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Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo: Episode 11

Now this is the kind of episode I’d been waiting for, and boy, does it deliver an emotional wallop. Everything seems to happen at once, leaving Su powerless against the much greater forces surrounding her. It’s not so easy for her suitors to swoop in and save the day this time, and the divide that causes may spell the end of one beloved relationship, while opening the door for another.

 
EPISODE 11 RECAP

So takes that one last, longing look at Su after ingesting the poison, and excuses himself before any of his symptoms can be revealed. Princess Yeonhwa jumps up as though to say something, but ends up merely smiling instead as she tells the king that she has a request on behalf of her brother, Wook.

As Su walks away, So stumbles in his attempt to follow her as the vision of her begins to blur. He reaches out his hand toward her, but it’s only when he coughs in a spray of blood that Su turns around and sees him. He falls, and Su immediately runs to his side to call for help.

He attempts to silence her so that she won’t be found with him, but he falls unconscious before he can tell her why. She just resumes her panicked cries for help.

Princess Yeonhwa claims that she also wants to make three toasts (as So did) before giving the king her requests. Queen Sinmyeongsunseong watches as Yeonhwa pours herself a cup from the crown prince’s tea. Even refreshed, is it still poisoned?

Her first request is for the king to let Wook remarry, prompting Wook to say that there is someone he has in mind. King Taejo permits the request without knowing who the girl is, and Yeonhwa brings the cup to her lips.

But instead of drinking, she stealthily pours the liquid down her sleeve. She acts as though she’s been poisoned, however, and dramatically swoons. Queen Sinmyeongsunseong scoffs at the act before announcing that it’s poison (as if she didn’t already know), while Yeonhwa weakly calls for them to help her half-brother, So.

Blood drips from the corner of Yeonhwa’s mouth as everyone around her panics. Baek-ah finds So and Su first, but the other princes aren’t far behind. Ninth prince Won immediately blames Su for serving the tea, though it’s Astronomer Choi who announces that she’s being arrested for attempted assassination of a prince.

Court Lady Oh watches as Su’s room is torn apart, though she recognizes that there’s a darker plan at work—Su wasn’t originally supposed to serve the tea, and the court lady who was has mysteriously gone missing.

Minister Park Young-gyu seems delighted when he finds a necklace (the one the crown prince gave her) among Su’s things, while one of the soldiers “finds” the vial of poison.

Queen Sinjeong frets as the royal doctor checks her daughter’s pulse, though he claims she’ll be fine. Only when the queen is gone does Yeonhwa rise from her bed, completely fine. She only pretended to drink the poison, she tells the doctor, and bit the inside of her lip to cause the bleeding.

This she announces freely to the doctor, while warning him to keep silent now that she’s freed herself from any suspicion. No one would believe that she willingly poisoned herself.

The antidote is spoon-fed to an unconscious So by another royal doctor as Astronomer Choi, Baek-ah, and Crown Prince Mu look on. Astronomer Choi notes that So just might make it because Grand General Park trained his body to resist poison, but neither of them can figure out why So would have drank three glasses. Surely he knew it was poison after the first.

Crown Prince Mu accurately guesses that the true target of the poison was him and not So, while Baek-ah and Astronomer Choi figure that he tried to leave before his symptoms could be known in order to protect the culprit. But who?

Wook finds said culprit curled up against the wall of a prison cell, and he takes in her bloodied hands when she grasps the wooden bars. He puts his hand over hers, but pulls away when her first question is to ask how So is doing.

Her concern for So seems to make Wook very unhappy, and it’s with a flat voice that he tells her that So will be fine. She needs to worry about herself now that she’s suspected of poisoning the tea, and while he believes in her innocence, there’s no proof.

He warns her that they might very well torture her to find out who was behind the poisoning, but he implores her to endure long enough for him to get her out. She puts on a brave face as she says that she won’t let them use her to frame someone else, so she’s prepared. (Hasn’t she ever seen a sageuk?)

At the next assembly, Minister Park posits that it was Crown Prince Mu who tried to poison So through Su. Mu vehemently defends himself, but Astronomer Choi stops him, lest he end up revealing his illness to the court.

Wook’s theory is that the poison was intended for the crown prince, but was accidentally given to So. Princess Yeonhwa’s poisoning proves as much, though it doesn’t alleviate any of the suspicion with regards to Su’s role in all of it.

King Taejo announces that Su will be hanged for her crime, but the crown prince isn’t willing to let another person die for him, even if it means keeping his illness under wraps. He asks that the king cast him aside instead, but Taejo refuses. Mu is his firstborn, and he wants to give him everything he can.

So attempts to leave his sickbed early to go to Su, who he knows must be alone and suffering. Wook updates him on the allegations against Su, and despite all of them knowing that it makes no sense, he can’t see a way to get her out of it. “I should have never let Hae Su get mixed up with you,” Wook adds, under his breath.

After sending Baek-ah away, So reveals to Wook that it was his mother who was behind the poisoning. At first, Wook accuses So of drinking the poison to protect his mother, but So claims that he did it to save Su and the crown prince.

So adds that he was trying to prevent anyone from finding out about it, but that all changed when Princess Yeonhwa drank the poison. He admits that he wasn’t able to say anything about it before it happened, but now he has to depend on Wook to expose Queen Sinmyeongsunseong’s machinations and save Su.

That night, So goes to the prison to see Su trembling on the floor of her cell, covered in blood from the day’s torture. She rises with great difficulty, yet her only happiness is in seeing that So isn’t dead. “You knew it was poisoned,” she says. Did he drink it in order to save her from suspicion?

So calls the theory nonsense, claiming that he’s not the kind of man to drink poison for a girl. Aw, you big softie. She sees through the lie and tearfully asks why he would do such a thing—did he think her feelings would change? But in her mind, she thinks, “Who am I that you would put your life on the line for me? If you do this, it makes it harder for me to turn away from you.”

He gives her a small smile, admonishing her for always causing him problems. There’s so much left unsaid between them as they manage to make light of the situation despite the severity of it all, as he tells her that she’ll be freed soon. She just sighs, “I don’t know what to do with you.” So replies in kind. That’s oddly sweet.

Meanwhile, Wook tracks down the court lady who first conspired with Princess Yeonhwa, now receiving another package from her. The princess is in disguise, so Wook uses his metal hairpin to threaten the court lady into revealing the truth—if she does, he’ll let her live.

He asks the cloaked figure to reveal himself, only to be taken aback when it’s his sister. The court lady uses the opportunity to make an escape, with Wook too shell-shocked to stop her.

The princess, ever the arrogant one, knows that Wook can’t reveal her crime without damning his entire family as traitors. When he demands to know why she did it, she fires back that he was about to throw away his chance to be king for that girl, and she had to stop him.

When he retorts that he has no desire to be king, she challenges him to search his innermost thoughts. Didn’t he feel wronged when So performed the rain ritual? She knows he wants to be king, and if he still denies it, he can throw both her and their mother away.

Wook suddenly throws the hairpin he’d been holding, and it lands straight in the scheming court lady’s neck. She knows as well as he does that he can’t just cast his own family aside. “From this point on, Yeonhwa, you are no longer my sweet sister. You are a debtor. You to me, and I to you.” He seems resigned to his fate as he says this, and Yeonhwa accepts his offer, though she claims she’ll repay that debt by giving him the throne.

Defeated, Wook says that she can now do with him as she wishes. He has no choice but to submit to her control in order to save his family, even if it means giving up on Su.

He still goes to the prison that night, clutching the bloody hairpin he removed from the court lady’s neck. He drops it outside and turns to leave after one tortured look.

Now fourteenth prince Jung feels like he has to take it upon himself to try and save Su if no one else will, but Wook only acknowledges the presence hiding in the room: Chae-ryung. She falls to her knees as she tearfully begs Wook to save Su. He remains silent, though her pleading makes him visibly uncomfortable.

So goes to the king to ask for Su’s life, even daring to ask if the king is so willing to sacrifice her for the crown prince’s sake. King Taejo doesn’t see the big deal in sacrificing a lowly life in order to save an important one, which So takes particular offense to. Is this what being king means?

Taejo clocks him for his impudence, and warns his son that he’ll kill him if he asks about Su again. The same will happen to anyone else who thinks to plead for her life.

Court Lady Oh visits the prison that night wearing a veil, and tears up at the sight of a bloodied and broken Su lying on the ground. Resolved, she returns to the palace to find Wook waiting for her. He has one request for her: “Stand up for Hae Su. You are the only one who can change the king’s mind.”

When she says that she can’t make such a request, Wook asks if she’ll just let Su die. “I know you feel like a mother to her,” he says, adding that he realized that was the reason Court Lady Oh never liked seeing Su with him. Court Lady Oh turns that back on him, asking why he can’t save Su—doesn’t he love her?

She accurately guesses that it’s his own household holding him back, and his own ambition for the throne. “The reason why men in the royal family become cowards is always the same,” she notes with disdain. “Someday, you will come to regret your cowardly actions today. This one time you turned your back on her will haunt you for the rest of your days.”

With this said, she assents to go to the king herself, since she does care for Su and knows that Wook can’t save her.

After serving the king’s tea, Court Lady Oh waits until she is called upon to speak in order to say: “It was I who tried to poison the crown prince.” Oh no. Oh no! She goes on to give adequate reasons, like the loss of her child (which previous episodes hinted at being Queen Sinmyeongsunseong’s doing), though King Taejo would rather pretend she said nothing.

She lays out the bloody clothes of an infant as she tells him that someone in the royal family sent her tea to drink while she was pregnant ten years ago. Seven days later, her baby died, his baby died, and she’s not about to let the same person who poisoned her get away with killing a girl who’s like a daughter to her.

King Taejo tells her that Su isn’t a replacement for her dead child, and that there’s no evidence against Queen Sinmyeongsunseong. “Will you look the other way this time as well?” Court Lady Oh asks him tearfully. “I will die soon,” she adds, putting a name to the illness that’s been plaguing her: cancer of the stomach.

She knows that King Taejo is acting to save the crown prince, but requests that he help her save Su, so that she won’t lose another child to the evil queen. His eyes wet with unshed tears, Taejo asks if this means she’s finally casting him aside, and a tear snakes down Court Lady Oh’s cheek in answer.

The next morning, So runs to the execution platform, where a bloody and bedraggled Su is being taken to the noose. Her eyes widen in fear as she wonders if this is the end for her, but she only begins to panic when she doesn’t see Wook.

As she looks around for him, it’s not Wook who arrives, but So. He fights his way through the guards, announcing to them that he’ll be taking her with him. He’s willing to spill blood their blood if he must.

But then, Astronomer Choi runs to the execution grounds with a royal command in his hand: There won’t be a hanging, as the real culprit has been discovered. Su promptly faints.

Court Lady Oh walks with dignity to the soldiers ready to take her away, taking one last look around the palace. Su witnesses her assenting to her own punishment and limps over to her, demanding to know what’s going on. “I put the poison in the crown prince’s tea,” the court lady replies.

Su knows she’s lying, but Court Lady Oh has to keep up the pretense in order to save her. So holds off the guards long enough for Su to drag Court Lady Oh into the secret tunnel beneath the baths, only to come up against the newly blocked exit.

Despair washes over Su as she takes this in, and she takes it upon herself to pull at the rocks blocking their exit. “You said we should go to your hometown,” she says, her voice distant. “Let’s go now.” Oof, this is hard to watch. Even Court Lady Oh sheds a tear as Su tries in vain to clear the way.

Court Lady Oh pulls her away, but Su cries—she knows that this is only a cover-up, and Oh will die in her place. She turns back to the exit, but Oh pulls the crying girl into an embrace. “It’s not your fault. I’m not doing this for you. I’m doing this for the king.”

She strokes the girl’s back as she says that she would die soon anyway, so there’s no need for Su to feel burdened. “I’m fine,” Court Lady Oh says through her tears. As she looks down at the scar on Su’s wrist, she mirrors what Su once said about having no regrets for protecting what she needed to protect.

Su sobs piteously as Court Lady Oh again takes her into her arms. She doesn’t say this aloud, but she repeats the advice she’s been giving to Su all this time, because she doesn’t want Su to end up like her.

We find Su in a fresh set of clothes as she limps her way to the king’s quarters. She kneels in front of the steps to make a formal protest for him to allow Court Lady Oh to live, despite her voice being too weak to carry far.

Wook tries to run to her aid only to be stopped by his mother, who refuses to let her son risk his life. Princess Yeonhwa reminds him that he turned his back on Su once, so why can’t he do it again? Wook sends his sister a look: “How much more indebted to me do you want to become?”

Queen Sinmyeongsunseong comes over to gloat and challenge Wook—if he doesn’t believe Court Lady Oh is the culprit, does he believe her to be guilty? His mother immediately prostrates herself at the evil queen’s feet, begging for her to leave her children alone.

Wook tries to pull his mother to her feet, but she brushes him off to continue her heartfelt plea. Queen Sinmyeongsunseong remains arrogant, admonishing Queen Sinjeong for raising her son poorly as said son remains powerless to defend his own mother.

Su’s pleas grow quieter as she grows weaker, even though she continues into the night. By now it’s just a whisper, and she has to struggle to keep from falling over. Baek-ah tries to tell her that her pleas are futile, and that despite everyone knowing that Court Lady Oh is innocent, no one would dare stand up to the king.

He reminds her that Court Lady Oh just barely managed to save her, and if she keeps being stubborn, Oh’s efforts will be for naught. “It is better than doing nothing,” Su replies, causing Baek-ah to give up on trying to stop her. But before he leaves, she asks where Wook is. Ouch.

The next morning, Queen Sinjeong asks the king to rescind the order for Court Lady Oh’s execution. He refuses, and when Astronomer Choi says that Su has been outside protesting for two days, King Taejo announces that if anyone takes her side, they’ll have to answer to him.

It begins to rain, and poor Jung has to be held back by his other brothers from going out to Su with an umbrella. Jung, finally having enough, leaves the safety of the eave to kneel in solidarity with Su. Baek-ah joins him, as does the crown prince (though he stands). Ninth prince Won refuses to have any part of it.

Wook finally approaches Su in the pouring rain, and this look of hope spreads across her features that’s just heartbreaking. But when he stops and begins to back away, realization seems to set in. As he turns away from her, Su can only ask, “Why?”

Just when it seems all hope is lost, a figure emerges next to her and spreads his cloak to cover her. It’s So, who says nothing as Su straightens just enough to remain under the meager protection.

Queen Sinmyeongsunseong takes a moment to taunt Court Lady Oh, who’s on her way to the gallows. She says that Oh dying first means she’s lost, but Oh says the queen has never once beaten her. The evil queen makes sure to have the last word, as she says that Oh is nothing but a lowly court lady who no one will remember after her death.

“If one person remembers me,” Court Lady Oh thinks to herself, “that is enough for me.” In the king’s courtyard, the princes and Su hear the gong signifying the execution. What they don’t see is the support drop out from under Court Lady Oh’s feet as she strangles on the end of the noose before going still.

The king suddenly loses his footing, which is likely all the emotion we’ll see from him regarding her death. In the courtyard, So tries to comfort Su as she screams for Court Lady Oh.

“If I had known someone would die because of me, I would not have been so greedy to live again. If only this was a dream… if only I could wake up without remembering any of this,” we hear Su say in voiceover as she faints in So’s arms.

 
COMMENTS

I knew that the show would have to work hard to drive a believable rift between Wook and Su, but I was honestly surprised at how well they managed to pull that off this episode. Everything seemed dialed to eleven today, and to great effect—this is definitely the best effort we’ve seen from this show, and it’d be hard to pinpoint just one reason why. It’s one of those situations where everything finally just seemed to work, enough to where those little inconsistencies ceased to matter, and we could just focus on the emotional impact of what we were seeing.

Wook’s turn to the dark side was really unfortunate, if only because it wouldn’t have happened were it not for Princess Yeonhwa’s meddling and manipulation. I thought she’d resolved to become more than just the sister of a king, but now it seems like she’s thrown her entire weight behind the idea of making Wook king. And at the cost she’s made him pay, she better have been truthful about everything she said—it was her own ambition for power that caused her to implicate Su in the first place, and while her words to Wook about doing it all for him didn’t ring untrue, it made her seem much more selfless than she actually was. The “I did what I did for you” could’ve made sense had she not conspired with Queen Sinmyeongsunseong in the first place, especially knowing that the evil queen has always had it out for her family.

At least Yeonhwa seemed to realize her mistake when she saw her own mother prostrate herself in front of the queen, but by then, it was too little, too late. It helps to know that Wook disdains his sister for her actions even if he had no choice but to fall into her trap—which is why I can’t hate him for it. Yeonhwa really did make it so that he had to choose between his own family or Su, and for someone as upright as Wook, it would have been unreasonable to expect that he could throw the lives of his mother and sister away, even for the woman he loves.

I actually felt like the show handled his transition much better than expected, because it would’ve been too easy for him to just go wholesale bad. But he knew enough to feel guilty for his inaction, and tried his best to still be of some help to Su, even if it meant helping her from the shadows. Him walking toward her only to literally turn his back on her toward the end was a little heavy-handed, admittedly, but it was the kind of closure Su needed for the question that had been undoubtedly plaguing her throughout the episode’s events: Where was the savior she was promised?

The fact that her savior came in the form of Court Lady Oh was even more unexpected, but fitting. And when that thread really got going, it was absolutely heartbreaking. Court Lady Oh had been one of the deeper characters presented to us, and her constant watchfulness over Su had already clued us into the depth of feeling she had for the girl. We knew that she looked at Su as a younger version of herself, but the parallels between taking her on as a daughter to replace the child she’d lost—to the evil queen’s machinations, no less—were solid enough for her sacrifice to ring as both believable and extremely, extremely sad.

Her sacrifice didn’t come off as a deus ex machina to save Su from the gallows, but as more of a natural progression of their relationship, made easier to bear by Court Lady Oh’s terminal illness. I doubt that she needed Wook to ask her for her to have done what she did, and even if it was a teensy bit hard to buy that Su and her could just run off together, the moment they had in the cave was worth the suspension of disbelief required to get them there. Giving them that last chance to say their goodbyes was hard to watch, but along with making Court Lady Oh into one of the best characters ever, it went a long way toward endearing Su as a character. She still doesn’t have any agency, but at least she’s still willing to try despite being powerless.

While I did think it was a bit of a letdown to miss out on Su’s inner thoughts during her torture and even directly afterward, I guess we could say that she was counting on Wook to rescue her until the end, which is why she didn’t show fear until she realized that he wasn’t coming to save the day. Still, it was jarring to see how well she handled being cruelly tortured and imprisoned, but that’s neither here nor there anymore.

Despite whatever Wook was trying to do in the background, it was really So who emerged as Su’s defender, and that almost reckless abandon for his own status and future was what sold his love for Su to me. I’d been on the fence about their relationship before, which wasn’t helped by So’s emotional immaturity, but seeing him throw caution to the wind to save Su—or at least die trying—was powerful. It’s enough to make me think that even if Court Lady Oh hadn’t stepped in, So’s efforts might’ve just been enough to save Su. Or maybe that’s just wishful thinking. I can’t tell if Su is just that lucky, or just that unlucky anymore.

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On the positive side.. no Eun ... (scroll up to read recap and recry)

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Agree. This episode way much better without that nuisance.

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The show is now into the serious territory and his scenes don't bring levity anymore. They break the entire flow of the show.

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Yes, and good riddance!

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Hope it stays this way.

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High five!!! See how much better when you focus on your best things, show?!

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Hear, hear.

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TOTALLY AGREE!!!

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YES! Episode 10 had me hoping for a while only to have him pop up at around 3/4ths of the episode. But this episode is one of the best because we get NOT to see any of Eun's whining. I kind of miss his wife though. She's rather more likable for me.

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Eun's wife is creepy. There's something sick about her all smiling happily while the man she claims to love was clearly being miserable because of their wedding. Didn't she feel bad for him at all? Her acting all cute didn't change anything for me.

I don't even like Eun, but boy, I felt bad for him... even though I know he's gonna fall for her later.

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I liked him at the beginning. Eun giving Hae Soo, his prized slingshots and other miscellaneous gifts is one of the scenes that I like the most. The scene gives out  childlike innocence vibe that makes me fond of him.

But, the way he treated Soon Deok on the night of his wedding just rubbed me off the wrong way. Instead of innocence all I can think of is he's immatured and it makes me question his capability if something goes wrong. Like what happened to Soo in this episode.

Another thing, the story is telling us the king is powerful but I've yet to see something impressive from him. He can't save Court Lady Oh's unborn child or her for that matter. I know he has united all the lands and won wars but he's so passive for a king. I guess he's just good in war. I'm not sure if he's useful in palace politics. I'm deeply disappointed with him. Alas, as he has hand in producing  beautiful princes, I should at least bear with him.

I understand Wook, but I can't help but resent him. That's all I'm going to say about this.

The weird thing is this event somehow feels like the very thing that makes me understand why So would do the thing that Gwangjong will be doing later. Even if he goes over to the dark side. He won't abandoned Soo and that's the only thing that matters to me.

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Yes, it might seem that the King is powerful, but there is a limit to his power. For a long time since the establishment of the unified kingdom, his throne has always been influenced by the powerful families/clans who helped him in his endeavor. He owes a lot to these powerful families and he still needs them for his current exploits (like the Hae household), that's why he has to take wives from them or at least have his sons marry into them. I think this abuse of their control over the thrown will be reason of So's action when he becomes king (as you pointed out). Based on a quick internet search, most of his reign was dominated by his effort to take down those families' power.

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Yes, Wang So's reign is about solidifying power for the king and he does some good things to do that and some bad things to do that. I'll leave it there.

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Re. Soon Deok, I don't understand what she sees in Eun. Doesn't jive since we know she is a warrior - he's too kiddy for her.

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I guess we can say opposites attract haha

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I keep listening to Im Sun Hae's ”Will Be Back” and it doesn't help at all with the flood on my face. It is the perfect homage to Court Lady Oh, by it's restraint, delicate beauty. It is almost like a prayer on her departure. It encapsulates also the mood of the episode.
Wang Eun's scenes would be like a bull in a china shop. There was so much emotion and tension in this episode, that there was no room for clownisms.

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Honestly, because of how its been used in the drama, I'm pretty sure that I've been conditioned to cry whenever I hear Im Sun Hae's OST. ;___; It's so beautiful and heartbreaking, and despite how it makes me feel, I can't stop listening to it.

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I concur. This song is even sadder than Three Inches of Heaven from the C-BBJX, and yes, Wang Eun would be totally out of place in such a dark and heavy episode. Thankful that the editor and director made Ep11 as it was.

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I kind of agree about Eun, he is too much of a happy charachter for this episode, but I also have to admit that I like this new chapter in Hae Soo-Eun's friendship... Him being angry, disappointed, sad... I wonder how they will make up.

As for this episode... ;_____;

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This was a good episode, scarlet heart keeps getting better and better

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I'm quite impressed how this drama, having such poor ratings in Korea has captivated us abroad so much!.
I believe it is the one with the most comments in Dramabeans I personally find it tough and passionate, especially if compared with Moonlight, which is so sweet and fluffy...

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I seriously dont understand why the show got such low ratings in korea. I was hooked on to this show ever since i saw the first trailer. I wasn't a LJK fan before. But after watching him episode after episode i have become a huge fan. I just waited fir him to appear on screen duting the initial episodes. He is one of the best and most nuanced actor out there.
The show has everything - good chemistry, bromance, angst, evil villains, conspiracies, heartwarming side characters etc etc.
The only thing i find negative is the background music which is at time too weird to go with scene. Like rap parts happening duting an importannt scene or all of a sudden english lyrics being heard which just doesn't go with the timeline and the genre. Even though i like some of the songs still it has to gel with the scenario.

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THIS! I love everything about this show, but I really wanna strangle the music director sometimes. What was with that rap part on a scene that was all serious and beautiful? I don't have anything against rap, I still listen to the rap that was played in Kill Me Heal Me, but the music in this drama is out of place so much it drives me nuts!

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I love this show so much. Loved the original as well. But, yes, the music director went crazy. I will say with the rap, I felt that it would have been helpful to understand the words because I have heard rap in an historical before...but when you don't know what he's rapping....it just seems random.

Also, I've always thought LJK was a solid actor, especially post military service, but this is in my opinion, his best performance. Glad the international fans get to see it!

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The best episode so far. May there be better ones to come...

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I know, right? So upset the first HALF of the drama didn't get treated to the same quality of editing as this last couple of episodes have been.

I just started watching "Two Weeks" ('cause Jun ki withdrawal is real) and holy crap was I blown away by that first episode. Editing on point, storyboarding on point.. suspenseful, snappy, hit all of the buttons, and LJK doing what he does best. I want a do-over for SHR's beginning now :,(

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I really recommend iljimae!! It was the first drama that had me falling for him

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Agree he would have been out of place..but given his presence throughout the first part, it's a little jarring to have him completely absent. I hope the show at least gives a throwaway explanation for where he is..they don't have to show him, but just mention that "Prince Eun and sister-in-law missed all the commotion because they were off on their honeymoon and will be touring the outer provinces" or something like that will make him seem less like a loose end.

;) That's my head canon for his absence btw heheh. In my head their convoy is attacked and Seon Deok fights off the bandits and gets them to safety. She is currently schooling her husband on the art of surviving in a forest and basically paying him back for all the times he was a PITA..she still hunts for him though cause..well she really does love him. lol

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I didn't realise there was much hating for Eun.
I didn't like him but now it's funny that more people don't want to see him than my being tiny bit annoyed.

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Is it just me or anyone else too notice that- Court lady oh face is kinda similiar to Kim tae hee?
Like seriously i thought she was kim tae hee at first @[email protected]

But anyway, I'm still with my decisions. I hate wang wook ffs and the other 3 persons
But i kinda miss jonghyung since he doesn't appear in this episodes(even though he's an enemies in this drama) but still i miss him lol ???

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I thought she resembled Kim Taehee too!

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I actually thought it was Kim Tae Hee when she first came out! She looks so familiar, though. It's either I'm being thrown cause she resembles Kim Tae Hee so much or I must have seen her in another drama, but I can't pinpoint which one!

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She was in Healer as well! As Kim Moon Ho's boss/girlfriend! :)

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Is it only me or Su really looks like 'The corpse bride' while So looks like a Dracula. Haha!

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Haha. Indeed!!!

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Haha, yeah agreed. I wish they hadn't done the black and white thing there. I'm sure there is some deeper meaning to them wearing those stark and contrasting colors, but I kind of wish Wang So had worn some general princely and colored attire.

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@Brit I think the colours make sense though. The closest that Wang So has come to colours in all these episodes so far, was wearing magenta, olive, grey or brown(?), all of which act more like accompanying colours to his usual black garb (might also act as a subtle hint of him trying to fit in with his family, his duties, or showcasing his softer side in major scenes?). His black garb is even more powerful here in this episode as it shows his stance as the black sheep of the family; while the other princes either stood as bystanders and did nothing, or tried to kind of help without angering the King, Wang So gave no shits and boldly spoke to the King in hopes of releasing Su, and stood to shelter her when she was kneeling.

As for the white that Hae Su was wearing, it could serve as a double meaning: one for the purity and innocence of her character (and of Court Lady Oh's), the other for that white is associated with death in certain Asian countries. Not sure how outfits are for the executed back in the day, but that's just how I see it.

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She is wearing white Because she is stripped down to her underclothing in prison and those are all white. You don't get to wear pretty clothes when you are a criminal. So court lady was also wearing just her white under clothes not colourful top layer to her hanging.

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OMG...she looked like a fresh zombie! Her make up was pretty badly done. I'm surprised they even tortured her but if they were going to do it, might as well show it. I wish they would have made Wook watch so that he knows what an arse he is for not trying to help her.

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omg I was so glad that they didn't show any torture scene tho damn I can already imagine what they did to her knee ?

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I was totally disappointed with Prince Wook. Jeez man! where's your balls?! You just turned your back to Su who is in her lowest point. Such a Coward!
Su saying 'Why?' just shows the pain she feels because of his betrayal.

On a different note, I just loved LJK's side bangs and high ponytail. It really suits his face shape. Then add his small smiles...awww...just an amazing view! =)

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I guess Wook didn't really have a choice? Considering the fact that if he turned his back on his fam and ruin himself for haesoo, he wouldn't be able to give haesoo a good life. So has a great advantage here because he really has nothing to lose whereas Wook had everything to lose. ((But yea I too was like damn dude, all talk no action??))

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he gave up his chance.. this regret will accompany him forever.. he will live with guilt for the rest of his life..

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But, I really like Eun, he is really pouty and cute and so is his wife. They are both cute together, I need more moments with them together. They are adorable!

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Can we just cut to the sweet scenes with So instead of going through all the serious ones? XD

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Honestly, I'm an EXO fan but Baekhyun is my least favorite. I find his scenes slightly cringy, but they do add a nice sense of peace between the rather dramatic scenes involving So and Wook. Keep in mind that he is still a rookie, and this is his first major production. He definately needs to fix things here and there, but it's nice to laugh every once in a while between all of the heart wrenching scenes.

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Honestly if he can't manage even the very little bit required of him here, he has no place in this production.

It has other major directing flaws but even IU and Ji-soo (also rookies) do better than him and anyway it's not even like he's any use as ratings bait since they actually rise when he's not around.

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u cant expect it to be "instant"..

if the show continues to be good and have good reviews going around, obviously more might tune in and thus increases the rating.. need the momentum effect though..

anyway many good drama with low rating.. im not saying it doesnt matter, obviously it would do good to the actor and some recognition for their effort.. but it doesnt mean low rating = bad actor vice versa.. there's some really over-rated show that dont deserve those rating anyway..

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What is called usually as comic relief functions as the opposite in some cases.

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thank you for putting me in a bad mood. I hate reading comments like these, you are entiteled to your opinion but there is no need to put it like that. Also, calling him a nuisance is a lack of respect for the person who is acting

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Agree! He isnt there yet but there's no need to be rude about it lol everyone has their first time

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((I'm not an exo stan btw))

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COWARD COWARD COWARD!!!!!!!! I cant believe he just gonna watch her die. If lady Oh didnt sacrifice herself,
1. So would fight and protect her even if it means he had to turn his back against king/cp
2. Wook WOULD DO NOTHING TO SAVE HER!

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As much as I hate watching on Wook giving up, I also applaud him for choosing his family. Blood runs thicker, especially in that era. Love could only take you so far if you don't have a firm grip on politics. If he took Hae Soo away and sacrifice his own mother and sister, what assurance would Hae Soo has later on?

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Goes to the side and ponders quietly......

So much truth...

Why oh why cant everyone have happy endings, sobs

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This is the best episode of the series, so far. The review's right. The rift that they made for Wook and Su was believable, and heartbreaking. It needed to be this heartbreaking, because the transition to So should also be as believable.

I was one of those who really wanted hae soo and Wook together. His promises seemed genuine and too good to be true. (Also, Ha Neul and IU have AMAZING chemistry).

There's definitely a lot to ponder on this. His love and care for her seemed genuine, but only up to a point. Stack up against politics, survival, and just the rules and cultures of where they lived at that time, a Prince of his stature wouldn't have been able to give up something so easily for love. I mean, the king himself had the lady he loves killed, to protect what was MORE important to him. I guess in the end, you go for what's truly important to you. And Wook, however sad his turn to the dark side is (lol), knew just what he had to protect (or what he could lose).

Can't wait for next episode!

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With wook i think he thrives on passivity. He is ready to love HS as long as he does not actually have to do anything about it. When it comes to actually making an effort he falters.

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Bips99
THIS is perfect description of Wook's so called love.
He is a smart guy, he could think of a plan to save his mother and send his sister to jail, but he chose the throne. People also seem to forget that he asked his girlfriend's mentor/mother figure to sacrifice herself, could he actually be any worse?
And to be honest, he never DID anything for Soo except giving her empty promises.
Poor Hae Soo, she was risking her life even by meeting him and what she got in return?

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I must say though, that Wook's character development is exactly in line with how the original Chinese novel portrayed him to be - that his love for Haesoo was only conditional to his ambition/throne, in stark contrast to So's almost reckless abandon of his ambition for Haesoo.

As much as I sympathize with Wook's dilemma (blood or love), I just can't help but wonder if there really wasn't any other way out. Couldn't he have stood up for Haesoo? Or been scheming enough to find alternative ways to expose the Queen's machinations (say, for example, pushing the blame onto that court lady instead of killing her)........ no doubt blood/family is important, but me thinks that's a convenient cover for what Wook's heart truly wants - the throne over Haesoo.

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I agree, Wook's slow but steady pulling back from Su was believable (though heartbreaking), but I thought the best thing about it was the way it contrasted with So's complete abandon and willingness to sacrifice everything for Su.

I had reservations about the main pairing up till now, but this episode completely threw me in the FOR camp. The sooner the better!

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@ktv, I don't think he could push the blame onto the court lady, because it would tie the poisoning back to his sister. In a way, he is more ruthless than his sister, he kills the court lady whilst his sister just gives her money. Looks like he subscribes to the "Dead men tell no tales" policy, lol.

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he lose his chance already.. and by turning his back on her, how is he going to face her in the future.. he would only be filled with regret and carry the guilt his whole life (like what court lady oh told him)..

anyway i know he is in a struggle too.. between his love and family.. not sure if there's any way out for happy ending.. but the moment he choose his family and abandon Su, i guess its not too much to say that he lose his chance with Su and dont deserve her anymore.. (at least Su deserve someone better and there's the So thats unconditionally by her side.. of course its still two sided, so what Su thinks matter more, but i think Su is pretty disappointed in him too.. he changing sides later is just going increase the distance anyway.. they wouldnt be tgt for sure..)

i love the part where yeonhwa explicitly tell him that he had the ambition for the throne too.. even if this whole poisoning incident never happen and Su ends with her, they might be far away, but if his heart is not fully with her.. he might just leave her one day..

of course So might be different since he dont have this burden in the first place..

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I don't blame him for choosing his family but i dont think saving/OR trying desperately and earnestly to save Soo can't happen as the same time as saving his greedy family. There will always a way if he tries hard enough if hes desperate enough if he CARES enough.
I'm sure a few of the princes (4,10,13,14) would be willing to help him to save Soo. They could wear disguise and take her away. Even if the King knew about it, what can he do. He couldnt kill FIVE princes for that.
Wook just gave up Soo too easily and quickly imo. Yes, your family is important but don't tell me you love and would like to marry me and then abandon me. Soo should be HIS family too.

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Over the course of this drama so far, it has shown us how powerful the king is. It is to the extend that even his own sons can't object to anything he says (Eun's marriage, Eun's being scared of being called the best, Baek Ah's attemp to shut Soo down when she talked about everyone being equal). Therefore, outright defying the king by taking her away would call for very serious repercussion. The princes and their family (clan included) might face death sentence.

I think the king will have no qualms if he have to kill 5 princes. For someone who has been shown to prioritize the country and politic (as shown in the flashback where he remarries soon after one of Queen's SMS child died), he will kill his own children if it means that it will protect the stability of the country and politic. Moreover, he can just marry and have more sons.

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Agree with you. And also the fact that while he kind of cares for his children, the one and only that is important to him is only the Crown Prince.

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yes, the king is powerful. so powerful that, so far, evil queen planned and acted at least two assassination schemes to get rid of the crown prince and the king, while perfectly aware who was behind it, did NOTHING. because he's afraid to confront the queen's family.

in the latest episodes it became clear she has done this before - and even got rid of a rival's child of his. he also did NOTHING then. now he lets said rival die so that he can pretend justice's been served, instead of getting to the actual culprit.

i guess we all can see who's the actual power here.

his only power is to pretend and ignore the in-fighting in the court and try with all he's got to get the CP to become king. he doesn't seem to understand that the second he's gone, the CP will have no backup.

as for wook, there's no defending him. he loved soo as long as it didn't cost him anything. the moment he has to risk anything for her, she's out. if that's love, then so's aggressive style love is million times better. at least he is capable of risking everything - his life, his standing, his chance at being king, his family, everything - for a chance to save the woman he loves. AND he doesn't even burden her with the knowledge of what he did for her, even if she can see through his protests.

wook renouncing soo in her hour of need was brutal, and i hope she can finally learn not to trust appearances. OR visions.

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@Shelly

Ditto and bravo.

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I agree with Shelly on the point that Taejo only cares for Moo and doesn't seem to understand that once he dies, Moo will literally have NO backup whatsoever. Apparently Taejo expects So to be the one to swoop in and save Moo in times of need. It's like what Queen Yoo said and what So has known all long, he is merely a shield for the Crown Prince.

As Soo remembers, the fight for the throne following Taejo's reign was intense and ruthless. It's obvious that Yo (and his mother) has been waiting for this moment and he's going to stage some kind of coupe against the Crown Prince. What I don't get is WHY Wook seems to be in league with him.

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by out rightly defying the king, they are just bringing more trouble and implicating more things..

yea indeed the king might soften who knows, but the implication would be there for decades.. in future, who would listen to the king order? his power might be shaken easily.. and more rebel would just happen..

its more like the law.. i cant give eg maybe china birth control, some immigration laws, but there are some cases where due to the laws that could have been made better and yet people suffered as a result of it.. as much as u pity them also cant be help, unless u want the public to outrage or contempt the law in future..

like what the chinese saying.. kill one to warn the rest..

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To reply to your comment, "He couldnt kill FIVE princes for that", I believe that the king would have done so, but with a heavy heart, for they represent the best of his progeny. I believe that he sired more than two dozen royal scions, who could not all show up on set, due to the lack of salary budget. I am not a fan of Shakespeare dramas, but Moon Lovers could easily be a clone.

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lol! ... I don't think he is going to execute 5 princes at once esp if one of them happens to be CP. But would they actually go so far for her ?

When she was escaping marriage the first time, everyone stopped when they realised it was the royal decree. It was only WS who threatened the royal guards to back off and actually asked her what SHE wanted. And then too he was reluctant and kept asking her if she was sure.

So this plan would definitely not have worked. But wook didn't do anything. ANYTHING. he didn't talk to the king, he didn't even stand by her when all the princes were there.
Utterly useless man.

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It also brings to mind, how he just STOOD there and watched his sister whip Hae Soo. It was So that ultimatlely stepped in to stop it. I agree with Lady Oh, if he truly loved her he would sacrifice his life for her, just as So did, just as she was willing to do.

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@Nicjumma

Thank you for remembering that. As always wook stepped in after WS stopped the beating.

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Amen!!

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Wook totally completely let her down. He could have at least knelt down with Jung, BA, and Mu. I can't believe he didn't at least stand in the vicinity of her.

It is hard for the princes to go against the king. The king has the ultimate say in things. If the princes go against hin and if he is ruthless, he won't hesitate to kill them all.

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You said exactly what I felt! I agree family is important but when you barely try to save the woman you 'love' it makes me think about the kind of person you are. I wasn't a Su/Wook shipper anyway but he totally flaked on her.

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Agree that Wook is brave enough to save family over girl and choose to tore their hearts instead. He know that at that moment he could lose Su forever and he will regret it so much later.

Wook is basically the head of household since the father, King, could not be said to fully protect and run their family. He was raised and grown up with his family for decades before Suncome into picture.

It is regretful situation and tormented to see the girl having her heart broken but Wook's action is understandable.

So does not have as much to lose at the moment. He was kind of alone people with no one actually rely on him, so he could be more reckless than others in order to protect Su.

Guess things will get more interesting from now on.

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So doesn't have an immediate family to protect but he has a lot to lose. If he gets on the bad side of his father, the latter can send him away to Shinju again or exile him. And So wants (or at least wanted to before he fell in love with Su) to stay with his brothers more than anything else. The king could have killed them both too. The important thing is that So tried. There was no guarantee that he will succeed but he tried each time to help Su when she was in trouble. Wook didn't even try despite his promise to take care of her.

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Agreed, the important thing is that So tried. For someone who has been abandoned to the wolves since young, and fights so hard just for survival, his willingness to die for Haesoo speaks volumes.

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I take back what I said about So not having an immediate family to protect. He does care about them even though they don't.

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@ktv - Yes! He could have easily looked the other way to secure his place in the palace but he didn't. He chose to stand by the person he loves and cares about, regardless of the repercussions.

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I agree.

I think the conflict was perfect to highlight the differences between Wook and So when the

The thing about Wook is that no matter how much he loves Hae Su, she'd always be second to his family. There is nothing wrong about that, it's just how he is. He's a typical prince, bound by responsibility, family and the throne.

So not so much.
So is a wild card. Not being a typical prince he has always had to fight for his right to live and now since Su has become a major part of his life, he isn't going to stop fighting for her. So isn't bound by anybody but himself which is why he'd go to any length to keep Su safe and by his side. Again it's just how it is.

You can't really blame Wook for his choices but at the same time you cant really stand by them either especially when he's put up against So who loves Su enough to die for her.

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Good one. Summarize in a sweet beautiful nutshell...

Especially about Wook - can't blame him for his choice but can't stand by them either. He has so much to lose to put Su on top of his list.

In the other hand, So, who starts with nothing and now he have Su - she will always be first to him...

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I am really not sure if Hae So will always be the first for Wang So. Lady Oh pointed it out very well that the fight and the ambition for the throne always changes the royal family members. I think that a similar thing will happen to Wang So. Just like his father he might have to send Hae So to death or away in the end. Hae So has no power and just being friends with the princes hasn't helped her so far. I feel like Wang So and Hae So will end up in a similar way as the King and Lady Oh. Unfortunately. I felt like it was mirrored in Lady Oh's last words when she was telling Hae So not to end up like her (although they were her inner thoughts)

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i kind agree with you

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@Ebru - I hope that doesn't happen. If So's actions so far doesn't indicate that he will abandon Su. If he wanted to put her aside and fight for the throne, he could have already done so. But instead he chose to risk everything he earned so far to save her. Also he was willing to go away from the palace only if she would go with him.

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@Ebru -

Oops

"I hope that doesn't happen. So’s actions so far doesn’t indicate...."

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@Ebru

Total foreshadow! Poor Lady Oh. Thus far So doesn't show the tendency to be power hungry and is not vying for the throne, but I think he will be called upon to become king out of necessity, regardless if he wants it or not. So in the end, he will be just like Taejo and pick duty over true love . This will break my heart. Just like BBJX broke my heart.

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His family might not care about him, but WS cares about his family a lot. So i keep saying - i don't buy that WS has nothing to lose.

The difference is, that for wook, she is say NOT part of his inner circle, his most precious people. There is a clear division - my family vs HS

For WS, it is not the case of either my family or HS. He has to protect both.

He doesn't have different levels of loyalty where he sacrifices the lower level for the upper. His love, affection or loyalty is absolute. I think he would have done the same if it was Baek. He cannot stand aside and cry while someone he cares about dies.

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Totally agree with you bips!

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Perfect! I totally agree with you

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Yes!

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Good summary on the way the two princes view loyalty, love and family! Life is complex and many times our choices are coloured by responsibilities beyond self. This episode is hands down the best in the serial so far in revealing motives, decision making process and how the characters' true nature show themselves in the face of love and impending loss.

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Wow! You're comment is the most logical i've ever read about this Wang So has nothing to lose thingy.I don't buy it either just to justify Wook's shittiness. Wang So was almost there, he was almost getting the acceptance that he wanted for so long, He almost got the King's approval, If he also want his mom's little acceptance he should have supported her with the plot of killing the CP but what did he do? he BLEW IT AWAY, he blew away those chances in order to save the innocent Hae soo. Man, i'm so loving your comment, so well thought.

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I believe that he also tried to save Crown Prince even before seeing Soo. It is just that after seeing her he had to change his plan.
As you said, both guys have responsibilities, families they care about, it is simply that one of them tries to save both.
(I realized right now that it is my second time agreeing with you here XD)

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Amen #2 XD

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That describes Wang So perfectly. He even said to Su, that he makes no difference between friendship and love. His loyalty is really absolute. Once he likes someone he's willing to do everything for him.

The end of this show is going to be epic!

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"His family might not care about him, but WS cares about his family a lot."

and

"His love, affection or loyalty is absolute. I think he would have done the same if it was Baek. He cannot stand aside and cry while someone he cares about dies."

+10000

It's amazing how So, after all he had gone through, is willing to stand up and protect his parents and brothers. And they don't care about him, save BA and maybe his dad and Jung.

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Totally agree! He doesn't make such distinctions, and that's why he was so upset at the king for saving the CP over the "lower person" Su. And he drank the poisoned tea to protect BOTH Su and CP. He's not the type to chicken out halfway; he will do all things possible, including risking his life. That's why his actions are such a huge contrast with Wook's inaction. I'm glad Su finally sees Wook for the coward that he is--full of empty promises and can't be trusted.

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@ bips99

*slow clapping!

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See, the idea that someone will die for love is slightly too idealistic for someone like Wook, who has a lot more to lose. And I can stand by that. Loyalty to one's blood and being bounded by blood is another form of love and makes his choices very human. It doesn't made it less morally invalid than So's choice, it's just a different choice.

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Less morally valid -- that is.

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wow ..yours comment is so rich and true...

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I won't blame Wook for choosing his family.

I just disappointed with him for always making promises that he couldn't keep. If his situation was that difficult then don't feed Hae Soo with empty words. Just tell her the ugly truth so she'd prepare for the worst, just like So.

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Yeah, you're right. I think that's his ultimate flaw. He wants to be a romanticist and probably has an idealistic view on love. But when push comes to shove, he ended up choosing to protect his family instead. It's easy to make grand promises when nothing in his life has ever challenge/tested those beliefs before.

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Yes. But what if his family turns evil? I know queen hwangbo is just fair good. But yeonhwa is the young version of the evil queen. If wook is really righteous. He wouldnt let his sister ruin the royal family. Yeonhwa being the evil soul that she is, will never ever support Soo. Wook choosing his family means casting Soo aside. So what reason must Soo have to stay with him? His love is not enough. He hasnt even the guts to stand up or stay away. Wook is a wimp. He turned his back on her. If he truly loved her he wouldnt be afraid to show it to the world. He is playing safe and thats not good.

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While I'm trying to understand Wook's reason is for the sake of her family, I kept stop at ONE fact, no matter how we say it, it's still wrong. Why? Because they cause it! YEON HWA. She put the poison. She tried to kill! And someone has to day for it. So WHY did Hae Soo or Lady Oh who is innocent need to die bc of their family??
If you do wrong, you need to take responsibility. No matter how bitter it was.
Hae Soo give us the answer at the end of the show "If I had known someone would die because of me, I would not have been so greedy to live again"
It's matter not when we die, it's how we live.

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Sorry lot of typos (forget to re check)
* his family
** day=die

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And he had the gal to glare at Wang So whilst asking him if he drank the poisoned tea to protect his mother, yet protected YeonHwa anyway when he found out that she was the mastermind of the plot. Did he really think his sister isn't capable of becoming someone like the queen they both hated the most?

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This.

Yeonhwa is following Queen SMS' footsteps.

There really are circumstances when a person does something or turns into someone they really hated.
There must be some kind of underlying psychology in this.
Maybe the persistence in the subconscious or conscious of the thing they hate/ do not want to become...

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I will agree that Wook was between a swamp and a fire pit when he had to choose, but, the fact that he couldn't think of a way to win is also a problem.
A future king has to have enough savvy to make both sides feel like they won when you get YOUR way. That is what Lady Oh did.
She gave the king an out and saved Soo. I bet her little baby would have been a great King, too. Poor thing.

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Food for thought: 'Blood is thicker than water' is 'the blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb' shortened. It's interesting how the 'nutshell version' has come to be understood to mean the exact *opposite* of what it actually does, that chosen bonds are stronger than familial ones.

Even if filial loyalty hadn't been as important and prized as it was, it was a 3D game of wizard's chess, with added politics fun(!), so Wook would have been over at least one barrel and had to give serious reconsideration to his relationship with Su regardless.

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Wook is so much like Taejo.
From the eyebrow movement (LOL):
Wook did it when he was in the library with Hae Su (You are different)
Also as signal to Su on that emoji/emoticon poem response.
Taejo did it when Su first met him.

To their choices about power/position and love.
Wook with Su, Taejo with Court Lady Oh.

Family and keeping the government relations (politics) intact over love because it is "for greater good".

Much like how Taejo told off Queen SMS. And then Queen SMS held So hostage.

(This is another discussion though LOL)

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I legit screamed at this episode because you could see his resolve towards Hae Soo weakens because what kind of a man that doesn't protect his mother and sister. I really admired him for it but as to what Court Lady Oh said, he'd come to regret his cowardly ways in the future.

I don't doubt it.

I still love you Wook and I look forward to see the rift / whatever's left of my WookSoo ship.

/slowly drifts to SooSo

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I never once blamed Wook on what he did. It's just wrong place and wrong time (pun intended).

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I do blame him.

He is all talk. He always takes the path of least resistance.
I don't blame him for thinking of his family. But there is a lot he can do but he never does.

Standing in the rain with her was purely symbolic. Why couldn't he do it. The other princes were there. Baek has supposedly the weakest position in the court but he was there. Hell the crown prince was there. Why couldn't he stand there. She was looking for some solidarity only

And second the comparison b/w wook and WS. I think most of us here are doing a disservice to WS by saying he has less to lose. Yes, WS is unloved. But just because he is not loved by his family, does not mean that he does not love them. plus he can be banished to hell any moment for the rest of his life

He protected his family too. He could have outed his mother and have her and his brothers executed. Instead he drank the poison so the CP and HS would not get hurt. He protects his family but he does not let that stop him from doing what he can for her.

He went and argued with the king till the end. He tried to take on the royal army to prevent her hanging. Where was wook? She was looking for him at her hanging. Probably in his room crying.

so i'll yell too - COWARD! COWARD!

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I also asked myself why Wook couldn't stand in the rain, but then I realized that he and his family are barely surviving in the palace. After his wife's death, his foothold in the palace had weakened. I think he's under more pressure. So I can't hate him, but I do blame him for not sticking to his words. He gave Su empty promises.

Also, I think this episode just highlighted what So could offer Su and what Wook couldn't. But it's always been like that from the very beginning. So saved Su from Wook's sister, So saved Su and 14th prince (Wook actually tried but failed), So got Su out of the palace without second thought while Wook kept waiting until the "right" moment, and for this episode, all the things you've talked about above. I'm kind of changing my opinion because I was thinking it's just the situation that presented itself in this episode that made the relationship between Su and Wook break. But honestly, I think it's been all the instances I wrote above - what happened this episode just made it become more defined. They would've never worked out because of Wook's personality. He is too calculating and hesitant that he fails time and time again to do what So is able to. He was never able to look bad in front of the King or fight against his sister for Su's sake. So was able to go against the King - whom he craves love from - for Su.

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Not to mention wook has ambitions for the throne too .. His sister hit the nail on the head.

I think wook is type who perpetually see themselves as victim of bad circumstances. He never tries to actively rise above them.

He spent his entire marriage thinking that he married for the greater good of family and in essence 'sacrificed' himself. He didn't even make an effort except be his generic nice self. only after she died, did he realise that he loved her.

Like lady oh said he will regret it later.

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Actually, I agree on this, but it's just that, So's mom is so evil that their family will never be on the same stand as Wook's family. Wook's family is the gentle type (except for Yeon Hwa), so So will have to only fight for whatever is important to him, that is, Su. But I do think if they switch places and family, So will also do the same, given that it is FOR family.

Wook made the right decision. I think, this is basically because of the throne, but because of and for their clan. He made the promise and was ready to face the judgment of everyone for wanting to marry Su. For himself, he's willing to sacrifice his position, but his family is a different matter to him. It was the hardest decision for him after all. He was not cold as ice as everyone can tell. He's not the typical third party who is all evil. He suffered by himself with this decision, but he so much love his family that he is willing to sacrifice his own happiness for them.

I think what will make him want the throne in the next episodes is to completely cover up the mistake Yeon Hwa made. So that no one will attempt to let out that secret, to completely protect the family from possible execution. It could also be because of his jealousy with So, and or to become king and make Su his again.

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Either this writer has amnesia or the rules only applies to a selected few.
Hae-soo cut her wrist so she won't marry the king but she still gets a marriage proposal from another prince and it might not be the last time.

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Even Jun did more for Hae Soo, and he is a 14 years old, not so smart kid.

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wook did the same to lady hae. she was all involved in their marriage, he only realized he loved her when she was gone.

i guess he can only love when it's safe, risk-free. all that thinking becomes just thinking of reasons why even trying to do things isn't worth it.

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+1000000

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+100000000000000
finally someone said it
tbh I'm so tired of "Wook has more to lose"...

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+1000000000000000000000000

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+1000000000000000000+alpha

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I also felt disdain for him in this episode.

I understand that he is a victim of his circumstances- Yeonhwa screwed up majorly, and to call her out would mean death for his sister, exile for his mother and disaster for the household at large.

I just wished he did more however, Court Lady Oh's words were so true. He could have tried to tell the king about his love and resposibility towards Su, but he didn't even do that. Wook was a victim of his circumstance, sure, but the fact that he didn't do anything to try and save his innocent lover from being unfairly executed just didn't sit well for me.

Still love the character Wook, but I wish he could have been stronger. This episode has sealed his fate, he will be a passive character and Yeonhwa's machinations will try to propel him towards the throne. But court lady Oh was right, he failed to act when it counted and he will rue the day that he gave up so easily.

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AGREE! He will live a life of regret and mediocrity, being pushed along by others despite his best intentions, never really taking control of circumstances and his life.
Having said that I can't hate him, which goes to show that Kang Hanuel is doing such a good job in playing this character in all its shades of grey.

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agreeee... 1000% agree...

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I agree, Wook is full of hollow promises which Lady Oh saw all along. WOOK YOU'RE DEAD TO ME.

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Wook is all barks but no bites. i still you though KHN!

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You weren't the only one yelling COWARD at the TV

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