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105

Six Flying Dragons: Episode 8

Get ready for a bunch of guys having heavy, meaningful conversations with each other—wait, don’t go! This may be one of the most intense hours of television to hit the airwaves recently, though I recognize how hard it is to sell the fact that an episode comprised mostly of dialogue can make for edge of your seat entertainment. Suffice to say, Jung Do-jeon is back in a big way after spending time in exile/amassing his legion of followers, and anyone standing in his path is going to wish they weren’t. Or they can be like Bang-won, wishing Jung Do-jeon was just their dad.

Ratings-wise, Six Flying Dragons shot up a few points to maintain first place at 14.1%, while MBC’s Dazzling Temptation hovered not too far behind at 10.2%. Sassy Go Go continued to go lower, hitting 3.6%.

SONG OF THE DAY

Kim Bo-kyung – “그댄가봐요 (Must Be You)” from the OST [ Download ]

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EPISODE 8 RECAP

Jung Do-jeon reveals himself for all to see, and has no problems admitting that he sent people like Boon-yi and the other migrant workers to Hamju. While scarred warrior Ji-ran accuses him of sending spies, Jung Do-jeon claims it’s quite the opposite—he sent them to aid Lee Seong-gye in his noble calling to secure the border.

But that was the first reason he sent them, he explains. The second is that Hamju was the one place he felt safe to send his people, since he’s sure Lee Seong-gye has realized that all their stories share a common theme of corrupt government overreach. For every ten citizens who might’ve died at the hands of Japanese pirates, at least one hundred died because their government used the pirates as an excuse to take away their means of survival.

So that’s why he sent the destitute to Hamju, because he believed that Lee Seong-gye would understand their suffering. “Is that not so?” he asks the general himself. “If not, then the plan I have worked on all these years will have been for nothing.”

Jung Do-jeon: “Is there truly a way for us to survive without eradicating the three men of dodang? Is there a way for us to live? do you truly not know that, sir? Or are you the type to keep living his life feigning ignorance? I put everything I have on the line to come to this place believing that is not true! Therefore, either kill all of us here or use us to lead the charge to eradicate the dodang!”

He’s going out on one hell of a limb here, but his call for action is soon backed up by Shin-jeok, who tells the story of his father’s suicide because of the unholy trinity in the dodang, made up of none other than Gil Tae-mi, Minister Hong, and Lee In-gyeom.

Other voices chime in with their stories, even Boon-yi, with all of them offering to fight on the front line for Lee Seong-gye, should he choose to fight against the corruption that’s displaced so many of them.

After that rallying cry, Bang-won slows down the recent events so that we/Young-kyu can better understand: Jung Do-jeon wants to establish a new nation, and since Bang-won is under the impression that Jung plans to rule that new nation as king, Jung will need his father’s military might and resources in order to accomplish the daunting task ahead.

In a private meeting, Lee Seong-gye asks Jung Do-jeon why it has to be him. Jung admits that early on, he’d warned the sadaebu against trusting him, since he was convinced Lee was going to war to make up for the sins of his past, and that he had no higher aspirations than that.

But since he was exiled after causing a scene at Jangpyung Gate and had to continuously move around because of invasions by Japanese pirates, Jung Do-jeon was able to witness one of Lee Seong-gye’s historic battles against the pirates. There, he saw Lee’s bravery and became convinced of his inherent goodness.

As for why Lee Seong-gye has no desire to move up in politics, Jung Do-jeon ventures a guess that it’s because he wants to be remembered as a godo man and a war hero, but politicians are rarely remembered so fondly. Lee Seong-gye doesn’t like this near-stranger making assumptions about him, but Jung Do-jeon claims he learned a lot about him after an altercation with fake Japanese pirates.

Bang-won, hiding nearby, is able to overhear their conversation and the ensuing flashback to Woonbong Village, where Goryeo men pretending to be pirates (much like the ones Bang-won and Boon-yi encountered) were brought before Lee Seong-gye, on charges of selling their own people.

Lee Seong-gye had called them traitors, but one of the men had challenged that statement—how are they considered traitors, but not the government officials who took land and food from their own people? It’s because his family was left with nothing that the Not Pirate turned to selling his countrymen. Nor is he ashamed of it, because it was the only way to feed his son.

At the man’s willingness to die, Lee Seong-gye seemed ready to oblige him, guessing that he wanted to die rather than live with the shame of what he’d done. In the present, Jung Do-jeon remembers what punishment Lee had meted out to that man instead of death: life. A life lived in penance, and a position in his army to fight against the true pirates as a way of giving back to those he took from.

It was then, Jung Do-jeon claims, that he realized his earlier assumptions about Lee Seong-gye were wrong. Lee saw his role in war as atonement, but more than that, he saw that protecting the people of Goryeo was the only way Lee Seong-gye could forgive himself.

“Am I wrong?” Jung Do-jeon ventures. “If my words are not wrong, as long as the three men in dodang remain, your dream cannot come true. Let us bring down those three men and create a new nation. It must be a new nation; Goryeo will not do.”

But what he adds next floors the nearby Bang-won: “And… as for the king of the new nation I’m about to establish. I… I have chosen you.”

When Moo-hyul finds out that Bang-won is none other than Lee Seong-gye’s son, he has a spasmodic bout of celebratory fist pumping—he saved Bang-won not once, but twice, which means the general is sure to take notice of him! His happiness is infectious and adorable. Too bad Young-kyu takes his sword away (it was Bang-won’s to begin with).

Bang-won is still in shock over Jung Do-jeon wanting his father to take the New Joseon throne, convinced that his father just isn’t right for the job. It’s clear that he thinks Jung Do-jeon should take up that mantle. “Father is too weak,” he frets.

While Jung Do-jeon becomes convinced that the monks who kidnapped Boon-yi were sent by Minister Hong in an effort to find him, Bang-won finds his father looking over the plan to stabilize the border that Jung Do-jeon put forward.

It becomes no secret that Bang-won eavesdropped on their conversation, but he seems to make a critical error in pushing his father toward accepting Jung Do-jeon’s proposal, on the basis that Jung is such a great, trustworthy man. He doesn’t even have to accept the whole enchilada—just stamping Jung’s proposal to stabilize the border will be enough.

The more he presses, the more his father shuts down, until he eventually says he won’t do anything at all. That irks Bang-won, and he acts out like a child in order to maintain his father’s attention by bringing up Jo So-saeng: “You shouldn’t have killed him.”

He should’ve fought with him till the end and died with him, Bang-won adds, causing his father to turn to him in shock. “How did you know?” his father asks, only for Bang-won to reveal that he was there the day Lee In-gyeom put on that play to shame him, and witnessed the conversation between them after, where his father had to humiliate himself in order to keep the truth concealed.

With tears brimming in his eyes, Bang-won finally confronts his father over the event that scarred him so much when he was only ten: “You know what impact a father has to a child of that age. You were my whole world.” It was worse, he adds, because his father was the great general Lee Seong-gye—and to see him bowing to the evil Lee In-gyeom almost broke him.

Bang-won chokes back a sob as he tells his father how hard it was for him after seeing that, but he still calls upon his father to realize how bad the Unholy Trinity is. He must know he’s better than them, yet he continues to punish himself. Why?

“I have never seen anyone in all of Goryeo who is as qualified to become king than you.” He knows his father is strong and righteous, with a heart that bleeds for the people more than anyone. “So why do you alone consider yourself a criminal and refuse to do it? Why?”

His father levels him with a solemn look. “The reason why you believe me to be someone who is qualified to become king, and why Jung Do-jeon believes that as well… is because I understand pain and know how to feel shame. However, should I get involved, I would become someone who does not know shame. Therefore, how could I involve myself in this? I, your father, that is the kind of person I am. That is why I will not do it.”

Bang-won chastises himself for spilling so much to his father, and sequesters himself in a field to think a while. He pops up all of the sudden with an idea, and sneaks into his father’s tent while he’s gone.

If his father won’t do it, he reasons, he’ll help him along… so he takes his father’s seal and stamps it on the plan to stabilize the border. When Boon-yi catches him in the act, he restrains her with an apology.

We next see him delivering the “signed” plan to Shin-jeok, along with a fake message from his father telling Jung Do-jeon to leave Hamju tonight and prove himself. And Bang-won, crafty as he is, makes it seem as though his father wants Jung Do-jeon to act quickly on the border plan in order to help him decide whether to take him up on his offer.

Bang-won returns to where he left Boon-yi tied and gagged, and figures he may as well use her as a sounding board if she can’t talk back. (Can this poor girl not have one episode where she’s not captured/tied up?) Surprise registers on her face when he reveals that he’s Lee Seong-gye’s son, and that everyone thinks he’s such a great man.

He used to think that way too, until the day he first went to the capital. He describes the horrors he saw there, not least of which was seeing new mothers kidnapped to breastfeed piglets. Since Boon-yi’s gagged, she can’t tell him that she saw those same horrors right there with him.

Bang-won goes on to say how he used to think his father was invincible, that he could solve any problem, but that day changed his perception forever. It was then he realized that his father was human, and weak. He couldn’t think any higher of Jung Do-jeon and his plans, but sees one fatal flaw, in its reliance on his father.

To him, his father is unreliable, since he has a tendency to get caught up in his own tormented thoughts far too much. But more than anyone else, he wants Jung Do-jeon’s plan to succeed, and wants to see the dodang squashed and the government itself rebooted. That’s why he stamped the border plan in his father’s stead, since he knows he wouldn’t have acted unless pushed to do so.

“I hope you’re on my side,” he adds carefully as he meets Boon-yi’s gaze. “You have to be on my side. When you first bit me, when you set the fire, even when you tied me up in the forest and left, I was on your side.” With that in mind, he unties her, only with her promise that she won’t scream or bite him.

She keeps her promise and kicks him instead. Hah. After reminding him that he’ll have to take responsibility for what he started today, she thanks him. “I wanted to tell you that if we ever met again, because you’ve saved me three times now.” Bang-won is left scratching his head, since he can only remember two.

Once alone, Boon-yi remembers how young Bang-won had lamented about his father the same way he did just now. Cue a musical montage of their memories together as she runs back to find him as he lies tormented in the middle of the forest. He never realizes she’s watching.

After being threatened by Minister Hong to do nothing about them hiking the tax rate up, Lee In-gyeom is taken to task for it by General Choi, though he claims he just needs time in order to bring the likes of Minister Hong and Gil Tae-mi in line.

To do that, he only has to say he wants Lee Seong-gye to take up a government position next to him to throw all his opposition into a frenzy. General Choi couldn’t be any more against this idea, since removing their best general from the border where he’s most needed would be like hanging a “Welcome” sign for foreign invaders.

Lee In-gyeom feels cheated by the astrologer, since he’d taken her reading to mean that Lee Seong-gye would bring him success. But, it turns out he doesn’t even need to bring him into the government to get the desired effect—just the idea alone is enough to get Minister Hong and Gil Tae-mi to agree to lower the tax rate and bend to his wishes.

While Minister Hong gets creeped out by meeting Bang-ji’s intense stare in town (that’s all the screen time he gets this week, folks), Lee In-gyeom gifts Yeon-hee with jewels for her earlier reading, since it proved to be true. He wants her to come around more often, which the veiled fortuneteller agrees to.

Once Minister Hong finds out that she’s the one who planted the idea of Lee Seong-gye in Lee In-gyeom’s mind, he has Jukryong capture her for an interrogation. Her veil is stripped off to reveal a beautiful face heavily scarred on one side. A burn, perhaps?

It takes Jukryong no time at all to figure out that Yeon-hee’s a fake astrologer, and demands to know who hired her to plant the idea in Lee In-gyeom’s mind. Unafraid of his threats, she tells them she’s an actress, and was hired by a scholar to do it.

For more money, she tells them only that the scholar’s servant called him “Sambong,” which is Jung Do-jeon’s pen name. Minister Hong is not happy about this, and hires Jukryong to find him. But not before he goes apeshit on his palanquin for breaking on him.

The voice that breaks him out of his psychosis comes from none other than Jung Do-jeon, looking just as adorably homeless as ever. He doesn’t waste time in asking why Minister Hong turned to the dark side, which Hong defends as a sort of maturing process. He’s just grown out of his need for virtue the way a child grows out of their toys.

Minister Hong takes a swipe at Jung Do-jeon by asking why he used an actress to bring Lee Seong-gye into Lee In-gyeom’s orbit, especially knowing how much that would upset him. Also, isn’t he in the same secret organization as (the late) Lee Eun-chang?

Since Minister Hong already knows so much, Jung Do-jeon admits frankly that he hired Yeon-hee to get a beat on Minister Hong’s situation, though he claims it was so he could help him. Minister Hong finds the thought offensive since he’s already a member of the dodang, and because Jung is a nobody who can’t even step foot inside the capital.

But Jung Do-jeon reminds him that they both suffered after he made his big speech at Jangpyung Gate, as did many of their fellow scholars. He draws another commonality between them, in their mutual desire to bring about the fall of Lee In-gyeom and General Choi.

Whether it’s true or not, Jung Do-jeon makes Minister Hong believe that he also threw away ideals like virtue and justice, and that they need each other. Hong can never take Lee In-gyeom on alone, but Jung promises that he’ll raise him above their mutual enemy.

Of course, he adds, he’s doesn’t want to be so much like Minister Hong that his name would end up in the dirt (since Hong’s already has), but for now their goals are the same, and they can help each other until Lee In-gyeom and General Choi are gone. After that though, he makes no promises.

Oh ho. Yeon-hee sheds not only her fortuneteller’s disguise but also the scar on her face, courtesy of Goryeo Prosthetics. She appears before Jung Do-jeon, calling him “Elder,” respectfully.

Turns out he planned all this down to a T, from Yeon-hee’s act as an astrologer to her capture and reveal, all to lead Minister Hong into feeling a false sense of security. He knew General Choi wouldn’t allow Lee Seong-gye to come in from the border, but that was all part of his greater plan.

He reveals to Yeon-hee that he’ll have to work with the bastards who killed Lee Eun-chang, who he claimed to not know was dead when he spoke to Minister Hong. Now, he pours out a drink for him, despite not having been able to find his body.

Yeon-hee reassures him that he’s doing what needs to be done, and reminds him not to look back (and regret it). She pours a drink in Eun-chang’s memory as Jung Do-jeon thinks, “Eun-chang-ah, this is only the beginning. Please, watch over me until the end.”

 
COMMENTS

Just when you think you know who’s playing whom and who’s being played, everything changes. What makes the subversions in certain scenes so difficult to get a proper read on is the fact that whoever’s doing the trickery usually mixes it in with equal parts believable truth, so much so that it becomes nearly impossible to separate fact from fiction. I’m talking about you, Bang-won. And you, Jung Do-jeon.

We’ve seen both of them use their cunning to great effect before, but only in an hour with this much conversation-based action could we notice each infinitesimal change in wording and each trick of the tongue. Admittedly, it was a very heavy episode in terms of putting two characters in a room and having them talk to each other at length, but such life and meaning was instilled into every interaction that I was hanging on every word, wondering if I would ever be able to notice a tell, or just some way of knowing whether someone was lying through their teeth or not.

But such assurance never came, and for good reason, since it kept scenes that would otherwise get bogged down in verbiage dynamic and interesting. Jung Do-jeon took a big risk in approaching Lee Seong-gye the way he did, and the way he had him all figured out just based on tales he’s heard and a few scenes he’s witnessed was almost eerie. I guess that’s the kind of read you need to get on someone before you place the weight of an entire revolution on their shoulders, but still. It’s not like they were even casual acquaintances. They barely even knew each other, for starters.

Even with all the faith Bang-won has in Jung Do-jeon and his vision, he still couldn’t bring himself to believe him when it came to his father being king—and his struggle with the two warring notions of what he sees in his father versus what Jung Do-jeon sees in him made for some compelling television. In a way, it was probably good for Bang-won to tell his father about the incident that turned his whole world upside down, and maybe if he had talked to him about it sooner, it wouldn’t have festered in him the way it has. Then again, Bang-won’s father doesn’t strike me as much of a big talker, but at least when he speaks, he says what he means.

On the other hand, Bang-won says a lot of things, most of which he means, but it’s when he doesn’t that things get scary. The way he plays his manipulative aspects so earnestly is even more frightening, since it makes what’s a very conscious and calculated move look effortless and easy, almost as if he doesn’t even know he’s doing it. Obviously the opposite is true, even if I have to give him credit for using his legitimate feelings to weaken his father’s defenses in order to spout illegitimate falsehoods meant to push him in the direction of a man he trusts infinitely more than his own flesh and blood. You’re the worst, Bang-won, but in the best of ways.

 
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Finally finally finally!!! OMG I refresh Dramabeans for hundreds of times today!!!

Off to read!!!!

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Love this ep! Everyone gives strong presence even to the small casts. Yoo Ah In's acting with Cheon Heo Jin is amazing!

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The best episode I ever watched. Great monologues, great actors.

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he's so manipulative... so far in a good way. cuz we know that he did it for good...but still... i wonder, what will happen next??? it seems like he will do everything for something he believes. i saw his hidden 'ambition' in this episode since he knows that he understands the suffering of the people. emm.. im curious.. very curious. what will he do next. and... i miss uri ddang sae.. :)

thanks for the recap ^^

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i keep asking the same question.. hope they all survive at the end

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LOVE this show!!

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This story just keeps surprising me...wow

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I only wished I'm a native Korean to understand all the shades of this episode more. The conversation is riveting even when I don't understand it!!!

The drama is so compelling as every character has many layers that has to be peeled one by one carefully that every move and scene is deeply meaningful.

I'm looking forward to how Great General Lee going to react to Bang Won's forgery and Jung DoJeon meticulously planned revolution going to unfolds.

SO EXCITED!!!!

Weird how an episode full with conversations can keep u on edge the whole time, DAEBAK!!

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Oh god! All of Yoo Ah In's scenes in this episodes! Pure gold. I was haning on to every word he said. And I haven't seen that tense of an episode in a while..
Now, a little more Bang Ji, and I would be on cloud nr 9.

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*episode/hanging
*too excited for correct spelling*

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Wow Bangwon. So utterly hot. His adoration for those who are 잔트가르, and disdain for those who are not...

His father is not a 잔트가르 so he has no qualms about nicking his seal. It's almost as if Bangwon now judges his father's worth according to his usefulness for 잔트가르 # 1 Jung Dojeon.

Anyway, thanks HeadsNo2 for recapping this great drama.

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This show is scary good. I've enjoyed many k-dramas in 2015, but this one definitely takes the cake. All the characters are amazing and all add something to the mix. There's some that are funny to watch (Moo-Hyul, Young Kyu), some who make it so you can't look away from the screen (Lee Seong Gye, Jung Do Jeon), and some who are brilliant growing actors (Bang Won, Ddang Sae). All of these actors and actresses are amazing, the only one that I'm on the fence about is Boon-Yi. I love her character, but Shin Se Kyung has never really impressed me with her acting, she just seems stone-faced in every drama I've watched of hers, and this is no different. However, in this case, it isn't taking any value away from the drama - yet, and I hope it won't - since she's been captured, tied up, or running away for the past 8 episodes. Anyways, definitely looking forward to the rest of the drama...I can't believe it's 50 episodes long and it's already progressing so fast, I hope they don't have many episodes that are slow with not much development.

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if you saw sensory couple and still think SSK has a stone face
it only mean you dislike her
and its OK you dont have to like every actor\actress
i dislike some of the most famous actors which would surprise you
but i dont think they are bad actors just some thing about them doesnt appeal to me
and its probably like that with SSK for you

she is one of the really FEW who were cast in so many DIFFERENT roles

comedy
melodrama
filmnoir
saguek
action

i cant think of a genre she wasnt in

so its NOT that she is a bad actress
she just takes parts from actresses that you do like
to bad for you

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Shin sekyung's acting is that good but not bad either.. i can comfortwbly watch and i barely notice her acting.. i have been watching kdramas for more than 12 years.. so there are way better actresses out there but there are much more who are and intoleratable..

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Too long speech for my liking. Awesome acting all around, but I am still waiting for Bang-ji to show up (longer than a sec).
Thanks for the great recap!

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the fake Japanese pirate who General YSG was interrogating in Woonbong village sold people. No... he just attacked his own village's storage and took away the food to feed his starved son, NOT selling people at all. (homura)

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Minor mixed up by Heads since there were a fake Japanese group earlier who were selling people.

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thats what i also thought but it seemed right to correct it

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Woo I’ve finally caught up! Thanks for your recaps, this is my first sageuk and they helped me wrap my head around all the old men’s meetings, especially in eps 1/2. The convergence of the dragons in one place has been so fun to watch. I love that MH’s bumbling cuteness undercuts the show's tension. His instant rapport with BY and BW is hilarious. BY’s so admirable and quick. I’m actually really pleased with all the female characterisations so far :) I’m glad she now recognises BW so they can be partners in crime and follow JDJ, who is seriously a mastermind. KMM is magnetic in all his scenes.

Man, the father-son confrontation left my heart on the ground. Every person has had a version of that relationship in their lives and felt the disbelief and disappointment, but BW takes it to the next level - especially with the stamp lol. I love that BW's use of his father's past to hurt him allowed LSG to articulate his beliefs, thereby confirming him as an upright man and good leader despite his reservations. LSG has really grown on me as a character.

Also, this show needs more of BJ’s hotness. I can't wait for his reunion with badass YH. Eeeek.

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Stupid question but... who is Lee EunChang? This drama has waaaaaay to many characters for my tiny brain to keep track of.

And should I visit the psychiatrist because I didn't even think that BangWon was being manipulative? I thought he was being smart.

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It's not a stupid question. It's hard to remember every characters and put the right name to the right face.

Lee Eun Chang is Jung Do Jeon's close friend and a member of sadaebu scholars and he helped JDJ with the revolutionary plan. He is the one that Boon Yi, Bang-won and Jukryong's men (the fake monks) were looking for at the market (episode 6). Jukryong's men got to him first and stabbed him and later died before giving Bang-won strip of coded letters similar to the one Bong Yi had and that's why they all currently at Hamju.

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Ah, right. Thanks!

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It's a sad scene, seeing him honor his friend's memory without his body. At least his death is not going to be in vain and it made Jung more determine to finish the work they started.

(That rock that they are standing on looks familiar from Tree with deep Root lol).

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it immediately gave me flashback since its featured in one of my favorite scene
and i really think it was intentional
they really want to make a firm connection to TWDR
therefor even quite a few of the fictional are from that sereis

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That rock is pretty much the only thing I remember from TWDR!

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Ohhhh...! I didn't know who he was either. Thanks!
It would be great if there was a chart of the cast of thousands (well: a dozen at least). And why do they have so many names?
Does there really have to be a Choi Young and a Cho Young? I am confused enough as it is.
But a great KDrama anyways!

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I think BW is smart too, not manipulative.

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I think he is both. One has to be smart to manipulate others. His whole speech about his father being the most qualified man in Goryeo to be king couldn't be further from the truth. In reality he thinks his father is weak and unfit to be king but Jung Do Jeon is the strong one.....
This Lee Bang-won will do anything to get what he wants even if it means going against his father. Yes it's for the greater good so we are told. He doesn't even know what the details are. He only knows that there is a plan for a new nation. I think he is going to claim later that this plan wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for him.

It bugs me that they are using the incident between Seong Gye and Jo So-saeng to degrade him as a protector of Goryeo and as a father. Since when did loyalty between traitors became Goryeo's code of honor? Betrayal and murders between allies happens often in this corrupted court. I'm looking at you minister Hong and prime minister Lee.

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i actually thought to myself
are there any papers that show that LSG was manipulated by his son?
or the show just wants to glorify LBW

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*i meant documentation not papers

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I agree that manipulative people are smart people. I also believe that manipulative people are controlled and not desperate or panicked people.

I'm just questioning my own ethics when I myself see BangWon not as a manipulative person but just a smart person. How far does a person go before he is considered manipulative?

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I do agree with you. Bang-won is a smart teen-ager.
I really don't want to be a spoiler to make a point but I will say this. He did not become a bloodthirsty tyrant over night.

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I was thinking the same thing about Bang Won, how manipulative he was with words, though what he said to his father have an ounce of truth in it and his outbursts of emotions was real. It's just that Bang Won knows the shame his father carried with him. I feel his frustrations because General Lee is the right man to be King. Is the General own shame and morality more important than the people who needs saving?

I cant wait for this Bang Won to be on the opposite side of Jung Do Jeon.

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I'm with you...perhaps I need to get my moral bearing corrected also, but I think Bang Won was being smart. I honestly think that there are so many movements in history that unless there are people who take crazy chances, some things would've never come to pass. Now...it can be good things, and bad things. In this case, the downfall of Goryeo seems like a very good thing indeed.

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OMG the last scene was mindblowing!
This episode was full of intense conversation, and to be honest, I yawned at the beginning and kept thinking this episode might be just a filler, but this episode went unpredictable!

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Yoo Ah-in, I adore you and I'm in this drama for you. I promise to finish all 50 episodes, but y'all are making it hard. So much exposition for a history I don't know or understand presents quite the challenge.

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LOVED THIS EP. Three conversations which get all my gold stars: lee seong gye with sambong, lee bang won with lee seong gye and sambong with minister hong.

the 2nd one especially had some fantastic dialogue where you just KNOW lee bang won was pushing all the buttons he could knew to get his father to react in the way he wanted. what a smart manipulative future king which i totally adore as a character

i'm still struggling to figure out sambong's character to be honest. he's not the clear cut wise man figure who only Strives For Good, who recognises his own failings, depends on others etc etc. For me, he seems in fact to be the master puppeteer behind the scenes who can read everything and is controlling everyone to fall in order with his grand plan. This can be evidenced from how he gathered everyone in hamju as if it was a foregone conclusion that the general would acquiesced to his plan, and how he deal with lee in gyoem. why is he not taking the mantle on himself? he has explained why the general would be suitable but does he just not have that ambition? yet how does he not have ambition when he's attempting to overthrow an entire dynasty and he has so many people loyal to him?? idk maybe i'm over thinking things.

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It's easier to rule behind the veil than stand out and be a target for your enemies.

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Agreed. Most of the time they get better opportunities too.

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it's not that i don't know this, it's just- i'm finding it hard to put a finger on why it troubles me exactly- i'm not clear whether jung do jeon subscribes to this idea, because if he does it would make him necessarily more like a 'scheming villain' in the kdrama sense, contend to stay in the shadows while other people take the heat and implement his policies. instead of assisting lee seong gye as i think history and usual portrayals of sambong would have done, he is portrayed here to have a strong support base and stronger than lee seong gye (as seen in bang won's view of these two characters). i feel it lends a calculating or more manipulative sheen to his character than usual.

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I think this is the case where Sambong simply be realistic.

He is a scholar, yes he is stronger in his network and his planning, but to unite an entire nation under his name it is not going to happen. Why? Because his network are mainly from commoners and school that has been pushed aside by the current govt.

Imagine a country ruled by scholar whose main support base is poor and weak commoners and "tainted" scholars. Even if the plan succeed the government will be weak and unstable as the other forces has much more support in terms of military power and wealth.

In bringing the GenerL, he not only bring along the military power to his side but also the ovaries of the ppl that has been oppressed. Most commoners couldn't care less about Sambong network, but GenerL has been and is the commoners hope by being the protector of Goryeo. Sambong only need to extend this hope a little bit more and most ppl will rally behind the General.

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OMG my iPad is giving me crazy typos. =_=

*commoners and scholars
*the majority of the ppl.

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"ovaries of the people"....

Pwahahahahah!!! But yes, I agree with you. The face of the nation must be one that can move the people's heart and drive inspiration and hope. The strategic one sits behind the veil.

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I agree

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Yes, power struggles in these situations require alliances, and JDJ has been shown as a very astute analyst of people and situations. He knows that ideas are not enough to make change; force and power will also be required. The emblematic scene is where he wins the confrontation over the Yuan enjoys, but then has to sing the song of defiance while helplessly watching the crowd be beaten by the guards, and then he himself is sent into exile. So he will need a general and an army as well as ideas, cunning, and a secret organization.

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Maybe is because he doesn't have the lineage, I seem to remember he was only the 5th generation on his name.

And to be king you have to think on establishing a new dynasty, and the general Lee Seong Gye already has sons to give stability to the succesion and name recognition, Sambong is a nobody to the mass population.

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I'm not sure I'm understanding your struggle with Sambong well enough so forgive me if I'm way off here.

Planning to create a new nation and over-throw Goryeo is an act of treason so he had to do it all in secret. He knows that he can not carry out his grand plan by himself so he is basically looking for allies and ways to get it done. He has the brain-power but not the military power so he chose Seong Gye and then lecture him about politics and power. Then he left Hamju and head to the capital to prepare the way for Seong Gye to enter the political arena by manipulating the evil officials who holds the power in the court.

It may look like that he is not doing much but he is actually doing a lot. It may look like he is over confidence (maybe he is) when it comes to Seong Gye but I think that from the way he has been observing him led him to believe that he can trust him and change his mind.

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Yes, exactly.

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I cannot agree more

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This is definitely the point in the show where I'm extremely grateful for recaps!!! Even with subs, it can be really hard to follow the plot and differentiate in tone when the characters are speaking - cause their "poker" faves are so good.

I have to say that what I really like about this show is how well they're handling all the different philosophies in this. Each character has some pretty specific ways of viewing the world and while some seem better/more honorable than others, I don't think there's any 'correct' one (at least not entirely). Granted I'm not always sure what the main goal or motivation is for a few of them, but it still results in some really interesting conversations.

Hoping we get more of my favorite brother next week...I also hope that the women become more than just tools for the men. I still think they're well characterized but...they're kind of all wrapped around JDJs finger right now even while being pretty string and fierce in their own right.

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I don't care about the way women are used in this drama and where they are going from here. I like Cho Young though, at least she is running her own business as shady as it may seems. Spies? the new and improved Goryeo gisaengs. lol.

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I haven't watched much sageuk at all...but pretty much the only Sageuk that I felt gave women some of their rights as being human was TWDR. I'm watching Gaekju off and on, and I keep on thinking...thank God! I don't live in Korea in that era! The fate of cows turns out to be better than women in that drama.

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(TWDR is a Joseon era sageuk)

Goryeo women had more freedom than the Joseon women. They are just not showing much here except the women that we see walking freely around the town and villages without covering their faces. Cho Young is a business woman (kind of) if you call getting paid for secret informations that. Boon Yi can read and probably write too.
Women in Goryeo own their land(s), inherit properties from their father or share inheritance with their brothers. They were allowed to remarry if their husband passed away. They lived with their husband at their parent's home so they weren't slaves to their in laws. They went to war to protect their country etc.

The strict and new state religion (Confucian) that replaced Buddhism (Goryeo's state religion) was really hard on the Joseon women. They didn't have the freedom that they used to have with Goryeo.

This change and this new nation. Was it for the benefit of the slaves and peasants or was it for the benefit of those in power? I guess we'll find out later.

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Kim Myung-min ♥ Jung Yumi. OMG it is like Admiral Yi Soon-shin meets Gook In-yub (Maids)

Ahhhhh they're so beautiful together. Please share a loveline. This is fiction based on facts, so please writer and director, make em share love too! I cannoooooot even!

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(SPOILER- from TWDR).

They were actually married and Bang-Ji who was supposed to guard Jung Do Jeon left him to save Yoon Hee and that's why Bang-won was able to get to JDJ. (details will come later)

Since they end up as husband and wife. I hope that their union was for love. It looks like she'll meet Bang-ji while she is still single but chose to be with Jung instead.

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They PROBABLY are not yet married here.. they don't seem like husband and wife but rather master and spy?? I think we're near the scene in the 1st episode.. in the preview bangji/ddangsae met yeonhee and i'm guessing its from following minister hong/jung dojeon around.. he might get a wrong idea and then hate jungdojeon and by following around we get to the scene and then end episode 9/10

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Not yet because this drama will have it's complicated love triangle first and Yeon-hee will be forced to choose between her first love (Bang-ji) and her current boss,savior,oraboni...? Jung Do-jeon.

I like the way you think:). That scene where they meet again will be in the next episode (I think). I didn't think about Bang-ji following Hong and DJD around and ran into Yeon Hee in the process. Also that scene from episode 1 in the cave and what he said to DJD about being robbed of something is starting to make sense now.

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@nara Doesn't matter how many genres SSK's been in. She's still stone-faced in all of them. She's okay here and in Tree, but her acting doesn't feel genuine. Jung Yoomi is much better, but she unfortunately has a smaller role.

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To each his/her own, but if you insist that her face was stone-faced during her monologues in the recent episodes, I just think that's you refusing to see it. she's perfectly portraying a character who has to stand strong and tall yet is deeply upset about the turmoils she's been through. Her level of emotions is completely fine - boonyi's just not gonna break down and sob uncontrollably, if that's what you're looking for.

If anything Jung Yoomi's been very disappointing in the short scenes she's had - her enunciation is terrible and she mumbles most of her lines (which I guess isn't really noticeable if you don't speak Korean) and her face has been "stone-faced" than ssk has.

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i guess haters always find even a minuscule reason to hate SSK even she did improved/to suit the role...

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Yeah.. shin sekyung did better in this jungyoomi so far.. i noticed her mumbling and enunciation.. but still great and excellent drama

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I happen to enjoy SSK in this one too. I thought she's greatly improved than TWDR even.

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it does matter how many genres she was in
bc it means that many directors and writes from different
type of genres think she is suitable to portray their character

it doesnt mean you have tolike her
it just mean
that the ppl who work with her or seen her acting within the industry think she is a good actress

and of course that matters bc they make the decisions

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This is a strong episode! I choked several times watching JDJ, LBW and LSG scenes. So thrilling and touching! Thanks for the recap, Heads :)

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This show is soooo goooodd that i already regret the fact that i'm watching it now. Should have waited till the show is over so i can marathon it. Now the waiting is killing me slowly..

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Ha! so I wasn't the only want who was wondering why Jung chose Seong Gye. The man himself doesn't understand why he was chosen.

So who/what is this Jung Do Jeon? A seer, revelator, revolutionist or a master manipulator?

I'm liking these complicated characters. I don't even know who to root for which is kind of a nice change from the usual.

Thanks for the recap Heads!

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err one not want.

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Yep.. jung dojeon is scheming a grand plan behind everyone and they say its easier to rule behind the veils than while being in the spotlight and getting the attention of the enemies

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He would get his head chopped off if step into the spotlight with that kind of plan. He is a traitor to Goryeo in the court of law.

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*he*

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This team does really well in heavy political/philosophical conversations. If this was any other drama (especially sageuk), I'd be bored to death but this team manages to keep you watching and thinking. Props to Yoo Ah In with that scene where Bang Won breaks down in front of his father. His acting is so on point as a 16-year-old pouring out his 6-year grudge against his father. You can see how broken he is. I'm tearing up just writing this.

We had really awesome dialogue battles in this episode and it reminds me heavily of Tree. It's usually in the form of a debate with each person having different ideals. I, as a viewer, have my own sets of thoughts which could be or could not be the same as the characters but they do it in such a way that you get so invested like you're part of it. I go from, "Oh yeah, he's right!" to "But he's kinda right too!". Ahhhh memories of King Sejong vs Jung Ki Joon debate... good times...

Yeon Hee! Jung Yoo Mi looks so gorgeous in this episode! That fortuneteller guise suits her so well. To people saying her rape scene was only put there to develop Ddang Sae's character, here you go. Look at that lady and try to tell me her sufferings didn't shape her.

Also, just wanna add. One thing I like about kdramas is how extras act. That man who pretended to be a pirate in that short scene played the character so well. I felt his frustration and pain. In my country, extras don't even put much effort, it actually ruins the show but most kdramas I've seen, extras pour out their everything in a few seconds/minutes they are given. Amazing!

Thanks for the recaps, Heads! I wouldn't know where to pour out my feels for this drama if you weren't recapping it.

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Of course Yeon Hee's rape shaped her. The problem is that that wasn't the writers' primary goal. When discussing the rape scene, they focused on the fact that her rape was "necessary" to develop LBJ, not herself. Her development is a by-product of an event meant to shape LBJ. That's the problem. When the controversy was brought up, the producers (or whomever) only ever focused on LBJ's development and only focused on the child actor's emotional state during the scene. Nothing was said about Yeon Hee's development or the child actress. Plus, her rape scene was used as an intro to LBJ's adult character.... like if that's not enough to show that the rape scene was more for him than it was for her, Idk what's enough.

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This show makes me happy. Thanks so much for the recaps - I'd been waiting for another good, epic sageuk full of thorny problem and complex characters.

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I am loving this drama, just as I was a huge fan of TWDR! Although it is complex, it is coherent.
It is very effective at meshing the "big picture" version of history (great men, battles, power struggles) with another approach to history that focuses on how everyday life of the common people is affected by these struggles, and how much violence is used to prop up the hierarchy.

there are some great parallels between scenes:
when Bang Won is trying to persuade his father to join with Jeong Do Jung, he reveals how what he saw as a boy changed his thinking. And when he trying to persuade Boon Yi that he's doing the right thing (while she is tied up!) he also talks about his memories from the same period, and how what he saw changed him. In both scenes, he's talking about what he learned at that time (that his father is not as "strong" as he thought, and just how evil the Goryeo ministers are). So we see how he is trying to steer a course of action. But we also get to see that Bang Won is usually so sure he is right, even as he discovers ways in which he did not know enough. His headstrong conviction, along with his ability to bluff quickly in a crisis, mean he is willing to take risks. But even as he admires Boon Yi for her spirit and convictions, he is constantly trying to overpower her and get her to do things his way.

Boon Yi reminds him that he also has to be willing to assume responsibility for the consequences.

So when he picks up his father's seal and hesitates over the scroll, he not only has to decide if what he is doing is going to work or not, or if it is the right thing to do; he is also doing that very unConfucian thing of deciding that he knows better than his father and acting in his name. That is a HUGE breach of the social order, and represents a moment when a revolt turns into a revolution: not only do they have to overthrow one set of nobles to replace them with another, but there is also the idea that part of what motivates this particular struggle is some idea of a different social order ("a new nation") one is which the poor/the people/the soldiers, peasants, and scholars, might also have some kind of political standing or rights.

When later power struggles ensue, there will be the usual issues of power-sharing (absolute monarchy vs constitutional monarchy, etc) but the kernels of future (modern) ideas about rights and citizenship are also there, even if they are a long way from being expressed in the terms we know today.

This was one of the reasons why I have found TWDR, Maids, and Chuno so compelling as well. They are about more power struggles between different factions or charismatic nobles.

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You made some very good points especially with Bang-won and the way he is acting towards his father. He is not following the Confucian doctrine here. His hero Jeong Do-jeon is a Confucian scholar. He also mentioned teacher Poeun (the revered scholar Jeong Mong-ju) so he has got to be well versed in Confucian by now although Buddhism is the current state religion.

I'd like to see them justify overthrowing Goryeo. They (Jeong Do-jeon, Lee Bang-won, Lee Seong Gye) all seems to have sympathy for the lower class but is it what motivates them to go this far or is it all about power?

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history wise was LBW that influential? did he really manipulate his father at such a young age?

is there any documentation of such a conflict?
or is it for the drama sake?

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This is the writer's idea not history. We are the ones that are getting manipulated here lol.

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i believe he was that influential

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So, I'm confused about Moo Hyul. Is this the same Moo Hyul who was the Captian of the guard for King Sejong in Tree with Deep Roots? How old is he suppose to be in Six Dragons? In Tree with Deep Roots he seemed to be around the same age as King Sejong. In Six Dragon he's about the same age as Bang Won, whose King Sejong's father. Are they different Moo Hyul? Or the same?

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They are the same. Moohyul in Tree is a lot older than King Sejong because he had that face even when King Sejong was still played by Song Joong Ki.

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Yes Moo Hyul is a lot older than King Sejong but he doesn't look like it because he is played by the same actor throughout the whole show.
Moo Hyul was originally Bang-won's guard and he became Sejong's guard after Bang-won (King Taejong) retired.

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@nara: history recorded that LBW though he was the 5th son of General LSG, LBW was the one who took part/participate the most in helping his father and JDJ creating Joseon. For this reason, his father has initially considered to put him as his successor of the throne. But JDJ made LSG changed his mind because the conflict between JDJ and LBW had gotten deeper at the time.

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but what the show is showcasing is LBW overriding his father and forging an alliance with JDJ
and history wise i would assume the opposite

LSG forging alliance with JDJ with his son LBW his greater supporter not manipulator

and about that im curious if the documents sayhe had such power over his father which i dont think he had at that stage in history

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WARNING:SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER.

SPOILER (history)

Bang-won did not forged/stamped the proposal to stabilize the border. Seong Gye submitted it himself. This whole emotional outburst did not happen.

SPOILER (from Tree)

During the confrontation between Taejong (retired king Bang-won) and his young son the current king Sejong. Taejong told his son that Jung Do Jeon did not do anything. He (Bang-won) did it all, he did the dirty work and put his father on the throne. He built Joseon, His Joseon ...Jung Do Jeon and all the people that he killed were all traitors.

WRITERS

In order to connect with Tree since this is a prequel they had to insert Bang-won in this situation in order for him to take the credit for moving this grand plan along.
There is a lot of twisting when it comes to the actual history, like In-hyeong blackmailing Seong Gye for example.

There is a lot more to cover and it will take a while before Goryeo is overthrown.

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thanx kiara that clarifies a lot

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I don't know if you should thank me for spoiling it for you. I watched Tree with just the basic history of King Sejong and I enjoyed it a lot.

SFD is a different experience. I'm rather critical and grumpy instead. So I hope knowing what's coming will not take away the fun for you.

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* and i think the drama\writers are moving in the direction of LBW winning and overpowering everyone
gifting his father the crown
and after a what would be a time leap
destroying his alliance with JDJ and trying to get rid of him

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I hope there won't be a time leap. They have so much material to work with.

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maybe SPOILER

kiara: first your not ruining the fun for me
for me learning history through a drama is a tremendous benefit so thank you
second as i understand it the real or part of the real drama will be the conflict between LBW & JDJ which mean theyll have to go through all the creating new country process and then the conflict of father son the kings in between and only then LBW trying to get rid of JDJ
if i understood correctly the real history
therefore i really think theyll have to use a time leap
like they did from ep 4 to ep 5

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They probably will.

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didn't see anyone mention this...

but when ddang sae was staring at minister Hong... he muttered to his girl partner, "the fortunes on his face indicates he won't live long."

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I'm sure Ddang saeng already knew who his next target will be.

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I just had this thought. How awesome it would be to watch Dragons in full then watch Tree after. Oooooohhhhh. Too bad I already watched Tree like 50 million times.

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Ikr? This is like watching the LotR trilogy first then The Hobbit after. It's wasn't as fun.

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I watched TWDR first long ago. And now this. I gotta say I enjoy both dramas though I didn’t quite impressed with the first eps of TWDR and skipped some parts. I enjoy SFD more. However, both of the dramas give different perspectives and that what make them interesting.

Well, I guess it’s a matter oft taste, to each of their own.

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True, it's a matter of taste and I'm a King Sejong fan-girl so I find every drama about him interesting. Having 2 amazing actors portrayed him in Tree was a bonus.

SFD is quite the opposite. I'm just watching things unfold. I don't feel any attachment to Bang-won or Jung Do-jeon. Warrior Moo Hyul is the one that I feel like rooting for because I love his character in Tree. I just hope Yoon will do a good job because Cho Jin-Woong's Moo Hyul was pretty awesome.

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i have to say that if id go by my own ideals of todays values
my inclination is towards JDJ

and BY who apparently doesnt believe in social status and everyone is the same in her eyes

even JDJ is just an Ajjashi in her eyes

but since she is fictional and JDJ isnt
i would have followed JDJ idealism

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and just want to add that for me what i liked best in tree is that they made woman and integral part ofcreating hangul
since history showed that one of the reason that the opposition - scholars, and ministers were against an easy writing system was
that it was SO easy even women can learn it - which of course was taboo

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@nara

I think it's easy not to believe in social status when you are part of the lower class. I don't have faith in politicians. They say one thing and then do the opposite when take office. Unlike Bong Yi and Bang-won, I don't trust this Jeong Do-jeon yet. Is this grand plan going to make life better for the slaves and peasants who are following him or is this all about power and revenge?

It's hard to judge King Taesong (Bang-won) severely when he gave us the best king Joseon ever had. King Sejong the Great put Korea on the map with his inventions and love for his people. He was the people's king! Creating hangul benefit not only the women but the lower class. Despite the opposition from the ministers he gave talented people who were in lower class position in his court to help him build a better Joseon. He was truly amazing and worthy of his title "King Sejong The Great." He is so worth fan-girling over haha.

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I watched TWDR first long ago. And now this. I gotta say I enjoy both dramas though I didn't quite impressed with the first eps of TWDR. I enjoy SFD more. However, both of them give different perspectives and that what make them interesting. Well, I guess it's a matter oft taste, to each of their own.

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hi kiara im replying here since i cant there
i disagree
its easier to believe in status when your at the bottom
your are taught from early age that this is how it is
and you believe in it
if it wasnt like that it would have not taken so long to reach this stage of equality (in most of the world)
as we can see ppl who do not believe in it fight it so there wouldnt be kings caesars and so on
most revolutions are done by what we would call the middle class, ppl who think there is hope
unlike poor who usually think there is nothing that can be done and thats life

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I'm not sure I understand what you meant by "believe in status."

I took it that she doesn't believe in the current social status because the slaves and peasants like herself are being treated like dirt.
The nobles are not going to complain about the current social status because of all the privileges that comes with it. They don't have to go to war, they go to school,take the civil exam and become government officials etc.

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i mean she takes ppl at face value, for example even after knowing BW is who he is she doesnt treats him different
and although she probably knows JDJ is not just an average guy she still calls him Ajjashi
she judges ppl according to her own set of values not preconditioned ones
which is uncommon for that time from a peasant

we who grew up knowing we can change our lives our future take this for granted but this is a modern thought

and actually depend on which faction they are from the nobles and the scholars are most likely to object in general

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I just saw this episode today.

It was truly exceptional.

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I'll never stop being thankful for the comments section after every recap. They go over things I wouldn't have noticed otherwise.

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