When this drama first started, it maintained a steady pace and became a hit overnight. Characters were so well developed that we quickly became attached to them and had a hard time letting the child actors go. Then the ratings started to creep up higher and the pace increased all full speed. We all know what happens to most fast moving vehicles when it does that, but Moon seems to be blessed with a bit of magic. It has the capability to distort reality so that even though the flaws are glaringly obvious, we are blinded by what we want to see. Maybe it’s because we had an extra week to prepare for tonight, but I am not broken up as much as I thought I would be. The story has been told and all that is left is to bring about some reconciliation and reunions. As I wondered what to write for this finale, a thought crept into my mind. Last night as I was adding up the body count of all the people who died throughout this series, I wondered just how many were killed by Yoon and the Dowager’s greed and how the rest simply died as casualties of a conspiracy they had no part in. It made me think of Saving Private Ryan when the captain tells Ryan that he needs to earn this. Since so many good men had to die to save Ryan, The captain wanted Ryan to live a good life so that all those men didn’t die in vain. That’s how I felt about Hwon and YW. So many innocent lives were lost for the moon and sun to be together so it makes you wonder if Hwon and YW appreciate what they have now since it came at such a high price. Happiness gained through your own effort is one thing, but their happiness was bought with a lot of bloodshed. Just like YW is grateful to N every time YW gets to sit across from Hwon, I hope every year they are together, they stop to think about the people who aren’t in their lives anymore who made ultimate sacrifices for their very existence.
One day Fanderay emailed me and mentioned the idea of recapping Moon. I tried to tell her sageuk was not my thing, but she encouraged me to give it a try and to let it go if it was too hard. Thanks to her I now have more confidence in recapping a sageuk, but more than likely unless the next one stars JW or a reincarnation of MJS, this will be my last sageuk drama for a while. Rooftop Prince doesn’t count cuz I am assuming they will speak normally once they assimilate to living in 2012. Plus I already honed by sageuk skills on Moon so I am ready for it. Thank you Fanderay for having faith in my sageuk comprehension ability when I didn’t have any cuz now I feel like I’ve climbed to the top of a mountain I thought was too high and the view from here is spectacular.
I want to extend my gratitude to Semi-fly for being so generous with her time in dropping off so many torrents for us for every episode. She doesn’t just leave a few of them, she gives us every single one there is for that night. If it wasn’t for her, these recaps wouldn’t have been finished in such a timely manner. I owe her all those extra hours of sleep I get cuz she is so incredibly fast. Thank you very much. 🙂
Starts from Yoon telling M in a flashback that he will give the king’s neck to M. M: are you saying you want me to slit the king’s neck myself. Yoon says how M has to show that for the rest of the supporters to really believe M is on their side. M: only if I extend the hand that has the blood of my brother, they are going to acknowledge me as king. Yoon says something about how this country was built on stuff like that. M says it’s a good chance and it’s not a bad suggestion. M says he will do it.
Present time – Yoon yells out orders to kill them. he tells M to hurry and slit H’s neck. Flashback to when this happened before. H yells at M: Why are you hesitating hurry and slit my neck. You lost your chance today brother so dont try to get another chance again. M: no I will have another chance. you wont know what I will do then. Tell me. What are you planning. Current time: Yoon tells at M -why are you hesitating – hurry and slit his neck. M yells and goes for H but suddenly cuts down other guard. then woon stikes one down too so H can run up to safety. flashback to that day again. H had told M all his plans to restore right. H: I am thinking of having a hunt. the conspirators who tried to kill that girl. those who used her death to go up to their positions. those who killed the innocent. those who cared more about themselves than this country or this country’s citizens. all of those people I am going to hunt down. M: they (Yoon’s faction) wont just sit by and let that happen. H: I know. if I dont give up my ideals, they will look elsewhere for help. they will come and find you soon. M: so what do you want from me. H says how he needs a book with the names of the conspirators written on there. if they arent eliminated, YW will live all her life in danger. also this country will have to walk an uphill path. M: what do you trust about me to put yourself in such danger. H: I saved your life just now. M says what H is talking about it different. H: of course. The decision is up to you.
M runs up halfway as H runs to the top of the steps. Yoon and everyone attacks but H’s guards protect him. Yoon’s side is outnumbered. More guards show up and close the doors. Yoon’s side is surrounded. H: from here on the hunt starts. run to the front. The guards attack yoon’s men. M and woon jump in to fight. Yoon yells out an award for those who kill the king and M. Ministers are killed.
B’s aide goes to her room telling her to move cuz she is in danger but B is gone.
B is walking and says – your majesty and father – did you have to draw blood- between the two of you, I dont know who will win, but my title will be taken away. From the first day I saw you your majesty the only thing I wanted was your love. Until the last moment as the queen, I will die as your woman. She forms a noose with the bedsheet to hang herself with
More ministers die. Yoon orders M to be killed and the book of names taken away so the professor is about to kill M but cant. M tells the rest of Yoon’s faction – the book of names is with me so if you can kill me, come and get it. Yoon looks around at everyone dead. He is the only one left standing.
Yoon looks at H and H shoots his arrow at Yoon. He hits Yoon’s leg. Yoon gets back up. Yoon goes after H but M cuts him down. Yoon falls. M looks at H and smiles.
One insurgent gets up and H calls out to M. the man is about to come after M. M stands and gets ready. He says in his head: please forgive me for my childish choice. There should only be one sun in the sky so there wont be anymore chaos cuz of me. (meaning no one can use him anymore to get to H)
M drops his sword and lets himself be killed. H says it quietly at first then yells: hyungnim. H runs over to M.
N stares at the sky and looks at the two suns. Then the moon covers one of them. Jansil cries and says brother
H is near M as M lays dying. Woon is crying. M says it’s good to lean in his arms. Woon: why? M: these days it was tiring pretending to be an insurgent and it’s no fun anymore. if there is any regret – maybe for not seeing Y. H is crying. M: why are you crying over something like this. Don’t cry. I am ok. M gives the book. M: this is the book of names of the insurgents you ordered. H: ok. please don’t move. the doctors will be here soon. (hang on) until then. M: there was a time when I resented you for having everything so I really was going to go after your position. but my friends and our relationship were too precious to exchange for the king’s position.
M holds H’s hand and says please be a good king and watch over this country’s citizens with that girl. I will watch over you from there (the sky) M says in his head: father I am coming to where you are as your son –over there – not as a king but as my father, you can laugh for me as much as you want, but I feel bad for my mother who is left behind. M remembers how he said goodbye to young YW-how she asked if he was going somewhere and how he said he dropped by to see her face before he left. “since I saw this unattractive face well, now it’s done.”
M dies so H holds him and keeps calling out to him asking him to open his eyes. H: I only ordered you to get the book of names – I never ordered you to die. please open your eyes. it’s an order –are you disobeying an order. hyungnim. H yells out and looks at the sky
YW is reading in the sedan and Hong knocks and says it took a long time but they are here and tells her to get out. She asks where this is. Hong says the king ordered him to bring her here. he tells her to hurry and go inside since you suffered on the trip over.
YW goes through the gates and sees her mom walk by. She starts to cry and tries to say “mom.” her mom calls out YW. Are you YW? YW nods yes. her mom asks: Are you really YW? They hug and cry. her mom says: You were alive. You really were alive. Her mom looks at her face and asks is this a dream or reality. How can something like this happen. I didn’t know I would meet you. her mom falls to her knees so YW hugs her. Y comes outside calling mother and YW calls out “brother.” he looks away (in guilt) Her mom hugs her again and calls her my baby. He says let’s take mother inside.
Her mom is lying down holding onto YW’s hand. Y leaves them alone. Her mom says a while back I saw a girl like you – whatever her crime was people were throwing rocks at her. when I saw her my heart broke. YW tells her they can talk about others slowly so just rest now. Her mom says no how can I sleep- what if you disappear again while I am asleep. YW says that wont happen. She wont go anywhere without her permission. Her mom: I don’t what happened. for the past 8 yrs, in your place, the princess stayed by my side -that she is involved in your death. I cant believe that. YW: did you hear that from my brother. Her mom says: I heard that she committed a huge crime. in her stomach, our bloodline is there. How could she do such a thing.
YW goes out and calls out brother. YW: Aren’t you going to look at me. if you blame yourself I have no choice but to regret being alive . do you want me to think that. he turns around and says I committed a big crime to you. YW: how could you think you committed a crime against me -you did nothing wrong. He says everything happened cuz of me. everything – just cuz of me. She says don’t say such things and praise me for being alive. He hugs her and thanks her for being alive. She thanks him for being alive like this.
MW is looking at her baby’s clothes that she made. Someone comes in so MW thinks her aide came in so MW says I said I wouldn’t eat any porridge or rice. What aren’t you listening to my words. She looks up and it’s YW holding a tray of porridge. YW asks why she isnt eating. MW: you think I would have any right to eat. YW: So are you going to die together with the baby inside your stomach. MW: do you want me to die. YW: no I want you to live. MW: Lie. that would never happen. I tried to kill you so how could you want me to live. YW: even if you tried to kill me, but I am alive right now. I did resent you enough to want you to die, but thanks to you being alive, my mother was able to find laughter and my brother was able to get a child. MW says how dare you be so insincere. it would be better if you yelled and told me to die. grab my hair so I can bow in front of you to beg for forgiveness. YW: do you need my forgiveness. then I will give you forgiveness. For the sake of the king and my brother who are in pain cuz of you, in your place they begged for forgiveness-for the sake of the two people who are paying for your crime in your place, I will forgive you. but live. live and beg for that forgiveness yourself. take your punishment and atone. Not for my brother and the king but for yourself. MW cries and takes the spoon. MW: for being alive. for living. thank you. YW: please let me say the same thing back to you. MW cries and eats
M’s mom tells M to open his eyes. Stop joking and open your eyes. Who is lying to me. cant you see him smiling. Aren’t you still alive. Please wake up. Don’t joke like this. You shouldn’t do this. your mom is getting afraid. She keeps calling out his name and saying get up. Woon goes outside
As he stands there looking up into the night sky, M shows up and says: so there are days that the guard woon is tired. woon calls out his name. M: did you miss me already. Woon: leaving like that, are you happy. M: yes I like it. I don’t have to fake smiles anymore. also I dont have to force myself to drink the alcohol I didnt like drinking. I am no longer a threat to the king anymore. more than that, I can keep that girl in my heart as much as I want (meaning love YW) so it’s really great. Woon: Can I ask you one thing. M: as much as you want. Woon: Do you still think of me as your friend. M: friend. that word friend is a good word whenever you hear it. Woon: Answer me. did you come to me as a friend. M: of course – until now I did and from here on too you are my friend
Servants are crying over B. H stands there and looks at her. he closes her eyes.
H goes outside and walks over and sees YW standing there. she walks over to him. He breaks down in tears as she hugs him. She pats his back.
H is having a meeting with the new ministers. He says after what happened, the whole country is in chaos. more than anything they need to put to sleep the citizens fears/apprehensions. and make everything stable. ministers say they will do that. H says he wont forget the blood that has been shed during the hunting event. he brings up those who werent involved in the conspiracy and those who did. The people who didnt do anything will be freed and people who committed crimes will be punished. He says how the princess committed the crime of participating in the spell to kill the crown princess 8 yrs ago and sentences MW to slave status after she has the baby. He says something about Y but I dont know if it was all punishment cuz I heard the words the crime of being married to MW and the word fortune taken away and how Y has to go back to the status he was before the marriage. then H says how 8 yrs ago N performed that spell to kill the crown princess but saved her and orders N to leave after she performs the memorial ceremony for the dead people.
N goes to seungsucheong and tells the shamans to prepare for the memorial rite H ordered. she is going to do this one alone. jansil says she wants to go with N. N tells her to stay here at seungsucheong. you have to stay here and protect this place.
Jansil says I don’t want to do it alone. S unni is gone and now Wol unni became someone who is hard to meet. And brother (M) has left this world. if you arent here godmother. dont go. Don’t throw me away and go.
N does some kind of dance in the yard and her voiceover says all the names of the people who died like S, dowager, B, M -all of you – I will take you all with me. she says something about everyone’s souls letting go of what was bad in their lives. then she says : the sky that embraced hope -one sun and one moon is left. She wishes everyone to go their way and wash away their pain. I wish everyone will be happy. with those last words, she dies. Jansil runs over and calls out godmother and cries over N.
H and YW are dressed for their wedding.
On the honeymoon night the aide is pouring too slowly so H orders her to leave. The woman says she isnt supposed to until she is done with certain things but he says just go. She tries to take his belt or robe off but he pulls away from her. H: Where are you putting your hands? the queen hasn’t even touched this body yet. I will get the queen’s assistance so hurry and leave. The aide finally goes
H says to YW: Everyone is gone so lift your head now. YW looks at him. He moves the table and holds out his hand. She takes it and he pulls her over to him.
He suddenly hugs her close and puts her down next to him. H:Who are you? tell me. What is your identity. YW: I am your wife and this country’s mother queen Heo YW. He smiles
*boy they didnt waste anytime did they. next scene offspring.
Two kids are playing. Y and YW watch over them.she says brother so he asks if she has something to say. She says princess MW paid for her crime and has been released from slave status by the king. MW’s aide who had been taking care of MW by her side passed away not too long ago. If you are sorry to me you don’t need to anymore. Y: That’s not it. she says more than anything, dont you think the young kid needs his mom.
the little kid cries so YW goes over and asks if he is ok. He says yes mother. When H comes the kid runs over to him and calls him father. H asks if he had fun cuz his cousin came over to play. Kid says he had a great time.
He asks woon to teach him about swords. H asks his son: this kid. do you like guard woon more than your own father. H nods to woon to take his son.
H asks if Y and YW had fun since they havent met in a while. she says they did. she says their son was lonely so it was good to see him have fun with his cousin. H asks why Y’s son didn’t go with H’s son. the kid says he likes books more than swords. H says- how could you be exactly like your dad so much. H says to Y: even at that young age being so smart, he is just like you teacher. Y: since the only thing I know how to do is read. H says his son the prince resembles M cuz he likes swords- even liking woon. Y: relatives resemble each other so he takes after you too your majesty.
Y asks his son if he misses his mom. the kid asks why he is asking that. Y says his son looked like he was envious when he saw the queen with her son. did father see incorrectly. it’s ok. you can answer honestly. Jansil walks by and sees them. She asks are you the queen’s bother. He says I am. why are you asking. She asks if he knows S. he asks how she knows S. she says S always ask the same thing. every time, she asks: Are you happy? is the young master happy? he has to be happy. She says this every day. Are you happy? It makes Y sad.
H is reading and YW stares at him. She thanks him for releasing MW from being a slave. H: that isnt something for you to be thankful for. YW asks if he is upset at her cuz she kept asking him to do that even after he turned her down a few times. H says releasing MW was something he did as the king and her brother so how could he be mad at YW. it is something I am grateful for. YW says I have a hidden present to thank you. H: a present. He gets up and says he has to go cuz he has a lot of scrolls to read. She says he could read them here too. He says he has to read these scrolls in his room. he tells her to rest comfortably and leaves. Servants think it’s weird cuz H left since he never even thinks of leaving until HS calls him. they say how H and YW never slept apart. they wonder if H has another girl hidden somewhere
H asks if she is ready and to come out. HS introduces her and says she is an expert at gayageum. she bows to H
H is practicing the gayageum. H says there isnt much time left before the queen’s birthday so if you are going to get me to play well enough to play in front of her, you have to teach me well. She says I will do my best. H: I learn everything quickly so it wont be hard. H has a hard time and complains about something being wrong with the instrument and wants another one brought. HS says I will verify it and plays it well so H looks impressed and jealous.
HS: there is nothing wrong with the instrument. H: When did you learn to play the gayageum. HS: I didn’t learn it separately, when you were learning it, I looked over your shoulders and practiced when I was bored. H: when you were bored. Turn around and stand
Y is walking with his son. He turns around cuz he thinks someone is following them. It’s MW who is crying. she watches them and turns around to go.
Suddenly Y and her son are standing there. she says the king released her from slave status. So there was no place for her to go. for the last time just once, I wanted to see you. Cuz I missed you so much. I was going to just look at your face from afar and go. Kid says mother. She says she wont come again. I wont hide and look either. But please forgive me once.
She turns to go. Y runs over and back hugs her. MW: I thought you wouldn’t forgive me. Y: I wasn’t going to forgive you.if you were going to throw yourself away like that, I wasnt going to forgive you. but I’m going to be happy now. For our son’s sake. for the sake of the one who is dead but still wishes for my happiness (meaning S).
He motions for the kid to come over and she hugs the kid. Y hugs them too.
H is practicing on the table like he is playing the gaygeum as Hong watches and smiles. H asks if hong took care of what he ordered. Hong says how he sent the goods to the infirmary like the queen wanted (at her expense) H: you did well. how is the infirmary doing. hong reports about what the queen did and stuff. Hong asks what he is doing and H says it’s nothing
YW gets called to the hidden moon building. She goes over and is told to sit there. H is there with the gayageum. He congratulates her on her birthday and says he prepared a performance for her. I am not good but i hope you have fun. he sounds pretty good but messes up and hurts his finger.
YW walks over to him and looks at his hand. She asks if he is ok. There is someone still playing so she knows he faked it. she looks around to see where the sound is coming from so H says just pay attention to me. just me.
H: Are you disappointed the present wasn’t good. YW: no it was fun. H: I prepared the present to be fun. So I will give you something else. She asks if he is going to let it rain petals from the roof. He says HS is too old to climb up to the roof. she asks if he is going to set fireworks off in the sky then. H: how could I waste the citizen’s money to capture a girl’s heart. instead, I will give you something better.
He kisses her. HS is still earnestly playing the gayageum over by the side of the building.
Just wanted to add one more praise for KSH. He went into this kiss not wanting it to be lame so he tried to kiss with lips parted, but she smirked and knew what he was up to and kept her lips shut tight. She was probably thinking ” you little punk – dont you know if you try this my husband can wipe the floor with your cute little butt.” I guess she was doing her part in protecting KSH from a butt kicking by keeping this kiss chaste, but hands down the best effort by our young king. Better luck next drama KSH.
Eight long years he waited and we get a rated G honeymoon night. That weak toss down didn’t help either. Maybe they need to be around scrolls and books to get their blood flowing. Where is that red book SJ used in SKKS, maybe Hwon can borrow it from him.
I bawled through almost every scene tonight cuz all the sad scenes were stacked one on top of each other. As soon as my tears stopped then another scene came along and the floodgates opened again. By the time the last scenes rolled around, I didnt have any tears left. Except for when B died. I didn’t cry during that one at all. But for M, I even cried twice. when he died with H crying over him and then when his mom told him to stop joking around and open his eyes. I also cried twice over MW cuz YW forgave her and then when MW thanked YW for being alive – that just killed me.
I don’t want to burst any happy bubbles, but M’s death scene ruined this episode for me. there is a courtyard full of trained guards and none of them can take down one injured guy. The guy could barely stand but he has the strength to throw that heavy spear that far. yeah right. I get that M knew what was going to happen and let it cuz he wanted to end all his misery, but still. his character deserved a more dignified death. I rather he died protecting H -actually I just rather he didnt die at all. All I can say is, this finale had the highest death count ever in any drama I ever watched. so after all that sadness, when the editor suddenly showed a wedding and honeymoon night, I didnt have any emotion left in me to jump up and down with joy for them. It would have helped if they showed something happening at least other than that line about “even the queen hasn’t touched this body yet” cuz I know someone who looked forward to a certain waterfall scene for 14 eps. she never got one so tonight was their last chance to make it up to her, but they blew it. sorry-in years to come, maybe in the next book there will be another fictional king story to tell that takes place in the summer time for lots of waterfall scenes. 🙂
I apologize for not commenting yesterday because there was certainly a lot to talk about, but the two episodes sort of feel like one, so I’ll just talk about them both willy nilly.
There was certainly a lot of death involved this week, but I was OK with everyone who died dying, and none of the deaths were surprising. I don’t think B would have ever been able to regain her sanity, and I think she was doomed from the moment she was born into the Yoon family. It would have been nice if she had been able to stand up to her father, but she was too weak and unhinged, and it would have been unrealistic.
Part of me wanted M to move on with his life and find happiness (couldn’t he have worked at the infirmary helping people, and married poor lonely Jansil?) but I always knew he was going to die, and it did fit his personality more to just let it all end (seriously though, that guy with the spear staggered there all day, and everyone just stood there!).
I feel similarly about N and I think she was only able to live with herself for all these years because she had YW to care for. All this time, I’m sure she thought she deserved death, although I don’t really like that she was sentenced by H. N was only ever following orders, and her life would have been forfeit if she had denied the dowager. Instead, N should be given an award for managing what she did in the toughest of situations. It would have been more fitting if she had died in episode 19 while saving YW from that curse.
I never though it would be noteworthy, but I actually quite liked how the dowager ended up dying. It was at Yoon’s hands (I like when villains turn on each other) and when she saw the king in the shadows it was like her past was haunting her and she finally understood what she had done wrong, although it was too late.
My favorite death (if there is such a thing) was Seol’s, because it made me appreciate and understand her more. The death itself was sad, but what really got to me was what Jansil said afterwards. I mistakenly thought that S had been pining for her past life with the Heo family, but Jansil’s words made it clear that all this time S has been grateful for the life she was given, and appreciated the happiness she had been able to experience instead of resenting a life that would be considered lesser by many people. S was selfless and optimistic, and rather than pining, I think that she was watching Y because she was looking for an opportunity to repay him the happiness he had given her, simply by giving her a name. I believe that she was happier dying for him than she would have been seeing him unhappy, and I think that sacrificing herself is something that left her at peace.
I thought it was refreshing that M never turned to the dark side, but I do wish that it hadn’t been so obvious in episode 19. If M had turned against H he would have done it in a haunted and tormented way, instead of a “laugh and happily connive with the evil ministers” kind of way. I knew he was playing Yoon for sure when he implied that his work at the infirmary had turned out to be a useful tool (and that he didn’t value his time there).
The biggest travesty however is that H had a child, and we never really got to see HS doting over that kid and playing grandpa. That’s the whole reason I wanted a flash-forward to them having a kid! It is cute that the kid has latched on to Woon though, because he would be the most awkward when it comes to holding hands and receiving affection (even though he probably needs it the most).
There were lots of moments I enjoyed, like the reunion between YW and and her mom, or H sliding YW across the floor, but my very favorite was the end, starting with YW and H reading together. I love the relationship that they have because it feels more realistic than we usually see in sageuks. Usually there is either no real relationship at all (and they fall in love magically) or they just abandon everything else in their lives for the sake of romance. I appreciate that H still does his job and takes his responsibilities as king seriously, instead of charging into the midst of battles or wooing YW all day. It’s quite sweet that it makes them happy to just be in the same room together, and that they try to resist getting distracted for as long as they can. They seem to understand each other and the way they banter and look at each other makes it seem like they were never apart all these years. Of course H’s short-lived attempts at the gayageum were adorable and once again reminded me of his younger counterpart, but what really sold me was his sham and HS’s involvement. It was perfect! It not only mirrored the flower petals from the past (echoed moments make the best endings) but it also showed us what their futures will be like, and gave me one last glimpse of my favorite relationship (H and HS).
I’m unsure what my overall lingering feelings for this drama will be. I loved watching it (as did everyone else, based on the ratings) but a part of me can’t help but feel like there was some squandered potential. Almost everything was executed well, but it’s because everything was done so well that I feel like this drama could have been legendary with a little rearrangement. The “slow” episodes never felt slow or repetitive to me personally because I tend to get caught up in every little nuance of the characters, but when I really think about it I can see how the pacing could have been changed to make every episode full of excitement.
I think that the writers maybe had the same problem that I did: they didn’t want the bromance (or any other relationship) to end and instead the characters got stuck somewhere between friendship and outright animosity. Episode 19 reminded me how much the characters shine in the midst of conflict, and it would have been nice to see more of that. Conversely, it would’ve been nice to see all the boys as close friends for longer. When I remember back, it seems like the conflict was pretty much in the same place for many of the episodes, whereas the final episodes felt a bit rushed. It does speak volumes for this drama that I’m only really noticing in retrospect though.
Overall, this was a beautifully done drama, and I loved the look and feel of it. The casting director deserves some sort of award for assembling such a talented group of actors too. As great as the adults were, I still think that I loved the kids more. Maybe that’s because I have low expectations when it comes to child actors, and am used to getting impatient for their episodes to be over, but I instead found myself missing them for the duration of the drama. I think I could happily watch a 60 episode spin-off of those kids.
Kim Soo Hyun was definitely the star of the adult cast for me, but that’s no big surprise. He seems like an actor who is almost happier outside his comfort zone, and I think he will continue to push himself with every role he undertakes. I was pleasantly surprised by Han Ga In, who was expected to be a disappointment but never actually was (she really showed us her talent when she was locked up and realized she was YW). Jung Il Woo did justice to his role (as usual) but out of everyone, he was the only one I expected a little more from. He tends to breathe extra life into his characters and have a very strong sense of identity, and I’m not sure I felt that as strongly this time around. I think it was difficult to jump out of FBRS so quickly into something so different, and that he just didn’t have as much time to establish his character in his mind. That being said, he was still much better than average, and managed to add an extra layer or emotion to most of his scenes.
Thematically I was contemplating what this drama was really about, and it seems like one of the focuses was how different people experience love, because almost no one felt it the same way in this show. H and YW probably loved each other in the most traditional sense, which is probably why they were the stars of the show. It was easy to see how they fell in love, and they sacrificed for each other while fighting together for their relationship.
M’s love was different. His feelings were genuine, but I think that his need to be loved was always stronger than his actual love for YW, and that he was trying to fill a void that he had been feeling for his entire life.
MW was someone who loved the idea of love but never really understood it. She is like one of those girls that wants to be in a fairytale (or a drama!) and forgets that the person she’s supposedly in love with should be the person who comes first in her life. She was able to make sacrifices in the name of love, but not for Y himself, and I hope she really has come to realize the error of her ways because that’s the only way she will ever experience true happiness with him and understand what love actually feels like.
Y’s love was the result of effort, and I think that’s something that exists in real life too. I don’t think he faked it, but instead made a conscious effort to focus on MW’s positive attributes and appreciate her for them. Over time his fondness turned to love, and it was obviously a sincere love since he was able to forgive her (which is not something I’m sure I would have been able to do).
B’s love was always desperate and twisted, and was probably the result of never having felt real love from her family. It’s almost like love was an abstract concept to her, and she only knew it was something she wanted, so she devoted her life to chasing after it. In a way, her story seems the saddest. She may not have had many redeeming qualities, but did she ever experience a single moment of real happiness?
Seol’s love was something I didn’t really understand until the end (as I mentioned earlier). Her love was selfless, and felt like it was born from genuine appreciation for someone who gave her an identity, rather than something borne of romance. I don’t think she ever wished to be with Y, and instead only hoped to do as much for him as he had done for her.
Woon never had romantic feelings for YW in the drama, but he still displayed some of the strongest loyalty and love for his friends. I think that without Woon, M would have cracked and betrayed H for real. Even as the king’s personal guard Woon still gave equal consideration to M’s feelings, and that’s something that wasn’t even true of M’s mother. Woon was M’s reminder that he was in fact valued and cared about, and I think that enabled M to keep caring about others.
Of course my favorite “love” in this drama was the love that HS felt for H. He was a quirky mix of best friend, servant, and worry-wort mother, and I was constantly endeared by his affection. In a way, I think I may be saddest to see him go.
I think that last week’s delay worked out to be a good thing. I feel ready to let this show go, even though I’ll miss it. It’s always harder to say goodbye to readers and comment-makers because I never know who will be around for the next drama, and the community is what really adds to the experience.
Softy thanked me for “encouraging” her, but I should be the one thanking her because it’s probably more accurate to say that I indirectly coerced her against her will. Her name is Softy for a reason and I think she partially felt bad that that I never got to experience SKKS live. Regardless, the end result is that she had to put many many hours of extra work into translating this drama (thanks a lot, evil, gruff, and wordy ministers!) and I’m sure it was a frustrating process at times. It really was a treat to be able to watch this drama the “Cadence way” so I can’t thank Softy enough for sticking with it and working so hard for all of us.
This is the end for Moon/Sun, but hopefully some of you will be back next week for Rooftop Prince. I think it will be a fun ride, and a pleasant change of pace. 🙂