Rating:
Average user rating 4.2
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Mirror of the Witch: Episode 2

I found the lighter tone of this episode to be a pleasant surprise, after the darker and more gruesome — but absolutely gripping — first episode. I don’t think the differing tones are at odds with each other; the show balances the two well, even within one episode. In all, I really appreciated having a little more breathing room to get to know our younger characters and learn more about their relationships before we get back into the swing of things with the black magic/royal curse storyline.

 

 
EPISODE 2 RECAP

Seventeen years after the birth of the twins, we open on a field where two men compete in a horserace in front of a cheering crowd. The competitors are half-brothers HEO JUN (Yoon Shi-yoon) and HEO OK (Jo Dal-hwan), and the crowd places their bets on who will win. It seems widely known that Jun is the brother to back, as we see most everyone putting their money on him. But one man, hiding himself behind a fan, comes forward and says he’ll take the gamble on Ok.

Just then, we see Jun overtake Ok in the race, to the delight of the crowd. From behind, Ok waves a white handkerchief in the air — it’s a signal to his cronies, who are hiding further down the course ready to sabotage Jun. As Jun approaches, they throw buckets of dirt in his face. Jun falls off the horse, and to the disappointment of most of the spectators, Ok wins the race.

Ok rides over to Jun, who’s still on the ground, in a fake show of concern. Jun is gracious, telling Ok he will always trail behind him. Ok tells Jun not to feel bad, since a win is just a win.

Jun says he won’t: “I didn’t lose the race I was supposed to win; I lost the race I was supposed to lose.”

Pleased with his victory, Ok offers to buy a round of drinks. Jun turns it down, saying he has something to do.

Ha, it turns out the guy who bet against Jun is a friend of his, DONG-RAE — they must have hatched the plan knowing that Ok was going to cheat. Unfortunately, it didn’t earn them much: just over 10 nyang. Dong-rae says at this rate, Jun will never get to his goal of 500 nyang.

All of a sudden, Dong-rae gets up and tries to leave. Jun is immediately suspicious and stops him. Wordlessly, using just his facial expressions and hand gestures, Jun forces Dong-rae to take off his top, revealing a string of coins hidden inside. The two then burst into laughter — Jun’s incredulous, Dong-rae’s embarrassed. Jun collects what’s his, while Dong-rae swears up and down he doesn’t know how the coins got there.

Meanwhile, Jun’s brother Ok is drinking and celebrating with friends. He asks the group how much money they made off his win, to which the answer is: none. Surprisingly, Ok takes it in stride, chiding them for not taking advantage of a clear opportunity. He is curious, though, about who actually won the bet. One of his friends says Heo Jun’s friend Dong-rae made off with the entire pot.

At that, Ok remembers Jun’s words from earlier, about losing the race he was “supposed” to lose. Ok angrily throws his drink at the gayageum player next to him, realizing that he’s been played.

Jun and Dong-rae skulk towards the palace, dressed in women’s clothing and carrying heavy trunks on their shoulders. Using a secret code, they gain entrance to the palace and are led to meet with a group of young shamans. Ha, they’re there to peddle some magical potion, claiming that it will help the ladies increase their chest size.

The two talk up their product to all in attendance, giving out free samples and offering deals. Jun in particular seems to be a real smooth-talker — he’s not the slightest bit ruffled when another shaman interrupts their sales pitch by accusing the two of being con artists. Instead, Jun takes the opportunity to rally the group together to chant about the power of believing in the medicine.

Together with Jun, the shamans chant: “Trust, in myself. Trust, in you. Trust, in this. I can do it! You can do it! We can do it!” By the end, everyone is pumped up, and they all down the medicine.

On their way out of the palace, Jun notices something shiny on the ground and picks it up — it’s a fragment from one of the shields that was used to try to deflect black magic from entering the palace 17 years ago. Of course, Jun doesn’t know that, merely saying to Dong-rae that they could probably get some cash for it, whatever it is. At that moment, the palace guards appear, and Jun and Dong-rae make a run for it.

Jun is able to evade the guards by hiding out in a nearby building, but just as he’s able to catch his breath, he backs straight into Hong-joo and her own team of guards. Jun keeps a smile on his face as he deftly avoids their swords — even the one that narrowly misses his crotch — and expertly maneuvers around them, slipping through unscathed. Hong-joo lets him go as she watches him, expressionless.

At the palace, we meet the grown-up PRINCE SUNHOE, the twin brother to our cursed princess, who sits before the queen dowager and the queen. His 17th birthday is tomorrow, but he’s feeling burdened and troubled, though he’s not sure why. His eunuch says it’s probably because the prince is ready for marriage. Both the queen and the queen dowager are tickled at this thought, but they agree, much to the prince’s embarrassment. It looks like he’ll be getting a wife soon.

Besides generally feeling down, the prince has also been having trouble sleeping, because he’s been having strange dreams where he sees a girl that looks like him. At this, the queen dowager and the queen both look stricken, and exchange glances.

Once alone in her quarters, the queen thinks back to the curse placed upon her twins, when she’s interrupted by Hong-joo. The queen asks Hong-joo if she thinks tomorrow’s birthday celebrations will really be okay, given the shaman Hae-ran’s curse and her last words. She tells Hong-joo that Prince Sunhoe has even been seeing a girl in his dreams.

Though Hong-joo’s expression falters a bit at the news about the prince’s dreams, she reassures the queen that all is well. The curse has tied Hong-joo’s fate to that of the princess: if Hong-joo is alive, it means the girl is dead; if the girl is alive, then Hong-joo would be dead. Hong-joo’s living presence is proof that everything was settled 17 years ago.

Despite her confident words, Hong-joo exits the room with an unsettled look on her face.

Jun’s brother Heo Ok drunkenly walks through the marketplace with his entourage when royal guards push their way through the crowd, carting what looks to be dead bodies with missing limbs. The gisaeng accompanying Ok says they must be corpses of those who dared to enter the Black Forest. Apparently, no one who goes to the Black Forest comes back alive, and the kite that flies above the forest is rumored to be made out of the clothes of those who died there.

Ok spots Heo Jun and Dong-rae coming towards him and decides to pick a fight over their horserace. After failing to get a response out of Jun about having rigged the bet, Ok asks him if he needs money. He points to the kite above the Black Forest and asks Jun to get it for him, to the gasps of his entourage.

Jun starts to walk away, but Ok ups the ante and offers to pay 500 nyang for the kite. This stops Jun in his tracks — the promise of that much money is too powerful for him to pass up, even if he knows exactly what Ok is trying to do. Agreeing to the deal, Jun asks Ok to keep his promise to pay. Ok says of course he will, telling Jun, “I’m your hyung.” The look on Jun’s face as he struggles to keep his composure is heartbreaking.

Jun starts out for the Black Forest immediately while Dong-rae tries to talk him out of it — he could die, after all. But Jun reverts back to his usual jokey tone, saying the money will be totally worth it. As we see the two head into the mountains, in voiceover we hear Ok bidding farewell to Jun giddily.

On their trek, Dong-rae asks Jun if he’s heard the rumors about the cursed ghost of Black Forest. She has a pretty face, but she ends up ripping out the hearts of unsuspecting visitors and eating them.

Jun looks sufficiently freaked out, then says very seriously to Dong-rae: “So, how pretty is she?” HA. Jun scoffs and tells Dong-rae there’s no such thing as ghosts.

Ghosts or no, the path they’re on is pretty creepy, and glowing eyes watch them as they pass. All of a sudden, a loud noise scares Dong-rae, and he almost falls into a giant pit filled with snakes. Dong-rae crawls away from the hole, and immediately gets his foot caught in another trap, which leaves him dangling upside-down from a tree. Both the pit and the rope were clearly set up by someone to keep unwanted visitors out.

Jun looks concerned for Dong-rae at first, but then his expression shifts as something else catches his eye… Did Dong-rae just pee his pants?

As the two soldier on, Dong-rae sheepishly asks Jun to take this secret to his grave, covering his crotch with his hands. Jun agrees, giving him this hilarious little fist pump as a sign of solidarity.

They pass by a tree that’s roped off with a yellow talisman on it, and Jun stops, suddenly getting a bad feeling. Cue the roar of a tiger and rustling among the plants, as the beast slowly begins to stalk them like prey. Jun whips out a knife and tells a cowering Dong-rae to run on the count of three. But Jun only gets to two before the tiger roars again, causing Dong-rae to run off by himself.

Jun finally sees the tiger, and it’s huge — no way can he take it out on his own. He turns around and runs as fast as he can in the other direction, but the tiger just chases after him. Jun trips and falls but keeps going deeper into the forest, and the tiger appears to slow down and lose him.

Jun catches his breath, feeling safe, but then a familiar roar comes from just a few feet away, and Jun finds himself face to face with the beast.

Gripping his knife tightly, Jun tries to reason with the tiger, saying he really needs the money. It almost works, as the tiger starts to leave — but then it changes its mind and runs towards Jun at full speed, knocking him to the ground.

As they tussle, the broken piece of the shield that Jun discovered earlier at the palace falls to the ground.

Suddenly, the shield starts radiating with light, its rays hitting the tiger’s eyes. The light seems to do something to the tiger and it retreats, leaving Jun alive and well. Shocked and relieved, Jun picks up the shield and continues on his way.

He eventually comes to a clearing where he finds an eerie looking house, nestled below the ground and roped off with the same yellow talismans that we saw on the tree in the woods. Jun calls out to ask if anyone’s home, then makes his way down into the property towards a tall tree, where we see the handle of the kite.

With the 500-nyang kite finally within reach, Jun climbs the tree and manages to cut the kite free, only to be startled by a bird. He falls, losing his grip on the kite string, and watches in disbelief as it flutters away.

Jun can’t lament for too long, as he hears a clanging sound coming from the house. He peeks around the corner; when he sees nothing, he turns back around, only to be hit squarely in the face by a round metal lid.

He comes to and finds himself tied to a tree, facing a young girl hiding behind the very lid that she used to knock him out. Jun’s reaction is funny: He demands to know who she is, like she’s the intruder instead of the other way around. The girl, who is our heroine YEON-HEE (Kim Sae-ron), bristles at his brazen attitude and the two start bickering.

Jun makes a remark about the creepiness of the house, calling it fit for a ghost, then remembers Dong-rae’s story about the pretty ghost of Black Forest. He’s quickly convinced that Yeon-hee must be that ghost, and she’s looking to rip out his heart and eat it. In an attempt to repel her, he starts offering up prayers, loudly. Yeon-hee responds by shoving a radish in his mouth.

Once she gets him quiet, she inspects him more closely and decides that he’s not a threat. She offers to untie him, but only under one condition. She leans in close and says, “Let me eat it.” He screams.

Cut to her pointing to persimmons hanging up high in a tree just outside of the property. Jun doesn’t understand why she doesn’t pick the fruit herself, but she says sadly that she’s not allowed to leave. He gives in and picks the fruit, earning a small smile from her.

Back in the woods, we see Taoist master Choi Hyun-seo examining the trap that caught Dong-rae, looking concerned that it was set off. We see that he’s with a woman (his wife, maybe?), and the two exchange worried glances.

Meanwhile, Yeon-hee devours the persimmons while Jun looks on, intrigued. When Yeon-hee asks Jun how he got to this house, Jun jumps up, remembering his original mission: to find the kite.

Yeon-hee turns out to be the owner of said kite, and she is not pleased to discover that Jun let it loose. They have a cute exchange where Jun keeps calling the kite “his kite,” and she takes offense, calling him a thief. She says the kite is her most prized possession, and he replies that it’s important to him too. That doesn’t make Yeon-hee feel any better though, so he offers to “take care of it.”

By which he means he’ll make her a new, albeit poorly constructed kite. She’s not impressed with his handiwork, so he tries to take it back, and a brief tug of war ensues. It ends with him pulling a little too hard and Yeon-hee collapsing into his arms, her head on his chest.

We hear Jun’s heart beating loudly. Jun looks totally flustered, while Yeon-hee, with no trace of embarrassment, marvels at the firmness of his chest, saying that he’s a “healthy man.” He quickly jerks away, but Yeon-hee just pulls him back in and presses herself up against his chest, wanting to listen to his rapidly beating heart.

He wriggles free and stammers that girls can’t do stuff like that, but doesn’t have an answer when Yeon-hee asks why. She notices his cheeks glowing bright red and reaches out to feel his forehead, making him jump at the contact. She stares very seriously at him, then all of a sudden she winks.

Confused, Jun asks her what she’s doing. She winks again with her other eye, expecting some sort of response. She explains that in the book she’s reading, a woman’s wink is supposed to cause nosebleeds in men. She winks again, and again and again. Jun is hilariously freaked out, pleading with her to stop.

Just then, Yeon-hee hears the sound of her name being called. Panicked, she sends Jun off and quickly straightens up to greet Hyun-seo, calling him “Father,” as he storms onto the property.

Hyun-seo immediately raises his voice at her, accusing her of forgetting his warnings about staying within property lines. He makes it clear that under no circumstances can she ever set foot outside of the house.

Hyun-seo’s companion indeed turns out to be his wife, and once Hyun-seo leaves, she brings Yeon-hee some new clothes. Yeon-hee looks grateful, calling her “Mother,” but she avoids Yeon-hee’s gaze and also leaves, saying nothing.

Meanwhile, we see Jun hiding out just beyond the perimeter of the house. Having seen the whole exchange, he looks sorry for Yeon-hee.

Hyun-seo and the other members of his bureau are huddled over a map. One of them, YO-GWANG (Lee Yi-kyung), says they’ve found the location of the Mauigeumseo — the book that supposedly holds the key to breaking Hong-joo’s dark curse on the princess.

As Hyun-seo continues his conversation with Yo-gwang and the team, we see Hong-joo in her lair, sprinkling ingredients into her cauldron and breathing in magical black fumes.

Hyun-seo says that if Hong-joo knows the princess is still alive, she will sacrifice the girl to strengthen her own ability to perform black magic. Hong-joo’s goal is more than just becoming a powerful black witch — she plans to use her powers to destroy Joseon completely. The only way to stop her is to break the curse, and so they must find the Mauigeumseo, no matter what.

He flashes back to 17 years ago, when he brought baby Yeon-hee to her father King Myeongjong, and told the king that his cursed daughter was the only one who could stop Hong-joo.

The king told Hyun-seo that he knew of the evil plans hatched by his mother and Hong-joo five years before to dethrone the previous king, but he did nothing to stop them. He said he was being punished for his past sins, and apologized to his baby daughter for being so powerless.

The king then gave Hyun-seo a directive: Save the child, break the curse, and stop Hong-joo. Hyun-seo promised to do so.

Back in the present, Yeon-hee looks at the kite Jun made for her, then thinks back to when she was in his arms. Her thoughts are interrupted by the arrival of POONG-YEON (Kwak Shi-yang), to whom she refers fondly as her older brother. Poong-yeon comes bearing gifts: first, a bouquet of wildflowers, and second, a flying lantern, just in time for the flying lantern festival in town the next day.

He tells Yeon-hee the lantern is her birthday present; if she writes a down a wish, puts it in the lantern and lets it fly, her wish will come true. Since she won’t be able to attend the festival, he offers to release the lantern for her. Yeon-hee is visibly moved by his thoughtfulness.

Gazing at Yeon-hee tenderly, Poong-yeon thinks back to a conversation with his father, Hyun-seo. Hyun-seo angrily forbade Poong-yeon from visiting Yeon-hee; when Poong-yeon protested, his father asked if he had romantic feelings for her. Shocked by the question, Poong-yeon didn’t answer, but Hyun-seo shut him down with the warning that nothing can happen between them.

Given the way Poong-yeon is looking at Yeon-hee, it seems it’s too late for him.

Yeon-hee writes down her wish and asks Poong-yeon about the festival, unable to hide her longing to go see the event for herself. Poong-yeon, clearly affected by Yeon-hee’s loneliness, can only look at her sadly.

Back to Heo Jun, who heads back towards the forest, while also thinking of Yeon-hee trapped in that house. Just then, he spots the kite — it’s stuck on a tree high above some giant rocks near the entrance of a cave. It seems impossible for Jun to get to, and he’s on the verge of giving up.

But, he thinks back to Yeon-hee calling the kite her most prized possession, and he starts to climb.

Jun gets up close, then slips, but manages to regain his footing. He gets close enough to grab the kite, only to slip and fall straight down towards the rocky terrain below, kite in hand.

 
COMMENTS

Heo Jun’s the real star of this hour, and I’m loving the way Yoon Shi-yoon is portraying him. On the outside, he’s the smart, confident, silver-tongued hero who doesn’t hesitate to take on big risks if it means getting what he wants. His escapades with his sidekick, Dong-rae, were especially entertaining to watch — it seems like the two just have a lot of fun, even in the midst of life-threatening situations.

You get a glimpse of what’s going on inside — the deep wounds, the insecurities, the desperate need for money — from Jun’s interactions with his brother Heo Ok. The exchange they had in the marketplace when discussing the kite deal was so heart-wrenching, because you could see in Jun’s face how hurt he is by his brother’s actions, and how he’s maybe even a little embarrassed that he can’t just walk away from the deal, or fight back against Ok outright. That look on Jun’s face when Ok makes him the 500-nyang offer, and then again when he calls himself Jun’s “hyung”? Oof, that got me right in the heart.

As for the dynamic between Jun and Yeon-hee, our main couple, I’m cautiously optimistic. I know that there’s been controversy about the decision to cast Kim Sae-ron in this role, and I have to admit, Yeon-hee does come off as a tad girlish in her scenes here. That said, her banter with Heo Jun was fun to watch, and it seems like they have good chemistry, so I’m hoping that as the story unfolds and we see more of her, this will be a non-issue.

I like the way Yeon-hee’s characterized so far — she’s sheltered and naïve, but she’s also spunky and thirsty for any sort of human interaction beyond the boundaries of the property she’s trapped within. It’s no wonder she warms up to Heo Jun so quickly when she meets him (after she decides he’s not a criminal, that is) — he’s probably the first person she’s had an extended conversation with who’s not a member of her “family.” Not only that, he treats her as if she’s a normal person instead of something to be hidden away. I can only imagine how thrilling this kind of interaction with a new person would be for her, having been locked up her entire life.

I’ll be interested in how Yeon-hee’s relationship with Hyun-seo develops moving forward. It seems that up to this point, she’s been an obedient daughter, not daring to push back against him or his rules. But as we can see, she’s not a little girl anymore — she’s interested in what the world has to offer, whether it’s the lantern festival or the young men that she might meet beyond the boundaries of her house (or, in Jun’s case, within it.) It’s not quite clear how much Yeon-hee knows about her situation and the history that preceded her, but I think it’s safe to say she doesn’t know much. Will Hyun-seo choose to bring her into the fold, and enlist her help in dealing with Hong-joo’s black magic? Or will Yeon-hee find out the truth in a different way, unraveling the only close relationships she has come to know? I’m betting on the latter.

Since this episode was mostly used to introduce the rest of our main cast and set up the dynamics of everyone’s relationships, we’ll have to wait for upcoming episodes to advance the story. Even without concrete plot developments, though, I found the episode to be well paced and engaging; the beautiful camerawork, along with Yoon Shi-yoon on screen, didn’t hurt, either. I’m looking forward to seeing how the series unfolds and getting some answers as to where we are with Hyun-seo’s quest to break Yeon-hee’s curse.

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This episode reminded me of Tangled: trapped girl with special powers dying to see the world. The scene were she hit him with the pan on the head and then tied him up was similar, and of course, there will be a festival with lanterns.

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my thought exactly too!

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That is exactly what me and my sister shouted out loud while watching her tie him up to the tree and then shoving the radish in his mouth. The show does have the familiar themes that are part of the folk tales and fairy tales so why not.

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Hell yes! SO MANY TANGLED FLASHBACKS! Please can we get a Maximus and Pascal too? Pretty please show?

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I'm loving the plot so far and the cinematography is beautiful!

But, is it me or this episode is a tad bit similar to Tangled? The guy finds a secret hideout, the lonely princess with royal birth secret trapped in her home and the classic hit with frying pans (a lid in this case?).

I'm not complaining though! I think this drama will be good! (hopefully)

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thank you for the recap..
i'm still comtemplating whether to watch or not to..
love kim sae ron but i cant yet ignore the age gap.. :sigh:

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Most people still have this major concern about the age gap between our two leads...hmm? Interesting enough that there were no major concerns expressed before when Kim Sae-Ron stared in the High School Drama theme called Hi! School: Love On, just two years ago. Kim Sae-Ron then love interests played by Nam Woo-Hyun and Lee Sung-Yeol, were both 9 years older than her!! And she was 14 then! I thought she did an awesome job and I thought that it was tastefully directed. At the time of broadcast I can't remember reading any complaints or concerns about the age-gaps. Hmmm?

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There were complaints.

Youth dramas and sageuks both tend towards fairly innocent love relationships, which accorded both shows with some leeway, but neither casting choice went unnoticed or uncommented.

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There were a LOT of complaints.

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Yeah, there were a ton of complaints. It's actually one of the reasons I didn't end up watching it.

I'm bothered by the age gap here as well. I'm trying this time to give it a shot, but I just can't see myself buying the romance - nor do I really like the continual implications of her having to have romances with people nowhere hear her age, and her still being a minor.

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I was thinking the same thing as I re-watched High School Love On to see her in action.

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I like the show, but I just don't feel the chemistry between the leads. They are supposed to be the same age, right? I think YSY said they were both supposed to be 17 yrs old. Well, I'm not really bothered by the age difference, but the pairing just didn't click with me. But who knows, maybe there will be a time jump while she magically stays the same, and then it will make more sense. Either way, I'm in for the ride.

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No chemistry probably because she is a teenager - 15 years old and he is almost 30. It would be fine if no romantic sparks are expected in the storyline. I think the age gap isn't so much an issue if say she was already in her 20s - she would have more emotional depth to draw upon and not be acting like a young teen.

Anyway, too early to judge. Will keep watching.

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But in the show, she's actually 17 and her acting as a teen is completely normal. The misfit here would be Yoon Shiyoon (sadly) since he's much older than the age he's portraying. Isn't it?

The age gap isn't as obvious imo. Chemistry can't really be judged by the few minutes they had in ep 2 but they seem fine.

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If you were looking for smoldering romantic chemistry, then no, you did not get it but what I saw was a shy interest being shown and to me that fit well with the "17 year old" characters.

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Lol, I'm so glad I check this one out. A lot of people was against it, but that's what actually peaked my interest in the drama. I didn't read the synopsis (too much spoiler), so I didn't know what to expect and I'm left very impressed. They're not holding back at all. The producers/director is hitting the all the right spot, so is the writer. The tiger scene was very well done. The acting is spot on (except for 1 or 2 character). This is the only drama that has seem to catch my attention, hope it continues.

That *WINK* Hahahahahahaha was the highlight for this episode. ? ? ? ?

But am I the only one that think that the shaman actually lied and transfer her curse to the baby instead of the so called curse the crown prince had?

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the wink part was everything lol

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Lol, it was. When she did it I was like, "what she knows about winking"

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I agree! I love how she wouldn't stop.
The best part is she got the idea from a manga. They had those back then? So funny.

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Oh wow I didn't even think of that. That's very possible since the shaman could care less about the crown prince, or more like she'd do whatever to harm the family...that would be interesting!

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It would be. She also said, "If the princess was alive, she (the shaman) would've been dead, but since the princess is dead she (the shaman) is still alive and well." I don't believe the mother curse the babies. She was only foretelling the future of what she saw. I do wonder tho. Why Is the prince dreaming about his dead mother?. I have zero pity for the royal family, except for the king (if he's still alive) and crown prince.

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Wasn't the prince dreaming of his twin sister though?

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I first thought it was. But his sister isn't crying. (or maybe he's hearing his sister cries when she was a baby.) So I though maybe he's hearing his mother voice (crying) since the curse (although I look at it like prophecy, since his mother only could see one's future) has almost reach the fulfillment date.

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"A lot of people was against it, but that’s what actually peaked my interest in the drama." In this case, me too. I found this drama got a lot of negative comments on age gape just like Marriage Contract before it was aired. Come on, first, long ago, a 15-year-old girl was considered old enough to get married and this was practiced both in old Western and Eastern parts of the world. Second, it's a period drama. Even my great grandparents mostly got married at 12 or 13 years old and they had 12 or 13 kids. A girl could get married to a man twice her age. Single girls in their 20's would be considered as spinsters. It's about culture, something accepted by a society as a norm. We might not agree, but we cannot judge. Third, both leads are professional actor and actress. They have to act good on screen, otherwise they wouldn't make us viewers happy with their acting.

I think they look good together. I even decided to watch this drama only by looking at the posters here on DB.

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Amen.
thank you cinnamon I agree with everything you say!

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I completely agree with you on the age gap. The age gap don't bother me because of the time period it's set in. age gap like this was normal during those times. I believe a lot of people was looking at it from a modern day perspective, and yeah I would have had a HUGE problem with it as well. But since it's set 100s of years ago, I can understand the age gap.

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15 +alpha for your comment

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I think using the 'historical accuracy' card on a show like this is a moot point. People are concerned because of how it's perpetuating those ideas in a modern age and to a modern audience.

There's a lot of historical accuracies that they choose not to include in these shows because it wouldn't be appealing to views (think if your leads had missing rotting teeth for example). But somehow it's not OK to question why they keep pairing a minor with full grown men. Kids see the actress, they know she's around their age, and they see who her romantic partners are. It definitely influences people and perpetuates certain ideas of which I don't intend to get into a big long thing.

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About the age gap. I could careless. Prince Charles of Wales was a whopping 13 years older than Princess Diana. They first met Diana was just 16 years old. Diana was just 19 when she married the Prince. It's just acting it's not like YSY is actually dating the actress. I think they have good chemistry though more like that of siblings than of love interests.

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At last! I have been saying this for the very first age related comment that I saw posted on the drama casting. They are actors and it is not as if we have not had age gaps in other dramas with little said about it.

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Except, they're not playing 15 vs 30 in the drama, we're talking about modern day real life now. And yes, long ago children were married off at 12 or 13 because society didn't protect children like we have learned to do in this 21st century. I mean, there are so many organizations around the world trying to stop child brides practice, so just because our society did wrong in the past doesn't justify what we do now. Now, I'm not saying that things are this extreme for the drama or anything but I can see why there were complaints.

I'm sure the drama will do what it can to keep things clean for Kim Sae Ron since she is only 15, but the issue of casting a minor in a romantic role with an adult is that it perpetuates the objectification of minors as an adult's romantic/sexual object. This is obviously still a huge problem in Asia. It's a fine line and I'm not saying the drama will cross it but I don't think it's unreasonable for people to express concern. I think it's quite justified and we SHOULD express concern so minors are not taken advantage of during the filming or objectified by adults.

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I have to admit I am surprised I'm liking this drama. Didn't expect to like it (what with the age difference and all) but with only 2 episodes so far I am hooked. I find the story captivating specially after watching next episode's preview!! Romance wise I'm still not interested. Romance is not Kim Sae Ron's forte (considering her age it's understandable).
I have to say that if the show follows what they showed us in episode 1 and the preview of episode 3 then I think it'll be a great show!!!

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good special effects with that tiger.
the cinematography is stunning, being dark or not. the colours give the mood you need to every scene. nice job, drama.

I'm still on the fence about this romance because I can't ignore their age gap. but ysy and ksr are both cuties and I liked their first encounter and all the shenanigans. so let's see how my mind will react to them as a couple lol

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To everyone having problems with the age gap, remember the time it is set in. At 12, you were old and mature enough to marry. This is actually consistent with the time

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I agree about the tiger, I was surprised at how much that scene with Joon impressed me. The shard he picked up seemed to have calmed or repelled the tiger, hmmm, I wonder about its power. I like that Joon is so naturally unaffected by superstition and danger!

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Beautiful!

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Thanks for the recap, Chocolatte~!

Ep 2 was not as gripping as ep 1, but still able to keep me interested and at edge on the tiger scene and when daddy came and inspecting the situation. It reminded me of Arang where talismans were everywhere around the compound and forest.

Can't wait for ep 3 when the princess ventures outside the secured compound, and all hell breaks loose, and the showdown between HJ (the shaman) and daddy HS plus HJ (the loverboy?).

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I'm really impressed with CGI used in this drama, I hope it stays on the same level throughout its entire run. The lack smoke spirit from the pilot and a tiger from the second episode looked absolutely fantastic.

About the loveline, I was surprised how much chemistry a 16 years old girl could have with a 29 years old grown man. I mean, I was skeptical about this pairing at first, truthfully it was my main point against watching this drama, but after witnessing it with my own eyes, my worries disappeared. They work as a couple for me.
It's not like we'll see them kissing anyway, since KSR is still a minor, so their romance and feelings should be believable. So far they did a good job.

This drama is like a breeze of a fresh air in dramaland, the theme is brilliant, here's hoping it doesn't lose its momentum later on like many promising dramas before it.

PS. From the description tho, I thought that KSR's princess character was supposed to be a frozen by a curse, cold young woman, but she obviously isn't. Did anyone also scratch their head about it?

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*black of course

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Maybe the curse will only act if she steps out of the safe house? Though all those amulets maybe just to protect her from the Shaman.

I did think she seemed way too peppy for a frozen hearted princess! :D

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I think the curse will start acting up once she's 17!

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From what I understand, this is the curse:

The cursed children will die at the age 17

OR

If they live, their loved ones will die (and they will be heartbroken/their fate will be worse than death).

So if the curse is fully transferred to Yeonhee, it doesn't mean that she will be a cold, young woman, it only means that she's supposed to die on her 17th birthday, or if she survives, her love interest will be in danger.

Not-a-father Hyunseo was supposed to kill the infant princess, but he secretly sent her away to a secluded safehouse. Hence, she's not supposed to leave because a. she will be hunted down by the royal family and Hongjoo's entourage, and b. Hyunseo and his family will be cut down for defying the Queen.

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She wasn't supposed to live and it seems like the black magic woman doesn't know she is alive still? She will become the evil witch's worst nightmare, I predict. Sic her!

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Well she did have some kisses in Love On and Nam Woo-hyun is almost 10 years older than her.

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Moving an embryo from one uterus to another reminds me of Pirates of the Caribbean's mermaid's precious tears. That legend does actually exist near my area. One of my friends once told me a story from her island: a beautiful mermaid would appear near a boat of a lone sailor; she would sing a song and cry and those who could get her tears would find the liquid as a cure for everything, prolonging lives, giving wealth and fortune. It is the same as moving the embryo. A nine-month pregnant woman could easily loose her baby, not because she gets miscarriage, but because the baby just disappears from her belly like nothing has happened before.

Sure, black magic presents in almost of "ancient" societies, trading lives with a cheap price with the help of the "unseen". Brrrrr.... it sends a shiver to my nape.

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The tiger was really scary tbh..they did a really good job with that one..As for the two leads I actually liked what I'm seeing so far. As long as they keep the romance that way then I'm fine with that because there's a lot of things going on already. I can't wait to see what will happen next week.

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Loved the second episode as well ?. So looking forward to how the writer develops the story becaus just like you, I do believe Yeon Hee will figure things out for herself. Cue the betrayal.

I loved Heo Jun as well and he and Dong Rae were hilarious which makes it extra hard that Choi Sung Won has been diagnosed with acute leukemia. Keeping my fingers crossed that he makes a complete recovery ?.

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Tangled Korean version xD

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Anyone notice that Heo Jun's sidekick Dong Rae is played by Deuk San's little brother from Reply 1988? He's doing a good job!

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That's what I thought and I was looking through the comments for verification. I understand he was diagnosed with acute leukemia last month and has had to take time off to get treatment, so I imagine his character will have to be written out of the story at some point. Such a pity. I really enjoyed his scenes in Reply 1988 and was looking forward to seeing him again. I hope he recovers fully so he can return to drama land.

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Wow, I didn't know.
Choi Sung Won: FIGHTING!

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Yep, that's him. he was on Happy Together and told how he auditioned for this part. 1988 was a real acting break for him, fighting!

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About the age difference between our OTP....
Sometimes KSR looks and acts like a 17 year old and I can go with that premise. But then suddenly a different camera angle or view of her face throws me out of the scene when I'm struck at how young she looks. She's a little girl playing a young adult.
Historically, this age pairing is not unheard of but it still makes me uneasy.
Over-all, the show is engaging and well done.

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The age gap isn't that bad really. Japan had a similar age gap between the two leads in their drama mischievous kiss love in Tokyo. The male lead was 26 and the female lead was just 16 and yes they did kiss.

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Heck those two were married in the Mischievous Kiss sequel!

I think I would have a harder time, be more upset, if the storyline revolved around a 17 year old and a 30 year old.

(As a teen I didn't like Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility because Marianne is 17 and Colonel Brandon was 35. Same reason I didn't like Jane Eyre. I got over the age differences as I aged.)

But the story is a fairy tale about two 17 year olds. If I were reading the story, I wouldn't have a problem. Heck, if I came across this drama 5 years after it aired and hadn't heard all the complaints, I wouldn't even really have noticed. Obviously YSY is older than her, but I would have guessed they were maybe 5 years apart.
So while the casting isn't great- it certainly wouldn't have struck me as this huge "How can you support this outrage!" situation. Especially given that its a sageuk- married couples barely kiss in a sageuk. And I don't like how the critics seem to place the burden on the poor actress. We should want dramas to stop casting older actresses as teenagers- it gives a skewed perspective of how teenage girls should be viewed.

(And no one was saying "ew" when Keira Knightley was in Pirates of the Caribbean at 17 with an older Orlando Bloom.)

As it is, all the age gap means is that I can't really blog about the show on tumblr, because most of my followers have decreed that anyone watching the show is BAD.

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Thanks for the recap chocolatte, I really love your writing style and the translations are a wonderful bonus!

Agreeing with Itenoria that Choi Sung Won's departure is extra-heartbreaking after seeing his comedic chemistry with Yoon Shi Yoon. Hoping for a quick, complete recovery for everyone's favorite ahjussi dongsaeng!

Dat wink doe... *dying*

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Loved this episode so so much. I could still feel the dark just beneath the surface, and I didn't have to watch an hour on the queen's harrowing night life. Kudos, show, I'm in for another week, at least. :)

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Yoon siyoon for asian flynn rider?
(Shout out for the trendy #starringjohncho)

Hmm. I'm not complaining.

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Thank you for this, god I love Jon Cho.

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Ah, another trip-hug...
At least we didn't get a trip-kiss (yet).
If an American cable channel did an adaptation of this show, they'd probably go straight to trip-f**k (?)

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Eminem and Dre way ahead of you there fam: "what, she tripped? Fell? Landed on his dick?"#guiltyconscience Slim Shady for OST - get on that kdramaland!

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The person in charge of the special effects deserve a high-five, really! That tiger is the most believable CG I've seen in a kdrama.

So far, so good. I'm looking forward for the next episodes. Anyway, Kwak Shi Yang looked so different (at least to me) in sageuk fashion. I had to stare at him for so long to make sure he's really Shi Yang.

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I was pleasantly surprised with episode 2 since I was expecting the dark tone to continue from the first episode. The bickering between the leads was so unexpected and I love it! I'm still a bit hesitant to ship the OTP because of the age difference but so far, it hasn't deterred me from continuing on with the drama. Hopefully Yoon Shi Yoon and Kim Sae Ron's performances will be able to sell the love story as the drama continues. Can't wait to see more and please keep recapping!

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I think all the actors did a phenomenal job...and I am hooked on this drama, I'm not usually a fan of Saeguks, but this one did it for me.
I have to say that I still have issues with the main lead couple, their acting is great but I'm sensing more of a older brother and younger sister relationship, which is great but no romance.
I wouldn't mind if they stayed in a sibling relationship though...

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I agree. Why must there be a romance anyway? Hah!

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I completely agree! With both guys in this I really felt like it was an older brother vibe. I don't know why they can't keep it that way. Are the only times we're allowed to care about some when we have a romantic interest?

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So the guy is already 29? I never noticed. All this time I thought he was 23-25. The last time I saw him was in Flower Boy Next Door and he was acting like a child there, so I really thought that the age gap between the leads was not that big. (then again, that show was years ago). Anyway, I never knew that there were issues about the age of the leads, and I never noticed it while watching the drama. Those who are complaining just probably thinks about the actor's age more than how they portray their characters. So far so good and I am loving the drama.

What totally hooked me was the Black forest scene. The fog, the tall pine trees and the plant covered forest soil made the drama at par with Korean Movie productions. And of course that Tiger! It looked so real and scary!

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He's already 26 when he filmed FBND, but sure, he looks younger than his real age :D

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Exactly! The age gap isn't even physically noticeable! YSY looks like he's 23 or 24!

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This eps was more like setup part 2 as they take us to meet characters from the next generation. I have to say that I'm quite impressed with the tiger scene, it's believable and scary as hell. So far, all the characters seem interesting and layered enough to make me curious about their story. Especially the princess and how her confinement added a mix of childlike curiosity and ignorance that made her reaction unpredictable. It becomes a great source of humour (which is definitely welcomed after that very intense first eps) and also romance trope. And watching her shook Heo Jun's indifference was so satisfying.

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Tbh, I was pretty leery about the age difference between the two leads but they have awesome chemistry without it being inappropriate. So I am pretty excited for the remaining episodes especially if they are as good as the first two!

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Enjoying the drama. The magic I find a bit scary though.

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chocolatte - Thanks for the beautiful recap. The subtitles on DF weren't quite as defined, clear as what you wrote. It is nice to get more meaning after reading this.

I think this one is a keeper.
I found I smiled BIG and often throughout. Today's episode was silly without being clownish - which is a lot more difficult than it sounds. Of course we deserved the whimsy after the first ep, right?

It has YSH, who is fabulous, and Poong-cha! (Jo Dal Hwan) from Inspiring Generation. He is back alive, though, I have to admit kinduv a jerk. Knowing this actor's versatility, I am guessing he will end up doing something nice for little brother. As young as she is, Kim Sae-ron owns each scene she is in. I'm going to have to pretend I don't know she is so young, and just enjoy the camaraderie between the leads. Sagueks are notoriously chaste, so I don't think we're going to see much action between them anyway.

All of the cast is solid. I could live without seeing Kim Young Ae playing another annoyingly fervently evil thorn in the side of good. Does she own the patent on that role?

The music is wonderful in this show. Like everyone else said, it is gorgeous to look at. This type of drama is exactly what I need right now!

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Use viki. Please.
I have such a huge problem with DF's business practices, not to forget their god awful translations (its like they use google translate :/), I would rather use every site BUT dramafever.

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Hmm. Can you elaborate on DF's business practices? I keep hearing about it, but I have no idea what it's about.

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Oh I love this. Probably because I love fairy tales and this drama is so pretty. I can't wait for more episodes!

It's too early to delve really deep into characterisation and technically we haven't seen all the characters (I saw the posters) but I'm so happy to see him as a lead on my screen and I like her, which surprised me.

I'm not a fan of Kim Sae-ron because I haven't really loved her previous projects enough to watch (it takes a lot to make me actually watch a drama and not just read recaps) but she's really doing it for me in this. Her character is most certainly girlish and innocent (but not annoyingly girly). I also really like her costume. It's giving me a whole new perspective on sageuk female costumes (it's her hair I think).

I'm looking forward to grabbing a seat for next week.

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I'm quite liberal, and would never judge something just because of the age difference of 2 lead actors.

I'm surprised how good this drama actually is, the cinematography, colours, locations, CGI and most of all the acting captured my aesthetics to the tee.

I feel sorry for those people who won't watch this drama because of the age difference, they're actors and its a professional environment.

I could surely rely on Yoon Shi Yoon! his acting is superb, this drama is just amazing. I hope a lot of people could get over their issues and just watch it!

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Me too! If the age gap is all that's stopping people from watching this drama then it's their loss!

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The male lead is good and the female lead so far is blah but the guy might be able to carry the show since he is really good.
First two episodes were entertaining to me so will watch some more and hope she does not ruin it for me.

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she's too young.. i think we can't get kisses from this drama..
damn..

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I love it!

I really enjoyed this episode, it had a lot of funny and cute moments. Jun and Yeon-hee bickering was just hilarious.

It was heartbreaking to see Jun take up the bet even when he knows what Ok is trying to do and what he wants. I want to know why he needs the 500 nyang so desperately, was it mentioned in the episode? did I miss it or we are yet to know in the coming episodes?! but what got me was even when he needs the money so badly, when he saw the kite again, he didn't think about himself but he remembered Yeon-hee, and he only climbed the rock to be able to return it to her, Aww!

Jun's first encounter with Yoen-hee was so Tangled, and I was all happy and excited watching it! Rapunzel was in a dungeon, Yeon-hee's in a black forest, and Heo Jun is our Flynn rider, YAY!

I'm glad the age gap doesn't show, I never doubted it but people were saying they won't watch it because of the age difference and I was getting worried for Yoon Shi Yoon because this is his comeback drama but now people are changing their minds so I'm relieved, he looks amazing and he has really good chemistry with Kim Sae Ron.

Thank you chocolatte for the recap, you did a good job!

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I believe he needs the money to free his mother since she's a servant (or slave?) I also read somewhere he wants to go to China (?) with his mother for unknown reasons, maybe to start again without the "illetigitimate son" tag?

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oh really? thank you but is this from the history? because I don't know much about the Korean history but I do know that Heo Jun was a physician. So I'm thinking he's mother is sick and by fooling shaman ladies with fake medicine he's actually trying to make money to later be able to make real medicine!

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It's not from history, it's from drama character's description, I don't think her mother is not sick, in the long preview we see something happens to her in the next episodes, probably this weekend. :'(
I don't know why he becomes physician, so curious about it.

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What a beautiful ,beautiful drama

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This episode is nice to watch, but the previous episode left a deeper impression to me. I'm craving for more dark episodes. :D

Anyway, we're just one day away from the third episode ^^

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Mirror Of The Witches Fans

Please support JTBC

Facebook Page
https://www.facebook.com/jtbcdramapage/?fref=ts
Note: you can watch the drama on Fridays and Saturdays at 20:30 (KST) online through facebook
&
Instagram Page
https://www.instagram.com/jtbcdrama/

PLEASE show some love with comments & likes for the drama, cast & production….on Facebook and Instagram….

“Most people still have this major concern about the age gap between our two leads, that’s why many international/korean people that like dramas are not watching.”

You can also follow this FanPages of the Drama:

https://www.facebook.com/MirrorOfTheWitchKDrama2016/?fref=ts

https://www.facebook.com/Mirror-Of-The-Witch-Korean-Drama-1154830421203393/?fref=ts

https://www.facebook.com/Kdrama105/?fref=ts

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Thank you for the links. :)

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Well...I officially love it so I'm hoping it doesn't let me down. But from what I've seen, it seems as if the team knows what they are doing. The story has a traditional fairy tale feel to it but it's the execution that excites me. Love the cinematography and the BGM.

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I still think that they did a mistake in casting Kim Saeron for this, but I already love the drama. YSY is so charming in this.
I need to watch some more episodes, but for now it really seems like the team behind the drama have a clear vision about the story they are telling. The directing is so beautiful and the created atmosphere is formidable.

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Oh Kwak Shi-yang! did i just see there, oh my still as hot as ever i see, *giggle*- oh ahem! sorry, back to the comment,

CG I perfect, the Tiger, believable, tried looking for any technical fault non!
Creepy evil spirit from ep 1, that totally almost made me think the story was going Silent hill parallel evil universe with those impressive sound effects of demonic sadistic laughter and blood curdling screeches *shiver* i wanted to switch on my night lamp on so bad!(not like i have one or anything, am a grown woman okay don't judge me)

On the chemistry between leads, their cute but still not convinced, but these are just the first two episodes, i'll just have to wait it out for the next episode and see how it goes.

ha..... evil spirit *shivers* brrrrrr

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Dongguuuuuuuuu!

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I really enjoyed the two episodes, especially the second. Yeon Hee will make an awesome witch - she's so pretty and the actress is mucho talented. That winking scene! I laughed my head off at that. Overall, the second episode sold me on whether to keep watching or not. Heo Jun is well played by Yoon Si-hoon but I wish the girl was older. Like 18.

Kwak si Yang! He's so cute in a hanbok and gat. Has me wishing HE was the male lead but anyhoo. The age thing is a nervous tick for me when watching, but I hope i can overcome the distraction. Thanks for the recap chocolatte!

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I'm so happy Yoon Shi Yoon is back!!! It's why I'm watching this despite my reservations.

It's certainly interesting, and there are some cool ideas that they're playing with. However, there are also a lot of things that have yet to play out and my feelings could change drastically with how they're handled.

I think the shifts in tone mean that I haven't gotten a full sense of how this show is going to go. So, I'll keep watching for now but I think it'll take a few more episodes for a definite decision.

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I love this drama!!! YSY and KSR have awesome chemistry! I'm excited to see more:)

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DONG GU YAA!! :D

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I THINK the love team doesn't have a chemistry.the girl look like a 13 year old.the characters especially the older king is too funny to be looking old .I want to like this drama but the mismatch of the main characters turns me off.i wish the main girl wud be much older like Suzy or Park Shin aehs age...

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Thanks for the recap first!
And yeah! Its the best saguek show I'm seeing in a while!
I never cared about age gaps since its still in practice for a girl to marry a man twice her age in some parts of our Country!
So why complaining so much? This show is perfectly fit in all aspects! Hope it'll continue til the end, and thanks to the negative comments.....I see some people are watching this show after seeing those...funny!
Looking forward to upcoming episodes!??

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Thanks for the recap, chocolatte!

First of all, YSY!! How I've missed you on screen!! His voice and his acting... He's just awesome here. Heehee... Love the scenes of Jun and Dongrae. Too bad CSW needs to leave his role to focus on his health. =( Will miss him for sure. Prayers for him to get better.

I like KSR in this role. She hasn't been exposed to the world and seems like didn't learn how to act ladylike. LOL So, it was funny to see Yeonhee and Jun interacting. I'm glad that she was rescued and raised by Hyunseo. The mom doesn't seem all that pleased though. In any case, I'm sure it won't be long till Yeonhee is overcome by curiosity to explore the real world despite Hyunseo's warnings... I'm glad that the king knows the princess is alive and wants to keep her to battle Hongjoo.

I'm excited to see what comes next since we were introduced to so many characters in this ep.

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ughh i wanted to give this drama a shot, and i know about the age gap, and i accept the age gap...BUT THE AGE GAP!

like come on, you can obviously tell she's still in her teens and he's wayyy older than her. shes just a baby!! 15??? normal people (not celebs) are usually still going through their awkward transition phrase then. 15 is just wayy too young..

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Why did Hyunseo say Yeonhee is the key to saving Joseon if keeping her alive would risk the evil shamaness trying to extract the dark magic in her to become more powerful?

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I don't get why they keep saying that the age gap doesn't matter because it was normal on Joseon era where the drama is set. But that has nothing to do, we viewers are not from Joseon era, we are people watching the dramas with 20th century views in mind. So for us in not normal the big age gap, also if the characters are supposed to be the same age (17) then they should have casted a younger actor to play the character, in real life she is only 2 years younger but he is 12 years older for 17. If the male character age is supposed to be older like 20-21 then they should have casted an older female lead like someone from 19, so that way she will be closed to the character’s age and also to his real life age. I’m only know she is supposed to be 17 but I don’t think they have said what his age is supposed to be.

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