Open Thread: Chuno Episodes 7 & 8

Time flies when you’re having fun – and it also flies when you’re diving deep into Chuno! 😅 It’s amazing how it’s already time to dive into episodes 7 & 8!

Just a few things, before we begin:

1. We’ll be having a gap week on 23 December 2020 because it’s Christmas week and I believe that would make it difficult for quite a few in our midst to join the discussion. This means that the Open Thread for episodes 9 and 10 will be on 30 December 2020 instead.

2. Please don’t post spoilers in the Open Thread, except for events that have happened in the show, up to this point. I repeat: no spoilers for future episodes please! We have quite a few first-time viewers among us, and we don’t want to spoil anything for anyone.

3. Discussions on this thread don’t have to close when newer threads open, just so you know! But as we progress through our group watch, please keep the discussions clear of spoilers from future episodes, so that future readers coming to this thread won’t be accidentally spoiled. Does that make sense?

Without further ado, here are my reactions to this pair of episodes; have fun in the Open Thread, everyone! ❤️

My thoughts

Episode 7

I have to admit that when the action ramps up, and our music comes on all pumping, I am viscerally drawn to this show. I feel like a moth drawn to a flame; it’s just impossible to look away. At the same time, though, when Show spends any extended amount of time on political machinations, I start to zone out, after a while, and it becomes effortful to try to keep my attention focused on what is happening in our drama world. Eep. I guess I still have more growing up to do. 😝😅

We start our episode with some intense sparring between Tae Ha and Dae Gil, which I find very fitting, because, by the time we round up our episode, I feel like Show is making a deliberate comparison between the two men.

In this first scene, Dae Gil’s fighting Tae Ha because, beyond the agreement that he’s made with Left State Councilor, it seems that Dae Gil feels like he has something to prove, by winning a fight against Tae Ha. I feel like the run-ins that Dae Gil has had with Tae Ha has stirred Dae Gil’s predator instincts – not so much in the sense that he wants to kills Tae Ha, but in the sense that he feels the need to prove who’s the alpha in this equation.

On the other hand, Tae Ha fights Dae Gil only because Dae Gil wants to fight him. Tae Ha’s much more interested in protecting Eonnyeon, and getting himself to Jeju Island to save Prince So Hyeon’s son. Again, blame my Jang Hyuk / Dae Gil blinders, and my urge to just soak in the gloriousness of the fight scenes, but I think this is the first time that I’m actually cognizant of this.

I’m becoming more used to (or resigned to?) Eonnyeon’s ladylike yelping that peppers most of our action scenes. As you guys have been saying in the discussion, Eonnyeon isn’t our usual female lead. I absolutely agree that she functions as more of a catalyst than anything else, in our story. I don’t think I’ve ever regarded her as a fully fledged character, because of this. She’s important to our story, but mostly because of how she affects our key characters.

On a random tangent, I thought it was interesting that Lady Ninja on the rooftop remarks, of Tae Ha, “That’s quite the tiger we have there,” because soon afterwards, Eonnyeon addresses her brother’s guard as Baek Ho, which literally translates to white tiger. And, in the rest of the episode, we have several characters referencing the tiger, in their conversations. I never noticed this before, but perhaps it might be worth looking out for the tiger as a motif, in our story.

I find myself kinda really liking how Commander Hwang won’t let Ji Ho manipulate him into giving them more money. He’s so no-nonsense about it, and exerts his power so efficiently, that I find myself pretty impressed. Looks like I’m appreciating Commander Hwang more this watch – so far.

Ji Ho’s pretty shrewd too, though, in his very correct estimation that Commander Hwang wouldn’t kill them, because he needs them to do the dirty work.

General Choi is so steady and wise. He’s so right, that our eyes are cunning enough to let us see whatever we wish for. He’s such a good sounding board and voice of reason, for Dae Gil. I’m pretty sure that without General Choi around to ground him a little bit, Dae Gil would’ve gotten himself into more trouble than he has.

It strikes me that the scene of Tae Ha taking off Eonnyeon’s jeogori (the jacket-like upper garment) is really quite bold, for kdrama standards. It didn’t occur to me before when I first watched this show, but now, after becoming much more accustomed to Korean standards of modesty, it shocks me somewhat, that we see Eonnyeon’s bare shoulders and décolletage. The implication, that Tae Ha has seen Eonnyeon in a compromised state of undress, hits home a lot stronger this time, because of this. This makes Eonnyeon’s subsequent claim, that she’s engaged in conjugal ties with Tae Ha, feel slightly less of a stretch as well.

I like how Dae Gil is actually annoyed that they’ve lost Seol Hwa. He tells Wangson that it’s because she has their horses, money and supplies, but beyond that, I feel like there’s a real familial affection and connection that’s driving his determination to find her.

Poor Seol Hwa. She really does believe that the boys have abandoned her. The scene where she gets drunk and throws money at the lecherous men who’re trying to seduce her, while tearily singing drunken songs with them, is so full of pathos. Serious kudos to Kim Ha Eun; this scene is beautifully, elegantly, heartbreakingly portrayed. It feels like she’s given up on life, because she’s been abandoned so much.

My heart leapt with hers, when Dae Gil shows up to take her away. The way she clings to him reminds me of how a baby duckling gloms onto the first mama duck he sees.

Tae Ha taking on Baek Ho and his men with just a bamboo reed or two, is pretty darn cool, I have to admit. The fact that he wields the bamboo reeds so efficiently, while incorporating fighting lessons to Baek Ho while they spar, is badass and also rather condescending. I would be annoyed in Baek Ho’s shoes too. When we see that Tae Ha’s reputation precedes him, and that Baek Ho has deep respect for him just based on Tae Ha’s reputation alone, I have to admit I feel a little impressed.

It’s to Tae Ha’s credit that he understands that Baek Ho’s in a difficult position, because he’s been tasked to tail Eonnyeon, and only asks that Baek Ho stop pursuing them for the night. He’s a very reasonable man.

What strikes me about the closing inter-spliced scenes of Tae Ha carrying Eonnyeon on his back, and Dae Gil carrying Seol Hwa on his back, is that each woman drops the item that is most precious to her – Eonnyeon drops the stone which she keeps as a memory of Dae Gil, while Seol Hwa drops her haegeum – but it is only Dae Gil who notices and picks up the precious item for the woman that he carries.

On a completely shallow tangential fangirl note, Jang Hyuk’s triceps are so defined in this scene, that I find myself quite transfixed. 🤩 Um. Wow. I wish winter would never come, in this drama world. 😅

Episode 8

I’ve mentioned this in my review as well, but it kind of boggles my mind how they managed to make Dae Gil look so different in the flashbacks, compared to the present day timeline. I mean, it’s not just the filter that makes everything look lighter and airbrushed and soft-focused.. doesn’t his face look fuller? When I compare the two screenshots above, it’s quite startling to me that Dae Gil’s jawline looks softer and rounder in the flashback, while his jawline in the present timeline is so sharp, and his cheeks, so lean and hungry. Did they just stuff cotton balls into his cheeks? If you know what kind of movie magic this is, guys, please share in the comments!

It strikes me that when young Dae Gil was describing his plans to Eonnyeon, to get a government job and basically change the world so that they could live together, he’s so full of hopeful optimism. This is such a stark contrast to present day Dae Gil, who is cynical and jaded in comparison. I think this is the first hint that I’m picking up on, that Dae Gil’s journey will have something to do with giving him something to hope for, once again.

The arc that gets my attention most this episode, is of Seol Hwa leaving our little family of shirtless brothers, only to eventually find her way back again. It’s really quite poignant to see how sad Seol Hwa is, to be told to leave, as the price of her (admittedly terrible) mistake with regard to the horses and money. When I think about it, she really hasn’t known these orabeonies for very long at all. And yet, they are the closest thing she has to family in the world. That really tugs at my heartstrings. The other thing that tugged at my heartstrings, is how Seol Hwa talks about being used to getting sold. How awful, that she’d been forced to start prostituting herself at 12 years old.

The other thing that strikes me as she says goodbye, is how, in this short time that she’s spent with them, Seol Hwa already knows each of them so well. The parting words she says to each of the boys is tailored to each of them. It’s quite sweet, even as she tells Wangson to stop “living like that.” Heh.

Commander Hwang really is going about his mission in a heartless manner; if the person he kills was Tae Ha’s former superior, it makes sense that he would’ve also been Commander Hwang’s former superior. And he basically slays him without batting an eye. I do think that Commander Hwang is leaning into the evil image of himself that he’s created against his own will, and it makes me feel like he’s possibly looking at all this as him reaping damnation on himself, and that this is something he deserves. So in a weird sort of way, I feel like it’s almost as if he’s storing up punishment for himself, with each dishonorable murder that he commits.

Ji Ho is a lot more observant and savvy than his theatrical poseur persona might suggest. He’s the only one who spots Tae Ha and Eonnyeon making their getaway in their new disguises, and stops to think that it’s fishy and worth looking into – until Commander Hwang interrupts and gives him new instructions about disposing of the dead body. Commander Hwang himself sees Tae Ha and Eonnyeon too, but takes no notice of them. That definitely says something about Ji Ho.

There are so many people chasing after our various characters, that I sometimes have to actually stop to remember who’s chasing whom. So, we have Dae Gil after Tae Ha, Commander Hwang and Ji Ho’s gang also after Tae Ha, Baek Ho and his men after Eonnyeon, Lady Ninja after Eonnyeon, and now we have Baek Ho and his men also after Dae Gil. Oh what a tangled web we weave! 😅

Dae Gil and his crew swindling money using people’s guilty consciences as their clue and bargaining chip, is not moral, that’s for sure. But that’s part of the reason Dae Gil is an antihero, rather than a hero. He does do things that are shady – but he also shows heart, and that’s why we find him so interesting and intriguing.

I found it interesting that when Dae Gil sees the scene of Seol Hwa being dragged away by the dance troupe, that his thoughts turn to Eonnyeon being dragged away in the past. Actually, before he’d had that flashback, my thoughts had turned to Dae Gil himself in the fire, being left behind, as he’d reached out helplessly for Eonnyeon. Whichever is the trigger, though, it’s clear that Dae Gil can’t shake the image of a helpless Seol Hwa being dragged away, from his mind. It’s kinda sweet, really, that he uses all the money he’d managed to swindle that day, to buy Seol Hwa out. It’s also quite cute how he looks a touch sheepish when Wangson and General Choi protest at Seol Hwa rejoining the crew.

I am also quite amused at the new “family dynamic;” it feels like Dae Gil is Dad, making all the key decisions, while General Choi is Mom, the voice of reason, and Wangson and Seol Hwa are their bickering kids. Tee hee.

I like that Dae Gil’s very sharp and shrewd, in analyzing Tae Ha’s next move. And I like that little detail, that before running off to track down Tae Ha based on the latest intel, Dae Gil stops to tell Seol Hwa that they won’t abandon her, before telling her to take care of the horses. That’s quite thoughtful, yes?

Lady Ninja feels like some kind of wild card; she just pops up anytime and anywhere, to amp up the action and the drama in our story. I’m not complaining, mind you. I just find it quite amusing.

And now, Tae Ha’s slave secret is unveiled (conveniently, by Lady Ninja’s precise slicing skills). He’s going to have a lot to explain to Eonnyeon, who looks daintily horrified.

On a tangent, and as a matter of interest, I find it quite fascinating that the characters nobi (奴婢) are differentiated as no (奴) for male slave and bi (婢) for female slave. The hanja characters, which are basically from Chinese characters, both bear the element “女” (meaning woman or female) on the left. In Chinese, characters containing this element almost always indicate that the subject to which they refer, is female. I find it very interesting that in adapting the words 奴婢 into Korean, that each became a gender differentiating character. Also, as a matter of interest, in Chinese, the phrase 奴婢 is gender-neutral. Just thought you guys might find that little tidbit interesting!

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Drama Fan
10 months ago

Happy holidays everyone! Can’t wait to meet you again on the eps 9 and 10 thread 🙂 I just wanted to share this Chuno FMV video with you all, its really awesome, enjoy! https://youtu.be/Kqaee8K0Zxs

Snow Flower
Snow Flower
10 months ago

Happy birthday to Jang Hyuk!

Born on December 20, 1976 in Busan, South Korea.

BE
BE
10 months ago
Reply to  Snow Flower

Don’t be squeamish now;It’s Saturday Nite!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avWpExXQKcg

beez
10 months ago
Reply to  BE

@BE – I love that episode of SNL, especially his choreographing the play fight scenes. lol

BE
BE
10 months ago
Reply to  beez

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9in-DmQWkFc

Fun even without subtitles. Note how there is only one fellow there taller than him.

Snow Flower
Snow Flower
10 months ago
Reply to  BE

The slo-mo……Can’t stop laughing……..And he remembers the choreography…

phl1rxd
9 months ago
Reply to  BE

Thanks BE – I had seen it before but I still got a lot of laughs from watching it again.

Snow Flower
Snow Flower
10 months ago

Greetings to all Seol Hwa fans! This is my version of “Flower Path” (the song we heard when Daegil showed up in front of Seol Hwa with a coin in his teeth).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GE1IIjX8mr8&feature=youtu.be

Drama Fan
10 months ago
Reply to  Snow Flower

You are so talented Snow Flower 🥺 bravo! 👏👏👏this was beautiful

BE
BE
10 months ago
Reply to  Snow Flower

And such a lovely singing voice!
This is a complete aside and nothing to do with Chuno, but for you as a kind of exchange for such a lovely gift this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfuEIHEZobc

Snow Flower
Snow Flower
10 months ago
Reply to  BE

@BE, thank you so much for this!

beez
10 months ago
Reply to  Snow Flower

@Snow flower – I could just picture Seol hwa as I was listening to that. It encapsulated that cheery demeanour she puts on over her underlying sadness

BE
BE
10 months ago
Reply to  Snow Flower

For you and all the music lovers congregating at the site, this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ce3OERuCY0E

And the comfort of the Winter Solstice, probably the oldest of all our holidays in this holiday time.

phl1rxd
9 months ago
Reply to  Snow Flower

Just lovely Snow Flower! Thank you for sharing your talent with all of us.

Drama Fan
10 months ago

Not sure if this link can be shared here, its from an online store. A Chuno wall decor design. The phrase is depressing very much in Chuno’s style and also very 2020 :p

https://www.etsy.com/listing/252771563/chuno-wall-art-home-wall-decor-chuno?ref=hp_rf-2

” 하루가 일년처럼 길구나
그 언제나 아침이 올까”

“A day feels like a year
When will the morning come?”

Chuno – 추노 – Slave Hunters Wall Art Poster

, I apologize if these kind of links are not allowed, please remove the comment if that is the case.

Snow Flower
Snow Flower
10 months ago
Reply to  Drama Fan

I think these words are lyrics from Stigma, the theme song for Chuno.

Drama Fan
10 months ago
Reply to  Snow Flower

Yes and I think Daegil (and maybe other characters) said something along the lines at some point. I’ll try to pay closer attention and see if I can catch it.

Snow Flower
Snow Flower
10 months ago

I am just posting a random comment about the cool topographic maps DG&Co. use.

BE
BE
10 months ago
Reply to  Snow Flower

I liked the one of the wetlands followed by the actual scene.

beez
10 months ago
Reply to  Snow Flower

@Snow Flower – 🤣🤣🤣 And here I was thinking “Little kids could draw better maps than that!” and “How did anyone find anything!” But then I also figured that must be how the maps really were – just bodies of water signifying the local lakes, rivers and land masses. They still don’t look like much to me though. 😆

BE
BE
10 months ago

Okie-Dokie–I am all caught up on everyone, so another, sorry, longwinded bit here.

First, in defense of Led Da Hae/ EonNyeon:
She had two of the most powerful scenes in these two episodes. I love Seol Hwa like everyone else and I will count ways others have not as yet mentioned, but I was very much touched by the scene in which slave Eon Nyeon surreptitiously brings Dae Gil persimmons at midnight while he is at his studies. Dae Gil basically drags her into his chamber, and first by telling him she could get killed by his father for doing so, and then begging Dae Gil not to “trifle” with her, all the while Dae Gil obtuse as a turnip–and I have to say I am surprised, because I did not remember him thus, how well Jang Hyuk enacts the cosmically naive and privileged Dae Gil, who is quite reprehensible in those scenes–with just the slightest dialogue and shy but solid and intelligent presence, Eon Nyeon illuminates a central theme running throughout Chuno and just about all K Drama and film. The great gulf between the classes in their respective experiences of life.
I was also quite moved in the scene when Eon Nyeon and Tae Ha, separated by that curtain, have their first real heart to heart, especially insofar as Tae Ha is concerned, and he almost goes so far as to confess his feeling for her. Lee Da Hae’s slow roll from back turned to the curtain to face it and by obvious inference Tae Ha and query, “So you are saying you want to protect me, then?” Really it is a scene for which one has to admit, Lee Da Hae’s ethereal comeliness works so well in her favor. As a male watching this, I want to protect her, that face… In these two scenes, I think Lee Da Hae does in her enactment of Eon Nyeon make an argument for her being more than a mere catalyst, but a real representation of a young woman’s tenderness, vulnerability in a man’s world, and love intelligence that can cause ships to sail and men to give over their sense of self preservation in order to take her under their wing or upon their backs.

An elaboration on previous remarks vis a vis Tae Ha/Dae Gil:
Up to this point, I have to say that I have been amazed at how simply admirable in every way Tae Ha is in this, especially in contrast with Dae Gil. He is a vastly superior fighter, a vastly more virtuous individual, someone who doesn’t just spout out idealisms like the young Dae Gil, but makes a life out of it, someone who for all his lifelong experience among soldiers, an entirely male world, treats women with restraint, tenderness, deference and chivalry, where as Dae Gil is quick to mock, often quick to insult.Tae Ha’s one shortcoming perhaps is his arrogant self-righteousness.
However, why I am still more drawn to Dae Gil comes down to the huge gulf in the acting skills between Jang Hyuk and Oh Ji Ho. And this is best for me be exemplified in two scenes: the first is to watch how Dae Gil’s face and whole physical presence is altered upon recognition that the woman seated on horseback behind Tae Ha is Eon Nyeon AND he has seriously wounded with his uncannily accurate knife toss the woman he has for ten years longed for and been searching out. The second would be the contrast provided by Dae Gil piggy backing Seol Hwa and Tae Ha piggy backing Eon Nyeon. In the latter, we barely register much more on Tae Ha’s expression than his focus on getting out of Dodge, so to speak. The whole attention is on Eon Nyeon dropping her stone. But in the case of Dae Gil and Seol Hwa, Jang Hyuk’s amazing ability to enact character non verbally by the subtlest nuance of facial expression leaves one little doubt that he is barely thinking if at all about the burden on his back, but rather is far away in his obsessive, non stop internal dialogue of which Eon Nyeon is the subject. Jang Hyuk by his sheer talent and craft despite any intellectual or moral perspective continuously renders Dae Gil a more compelling character in his bravura performance.

The hangeum symbolism: Not only the obvious, as they are paired by scene, comparison with Eon Nyeon’s stone, the latter perhaps indicating the beginning for Eon Nyeon’s forgetting of her young master in the events of her escape with Tae Ha, as well as the growing importance of Seol Hwa for Dae Gil, even if part of that is how Seol Hwa and her hangeum serve to evoke Dae Gil’s nostalgic and melancholy longing for Eon Nyeon (amplified by how her hangeum campfire piece is used as soundtrack for his Eon Nyeon flashbacking). A second way would be the echo with Tae Ha’s sword as an essential element of her identity. And I think another way we are touched by Dae Gil is even though he does not really regard Seol Hwa as a love interest, he really sees her humanity (in part because she evokes so much of his memories regarding Eon Nyeon). When he retrieves Seol Hwa’s dropped instrument, Dae Gil reveals so much about not only what he feels about what her instrument evokes in him, but his respect for her as an individual whose identity cannot be separated from her instrument.

To KFG’s wonderful insight about the Tiger motif: my favorite by far lady ninja assassin moment is when she says of Tae Ha that there is a real tiger here. I find it interesting that there is a pun on Baek Ho’s name, but it is clear he is not the REAL tiger she is referring to. Tae Ha is seriously the baddest man up to this point; she realizes and expresses that that fella, the one with the honking big sword, he might provide some problems for someone whose best weapon is a hair pin. But also this: Up Bok is a tiger hunter; we get to see his prowess in the assassination of the young lord and his two bodyguards. And isn’t the concept of one slave taking on the whole of the aristocracy a tiger hunt of the most perilous scale?

From there these two reflections/questions. With regard to the first, I do forget exactly what will happen, but given who Up Bok shoots down, the young noble who the Sinister State Minister has just swindled with the expectation of a high appointment, I have to wonder just exactly who is giving out the orders for Up Bok to follow, and if this is not just one of nefarious, master evil, ho, ho, ho, Minister Lee’s strategems to pile up his power. The second is this, given that Commander Hwang has murdered both Tae Ha’s great mentor and his brother in arms, both as part of Hwang’s pursuance of him, and given what appears as yet to still be Tae Ha’s superior skill at fighting, even if Commander Hwang is very much a ruthless badass sword in the sand man, why doesn’t Tae Ha just turn and face him to put an end to what is obviously the greatest threat to his mission, the rescue of the small child prince. If he puts Hwang out of the way, the others seem at this point, even Dae Gil, as nothing more than annoyances.

I have a few more thoughts, but this is long enough.

BE
BE
10 months ago
Reply to  BE

Haegeum. Sorry.

j3ffc
j3ffc
10 months ago
Reply to  BE

Great observations all around, BE. I had simply regarded the picking up of the haegeum vs. the not picking up of the stone as a manifestation that a real person would have noticed the former but not the latter, but the larger symbolic nature of this seems right. And I had totally missed the music during Dae Gil’s flashbacks….nice.

Snow Flower
Snow Flower
10 months ago
Reply to  BE

@BE, my answer to your first question is that you are onto something. I won’t say more, because I don’t want to go into spoiler territory.

For your second question: It really makes a lot of sense for Tae Ha to deal with Commander Hwang first before continuing with his mission. Why does he not do it? Maybe because rescuing the prince is his priority. Plus, dealing with Commander Hwang may slow TH down. He probably suspects that there may be someone else dispatched to Jeju Island to deal with the little prince, so he really has to hurry. He also has Eon Nyeon with him, the only unplanned step in his grand plan.

Snow Flower
Snow Flower
10 months ago
Reply to  BE

Teen Eon Nyeon seems far wiser and more mature than Daegil. Poor teen Daegil is an idealist with no practical sense, but then he is a sheltered yangban. I think that he did understand what she was trying to tell him. I think this flashback happened before the one when DG gives shoes to EN and she kisses him afterwards.

Drama Fan
10 months ago
Reply to  BE

@BE What an insightful analysis, thank you for this! And thank you for allowing me to appreciate Unnyun and Taeha better. Regarding STH and Commander Hwang, STH might be restraining himself even subconsciously because Commander used to be a dear friend of his (or so he thought)

beez
10 months ago
Reply to  BE

@BE – I’m glad you mentioned Eunnyeon’s situation when dealing with Dae gil as a slave in his house, under his power, because I did say I would pay more attention to the slaves’ plight this time around. While yes, they’re both enamoured of each other, the very power that he holds over her is as old as slavery itself.

I was appalled at his behavior because as she implored him, if his father finds her there she could be killed! Yet, being so immature, he risked her life.

This same dynamic in the workplace is what “me to” is all about even today.

I owe my entire existence to this dynamic as the great-grandchild of just such an “interaction”.

BE
BE
10 months ago
Reply to  beez

Have you read Kindred by Octavia Butler?

beez
10 months ago
Reply to  BE

@BE – no I haven’t. In fact, I had never heard of it, which surprises me based on what I googled just now. Thanks BE, I’ll be downloading it to my Kindle.

BE
BE
10 months ago
Reply to  beez

Octavia Butler, who won the MacArthur genius award was a great American sci fi writer, who wrote one subversive story after another. I believe she once said of herself that she was the greatest 5′ 10″ tall black woman sci fi writer in the world! She is an especial favorite of my oldest daughter.

beez
10 months ago
Reply to  BE

Oh wait – while I googled the title and author, I didn’t read the plot synopsis. But you mentioning she’s a science fiction writer – is this the book where black people are the elite and white people are oppressed?

beez
10 months ago
Reply to  BE

@BE – WOW.ow. I just read the plot for Kindred on Wikipedia. I don’t know if I want to mix my love of science fiction with my deep interest in my history. That was a “bit” much.

BE
BE
10 months ago
Reply to  beez

Kindred is a big award winner. It explores the question if one could go back in time and eradicate an evil, would you. she is a big question scifi writer. she has done other things–her two parable series. I started with Clay’s Arc a post apocolypse alien infecting the world story. With Octavia Butler is always embrace the alien even if the alien is a serious m.f. Kindred works on that theme. The way you discussed your own heritage made me think of it. There are a lot of interviews with her on line; you might want to hear what she has to say about her books first.

beez
10 months ago
Reply to  BE

@BE – i really appreciate your calling this author to my attention. I will be looking into more about her. A few years ago I would’ve already downloaded it and would be halfway done with the book. These lazy days, I’m more interested in her accomplishments as a black author than in the stories themselves. I’m sure they’re worthy but – not to be repetitive or ‘woe is me'” – but the brain isn’t up to reading novels these days. Too forgetful WHILE reading to really enjoy it like I used to.

BE
BE
10 months ago
Reply to  beez

I understand. I used to teach a short story of hers called “The Evening, The Morning, and The Night,” not too long a piece. And there is a lot of short material about her and in discussion with her on line. FYI the ancestor is quite evil in Kindred, and yet… alas too complex a resolution to sum up.
“Choose your leaders with wisdom and forethought. To be led by a coward is to be controlled by all that the coward fears. To be led by a fool is to be led by the opportunists who control the fool. To be led by a thief is to offer up your most precious treasures to be stolen. To be led by a liar is to ask to be told lies. To be led by a tyrant is to sell yourself and those you love into slavery.” the late Octavia Butler

Drama Fan
10 months ago
Reply to  beez

But wasn’t this before he got her new shoes, and then she ran out and kissed him? also risking her life? Just sayin

BE
BE
10 months ago
Reply to  Drama Fan

And before she was held prisoner after Dae Gil told his father he wanted to marry her, I believe, which led to her brother leading the slave revolt and having no compunction about slicing Dae Gil’s face and leaving him unconscious in a burning building while dragging her away, crying, screaming, and reaching out in the empty air..

Drama Fan
10 months ago
Reply to  BE

But it must’ve been after the kiss (who knows how long after) that she was dragged away by the Manchu invaders, Daegil followed them and then “sorta” rescued her, only to need to be rescued by Taeha himself (but hey, it was the intention that counts :D) After this, Daegil’s father found out “his son had been seduced by the slave” at least this is how Ji Ho’s told the sequence (I just re watched ep 1 to remember this, Ji Ho is quite the story teller, and ep 2 where one can find Unnyun and Daegil kissing, a loooong enough kiss to be found out. I scream every time! not only because I love their kiss but because I panick they will find them! even though I know, not yet, lol)

Also, and this is something Im only questioning now during rewatch, did Daegil’s familiy have more than these two slaves? The way JiHo told the story it seemed there was only the brother and Unnyun as servants of that house. I magine if Daegil’s familiy was more powerful it wouldn’t have been so easy for him to lose absolutely everything? were they supposed to be rich and powerful or just “minor nobles”?

And another question I’ve meant to ask and kept forgetting, why do some slaves have their face branded, and others, only their chest (like Unnyun and her brother) Is this is what they did to runaway slaves? I wonder if this is historically accurate. Also, I read somewhere (or maybe my korean friend/co blogger told me) that the term for slave was equivalent to the term “servant” at the time, like there was no distinction (I hope someone here can confirm or clarify) and that anyone was susceptible to become a slave, if a person got into a debt that they couldn’t pay they would become a slave, for political reasons too, etc like what happened with TaeHa

I do wonder, if a person became a “servant/slave” because he or she owed money and couldn’t pay, would it be possible for them to become free if said debt was fulfilled? Could someone’s freedom be bought back?

Snow Flower
Snow Flower
10 months ago
Reply to  Drama Fan

@DF, I have been asking myself about Daegil’s family estate size. Since we don’t see that many servants, I think that maybe his family belonged to the minor nobility. I speculate that DG was pressured to pass the civil service exam and become a government official. If a yangban family failed to produce a government official for 3 generations they could lose their yangban status, so the whole Lee family’s social standing depended on Daegil’s study skills. So it is no wonder that Daegil’s father was angry at Eon Nyeon for supposedly “seducing” his son.

beez
10 months ago
Reply to  Drama Fan

@Drama Fan – I believe you’re right that him pulling her into his room was before the shoes-kiss.

Drama Fan
10 months ago
Reply to  beez

Yes, what I meant is that they were both young and naive and took major risks because of their feelings. Not denying that she was a major disadvantage as her life was literally on the line but I’m not so sure how much “power” Daegil had over her or what role that played in their relationship. She was the one initiating that kiss, of course, moved by his promise to always be by her side. Daegil always sounded extremely sincere to me when he said he hated that she had to be cold, that she had to suffer (his sincerity moves me and convinces me despite her not looking like she is suffering at all, the always perfect pristine Unnyun) Not only was he (I suppose) mesmerized by her beauty, he sincerely wanted to protect her. But he had, no means or power to do so, at the time. He was clearly just a naive young man, who couldn’t even fight. As others pointed out, she seemed a bit more “mature” and yet she initiated that longish kiss, outside, where anyone could see them taking a major risk. She probably felt like dreaming a bit.

beez
10 months ago
Reply to  Drama Fan

@Drama Fan – Dae hil’s power in that situation was everything. Even if Eonnyeon had been a 40 year old woman and Dae gil a 15 year old boy – in slavery she would have to do what he wants. Even if his parents don’t approve and stop him (that time) – a slave had no recourse. Telling on him would only cause reprisals in other ways so life becomes a living hell. And if he’s fixated sexually, then nothing’s going to stop him. In some instances, reprisals also from the parents who don’t want her to be with him but would find it insolent that she dare give a negative report on their son. And of course it’s assumed she must be the seducer.

If I sound a bit triggered – sorry – I am. I hated the way movies and mini series about some of our founding fathers have portrayed this dynamic here in America where some wretched old plantation owner is “seduced” by a 13-year old girl who is a virgin but somehow knew how to approach and overcome an experienced older man. Okay, let me get back to Chuno. Sorry.

Now just because Eonnyeon loved him – eventually, doesn’t mean that’s what she wanted at the early stage of Dae gil initiating pulling her into his room. Now we can assume it was innocent or it could’ve been untoward. In my book it doesn’t matter because the worst he would face is some type of punishment where we saw what Eunnyeon eventually faced.

Drama Fan
10 months ago
Reply to  beez

I understand but I somehow don’t see that is exactly the story here (?). Daegil was incredibly irresponsible, yes, and Unnyun called him on it. True. The stakes for her were much higher, etc but I don’t think anyone interprets this as “the slave seducing the young master” That was the way Ji Ho described it and Im sure not even he, believed it. Its just the excuse the nobles used. But anyway, the point I was unsuccessfully trying to make is that in the particular story between Daegil and Unnyun, he did not seem to be aware that he was abusing his power by calling her into the room, and once she pointed it out, he retracted. I’m not saying this makes him perfect or a “hero” but the fact that he actually loved her and did not want her to feel as his “possession” says something positive about him imo, not negative. Not every person can overcome their circumstances and the time they live in.

BE
BE
10 months ago
Reply to  Drama Fan

The difference is power. Dae Gil is not going to get in real trouble over this. Eun Nyeon can get in real trouble at any moment. Winter after winter, and she has been wearing those ratty shoes, from their childhood, and now he notices, and EunNyeon, and doesn’t this make her more attractive, the first time he does risks getting caught just to thank him.It makes me like Eun Nyeon even more.

Drama Fan
10 months ago
Reply to  BE

Point taken about the power (don’t think I can make my point across. I wasn’t “disagreeing” about that but I’m having a hard time explaining myself. English will always be a struggle for me so I’ll stop here) I liked her bold action, to me it meant she believed his sincerity and took a chance to share in his romantic dream if only at least for that brief moment. But I come from the (possibly stubborn) idea that they were already in love. Also, it is impossible to know for sure how many times he did things for her. We’ve only see them in two or three flashbacks. All of these “moments” are symbolic imo and not to be taken literal as in, wow, what a waste is heating stones for her, really not practical, but its meant to “show” that he cared about her. Unless its just another sign that Daegil was really impractical and useless? Well, maybe (not discarding that) And same, is it really realistic that this is the first time in his life he noticed that she had tattered shoes? Or did they chose to show this as his romantic gesture? Third, it is very hard to believe what Unnyun said, that when they were younger she didn’t realize they were different, really? So was she not always treated as a slave? what led to her being confused? I choose not to overanalyze those phrases and moments and just see them as symbolism and hyperbole to make a point. Especially in these rather brief flashbacks which like dreams, might be colored by the perspective of whoever is having the flashback.

beez
10 months ago
Reply to  Drama Fan

@Drama Fan – I didn’t find Dae gil useless as a teen (although I smile just thinking of that fresh-faced, round-faced teen ☺). And he was powerless as far as his father is concerned nor did he have a say in anything, including his own marriage (even if Eunnyeon were not in the picture). As I know you already know, if Dae gil had any power he would not have allowed his father to have Eunnyeon strung up and beaten/starved.

Like you, I also believe they were already in love (or at least “in like”) but Dae gil’s lack of power in running the estate (or even his own life) doesn’t change the power he held over her life even if he was ignorant of it. And you’re right about his response, but a better response would’ve been “okay. You’d better go. I’ll meet you somewhere else”. But he’s immature so I get that he didn’t do that. I’m just pointing out what was wrong with it.

As for Eunnyeon’s statement that she thought they were friends – that was not unusual in the U.S. system of slavery. When white children were young, and adults (white and black) weren’t concerned with where kids were or what they are doing – they played in the mud and ran around the plantations with black children. Older slaves would often relate when they first discovered that their white “friends” were not their friends at all but rather their masters. It usually wasn’t until the slave was of work age and the white child began to be initiated into his/her duties as a member of the elite society. Or for some, an incident would happen where the difference in treatment over some infraction that both were party two but only the slave child bore the severe whipping. Then it’s a lightbulb moment. So, yes, that is a very realistic statement Eunnyeon makes.

Drama Fan
10 months ago
Reply to  BE

Wha! I can’t edit on my phone. I meant to say all those scenes, symbolic and a bit hyperbolic and cheesy are, imo, meant to evoke a feeling more than to make an intelectual argument (but then again, Im the lover and appreciator of cheesy romance so this is very likely the lense I watch this with) Also, in my view, the shoes are symbolic but what moved Unnyun (to me) was when Daegil promised her he would be with her always, and she understood that he was not playing with her. To me, those words and the fact that she believed them was what triggered her kiss, not just the shoes (too bad Unnyun is not available to settle this lol) Anyway now Ill shut up about this for real.

beez
10 months ago
Reply to  Drama Fan

@Drama Fan – Don’t shut up! At least your thoughts give me a chance to speak to those things in my history that we (American Descendants of slaves) don’t often get to clarify for people as they mistakenly think we’re trying to give them a guilt complex or something. Not at all! It’s just that we couldn’t read or write so if we say “this happened” or “that’s not true” – we weren’t believed because it’s not written in a history book somewhere.

I totally agree that it was the words, not only the shoes that caused Eunnyeon’s emotional embrace.

By the way – I’ve stopped using the editing button other than for typos because – I read each person’s comments within the email that is sent (it’s easier that way), and I reply from the email but then I miss if they’ve added more thoughts to the comment because the edit doesn’t show up in the email. hmmm. I think I’ll change and stop reading the email and come to the comment from the email and read it there. I’ll have to go back to the email to reply though because 1) it always has a “reply” button and 2) the reply is more likely to appear under or near the comment I’m responding to.

beez
10 months ago
Reply to  Drama Fan

I agree that Dae gil was just an immature overly enthusiastic youth but…

Drama Fan
10 months ago
Reply to  beez

Re-reading my previous post, I apologize if it sounded like “I” believed she seduced him. That was not my point at all (lol my goodness) It was just to say that, in my view, in that scene, she was already in love too. She looks like she wants to receive his kiss even then (Well, Ill blame LDH for making that face) But she was more realistic than Daegil and knew that there was no future for them and therefore asked him not to play with her and forced him to reflect on his approach. And yeah I agree that this “playful seduction” does not seem “cute” when one person has little power to refuse. But he did change his tune and tried to assure her that he was not playing, apparently convinced her of his sincerity, and then she kissed him.

beez
10 months ago
Reply to  Drama Fan

@DF – I didn’t take it as “you” saying she was the seducer but I was commenting on that aspect because of Dae gil’s father’s accusation, which I mentioned being ‘triggered” by that. Not by you, at all. It’s just I have second-hand knowledge of my personal story of what happened to my great-grandmothers on both sides of my family (mother’s and father’s). Although, as you can imagine, there was no love or romance involved.

Drama Fan
10 months ago
Reply to  beez

Got it 👍

Trent
10 months ago
Reply to  beez

@beez Thank you for highlighting this point. I think it’s an important one, especially in the context of U.S. drama, which obviously Chuno isn’t, but it still has relevance. The point is that many many U.S. dramas seem fixated on kind of nodding in the background to the general principle that, well, yes, obviously slavery was bad, but in our narrative’s specific case, what if the master is really good-hearted and his slave(s) really admire him, etc. When the reality was, that’s just B.S., because the history was a long and terrible one of rape and sexual assault by masters against slaves. That’s in the U.S., and I don’t mean to universalize the trauma of American history,but…what is relevant, I think, is the universality of power imbalance, and how that plays out in the sexual realm.

I’m sorry, I didn’t (and don’t) mean to harsh anyone’s mellow, or disturb the vibe of appreciating the Chuno rewatch, honest. But I appreciate beez for mentioning this, because the situation of young master Daegil and slave/servant Eunyeon deserves to be interrogated. And even if we conclude (different folks will come to different conclusions, for sure) that okay, sure, I accept the story logic and what the narrative is presenting: that Daegil is smitten and really idealistically wants a “better world” where he and Eunyeon can get married, and Eunyeon reciprocates his love, it still bears examination, and realization that that’s probably not at all likely to be the real situation.

Whew. Anyway, carry on. But I feel like I need to remind myself of these things, and keep in mind, even as I’m enjoying the drama, the actual context and environment of the milieu our two main characters started out in.

Drama Fan
10 months ago
Reply to  Trent

Well, Im from latin america, and many of our “romances” (telenovelas) were based on stories like this, not often “owner and slave” but yes, “patron and servant” or “boss and employee” where there is an imbalance of power. So thats how I “read” that scene. Not sure exactly what and if Chuno was trying to convey something deeper and more poignant or make a specific commentary about it but I appreciate all perspectives too.

BE
BE
10 months ago
Reply to  Drama Fan

All we are doing in discussing this is contributing to a discussion via each of our lenses on this. Certainly, one believes the young Dae Gil is smitten and the young Eun Nyeon is smitten in return. Having been on both sides of an unequal amount of power, albeit nothing even close to the situation in Chuno, I can readily say that certainly when in the situation of being the lesser power, I wanted the relationship and was thoroughly infatuated. But that does not mean the other had the right to take advantage of that. And when vice versa was the case, I was well aware not to push things even when I might have wanted to.
However, in this and other historical dramas that I have seen the issue of slavery as a historical national sin and a stain upon their national history is quite widely dramatized. Dae Gil’s privilege and insensitivity with regard to the danger he puts Eun Nyeon in I think is pretty well played by both characters and is most directly stated in Eun Nyeon’s “don’t trifle with me,” and Dae Gil’s initial disbelief in response. She has to spell it out for him to get it.
It is one of the humanizing influences on Dae Gil the adult that he rescues the mother and daughter in the first episode and that he is so troubled by the treatment of Seol Hwa and her story of it that he protects her despite both the General’s and Wang Son;s protest later on.
For me, as a viewer, I found myself far more sympathetic with Eun Nyeon as a character enacted by Lee Dae Ha, and like many far more able to see Dae Gil with all the complexity that Jang Hyuk puts into his performance.

Trent
10 months ago
Reply to  Drama Fan

@Drama Fan That’s fair, and thank you for adding that perspective. It would be very presumptuous for me to start critiquing a cultural context that I don’t know a lot about–in this case Latin American telenovelas (which I’ve at least heard of!), and the cultural environment they are drawing from–which is why I tried to stick with U.S. history as an example.

Also, I hope it was clear that I wasn’t intending to be critical of anyone commenting here!

I was just wanting to follow up on something beez seemed to be pointing to, and that is (in my interpretation, at least, not speaking for her) that even if we take the Daegil/Eunyeon backstory at face value, it’s useful and important to keep in mind the actual historical context of master-slave or even boss-servant relationships, which were not generally so sweet as the gauzy soft-focus that our Show is giving us here. That’s all.

Drama Fan
10 months ago
Reply to  Trent

Hi! Thank you 😊 and I perfectly understand where you are coming from and Beez and B. I like you all, appreciate and value these discussions and seeing your perspectives, I find they enrich my experience as a viewer. If anything I apologize if sometimes I can’t convey my points very well. That is the one reason of my frustration. In other words, it’s not you, it’s me 😜

beez
10 months ago
Reply to  Trent

@Drama Fan @Trent – very few other instances of slavery were quite as brutal as American slavery. There were ZERO laws that protected slaves. ZERO. In essence whatever a person decided to do to their “property” they could do. Didn’t matter how depraved or cruel. The only other slavery that equates in cruelty was possibly Roman slavery, because those slaves also had no rights and no laws to protect them.

beez
10 months ago
Reply to  Trent

Duh! I mentioned Roman slavery as comparable to American slavery but I totally ignored what’s in front of my face and what we’re talking about! Unless someone with more knowledge tells us, I assume that Korean slaves also had no rights. I’m basing that assumption on all the saeguks that I’ve seen where slaves are rolled in a straw mat and sometimes beaten to death and no one bats an eyelash. So please, if someone has more information on what rights, if any Korean slaves had, please comment.

beez
10 months ago
Reply to  Trent

@Trent – yes. Thanks. You expressed it better than I did. I’m just going to try to pay closer attention to the slaves (and the politics) this time around. Although, I am not going to feel it’s any loss to the story if the slaves’ lives are not really delved into here because the title of the show tells us what it’s about – hence the fact that even the politics are unclear. (At least, it’s unclear to me. It could be that since the background politics are actual history to the Korean people, Show doesn’t need to explain in detail what is already known to them☺) Show has a focus and as far as I’m concerned they mistranslated it. Instead of The Slave Hunters – it should be named The Slave Hunter. 😆😆 😆

BE
BE
10 months ago
Reply to  beez

Team Ji Ho begs to differ.

Drama Fan
10 months ago
Reply to  BE

Team Ji Ho, Team Seol Hwa, Team Eobok and Cheobok would also beg to differ, and what about Team Taeha? His story is probably the actual main one here, at least it feels like that to me (hence why I can’t consider Chuno my favorite drama despite loving it so much, cause, I could not get so super engaged with our dear STH especially during the first half of the drama) I liked what you said before B, something along the lines of, this being “Song Taeha’s odissey and Daegil’s romance” both journeys are important and intertwined, but I would even argue that they are at least as equally important as Eopbok and Cheobok’s slave revolt storyline (and if you notice, a good amount of screen time is devoted to that storyline too, which I enjoy but not every scene, I’m mostly invested in those two specific slaves, not so much on the others)

beez
10 months ago
Reply to  BE

🤣🤣🤣 But nobody’s squeeing or sighing over Ji ho, or his toes!

Drama Fan
10 months ago
Reply to  beez

Or his teeth 😁 but but but I am strangely attracted to that twinkle in his eye

beez
10 months ago
Reply to  Drama Fan

@DF – I must admit that I’ve found Sung Dong-Il to be cute (not as Jo ho) in some of his other roles.

Somebody help me out here – what show was it that he plays a guy who shows up and wears a black trenchcoat and sunglasses and he’s pretty debonair? The only thing I remember is he was the long lost love of a main character’s aunt and that he was urinating against a wall and the wall fell down. Anyone know what show that was?

Drama Fan
10 months ago
Reply to  beez

Lol! That sounds like quite a scene! I don’t know which drama or movie it is but now I need to know

BE
BE
10 months ago
Reply to  BE

@DF see my original comments 1&2 in which I list the three themes. I do think the whole idea of first and second male lead because of Jang Hyuk’s performance is turned on its head. After watching this anew, I think another sub plot has to do with Commander Hwang, but I have not yet put a handle on exactly what that signifies.

BE
BE
10 months ago
Reply to  BE

@beez we are continuously having this discussion: Jang Hyuk steals the whole show, and in part because he can outtalk Ji Ho. Yuk. You and others might come for the flash, but it’s his substance that is the drama’s piece de resistance.

beez
10 months ago
Reply to  BE

@BE – well this comment let’s me know that you haven’t been around for how Drama Fan, Snow Flower and I talk about how Jang Hyuk’s acting prowess calls for him to be named actor of the century (or at the very least the decade). I would seriously call him the actor of the score (20 year period) but I’ve never heard it put that way. Yes, we squee and squeal and sigh but that is all just gravy on top.

I’ve noted you saying something similar before but I thought you were just playing along with us about our enthusiasm for the abs (which is very real!) But since this is the second or third time you’ve hinted that we only watch for the flash and exterior, I feel I need to let you know just how serious we appreciate his ability to bring a character to life whether thru intensity or subtle nuance. The abs and the martial arts, again, are just bonuses. (And boy, am I grateful that he hones all three of his “crafts” just to keep me and the other fangirls 😉)

C’mon, I hope you’re joking because, seriously, there are abs a military dozen as these K-actors complete their military service but we’re not touting them and telling every new Kdrama fan we meet about them the way we do Jang Hyuk. As Drama Fan(?) said earlier, Hyuky doesn’t even sport a 6 pack any longer but we still can’t wait to see his next project. And Snow Flower started here lately that she will be watching Jang Hyuk even once he’s old enough to only be cast to play uncles and grandfathers!

Snow Flower
Snow Flower
10 months ago
Reply to  BE

Besides Jang Hyuk in Chuno, I can think of only one other performance in which an actor inhabits the character completely: John Noble as Walter Bishop in Fringe.

BE
BE
10 months ago
Reply to  BE

I do enjoy teasing you all about how the squee effect tends to dominate your commentary on Jang Hyuk, yuk, but check out my dream drama for him I put in on K’s dream drama page.

I love him, and as a physical actor, as I have said before, I find him on a worldwide basis, the best I have ever seen at physical acting, but among Korean actors whom I have seen, in part because so many of his roles are in mediocre dramas, I would rank Jang Hyuk as an actor a cut below Han Seok-Kyu, Choi Min Sik, and Song Kang-Ho–Choi Min Sik, more powerful; Han Seok-Kyu, as hard as this is to believe unless you watch them side by side in Tree With Deep Roots, more screen presence; Song Kang-Ho, greater verstatility, and that is to take nothing, nothing at all, away from Jang Hyuk.

And yes I believe that Sung Dong Il is one of many great Korean character actors (phenomenal timing and charm, generosity towards other cast members, no matter the role), but Jang Hyuk beyond acting, is a star (even if he is only 5’9″).

Drama Fan
10 months ago
Reply to  BE

@BE, this is in response to your comment about JH and HSK and these other solid and prestigious actors (the thread run out so I have to reply here) Well, I see what you are saying, and you mention three powerhouse character actors so no argument there, but, maybe, just maybe, if JH found just the right opportunity, he could probably shine as much as them. I think he has it (and thats why I think he could do wonders with Ji Ho in our dream Chuno prequel). I feel that current JH is stronger than the JH that was in TWDR, not to mention, Ddolbock wasn’t a very well developed character (I remember an interview where JH confessed that he was struggling with that character) I was confused at the time because that was my first time seeing him and I thought he was great (but if I compare him, in that character, to him in Money Flower, or My Country or even Chuno, which was filmed before, there is a drastic difference in his acting, which is much more nuanced) I totally agree that JH did not shine, next to HSK in TWDR, but, I feel that a) King Sejong was a much better character b) HSK, being slightly older, has more experience as an actor. However, current JH, the one who did My Country, was pretty equivalent in screen presence to Ahn Nae Sang (who was imo, amazing) so I don’t know but I dare to suggest that current JH would probably shine next to HSK, in a new drama or movie. Especially if both characters have equal importance, instead of one outshining the other, they could probably feed off each other and create great scenes. Jang Hyuk is also said to be a very generous actor. According to Money Flower’s PD, he was extremely generous with Jang Seung Jo, allowing him and helping him to shine when it was his character’s moment, she said that most lead actors are not like this. I agree that unfortunately, some of his dramas have been mediocre. I’m still waiting for him to get a big break in movies and keep exploring a variety of characters as he wishes.

phl1rxd
9 months ago
Reply to  beez

No apologies necessary Beez!

BE
BE
10 months ago

I will join in tomorrow, after I take the time to review what you are saying K and all the posters, along with reviewing my notes, but as resident Team Ji Ho, I will leave everyone tonight with this: Is it just me or does anyone else get the feeling that Lee Jong Hyuk (Commander Hwang) is so amused by Sung Dong Il and the pair of Ji Ho’s lieutenants making pigs of themselves at dinner, acting like a pack of fleabit, mangy and hungry dogs at the scraps thrown their way, Ji Ho the alpha, burping and farting, barking and whining, that he cannot help himself from breaking character, trying to hold in the amusement from his typical cold as iron face, unable to? Just asking.

Snow Flower
Snow Flower
10 months ago
Reply to  kfangurl

It is in my head too! I don’t know how the actors kept a straight face while filming these scenes.😂

Ele Nash
10 months ago
Reply to  Snow Flower

The Ji-ho actor, Sung Dong-il, just has this lovely twinkle in his eye that makes him look like he’s on the verge of telling a joke. Yay, General Hwang may have a very tucked away sense of humour 😊 Loved Snow Flower’s thoughts that Hwang’s wife is in love with him. I definitely agree – she tries so desperately to warn him about her father. Very heart breaking.
P.S. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, fangurl!!

BE
BE
10 months ago
Reply to  Ele Nash

@KFG, SF, & EN Sung Dong-Il had already been a performer for twenty three years, mostly in comedic roles where he had established a reputation for impeccable timing, certainly on display in Chuno. Besides his great tonal range and physical repertoire, his ability to be patient at times hearing silent beats between himself and the other characters, he is also amazingly good an quick twitch response. Watching the scene I was referring to, that quick twitch was especially evident as he continuously slaps back his lieutenant’s pilfering of items from Commander Hwang’s leftovers. I do believe that Hwang’s in character response to Ji Ho is annoyance, but particularly in the face shots of Lee Jong Hyuk in that scene it struck me that he just could not help himself from being amused watching Sung Dong Il (who did win that year’s KBS Award for Best Supporting Actor). Having now seen Sung Dong Il perform in two other dramas, I have the sense that other actors enjoy performing with him, and as I will continue to remind people, scene after scene after scene he is in, he is a joy to watch.

beez
10 months ago
Reply to  Ele Nash

@Ele Nash – yes, I agree. I would imagine Gen. Hwang’s wife sees him as her only source for normalcy. Women back then looked forward to married life, even if they didn’t really like their husbands, they look to him to give them children because status in life was defined by marriage and kids. Even in the lowliest of villages the barren woman was considered “less than” and to be pitied. So, on top of all that her marriage to Gen. Hwang must’ve been a source of hope for her. I think that she, much like Gen. Hwang’s mother, hopes that children/grandchildren will eventually come, forging a familial bond.

Ele Nash
10 months ago
Reply to  BE

Happy sigh. Great points as always, Kfangurl – and loving reading all the comments too from old and new Chuno fans alike.
For what it’s worth, i think it’s the lack of facial hair on the younger Daegil that makes him look more like a young fuller-faced Jang Hyuk. There’s some magic that happens to his face with that moustache beard combo.
Ah, poor, lovely Seol-Hwa. I love the way Daegil can’t help picking her up and keeping her with him. He did fall for Eonnyeon in her “drudge” status, after all. Daegil has to have this empathy otherwise we wouldn’t sympathise with him as much – although we’d still find him devastatingly awesome 😊 But he is such a great antihero, wounded, on the edge of society and respectability but with several key morals intact. I love an antihero and think Daegil is one of the best. 😍

beez
10 months ago
Reply to  BE

@BE – he does seem a bit amused. Jo ho had noted it too when he told his men “I’m surprised he didn’t boot us out earlier”. 😆

Just a note – when Gen Hwang motions for Ji ho to come here with his hand and Ji ho responds (on the other subs) – What am I? A mongrel? It’s because in Korean and Japanese culture to tell someone to come here with your fingers curled upward is an insult. That’s how people command dogs to come. That’s why you see the – what seems awkward to us westerners – hand movement when hailing a cab of the fingers facing downward and pulling toward the body when waving.

Snow Flower
Snow Flower
10 months ago
Reply to  beez

@beez, I did not know that. The whole scene has a new meaning to me now.

beez
10 months ago
Reply to  Snow Flower

@Snow Flower – glad I could contribute a little something new. You provide so much to help me know what’s going on. ☺

Ele Nash
10 months ago
Reply to  beez

So interesting, Beez! I actually like the way the hand is held the other way up when beckoning someone but never knew why it’s done that way. Hwang is saying a lot then by motioning to Ji Ho in the dog fashion.

This may be random, but I feel like Ji Ho is an older Daegil. Does anyone else think that? He’s more like his father (as in, more in common somehow, not just the slave hunting but in sensibilities) than the scenes we see of Daegil’s actual father. It may be that both Jang Hyuk and Sung Dong-il share a common acting sensibility which happens to chime well. Whatever else, I’m inexhaustibly rooting for them, despite their many flaws and even though I see Tae Hae is a more conventional hero.

beez
10 months ago
Reply to  Ele Nash

@Ele Nash – you missed the comments (I don’t recall under which episode thread here, maybe eps 5-6) where a few of us talked about wishing we’d seen how Ji ho trained a young Dae gil to be a chuno. And then the comments where we want a Chuno prequel to be made and the debates of who should play the characters. I think we all agreed that Jang Hyuk would portray Ji ho but it was undecided who should play Dae gil. 😆 So you’re thinking along the same lines. 👍

Drama Fan
10 months ago
Reply to  beez

By the way Im thinking of a new candidate for young Daegil (please don’t throw tomatoes at me) but how about Kim Jung-Hyun? I think he has that capacity to be badass, intense but also funny and pathetic (this is based on what I saw oh him on CLOY and Rebel)

Snow Flower
Snow Flower
10 months ago
Reply to  Drama Fan

Kim Jung Hyun, the left-handed cutie from Busan! I like him a lot, and I can see him as young and naive Daegil learning how to be a badass from Cheon Ji Ho.

He is equally good at comedy and drama, and he sings too! I have not started Mr. Queen yet, but it is on my list.

Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People is a great sageuk with a great soundtrack that I recommend wholeheartedly. It is like a story a grandfather would tell to his grandkids. Plus, Wangson from Chuno is in it too, playing a mad king.

Jiyuu
Jiyuu
9 months ago
Reply to  Drama Fan

I’ve been watching him on Welcome to Waikiki and I think quite possibly, yes he can do it. He got bad press for being too immersed into roles before that he comes as stand off-ish (method acting is how they call it?). But if he keeps choosing great roles in hit shows after CLOY, he may really be in the path to acting greatness.

Just no Song Joong Ki for me, definitely no.

Drama Fan
10 months ago
Reply to  Ele Nash

Yes yes yessss as @Beez mentioned, I actually commented about their similarities at some point. I have the feeling the actors communicated and did it on purpose. They have similar behaviors, gestures and “tactics”. I love how each have their own kind of “creepy sarcastic laugh”.

Ele Nash
10 months ago
Reply to  Drama Fan

Oh, I did miss that bit in the comments- I was a bit late to the Chuno party. Sorry to repeat and great minds, Beez and Drama Fan!
Maybe the actors or director thought Daegil, coming from nobility into the slave hunter world, would be way out of his depth and so kind of mimic Ji Ho to fit in.
Oh, a prequel, how ace that would be! Jang Hyuk with bad teeth and grubby feet 😊 I bet he’d still act his way through it and somehow be beautiful. Choking on food while crying, hello, he’s still transfixing!!
Xx

Drama Fan
10 months ago
Reply to  Ele Nash

Grubby feets! Ewwwwww lolll now I can’t get this image out of my head 🤣 I just get the feeling JH would looooove this role, he is such a weirdo! (In the best possible way) And let’s keep playing, we are still casting young Daegil and the rest of the folks for our prequel, any suggestions? 😁

Ele Nash
10 months ago
Reply to  Drama Fan

I’ve been giving this (far too much) thought… Young Daegil… Has anyone suggested Jo Byung-gyu? It’s cheating because he played a younger Kang Pil-ju to Jang Hyuk’s mightily impressive older version in Money Flower. But very convincingly broody. Similar eyebrows 😊

Drama Fan
10 months ago
Reply to  Ele Nash

Awwwww yesss I actually loved him as young Pilju! I approve

Snow Flower
Snow Flower
10 months ago

There is another detail I failed to notice before: Daegil loses his sword and his dagger during his fight with Tae Ha. The only weapon he has left is a medium sized blade he carries in his boot. He was so distraught at the sight of Eon Nyeon pierced by his own dagger, he probably has not realized it…

beez
10 months ago
Reply to  Snow Flower

Ahhh. I noticed on that holster on Dae gil’s chest, he’s missing two daggers but I didn’t noticed when he’d lost them. I have been noticing this time around how easily Tae ha handles Dae gil. My previous watch, I was buying the Kool Aid that Dae gil is selling where I thought they were pretty evenly matched. But it’s obvious that Tae ha is all efficient technique whereas Dae gil is somersaulting and scrambling just to stay in the fight.

But does that turn me off? Not at all! I just shift over to how commendable Jang Hyuk is to take on a role where he’s outmatched in the script and not let his ego insist that he can’t be portrayed as bested or not the best. (Unlike the stories that were printed about Robert Downey, Jr. as Iron Man where it was stated that he was instructing the writers to make the Avengers mostly focused on Tony Stark/Iron Man.) I’m just thinking of how easy it is for anyone who knows they’re good at something to let ego over take it/them. It takes a special person to give way and make sure that what’s best for the story takes precedence. ❤ sighing 😍

Snow Flower
Snow Flower
10 months ago
Reply to  beez

@beez, I did not notice DG had two small daggers. One hit Eon Nyeon, I don’t know what happened to the other. DG is definitely no match for TH. However, TH did fight DG with his woldo. Remember when TH fought with Baek Ho and his company? In the earlier scene in the temple (Episode 3 or 4, I think) he did not even bother to use his weapon. In the bamboo forest fight (Episode 7) he used a bamboo stick. At least fighting Daegil requires TH to use a real weapon.
As for DG’s sword, TH kicked DG onto a vendor’s stall, then used the canopy to blind and disorient DG. When DG emerged from under the canopy, he was without a sword. He saw TH and EN escaping on horseback, so the only option left to him was to use his dagger. He was so upset when he realized that he had just seen and wounded EN, that he did not bother to retrieve his sword. Plus, Commander Hwang hit him from behind 2 seconds later. So, an emotional blow followed by a physical one. No wonder poor DG does not care he has lost his weapon…

beez
10 months ago
Reply to  Snow Flower

@Snow Flower – Ohhhhh. That’s who Baek ho is – Danny Ahn! I was just asking BE who that was.

Daegil has three daggers (or at least three spots for them). The holster across his chest has three spots but only one dagger is in the upper most spot, the other two are empty.

Reading what you said about how Tae ha was fighting Dae gil, it almost seems as if Tae ha is trying to keep his body count (and wounds) to a minimum.

I’m still team Dae gil though. 😄

Snow Flower
Snow Flower
10 months ago
Reply to  beez

Team Daegil always!

beez
10 months ago
Reply to  Snow Flower

@Snow Flower – My mind was so on what you said about how Tae ha is fighting Dae gil that I almost missed what you said about Dae gil losing his sword and how that lack of concern over it shows his concern over having wounded Eunnyeon. Good point. But I’m still subtracting a point from him that he would throw to wound an unknown woman.

Drama Fan
10 months ago

After reading your thoughts and everyone’s comments (You guys are so fast! :D) I feel like I don’t have much to add myself, but a couple of things

@Kffangurl I’m totally with you on the political machinations. I tend to enjoy them in historicals, but in this drama, for some reason, I have a hard time following them, perhaps I get too engaged with the action and emotional scenes that everything else feels less exciting. So, I’m kinda relying on the discussions here to help me out with what my brain can’t process.

Speaking of things I love, Daegil and SeolHwa. I was always on this ship, but I think my feelings become more intense with each re-watch. My heart aches for SeolHwa for all the reasons stated by you guys, but it also aches for Daegil, because I really wish this guy gave himself a chance to be happy.
This is not to say that I feel “nothing” for Daegil and Unnyun in those flashbacks. I do, but in this case I don’t think its because Im invested in their romance, or their “past” version but mostly because I love the actors, and I’ve always felt chemistry between them, the way they look at each other etc (even before I knew them that well, since Chuno is only the second JH drama I watched, and the first one where I fell for him) But I honestly, the writing didn’t do much for them, it was just their acting or chemistry that made whatever their thing was, work for me (personally, I know this is highly subjective)

But, back to Daegil and SeolHwa, there was this tiny moment that I did not notice on previous viewings. After Daegil rescues SeolHwa from the troupe again (how sexy was he with that coin in his mouth? :p) He brings her back with the guys, who are not happy about this and General Choi tells him: “You have become a softie” (in Viki’s version) Why have you become so compassionate all of a sudden? (in “that site’s” version) And Daegil says: Who me? Never (something like that) I just loved that tiny moment.
Whenever SeolHwa talks about her sad life, the three guys are moved, regardless of their protests, but Daegil is particularly touched. You can see it in his eyes. Despite his heart being “dried up” as he claims, this “kiddo” is touching it, at least a bit.

And something else I find amusing: In “the site that shall not be named” Daegil calls SeolHwa, moppet lol I’ve seen different versions where he calls her kiddo or shorty, but also wench or bitch (if he is angry at her)

Snow Flower
Snow Flower
10 months ago
Reply to  Drama Fan

@Drama Fan, in one of my comments in the previous threads I mentioned that Councilor Lee (Evil Mastermind) is a representative of the old-guard pro-Ming court faction. He wants to start a war with “barbaric” Qing in order to restore Joseon’s lost honor, but in fact he only wants to profit from such war. That’s why he is monopolizing the water buffalo horn supply. He is basically an arms dealer who profits from war. But he is very devious and always has someone else do the dirty work for him.

Evil Mastermind likely thought that Prince Sohyeon was too friendly with the Qing and not too inclined to go to war against them. Therefore the prince and anyone associated with him had to be eliminated. Councilor Lee is manipulating the king and the new crown prince to agree with his plan.

P. S. It took me several rewatches to figure this out. Those biceps were distracting…😃

Drama Fan
10 months ago
Reply to  Snow Flower

Thank you so much Snow Flower, this helps so much! Thank you!

BE
BE
10 months ago
Reply to  Snow Flower

Universally speaking, especially in her turbin, I generally think while many a one gets accustomed to the ceps appeal,that face of Seol Hwa never fails to leave one sort of pang or another in the heart.

BE
BE
10 months ago
Reply to  Snow Flower

After the high intensity episode 6 with its even higher finish and cliffhanger that floods into the beginning of episode 7, the story slows down, and makes use of the natural ebb of the pacing to spell out the confluence of plots and how they are all tied together. Baek Ho comments on the four entities come together to attack Tae Ha to reemphasize that for everyone. How the political aspect of the drama connects to all but Dae Gil of the main plot lines is then spelled out with the minor nobles, one who is being promised what we supposed might be promised to Commander Hwang in their discussion of getting a corner on the buffalo horn market, the other the son of the noble who already has that corner with the promise of a high appointment. This same young noble arrives at L. State Minister Mansion already having had a drinking party at the home of the slave owner where our slave protagonists are doing what Viki refers to as their jobbies. This plus said son and his two body guards the objects of Up Bok’s musketeer magical mastery is where I believe the slave plot is first directly connected to the political in a direct to this story fashion.

All this goes on without much relationship to the characters we most care about, so it isn’t just the boring quality of politics per say, but rather the heavy lifting necessary away from our heroes and villain in the story’s compelling action to finally establish the foundation of the whole before one third of its telling has gone by. These are minor characters, the least dispensible, the rather distasteful slave owner, and archetype crooked big time sleaze bag politician-nim Lee and his kisaeng, whom I tend to dub “The Smile.” And I think many would agree with me out of this whole motley crew, “The Smile” provides the most memorable image. The rest of it blah, blah, blah in honeyed tones expressing bad cough medicine sentiments. Unfortunately some of this blah, blah, blah is necessary to really get the whole picture.

Unlike the politics of Tree With Deep Roots or Six Flying Dragons and others to a lesser degree where they have deep historical impacts even beyond the immediate situations presented, and in which the how’s and why’s and who’s provide the audience with profound musings on history and governance, in which characters are not only presented as a mere feature of political conflict, often balanced by characterizations with far more noble motivations, and parties are often presented as compelling rivalries each with their pro’s and con’s, so that politicians do not entirely as in Chuno reduce to caricature, politics in Chuno as much as Eon Nyeon are the catalyst for the plot. It’s good (a largely unthinking good represented by Tae Ha) and evil, represented by cliched politician from hell all through history and all over the world Lee, the real interest of the story being his instrument, Commander Hwang). Now tell me, yuk, are you with me on Team Eon Nyeon on this account? Of course you are because darn it Lee Dae Ha is winsome, is she not, comely and as has been pointed out has lovely shoulders. What can you tell me about that big black hat so compelling? Even his evil chortle has all the charm of some bad pain medication.

Snow Flower
Snow Flower
10 months ago
Reply to  BE

@BE, one of the themes of Chuno is the class divide between the palace and the streets. The court officials play petty games for personal gain, while the ordinary people who get caught in the middle pay the price.

I agree that in other sageuks such as Six Flying Dragons and Tree With Deep Roots politics achieve almost a heroic significance, but the writer of Chuno has no mercy toward courtly power play…

BE
BE
10 months ago
Reply to  Snow Flower

I just do not think the screen writer was as concerned with political goings on except as a plot device, one for which he tends to side with Boek Ho, the General, and Tae Ha’s. former brother at arms ultimately killed by Commander Hwang– such goings on are too much monkey business to be involved in. We do not see enough of the palace court really in this for me to get any in depth picture of the political ins and outs. We have the Left State Minister and…

Tae Ho, Dae Gil, and Commander Hwang, their character arcs, to me at least, are the focus of the writer’s attention along with in smaller measures Seol Hwa, Eon Nyeon, the General and Wang Son, Up Bok and Cho Bok, and a few others as the story moves on. This seems much more a story of the people–slaves, soldiers, gangsters, and working women, for the most part making their way through the corruption left for them by the higher ups.

The divide between the palace and everyone else is so gargantuan it is more as if that was like the Olympian Gods in Greek tales. I agree the writer has no mercy, but for me his concern with the court insofar as it is being personified, is only present enough to make his point and propel his tale foreward. Many people have problems with sageuks because of the politics, but the point I am trying to make here is, in other dramas the politics are quite lively and interesting.

As a result the mind wanders when shenanigans of L. S. M. Lee take center stage. At least that is what I think. It is both the charm and the shortcoming of Chuno, for me, that it is a sageuk almost completely free from the obsession with court figures and is, rather, concerned with bottom half of society instead. I think Chuno is subversive in an epic sense in many ways, this just one. But I do not see a way to make the court play as exciting as the interactions among our main characters, let alone the gorgeously choreographed and kinetic action scenes. I am trying to understand them better because what the history part provides is the context and historical backdrop, and this series is work of art, worthy of understanding and admiring.

Drama Fan
10 months ago
Reply to  BE

I totally agree, and although the King is involved too, and played by Kim Gap Soo who I usually enjoy, in Chuno I just don’t get excited about his character. You know what I was thinking could have made the Left Minister a bit more interesting? not necessarily more intricate or interesting politicking, but maybe more insight into his humanity or lack of it (same with the King) Does the Left Minister love his daughter? What does the King feel really about killing his own offspring, is there any glimpse of regret? I felt like I couldn’t feel a thing for these characters, not even hate, because I never was able to see them as human. And I think that was a failure of the writers because, they devoted way too much screen time to them, they might as well make them a tad more engaging. And lol about “The Smile”, she was indeed memorable, and very creepy.

Jiyuu
Jiyuu
9 months ago
Reply to  Drama Fan

I think the Left Minister does love his daughter, in his own twisted way. The show gave him this layer of humanity. It was somewhere within episodes 5-6 where we see him cast her a look (of sadness?) from afar while she’s angry at him over her husband’s predicament. And it was the Left Minister who also reminded Commander Hwang to stop by her place before he leaves for his assassination mission.

Drama Fan
9 months ago
Reply to  Jiyuu

You are right. I remember that scene now.

beez
10 months ago
Reply to  BE

@BE – Help me out here – who is Baek Ho? I checked Asian Wiki but couldn’t find him.

As for the rest of your comment – are you implying the politics are not meant by the producers for us to pay too much attention to? 😆 I’m just joking.

Snow Flower
Snow Flower
10 months ago
Reply to  beez

Baek Ho is the bodyguard employed by Eon Nyeon’s brother. He seems to have feelings for Eon Nyeon. He has had two encounters with STH, at the temple and in the bamboo forest. Ninja girl threw a dagger at him and wounded his shoulder.

beez
10 months ago
Reply to  Snow Flower

Thanks Snow Flower. I figured it out based on one of your other comments. 👍

BE
BE
10 months ago
Reply to  beez

KFG noted that the name Baek Ho, who is Eun Nyeon’s brother’s white jacketed bodygaurd searching her out, the fella, Tae Ha later schooled with a bamboo wand, means tiger, in her comments on the scene in which Lady Assassin from the rooftop notes the Tiger among men fighting in the street.

beez
10 months ago
Reply to  BE

@BE – Thanks. And now that you mention it, I do remember Kfangurl’s comment now.

BE
BE
10 months ago
Reply to  beez

@beez: Even though you are just joking, I would say the writers are just not as interested in the political players in this as they are everyone else, and I believe it is one reason why the mind begins to stray when they appear on screen, and my memory vaguely calls to mind something about buffalo horns, Left State’s nyah-hah-hah chortle, and THE SMILE, feeling gosh I hope I am never in a room with those two. And that is no joke. Yuk.

j3ffc
j3ffc
10 months ago

Wow, we’re a third of the way through Chuno. Talk about time flying! My five random thoughts on these episodes (for some reason, five random observations seems about right this week 😉):

Anyone notice how the soldiers were wearing masks in the epidemic-filled Jeju? Ahead of their times they were (there is a fascinating history on how Asian medicine was in general ahead on this issue over its Western counterpart).[Apologies if this is the wrong episode, but it’s not tooooo much of a spoiler if it is.]
I may be mistaken, but the water-cave-place where Tae Ha tended to Eonnyeon is filled with zombies in “Kingdom”. I hope they are being careful.
I just realized that Lady Ninja was played by the same actor who portrayed one of the sisters-in-law in Crash Landing on You. Sharp in both roles.
I hope you won’t think less of me for this, but although I was “quite transfixed” by Eonnyeon’s bare shoulders, my heart belongs to Seol Hwa. She is fantastic.
Totally agree about the Jin Ho character being smart (he certainly hasn’t survived this long based on brawn), but would add that he is totally rocking the long hair.

Enjoy the week off next week, everyone, and happy Chanukah/Christmas to those who celebrate! And congrats again to kfangurl on 8 years of excellent blogging!

Drama Fan
10 months ago
Reply to  j3ffc

Cool random observations! I did not notice the facemasks in Jeju but I;ll check that out now. I think we are the SeolHwa fan club here 🙂

Snow Flower
Snow Flower
10 months ago
Reply to  j3ffc

, thank you for mentioning the zombie cave from Kingdom! I was sure I have seen this location in another drama, but could not remember which one. If I remember correctly, a recent war with Japan was mentioned in Kingdom, so maybe the zombie infestation took place 30-40 years before the events in Chuno. So it is possible for some zombies to have survived!😃

beez
10 months ago
Reply to  Snow Flower

I don’t know how you guys can tell one cave on screen from another 😆 When I first saw the cave, I pictured every cave that I’ve ever seen in any Kdrama that had a caved. lol That includes Tree with Deep Roots and Empress ki.

j3ffc
j3ffc
10 months ago
Reply to  beez

Pretty sure it’s the same damn cave!!

beez
10 months ago
Reply to  j3ffc

– I’m sure you guys are right. lol

BE
BE
10 months ago
Reply to  j3ffc

I think the face mask controversy in the US makes those face masks on Jeju Island appear more out of the ordinary to an American viewer. In Asian nations, no matter the politics, inured to the dangers of epidemics, no such controversy exists. The real question would be if this use of mask to prevent infection, or if mouth and nose expectoration as causes of contagion were known during that point in the Joseon era, or if this was simply a function of 2010 South Korea being aware of such from recent events.

j3ffc
j3ffc
10 months ago
Reply to  BE

As far as I am aware (w/o excessive research) mask wearing is attributed to Dr. Wu Lien-teh, who advocated for its use in a pneumatic plague in Manchuria ca. 1910 or so. There is a famous incident where he was joined by a french physician who refused to wear a mask and one of the two men died from the plague (guess which one). The idea that diseases might be caused by transmission of various “thingies” goes back to the middle ages, but actual germ theory and the beginning of modern epidemiology didn’t take shape until the 1800s (Koch, Pasteur, Snow). My guess is that it was a retrofit of modern practice by the filmmakers, as you suggest, but I’d be delighted to hear if someone else knows otherwise. [There’s a great episode of “Victoria” that dramatizes John Snow’s breakthrough studies in the 1850s: https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/specialfeatures/victoria-s3-e4-fact-or-fiction/#.%5D

BE
BE
10 months ago
Reply to  j3ffc

Does anyone recall what the plague on Jeju actually was supposed to be?

Snow Flower
Snow Flower
10 months ago
Reply to  BE

I could not find any info. Smallpox maybe? On a side note, there is an excellent drama called Jejungwon which deals with the early days of Western medicine in Joseon. I remember a scene in which 3 medical students were making smallpox vaccine.

BE
BE
10 months ago
Reply to  Snow Flower

Rookie Historian deals with that as well. With small pox I cannot remember a sheet burning scene, but I think you are correct.

Drama Fan
10 months ago
Reply to  BE

@BE Sorry to go on a tangent but, do you recommend Rookie historian? I was considering watching it

BE
BE
10 months ago
Reply to  Drama Fan

Shin Se Kyung is wonderful, and she carries the whole on her shoulders. She gets to be earthy, intelligent, funny, and heroic in this role, whereas her acting persona in the great early sageuk epics (Tree With Deep Roots and Six Flying Dragons) she acted in was a bit more narrow, confined to a kind of sincere and serious tone. I really did not care for her male lead counterpart Cha Eun Wu and this renders the whole unbalanced, and I had a very hard time believing in them as an otp. I found it an entertaining, safely feminist sageuk. I agreed by and large with KFG’s take and B grade and enjoyed watching it.

j3ffc
j3ffc
10 months ago
Reply to  BE

Ooh, Rookie H ws definitely on my wish list even before I realized that Shin Se Kyung was starring in it. I actually thought she was fantastic in Tree…she was able to subtly convey such a keen intelligence, which is hard to do without words. Will definitely watch it sometime, although I’m now on my second sageuk in a row (Chuno!) and it’s time to rotate off. Yet, I am strangely drawn to Mr. Queen b/c of Shin Hye-sun, who is one of my all-time fave FLs. Oh, and one more thing: a “B” is a good grade. Really! I will def watch a B show!

BE
BE
10 months ago
Reply to  j3ffc

I liked Shin Se Kyung very much in TWDR and 6FD. Although I do not think Rookie Historian is in either of those two series’ category, I think Shin Se Kyung is better in Rookie Historian in that she shows a far greater range of emotions and character, she is allowed to be looser in her enactment, certainly given room for comedic beats, not given to her in those earlier series.

beez
10 months ago
Reply to  j3ffc

– I managed to squeeze in the two episodes of The Queen. What a bawdy mess! (In an absolutely wonderful way.) And I knew Shin Hye sun had great acting talent but here she’s shows she’s got great comic timing as well. To pull off that flirting scene in the gisaeng house with that wink that I’m not sure if it was directed at the gisaengs or at us , the audience; but ultimately it doesn’t matter. She’s great. And Choi Jin hyuk set the role up well.

BE
BE
10 months ago
Reply to  j3ffc

I used to tell my students that. B is a good grade. C means you are doing adequately, no shame in it. D means maybe you have to work a bit harder but I see you trying. F is for failed effort. A, however, is excellent. B means you have done well. For these since I am not a grader, I tend to drop shows I find less than B, however.

beez
10 months ago
Reply to  BE

@BE – I could be way off base, but I thought we heard in one of those meetings of the nobles that are conspiring to [over throw the crown? Is that what they’re talking about? They always get interrupted before they get to the meat of the matter] it was hinted that the plague might be made up to cover the deaths of the deceased Crown Prince’s children.

BE
BE
10 months ago
Reply to  beez

I missed that convo. If anyone else remembers it…I do try to take notes on the political stuff simply because I want to get the whole show, but those folks do seem to prattle on.

Snow Flower
Snow Flower
10 months ago
Reply to  BE

In one of the early episodes some court officials were asking the king to provide relief to plague-stricken Jeju Island, but they all got arrested for being sympathizers of the late Crown Prince Sohyeon. Beez pointed out that the guy who asked the painter to draw a picture about young prince’s plight on Jeju was also one of evil Councilor Lee’s minions. That suggests that Councilor Lee wanted to find out who among the courtiers still had a soft spot for the poor exiled toddler prince and then had them arrested and dealt with. It seems that the palace is not sending relief to Jeju on purpose, hoping that the exiled prince would die and his supporters would be silenced.

beez
10 months ago
Reply to  Snow Flower

@Snow Flower – And/or another possibility is that the plague is fake and Left State Councilor had the drawings distributed among the poor, with the hush-hush instructions because we know that makes everybody pass the secret even more, for purposes of covering up poisoning the young Prince the way they poisoned his mother.

Do we know how his two older brothers were killed?

Snow Flower
Snow Flower
10 months ago
Reply to  beez

I think the plague is real and the little prince’s brothers died from the illness. According to Wikipedia the older brothers were 12 and 8 years old when they died. The youngest prince was 4 years old in 1648.

beez
10 months ago
Reply to  j3ffc

– Thanks for that. There’s another excellent history recreation documentary on PBS about Typhoid Mary. I watched it over a decade ago so can’t provide a link or anything. I can only say that I thought “Typhoid Mary” was just something my mother would say as she nagged us to constantly wash our hands before stepping foot in her kitchen (or after playing with the dog☺). But to see this woman’s story play out was mind blowing as they actually exiled her, under guard, to an island! The problem was that she couldn’t believe that she was the one killing entire families because 1) she wasn’t sick herself; and 2) she knew she washed her hands (or claimed she did) before cooking for the families that she worked for. So when government agents first approached her, she did agree to stop working as a cook, but other jobs were so grueling that after a while, she changed her name and moved out of state. The officials showed up again after groups of people’s deaths (at a facility she was working at but I can’t remember what type of facility) but they discovered it was her with a new name but still possessing the angel of death within her.

Drama Fan
10 months ago
Reply to  beez

@Beez Wow! I only read this “Typhoid Mary” story now. Its so fascinating and terrifying 😱

beez
10 months ago
Reply to  Drama Fan

@Drama Fan – I’m so glad you understood what I was trying to say because I only realized very late after I post it that comment, that I didn’t properly tie it in with the discussion about the first discovery of the existence of germs. That was also a big part of documentary on Typhoid Mary and in fact, the scientist that made the discovery visited Typhoid Mary himself to discourage her from taking jobs as a cook.

beez
10 months ago
Reply to  BE

@BE – even here in the U.S. masks were utilized during the Spanish flu outbreak in the early 1900’s so I’m sure the 2010 standards in S.K were not the cause of the inclusion of face masks in that scene. And I’m thinking of the plagues in Europe during the dark ages – although, I’m only going by drawings (and old movies 😆)- it seemed people naturally covered their face to prevent disease even if the disease was not air borne. So they had no way of knowing about disease on the microscopic level but it seems to be a natural instinct for people to try not to catch things by not inhaling others’ “curses”.

Snow Flower
Snow Flower
10 months ago

Ah, the dagger scene…Such a micro masterpiece of choreography, directing, and acting. I thought that Daegil knew Eon Nyeon was in front of him the second he threw his dagger at her.

Seol Hwa and Daegil: every time they are on screen together, my heart aches. She has totally fallen for him now. I liked the look she gave him when he found her drinking at the inn. He does have a soft spot for her though.

Commander Hwang has become The Purple Assassin by now, a real Darth Vader of Joseon. I find his dynamic with Cheon Ji Ho both entertaining and unsettling. Cheon Ji Ho is starting to realize that he is getting more than what he bargained for, and that’s not a good thing.

On a humorous note, I liked how each member of Daegil’s gang displayed his own personality while trying to make a quick buck at the marketplace. Daegil relied on the tried and true intimidation tactic of using the fake royal inspector badge. General Choi proved once again that he has a soft heart. And Wangson was right in his element, swindling money and valuables from the merchants by means of intimidation and sweet talk.

Eon Nyeon showed that she was capable of quick thinking even when injured: her way of stopping Baek Ho and company from chasing her (saying that she and Song Tae Ha were married) was much more effective than Tae Ha’s prowess with a bamboo reed.

Also, Seol Hwa was so upset when Daegil told her to leave that she left without her precious haegeum. It was Daegil who came back for it, maybe already regretting his decision to send her away.

The weather is getting colder, so no more biceps or abs on display…😪😃
Love the new outfits of Eon Nyeon and Tae Ha though.

There was a scene with the slave women in Episode 7, and one of them was using a loom. I remember there was a textile expert among the commenters in the earlier thread, so I am interested in reading her take on the scene.

BE
BE
10 months ago
Reply to  Snow Flower

I am especially touched by Seol Hwa’s embrace of Dae Gil, then while still embracing, the anger at his tardiness, the first time at the cantina one thing, the second time with the troupe of players when she takes him to the ground quite another, both times–again why Dae Gil is so compelling, his utter acceptance of embrace and scold with sympathy while not reciprocating. That Jang Hyuk, you guys are all to dazzled by his rib cage. What a fine actor he is.

Snow Flower
Snow Flower
10 months ago
Reply to  BE

Well, I have said it before: Jang Hyuk might as well be sleeping on screen, but he would still be compelling to watch…

BE
BE
10 months ago
Reply to  Snow Flower

I have posted my dream Jang Hyuk vehicle (along with two other ideas for series) over on KFG’s dream drama post. I thought it might inspire others for the same drama in mind as well as encourage the brilliant group of KFG’s following to think of dramas of their own. (Still hoping KFG could pick up some finder’s fees from KBS or some such).

Drama Fan
10 months ago
Reply to  BE

Like I always tell my friends, do not get me started gushing about JH or I’ll never stop! Do not open that door! JH now says he no longer has a six pack , its now a 2 pack lol but who cares? his power in in his eyes (to me). I really hope he continues acting until he plays adorable and/or scary (and I bet still sexy) harabeojis in dramas and movies forever and ever.

beez
10 months ago
Reply to  BE

@BE – Yup. Ummm hmmmmmm. 😉

beez
10 months ago
Reply to  Snow Flower

@Snow Flower – For me it was the scene where Seol hwa is forced to dance and take the coins out of the mouths of the patrons but when she gets to the third guy… “What took you so long!” and the hug which, Dae gil did not immediately push her off! I’m not saying he has any romantic feelings toward her but he’s less annoyed than he lets on. ☺

Snow Flower
Snow Flower
10 months ago
Reply to  beez

She is totally smitten, poor thing. He knows that she is part of the gang now.

BE
BE
10 months ago
Reply to  Snow Flower

Isn’t Seol Hwa about the same age as Eon Nyeon was when he last saw her before seeing her horseback with Tae Ha?

Snow Flower
Snow Flower
10 months ago
Reply to  BE

I think she is.

BE
BE
10 months ago
Reply to  Snow Flower

Makes that scene in which Dae Gil is watching her pleading for help as she is being dragged away by her troupe and simultaneously seeing in his mind’s eye Eun Nyeon being similarly dragged really ripple. I don’t remember in my first viewing noticing this echo set out so clearly in this pair of episodes.

Drama Fan
10 months ago
Reply to  BE

And now that I rewatched Ep 1, Daegil also thought about Unnyun when he rescued the little girl on Ep 1, its always Unnyun in his mind.

beez
10 months ago
Reply to  Snow Flower

You know, when Dae gil threw that dagger, this was another minus point for him with me. (Eeeek!) At the time that he threw it, he was throwing at a random woman. I think the subs made it pretty clear that he knew he did not have a clear shot at Tae ha so he went on and threw purposely hitting “the woman”. Then afterwards, I’m still not sure if he’s after Eunnyeon to reunite their love or for revenge. He certainly didn’t seem worried for her well being after his dagger pierced her even though he now believes that he saw Eunnyeon as she sagged after being hit.

Drama Fan
10 months ago
Reply to  beez

@Beez, the way I see it, Daegil is a slave hunter…Thats like being I dunno, a gangster and gasp! committing crimes. This is expected of him, no? It obviously is not nice, pretty or romantic. But (while this doesn’t make him a “better” person) I did think he was shocked when he thought it was Unnyun and he was struck for a while until General Choi convinced him he was just imagining things like he has done in the past. About Daegil’s feelings, what I see is he is conflicted. And at this point, maybe he himself doesn’t know, consciously, what exactly he is trying to accomplish. At this point he is like a ghost, who has a grudge and simply needs to face her, regardless of the consequences. But do notice that every time Unnyun is mentioned he gets paralyzed and goes into a daze so I wouldn’t expect him to run after her immediately after he “thought” he saw her.

I never give this too much thought because it’s hard to “side” with someone who is allegedly trying to enact revenge against the oppressed, in my simple mind, Unnyun and her brother had all the right in the world to try to save their own lives, so I’ve little room to feel compassion for the young master who was abandoned and left for dead. From my comfortable place as a viewer, I expect Daegil to “accept” and “understand” that they had no option. But putting that aside, if I see it briefly from Daegil’s perspective, I guess he does have a right to feel at least a bit pissed and betrayed by her (maybe?) If we add to this, that his life, from that point on (be it their fault or his own fault) became “hellish”, well, the bitterness builds up. I suppose at this point in the story Daegil feels both love and hate for Unnyun. And as they say, the deeper the hate, the deeper the love (?)

BE
BE
10 months ago
Reply to  beez

He seems pretty much in shock to me. Love/revenge I don’t know, but the obsessive longing for a decade personified in that moment with all the wtf that must be running through his head. He does seem bereft that he had wounded Eon Nyeon, but abject shock in which the heartbreak of years was the feeling coming to surface was how I read it.

beez
10 months ago

Thoughts while reading kfangurl’s post:

So is “doing the dirty work” the only reason Gen. Hwang is dragging Ji Ho’s gang along with him? And since when did assassins take such care burying the dead? It’s not as if he’s hiding the fact that he’s killing them. Maybe it’s out of respect.

During its first airing, Eunnyeon’s breasts, or the blurring thereof, caused quite the controversy – with some feeling it was unnecessary and others all for it. The version I’m watching is blurred but the Kocowa version is not. But I totally agree. It’s funny how saeguks usually have far few kisses yet have far more leeway with a lot of other things. I suppose it’s to be expected during a time of multiple wives, concubines, swords and easy deaths. (I’m looking at you Shine or Go Crazy where our hero (also Jamg Hyuk) is married yet pursues another woman/man (?) lol)

Tae ha has already taken on the role of brother-in-law to Danny Ahn and virtually to Eunnyeon’s brother as he says “you’re like family to her” before he trades his sword for a stick. 😊 I must say as Dae gil’s actions fall out of favor with me, I’m seeing Tae ha with new eyes. 👀 The scales are falling from my eyes even faster than I thought they would. Who am I kidding? – I never expected to see Daegil in a less than a star struck light and most certainly didn’t see myself rooting for Tae ha or being a tad bit awestruck. (I still think the character of Dae gil is wonderful because he is so flawed.) Is that considered a form of what psychologist say is transference? 😆

Yay for triceps! 💪 (I don’t have a triceps emoji)

Speaking of our heroes clothes (or lack thereof) – when they identify themselves as cops/ officers of the court – I can’t believe anyone falls for it since they’re literally dressed in tatters.

Yes, Commander Hwang killed his own teacher (Tae ha and the teacher talked about the teacher’s pupil (Hwang) having killed Tae ha’s master). That is why while Kocowa subs have him say “rest in peace” and it sounds like one of Arnold Swartzenegger’s “finishing move” zingers, while the WITH2 subs say “May you rest in peace.” More of a respectful send off.

Kfangurl, you lost me with the hanja. I seem to recall in your original review (or maybe it was Drama Fan’s or Cherkell’s) someone mentioning that when Eop bok and Cho bok face each other it says male-female. But I totally didn’t get what you’re explaining about the Chinese letters. Maybe I’ll get it once I get further along in my Korean language studies. (I hope.)

I plan on posting my notes taken while watching later along with some of the translations from the WITH2 subs for @BE and anyone else who might be interested.

Trent
10 months ago
Reply to  beez

@beez At the risk of being annoying–I hope kfangurl will forgive me for jumping in re: the hanja–Chinese characters are composed of one or more elements. Some core elements are called “radicals” (traditionally there were 214 total radicals). Most radicals can also stand alone as an independent character (in traditional Chinese dictionaries, one way of looking up characters is by which radical they are classified under). The character for “woman” is also a radical, and when that particular “woman” radical is combined with other elements to make up new characters, those new characters tend to be words that are in some way associated with “female” or female-adjacent objects or concepts, because the main radical is “woman”.

So what kfangurl was pointing out is that the hanja word in our drama for male slave (nu)(奴) and female slave (bi)(婢) both contain the woman radical (nü)(女)(on the left-hand side), so you would think both words are female-oriented. Except one is applied to males, and one to females.

I’m purely speculating here, but perhaps the idea of “slave” in the ancient or traditional conception was equated with submissive, subordinate, yielding, etc., and thus seen as in some sense “female” in essence, regardless of the actual gender?

Interesting slightly related tidbit: Chuno in hanja is just 推奴, where that second syllable/character “no” is the one for “male slave” that the men have tattooed on their cheek (or forehead, for Tae Ha).

Trent
10 months ago
Reply to  kfangurl

Yes! to your second paragraph; I forgot to mention that, but you are absolutely right, of course. Context is everything when working with characters!

(another tangent: taking your example, I’ve always found it interesting/amusing that 虎 (tiger) is one of the radicals, as are many of the iconic animals like ox/cow, horse, sheep, rat, rabbit, tortoise, deer, fish, bird…even dragon. Important fundamental concepts back when they were systematizing the writing a few thousand years ago)

Trent
10 months ago
Reply to  kfangurl

As anyone who’s tackled learning Chinese reading and writing (I’m including Chinese students here!), it’s a lot of blood, sweat, and tears involved. But once you get hooked, it’s also like a gigantic compelling puzzle and studying it can be really fun and satisfying.

I basically taught myself the rudiments as I was walking around the streets of Taibei, learning to use a character dictionary by looking up random characters from signs and such on the street. Then when I got back to the States and college with a big jumbled base of knowledge, I was ready to tackle it from a more academic angle.

It really helps when you start majoring in something to be interested in it; I would guess you probably felt the same way about English language and literature?

Trent
10 months ago
Reply to  kfangurl

It’s funny, my Chinese friends who are here in the US tell me the same story about their American born kids: they send them to Chinese school on the weekends so they get some language background, but of course the kids would rather be playing or watching TV or something on a weekend morning! I can sympathize.

Ever since I went off to Taiwan, I’ve said that environment is everything (maybe not everything, but a lot) when it comes to learning a language well. Being around Chinese all day every day, surrounded by native speakers, is so different than even a few hours a week in a classroom with other noobs.

Which is not to say classroom is useless, of course, it has its place. But man, just being around native speakers all the time and not being afraid to look and sound like an idiot is priceless for scaling the learning curve.

Snow Flower