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Six Flying Dragons: Episode 48

Everything just gets better, is the best way to sum up this episode. I don’t know how I’ll get through next week, is the best way to sum up my feelings. It seems so redundant to keep declaring a new episode as the best episode yet, but here we are, after weeks of episodes that were just good. Some were even great. (Practically an insult for this show, an unattainable goal for so many others.) But this week brings a whole new level of nonstop intensity, coupled with enough grief and pain to last our dragons a lifetime. No one’s escaping this unscathed, if they even manage to escape alive.

SONG OF THE DAY

Winner – “센치해 (Sentimental)” [ Download ]

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EPISODE 48 RECAP

We cut immediately from Bang-won burning Jung Do-jeon’s name to the battle between Bang-ji and Moo-hyul, which goes on despite neither man wanting it to.

At the first pause in the fighting, Bang-ji tries to make his old friend see reason—does he even know that Bang-won lured him away by using Yeon-hee? Moo-hyul nods, “I know.”

But what really floors Bang-ji is Moo-hyul’s revelation that he’s the one who suggested the plan to Bang-won in the first place. Tears stream down Bang-ji’s face as the full weight of this hits him: “You… You killed Yeon-hee!”

This comes as news to Moo-hyul, who had no idea that Yeon-hee was dead. Bang-ji is past the point of caring either way, and comes at Moo-hyul with even greater force than before. Even so, both of them urgently wish the other would stop, though neither are willing to back down first.

As Ha Ryun orders the assembled army to break up and find Officer Nam as well as Jung Do-jeon’s brother, the battle between Moo-hyul and Bang-ji rages on. Both draw blood from the other, but just as they prepare their own finishing moves, Boon-yi and Grandma come rushing in to stop them.

It’s too late to save Jung Do-jeon, Boon-yi cries. “So please, even if it is just you now, you must escape. We’ve lost.” This new death is more than Bang-ji can bear, so he goes into denial about it being too late for him to do anything.

Boon-yi can only sob as she tries to convince her brother to leave with her—as common people, the only way they can win is just by surviving. “Do I have to lose you too?” she cries. Grandma desperately holds Moo-hyul back, claiming that if he’s going to kill Bang-ji, he may as well kill her too.

Bang-ji goes silent, his tears falling freely. At last, he drops his sword. The fight is over.

When morning comes, Moo-hyul takes some time alone to take in all that’s happened, since he never meant for Yeon-hee to die. “How many more do I have to kill?” he wonders to himself. “How much more blood do I need to spill before my heart hardens?” Aww.

Sa-kwang watches his private display of grief from a distance, and leaves before he can notice her. She’s got revenge on her mind, not just for the child Young-kyu accidentally killed, but for the late King Gongyang. It’s Nameless she wants, as well as Bang-won for harboring the weapons cache.

Bang-won and Bang-gan’s armies come to the outer walls of the palace, and the palace guards surrender almost immediately. While their mission is to root out Bang-seok, Daddy Min’s mission is to convince Jo Joon to go to the king and have this entire Liaodong Expedition called off. Jung Do-jeon is dead, so it’s not as though he’ll have any opposition.

Ji-ran calls for blood when he finds out Jung Do-jeon has been killed, but poor King Taejo is already in a weakened state when he finds out. He still swears justice, and orders Bang-won brought to him immediately.

Ha Ryun cautions Bang-won to wait until they have Jo Joon and Ji-ran on their side before he goes to his father, and while Bang-won knows that would be the most prudent thing to do, he deliberately chooses not to do it. He’ll go straight to his father and make him give up instead of waiting on those two to do it for him.

Moo-hyul reports that he was able to stop Bang-ji, but also lost him in the process. Despite being wounded, he makes it to the courtyard in front of the crown prince’s quarters just in time to see little Bang-seok being forcibly drug out and placed in front of Bang-won.

Bang-seok sobs, unable to comprehend why his brother is doing this. His begging may as well be falling on deaf ears, since Bang-won still draws his sword.

His little brother grows desperate at the sight, and pleads for his hyung to tell him what sins he committed so he can atone for them. “There are no misunderstandings to be resolved or sins to be forgiven,” Bang-won answers dispassionately. “Then, why?” Bang-seok cries.

As Bang-won’s hand tightens on the sword, he recalls something that Jung Do-jeon—a man he killed just last night—once said to him about sin and death not being interconnected.

He approaches Bang-seok slowly and purposefully as he says this, everything happening in slow motion as he spreads his feet to balance his weight, and in one fluid motion, cuts his brother down where he kneels.

The only thing that seems to give Bang-won even the briefest of pause is catching Moo-hyul’s gaze, which he isn’t able to hold for more than a second. Is that shame he feels, I wonder?

Boon-yi and Bang-ji are the only ones in attendance for the meager funeral they’ve set up for Yeon-hee. While holding Yeon-hee’s folded hands, Bang-ji cries as he thinks of everything he should have said, but never had the chance to. Things like “I love you, let’s live together,” and “I need you.”

But now it’s too late, and he’s left with only his grief. Boon-yi cries as well, sending her unni off with both sorrow and gratitude.

Once they’re alone, Bang-won asks Moo-hyul about his fight with Bang-ji, figuring that he must not have lost if he’s still alive. That’s when Moo-hyul reveals that the fight went unfinished because of Boon-yi’s intervention, though it’s only when he mentions Yeon-hee’s death that Bang-won stops for just a moment.

Echoing the myriad of other worried voices, Moo-hyul warns Bang-won to be careful, since Bang-ji will undoubtedly be out for blood. Bang-won’s expression tells us that he knows this all too well.

After Yeon-hee is buried, Bang-ji intends to go to where Jung Do-jeon’s body has been thrown. Boon-yi knows he’s thinking of revenge, and pleads for him to think of her if he starts to see red—but whether he will or not is anyone’s guess.

The first thing Ji-ran says to Bang-won when he comes to visit is: “Are you even human?” Even after being confronted with his crimes, Bang-won is shameless enough to ask for Ji-ran to go to his father and ask for the Liaodong Expedition to be cancelled.

This is bigger than him, Bang-won claims, and if his father doesn’t denounce Jung Do-jeon as a criminal or call off the expedition, the consequences will be dire. “What? Would you kill me too?” Ji-ran scoffs.

“No,” Bang-won replies. “But then… Father…” though he doesn’t dare say it, the implication is clear, and Ji-ran stops him before he can say more. With that implicit threat in the air between them, Bang-won grips Ji-ran by the sleeves and says that for that reason alone, Ji-ran must convince his father for him.

Jo Joon is given the horrible task of telling King Taejo that his youngest son is dead, since apparently, news doesn’t travel fast in this palace. Knowing immediately that it was Bang-won’s doing, Taejo musters the strength to get out of bed and grab his sword.

The king bursts out of his chambers in his night robes, and cuts down the first soldier to approach him. Padding down the steps with nothing but beoseon (ye old socks) on his feet, he approaches Bang-won menacingly.

Holding his sword to his son’s neck, King Taejo growls that Bang-won is no better than a dog or pig (the worst insults possible), since even those base animals wouldn’t kill their own brothers.

Bang-won holds his ground, declaring that Jung Do-jeon installed a crown prince who was much too young and planned to have him and the other princes killed, which is a line of argument King Taejo quickly takes from him: “How did you become a prince? How were you able to dream of becoming king?”

It’s because of his sacrifices that Bang-won was even made a prince, and his power. Therefore, the decision of who should’ve been crown prince fell on him and him alone—how dare Bang-won try to steal what was never his?

“Yes, everything you say is correct, Father. You are the only one in this world who could kill me. So if you do not plan to forgive me and kill me, I can accept that. Yes… I would rather accept death. Because if I die… my suffering would also end. Please, kill me!” His voice breaks as he says this, and he really does seem to mean it.

King Taejo makes a move as if to do it, which causes a chain reaction amongst Bang-won’s soldiers, who all draw their swords to protect him. Voice shaking, Bang-won orders them to sheath their swords, so that there will be no retribution for whatever his father chooses.

Turning his intense gaze back on his father, he urges him to make the decision. A tiny, hysterical fit of laughter bursts out before he adds the cold hard truth: “My life is in your hands.” His father decides, and draws his sword back to strike…

…Only to be stopped by Ji-ran’s intervention. “Will you kill all of your children?” his sworn brother asks, taking to his knees before the king in order to make his heartfelt plea. He can’t expect the people to follow him if he kills all his children, Ji-ran argues plaintively, so he should just let this go.

King Taejo breaks out into a hysterical fit of laughter much more frightening than his son’s as he drops his sword before returning to his quarters. Bang-won lets out a choked sigh of relief.

Events happen quickly after that. King Taejo abdicates the throne, and the royal seal and crown are passed down to Bang-gwa. Bang-won has to keep up public appearances for all these events, and only allows the full weight of everything he’s done to hit him when he’s alone.

Then, and only then, does he let himself relive the terrible atrocities he’s committed. Shaking with the force of it, he’s stopped by an intervening and comforting hand—Young-kyu’s, appearing alive and whole in Bang-won’s twisted state.

To Young-kyu’s question of why he did everything himself, as opposed to having someone else do the heavy lifting, a visibly broken Bang-won confesses: “If I asked Moo-hyul to do it, he… I am afraid he would leave me.”

Young-kyu’s advice is only that he not look back after coming this far, which Bang-won shakily vows to try and do. And with that, the memory of Young-kyu disappears, leaving Bang-won truly alone.

Officer Nam is hunted down in the market and stabbed after a brief fight with the soldiers chasing him, though he still manages to get away. Shin-jeok follows and finds him gravely wounded, and Officer Nam charges him with continuing the legacy Jung Do-jeon created with Hidden Root.

The only way for him to do that is to use Bang-won for power, while keeping Hidden Root in secret. He’ll ensure that Shin-jeok has a place in Bang-won’s court with the last thing he can give: his life. Shin-jeok can take his body to Bang-won to earn his trust, and Officer Nam even gives him the sword to do it.

We don’t see the deed, only the aftermath, when a bloodied Shin-jeok delivers Officer Nam’s corpse to Bang-won. He claims he hunted him down and killed him for Bang-won’s sake, and acts appropriately humble when Bang-won bids him to stand.

Then, Bang-won leans in to very pointedly tell him that he’ll choose to trust him from this point forward. He says it in such a way that even Shin-jeok doubts whether he knows his true identity, and methinks Bang-won does.

Bang-ji finally makes it to the spot where Jung Do-jeon’s body has been so unceremoniously tossed out, and tries to arrange the corpse’s limbs as best he can. Jung Do-gwang finds him there and thanks him for caring for his brother’s body—he doesn’t blame him for what happened at all.

The village ajusshi arrives then to rendezvous with Jung Do-gwang and deliver his brother’s letter, and he and Bang-ji share a brief moment of recognition from the old days. They don’t have more than a few seconds to reminisce, since Bang-ji reacts just a little too late to arrows that suddenly come flying toward them.

He deflects the ones he can, but the one he misses finds a home in the village ajusshi’s back. Bang-ji continues to cut down flying arrows as he advances toward the soldiers firing them, but he unknowingly steps into a rope trap, which instantly tightens around his ankle.

Before Bang-ji has time to realize what’s happened, a nearby horse starts galloping off, and Bang-ji is dragged by the foot after it. Another hail of arrows comes straight for him, and he has to cut those down all while being pulled behind a very fast horse.

He’s able to cut himself free, though one arrow still lands in his midsection. He breaks it off so he can keep fighting, and single-handedly takes on the small army that’s come for Jung Do-gwang.

Even wounded, he takes down a great number of them, though he can’t chase every single one down. He lets out a roar as he kills the last one in a spray of blood, before seemingly returning to himself and remembering the village ajusshi wounded nearby.

The ajusshi gives him the letter to deliver to Jung Do-gwang, knowing that he won’t make it. Bang-ji still doesn’t want to leave him, and is unprepared to defend himself against another hail of arrows. One lands in his back, and the ajusshi is quick to push him aside and go running for the soldiers, thus taking every arrow meant for Bang-ji.

Bang-ji cries helplessly from behind him as the ajusshi makes the greatest sacrifice he can, and he honors that sacrifice by fleeing the oncoming army. He escapes off a nearby cliff in a way that only he can, having learned the sophisticated martial arts technique needed to control his descent, buying himself a little time in the process.

Under Bang-won’s command, Shin-jeok leads a contingent of soldiers into Banchon, bearing a royal decree permitting him to do so. He uses Gab-boon as a scapegoat/example by having her beaten for delivering a warning to Jung Do-jeon, which Boon-yi is helpless to stop.

All she can do is fall to her knees and beg that Gab-boon be spared a terrible death, and Shin-jeok grants it. He has to at least look like he’s doing the job Bang-won assigned him, even if he doesn’t want to.

Bang-ji wakes up in an unfamiliar bed, his wounds having been tended to by his mother. (How did she even find him? Is there only one cliff in Joseon?)

Because his mother missed her opportunity to be a mother, Bang-ji gets up without a word and makes for the door. “I did not know you were alive!” Yeon-hyang calls after him. “I did not know. For ten years, I did not know.” A little late now, isn’t it?

“Does it feel like Nameless has everything they wanted now that Sambong is dead?” Bang-ji asks her. “I may not know politics very well, but I have learned two things while I kept watch: Lee Bang-won and Jung Do-jeon are the same. The way they think about the world and this nation is the same. Bang-won simply wanted to own it.”

To that end, he adds, what does Yeon-hyang think will happen now? Does she actually believe that Bang-won would just leave Nameless alone? He leaves on that note, only to be stopped by Gil Sun-mi, who confirms what his mother said about not knowing her children were alive.

It matters little to Bang-ji, who steals away to read the letter Jung Do-jeon left for his brother. “Do-kwang, I believe this is the end. Try not to follow in my footsteps, for the living must decide for themselves,” it reads. He even mentions Bang-ji, in the hopes that his brother would pass on the message that he is not to throw his life away for him.

Bang-ji crumples the letter in his hand, apologizing to the memory of Jung Do-jeon, since he can’t, won’t, abide by his wishes.

Bang-won lays out his plans for the future of the nation with Ha Ryun, which basically include doing the exact same things Jung Do-jeon started. Of course he’s all for abolishing private armies now that he doesn’t need them, and lessen the role of Buddhism. Of more pressing concern, though, is dealing with Nameless.

Yooksan has no idea that Bang-won’s plotting against his organization, and thinks that a mutually beneficial agreement can be reached between them. Yeon-hyang thinks differently, which is what Bang-ji’s counting on when he returns to her.

If she believes what he said about Bang-won and Jung Do-jeon essentially being the same, will she turn Nameless’ ire on Bang-won the way they did for Jung? Because if so, Bang-ji wants in, if only for a chance to end Bang-won’s life.

Eyes wide with just a tinge of madness, Bang-won asks Ha Ryun if he actually thought he planned to share his power with Nameless. “Your seven-hundred-year reign will come to an end, Nameless,” he thinks to himself.

While Bang-ji thinks, “I will kill you, Lee Bang-won.”

 
COMMENTS

Where do I even begin? It’d take a novel just to cover everything this episode did right, so I’ll try focusing just on the things it did exceptionally as opposed to what it did just great-ish at. Even Nameless, the biggest sore spot on the otherwise shiny apple that is Six Flying Dragons, managed to suck less this week. That doesn’t make them better villains or a legitimate force to be reckoned with, but the backseat they ended up taking to this week’s events went a long way in making them much more bearable, if not necessarily relevant.

But it was Bang-won, and to a lesser extent Bang-ji, who carried the day in the end. I’m constantly surprised at how the show manages to present new facets of Bang-won’s character even after this long, and all without telling us how to feel about what we see. Obviously, we get a much better look at what makes Bang-won up as opposed to someone like his father, but the things he’s done are inexcusable in any light. And yet we do excuse them, by virtue of Bang-won being presented as an infinitely complex and incredibly flawed human being.

He still wants what he wants, and will do practically anything to get it, but it’s something else entirely for us to see how vulnerable he really is. And this week, for as much power as he exerted, showed us more of his twisted and frightened insides than we’ve ever seen before. His scene with Ji-ran was particularly telling, where he basically was pleading for Ji-ran’s help in stopping his murderous impulses so that he wouldn’t kill his own father, the king. Far from being manipulative, which it also happened to be, it felt much more like Bang-won just baring his soul. His dark, terrible soul.

Likewise, when he faced off against his father, being manipulative didn’t seem to be the chief concern on Bang-won’s mind. Though he’d already gone to Ji-ran in the hopes for an intervention, he had no way of knowing he’d pull through just in time. Asking his father to kill him also didn’t seem to be a bluff on Bang-won’s part, because he seemed to know very well what his father would choose. And in that moment, Bang-won looked ready and willing to die.

What broke my heart more than all of Bang-won’s struggles till now combined, however, was his admission to Ghost-kyu as to why he committed all those terrible deeds himself. Why, when given the choice, he killed his former idol and the little brother who idolized him with his own two hands, when he had scores of men willing to die for him. That he was simply too afraid of losing Moo-hyul to risk asking him to bloody his hands was just so unspeakably pitiful that I could forgive Bang-won for so much worse than he’s already done. I can’t help it—I feel bad for him, murderer that he is.

But no comments section on this episode would be complete without mentioning Bang-ji, though the attention he received was almost bittersweet retrospectively—when he’s capable of bringing so much, why was he relegated to doing so little for so long? I may never understand it, but if nothing else, he made up for a lot of lost time. Strangely enough, though his fight scenes were absolutely amazing and his reactions to the avalanche of death and despair were on point, it was the tears he shed for the village ajusshi that cut deeper than the ones he shed even for Yeon-hee. Something about the rawness of it all, that death in a sea of deaths being the one to nearly break him. Nearly, but not quite. Not yet.

 
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Not ready to part ways with SFD!

YAI and Chun Ho Jin acting are seriously top notch. Planning to re-watch this episode again just to see their scene

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First to comment ??? lee bang won! My poor weak heart

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The scene with Young-kyu was heartbreaking. It showed Bang Won in his most raw state and his deepest fears that everyone will leave his side

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This to me is my fave scene of the whole episode.

Bang-won's first answer to Young-kyu's question on why he had to do the killings himself instead of asking someone else is 'because you're not here hyung'. Oh gosh, so heartbreaking.

Bang-won may seem to be cruel and even borderline crazy at this moment, but he really is a lonely person. Without Young-kyu's support in his life, he's practically left with only Moo-hyul and he's not gonna risk losing him too at this moment.
Am I crazy that I want to give this killer a hug?

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You might be crazy but you're not alone, let's give him a group hug, he really needs one!

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Count me in! *big bear hugs*

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You took the words out of my mouth.

Bangwon sadness and Youngkyu endless support is so touching. It makes the fact that this "Hyung" is no longer here to support him all the more crushing for Bangwon.

I'm a crying mess the moment Youngkyu hold Bangwon's trembling hands.

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My fav scene too! Bang Won's trembling hands and raw emotion... Behind his hard mask of viciousness, he was ever so lonely. He might gained the power he had long yearned for but at the expense of ostracizing most of his loved ones. Was wondering earlier why he was so hands-on with the two murders. Unlike Young Kyu who supported him unquestioningly, Moo Hyul gets pricked by his conscience from time to time and Bang Won could not take the risk of losing him too.

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waaahhh... this is the most heartbreaking confession... can i hug you both too... i also feel the same way too... it hurts me seeing Bangwon afraid of being alone...

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Yoo Ah In even said in an interview that he feels like the more Bangwon kills, the more he gets lonelier. ;A;

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Although I teared at Yeon hee's 'funeral' and Bang Seok's death, THIS was the scene that had me bawling! I really didn't expect Young-kyu to appear. When I saw the comforting hand, I had first thought that it was Moo-hyul's. But when YK's image appeared, my tears just fell.

It was a scene very well done. It made BW less 'mad' and more human. And it reminded us of the wonderful friendship between these 2 people.

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Did I understand it wrongly, or it really was that when Bang-won delivered the royal seal to Bang-gwa, Bang-gwa explained that he did not have the intention to succeed the throne? And Bang-won replied that his brother made a wise choice. Does that mean they are going to skip Bang-gwa as the king and the second strife of princes?

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For what I understand, Bang-gwa is afraid of Bang-won that he tells him that he didn't have other intention (e.g. going against Bang-won), even so far as mentioning he didn't have a heir. Bang-won only said that he believes that his brother will make a wise decision (no pressure at all). This conversation will lead up to Bang-gwa appoints Bang-won as crown prince and second strife of the princes.

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I see. That make much more sense. And now I noticed Ha Ryun addressing Bang-won as Daegun-mama in the later part of the episode, which means now Bang-won is a brother of the current king.

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I thought it was a bit odd that he claimed to have no heirs when I recall reading he had something like 15 sons, but I looked it up and found out that none were from his first, 'official' wife Queen Jeongan. Pretty interesting - 15 sons but still no heir lol.

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No luck I guess xD

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I think that BW is really very crafty. He chose Bang Gwa cos he's the next eldest son, and deliberately kept him out of the bloodbath, so that his hands will be clean. I believe that BW also knows that BG has no kingly ambitions, but as it is not yet the right time for BW to be on the throne, Bang Gwa is a good 'filler'. BW can control him and the added bonus is that he has no heir. Hence, it's only logical for BG to make the 'wise choice' by making Bang-won Crown Prince. Clever move...but not unexpected.

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Exactly! He didn't get to rule with ABSOLUTE power by accident. He calculated his moves perfectly.

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Poor Bangji...
Next episode even his own sister gonna betray him...

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The poor broken man in Tree :(.

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*crying*
I start to see Byun Yohan as old Bang Ji... Watching TWDR becames more hartbreaking for me :(((

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I know history dictates that Bang-won will survive, but he better watch his back now that Bang-Ji, Sa-kwang and probably Nameless (aka Gil Sun-Mi) are all gunning for him. How cool would it be if Bang-Ji and Sa-Kwang ended up tag-teaming in a fight? It could also be a way for Moohyul to really earn his dragon status, by successfully defending Bang-Won against such a (sure to be epic) onslaught.

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I definitely agree with you. I have same idea as yours. I'm waitin' the 6th dragon title for Moo Hyul so badly :(

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This episode is so heartbreaking that I can't even find a single ray of sunshine in this. Even Ha Ryun in his armour barely able to lift my spirits up.

The once tight-knitted Yi family unit disintegrated was depressing to watch, especially when Bang-gwa pleaded to Bang-won that he doesn't have sons. The fear for Bang-won in Bang-gwa's voice speaks volume of their family dynamics left in shambles.

It seemed like next week will be a revenge fiesta fiasco. Sa Kwang out to get revenge on Nameless + Bang-won, Bang-won out to annihilate Nameless, Bang Ji running on revenge fuel at Bang-Won.

One has to wonder, whose bitter revenge dish gets the award of 'most successful and delicious revenge dish' ....

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I laughed so hard at his shocked face when Lee Seong Gye suddenly came out.

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I agree with you that this is really an extremely sad episode. I came to realise that this drama is not just about the creation of Joseon, but the following:

1) the disintegration of a once united and strong family. My heart just broke when Ji ran told Bw that his father used to be so proud of him...then why? why? why? did he not recognise that talent and groom it?

2) Betrayal : Po-eun to JDJ - that was a shocker and so below the belt; LSG & JDJ to the Princes, after all they had contributed.

3) Break-up of friendships - Po-eun's and JDJ; JDJ and BW and BJ and MY's. All broke my heart.

I have been re-watching the earlier eps where they all worked together to bring down the Evil Trio and I loved it. Now they are just fighting each other. (It's like the Avengers - I can't bring myself to watch the movie where they fight each other). Only this one really happened.

JDJ and BW - the two brilliant geniuses who unfortunately couldn't use their brilliant minds to work together. They even shared the same ideals and goals! I'm so sad. Don't think I can re-watch the later eps...even though I love this drama!

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Er...

MU-YI-YI-YAA, MU-YI-YI-YAAAAAA
Se-sang-e mud-no-niiiiiiii
Saeng-sa-reul ga-reum-e jeong-chi-wa
Kal-i da-reul ge mu-eeoon-nyaaaa!!!!

(Muyiyiya muyiyiya
I ask the world
(In/About) Life and death
Is there any difference between politics and the sword?)

What do I say to this episode? I don't know. Just that the lyrics to the chorus of their own song come to mind in all this chaos.

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thanks for this o.o i've been wondering for a while what that song meant

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oh my poor heart.... this show is just so overwhelming.
Bang Won-ah, my dear psycho-prince i really hate you this episode but i really want to hug you and hold your trembling heart.
Two dragons down and now it really up to our four dragons to take the final episode off to the sky.
Thank you heads for the recap and your comment is about everything i wanted to say
This might sound like a broken record,again and again, but really hands down to YAI..he’s sick!

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I will probably say this again when SFD ends, but thank you Yoo Ah In for deciding to play this character. Every version of Bang Won (funny, angry, dissapointed, bloodthirsty crazy) has been most entertaining to watch. Although I wish the show had Bang Won burn the last name slip when he found out Officer Nam was dead.

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Everyone in this entire series is acting like their life depended on it (well, maybe except for Shin Se Kyung, lol, although I like her in this series), but Yoo Ah In's nuanced portrayal is breathtaking. Not just saying that as a fan.

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I wasn't a fan of him when I came to SFD first but I've become one! he's just amazing and he's bang-won portrayal is perfect!

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me too. I liked him as Geol Oh but nothing much. He just gained himself another fan.

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Dude's going out in style. Can't believe it'll be two years before we can see his crazy acting again.

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I honestly had to replay his intense scenes over and over (especially for ep 47 adn 48) just to admire the out of this world acting. Wow it was beautiful to behold.

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I must admit Yoo Ah In did so well to give Bang Won so many layers. Props to his acting!

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I cannot agree with you more! His crazy scenes were really believable! The LOOK in his eyes!

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Yoo Ah In scares the buckets outta me sometimes. He’s wayyyy too intense. Watching dragons and his many expressions is intense enough... when he did Sado and this is one of the scenes in the trailer, I thought wow they did a great job with the blood, it flowed our naturally and its so red, turns out its HIS OWN. He hit the floor so hard that he broke his head in the process and continued on the scene even though the blood is crazy gushing out. One take and they had to send him to the hospital. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ns18G7_ZyzA ...its too CRAZY!!!!

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Ah my heart

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Oh yeah I read an article about this before. He was supposed to hit the fake stone floor, but he was too excited he hit the real one instead, and his forehead got injured. But he told the staff he wanted to keep filming. He sounded "crazy" to me..lol.. But in his interview around last month about this incident, he said he was embarrassed for being careless! :p

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Omg his howling in this clip is almost animal-like and it breaks my heart. And that blood! I can't believe it's real!

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Holy crap. For real? I thought there was no way that could have been his own forehead cracking, but it seemed like t was... Damn. He just surpassed Leo's acting with his sliced hand in Django Unchained.

There's something about Yoo Ah In... I can't make out what he's like in real life. He's just so effective in every role he takes on, be it lovable or viscerally despicable. Both his roles in Sado and Veteran seem to have prepared him for his role as Lee Bang Won.

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I continued watching this because of Nam Da Reum
And Kim Myung Min
The second episode made me cry and bawl "Daaarn this is just the second episode!!??"

But after the confession vetween him and Boon Yi, I'm like, "Forget school life, it's only two hours per week about them"

Somehow it changed to "Bang Ji should go to Yeon Hee!!"

Then it changed to "Aww Moo Hyul you big baby"

In which then changed yet again, "Bang Won Moo Hyul Young Kyu you three should hang out more!!"

And now, "I want a sequel, where they are all resurrected and meet in the present and somehow reconcile"

Because the show makes me laugh one moment then cry the moment after

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"I want a sequel, where they are all resurrected and meet in the present and somehow reconcile..."
Me too! I just want everyone to be happy... :(

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I know right...?? ;_;

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Me too!!! Please be buddies together! Bang Ji, Bang won, Moohyul, Young Kyu, Boon Yi and Yeon Hee!
One of my fav eps was the one where BJ, YK and MH fought together.

Can they be like the Joseon Avengers in another time-line?

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+crazyahjummafan

Saemmm I want to see them
In an alternate universe or something
Or in the modern they met but sucked into a parallel world or something

I am dying to write fanfics about this show but hahha life wants to play around with me sob;_;

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A lovely fan made a vid from the actors' contemporary work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mh_xtSNQjF0

The vid's edited so well that it's weird seeing them interact in modern garb! BW is the corrupt chaebol (ofc), JDJ is trying to prosecute him, and BJ is trying to avenge YH's wrongful death. It's weird seeing modern JR LOL.

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I can't seem to play the video... ;_;

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Awesome video! You were right it was so superbly edited hahaha. Now I want another series with them in a parallel universe

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Has Bang Won ever been portrayed this way before? Thank the heavens for giving us Yoo Ah In. He is the only actor of his generation that can portray Lee Bang Won in this manner.

In addition, how was the killing of JDJ and Bang Seok different from other dramas? I'm surprised how dark the last two episodes were. Even earlier episodes were more violent. Are segeuk normally this violent and dark? I felt like I'm watching an American drama. And I love it. I don't want it all the time, just one or two.

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Is this your first sageuk? This show does escalate it but Sageuks are the shows where it is guaranteed someone will die (sometimes a character you thought essential to the plot can die within the first two episodes),someone will visit the local jail and for sure someone will be tortured and have a bad hair day :-). For a sageuk that is all in a days work, follow this link and read all about how to know when you are watching a sageuk
https://zaajushka.wordpress.com/2015/06/29/you-are-watching-a-sageuk-when/

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No, of all the dramas about Lee Bang Won, this is the first time a drama gives different perspective/lights on him, and as someone here said, he's a lot more of a 3 dimensional character with a lot of layers.

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Although it doesn't begin chronologically until after the events shown in this drama, the portrayal of Bang Won in The Great King Sejong is similar and equally nuanced. Kim Young Chul's Taejong is also brilliant, effective and ruthless, and is also haunted by his past deeds even as he justifies them as necessary to stabilize the young country of Joseon. It's also a great performance, and worth checking out, as is Choi Myung Gil's equally ruthless, complex Lady Min.

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Agreed with your points on Bang Won's portrayal by Kim Young Chul and Choi Myung Gil's Lady Min in The Great King Sejong.

In fact, their scenes together were more captivating to me than the other characters, though Ha Ryun is a close second.

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This comment is not to compare with SFD's Bang-won because SFD is a fusion sageuk. There is a lot of history in it but most are twisted to accommodate the fictional characters. I'm not going to compare YAI's Bang-won to the veteran's version of Bang-won.

Kim Young Chul is my Bang-won. I have been a fan of his sageuks ever since I saw him in "Taejo Wang". He is a brilliant brilliant actor and can do sageuks in his sleep.

His portrayal of King Sejo in The Princess Man was excellent. Although I love Queen In-soo's King Sejo too, Kim Young Chul owns it once he step into the role.

As far as portraying Bang-won, Yoo Dong Geun in Tears of the Dragon was amazing just from watching a few eps. Probably the best portrayal of Bang-won and one Kim Young Chul can not erase. TotD had the better writers too.

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Given his road to kinghood, it makes so much sense that Tree's BangWon had no patience for his crown prince who kept hiding in his room solving math problems or what-not (in BangWon's eyes) and shivering in fear.

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I was thinking about this too while rewatching Tree last night.

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It kept him from going insane after his father kill his uncles and having to watch his mother cry all night over losing 4 of her brothers. His grandfather also died after hearing of their exiled and death. It's heartbreaking for a child to witness.

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Yeah. But considering what BangWon went through, it's no wonder that he can't stand his son not being able to handle that when he himself has gone through worse things. His cooping up makes Lee Do look like a weakling but it's fair that a child would be traumatized by an event that even then was considered cruel.

Le sigh.

And while SeJong was a great peace loving king, his peace loving side brought about another royal strife in the form of his son against his other evidently weak son and finally, weak grandson.

SeJong had similar temperaments as his grandfather and SeJo had the same temper as his grandfather.

The choice of a Crown Prince is a difficult one indeed.

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I agree. It's normal for a strong and powerful king to want his sons to be like him but Lee Do witnessed all this bloodshed at a very young age and he hated it.
It shows during his reign that he would go to distance to save his own followers life even when they deserved to be killed or exiled.

Bang-won didn't groom him to be king while he was young because his older brother was supposed to be next in line. If he didn't screw up Lee Do would not have been king.

Two different ways of ruling between father and son. Bang-won rules with an ironfist and Lee Do rules with his heart. Both works out well during each of their reign.

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Not so much for the people who got killed during King Taejo's reign I'm guessing

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People that Bang-won killed affect Lee Do more because they were his blood relatives. He was alive when it happened. Six of his uncles were from both sides of his parents.

Overthrowing Goryeo comes with shedding of blood. The Lees did to establish Joseon, The Wangs did to establish Goryeo. Bang-won did to rule with absolute power.

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I couldn't help but think that BW's first son rebelled on him and him being wasted was his way of rebelling to BW. Since he love the throne so much that he's willing to kill their relatives, let's see what you will do now that you can't use me. Probably too embassed having someone like BW as his father and doesn't want to take the throne that his father took and protected by other people's blood.

Although it's most likely that Sejong's reign was peaceful because BW killed everyone who might go against him, so Sejong was able to focus on developing their country instead of protecting the throne.

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damn....In my opinion that scene with Younggyu is probably the saddest scene in the whole drama

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As per the History Bang won won't die right? I think Boon yi will die, since she is fiction or i wanted her end up with moo hyul, and bang ji with choksagwang , both are skilled with swordsmanship, go bang ji go just give up every thing and live happily.

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Bang-won died in Tree so it won't happen here.

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byun yo han.. only you to almost make me believe that killing bang won is still an "option" lol with this number of deaths - and important ones - the two moments that broke my heart were moo hyul crying and the guards beating gab bong.

JDJ will always be love LOL
his decisions, thoughts and ideas for the joseon.. things that we, centuries after, are still trying to achieve. I had to pause to stop laughing when he sent the note to bang won asking for silence.

I'm curious about bon yi's ending.
can't believe it's ending. =/

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I simply can't forgive Bang won for killing his kid half brother in cold blood no matter what his provocation or justification was.

I was on your side until you did that terrible deed, Bang won.

The fact that he needed reassurance from a phantom Jo Young Kyu, or that his hands trembled after it was all over does not lessen my horror of what he's capable of. I knew going in what this episode would entail, but I realized that I didn't have the stomach for it.

Even his older brother Bang gwa was scared of him, and had to reassure him that he didn't have any ulterior motives going for the crown.

You know the whole world has gone to hell in a basket, when Bang ji of all people begins to meddle in politics and plot Bang won's demise. Before this, he had steadfastly refrained from involving himself in politics.

Why do I have a sinking feeling that Bang ji's plan to kill Bang won is going to go awry and Boon yi might end up dying as a result? Keeping my fingers crossed and holding my breath. Two more episodes to go, but feels like time just flew by...

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In history, the crown prince, is not actually a kid. I think they just using a kid prince to hide other age in which Bangwon supposed to almost 50-er and Moohyul too who supposed to live until Hangul created.
The crown prince is already 16 years old, the same age Bangwon began his journey helping Jung Dojeon and his Father claimed the throne.

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i think bangwon is only in his early 30s when this episode takes place o.o since there's over 20 years until his death and he died in his 50s

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Oo... I read in somewhere else that in this point of history he is 44 year old..
Sejong the Great is already born.
So he is died in 55 years old. He reign for 18 years, 4 years after giving his throne he is dead. He is born in 1367, reign in 1400 so... yeah you're right, he's supposed to be king in 33 years old.

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He was 33yrs old when he became king. We are currently 2 years away (1398) so he is 31 years old.

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wait...so Moo Hyul isnt a fictional character ?

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No Moohyul still fictional character, but his age is ambigous like he is supposed to be still teenager in SFD, coz he served until King Sejong... I don't know.

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BW was 31 years old around this time, according to bodashiri. I wish they changed the actor playing Bang Seok into an older teenager after the return of BW from Ming China. Bang Seok was already considered a grown-up, he also has political power from the support of his in-laws, Shim Hyo Saeng - one of the JDJ's supportors killed in ep 47.

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Lady Kang (Queen Shindeok) Bang-seok's mother came from a very powerful family. She was the one who gathered political support for her husband Lee Seong-gye. She did play a big role behind the scene just like Lady Min and her powerful family rallying behind Bang-won.
Those were the same ministers that approve of Bang-seok as crown prince. So Bang-seok wasn't lacking in support outside and inside the court. Thanks to his mother.

I don't think the Shin clan had much power because they were easier to control than the Kangs.

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@Adal. I agree - (the little prince begging for his life to his hyung) no excuse for BangWon but I love the way the show and Yoo Ah In present all of this.

As to Bang-gwa and their father, the king, I recently rewatched episode 1 and to see the hero worship Bang Won had for his big brother and father... and then to see it come to this...episode 48...sad and chilling.

Well done, show.

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I would say Bang-seok was probably around 17 when he was killed. Age doesn't matter. He is still his brother half or full blooded.

He is probably one of the more innocent victim of this bloody feud for power and the throne.

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I finally realized that the reason why I love/forgive Bang-won for everything is because his principles are SO similar to Machiavelli! Whatever the cost for power he does it and damn if that doesn't deserve respect. I also love how deftly this drama lets us as viewers feel without restraint. I mean like heads said we aren't forced to hate bang-won. We could've been and I believe a lesser drama team would've done. I think it gives this drama commentary on what is right and wrong and if we why we shouldn't see humans as such either or creatures. From the beginning of this drama to now two episodes away from the end we have watched these characters grapple with the gray area of life, politics, and people. It's an amazing undertone to this masterpiece of a historical drama.

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Word!

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Except what Machiavelli wrote was complete satire and not meant to be taken seriously >__>

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Too much tears this week, I didnt know how I'll handle next week episodes tbh.
I cried when Lee Bang Ji cried. It was so heartbreaking. His pain, I feel it as if I was there but cant do anything to help to soothe it.
And that scene when Lee Bang Won strike that young Crown Prince, goosebumps. I havent hate him even when he killed Sambong but that scene, I wish history didnt happened that way. When CP asked why, I just lost it and weep for him. But when he was alone, and Younggyu appeared, my heart aches for him too.

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"But this week brings a whole new level of nonstop intensity, coupled with enough grief and pain to last our dragons a lifetime. " WORD!!

Dang! Another sobbing session! I felt relief they didn't make that child's scene a bloody one. Young Kyu hyung... if only you were there to do all the killings *sobs* lol but Bang Won's trembling..this is terribly sad. King's going nuts made me sad, Palbong appa, Moohyul-Bangji and even Nameun too. Everyone made me sad these couple episodes. But bring it on!

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I cried so hard when Bang Won locked himself in the room by himself and Young Kyu showed up. I even rewatched it and still cried bucket loads of tears. This episode had some of the most heart wrenching scenes of the entire drama.

This show is so well directed and scripted that I must say, it needs to win everything. Haha, from the actors/actresses, to the directing, and cinematography. Everything was just great. I'm so devastated it ends next week. Nuuuuoooo!

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WOW. This episode, I really don't know what to say about it. I used awesome way too many times, it was just WOW!

I felt so bad and sorry for Bang-won! The moment he saw Moo-hyul standing there and knowing that he saw him kill his brother was just so sad, the little look he gave moo-hyul before walking away broke my heart. It felt like he was scared of being judged by him, scared he'd leave him, he really does care about moo-hyul! His talk with ghost Young-kyu really brought tears to my eyes. He's lonely and I feel for him!

Bang-won standing in front of his father with the his father's sword drawn to his neck was one of my favorite scenes of this episode, the whole episode was just GREAT, but this scene made me hold my breath, he was shaking but won't back down, he'd rather accept death, he was frightened but deep down it felt like he really did want to just die and be done with this all! His sigh of relief came with my sigh of relief but then his father’s laughter scared the hell out of me!

Bang-ji and Moo-hyul pleading each other to move and go back was so sad and when bang-ji said he doesn’t want to lose him too, I went aww! He’s losing everyone he has, Yeon-hee is dead and so is Jung do-jeon, and his friendship with moo-hyul is never going back as it was, now all he has is Boon-yi, I’m praying so hard that nothing will happen to her, he’s just so broken, his roar felt more like a cry to me, a very heartbreaking cry!

And I have to say Ha-ryun made me laugh, his reaction when he saw the king was so funny, I cried laughing!

Thanks heads for the recap, can’t wait for next week!

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ha I thought I was the only one who laughed. Even after all the crying I did, I burst out laughing when I saw Ha-ryun's reaction.

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Yeah, he was just funny and the thing is I went into crying-mode right after laughing, oh God what is SFD doing to us?!

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Ha Ryun is freaking hilarious. I almost thought he reacted that way because of Lee Seong Gye's hair like "Dude, what ya doin out in the open with hair like that?!"

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Ah so true!!

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Honestly, when I saw him with that hair, I just kept thinking of a sloth, like this:

http://cdn.static-economist.com/sites/default/files/images/print-edition/20140201_STP002_0.jpg

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Actually I laughed so hard when Seonggye got mad in his bed, jumped off the bed and grabbed the sword with his "rockstar" hair. I feel bad but I just couldn't stop laughing. LOL

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" Strangely enough, though his fight scenes were absolutely amazing and his reactions to the avalanche of death and despair were on point, it was the tears he shed for the village ajusshi that cut deeper than the ones he shed even for Yeon-hee."

Honeslty, despite all the gut wrenching horrifying scenes in this episode, this part made me sob so hard. The raw emotions from Bang Ji when he lost it, weeping for the fallen village ahjussi really hit me hard. It is also when you realize how much the helpless people are caught in the crossfire between the powerful lords. So much pain and sadness.

And still this amazing show continues to capture our hearts and we are down to the last 2 episodes. Lol I held my breath several time last night that I had to remind myself to breathe. It was THAT good. Favorite sageuk!!

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i hope Boon Yi will got her moment in the next two episodes. From all of the dragons (well i kinda think that Muhyul is a dragon anyway), she didn’t really have a contribution lately. Please writer nim, give SSK and BY a chance. I used to like her but i began to think that she’s going to be an old maid, talking to little kids about the good old times when King Taejong was just Bang Won-ah for her.
also a lesson for us all: if by any association, you happened to the most untaouchable girl in planet Joseon, make a good use of it coz you are not just an ordinary girl.

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From the preview, we can see that next episode Boon Yi going to betray her brother and she gonna ruin Bang Ji plan to kill Bang Won.

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Maybe she is going to ruin his plan to save his life. Bong Yi would not betray her brother without a good reason. As good as he is in wielding the sword, he can not take Bang-won with his army.

Bang-won is not going to fall for any kind of trap. He knows very well that Bang Ji will seek revenge. No one should underestimate Bang-won, he is very much aware of all his enemies by now.

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I feel like Boon yi might die by the hands of Cheak sa gwang if she figures out her relationship with Bang wa & Nameless

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I saw a video of Sa Gwang fighting Bang Ji for the final 2 episodes. That would maybe explain why Bang Ji would go after her.

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Badass drama ever as well as the actorssss... YAI definitely the best actor because he is able to potray bang Wong so perfectly! And I'm really gonna miss my prince bangwon after this drama comes to an end.

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I just completely ran out of words to describe this drama. Regarding Bangwon, it's not even about being right or wrong now. He obviously did horrible things and I'm not saying that he can justify his deeds. But I just can't help but cry whenever I look at him. He's just so broken. I bet he was being sincere when he said that he'd rather take death if it meant the end to his suffering.

This is probably not relatable but what I feel for him is probably close to what Allen Walker felt as he looked at the soul inside a level 4 akuma (from anime, D.Gray-Man).

I'm already a crying mess now. What more for next week? I seriously don't think I can handle it. Better stock on the Kleenex. Thanks so much for the recaps, Heads!

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He was being sincere that he'd rather take death to end his suffering, because that ambition (or the worm) has swallowed him and he didn't know anymore how to stop once he went full force. This reminds me of Kylo Ren in Star Wars Episode VII, except that he wasn't sincere when he told his father that he was being torn apart and wanted to be free of the pain.

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It was such emotional scene, he was practically asking daddy Taejo to kill him. After the early experiences of powerlessness, his desire for control and power has totally overwhelmed him. Deep down he knows he has gone overboard yet he can't stop himself from going further down the dark path.

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This drama is so fcked up that I dont want to watch the ending but I need to watch it
Young Kyu talk with Bang Won was def the most heart wrenching scene so far

And I speculate that Boon Yi will somehow die as everyone is trying to strike Bang Won
Bang Eui Bang Eui where are you
You must be playing the biggest role in the plot against Bang Won

And please dont tell me that this time Myo Sang is gonna die??
The most feared deaths for me is Myo Sang, Gab Boon, and Master Hong
The most fearful death scenes would be, Bang Won holding Boon Yi as she dies, Gab Boon not being able to gain Bang Ji's attention even after her death, Myo Sang or Master Hong die in front of each other or in front of Moo Hyul

One thing that I'd like to rant about is,
DID TAEJO JUST ABDICATE THE THRONE JUST LIKE THAT
that was absolutely the finishing blow for me
He went from the most badass father who was my fav daddy in dramas to the most unwanted daddy in dramas
He said that he was the cause to their dream of becoming kings??

Well Bang Won saved your life countless of times, saved Lady Kang and the others back at Dohwajeon, caused you and JDJ to finally meet, and killed JMJ just so you can find Joseon
Mmhmm yeah Bang Won literally has no rights to claim what is his

Though you are absolutely back on my fav list when you laughed like a creep
And in the end, Young Kyu is the only one who truly TRULY TRUTHFULLY trusted and believed in Bang Won and chose to stay by him
Not forgetting the dearest Lady Min
Where's Ki Joon anyways??

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I don't want myo sang or master hong or anyone dear to moohyul die. Just no.. I don't think i could handle it...

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Oh, I could handle it - and I hope Mo Hyul will suffer :/ He deserves to punishment for his betrayal and putting Yeon Hee in danger. Such a low trick :(

There's a dictum "anguish ennobles". So... I wish to see Mo Hyul more noble and wiser.

He changed for worse in last episodes SFD :( I like Mo Hyul in TWDR, but... I can't recognise him in this MH. What a pity :(((

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He's just a bodyguard and he's just following what Young Kyu told him to do : just follow Bang Won and be loyal.

That 'low trick' was meant to save both Yeon Hee and Bang Ji but he never expected or even foresaw Yeon Hee slicing her throat all by herself.

He did nothing but follow Bang Won's orders so you can't fully blame him
Wishing him to suffer is kinda overboard tbh seeing that he's just doing all those stuff in return of Bang Won's deed to his family and for 'goryeo'-ing him.

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I was getting angry and I am sorry for that, but all these very emotional comments that I read here (a sort of: "poor lonely Bang Won, how much he suffered when stabbed his half-brother to death") were slowly getting on my nerves. Sorry again :)
YAI is a brilliant actor, I agree, he is awesome and deserves for all awards and applause, but Yi Bang Won, in my opinion, doesn't. This man is a killer, a murderer! I say again: I really appreciate YAI's acting but all the time I remember during watching SFD that YAI isn't Bang Won.

I think it would be better for Mo Hyul if he just followed Bang Won's directions, if he just was loyal and not trying to take the initiative. Why did he tell Bang Won about YH? :( Because he's had so good intention?? Errr... Mo Hyul isn't a little kid, he's adult and I treat him as a man. Man should pay the consequences. For that reason I strongly criticised Mo Hyul's doings. I was very sad (and shocked) because of his betrayal :(
Mo Hyul, in my opinion, isn't, errr, very clever and a his complete lack of foresight is evident. He has a good heart but he is naive. Yes, he didn't kill Yeon Hee himself, that's true, but I accuse him of foollishness :(
I wrote about "punishment" but it would be for MH a big lesson. Mo Hyul in TWDR, in my opinion, is smarter, good-hearted, very loyal. Sometimes younger version of MH was reminiscent me in 48 SFD character of another drama - Hyung, older brother of protagonist of drama "Pinokio". He's was very interesting character but also dark.

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Moo Hyul did betray Bang Ji and he has full rights to be furious given their closeness. However Bang Won and co never intended to kill Yeon Hee and risk the wrath of Bang Ji. Who could have predicted her fatalistic devotion to Jung Do Jeon when she appeared all ready to settle down to a quiet life with Bang Ji.

Earlier Yeon Hee's forgery trick landed Bang Won and Moo Hyul in Liaodong, where the latter nearly died. Had Judy not spared Moo Hyul, should she have 'paid' for it then?

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That's exactly what Bang-won was doing. Make his father powerless by killing off his supporters so he can abdicate the throne. Why? because he couldn't kill his own father.

Bang-gwa was just a placeholder of the crown for him. Bang-won was wielding the real power in the court and the military.

His first business was to abolish all private armies. He was against it when Sambong was trying to centralized the armies but now it's ok because he doesn't need it anymore lol.

He left the rules about the royal family members involvement in politics in tact because you know, that doesn't apply to him anymore lol.

I can't say I've ever feel sorry for him at all. He is cunning and intelligent and he knew exactly was he was doing.

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Agreed. Don't feel sorry for him one bit either.

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My sympathy is with those innocent people that died through all this bloody battle for power and I'm not talking about Sambong or Taejo. They should've seen this coming.

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Talking about the real Bang-won in history, I felt that he redeemed himself when I read that he was the one who set up the channel through which commoners could voice their complaints and concerns to the King. Adding the fact that he opposed to the Liaodong Expedition, which I thought was futile and would only lead to pointless casualties, I really think Taejong loved his people.

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Bang-won, Sambong, Taejo etc are all guilty of shedding blood for different reasons. To protect their country, to established a new country, to regain lost lands, to gain power, to eliminate political rivals etc.

Establishing the Shinmungo system also benefit him as king and brought him closer to his people. Kings don't go outside the palace to mingle with the commoners. How would they know what they need?

Bang-won had other reason for creating such a system. Many traitors were caught and executed. People were paid for reporting them through this system and no one knows who blew the whistle on who. Pretty slick there Bang-won :).

As for Liaodong, it was a matter of national pride and regaining lands that their fore father fought hard for.

Look at what King Gongmin did with Yuan. He got tired of being treated like shit by a foreign ruler so he stood up for Goryeo and free them and regained some of Goryeo's land at the same time.

Yuan basically used Goryeo's resources for their own benefit while the people of Goryeo were starving. The amount of women that were forced to be offered up as tribute was ridiculous.

Ming obviously had no respect for the new Joseon. The tribute continues and the demands and commands from the Ming emperor had to be met.

Liaodong was very risky and that was probably their last chance. Sambong did have a plan on how to go regain and retain but it may not have been enough. We'd never know what would've happen.

I wouldn't have fault them for trying. Goguryeo didn't become powerful overnight. They didn't roll over and submit to foreign rulers. They fought for their land and freedom.

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I became irrational hahha
But yeah after reading the comments that are similar to yours I realized it was too late for me to take it back

True, LSG's power and influence caused them to have dreams
Perhaps I was thinking about the first two episodes too much
Bang Won was looking up to his father like there was no greater man than LSG until LSG bowed to Lee In Gyeom

Then he looked up to JDJ for fulfilling his promise on preventing the war

He also took note of Hong In Bang when he was carried away from Sungkyungkwan but that was shattered when he found out that Hong In Bang was an accomplice of Gil Tae Mi

And I think Bang Won is doing what he had said to Hong In Bang years ago, about not being good but being just.

Both Hong In Bang and LBW wanted power but the other was evil while the other was just.
That conversation between Hong In Bang and young LBW haunts me while watching the bloodshed these two episodes so

In a nutshell, I believe Bang Won's dream didn't spark because of his father
His dream was started by Moo Hyul and was supported by that conversation he had with Hong In Bang

But yeah I think I'm too pro-LBW now haha because I just feel that it's not right but it's something needed to be done (referring to the bloodshed)

And sorry if you cant understand what I was saying because I'm quite the unorganized person when talking haha

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I know we're still in March, but this is my drama of 2015 AND of 2016. Even with Signal behind us, Mr. Black having started and Memory coming up, I'm not sure what I will do after next week. Mourn? And then maybe...a Six Flying Dragons re-watch? Possibly. There is so much packed into this, I could re-watch it multiple times and never get tired. Especially the recent episodes as we got to see Lee Bang-won and Jung Do-jeon go head-to-head. I could eat up all that delicious dialogue.

I still wish Javabeans an Girlfriday were watching this so that we could get a Six Flying Dragons podcast like we did for Healer, but I guess we can't get everything in life, can we. But I want it all!

I never knew how freely my tears could flow til I watched this. I usually do the trickle tears when scenes are moving enough, but here, they were more like crocodile teardrops. I kinda want to give Lee Bang-ji a hug, but he probably isn't in the mood for one of those.

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"One thing that I’d like to rant about is,
DID TAEJO JUST ABDICATE THE THRONE JUST LIKE THAT
that was absolutely the finishing blow for me
He went from the most badass father who was my fav daddy in dramas to the most unwanted daddy in dramas
He said that he was the cause to their dream of becoming kings??

Well Bang Won saved your life countless of times, saved Lady Kang and the others back at Dohwajeon, caused you and JDJ to finally meet, and killed JMJ just so you can find Joseon
Mmhmm yeah Bang Won literally has no rights to claim what is his

Though you are absolutely back on my fav list when you laughed like a creep"
Copy pasting this because I second you a hundred percent

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I messed up with the comments sorry xD

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I said I will go to Tree after SFD but couldn't stop myself so I'm rewatching Tree for the nth time and gosh, the wonders it does. It's a completely different perspective to watch it again after going through Dragons. But yeah, it will be hard to find another drama to watch.

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"It’s because of his sacrifices that Bang-won was even made a prince, and his power. Therefore, the decision of who should’ve been crown prince fell on him and him alone—how dare Bang-won try to steal what was never his?"

I don't know about the rest of u, but I blew up when LSG said this to BW. When he talked about how it was his reputation and JDJ's vision, etc that got them where they were...I so badly wanted BW to remind him of all that he had contributed, starting with the Border Stabilisation plan...to the killing of Po-eun. Reputation be damn! Vision be damn! Without BW's bald-faced, hardcore actions, there would be NO JOSEON! Cos JDJ, Jo Joon & Nam Eun would have been dead! And his father discredited!

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I know that what BW did was bad... even cruel to a point, but I really feel that had JDJ and LSG, the 2 men whom he most looked up too (first his father, then JDJ), are to blame partially. BW would not have turned out this desperate for power if some power and recognition had been given to him. Then he would not have needed to fight for it.

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In fairness to him, while the drama makes LSG seem incredibly passive in the actual formation of Joseon, what set the stage for it was his past accomplishments and reputation as a general and hero of his people. It's what gave him the military and political clout to actually effect the changes Bang-won wanted to see. Bang-won independently could not have done anything without his family name and power backing him up.

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While BW himself could not have done anything without his family's name and power, LSG and JDJ could not even have set up Joseon without BW's part. Especially, a dead JDJ.

Point is, A LOT of people played significant roles in creating Joseon - not just JDJ and LSG. To tell BW that only he, LSG, had the right to name the Crown prince and that BW had no right to it, is in my opinion, not right, considering BW's contributions. BW and his brothers were not even acknowledged for their part.

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Which was a huge part of Bang Won's and the other princes resentment.

LESSON LEARNED.

Always acknowledge and appreciate those who help you rise to the top. You never know how or when you will meet them on your way down.

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Noted

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It's too bad Bang-won didn't acknowledge his wife and all that she did to help him sit on the throne. Instead he killed her brothers who actually helped him.

He had no plan of sharing power from the very beginning and anyone that stood in the way was cut down.

On the other hand he ruled effectively because he was able to suppressed those pesky ministers in his court. What he planned for the country went smoothly without much opposition.
It's hard for a king to carry out reforms without oppositions from ministers because they care more about themselves and their position than what's good for the people and the country.

If only Yisan had this kind of power. Joseon would've been a much better place to live in during and after his reign.

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The writers probably left this out on purpose to create more drama but Lee Seong-gye did show his appreciations to his sons by rewarding them with lands, servants,horses etc and provinces or region to govern like the Northern border/region was given to Bang-gan.

I think what really pissed off the older princes was more to do with the crown prince selection and how the crown prince position was passed over them and given to the youngest.

They may have not said it in the drama but it's disrespectful to their mother, the first wife to be forgotten this easily by their father while he dotes on their step-mother and even chose her son as crown prince.

Bang-won went on a revenge rampage on his dead step-mother after he became king. He not only demoted her from queen to concubine but he moved her royal tomb out of the capital and more. Some of this was done while his father was still alive.

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Lol.

Mess with my brother, mess with my step-mother. Mess with my teacher, mess with my subject.

But never mess with my mom.

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Totally agree with you! LSG's logic was so weak. He said that JDJ played a vital role in the creation of Joseon. So why didn't he listen to JDJ when JDJ suggested Bang Gwa should be the crown prince? At that moment, JDJ knew exactly how the situation could become so dangerous that he had to ask LSG for the control of the army. And what about Jo Joon? Wasn't his part in their success big enough for LSG to listen when he suggested BW?
If Bang Gwa did become a crown prince, there's almost left no reason for Bang-won to strife back. Maybe Bang-won still had desire for the throne but JDJ might have more power and he could complete more projects such as the Liaodong expedition.

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All three of them played their part. In the SFD universe, it was Bang Won who got his reluctant father involved in the revolution. Ultimately it's still daddy Taejo's call which son to name as crown prince. However he should have foreseen the results of his use and discard behaviour towards his elder sons.

On a lighter note, am I the only who thought daddy Taejo badly needed some hair conditioner or hair mask? It was such a contrast to Bang Won's silky mane of glory in the earlier episode.

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Lol. The Jesus mane of hair? XD

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Younggyu-Bangwon scene made me cry so hard, adding the fact that BW says he refuses to ask Moohyul to 'do it' because he doesnt want to lose MH too, like he how he lose YG who killed Poeun for him.

Im still flabbergasted by King Taejo. Who gave BW the right to have a dream? Are you freaking kidding me?! If BW didnt kill Poeun, his beloved Sambong would have been dead! So newsflash and please get your 'history' straight.

Didnt that scary ajumma from Tree said the only way Bancheon survived was by giving away two of their people? Gab Boon is one of them, I think, so is BoonYi the other one? I love BY to pieces, and will sink with the BW-BY ship, but honestly? I want her dead lmao. If Younggyu's death effects BW that much, I'd like to see what BY's death will bring to BW and Bangji. And possibly Mugeuk.

This ep maked me realize how deep I am into Team Bangwon lol. Didnt shed a tear for NamEun ouch, but Younggyu's 2 minutes appearance was everything ????

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Don't say that please, I'll start crying, I can't afford losing boon-yi, for our bang-ji's sake please, he's so broken I don't know what will happen to him if she dies! and bang-won, I can't, I just can't, I don't want to see what her death will bring to him! just don't! shutting my eyes, hands on my ears, LALALALA!

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I really don't want to see Boon Yi dead but there's a high possibility of her dying. There's no reference to her in Tree and she's basically Bangwon's last hold to keeping himself grounded. Without Boon Yi, he'll be a total goner.

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Not to mention I bet it'd really break Bang-ji if she dies in his quest for revenge. That might be one thing that finally just makes him give up and go away.

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I want her to have a beautiful death..
Just like the other beautiful death scenes in this drama, she should die beautifully.
It's even better if she take her own life just like Yeon Hee. Boon Yi take her own life to stop Bang Ji from killing Bang Won, isn't that beautiful?

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It is, but just imagining it makes me want to cry...*sniff*

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Errr, beautiful??? I hope Boon Yi is more sensible girl ;) Live simply life, Boon Yi! Forget Bang Won (OK, I say it: I hate Bang Won - it's official. But I love YAI :) ).
To much blood, to much deaths, Dramalords :(

I disliked Mo Hyul because his betrayal, I can't forgive him :/ Mo Hyul!! Why did you not to think about effects of your doings?! Do you actually use your brain? It's too late to regret, to cry... I don't pity you :/ Poor Yeon Hee, my poor Bang Ji... He'll lost almost everything: his beloved woman, his master and his friend :((((

BTW anyone is with me in Team Sambong?? Historian Jeon Do Jeon was the best of politician of this age and he (ang Yi Seong Gye) is creator of Joseon. Bang Won (in my opinion) is someone like a plagiarist or stealer.

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I know "beautiful death" isn't that an oxymoron of the highest order. Death is scary and in a sageuks it is violent and brutal,beautiful....hmm No thanks :-)

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If JMJ was the one who pulled JDJ away from his madness
Then Young Kyu was the one who pulled Bang Won away from the extreme level of madness

Rest in peace, to all that has died and made me unable to sleep for two days crying nd mourning about you

On a side note, I can see the phrase "a man who has lost everything" make sense now
His master, his love, his sister, his admirer and his mom

Dem feels ;_;

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WOW
Last night I felt like SBS became HBO.. How come this episode Game of Thrones: Joseon Version.. So much death to count.. BAng Won said that losing and death was not interconnected, yes because death interconnected with losing.. 'You win or you die' indeed.. Boon Yi know this, as she said surviving was the only way for commoners to win this Game of Thrones..

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I read that from the beginning of this drama, the drama staff already said that this was gonna be like Game of Thrones. It's amazing how they could pull it off so far!

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In the first episode where the General beheaded the spy in front of the young Bang Won, that was taken from the first episode of GoT. I thought that was the only thing the staff would copy from that drama. So, yeah I'm surprised that that was the intent all along for the entire 50 episodes. Looking back at it, all the political maneuvering, all the different people vying for the throne, the violence, they are all similar to Game of Thrones. I am one happy viewer as a result.

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I would say they are "inspired" by GoT, but yeah I'm really happy with the result.

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