I have to be frank and admit that I wasn’t paying much attention in the first 6 episodes or so, because the buildup was slow, and we already know that King will die, Yeon Gaesomun triumphs and Jang becomes the next monarch. So just get the whole damn thing going and I was drumming my fingers. Until the coup happened, Princess Sohee (the title Muyoung was known before she became, Muyoung) lost both her father and little brother AND thought Choong betrayed her, she basically lost her entire world in a day. Talk about #fml.
Anyway, now at half-time, Muyoung is all set for revenge, building a new family with the Geumhwadan, who’re only loyal to the previous King, her father, thus now pledge their loyalty to her. We stop at Episode 10 where obviously the plan to kill Yeon Gaesomun is not to be, and Choong is a changed man, dead eyes and hair up in a bun like his Dad. Both Choong and Muyoung are now firmly on the opposite side of each other, not knowing the truth of the other party, and I’m interested to see who gets outed first, and what changes it’ll bring to their new outlook of life.
One thing I noted about Yeon Gaesomun, which interestingly allowed me to draw parallel with is how he does not wrangle for the throne himself, but the power that accompanies the throne. It is clearly similar to the beliefs of the Shoguns in ancient Japan, where they held the power, but did not seek to occupy the throne. It seems to me that Yeon Gaesomun acknowledges that he who be King is one who holds the mandate of heaven (although I also believe that to Yeon Gaesomun, this mandate is from man, or rather, from him, for the King is supposed to agree with him which unfortunately the previous King failed to do so), and all he wants is to yield the power and thus control the King, whoever it may be. This has also created a setup of battle between Jang and him, and I’m anticipating the downfall of Goguryeo in the hands of Yeon Gaesomun.
Cinematography is awesome as always, although it does not much to the unfolding of the story. At least there’s no more 5 seconds for a scene of a dropping petal, though there were countless shots of Choong inserting the hairpin which he gave to Muyoung, but ended up in his hand again, making him think that she’s dead. I rolled my eyes at the different angles (though I understand the significance of the scene). That said, Uhm Tae Woong was fantastic (that goes without saying), especially when he realised that Sohee (I’m sorry for the flipping back and forth for Muyoung’s name, but I’ll go with the chronological order of her name) was dead. His crying was so raw, so powerful that you’d forget it is Uhm-force, but it is a guy who just lost the love of his life because he failed to protect her.
Anyway, I can’t wait to see how things will unfold. Will the star-crossed lovers get their happy ending? How many more, and who else will die? 5 more weeks to the end of the epic love and revenge story of the year.