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The King’s Affection: Episodes 5-6 Open Thread

There’s so much puppy cuteness going on in this show sometimes I forget that there is also danger lurking at every turn — and our princess-in-disguise isn’t the only one that has to worry about her safety. Her royal tutor has earned his place, and finds himself strangely drawn to the prince against his will, but it turns out he’s no safer than anyone else in this palace of secrets.

 
EPISODES 5-6 WEECAP

This week’s episodes: personal attack or clever narrative structure? Most of Episode 5 is spent chronicling the cute interactions among our puppies royals and nobles. It’s easy to get mesmerized by the gauzy glances and hidden attractions — so much that when things turn dire in the latter half of Episode 6, it almost feels like a personal attack. What! Where is all the cute?

We open up with a replay of the gat tying scene, and that’s just fine, because I could watch it all day. This little interlude reveals some coming relationship triangles, though — first, Dam-yi learns that Ji-woon and Hyun are friends. We’ve seen her warm up to Ji-woon despite her best attempts to get rid of him, and we’ve also seen the close friendship she has with Hyun. Now, to learn that those two are also friends is a bit of a shock to her. But I love it. It’s gonna get juicy.

Hyun, eagle-eyed for all things related to the prince, saw him (her) eyeing a pretty ring in a shop, and later gives it to her. He says meaningfully that the prince should, “Give it to the lady he loves.” Uh, wait, is that what he’s doing right now? It certainly feels that way.

Sure enough, rather than keep us squirming on this question a little more, the drama confirms that Hyun indeed knows that Dam-yi has taken the place of her brother. In flashback, we see how he accidentally observed the whole thing happening in the prince’s chambers. I love that he’s known for a good decade and hasn’t given a thing away. It seems his only mode is Adore the Prince Mode, and I’m okay with that.

Meanwhile, our goofy tutor seems to be falling under the same spell when it comes to the prince. More often than he’d like to admit, he finds himself utterly transfixed — it’s like a spell comes over him. His pupils turn into hearts.

We get to enjoy a bunch of cute hijinks between them — and I’m loving how the drama is playing with the role reversal. We have our traditional hero/heroine moments, like when Ji-woon saves Dam-yi from the falling vase and scoops her out of the way protectively. But then we also have really fun inversions of this too, where (for instance), Ji-woon is shown with a basket full of flowers gazing with admiration as Dam-yi displays her epic sword fighting skills. That the drama can serve us both regular swoons and inverted swoons makes this a whole lot of fun.

Amidst the glossy cuteness and hijinks, though, is a deeper danger that starts to creep in. It starts with a few threats to the prince’s safety, the first being the mysterious assassin making another appearance in the court. COMMANDER YOON (Kim Jae-chul) (marry me!) spots him and gives epic chase, but eventually loses the assassin in the palace shuffle. However, there’s a pretty big neon arrow pointing at our silent bodyguard Ga-on being the culprit. (My money is on Ga-on being a red herring, but we shall see.)

The next threat comes from Prince Changwoon who, being an utter tramp, sets up a weird plot with his gisaeng of choice. Why doesn’t the prince seem to chase women? Prince Changwoon decides that gassing the crown prince’s bath with an aphrodisiac is a good idea, and even adds his gisaeng there for good measure. Luckily this plot is quickly exposed by Ga-on (who seems as intuitive as he is silent), and Prince Changwoon rightly faces hell from multiple characters.

The inexplicable attraction between the prince and his tutor continues to grow on parallel tracks. Ji-woon is smitten, as we’ve seen, but Dam-yi also has trouble getting Ji-woon out of her head — I mean who can blame her for liking being wrapped up in Ji-woon’s protective embrace?

As if her struggle with being attracted to him isn’t enough, Ji-woon is such a silly, heart-on-his-sleeve kind of guy, he doesn’t even mind opening up to the prince about his first love. Thanks to the Zuo Zhuan volume he transcribed for Dam-yi all those years ago, Dam-yi hears first-hand how much he cared about her.

My favorite thing about this setup is that all the angst and emotional pressure, for now, is all Dam-yi’s. Not that I want her to suffer, but objectively in terms of dramatic angst, I quite like that she is the one that knows that Ji-woon is Ji-woon, that he was also her first love — and that she can never even give a whisper of that truth away.

Even more so, she has to make sure her identity remains safe, and thus confirms in the palace annals (and shows Ji-woon as well) that ten years in the past, Dam-yi left the palace due to grave illness.

This lie being perpetuated, Dam-yi is safe, the cuteness is free to continue, and it seems (at first) like the best of all possible worlds. Ji-woon even goes hunting for the secret cottage where Dam-yi used to live, and starts cleaning and sprucing up the place (omo, is this going to become their secret love nest?).

However, things do not stay cute for long, and soon Ji-woon’s very life is at stake. The truth comes out about Ji-woon being the physician from Samgaebang — So-eun seeks him out in prison and uncovers the truth by accident. This simple lie has huge and terrifying repercussions. Ji-woon’s resignation is ordered immediately, but rather than be fearful for his job, or even his own life, Ji-woon’s only concern is saving the two kids that worked with him at the shop, Jil-geum and Young-ji.

The whole thing actually comes to a terrifying peak, because we see (again) how ruthless Ji-woon’s father truly is. He’s more than ready to murder both Jil-geum and Young-ji (particularly the former). His plan is for Jil-geum to die as the infidel who ran the shop, and for Ji-woon to be free to remain a respected scholar and tutor to the crown prince.

The more we see the evil that’s in Inspector Jung, the more we get a direct contrast to Ji-woon, who’s ready to fight for the truth, take responsibility, ask for help (from the prince no less!), and protect those he loves — even by falling on his own sword if that’s what it takes. Indeed, it looks like Ji-woon just might face death for his crimes (i.e., lying to the royal family).

Dam-yi might spurn his request for help, but we know she’s just as good-hearted as Ji-woon is (ack, it’s why we love them). And so, in a pivotal moment, she not only sweeps in to stop Inspector Jung’s total massacre, but, in our ending scene, marches into the court right when Ji-woon is getting his sentence.

The king has just asked a loaded question about Jil-geum, who was supposed to be in prison, but again it’s the crown prince to the rescue. Dam-yi comes in with full Dragon Mode engaged. “Allow me to answer that question,” she says.

Now, I know that Ji-woon won’t actually be put to death or even banished (right?) but the evilness and total power that some of our characters have (Inspector Jung and Dam-yi’s grandfather, the Left State Councillor) makes everything feel even more dire. Even so, it’s a pretty delicious ending, because it not only means that Dam-yi is willing to step out on a limb for Ji-woon, but that she’s as capable of moral bravery as he is — and there’s nothing better than that.

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You broke all records getting this up so quickly @missvictrix
I don't know why I'm not spellbound yet. The leads are gorgeous. The complications look delicious. Their story is delightful. The visuals are exquisite: the flowers, for example. But I'm not pining for next week's episodes. Is it the moment when I catch myself thinking,
when I see how tiny she is against the whole court, she'll suffer from short man syndrome when she grows up. 😔

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I used to be faster :p

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Impossible

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I just don’t understand how long she can put up with this farce. I mean she is masquerading as the Crown Prince for heavens sake!!! Won’t she be required to marry ASAP and sire little crown princesses? This is as unsustainable as me interviewing for a rocket scientist position (I am not a rocket scientist)

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It is not sustainable. But it's the best option she has for now. She is stuck with the consequences of the choices that were made for her when she was only a child. She has two options otherwise. 1. She can reveal her gender and just die along with everyone tied to her (including the two people closest to her) and her family. 2. She can run away but since she's the prince those close to her would be held accountable for her death. Either way people would die on her behalf. This is just a desperate attempt to prolong her life and the lives of those connected to her. Whether it would have been best to come clean and have a "quick" death (there would definitely be torture involved) or live in anxiety for a few more years is hard to judge. It's a choice between your friends and connections dying now or a few years later. When I think of it this way her choice makes sense to me because who wouldn't do all they can to give loved ones a few more years?

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I couldn't find the edit button so I had to delete my previous comment. 🙄

Anyway, she has to know the clock is ticking once she becomes King and she has to get out.

There's a third optional choice; abdication. She can abdicate in favour of her stepbrother. If she does this, she has to ensure she isn't assassinated on the way out. I'm sure the stepmom will want to kill her so she can choose to be "assassinated" as this ensures the opposition there's no "contender" for the throne. The latter choice requires people she can trust to bring it off.

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I forgot about her grandfather (oops) so she has to squash him, get him exile for black deeds or whatever and then abdicate. ... sounds difficult to do but who knows.

I don't want this story to end tragically. I read that's what happened in the comic but there're changes already made in the drama so this version isn't following true to the comic.

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This! And the comment underneath this! 👏🏼 👏🏼 👏🏼

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I don't know but this is just not fun and rowoon is just.....the acting isn't working.

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Rowoon unexpectedly works for me. I was hesitant initially, but somehow his more modern character with highly expressive takes balances the fact that no one in the palace sees the Prince is a girl.

If everyone was straight-up sageuk, I think the Prince’s gender would be dissonantly obvious and I’d be wondering why no one else notices. But when there’s another wildcard in the scene, she doesn’t stick out as much. They’re BOTH a little off and I like what that does for my suspension of disbelief.

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I haven't seen Nam Yoon-soo in anything, but he is freaking scoring points with me. 😍
It was so satisfying when Hyun beat up uncle Changun, 👏🏽 but that side of him can be dangerous in the future. What would he do if he got rejected?

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Nam Yoon-soo is a new actor as well model. This is also his first Sageuk, but he did show his acting talent in Beyond Evil and Extracurricular (I watched the former, which is a must-see. I didn't watched the latter, but I heard he play a bad guy), as well an MV. He is a good actor.

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(the latter is also a must see...)

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Yes, NYS, definitely a talent to watch. He was good in both BE and Extracurricular. Small roles but memorable.

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I'm waiting for an extended break to marathon BEYOND EVIL. I can't miss out on Shin Ha-kyun and Yeo Jin-goo. I'm excited to add another new talent.
I love the PD of "Extracurricular," so I'll save it for the holidays.

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Nam Yoon-soo is noteworthy in Beyond Evil, despite a small side role (but every role counts in that drama). He gives me a vibe of Rain when he was young. That smile just reminds me of Rain.

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Glad I'm not the only one who sees a Baby-Rain in him. His smile and 3-quarter profile resembles Rain quite strongly ^^

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Let's not forget one of his four completed K-drama credits (so far):
Birthcare Center (2020)

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... kill me hopefully so I don't have to sit through that trope again T_T

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He is not doing anything to control his feelings. He has got to know that he is going down a forbidden path according to tradition and custom.

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Omgyesssss I haven't seem him in anything, but he's the one grabbing my attention the most. He's so cute... and his youthful smile. Makes me feel old looking at him. XD;;

I want to see him in other dramas though.

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I am enjoying the show. Love is in the air, and I feel for Crown Prince Dam-yi's struggle (hiding her true identity, as well holding her love towards Ji-woon). It is so fun.

Both Hyun and Ji-woon is loving the same girl. While Hyun can't show his love to her (or risking her being killed), Ji-woon doesn't know he is actually beside that very girl. This is such a dilemma ...

Trying to write something here (it is such a simple love story, yet the surrounding is exordinary) because although Dam-yi has such a strong aura, the actress behind the character, Park Eun-bin, is like very opposite to Dam-yi, so opposite you can tell when she is showcasing her childish bag holding her belonging in the film set. I am falling in love with her ...

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Nam Yoon-soo is already the breakout star of this drama. Every scene he’s in, he steals the show completely. Those gorgeous dimples!

I can just feel my SLS burgeoning. It feels wrong because he’s literally supposed to be her cousin and that’s disgusting. But I can’t help it, he’s so swoony.

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Wait, for all we know, dimpled-hyung doesn't realize Dam-yi is his cousin too. All he knows, is that she is a lookalike fake of her cousin bro, the real Crown Prince, who's dead. The fact that the Princess Consort gave birth to twins, is not known by everyone who knows Lee Hwi has been replaced by Dam-yi.

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In the scene where he learned she is a girl, the Queen said, "Your late brother...."

I wouldn't be surprised if he dies to protect her somewhere near the end.

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I completely missed that part. So, dimpled-hyung does know Dam-yi is his cousin. -_- I was looking forward to some inward crisis because of this, when he comes to know... just like Ji-Woon who's having a crisis now (cuz she's his student & also royalty) xD

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During the scene where Prince Jaeun finds out that Dam-yi is a girl, the Princess Consort mentioned the original crown prince as “your brother”. Unless he very conveniently managed to not overhear that one part, Prince Jaeun should at least know that Dam-yi is his biological cousin - if not put two and two together and realize she’s the original Hwi’s twin.

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Agree; he knows unless he has selected memory. 😂

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Also people have been marrying their cousins for centuries and still do, disgusting probably isn't the word you are looking for. Maybe something you aren't used to, but not disgusting. He knows she is his cousin.

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Maybe disgusting was too harsh of a word, but that is my gut instinct when dealing with incestuous relationships. And yes, I am aware that cousin-marriage is still widespread across many cultures - I am actually from a place where it’s still quite popular. My own aversion comes from what I’ve seen typically happen in such relationships - miscarriages, stillborns, birth defects and life-long illnesses. I’ve seen how painful it is to deal with that on the long run and wouldn’t wish upon anyone, including fictional characters I guess.

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No offense, just a kind reminder (although you might think it doesn't sound like that): don't use your culture eyeglasses to watch something different from yours. I know it is difficult, since I experienced that myself when I first moved to Canada. Once you take off that eyeglasses, you will feel better.

For me, Dam-yi and Hyun's relationship is not that hard to swallow. After all, they are not blood brother and sister.

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One more thing, @ladynightshade (hope you don't think I am too harsh). I guess this drama is also challenging some very serious cultural problems (like a woman to be a king, the cast inequality--Ji-woon's medical practice is exactly challenging this norm), although it may not be about marriage between nephew and niece. I understand and agree your point, which miscarriage do exist, and society do progress when they see problems, but I would view that is simply love (I guess Hyun knows he cannot marry Dam-yi in any circumstance, although he does offer her an escape, as well a possibility).

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But during this era, it was normal, eh? I mean, lots of inbreeding to keep the royal blood "pure".

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Agree. When Hyun told Jiwon that he had someone he loved, he asked "who was the lady, is she pretty, is she a distant cousin". So it's totally normal back then

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No, it was absolutely impossible to marry a cousin during the Joseon dynasty. It was a crime/unlawful to marry someone from the same clan until the 1990s (this issue alao appears in Reply 1988). The only way they could marry was if they had different surnames (related through a maternal line) and if the relationship was quite distant (definitely not a 1st cousin).

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Prince Jaeun, aka Yi Hyun, and the twins are from the same clan, the royal house of Yi.
According to Joseon's tradition, marriage within the same clan was forbidden by law also even for royalty.
The twins' mother is Lord Sangheon from the Han clan. The current queen is Lord Changchun's daughter.

Incest marriage between royals happened during the three kingdoms and the Goryeo era. Joseon was a Confucian country.

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Thank you for the informations!

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Mimi kept more detailed research in her blog if you are interested.

Wedding and Marriage in Joseon Part 1: Historical Stuff

https://thetalkingcupboard.com/2016/11/15/wedding-and-marriage-in-joseon-part-1-historical-stuff/

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If you squint really hard, you can see shades of BL in this (the gat-tying scene), and my heart is living for it~. I like the attention to casting detail: cute oraboni/ hyung-nim's child actor also has identical dimples as him!!
Luckily, the younger 'good guys' aren't sexist, misogynistic pigs. I like how Ji-Woon says the Prince resembles a court-maid in appearance, but doesn't automatically imply he is 'girly', like the creepy-uncle does, & much more condescendingly! In fact, I love how turned on Ji-woon is, watching the CP do pretty 'traditionally masculine' stuff like sword-fighting as well as 'traditionally feminine' stuff like flower-gazing. His attraction to the CP seems to be beyond the CP's gender identity, and I find it so refreshing, not see him descend down a gay-panic just to play it for laughs. Ji-woon's mortification seems to arise from being attracted to somebody wayyy out of his league instead, and even more so cuz the said person is also his student!! >.<

Going to go off a limb and say: Hyung-nim is pretty straight, Ji-Woon is gay for the Prince (as I am gay for Eun-Bin, lol!). Eun-Bin looks like Sakurada Dori from certain angles. She looks positively sexy biting her cheek in frustration, her jawline and dimples on full display! *_* On another note, is she his long-lost twin sister? They are the same age xD

Rowoon playing soccer is such a man-child. Hot guard, is hot, but he's also an assassin...but he has like 1 & a half expressions, and looks like a scowling Song-Kang. What bets he's going to discover the CP is Damyi, and would then be unable to kill her? Hmm, three boys into our FL is definitely heading the reverse-harem way!

I really wanted Ji-Woon to take those flowers and plant them at their secret hideout and Dam-yi to go and see them, and be touched! At least, she got touched when she recalled how the pickle Ji-Woon is in right now, is because he wanted to fulfill her wish as his first love.... </3

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I love everything in this drama!

Rowoon and Park Eun-Bin have such a great chemistry. Ji-Woon is not blind and it's only the power in the word "royal" that really stops him to fully connect the woman in the woods and the Prince.

I like how they inversed the genre. The FL is the cold, rich and powerful one when the ML is the one with the heart who will bit by bit change her in a warmer person. The issue is he doesn't know that he's putting in danger by doing that because of her idendity.

I like the cousin, he's a nice friend for her. But he's like all the ones who know the truth, he follows everything she wants. Ji-Woon is the only one who actually challenges her without imposing himself like her grandfather.

Dam-Yi is such in a bad position. Her grandfather helps her to keep her power but he's a jerk and just wants to use her as his pawn. The Queen wants to put her own son on the throne. She needs to find her own power without risking her idendity.

This drama chose only beautiful places to film. In every scene, my eyes are blessed by the beauty. I loved how they let the sound of the wind when she was at her hideout.

I vote yes for Nokungak becoming their love nest!

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I'm very excited for Park Ki-Woong's cameo in the next episode!

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I watched all 6 episodes but I don't feel any attachment to the drama. Not exactly complaining but I guess I just can't get connected with any characters.
My question is, what willl 'crown prince' get with all the masquarades she's been doing?
Supposedly a throne, but really? She has to get away with everything to sit on it, but I don't think she can, considering only a eunuch and a senior courtmaid as her confidante.
Her daddy's love? Apparently not, since daddy the majesty shows only attachment to her younger brother.
Her mommy her only supporter with a bit of power, has gone to heaven much too soon.
Then what? She does all only to survive but only to be beheaded at the same time should the truth comes out?
It's my first time seeing Rowoon in anything. I guess he's just my idol type 😬
Ad is it just me or he looks a lot like Joowoon in some angles?

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*correction: Rowoon, he's not my idol type...😄😄

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He was good in Extraordinary You, but something is missing here, not just with him, but the whole drama. PBE and Nam Yoon-soo are the exception. Even the veteran actors are only doing their standard veteran stuff. The plot is actually quite good, but the execution is not. The gender reversal should be funny, but isn't. There is more than a touch of Kitsch to it. Just compare it to Mr. Queen!

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Some of his expressions are so exaggerated, it not only seems like he's overacting, it seems that's what the director wants from him. That might work if this were a comedy, but with so much death around, it can't be.

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Not connecting with his acting, esp the emotional ones like when he was pleading with his father, or when he was pleading with the cp. Felt like crocodile tears, and yes, overacting. I guess this is where he gets overshadowed by NYS, and definitely swallowed whole when with PEB.

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But we can't campare it with Mr Queen. The plot is very different. In Mr Queen, a modern man ended in the body of a Joseon woman. The humor played on 2 different plans : modern vs Joseon and a man in the body of a woman.
In this one, a woman has to disguise herself as a man to survive.

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The theme does not matter that much for humour, for jokes the timing matters more. Kim Jung-hyun is a master in this, not only in Mr. Queen.

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@heikicampbell Kim Jung-Hyun? For me, Shin Hye-Sun was the one who made this drama, she was incredible in this role. I didn't really care about KJH.

Otherwise, I don't think this drama tries to be a comedy but use Ji-Woon as a vavle in the heaviness of Hwi's palace life.

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That might be the problem, that the director cannot decide whether it is a comedy or tragedy and such uncertainty would be confusing for the actors.

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I love Kim Jung Hyun, but Mr Queen and King’s Affection are completely different in context.

In Mr Queen, the worst possible takeaway was that the queen has some sort of mental illness that makes her think she’s male. It’s funny because she’s punching up the whole time: she’s being somewhat scandalous in reaching for rights and abilities beyond her role as Queen, but there’s a fair amount of tolerance because she mainly stays in her lane. She’s quirky, but controllable, and her mental illness wouldn’t reflect on the other men in government.

In King’s Affection, the instant it’s shown that the Prince is a girl, the entire structure of the court is thrown into question. Nothing to do with her brain or capabilities at all, just Confucian boundaries that keep people in their proper places. This woman wouldn’t have been reaching beyond her role; she’d be wholesale OCCUPYING that role, for a decade. And there’s no wiggle room here either - the minute they figure out she’s biologically female, there’s no going back. You can’t shrug that off as a quirky personality trait, especially since her personality is: the Prince they all know and obey.

Think of how badly men react when they think a woman has shown them up in a bar (even if the woman had no such intention). Now imagine that a Joseon court official realizes he’s been obeying and bowing to a woman for years. That some of the physical indications were there that she’s female, and he overlooked them. That he’s treated her with respect and fear. The almost psychotic overreaction to that threat to the male psyche is where “toxic masculinity” derived from, and in this situation? Hard to imagine the reveal going anywhere but down that road for most courtiers.

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I didn’t think the gender reversal was meant to be funny, at all. In fact I think they’re going out of their way to stress this is an extremely un-fun situation. There is absolutely no advantage to Dam Yi in continuing this charade, other than 1. her mother wanted it and 2. if she is discovered, everyone around her will die.

I’d be disappointed if it was played for laughs. It’s literally terrifying for Dam Yi, all the time. The best outcome would be instant death, but there are plenty of options where it would be a slow, long demise for her and everyone who protected her or was near her or even loosely politically aligned to her faction.

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At this point I believe her only escape would be to fake her own death - but that in of itself is wrought with consequences for those around her given how high a position she holds.

Someone must be made responsible for it, whether her household for neglect or a manufactured assassin that the court can be used to frame the other side - either way someone will lose their head.

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The CP has a responsibility to his family and country in this strictly patriarchal society. Unfortunately, it's not easy for anyone to walk away from that. They function as a family/clan. If one goes down, they all go down.
Prince Jaeun understood that burden when he offered to take her to that ship if she ever needed to. (Palace escape, that would be both awesome and tragic).

I think her father does care for her but keeps his distance to protect her.
The king's new queen and her clan are the rival families.
Palace chess games, nothing new,

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Thanks so much for the speedy recap @missvictrix! It makes *such* a difference when we can put down thoughts rapidly rather than having to grope through our memory - or maybe I'm just showing my age... :)

This is a bucket of cuteness! Although they've set up Ji-woon to be a ridiculously perfect man - helps orphans! Ready to fall on his sword for his adopted family! Ready to whisk you away from falling pots! Plants flowers! Cleans! - and the perfect kdrama man - first love! Built his life on her wish! His-dad-killed-her-brother-angst to work through! - it kind of works because we need those sort of odds for the Prince to risk revealing her identity. If he was a bit regular, it wouldn't be worth it for her.

PEB is doing a great job as the prince (although I have to suspend belief a bit - seriously no-one is asking why she's sooooooo short and unbearded, and kicks out the eunuch but keeps the maid in when she's having a bath???) and her micro-expressions are excellent - we can see the war flitting across her face as she warms to Ji-woon and yet knows she has to repel him. RW is doing great for me - maybe he's a natural goofball because he seems to be swimming along nicely here. Even my unmaternal heart was touched with him playing footie along with the kids - bless!

One thing that's puzzling me: granddaddy with his "You cross me, I'll make you pay even if I adore you" is now being crossed as the prince comes in to save Ji-woon. Isn't it a bit early for a 20ep drama to make an enemy of grandpa? Honestly, he could probably have the CP poisoned off in the next 30 minutes, so what's going to restrain him???

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CP is Grandbabbi's only connection to the royal line through blood and will maximize his influence and power when she one day becomes King... so I reckon killing Dam-yi would 100% not be in his best interest.

The prospect of Dam-yi not being completely under his control however might make him resort to dire means to make sure she remains in line with his 'path'.

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I am so glad we found out quickly how her cousin found out. It establishes a foundation for his inherent goodness. I'm curious as to when the Prince finds out he knows her secret.

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i love how Huyn beat up the uncle with a smile on his face, it makes me think he uses that open innocence to his advantage.

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I’m having a different reaction to Hyun than most others here. I’m open to the actor being great, but right now I’m seeing a lot of charisma and modeling poses rather than nuanced acting. He’s adorable, I’m just not sure he’s got many other modes than “dimples” and “charming”. There’s definitely room for me to be convinced! Just… not seeing it right now.

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I was into his smile in ep 1 and 2, but i've to agree with you for ep 4.
Still, looking forward to his progress.

*Does Hyun look similar to 2PM Jun Ho?

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Ha, yes he does - the tilt of his head and smile when he’s being deliberately charming but also dead serious about something struck me as very Junho-ish. I’m hoping he’s got the same range when it comes to other scenes, but I think you’re onto something here - I think I’m noticing gaps where I would’ve expected Junho to introduce nuance, and this actor is sticking to the single mode.

There’s still plenty of time! Just… not seeing the depth yet.

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I thought of Junho too :)

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I think one of my favourite things about Dam-yi and Ji-woon's dynamic is that he's not coaching her on how to be a better person but, unbeknownst to him, is actually just reminding her of her own values and the warmth and care she once carried for her fellows.

Like don't get me wrong, the romance is very, very cute and I'll never get tired of Ji-Woon acting like a drop-jawed fanboy, but I'm mostly excited for Dam-yi who looks to be en-route to reclaiming her sense of self - and potentially becoming a better Crown Prince for it.

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But also I know Lee Hwi is super dead, like, super, super dead. But part of me is hoping that he survived somehow and has come back to the palace to protect his sister as Ga-on and the broken tablet he has on his sword is Dam-yi's name badge he had with him when they changed places.

Like, it's far more likely he is the executed royal tutor's son or something seeking revenge but can't a girl dream?

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I have the same theories about Ga On as well, @teatimeandcrime. Let's keep on dreaming!

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It pains me so much that they never knew they were family while they were together ;__;

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Ooooh I've been wondering about the closeup of the name badge tied to Ga-on's sword cover. I couldn't read the word so I have no idea what that means but I bet it must be something important.

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https://asianwiki.com/Kim_Jae-Chul_(1982)

I saw Kim Jae-chul (born 1982) Asianwiki page said that there were only 4(!) Kdramas prior to The King's Affection: Hyena, Mystic Pop-Up Bar, My Dangerous Wife and Hush (all four 2020 Kdramas). I told he was a breakout actor, but... unfortunately, he acted on movies/big screen/silver screen first. That means he acted on films for more than two decades (2000s, 2010s) as mostly played as numerous minor roles I think. His notable films that he acted: Just Do It! (2000), Confidential Assignment (2017), and Ashfall (2019).

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So much pretty. I'm still watching this, but I'm not completely hooked. I like the scenes with action more than the romance. Some of the romantic scenes look too forced.

Loved it when Dam Yi had confronted Inspector Jung. She looked and sounded so fierce.

I'm nearly fangirling over Nam Yoon Soo, a new face to me. He looks super cute. His lips are so well defined?? Lolllll

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I am curious about who is dispatching the court officials responsible for the framing of the Prince's tutor 10 years ago.

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Good question!

I think the CP's new guard may be involved.

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This drama is starting to bore me. I hope it picks up soon. Also, the SML vaguely reminds me of Din Din/Henry Lau. I think it's the hint of mischief in his eyes.

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Not gonna lie, I SWOONED so hard when Ji-woo hold the sword with barehand ready to kill himself to protect his friends. The tension was ripped out of that scene.

But then I have second lead syndrome HARD when Hyun is on screen!!

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What I sense is Hyun will sacrifice his life so she and Jiwoon can live in peace but how that will come about I'm not sure.

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The scene where CP stops Jung Seok Ho from murdering Jiwoon's friends was hands-down the coolest thing I've ever seen a woman do in a kdrama. But does her grandfather's power extend further than hers? She had reason to just have Jung killed right then and there but she didn't, probably because she's only cold but not merciless. Would anyone have challenged her besides her grandfather if she killed Jung? I feel like part of the reason why so many in the royal court don't respect the CP is because they don't really see him(her) as powerful, just full of empty threats. Maybe I'm missing something from the power struggle equation.

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If Prince Lee Hyun is in love with Dam-i/the Crown Prince "Lee Hwi", that means he's in love with his own cousin? Are they distant cousins? Please don't tell me they're first cousins. Does a first cousin relationship fall under the incest taboo in Korea at that time or is it considered as not-incest?

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Please can someone who has seen episode five put my mind at ease? I have severe anxiety when animals are in shows because I cannot stand to see them hurt. It's a full-on trigger for me. Now there is a kitten and I can't bring myself to watch if I don't know it will be ok. This show has not shied away from violence with children being murdered so I see no reason why they would have any qualms about killing off a kitten if the plot called for it. Is the kitten ok?

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Things are heating up!
I'm glad to see the prince beginign her transformation from simply surviving and keeping her secret, to a person of power that can and WILL act up on their values-regardless of what others would think. Standing up to her maternal grandfather is dangerous but I belive there is no one braver than her.

It's interesting how Dam-yi was the one to influence Jung to become a better person, and now, a lifetime away, he returns the favour and help her come back to the same moral concious she held in her youth. Our prince is all to used to seeing mud-and perhaps his relationship with his tutor (well, his tutor for NOW) might be the lotus of virtue he was looking for.

My heart aches for the secondary characters, especially those who aren't nobles and don't have the power to stand up for themselves. It often feels in this show that the peasents are pushed aside and I hope to see more plot involving the clinic siblings.

I love Hyun, even if I am VERY iffy on him being a love intrest. He just seems like a good influence to have around. By the way the royal family, the queen seems to brew something up. Her son (the younger prince) seems very innocent and adores his older brother, I wish he wouldn't get hurt in the schemes of the adults around him (As seems par the course for children in this show)

I don't know how much I like that Jung has some fighting abiliities (enough to beat his father)... I kinda liked him as a clumsy scholar. oh well.

By the way fighting abilites, bodyguard kim proves his worth this two episodes, while getting more suspect by the minute. If he is related to tutor Kang and wishes to avenge his death, I don't see why he would try to kill the prince (who was a child at the time, and also adored his tutor). We shall see. Maybe he wasn't in the woods that day to kill THE PRINCE, neccerily... Time will tell. Side note: it's kind of funny to me how he's always there in the background during romantic scences. Just standing. Doing his job. Listening to those nobles talk and flirt. A fly on the wall to be sure.

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Completely agree about Kim Jae-chul.

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