Open Thread: The Princess’s Man Episodes 5 & 6

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Welcome to the Open Thread, everyone! What an eventful set of episodes this turned out to be! ..Which is what I said last week, heh. 😅 Why do I have a feeling that I could say this every week, and it would still be true?

SOME IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS, before we begin:

ZERO SPOILER POLICY

1. We will be adopting a ZERO SPOILER POLICY for this Open Thread, except for events that have happened in the show, up to this point.

The spoiler tags don’t work in email notifications, therefore, please take note that WE WILL NOT BE USING SPOILER TAGS FOR THIS OPEN THREAD. 

ANY AND ALL SPOILERS WILL BE REDACTED to protect first-time viewers in our midst (although, I’d appreciate it if you would save me the trouble of having to redact spoilers, heh 😅).

This includes, but is not limited to, how characters &/or relationships develop, later in the show.

We need to protect the innocent! 😉

SPOILER ZONE

2. HOWEVER!! If you’d like to discuss spoilers from a rewatcher’s point of view, I’ve created a SPOILER ZONE for you, where you can discuss all the spoilers you’d like, without the need for spoiler warnings. You can find it here!

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

My thoughts

Episode 5

One thing I’m pleasantly surprised by, is how much ground Show covers, in just one episode.

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We get farther and deeper into our story than I’d expected, in these 60 minutes of screen time, and it tickles my imagination, to wonder just how much farther Show is going to be able to take us, by the time we hit the finale.

If Show manages to maintain this pace and intensity (which, if memory serves, it does), then we are in for an excellent ride.

Another thing that strikes me extra, this episode, is how gorgeous this show’s OST is, and how well it’s used.

I think this could be a trend and style thing, in that, I notice that dramas from this era of Hallyu are much more.. inclusive, in how they treat the OST.

What I mean is, the OST plays a much more active role in creating the vibe and atmosphere of the scenes, so much so that it’s almost a character, all on its own.

I find this to be less the case, in more recent dramas, and while I put that down to a natural evolution sort of cycle in kdramas, I do personally have a soft spot for dramas that are able to draw me in with their detailed, on-point application of a stirring range of OST tracks.

Here are the two main tracks that Show’s been using, in these early episodes; Today, I Love You Too by Baek Ji Young, and Destino:

This episode, I’m not surprised that Se Ryeong would confess the truth to her father and beg for his help to save Seung Yu’s life.

At this point, it occurs to me that although Se Ryeong does have feelings for Seung Yu, I don’t think it’s her feelings per se, that is causing her to say things like it doesn’t matter if she dies, if that means that he could live.

Beyond the growing feelings (which, to my eyes, aren’t quite so strong and mature as to warrant sentiments of “I would die for you”), I do think that it has a lot to do with the fact that Se Ryeong believes that she is the reason Seung Yu is facing death.

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She believes that if she had never pretended to be Princess Gyeong Hye, that none of this would have happened, and because she feels responsible for this, she is willing to take responsibility for it, even if it means paying with her life.

Our Se Ryeong is proving to be a very principled sort of character, isn’t she? I do like and respect that about her.

And, as we’ve talked about, Prince Su Yang does care about his family, in his own way, so I’m not surprised that he would take Se Ryeong’s request into consideration, when thinking about what to do about Seung Yu.

Even though Prince Su Yang is being set up as a key baddie in our story world, I must say that I find his course of action quite clever.

Although I’m sure that he wouldn’t want his daughter to die, he uses that scenario, to play Princess Gyeong Hye’s feelings for Se Ryeong, to ensure that Gyeong Hye will not do anything to endanger Se Ryeong’s life.

And then, when Kim Jong Seo becomes desperate to save Seung Yu’s life, Prince Su Yang gets him to resign in exchange for Seung Yu’s pardon – which effectively removes Prince Su Yang’s greatest political opponent, in one fell swoop.

It’s effective, and clever, and achieves his promise to Se Ryeong, while also maintaining his own political ambition.

And now, he also has Se Ryeong’s promise, to never see Seung Yu again, in exchange for saving Seung Yu’s life.

I have to admit, Prince Su Yang is pretty brilliant.

It’s great to see how relieved Se Ryeong, Myeon and Jong are, when they hear of Seung Yu’s release, but this feels like just the beginning of our complications and troubles, not the end.

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As our narrative unfolds, I’m beginning to see that our story doesn’t only have a Romeo and Juliet sort of vibe for our central lovebirds, Seung Yu and Se Ryeong.

There’s also a similar vibe that’s unfolding among our three friends, Seung Yu, Myeon and Jong.

Up to this point, they’ve been the best of friends, not just eating and drinking together, but also, bearing one another’s burdens, as we’ve seen from how Myeon and Seung Yu are quick to help Jong, when they realize he’s in need of money and owes a debt to the loansharks.

However, with the way things are going, they are going to be split into different political camps, because of their fathers.

Myeon’s father is aligning with Prince Su Yang, while Jong becomes the King’s son-in-law, this episode, which already puts these two friends on opposite sides of the political divide.

And then there’s Seung Yu, whose father resigns this episode, but has secretly vowed to help protect the Prince. This puts Seung Yu on similar ground to Jong, because they’re both on the side that’s duty-bound to protect the Prince and Princess.

It gives me a small sense of relief to think that at least Seung Yu and Jong will be on the same side, but it is sad to think that Myeon will be on the opposite side of them, the moment he aligns himself with his father.

And, we already start to see some of that disintegration happening, with Seung Yu’s brother turning Myeon and Jong away from their family residence, because Myeon’s father had requested for Seung Yu’s execution.

It’s open-hearted and gracious of Seung Yu to tell Myeon that they should just live as if they don’t know about their father’s world, but based on where we start our story, we already know that that’s easier said than done.

..Which makes it all the more bittersweet, really, because it’s so poignant that Seung Yu and Myeon have the desire to be friends, in spite of their father’s choices.

And then there’s also how Princess Gyeong Hye has now officially placed Se Ryeong on the side of the enemy.

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When Se Ryeong approaches to congratulate her on her marriage, all Gyeong Hye can see, is that Se Ryeong’s on the opposite side of this political fight.

Sigh. I guess this really could be the end of their friendship and sisterhood, which I’d found so endearing at the beginning of our story.

The scene where Jong and Gyeong Hye set eyes on each other for the first time as bride and groom, is quite cute, actually, because of all the reaction faces that we get, between them.

Jong is delighted that he’s marrying the fairy whose palanquin he’d crashed before, when he’d been running from the loansharks.

But Gyeong Hye, who also recognizes him as the beggar-like dude who’d been dragged away by loansharks, is much less delighted, oops.

I’m actually curious to see how their relationship as husband and wife develops, because Jong’s a goodhearted man, at his core, and I’m hopeful that Gyeong Hye will come to see and appreciate that.

How dramatic, that the King collapses before the wedding is over, and is pronounced to be in a critical condition.

Ack. This makes Prince Su Yang look like a roving hawk watching its prey, and biding his time for the perfect moment to attack. 😬

Given the situation, I’m not surprised that Kim Jong Seo sends word for Seung Yu to hurry back to the capital.

..Which is how Seung Yu and Se Ryeong finally come face to face in that remote village, where she’s gone to pray at the temple with her mother, and which he’s passing through, on his way back to the capital.

With the almost-meet moments slowly stacking up, I was wondering if Show would really have them miss meeting each other.

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But no, they do come face to face – ahhh! – and I’m wondering exactly what Seung Yu will say to Se Ryeong, now that he’s finally found her.

Episode 6

Well. Our OTP meeting doesn’t quite go as I’d expected, but on hindsight, it makes sense.

There are no attempts at questions or explanations, when they come face to face; in fact, Seung Yu only says that it’s a relief that she’s ok, and that he doesn’t want to run into her again.

In the moment, I’m a little disappointed, as I’m sure Se Ryeong is too, but on hindsight, it makes sense that Seung Yu would choose to keep his distance.

He’d almost died because of her, and there are more pressing things at hand, back home and in the palace, for him to be having any sort of dalliance with a so-called expelled court lady.

It’s duty and logic over heart, basically, and I do think that Seung Yu’s made a conscious decision to shut down whatever feelings he’d allowed to grow for Se Ryeong, during the time that they’d spent together.

But of course, Se Ryeong, as tenderhearted as she is, can’t help but be hurt by Seung Yu’s coldness, even though she can understand why he’d be angry at her.

I did feel bad for her, when she can’t hold back her tears and cries in front of her mother.

She’s been rejected by her first love, basically, and this first heartbreak must be so new and painful, for her. Aw.

Show does hint, though, that Seung Yu’s troubled in general, with the way he gets Myeon to spar with him, and the way Myeon remarks that Seung Yu only does things like that, when he’s got a lot on his mind.

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I feel that this is Show’s way of indicating to us, that even though Seung Yu’s made a stand with Se Ryeong, it’s not such a simple nor straightforward thing for him, after all.

Meanwhile, as the King gets weaker, Prince Su Yang’s getting more prepared, for the time to act – which is when the King breathes his last.

It’s so dark, really, to think that someone would be waiting with such anticipation, for his brother to die, but I rationalize that this is just the way things are, with royalty, and ambition.

The way Prince Su Yang essentially forces Princess Gyeong Hye to move out of the palace, when she’d much rather stay, is sad.

I mean, even though he says that she can just come back to visit the King, it’s just not the same, is it? She’d be able to see him so much less, if she moves out.

Which is why, political ambition aside, I find Prince Su Yang’s move so cruel. He basically robbing Princess Gyeong Hye of precious time that she could have spent, with her dying father. 😭

That scene of Princess Gyeong Hye sitting in her palanquin, unable to stop the tears from flowing, while on her way to her new home, is so poignant, to me.

It feels so sad and ironic, really, that the only place Gyeong Hye feels she can cry, is this public parade, in front of the world, because everyone needs to avert their eyes, while bowing to show respect.

I’d mentioned last episode, that I was sorry to see the end of the friendship between Gyeong Hye and Se Ryeong, but it looks like Se Ryeong’s not letting it go so easily.

The way she keeps showing care and concern to Gyeong Hye, despite Gyeong Hye’s cold treatment of her, is so earnest and pure.

And, even though Gyeong Hye puts up a strong front, it’s clear that Se Ryeong’s sincerity, like with that package of items that mothers usually prepare for their newlywed daughters, touches her.

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Perhaps there’s hope yet, for the sisterhood between Gyeong Hye and Se Ryeong to be restored?

With Jong getting married to Princess Gyeong Hye, and Myeon’s father in talks for him to marry Se Ryeong, it feels like our various threads, which have thus far been kept separate, are already in danger of colliding.

Aside from the fact that Myeon’s positioned to marry Prince Su Yang’s daughter, which would put him in a different political camp than Seung Yu and Jong, there’s also the thing, where Seung Yu doesn’t know that that daughter, is, in fact, Se Ryeong.

I do appreciate that Jong echoes what Seung Yu had told Myeon, last episode, that their friendship shouldn’t be ruined by their fathers.

Again, I like the sentiment, though I think this group of friends will be much more challenged on this front than they realize.

Of course, our OTP can’t just separate like that, and Show’s got to find a way to give them some time together.

On that note, I really like how organic to the story and their situations, their meeting turns out to be.

Because, Se Ryeong’s already on the path of being there for Gyeong Hye, repeatedly, despite Gyeong Hye’s cold shoulder treatment, since she is concerned for Gyeong Hye.

And, of course Seung Yu’s going to visit Jong, since they are best friends.

So, when Gyeong Hye disappears the day after moving out of the palace, it doesn’t feel like a stretch at all, that Seung Yu would run into Se Ryeong at the newlyweds’ house, and that they would set off together, to look for Gyeong Hye.

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And it makes sense that they would inevitably get a little closer, on the way, with him taking care of her (somewhat, at least), and with them getting a chance to talk a little more, when they get to the grave of the late Queen, which is where Se Ryeong had guessed Gyeong Hye would be.

Through it all, it’s clear to see that Seung Yu’s keeping a gruff distance from Se Ryeong, which I’m putting down to his decision not to have anything more to do with her.

At the same time, we also get glimpses of him perhaps softening towards her a bit, like when he watches her, as she contemplates the wildflowers, which she eventually picks for Gyeong Hye.

I do appreciate that Se Ryeong looks like she’s about to tell him the truth, and that the only reason she stops herself and continues with the lie, is because she’s under strict instructions from her father, to maintain the secret and stay as a court lady, because it would be dangerous not only for her, but for her entire family, if people knew what had really happened.

However, at least she’s honest about how she’d felt; that she’d enjoyed being with him, even though she’d known that it was wrong, and that she’d wanted to apologize to him personally, once she’d gotten the chance to do so – and then actually apologizes, right there and then.

Seung Yu still maintains his gruff distance, but I’m sure a seed is sown in his heart, with Se Ryeong’s sincere apology, for all that he’s been through because of her.

And afterwards, as they bid each other goodbye, there’s such a distinct sense of wistfulness on both their parts, as they go their separate ways.

It’s just too bad that circumstances just aren’t in their favor, first with Se Ryeong finding out that Myeon is the person her father wants her to marry, and then with the King’s worsening condition.

On that note, I have to say, that scene where the King arrives at Princess Gyeong Hye’s new home, to visit her, was so very poignant.

The way father and daughter look at each other, like it’s the last chance they have to gaze upon each other, is so sad and touching, at the same time.

I knew that the King’s death was coming, but I still felt sad when he passes, and Princess Gyeong Hye collapses from shock and grief. 😭

Even though the whole thing is positioned as part of a political fight, these are real people with real relationships, who feel real grief and real loss, and I’m glad that Show gives us a glimpse of that.

I did feel a stab of satisfaction, that Prince Su Yang’s plan to get the Crown Prince to appoint him as regent gets scuttled by Prince An Pyeong, who produces the King’s royal order, for Kim Jong Seo to assist the Crown Prince, in the capacity of Second State Councilor.

However, that again puts Prince Su Yang and Kim Jong Seo on opposing sides, and even more fiercely than before, even, as they both state in their own ways, that they are now ready to kill, if necessary.

And of course, this the moment when Seung Yu can’t fight his feelings for Se Ryeong any longer, and, STILL not knowing that she is Prince Su Yang’s daughter, seeks her out at the temple, and goes straight for an embrace, the moment he sees her.

I guess he realizes that he loves her, after all.

But, will love be enough, though, with how complicated things have just gotten, on the family and political fronts? 😬

Next Open Thread will be up on: Saturday, 15 October 2022!

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eda harris
eda harris
1 month ago

hi guys, just wanted to let you know that i am not abandoning you or us. i’m going to the hospital (tests), do not know how it’ll go and where it’ll go. so depending on that, i do not know when i’ll be back (i will not have a computer there).
hold the fort. i’ll check as soon as i am back. (hopefully)

MariaF
MariaF
1 month ago
Reply to  eda harris

Eda,
I hope everything goes perfectly for you. All the best!

4736B2E7-4CC4-4941-BA19-AA6817146888.jpeg
Leslie
Leslie
1 month ago
Reply to  eda harris

Best of luck, Eda, with your tests, and all. In the Korean spirit – hwaiting!

Elaine
Elaine
1 month ago
Reply to  eda harris

Take care Eda, hope the tests go well!!

uyen
1 month ago

These two cousins are going to break my heart! I loved the scenes when Se Ryeong makes the gifts for Princess and brings her flowers from her mom’s grave *sniffles*

I gave a little cheer when Seung Yu’s dad showed up at the end to outwit Se Ryeong’s dad, even though I know that’ll bring me a whole lot of pain soon…

Yesss to the OST. I didn’t realize the OST I liked was by Baek Ji Young but should’ve known – she sings another one I really like from Arang and the Magistrate! Also that one piano instrumental that pops up from time to time like when he was leading her back on the horse is really lovely

Last edited 1 month ago by uyen
Elaine
Elaine
1 month ago

Can I say without spoiling anything for either show, that I was delighted to see the actor for Jeon Jong has a small but important role in Little Women, currently airing!

Flowergirl
Flowergirl
1 month ago
Reply to  Elaine

Yeah, I was happy to see him in Little Women! Such a delight to see him as I watched Little Women after Jang Ok Jung drama (seeing Kyeonghye Jeong actors in two succeeding dramas I was watching was funny). And I was delighted again to see him in Little Women while in the middle of rewatching this show.
He’s a great actor, Lee Min Woo! He worked again with Princess Man director in Gunman in Joseon (Lee Joon Gi was the male lead) in 2014.

Trent
1 month ago
Reply to  Elaine

Elaine — that was going to be my main comment as well (you keep reading my mind or something!). Jeon Jong in Little Women, and also Lee Soon-jae (as the ML’s father), who was the nasty evil patriarch in Money Flower, as j3ffc points out.

Elaine
Elaine
1 month ago
Reply to  Trent

High five Trent, looks like we’re on a similar wavelength! Wait, righteous Kim Jong Seo is evil in Money Flower? Mind trip haha.

Snow Flower
Snow Flower
1 month ago

I agree with KFG about the music. When I watched the drama for the first time, I was watching it on computer, and the sound was not so good. This time I am enjoying the OST much more. As for the music being anachronistic, I don’t mind. The purpose of the score is to enhance the emotional experience of the viewer, and I guess that authentic court music from 15th century Joseon is not going to tug on our heartstrings the way a lush orchestral sound does. I think the composer has made a good choice to use traditional instruments combined with modern orchestra.
I think the emotional (if anachronistic) music, combined with good storytelling and interesting characters is what brings us closer to a story set in a distant time period.

The facial expressions of Jong and Gyeong Hye at the wedding we’re priceless! Also, there is nothing cuter than a little kid in hanbok.

J3ffc
J3ffc
1 month ago

Also, dumb me finally remembered where I’d seen impressively gravelly Lee Soon-jae before: as the patriarch in our previous group watch, Money Flower. He’s great here.
Also gonna put a very brief comment/proposal in the currently empty Spoiler Zone although, strictly speaking, I’m only “spoiling” the first half an hour of E7. But I gotta vent!

eda harris
eda harris
1 month ago
Reply to  J3ffc

j3ffc,
i responded to you on the spoilers.

Trent
1 month ago
Reply to  J3ffc

Yes, I was looking up Lee Soon-jae, and what an amazingly long and storied career he’s had! He’s like 87 years old now, so even in this show he was 76-77 and he was in his 80’s in Money Flower, still keeps acting away. There’s several of that older cohort of iconic actors that still keep turning in great work: Kim Young-ok (also in her 80s!), Kim Hye-ja, Go Doo-shim, Shin Goo (86!), etc. etc., although they are of necessity slowing down now, alas.

eda harris
eda harris
1 month ago

to me the center of these two episodes are about friendships, choices and betrayals. the two young women, cousins, friends from childhood. and the three young buddies, also grew up together, both friendships on the surface seem solid, stable and loyal to one another. that’s how it starts.
the young women encounter serious turbulence due to their own joke that turned into a nightmare.
the princess feels wronged – instead of a vibrant, good looking, bright young scholar (seung yoo) she is suddenly recognizing the hoodlum with a bloody face who jumped into her “taxi-box” to hide from some other gangsters. and that is who she is marrying now. i truly do not envy her. also, she feels betrayed by her best friend , who did not keep her promise to her (not to meet with seung yoo any more) and probably a bunch of other emotions all mixed, like jealousy that her cousin might now go for a hot romance with the one who was supposed to be her husband. when she meets sung yoo during his visit to her husband, she strongly urges him to never pursue anything with se ryeong as it will end in tragedy for both of them. but is it out of genuine concern, or jealousy, or bitterness or…?
the princess blames it all on se ryeong, although they both should share the blame, may be not equally, but still the princess willingly and actively participated in the prank.
in this entire screwed up situation, lady se ryeong’s essence shines through and it warms my heart – she’s compassionate, understanding, considerate, kind, loyal to her friend, true to herself even when being harshly scolded by the princess and rejected by her. but our FL does not give up on friendship and continues to try to ease her best friend’s pain. in this case friendship and loyalty wins and it’s interesting how will this relationship develop further and where it will go, but i do have a good feeling about it.

not the case with the men. myeong, myeong, myeong. is he man enough preserve his soul? can years long friendship be discarded overnight? is he a chameleon? i understand and do not underestimate the concept of being filial to one’s parents (especially during that period), but would it make a grown up young man to forsake his own “self” just because of daddy’s political choice? after all, his other two friends, strongly advocate not to follow or get involved in their father’s battles and stay true to their friendship? so it IS possible, no?
the signs of betrayal are already visible.

when jong asks myeon who’s the woman (se ryeong)
who came to see him, he says “nobody”. why couldn’t he tell his friend? they seem close enough and open, so what is it now?

when seung yoo asks myeon to find “that woman” for him, meyong does not disclose who she is. even that se ryeong asked myeon to allow her the opportunity to apologize first, i think that is in the past now, and myeon does not know (and it does not matter) whether she apologized and where their relationship is going. he does consider her his friend’s “woman”, so now would be the perfect opportunity to disclose the truth, if he is a good friend.

right after se ryeon talked to myeon, he keeps it a secret from his friend that she was asking about seung yoo, and that actually he, myeong will now be se ryeon’s groom. i would say, this is strange behavior from myeon.

and after seung yoo comes back from his trip, and asks myeon if there are talks about his marriage and who would be the girl, myeong lies and denies any talks of marriage.

and of course, we see the big betrayal right at the beginning of the drama, so we know how it will end. this is a mega-betrayal, and it already started. i feel pity for him, a man without a spine. and disgust.

the ending of the episode 6, the hug, is pure awesomeness. also, prior to this, when he jumps on the horse to go with her to look for the princess, i can feel their hearts just go into overdrive, and so does mine.

Elaine
Elaine
1 month ago
Reply to  eda harris

Hi Eda, what a wonderfully written comment! Yes indeed, the conflict is so heartfelt and moving because we can feel how strong the dilemma is – sisterhood vs the enmity of the fathers, brotherhood vs betrayal of the fathers. In terms of the Joseon era which is very influenced by Confucian thought from China, in Confucian teaching family definitely comes first before friends, and in the family, the father’s word is law, end of story. To a lesser extent than our star-crossed lovers, I too have felt pressure from my Chinese father, even though he is Western educated, on the school I should choose and what friends I should or shouldn’t hang out with.

But for Myeon, I think the conflict is not just due to his father’s political choice, but it seems he has some jealousy of Seung Yu since young, with Seung Yu having a high-ranking official father he is the golden boy and highly placed in society (in an early episode they joked about how Seung Yu is considered a candidate for king’s son-in-law but Myeon is not eligible, not sure the reasons why), and Myeon was also jealous over Se Ryeong as he kind of has stars in his eyes for her since they met.

Alexandra
Alexandra
1 month ago
Reply to  Elaine

Elaine, it was explained that Myeon was not eligible to become the king’s son-in-law, because he’s older brother was also a candidate. Myeon’s father was also a noble man just like Seung Yoo’s, so I don’t think envy is at the core of his choices, but mainly lust, greed and fear for his family’s life.

I agree with you that in Asian culture the power of the father is immense, so Se Ryeong’s defying her father is somehow unheard of. So it is somehow understandable that Myeon would follow his father’s lead, but it is not understandable that he would repeatedly lie to his best friend, try to steel his love interest and even agree to have him killed. 

eda harris
eda harris
1 month ago
Reply to  Elaine

thank you elaine for your kind words.
i am very aware of the parental draconian grip on the children in chinese and korean culture/tradition. and yet…each human has a choice to remain human. and this drama in particular shows us the other side, to a greater degree or lesser degree a person can make a choice about decency, loyalty, morality and preserving one’s own main life’s judgment. i love this about this drama – the choices that our characters are confronted with and end up with. and may be se ryeong is special and different, but she must not be a single exemption of the rule, there must exist some other women like her, who can and will stand up on their principles and their needs.
and the men? the 3 friends seem as close as family, i’m sure that must be taken into account. after all, seung yu and jong are determined to preserve the friendship, even that the fathers are in different factions. so why isn’t it possible for myeong? i agree with you about jealousy over su ryeong, but is it enough to ruthlessly betray? to try to steal your best friend’s woman? to kill your friend and his family? to basically sell your soul to the devil? and may be he does not see it this way, but that is just another confirmation of his rotten character.
i really liked and enjoyed seeing the bond these 3 friends had, all three well educated, cute, high class, enjoying life. they do not seem to dwell in politics. so myeon’s sudden turn around came as a shock and painful disappointment, as i wanted to continue loving all 3 of these young men. but it’s not going this way.

eda harris
eda harris
1 month ago
Reply to  Elaine

elaine,
 I too have felt pressure from my Chinese father, even though he is Western educated, on the school I should choose and what friends I should or shouldn’t hang out with.

i hope your father is not reading this.

Elaine
Elaine
1 month ago
Reply to  eda harris

Haha he certainly wouldn’t read a K drama blog. And even if he did read these words he would see nothing wrong, it’s what he should have done to make sure I succeed in life.

Actually I also agree with you that in this show at least, Myeong is not depicted as blindly following his father, out of filial piety. He seems like he has his own ambitions and dark intentions, he is conflicted for sure but its not very clear why he is going down this path to lie and deceive.

Alexandra
Alexandra
1 month ago
Reply to  eda harris

Great comment, Eda! I want to add something about the joke turned into a nightmare. It is true that their joke was used for discarding Seung Yoo’s father and himself, but in essence it was merely a pretext for prince Su Yang. As we can see he is dead set to get rid of this family for his own benefit, he is incredible smart and resourceful, has a group of nobles that back him up, so he would have come up with another deadly and brilliant plan. So, what Se Ryeong and the princess don’t know yet (and because of that they feel guilty or resentful) is that the prince would not have allowed the marriage no matter how proper Seung Yoo’s behaviour might have been.
And although the prince tries to protect Se Ryeong’s life by hiding that she was in fact impersonating the princess, which might be seen as fatherly love (but also as a way to protect himself), when remembering her ardent wish that Seung Yoo be spared, he brushes it off and tells the other conspirators that the Kim family must be dealt with (as in killed) and fast.  
I do agree with your description of the princess’s feelings towards the whole situation, and I also admire our FL for trying her best to save their friendship amidst all those terrible things happening. And this is just the beginning of their hardships.
And a very sharp description of Myeong! Whenever he’s on my screen, I’m having a subtle feeling of deceitfulness, so I think the actor is doing a good job. I agree that he is weak, but I fell the turning point for him is that he’s attracted to Se Ryeong (his friend’s love interest, but that doesn’t trouble him too much). Moreover, he is tempted by the possibility to be the son-in-law of the future and more powerful king. So, lust and greed will probably make him succumb to unworthy deeds. We will have to wait and see if he still has a conscience left and what he will do about it.

I really liked in episode 6 that although the ML tries to be cold to the FL, he can’t help himself softening to her, because although she (as it seems to him) mocked him and put him and his family to shame, she emanates sweetness, kindness, and class. So her actions might have seem unworthy, but her presence feels totally worthy 🙂
I’m a sucker for this drama, albeit all the lies, misunderstandings, and violence and that’s all due to the leads that remain human (and tormented) even when they are obviously choosing a wrong path. 

eda harris
eda harris
1 month ago
Reply to  Alexandra

alexandra, thank you for your kind remark.

Myeong! Whenever he’s on my screen, I’m having a subtle feeling of deceitfulness, 

my sentiments exactly! i basically agree with your analyses on prince su yang and myeong, except i doubt that his attraction to se ryeong is the turning point for him, i think it’s just an addition – the outwardly handsome guy is rotten to the core.

and i am a sucker for this drama too. the characters presented to us and the actors playing them – it’s all very human and thus relatable to us.

j3ffc
j3ffc
1 month ago

I agree that the score is gorgeous and dramatic, but to me it seems a little anachronistic (maybe too modern, too European?). Episodes keep zipping along though, very entertaining. Plus I think the politics seem nicely nuanced and realistic.

Great choice befitting a 10-million-view blog! 😁

eda harris
eda harris
1 month ago
Reply to  j3ffc

j3ffc,
i do agree with you about the nature of the music here, and i detected it too, but it is so organic with everything else that is going on in this drama and so enchantingly beautiful. but this is not the first time that we see or hear such things in korean dramas. another drama comes to mind, heard it through the grapevine, where the music became a character and an important one (as KFG noted here, that the music here is another character, and i feel the same). so in the grapevine they used klezmer music, very successfully, but what do koreans have in common with eastern european jewish traditional music? and yet, it was just what the “doctor prescribed”, and we did acknowledge it while discussing it. so it all boils down to how it is used.

Alexandra
Alexandra
1 month ago
Reply to  j3ffc

The music is one of the highlights of this drama and a I have it in my favourite playlist for some time. It is somehow modern (a score even has Italian words) but I feel it fits this drama extremely well.