First time I laughed so hard over a scene in a sageuk drama. When the camera panned up, I was dying from laughter. Why do I have a feeling next week won’t have any scenes with rose petals floating down anymore. Am I going to be biting my nails and trying to type at the same time as the tragic part of this story gets underway? I bet I will be crying right along with her family and brother. Not to mention poor H – just when happiness is right next to him, he will have to turn around and embrace tragedy next week.
sooooo cute together even without hair and makeup 🙂
best child actor cast ever -next to CYHMH 🙂
Here is a legend of the abbreviations we’ll be using. It includes photos of most (but not all) the child actors and will grow as the drama progresses:
|Lee Hwon – H||Wol – Wol
Heo Yeon Woo – YW
|Yang Myeong Goon – M|
|Yoon Bo Kyeong – B||Heo Yeom – Y||Woon – Woon|
|Seol – S||Princess Min Hwa – MW||King Seong Jo|
|Park Hoe Bin – P||Queen Dowager Yoon||Jang Nok Yeong – J|
|Hyeong Seong – HS||Minister Heo Yeong Jae||Minister Yoon Dae Hyeong|
Since sageuks are confusing, here are some very brief character descriptions. There are more detailed descriptions available, but they could be considered rather spoilery. The names in brackets are the actors’ names (childhood actors are listed second, where applicable):
Lee Hwon (Kim Soo Hyun/Yeo Jin Goo) – The future king.
Heo Yeon Woo (Han Ga In/Kim Yoo Jung) – An intelligent and beautiful girl who was betrothed to Lee Hwon.
Wol (Han Ga In)- A shaman who bears a strong resemblance to Yeon Woo.
Prince Yang Myeong (Jung Il Woo/Lee Min Ho) – Lee Hwon’s older half-brother from another mother. He is next in line for the throne after Hwon, but is a loyal brother.
Yoon Bo Kyeong (Kim Min Seo/Kim So Hyun) – Hwon’s first wife.
Heo Yeom (Song Jae Hee/Si Wan) – The affectionate and incredibly smart older brother of Yeon Woo.
Woon (Song Jae Rim/Lee Won Geun)- Lee Hwon’s bodyguard, he is the son of a nobleman and a concubine (which gives him a low status despite his intelligence and martial prowess).
Seol (Yoon Seung Ah)- Yeon Woo’s personal maidservant.
Princess Min Hwa (Nam Bo Ra/Jin Ji Hee) – Hwon’s younger sister who was jealous of Yeon Woo as a child, and smitten with Yeom.
King Seong Jo (Ahn Nae Sang) – Lee Hwon’s father.
Park Hoe Bin (Kim Ye Ryeong) – The king’s consort and mother to Yang Myeong.
Queen Empress/Dowager Yoon (Kim Young Ae) – Lee Hwon’s grandmother. She is a lady of ambition, and will do almost anything to get rid of contenders for power.
Shaman Jang Nok Yeong (Jeon Mi Seon) – Wol’s adoptive mother.
Hyeong Seon (Jeong Eun Pyo) – Hwon’s male aide.
Minister Heo Yeong Jae (Sun Woo Jae Duk)- Yeom and Yeon Woon’s father.
Minister Yoon Dae Hyeong Kim Eung Soo) – Bo Kyeong’s father, and Dowager Yoon’s right-hand man.
After H and YW stare at each other, we can see that not only did M watch them, B saw them too cuz she is crying in the distance.
H and YW sit as rose petals float down. H asks : does your name YW mean soft rain? YW says it does. H: then it could also mean rain falling during a fog too – it’s a pretty name. YW: may I ask what your name means. He says it means the sun and says who gave him that name. she says his name “lee hwon” in her head. he asks why she avoided him during that time. Do you not like me? YW: no. H is happy and asks: so you didn’t dislike me? He asks then why did she make him do this dangerous thing. She says I am not the one who is in your heart. H: what does that mean. She says she heard how he met minister yoon’s daughter secretly here not too long ago. B. H: that was cuz of you. if you didnt lie then there wouldnt have been a mistake where that kid was thought to be you. YW says in her head ” a mistake?”
H keeps going: you didnt think about what you did wrong – how could you blame me…but he stops and asks :wait – by any chance are you jealous of me and that kid. She says no she wasn’t. he keeps going on about how there are two girls who like him so she says she already said she wasnt jealous so why is he…but she stops talking when she gets what he meant. He says how there will be a selection for his wife soon – you will put your name up too so I will wait – if it’s you – for sure you could end up being the prince’s wife. She smiles sort of.
H realizes HS has stopped making petals fall so he clears his throat and wakes HS up. HS was dozing on the rooftop and quickly fans more petals to fall. YW and H smile (OMG cutest thing EVER)
H giggles and stares at his lettuce. HS: you told me to throw it away but I knew you would look for it again so I did well not to throw it away didn’t I. H: you dont know the reason why YW sent me this lettuce do you? HS: isnt it to mean to wait. you waited and waited to see what kind of flower would grow from the pot -no matter how long that wait was, you kept waiting. HS goes on about how the lettuce is good for easing anger that is built up in the heart. so isnt it YW’s deep meaning for you to stop being angry. H asks how he knows. that’s what YW said only to me. HS complains – how H talked about that lettuce with him now for the 14th time. unless my head was full of rocks, how would I forget? H: I told you that? HS: yes. H: when? HS lists after H heard about the lettuce from some plant expert- every time we happened to lock eyes – every time you had some time.
H asks if that means HS is in favor of YW becoming his wife too but HS sort of whines saying he used to at first till H went on too much about her. H says just wait she will get selected as his wife.
M reads the notice about how young girls between ages 12-16 shouldn’t get married cuz they needed to be presented to the court as candidates to be the prince’s wife . total guess cuz that’s what this whole episode revolves around
H is having lesson with Y. Y says that’s the end of today’s lesson. H asks if YW put her name in for the selection. Y: not yet. H: is there some problem? Y gets on his knees and asks for a request. Y states what’s bad about girls putting their names in for the selection so Y is on his knees begging like this. [Y is asking that his sister’s name not be included.] H asks why-hurry and answer me. Y: cuz you cant be with her. H gets angry and asks -what do you mean I cant be with YW? Y says something about how she might not be selected and starts to beg again but H stands and says: I cant do that -I wont accept your request – first reason is I dont want to lose her -second reason is I….cuz I like you!Everyone outside listening in and Y are all shocked. H runs out embarrassed. HS tells the guards that H did not say Y.
HS goes in and tells Y -dont be mistaken it wasnt your sister – he couldnt say who it was so he said some girl who resembled you -just that it was a person who is a girl. HS goes out calling for the prince.
(*H is not supposed to say YW’s name –it’s like H is not supposed to show he already has a preference. Also Y doesn’t want his sister’s name on that list cuz girls who aren’t chosen still are considered H’s and therefore they have to live out the rest of their lives wearing plain clothes and pretty much messing up their lives. Or end up as concubines. That is why her mom will object too later)
HS says how H shouldn’t have confessed.At least if H is going to confess, he should have said her name but H argues- how could he when he didn’t tell her yet. H says he is disappointed that Y would ask that. HS: you really don’t know the reason why he did that. H: he probably didnt like me as his sister’s husband. HS says Y probably didnt mean that. H: then what did he mean?
YW’s mom is talking to her husband. Her mom says that minister yoon’s daughter is already been picked so what is the point of putting in YW’s name to the list. the dad sort of ignores her so she takes his paper away so he asks for it back but she ignores him. she is upset that YW will be eliminated. dont you know the truth that girls on that list that are eliminated still have to live out the rest of their lives belonging to the prince. she asks if he is ok with YW living the rest of her life alone wearing plain clothes and stuff or living as a concubine. he asks if she wants to go against the law then. she asks her husband to ask the king to leave out YW’s name. the dad wont go along with it though. her mom: then are you going to put your two hands down and do nothing? YW overhears that from outside.
HS explains that Y made that request to save his sister. H asks if girls who have been eliminated can’t come to the palace. HS says what happens to them- live alone or bring to palace to live as concubines like M’s mom. HS says how the dowager (H’s grandma) decides who to eliminate among the girls (for wife selection). H gets up and says the person who is controlling the selection is his grandmother (meaning she has an agenda already). He remembers that B said she is minister yoon’s daughter and realizes that she is his grandmother’s favorite choice. He goes to see his dad.
H asks to speak to the king alone and gets everyone to leave the room. King asks what H wants to say. H brings up the wife selection
M walks over to see the king and asks if H is there (cuz M saw HS waiting outside). Servants say that no one is allowed in for the time being
King says how the grandma makes the selections. H asks for a fair selection process. H asks his dad to go over the dowager’s head. his dad says just cuz I am King doesnt mean I can go over everyone. H says he heard that the list was already narrowed down ( as in a choice has already been made) so the king says I wont act just on your suspicions. H says I am not asking this just cuz of my suspicions- this whole process is to select the queen – isnt it right that the suitable person is chosen. king points out how H met B secretly so the king says: a guy who knows that – you behaved that way? king says that H misbehaved and complicated matters so it’s his fault so why is H trying to get his dad to make it right. H: what if I put everything back in its place? then will you allow a fair selection process?
H asks HS to send someone to go find out about the leader of Sungkyunkwan (SKK)*from what I can tell H is trying to let that leader know what’s going on so that guy will do something about getting a fair selection
King – what did I promise you (what did I agree to)? M reminds him that after H’s wife’s selection is over to let M get married next. king: over that matter I never made you a promise. M tries to point out the king clearly said ..but the king says: I said I would think about it but never promised I would do that. if you are done talking then go. M asks if the king is suddenly changing his mind cuz H has someone in mind. did the prince put the same name up that I did? (meaning is the name of the girl M wants to marry the same as H) is that why. king says stuff like there are those who are going to be king and those who are going to be (some other title) and a law about who is going to be the queen and who is going to be (some other title). M asks if that means the king is saying that minister heo’s daughter could become the queen. king replies: if that child passes the selection process then she will be. M asks what if that girl gets eliminated then will you give me permission. King says even the ones who are eliminated all end up belonging to the prince. did you forget that is the law? M makes a plea asking if the king wants M to just stand and watch that happen to YW (watch YW’s life be ruined). king: what? M: there is no one who doesnt know that minister yoon’s daughter has been chosen for the prince’s wife’s position so how could you ask me to just stand by and watch? king gets angry and tells M to shut his mouth. King says don’t make me say this again. he threatens M with treason.
M is upset as he leaves and stands where he used to play with H as kids. M talks to the young prince and says: Don’t smile that way, Everything you wanted comes too easily – even what I’ve tried to have or ever wanted. Please stop smiling that way. So that I can hate you as much as I want….Just then M helps pick up the young prince who fell. M makes a mental plea – if you can’t allow that then please quiet this violent wind in my heart
King wants to go see the princess so he can hear her laughter.
MW hides and waits and stands in front of Y but he just walks by her without noticing. she goes after him and blocks him. he says sorry cuz he was thinking of other things and didnt see her. she gives him the bracelet saying she made it for him. he thanks her. She asks if YW is doing well. He says yes YW is well. She asks if he has a wife. He says he isnt married yet. she is happy. She asks if he has any prospects-someone to marry and he said he doesn’t have one yet. She jumps up and down. she takes his hand and says how these days she is reading. she says it’s not true what H said before about how she is dumb. That she is the one who solved the riddle about the eyelids. if you close your eyes like this the whole world becomes dark and if you open them…he looks down so she asks him: Look at me. She does the closing and opening eyes again. Y looks at her and smiles. She says “wahhh so pretty” and runs off.
MW is walking with a smile on her face. She sees her dad the king. she calls out father. king: our princess. he holds out his arms to hug her but she stops from running into his arms and says she is no longer a young child. king:what? she says she has something to tell him and invites him to her room politely. he laughs. king: what is it that our princess wants to say
King: did you just ask me to let you marry Y just now? MW: yes. She says since the prince is going to find a wife now I should…but king says no. MW: what? why cant I? he says how Y is going to work for country. she says that makes him qualified to be her husband. king says she is still too young and doesn’t understand and explains what kind of person she has to marry. She asks if that means she has to marry someone ugly and dumb. king: I dont mean that – just saying that you cant marry Y. He tries to explain again about what kind of person she needs, but she cries and says she doesn’t want to. everyone else gets someone good and I have to marry someone crappy (my words) King says he will chooses someone good for her. but she cries: I dont want to – if it’s not that person I dont want to. king: i said no. he tells her to forget Y now. she bawls and shakes her head no : I don’t want to.
Y is walking home and sees S practicing with her sword stick. She sees Y and puts it away. He says she is good at her sword skills. S: I am sorry young master. Y: I said it was ok. She asks what brings him here. He says he came to ask her something. he asks her to look at his face. She asks how could she dare but he tells her it’s ok so look at his face so S looks at him. Y: if there is a girl who looks just like me -who is it? S says YW. Y wonders: they probably never even met before so how and when – how does he know her. (he is trying to figure out where H could have met his sister)
YW explains that on graduation day she met H by accident at the palace. Y asks: do you feel the same as the prince? She says she knows his worries. He asks if she knows there is already someone selected for the prince’s wife (meaning B). YW: I know. He asks her to avoid the selection process by pretending to be sick. do you remember the move I taught you for badok (americans call this game “Go”) to move to somewhere safe. It will be dangerous for you if the dowager knows about what’s going on between you two– you could be the cause of a war. YW says she cant do that. she repeats what Y taught her saying it’s the same for a person’s heart. once you give your heart -whatever happens -how she cant go against what the prince wants
SKK scholar guy gets caught by guards and taken to see H. the guy kneels in front of H. H asks if Hong is the leader of something from SKK. hong asks how H knew about him. H says when he got the books he was supposed to read as the prince, he got the list of students at SKK too. even though I couldnt take classes with you I was proud to be a SKK student like you. but these days I am embarrassed about the news I got about SKK. how could SKK just stand by and watch what’s going on when they are supposed to guide the country so how can they allow one family to secure power. Hong asks if H is referring to the prince’s wife selection. H asks something serious about the selection which alarms HS too. (pretty sure H just incited Hong to have a demonstration)
Minister yoon and dowager meet. They talk about YW and dowager says something about how he is right and it wont be easy.
The guy from SKK makes an announcement about the people on the list. How buying your way to get to a position is something they cant stand around and watch. Hong is instigating a demonstration. Hong thinks: a prince who wants fair selection -this country’s future is going to be fun
King remembers what H said.about how it’s abusing power not to have a fair selection process and what kind of qualified person he wants next to him. ….as royalty that’s what he has to do. king asks if that is why H did this. H: yes. King: show me and convince me. King thinks the prince is something else for making SKK move/ act. SKK scholars are sort of holding a demonstration or protest about fair selection
King meets with the ministers. All the men say stuff to support each other about not to listen to the scholars but minister Heo (YW’s dad) says stuff about fairness and king orders that the selection process has to be fair so it won’t be up to the dowager anymore. it makes the SKK guy smile. Dowager does not look happy.
Dowager goes to meet the king.she sort of scolds him saying this should be decided by royalty so why let scholars get a chance to be involved or something. sort of hinting that it’s making the royal court weak or unstable to give away power. he talks about the selection choice being fair and how it wont be bad to do that. they keep talking about bloodlines- how she chose the right girl cuz of who she is and not her bloodline. She reminds him who has protected his position – you haven’t forgotten have you what would have happened if it wasnt for my power? king: I didn’t forget – how could I forget. He remembers his half brother being killed. He glares at her and brings that up. that terrible thing you and minister yoon did. Dowager is shocked and says if you know that then you cant do this to me. i didnt let a drop of blood touch you so you cant forget about me. King gets just as mad at her – saying even after he found out the truth too late (about his half brother being killed) -what was the reason why he couldnt report it – cuz of who do you think that was? he tells her not to be greedy anymore. He says how the prince’s wife selection will be fair. He calls for her servants to escort her away.
When she is alone, Dowager makes a fist and looks like she could kill someone. (she was directing this comment to the King)She says you cant do this to me – just watch- I wont back down here (I wont stop at this).
YW’s mom is teaching YW how to make a deep bow incorrectly. YW does it correctly so her mom says that’s too ladylike. she teaches YW to do it so it makes a thump noise when she sits down – sort of like plopping herself down (which is like the worst way possible). YW does it the wrong way and asks: like this? Her mom says yes. she coaches YW to slurp her soup loudly when noodles are served for lunch. it would even be better if you leave droplets here and there. also say that your hobby is reading and writing and not stuff like embroidery-say that you lived not doing those things. She is sort of making YW lie about her answers when YW gets questioned in the initial selection process. YW: If I do that do you think I will be eliminated. YW’s mom: what does that mean – I was just preparing you. her mom gives up and ask: Did you suspect. YW: not knowing would be more strange. dont do that mother – no matter what the result – I want to be a daughter father can be proud of so just stand by and watch. Her mom hugs her.
it’s the day of testing and girls all gather and do stuff. B and YW smile at each other
YW looks at the moon: remembers how H said he will wait – if it’s you – you will surely be the prince’s wife.
She turns and sees M. she starts to ask what he is doing here this late at night but she stops and sees how he is dressed and asks if he is going somewhere. M: before I go I wanted to see your face once so I dropped by. He leans in close to her face so she leans back. M jokes: unattractive (ugly) face. Since I saw it well now it’s ok. I’ll be leaving.
YW: Are you going to come back? M: Why? Are you worried I wont come back. She says everytime you leave, you stop contact for a long time so everyone worries. in between your travels, give them news of you… M interrupts and asks suddenly: Will you go with me? he says how it’s already been decided and B will end up being the one. he lists all the things that will end up happpening to her like maybe become a concubine and how she will live out the rest of her life alone. “if you want to run away from this situation -if you do- he says how he could give up everything for her to protect her. she tells him his joke went too far. M: it is huh? it went too far huh? You really wont regret the path you chose. YW: Yes. M cheers her on and says she will do well. he makes a fist and tells her to send away minister yoon’s daughter with one punch. got that? He flicks her forehead and leaves.
When M goes over the wall and turns, Woon is there. Woon: I thought I could see you here. W shares a story : one day–a kid said “teacher praise me -today my father hit me for no reason but i just stood there calmly and got hit. didnt I do well?” do you know what he said? “stupid boy – if you stand there and get beat to death -your dad will end up being someone who killed his child -how terrible will that be for your dad – when your dad hits, you have to run away.” Woon: Is that why you are leaving. M: the tree wanted to stand still but the wind keeps blowing so what can be done. before it gets broken, best thing is to avoid.
M: That moon – wherever I go it will probably follow me huh? They look up at the moon together.
King meets with 3 girls and says they went thru a lot (during the selection process to make it to the final round). He says they look nervous – people live in the palace so dont fear too much. Dowager says isnt it obvious they should fear since the king is involved. King asks the girls : today I have something curious so I am going to ask you something. I am this country’s gold. if there could be a monetary value placed on me – how much money will I be. He calls on the first girl and she stammers out random high numbers -100-1000 manyang thinking it’s a lot cuz she doesn’t know about money and doesn’t even know how much is a lot of money. king calls on B next and she gives some meaningful answer about -how high up he is and far reaching so how could he be counted with money – hang something in the sky or if there is something that can measure the depth of the sea -then maybe it could be done. the dowager likes that answer. King asks YW to answer and she gives a low amount (like a penny or something)
H is doing archery. HS runs over and H asks how it went. HS is out of breath. H: what happened. HS: that…
Dowager and king and queen accept her deep bow as YW bows to them. King remembers YW’s answer for why she gave such a low amount – that there is nothing more important than a penny to someone poor – a rich person who has a lot doesnt know the value of a penny but someone who doesnt have anything knows well the worth of the penny -how to poor citizens – that small amount is precious. So the king is that penny cuz he is precious to everyone – poor or rich.King smiles and asks the queen: what do you think – isnt she a wonderful daugher in law. queen: she really is. King: it’s the country’s luck. I was happy to have your father and brother (work for me) but now we have such a pretty daugher . King asks the dowager to say something nice to YW but she says she is old and doesnt have much to say. she tells YW to do her best for the prince. YW says she will
MW is lying down and wont eat. Her servants tell her how MW missed out on being there when YW was chosen. MW: what does she have to do with me. The servant says “but wasnt she someone you liked” MW retorts: that was when I thought she would be my sister in law. Why does that girl get to do what she wants but why cant I? she orders them to clear the table cuz she is going to starve like this. Queen comes in and asks what’s going on. don’t cry and tell me. MW asks her mom to ask her dad – like convince the king cuz if it isn’t that person (Y) I will die. queen says how MW is not allowed to speak of that again. MW cries and says she hates everyone – her parents and brother. She leaves the room
MW goes and asks the dowager to give the order for her dad to let her marry Y. dowager asks what’s going on. so MW has to be dragged away. The dowager suddenly looks like she has an idea
J is standing outside and there is a storm coming. Another shaman comes and says where J needs to go
YW is in a room and her servant explains about the room – how YW will stay here till her wedding I think. that this room is the prettiest in the palace and it’s called a flower that bloomed and was chosen for her especially. YW spoke using formal language that the room is beautiful like its name so the servant tells YW to speak down to her. (cuz now YW is high rank and cant speak formally to servants anymore) the woman says what YW has to do starting from tm so sleep early. she leaves a handkerchief saying YW will need it. They leave her to rest.
YW sits there and calls out “mother” and starts to cry. She uses the handkerchief saying “ this is why I need it.” She notices there is writing on it. It’s H asking: were you crying over the family that you left behind? If you were, then open the window. She goes and opens it and H is there. he asks if she is surprised. She says it’s forbidden for him to be here so what is he doing here. She closes the window and tells him to go but he called out wait a minute but she didn’t listen. It’s quiet so she opens it again and he is gone.
YW runs outside and he is there with two chairs set up and tons of servants everywhere. H: are you all done crying now? Don’t worry cuz I got special permission from the king. I prepared this for you since you and I wont be able to sleep tonight anyway so let’s spend it together.
H holds out his hand for her to take and she does. They smile at each other. He motions for her to sit. He tells her to be forgiving/understanding cuz this was prepared quickly and performance wont be that great. H tells HS to begin. HS does a silent puppet show for them.
J: what did you just say. Dowager: I told you to get rid of her cuz the wife to be was switched. You are the only person who could do this. J starts to say “She is already the prince’s wife to be but the dowager says how J shouldn’t be like that cuz what will happen if I don’t support you. (meaning if she doesnt support the shamans)J: are you threatening me. Dowager: it’s a warning. J: she is the prince’s wife. dowager: if you kill her then she will no longer be the prince’s wife. with your own lips you said minister yoon’s daughter would be the one. you have to take responsibility for what you said. with your ability -kill the child Heo YW.
*J had told the dowager that B would be selected so now the dowager is holding J to that prophecy.
J walks out and asks: were you talking about me Ari? The person who brings danger to that child – was it me? tell me Ari-what do I do? Between the shamans and that child – which one do I have to protect.
Suddenly J is at the cliff with the gravesite and reads the red ribbon. Lee im gong. The letters disappear except for one character which means “shaman.” the red ribbon flies away carried by the wind.
H and YW are happily watching the puppet show while J quotes : if she gets too close to the sun,she will be ruined, but the child is fated to stay by the sun’s side…“is killing her the only thing I can do?”
I’m probably the least superstitious person on the planet, but I still love dramas and books with fantastical elements like this because I find them rather thought-provoking. If J didn’t believe in the prophecy, would it have still come true? Because of her belief she suggested B as H’s future wife in order to protect YW, but if she hadn’t done that, would the Queen dowager now be going to such malicious extremes? Now that J has caused this prophecy to come true, has it been fulfilled, or will it continue to perpetuate itself in the future when Wol meets H? It’s all very intriguing.
I think it’s going to be a common theme that we all feel bad for M, pretty much constantly. I almost cried when he imagined H and himself as tiny kids, and helped little H up when he saw him fall. It’s like he wants to be resentful toward H, but he loves him so much that the moment he sees him in distress he runs to help without even thinking.
It’s tragic that M can do nothing about the unjust treatment that results from his birth, and in that sense, I suppose that Woon is his kindred spirit (he is the son of a nobleman and a concubine). H and M are obviously incredibly close, but it’s clear that Woon is the one who understands M best, and he seems like a stalwart and thoughtful friend, despite his stern exterior (I think he’s going to be my fav!).
I also got a few tears in my eye when M said goodbye to YW. M seemed conflicted between being happy to see her and sad to see her go, as well as torn between worry for her future, a sincere desire to see her happy, and also just plain wanting her to himself. It doesn’t seem like interpreting male feelings is YW’s strong suit however, and it felt a bit like the two of them were having two different conversations. I wonder how aware of his romantic affections she’ll be as an adult?
It seems like practically every relationship in this drama is heartwarming in its own unique way. H and HS continued to be delightful, and I love that HS whines so openly, and that H so obviously cares what HS thinks (although he tries to hide it). Poor HS has to be the hardest working man in the palace though; he probably looks forward to his wall-punishments so he can catch a breather from acting as H’s counselor, arranging puppet shows, running errands, fanning blossoms, and cleaning up all H’s many messes.
The father-daughter relationship between the king and MW is incredibly endearing as well. MW is obviously the apple of his eye, and he seems nothing like royalty the moment he sees her. It’s quite endearing that he can only yell at her for all of a second before softening up, and her face when he does yell is priceless. It’s like she doesn’t comprehend that he could ever be strict with her (I give major credit to the actress who plays MW, since I don’t think it would be easy to throw such massive tantrums). The king’s “I have a headache pose” when MW told him that she wanted to marry Y cracked me up.
I’m not sure I really understand why the king is so adamantly against the MW/Y pairing though. Is it against protocol for the prince and his sister to marry into the same family, or is it just bad for the royal family politically to show no diversity? Or does the king just think that MW is too young, and not a good match for Y, who is already of a marriageable age?
*Edit – I found the answer to my own question in Blue’s Chapter 5 book translation over at Electric Ground. Thanks Blue! Here is her note:
“The royal son-in-laws were forbidden from engaging in any political activity or speech and public scholarly pursuit, in order to prevent them from threatening the king’s power or his throne. And thus, extremely talented people who could contribute to society were not selected to be a royal son-in-law. In contrast, Yeom was too talented for his gift to be wasted away by marrying into the royal family.”
It’s hard to not feel bad for MW since she’s such a fierce and earnest little creature, but I think I feel worse for Y. How is he supposed to react when MW literally jumps up and down with excitement when she hears that he has no marriage prospects, and then runs away from his prettiness?
That being said, Y might just be more confused than anything. He may be incredibly book-smart, but he seems a bit slow when it comes to the real world (perhaps it runs in the family?). He wasn’t able to deduce on his own that H and Y liked each other, and I bet that he’s equally clueless regarding MW’s feelings for him. I think he’s going to have a sad future, and I’m not sure he’s well equipped to cope with it all. Hopefully he forms a strong bond with H, and the four boys can all support each other.
Even though H is a bit of an incorrigible brat, it’s clear that he’s fairly intelligent and very kind-hearted. I love all the clever little letters he sends to YW, and hope that it’s something he does again in adulthood. The puppet show he arranged was adorable, although it felt bitter-sweet since we all know they don’t have many happy moments left. I think I would’ve felt better if the episode didn’t end with the two of them smiling so blissfully!
I can’t remember the last time I felt so quickly invested in a drama. It’s absurd that these kids are already getting me weepy-eyed, but I applaud them for being able to do such things to me. During the last couple episodes of SKKS I practically cried every time Moon Jae Shin was on screen because I felt so terrible for him. Why do I get the impression that this drama isn’t going to be any kinder to me?
Btw, here’s a spoiler for next week (highlight to see): In episode 6 (possibly 7) there’s going to be a supposedly passionate kiss between H and YW (as adults of course).
All these kid actors were impressive enough to begin with, but then I saw BTS shots and realized how incredibly freezing they must be! If I was in their shoes I would look like a marshmallow because I’d insist on wearing 20 layers of thermal underwear under my historical garb.