Open Thread: Chuno Episodes 11 & 12

Happy New Year, everyone! We’ve officially crossed over to 2021! 🥳 So happy that we’re all here together, you guys. ❤️

Here are our usual ground rules, before we begin:

1. 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.

2. 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 11

For an episode that’s mainly focused on moving people into place for bigger plot developments, I find this hour surprisingly affecting. There’re many moments of raw emotion, and that’s just the kind of thing to keep me invested, even during a lull in our narrative.

Dae Gil’s inebriated rambling is sad and painful to watch; gone is the swagger and the explosive machismo.. all we see is a man who’s struggling to come to grips with the huge shift in his world, that the dream that he’d held onto – Eonnyeon – is no longer his to dream. He looks so bereft and lost, and his drunken talk is only a shadow of the bravado that’s usually oozing out of him so effortlessly. The fact that he names himself as the most wicked man in Joseon, gives us a glimpse into how he sees himself. He’s not exactly as proud of himself as he usually seems.

That moment when he holds onto Seol Hwa and asks her to just stay still for a bit, because it’s warm that way, he feels like a forlorn, weary, lost little boy, who needs comfort more than anything else in the world. 💔

My heart goes out to Han Seom (PHEW they made it onto the boat, I was so afraid something bad would happen to him while Tae Ha took time out to kiss Eonnyeon on the mountain. 😝); he struggles to hold back tears, but he can’t help but cry as he mourns his fallen Court Lady.

I do appreciate Tae Ha’s sensitivity to Han Seom’s sorrowful mood, and his empathy for him. Tae Ha may be a little clueless about how to express himself in a way that speaks to a lady’s heart  – snicker, at Eonnyeon’s failed attempt to get him to say something more romantic than that he’d always be loyal to her – but he is absolutely in tune with his brother in arms.

I found the flashback to how Dae Gil had gotten to know General Choi and Wangson a nice distraction from the relative gloom of the present-day timeline. Pfft. Of course Wangson was a rascal as well, back then, and of course he’d try to rip off the straitlaced-looking General Choi, who wasn’t a General at all, but rather a poor scholar with a wonky gat, hoping to make good at the military examination. I found the three-way scuffle fun, and liked that it brought back the initial jaunty, almost nonchalant feels of our initial episodes.

I was similarly amused by Wangson taking General Choi on one of his lady-focused exploits in the present day, getting General Choi to take off his top strategically – in the dead of winter. 😆 Ahaha, I can’t believe General Choi would actually agree to this, but no matter, since I’m suitably tickled at how the slave girl barely stops herself from drooling outright at General Choi’s very ripped, bare torso. (Ahem. I couldn’t help quasi-drooling a little bit myself. 🤤🤩)

I have to admit that I was quite shocked and horrified at Constable Oh for taking our poor ol’ Horse Doctor and using him as a scapegoat because he’s an easy target. UGH. That scene where Horse Doctor cries despairingly in the interrogation chamber, that he’d paid so many of Constable Oh’s tabs, is so upsetting. It’s all made worse by how Constable Oh storms the Jumos’ bedroom and drags them in to provide false witness accounts, by threatening them. I’m appalled at how Constable Oh has turned on his acquaintances so easily, but I think this is just a reflection of how things work on a larger scale in the court. It doesn’t matter whether you’re innocent or guilty; it only depends on who you know, and what power you hold. 😔

Given this reinforcement of how sucky it is for the non-nobles in this world, I really can’t blame our slave rebel faction for wanting to change the world, by taking down one yangban at a time. When Ggeutbong tells Eop Bok how angry he is at his master for selling his wife and kids, I feel for him, so much. I mean, he’s not asking for much; all he ever wanted was to live together with his wife and kids. Sniffle. 😔 That said, I do love that Cho Bok is kinda-sorta teaching herself how to use a rifle, by listening in on Eop Bok’s lessons with the boys. She’s so smart and such a quick-thinker, I think the boys are making a mistake not teaching her how to shoot. She’d probably be their star sniper, given the chance.

Not gonna lie; this look of pure joy on General Choi’s face, when he sees Dae Gil and Seol Hwa in the distance, is probably the biggest highlight of the episode, for me. I love that big smile. 🤩 Also, it seems to me that all the three men have a sheen of tears in their eyes, on top of the broad smiles that they’re wearing. These three really have come to care for one another a great deal, despite what Wangson’s grumblings might indicate.

Even as the paths of our slave hunter crew and Tae Ha and his men start to converge, I feel the need to give Eonnyeon a shout-out, because she shows wisdom and foresight in a situation where I would have expected a trained man of arms like Han Seom to have more smarts. Her suggestion that she carry the prince, as well as her caution to Han Seom not to address Tae Ha as General, make a whole lot of sense.

I find myself moved by the depth of emotion that Tae Ha’s men show, as they reunite after so much trouble and hardship. The tears in their eyes, as they look upon each other, with unspoken understanding and solidarity written in their gaze, is viscerally affecting. And even though Tae Ha has suffered as much as each of them, he still looks on them with tearful compassion, like a father who wishes that his sons didn’t have to suffer alongside him.

The flashbacks that we see running through Dae Gil’s mind, as he races towards Unju Temple, tell us just how emotional a thing this is, for Dae Gil. You can literally see the tears glistening in his eyes, as he runs. (That must be SO hard to do; this is an amazing portrayal by Jang Hyuk, and I am completely blown away! 🤩😭) I honestly feel like Dae Gil might lose all sense of self-control, just as General Choi fears, if he were to really find Eonnyeon by Tae Ha’s side at Unju Temple.

Episode 12

I kind of was cognizant of this before too, but it’s hitting me all over again, how emotionally slanted our story is. I mean, I think our characters are allowed to be more led by their feelings, and more expressive of their feelings, than in regular sageuks?

All the tears in everyone’s eyes through most of this pair of episodes is one thing, but I think the thing that really gets my attention this time around, is how Tae Ha taking time to have a wedding, right smack in the middle of being involved in a revolution, is really incongruous. I think I must have been too invested in Dae Gil’s arc before, to actually care or think much about this, but on this viewing, I find it as odd as Tae Ha’s perplexed compatriots do, that he’d take time out to get married when they are all in a precariously dangerous situation, while planning to replace the Crown Prince.

I think I’m going to have to get used to this, though. This is the same mindset that basically allows Tae Ha the presence of mind to romance Eonnyeon on the mountain top, while they are all on the run from soldiers on their tail. My memory is vague, but based on Tae Ha’s intent marriage-mindedness this episode, I’m pretty sure we will see more of him putting Eonnyeon first, in the midst of all kinds of danger and terror. I’m going to file this away in my head as one of show’s emotionally slanted quirks.

As for Dae Gil, it’s coming together more solidly in my head, that as desperately as he seeks to find Eonnyeon, he’s not only afraid of what he’ll find when he does come upon her, he’s also not exactly sure of what he will do, when he does. For all his dark talk about not letting her live a happy life, his enduring longing for her all these years doesn’t mesh with the idea of him actually capturing or killing her. To this end, I’m guessing that Dae Gil himself hasn’t managed to think that far; not that he hasn’t put in the time, since he is so easily lost in reverie when it comes to the topic of Eonnyeon.. I just think that he can’t find a conclusion that he can wholeheartedly accept.

This scene in at the temple doors says it all; his nervous hesitation; his intense concentration; his apprehensive panting; it all gives way to a defeated look of dazed deflation, when he realizes that Eonnyeon is not behind those doors. Such a huge turnaround, in a matter of seconds. Really well played, Jang Hyuk-sshi. 🤩

I was nicely amused by the little scene with the young monk, particularly at the part where Dae Gil asks if he’s seen the woman in the portrait, and the young monk replies that he looks upon all women as rocks. I am very tickled that Dae Gil basically rolls his eyes and asks, “Okay, but did you see this rock?” 😆 Too funny!

I really like the scene that night, where our crew is putting up at an inn, and General Choi sits with a broody Dae Gil and tries to talk to him about Eonnyeon. Dae Gil doesn’t say much, and General Choi tries to persuade him, saying that they’re family. AW. This is the first time that any of our crew has actually articulated this sense of family, even though I’ve long thought of them as a family, so even though Dae Gil wryly pooh-poohs the idea, it still warms my heart. I luff General Choi. He’s so warm and caring. ❤️

Speaking of family, Left State Councilor sure changes his mind easily about whether or not Commander Hwang deserves to be considered his son. When he’d wanted Commander Hwang to accept his dishonorable deathly mission, he’d said so easily, that a son-in-law is a son as well. But now, when Commander Hwang’s showed up injured and unconscious, Left State Councilor couldn’t care two hoots about Commander Hwang’s well-being. All he wants is for Commander Hwang to wake up and tell him how the mission went. Bleargh. No wonder Commander Hwang decides to turn on him. And because Left State Councilor is so awful, now I want Commander Hwang to succeed in his new self-given mission. I just feel really bad for Commander Hwang’s wife. She cares so deeply for him, but feels so helpless. Such a great performance by Ha Si Eun again, this episode. 😭

I confess that I didn’t use to care much for the relationship between Tae Ha and Eonnyeon, because, 1, I was on Dae Gil’s side and Tae Ha represented the opposite of that, and 2, I found the treatment of the loveline quite boring. Now, though, I have to admit that I do see the appeal of this relationship. There’s a gentle mutual respect and trust which feels measured and mature, and I get the sense that these two could and would last the long haul together.

Now that Dae Gil’s finally found Eonnyeon – and right at the moment when she marries Tae Ha, no less – I anticipate a great deal of internal conflict for him, as he grapples with how to deal with this discovery. What will Dae Gil do..? 😱

42 thoughts on “Open Thread: Chuno Episodes 11 & 12

  1. Pingback: Announcement: Chuno group watch! | The Fangirl Verdict

    1. kfangurl Post author

      Aw, I’m sorry to hear that BE.. I checked the Spam & Pending folders, but they didn’t manage to catch your comment. ☹️ Unfortunately leaving the site accidentally does result in partially completed comments being lost, mostly. 🥺 I hope you’ll be able to recreate at least the gist of it, to share with us!

  2. Jiyuu

    And now, for the first time in the whole series, I am faced with a real cliff-hanger and I actively want to know what will happen next. I might not be able to control myself with just a few episodes and end up bingeing it all so… choices choices choices. Lol. I like the feeling that I’m watching with others so a huge THANK YOU to everyone. I’ve been so afraid to watch Chuno and have been delaying it as much as I could. Watching it with others here gives me a sense of security in case things get nasty down the story road.

    Episode 11 is such a nice break, giving us a glimpse of how our trio met. It provides a sort of marker for the end of one story arc and the start of another. General Choi may end up being my safest favorite male character in the series.

    The torture of the lecherous old man/horse doctor was surprisingly heartbreaking. It’s the seemingly harmless ones who end up doing much damage (Constable Oh seemed like a pushover before) and the loud, ugly ones who have layers of depth/loyalty in them (including Cheon Ji Ho, whom I missed these two episodes).

    Episode 12 brings me back squarely to Team Dae Gil. He’s like the third wheel/unwanted antagonist to this budding romance between a fine general and a beautiful noble lady. What can he offer her now? Even if he has a lot of money stashed somewhere (though I doubt this), how can the uncouth Dae Gil of the present ever measure up to the noble Dae Gil of the past? And both Dae Gils combined, how can they measure up to a decorated war general with lofty ideals who has never descended into full despair?

    Despite all these, I still root for our main underdog. I had previously been fine with Song Tae Ha and Un Nyun together but now that he’s clean, dressed up and without his (for me, at least) very masculine weapon, he feels so bland. Lee Dae Gil is so agile, brimming with grit and vitality. During their choreographed fight scenes, Tae Ha and Dae Gil and even Commander Hwang look fantastic. But during the chase scenes, Dae Gil is just on a different level. Or maybe it’s the effect of that pumping OST.

  3. Princess Jasmine

    Nice reading through these comments….Halfway through the series already and am really enjoying this drama; (This was never in my radar and if not for the group watch….I would have never see this one…so many thanks for that once again…)

    Just two comments to add in:

    Little Monk – Adorable and Brilliant…Stole the show in Episode 12;
    I just realised that the director of this series and K2 is the same (can someone please confirm that for me)
    I am in that minority group that loves K2 and I even managed to binge watch it for New Year weekend.
    I find a lot of similarity between Ms.Choi (in K2) and Daegil (in Chuno) in that sense that both are not willing to let go of the past circumstances/situations/ex-lover/insensitive husband and thus are not seeing the beautiful things in front of them and are too arrogant for their own good.
    In any case, I am thankful to the director (and the writer) for giving me two beautiful complex characters to cherish and reminisce about.

    Cant wait to start episode 13 next week…..

    Beez – Hope you are safe and healthy; Take care; Just to let you know that I am in team Daegil now and hope to be in it until something changes dramatically in the next few episodes. Tae-Ha became too one-note character for me to enjoy or relish upon….

    1. kfangurl Post author

      Hi Princess Jasmine, so glad you’re enjoying Chuno! Yay that you decided to join this group watch! 😃

      Yes you are right, the PD of Chuno also directed The K2! The writers are different, though. 🙂

      I was always instinctively on Team Dae Gil – so I’m having an opposite experience, of feeling more empathetic towards Tae Ha this time around, but without abandoning Team Dae Gil. 😉😃

      1. Princess Jasmine

        Thanks for the details. I understand that the writers are different…thanks for the confirmation on PD;
        Both the dramas are beautiful shot;

        Now that I know that the PD is the same I will complete this drama with lot more gusto as I really have a soft spot for K2; I just finished episode 13 and 14 this weekend and I will wait for comments to open up; Good week ahead 😉

    2. Jiyuu

      Oh. I just checked and you’re right. No wonder I was getting the same grueling fight scene vibes and was thinking of how bruised Ji Chang Wook was for The K2. And they both have the same type of female lead (dainty, needs protection).

      And the soundtrack, some of the epic pieces have the same feel too. Like the Gregorian Chant-inspired piece for The K2 and the Gloomy 30s (?) intro for Chuno. Now that I’m listening to the album (of Chuno) in full, it really is one of the best. I’m not sure if I would have felt the same without watching the drama but listening to it now, just halfway through the series, scenes flash through my head for each piece.

      1. Princess Jasmine

        Great; I too got the same vibes about the fight scenes between the two dramas;
        I totally agree on the soundtrack – It is just phenomenal for a Kdrama and I agree that I did find the soundtrack in K2 to be equally good – I guess it could be something to do with the PD who might have a technique for getting the best background score possible;

        I am really enjoying Chuno and Jang Hyuk is on a roll in this one…..Good week ahead

  4. j3ffc

    I can now state the real reason for my frustration with the end of episode 10, when Tae Ha spent time expressing his feelings for Eunyeon when wounded Commander Hwang was slaughtering a dozen soldiers. I assumed that he was headed to where Han Seom and Baby Prince were waiting for their. But at the beginning of Ep 11, everybody seemed to have gone to their neutral corners, so apparently not. I was apparently confused but crazy with anxiety.

    Only time for one more comment: I loved Little Monk.

    1. kfangurl Post author

      I think they just skipped showing us the part where Tae Ha and Eonnyeon meet up with Han Seom & Little Prince. By the time we see them, they’re already safely on the bigger boat that Tae Ha had described to Han Seom, when he’d first left Han Seom at the raft to wait for him. I was SO anxious too, watching all the kissy-kissy, knowing that Han Seom and Little Prince were waiting and in potential danger! 😝

      Little Monk was SO great! 😆

  5. Ele Nash

    So, I thought I’d add a few thoughts I’ve had so far on this, my second watch – particularly now as these two episodes seem to break Daegil, just as everything conversely seems to be looking up for Taehae and Eunyeon.

    kfangurl, and everyone’s comments on here, are making this watch so much fun and enlightened. However, I’ve still struggled to like Eunyeon and root for her and Taehae. Alas, I’ve spent almost all of it lamenting every gasp,sigh, and out-of-breath utterance Eunyeon makes and while I appreciate Taehae is very brave and determined and the definitive”tiger” I just don’t like him much. As great swathes of story is devoted to these two, I made myself this two episodes work out a way to not be irritated by them and came up with this…

    There was some discussion about catalysts and, to me, the catalyst of the story came when Taehae got the Crown Prince’s letter and escaped and Daegil was given the task of hunting him down. Every bit of story so far has been about those two missions. The subplot is Eunyeon and her flight, her past story entangled with Daegil, her present with Taehae. So what good does her subplot do, other than wreak incredibly well-acted havoc on poor Daegil?

    How about Eunyeon, rather than representing a somewhat flimsy notion of beauty and womanhood, represents freedom? She decided on her own, at great personal risk, to not be imprisoned by marriage and she is no longer imprisoned by slavery either. She believes Daegil is dead so unlike him, she’s not imprisoned by the past and nor is she beholden to duty like Taehae. She is literally (albeit by historical standards not wholly plausible) free.

    If she’s a representation of freedom, pure, clean, beautiful, maybe it’s less irritating that she should also be delicate, because freedom is precarious, fragile, and needs sacrifice from others to achieve. Her brother sacrificed his own father for her, Taehae battles all to keep her safe. And, lo, my favourite bit of this theory is that Daegil first whispered about freedom, breathing life into her. He’s the catalyst to Chuno’s central theme of freedom – yay, Daegil! We often see Eunyeon remembering Daegil and the promises he made. These thoughts are what pushes her on. But Daegil, however big his heart, was never going to be able to change the world. Unlike that cute little prince who could be king and change laws. And once Eunyeon has Taehae the tiger guarding her and the Prince (AKA hope) in her arms, did you notice, she suddenly has strength, purpose, determination. And all while poor Daegil withers.

    The only other thing I wanted to share was this quote from Daegil
    “She can’t live in happiness. Not with me enduring all this. Not after all that happened to me. A decent happy life is out of the question. ”
    Doesn’t that show how much he’s changed, how in passing on the notion of freedom to Eunyeon and losing her means he’s living in a cage, with no hope at all. A slave to a meaningless life, if nothing else. If only he’d really see our Seolhwa!! Sigh. Anyway, Daegil is a great, complex character, played masterfully by Jang Hyuk. My God, that man can act with eyes, voice, posture, expression – even the way he holds a knife 😍

    P.S. Interesting how Commander Hwang’s “there’s no place to go” is a mirror of Daegil’s emptiness – and blind to a true love in his wife. Oh, his wife!! Love her bravery, batting evil father away to protect Hwang. I think I’m pretty much alone in feeling sympathy for Hwang so it’s gratifying to me Commander Hwang is goaded at last into potential change. Perhaps I’ll save those thoughts as have waffled on far too long already 😊

    1. Snow Flower

      @Ele Nash, you are not alone! Despite all the horrible things he has done, I do have some sympathy for Commander Hwang. And his poor wife! She was still trying to cover him with a warm blanket, even though she had no control of her hands…

    2. kfangurl Post author

      Ooh, thanks for sharing your thoughts, Ele!!! I love your metaphorical take on the whole thing! 🤩 It works really well!! I’m not as good at thinking metaphorically as I would like, and your take has definitely given my watch another level of meaning! Thank you! ❤️

      PS: I didn’t use to feel sympathy for Commander Hwang, but I do feel sympathy for him on this watch!

    3. Princess Jasmine

      Great thoughts….May I add that I too feel the same about Commander Hwang..actually I want to know his backstory a bit more in detail….and in any case he need not do what his father-in-law is asking him to do….as that guy is someone who can kill him after getting all his work done… its completely pointless to follow his orders….and hope he change ship to join Tae-ha..

      1. Ele Nash

        Oh, good Snow Flower, Kfangurl, Princess Jasmine! I have a lot of ‘thoughts’ about Hwang and why he seems to be dead inside. We get few clues but perhaps that bleak “there’s no place to go” is feeble enough to garner our sympathy, regardless. Also, the fact his wife seems to see something in him worth protecting that goes beyond the fact he’s her husband – he’s her potential escape from her father and for that, I feel like I owe it to her to hope Hwang has a revelation for the good. And that he doesn’t die.

        I’m all about the metaphorical, kfangurl!! It’s like an illness 😁 It may not be what the writer intended but freedom, and the need to protect it, makes Eunyeon and Taehae a tad less tedious to watch. And, I think knowing the ending helps – though I feel the racing toward it is as fast and desperate as Daegil rushing downhill.

        On that, as a total pointless observation, Daegil – who spends a marathon amount of time running – is never out of puff BUT twice he was, and not from running. Both times when he approaches doors he thinks Eunyeon might be behind, he’s noticeably heavily breathing. Jang Hyuk subtle-sublime acting masterclass 😍

        1. Snow Flower

          @Ele Nash, feel free to share your spoiler-free thoughts on Commander Hwang. I am paying particular attention to him during this watch, so I am curious.

          1. Ele Nash

            Take your point BE. I understand Hwang literally had nowhere to go but I believe it had a wider meaning of despair that echoes Daegil.

            For me, Snow Flower, Hwang’s story journey as well as shadowing Daegil in the chase for Taehae in a literal sense, also has strong links to Daegil’s in the theme of despair and being trapped internally. He is also a counterbalance to Taehae’s unstinting sense of duty.

            Maybe in the final post when we know how the story ends (eek!) I’ll cobble together a comment devoted to Commander Hwang and why it’s his voice at the beginning of the first episode 😊

    4. BE

      i think everyone here is missing the literal meaning of Hwang’s I have nowhere to go. He has failed his mission. In his mind he is, as a result, a dead man walking, vis a vis his father in law, who tells him so much after Hwang says he will go back and succeed the next time. Not only in this life but the next as well, failure to kill the Crown Prince–>exile from existence.
      I missed this the first time through, even though like everyone it was such a strong exclamation of despair, I had supposed he was speaking metaphorically, but the scene in which he wakes to the interrogation of Lefty Snake Father In Law, I realized the meaning was quite literal.

    5. Drama Fan

      I came here to say, I love this theory of yours and Im to take it as canon from now on. Regardless of writer’s actual intensions, this idea works so well, even when I think of future events in the drama. Love it! Thank you!

  6. BE

    Sorry. I am caught up in the ongoing tragedy of my own time and place right now. I will try to contribute by the weekend.

      1. kfangurl Post author

        Sending hugs to both of you, it’s been a day of surreal, bizarre and very troubling news. Take all the time you need. Your comments are much valued, whenever you are ready to make them. ❤️

    1. phl1rxd

      I am right with you BE – right with you. I usually watch several hours of drama every day and I have not been able to watch any since last weekend. Even my daily meditations are suffering. The energy is intense and I am struggling to rise above it, especially in the last month. However, it will get better BE! We must have faith! I will send you lots of love, hugs, positive thoughts and energy!

  7. Albamar

    Thanks so much for this group. Although I’m late to the rewatch, I’m enjoying all the insightful comments and observations. Daebak!👏👏👏

  8. Drama Fan

    Your screencaps, I had to steal them! That Daegil and Seolhwa moment, has always been and continues to be one of my favorites of the whole drama. Daegil’s vulnerability there is just…I love his voice when he tells her, “stay put kiddo, its warm”, he sounds just so sad and exhausted and like a lost boy, like you said. I just want to hug him. I obviously feel for Seolhwa too (or rather feel like I’m Seolhwa or I wanna be Seolhwa? lol), It’s breadcrumbs and a drop of water for my Seolhwa-Daegil ship and it only made me more “thirsty” for it, if it makes any sense. Being in the position of Seolhwa, that unrequited love and having the guy just so physically close, I can imagine, must be so painful though.

    The actor who plays Hanseom, he emotes and makes me feel his feelings almost in the same way that Jang Hyuk does (and if you know me, you know this is the highest praise I can give him). I can’t help buy pay attention to him in every scene. The guy emotes so beautifully and in a way that speaks to me. I’m not talking about acting skills or techniques, of which I know nothing about, but more about, how some actors just have that “something” that command my attention easily. Not sure exactly what it is. Maybe the super expressive eyes.

    And how can anyone stop at episode 12? I couldn’t. No will power here!

    This is all I have for now, I think I’ll have many more comments for the next two episodes. Happy New Year everyone!

    1. Timescout

      Ah, Han Seom, that would be Jo Jin Woong. He’s always great and mostly does movies but he does also have some dramas on his resume, e.g Tree With Deep Roots (Mo Hyul) and Signal where he was one of the three leads (Jae Han, the detective in the past).

    2. kfangurl Post author

      Feel free to save the screencaps, I’m glad you like them! 😃 And yes, it must have been a very difficult moment for Seol Hwa, to have Dae Gil so near to her physically, but so far from her, both emotionally and mentally.

      Also, I agree that Jo Jin Woong has very expressive eyes! That scene when he was thinking about his Court Lady, was so restrained, but still so sad. 😭

  9. Trent

    I have to say, having not seen this before and so not having any preconceptions to struggle against, I am starting to set sail on the good ship Tae Ha-Eunyeon. Sure, they don’t have much in the way of sizzling chemistry–Tae Ha in particular is just hopelessly square–but they really seem to be developing not just mutual respect but something resembling actual affection. It’s for sure enough to finally start to get through Tae Ha’s thick head, and he’s kinda learning how to talk all romantic-like with his lady (Eunyeon’s multiple attempts to beat him with the clue stick are eventually having an effect). I realize it’s unlikely to happen, particularly in the broader context of their surely-doomed political goals, but at this point, I’d kind of just like them to settle down with each other and have some facsimile of a happy ever after. Is that too much to ask? (Don’t bother answering…we all know the answer. )

    Also, just gotta say, General Choi is a snack, my friends. That is some prime torso.

    1. Snow Flower

      I think that Tae Ha is pretty clueless about women. He had been married before, but it is very likely that the marriage was arranged. I imagine him as a kind and respectful husband, but probably not madly in love. Eon Nyeon is likely the first woman he fell in love with. Eon Nyeon is wise and insightful, and possesses a good deal of common sense. They are really perfect for each other.

      1. kfangurl Post author

        That’s an interpretation that feels spot-on and very organic, Snow Flower! I can totally buy that his previous marriage was arranged, and that he’d been dutiful and kind, but hadn’t fallen in love. You have such a great handle on the characters of this show, on top of the historical context! What would we do without you? 🤩❤️

    2. kfangurl Post author

      That’s true, there does seem to be an affection growing between Tae Ha and Eonnyeon.. I used to be completely meh about this loveline, but I’m surprisingly pretty on board this time around. I guess I’m finally growing up some. 😆😅

      Yes, General Choi has some prime torso indeed. AHEM. I couldn’t help, uh, appreciating the sight. 🤩😆

      1. Leslie

        My total pithy contribution is that I did not realize what Hwang Chul Woong was hiding under those dress clothes. Even passed out and bloody he looks…fine. I’ll just park my comment here under other torso observations. 😉

  10. Snow Flower

    All I want to say is Jang Hyuk’s hands deserve their own acting award…

    The humor in this drama is like what sea salt is to chocolate: it makes the tragedy even more poignant and moving. (In the case of chocolate, the salt intensifies the rich chocolate flavor).

    At the beginning of Episode 12, when Song Tae Ha and his men were bowing to the little prince in Eon Nyeon’s arms, I could not help thinking that they were actually bowing to her.

    1. kfangurl Post author

      Ahaha! I felt the same, about it looking like the men were bowing to Eonnyeon, because she was holding the little prince! 😆

      Also, what a great analogy, that humor to tragedy, is like sea salt to chocolate (delicious, in my opinion!).. it complements and enhances, while bringing its own unique flavor to the mix. 🤩


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