Arthdal Chronicles: Episode 13
After a brief hiatus, we’re back with (what Netflix calls) Season 3 of Arthdal Chronicles. We pick up where we left off, with the Wahan Tribe’s promising saviors learning how to wield power. Ascending to the Great Shrine, Wahan’s Great Mother, Tanya, proves that she deserves the power that her ancestor granted her, and she learns that power can promise liberation. Our protagonist, Eunseom, also learns more about the meaning of power, and although he doesn’t realize it yet, he’s amassing power through his relentless generosity.
Before we dive in, let’s do a quick tl;dr recap of parts 1 and 2 (obviously includes spoilers): Arthdal is a kingdom built by three tribes that created a union after defeating the Neanthals, the blue-blooded native beings who were brutally massacred for their land. A handful of Neanthals and Igutus (half Neanthal/half human) survived, but they live in the shadows. Three children were born on the day of the Azure Comet, supposedly an omen of destruction. Two of them were Igutu twins, one of which (Eunseom) ends up joining the Wahan Tribe in a faraway land. The third child, Tanya, is the future Mother of the Wahan Tribe, and as the direct descendant of Asa Sin, Tanya is the rightful High Priest of the Asa Tribe.
The Wahan are eventually enslaved by Tagon, the glorified hero and eventual union leader of Arthdal. But Tagon has a secret: He’s an Igutu, and he raised an Igutu (the other twin, Saya) after saving the baby from slaughter. Tanya meets Saya, a member of an illicit group called the White Peak Mountain’s Hearts, who preserve the rituals and beliefs of the original Asa tribe. After loads of political turmoil and tension, Tanya is brought to the High Court and must prove that she is the direct descendant of Asa Sin.
EPISODE 13 RECAP
Wahan’s Great Mother, Tanya, identifies the location of the mystical star bell and breaks the shell her sling. She picks up the bell and announces to the crowd at the High Court: “I am Tanya of Wahan, breaker of the shell, descendent of Wahan’s Great White Wolf, who is Arthdal’s Great Mother.”
Tanya delivers the message from Asa Sin, that life and death are determined by greater beings. We see that she practiced in the caves with Taealha and decided that she would end with the words of the Wahan people about living in harmony, without claims of power or conquest. She says that just as the gods have provided the world’s first crops, they have provided a cause for seemingly meaningless things.
Tanya rings the bell, and the crowd bows in reverence. Tagon thinks back to the written message from Taealha and the imprinted nail marks that changed the message. Beyond the written ink, Taealha communicated that Mihol didn’t know that Tanya knew where the star bell was. Saya remained suspicious that Taealha could be lying, but Tagon also found an encrypted message of laughter — a sure sign of confidence.
In the hearing, Taealha smiles at Tagon and announces herself to Tanya. She recounts that Asa Sin sent the union god Aramun Haesulla and asks when the god will make his promised return. Tanya says that Aramun already passed by, but they did not recognize him. Then, Tanya summons Tagon, the one who recognized and protected her, and announces that he is Aramun Haesulla.
As the crowd at the hearing lays prostrate in honor of Aramun Haesulla’s return, a soldier runs out and delivers this message to the guards outside. The guards deliver the message in synchrony (with choreographed actions), and the White Peak Mountain’s Heart followers erupt in joyous exclamations.
Among the White Peak Mountain’s Hearts, Moobaek takes off his hood in relief and thinks to himself in confirmation that Tanya was indeed the bell (of the three omens of destruction: the bell, mirror, and sword). Then, the guards announce that Tagon was identified as Aramun Haesulla, and Moobaek looks dubious.
The Daekan warriors on standby are notified of Tanya’s confirmation as Asa Sin’s descendant and of Tagon’s appointment as Aramun Haesulla. The Daekan celebrate and tease Moogwang about hiding for the next new moon, which will be the day his heart gets ripped out, according to Tanya. Now that Tanaya has proven herself as a true mystic, her prophecy of the new moon carries more weight.
Tagon and Tanya exit the Great Shrine to greet the cheering crowd, and while Tagon readily accepts the adoration, Tanya looks overwhelmed. She’s surprised that all these people are shouting her name, and Tagon takes her hand to raise it in union. Realizing her power, Tanya ascertains that she can save Eunseom.
At the Doldambul mines, Eunseom hides under the hay mat, faking his death. Promised the stash of jewels, Syoreujagin plays along and secures his jewel bag to the post. Then, the Daekan warriors led by Yeonbal arrive and ask if Olmadae (the former rebellion leader) is also dead. Syoreujagin confirms this, but the Daekan warrior Yeonbal takes a closer look.
Upon closer observation of the “dead,” Yeonbal notices the breathing and slight squirming of the covered slaves. He approaches Syoreujagin demanding an explanation, and Eunseom emerges from his cover to attack their captors and seekers.
All the “dead” rise from their covers and charge at the enemy, and Seuchun (an ally sent by Moobaek) cuts the rope on Dalsae’s ankles so that they can also join the fight. They bust open the cage and untie the rest of the enslaved people. The freed slaves grab weapons and charge at the Daekan just as Eunseom is about to be outnumbered.
Dalsae saves Eunseom from slaughter and urges him to get a head start on the escape with Olmadae. Everyone fights for their freedom except for big-mouth Ipsaeng, who stays hidden under the cover, still pretending to be dead. A fellow coward, Syoreujagin, escapes the mines and climbs up the hill to safety. He’s torn about risking his life to return for the jewels and ultimately chooses to continue his escape.
Mine mate Badoru leads the charge in breaking the gates while Dalsae and others fend off the guards who’ve caught up with them. As the enslaved people escape through the broken gate, the Daekan warriors arrive behind them. Yeonbal notices that Olmadae is missing and orders his warriors to search for him. Dalsae defends the fleeing slaves until the end and gets captured by the mine guards.
Eunseom carries Olmadae on his back, and they come across a pond with corpses piled up around it. They hear the slave guards close behind, and Olmadae insists that Eunseom leave him behind to save himself. But Eunseom doesn’t plan on abandoning Olmadae and seems to be brewing up an idea.
When the slave guards catch up to the pond, they find that Eunseom and Olmadae have disappeared. They stick their swords into the corpses to check if they’ve tried to blend in, but they come up empty. Once they pass, we see two pieces of hay — used as snorkels — sticking out of the water. Eunseom and Olmadae resurface onto land, and Olmadae once again insists that Eunseom abandon him. Eunseom asserts that he’s not leaving anyone behind and smiles in reassurance.
At the Arthdal marketplace, the merchants happily chat about seeing the direct descendant of Asa Sin. The Wahan people wonder what all the chatter is about and presume that any happy news for the Arthdal people wouldn’t be good news for them. Then, Arthdal guards arrive looking for the Wahan people and escort them away.
Tagon enters his ruling chambers with Tanya now a part of his entourage. The tribe leaders all bow to him in reverence, and Tanya looks intently at Asa Ron, who shifts uncomfortably. Nervous about her new role, she trips on her dress, but masked Yangcha catches her and guides her to Tagon’s side.
As agreed with earlier with Tagon, Tanya announces that she will conduct an important ceremony to reach the gods. She orders Asa Ron to prepare for this ceremony with Asa Sakan at the White Peak Mountain, and Asa Ron can read Tagon’s intent to take over the Great Shrine while keeping him preoccupied at the White Peak Mountain.
Then, Tagon commands that the White Peak Mountain’s Hearts be invited into the Great Shrine to help Tanya learn more about the union. The tribe leaders are hesitant to accept this, since the White Peak Mountain’s Hearts and Wahan have caused unrest in Arthdal, but Tagon determines that by boiling a potential descendant of Asa Sin (Eunseom, who was framed as the killer of Sanung), they’ve settled their debts with Wahan. In her head, Tanya asserts that her vengeance has just begun.
Regarding the White Peak Mountain’s Hearts, Tagon reminds the tribe leaders that their forefather banished Asa Sin, and now the descendant stands before them, the White Peak Mountain’s Hearts also deserve to return to their rightful place. Tagon manages the persuade the tribe leaders to reluctantly follow his lead. Taealha suggests that Arthdal host a week-long celebration of Asa Sin’s return, and Tagon approves.
After the meeting, Tanya follows Tagon into his base and demands that he execute his promise to free the enslaved Wahan people in Arthdal and Doldambul. Yangcha notices Saya in the room and looks alarmed by the familiar face, thinking back to his fight against Eunseom. Tagon tells Tanya that she can make the order herself, and Yangcha opens the door for Moobaek.
Moobaek bows to Tanya, and she realizes that this was the person that Chaeeun mentioned as her savior. But Tanya also recognizes Moobaek as the lead conqueror of the Wahan village. She steps closer to a kneeled Moobaek and relays her order almost like a request, as she’s still unfamiliar with how to command as a leader.
As Moobaek leaves, he also freezes at the sight of Saya. He does a double-take, and Tanya notices Moobaek staring at Saya with a confused look. Outside the room, Moobaek wonders is Saya is Eunseom or just someone with a similar face.
The White Peak Mountain’s Hearts’ leader, Momyungjin, leads Tanya to the High Priest’s quarters, and Tanya’s eyes widen at the extravagance. Asa Mot kneels in greeting and gets Tanya fitted for High Priest’s gown. While getting her measurements, Tanya thinks back to Moobaek’s suspicious look at Saya and urgently asks to meet with Moobaek.
Moobaek paces as he puzzles over whether Saya is Eunseom, and he orders Kitoha to send their fastest horse to Doldambul to release the Wahan people, per Tanya’s orders. Kitoha worries about the consequences for Moogwang, who sold the Wahan people, but Moobaek dismisses these concerns.
At the Hashi Mountain, Badoru and the other Doldambul fugitives scramble into hiding when they hear someone approaching, but it’s Eunseom with Oldamae on his back. Badoru and Seuchun embrace him in relief, and Eunseom asks about Dalsae. When he learns that Dalsae got captured while fending off the guards, Eunseom decides to return to Doldambul to save him, and Badoru joins him.
Then, they belatedly realize that Ipsaeng is missing and wonder if Ipsaeng ever left. Turns out, Ipsaeng never shed his corpse disguise, ha. He remembers Syoreujagin tying the bag of jewels to the post and tries to retrieve it, but Syoreujagin had already secured the jewels. He clumsily runs into hiding, and he peers inside the shed to see a badly beaten Dalsae.
Ipsaeng sees another prisoner being dragged to the shed — it’s Syoreujagin, who joins Dalsae in the torture shed. Scared for his life, Ipsaeng flees Doldambul and gets caught by Badoru and Eunseom. Badoru scolds Ipsaeng for his cowardice, but Ipsaeng shamelessly justifies his hiding as self-preservation. Ipsaeng decides to leave the heroism to Eunseom and Badoru, but then he remembers his jewels with Syoruejagin and decides to join them on their mission to save the Wahan people.
The trio first take down the guard outside the torture shed, and Eunseom takes the guard’s outfit before entering the shed. Once he’s inside, he starts to untie Dalsae, but he hears Ipsaeng’s whistle, the signal that someone is approaching. Syoreujagin quickly directs Eunseom to hide in the corner just as the Doldambul mine keeper, Goldu, enters.
Goldu takes his knife from the fire and approaches Syoreujagin, who begs for mercy. Full of malice, Goldu commands Syoreujagin to declare that he’s a piece of shit, and Syoreujagin desperately follows orders. Goldu burns him with the knife anyway, and Syoreujagin whimpers the belittling phrase again. In hiding, Eunseom looks at him sympathetically, recalling how Syoreujagin demanded the same disparaging remarks of him.
Daekan warrior Yeonbal decides that they need to strategize a new plan to capture Olmadae and summons Goldu. As soon as Goldu storms out in rage that he’s being ordered around by the Daekan, Eunseom frees Dalsae and hesitates upon seeing Syoreujagin.
Eunseom ends up also freeing Syoreujagin, and they carry the weakened bodies of Dalsae and Syoruejagin to safety. While Badoru and Eunseom patch up Dalsae, Ipsaeng demands the jewels from Syoreujagin, but Syoreujagin says that Goldu took them all. Ipsaeng offers to treat Syoreujagin’s injuries if he relinquishes the jewels, but Syoreujagin insists that the jewels were stolen.
Badoru helps Dalsae up and says that they’ll be leaving Syoreujagin behind for the next leg of their escape. Ipsaeng curses Syoreujagin for taking his jewels, and Eunseom stays behind to confront Syoreujagin. He knows that the jewels weren’t taken by Goldu and asks why they’re so important that he’s risking his life for them.
Syoreujagin explains that these jewels can determine his power, defined by how many followers he leads. With the jewels, he can lead his own forces. He further explains that it doesn’t matter how great of a warrior you are — it’s the number of people you lead that determines power. He uses Moobaek and Asa Ron as his case in point.
Before Eunseom walks away, Syoreujagin asks why a dirty Igutu bastard like him saved his enemy. Eunseom grabs his collar and seethes that when Syoreujagin comes to wield such power that he speaks of, he mustn’t forget that he owes his life to a dirty Igutu.
Eunseom catches up to his fellow fugitives, and Ipsaeng has a fit about their plans to go to Jubinol to fulfill their promise to Sateunik. Ipsaeng insists that they should alter their plans to prioritize survival over a promise, considering their circumstances. Badoru threatens to tell the Momo tribe that Ipsaeng didn’t keep the promise, and that seems to convince Ipsaeng to follow their original plan. Ipsaeng knows that the Momo Tribe always pay their debts, whether it’s revenge or kindness.
Dalsae’s condition gets worse, and Eunseom determines that they need to get him to Seuchul for treatment. Ipsaeng volunteers, but Badoru yells at him to accompany Eunseom to the Momo tribe, since he knows the Momo language.
At Doldambul, the guards manage to beat some answers out of the prisoners and find out that the fugitives are headed to Jubinol to give Sateunik’s locks to his wife. Eunseom and Ipsaeng walk through the freezing cold, and Ipsaeng insists that they need to go this route to avoid the Ago Tribe, who are considered a lowly people. Eunseom remembers Ipsaeng claiming to be a part of the Ago Tribe and accuses him of lying, since nobody would disparage their own tribe.
Eunseom and Ipsaeng hold each other tightly, trying to stay awake and keep warm with their body heat. Eunsoem asks why the Momo Tribe are so loyal to repaying their debts, and Ipsaeng explains that their god punishes them severely if they don’t repay their debts. Shaking Ipsaeng awake, Eunseom then asks about the Ago Tribe’s god, and Ipsaeng responds that theirs is the god of judgement in the form of a waterfall created by Inaishingi.
Tanya asks Moobaek why he saved Eunseom, and he responds that the night is too short to explain the full story. He simply explains that too many unfathomable events have occurred since then, and Tanya agrees with this sentiment. Moobaek says that the most unbelievable one happened today, and Tanya correctly identifies this occurrence: Saya, the one with the same face as Eunseom.
Moobaek asks who Saya is, and Tanya agrees that the night is too short for a full explanation. He later relays Tanya’s suspicions that Saya and Eunseom may be twins to Yangcha and tells Yangcha to feign ignorance. Yangcha shakes his head in dissent, but Moobaek asserts that the truth will cause utter chaos. He decides that it’s not the right time yet to expose the truth.
The Arthdal soldiers cheer on the two arm wrestlers, and the winner turns out to be a familiar Wahan face — Mungtae, the traitor that sold Eunseom into slavery for his own freedom. He’s pulled aside by Gilseon and sent to the Great Shrine, where the other Wahan people have gathered.
The Wahan people timidly walk into the majestic shrine, and they jump with joy when they see Tanya. They can’t believe that Tanya has ascended to power as the descendant of the Great White Wolf, Asa Sin. Mung-tae enters the shrine, and the Wahan people welcome him warmly. Tanya asks Mung-tae if he escaped Doldambul, and he briefly explains that he managed to escape and became a solider.
Tanya assures the Wahan people that the rest of their people at Doldambul will also return, and Mung-tae’s smile fades. Then, Yeolson arrives at the shrine, and Tanya immediately tears up at the sight of her father. They embrace each other tightly, and Saya watches their tearful reunion with a smile.
Mookwang drinks heavily as he recalls Tanya’s prophecies about his death at the new moon and the last words he’ll hear. Moobaek enters his room, and Mookwang blames him for bringing back the byeoldaya and sparking this chain of events. Then, Mookwang degrades these events as a part of Tagon’s ploy, in which Tanya is just a disposable pawn. He vows to kill Tanya when she’s discarded.
Tanya tells her father that he’s free from enslavement, so he doesn’t need to be stuck doing his current work. But Yeolson says that he wants to remain working with the Hae Tribe, since he enjoys studying and inventing. Then, Tanya lowers her voice and discloses that Eunseom is alive. She also shares that Eunseom’s twin is in Arthdal and warns her father not to show any sign of familiarity.
In Jubinol, Sateunik’s wife, Tapien, tells her guest, Xabara Karika, that she will continue to wait for her husband there as promised. Shabala tries to convince her to return to the Momo waters, but Tapien stays resolute in keeping her promise. She tells Karika that she should return to the waters and not make such a long voyage to see her, especially with the royal baby, Hotau.
Then, they hear a commotion outside. It’s Eunseom and Ipsaeng, who’ve finally arrived after their treacherous journey through the snow. Ipsaeng struggles to communicate with the Momo Tribe guards, and Eunseom saves them from further suspicion by yelling Sateunik’s name.
Eunseom gives Satuenik’s hair to Tapien, and she falls to the ground in mourning. Outside, Tapien thanks Karika for finding her at the end of her long wait for Sateunik, and Karika comforts her by saying that Sateunik is with their god now. Behind them, we see the guards nodding at each other. Hmm, that’s unsettling.
Meanwhile, Eunseom and Ipsaeng stuff their face with a warm meal. Eunseom asks why Ipsaeng lied about how Sateunik died, and Ipsaeng explains that Sateunik’s wife would have to seek revenge for her husband’s death and risk her life in the process. Then, Ipsaeng wonders who the child belongs to and approaches the baby. He asks the baby in the Momo language if the fur coat lady (Karika) is his mother, and he interprets the baby’s incomprehensible movements as a nod of confirmation.
Ipsaeng tries to recall what the world “Xabara” means, but he can’t seem to recall the meaning of this seemingly title of reverence. The Daekan and Doldambul captors head toward Jubinol, splitting up on their way to their destination.
Karika enters the home to thank Eunseom and Ipsaeng, and she asks if they’re from Arthdal. She notices Eunseom’s purple lips and asks if he’s an Igutu. Eunseom covers his mouth cautiously, but Karika assures him that they don’t care about his status as an Igutu. She claims that the Momo Tribe always pay their debts and hands Eunseom a gift — a coin or medallion of sorts. Ipsaeng internally celebrates their success in gaining their promise of repayment.
Later that night, Ipsaeng rejoices in their full repayment package, including a meal, lodging for the night, and new clothes. Eunseom asks him about the water jugs that the Momo Tribe always carry, and Ipsaeng says that they aren’t water jugs. Ipsaeng then suggests that they sell the medallion in the market and split the profit, but Eunseom decides that they need to share use the medallion to treat the injured fugitives.
Eunseom wonders how Ipsaeng resorted to using the medallion for themselves, and he explains that he wasn’t taught to think this way. He slips the medallion in his pocket and goes to sleep. Meanwhile, the suspicious guards inform Karika’s guard that she is sleeping in her quarters and nod at each other.
Ipsaeng wakes up and quietly puts on his new vest. He then carefully reaches for the medallion in Eunseom’s pocket and manages to take it without waking Eunseom. He sneaks outside and says that Eunseom will get himself killed with his generosity and starts to make his escape. But then, he sees the Momo Tribe guards killing the Karika’s guard, who was at the well.
The traitor guards scurry up the stairs to Karika’s quarters, and Ipsaeng hesitates for a moment, considering whether he should fetch Eunseom, before he runs off on his own. Eunseom wakes up to the sound of the fight, and we see Karika fleeing with her baby. When Eunseom climbs up to the attacked room, he finds Tapien badly injured and desperately calling for Xabara.
Karika runs through the woods and ends up surrounded by the attacking guards. She lays down her baby and condemns the guards for attempting to kill her child. She asks if Guika is behind this attack, and the guards simply respond that they will pay for their sins after death.
Karika defends the baby and fights the traitors, but she’s clearly outnumbered. She incurs an injury on her arm, and one of the guards attacks the baby. Then, Eunseom appears and saves the baby from slaughter. He and Karika run away from the attackers and find a hiding spot.
Eunseom notices the gash in Karika’s arm and rips apart his clothes to make a bandage for her wound. He finds a log and wraps it in a similar cloth to create a decoy baby, and he slowly explains to Karika that he’ll lead the captors in the opposite direction of her escape. Karika nods in understanding, and as she watches Eunseom slowly walk away, she notices the markings on his back.
When Eunseom finds the traitor guards, he waves them toward him and runs away. He notices the Daekan search party heading toward him, so he trailblazes through the woods to escape. The Daekan later arrive at Jubinol and find the body of the killed Momo Tribe guard.
Ipsaeng sets up a fire and cooks some food, and then a familiar name calls out to him accusingly. It’s Eunseom, and Ipsaeng asks how he survived. Ipsaeng’s reaction informs Eunseom that he not only ran off with the medallion but also witnessed the betrayal of the Momo Tribe. Ever the coward, Ipsaeng offers the medallion back to Eunseom before he takes another threatening step forward, and Eunseom readily takes the medallion.
At Jubinol, the Daekan warriors find Tapien and ask if she knows Sateunik. She pauses in recognition, but before the Daekan warriors can interrogate further, they’re interrupted by an oncoming army of the Momo Tribe, led by Karika.
Ipsaeng remembers what “Xabara” means and shows Eunseom by giving up a thumbs up. Eunseom assumes it means something expensive because of Ipsaeng’s positive reaction, but Ipsaeng clarifies that Xabara is the chief of the Momo Tribe.
Karika demands to know why the Daekan warriors have ventured to Jubinol, and they explain that they’ve been chasing fugitives. She demands that they leave, and the Daekan warriors obediently follow her command. Upon their leave, Karika orders for the beheading of the captured traitors, and they’re punished promptly.
Xabara Karika announces to her tribe that she’s greatly indebted to her savior, the one who saved the future Xabara of the Momo Tribe. She regrets not asking for his name, and her only indicators of his identity are his purple lips and the markings on his back. She commands all of the Momo Tribe and their descendants to find this savior to repay their debt.
Then, Karika grabs her sword and makes a blood pact to repay this debt. The rest of the Momo Tribe follow suit and vow to find this purple-lipped savior. Karika announces that until they find this person, they will wave the flag with the markings on Eunseom’s back.
As Eunseom and Ipsaeng navigate their way through the woods, Ipsaeng asks about the ripped shirt. He accuses Eunseom of eating his shirt because he was so hungry, and Eunseom warns him to shut up before he beats him up. The cropped shirt reveals the markings on Eunseom’s back, now the symbol of a tribe’s mission, unbeknownst to him.
Power can be a difficult concept to comprehend, and I think this episode did a great job at portraying how this idea of power is taught and learned. Tanya’s experience with garnering power is more intentional, and she understands that power is the key to her liberation and to saving Eunseom. But Tanya’s realm of power is more abstract and therefore still uncertain to her. Since Tanya’s power relies on her ability to prove the intangible divinity of her existence, she carries a sense of doubt and urgency with her actions, almost as if she’s afraid that her time will run out. Her first affirmation of power was when she greeted the crowd outside the Great Shrine, and I think this was the tangible evidence she needed to lean into her new role.
Meanwhile, Eunseom is completely oblivious to the power he’s collecting, but his power seems to be more secure and obvious. He’s earning people’s trust and loyalty through his unmeasured generosity. He gives without calculation, and that innocence of his spirit is what has earned him a team, a community, and a growing band of followers. I appreciated the confrontation between Eunseom and Syoreujagin, in that they were essentially facing each other as equals. By witnessing Syoreujagin being demoralized with the same tactics that he experienced, Eunseom must have felt an equalizing force bring them to the same level. While Syoreujagin’s definition of power was a bit one-dimensional, I like how it foreshadowed Eunseom’s accumulation of power in ways that he couldn’t recognize. Little does Eunseom know, his iconic crop top/back tattoo look is going to bring him the power he needs to seek revenge and execute his fate.
Moobaek is an incredibly underrated character, and I’m hoping that this episode was hinting at his greater involvement in future episodes. He’s the sole person with the understanding of the bigger picture — the fate of destruction and chaos when the three Azure comet children join forces — and his foresight will be crucial in the upcoming episodes. I thought it was interesting that Moobaek was brought up as an example of an unsuccessful run for power. He’s a great fighter, well-respected, trusted, but not a symbol of power in Arthdal. He does pose a huge threat with his potential to wield power, and in that way, Eunseom reminds me of Moobaek. I’m hopeful that Moobaek will have his own breakthrough as a character, a shedding of his shell of sorts.
I had forgotten how long and detailed these episode were, and that’s both good and bad. Good because the world-building is very comprehensive and thoughtfully creative, in the creation of tribes, languages, and societal dynamics. Bad because the hiatus was not kind to my memory of this show. I liberally forgot many names and subtle details due to the break, and I think the show partially lost momentum because of the Netflix season model. There may have been a better way to divide up the story or clearly delineate the phases of the story, but I think the spirit of the show survives thanks to the cast. Even with unfamiliar characters and a seemingly meandering plot, the cast does a great job of anchoring the story with an emotional and purposeful direction. At the very least, we’re able to resonate with Eunseom’s experience as he navigates the strange complicated world around Arthdal and the simple universal joys he finds in the familiar.
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