself a target regardless of his lineage. I’m dying to know what’s going to happen now that he’s come face-to-face to his maybe-biological father.

This is the first episode where I really got on board with the political intrigue. The king vs ministers battle is one I’ve seen time and again so it’s hard to hold my attention but it amps up exponentially when you have another contender in the ring. And if Nokdu gets in there, it’ll be a free-for-all. The throne finally feels connected to the central plot whereas before, we knew it was going to be important because of birth secrets, but as long as Nokdu remained ignorant, it didn’t seem urgent. Yul-moo, however, is a loose cannon and although I think Nokdu is very close to learning some of his past, I think that’s enough to make this battle royale (hehe, puns) relevant to everyone.

As fascinating as all this is, though, I haven’t forgotten about the romance! It’s taken a bit of a backseat as Nokdu tries and fails to get Dong-joo to admit to the one thing she’s trying her darndest to deny. The girl is stomping so hard on her own feelings that she’s beating up Nokdu’s as well, so hopefully she’ll give in soon because seeing him cry just broke my heart. I just hope he doesn’t take any more dating advice from Master Hwang.

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I liked Yulmoo (probably because of My First First Love), so I was horrified by the plot twist, but I agree this makes the drama 100x more interesting. Dongjoo being a noble idiot and Nokdu perpetually saying "I'll tell you later" was starting to get on my nerves but now we have other things to worry about, lol.

Side note, I would love it if Aengdu grows up and marries Injo and becomes an evil mukbang queen.

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LoL. I'd definitely watch that Aeng Du the evil mukbang queen spinoff drama.

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I would be happy with an ending that had our characters enjoying a feast cooked up by Yul-moo. Not going to happen, but still...

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Nokdu and him pretending to be a woman was quite fun. And the look suited him. I wonder if there is going to be any need for him to continue pretending now that things have started to change (drastically). Yul Mu turned out to be a child murdering psycho. I find Aeng du a little annoying expecially in this and the next episode.

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I'm not liking Aeungdu either!! She's cute but very loud and annoying!!

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Nokdu came face to face with the king -- and perhaps his father -- but only saw a man who was about to intrude on a very dangerous meeting.

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I was genuinely like in a very long time in dramaland where i was left "OMG" with that plot twist that didn't see it coming at all...Yulmoo was freaking scary when he entered the temple and had that expression on his face!!!!(Kudos to Kang Tae Oh for that,he actually rocks the evil roles)
Now,still curious what Dongjoo plan truly is,why he keeps buying those accesories,does she want to enter in the Palace to assassinate the King or what...I'm curious if Dong joo actually knows the true status of Yulmoo or she just believed he was a noble...I guess now it answers why her poor family was killed,making it the more sad....

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The accessories have me puzzled, to. It maybe part of some disguise (or reason, e.g. high end merchant) she is planning to get into the palace - she’s dedicated her life to assassinating the king.

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And yes, the actor playing Yul-moo did a wonderful job going from a “why did they put him in?” kind of character to a mad bloody no holds barred contender for the throne.

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Oh no she was his fiancee!! She didn't know he was crazy!! Poor Dongjoo!!

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No one knew he was crazy thats why it makes for such a good twist.

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Found it weirder that she might not know he was royalty

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She didn't know?? Maybe his family was disguised as yangban!!

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Kang Tae Oh really step up his game in this last two episode. It's not he is bad before, it's just there is nothing he can explore or show before. And the acting of some our supporting character delivered too the moment the show rise the conflict and intensity. I'm still bit dissapointed with some of the veteran they choose. Some of them are lackluster.

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Re: veteran. Maybe it is on purpose so they won't steal the show. But then Nokdu isn't the usual heavy saeguk, so I doubt they pay much attention to those.

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Yeah, It's abit unfair to them since I compare them to the veteran in My Country. They are doing a good job casting 3 female widows, Yun Yoo-Sun, and Lee Moon-Sik though. I hope they step up their game the moment conflict get focus on them

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After this drama I'm 100% a fan of Kang Tae-oh, he and Choi Ri stole the show for me in My First First Love so I was super excited to see him in this drama but I'll admit his character was edging on boring for me so I was SO GLAD when that plot twist came, the music, the acting, everything was so perfect and I didn't know he could show this much range, now I'm so much more invested in the politics of this drama. Also need to go do my research because I'm bad with my princes and kings.

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I can’t remember the last time everyone on here was so caught of guard by a such a huge twist, and I LOVE IT. I’m so glad that Kang Taeoh’s character is more than just your average second male lead with predictable lines (does anyone watching extraordinary you think it’s funny when we think of characters and extras and lines now? 😂). He was okay in My First First Love, but I think he’s a lot more dynamic/interesting here, and he looks like he’s going to be a compelling, memorable villain.

I’m all aboard the romance here, and I’m waiting with every ounce of patience for Dongjoo to feel safe enough to open her heart and be honest about her feelings. I know she’s committed to what I’m guessing is a mission to avenge the tragic deaths of her family, and possibly afraid that if she succeeds, it’s the end of life as she knows it: either she’ll be captured and executed or she’ll have to live in hiding forever. Without the full details, it’s hard to really say, but the one thing I do know for sure is that our Nokdu would never leave her! He’s fallen for her hard, and he seems like a dependable, committed man.

(With solid abs.)

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ugh, typos, that’s what I get for writing these without my glasses 😅

“...caught OFF** guard...”

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solid, dependable abs...

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Well defined abs!!

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Honestly, my immediate reaction to the twist was really negative. The twist seem to screamed too much like "TWIST!! GOTCHA!" to me. I also have weird reactions to killers who also prepare food. Like are the swords/knives he use for killing also used for making shaved ice and cutting up vegetables? Or does he keep separate killing and cooking instruments?

This is admittedly more interesting than the traditional baddies in these sorts of dramas. The palace stuff was circling the drain. I was a little worried about how they were going to fill the rest of the episodes, so this twist gives the drama more possibilities. Since Yul-moo will end up being king (and a crappy king at that), I'm curious about how the story will unfold and end. And I'm glad Kang Tae Oh has a meatier role to play.

But the poor young prince. He seemed like a really sweet kid! I think he's like 99.99% dead - just look at Yul-moo's crazy eyes.

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Lol. What's wrong with killers having hobby like cooking? He needs something to do when he's not, you know, have crazy eyes and crave blood.
I would think he's using a different knife for cooking. I would think it is extremely difficult to use a sword to make shaved ice, although they made it look very easy in those wuxia movies/dramas. ;)

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It's not about having a hobby but I assume ar is concerned about hygiene ;)

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In that case, I hope ar never get to watch Hell. LOL.

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The cooking knives 😂

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Ohhh, you made me laugh out loud

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Nokdu is just the sweetest and such a softie. Pair that up with Jang Dong Yoon’s baby face and he’s just the cutie that you can’t bear to see his heartbroken. I might be in the minority but Dong Joo’s tsundere attitude is starting to become just plain mean. I wish she’d get her head out of her ass and start being more true to herself.

On another note HOLY COW that twist!! I did not expect that. Yul moo’s change in expression was just wow that I couldn’t believe what I watched in the first half of this episode was the same person. But this just makes everything so much more interesting and complicated.

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I agree with you on many points. Especially Dongju's denial. It seems silly mainly because her plan to single-handedly murder the king seems, frankly, downright ridiculous. Her earlier botched attempt to assassinate the king caused many innocent people's arrest and torture (including Noku's). Unless she shows some genius invention skills or some very clever political mastermind, no matter what she does, it seems like a suicide wish that stems from depression and guilt. Considering that Dongju's clearly suffering from PTSD, it's understandable, but I hope that she'd stop being a noble idiot and accept her feelings for Nokdu. Her mother's dying wish was "Live, my darling." Dongju should take Nokdu's hands because he offers love, light and most of all, life.

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But she's suffering from survivors guilt so expecting her to be logical and fully well adjusted would be a stretch. I'm surprised she's managed to continue living 'normally' for this long. This is one of the cases where the male lead needs to heal the female lead. However it's not going to be easy for her to take his hand until she comes to terms with her guilt.

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That will be the main storyline, I guess. Dongju's realization and acceptance. I understand that, but just expect more from her side of the story. Unlike Nokdu, her secret activities have shed little light on her plan. Surely Dongju's clever and strong. The fact that she remains not only sane but brave, compassionate and even lovely, shows the strength of her character. However, her revenge plan seems unreasonable so far. Hopefully, they show more development of her grand plan in the coming episodes.

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I expect they will because we are only on the 7th episode. More than half the drama is still pending.

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I think it was the old man who threw the rock at the King who caused the arrest. Nokdu interrupted Dong Joo's shot so she never even had a chance to push through with her plan.

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It was Dongju's arrow and the old man's stone, to be precise. Her plan was thwarted by the chance bumping with Nokdu. Doesn't seem like a solid plan to me.

I just want the director/writers to show a more daring proactive side of Donju that can justify her rejection of Nokdu. She's supposed to be a very focused young woman. Anyway, judging from the trailer, [spoiler removed] Can't wait.

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First i think yulmu just an ordinary 2nd lead who gentle and sweet, and BAAAM... plot twist!!!

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Prince Neungyang seems so evil it's hard to imagine an historically accurate outcome that won't be a bad ending for the show, the country and our leads once he becomes king. It would be better if Nokdu kills him off and takes his place, but then he'd have to take responsibility losing 2 wars and being a failure as king. Maybe our leads can emigrate? Go into hiding?

Actually, some periods of Korean history just suck and its hard to make a show with a happy ending.

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I'll be happy if they make an alternate ending where things don't end do badly. It's a drama and artistic licence is permitted isn't it? A happy enfiy should be allowed even if it doesn't fully follow history since it's a fictional drama.

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Sorry for so many typos *face palm*

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That's exactly what I was wondering. I can't put my thinking into words right now. Would be interesting to see what resolution the show will come to.

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I believe this writer has changed history before, so anything's possible.

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I'm in support of changing history. They deserve a happy ending.

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Yeah, in such turbulent times, our protagonists would have a hard time to live in peace and harmony. Maybe we could get some clue from Heo Gyun's vision in Hong Gildong. (Though recently it is claimed that he didn't write the novel.) At least they might go to an island and build an egalitarian community. Who knows?

From history, we know for a fact that Heo Gyun/Yun will be executed for treason in 5 years' time. He'd be hanged, drawn and quartered. Yuk. Gwanghae was enraged by his betrayal, it seems. And in another 5 years, Neungyang will be in power through the coup in 1623.

I'm dying to know how the story of Nokdu and Dongju will unfold through this historical timeline. Hope they'd find small but certain happiness in those times.

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I'm actually more than okay if they make a sad ending.

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Actually, some periods of Korean history just suck and its hard to make a show with a happy ending.

yep, hahaha. The sad and unfortunate truth. But since the show is titled Joseon RomCom—The Tale of Nokdu, I’m guessing the writers will do a little revising of the history, just to make sure our leads get their happily ever after.

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Since they said RomCom in the title I want to hope for a happy ending. NokJoo couple deserve a happy life together after a lifetime of being on the run and in hiding.

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nok du dont like to being on the run and in hiding, so may be the next hong gil dong or moonlight again.

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According to an early episode, the translation I watched between brothers at the beach, Nok du wanted to be a general one day.

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Poor Dongjoo and Nokdu!! Let them be happy!!

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China is close and spacious?

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I think what I love about the development of this episode is, how Nokdu finally earn the trust of the whole assasin group and learn how he learn they actually not as bad as he thought they are. The conversation between Ssoo and Nokdu is touching.

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in want to ship them ^^

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I can't remember the last time I had such a BIG shock about a character twist.

Yul Moo had always seemed kind and pleasant. He had me fooled. I did not notice any bad vibes from him. Perhaps, the show could have dropped a few mysterious clues alluding to his persona. After all his failed attempts to gain Dong Joo's love, his character could have become clingy, sad, and pathetic. Instead, he went through a drastic transformation, becoming terrifying and violent. Almost unbelievable. I keep thinking back about the past comedic scenes like him running away from Nokdu's pursuit and him choosing to fall in the pond. Kang Tae Oh was absolutely convincing in his evil reveal though. I haven't seen him in anything before. But now days after the initial shock, I'm interested in seeing him show more emotions besides the happy, smiley facade.

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They got me fooled and how. It also basically means nokdu kissed his uncle and future king. I love all the places this drama is going.

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O__O

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HAHAHAHA!!

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Kang Tae Oh, you had me at your crazy eyes! Be the biggest, baddest, maddest baddie ever please! And then cook up a storm to celebrate your evilness with Aengdu. That would be an awesome combination of your insanity, comic timing, and cuteness. Audience won't know how to feel, to love you, hate you, ship you; there'll be a netizen comment storm! Can't wait.

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It’s refreshing to have a tsundere female lead and a clingy male one. Lol at his father-in-law outing him for crying after being rejected by a woman. Poor Nok Du!

Kang Tae Oh! I didn’t know you could play a good villain. I’m glad they gave you this role to show off your range.

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This drama and it's gender reversals are my fave! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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Nobody could have seen the twist coming. It was genius move by the writers to give that twist. I was wondering what the relevance of Cha Yoolmu would be to the story then they threw that in my face. I like writing where I can't predict how things will go and this is just that drama. I don't know what will happen next but now I care for all the characters. Even the King and his frenemy relationship with Minister Heo and Nokdu's adoptive father. Good way to keep me invested and caring.

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Ok, I enjoyed the twist but I wasn't fan of acting during that reveal, this "I'm so evil now" scowl was eye-roll worthy.
And kudos to writers that the twist didn't dominate the story entirely and we still were served romcom part, Nokdu was so hilarious and earnest in his attempts to win DongJoo heart and I enjoyed Aengdu parts a lot more this time, still hoping she will has a chance to beat YulMoo into submission. And intrigue part are really way more interesting when they don't concern the palace, I loved the actors playing king and officials in their other works but something is off here, writing?

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No the writing isn't problematic but this the my 1st time seeing older actors being greatly out acted by younger actors. Maybe the younger ones have the more dynamic characters or it might be because of they have more screen time but the presence and gravitas of the three main leads dominates over the trio of older actors. Whatever it is I like this reversal in acting power. I've almost never seen it in any other drama. Says a lot about these three young stars.

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JDY-KSH-KTO are daebak!! So much talent!!

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I was actually laughing at Yul-moo's insane evil smirk for some reason but DANG, things just got REALLY interesting. If I wasn't invested before, I am now.

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Holy moly I did not see that twist coming. That truck of doom crashed right into me and how. Just like the recapper I'm still calling red herring on the secret birth story. This drama never hits pause on plot which is fabulous.

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This drama is the best!! Always full of surprises!! Yoolmu ottoke!!

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The palace plot was boring me in the previous episodes, so I didn't pay much attention to it. There is one thing confusing me. Why did the king order his son's (who may or may not turn out to be Nokudu) death?

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This drama is both intense and adorable! Too good and the romance keeps moving along organically! I'm so happy with this plot development! 👏👏

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This drama went to a very dark place in this episode and I'm not complaining. This was a much needed twist.

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Rat patooties!

I was so hyped about getting hyped about the deliciously evil... then I got to that part in your comments and just giggled in surprise.

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I am just stopping by to say that Yulmoo terrifies me.

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I was totally caught off-guard seeing Yul-Moo's twist. When I saw him having a meal with the king, I thought: "Ohh, that's why he has such a power to take care of the officials. it's because he's the king's favorite chef". But no, he's far more important. His 180-degree flip in character, though, shocked me real hard. But thinking back, they kinda hinted it since last episode when he learned Nok-Du's secret from Aeng-Doo. The look in his eyes completely changed into something I haven't seen from him before, almost murderous, I have to say.

But upon learning that he will eventually become king (from the on-screen character description), I immediately think of a happy ending. He gets the thrown, while Nok-Du and Dong-ju get to be together. Maybe, he'll let them live (hopefully, not in hiding or pretending to be dead).

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*the throne

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is anyone else confused about the whole politics story? im not sure if it's cuz i have a hard time recognizing who is who...the flashbacks...remembering the names....but i'm so confused about what is going on lol

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I love this drama! It's amazing how pretty Jang Dong-yoon is acting as a woman, and yet how handsome and masculine he is as a man.

This is one of my current favorites. I've never seen any of these actors that I can recall - maybe the FL, but if so, she was forgettable, but I like her well enough in this role. But the ML and second ML are my favorites. I was shocked-not-shocked when Yul-moo flipped to full throttle Evil Plotter to Take the Throne. As we didn't see the murder of Prince Yeongchang, I wasn't sure he actually carried it out. However, he certainly looks psycho (I checked Wikipedia to get some info on King Injo, and it sounds as if he had a lengthy, but troubled, unsuccessful reign, and murdered his own son, so the psychopathic vibe may well be accurate).

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I know so much happened this episode but the only think on my mind is that Dong Joo's hideout is too much in the open and that anybody can stumble upon it!😂 Also I get so uncomfortable every time lady Kim lies down imagining the bun stick bothering her!! How can she (he😂) sleep with it!?

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