It is the season finale after all. Oh myyy.
As Hwon and Yang Myung faced each other, there was a flashback of Minister Yoon instructing Yang Myung to chop off Hwon's head personally, as a sign that he's qualified to be the next King.
Yang Myung promised Minister Yoon that he would do that. While everyone waited restlessly for the next move, Hwon stared at Yang Myung.
Then we have yet another flashback, all the way back to the part where Hwon and Yang Myung sparred with each other with real swords. Yang Myung knew that Hwon was testing the reaction that he would have on the day of the rebellion, and demanded to know what Hwon's plan was.
Minister Yoon brought us back to the present as he shouted at Yang Myung not to wait and proceed to chop off Hwon's head. Yang Myung gave Hwon back the same look.
He lifted his sword up with a war cry and turned not towards Hwon, but towards the rebel officials. The two of them ran towards the main palace as Woon and the other guards followed. More flashbacks show Hwon telling Yang Myung that if he didn't give up his throne, the officials would definitely seek him out to be the next King, and then, he would trap all of the officials once and for all, especially so that Yeon Woo would not have to suffer anymore. Yang Myung asked how Hwon could trust him so easily, and Hwon replied, "Of course, the choice lies in your hands."
This was like a sudden boulder that rolled into Minister Yoon's path, but he led the troops forward anyway…until more war cries ensued, and in a few seconds, troops on Hwon's side flooded the front and the back of the rebels' path.
Hwon shouted, "Now, let the hunt begin!" Whoo~~ Er it's not that I particularly love to see bloodshed, it's just that you know, it's always worth a victory dance when the tables turn on the bad guys:D
Hwon's soldiers started moving in onto the rebels, and as Minister Yoon defended himself, he shouted that whoever who killed Yang Myung or Hwon would be heavily rewarded later. Woon and Yang Myung exchanged glances before joining in the hunt. Bo Kyung's court lady worriedly went into Bo Kyung's chambers to tell her that there was a rebellion, but found the room empty…Bo Kyung walked slowly with a blanket in her hands, as she murmured silently that it didn't matter whether Hwon or her father won, because she would lose the place of the Queen either way. With tears, she tied a loop around a tree, "From the first day I saw you, my only wish is to get your heart…this is why till the last…I want to die as Your Majesty's woman."
The war continued, as Yang Myung wiped out the Professor of Prophecy and one of the ministers.
Very soon, Minister Yoon found himself the only man standing. He turned around and saw Hwon holding onto to a bow and an arrow. Hwon looked at him in determination, before drawing the bow.
COOL. Here's one more for you and I.
He let loose of the arrow, which hit Minister Yoon's thigh and he stumbled to his knees (I love it that Hwon hit his thighs, it's like Minister Yoon finally went on his knees before Hwon) but he plucked out the arrow, stood up with much effort, and stared hatefully at Hwon, who had a fearless expression.
A few beats later, he yelled, "Your Majestyyyy!!" and rushed forward…but Yang Myung slashed his sword across Minister Yoon, and he finally collapsed to the ground, dead. Yang Myung turned around to give Hwon a smile.
Hwon smiled back with pride, but his eyes grew in alarm as he watched a rebel stumble to his feet behind Yang Myung. "Hyung-nim!" Yang Myung turned around but turned back without doing anything. Hwon knew right then with a sinking feeling what Yang Myung was going to do.
Yang Myung said in his mind, "Your Majesty, forgive me for doing such a silly thing." The sky can only take one sun, and from now on, there will be no more trouble because of me. He turned to the rebel and dropped his sword.
Not being able to do anything, Hwon could only watch in horror as the rebel heaved the spear and threw it towards Yang Myung. The spear went through Yang Myung's abdomen (ouch!) and Hwon cried out, "HYUNG-NIM!" Nok Young and Jan Sik the two suns in the sky converged into one, before swallowing up another moon.
Woon cradled Yang Myung's heads on his lap as he cried, "Why, why did you do that?"
Yang Myung answered, while you can totally hear him gurgling on the blood, that he's tired of his life which had no meaning. "If there's something that is regretful, it is that I was unable to see Yeom." He turned his head to see Hwon crying and continued joking that Hwon shouldn't cry over such a trivial matter.
Your death is hardly a trivial matter, Yang Myung. He passed the book of names over to Hwon, and told him that he used to greed for the throne because he was jealous of Hwon who had everything, but now, he learnt that true friends mattered more than anything else. Holding Hwon's hand tightly, he reminded Hwon to be a strong ruler, "And together with that child, protect the commoners of this country. I will also watch over you from another world." He smiled as he murmured silently that he would be meeting his father soon, and he hoped that his father could finally smile at him.
Hopefully, his father would not be a King, but a normal parent. He felt regretful for having to leave his poor mother behind…and then he had a memory of talking to a thirteen Yeon Woo, the night before he left for his trip, and then his hand fell from Hwon's grasp, and his eyes closed. Hwon wailed and told Yang Myung that he didn't order him to die, "I only ordered you to get the book." He shouted for Yang Myung to wake up, telling him that it's a royal order.
But Yang Myung remained lifeless, and Hwon cried out, "Hyung Nim!!!"
Yeon Woo was carried to a place and Kyu Tae apologised for the delay in reaching the destination. She took one look at the door but had no idea where she was, only hearing from Kyu Tae that Hwon had instructed for her to be carried here.
She pushed open the doors, and saw her mother walking towards her but engrossed in what she was carrying…till she almost walked past her, and saw Yeon Woo.
Yeon Woo's mother started sobbing and hugging Yeon Woo, asking repeatedly if Yeon Woo was really alive. Yeom came out to check on his mother, and he saw Yeon Woo, turning his head away a few beats later.
Please don't tell me you are feeling ashamed of yourself, Yeom. He was not as worked up as his mother, since Seol had already told him Yeon Woo was still alive.
The mother was carried into the house, and Yeom left the room. She sobbed that she had seen a girl who looked just like Yeon Woo getting stoned, and her heart had been so painful at that time. Hearing from Yeom that Princess was involved in the incident eight years ago, Yeon Woo's mother lamented in tears that no one could be trusted now, and she cried over the ultimate dilemma of Princess doing such an evil deed and yet carrying Yeom's child.
Yeon Woo left the room after, and came up behind Yeom who refused to turn around. She told Yeom that she would regret having lived, if he continued to reproach himself. Yeom turned around, and Yeon Woo told him that he's not to blame.
Precisely, Yeom. Blaming yourself for what the Princess had done is just….nonsense. Is it your fault that you look so pretty, the Princess couldn't control her obsessive mind and wanted to have you? Obviously not.
Yeon Woo requested for her brother to praise her for being alive instead, and they hugged. Yeom cried and thanked her for being alive, and Yeon Woo echoed his thanks.
Princess fingered the clothes and threw a tantrum when someone entered her room, shouting that she didn't want to eat. She was taken aback to see that it was Yeon Woo who had entered with food, instead of her court lady. Yeon Woo told her that she shouldn't die with the baby in her, and that Princess not only gave her mother happiness throughout the years, but also gave her brother a child.
Right, but if she hasn't decided to participate in that ceremony, then your mother wouldn't need to wail over your death for a few years.
Princess shouted for Yeon Woo to at least be angry, or like grab her clothes, so that she could beg for forgiveness. Yeon Woo cut in, "Do you need my forgiveness? Fine! I forgive you."
"Because of The Majesty and my brother who had suffered so much because of you, they begged for forgiveness on behalf of you, they took the burden that they shouldn't have, I will forgive you." But, Princess should live so that she could personally beg for forgiveness from Yeon Woo, and not through the King or her brother. Princess took the spoon in Yeon Woo's outstretched hand and cried, as she thanked Yeon Woo for being alive. Yeon Woo replied, "Please give me…a reason to say the same to you."
Okay fine. I thought Yeon Woo would be all nice and thankful towards Princess, which will simply be hateful because there's nothing to thank the Princess about….but I like it that she smacked it in Princess's face that she's forgiving her because of her brother and the King.
Yang Myung's mother cried over Yang Myung's still body and Woon watched on.
But he couldn't take it anymore and went out into the courtyard, where Yang Myung appeared. He asked if Yang Myung's happier over there, and Yang Myung nodded, saying that he didn't need to act happy anymore. He didn't need to drink the alcohol that he didn't even like, and he would no longer be a threat to the king. Even better, he could place Yeon Woo in his heart. Woon then asked the question that Yang Myung had always asked of him, "Do you still think of me as your friend?" Yang Myung joked about it, but replied later, that Woon would always be his friend, whether in the past or in the future.
Bo Kyung's body was finally discovered, and she lay on her bed with a smile on her face and her eyes wide open.
As the court ladies wailed over her death, Hwon stood facing her.
He leaned down to close Bo Kyung's eyes, before staggering out of the room with faltering steps. Yeon Woo waited for him round the corner, and he broke down, crying.
Yeon Woo hugged him and comforted him silently, as he wailed over everything that had happened. We are finally back in the courts, and there were some empty seats. Hwon said with a strong voice how he would rule the country from then on. Also, it's important to discern between black and white, and to deal out punishments to those that deserved it. To Princess who was directly involved in the conspiracy eight years ago, she would be demoted to a slave, and the punishment would take place immediately after her child's birth. Yeom, by association (that's stupid), had to be punished by being demoted from the Princess' husband to the status that he was before marrying Princess.
Hey, that's not a punishment, that's like giving him back the wings that was clipped, isn't it? Greaatttt. Nok Young should have been beheaded, but special consideration would be given since she had after all, saved Yeon Woo's life. She would be allowed to perform the ritual to soothe the spirits, before the courts decided on her punishment. Jan Sik expressed with determination that she would like to follow Nok Young wherever she went.
Seol was gone, Wol was someone she couldn't see that often anymore, Yang Myung had departed this world, "Please don't go, Spiritual Mother, please don't leave me alone and leave." Nok Young looked at her tearily, and we cut to the ritual where Nok Young promised the spirits of Seol, Great Dowager, the Queen, Yang Myung, Yeon Woo's father, that she would take care of their paths to another world. She prayed to the heavens to take her body, that had committed so many sins, as a vessel for the crimes that the land had suffered, "Now the sky only has one hopeful sun left, and a moon." She wished for everyone to be blissful, and she fell to the ground…dead.
Seol ran to Nok Young, and cried over her spiritual mother.
Now that all the chaos and deaths left, right and centre were over, we need some smiles. Hwon and Yeon Woo had their wedding ceremonial, which concluded with the court lady pouring wine for Yeon Woo slowwwwwlyyyyy. Hwon was impatient and told all of them to get out the room. The court lady gave him a look, and wanted to help him take care of his robe, but he jumped backwards, "Where are you touching? The Queen hasn't even touched this body yet!"
He chased them out of the room, after claiming that Yeon Woo would stay in his chambers that night and take care of him. Yeah sure Hwon(: After the court ladies left, Hwon looked at Yeon Woo and told her that she could look at him straight in the eyes now. Yeon Woo lifted her eyes, and Hwon sighed appreciatively.
He pushed away the table, and held out his hand. Yeon Woo took it, and he gave a tight pull, causing her to slide across the floor.
Hey, I hope that didn't give you a floor burn, Yeon Woo…but that was cool hahahaha.
He then flipped Yeon Woo over and echoed what he had said many episodes before, "Who are you, quick, tell me, who are you?"
But this time, he said it with a smile.
Yeon Woo replied, "I'm Your Majesty's woman, and the mother of this country. I'm Heo Yeon Woo," and Hwon broke out into a smile.
And then the scene faded out…then returned with a few years later, as two kids played around with each other. Yeon Woo, now dressed in the Queen's clothing, told Yeom that the punishment on the Princess had been lifted, because Hwon felt that Princess had been duly punished. She told Yeom that he shouldn't hold back because he felt sorry towards her.
"Besides, that child…needs a mother." And to emphasise that point, the crown prince fell and started wailing. Yeon Woo rushed over and fussed over him, while Yeom's child looked on sadly and with envy. Hwon came and the prince asked if he could learn to fight with swords with Woon. Hwon laughed that his son liked Woon more than him, and nodded at Woon, who smiled and brought the prince away.
Hwon asked why Yeom's child didn't follow after the prince and he answered that he liked books more than swords, causing Hwon to laugh that he's just like his father. He commented gently that the crown prince was just like Yang Myung, someone who liked Woon a lot and who loved to spar.
Yeom replied that in that sense, one could also say that his son resembled Hwon too.
And then there was a contented silence. I like the fact that they didn't avoid the topic of Yang Myung and instead, remembered him with fondness.
Yeom brought his kid out and asked him to reply honestly if he missed his mother. A group of shamans walked by and Jan Sik recognised Yeom, asking him if he knew Seol. She revealed that Seol had been asking everyday if Yeom was blissful, "He must be happy."
Seol smiled at Yeom and asked, "Are you happy?"
Yeom looked thoughtful at the question.
Back in the Queen's chambers, Yeon Woo thanked Hwon for acceding to her repeated requests for Princess's punishment to be lifted. She asked if Hwon was angry and he replied that of course he wasn't angry. Yeon Woo shyly commented that as a token of gratitude, she had prepared a gift. Hwon murmured, "A gift?"
And suddenly realised something. He quickly bid his farewell and left the chambers, causing the court ladies to be in a heated discussion, since he would usually never leave Yeon Woo's chambers until Hyung Sun called him away. They speculated that he's hiding another woman in his chambers (hahaha) and true enough, the moment Hwon returned to his chambers, the palace maids opened the door of the secret room and out appeared a woman. But, haha, fear not, for she's just a gayageum teacher, here to teach Hwon on gayageum so that he could perform for Yeon Woo on her birthday. Claiming that he's fast learner, Hwon assured the teacher with confidence that he would pick it up very fast.
But he struggled to keep up with the teacher, and Hyung Sun looked on painfully as Hwon mangled the chords.
Hahahaha. Hwon got impatient in the end and threw the instrument aside, claiming that it's spoilt. Hyung Sun took it over and performed wonderfully on it, causing Hwon to be shocked utterly.
Hyung Sun declared that the instrument was without flaws, and when Hwon asked when he learned the gayageum, Hyung Sun replied that he only practised leisurely after seeing Hwon with his lessons.
Hahahaha. Hwon picked up on the word, "Leisurely," and told Hyung Sun to turn his face to the wall. Aww.
Yeom walked hand in hand with his son, not knowing that Princess was watching from behind a wall. She continued her way dejectedly, and was stunned to find that the two of them were standing in her path. She quickly told Yeom that she only wanted to get a last look of the both of them, since the King had lifted her punishment but she had nowhere to go.
Recognising her for she was, the kid called out, "Mother," causing Princess to smile with tears. She didn't approach him though, and promised Yeom that she would not watch them secretly anymore. As she turned to leave, Yeom closed the distance between them and hugged her from the back. She cried, and he told her that initially, he didn't want to forgive her. But now, he wanted happiness, for his child, "For that pitiful person who had died but still wished for others to be blissful."
And aww, the kid came forward and the three of them had a family hug.
Hahahah, I couldn't stop laughing when I see what Hwon was doing when Kyu Tae reported on the daily matters. He was seriously practising on an imaginary gayaguem, causing Kyu Tae to ask with concern if he's too worried over something.
Hahahaha. But of course, Kyu Tae's reports show that Yeon Woo had been a upright queen, cancelling her birthday ceremony so that the budget could go to Hwal In Seo and such. But that meant that she was utterly bored as she waited in her chambers for nothing…till her court lady came to tell her that Hwon wanted her in the Hidden Moon Halls. She went there, and saw Hwon prepared with a gayageum. Taking a seat directly in front of him, Yeon Woo watched as Hwon started the song.
Now all went well, until Hwon broke a string and Yeon Woo rushed forward to check on him…but the notes from the gayaguem continued to float towards them. HAHA. Yeon Woo looked at Hwon, who knew that he was busted. Oh my, is Hyung Sun hidden away somewhere, playing on the gayaguem? Hwon asked if Yeon Woo was disappointed and she said it was funny.
He sighed that the present wasn't meant to be a joke, but he had something else. Yeon Woo asked if there would be flower petals again, and he commented that Hyung Sun's too old to be climbing roofs. How about fireworks? "How can I use the country's budget to make a woman happy?" But he had something even better.
And he leaned in for a kiss.
The camera zoomed out to show Hyung Sun still performing passionately on his instrument, before returning to the couple.
And then drawing out.
KYA. This show has ended T.T
I could kind of tell that Yang Myung was going to die since we know that he's a sun too, and a sky cannot hold two suns. Besides, I feel that his words to Woon an episode earlier shows that he's prepared to die. The rebel throwing a spear was merely an opportunity to grant him his wish, but since Woon should know that Yang Myung's on Hwon's side, then Yang Myung's words on him being determined to do whatever he had decided sounds more like he was talking about his decision to leave this world. That's my interpretation. Nevertheless, I wish that he was killed by something on a greater scale, instead of standing in the path of a spear thrown by an unknown rebel.
Watching Woon and Hwon wail over his death did bring tears to my eyes, and soon we have one death following another. The bad guys got their bad endings and while I'm usually reserved against endings that kill off most of the people, I can't say I hate this ending. But I don't love it either, and I will explain why. Bo Kyung's death makes a lot of sense to me, but it feels like she simply dies because if she doesn't, then how does Yeon Woo come into the picture?
Yeom and Princess get together, and it's like all dramas, where forgiveness triumphs in the end. I didn't really like it though, because while I didn't hate Princess at first, not even when it was revealed that she had wished for Yeon Woo to die, my neutral stand towards her disintegrated when she shouted that she would wish for Yeon Woo to die again. Selfish much? You will make your brother and your future husband cry buckets of tears and not recover for years, your future father-in-law to commit suicide out of guilt, and your mother-in-law to be emotionally down for eight years, just to get Yeom. Though okay, I'm willing to give her another chance, since it looks like she has repented. Still! Where's my Seol— Yeom pairing.
The romance between Hwon and Yeon Woo is just amazing and delightful. If you think about it closely, that's the main thread that has been pulling our interest all along. We are watching this from the start all the way to the end, because we want to see how they get their happy ending. But all the deaths set this happy ending apart from all the other happy endings and that's the only thing I like about them (the deaths)— it's quite a lonely happy ending, and it wasn't only the bad guys who died. Others who were perfectly innocent were sacrificed too.
It isn't a perfect drama actually, and I still think that the best development was from episode 2-6, where we have a almost flawless plot shape. The drama was a bit shaky in the process but got back on its tracks when Hwon got closer to the truth, which was great. I have to love Yeon Woo's and Hwon's relationship, and of course, Kim Soo Hyun wins me over in this show. It has really been a great journey to recap this show, and while I don't get many comments on this set of recaps, the viewerships have reached a number that I've never seen before, and it's you guys whom I have to thank.
Another journey ends here, and I hope the drama blues don't hit too hard!