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Six Flying Dragons: Episode 44

Prepare for warp speed plot advancement as the show seems to become aware of its own mortality, which is a trend that’s been felt since we hit the dreaded forty episode mark. (Which is also a thing I never thought I’d say.) Bang-won becomes paranoid that Jung Do-jeon might come up with a move that can well and truly end him, while I become paranoid that the show is just going to end without finishing all the story it has to tell. I know it’s not going to do that to us, it’s just… separation anxiety is a very real thing, okay?

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EPISODE 44 RECAP

The Ming Emperor’s request to have Jung Do-jeon sent to him for punishment is one Jung’s supporters obviously find absurd, though he and Yeon-hee seem to know that Bang-won likely used his connections to Zhu Di in order to make this happen.

However, it’s not like Ming is without cause to distrust Jung Do-jeon, since he’s in charge of the military and has been leading the assimilation of the Jurchen people, a cause Ming is strictly against. This makes him an easy target, but because Yeon-hee knows Bang-won plotted this with Nameless, she knows it would be the end of Jung if he were to go.

While the bedridden queen echoes the anti-Ming sentiment to her worried husband, Bang-won calls on his closest supporters to aid him in the political battle to come. Da-kyung couldn’t be happier that her husband is taking decisive action, and mentions that she ensured Jo Mal-saeng (the scholar who saved Bang-won and his father in the forest) was admitted to Sungkyunkwan.

Daddy Min has managed to collect a surprising weapon they can now use on their side, in the form of Scholar KWON GEUN. He’s the scholar with the most followers now that Jung Mong-joo is deceased, but what’s surprising about this twist is that he was a loyal follower of Lee Saek’s.

Bang-won can’t help but ask why Scholar Kwon would switch over to his side, and the scholar doesn’t mince words—while he may not respect Bang-won, he has no choice but to support him when their goals are the same. He too doesn’t believe that the prime minister should hold more power than the king. In exchange for his support, Bang-won promises to restore Jung Mong-joo’s honor.

Ha Ryun shows his support for Bang-won by arguing in favor of sending Jung Do-jeon to Ming in court, making it seem like the Jurchen thing is just a minor misunderstanding on Ming’s part which can be solved by a little diplomacy from Jung. (Also, Bang-won takes Shin-jeok up on his offer to serve him, presumably unaware of his subterfuge.)

Jung Do-jeon’s supporters oppose this for obvious reasons, arguing that it’d be insane to send a military commander to Ming as a hostage. A second option comes in the form of Scholar Kwon, who offers to go to Ming with Jung Do-jeon to help resolve the problem. Ah, so this is how Bang-won plans to keep an eye on Jung, as well as to make it so that he can’t very well refuse to go.

Young-kyu helps to spread the negative sentiment about Jung Do-jeon looking like a chicken when Scholar Kwon even volunteered to go, which of course, makes it back to the man himself. It only gets worse for him when a large group of Sungkyunkwan scholars, presumably all followers of Scholar Kwon (and led by Jo Mal-saeng), protest in favor of sending Jung Do-jeon to Ming in front of the palace gates.

Jung Do-jeon just looks tired of it all, something that King Taejo picks up on when Jung asks for permission to go to Ming. For once, it’s Taejo who gives Jung Do-jeon a pep talk, having to remind him that he’d once advised him to endure harsh public criticism when Jung Mong-joo was killed.

Since he’s been in Jung Do-jeon’s shoes, he knows how hard it must be for him to face the shame others are trying to force on him. But much like Jung once told him, he now tells Jung to endure. Jung is grateful that he’s got his back about not going to Ming, but knows that this matter won’t disappear on its own.

When Jung Do-jeon emerges from the palace to see Bang-won and Jo Mal-saeng talking, his natural reaction is to ask whether Bang-won is behind all this. Bang-won doesn’t even take a breath before admitting that he ordered Jo Mal-saeng to head the protest, so what of it?

However, he doesn’t take credit for the letter from Ming, though he may have alluded to a certain Joseon subject who has unlimited power and uses it as he wishes (*cough*).

Only this time, Bang-won stops Jung Do-jeon before he can launch into another lecture on his selfish quest for power: “Is what you do considered politics, and what I do considered selfishness? What I did was diplomacy.”

Besides, everyone knows that Jung Do-jeon instigated this conflict with Ming by taking over military authority and using it to hold ceaseless military training rallies. It’s no wonder Ming thinks Jung could be harboring thoughts of war. Despite these valid points, Jung still seems keen to point out that Bang-won is just masquerading his selfishness under the guise of diplomacy.

“Are you so selfless?!” Bang-won finally snaps, and the question is enough to give Jung Do-jeon pause. “We all have our own personal desires, which are the grounds for our own causes. Ultimately, the winning side’s desires become the cause.”

Jung Do-jeon takes that in for a moment, then gives Bang-won a very disconcerting half-smile as he admits defeat a little too graciously. It’s true that he couldn’t beat Bang-won’s finishing move. “But I still have yet to make my move,” he warns. Ohhhhh.

That smirk Jung Do-jeon gave after saying that continues to haunt Bang-won, so much so that he can’t even shoot an arrow straight while practicing. But then, all of the sudden, he turns his bow and arrow on Moo-hyul(!!). “I don’t like you watching me,” he says, to which Moo-hyul simply replies that he has to watch over him, even if he doesn’t like it.

Since he’s been with Bang-won during more troubling moments than this, he wonders now why Bang-won is so shaken when he never has been before. It’s a pep talk of sorts, or at least that’s how Bang-won takes it, since he vows to put an end to things.

The ministers start murmuring when King Taejo decrees that Jung Do-jeon will not be going to Ming, which is when Jung enters the assembly to make an announcement: he’ll be resigning from all five of his government posts so that Ming has no more cause to misunderstand his intentions. That King Taejo so easily agrees tells Ha Ryun that this isn’t the first time they’ve discussed this.

Bang-won is called to the palace to attend the bedside of Queen Sindeok, who’s not long for this world. She reaches out a pale arm to Bang-won when he enters, and uses her last breath to entreat him to protect Bang-seok. Reaching out to Bang-seok as well, she joins the two brothers’ hands with her own.

After resisting a very strong urge to roll his eyes, Bang-won reassures the queen that she has nothing to worry about… but he purposefully removes his hand from the symbolic union, leaving the queen gasping in surprise. His message is clear, and she dies knowing that, which is probably one of the more ruthless things Bang-won has ever done.

The royal funeral plans have hurt Grandma’s business in Banchon, since people are too busy wailing and gnashing their teeth to stop in for a drink. Grandma is more worried about Moo-hyul getting caught up in Bang-won and Jung Do-jeon’s power struggle though, which she knows will only get worse.

And because Gongyang’s children happened upon an arrowhead while they were playing, a weapon strictly forbidden in Banchon, Sa-kwang explores the shed where they were playing only to find a curiously locked door. (It’s Bang-won’s secret weapons basement.)

Moo-hyul only knows that the storage shed belongs to his grandmother when he comes upon Sa-kwang leaving it, and asks her what she was doing in there. She almost tells him the truth, but seems to decide that it’s not worth troubling him for.

King Taejo takes what will undoubtedly be an ill-advised trip away from the palace, leaving the young crown prince vulnerable. This, coupled with Jung Do-jeon’s sudden disappearance, leaves Bang-won stewing in his own anxiety. All he can think of is that smirk.

No one else seems to know where Jung Do-jeon is either—and if they do, no one’s telling. I wouldn’t be surprised if Jung Do-jeon’s plan was just to leave for a while and drive Bang-won mad with paranoia, because that’s exactly what’s happening.

Bang-won gets an idea then as to what Jung Do-jeon could possibly be doing, and whatever it is, Nameless has caught onto it too. The thought is enough to keep Bang-won up that night, though he’s reluctant to believe what he’s thinking. Surely Jung Do-jeon isn’t planning to start a war to induce military reform… is he?

That’s the burning question on Bang-won’s mind as he confronts Boon-yi about that red envelope she returned to Jung Do-jeon only after she brokered a deal with him for her people to live in Banchon. Did she read what was inside?

Boon-yi takes the more diplomatic approach first, citing her responsibility as leader of Banchon to not divulge such information. Bang-won understands, which is why he’s not asking about what she read, but rather, whether she read it.

Though she tries to claim that the envelope was sealed, Bang-won reminding her just how easy it is to open and re-seal an envelope causes her a momentary look of guilt. That’s all Bang-won needs: “We are still the same. As always, I am grateful, and as always, you still cannot fool me.”

Bang-won knows for sure that Boon-yi read what was inside the envelope, and that it must have contained a terrible secret. He broaches the unthinkable topic of Jung Do-jeon possibly wanting a war with Liaodong to a shocked Ha Ryun, while the scribe who follows Boon-yi around reports the contents of Bang-won and Boon-yi’s conversation to Jung Do-jeon’s brother, JUNG DO-GWANG.

Ha Ryun and Bang-won go over the ramifications of his conspiracy theory regarding Jung Do-jeon carefully, since it would make sense that he’d use war as a reason to centralize and assimilate private soldiers into one national army.

Goryeo could never accomplish this before, since the nation’s coffers couldn’t support such a massive force, which is why noblemen and officers retained control of their armies in peacetime. But with Joseon, there’d be no need to ever return the soldiers. The big question remains: is Jung Do-jeon so reckless as to start a losing war just to accomplish military reform?

Since neither of them can answer that, Bang-won resolves to go to his father, who must have some contact with Jung Do-jeon. But that’s when Ha Ryun comes running out with the revelation that Jung Do-jeon is likely faking the idea of a Liaodong Conquest in order to unify the private armies.

His secret agreement with Jurchen Chief Mohenpa, then, is likely so that he’ll be able to hide that fact for as long as possible. It makes perfect and terrible sense, because if this is Jung Do-jeon’s finishing move, then they’ll have no defense against it.

Bang-won and Moo-hyul ride to meet his father, while one of Jukryong’s spies alerts his master to Jung Do-jeon’s whereabouts. He’s in the old capital of Gaegyeong, specifically, in the former dodang assembly hall.

Yeon-hee enters the once-grand hall looking for Jung Do-jeon, only to find Bang-ji instead. He notices that she’s limping a bit, and forces her to sit down so he can examine her ankle, which she seems to have just overworked. Wait, when did you guys start interacting?

After massaging it for her, Bang-ji asks if she likes the work they’re doing that much. With a small smile, she replies that she likes it because she gets to do that work with him. They’ve both been working to help Jung Do-jeon, who arrives to hear Yeon-hee’s report on her progress. Everything is in order for his big fake-out.

Using intel given by Ha Ryun, Bang-won barges into the temple where his father is staying… but finds a stranger dressed in his father’s robes instead. Whoops.

Instead, King Taejo comes to the dodang assembly hall to meet up with Jung Do-jeon. They act like it’s been forever since they’ve seen each other, which, has it? (Seriously, this show is the vaguest when it comes to time skips.)

Everyone at the king’s decoy location keeps a tight lip as to where the king really is, leaving Bang-won and Moo-hyul to wander off into the woods on a blind search. It’s there that a Nameless operative finds them, and brings them to meet the Nameless elders.

It’s Bang-won’s first time meeting Yooksan in the flesh, though he could care less about that after they tell him where Jung Do-jeon is. Yeon-hyang stops him by saying that there’s something much more important to discuss, which sets Bang-won off.

“What is more important than this?” he asks wildly. “You people… just what kind of organization are you?” You’re asking this now? He wonders what could possibly be more important than Jung Do-jeon planning a fake Liaodong conquest in order to abolish private armies, to which Yooksan answers that the fake Liaodong conquest might not be so fake after all.

King Taejo hears the exact same thing from Jung Do-jeon, who makes sure that an official from the office of records transcribes everything they’re about to say from now on, because it will be of great historical significance. He doesn’t want to just act like he’s going to attack Liaodong—he wants to actually attack it.

This is concerning to everyone who hears for obvious reasons, the biggest one being that the failed Liaodong Expedition is the reason why King Taejo turned the army around and rebelled in the first place. Jung Do-jeon’s argument can basically be translated as: “Yeah, but this time, it’s different.”

Thanks to Yeon-hee’s spy network, she’s able to tell the king that the envoys they sent to Ming recently have been executed. She has more news from the Ming capital, but they cut away before we can hear it.

Bang-won is hearing almost the same information from Yeon-hyang, who tells him that the Hongwu Emperor (Ming’s first emperor and founder) is dying. He has six months at most, but since the news is so delayed, there’s a chance he’s dead already.

Jung Do-jeon’s prediction is that the empty throne will cause a civil war within Ming, which would leave the country weak enough for them to take Liaodong in conquest. That’s what Jung Do-jeon has been preparing the military for.

Obviously, the coming strife carries different implications for Bang-won and Nameless, who can’t even count on Zhu Di’s support. If Judy has to fight for his place as emperor, it means he and his forces will have to leave Liaodong for the capital, which is exactly what Jung Do-jeon will be counting on.

If that were to happen, then Jung Do-jeon would get everything he ever wanted and more, leaving Bang-won with no army and no power of his own. What’s worse is that Bang-won knows with absolute certainty that Zhu Di will abandon Liaodong, and there’s nothing they can do about it.

But then the problem becomes what happens after, with Jung Do-jeon and Nameless having different thoughts on the matter. Jung Do-jeon believes that they’ll be able to sign a treaty with Zhu Di over Liaodong once/if he were to become emperor, while Nameless is absolutely sure he would sign no such thing.

Even if they were to get Liaodong, Yeon-hyang argues, they’d use up all their resources defending it and end up dissolving as a country because of it. “Your Highness, you must stop this war!” she cautions.

Jung Do-jeon asks the exact opposite of King Taejo, whom he wants permission from in order to end the thousand year history of their country’s subservience to Ming. “Please create a new country and forge a new history, one that does not persecute its people and does not yield to external forces,” Jung pleads.

While Yeon-hyang screams in case we can’t hear her, “We must stop this war and save this nation, Your Highness!”

“So this was it,” Bang-won thinks to himself. “The truth behind my anxiety and uneasiness.”

 
COMMENTS

So let me get this straight: The nation that Jung Do-jeon had a very personal and incredibly heavy hand in creating from the ground up, one that he penned the rules and constitution for, and one he personally ran from five different offices for a good while there suddenly isn’t good enough anymore? Now he wants to create a new nation? He hasn’t even broken the other one in yet!

I get that he doesn’t mean he wants a complete overhaul, but the language is awfully similar, and the motivations much more vague. Jung Do-jeon has really lost some esteem over the course of this series, but this episode really served as a disconnect when it came to him—it was hard to see things from his perspective before, but now, it’s become almost impossible. And for what? It’s not like any of us were waffling between him and Bang-won, we were going to support the latter no matter what.

If that was going to be the case, then it would’ve made more sense for the show to work harder to endear Jung Do-jeon to us, in order for us to care more about what’s to come. Instead, they’re practically vilifying him with this Liaodong turn, and turning what was an incredibly intelligent strategist into a delusional nationalist who would’ve never said things like this before.

What’s more is that all the people in that assembly hall were alive and well when the first Liaodong Expedition failed, yet it may as well have never happened. King Taejo himself was there on the front lines, and knew at the time what a terrible idea such a venture was, yet he’s listening to Jung Do-jeon’s war strategy like he’s never held a sword in his entire life. The only way this makes even a little sense is if Jung Do-jeon is striking back for the blow to his ego that Bang-won delivered by means of the Ming Emperor, but even then, I’m not sure. Throw us a bone here, Jung Do-jeon.

The timeline has been a little weird lately, though I’m more than willing to give a few concessions due to time constraints and all the history this show has to cover in its remaining episodes. But I still feel somehow cheated by the scene with Bang-ji and Yeon-hee, despite that being all I ever wanted before. It still was all I ever wanted, though I’m wondering if it’s too little, too late—it’s kind of a sucker punch that the show developed their relationship during an off-screen ambiguous time skip rather than using the literally dozens of episodes it had to do the same thing more organically. Believe me, I still ate it up. I just wish we’d been served it sooner.

 
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Jo Mal Saeng is back! I kinda miss him!

Bye bye to the selfish queen Sindeok...she has the least empathy from me...good riddance! Hah! That rolling eyes look from Bangwon at her deathbed was a good one.

JDJ is definitely prepares a sneaky plan up his sleeves meanwhile if the war starts means all Princes are to go to war. Oh no!

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Malsaeng is a cutie pie. ><

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Second that

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He's a cutie pie even in TWDR xD

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And I agree with your comments on the Queen. Not too long ago, she would've cheerfully severed Bang won's head, just to ensure her son remained Crown Prince, now she wants a vow of fealty for her son from Bang won...umm...what???

His refusal to take her hand and give her the reassurance she needed was not callous, but one of the most honest things he has done, and I am glad he's no hypocrite.

Poor Papa King, all he could do was glare at Bang won.

Thank you King, for proving that you are not a puppet and at least exerting some influence over JDJ by forcing him to remain in Joseon. Although if he agrees to JDJ's latest scheme, I may go back to thinking he's a puppet king after all...

There's little difference between this current scheme and Choi Young's reason for going to war...

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Also, I think JDJ is kinda hoping that the war will kill off all the older princes, so he won't have to deal with them anymore. He's always looking for someone else to do his dirty work for him. It's a pattern with him.

He worked the crowd to burn the books, avoided dealing with Po Eun until Bang won was forced to kill him to save his family, manipulated Bang won going off to Liaodong in hopes that he would be killed there, and is now engineering a war that might kill off the older princes. ..

Way to go JDJ :-(

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Yes, you have a point there! The older princes will have no choice but to go to war and 'hopefully' they will be killed off.
There, problem solved.

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I didn't think about that theory but indeed going to war against someone bigger than you will lead some of the princes to death.

And I don't think they deserved that since they all worked together for a new country.

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I like BJ and YH but I did find their scene strange today. YH has always avoided BJ's gaze so I didn't expect that scene in E44. I don't know though if it means she's now reciprocating BJ's feelings. BJ honestly showed on emotions upon YH's return. He seemed happier when MH returned.

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So agree, Bang-ji had a brighter smile on his face when Moo Hyul returned, he even said "I missed you"

In the beginning I was rooting for Bang-ji and Yeon Hee to be together ... I still do but I want to see opening up to each other and not just skip all the steps.

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personally, I'm actually not very bothered by the time vagueness haha. my original concern was that they wouldn't have time to make it all the way to the 2nd strife of princes and we wouldn't get to see Bang-Won become king. but it seems like it might actually happen now which makes me a very happy drama fan and audience. if the vague time skips are the price to pay to see Bang-Won become king i'd gladly take it.

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While I ship BJ/YH too, won't YH eventually become Sambong's woman? I'm.basing that on TWDR's where someone accused BJ of abandoning Sambong to protect Sambong's wife, whomBJ was in love with. That is, if the subtitles that I watched were correct.

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I feel you kind of misrepresented JDJ here. During the first Liaodong expedition, everyone, INCLUDING JDJ and Bang-Won, expressed a desire to conquer Liaodong. The conquest of Liaodong was the key to regaining the former glory of Goguryeo, when they were a regional power on par with any of the (admittedly multiple) states of China.

Ever since then they've been a subordinate nation bullied by the Tang, the Song, the Yuan, and now the Ming (and historically, we know that will continue all the way thru Qing). It's to the point that, JDJ is trying to centralize the national army (to better combat the routine Japanese pirate raids) and naturalize the Jurchen people (who until now have been an enemy on the northern border) and Ming outright INTERFERES in their steps to enhance national security! What, are THEY going to help with Jurchen-pirate problem? No? Well, have a nice tall glass of shut-the-fuck-up, then, Ming!

So it's not like this desire to conquer Liaodong came out of nowhere. (Hell, they stated it AS A MISSION GOAL during the last expedition) And come on; he didn't mean a NEW new nation; just a new history, where they don't have to submit to foreign powers. It's not like his plan is the same half-hazard conquest of the previous expedition. It's the right season, they have food for the expedition ("no secure supplies on sight" nonsense) and a civil war that will almost assuredly break out, pulling away the bulk of the Liaodong guard.

You also missed the most important bit (at least in my translation): JDJ flat-out said that if Zhu Di DOESN'T take the bait and leave, the expedition is off, and they'll at least get the centralization of the army out of it.

Basically, I feel you portrayed JDJ as suddenly acting out of character, when this move very much IS in character. Yes, that includes him (potentially) misjudging Zhu Di, which until now has always been his weakness; judging the characters of people.

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We all must agree though, that contemptuous SMIRK he gave Bang-Won was epic. "Nice try, little boy; now watch how an adult plays politics."

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That Smirk had me shaking in my boots on LBW's behalf.

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He's gonna pay for scaring Bang-won though. :( He wasn't called Kill Bang-won for nothing. O____O

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Amen to that.

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yes to that...

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Lol, little boy.

And that's how jung DoJeon went down.

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next week's preview: "alright old man. watch this little boy burn everything to the ground"

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+1 to JDJ rocks!

I am not in the Bang Won camp, in spite of his puppy eyes and stuff.

I just feel that he is a whiny boy, who is upset who didn't get his due rewards and recognition.

It might seem that he did a lot. but than it's a drama, we need a viewpoint.

Bang Won is not the one doing the actual administrative work of running the country.

They don't show it because dramawise, we will get bored of seeing JDJ and Taejo reading papers after papers, issuing edicts after edicts and talking to scholars after scholars.

Yes, Bang Won did important stuff, but he was rarely on the front line, like his other brothers, who all have war experience.

We don't see him doing a lot of paper work too.

He just makes all the dramatic actions.

So shhh Bang Won, just becasue you got all the dramatic action does not mean you are doing all the most significant action as well.

*okay, just a rant on Bang Won*

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This is a late reply, as i just watched the drama recently. But, in real life, im sure the reason BW felt it was unjust because he did more than what's shown in the drama. At least, much more than the youngest son (eho certainly did nothing).. There would be no problem if the 1st or 2nd son ascend the throne (I'm not sure why bang woo in real life was not chosen as crown prince)

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Thank you for your explanation, this makes sense!

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yes I agree with you. if anything I actually feel that that ending scene potentially showed us a different perspective of how Jung Do-Jeon has the long term historical interests of the nation in mind, while Bang-Won really is motivated purely by the fact that his private army is about to disappear with his powers (as seen when he was shouting at Nameless for thinking anything could be more important than that).

ofcourse one could argue it's not like Jung Do-Jeon doesn't have selfish motivations either since (from his conversation with Taejo) he really originally started the idea as a fake in order to abolish the private armies because he thought the chances of success are less than 30%. but he did his research and only submitted his plan to really conquer Liaodong to the King when he was sure the chances were above 70% (which very much gels with what Bang-Won said about his personality). i was actually really quite convinced by his arguments to the king of why this time the situation is so different from the last like the seasons being different (meaning they get lots of army rations from harvest) and the china king dying which means civil war and a lowered ability of China to defend Liaodong. I could see what he meant by this chance being extremely rare and golden.

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I guess conquering Liaodong could be counted as Sambong's "selfish dream/desire" to reclaim all of old Goguryeo's lands.. but I guess this really shows how accurate Bang-Won's statement was that "In the end, it's the winner's dreams and desires that become the great cause."

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I wonder what Lee SeongGye would say though, considering that "a smaller country shouldn't attack a larger country" was one his reasons why he was reluctant to go forth on the LiaoDong expedition besides his hesitation on conquering new lands. Also, he went once before already (even crossed the river!) but had to turn back because he... ...had a lack of provisions.

I agree that on paper, the timing perfect and rare, but I wonder what the former "all-victories" general thinks.

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sigh lately "all-victories general" has become more of a "all-yes king" he agrees with anyone who gives him a halfway decent argument (like when he was deciding the crown prince and he changed his mind from Bang-Gwa to Bang-Won to Bang-Seok with every person that came to tell him their opinion) and agrees with anything Sambong comes up with

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Maybe this guy's brain was in his Bow and Arrows. And they took that away from him when he became King. So sad.

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Military men are not inclined to be visionaries. Military regimes have historically led countries to ruins.

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There has been a few who are willing to see things from Sambong's point of view so this is great.

I do have one problem with this Liaodong expedition. Gwanggaeto the Great had the experience and the man power to conquer Liaodong and keep it.

I'm not so sure that the newborn Joseon would be able to handle Ming if they were to successfully take Liaodong. I'm not doubting Lee Seong-gye's military leadership because he can surely do it but the man power is lacking imo.

The emperor of Ming is basically being an ass to King Taejo and his people. He demanded a prince and now the Prime Minister Sambong who has nothing to do with the allegations that he is making against him.
This emperor (before he became emperor) was part of the Red Turban invasions that was rebelled by Choi Young and Lee Seong-gye. I wonder if he is picking a bone with Taejo on purpose.

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I am just incredibly surprised that Jung DoJeon is naive enough to believe that Judy would just hand over LiaoDong to them on a treaty served on a silver platter. Has he seen the size of Ming in scale to Joseon's?! Or heard of the reports of the ruthless emperor AND of Zhu Di? What more, Liaodong was Judy's turf...

Lee SeongGye better be getting his brains together if they're to pass this (which history says they won't). This is his expertise!

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Exactly. How long can a civil war last? What will happen to Joseon once Ming recovers from its civil war? Castrophic. Annihilation.

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Uh... a civil war can last almost forever... shall I direct you to the Northern Africa?

But I agree that Ming would rather annihilate Joseon than relinquish it's power over Liaodong.

1) Liaodong was a very strategic place for national security and trade.

2) Liaodong was Zhu Di's and not some remote, unimportant land so this was a matter of pride too.

3) Ming was just so damned big that Joseon would fall if both really went for it over Liaodong. As stated above, I really doubt that Ming would give in, regardless of the status and level of diplomacy between the two countries.

But mainly, I'm just surprised that Jung DoJeon expected Zhu Di to sign a treaty with them.

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This is what happens when a person gets greedy; which was what happened to JDJ. He should be spending time and resources to consolidate the new dynasty rather than invading other countries. What a jerk!

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I never take Sambong as naive. He is very well aware of the political situation in Ming. Ming is about to embark in a bloodier battle for to the throne that would take a couple of years to resolve. Zhu Di will leave Liaodong and take his army to the capital (far away from Liaodong). He sees it as a great opportunity to RECLAIM their lost land centralized the armies at the same time.

Lee Seong-gye was a much more formidable general in history but the way he is being portrayed in this drama makes one wonder how he ever made it to the throne.

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I think I'm jumping ahead of history here but hey, they have never been consistent with the timeline anyway.

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I know, I know. If I were king then I would want to charge and conquer Liaodong at that time too. It's just that Jung DoJeon here expects the treaty to be signed and that's his grand plan for the stability of Liaodong? Sure, he may have control of it for... what, 4 years... and then Ming would wallop them again because of reasons I stated above. I really don't think a treaty would be signed - more like another war would be waged.

I'm for the conquest but I'm not too sure about the plan for after the conquest...

Lol, yeah. I have the same thoughts as you regarding Lee SeongGye.

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(Talking History)
I believe Lee Seong-gye was their last hope of ever reclaimming Liaodong if he had the support of a centralized army and more men power. They had gunpowder, cannons etc back then that they were able to use against the Japanese pirates earlier.

Bang-gwa, Bang-won, Sejong etc would not have been able to fill Lee Seong-gye's shoes on the battlefield. So it's kind of sad that this dream was never fulfilled.

OT - I want more Goguryeo sageuks dang it.

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Good generals do not necessarily make good kings.

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thank you!
I tried to put my thoughts in order to write a comment about it, but it would never be this good.

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JDJ is too optimist and for once I agree with Nameless because just one prince of Ming has 200K soldiers.

So when the Civil war will end, the new king will come kick them out of Liandong easly since he will have more men. So that war will cost a lot to the new builded country in long term.

That's why Nameless is against it, so I am too.

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"After resisting a very strong urge to roll his eyes, Bang-won reassures the queen that she has nothing to worry about… but he purposefully removes his hand from the symbolic union, leaving the queen gasping in surprise. His message is clear, and she dies knowing that, which is probably one of the more ruthless things Bang-won has ever done."

Of all that she has done in this drama, I feel that this is the most underhanded and manipulative. She is trying on her death bed to make BW promise that he will not go against his younger half-brother. That's soooo manipulative, especially after how she

1) is unappreciative of the way he saved her and her sons in the Liaodong hostage crisis

2) very unwisely placed her very young, inexperienced son who did nothing to contribute to the new nation as crown prince

3) begged her husband to kill Bang-won

This is so shameful and selfish. She places BW i a difficult position to say 'no', and because it is a death-bed promise, it would have very bad repercussions on him if he were to break the promise.

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She tried a last ditch effort to save the life of her young son, yes. I don't find it underhanded and manipulative at all. She's trying to protect her children from a murdering sociopath. If anything she should be chided for thinking cultural norms like deathbed promises would have any affect on him.

I also take issue with some of your points:

1.) What makes you think she's unappreciative? That she doesn't go falling head over heels when ever she sees him? That she doesn't ignore the very real and present danger he poses to her children? Lee Bang Ji was also there to save their neck; man, she's so unappreciative of the Best Swordsman!

2.) See, I actually mostly agree with this one. It WAS a foolish decision. I will say this in her (moderate) defense; it wasn't JUST her decision, and least we forget, it was Nameless who prodded and duped her into making this decision. We all seem to forget; her son being made Crown Prince was a Nameless ploy to give the out-of-favor Bang-Won an opportunity.

3.) ...And? She's both dying and hysterical with fear that Bang-Won will kill her children if he's allowed free reign. Guess what? Her fear is quite legitimate and healthy (well, sort of.)

She's been put in a terrible place due to both Nameless and Bang-Won (who post-fact approved the move to name the Queen's son Crown Prince). It was still her (and the King's) decision to make and it was a bad one, but let's not pretend that Bang-Won and his allies didn't engineer this exactly as it has played out.

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LMAO.

I think the whole idea of "We have to give the position of CROWN PRINCE to this boy because according to some incense stick, without it, he will die (specifically, have a short life wherein short is not even defined. What if the the incense stick/ for all the monk's bullshit he meant that the kid lives to 40 instead of 80? 80 back then is like our 120 and their 40 is our 80.)!"

Even if I fully understand that they're heavily superstitious in those days... it is too stupid for me to accept that she's just a floundering mother who just wants best for her child. BangWon is no angel or saint but this is too stupid that I kinda really can't credit him and MooMyung for the successful engineering of this outcome.

"She's put in a terrible place"? She bloody stepped into the big gaping hole herself.

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In ancient times, i think all the royalty will be regarded as Geniuses one way or another.

By their royal elitist blood, they are all more intelligent and smarter than the common folk.

So it does not matter which son is on the throne. They are all better than anyone anyway.

It's in "their divine blood"

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you can't judge people from the past by our own standards. their realities were very different then ours, and in her time those sorts of "superstitions" were as real as science is to us today. she trusted that high positioned priest the same way you probably would a cancer specialist telling you you have cancer.

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I don't care if she believes the monk. Even I believe that she does believe the monk. The incredulous thing is that she (her husband actually) actually made her son CROWN PRINCE just because of it. Crown Prince! What is that? Is the position of Crown Prince similar to something frivolous as King of a Toilet Bowl? Even if they did, give a reason that people can accept! Not a non-answer that so many people disagree with or become nervous about but a legit, strong reason why a child should be holding that title. "A King should be a flower" is not an acceptable reason because flower or not, this King is still head of state.

And the monk said "cut short". What does he mean by "cut short"? How long was BangSeok supposed to live? When in his life would it be "cut short". So what is the effective lifetime he has after fate's scissors work?

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Wait.

Wait.

You can't accept the fact that a highly religious woman in a superstitious era believed a revered monk that her son will either be crown prince or will be dead, but you CAN understand Bang-Won going on a murderous rampage that will include his own family members? A murderous rampage that, in true drama tradition, will include 3 generations? All because of HIS greed? HIS greed to become king and do the EXACT SAME THING Sambong is doing right now?

Yes, she stepped in the hole herself. Yes, she deserves some of the blame. But let's not pretend that she was even considering this as a possibility until Nameless came along. "Hey, Queen praying for the future of her son, so, we got an incense stick, right?"

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Uh... yes? Or rather, I can believe that she heavily believed in it but I can't believe that she actually acted on it (along with her dumbass husband) when dealing with the most (or one of the most) important decisions regarding the nation's affairs. Anybody with half a brain cell could tell that this wouldn't go down well. The reasoning behind this crucial political move is waaaaay too flimsy. It's not like BangWon hid his desire nor did his other two brothers not voice their displeasure. Even officials voiced their opposition but nope, they continued to put that rabbit on that seat.

Let's get this straight - BangWon is not wanting to do the EXACT same thing as Jung DoJeon. Just the very fact that he wants to be king is already him splitting away from Jung DoJeon who believes that the king should be a flower. Just because he kept the good parts doesn't mean he keeps everything, including the methods of carrying out their similar goals. Some call it greed, some call it ambition, some call it doing what one thinks is right. After all, what is right doesn't matter - only who wins.

I guessing you didn't see my post to you in the previous recap (I did reply quite late) but it's not really fair to judge him based on our current understanding of our codes of ethics and morals when they had a different set back then. Also, because most children were raised primarily under their birth mother, BangWon has very different loyalties compared to his HALF-brother BangSeok. Ever wondered why this guy slaughtered his half-brother but refused to do the same to his brother from the same mother? BangSeok was family in name, but not really family to BangWon.

Also, in an era when one's status and station in life takes almost infinite priority over his age, BangWon wasn't killing a child. He was killing a former-crown-prince - one he cannot let live if he snatches the throne from. Again, I am not saying that BangWon is an angel.

But let’s not pretend that she was even considering this as a possibility until Nameless came along.

How do you know that? After all, if she never considered the possibility, when talk of BangSeok being crown prince came up, she'd have a million reasons NOT to put him on the seat. Maybe not even a million but at least reasons she believed strongly enough that her son being on that seat was not a possibility. But nope, she went and put him there. Even if, let's say, she she never considered the possibility until mother and son went to visit the monk, the fact that she carried through... wow, so stupid. If that were the case, then if somebody had said out loud "BangSeok should be Crown Prince because he's the purest of them all"... should we be blaming that guy for putting the idea in her head? Ideas good or bad come from every where. It's up to us to decide which to accept and which not to and take actions. We can't always blame the "idea-planter".

What I'm saying is that the threat Nameless made...

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What I'm saying is that the threat Nameless made up and BangWon endorsed was so tissue-paper-thin-flimsy that I can't even applaud them for making her fall into it.

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1) "Lee Bang Ji was also there to save their neck; man, she’s so unappreciative of the Best Swordsman!"

I don't think we can really compare Bang-won and Bang-ji in the same light, except that both of them were trying to save their family members. Without, BW's leadership and Boon-yi's peasant army, I doubt if BJ would even know where to go and rescue them. The brains behind the rescue was BW's and BY's.

But more than just rescuing the family, she, along with JDJ and LSG, certainly did not appreciate the fact that had BW not kill Po-eun, there would be NO Joseon, NO royal family for the Lees...and the Crown Prince issue would not even be an issue.

2) It may not have been solely her decision to make Bang-seok Crown prince of course, but she was the one who initiated the idea based on her superstitious nature, so yes, she is responsible.

3) I know that you are very clearly a JDJ fan. But to call Bang-won a "murdering sociopath", at least at this point of the drama, is unfair. Yes, he killed Po-eun to actualize his dream and a few other people's as well and so that she could be Queen, but didn't Po-eun himself do something similiar? He betrayed a good friend and got the king to sentence three good men to death, because he didn't share in that dream. The only difference is their method. BW, unfortunately didn't have the same avenues to do it the 'legal way'.

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In addition. what BW did to his half brothers is not different from Queen Sindeok wanting to kill him...both have the same reasons - to secure the throne. So how is BW a murdering sociopath for doing that and she not? Main difference is that she died too soon. But the thought is the same.

Frankly, in the era, everyone murders everyone to get ahead. The idea of a peaceful, less bloody transition from Goryeo to Joseon is quite unrealistic.

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I agree! I've tried to say as much but you summarized it perfectly!

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1) And without Lee Bang Ji, it would have been all for naught, at least for Boon-Yi. Muscle was equally important in this scenario, something Bang-Won lacked.

Setting aside that quibble, him killing Po Eun did almost as much harm as it did good. People can argue necessity and whatnot; maybe they're even right. It doesn't change the fact that he killed a man who's only fault was adherence to his philosophical religion, one of the chief tenants was loyalty. That murder led to more than one or two headaches in the early stages, and even now we are seeing the consequences of it. JDJ foresaw this problem (along with his friendship) which is why he wanted to try convincing him.

2) A superstitious nature that is the NORM and that almost EVERYONE HAS. To say that Nameless had no idea of it nor weren't counting on it is lunacy. Utter lunacy. Again, I'm not arguing that it is a smart idea, nor am I arguing that she doesn't bare responsibility. I'm saying that Nameless has a direct blame in this as well. Glossing over it, as you and other Bang-Won fans seem to want to do, is insulting to the narrative that we have clearly seen.

3.) You know what, you're right. I am quite sorry. I mean, it's not like Bang-Won happily burned people alive or anything, right? Oh, oh wait, he did. Without any remorse. Because convincing them would be a pain.

Oh, and those kids he killed when he was a kid himself. I believe it was about 'Justice' and had NOTHING to do with the fact they made him wet himself after he engaged in some tough talk.

Keep your Bang-Won fanning to a minimum. He is, at the very least, a cold-blooded murderer, which is bad enough. Between the lack of remorse (except when he's playing the victim card) and indeed the sickeningly joyful expressions on his face we see, I extrapolate 'sociopath' as well. It honestly isn't a great big leap.

Don't compare that to Po Eun mentally tearing himself apart while sentencing three very real traitors to the legal state to death. Hell, there's an argument that Po Eun's way was more merciful; it at least kept their reputations intact, and prevented the mass-murder of their entire clans.

Bangwon gets a sick, perverse joy out of this, except when someone like Moo Hyul or Bong Yi looks at him and says, "Dude; the fuck?!" Then he turns on the waterworks about his dream and not wanting to be devoured by the worm and what not.

Oh, and for the record; not a JDJ "fan". He's had his own hypocrisies and problems that I've taken issue with in previous comments. I just feel that recently his are being amply held under a microscope, while Bang-Won's are being almost perversely justified, because he's cute.

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Your point about murdering, yes, I agree. I believe that whatever the reason is, murdering human being is forbidden. it's a sin. so, even if we watch a kdrama to entertain ourselves, we should take this point seriously.

"Don’t compare that to Po Eun mentally tearing himself apart while sentencing three very real traitors to the legal state to death "

I think I saw a nearly full episode(or half?) about BW and his conflicted mind before he killed Po-eun. No?

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Agreed! Why did you just show up now? It's nice to get out of fangirl mode sometimes lol.

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"I just feel that recently his are being amply held under a microscope, while Bang-Won’s are being almost perversely justified, because he’s cute." - I disagree. Bang Won is not cute at all. He has a psychotic tendency which is scary. From the beginning, this drama and the writers took different approach on the portraying of Lee Bang Won & Sambong. While most dramas made Sambong a hero and Bang Won a villain, this drama is giving justification on LBW's decision and his character development that none of previous dramas did that. To me this is refreshing, and maybe too to most of viewers. I understand why the majority picked side to Team Bang Won. I'm sure it's not merely for the cute point since Moo Hyul already took it.

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Queen Sindeok is an adult with a mind of her own, don't blame Nameless for her own greed. As Yeon Hyang said to BW about the Crown Prince decision, they would not have been to influence YSG if he was not open to the idea. The queen was stupid to think that she could sideline her capable stepsons who have contributed so much to the cause without any repercussions. Kill BW is too far gone to show her any mercy on her deathbed. Not when she had not shown him any earlier.

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Sideline WHICH capable stepsons? The Oldest who wanted nothing to do with this treachery? The (I think) second oldest who's never had an original thought in his life, to the point that he follows his youngest blood brother's lead (Bang-Won)? Perhaps you mean the 4th brother, who from everything we've seen is a complete nincompoop, who would cause those around him to die of shock if he added 1+1 = 2?

No? Oh. You mean the petty paranoid murdering sociopath. The one who's out of favor and had zero-point-nadda percent chance of being appointed crown prince by his father, who is the ONLY one who can do so.

Yeah, she really 'cut in front of the pack', jumping ahead of idiots and people who had no chance.

Was her decision pragmatically dumb? Absolutely. Did it lead her to extreme paranoia about Bang-Won? Maybe, but what's the old saying about paranoia and out to get you?

I'm also fascinated by everyone getting all defensive about Bang-Won and his 'dreams' and how he is so capable and deserves everything...but everyone ELSE is a dirty greedy person who deserves what they get, despite all evidence to the contrary. It's literally the exact opposite of the show itself!

My God, what does Bang-Won have to DO for people to see him for what he is? For what he was in Tree With Deep Roots (you know, where this story is going)? Murder children?!

Oh. Right. Well we'll give it an episode or two.

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I never understood what you meant by a murdering sociopath, because I've never seen Bang-won kill anyone unless his own life or family was at stake. The Queen was already urging Lee Seong-gye to kill his own son after Jung Do-jeon's plan to send Bang-won to a deadly diplomacy mission to Ming failed. I could see that Bang-won had his ambitions, yes, but I could also see the danger he was facing, with JDJ threatening to strip him of his private army, and him possibly facing death because he was a threat to the Crown Prince. Historically, many older princes have been killed when young princes were named Crown Prince as precautionary measures to prevent overthrowing of the child Crown Prince. The threat faced by Bang-won is real.

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Sambong never said that he hoped Bang-won would die in Ming. That's an assumption.

The reason why his father sent him to Ming was because the emperor DEMANDED a PRINCE, specifically one of the older princes and no one else. (That is also historically true).

Bang-woo was already dead and even if he was alive he would refused to go to Ming to represent a country that he did not approve of. Bang-gwa was raised in the battle field with no political or diplomatic experience and that goes for the rest of his older brothers.

Bang-won was the only one who had any formal education and was involved in politics. So he wasn't sent to Ming to die but because he was the most capable.
We can always assume that Sambong had an ulterior motive based on their relationship in this drama.

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The writers are basically taking this and twist it in order to make a connection to Tree and Bang-won claimed that he went to Ming instead of Sambong.

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"I never understood what you meant by a murdering sociopath, because I’ve never seen Bang-won kill anyone unless his own life or family was at stake."

Three kids who made him wet-himself, unmentioned number scholars in the village that he burned to death. Any one of those is enough to label him a murderer. And he's going to do worse in the very near future.

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@gambitfan3000 "unmentioned number scholars in the village that he burned to death".

He did not burned them to death. They had a choice to leave but chose death over life to defend their principles. These were foolish people who did not know how to live to fight another day. Dumb asses!

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Completely agree with you gambitfan.

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BW is not as bad as you seem to think he is. Sure he's no saint but you make it sound like he murderd them in cold blood. As others have stated. In order for BW or his to have a sercure throne the former crown prince had to die. Too many chances of revolts and rebellion from the supporters of the former crown prince. You seem to be trying to justify the king and queens actions and ill fated decision to put their favorite son on the throne that started all this mess in the first place. King Sejong had his own father in-law killed. Many kings in history all around the world not just in Korea has the siblings killed for the throne. What BW did really wasn't that out of the ordinary. BW wasn't the greatest King by a long shot but he was no where near the worst. One King in Korean history killed just about anyone who dare speak against him. Now that's a murdering sociopath!

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It is a cold blooded murder, justified or not. It is still a cold blooded murder if it was the other way around too.

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Given the elderly sons' contributions to YSG's battles, one would be naive to think they can be cast aside for baby step-brother once Joseon is created. Sad to see the once close-knit Yi family torn apart, how can YSG be so oblivious to what is going on.
The queen may use her beliefs to justify her jostle for the CP position. If the other sons have similar fortune readings, should YSG throw dice to decide on his successor? Unfortunately her opportunism made it a self-fulfilling prophecy for BS.
Many are sympathetic towards SFD's LBW as we see the events that caused his transformation from idealistic child to eventual darkness. Since we like the blame game, go blame the drama writers, lol.
And finally got to agree with the "murdering psycho", the winner's personal desires will become the cause. History is written by the victor. If JMJ had prevailed, JDJ and gang would be deemed the greedy traitors instead.

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Everyone has their flaws. Including JDJ and LSG. If the older boys are unsuitable, Bang-seok is even more so, for reasons that have already been discussed over and over again, so I will not belabour the points.

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Yes, Bang Ji and YH scene was a little bit too late.. with only few episodes left i’m expecting a full speed (with Moohyul and CSK as an exception and maybe BW and BY scene will be okay, err...i think me not likey YH is too obvious)
i wonder if the Clintons also did or do pillow talk like BW and Da Kyung?

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"i wonder if the Clintons also did or do pillow talk like BW and Da Kyung?" I am pretty sure they did :D

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That short scene between BW and BY stabbed at my heart a little. Actually, every one of their scenes after they said their goodbye in the snow stabs at my heart.

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Love their scenes together. They are able to pack a lot of emotions into one short scene.

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Scholar KWON GEUN pen name Yangchon <3. Say hello to your close friend and replacement Sambong.

I don't think it's a twist that Yangchon was a follower of Mogeum (Lee Saek). Mogeum was actually his teacher.

Sambong and Yangchon (Kwon Geun) were known as the greatest masters of Confucian Nation. They both openly denounced Buddhism.
Sambong served Lee Seong-gye (King Taejo) and Yangchon served Bang-won (King Taejong).

Yangchon (Kwon Geun) was the better diplomat. The Ming emperor favored him but criticized Sambong so I'm not surprised that he is here and volunteered to take Sambong's place. Yes! it's about time.

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Interesting! I should google Kwon Geun. Thanks, Kiara

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I thought all the envoys died?

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King Taejo did not sent Sambong to Ming so Yangchon (Kwon Geun) went in his place. He returned home safely.

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why in Joseon people always wear the same outfit everyday? even for king and queen. boon yi for example always wear that white with blue stirp hanbok. why?

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Because each set of clothing has significance - for those in the higher ranks.

And because they have to stick to clothing conduct but yet not have much money to splurge on fashion for those in the lower ranks.

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(And they don't have washing machines. Oooh, stinky!)

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that is exactly what i'm thinking of. We saw Boonyi washing clothes in earlier episode. but she never canged hers. and her hanbok is just fine as always. is she have 2 similar hanbok? why? is it forbiden to have diferent colour clothes set?

even bang won and lee sung gye wear the same outfit every time they off duty..

the one i know had many clothes set is saeguk is gu yong ha (sungkyungkwan scandal) :p

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Here's my 2 cents worth, so correct me if I'm wrong:

Colourful material is probably expensive then, and also as peasants, it would not seem appropriate to wear bright colours as it would not befit their station. The bright, motr expensive silk were reserved for the higher ups.

The peasants and slaves are poor, and hence probably only had 2 -3 change of clothes. This is true even today. In one of my visits to a third world country, the children wore the same clothes for the 3 days that I was there. The clothes were already dirty on the first day, so I can presume that it was won a few days prior to my arrival. One boy even wore a dress, because he had nothing else to change into.

As for BW and LSG's clothing, it's probably the same kind of clothing but in slightly different tones. They probably weren't very fashion conscious, unlike Gu Yong-ha, cos he was a dandy and his daddy owned a clothing store. However, I did notice that BJ had a change of clothing when MH came back. Ha.

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Historically, people had fewer sets of clothing since everything was handmade and hand sewn. Poor people had two outfits, one to wear and one in the wash. Rich people probably had more clothes but except for the king who probably had a new outfit every day, everyone else in the court had new wardrobes every season. Also, clothing doesn't last long if it's washed at the river and line dried in the sun.

Practically, those costumes get expensive! They probably have two or three sets of the same outfit for each actor. Each outfit is to represent the character which is why we see no change over time.

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I like how SDFGHJDFGHJJHGFDFGHJ hot Moohyul looks but damn, his sadface breaks my heart. He doesn't even smile much anymore. :(

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He honestly looks tired (no I don't mean Yoon Kyunsang although I'm fairly sure he's tired due to the filming schedule) but yeah I think Moohyul has finally realised the "horrors" of reality that Boonyi/Bangji etc. were aware of before. The bliss & innocence he had before definitely left him when he separated from Bangwon.

Zhudi did call him a "lunatic" (according to my subs) when he okayed Bangwon to take him back so I wonder what that would imply for later episodes. Ofc we all know that Moohyul is far from outright crazy but perhaps his outlook is now to "toughen up" and be serious, perhaps be a little bit more brutal? less forgiving? instead of tender hearted & gracious. In TWDR, Moohyul demonstrated in his thinking that he would not hesitate to kill anyone that would harm his king. So I do think that he would have less mercy now that he's changed?
His conversation with Bangji about just looking ahead one day at a time instead of worrying about the future is quite telling in that he wouldn't feel as conflicted when the fight finally does come? If they had fought before Moohyul changed his outlook then perhaps Moohyul would've refused to do so, but as we know, he does end up fighting Bangji. We've just yet to see how that comes about and what Moohyul's attitude towards it will be. Imo I think he wouldn't hesitate and just go for it after seeing his recent demeanor.

Ofc in my eyes he will forever be a soft fluffy puppy but I do think that he's finally been "affected" by the political tensions & the reality of life/death moreso than he was before the change.

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I loved the scene where Bang-Gan was just sitting on the table casually popping nuts(??) into his mouth while Bang-Won was sitting there agonising hahaha. it's like Bang-Gan was being the cool older brother going "you worry too much lil' bro" it was so cute to watch.

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LOL big bro is so funny hahahaha he's so damn chill it's awesome

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i know! sigh it's gonna be quite heartbreaking to watch him turn against his younger brother in the second strife of princes

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He's chill because he knows knothing. He is not a brain-person, as you know. haha.

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ding dong the Queen is dead! I hated her along with her husband the king and JDJ! She gets nooooo sympathy from me! She should have know no good would come from making her son crown prince over his much more accomplished older brothers! As far as I'm concerned she and the King killed him! What BW did at her death bed was poetic justice! Yoo Ah In was brilliant in that scene especially!

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I think the current people of the LiaoDong peninsula are pro-BangWon because without him, they'd be bowing to the Dear Leader of a country (WHICH JUST FIRED PROJECTILES OFF ITS EAST COAST THIS MORNING) instead of walking freely around the streets of (communist) China.

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HAHAHA never thought of it that way before xD

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Good one! Puts things in perspective!

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This made me laugh! Thanks for putting it into perspective.

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I believe that we can cover all the basic stuff for the next 6 episodes now that we have the time lapse.

The first strife of princes is definitely coming soon, maybe next week, which means the end of JDJ should be soon too.

I have a feeling that they will not focus much on the second strife of princes (maybe just walk through it with a fast montage) all the way to Bang-won taking up the throne. Because honestly, once JDJ and his gang are gone from this show, the series will end too.

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the scribe who
follows Boon-yi around reports the contents
of Bang-won and Boon-yi’s conversation to
Jung Do-jeon’s brother, JUNG DO-GWANG.

But why?

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She is his spy and she will eventually take over as leader of Banchon Village. More Tree connection. She is he young version of Mrs Dodam.
In Tree she continues to work with Sambong's brother.

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What will then happen to Boon-yi, am really scared.

Am tired of their polities Bang-won should hurry up, by killing sambong. 😁

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We don't know. She was never mentioned in Tree.

The real Sambong was amazing! He is easily misunderstood in this drama.

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Finally, here comes the moment for Lee Bang Won to counter Samdong's tactic with his final act before becoming King Taejong.. Lee Bang Won and the princes shall start a coup d'etat and kill the Crown Prince thus eliminating any chances of war being wage for Liaodong.

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Yoo Ah In's lips extremely red in this episode especially the last scene... It's quite distracting to me

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Gosh..Moohyul sharp stares at Bang Won and then told Bang Won that he kinda liked him when Bang Won set the fire...it screams BROMANCE!! *squeals* Yes, I'm shallow like that.

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Jung Do-jeon has lost sight of his greatest priority when he founded Joseon, which is to protect the vulnerable people from war and harm. I know this bit is real history, but I have to say I support real-Bang-won's wisdom in avoiding war with a nation like Ming. Yes, Liaodong used to be Goguryeo's territory, but so? Times have changed, Ming China no longer consists of numerous warring states, even if a civil war broke out during the fight for the throne, was anyone so naive to think that Ming wouldn't send troops to attack Liaodong again? Joseon, a fledgling nation wouldn't stand a chance against Ming, and it would just be embroiled in a long, pointless war. This useless nationalist sentiments is useless to its people.

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Took the words right out of my mouth. JDJ's imperalist ambitions are blinding him to the top priority of improving his people's wellbeing. Fair enough if he wants to form a national army as a deterent but as the much smaller nation, they should respect the realities on the ground. Naive of him to think that they can seize Liaodong without a backlash from Ming. There's no point in them battling for Liaodong if they can't keep it.

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I do not agree.

1. It took for Zhu Di 4 years to get to the throne. If an a invasion of Liaodong would happen it probably would him take even more, because his nephew would have more support.

2. Most of the people inside Liaodong would be on the site of Joseon. JDJ knew it because he made deals with them (The red evelope). And we all know how much a partisan is worth.

3. JDJ is a da*n good politician, he kwons how to make the right compromises. Besides he has another brilliant politican by his side. LBW! Of cousre they are enemies, but LBW just returned from Ming with a diplomatic victory. JDJ knows that the Prince would do anything for Joseon, so in this context he could put his trust in LBW.

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The 1. point is probably wrong. If a war would start it would probably hurt Zhu Di more than his nephew. On the other hand a civil war could not be prevented. Wich is what JDJ surely knew.

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"JDJ knows that the Prince would do anything for Joseon, so in this context he could put his trust in LBW."

Sigh! Unfortunately he didn't! They make a fearsome and dynamic duo. If only JDJ had tried to convince BW the way he tried to convince Po-eun. If only he had toned down the 5th rule and let BW use his genius mind to help him.

Maybe I'll have to write my own version of history!

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so sad that Moohyul's smiling less but it's understandable :( just dropping in to say that I loved his teal (?) coloured outfit in this ep it was so pretty ;~;

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that is exactly what i'm thinking of. We saw Boonyi washing clothes in earlier episode. but she never canged hers. and her hanbok is just fine as always. is she have 2 similar hanbok? why? is it forbiden to have diferent colour clothes set?

even bang won and lee sung gye wear the same outfit every time they off duty..

the one i know had many clothes set is saeguk is gu yong ha (sungkyungkwan scandal) :p

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I do not know Korean fashion history well.

However, I have read that when the entertainment industry tried to make sageuks more appealing to a broader base, one thing they did immediately was put more performers in not just colored clothing, but clothing of brighter colors than were historically correct.

From my understanding, many residents wore white most often. To the point where when Westerners started to travel to Korea, they were known as the people in white or white-clad people. I do not known the history of why white, other than the obvious in that raw fabric would be cheaper than dyed, forget anything with spun patterns or embroidery of any type. For a long time, the division of classes was heaviest towards peasant/slave classes in numbers, so if both wore white, that's a lot of folks in white clothing.

Here's a quote from an article in Life Magazine, where the soldier is talking about North Koreans in particular during the Korean War"...to the white trousers and blouses of Korean peasants." [source: http://time.com/3879371/life-in-korea-rare-photos-from-the-forgotten-war/%5D

Also, most folks of any generation even in our time now forget that as late as the early 1900s, there's a reason closets were not needed in homes for anyone other than upper class, and even the middle class was just starting to exist in their own form near 1820's depending on where. Many forget that merchants, often thought of as middle class were really wealthy folks, not middle for a long time.

For most folks, you had a Sunday outfit for church, and then one or two outfits for everyday that were suited to your daily labors. You wore those until they wore out (or you grew out of them) and then made (not bought ready made for most folks) more. My paternal grandfather (now passed), when he grew up near Philly was from a family that wasn't considered poor, yet the children wore no shoes in the summer--and not because they were farmers or lived on a beach. It's just what many families did because it didn't make sense to buy shoes when they weren't needed, as he told me. Shoes were for school time.

It was also still not uncommon to not bathe completely more than once a week due to the labor required to both haul and heat the water, and there was a pecking order as to whom got to use the same bathwater.

So forget the concept of doing laundry. (Before indoor plumbing, the housewife also had to carry all the water used for washing, boiling, and rinsing the laundry; according to an 1886 calculation, women fetched water eight to ten times every day from a pump, well, or spring. Water for the laundry would be hand carried, heated on a fire for washing, then poured into the tub. That made the warm soapy water precious; it would be reused, first to wash the least soiled clothing, then to wash progressively dirtier laundry." --a note I saw when looking up washing machines in wiki)

Things were very different even one hundred years ago, and...

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whoops almost made the cutoff. This show takes place in the late 1300s.

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Posted this as a reply up there. Erps. Dunno how to delete.

+1 to JDJ rocks!

I am not in the Bang Won camp, in spite of his puppy eyes and stuff.

I just feel that he is a whiny boy, who is upset who didn’t get his due rewards and recognition.

It might seem that he did a lot. but than it’s a drama, we need a viewpoint.

Bang Won is not the one doing the actual administrative work of running the country.

They don’t show it because dramawise, we will get bored of seeing JDJ and Taejo reading papers after papers, issuing edicts after edicts and talking to scholars after scholars.

Yes, Bang Won did important stuff, but he was rarely on the front line, like his other brothers, who all have war experience.

We don’t see him doing a lot of paper work too.

He just makes all the dramatic actions.

So shhh Bang Won, just becasue you got all the dramatic action does not mean you are doing all the most significant action as well.

*okay, just a rant on Bang Won*

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I do not agree with you.
JDJ wants to take all the private armies and create one national army so that one member of the royal family can't start a coup every few years. And the only way to get the armies is to go to war. And why fake a war, when you can go to one and be sure that you will win.
Besides taking Liadong (back) was a dream that almost every korean had at that time. (It's like the Ukrainians want Krim back) He would be a hero! The new Joseon would have a new, strong pillar!
And the Ming Dynasty? When the Time comes he is betting on compromises through diplomocy, it would be a new, normal day for doing politics.

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Except as the show has shown JDJ- brilliant as he is- misjudges his man again (e.g. Po Eun, and to some extent Bang Won, etc.). I trust Nameless to have a better understanding of Zu Di's character having had a working relationship with him, that he will make short work of taking the throne vs. JDJ's belief that civil war will drag on. Though I can understand his thought processes he failed to do the necessary research on who he is dealing with come policy making time (which kind of surprises me) when they portray him as such a thorough man- 70% thorough I guess haha!

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(Of course, I'm discussing my opinions based on the fictional drama and not real life. So my criticisms of JDJ are drama based only)

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:) I only "know" korean history from wiki and http://bodashiri.tumblr.com/ <-- this Blog.

I just don't see why people think the SFD Character JDJ is doing somthing wrong. From his Point of view he does everything right. If in Joseon there will be private armies allowed the Power in the country will have the one with the biggest army. (So it's Goryeo all over again). Of course he has to take that. And becomming a national hero in doing so is a temtation no one can withstand.

"Liaodong (요동 遼東) was a kind of holy land to Koreans where their ancestors were originated from. The ancient Korean kingdoms like old Joseon (고조선 古朝鮮), Goguryeo (고구려 高句麗), and Balhae (발해 渤海) were founded from there. It was every Koreans’ dream to regain the holy land and to recover the previous glory in the past." - http://bodashiri.tumblr.com/

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"I just don't see why people think the SFD Character JDJ is doing something wrong"

This is a perfect sageuk for fangirls lol. You'll find a more political minded and neutral discussions under a conventional sageuks with the main focus on the history like Jeong Do Jeon.
This is mostly twisted history for entertainment purpose.

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Moo Myung begging Bang Won to stop the impending war ... That's something new. No more cool as cucumbers members now that the stakes are higher.

But honestly, the scene that took me by surprise was that pillow politic talk between Bang Won and Da Kyung. Guess they had to show that baby Sejong's conception is possible?

And finally, Ha Ryun and Daddy Min being so vocal during the meeting with Taejo = more screen time. They're like scholar ministers against Jeong Do Jeon's warrior ministers (Nam Eun, Lee Ji Ran, etc).

Can't wait for Bang Won's counter attack and Sam Bong's next move. It's like watching dark Anakin Skywalker and Obi Wan Kenobi fighting.

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Since they made such a big deal early in the show about not actually consummating the marriage at the time, this is something I've wondered about. I know a lot of historicals try their best to do the "one true love" trope with these men who had multiple wives/concubines even when they weren't royalty, but it's easy when you look up the king's records to see just how many children they managed to produce despite that.

As someone had mentioned earlier when the "I don't care if you have 100 concubines" came up, our boy here sure did seem to have quite the harem (18 total consorts including Lady Min. Unlike Gongmin, he sired quite the brood. (To Gongmin's credit, aside from the real love of his life dying in childbirth, there are only two children from his other six consorts listed, one of which is listed as sired by a bodyguard, the other, infamously assumed to be sired by a monk.)

From what I've read, there were six children before the first son in 1394 who was the first boy to make it past childbirth. That son isn't even Sejong--he was born in 1397.

1392 is when Joseon was founded. Bang Won becomes the king in 1400.

So I've been pondering where she's hiding all these pregnancies/kids as I try to keep track of the timeline myself. *chuckles*

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The only logical explanation I can think off is that either all these pregnancies happen off-screen or every birth happens off-screen ... probably that's why Lady Min doesn't have much screen-time --- she's off to have a kid (am laughing so hard right now 'cause so often in saeguk, children's are strictly off-screen unless they're vital to the plot).

As for the servant Lady Kim, again not-so important to the drama, since our boy Bang-Won (drama's version) has only eyes for Boon Yi. Hence, no screen presence, like one of Bang Won's full blooded brothers, Bang-Ui (aka Prince Yikan).

Or we could chalk it up to one simple reason; the drama has too many characters already.

... Again, am laughing too hard on this subject. We all just want to have a glimpse of Baby/Kid Sejong just once. Even if it's only five second scene.

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Baby Sejong must be somewhere away in the mansion running around creating havoc for Grandpa Min along with his brothers. That's why we don't see him often too.

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Don't forget, he has sisters too!

Baby Sejong and his kiddy siblings pestering Ha Ryun when he comes visiting, probably wanting taffy ... Or each child wanting a giant bear hug from Moo Hyul.

Possibly baby Sejong hanging over Moo Hyul's shoulders since he's sooo tall.

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LMAO!

But the ladies must learn needlework!

And they're all buried under books because both parents are wickedly smart and can't bear to see illiterate kids.

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Aww I can see uncle Moo-hyul spoiling baby Lee Do and making a pinky swear that he will protect him till the day he dies /tears.

Oh Ha Ryun THE CANDY MAN lol. I can see Bang-won's kids waking up in the middle of the night with nightmares over Ha Ryun's scary folktales. He'd probably give them taffy so they won't tell Lady Min.

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@Peeps
"And they’re all buried under books because both parents are wickedly smart and can’t bear to see illiterate kids."

Their children can probably read a dozen books by the time they are two!

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Someone needs to draw Moo Hyul buried in a pile of their kids all hugging him. *chuckles*

Adorable overload.

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waitwaitwaitwait just had a thought. if the first strife of princes is coming and that's where Jung Do-Jeon dies, then the whole thing with Jo Mal-Saeng threatening Bang-Ji with Yeon-Hee is going to happen too?? I wonder how they're gonna explain why Yeon-Hee was thought to be Jung Do-Jeon's woman in TWDR since it's pretty far from the truth as far as where we are at ep44 is concerned..

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As far as I'm concerned, YeonHee is Jung DoJeon's person (because she's loyal and will die for him - we just end up hearing that the she took the sentiment as literal). Just a female one at that. Female + person = woman. I've just connected it haphazardly like that, haha.

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That's what I thought. They referenced her as "JDJ's woman" and "the woman that Bang Ji loved". So one was an attachment not necessarily romantic, while the other attachment was definitely romantic.

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That makes more sense than Yeon Hee being Sambong's woman as in his wife/concubine. He never took a concubine in history anyway.

I was relieved when Sambong told her to leave the organization and be with Bang Ji. At least he did that much for her even if she refused to leave. At least it was her choice to stick around because Bang Ji was not leaving either.

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i will be nice to end the show by showing lee do with mooyul lol and lee do also getting a title :)" baby dragon " 4th king of joseon lol ""

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That would be awesome! I'm so down with that lol.

Heck they should make the next installment or a spin off about Moo-hyul and Lee Do from infant all the way to the beginning of Tree. I'd watch the hell out of that.

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It's really not haphazard, considering how many times x male character is described as the "King's Man" or "X Person-in-Power's Man".

*SPOILER paragraph if you haven't seen TWDR*
TWDR does sort of allude to a more romantic pairing of JDJ and his "woman", though, given the scene about betraying his Master for his Master's Woman when she kills herself in an attempt to force Bang-Ji to run to save JDJ. I did wonder, how far they were trying to push it since the costuming choices are so different for each show for her character. (Further digression-I really liked that the minister apologized to Bang-Ji later for using such a tactic.)
*SPOILER end*

Why, yes, I did recently marathon TWDR again so this is fresh in my mind. I could not believe how many actors were in both TWDR and SFD...playing different roles. So confusing at times until my brain adjusted to each as they arrived in TWDR. =)

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JDJ? LBW? Who cares? Moo Hyul rocks his new outfit! :D That teal really, really suits him and it is the highlight of the episode. Clearly, Judy improved his fashion sense!

(Seriously, I would totally give him a chyron just for that: Moo Hyul, snappiest dresser in Joseon sorry, Gil Tae Mi, you don't count.)

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The politics in this show is to be taken with a huge bag of salt. I'd take Moo-hyul anytime over this bloody battle for power.

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Dreaming they cast Song Joong Ki as cameo for Lee Do facing his dad King Taejong a.k.a Yoo-Ah In. Maybe just dream..

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ugh.. sorry for double post. I did't mean it.

wow.. thankyou! you blow my mind! since i live in a tropical country its comon to see in many our historical dramas or movies, folks bathing and do their loundry on the river. a heavenly river with clean and transparant water, big stones, etc. Hard for me to imagine people go to their bed with sweet and dirt all over their bodies. Mosquitos would think you are a banquet for sure!

from now on i would't see historical drama caracters like before. they are not just beautiful boonyi, hot bang ji or cute moo hyul anymore. but beautiful and stinky boonyi, hot and stinky bangji and cute and stinky moo hyul.
thanks to you!
lol :D

Actualy we have living heritage in my province. We have living king, queen, royal family etc. they held some ceremony like they did in old days. Our king have diferent outfit for diferent ceremony. they had deep meaning for each outfit from the patern, the ornament etc.

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SFD is all about Bang Won from the very beginning, from the very beginning also we were presented with the causes of why Lee Bang Won became the kind of man that history told us. Naturally viewers, newbie to sangeuk with next to nothing knowledge about Korean history and falling in love to YAI sans shallow like me, will be on team Bang Won. I tried tocatch up the discussion here by browsing around and visiting library to understand more about joseon history and i kind of like JDJ’s idea and idealism. He’s visione and revolutioner. I kinda realize that SFD doesnt do justice to him but heck! this drama is about BW..He MAY be a sociopath, he MAYbe a cold blooded murderer..but so what? i like this cute sociopath whose loyal to anyone who appreciate and loyal to him (does this mean make him a narcissist also?). This drama doesnt change my high respect to the real LSG, the real Sambong and the real Bang Won,respectively.
Oh and i also like this sociopath whose falling head over heels to a commoner like Boon Yi. He respected Boon Yi, cared about her despite the fact that according to history he had harem on his own
also..i like this sociopath because he had super cutd bodyguard #smirk

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Thank you! You just said what I've been trying to say for the past few days!

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I guess the major topic in SFD comment sections from the latest recaps in here were all about Team BW Vs JDJ. Sigh.
Can we just discuss another thing, please?

Was so ready to read the insights in here about this drama or korean history or even our current issue in real life which related to this drama (so I read all the comments here, don't feel like missing anything), but...*sigh*

(sorry for the rant)

Anyway, thanks for the recap Heads!

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I suggest you go to Soompi forums (Six Flying Dragons drama forum) for the history discussions :)

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