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Seven Day Queen: Episode 20 (Final)

Wow, that was perfect. I wasn’t sure what to expect of the finale, which felt predictable in a way but still ended up producing something surprisingly lovely and poignant. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that it ended beautifully given that it’s been so strong all the way through, but it’s such a rare thing to feel like a show got an ending pitch-perfect, and especially so when we’re dealing with a historical piece whose characters’ endings are well-known.

I cried buckets watching the finale but feel really good about it; they weren’t tears of sadness or misery, but the kind that hit you for being so emotionally resonant, so thoughtful and fitting while also honoring the trajectories of these characters. I’m not sure when we’ll get another show this good, but I feel really satisfied and fulfilled having lived with this one for the past couple months.

 

 
FINAL EPISODE RECAP

After admitting to helping the former king and refusing to vow loyalty to the current one, Chae-kyung is led through the streets, tied up as a criminal, for public execution.

She thinks to Yeok that she now understands her father’s words about their unhappy fate. “But given that we met and loved, we must take responsibility for that,” she adds.

These are the words Yeok reads in the letter she left for him, heavy-hearted, until his eunuch bursts in frantically to alert him to news: Chae-kyung’s execution has been moved up.

Chae-kyung is brought to the gallows set up in the square, while Yeok tears out of the palace on horseback after hearing that it was his mother who pushed for this change, having argued that Chae-kyung couldn’t be trusted not to try something.

“In this life, I will protect that love with my death,” Chae-kyung narrates as she stands before the noose. She looks up at a bird flying overhead as a cloth bag is placed over her head. “If I am born again, I will not meet you then.”

The noose is placed around her neck. Yeok charges toward the scene with moments to spare, yelling for a halt to the proceedings. He removes Chae-kyung from the noose, and she slumps against him in shock. Untying her ropes, Yeok helps her off the gallows, ordering the guards to step aside.

In the pawnshop, Seok-hee and Gwang-oh discuss the search to find the fugitive Yeonsangun, noting where he was last seen and deciding to search the homes of his relatives. Myung-hye joins them to inform them that while Chae-kyung was saved from immediate execution, Yeok will find himself in trouble if they don’t do something quickly.

After they leave, Myung-hye thinks back to an earlier conversation with Yeok, where he’d told her that Seo-no’s grave was moved yesterday and she hadn’t been there to see it. She made the excuse that she was busy with other work, but he’d called her out on the lie—she was spotted near a posting station that Yeonsangun had used. He’d already guessed that she was involved in the attack on Yeonsangun, and had asked why she did it.

“Is this the world you wanted?” he’d asked. “How did we come to this?” He’d given her the chance to right her wrong, calling this the last time.

Yeok remains at Chae-kyung’s bedside, tending her while she sleeps. Seok-hee arrives to report that the true culprits behind Yeonsangun’s attack have been captured.

The three leaders in that attack, including Yeonsangun’s closest eunuch, have been rounded up and brought before the entire court. Deputy Commander (now Minister) Park looks particularly uneasy as Yeok demands an explanation, and the men admit to receiving orders to send Yeonsangun toward Minister Shin’s home. Yeok insists on the identity of their leader, and the eunuch names Park.

The court murmurs in surprise, and Park drops to his knees, declaring that he is being falsely accused—the eunuch had been loyal to Yeonsangun and is accusing him out of revenge. The other ministers argue that Yeok cannot believe the words of the perpetrators over the words of a hardworking minister like Park.

Yeok sees that he won’t win this way, and agrees to carry out a thorough investigation. The three criminals are carted off to prison, while Yeok shoots Park a hard look.

Park goes to Myung-hye and delivers a slap across the face, knowing she was the source, asking if she means to give up being queen to Chae-kyung. Myung-hye replies that she’s not giving it up when it was never hers to begin with (what is this, sense coming from Myung-hye?), but Park orders her to shut up and leave for China, saying that he has ways of fulfilling his goals without her.

Yeok confronts the queen dowager about having Chae-kyung killed, asking how he could live on if that happened. She asks if he and Chae-kyung could really live without doubts and resentments creeping in between them, pointing out that he’s already wracked with guilt over her parents’ deaths.

Yeok replies that she’s right—there was a time when he couldn’t look Chae-kyung in the eye. “However, through words, and touching hands, and embracing hearts, there would come a time when scratched hearts would melt. A time when things are better. In these times, being together and saying ‘I love you’ and holding each other is what spouses do. That is what Chae-kyung told me.”

He begs his mother to leave them be.

Myung-hye walks through the empty pawnshop thinking of the first time she met Seo-no here, and thinks, “I thought wrong. I thought that since you were not with me anyway, it did not matter how I lived.” She thinks of how Seo-no explained to her that love meant respecting the other person, and continues, “The moment I saw Shin Chae-kyung, I realized that to really love is to honor the other person’s wishes. Even if that means they may die.”

She remembers Seo-no’s execution, thinking, “And so, the Shin Chae-kyung you thought so dear—in saving her, I will repay my debt to you.” Myung-hye takes Seo-no’s head sash, which she has kept all this while, and ties it around her own head.

Yeok returns to Chae-kyung’s bedside, and when she wakes and registers what happened, she bolts up in alarm. She asks why he saved her, more worried about what it means for him than for her. He asks despairingly why she admitted guilt to a false charge when she should have insisted on her innocence through the end. “How could your first thought be to die?” he asks.

“What if there is something I fear more than death?” she asks. “What if there is something I can only protect by giving up my life? What must I do then?” She asks why she can’t be his person fully, saying that she hates herself for the first time, feeling pathetic for being who she is. Yeok gathers her to him as she sobs.

When Yeonsangun stirs awake, he’s shocked to find himself in the pawnshop with Myung-hye. He recalls collapsing in pain after fleeing Minister Shin’s home, and seeing her standing over him with her sword. He eyes her warily and asks after Chae-kyung, and Myung-hye informs him that she’s safe.

He asks her to let him go, and she asks coldly, “Is there a reason you must live any longer?” Yeonsangun grits out that he started this, and he must finish it.

Myung-hye brings over the old crutch, explaining that Yeok had used it for a long time: “Now it is your turn.”

Nanny nods off at Chae-kyung’s bedside clutching a spoon, and fumbles for it when it falls out of her hand. Chae-kyung hands it to her, and Nanny explains that it was Chae-kyung’s mother who’d instructed her to always be watchful over Chae-kyung’s food and to use a silver spoon, lest someone try to poison her. The mention brings both Nanny and Chae-kyung to tears, and Nanny holds her tight, saying mournfully, “This is not how to live. Even if you only live a day, you shouldn’t live like this.”

The three prisoners wind up dead in their cells of apparent suicide, although Gwang-oh supposes that it was Park’s work. How convenient that the people who could testify in Chae-kyung’s defense are all dead. Park presses again to depose Chae-kyung, saying it’s dangerous not to act while Yeonsangun may be plotting against them.

Yeok cuts him off, stating fiercely that the next one to accuse the queen without evidence will be punished for showing contempt of royalty. Park drops to the ground, and the others follow suit in appealing to the king. Yeok storms out of the room, and Park thinks to himself that he isn’t going to give up after working so hard.

That night, Minister Park convenes his Snail Bride army to say that their king has closed his ears to his advisers and the people, and that they must show him the will of the people and the heavens. He sends them on their task, and Myung-hye catches the tail end of that and looks upset.

She tries to reason with her uncle about not making an enemy of the king, but Park cuts her off, telling her she’s got a long way to go. He seems to have already written Myung-hye off, saying that she’s not his only niece. He calls in his adopted daughter, whom he intends to make the new queen rather than Myung-hye.

When Yeok visits Chae-kyung’s quarters, she greets him warmly and sits him down to ask if he fought with his ministers again, having heard that they’re arguing over her. Yeok is upset with the servants for telling her that, but she just tells him calmly that while she doesn’t know much about palace customs, there is one among ordinary households that she does know: that a woman cutting the ribbon from her outer jacket is a request to part ways.

Chae-kyung snips the ribbon on her top and places it in Yeok’s hand. He tries to refuse, but she holds his hand in hers and says, “If I do not cut ties first, you will never let me go. I wish for a divorce. Please allow it.”

Yeok looks stricken, and says that she knows his answer. “Reconciliation, recovery, courage, resolve, promises, consolation—there are so many things we can do together, for each other. Why, without even trying them all? Why ask to separate first?” He won’t do it.

Chae-kyung asks him to think back to when he pretended to be someone else and pushed her away with hurtful lies. She knows he was thinking of her safety then, and tells him that his safety is all she hopes for. She tells him that Seo-no, her parents, and countless citizens are on the path he will now walk as king: “After you have accomplished your goal, after that, you can come to me.”

“Why can we not take that path together?” Yeok asks. She says they are both under constant threat of death, and will continue to be so as long as they are together. She reminds him that he is the nation’s leader, and must now be afraid of death. She begs him to survive: “Perhaps the biggest consolation we can give one another is staying alive. Thus, for us to live in good health for a long time will become proof of how much we love each other.”

Oof, that’s powerful stuff. Chae-kyung keeps smiling through her tears, and though his face looks bleak, Yeok says that if he lives a hundred years, he will have loved her a hundred years. “Even if we are not together,” he adds, “if we just stay alive, that alone…” He breaks down, but finishes through his tears, “…means we loved.”

She agrees, telling him that it’s like leaving home to do important work, but “that house remains where it always was.” He asks if that home can’t be here, but she replies, “This is the queen’s home. I am just Shin Chae-kyung.” She wipes the tears from his face and kisses him sweetly, then holds him as he sobs in her arms. Ugh, my tears won’t stop.

In the city, people read flyers posted on walls, which seem to have something to do with Minister Park, judging from the side-eyes he gets as he travels past. Murmurs break out when he arrives at court.

Yeok arrives and addresses the disturbance that occurred overnight regarding Snail Bride activities, and asks Minister Park what he knows of it. Park declares righteously that on his way here, he witnessed citizens united in expressing their discontent about the king, and that the king cannot ignore the voice of the people.

He doesn’t seem entirely up to date, however, and Yeok tosses over a stack of flyers, telling him he must have seen wrong. Yeok reads aloud a list of Park’s corrupt activities, starting with profiting personally from the deaths of the three criminals (whose estates he claimed for dirt-cheap).

Aha, in flashback we see that the Snail Brides he’d sent out were diverted by Gwang-oh and Seok-hee, who burned the original flyers and replaced them with their own.

As Yeok reads off Park’s misdeeds, Park insists on his innocence. Yeok calls for the witness to be brought forth, and in walk several noblemen whom Park immediately disavows knowing. Except then, another figure enters the room: Myung-hye. Ohhh snap. Dammit, do I have to like you now?

Park glowers at his niece, and Yeok asks if he means to have all the witnesses killed again. This time, Park doesn’t say a peep, even when Yeok orders him stripped of his position and his ill-gotten gains reclaimed.

When Yeok sentences him to exile, Park insists again that he’s innocent, but Yeok says that he will leave the matter here if Park acknowledges his wrongs and repents—but if he digs his heels in and continues to deny it, Yeok will take it as an insult against the king and treat him as a traitor to be put to death.

Chae-kyung leaves the palace with only Nanny at her side, and pauses for a last look around. The queen dowager finds her here, and Chae-kyung drops to the ground in a formal bow and apologizes for causing her worry.

The queen dowager tells her not to be sorry, and her court lady hands over a gift. She tells Chae-kyung that protecting each other through separation is also a kind of fate. Chae-kyung accepts that advice with a bow, and walks out of the palace for good.

Yeok walks over to see Chae-kyung in a good mood, until he sees the doors shuttered. Racing inside, he finds the rooms emptied and Chae-kyung gone. Reeling, he falls to the floor.

Chae-kyung steps through the palace gates, which close behind her. She looks up at the sky, looking almost at peace.

Yeok sits alone, holding her cut ribbon, thinking, “From now on, each of my days will be spent loving and missing you. To love and miss you more, I will live on.”

Chae-kyung thinks, “And so, in order to protect each other, we find our own way.”

Yeonsangun staggers along in pain, clinging to Yeok’s old crutch, and collapses just shy of reaching a house in the mountains. Ah, he has returned to his exile house, and the soldiers stationed there rush to apprehend him.

Yeonsangun gasps, “I never ran away. And thus the queen did not help me flee.” He instructs them to be sure to convey those words.

Seok-hee delivers the message to Yeok, as well as the news that Yeonsangun surrendered himself. Yeok thinks to himself that his brother must have wanted to save Chae-kyung too.

In exile, Yeonsangun reaches for the chest he’d taken from the palace, pulling out a letter that he struggles to read through blurred vision. He reads Minister Shin’s letters, which are full of concern and urge him to take care of his health.

Yeonsangun takes a few feeble steps, then closes his eyes and falls…

It’s Yeok who catches him before he hits the ground, calling out, “Hyungnim!” When Yeonsangun makes out Yeok’s face, he recoils first, but then reaches out a hand as though to touch Yeok’s face. That aggravates his stab wound, though, and he doubles over with pain.

And so Yeok reaches out and takes his brother’s hand in his, raising it to his cheek. He says, “I have come. I am here to see you.”

Yeonsangun seems moved, but then wrenches his hand away and tells him to go, accusing Yeok of coming to mock him. But then he does collapse, and Yeok lurches forward to help him.

Yeok sits at his bedside until Yeonsangun wakes. Although he opens his eyes, he reaches out blindly, wheezing anxiously until he feels Yeok take his hand in his.

Yeonsangun says despairingly that everything was in vain—he’d wanted to prove their father wrong, only to turn into the tyrant his father predicted. He became like his mother, who had become blinded by jealousy and was the cause of her own ousting.

“Yeok-ah, I did not hate you,” he says. “I hated the me that was reflected in your eyes. And the eyes of Chae-kyung, whose eyes looked exactly like yours—I was ashamed to see those eyes, so I tried to kill you and ruin you. It was me I hated and resented.” He supposes that this is his punishment for trying to drive a wedge between them.

His breathing grows increasingly labored, and he wheezes out, “The punishment I did not fully receive in this life, I will receive the rest after death.” Yeonsangun’s breathing slows and his eyes grow slack, and he envisions his father motioning to him from the doorway.

“He has come,” Yeonsangun says. “At last, as a father, he holds a hand out to me.”

Yeonsangun extends a hand toward the vision of his father, a smile on his face, and Yeok looks toward the door quizzically. Then Yeonsangun’s head drops lifelessly onto Yeok’s shoulder. Yeok sobs over his body and wishes him a peaceful rest.

Chae-kyung joins her aunt, the former queen, in her home of exile, which is where both women hear the news of Yeonsangun’s death. The queen dowager receives word too, and actually looks saddened by it. She takes out a hairpin from her drawer and remembers how Yeonsangun gave it to her as a birthday gift years ago. She’d been pleased to receive it then, and now, with tears running down her face, she removes the pin from her hair and places Yeonsangun’s pin there instead.

“In the next life, be born as my daughter,” she cries, thinking of how Yeonsangun had suggested changing places with Yeok, offering to live as her son and Chae-kyung’s husband. “I will cherish you greatly then.”

On his way back from visiting Yeonsangun, Yeok stops to rest the horses, though that’s mostly an excuse to drop by to see Chae-kyung. But when his eunuch announces him, Chae-kyung merely offers horse feed, and Yeok is disappointed to hear that she didn’t ask after him.

Yeok wanders into the courtyard while she prepares the feed, and she ducks out of sight when she sees him. He notices the open door, though, and approaches knowing she’s there. She stops him before he opens the door, keeping him at arm’s length with the container of feed between them.

She offers him the container, and when he places his hand over hers, she drops the container in her agitation. He asks to see her face, begging her to just say the word: “Then I will open this door and run to you.”

Chae-kyung fights her own longing to remind him that they aren’t like others, and that they agreed to love each other without being together. She asks if he is already crumbling.

And so Yeok leaves without seeing her face. But as Chae-kyung replays his words in her mind—“Do you truly want me to leave like this?”— that sparks something in her, and she runs outside shouting, “Husband!”

He’s already gone, but Yeok hears her cry from the road and whirls around. Racing back toward her, he and Chae-kyung run into each other’s arms and he confesses, “I can’t do it, Chae-kyung. I can’t live without you.”

She says, “Don’t go. Let us be together.”

And then, it seems sometime later, we see them getting dressed and clearing their bedding together, and Yeok laughs over the too-short arms of the clothing she made him. Later still, he paces outside the house nervously until Nanny declares that a son has been born. Wait, is this real? This had better be real. If this is some La La Land bullshit there will be flipped tables.

Skipping ahead some more, the happy couple watches their children play—one son and one daughter. We see Yeok and Chae-kyung sleeping peacefully side by side, hands touching, and Yeok reaches out—but finds the space next to him empty.

And then, suddenly, Yeok wears a beard and wakes alone in the king’s bedchamber at the palace. “Chae-kyung-ah,” he says sadly into the empty room. (So that was a dream?! Arrrgaksdf;lajksdfljka. Hulksmash!)

Chae-kyung writes Yeok a letter, thanking him for wanting to reinstate her position but telling him that he already has a son, and even if she were made queen again, any son she might have would be caught up in succession politics. She reminds him of his tragic relationship with his brother, not wanting to relive that strife.

We see Chae-kyung lying down on a bolt of fabric while Nanny measures out a set of clothing for Yeok, based on Chae-kyung’s very hazy measurements of handsbreadths. Yeok receives those clothes, as Chae-kyung’s letter continues, “How painful must it have been? How afraid must you have been? We must not make more of that tragedy with our own hands.”

Yeok wears the clothing proudly that night, and as he looks up at the night sky, so does she. Her letter finishes, “That you live well, for our sake, is enough for me.”

Then, we’re 38 years later in the year 1544, Yeok’s 39th year of rule.

Yeok is an elderly king now, and he calls faithful Eunuch Song to his bedside. A palanquin is taken to the palace, and it’s an elderly women who sits inside—Chae-kyung, still wearing her wedding ring. With the king’s health weak, the order is given to open the gates and not restrict entries.

Yeok is assisted to his feet and dresses in that same piece of clothing Chae-kyung made for him years ago. He waits alone in his chamber, anticipating Chae-kyung’s arrival, and she makes her way through the palace corridor toward him.

When the doors open, it’s familiar adult Chae-kyung we see—and then we go younger still as the teenage Yeok beams at teenage Chae-kyung and pats the seat next to him.

He calls her Bird Poop like he used to, asking if she waited long. She pouts that she’s used to waiting, then smiles up at him.

They transition into the adult couple, and they gaze at each other for long, tender moments. “Am I too late?” she asks.

He shakes his head, saying, “You’re not the least bit late.”

She says he endured many struggles, and praises him for holding on through it all. “Because I knew you were waiting, I could hold on,” he tells her. “Because I knew you were there, in that place, I could protect my place.”

He lays his head in her lap, and she thinks, “Now I will be at your side. So, please rest now, at home.”

“Now I am finally home,” Yeok thinks, smiling with his eyes closed.

“I love you,” she says, using three different words that mean love. “I love you. I love you, Husband.”

“You could just say one,” he replies teasingly, just as he’d done all those years ago.

 
JAVABEANS’ COMMENTS

That has to be the most beautiful depiction of a death scene I’ve seen in a long time, maybe ever. I had a brief moment of anger at the fantasy dream sequence that could have been seen as teasing us with what could have been, and that really hurt. But I’m also recalling previous moments when I’d yelled at a withholding drama, “C’mon, throw me a bone here! Can’t I just get a crumb of satisfaction?” And I feel like that wistful what-we-could-have-had moment was something of a crumb, as well as a stark reminder of what Yeok’s life would have been like for the next forty years, and how long that time was for him to hold on.

Historically we know Jungjong (Yeok’s posthumous name) was not considered a strong king, but I find it touching that in this version, it didn’t matter so much that he wasn’t the best king ever—it was enough that he did his best with what he had. We know he never really wanted to be king but felt it was his duty to do so and rescue the people from a terrible tyrant, so he couldn’t abdicate his position and subject the country to more turmoil. Nor could he be an iron-willed dictator like his brother, which is both a strength and a flaw, because while he didn’t have his brother’s violent rages, he would always be beholden to the powerful politicians who put him on the throne. He was caught between a rock and a hard place for forty years and did his best to live with it. There’s a really bittersweet, realistic beauty in that, and I was surprised by my tears when Chae-kyung praised him not for being a good king or a powerful leader, but for enduring.

I did wonder whether Yeonsangun would be made too sympathetic, too late in the game—it’s not something I would have felt too comfortable with, after he’d been shown going on murder sprees and abdicating all his responsibility as ruler, if not the position outright. I think what feels appropriate is that he acknowledged himself that he hadn’t met his full punishment, and would take it on willingly in whatever came next. There’s something dissatisfying about delivering a punishment to an unrepentant evildoer (Minister Park can die in a hundred fires and it wouldn’t be enough), but once they feel true remorse, it changes things. It shifts from a matter of meting out punishment onto someone else to that person locking themselves up in their own prison of guilt, and that, at least, seems enough to me.

I found the queen dowager’s response to Yeonsangun’s death a fitting reaction, even if it doesn’t make me warm up to her all that much. It’s just that in her world, showing love is a weakness that could be exploited, so for her viewing Yeonsangun as an enemy was an act of self-defense. It’s only in his death that she allowed herself to feel that grief over him—and even so, I would bet that she wouldn’t have done anything differently toward him in this life.

The irony is that Yeok and Chae-kyung may have been the only two people who would not have wielded love as a weapon or seen it as a liability, but they didn’t get a chance to prove that through living the example—or maybe it’s not ironic at all, because they were the exceptions to the rule, and they couldn’t stop other people from using their love against them.

One of the things that make Seven Day Queen such a compelling love story is in the way that it isn’t a passionate, romance-wins-all story. It’s about love, certainly, but I found it particularly powerful that these two had a bond that transcended romance—in this love story, it’s the mundane, everyday touches that lent the relationship power, not the grand gestures. All they really ever wanted was a situation that allowed them to be in the same space at the same time, and the drama did a fantastic job in weaving its plot so as to make that feel impossible. Who knew that such a simple conflict could be such a driving force?

It’s like Chae-kyung said toward the end regarding the concept of home, that she isn’t the queen, she is just Chae-kyung. And you get the sense that the throne wasn’t what Yeok was, either—it was just his necessary work that took him away from home until he could return to it in the end. It makes the time spent apart feel both astonishingly long (39 years! More time apart than they spent knowing each other!) and also, in the long run, inconsequential. How cuttingly poignant to have created a scenario in which the cause of your pain—separation—also becomes the thing that proves your love. By their metric, the longer they’re apart, the longer they have spent loving each other, and then it all ends peacefully by returning “home.” I mean, I didn’t even know there was that much silver lining to be mined out of their miserable predicament, but it makes it all the more admirable that they found a way to love no matter the circumstance, rather than give up in despair. An example to aspire to!

 
GIRLFRIDAY’S COMMENTS

I think this drama may have been perfect. I didn’t even know there WAS such a thing! At some point during the hour I thought maybe I had cried all there was to cry, but then that fantasy sequence hit and I turned into a sobbing, wailing mess, screaming at my screen, “I know you’re a fantasy! Stop telling me lies!” That glimpse of a happy life that couldn’t be just broke me.

I don’t think I could’ve asked for a better finale, because I was worried that they’d mess with history too much to fake a happy ending that I would know in my heart was false. That would’ve ruined what this drama worked so hard to build. Instead we got the loveliest possible version of bittersweet love and lifelong devotion that will linger in my memory ten times longer than a simple happy ending would have. That final sequence with the three generations of actors portraying our couple was a thing of beauty, and I loved how the drama began with the queen leaving the palace, and ended with the perfect bookend of her return.

I was so impressed by the heroine of this story, and for the way that she was consistently written as a strong and dignified woman who chooses her own fate. While political machinations and enemies were directly responsible for tearing our lovers apart, it’s so important to me that at every step of the way, they weren’t torn apart by powers outside of their control or moved around like pawns in some larger game; in the telling of this story, they were individuals who chose to love and sacrifice and fight, in whatever way they could. That made me so appreciative of the writing, especially when it came to the heroine and the way she acted on her love. And I’m such a fan of the fact that in our story, Chae-kyung is the hero who saves Yeok and finds a way for them to live and love.

I’ve never really had this thought before after finishing a drama, but I wish this director, writer, and cast would stay together forever and just make show after show. They could do a modern rom-com next, and then an action thriller after that, and then a fantasy sageuk, and then a melo… Maybe they should wait a few years on the melodrama. I think I’ve spent all my tears for the next five years on this one.

 
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Such a heartbreaking beautiful drama,from the beginning till it’s last minute…This was without a doubt a gem that will keep shining for years to come…A round of applause to Park Min Young,Yeon Woo Jin and Lee Dong Gun(who was terrific as Yongsan)…Yeok’s and Chae Kyun’s love was truly beautiful and strong,like a cliff that withstood the waves and time without budging…
Another round of applause to writer Choi Jin Young for delivering such a tight and amazing story,it’s rare to encounter a drama that keeps you glued from the first till the last episode without loosing it’s direction…
Not forgetting the V.A. OST that is truly beautiful and personal preference,Junggigo’s OST that is among the best ones this year…

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The OST was so beautiful!! It added to the romance or joy or tragedy of each moment without distracting, which I think is the key to a great OST.

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I'm desperately waiting for the instrumentals (the humming song!). If anyone has found them yet, I'd love to know! Hopefully they'll be released soon.

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Is this the song you're searching for ? https://youtu.be/3Ey5S3DaEbs
They're releasing the full OST on music&new channel on Youtube.

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The complete OST's are now available, CD format..... total of 56 tracks.... Love the lyrics of all the songs, it even mentioned on their dialogues... Im not sure which website can purchase it.... Maybe check amazon later..

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@diniyuukie,

Thank you so much for that link!

For me, "Dream" is the distilled essence of SEVEN DAY QUEEN. ;-)

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do you guys know if we can download it somewhere??

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Just a quick update for @diniyuukie, @pakalanapikake, @napkiin, et al. In case you haven't heard, the full OST has been released on Spotify and k2nblog! I'm actually playing it on Spotify right now. :D Happy listening, everyone!

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During this last episode the fact that I would miss this OST came to me too. I don't remember the last time I enjoyed one this much

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Glued from the first to last despite knowing its outcome it successfully wove a beautiful and breathtaking story. Genius story teller.

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Yes! Amazing story telling!

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am crossing my fingers for the writer to receive some award it will be a collective win
i dont knw what is wrong with korean viewers to miss such a masterpiece

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The ending reminds me of Titanic and The Notebook film. Their ending was a bittersweet one, where both movies shown how the main actor/actress wants to be back at their lovely moment of their life. And die peacefully with those memories ???

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That solemn ha ha ha soundtrack is my new "I Will Write Our Story Here" (by SG Wannabe). It makes me cry as soon as it plays.

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So. True! I have been waiting forever for that Ah~ah~ah~ song. So heartbreaking.Until now I skip CT soundtrack if I'm in public otherwise I'll be a wailing mess.

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I actually didn't watch the drama but intrigued by the recap so I watch bit and pieces. I thought at first CK talking about they're having son together but actually Yeok had son from another woman? When did this happen, can someone tell me which eps? I skimmed through the recap but didn't find anything about the son and another woman.

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After their separation in the finale, Yeok remarried twice. Myung-hye became his second queen, and the son Chae-kyung was referring to in her letter was MH and Yeok's son, the future King Injong. The drama did not show this second marriage, only alluding to it briefly in this letter.

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OMG I just look at wikipedia and he actually had 13 wives (3queens 10 concubines) lol

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Yes, you lost one loving wife and replaced it with 13 lol. Actually in real life....King Jungjong attempted to re-instate Queen Dangyeong 4 times but failed due to strong political faction at that time. He must have really loved her Queen that much.

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@GL
Where did you get the info about King Jungjong attempt to re-instate Queen Dangyeong 4 times? Cuz I wanted to read more about what really happend between Queen Dangyeong and King Jungjong but I can't really find much info on the internet.

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So funny right! I thought he would really remain loyal to Queen D but apparently not since he had several kids each with those concubines. But I believe he really loved her in his own way because aside from the attempts to reinstate, one of the orders his son, King Injong did was to move Queen D to a new place befitting her rank as consort/queen. Her life was made better by King Injong. I would like to believe this was one of the things King Jungjong asked his son to do. Since he can't do it himself during his reign due to all the political issues that will arise with it.

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@Elle,

I have to admit that I felt a lot better about Yeok's marrying Myung-hye after she expressed remorse, patched up Yeonsangun enough that he could continue on his way to his place of exile, and ratted out her scheming uncle. It's deliciously subversive that Yeok's second queen had been one of the Snail Wives.

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i rewatch this episode last night and the aches is still lingering on my heart and soul ?
i realized that the osts are all played in several scene of the last minute ,,from dear cloud, junggigo, until fromm
that kind of detail really hit my heart,,,how beautiful this drama is ?
when i visit dramabeans home,fanwall post,and recent comment, it's so heartwrenching to see the headerphoto of this post that show the smile of chaegyung and yeok in his #whatcouldhavebeen Dream..
i wonder when will we have this kind of drama agaim with such a perfection from the start until the end

i still do my routine agenda ,,but my heart,my mind,and my brain are always think about seven day queen ?? there are several dramas in waiting list,,but haven't found any passion to watch,,,take a rest abit for healing my SDQ syndrome ???

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Also the hanboks they wore the pretties I've ever seen. The color match to each characters. This drama such an art from characters, story, casts, till scenes.

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7DQ has ended. Wow. I can’t believe this. *cue hours of just staring at black ending screen* Okay, that took a while to set in and I don’t think I’m going to be able to move on. First off, thank you girlfriday and javabeans for all of the 7DQ recaps! You both wrote the recaps so fast each week so I thank you greatly for that. We all knew this was coming, but that still doesn’t mean our hearts are still in one piece. I knew that my heart was going to be torn and beaten and ripped from the moment I started this show, but I couldn’t stop.

Despite everything, I just wanted Chae-kyung and Yeok to just be happy. After seeing this ending, I’m satisfied. All of Yeok and Chae-kyung’s romantic and honest scenes were the cutest and I longed for them whenever the show had to get serious. When Chae-kyung asked for a divorce in this episode, I cried. They both have tried so hard to be together and the universe is just pulling them apart. Everything they both have done it was for the sake of the other.

This show took us on a ride each episode. We didn’t know where we were going, we didn’t know what was going to happen along the way, and we didn’t know how were were going to get there. Every episode was better than the last and it was an addiction. All of the characters had incredible depth and all of the actors were absolutely phenomenal.

The best actor in this show (in my opinion) had to be Lee Dong-gun. If I wasn’t already invested in this drama from the get go, he made me forget all of my responsibilities and just focus on 7DQ. He portrayed the king beautifully with all of the sorrow and hurt he faced. I felt extremely bad for him in one moment and the next I wanted to throw everything at him. His character is going to be really memorable for me for many years to come. Yeonsangun’s moments with Chae-kyung (mainly in the beginning) were the cutest and there were moments when I shipped them even though my heart was already given to Yeok.

Yeon Woo-jin did an amazing job with Yeok. All of his crying scenes made me cry. You could see the pain in his eyes when Chae-kyung was taking the fall for him and whenever he saw her in pain. He was strong, weak, in love, cute, and powerful throughout the course of this show. Yeok cared for Chae-kyung so freaking much he was willing to do anything and everything to make her happy (Side note: I need a man like Yeok LOL). Even though they disagreed with him multiple times, his friends stood by him through thick and thin and those are the people that also went through so much. Seo No, Kwang-ho, and Suk-hee were the best friends a person could ever ask for. I’m going to miss them as much as I miss the main characters.

Park Min-young. She portrayed Chae-kyung amazingly. The change in Chae-kyung’s character from start to end broke my heart. She was so carefree and just had fun, but after growing up that characteristic of hers faded away. Chae-kyung was so strong throughout the show and I admire her for her...

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Chae-kyung was so strong throughout the show and I admire her for her ability to give up everything for her family and Yeok. Several times she threw herself in harm’s way just to keep them safe. Even her nanny was a beautifully crafted character. She was the comic relief and her relationship with Chae-kyung was just perfect to watch. I’m going to miss that duo dearly.

Seven Day Queen, I love you I’m going to miss you so much.

(LOL I reached the character limit ? Sorry for the long block of text!)

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YWJ impressed me so much in this drama; I've enjoyed his performances before this one, but he reached a new level of raw vulnerability and emotionality in this role that was really astonishing to watch.

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His role was the hardest to emote I felt. Unlike Yeonsangun, Yeok was not outwardly detestable. The emotions he dealt with were often uncertainty, frustration, restrained anger, vulnerability and pain... the types that were harder to unleash through acting. Yeok was a gentle character and at times confused about why he was seeking revenge. His character could have been very much unlikeable. But it all worked out because of YWJ's stellar performance and the way he managed to draw the character closer to the audience. So yes I agree, I think he reached another peak with this project!

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Agree fully with this. And I believe his pair up with PMY highly contributed to his outstanding performance. ? I'm a big shipper of their pair up & really hope they end up together in real life. The only way I will be able to get over my sadness about Yeok & CK is when PMY & YWJ become a couple irl!! ???

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Totally 100% agree with you. To balance up the good and bad in Yeok was not easy but YWJ nailed it. He made me feel all the emotions, hardships and pain that Yeok went through. Salute to YWJ oppa!

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I just sobbed my way through the end of this episode (I held it mostly together until they showed them as children again and then I just completely lost it). There are not enough words in the world for how much I appreciate this beautiful, poignant drama. From the directing to the acting to the music to the incredible writing, it was phenomenal. One of the most impressive things about it, to me, is the fact that I 100% believed that the children we met in the beginning of the drama really did grow up into the adults we see at the end. I can't remember the last time a drama's characters were so consistent and so consistently heartbreaking. I so, so hope the actors receive some sort of recognition for their work. They deeply deserve it.
In particular, PMY's portrayal of Chae-kyung was nothing short of luminous. She was gracious, strong, self-actualized and brilliant to the last, and I'll truly miss the character now that her story has come to an end. This story has become my favorite tragic romance of all time, and I look forward to rewatching it (with a box of Kleenex nearby) for years to come.

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I lost it there too. I was a total wreck. My brother who was playing video games stopped to check up on me and why I was crying.

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I think I've cried enough for three years on this one. Now I need Yeon Woo Jin and Park Min Young to do a 16 episode rom-com. Come on a glorious director-writer duo out there. Make it happen.

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I still teared while reading the recap. All the tears at every other scene last night. Didn't know dramas can still squeezed tears out of me!

A++++ drama - beautiful ensemble of actors, director, writer and crew. All the tears and cheers were worth it. 7DQ may not be a highly rate show in terms of viewership but this is a saguek done right. A classic in years to come.

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Same! I watched ep 19 and 20 earlier when I woke up but now I'm reading the recap I'm effin' crying, In my workstation no less. What a lovely drama! A good heartbreaker indeed.

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The dream sequence was not cool. It was heart breaking to watch but the cast and their acting skills were amazing.

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I loved how Yeok jumped and kicked off his shoes in his rush to see the dream baby. His shoes flew as high as his head! Hilarious!

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As hilarious as it was heartbreaking, because their untold story in La La Land, not Joseon :(

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During that scene for a second I thought " OMG are they not going to follow what actually happened in the history books and give us a happy ending?!?".....then they had to tear my heart out when Yeok woke up ? Yeok flipping out when the baby was born was the cutest thing ever! It's so sad that it never actually happens.

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I'm a puddle of tears. Thank you for being beautiful from start to finish, Seven Day Queen. Chae Kyung-ah, you may have reigned over Joseon for 7 days only, but you reign supreme in my heart forever and always.

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They died together 39 years later in a last second trope? Flip the table!

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Do they both die? I thought that scene hinted at Yeok's death but I haven't seen the episode yet so I am not clear regarding it.

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based on history king jungjong died first

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Thanks for the recap.wow So amazing ending scene... I can't believe it's over now. Two thumbs up for 7DQ

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So absolutely gorgeous. I wouldn't have changed a single thing. Deepest gratitude to the cast and crew for producing something that moved me every week and ended with stunning, poignant beauty. One of the greatest dramas I've ever seen.

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I literally stopped watching when the young counterparts were shown just to cry for like 5 minutes. That was so beautiful seeing their images through the years and that in the end, it was still the two of them together.

I cried so much and totally drained myself so I had to take a nap after watching. Now, off to read the recaps (and probably cry again).

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I had to run out of the room to grab toilet paper to cry into halfway through the last scene, and then I was crying so hard I was hiccuping! Exhausted in the best way, haha!

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Same omg I haven't ugly cried so much doesn't help its that time of the month for me either. I bet I would cry the same even if my hormones aren't going cray right now ???

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That's why I always make sure I have the kleenex box beside me before watching! HAHAHAH. I feel you. I was making weird noises too.

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I haven't watched a drama so consistently good--from beginning to end, from plot to emotional investment--in quite a while. GAH I'm sad to see it go ): so glad I was along for the ride for this one.

What broke my heart was knowing the fate of this historical couple, and wishing for a happy ending while also hoping for historical accuracy. The ending was so poignant; could not have asked for better.

Real props to Park Min Young for all her crying scenes; man, she shed a lot of tears!

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I cried yesterday when i watched the drama.. and crying again now as i'm reading the recap.. ???

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You and me both, sakura.

That's why I'm so darned late to the party. I haven't been able to type, breathe, see the screen, get my thoughts in order, or edit my comments before posting.

I don't usually cry much, and it's music that normally sets me off. Oh, yeah. "Dream" -- that wordless confection of chords and female vocals -- is playing in my head on an endless loop. No wonder I'm still a basket case. In the best possible snivelling way.

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What a show! SDQ is officially the first sageuk that I liked and how amazing was it. Kudos to the writer, director and actors. Like girlfriday, I also want the team to work together for many shows onwards. Even if I think that CK was at times written to do some stupid stuff, overall she was a heroine better than most we get in kdramas. Plus this couple, where will I get such a couple again that fully trusts each other. Never was there a moment of noble idiocity. Plus the anti hero/villian had its own spark that I have missed in dramas. Great job team, hope you produce an equally good drama again. Don't be dismayed by the ratings.

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At first I wasn't interested in watching this drama because I knew the ending will be tragic and I didn't like sad ending.But,the child actors made me curious.They acted really well.Then,after Yeon Woojin and Park Minyoung appeared,they won me over with their chemistry.Definitely one of the best chemistry I've ever seen in korean drama.
I love both leads, love other actors and actresses,love the story,love everything about this drama,including the ending, too. It was a bittersweet happy ending :) the important thing was that they were together at the end.They were not just standing far apart and only gazing at each other eye (like several endings of korean dramas),but they had real and heartful conversation and they could touch each other,too.Overall,I'm really satisfied with the ending :)
Thank you Seven Day Queen.
Thank you Yeon Woojin and Park Minyoung.
Thank you all the actors, actresses, and crews.
All of you will be missed :))

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This drama is so going to get an A++++++.

I mean, both recappers commented in the last episode! When did that last happen? When ChaeKyung's parents were celebrating her birth??

But I agree. Dang, this drama's PERFECT. I give it A+++++++*

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I noticed that too. It has been long since both recappers commented on the last episode. Infact I like this that both recappers get to give concluding remarks on a show they have been with all along and they should continue it for other shows/recappers too. But for this to pop out of nowhere after a long time shows that JB and Girlfriday loved this show.

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yeees,,,i don't know if i missed or not but never since i follow dramabeans in years that both recapper's comments are shown in the finale recap and both are the founder of dramabeans ???

Seven day queen is so so so perfect i can't even imagine ??

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its became one of my favorite historical drama... the casts are all great! hope to see them soon in another drama! ❤️

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While watching this final episode, I told myself that I will not cry.
First scene of Chae-kyung walking to her death and Yeok running to save her...why is my screen getting blurry? I can feel something in my eye…Wiped it, nope. No tears.

Chae-kyung crying and explaining that death is not what she was most afraid of. Chae-kyung cutting ties with Yeok because Yeok will not do so. That this was the only way they can survive…argh…screen getting blurry again…

Yeonsangun finally realizing what he has done. That he never hated Yeok. That he really hated himself for becoming the person they thought he would become. Wretched soundtrack playing in the background as Yeok’s crying because of his brother’s death. Argh…I can feel the tears but it has not fallen yet. I will NOT cry, Show. Do you hear me?!

Chae-kyung not seeing Yeok even when they’re so close. Chae-kyung realizing that she made a mistake and ran after Yeok. They reunite. They lived a full and happy life with two kids. Show awwww…happy ending! Thank you!

Then seeing Yeok when he woke up and realizing it was all a pipe dream. The wretched tears came. Dang you show! How can you make it like this!?

But then, how can you not? The ending was sad, yet it was so sweetly portrayed that I can’t not give in. I tried to hate the ending but in my head and in my heart, this was perfect. Just perfect.

Everything in this drama from start to end was perfect. Well done show. Well done.

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a beautiful ending for 7DQ.
How I love this version of Yeonsangun sooooo much that I had to hold my tears while reading your recap.
Bromance at the end of Yeonsangun life would forever be in my heart.
BRAVO!!

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"One of the things that make Seven Day Queen such a compelling love story is in the way that it isn’t a passionate, romance-wins-all story. It’s about love, certainly, but I found it particularly powerful that these two had a bond that transcended romance—in this love story, it’s the mundane, everyday touches that lent the relationship power, not the grand gestures."

Serious life goals!! I am truly humbled by this experience. Just pure beauty from the very start. Bravo to the cast and crew for creating such a wonderful piece of work!!! Much love to PMY, YWJ, and LDG!!

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One of the best melos I have seen in a sageuk, written remarkably well, ending was excellent. It took the writer a lot of imagination and understanding of what love, marriage and separation, family, depression mean. People's battles in life. Love and hate. Initially I was a little tired of Chaekyung going back and forth. But I realise that is how difficult it is to survive a relationship sometimes. You keep giving yourself chances. I was sad to see Chaekyung so alone in her room as Queen. She is just a girl who loves her husband. But knew that if she stayed, more terrible things could have happened, destroying her love, their love, completely. That ending tore me to pieces, bittersweet and lovely.

Even though Yeok was a tyrant, I felt that he was suffering from mental instability in this drama. His family who loved him, showed him kindness, was what gave him comfort. It broke my heart to pieces seeing Yeok reading Chaekyung's father's letters.

I really felt the writer was smart and sensitive to the story. Direction was beautiful. If this drama was turned into a book, it would be among the best loved on my shelves.

Goodbye drama. You were good to me. In my memories for many years to come.

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Omagosh! Not yeok as a tyrant but Yeonsangun. YEONSANGUN reading his secretary's letters. Haiz. Woolly brain from the tears!

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*pats light on the back*

It's okay. They both begin with Y. And we've all just been run over by the Sageuk Truck of Doom. ;-)

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I'm in tears.....can feel and see their emotions fron the wonderful recap...
Too painful but so beautiful
Loved the final scene with the young OTP...
Feel so sorry that they had to be apart for so long...
The calm and ease of bring finally home...
In the end ...at least he didn't have nightmares unlike before and now a sweet dreamworld to retreat to...while he was tending to his duties
That I thought was a sweet touch ... that he would go "home" every night in his dreams...
Sigh...
Beautifully done...
Looking forward to catching the episode tonight...
Will probably still be crying my eyes out...
Looking like at mess at work just from reading recaps....
Hope the cast and crew rest well and know that this was an amazing piece of work

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Ahh the moment I've been waiting for. Thanks so much for the beautiful and quick recap. I love both Javabeans and Girlfriday for their amazing comments too. This really was or is the most perfect drama from beginning to end it did not disappoint. Everything and everyone was so consistently great since EP 1 till the finale. The characters stayed true to themselves and especially the character growth was written in a good pace too. It really felt like we went though 50 years through those 20 episodes. It feels SOOO LOOONGGG. Even with the time skip in the end it felt like we grew up with the main characters from they were teens to old age. The relationship between CK and Yeok felt so real and was so convincing.

I cried so much my shirt was not enough so I had to pause and get a box of tissues. There really was no way out for CK and Yeok because of the circumstances and the selfish and negative people around them.

I wish so much for that dream to be real and reminded but CK said "our future son". Which means it was all just a dream ?????. FFS the reality was just the opposite. Hhhhhhhhhhhhhh CK lost everything, her family and her love. She really is the strongest lead I've ever seen. Her sacrifice made sense even if I didn't want it to happen. What if she just ran away with Yung? What if they just ran to the country side before and didn't come back when Seonu died. But it would go against their character and their values. So I really can't imagine what would happen if they chose a different path. Their lives and position didn't allow them. No matter how hard they try (omg the OST from Yael Meyer, I really wanted to hear the OST again and relive the cute CK happy flirty smiley funny moments again).

This drama is really deserves a lot of recognition. The acting, script, music, character development, filmography everything was beautiful and really planned to perfection. Of course not the ending I wished for but it kept true to the storyline and really a happy ending wouldn't make sense even if I wish for it even though it wouldn't.

Really hope the Queen For Seven Days team realises how much love they are receiving for this beautiful well written drama. It was so crazy beautiful how they ended it with the child actors again. The casting was so amazing I really believed those kids grew up to be grown up CK and Yeok. They resemble each other by appearance as well as personality and aura in the show.

Thanks for recapping this towards the end. I really needed a support group for this finale. I cried so much seriously omggggg ?????????

Thank you for showing us what love really means. It's not about the grand gestures and how it's possible to show love and to continue loving in a different way. Heart breaking through out but thanks for making that love so believable and alive and real. ?

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The comment about the silver spoon and how she would have to live in the shadow of constant threat really hit home....
It's the little scenes that make it real....

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I am glad the Nanny played a big role in Chaekyung's life in this drama. It hurt me to pieces, that scene.

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Yes, this show has been great with giving us all those little moments that make us believe that these characters are real and fully developed.

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It's not helping that Nanny's crying so painfully. She always makes me cry.

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Bless Nanny! I'm glad that she remained by Chae-kyung's side and that they could be a comfort to each other.

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If dramabeans has a segment on Best and Worst Endings of a Drama, this would be among the Best. Or is this already a thingy?

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Wow, that is just the most beautiful ending. Actually most beautiful love story! Honestly, I had stopped watching because I didn't think I could take the dread in watching people try to take down Yeok and ChaeKyung nor could I bear to watch her deposed. I switched over to reading the recaps (thank you for them!) and even then, my insides were twisting with worry.

But now knowing that she left the palace on her terms and the ending, I think I can pick it back up again even though Yeok and ChaeKyung's future was ultimately bittersweet. I'm very impressed by how the writer was able to work with the history to deliver us a ending with some happiness.

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I cried again after reading both comments coming from Javabeans and Girlfriend. SUCH A ROLLER COASTER RIDE THIS ONE I TELL YOU! One minute you will be laughing, and then you would feel like crying (or already crying...), feeling like literally you have been invited to some sort of love island, then you might feel like stabbing the pillow for scenes that have Commander Park, Secretary Im in it (I wish I did do that).

But anyways, I'm gonna miss Yeok and Chae-kyung being goofy and so much in love together. Please anyone from dramaland to quickly write and direct a new rom-com with these two as the lead and please make them a cute married couple to make up the supposedly marriage life they did not get in this drama!

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Thank you show, for being so wonderful, memorable, beautiful. I'll remember this drama for a long time. I've said this before and I'll say it again. THIS, is how you tell a love story.

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I hope all the cast, crew, and writers know that they've done a WONDERFUL job and they feel proud of themselves for putting together such a great piece of work. SENDING MY APPRECIATION TO YOU GUYS! <3

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Discourse about the ending reminds me of that iconic scene between Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) and Neo (Keanu Reeves) in The Matrix movie:
“ This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill—the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill—you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember: all I'm offering is the truth. Nothing more.”
So Beanies, what pill did you take?
Regardless of the differences of our thoughts on the matter/ending, may the KDrama gods continue to shower us with priceless gems like SDQ. And not like make us wait for 38 years or so, yunno :P

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Red pill, all the way! :)

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No regrets :)

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Exactly. :)

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no regrets indeed

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I took the blue one. Melodrama is really not my thing as I can even cry to the smallest thing. So I stopped watching this drama when Yeok and Chae-kyung were still little. Glad to know that the drama is consistently good til the end, my eyes got all teary just by scrolling through this last eps recap and comments. I might pick it back up when I need a good cry.

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I can’t emphasize enough how outstanding the show is in terms of story, casting, directing, cinematography, musical scoring, etc. Kudos and thank you to the cast and crew for creating a timeless and unforgettable drama.
Show, the word PERFECT was created because of you. We love you, we adore you, and we’ll love you until the end of time.

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What makes me sad for the ending not because it is not enough, it is because I saw them as Shin Chae Kyung and Lee Yeok longing for each other. Not Park Min Young n Yeon Woo Jin.
Not able to embrace and hold hand when missing each other is so heartbreaking ..that's how the ending has affected a lot. But this two brilliant actors have potrayed it very well. Please comeback to my screen with amazing drama as Seven Day Queen (crying while typing)

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So true...I really loved those longing scenes that was potrayed many times in this drama, even more powerful than their kisses ( but they are nice too ?). Especially Yeok who always speaking through his eyes more than his gestures. And yes, PMY and YWJ really at their top performance on showing those affection. Such a rarity in kdramaland.

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Thank you Javabeans and Girlfriday for your wonderfully written (as always) recaps. Thank you, fellow Beanies, for your insightful comments!

Bravo show! Bravo writer-nim, director-nim, production staff, actors, everyone!

I knew that the scene of conjugal bliss was a dream sequence. I just knew it. It was so lovely as Yeok and Chaekyung ran towards each other and the music played in the background....

I admire Chaekyung's constant strength of character. And while I wish that she and Yeok could have lived happily together, I can understand the choices she made. She would have suffocated in the palace. All she really wanted was a simple life, but that dream was impossible in the cold, calculative, and frightening world of the palace. And she did not want a repeat of the tragedy that befell the two brothers. So, bravo to her, even though she and Yeok had to endure the long years of separation. What a bitter-sweet ending, but it was an ending that made sense.

Park Min-young, Yeon Woo-jin, and Lee Dong-gun have given us memorable and powerful performances. I'll never forget the wonderful couple this drama gave us. They supported each other mutually and they never lost faith in one another. Once again, bravo, show!

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IT'S OVER! TT___TT

I can't believe the show was so cruel when they included that dream scenario of Chae Kyung and Yeok with their little children! Ahhhhhh!

I cried multiple times during the finale. How could I not? There were tons of heartbreaking scenes. These were good tears to shed though. I never felt frustrated or disappointed. I'm very satisfied with the ending.

I've seen Park Min Young in past dramas, but I was always neutral about her. But here, she blew me away. Loved her acting. Chae Kyung was such an awesome heroine too.

I love this beautiful drama! It was pretty perfect from beginning to end. ❤️❤️❤️ I wish it would gain more recognition and win some awards!!

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Never I had so much tears when reading a recap...even more tears spilled during watching the whole episode ( this episode breaks my steel heart since not a single tears shedded during whole drama).
It was so poignant, so beautifully written and much heart wrenching during last minutes of this finale.
Thank you JB and GF for your recaps, it is such a pleasure to read your rant/work on this maginificent drama.
Thank you Choi Jin Young ( writernim), Lee Jung Sub (PDnim) and especially our trio Woo Jin, Min Young and Dong Geun. All of you makes this drama a masterpiece and I am gladly to wait for you all next project.
My eyes hurting from crying, even my headache become worst ( for crying so much ????) but hey, it was so worth it!

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Hahahaaa...same here
I have headache for crying too much

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Oh Lord.. such a powerful love story. Heartbreaking yet warm and full of love. To love is not to hold. That's what the wise man always said... but still, my hear was breaking apart over their beautiful love.

I cried a river when CK said that “Perhaps the biggest consolation we can give one another is staying alive. Thus, for us to live in good health for a long time will become proof of how much we love each other.”

I cried another bucket when I watched Yeok was dreaming of a happy life with his beloved wife. And wept again over Yeonsangun and his final days.

At the end of the drama, my eyes were swollen and my heart was aching for those 3 beautiful people who loved each other but couldn't be together. For the cruel fate befallen to them.

This drama made me thinking: why is tragic love story always beautiful and memorable? Duh... my heart can't take such heartbreaking drama for a moment. I'll have to watch fluffy drama for a while to cure it.

Bravo to the actors, writer, PD and all production team! What a drama you've produced and shared with us. I'll put this in my fave sageuk drama list.

Thanks JB and GF for the wonderful teary-heart wrenching recap!

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YIKES. I sooo want this same cast and director/writer (heck the entire team down to food deliverymen) to come back asap and do a modern rom-com. Or a family drama. Something like Super Daddy Yul where you team LDG and teenage Chae Kyung in all her country glory. I want to see the two of them in a drama asap because they're just so damn funny together. Then we can get MH and SN haopy endings, and we can explore Yeok's Snail Bride friends a bit more...let's just make a season 2 of 7DQ...but in a modern au. And SCK can be queen for 7 days of a...department store or something. Something pretty inconsequential in the scheme of things. It'll be like Fight My Way but with some cranky chaebols thrown in. I kind of want to see a remake of Introverted Boss with this cast.

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I thought my tears were spent while watching the finale but little did I know reading @javabeans recap made me a blubbering mess again.

Thank you @javabeans and @girlfriday for the wonderful recap and the thoughtful analysis these past 20 episodes. Beautifully written and heart-wrenching.

Thank you, wonderful cast and crew for giving your all despite the low ratings. Thank you writer-nim for the wonderful, moving, love story. Despite the heartache I will forever cherish those rare moments of happiness that you bestow upon our OTP.

And most of all thank you beanies for making this show such an awesome viewing pleasure, I will always remember our tears, our frustrations, our pain and mostly our love for this gem of a show.

??????????

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When I first heard of 7DQ, it was through the promotions for the show, with the trailers and then the posters. I thought it looked gorgeous (and I'm a fan of PMY so I was intrigued), but I actually wasn't convinced that I would enjoy it (I hadn't quite migrated into the sageuk fan that I most definitely am now.)

I am so, *so* grateful I decided to read the recaps here on Dramabeans, and then watch an episode. This. Drama. There are dramas that have been close to perfect for me, ones that I have loved so much I've been able to overlook the flaws the first time I watched. But I always felt like those flaws would come back when I did a re-watch or whenever I got to *really* talking about the show with someone (W comes to mind actually).

This show, it's just-it's as perfect as a show can get I think. I was blown away by everything. The acting, the direction, the writing. I don't think I've ever been this emotionally invested in a show before, and I know I certainly haven't watched politics and scheming scenes without wanting to fast forward past them; here I watched them all the way through curious how they would play out in the grand scheme of things.

I think one thing that made this drama special is the way, from the first episode, we as an audience were racing towards the inevitable tragic fate. And yet, the investment in wanting in some way a happy ending was there. It's a real testament to this show that it managed to still create that connection to characters who could never truly be together in the end. Though the ending they did get left me with many tears and *many* feelings. Only a handful of shows (both Korean and non-Korean) have ever done that to me, to the point where I need a day to just decompress from the emotional roller coaster I went on.

Also, I can't say enough about the portrayal of the king here. I know there are some who will say LDG's king was a romanticization but in my view point, it was giving depth to a character who could be painted completely one dimensional if left as just the "evil tyrant." I admire the writing for daring to go to another place with such a character, and I truly admire LDG for his portrayal.

Also I absolutely agree with GirlFriday. Can we just get all of these guys together again to keep making dramas? Pretty, *pretty* please? I'll take at least a dozen of them please and thank you drama gods.

Wrapping this up, this drama is truly, *truly* a gem. It may be my favourite drama of all time as of right now and I see many re-watches in my future.

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No words. Since Day 1, SDQ has its way of striking true to the heart with a dagger until the end.
It's just beautiful ending. Impalpable story, stellar acting from the leads and the scoring adds to the feels.

To the team who delivered this gem, thank you and congratulations. Please assemble this team to a romcom drama. Oh drama gods, please hear us.

PMY and YWJ, please date in real life.

All the while I thought LDG's performance was done but that moment of passing showed a much more depth in Yung's character.

There's nothing to look forward to every week. This is the only drama I allowed to anticipate me every week since Day 1. It may have been a difficult one but the ride was worth it.

Chae Gyung's character outshined them all, for being dignified and strong in the name of love, to the point that even death she had considered. I am rooting for her til the end because she might not have been queen for a long time, it's just a title. Her character speaks better than the title. That was the beauty of why this show unfolded to us. She may be just Shin Chae Gyung, but she's more than enough.

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P.S: thank you javabeans and girlfriday for the awesome recaps. Please give it an A+++++. ?

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@CarlaTee,

I'm glad that Yung did not go quietly into that good night until he was able to begin to make amends.

All the while I thought LDG's performance was done but that moment of passing showed a much more depth in Yung's character.

Redemption is one of my favorite themes, and the greater the character defects, the bigger the payoff when they are acknowledged, challenged, and overcome. Sometimes an honest and heartfelt admission is the best one can do when the collateral damage has been too extensive, or time is literally running out. In my book, an unvarnished change of heart coupled with unflinching honesty and remorse is the gold standard.

In owning up to harboring the exact kind of jealousy that led to his mother's demise, Yeonsangun assured Yeok that it was his own reflection in his brother's (and Chae-kyung's identically clear) eyes that he hated. In no way did I hear this as blaming Lady Yun. His admission that his envy compelled him to drive a wedge between them was as heartbreaking as it was honest and direct. If only his self-loathing could have been countered with love and acceptance by his parents. But they could not give him what they did not have themselves, and his brother-in-law's deep caring came too late to fill the vacuum in his heart and soul. It's as if Yung lost all his receptor sites for love because they were not activated at the right time. In the nature versus nurture lottery, Yeonsangun lost on both counts -- and the nation paid for it.

The Dowager Queen's response to Yung's death -- to wear the hairpin he'd given her for her birthday when he was still a boy -- was painful to witness. Her inability to express love to him or Yeok was pitiful. No wonder they both had difficult lives. I understand where she was coming from, but her coldness was as injurious to both princes as their father's shortcomings were. Maybe more so, as his birth mother was such a malefic influence, and Yung was in dire need of at least one loving mother figure. Minister Shin actually served as both mother and father to the young prince, but arrived too late to fill his bottomless developmental void.

I was grateful to see Yung's valiant attempt to protect Chae-kyung, just as I had been surprised by the revelation that he had demoted her father and sent him packing from court in a desperate bid to save him from the likes of Deputy Commander Park. It was only after his own expulsion from court that Yung got around to reading his brother-in-law's letters. Could his life have turned out less tragically if he'd availed himself of the moral support that was faithfully offered to him every day?

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There's so much to say for this final episode. As suggested by girlfriday.. the writer and director should work together after this and continously produce amazing show like this. It's like fated for brilliant director lee jung sub to meet a amazing rookie writer choi jin young. I really love every sentences that park min young said. About returning home after work... even it is hard for lee yeok to accept their separation but if he continously think about returning home after work done he will endure it very well

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I'm not going to lie, but I cried a river in the last 5 mins of the episode, where you see elderly Chaekyung and Yeok. And how Yeok wears the clothes made by Chaekyung, and touching the ring. I just can't fshakjfhsakjhfjkas I'm so glad he died in her arms. I'm also so glad this drama didn't stray much from history, I love how the last person Yeok wants to see before he dies is Chaekyung. Oh my gosh my heart can't handle this sadness. I kind of half hoped for a happy ending, where Chaekyung comes back as his 3rd queen.

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That was the most achingly beautiful ending sequence I've ever seen. Not gonna lie, my face is completely covered I tears to prove it.

I had held it in the whole episode (except when Yeonsangeon died...that got me), mostly because the pain had reached the point of numbness. It hurt TOO much.

...But then that ending came. That sweet, perfect ending. Truly a "happy ending" in the barest, purest sense...because that's really all they got. I knew they were probably gonna show our leads' as PMY and YWJ, despite the years that had passed, and I expected them to destroy me. But then the show gave me the kids and, you guys, I became a hysterical wreck, the likes of which I could not even recognize. And then I watched the scene again and again in complete dreamlike peace before coming here to comment before even reading the recap. I don't even know if I'm capable of making sense right now...or how to put my feelings into words yet. But all I know is that this couple truly proves that happiness can be achieved. And that it can be even more beautiful if savored in that last moment, after years of surviving and missing each other and loving each other all the more for it.

Thank you for the recaps of this beautiful show. Lol, I should really go read this last one now. My emotions took over, as they always have with this show. In the end, the most heartbreaking thing is acknowledging that this the last time this show will do this to me. I'm going to miss it dearly. Because the pain was always worth it.

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My sister and I were watching the episode together and when it got to the part where the kids show up we were literally crying so loudly my dad, halfway across the house from us, thought we were laughing. He figured it out when he saw how swollen our eyes were, hahaha!!! I seriously have never cried like that over a drama.

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@Chandler,

You make plenty of sense. ;-)

I didn't become a hysterical wreck, but I'm still crying as I read the comments 22 hours after watching the final episode with subtitles late last night.

I'd watched it raw around noon yesterday. At the time, I noted in my viewing log:

I am happy with what I have seen without subtitles, and can puzzle out of the finale. As with the rest of the show, it is visually beautiful, the instrumental music is first-rate, and there is a sense of serenity, patience, and immense devotion that physical separation cannot sunder -- but which could never have come to pass had Chae-kyung remained in the palace as Queen.

My gat is off to Park Min-young in the title role, Yeon Woo-jin as Lee Yeok, and the mesmerizing Lee Dong-gun as Lee Yung, along with their younger counterparts. I was impressed by the calibre of the acting performed by this very solid ensemble cast. Various villains and meanies had me pissed off and frustrated, which just goes to show that they were doing good jobs in portraying their characters. All in all, SEVEN DAY QUEEN has been an excellent sageuk -- an excellent drama, period. It has been loaded with pain, pathos, and poignancy, and has been worth every second of viewing time. I think it warrants a rewatch because there's just so much going on, it's hard to keep up with developments and details. It is not for the weak of heart, but it is a stirring tale of devotion.

I had a strange sense of peaceful acceptance after watching it raw. I only got riled up over some of the details after I read the subtitles. Cases in point: Dowager Queen hastens Chae-kyung's execution because she's afraid of what Yeonsangun might do, WTF?! Yeok merely exiled Third Councilor Park instead of executing the implacable bastard?! I was ready to tear my hair out.

Now that I think of it, Yeok and Chae-kyung definition of love really does prove that living well is the best revenge gift they could give each other.

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Btw... thank you for Javabeans and Girlfriday for 20 amazing recaps with brilliant writings and comments. It's rare to read both of you commented that this drama is perfect. I wonder both of you felt empty like me too(don't know to describe it) I don't know what to expect on wed n thurs after this.

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That dream sequence was everything! ♥

I am going to trick my mind into believing that, that is how they lived. But, honestly, I came into the final episode expecting worse, so the real ending satisfied me as well. But, I guess I am still not mature enough to understand chae kyung's choice or have her strength to be able to make that choice. That said, when it is hard for people who stay together to stay in love, it takes another level of commitment and love to stay away from each other but still miss and love each other. Because, to me, absence makes the heart grow fonder only for limited period of time. When its prolonged, people start forgetting. Also for a drama to be able to make us root for a couple even when we all know how they are going to end up and also showing us something along those lines in the first episode itself, that is some powerful stuff.

Thank you girlfriday and javabeans for your superfast recaps and analysis. I wasn't able to participate in every recap thread, but I still read all the recaps. Special mention to girlfriday's episode 14 recap, your comments in that recap were amazing! Like those lines "yeongansun gave up his people for his power whereas yeok gave up power for his people"

Also, can we all recollect our favorite dialogues from the drama because it had wonderful dialogues and it ll be like going down memory lane. They are not exactly right, I am just paraphrasing from memory,

1. when chae kyung and yeok fight over the salamander holder,
Y: I am the king's brother!
CK: Then I am the queen!

This still makes me smile because she will be dressed as a boy, lol.

2. Y: I am marrying you because I like you. Let's live together like this forever, having fun as friends.

3. CK: you died because of me.
Y: No, I lived because of you. I came back because someone was waiting for me, Chae Kyung.

4. CK: please, stop calling my name. Because, everytime you do, my heart melts a little. (This I totally agree with, because the way he calls chae kyung is just amazing!)

There is so much more!

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I really grateful for the dream sequence, it's one thing to have imagined what could have happened but it's another thing to actually see it in the flesh.

They as the drama maker seems to know that we want to see something happy and only them can do that.
They show us something that only them can do, they give us a finale that makes us realised that it's worth watching and remembering because we and they know how much we want to see them together, how we can relieve the happy ending we've thought with the small clips and realised that they [chae kyeoung and yeok] are content with their choice till the end.

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My eyes are swollen from crying and my heart is full. Thank you, Seven Day Queen, for being as damn perfect as you are. I don't think we'll be seeing anything as beautifully executed, as pitch-perfect, and as amazing as this drama in a while. I'm so grateful to have experienced it. Again, thank you.

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Ahhhh. Another masterpiece came to an end. I like watching dramas that make me laugh out loud and just escape reality for a bit. However, I greatly appreciate dramas like Seven Day Queen that just leaves me breathless. I never felt like I was manipulated with my feelings or that I was forced to cry. It's just natural reaction. The love story was so well done and I feel for them so much. Kudos to the younger actors for building the foundation for it. Park Minyoung and Yeon Woojin did an amazing job but if the teen counterparts were sloppy, it wouldn't have been the same.

Still, I think Lee Donggun stole the spotlight. Of course, I love the last two episodes but they didn't have as much intensity with less Yeonsangun. I kinda wished his last moments were more epic but I couldn't really complain when it wasn't a bad ending. I cried a lot watching the sequence of people's reaction to his death especially during the Queen Dowager's scene. She should have tried harder but I do understand that it's hard for her too.

Seo No will always be remembered as one of the best drama characters ever!

Thank you to the whole production team for not dropping the quality despite the ratings. You guys deserve more than a pat on the back! Thank you for the recaps, girlfriday and javabeans! Bye, Seven Day Queen. You will stay in my memory and in my heart for a long long time.

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Never thought that I'd cry so hard for Yeonsangun's death. ??? I know he's evil King, but I feel so sad when he says he doesn't hate Yeok, he hates his own reflection in Yeok's eyes. This broken bromance....oh my. And when Queen Dowager cried on his death, I broke again. ??

This drama is the best saeguk drama that I've ever watched. It's so amazing and the ending is such a bittersweet ending. I feel sad and happy at the same time for them. No words can describe how perfect this drama is. Everything is so beautiful. Thank you Seven Day Queen's production team. Thank you for all the feels.

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I love love love this drama so much. It's really a wonderful journey. Applause for the cast, the director, the writer, and the staff! My only complaint is the editing of the final episode isn't that smooth.
Thank a lot jb and gf for the recaps! ^^

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Last episode i was so desperately want to blame anyone, anyone! On how everything turn into this untangled mess. Late king (bad dad!!), Dowager queen (bad mom!!), yung (crazyidiotfoolinsaneselfish!!), daddy shin (unrealistic fool!!), myunghee( selfishbit*ch!!), nooksoo-ministry im-pwj slimyshitface combo-- everyone! Because desperately want to someone to be punished and somehow it could make everithing okay again and my yeokyung could be free and happy. Why yeok-kyung must shoulder all this shit when the bigger part of this shit is not their doing?? Hell, i even spent long time cursing yeok being so WEAK and CK for somehow give up. I desperatley want for them to have traditional happy ending!!
Yet.. i realize its unrealistic. And this ending is really the best ending we can hope for. Its bittersweet but its beautiful and i wont change a thing. In my imagination, they freeze in that moment, with yeok lay his head on CK lap with her lovingly say i love you over and over again.
All kudos for rhe entire team!! You guys AMAZING!! Please team up ahain and weave another masterpiece like this. But even if its realised one day, it would be very difficult to top this one. This drama is PERFECT!!

On tiny side note, i cant help for being a bit delulu fan despite i damn tried not to and scream : PMY, YWJ : JUST MARRIED FOR REAL ALREADYYY!!!!!

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Amazing amazing amazing production! Don't understand why the ratings in KR is that low and i guess i never will know what the koreans are thinking. The acting was great, and the chemistry between the leads was sizzling. Coupled with great OST, beautiful cinematography and a satisfactory happy ending, i will remember this drama for a long long time. Queen for 7 days has definitely made it to my top 10 Korean drama list and all the buckets of tears was totally worth it. can't think of a better ending to a great drama!

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@Cecelia Tan,

I've been pondering the reason for 7DQ's relative unpopularity at home, and have read that it is because Yeonsangun is such a reviled historical figure in Korea. I can well understand that. As a foreigner, I haven't grown up in the nation that was so horribly damaged by his personal and professional sins, which reverberate to this day.

I try to imagine a historical romance with Benedict Arnold or John Wilkes Booth or Lee Harvey Oswald as the sympathetically-portrayed tragic antagonist and know darn well how it would go over in the USA. ;-)

Or how about Judas Iscariot?

[American history note: They are, respectively, the infamous Revolutionary War traitor, and the assassins of presidents Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy.]

I totally agree that 7DQ is one of most memorable dramas I've ever seen. I will cherish it for a long, long time. ;-)

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Yeah, here in Norway, we have Vidkun Quisling, a traitor that during the second world war helped Hitler get into power in Norway and occupy it in exchange for power. He is so hated that his family name has literally become synonymous for traitor in the Norwegian encyclopedia and other languages, and he and some others are the last people to have gotten the death penalty in Norway, which was already extremely rare to receive, before the death penalty was promtly banned for all crimes. Even if me and my mother were not born during his time, if I knew that there was a romantic drama that featured him as second male lead in a love triangle, I would definetely not watch it. If people told me that it was really good with a tight storywriting and characterization, I would mostly think "nice, but WHY did they have to choose THAT MAN?" because I couldn't enjoy it even if his evils were achknowledged and punished. Or maybe I would, but I would not follow it from start to finish, I would wait until it was over and then ask people if his horrible acts were achknowledged and dealt with.

So I guess I can understand that feeling as well. Though I know we must portray these evildoers as humans to remind ourselves that we are also capable of such things and thus must practice restraint and self-reflection. But I guess some historical figures for some people feel off-limits.

I don't know how Korean dramas get back their production money, but if they do through DVD sales and such, I think and hope that the DVD reception will be much better than the live TV watching, if only because now people know that Yeonsangun wasn't portrayed as just a lovesick puppy who did bad, he still went batshit crazy and even he achknowledged that he had not been punished enough.

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@Pensola,

Great analogy! I'm aware of Quisling, and have heard his name used as a synonym for traitor -- in exactly the same way that Benedict Arnold is used in the US. (In the mother country, Arnold would have been called a Loyalist.)

Yeonsangun's years of heinous deeds of moral turpitude go so far beyond mere acts of treason and assassination that they pale in comparison. One would have to go back to the reign of someone such as the Roman Emperor Caligula, or the waning days of, say, the French monarchy, to more closely approximate the decadence, social oppression, and moral degeneracy of Yeonsangun's reign.

"Though I know we must portray these evildoers as humans to remind ourselves that we are also capable of such things and thus must practice restraint and self-reflection."

You bring up a very good point re: historical figures as the poster children of cautionary tales. Some personages are simply too far beyond the pale even to be used as negative role models. At the same time, it's appropriate to recall the old saw, “There, but for the grace of God, go I.” How did Yeonsangun's character become so warped? One moment at a time, over a span of many years. One missed opportunity after another to take a different path -- or blaze a different trail -- also for many years.

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Oh, yeah, I tried to just read a bit about Yeonsangun after watching "Dae Jang Geum" last year, and I was appalled by just how incompetent and bad he was. I literally thought "People like that EXISTED??". Then I reminded myself that we have had horrible evildoers in both ancient and very recent history and for many, the insistence to label them as "inhuman monsters before OUR enlightened time" make them unable to recognize present evildoers in power.

I guess that is one reason I am slightly interested in a movie or drama with Yeonsangun in the lead role, to see someone's interpretation of how he escalated as badly as he did. But from what I hear about shows like Rebel (and 7DQ), dramas do not have to be him leading to give an interesting interpretation as to how he came to be a villain, while still making him human enough.

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