Go Ha Jin travels back in time to Goryeo Dynasty when she tries to rescue a drowning child. The typical "got betrayed by boyfriend/best friend/in debt theme, sigh.
But as soon as we're in Goryeo time it gets really good. Like Birdy said, eye candy galore at the bathing place where all the numerous princes are gathered. They're all sort of talking about the 4th Prince who's expected to arrive from his exiled land to participate in some annual ritual. And indeed he is coming, as all the commoners in a marketplace can tell you, where the 4th Prince and his men ride roughshod through the place.
I have to tell you my heart started skipping when I first saw Lee Joon Gi appear on screen. He will always be Iljimae (one of my very first K dramas and which I loved) and this 4th Prince reminds me of him with that mask. Wow, he looks so cool! And yes Birdy, beautiful scenery of the mountains.
Ha Jin pops out of the water at the princes' bathing place and scares the living daylight out of all of them. It was so funny. Then she promptly faints after a maid drags her out into the open, through some kind of a cave. They were at some watering hole where women and men were bathing. I didn't know women and men bathed together like that back then. I somehow doubt it.
The 4th Prince arrives at the palace (?) and as soon as he gets off his horse he slashes the hores's neck to state he will not be going back to his exiled home. I guess they didn't treat him well there because the escort said he was an adopted son and the 4th prince said he thought he was a hostage. I didn't like the killing of the horse but gosh, I just love Lee Joon Gi and when he spoke for the first time... wow! I've always loved his voice, but I think it got even nicer since last time I heard it.
Okay so Ha Jin comes to after the fainting spell. So in this time travel she's not an additional body but is in the body of someone who already exists in Goryeo time and her name is Hae Soo. Ha Jin is very confused and is trying hard to understand what's going on. Understandable.
Meanwhile over at the royal court they discover a bird is dead after it partakes from the Crown Prince's breakfast. The Crown Prince has not eaten any of it so he's okay. But the King seems pretty furious over it and wants the culprit(s) found. One subject suggests the Crown Prince is not worthy and another fitter one should replace him. King angrily asks who should be chosen to replace him. All the princes attending swear they don't want the Crown Prince replaced. You get the feeling some are less sincere than others. Choi Ji Mong, the King's astronomer, declares the Crown Prince's star is shining very brightly and that he is fit to be Crown Prince. The king says the Crown Prince will lead the exorcism ritual. The 4th Prince calls on the Queen but I gather she's not thrilled to have him there as she refuse to see him. That immediately made me like him more.
Ha Jin has locked herself in her room and refuses to come out. The 8th Prince breaks down her door and comes to console her with kind words. She is the cousin of the Prince's wife. Now this 8th Prince actor I've come across before but never particularly liked him. In this drama, however, something about him is very appealing. This has happened to me again and again before with other actors - I don't like them at all in contemporary settings but then in historical setting I really do. He was in The Heirs and I particularly did not like him in Angel Eyes.
The 4th Prince has a flashback on why he has to wear the mask over his left side of the face. The Queen slashed his face up when he was a little boy to try to stop the King from taking another wife. Wow. What a mother.
Ha Jin is trying hard to adjust to the life of Hae Soo, who I gather lives at the 8th Prince's residence. I really like her character so far. She looks like a cute little doll but she is very determined to survive in her new environment. Oh my god, she is so cute and funny when she discovers she's in a much younger girl's body.
I really like the interaction among the princes. They're all cute and funny. I particularly found it funny when the astronomer says they're all grown up and the short prince says he's not finished growing yet.
Ha Jin meets Princess Yeon Hwa and have a little confrontation. I would have to say Ha Jin came out the winner, so funny.
The 4th Prince finds out the Crown Prince wants them to switch places at the exorcism ritual, because there's information that there will be an attack on him. Crown Prince says if he finds the culprit he will grant the 4th Prince anything he wants. The 4th Prince says he wants to live at Songak, which is the 8th Prince's residence (?).
Ha Jin spots a man leaving her residence that reminds her of the wino that was with her before her time travel. She impetuously chases after him into a market place only to meet up with the "Wolf Dog." I gotta tell you I watched this scene again and again. Just so absolutely loved it. Loved how the Prince grabs her to rescue her from toppling over into a river(?) below and loved they way they stared into each other's eyes as the horse gallops. Her startled face and his glaring expression cracked me up. Loved the music too.
I really enjoyed the first episode. I loved the way the foundation was laid for each story and each relationship in the series. Subtle, yet quite clear for us to understand. I loved everyone's acting too. And of course I adore Lee Joon Gi. I could stare at/listen to him all day. Fingers crossed that this drama won't disappoint.
Great post, Jewel. You really covered the information well. I was a bit leary about the story line when I saw Ha Jin pop out of the water in front of all the Princes-- but it was handled well, not overly silly or immature-- just the right amount of humor. In fact the whole story line is that way, the story is strong but funny at the same time. Ha Jin comes across of someone that has her whole life changed, but instead of whinning about it has decided to make the best of it and learn everything she needs to be in her current situation. You could take a commoner and drop them in the middle of the Royal grounds and you would see some of the same reactions as Ha Jin has even though she comes from a totally differnt era. (Good thing she got there by drowning in the water-- so she didn't have her cell phone on her! ) I was also shocked when the horse was killed-- I was so expecting to see the animal on the ground in a pool of blood, but it was not-- you got the point without all the gory details. I hope this continues to be a great drama.....looking forward to episode #2
You could take a commoner and drop them in the middle of the Royal grounds and you would see some of the same reactions as Ha Jin has even though she comes from a totally differnt era.
I'm not sure I agree with you here. If a commoner girl were thrown in among royals, she would be so scared she wouldn't say two words because she would know her exact place. The reason Ha Jin is able to meet even a princess head-on is because in our present world a human being is a human being, not more or less because of our "position" in society (or so we'd really like to believe). Ha Jin knows she is as good as this princess because they are both women. A commoner would believe the princess was almost a divine being and would never talk back at her.
And also her reaction when Prince Wook tells her in the library that he was going to help her get her life settled. She asks why he wants to do that and he's flabbergasted by her question. It's because in our present world we believe in being independent and not leaning on our wealthier relatives. Back then it was an obligation for the wealthy relatives to help the poor relatives, an obligation that both sides accepted as a given.
Oh Truth, you party-pooper you! We have to just believe when she traveled back in time she just automatically gained the ability to speak and understand this medieval Korean. (Although to be honest, that thought never accorded to me before.)
I know that Old English has very little in common with contemporary English and it would be a huge problem for anybody going back a thousand years or so in time. Makes perfect sense that Korean would have evolved too.
Your comments about the language differences brings to mind the scene at the begining of each episode: "This drama has taken a creative license to history: Really? I thought the idea of having a time traveller in a historical drama would make that pretty obvious, I would think most people that would watch this would not expect historical accuracy....... As far as my other comments, I don't think I picked a good analogy. I just thought that anyone that was put into a differnt country/era would have some of the same confusion as Ha Jin. I think it would be the same if I got on a plane and went to another country where I didn't know anything about the culture or language. Ha Jin's lack of understanding of "how things are done" is understandable. I think she is handling it very well. I actually thought Prince Wook was going to help her out of kindness (since she is causing so much trouble) and her reaction was because he has no idea who she really is, so why help her? But your point makes more sense...
I know that Old English has very little in common with contemporary English
Believe me, I can tell you from personal experience. I took Medieval Lit in college - we had to translate Beowulf in Old English to modern English. It was a mixture of Latin, German and French. Just about anything other than the English we know today.
This episode was so awesome, I loved it!! I'm so crushing on Lee Joon Gi, he is so cool!!
So this episode picks up where episode 1 left off. Prince So grabs Ha Jin and rescues her from falling into a ravine of sorts. I really liked the music playing when they stared into each other's eyes, while she is in his arms on the horse. Looked so romantic. Then Prince So stops the horse, stares at her a little longer and then just throws her off the horse onto the ground. Ohmgod, I know I shouldn't have laughed but it was funny. Ha Jin struggles back up and proceeds to give him a piece of her mind. I loved the disbelief on Prince So's face.
Prince So arrives at where his brothers and one sister are waiting for him. His entry was so funny, with those three brothers so scared of him. Then Prince Yo says how So understands animals better than human and Prince So replies that explains why he hears Yo so well. Loved Prince Wook chuckling at that. We're kind of starting to see who's on who's side. Prince Yo seems like a nasty piece of work.
Then Ha Jin enters. Oh my god, she is so funny! And when she crossed her eyes to prevent Prince Eun from recognizing her I just cracked up. Then the fight outside. That was hysterical! And then Prince So apprears from nowhere to haul her off Prince Eun. Very fun.
But I have to say my favorite scene of the whole episode was when Go Ha Jin/Hae Soo demands an apology from Prince So and he says fine but that she would have to die after hearing it. The look on her face!!
Prince So goes to visit his mother at Damiwon Palace. We realize right away he is far from her favorite. In fact she seems to hate him. The hairpin scene was almost too painful to watch. Poor guy. She makes it very clear to him the sooner he goes back to his adopted region the better.
Meanwhile Ha Jin is scared what the ramifications of beating up a Prince will be and is determined to find her way back to the 21th century. She therefore goes back to the bathing place where she first met the Princes. She's hoping going back to the same place will maybe help her go back home. Instead she encounters Prince So, scaring him almost witless as she bursts out of the water just when Prince So was staring into the reflection of his face in the water. He probably hasn't been that scared in a long time. When he covered his scarred side of his face and asks her, "Did you see it?" He looked and sounded like a vulnerable, little hurt boy. Two seconds later when he had her by the throat he looked anything but. He makes her swear she would forget having seen his unmasked face.
Queen Yoo and Prince Yo are planning to assassinate the Crown Prince (apparently he is not her son) at the exorcism ritual. They really are a pair, aren't they?
At the ritual, Prince So and the Crown Prince switch costumes, which I find a little unfair. I mean don't they have plenty of well-trained bodyguards that can take the Crown Prince's place instead? They know there's going to be an attempt on the Crown Prince's life. Is Prince So's life not worth anything??
Sure enough the attempt is made but with no success, thanks to Prince So. When he is hurt and the assassins flee, the King runs down to the crouching figure thinking it's the Crown Prince. When the mask is taken off everyone realizes it's Prince So. The King immediately looks for the Crown Prince, causing tears to glisten in Prince So's eyes. Obviously he doesn't have much of his father's love either. The King realizes his error at least. Prince So appears to know martial arts. Why did he deny it when his mother asked him earlier, I wonder.
Ha Jin is out on the town with her maid, enjoying the festival with the commoners. Then she spots Prince So and runs after him. Why?? Doesn't she see him carrying his sword dripping with blood?? Anyway, she follows him into the woods and comes across a bunch of masked men get slaughtered. Meanwhile Prince So finds one assassin and tries to talk him into surrendering. Just when he almost got him persuaded to give up, wouldn't you know it Ha Jin appears. When the assassin ends up with his sword at her neck Prince So is unfazed as he tells him to kill her off or he could do it for him. Just when things look really bad for our heroine, Prince Wook appears and kills off the assassin to Prince So's great rage. He grabs Ha Jin in his frustration and seems ready to slice her neck open when Prince Wook aims his own sword at Prince So's throat. Prince Wook asks Prince So to let her go and Prince So replies as he tightens his hold on her, "I don't want to." And here surely is the foreshadow of The Love Triangle.
And that's how the 2nd episode ends.
It was sooo fun. Lee Joon Gi is soooo beautiful! And I love his voice and love the mask. I love his hair too. In fact, I pretty much love everything about him.
"This drama has taken a creative license to history: Really? I thought the idea of having a time traveller in a historical drama would make that pretty obvious, I would think most people that would watch this would not expect historical accuracy.......
You have a good point. But then again I can see the possibility of portraying a fairly accurate historical, excepting the one character who time-travelled. In any case, I'm glad this drama states that it takes creative license. At least they admit it, unlike some other inaccurate historical dramas I know.
What did you think of Prince So's topless physique, Birdy? I ask you this cuz I know you're an expert on this subject, being #1 fan of Big Bang and all. I thought he looked awfully thin, his stomach was positively concave. What did you think about the scars on his face? It was bad but it could've been worse.
I really enjoyed the ritual sword dance before the assassins showed up. Very fun to watch. I would've like it if there were more audience there other than the royal family way up there with a smattering of their subjects. I loved the fight scenes too. I never like fight scenes much, except when Lee Joon Gi is involved. I don't know what it is about him but he just makes fighting fun. All his moves are so cool. I heard somewhere that he was a black belt in Taekwondo. Maybe that's why all his moves look so real and exciting.
When it was discovered that Prince So and the Crown Prince had switched places, Queen Yoo must have been relieved that Prince So was okay. Although I couldn't really tell by her expression. She looked disappointed but maybe cuz the Crown Prince wasn't dead. She may not want Prince So to be around her but she can't want him dead. He is her child, after all.
By the way what does the word "Ryeo" mean in the title, does anyone know?
Okay we're prepared for a nice, cozy blizzard. I'm totally hoping to be snowbound and just doing my K-drama!! Birdy, if you can't keep up that's okay but please let's discuss each episode without skipping. I'm dying to talk about this drama with someone. My husband is addicted to The Americans and my oppa is watching Weightlifting Something Something. They are the only two I can talk to about K-drama other than this site, but neither are interested right now.
I don't wanna jinx it cause I've soured on dramas I loved in the beginning before but I am so into this drama right now. I think about it ALL the time when I'm not watching it. I'm trying so hard to get my husband to watch with me but he won't. I think it's cuz he knows I have a crush on Lee Joon Gi. I had a picture of LJG on my lock screen of my phone and my husband somehow drew a Hitler mustache on him. Don't know how he did it but I was so mad at him.
Anyway, I watched episode 3 and loved every minute of it... (I'm having hard time posting cuz it keeps kicking me out when I'm typing, I don't know why. Is it cuz my posts are too long?? So I have to keep saving and going back in Edit mode... )
Prince So is really upset that he could've taken an assassin alive if it hadn't for Ha Jin/Hae Soo. Now, whether he really wants to kill her or just give her a good scare, I'm not sure. But Prince Wook has to do some pretty good convincing job before Prince So finally does let her go from his sword-wielding grip. Prince So couldn't possibly think Hae Soo (I'll call her this name for now) is an accomplice, could he? But I guess he has to suspect everyone.
Hae Soo tells the two men that she witnessed some killings in another part of the forest. They go there but there's not a trace of anyone. Prince So is unconvinced she's telling the truth until Prince Wook points out the splattered blood on some tree trunks. They figure most likely the leader killed off his own men.
Soo starts crying after Prince So leaves. But before he leaves, he pauses right in front of her to let her know wordlessly she's not free of him yet. I have to admit he did look quite scary. She was very cute when she started bawling like a baby. Prince Wook thought so too as he can't help keep smirking as he comforts her.
Queen Yoo now knows her son Prince So knows martial arts. Don't know why that's so important. I guess just to know how formidable her foe is, maybe. And it's obvious for some reason that she thinks of him as an enemy. She tells Prince Yo that Goryeo must belong only to one of her sons. Is Prince So not her real son, then?
Prince So has injured his arm earlier at the ritual and Princess Yeon Hwa treats the wound. Did you find anything strange about this scene, Birdy? Are they not brother and sister? I thought they seemed sort of attracted to each other. Maybe they don't have same parents? Kinda confused with all the half siblings everywhere.
Hae Soo comes across Prince So outside later that night. She tries to sneak past him but without success. I have a sneaking suspicion he's persecuting her not so much cuz he really believes she's somehow implicated in this attempted assassination but cuz he is sort of attracted to her. (Oh me and my romantic notions!) But in any case, his persistence pays off: she remembers that the leader had on a fur coat. Both Princes So and Wook remember Prince Yo had a fur coat on at the ritual. As Hae Soo starts leaving, Prince So tells her to stay out of his sight. I knew right there he is attracted to her. Guys who are attracted to girls they don't want to be attracted to always say that. Or not. He may still be mad about the killed assassin. Hae Soo tells him off in anger, asking if wanting to live is a sin. Both men seem to be moved by her words.
Prince So and the Crown Prince meet with King Taejo to discuss the attempted assassination. It brought tears to my eyes to see Prince So so moved when his father asks him how his injury is. Poor baby. When the King asks Prince So why he took the Crown Prince's place at the ritual he answers that the Crown Prince saved his life 15 years ago. Is he referring to when his mother tried to kill him? I remember there was a young man with him in his flashback. The King grants Prince So's wish to remain there longer to help with the investigation of the attempted assassination. Choi Ji Mong give Prince So a sly, satisfied smile. They are definitely allies, as Queen Yoo suspected.
Prince Eun is so cute when he comes galloping on his horse to tell Hae Soo he saved her from the King's punishment for beating him. She reads his body language and thinks to herself, "He's not gonna say you're the first girl to treat me like that, is he?" And a second later he says, "You're the first girl to treat me a Prince like that." And she says, "I can't believe this line's been used for a thousand years!" That whole scene was so funny and cute.
Oh my gosh, the music! Ajk would hate it but I love it! That song they played when Prince Baek was drawing the commoners while sitting in a tavern - wow, love it!
Prince So, the Crown Prince, and Ji Mong go to examine the assassins' corpses. This is what I wanna know. I thought Prince Yo had taken care of everything or so that's what he told his mother. I thought this meant got rid of the bodies. So where did they find all these corpses? I don't think they said. Anyway, they realize all these dead bodies have one thing in common: none of them have tongues. Yikes! They realize they are "fallen monks" who are rejected from the holy order because of their sins - cutting off their tongues is the punishment. Prince So has some kind of a flashback and is now sure Prince Yo is implicated in the attempted assassination. He confronts Prince Yo and is now certain his mother is involved. He is devastated at this discovery.
Meanwhile, Prince Wook and Hae Soo seem to be developing romantic feelings for each other right under the nose of the ailing wife. I find this sort of distasteful. Too bad cuz I was finding Prince Wook very likable until now.
The fight scene in the temple was really cool - a little too violent for my taste but still cool. Just loved Prince So's whole warrior look when he entered the temple. The only part I didn't like was when he stabbed the lead monk for the final time. They made it so obvious the sword didn't go through him, more like under the armpit. And I'm not clear why he killed all those fallen monks or whatever. Didn't he want them alive?
And then the last scene of the episode: entering his mother's sleeping chamber with his bloody sword still in his hand. Very errie. Of course I had to watch 5 minutes into the next episode. I couldn't take the cliffhanger!!
This episode was just so good!! Everyone's acting is just awesome and all the stories interesting and loving the dialogues too. Just love everything so far.
Jewel-- You lived up to your screen name-- this drama is a real Jewel! (and not just for the "scenery" ) I love historical dramas for the wonderful buldings and clothing, food, but it also drives me crazy because it is so hard to tell people apart when they are wearing similar outfits! (I was actually hoping I could tell the princes apart by the color of their clothes--) I have watched episode 2 twice because I wanted to inhale every detail. The Princes reactions to each other can be so subtle, and speaking of reactions, I have noticed that since Prince So has his face covered by the mask, he uses his mouth to convey his emotions, sometimes he seems to be smirking at Hae Soo or trying hard not to smile at her. I loved the one scene when then brothers are all together waiting for Prince So show up, Prince Eun "mocks" him by covering his face with his own hand, to symbolize the mask-- so funny. I laughed so hard when Prince Eun and Hae Soo played "peek-a-boo" around the pole-- they are just so funny! I liked alot about the ceremony, but I really don't like the "flying fighters"--leaping over buildings and such is so far fetch, I think some artful martial arts and leaps would be just as exciting. I can not believe there wasn't any army around during the ceremony, after all the King and Queen were present, I would think there would be guards everywhere. (same goes at the end, when the knife is thrown at the man holding the sword to Hae Soo's neck--it goes into his head-- into the skull-- wow that is some skill!) When Prince So took off his mask and it was discovered he was not the Crown Prince, it was so sad. He is so mean, but everyone around him is so cruel to him. I really enjoyed Hae Soo and her maid taking in the all the festivities, the lighted lanterns were just beautiful! So delicate.... One other thing I don't understand, is Hae Soo taking off all the time, even if she is a "modern" female, for her to take off on her own in a strange land/enviroment seems to me like an easy way to add drama to the drama without being very realistic. Her taking off to the bath to try and get back home was one thing, to run into the woods after Prince Soo-- unbeleivable. Her maid showing up all the time to help her makes me think she must have a "chip" inside of Hae Soo and tracks her with a GPS! One other comment, I thought Prince Soo's face would look much worse-- I get that in this society looking beautiful is priority, but he really is not that hard to look at with the scars-- the scars on his body were much more upsetting to me-- I remember seeing how his face was scared, but I didn't know his body was scared also. I was trying so hard to not get pulled into Lee Joon Gi as the lead actor, but he is so good (and good looking!) that I am having a hard time keeping calm. I find it hard to come up with a "second place" Prince, although Prince Eun's playful nature is perfect. Can't wait to get into episode 3...... (hope the snow storm was not too bad in your area, Jewel-- some of the scenes on the news were pretty crazy-- I was listening as typing, and one weather person said yesterday it was warm enough to go without a coat and today it was a blizzard!) .