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My Country: The New Age: Episode 13

One revolution may be over, but the work of building a new nation has only begun. Our heroes face the aftermath of a night that changed both of their lives forever, but not necessarily for the good. It’s not they will choose to live in this new world that will make or break them, and whether they can let the past go and move on.

 
EPISODE 13 RECAP

Hwi and his friends arrive at the palace just as Bang-won is telling the sobbing king that his youngest son is dead because of his greed. The sight makes Hwi cry, and his friends give him privacy when he walks away.

In the morning, Bang-seok’s body is prepared for burial. Still covered in blood, Bang-won finds King Taejo and mocks him for putting on a dramatic show of grieving to earn the people’s sympathy and make him into the villain again. He says that he’ll know when the king’s tears are sincere, because it will be the day he loses his country.

Bang-won finds Hwi, aware that Hwi is shocked and saddened that he killed his own brother. He tells Hwi that it was necessary to break his father’s spirit, but Hwi just says wearily that too many people have died or been injured just so he could get his revenge.

Bang-won says they both did what they had to do, for revenge and for revolution. But Hwi just sighs, “I am exhausted. I wish to rest now.” He walks away, but he suddenly spits up blood and collapses, his internal organs damaged by the medicine he’s been taking to counter the effects of the viper poison.

After leaving Hwi with a doctor, Bang-won thanks Hee-jae for her help by stopping the king from entering the city gates last night. He offers her a reward, so she asks for Hwi’s freedom. Bang-won admits that Hwi has never truly been his, and when Hee-jae warns him not to get attached, he says, “Our emotions can’t be controlled.”

Thankfully, there was one other survivor at Chwiwoldang besides Sun-ho — Sung-rok, who takes the badly injured Sun-ho to their hideout. He warns Sun-ho to stay in the hideout, because those who fought against Bang-won are being arrested and killed. Sun-ho tries to make Sung-rok leave and save himself, but Sung-rok refuses to abandon his master.

At his mother’s shrine, Bang-won tells her that she’ll now be remembered officially as a queen. Growing morose, he wonders how much more blood he’ll have to spill to create the world he dreams of. At the same time, King Taejo sits by Bang-seok’s body and despairs that revenge for the death of his son will only be fulfilled by killing another son.

Bang-won confronts King Taejo in the throne room and admits that Bang-beon, the king’s older son with Queen Sindeok, will also have to die. The king draws his bow and aims at Bang-won, who asks why he hesitates when he’s already committed unforgivable acts. He spreads his arms wide and invites King Taejo to kill him right now, but King Taejo lowers his bow, growling that Bang-won is a monster.

He says that Bang-won just wants the throne, so he’s come up with excuses to justify his actions. He says a true king protects those weaker than him and lets go of those stronger, but Bang-won deserts those weaker than him and destroys those who are stronger. He refuses to let Bang-won have the throne when all he sees in him is bloodlust.

Bang-won says that the bloodshed will begin and end at the palace with disloyal subjects. He claims that the blood spilled will strengthen the people, but King Taejo only replies, “That blood should have been yours.”

Bang-won orders King Taejo to make his second son, Bang-gwa, the new crown prince, then step down. He tells his father to admit that he was wrong to violate the rules of primogeniture (that says the eldest legitimate son should inherit the throne) and claim that Lord Nam and Sambong influenced him to do it.

The king aims his bow again and shoots the topknot right off of Bang-won’s head, growling that this is still his country. Bang-won doesn’t even flinch, he just turns and walks away.

Sun-ho leaves the hideout and goes to the palace, where the bodies of his father and the other officials killed last night are displayed under banners pronouncing them traitors. Bang-won and Tae-ryong see him there, but Bang-won stops Tae-ryong from arresting Sun-ho, saying that they need to be careful who they kill and that they’ll wait and see what Sun-ho does next.

When Hwi is feeling better, Hee-jae reminds him of his father’s words: “Do not let anyone oppress you, that’s the only way you won’t collapse. Do not let anyone intimidate you even if they’re stronger than you, only then can you hold out.” She reveals that Seo Geom once saved her from Ganggae and said those words to her, which allowed her to hold out for all these years.

She tells Hwi that she doesn’t want him to think she only cares about him because she feels indebted to his father — she cares because of who he is. Touched, Hwi hugs her, then she gives him a note with Sun-ho’s location, knowing he’ll be worried about his old friend.

Hwi finds Sun-ho just as he’s about to take his sword to his own throat and end his life. He grabs the blade with his bare hand, but Sun-ho just tells him to let go. “Do you want to see me wrecked?” he asks with tears in his eyes.

“Will that make you feel better? Why can’t I even kill myself? I’m sick and tired of seeing you and thinking about you. So go away, please!” Hwi does as his friend asks and lets go of his sword. But before he goes, he asks Sun-ho one last favor… to live. After he’s gone, Sun-ho drops his sword and hangs his head.

Meanwhile, Hwi takes his own sword out to the middle of the bamboo forest. He draws the blade, still covered in blood, and he smashes it against a rock then leaves the pieces on the forest floor.

He heads to the marketplace where the battle was fought last night, and where Chi-do, Jang Beom, and Moon-bok are helping tend to the wounded. Jang Beom suddenly collapses from a badly bleeding stomach wound that he was hiding. Hwi apologizes to him, but Jang Beom says that they know Hwi fights because he’s trying to save lives, so there’s nothing to apologize for.

The four friends decide to hold a ceremony for everyone who died in the revolt, so they stay up half the night burning scrolls with the names of the dead written on them, and afterward, they talk about their future plans.

Chi-do wants to keep teaching, but instead of killing, he wants to teach his students to survive. Moon-bok says he’s going to invent a medicine that regrows hair and get rich, hee. They ask Hwi what he wants, and he says, “I don’t want to see anyone get hurt or sick anymore. I want to see smiles. I want to see you hyungs smile, and Hee-jae, too.” Awww, that’s so Hwi.

Now that things have calmed down, Bang-gan grows jealous of Bang-won and the way he incites fear in everyone. Cheonga is still working for him as a double agent, and Bang-gan asks him what we’re all wondering — what’s up with the hair?

Cheonga explains that as an outcast from birth, he can’t wear a topknot until he has a child. He asks how long he has to keep spying, worried he’ll end up dead, but Bang-gan promises to make sure he gets to wear a topknot before he dies. Cheonga reveals that he’s found Sun-ho, and Bang-gan decides to use Sun-ho to make his move.

With nothing to live for but unable to die, Sun-ho dedicates his energy to getting drunk. Bang-gan mentions that he probably wants revenge on Bang-won for killing his father, but Sun-ho isn’t interested in fighting for someone else’s grudges.

He staggers away, but he doesn’t get far before the palace guards find him and knock him out. They drag him before Bang-won with the rest of the stray traitors, but Bang-won immediately sets him free again. Sun-ho asks why, since Bang-won killed Sambong’s children, and Bang-won says it’s out of gratitude for stirring up the king so much that he was able to revolt.

Sun-ho sneers that killing your own brothers is a sin, not a revolution, and that discriminating against illegitimate children is evil. But Bang-won tells him that that’s the very reason he’s letting Sun-ho live — he’s not Lord Nam’s son, he’s just an illegitimate child and not worth killing.

Sun-ho vows to take everything from Bang-won and make him regret not killing him, but Bang-won gets in his face and tells him, “Regret is an excuse for the weak.” Looking Bang-won right in the eye, Sun-ho retorts, “I will return for your neck.”

He leaves the palace and finds Sung-rok waiting for him. Sung-rok tosses Sun-ho his sword and says that he has a plan — there are still some Jurchen soldiers in the north, and the Jurchens follow their deputy chief if the chief dies. By killing both the chief and the deputy chief, Sun-ho and Sung-rok could become their new leaders, and have an army to use against Bang-won.

King Taejo receives a report on the revolt, and he learns that the palace guards were all killed in the market outside Sajeong Gate. He realizes that Lord Nam’s request for a market in that location was part of the plan, but that Lord Nam wasn’t aware it was a trap. Furious, he swears to punish all those who were involved in executing Bang-won’s uprising.

Bang-won takes Hwi for that drink they planned after the revolt was successful. Hwi prevents Bang-won from drinking too much, and Bang-won asks if Hwi thinks he’s taking the right path. He admits that he’s unsure and scared, and afraid of how history will remember him.

Hwi says it’s that fear that will keep Bang-won going, so never to let go of it. Bang-won asks if he’s leaving, and Hwi replies that all he’s ever done is bury bodies, but he doesn’t want to live that way anymore.

After Hwi leaves, Bang-won summons Jang Beom and mentions how he killed his master and his son (for killing his wife and baby) when he was a slave. Jang Beom thinks he’s about to be dismissed, but instead, Bang-won says that his master deserved to die and gives Jang Beom his slave ownership paper, then invites him to destroy it in the fire.

Jang Beom tearfully thanks Bang-won for letting him live as a human and not an animal anymore. Bang-won says that Jang Beom can leave him any time he pleases, because keeping people by his side (without their consent) is greedy of him.

At Ihwaru, Gyeol warns Hee-jae that the king will learn that she’s the one who burned the city gate to delay his return to the palace. He wants her to hide, but Hee-jae says that Ihwaru will be harmed if she runs, so she’ll stay and accept the consequences personally.

When Moon-bok shows up at Ihwaru, Hwa-wol fusses at him, but he walks right past her and cleans out his safe. He takes all of his savings and offers it to Hee-jae to terminate Hwa-wol’s contract. Awww! Hee-jae tells him that she got rid of all the contracts, so Hwa-wol can leave any time she likes, and she even gives them a gift — enough money to buy a house.

The two lovebirds sit outside together, and Hwa-wol simpers at Moon-bok for being willing to part with his life’s savings for her. With a forced smile that fails to hide his sadness, Moon-bok tells her that he had a sister who died of a bad cold because he couldn’t afford medicine, which is why he’s saved money his whole life.

Hwa-wol asks Moon-bok to take off her hairpiece, and when he does, he’s struck all over again by how beautiful she is even without it. She slips her jade ring on his finger and proposes to him, and his reaction is adorable.

With only fifty loyal palace guards left after Bang-won enticed the rest to his side, the king sends them on a suicide mission. He issues one simple order: “Kill them all.”

Hwi cooks dinner for his friends, surprising them with his domestic skills, though he explains that he’s been cooking since he was eight years old. Moon-bok flashes around his jade ring like a really gross newly-engaged bride, hoping someone will notice. So cute.

Hwi says that he doesn’t care about grand things like building nations, all he wants is a home where he can share meals with those he loves. But their meal is ruined by the king’s guards, and Hwi and his men are forced to fight yet again.

On her way to see Moon-bok, another group of guards pass Hwa-wol, heading towards Ihwaru. She runs to warn Hwi and the others, while at Ihwaru, Hee-jae tries to convince the rest of her gisaengs and servants that she really meant it when she released them from their obligation. They refuse to leave, saying that Ihwaru belongs to them, too.

Suddenly they’re under attack, and the only person there who can fight is Gyeol. He valiantly protects Hee-jae, but he’s vastly outnumbered, and soon pain and exhaustion drive him to his knees. Another guard raises his sword to kill Gyeol, but Hee-jae jumps in front of him, taking the strike in the back.

Hwi arrives seconds too late to stop Hee-jae, and when he sees her injured, he kills the remaining guards. He runs to Hee-jae, begging her to stay with him as she and Gyeol both collapse from their wounds.

Meanwhile, Sun-ho and Sung-rok arrive at the Jurchen stronghold, claiming to be Jurchen soldiers with a message for their chief. As soon as they identify the leaders, they draw their swords and fight their way to them. Sun-ho kills the chief and Sung-rok kills the deputy, making themselves the Jurchen army’s new leaders.

 
COMMENTS

Well, this is just great — the main thing that’s saved Sun-ho’s life until now is the fact that he never presented anyone much of a threat, since he had no influence or men of his own. Now he has a barbarian horde behind him, and he’s about to go after the man who just defeated the king’s entire army. I’ve never given Sun-ho much chance to live long past Bang-won’s uprising, but now I’d say his chances of survival are pretty much zero. He’s been hunting his own death since he sent Hwi off to die in the war, and I’m afraid he’s about to finally get his wish.

I’m so proud of Hwi for his change in mindset after witnessing the true horror of the revolt he helped Bang-won stage. He’s been through so many battles just to survive, but after the revolt and seeing an innocent child killed in the name of revolution, Hwi realized that all of the death that night was ultimately avoidable. He took responsibility for his part in it, vowed to leave that life behind, and tried to move forward in a more positive direction. Unfortunately, his actions aren’t without consequences, and now the king is out for his blood. Now that Hee-jae is injured (I don’t care for her, but I hope for Hwi’s sake that she’s only injured), I’m afraid that he’ll be forced to team up with Bang-won again just to survive.

Then there’s Sun-ho, who (predictably) didn’t learn any good lessons from that night. I don’t blame him for being angry… his own vengeance was stolen from him by Bang-won and Hwi, who had their own valid reasons for wanting Lord Nam dead, but with his father gone, Sun-ho found himself with nothing left to live for. Now Bang-won is planning to build a country where people like Sun-ho — illegitimate children — will have no rights or status, and what little respect and credibility Sun-ho managed to scrape up for himself in the old regime will be stripped away. It felt so tragically symbolic when Sun-ho left the palace and the gates shut on him, sealing any hope of ever gaining that life back.

My biggest fear is that Sun-ho going to be even more resentful towards Hwi now, who grew up poor and powerless but who has one thing Sun-ho doesn’t have… a legitimate birth. I think that even though their friendship was genuine and they do/did love each other, Sun-ho has always felt a bit superior to Hwi because he at least had the appearance of nobility and respectability, while Hwi didn’t. Now Bang-won’s revolt is going to switch their situations in life, and I’m afraid Sun-ho isn’t going to handle it well and may even accuse Hwi of fighting for Bang-won with an ulterior motive. Their story is probably going to end with one final confrontation on the battlefield, and I’m scared that this time, they’re not going to both make it out alive.

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I admit I got confused for some time after watching the next two episodes. Thanks @lollypip for the recap and your comments that clarified things for me. I may also have to agree with you on all your fears.

On the lighter side of the Palace:
Did Bang-Gan know Cheonga's hair was a source of discussion in Dramabeans? He has my vote for sharp-witted character in a not-so supporting role.

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I had the same thought when Cheonga's hair was mentioned by Ban Gan. We now know why his hair is the way it is!

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I laughed louder than I should have when he mentioned the hair!

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The subtitle said “outcast” but I thought I heard the term for “butcher”. I did not know there were rules about hair for the lowest rungs of society by the way.

This makes me wonder about customs that were carried over from Goryeo times, were adapted, or were rejected. For example, the women still wear their hair like in Goryeo, but the men wear fewer manes of glory (or horror). Instead they are wearing it up with topknot and a hat and beads that is similar to the gat (though not quite, the gat was black and semi-transparent). I think the drama is consistently showing that although the political scenario is changing quickly, changes for most of society come slower.

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I heard the term for “butcher” too. I think maybe they opted for “outcast” subtitle for international non-sageuk viewers who might not know the meaning behind the word.

I wondered about the hair too.
Also, if the married men were identified by their top knot, why was Moon Bok proudly showing off his ring? Wasnt the ring considered a Western custom at that time?

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I feel the same about the ring. And was a little confused too.

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Thank you, I told everyone he was a butcher several episodes ago and would feel very embarrassed if that were not the case! 😆

I’m not sure topknot indicates married status, because neither Hwi nor Sun-ho are married and they wear it... and regarding the jade ring, I remember seeing one in THE PRINCESS’ MAN. They exchanged rings but not as part of the official wedding ceremony.

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I thought he said that for "outcasts" the topknot indicates marriage, not just the public at large. At least, that's how I read it. If that's true, then Hwi and Sun-ho don't have to follow the same rules. I do remember that Sun-ho's dad made snide remarks about Hwi wearing his hair up when he met him to reclaim the golden jars. I took his remarks to mean that his hair being up was something only a noble man should do.

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Nice observation about Nam Jeon’s snide remarks to Hwi @csmith. Who knew hairdos were so important?

I wonder if we can read something into the fact that Bang Won lost his topknot. Maybe it wasn’t just to intimidate Bang Won. Maybe Yi Seong Gye meant to say that he is cutting ties with this unfilial son.

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@wishfultoki - yes, I think there is a double layer of meaning to Bang-won losing his top knot. I know it's for ep. 14 -- but his brother even brings up his top knot and snickers about wanting to see his messy hair as a reference to the incident.

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I like this top knot conversation :).

Historically Taejo did shoot an arrow at Bang-won but he shield himself. I guess he didn't want to die because his father was the Jumong of Goryeo and he never miss lol.

Joseon period restricted the wearing of flashy ornaments on both men and women.
Notice how Bang-won's earings are now gone? Next will be the the gold and silver ornaments that wrap his top knot.
Joseon male fashion is rather boring. Men don't even wear wedding rings.

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My take on this whole top knot scene is Taejo's way of cutting ties with Bang-won just as Bang-won cut ties with Taejo by cutting off the bridge.
Now they are even.

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@wishfultoki

I think "outcast" and "butcher" are both right. I'd prefer butcher because it's specific while outcast refers to the social class where a butcher belongs to.

The hair and clothing style changes over time and since it's early Joseon I'd think that it took a while before the strict Confucian rules kicks in and enforce formality, authority, dignity etc.

Goryeo nobles had more than one main wife and the king had more than one queen so if Bang-won's mother was still alive Taejo would have 2 queens like how it's recorded in history.
Most of the changes happened during Bang-won's reign but we are not there yet.

The hair style indicates one's social class and since noble men and scholars wear hats they have to put their hair up in a knot.
I haven't seen any sageuk with an unmarried noble male wearing a hat with their hair down but then most noble men married young especially the royals.

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I've read all the responses first and now i'll chime in with my 2 cents. In Six Flying Dragons, Bang won's family commented on him being late wearing his hair in a top knot as he had been married a while before he finally did it and should've done it as soon as he got married.

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The scene between Bang Won and Sun Ho about regrets is such a powerful scene...I also think deep down Bang Won spared him aside from not seeing him as areal threat was that he was Hwi's friend...I must say that Moon-bok&Hwa-wol relationship is soooo beautiful,i felt soo touched...Bang Gan is such a fun watch even if he is a sleazy snake...My heart really hurt seeing how damaged Sun Ho is and with barely any desire to live...It's sad that he never allowed himself to try to be happy and maybe be part of Hwi and his comrades little family,somethimes happiness is much closer than one can see it...

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I must be getting old or something because lately I've been nodding off during episodes. But not this one. I really enjoyed ep. 13, especially how Bang Won and Hwi's relationship is being tested.

I've decided the love triangle here is Bang Won-Hwi- Sun Ho, so I'll examine them separately:

On Bang Won and Hwi: The look they shared at the palace gates expressed their thoughts better than a million words. Hwi cried. Something broke in his heart. He realised that his revenge led to the death of many innocent people. In turn, Bang Won has an inkling that in achieving his aim he will lose Hwi, but he is resolved to continue on his path to the throne nonetheless.

It was nice of Hwi's Liadong companions to remind his that he has always fought trying to save lives, but I don't think that was always the case: revenge against Nam Jeon also drove him. Now that his revenge is fulfilled, he doesn't feel so good. He keeps saying that he is tired and does not want to use the sword anymore (which reminds me a lot of Choi Young in FAITH). Alas, retiring from a sword-master career is not that easy.

On Hwi and Sun-ho: I was mad at Hwi for leaving Sun-ho to die after impaling him last episode. Their exchange in the druggie den really affected me, with Sun-ho pitifully asking "Can't I even kill myself?" Hwi finally told him directly "Live". He said it once (a few episodes before) before but once Sun-ho had left. How could Sun-ho have guessed Hwi didn't want him dead back then? And now, what is he to think about the friend who stabbed him last night and now doesn't let him die? This OTP is going through a rough patch, and now that Immortal Jurchen has taken Sun-ho to the North, it's not going to get better anytime soon. *cries*

And finally, on Bang Won and Sun-ho: Man, the chemistry between these two! I feel that Bang Won let Sun-ho live mainly for Hwi's sake, but the words he spoke to him were very harsh. The theme of legitimate birth is a very sensitive one for Sun-ho, and Bang Won lives for justification. He won't just let Sun-ho go free, but he won't do it nicely. He also truly despises illegitimate sons.

I'm not fully convinced though, because Bang Won is open-minded when it comes to burning a slave's papers (NOKDU FLOWER deja vu anyone?), but not in accepting illegitimate sons. I think it's more of a personal matter to him than a real Confucian conviction.

Thanks for the recap @lollypip!

P.S.: Hee-jae my dear, as the head of Ihwaru you can't say you will take the consequences of your actions personally and hope nothing will happen to Ihwaru. That's not the way it works in Joseon. Smh.

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When i watched that particular scene with Hwi crying at the palace gate my first reaction was truly of him crying for Bang Won as well,as this one couldn't cry he did it for him...At least that was the thing that poped in my head while watching the scene play in the ending of ep 12 when they both loooked at each other...After that i realized he also cried looking at all the death surrounding him and the after effect...

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That is a nice thought, that he cried for Bang Won as well as the dead. It means he truly appreciates Bang Won and wasn't just using him for his revenge, as he claimed.

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Bang Won reaction about illegitimate sons can be explained by his relation with his mother in law and his half-brothers. He rejects her as legitimate, he see her only as a mistress. So her son were illegimitates. But they were used as political ennemies. He could not be open minded about illegitimate sons (all of them) because it would mean his half-brothers would be legitimates in the contest for the throne.

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That's what I was saying, that (according to this drama) Bang Won moves more according to personal convictions rather than Confucian tenets.

I know the drama has pushed the "illegitimate Bang Seok" argument, but I always understood that Yi Seong Gye's second wife was legitimate, not a concubine. So that line of reasoning doesn't have much weight, sorry Bang Won. The real issue is that Yi Seong Gye bypassed his eldest sons (and Bang Won who contributed the most to founding Joseon) by naming his youngest as Crown Prince.

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I think (but it's a personnal advice, I don't really know the domestical life in the late Goryeo) that Bang-Won was affected by the internal war between his father two wives. And of course on the side of his mother. As a kid, it should mark him as the intrusion of a stranger. And it's deeper than his Confucian education who happen later.
But again, it's a feeling of an occidental modern man, not a Goryeo nobleman.

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I miss how they used to make changes to the history and still give us a way to look at it from different perspective. This is no longer a "what if " situation.
Now they are jumping ahead to the future when Bang-won had the authority as King Taejong to downgrade his stepmother to a concubine therefore making her sons illegitimate.

I was totally confused until I realized that the future is already happening.

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That also means that Bang-won already declared his mother as the queen and the only legitimate wife of his father.

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@kiara So it's a case of Bang Won's version of history taken as fact by the drama hmmm.

On the topic of illegitimate children, I found this: Distinction between legitimate children and children by second wives was severe in the Joseon period. At the time, there was a “law preventing children born of concubines and yangban and descendants from holding high office” ... no matter how great the family or how talented the individuals. This is said to have originated from the first riot of the princes. In other words, the feud between relations occurred due to Yi Seong-gye appointing Bang-seok, the son of his second wife, as Crown Prince and eliminating the princes from his first wife.
(Chae-on Kang, Jae-eun Kang, The Lang of Scholars: Two Thousand Years of Confucianism, 196)

I don't know how reliable this book is, but it strikes me that we are witnessing how the doors are literally being closed to illegitimate children through Sun-ho, and that Bang Won indeed had something to do with the changes in law. If I recall correctly from my Goryeo and Three Kingdoms dramas, "illegitimate" children were not discriminated against so much before.

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@wishfultoki

That's basically true imo.

Take Sambong as an example. He was a concubine's son and he became the prime minister of Joseon. He wouldn't made a law to disqualify himself right?

Lady Kang was not a concubine in Goryeo's tradition. She was the 2nd wife so Yi Seong-gye basically had 2 main wives.
Lady Kang was from the capital's aristocracy so Yi Seong-gye married up.
There is a big difference between those from the capital and those from the country. The capital nobles were more esteemed than the ones from the country so maybe she thought that in a way her son was more noble than the country boys from Hamju.

I think Bang-won was holding a grudge at all of those whom he felt had done him wrong. Those who supported his father when he chose Bang-seok to be the crown prince.
Not only did he killed them but he purposely made the law prohibiting their kinds from advancing in rank and power.
Demoting Lady Kang from queen to concubine made her sons illegitimate.

That was totally unfair to make laws based on his person revenge.

I'm glad that later some ministers felt differently and petitioned to restore the queen's title and her sons as recorded in history today.

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My OTP is Hwi/Sun Ho. They would have made an amazing pair if they'd actually talked philosophy and what their place in society meant to each of them.

I think Bang Won made Sun Ho's fate clear in this episode (and I will not forgive Bang Won). I also think Bang Won is totally capable of casting Hwi aside once he has no use for him after the revolution.

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Thank you ... i understand that BW will make a fine king in the future but right now all his necessary evil while playing , the woo is me card is not working on me ...

i liked lord nam most because he was evil and true to it... did not make excuses or blame anyone ...

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I thought Bang-won is just as straight forward as Lord Nam but he tries to justify it by blaming his father. I believe he felt remorse for killing Poeun and only Poeun.
Every winner in history tries to justify shedding blood just like his father King Taejo. He killed so many loyal servants of Goryeo and so did Bang-won.

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So that makes Bang Won... the meddling second lead?

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You get me!

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I agree, Bang-won is capable of abandoning Hwi.

Whatever Bang-won accuses his father of will come back to him. It's hard to be a father to a whole country and to his own children too.
He made a mistake in thinking that they will just follow every decision he made. Unfortunately for him, filial piety has it's limit with his oldest sons.

His father doesn't trust anyone and so does Bang-won and when he sits on the throne only then he'll understand why he can't please everyone. He 'll play every game that his father is playing and more to protect his throne.

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I guess I wasn't surprised that all the death was going to take a toll on Hwi. I found myself crying a few times for this episode. Also after seeing Hwi say he wanted everyone to smile including Sun Ho (which wasn't said but is obvious) and him asking Sun Ho to live (which he has said once before although not directly) why do I feel it's not Sun Ho but Hwi who will be the one dying, which he probably will thanks to the damage caused to his internal organs by the medicine. I mean the only possible scenarios I could picture was either one of them or both of them dying and it seems of those scenarios one of them is going to come true.

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I guess Hwi was locked soo deep in his own rage and nightmare and basically the strongest thing that kept him living that had,that one thing as taking Nam Jeon down..After his nightmare and source of infinite rage and grief was gone he woke up and the after effect stricked him deep and like most revenges didn't make u feel so well as u expected...And yes,i also understood when he said he wanted them smiling and be happy including Sun Ho(in the translation might no be so evident but in his word is if u understand korean)...Sun Ho is just soo tired of living at this point in his own nightmare...The thing that saved Hwi is mostly missing for Sun Ho,friends and family...At least the saving grace was Immortal Jurchen because i think without him(i bet somehow Sun Ho considers him a friend at this point)would have died earlier...I guess now he just redirected his hate and found a reason to still live...

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Thank you for these very well written recap.

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How cute are Moon-bok and Hwa-wol? It took me a while to get on that ship, but this episode finally made me believe they could actually work together. Moon-bok’s story about his sister was heartbreaking and his nervous laughter throughout finally made me understand from where he was coming.

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I have shipped them from the start, but only took them for comedic relief. But their romance is so much better than the main couple and I didn't want anything bad to happen to them.

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Gotta give it to Bang Won, he really knows where to poke where it hurts.

And of all people, I did not expect Sung Rok to be the loyal one. I am glad Sun Ho at least have one person on his side.

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Why can’t I even kill myself? I’m sick and tired of seeing you and thinking about you.

Beanies talking about Vagabond? Alhambra?

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I think that's Dal Geon...thinking about Jerome? John & Mark?

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Hwi and Sun Ho …. Argh, they need to talk it out more. Hwi realized the consequences from Bang Won’s revolution. He has to fight again to protect the people he cares about. Does that include Sun Ho?

I hadn’t thought much of Sung Rok until this episode. He is a minor character who has lasted longer than expected. He wasn’t likable, especially with him wanting to kill Hwi the next chance he gets. But his fierce loyalty to Sun Ho was admirable and surprising.

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It is surprising. It’s tragic that they were, like Hwi and his Liadong companions, also “abandoned” by Yi Seong Gye, but they ended up on the wrong side of Bang Won.

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Even more when u consider his hate he had for Sun Ho at first,their relationship truly went a long way making it even more touching...

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Soooooooooo..... Self-destructive Sun Ho 2.0????? Well then... 🤨🤨🤨🤨

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