I teared so many times in this episode that I think I lost count. As if to 'make up' for the four episodes full of cuteness, they decide to load us one episode full of sadness.
One of the ladies was training Yeon Woo the palace manners that she must have during the ceremony. Hwon walked by and smiled when he knew that his future wife was being trained right inside, but got shocked when he heard plates crashing everywhere.
Inside the room, Yeon Woo smiled sheepishly as yet another pair of plate slid off her arms and crashed to the floor.
Later, Hwon wrote a letter to Yeon Woo, that said,
"The security at the palace is really tight so I can't go and find you right now, but I will wait…wait for the day you meet me and become my bride."
Yeon Woo smiled.
-Last sweet happy-fairytale scene ever, between young Yeon Woo and Hwon-
Stupid Dowager arrived and asked Nok Young if everything was prepared. She nodded, and Dowager looked to the side where a curtain hid a section of the room and asked, "Have you invited (the person) over?" Of course. Then, she passed Nok Young the birth dates of Yeon Woo and her clothes, and Nok Young got started on the ritual. She started chanting while Dowager watched on in fascination, and a bit of awe as black smoke started to rise from the fire, gathered behind Nok Young in thick fumes.
Yeon Woo, unknowing to all this, read Hwon's letter one last time and put it in a nice pouch which she placed by her side before she went to sleep. The black smoke gathered more and more, rose upwards, travelled and plummeted towards Yeon Woo. It started crawling up her body and Yeon Woo woke up, as the smoke strangled her. She choked and crawled out of her bed, clawing and pushing her way towards the door,
but she fell unconscious to the ground.
Dowager was pleased and asked when she would get to hear about the results (of Yeon Woo's death) and Nok Young told her that it's not within her strength to take away Yeon Woo's life so immediately. Instead, she would get a strange illness and die a natural death a few days later. Dowager felt that this was better actually, since it would not draw any unnecessary attention.
She told Nok Young that if Yeon Woo didn't die by the time she should, then Nok Young would have to tie up the loose ends herself. She walked towards the sectioned off room, and there, the Princess quaked and quivered in fear. She knew everything that had happened.
I'm not exactly sure she was there…part of the ritual? part of Dowager's plan to scheme? Dowager assured her that now, whatever the Princess wanted, she would get it. One of the palace maid found Yeon Woo sprawled on the ground and screamed. Yeon Woo's Lady rushed in and they fussed worriedly over Yeon Woo, who woke up but fainted away again.
The next day, the courts was in chaos because Yoon Dae Hyung's faction kicked up a fuss about how Yeon Woo kept quiet about her sickness and that her father and her brother who helped hide the news, should be banished out of courts as well. So Dowager, that's what you mean. Darn. So that Princess can marry Yeom now?!
The king insisted that Yeon Woo was just short of a ceremony to be the Crown Princess, and so she should get the best treatment.
However, that faction requested for Yeon Woo to be moved back to her home, and that they should choose a new Crown Princess. Hwon who heard the news came rushing to see Yeon Woo.
(Here's when I go mad screencapping).
He was blocked the guards, and he told them to move away.
But of course, being guards, they didn't budge, and Hwon started shouting, "She's my princess! Who dares to send her home?! How dare you not move away!"
At this moment, Yeon Woo was brought out from her room and tenderly brought down the steps.
With bloodshot eyes, Hwon cried for his wife-to-be and kept calling out her name.
Omg… this actor is darn good.Yeon Woo turned around to give him one last look, before they moved her on.
And Hwon stared after her, still trying to get to her, and with tears streaming.
Dowager watched this unfold before her, and recalled how Minister Yoon told her that the Sungkyunkwan scholars were actually mobilised by Hwon, and that he's not as ignorant about politics as she thought he was. He advised her that weak branches had to be trimmed so that the tree would grow out the way she wanted. With that in mind, Dowager went to Hwon, and looked at him, with eyes full of sympathy.
Dowager talked to Hwon, and told him to forget about Yeon Woo.
He didn't like the idea and told her that Yeon Woo's going to marry him, but Dowager told him to follow the laws of fate. Hwon didn't like that either, and started to ask heatedly but remembered that this was his grandmother, and the Dowager, so he toned down and questioned what were the natural laws that he was supposed to follow. Here's when Dowager got mean. She told him that it was because his father and him wanted Yeon Woo, that's why this happened to Yeon Woo. If she wasn't the Crown Princess, she would be nursing quietly at home, just a normal girl who could be happy with her mother.
Dowager pushed on, "If she was unfortunate, it's your fault. If your brother's wings are clipped, it's your fault. If your father loses his might, it's your fault. If the world of the scholars was threatened, it's your fault. Since going the opposite way bring so much harm, then you have to go along with it."
Hwon looked down and clenched his fists in anger as Dowager told him that he should just be peaceful and not do anything.
Just in Episode 5 and I can't wait for Dowager to meet her downfall.
Yeon Woo's mother got the doctor to come but he said that there was nothing wrong with her body. Yeom looked worriedly at her sister.
Yeon Woo's mother pleaded with the doctor, that she would do anything for Yeon Woo to be well again, and she fainted. When Minister Heo stepped out of the room, Nok Young stepped forward and told him that she was guided here to the house by the gods. After she sat by Yeon Woo's side, she muttered that Yeon Woo had an illness inflicted by gods. Minister Yoon and his faction drank joyfully as they discussed the fates of Minister Yeon. One of his members worried about the possibility that Yeon Woo would get better, but Minister Yoon was sure, "That child will not return again."
Bo Kyung heard this, and later confronted her dad by asking him if he was going to kill Yeon Woo. Her dad told her that she needed to forget all her sympathies and guilt, so that she could stay in the palace and grabbed hold of Hwon's heart.
Bo Kyung's eyes widened in shock as she watched how her father emphasized that she needed to hold on to her ambition in order to climb.
Minister Heo looked at the sleeping Yeon Woo and recalled that Nok Young said the only way to get the spirits to leave Yeon Woo, was for Yeon Woo to pay with her life. The faction got all the ministers in a protest for Yeon Woo to be de-crowned. Hwon was furious when he heard this.
He was convinced by Hyung Sun to sit down and be calm. Hwon was angry about how useless he was, and his anger suddenly turned to regret as he told Hyung Sun about how he lost everyone that was on his side — Minister Heo, Yeon Woo, Yeom. As tears escaped, he lamented about how there was no one in the palace that was on his side, but he suddenly recalled someone.
The next scene changed to Chae Woon having a sword fight with a fellow guard. Hwon appeared and pretended to be angry over his failure in the last soccer match, by hauling off Chae Woon, who scored the most points, and the guy who tripped him up.
The guy found himself without clothes, because Hwon took his.
Someone kept calling Yeon Woo's name and she was lulled awake. She opened her eyes and saw Hwon, who asked her softly if she recognised who he was. She looked at him for a while, and he looked down in mild disappointment, "It doesn't matter…it's okay if you don't recognise me, as long as I recognise you, it's fine."
Aww!! Hwon really gets my heart because he's just so sincere in his love for Yeon Woo. I mean, usually a couple of fifteen and thirteen would hardly convince me that they are in love you know, yeah puppy love perhaps, but not undying love…but Yeon Woo and Hwon/ Yeo Jin Goo and Kim Yoo Jung did such a good job that they convinced me.
Hwon noticed that Yeon Woo's eyes closed and woke her up gently. As he watched her opened her eyes with much effort, a tear dropped.
Yeon Woo whispered, "Is it true? That you are not just an illusion…my lord…." Hwon was relieved and told her that he's really here to see him. Yeon Woo smiled,
and Hwon smiled back.
This scene is so bittersweet that I find myself tearing and yet loving their conversation. Hwon gave her a hairpin, and told her that he called it The Moon That Embraces The Sun, because the Crown Prince was like a sun, and the Crown Princess a moon, and the hairpin was like a white moon hugging a red sun. Yeon Woo took the hairpin, and apologised to Hwon for treating him badly the first time they met. Hwon smiled with a tinge of mischief and said that she did treat him badly.
Yeon Woo told him that whatever happened, it's not his fault. This most probably means that Yeon Woo knew that she was going to die. Hwon told her she's the only Crown Princess in his heart, and was sad when Yeon Woo told him that she was very happy after meeting him. He told her that she would get better so she shouldn't say such things (as if saying her last words), and smiled with tears.
Outside, Yeom was surprised that Chae Woon would bring Hwon here, and Chae Woon said that no one would harm Hwon even if he's out here with only one guard. Besides, him missing someone so much might bring more harm.
Yeom told Chae Woon that Hwon always wanted him to be his personal guard, and it seemed like Yeon Woo had granted him his wish. Seol listened in from a side, but ran away when Chae Woon noticed her. Yeom remarked that it seemed like Seol liked Chae Woon (hahah Yeom's quite oblivious isn't he?). Chae Woon replied that he had another set of interpretation, but didn't elaborate.
After they left, Hwon thanked Chae Woon for bringing him to where Yeon Woo grew up, and asked if he could call him Woon. Woon was honoured, and Hwon called him Woon for the first time. He told him that, "As the prince of this country, and because I'm the prince of this country, I feel useless."
I loveee the above section…so much love found amidst the tears and words. Simple, but full of rich emotions.
Missing Yang Myung? He just caught a few wild animals and wanted to sell it in the city. While the kids brought him to the city, he told them a story about passionate yet innocent people, and called himself Soonjung Macho. While in the city, he saw many people running to a place, and joined in good fun. It was a boxing rink where he decided to challenge the undefeated boxer. He was holding his ground, until he recalled about Yeon Woo, and how he saw Yeon Woo and Hwon being together. He stopped fighting and got thrashed.
Later, he had his meal, and got shocked when he heard a bunch of peasants who complained that the courts would swing in Minister Yoon's power, now that the Crown Princess was to be removed.
He demanded for more information and found out that Yeon Woo was sick and would probably die soon. He rode hard home, and along the way, he kept praying that Yeon Woo would be alive.
Minister Heo decided to send Yeom away and told him that his role was to support Hwon. Yeom was determined to stay and help his sister.
But opened his eyes wide in shock when his father emphasized on his role, ending with a "Just go."
Crap. This does not bode well.
Yeom was thus forced to go. He saw Seol peeping from a side, and walked to her, telling her to write to him if Yeon Woo asked for him. He worried about how Seol didn't know how to write, but Seol replied that Yeon Woo had taught her words everyday, and told her that knowing how to read would open the world. Yeom entrusted Yeon Woo to Seol, patted her head, and left. When Seol returned to the house, she was distraught to find out that she was sold to another family. She begged to stay.
But Minister Heo told her that it's not her fault, and that she should go to another family, promising that she could come back when Yeon Woo got better.
Nok Young was sent to meet with Minister Heo, and there, Minister Heo asked again if eating the medicine she gave would allow Yeon Woo to leave peacefully. Nok Young promised him that, and when she left, she had a guilt-full expression and she promised in her heart that she would use her life to repay. Minister Heo was left with a packet of medicine. He brewed it back home, and told Yeon Woo's mother that he wanted to fulfil his responsibility as a father, when she offered to take over the job.
Yeon Woo was shown remembering Nok Young saying that she was ill with the spirits. With much difficulty, she crawled to get her ink and paper and started to write a letter to Hwon. The camera cuts to Hwon who woke up to find Yeon Woo in his room, looking all healthy and fine.
He asked happily if she's all well now,
and she asked him if he knew why she gave him the pot of lettuce. Hwon thought that she had already told him the answer, but Yeon Woo replied that there was actually another part of the answer which she left out. She was hoping that Hwon would be curious as to what kind of plant it was, and would write to her. Hwon laughed and said, "Really, you should have said earlier."
Ah, I really like the script and the scenes. It's really poignant to have this scene, because it was like one last conversation between the two of them.
Hwon woke up from this conversation in unease.
Yeon Woo finished writing her letter, and sealed it in a letter, before placing it in a box and she pushed herself back to bed. She heard her father coming in after she lay for a while, and when her father came in, her eyes were closed. Minister Heo woke up her up, saying that it's time for her medicine, and she looked it with tears.
I love and hate it so much — that Yeon Woo knew the medicine contained her death.
Minister Heo blamed himself for not allowing Yeon Woo to do what she had wanted, and he would have done so, if he had known that she would only live for such a short period of time. Yeon Woo told him to smile, and that after having the medicine, she didn't want to be sick any more. Half-stricken with guilt and grief, Minister Heo placed Yeon Woo in his arms and brought the bowl near to her mouth.
I can't resist, please allow me to interlude once again with Oh my, I LOVE AND HATE THIS SCENE SO MUCH.
I love it in a very technical way, for how the scriptwriters manage to inflict the most amount of sadness in such a simple, bitter, regretful yet loving way. I hate it yet love it (if you know what I mean) that 1. Yeon Woo knew she was going to die, and 2. that she was going to die in her father's hands, in a way and 3. Minister Heo fed her the medicine personally.
She sipped the medicine and lay in her father's arms, saying that it felt really good to be in his hug just like how it was in her brother's arms. Her father, full of grief, told her to sleep well in his arms.
He noticed the hairpin tucked in her cloth and tugged at it, but Yeon Woo clasped tight to it and said, "I want this to be with me when I sleep, just let it be…" She told her father that she wanted to sleep, and Minister Heo cried inside, telling her that he would be with her soon. Her hand fell away, lifeless, and her father started wailing, as his wife joined him.
I'm definitely crying.
Hwon was told the bad news and he stumbled out of his room, but was stopped by the palace guards. He shouted at them to let go of him and told them that he still had things to tell his princess.
And he wailed in grief, while shouting her name.
I loveee this episode. The first four episodes were good enough, but this was even better. True, there weren't any cute and happy scenes any more, but somehow this episode really nailed it for me — that Hwon and Yeon Woo had something special, and that they weren't just infatuated with each other. They really mattered a lot to each other, and that their love was real. I love how the scriptwriter worked in such love (and not just their love, even Minister Heo– Yeon Woo's love) amidst the angst, grief and tears.
And I can't say enough how much I love Yeo Jin Goo's and Kim Yoo Jung's chemistry and acting. They act so perfectly with each other! I sound like a crybaby, I know, but I will not hold back the fact that I did cry a few times watching this and it's surprising, because child story lines have usually not moved me before…but the fact that just a child Hwon and a child Yeon Woo can bring so much tears out of me…it's amazing. The work of a wonderful script, casting, and directing.
I don't know if anyone would feel that it's draggy, because of all the tears but hello, if you do….well, I'm speechless.
Next week's episode sees the adult Hwon who changed from child to adult in the midst of the sentence of wondering how Yeon Woo would look like if she was still alive, and Yeon Woo who changed from child to adult after surviving and wondering about her true identity. I definitely look forward (oh yes I do) to this change, and to the chemistry between the main couple, but I must say, I miss the child actors already! Great job that they did, and that might also be the reason for the crazy increase in screenshots for this recap, because it was one of my last chances to capture.
Looking forward to next episode!
(One last gush I promise) HWON AND YEON WOO/YEO JIN GOO AND KIM YOO JUNG<3