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River Where the Moon Rises: Episodes 3-4 Open Thread

After a promising start last week, River Where the Moon Rises continues to be awesome. Rather than drag out its reveals, we meet them head-on — and so does our princess. Uncovering her true identity has a huge impact not only on her future, but on everyone around her, from old friends, to new enemies.

 
EPISODES 3-4 WEECAP

Shaken by the rumors she heard, and the memories that are swiftly coming back to her, Ga-jin soon begins to stitch the mystery of her past together. The man who she was told was her father admits that he took her in when she was a young girl. He returns to her the jade necklace that proves her royalty.

A mystery that was bugging me last week was also solved — I thought it was the mysterious monk that took her in as a girl. This week, however, we learn that it was the ringleader of Cheonjubang. He not only knew/knows her true identity, but took advantage of that when he trained her as an assassin and sent her on a mission to kill her own father, the king. And in case anyone was also curious why Cheonjubang is so anxious to commit regicide, we also learn that they’ve been hired by the all-too-evil General Go. He’s already destroyed the royal family, but now he’s ready to take over the kingdom permanently.

Watching Ga-jin discover, confirm, and accept her identity as Princess Pyeonggang was as satisfying as it should be, and as mentioned above, I’m happy this wasn’t dragged out for too long. The two episodes it took her to meet with her father, receive the necklace, meet the court lady that raised her (yay Kim Jung-young), and then have her memories flood back as further confirmation — this all felt quite well-paced.

The fact that the princess is alive and well makes a few people rejoice, but makes most everyone else get a murderous glint in their eye. Ga-jin’s presence creates a major problem for General Go and his tribes’ plans — his only aim is to get rid of her.

And that’s a perfect segue to talk about his son, GO GEON (Lee Ji-hoon). I’m always impressed by the range Lee Ji-hoon is capable of (he somehow slips right into every role), but I think the character of Geon is quickly becoming a favorite.

We met him as a boy during our premiere — importantly training the princess in her swordsmanship, and even more importantly swearing allegiance to her above his own father and tribe. There’s a reason we’re shown this, of course; it’s a fateful comment, and it’s set up to be a metaphor for Geon’s entire story arc.

In fact, we’re seeing this play out a little bit already, when the princess is discovered in the present day. While Geon’s father is demanding her death, Geon himself is already torn. Deliciously so. The two have a great moment of recognition, and I must say, their chemistry is fantastic. Geon, in particular, is so full of complexity and calculation — we’re watching him play both sides already, and I have no doubt the intensity will only increase.

Speaking of chemistry, Dal is clearly one-and-done smitten with Ga-jin. He comes to her aid again and again this week, whether she’s trying to sneak into the palace to meet the court lady, or when he voluntarily stays behind as collateral while Ga-jin is out uncovering her past.

It’s here that we meet HAE MO-YONG (Choi Yoo-hwa), wealthy trader of medicinal herbs… and dangerous hallucinogenics. Also intel. She’s clearly dangerous and conniving, but there’s something I quite liked about her — in a femme fatale sort of way.

Mo-yong also sets a nice contrast with Dal. While she’s keeping him as collateral, we see her vicious and powerful side come out. But it’s Dal that’s been playing her all along — she might have him bleeding out and hanging upside down, but he’s only playing along. It was such a great moment when with one quick flip, he frees himself and changes the power dynamic between them.

As expected, the growing friendship (and romantic interest) between Dal and Ga-jin is impacted when they recognize each other from the past. This was another reveal we were all waiting for — and what a great one it was. We get the enjoyment of seeing them remember each other separately, and then sharing their recollections when they meet. So much great, yet ill-fated, angst and weight from the past!

While Dal is aggrieved that she’s indeed the princess (since the royal family was what caused his tribe to be slaughtered and go into hiding), it’s Ga-jin who is weighed down the most. Not only does she have to come to terms with the havoc her lineage caused in the past, but she must, according to the monk who advises her, find a way to live as the princess.

This, indeed, is the mountain that our heroine is facing as she accepts her identity, and everything that it means. However, if there’s one thing we’ve learned it’s that she’s not alone — she has Dal, she has the wonderful people of the Sunno tribe/Ghost Valley, and who knows, she might even have Geon on her side, too.

There’s lots of great setup as we move into phase two of the drama, and if there’s one thing that’s exciting me the most about River right now, it’s that we have rich and interesting characters to follow as the plot thickens.

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This drama wastes NO TIME in story development! 4 episodes and EVERYONE knows the princess is alive! Refreshing change from the usual plot dragging that sageuks always have! The CHEMISTRY between all 4 leads is sparkling! I'll be waiting to see the 2 female leads team up and one up everyone! Female focused sageuk dramas after a LONG time is what everyone needs!

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Was super into a couple of characters/relationships for some of these episodes... but for all the wrong reasons, and in all the wrong ways, and for a story that is NOT this one... woops. (Oh and all the wrong ships too...)
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My interest in this show has suddenly become:
1. Dal hanging upside down in a hot herb lady's storeroom making snarky remarks.
2. Every time Lee Ji Hoon is on screen but like without the surrounding canon plot. (a)
3. LJH and the hot herb lady flirting.
4. Uhm yeah… I think that’s about it.

Me watching this is just me sitting there wishing it was about assassins and herbalists and attractive soldiers and NOT about palace politics with the Right/Left Minister substituted for some tribe leader and a lost princess who went through two entire dramas worth of backstory and emotional development in 4 episodes.

The show did better at establishing setting than last week but still retains almost all of the same issues as the premiere nonetheless.

FOOTNOTES:
(a). Remember when you said the plot could be done well Sic? Remember that? Look what I meant was, ASSASSINS with secret PASTS can be done well… not Every Sageuk Political Drama To Ever Exist (although in all fairness that ALSO can be done well… but I think all of us are over it no?)

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Dal hanging upside down is my favorite thing. It's what I was left thinking about, which I'm not sure was the writer's intent. Did Jisoo train to hang upside down? What ab workouts does Jisoo do? If Rain and Jisoo competed for who has the strongest abs, who would win? Did the writer research the blood dripping comment? How long can a person hang upside down? Do bats develop health issues if they sit upright for too long?

Overall though, I'm enjoying.

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If I were a bat, I’d probably feel dizzy if I was to stay upright for too long. 🦇

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“ Do bats develop health issues if they sit upright for too long? “

Being a tool, I googled that question, and...

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/article/150829-animals-science-sloths-bats-health-biology

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I can't read it without signing up for their email list (which it took me 3 months to get off of last year), so what's the answer?

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No it doesn’t harm them.

Consider creating a trash account just for the purpose of signing up when you don’t want to sign up...

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@hebang wow I haven’t thought of that before thanks Flyingtool!

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@hebang It overwhelmed my trash account...

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LJH is the primary reason to watch the show for me 🤝

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Also mine. They'd better not make him the evil guy. He'd better survive and continue flirting with herbal lady.

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Same here. I do get the feeling that it's same as his character in Rookie Historian.

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This drama looks pretty but feels dull.
I'm not feeling the script, directing and even the acting.

I guess I can just stare at Lee Ji Hoon for now.

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Hard same tbh. There are little bits that sometimes make me go "oh I would like that! but in a different context"... but, alas.

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This drama could be so much better without the comedy bits. It comes out of nowhere and it is not ha ha ha funny, it is ha ha ha weird. After watching Mr Queen where comedy bits where insert in such an amazing way, with this drama, just seems off the beat.

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I really like Lee Ji-Hoon like always!

For the rest, I don't know. I don't dislike it but I think it could be better. What was the point to use KSH as the Queen if nobody made the connection with the daughter later? Goguryeo was big but it looks pretty small in this version. Why didn't they kill the King sooner? 3 tribes are with the villain, one is down, one we don't know I think, so they could take the power sooner.

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But where is the mane of glory? I dislike the hairstyle in this drama. This is Goguryeo for crying out loud. Even Jumong had a half mane of almost glory 😂.
The wardrobe people are so not creative.

Everyone seems to have temporary amnesia or face blindness except for monk Wol. (Yay she looks like her mama).

The historical Pyeongwon ruled for about 30 years through some pretty large scale conflicts with Goguryeo's neighbors from the north (the Sui Dynasty especially).
I think they'll keep him around for a while.

The drama is keeping it small by making it a tribal conflict and instead of the 2 good tribes protecting the northern border they are being sent to the southern border where Silla and Baekje are located.
Maybe the assassins guild are former refugees from one of the two or both.

Maybe the king will come to his senses when the princess returns to the palace. Hopefully she'll get him off of whatever drugs that he is on.

I know this is not based on historical events. I'm just thinking out loud.

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To be honest, I did not enjoy episode 3. I mean I was curious and all, but I don't think I might continue with it. Good luck though.

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Same here, episode 3 was really meh.

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This show has potential and would like to see how it proceeds now that Ga Jin knows her real identity. For now she is tormented but her journey into accepting her princess identity and taking her place at the table can be epic.
I overestimated On Dal. I hoped he at least suspected who Ga Jin is after meeting her and the Queen all those years ago. I just hope On Dal has more going for himself and not just Ga Jin's support. I really like his dynamics with Mo Yong and hopefully the show will touch more on that in future episodes.
I like Mo Yong as character. She has an advantageous position to change tides for either side.
Now I am most interested about Go Geun. I like that he is loyal to Princess PG and would like to see him out maneuver his overambitious father.

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✨I AM IN LOVE WITH THIS SHOW✨

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This show is weird in the sense that I absolutely love the cast and the story but am unable to connect with it emotionally. Also Mo Young and Go Gun have some really great chemistry going on and I adore Lee Ji Hoon. I am curious to see the direction this drama is going to take now.

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I have to say I liked less this week's episodes than the premiere, specially episode 3, but even so, I'm still here, mainly because of Lee JiHoon. I concur with you that he's always finds the perfect way to fit into his roles (even with the terrible ex in Dinner Mate, his job was outstanding, any other actor couldn't have made him as human as he did). I just hope that fateful promise to always serve the King will stay with him and that he doesn't turn into an evil character. This is the only thing I ask you, show. Keep my Go Gun an honest and honorable man.

I liked that we didn't go round and round about Gajin trying to uncover her past and so action is moving fast.

Regarding WonPyo and his evil intentions of killing the King... am I the only one thinking the son of Queen Yin Bi is not the King's but WonPyo? I mean, they are obviously lovers... could it be?

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No you are not alone. I am with you regarding Yin Bi's son. I also think Yin Bi is quite foolish to trust Won Pyo. The man will not be satisfied only with being reagent, at first chance he will depose Yin Bi and her son. How anyone can trust such a power hungry man?

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Yin Bi's son is Gun Moo, the birth name of Princess Pyeonggang's half brother who later became King Yeongnyu, the 27th ruler of Goguryeo.

Whether they are going to change the history or not is yet to be seen.

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I like it, I am thoroughly enjoying the ride. KSH has such great chemistry with her co-stars.

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The show is quite fast paced and it does not drag important reveals.
I like princess and On Dal but only because they are being portrayed by Kim So-Hyun and Ji Soo.
Their characters are pretty straight forward so far.
I like Mo Yong and Go Geon more as characters. They are grey and their intentions are ambiguous. Lee Ji Hoon and Choi Yoo-hwa are playing these characters to the perfection.
I especially loved interactions between Mo Yong and rest of the main characters. I am shipping Princess and Mo Yong together. One’s bravery, courage and another’s brain will take down all the entire kingdom.

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Any reason why OnDal was preventing the reveal of GaJin as process to the ghost valley/sunno tribe? For goodness sakes she could have made some allies there with her identity; well unless if he wants to fulfil his fathers last wish and let the entire tribe live in seclusion, that's the only way I'd accept that.

Apart from this, this weeks plot was wow! More intersting was the fact that our heros are filled in just as the villains are. It would have been a bit too frequent a cliché if she knew her identity mid series or in further episodes, just good that they've gotten over that and the plot is on the move now, and peew,the plot moves really fast.

This story line really insults my memory of Jumong. Gyeru was the protagonist tribe in the five nations, but now its villainous - maybe a change in history.

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As the princess, she's tied to their tribe being slaughtered and driven out.  Her current  presence would bring more danger to their tribe and what's left of it.
 
I hear you about Gyeru. I still have fond memories of Jumong's beloved tribe and his loyal followers.
This king is also from the same Gyeru tribe. The change in history is by making him weak and pathetic in this drama.
 
The 5 original tribes that made up Goguryeo's aristocracy are still intact,  most notably Gyeru, Sono and Sun-no so that leaves the assassin's guild (Cheonjubang) as the outcast.
They are the mystery party that I would like to know more about.

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From the first statement it's quite true,at the moment i actually doubt they would welcome her with open arms if they found out who she truly was...Also amazed that Dal still told her to stay even after he knew her identity mainly because he was putting everyone in danger and he was being selfish even more considering he experienced first hand the horror back then...

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The monk told her to find a way to return as a process's, not the monk, even Go Geon. So how is she going to do that without the reveal of her true identity. Unless the Sunno tribe has a grudge against the throne for their unfair massacre, there is no need hiding herself and there is no need for Dal asking her to stay there unless for his own selfish reason. She should leave the ghost valley if she is to return a princess, perhaps to Jeolla.

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Monk Wol seems to be the only survivor of the Jeolla tribe so there is basically nowhere else for her to go but back home to the palace.

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I think that somehow cheesy fool smitten look should become a Jinsoo trademark...The plot moves sooo fast!Lee Ji hoon really is charismatic here! I doubt Hae Mo-Yong would truly be a a good character as i see her way too ambitious and will try to use Ga Jin as leverage as much as she'll can and would turn bloody on her just as fast,even more if she starts to fancy Go Geon.I'm also curious about Go Geon character,if he will truly be an ally to Ga Jin all the way or he'll also become spiriling and become a tragic one by it's end.Also love those small cracks into Dal's mask as the fool even when there are times that makes one wonder if somehow some of tose foolish traits sticked to him from playing one too long...Curious if they will keep with history about the Prince becoming the future Ruler(they did mention it so i guess they might)...I actually feel sad for Ga Jin/Princess as she carries so much guilt from her two lives now...Somehow i'm still a bit amazed she doesn't despise her father to her bones considering what he did but i guess she does need him is she returns...

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I honestly liked these episodes. Better than the first. Let’s discuss bleeding heart of Go Geon, shall we? He’s had a crush on the princess since forever, when she was training her. Badass Princess turned ruthless assassin back to princess has to be pretty intriguing for him. He’s dying at some point, for sure. And I agree with @kiera about how this is shot. It’s dingy and dark and I want it light and airy—with more manes of glory, blowing in the wind. Oh, I just want to mention that @saya noticed a strange kwinkidink from The King and this show. The set has been recycled. It looks so different with different framing and design. https://dramasoverflowers.net/2021/02/26/a-drama-for-every-day-of-the-week-and-wandering-reviews-of-all-of-em/comment-page-1/#comment-1717

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On paper, our princess and Go Geon are a perfect match according to this time period. She is the king's daughter and he is the son of the highest rank chief in the country.
Before the Sun-no tribe's massacre, On Dal was the son of a chief so he would have been a suitable suitor also.
Dal would be more favorable since he is not from the king's tribe (Gyeru). Balancing power would require marriage forged outside of one's own tribe like the current king's queen was from the Jeollo tribe.

This is no male version of Cinderella like the folktale. On Dal is worthy in every way. It's just a matter of resurrecting his tribe back to it's former status.

On Dal is pretty straight forward so I find Go Geon's character more interesting. He could go either way, loyalty to his tribe (father), his heart (princess) or his country(king).

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Thank you for clarifying this. I’m glad she has two amazing matches. I like them both.

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I need to wax poetic about Choi Yoo-hwa because she is simply awesome. I was so excited to know that she'll join this drama as one of the leads because despite her meager appearance in Life, she managed to leave quite a big impression.

Hae Mo-yong is a captivating character: intriguing, bold, sly, and more dangerous than she let on or what others perceived. And it's exciting to see Choi owning her so completely and effortlessly. I'm especially curious to see more dynamic between Geon and Mo-yong since he seemed to be the only one (so far) who realized just what a wild card this woman could be. She could be a worthy ally if one knows how to play the balance of power between them. So let's see what the writer has in mind for her.

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Mo-yong could be a little Mishil-lite spy from Silla. It would be compelling if she was the one who engineered the battle between Silla and Goguryeo that took Dal's life.

If I remember correctly the name Mo-young seems to have no origin in past sageuks.
I'd like to know how she came to be adopted by the Sono tribe.
This show would be more exciting with a 3 way battle for power than just the king vs Gochuga.

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Agreed. If they really wanted to go all political with the plot, I'd rather they go all the way in. A complex power struggle that encompassed a larger world than what the drama is willing to explore so far. I'm afraid the gochuga vs. King struggle (that really is not much of a struggle with a king that weak) would go stale in a few more eps. I still can't believe that the evil general haven't conquered complete control of the palace yet in the last 8 years, what's with the almost non-existent opposition from inside. The King practically has no backing all these years, and it made the political struggle very lopsided and not that fun to watch.

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I don't no where to download this series film at all River where the moon rises

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